Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Invest in employment in Kent, dump austerity

Kent Green Party, preparing for County Elections this May, rejects the austerity policies shared by other parties. There is a large enough existing and potential tax base to allow Government to invest in creating more useful employment(1). Steve Dawe explains:

“If the Coalition Government is serious about ending poverty, increasing employment opportunities and improving services, then it needs to increase taxes upon the wealthiest groups in society and corporations. We have become the most unequal society amongst the rich industrialised countries on this planet. Kent County Council must play a part by helping to reduce poverty. Useful measures should include:
1.      Using empty homes, long-term empty shopfronts and derelict shops in industrial estates for social housing;
2.      Reducing class sizes and expanding services to young people and the elderly; employing enough staff to meet the needs of the vulnerable and poor in our County;
3.      Reintroducing the Community Programme, to provide employment and training to the long-term unemployed people throughout Kent;
4.      Stepping up all schemes to improve energy efficiency in homes and other buildings to help reduce energy costs for all(2);
5.      Better support for forming cooperatives as new businesses throughout Kent.
“At present, Government policy has forced our County Council into a further £94 million of cuts, threatening libraries, services to young people and the elderly and Council employment. With more cuts planned for future years, local government is being deliberately reduced to a hollow shell to protect tax cuts for the wealthiest (3).”
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, Press Officer, KENT GREEN PARTY, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe for Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. KENT GREEN NEWS, free ezine, is available by subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
1.      There is a general failure by HMRC to collect taxes on time, especially from corporations, leaving as much as £28 billion uncollected in some years. Caroline Lucas MP, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, is advocating a Land Value Tax to increase the currently very low taxes on large land holdings in particular. Cigarette and alcohol taxes can be raised to enhance NHS spending. Taxing those earning over £150,000 a year at 50% will help to address inequality and support local government which has experienced the largest cuts of any sector of public spending.
2.      The successful expansion of renewable energy despite the recession and very poor support by the Coalition illustrates considerable potential in expanding employment in this sector, reducing greenhouse gases and giving a boost to declining levels of engineers in the UK. Instead, the Government is favouring nuclear expansion with huge long-term subsidies, the coal industry and the exploitation of shale gas  all of which are highly polluting.
3.      Like the reduction of the top rate of tax to 45p in the £ from early April, the continuation of tax havens on UK controlled territories and the Government’s bizarre refusal to join other European states in running a financial transaction tax to help raise revenues and support investment, jobs and services.

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