Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, will address hundreds of anti-cuts campaigners at the Coalition of Resistance’s Organising Conference in Camden on Saturday . The national event will focus on organising resistance to the Government’s budget cuts and dismantling of the welfare state.
Jean, a keynote speaker at the conference and national Green Party spokesperson on social affairs, said: “The coalition Government has told us there is no alternative to painful cuts to public spending; that we are “all in this together”. But that is not true. In choosing the public purse as a target, they have made an ideological choice – a choice that will hit the most vulnerable the hardest. In London alone, 82,000 people will be forced out of their homes because of the caps to housing benefit, thousands of public sector workers will join the dole queue and vital community services will be scrapped.
“We are not denying that cuts where money is being spent inefficiently are not needed. We would be happy to cut Trident, saving the UK £90 billion, and cut the road building programme. But there is an obvious alternative – invest in green jobs. The Green New Deal could create one million new jobs in energy efficiency, low carbon public transport and renewable energy. These workers would be paying taxes, not claiming benefits. Surely that’s the way to close the budget deficit, not by penalising the poor for the mistakes of the banks and governments.”
In August this year, Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas MP, was one of the signatories to the letter to the Guardian that launched the Coalition of Resistance. At its national conference in September, the Green Party passed a resolution calling for the building of ‘the broadest possible popular campaign against all moves to cut and privatise our public services.