18 February 2011The Big-Society is Cameron’s Big Idea[i], but cutting jobs and public services won’t help to build a sustainable future. We need to cut carbon emissions and create jobs in the green economy David Cameron said on Monday that fixing our broken society is his mission in politics. Yet his government is responsible for a socially regressive package of cuts that will worsen the North-South divide and risk undermining the very idea he claims to champion.[ii]
Green Party deputy leader Adrian Ramsay described the savage cuts to public services as ‘regressive, divisive and socially destructive.’Councillor Emily Heath, Co-ordinator of the North West Green Party added: ‘The idea that a kinder, greener society will spontaneously spring forth in the wake of unjust, ideologically driven policy decisions is incoherent and economically illiterate.’Figures show that Northern councils are being disproportionately hit by the Government’s cuts. The swathe of council job losses across the North West will have a knock-on effect on private-sector jobs, raising the spectre of mass unemployment not seen since the Thatcher years.[iii]The Green Party want to see massive investment in a Green New Deal to nurture our fragile economic recovery whilst creating jobs and reducing the UK’s dependence on fossil fuels.[iv]
Everyone agrees that we need to transition our economy away from carbon intensive energy usage. But can we afford Green ideals in times of austerity? The Green Party thinks we can and must invest now to build a sustainable future.
Says Howard Thorp, Chair of the Campaigns Working Group of the North West Green Party and leader of Cheshire West and Chester Greens:‘The Keynesian paradox is that you cannot cut your way out of a recession.[v] The deficit was caused by the banking crisis, not by irresponsible spending. With youth unemployment now at record levels, there are clear signs that George Osborne’s approach is undermining the recovery[vi], exactly as predicted by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz[vii] in October last year.’ ‘The Coalition claims that its deficit reduction programme is essential to our economic recovery. Nothing could be further from the truth. The alternative economic programme laid out in the Green Party manifesto[viii] would have reduced the deficit by £70 billion over 4 years, whilst creating a million green jobs and protecting public services.’ But the reality Green Councillors across the region are facing is that they are being forced to implement cuts they see as unfair and counterproductive. Professor John Whitelegg warns that council budget cuts in the region could see 10, 000 people lose their jobs.[ix] Councillor John Coyne concurs, adding: ‘Liverpool is facing the most severe cuts. Frontline services even to vulnerable people are under threat. Green councillors in Liverpool have agreed to be part of a unique, all-party, emergency budget-setting group. But the blame for these cuts lies clearly with the Tory-led coalition government.’ Notes to Editors:
For further information, contact:Jackie Turvey (NWGP media rep) email@example.comSpencer Fitz-Gibbon (Head of Media Relations) firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 7549 0315 / 07590 046505
Research by the Manchester Evening News separated out locally raised council taxes from central funding to map out how the cuts disproportionately hit the North. http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/politics/s/1391848_mapped_out_how_coalition_council_cuts_will_hit_hardest_in_the_north