Friday, 11 December 2009

The Cuts Won't Work...

The Green New Deal group - a consortium of economists and environmental campaigners, including Green Party leader and likely next MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas - has just published its second report: The Cuts Won't Work.

This second report from the Green New Deal Group argues that the UK is currently missing a historic opportunity in the pre-budget report to tackle public debt, create thousands of new green jobs and kick-start the transformation to a low-carbon economy. 

The Cuts Won’t Work shows that, contrary to the policy of all the major political parties, cutting public spending now will tip the nation into a deeper recession by increasing unemployment, reducing the tax received and limiting government funding available to kick-start the Green New Deal. Instead a bold new programme of ‘green quantitative easing,’ rather than simply propping up failing banks, could help reduce the public debt and kick-start the transformation of the UK’s energy supply while creating thousands of new green-collar jobs.
 
This could be a real opportunity for the UK to show global leadership by implementing an interlinked package that recognises the need for targeted public spending in a downturn. Not to further fuel an economy hard-wired into ever increasing use of fossil fuels, but to revitalise the productive economy and lay the foundations of the low-carbon infrastructure of the future.

The opportunity for action is even more pressing than it was when President Franklin Roosevelt instigated his bold New Deal programme that touched almost every aspect of economy and society say the Group. The timescale is limited by the urgent need to stabilise concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere before the risk of uncontrollable global warming increases significantly. Today, there is a plan on the table that could revitalise our damaged economy while also radically restructuring it for a low carbon future.

The vision is needed to implement it before it is too late.

I think the report is spot on - although the most devastating impacts of climate change are yet to hit Sussex, mass unemployment is just around the corner. With about 1,000 local redundancies announced just this month, it's time to protect jobs and create new ones quicksmart.
 

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