The rural economy faces significant challenges that do not arise in urban areas. This has contributed to a rural recession which is different in tone to that in urban areas. It is characterised by longer-standing levels of low economic activity and an older profile of employment.
The problem for Miliband, and indeed anyone else looking to crack down on corporate tax avoidance, is that the world has changed. On this issue, the politicians are chasing the rampant forces of capitalism, and they appear powerless at the foot of the economic tornado.
Just as the sun seems to have finally arrived in 2013, the mood of SMEs has visibly lifted in recent months.
In most circumstances today's IMF report would be taken as a pretty damning indictment of the state of the economy and our prospects for recovery. However, because the IMF has stopped short of openly calling for a "plan B" the Chancellor's allies appear to be classifying this as a victory.
Sitting on ginormous cash piles, multinational corporations should certainly be willing to contribute their fair share during times of austerity. According to recent estimates, tax avoidance in Britain could be costing the taxpayer as much as £5.5 billion each year. That's £183 per taxpayer, or 21 days funding for the entire NHS.
In an ideal world, Google should be paying more in tax, but don't hold your breath when international agreement is the only state-based solution. Instead, public pressure is the strongest force to persuade companies that it is in their interests to make a 'moral' contribution in tax.
Scotland not only has massive economic strengths - we are financially strong too. This impressive track record in innovation, our wealth of natural resources and skilled workforce means that Scotland has every right to be confident about our economic prospects as an independent country.
Recent statistics suggest that 82% of people think it's acceptable to watch pirated TV shows, and the growing piracy rates back this up: the season premiere of Game of Thrones was watched illegally over one million times, compared to just over four million legitimate views, with foreign interest in the series being a large cause.
The choices we make will begin to determine whether we have a responsible capitalism or an irresponsible one. The events of the past three weeks have only served to underline how distant and distracted David Cameron, not to mention his divided party, has become from addressing these issues.
One in 10 British workers is working fewer hours than they'd like to. Forced casualisation is a reality for millions. The 'underemployment rate' for 16-24-year-olds is 30%. Retail workers are being offered 12-hour weeks, at a level that puts them below the national insurance payment threshold.
The knives are out for the energy companies in the press and political spheres alike, with public outrage increasing with every new revelation aired. But their anger is not directed solely at the likes of BP and Shell, but also at the lax regulatory environment which has allowed such alleged abuses to flourish for years.
Bee numbers have been on the decline since the Sixties, so it is crucial to raise as much awareness as possible around their economical and environmental importance to encourage people to show their support for the British bee.
The public, and those who represent its interests, simply don't believe that financial organisations are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that the industry's reputation is restored and that future crises are avoided.
Last week I wrote that the US economy was in a sweet spot for the markets, with a Goldilocks, 'not too hot, not too cold' type recovery that won't cause the Fed to tighten, but will provide enough cheer to keep risk 'on'.
The calls for banking reform are growing. About time. The big crash was more than five years ago. Since then we've had Libor rate-fixing, bonuses for failed financiers, massive fines for malpractices by leading banks, mis-sold PPI, interest rate swaps, fraud, money-laundering and tax dodging. Scandal after scandal. Are we mugs or masochists? Why do we put up with it? The rot has got to stop.
Here's a prediction: the Brent price fixing scandal will turn out to be larger than Libor. Energy prices ripple throughout the real economy and there will be not thousands but millions of angry punters ready to exercise a grievance if any of these allegations turn out to be true.