Sheffield Green Party Councillors have called on Labour not to follow the same spending plans as the Conservative Government.
In response to a Labour councillors’ motion on national government spending, Green Party Councillor for Gleadless Valley Paul
“Labour have said they will follow the same spending plans as the Conservative Government, if they come to power following a General Election. This is bad news for the people of Sheffield, who have had years of underfunded local services.
“Following an austerity agenda, as Labour proposes, will not deliver the change we need. Keir Starmer has made it clear that he “won’t turn on spending taps” if Labour win the next general election which promises no light at the end of the tunnel for cash-strapped local authorities and public services.
“We must tax the rich more to bring in the funding needed for public services and to make us a more equal society. A tax on the income from wealth of the richest 1% would deliver £75 billion of additional funding to help improve the energy efficiency of homes and address high energy bills.
“In the absence of action by Conservative / Labour Governments, there are things we can do locally. We could introduce an Employers Workplace Parking Levy which would apply to larger businesses with 50 or more parking spaces. The levy would help fund better public transport, support for cycling and walking and public charging points for electric vehicles.
“We could establish a wholly-owned council company to help deliver the council’s objectives and raise income to deliver reliable services for Sheffield residents e.g. gardening, household repairs, heating system servicing and replacement and retrofit works. A similar project in Oxford raised £600,000 for council services this year.
“We could invest in renewable energy projects on Council land and buildings to generate energy and income. Cambridgeshire County Council will soon be receiving £1 million each year from a solar farm it has developed.
“If Labour simply follow a Conservative spending agenda, they will fail to deliver the real positive change for the people of Sheffield that is needed.”