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Rally against the cuts

Speech by Bernard Little, Co-chair Sheffield Green Party, Sheffield 3rd September 2010.

Draconian cuts in vital investment and public services are being driven
by a government committed to serving corporate rather than public
interests. We have every right to be angry as these cuts are unnecessary.

£100 billion pounds is lost through tax avoidance and evasion every
year. That’s £100 billion a year lost from the public purse. There is no
sign that this theft of our money is going to be dealt with.

43,000 tax inspectors were sacked by the last government.

Another 20,000 tax inspectors are rumoured to be losing their jobs in
the near future.

This humungous mess of an economy has been brought about by blind faith
in relentless economic growth and free market dogma.

The last time we were in such a dire straight was in the 1940’s. Then we
were in far deeper debt but the post war socialist government managed to
launch the National Health Service and nationalised many other vital
services.

70 years later and we need a green government to pursue a new and
resilient 21st century economy.

An economy that is fair.

An economy where we can ALL thrive.

An economy that ensures we live within our environmental limits.

Sadly the new coalition government “the greenest government that there
has ever been” have learned nothing. …absolutely nothing.

The global economy is five times the size it was 50 years ago, if it
continues to grow at the same rate the economy will be 80 times that
size by the year 2100. It is an impossibility…

Yet economic growth remains the single most important policy goal of
government. Nothing has be learned.

One of the first causalities of the new government was to close down the
Commission on Sustainable Development…there goes its commitment to the
environment.

No Equality Impact Assessment has been done on the effects of the budget
…there goes its commitment to the Big Society and the most vulnerable.

The Foreign Office has cut back its monitoring of human rights across
the planet…that’s the end of the pretence of the UK having an ethical
foreign policy.

There is absolutely NO evidence of a groundswell of institutional
understanding of the seriousness challenges that face us.

The future looks bleak indeed. But there is hope.

A green government would:

1.replace Growth as a measure of success with measurements of social and
environmental well-fare.

2. would protect public services which are the foundation of a fair
society.

3. would raise taxation so those that are able to pay.. pay their full
share.

4. would strictly regulate the banks.

5. green government would abandon the trend towards an economy based on
financial services and build a new and sustainable agricultural and
manufacturing base to the economy.

6. create an extra million jobs in the Green New Deal…………..it
would address its’ employment and environmental investment programme in
renewable energy, public transport, insulation, social housing and waste
management.

A better and fairer world,… where we co-operate rather than
compete…. is possible….. but it will take enormous political courage
to make it happen. Only by electing people committed to such a programme
will such a future be possible.

Finally.

Mr Clegg…you are a free-market enthusiast believing it will deliver
progressive economic policies. You and *­ALL *your fellow travellers
have got some serious explaining to do.”

END.

Topics: Bernard Little, Budget, City Wide, Council, Cuts

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