Those suffering did not cause financial crash

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Councillor Smith-Moorhouse’s view of today’s reality in her letter of August 21 is not one that many in Luddenden Foot and Mytholmroyd would recognise. There is a fairer way, and the Green Party calls on the government to end its policies of austerity.

At the People’s Assembly protest in London this summer the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas MP said: “It wasn’t the poor who caused the economic crisis. It wasn’t people on Jobseeker’s Allowance who brought down the banks. It wasn’t people with disabilities who wasted billions speculating on risky financial markets.”

The poorest tenth of the population are the hardest hit by austerity, seeing a 38 per cent decrease in their net income over the period 2010-15. The Green Party wants real change: from investment in public services to sustainable private investment – that includes local shops and services for local people.

As Councillor Smith-Moorhouse said, some employers pay under the minimum wage, and many are on zero hours contracts. She didn’t say that the Conservatives are doing nothing to tackle these injustices. The Green Party would turn the minimum wage into a genuine living wage so that food on the table and paid bills become reality for all. Under the Coalition, the rich have got richer, and the poor have got poorer.

Also mentioned in her letter were long overdue rail improvements to the Calder Valley which are now at the whim of Serco, an international services company, and Abellio, the Dutch Railways. The Green Party would bring the railways back into public ownership for local good and build new local lines and trams.

It is only nine months until the General Election and the Green Party has a positive and clear message about the economy, one of real change for the common good.

Elizabeth King

Calderdale Green Party