Our Response to the Chancellor's Statement
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Countless families are facing serious financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. More than a million people have lost their jobs and many more are worried about losing theirs in the weeks and months ahead.
We are also facing big challenges in deep-seated inequality and the climate emergency.
We must ensure no one is left behind.
Against this unprecedented economic and health crisis we need a radical new direction of economic policy to meet this challenge.
We need a Green Recovery Plan
The Government's plan does not match the scale of ambition necessary to reshape our economy and save the planet
This is precisely the right time for a massive green stimulus to provide jobs and tackle the other great crisis of our time, the climate emergency.
The Government's green spending simply does not match the scale of ambition necessary to reshape our economy and save the planet.
The UK's green investment is being outpaced by the likes of France, Germany, South Korea and even rivalled by Denmark.
That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for a £150 billion Green Recovery Plan over three years, to reshape our economy, create hundreds of thousands of jobs and lead the fight against climate change.
Our plan would:
- Move to at least 80% renewable energy by 2030.
- Insulate every home by 2030, creating jobs, ending fuel poverty and lowering fuel bills.
- End the sale of petrol & diesel cars by 2030, and massively expand our electric vehicle network.
- Restore our natural environment with a rewilding programme, including tree-planting and new air quality standards.
- Introduce a green jobs guarantee, with training and a national living wage for anyone wanting to work on green projects.
More Support for the Self Employed and Excluded Workers
The Chancellor should have gone much further for the self-employed and excluded workers
The pandemic hasn't affected everyone equally. Amongst the worst hit are the country's self-employed workers, three million of which are still not covered by government support.
The Liberal Democrats fought hard for existing support and have advocated for targeted packages for sectors like hospitality, leisure and culture.
But the Chancellor should have gone much further with today's announcement. We are calling on him to expand the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to include:
- The more than 150,000 people who became self-employed since April 2019
- Those who are registered as limited companies
- Freelancers who got more than 50% of their earnings through employment.
These groups should be urgently added to the scheme to benefit from the its second payment in August
Putting the national interest over party ideology on Brexit
The Government's economic response to Covid-19 cannot be seen as fully responsible as long as a bad trade deal or a no-deal relationship with the EU are still on the table.
Any of those outcomes will lead to thousands more job losses and create a second crisis for the UK economy. The Government must avert this by securing the closest trading relationship possible with the EU.