Lesley Mercer says creating jobs and building houses is the solution
Launching a stinging attack on what she describes as a “demolition” government, Lesley Mercer will tell delegates to the South West TUC’s AGM: “We’re up against arguably the most right-wing government Britain has ever had, cutting and privatising the services we all rely on.
“It is attacking our jobs, our rights, and our living standards, and it is unleashing a tide of economic destruction unseen in this country since the 1930s.
“Just think about the situation here in the South West, a £98 billion economy in its own right, but being battered and bruised by austerity.
The services you all depend on are being cut left, right and centre.”
The solution, she believes, is to build social housing and properly invest in business.
She will say: “We must make the case for a new economy. Our task isn’t just to show there is an alternative to austerity, but to set out a vision of a fairer, stronger, more sustainable economy for the long term.
“We want an economy driven not by spiralling debt, but by decent wages, shaped not by the interests of banks and big business, but by ordinary people, and an economy based not on financial and property speculation, but on investment, exports and world-class manufacturing.
“That’s something that matters here in the South West, which of course is home to world-class companies such as Airbus UK in Filton and Messier Dowty in Gloucester.
“With the right policy framework, I’ve no doubt manufacturing can power economic recovery both here in the South West and nationwide.
“That’s why we need a smart, active industrial strategy; investment in the low-carbon jobs, skills and technologies of tomorrow; and a new State Investment Bank to support our manufacturing base.
“On manufacturing as on so much else, we cannot – we must not – sleepwalk back to the free market madness of the recent past.”
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