join donate discuss

Government pours gasoline on the cost-of-living conflagration

Speaker's Corner

An opinion piece by Hugh Parker, Co-Chair of North Herts and Stevenage Green Party

Millions of people’s personal finances have been thrown into chaos by a reckless government with only a partial understanding of macro-economics. The market turmoil they unleashed was entirely predictable. Just as people were giving a sigh of relief that the government’s intervention on energy prices was taking some of the pressure off the cost-of-living crisis, Truss’s ‘fiscal event’ poured gasoline on the fire. The Bank of England was forced to inject inflationary billions to calm the markets, aggravating the already rocketing inflation. With four chancellors in four months, the current one is having to stamp on the brakes to fill a £50 billion hole in the public finances through more cuts (how is that even possible?) and according to the media, increased taxes ‘for all’. Twelve years of Tory governments have further enriched the already wealthy, increasing the income gap to obscene levels. Higher taxes ‘for all’ will inevitably hit the less-well-off the hardest.

One of the consequences is Labour riding high in the polls while wrapping their offering in a slew of green policies. We have been here before. Not so long ago Boris Johnson’s government was promising a green revolution, restoring nature and aspiring to net zero by 2050. Under pressure from the farming community, drought across Europe, the war in Ukraine and soaring food prices, the ambition has begun to wane. The new PM’s wobble on COP27 attendance and the continuing moratorium on onshore wind dispels any vestige of the Tory Party’s pale green credentials. Labour risks following the same path, sensing the electoral value of a green offering now but one which may quickly evaporate once hit with the reality of government, should they be so fortunate. Only the Green Party can be relied upon to keep the fight to mitigate climate change and halt further biodiversity loss in the forefront of all our policies.