The Green Party is calling on the government to safeguard the social security of everyone in the UK stressing the government’s handling of the crisis has left the UK teetering on a “cliff edge”.
Publishing a series of proposals today (29 June), the Green Party demands that no one should be left behind as government support tapers off as lockdown measures are eased.
The furlough scheme will be unavailable to new applicants or additional employees from this week, the ban on evictions for those renting will be lifted at the end of August and the government’s test and trace system is not looking like it will be operational until September.
The Greens underline that the fallout from the crisis could plummet the UK into the worst recession in three hundred years with personal debt projected to hit £6 billion.
The paper, ‘Whatever It Takes: Our plan to leave no one behind in this crisis’, includes key policy proposals under three main overarching aims: ensure no one is left destitute, no one is left in danger and no one is left without a home
Key proposals include the implementation of a Universal Basic Income, an acceleration of a fully effective test and trace system with the highest data standards and ring-fenced funding for local authorities to provide shelter for every rough sleeper who wants it. It also underlines the importance of a green economy in the face of the climate emergency.
‘Now is the time to raise that ambition, not cut the support off’, the paper states, highlighting that the coronavirus could have an ‘especially pronounced’ impact for disadvantaged communities such as people of colour, women and disabled people.
Commenting on the proposals, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said: “Whether it be in the face of coronavirus or the climate emergency, the government's first duty is to protect. But the last few months have seen a scattergun approach that has offered limited support to some while others have been left to fend for themselves. Soon, even these protections will disappear.
“The time has come to ask who the economy is for. The economic impact of coronavirus will last for generations and we know that the economy must be transformed if we are to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown.
“This is the moment for the government to raise its ambition, establish real social security and not cut support. The government’s success or failure will be judged by whether it provides people with what they need to thrive, not just survive.”
“The coronavirus crisis has highlighted in starker terms than ever before the importance of building security, resilience and basic dignity across our society. The policies we are putting forward aren’t just common sense, they are essential to ensure people have the security they need as we build back better from coronavirus and transform the economy in the face of the climate crisis.”
You can read the full plan on the Green Party’s website.