Austerity is a “grotesque political act” – Wales Green Party leader
Wales Green Party leader Anthony Slaughter used his speech to the Green Party of England and Wales conference to attack the Tories’ programme of austerity since 2010. Speaking to attendees, Slaughter described the austerity project as a “grotesque political act”. He also argued that the country had been hit harder by the Covid crisis as a result.
The ongoing Covid crisis has exposed the serious structural and systemic flaws in our society and highlighted the obscene and growing levels of inequality that are destroying our communities.
Covid-19 and our society’s response has challenged many long-held views of the way things are or the way they should be. Starting with a recognition of who our economy and society really depend on and that government does after all have a magic money tree when it’s needed.
It has exposed the deep structural flaws in our society and laid bare government claims about careful management of the economy. How much more resilient might we have been to the shock of Coronavirus if public services and local authorities had not had their funding cut to the bone year on year? The policy of austerity is being shown to have been the grotesque political act it was.
A vision for Wales’ future
Slaughter didn’t just use his speech to criticise the government’s handling of the economy, public services and the coronavirus pandemic, however. He also spoke on the Greens’ vision for Wales’ future as the party is set to contest elections to the Welsh Parliament in May.
Slaughter outlined the skeleton of the Wales Green Party’s proposals for a ‘Green New Deal’ for Wales to tackle the climate crisis. He said:
Our ambitious plans include the establishment of a Green Transformation Fund for Wales which will raise finance, through issuing bonds, to fund the building thousands of zero carbon new homes each year, installing rooftop solar on every hospital, converting thousands of houses to warm zero carbon homes each year, replacing all diesel buses in Wales with electric buses assembled here in Wales.
Wales Green Party’s [Green New Deal] will transform Welsh society, providing Green jobs in a genuine wellbeing economy, and better, healthier living through warm homes and reduced air pollution, creating a cleaner and greener world for future generations, for people and planet.
Slaughter’s speech to Green Party conference can be watched in full here.
The Green Party’s conference is set to conclude on Sunday. Members will be debating a series of motions on topics including ensuring workers are placed at the forefront of the party’s policies on climate change, a wealth tax as a means of delivering post-Covid economic recovery, and the rights for trans people to be able to legally determine their own gender.
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