Friday, 19 September 2008

'WE SHOULD NOT JUST ACCEPT RECESSION'

KENT PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Friday 19th September 2008 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 079444 71083

‘WE SHOULD NOT JUST ACCEPT RECESSION’
GREEN ALTERNATIVES TO RECESSION IN KENT

Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair of Kent Green Party, argues that people should not just accept that a recession is inevitable. Positive Green Employment and lifestyle alternatives can be pursued as a response to recession. She explains:

“We must not give in to recession. In the 1980s, high unemployment, poverty and increased crime made life tough in many parts of Kent. We should use low cost employment and lifestyle methods of adapting to a recession. These can include:

Flexible working: rather than making people redundant, Kent employers should keep skills and experience in their labour force by permitting shorter working hours and allowing more flexible working(1). Night working and unsocial hours can be cut back which will help families with children. Since Britain has the longest working hours in Europe, and long commuting times, flexible working can restore family life. There is evidence that long working hours undermine productivity and create ill-health(1)(2);

Changing lifestyles: what can be bought second-hand should be; expenditure which can be avoided should be. It is good for the environment and the economy if people take more of their holidays in Kent;

Flexible retirement age: people are living longer, so a flexible retirement age would help to keep their skills in the labour force;

Energy efficiency: the quickest and cheapest way to cut greenhouse gas emissions is by insulating homes properly. This will help save on energy bills and maintain health, maintaining jobs in Kent’s construction sector which is suffering from the downturn in house building (3);
Education and training: education and training expenditure throughout Kent and Medway should rise to ensure people have educational alternatives to unemployment(4). Germany has 250,000 people employed in renewable energy and the UK only about 26,000: this is a skills gap which needs to be closed (5).”

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FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Chair, KENT GREEN PARTY – 01732 355815 – 0845 257 4236 or mobile: 079444 71083 Contact address as above.

Notes:
1. Jean Lambert – Flexible working: a work-life balance or a balancing act? (The Greens-European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, London, 2004 – www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk )
2. Jean Lambert – I must work harder: Britain and the working time directive (The Greens-European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, London, 2006 – www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk )
3. Jean Lambert – Green Work: employment and skills – the climate change challenge (The Greens-European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, London, 2008 – www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk )
4. Transfers from other areas of spending are possible: cancelling ID cards (c£12 bn); cancelling Trident nuclear weapons renewal (c£60 bn over the life of the technology); reducing defence spending especially overseas (£10 bn has been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003);
5. Adrian Ramsay, Deputy Leader of the Green Party - News from the Green Party 18 September 2008 - Green deputy dismisses Hutton over jobs: green energy is the answer not nuclear.

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