27 Jun 2013
Westminster now has three parties of austerity
It was with some considerable disappointment that I heard Ed Miliband in the week accepting the Government's spending cuts - one has to ask why would you vote Labour if they are offering more of the same?
In Caroline Lucas' letter in The Guardian on Monday she wrote: "News that Ed Miliband will accept the government's spending cuts, as a starting point for 2015-16, as well as supporting a cap on welfare spending, confirms fears that we now have three parties of austerity at Westminster (Miliband summons up spirit of 45, 22 June). Instead of trying to outcompete the government in some kind of masochistic virility test to see who can threaten the greatest austerity, an opposition party worthy of the name would be making a far stronger case that austerity isn't working, and offering a genuine alternative.
"At the People's Assembly meeting in London on Saturday, more than 4,000 people gathered to build a movement to do just that, based on a recognition that the best way to address the deficit is not by cutting public spending, throwing people out of work and slashing welfare, but by investing in jobs, particularly jobs in the labour-intensive green sector, which would address the growing climate crisis, as well as the economic one.
"Borrowing, based on record low interest rates, a serious crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance, and green quantitative easing to deliver investment directly into the new jobs and infrastructure that the UK urgently needs to make the transition to a more sustainable economy, would all do far more to address the deficit than the confused Tory-lite policies set out by the Labour frontbench."