18 December 2008
The Green Party has today welcomed Nick Clegg's announcement of plans for a ‘green road out of recession' but said that it risks being undermined by Liberal Democrat policies on greater economic liberalisation and business deregulation.
Green Party Leader, Caroline Lucas MEP, commented:
"For all the green rhetoric, the reality is that Nick Clegg still clings to the out-of-date economic liberalism that has gotten us into the economic mess we're in.
"His Party retains both the principle and the policies of de-regulation - letting the markets rule. People losing their jobs and their homes can tell you what a deregulated market has done for them. What has happened in the financial world in recent months shows that you don't improve things for most people by removing regulation.
"What the Green Party proposes is a complete re-structuring package for the economy, which would include:
- A £30bn stimulus package for investing in green jobs in environmental works that will dramatically reduce the carbon emissions of UK buildings
- The creation of new national investment products, such as local government bonds, to help fund this work and provide a safe haven for pensions and savings
- Shifting from VAT to pollution taxes, cutting the standard rate of VAT to 5% for some items, and abolishing road tax whilst increasing pollution taxes on fuel
- Closing offshore tax havens to stabilise the financial sector, discourage tax avoidance and to help provide funds for the Green New Deal
- Replacing the pursuit of endless economic growth with strategies to promote a transition to a steady state economy.
Dr Lucas concluded: "If anyone is looking for a genuine progressive alternative to the mainstream political parties, for politicians that will put social justice, sustainability and the environment at the heart of policy making, they would do better to go Green - not yellow."