19 October 2012
THE Green Party is set to take its place in a national anti-austerity march this weekend to call for a better future for everyone – with two of its highest-profile members leading from the front.
Party Leader Natalie Bennett and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas will head the march in London on Saturday, joining union members, Party activists and thousands of others to demand A Future That Works (1).
The march has been organised by the Trades Union Congress in protest against the Coalition government’s economic policies and to call for a new focus on investment to spark economic recovery.
Like the TUC, the Green Party opposes the ideologically motivated cuts which are hitting public services, taking support away from society’s most vulnerable, and leaving a generation of young people unable to find work.
The policies are also failing to deliver the single achievement to which the government claims it is dedicated – instead of reducing the deficit by 4.6 per cent as promised, nearly two and a half years of austerity measures forced it to grow by 22 per cent between April and August of this year.
Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett said:
“We’re marching with hundreds of thousands of others to give the government the message that we have to invest in the future.
“The government can’t continue with its economically illiterate cuts – we must invest in decent homes, renewable energy, public services, public transport and the infrastructure we need to bring manufacturing back to Britain.
“We must also restore food production systems within this country. All of these things are urgent, and need investment and planning to deliver.
“And this investment must be used to assist young people in finding fulfilling and worthwhile work. The Princes Trust has revealed that the number of young people in the UK out of work for more than two years has increased by 168 per cent since February 2008 (2).
“Our young people are doing all the right things to secure a job and future, but we’re not doing right by them.”
The MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, said:
“This government’s refusal to heed the warnings of leading economists and ditch its failed austerity drive is seriously harming the UK’s chances of economic recovery and risking lasting damage to our communities.
“Forget compassionate Conservatism – the draconian cuts to welfare, the brazen efforts to undermine workers’ rights and the relentless attacks on the public sector show more clearly than ever that the nasty party of the 1980s is back for good.
"The Greens will march in solidarity with public sector workers and anti-cuts campaigners this weekend to call for an urgent u-turn on cuts to welfare for the most vulnerable, a halt to the privatisation of vital public services, and for investment in the green economy to create jobs and tackle climate change.
“We urgently need a coherent job creation strategy to reduce long-term unemployment and get our young people into work, but all we get from this government is a misguided faith in the private sector’s ability to magic jobs out of thin air.
“And rather than slashing public spending in the hope of simply resuming business as usual, the Greens are calling on the government to overhaul the deeply unsustainable economic system which has helped to propel us towards financial meltdown, a climate crisis and increasing energy insecurity.”
The march leaves Victoria Embankment at 11am, and will end with a rally at Hyde Park.
Notes to Editors
1. For more information about the march for A Future That Works, visit: http://afuturethatworks.org
2. The Prince’s Trust study on youth unemployment can be downloaded here: