Tuesday 25th October 2016                 Change text size:

A Green New Deal: UK economy needs a detox and green growth

Lily Rothrock via Flickr

The Green New Deal group has launched a national plan to scrap the UK’s ‘broken’ financial system and austerity policies, and take the country to the age of the ‘Green New Deal’.

The group has said that the British economy should be revolutionised “to meet environmental and social challenges”. It believes that it is necessary to end zero-hour contracts, hidden bank subsidies, private finance initiative (PFI), tackle tax avoidance and evasion, block the HS2 rail line and end the so-called ‘dash for gas’.

Ann Pettifor, a member of the group, said, “It is crucial that government replaces destructive austerity policies that have created a low-investment, low-wage, heavily indebted, unbalanced ‘Alice in Wongaland economy’ with massive investment in a Green New Deal.

This could be financed, in part, by a form of ‘Green QE’: with government co-operating with the Bank of England via its money market operations, to create financial products at very low rates of interest to fund green infrastructure investment. This investment would, thanks to the multiplier, pay for itself.”

The group calls for an initial investment of £50 billion to promote energy efficiency measures in every home, boost clean energy projects and low-carbon transport. At the same time, the plan looks to keep under control banking practices and tax dodgers.

Caroline Lucas, MP and former leader of the Green party, also a member of the group said, “There is huge, and as yet untapped, potential in renewable energy, energy and resource-use efficiency and the transformation of our transport system that would create high-quality jobs across the country and reduce the UK’s overall ecological impact.”

Further reading:

Osborne: UK economy showing ‘tentative signs of a sustainable recovery’

Britons know how to be green, but many can’t afford it

Spending review: ‘reform, growth and fairness’ (but still unsustainable)

Britons want government to tackle climate change and grow economy

HS2 money ‘better spent elsewhere’, says leading business group

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