Caroline Lucas

With strikes still rumbling through workplaces, inflation still soaring and the government introducing a budget that benefits the rich and penalises the poor, it’s as clear as ever that our economy is run in the interests of the mega rich.

On the latest episode of Radio 4‘s Any Questions Green Party MP Caroline Lucas made this exact point. Responding to an audience member who asked, “How have we got a situation where strikes are effecting the majority of public sector services?”, Lucas explained that the government is “made up of millionaires and is running the country for the millionaires”.

She told the audience in Sussex: “Well, we’ve had 13 years of austerity, and a government that frankly is made up of millionaires and is running the country for the millionaires, and doesn’t much care about the rest of us.”

Those comments were met with applause from the audience. She went on to make a powerful defence of public sector workers. She said: “I think there’s a real concern that they were just hoping they could sit out these strikes weren’t they. They were hoping that there wouldn’t be enough public support for public sector workers and that they would just be able to tough it out.

“And I’m so proud of the fact that actually the public have stayed on side by and large with public sector workers, because they know that public sector workers are our family, our friends, we know people who are working above and beyond and they have been doing for years and years.And so people deserve a pay rise.

Lucas finished her response by illustrating how decisions made about what is and is not ‘affordable’ are political choices. She said: “And that is what makes me so angry – when you have a chancellor who keeps telling us what he can’t afford, and yet as we’ve just been speaking about he can afford a big bung for the top 1% via this pensions tax relief.

“We can afford things if we want to. Look at the way in which money has been created before. We created huge amounts of money to deal with Covid – credit creation – we can do that. Germany’s just done it in order to be able to find the money to pay for support to Ukraine. There is no absolute limit in the way in which the government would make you think.

“And when you see as well, the government’s priorities – that they will find the money for the richest, but they won’t find the money for some of the poorest.”

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Image credit: UK Parliament – Creative Commons