The UK's increasingly bottom-heavy economy and jobs market (The great migration south: four out of five private sector jobs now created in London, 27 January) demands policies that will benefit the whole of the country. It was to tackle this growing north-south divide while helping protect the environment that the Green New Deal Group recently published a National Plan for the UK.
This calls for a £50bn-a-year green infrastructure programme, funded by a crackdown on tax-dodging and green quantitative easing, to make every building in the country energy-efficient and to build hundreds of thousands of new, affordable, sustainably sited, energy-efficient homes. Such a "jobs in every constituency" approach would create employment, business and investment opportunities in every city, town, village and hamlet in the country.
Compare this with David Cameron's efforts to scrape off so called green barnacles, such as finance for more energy efficient homes and his latest pitch to the Federation of Small Businesses to trash green building standards that allow reduced heating bills through renewable energy. Both are bad for the consumer and bad for small business since they will do nothing to reduce fuel costs, the drift south or generate sustainable jobs across the entire UK.
Convenor, Green New Deal Group
I think that plan is important. As we said when launching it:
- The plan would end zero-hour contracts, remove hidden bank subsidies, cancel PFI, end tax avoidance and evasion, stop the controversial HS2 rail link and end the destructive ‘Dash for Gas’
- In their place, the Green New Deal Group propose a plan that would transform the UK economy to meet environmental and social challenges, create quality jobs in every constituency in the UK, end austerity and ignite a sense of shared national purpose.
The key phrase is 'create quality jobs in every constituency in the UK'. Who else is talking about that?