Response to the Chancellor’s Announcement of the Job Support Scheme

12 September 2020

Central and Outer Leeds Green Party (CAOLGP) condemns the restricted vision and inadequate funding of the Scheme announced yesterday by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

The Party regards it as far too limited in scope, with many economists predicting a consequent doubling of the unemployment figures to 4 million by the end of the year. It also misses the opportunity to reset the economy towards a direction which is desperately needed in an age of climate change, environmental pollution and with many people fearing an inability to adequately heat their homes as winter approaches.

With the prospect of mass unemployment we need to create useful, fulfilling, worthwhile jobs – not just put a sticking plaster on the gaping wounds of the old economy. This is the right time to roll out Universal Basic Income (UBI) under which every citizen is guaranteed an income no matter if they’re working or not - and towards which the Government was moving under the current furlough scheme.

With this in mind, we call upon Leeds City Council to commit to seeking a Green Deal which will involve:

  • the building of all new social housing to ‘passivhaus’ standards in Leeds
  • the retro-fitting of effective insulation to all existing social housing in Leeds
  • discussion with landlords about schemes to finance the retro-fitting of all rented accommodation in Leeds
  • discussion with mortgage lenders about schemes to retrofit private houses in Leeds
  • discussion with the relevant colleges about training and reskilling people to be able to work on retro-fitting and insulation schemes
  • join with other local authorities in pressing the government to introduce a universal basic income, and explain to Leeds people how it would work.

“It’s not rocket science” commented Alan Anthoney, campaigns officer of the CAOLGP, “we are on the cusp of a significant increase in unemployment; and at the same time we have a massive social need, and moral duty, to tackle the scourge of fuel poverty. Not everybody who loses their job in hospitality, leisure, retail and transport will want to become involved in building insulation; but some will - and it will generate thousands of other jobs in supply, administration and services.”

Any questions and interviews please contact Colin Noble on colinnoble5@gmail.com or phone 07825340969

Central and Outer Leeds Green Party is the local Green Party in the parliamentary constituencies of Leeds Central, Leeds East, Leeds North East, Morley & Outwood and Pudsey, and the 20 council wards that make up these constituencies.