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Green spending could help rescue UK after debt crash

Colin Hines and Richard Murphy had this letter in the Guardian on 5 September:
Zoe Williams is right: another credit crunch-induced “crash” is likely and the only affordable rescue package will be some form of quantitative easing (With Britain’s addition to debt, another crash is certain, 4 September). This time it must generate jobs for [...]

Colin Hines and Richard Murphy had this letter in the Guardian on 5 September:

Zoe Williams is right: another credit crunch-induced “crash” is likely and the only affordable rescue package will be some form of quantitative easing (With Britain’s addition to debt, another crash is certain, 4 September). This time it must generate jobs for the “left behind” and others, rather than today’s beneficiaries – the property- and share-owning rich. The Green New Deal group showed the potential of such an approach in its proposal for a £50bn-a-year green infrastructure QE programme.

This would pay to make the UK’s 28m dwellings and 2m commercial and public sector buildings super energy efficient, dramatically reducing energy bills, fuel poverty and greenhouse gas emissions. It could also tackle the housing crisis by building affordable, highly insulated homes, predominantly on brownfield sites. This form of QE would provide job security and local business opportunities in every constituency, since its infrastructure improvements would take place across the UK.

Such an approach is feasible, since the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, in responding to questions from Green New Deal group member Caroline Lucas MP, is on record as saying that if the government requested it, QE could be used to buy assets other than government debt. He and the government should work on this jobs-everywhere approach. If they don’t, Labour could be on to a winner with its “peoples QE” proposal to fund economic improvements nationwide.

Prof Richard Murphy
City, University of London

Colin Hines
Convenor, UK Green New Deal Group