This is what we need to Build Back Better
County Cllr Julie Gibson, the Labour Group Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration has backed calls for a Green Economic Recovery to help guard against the worst effects of a Covid recession. A report recently released by the Labour Party challenges the government to “Build it in Britain” and support 400,000 news jobs with green economic recovery.
She said: “The most recent figures available (Sept 2020) show that unemployment in West Lancashire is currently at 5.5% (3,330 people)* and sadly, this is predicted to grow higher as the true costs of the effect of the Covid 19 pandemic on the economy become more widely known.
She added: “We face both a jobs emergency and a climate emergency and we need a plan to deliver jobs which can also tackle climate crisis. If we are to build back better after Covid we need a different approach to economic recovery that puts sustainability at the heart of that recovery.”
Cllr Gibson said: “Labour’s report sets out a strategy that has 3 main areas:
- Recovery jobs – bring forward planned capital investment dedicated to low-carbon sectors
- Retrain workers – training to equip people affected by unemployment with the skills needed for a future greener economy
- Rebuild business – the creation of a National Investment Bank focused on green investment
She added: “One of the areas outlined in the report is investment in flooding protection. In West Lancashire flooding is becoming a major problem. In Skelmersdale we see the underpasses flood every time there is a deluge of rain and across the rest of the constituency we are seeing more and more areas struggling with the effects of flooding. By investing in flooding protection and training people with the skills to do these jobs we not only help to create jobs and build our skills base, but we can put that skills base to use to improving the quality of life for so many people.”
Cllr Gibson said: “This strategy is the right thing to do for so many people who are facing unemployment, the right thing to do for our economy and the right thing to do to build a better quality of life for people for now and for the future.”
(*figs from Office for National Statistics NOMIS website)