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Soapbox for the 99%: spend money on shovel-ready schemes

 

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Colin Hines, convenor of the Green New Deal Group, writes:

“One of the justifications for the coalition’s cuts is the pretence that they are needed to pay for more infrastructure projects (Editorial, 27 June). Yet the emphasis on new roads and HS2 will be cost-escalating and take money away from the kind of local infrastructure spending that would result in economic activity nationwide. Increased economic activity could be fairly taxed and so get rid of the need for cuts, while helping rescue our flagging economy”.

He advocates:

“Tens of billions spent on low-carbon infrastructure and affordable housing would generate jobs, business and investment opportunities in every city, town, village and hamlet in the UK. Making every building in the UK energy-efficient and repairing, maintaining and improving the public transport system could prioritise the use of UK manufacturers.

“A crackdown on tax dodgers would make billions available to pump prime such an initiative. The result would be a reduction in public debt through a programme that improves society, the environment and the economy – the very opposite of the present cuts”.

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Why would the Treasury disregard their own data about the economic importance of low carbon infrastructure?

Today the Antidote site welcomed the Green Alliance’s analysis of the Green Economy.

Their press release emphasises that this work draws on government data, working with individuals from departments to verify their findings as well as the data of businesses such as Bloomberg:

“The results are impressive and show how this sector has proven itself resilient to recession. Especially striking is the infrastructure story – data taken from the Treasury. It shows they are sitting on the fact that low carbon infrastructure is of much bigger economic importance to the UK, attracts far more private sector money, while high carbon remains reliant on the public sector for its investments. If you want to get private sector investment, you want offshore wind not roads and airports”.

Statistics in Green Economy: a UK success story may be downloaded here but readers are asked to login as a ‘cms user’ here to read the report.