Responding to Philip Hammond’s conference speech, Jonathan Bartley, new Green Party co-leader, has said the government’s economic plans “lack the ambition, principle and vision” required to tackle the root causes of the multiple crises that characterise the post-referendum period.
Bartley, who lives in shared housing, commented:
“It should come as no small surprise that Hammond has moved quickly to put blue water between himself and Osborne’s failed austerity programme that has inflicted so much pain and suffering on those who should get the most help. But he appears to be in denial about the social, environmental and economic crises that continue to hang over us all, let alone have any new ambition, principle or vision to address them.
“We welcome any new investment to speed up the construction of new homes but the plans fail to tackle the underlying causes of the housing crisis; if the new housing stock is sold off to buy-to-let and foreign investors that will only exacerbate the problem by driving up already soaring rents. The subsidy in the form of tax breaks for speculators must be removed if Hammond is serious about building a ‘country and economy that works for everyone.’
“It is ‘Generation rent’ that faces the greatest challenges in this new age of insecurity. Successive Governments have presided over a decline in decent social homes, fuelled the buy-to-let market and encouraged the foreign investment that has made housing so unaffordable. Coupled with stagnating wages and job insecurity, a whole generation is being left behind. Action must be taken now.“
The Green Party is committed to building an innovative new economy of sharing, participation and collaboration.