Green Party opinion: 'They should have heard warnings', writes Nicola Day

Nicola Day, Green Party group deputy leader, talks the cost of living crisis and local elections in her latest column

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 12:21 pm

The cost of living crisis is hitting residents where it hurts.

While people are finding it difficult to meet energy cost rises, this government is warm and cosy with energy companies who are making vast profits from the misery of millions.

The Green Party has the long-term answer to the cost-of-living crisis. We aspire to a future where energy bills are virtually nonexistent. Where homes have the latest heat pumps and insulation. Where the companies making money from ‘dirty’ industries are the ones facing soaring costs, not consumers.

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Nicola Day says the Green Party has the long-term answer to the cost-of-living crisis.

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Green Party opinion: 'Ambitions quashed by museum cuts', says Nicola Day

‘Should have invested in renewable energy’

Since the Green Party was founded half a century ago, we have been calling for urgent, rapid deployment and investment in renewable energy: wind, tidal and solar energy.We were often told that this would be ‘too costly’ or ‘expensive’. It is now very obvious that had we invested in renewables, we would not now be facing rocketing costs of gas and oil.The latest IPCC report makes it very clear how humanity’s use of fossil fuels has had a devastating impact on our climate and environment. Our reliance on oil and gas, while not only costing the earth and increasing fuel poverty, also leaves us susceptible to major national security concerns, such as those we are witnessing with Russia.As energy prices soar, local residents are also going to be facing council tax rises and reductions in local council services due to the fact that the Conservative Government has cut funding to Peterborough City Council this year by £40 million. It first came to light how severe the council’s financial situation was when independent CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) reports were made public in November last year.The report states: “In our view it is clear that the council have failed to take sufficiently timely and extensive action to resolve the council’s financial difficulties”, and that “after the external auditor’s opinion of November 2020, the council’s cabinet should have focused on taking action”. The council’s cabinet is entirely run by the Conservatives, who have a slim minority control of the council... the same Conservatives who have been running the council for the last 22 years.The Conservatives may often spin a myth that they are the most responsible financially. However, a report from Tax Research UK (taxresearch.org.uk) suggests otherwise.Richard Murphy (Tax Research UK) analysed data based on government borrowing as reported by the House of Commons Library and other data supplied by the Office for Budget Responsibility. It covers the years since 1946, which is the entire post-war period. He concluded that ‘first, Labour borrows less than the Conservatives. The data shows that. And second, Labour has always repaid debt more often than the Conservatives and has always repaid more debt, on average’. He goes on to say “or, to put it another way, the Conservatives are the party of high UK borrowing and low debt repayment contrary to all popular belief”.

‘Green Party could create ‘fresh’ vision for Peterborough’

The Peterborough Green Group are very willing to work together with other opposition councillors: Labour, Liberal Democrats and Peterborough First. We believe that together we can bring strength and knowledge from an array of professions and disciplines, alongside many experienced councillors and newer ones, to create a unified, shared, fresh vision for this incredible city we all call home.We know that things will be challenging in the next few years, but we are strong enough to face those challenges and collaborate to bring Peterborough City Council out of its difficulties and create a cleaner, greener and more accessible Peterborough for all.After 22 years it really is time for change. Do take time to check out who is standing in the local election in your ward – and consider carefully how you will be voting. The time is now. On May 5, vote for change.