Newcastle Greens responded to the Council's recent council budget consultation on 7th January, challenging the reliance on conventional economic growth to deliver services for the city.
The Council's economic strategy is based on conventional neo-liberal "growth" economics, tempered by the language of "inclusive growth." Our response argues that this does not take into account the huge challenges that we all, but especially the poorest and most vulnerable, face on environmental, climate and social justice levels. Conventional growth does not factor in air pollution, car dependence, climate change, increased waste and adverse impacts on health and well-being.
Furthermore, the social justice benefits promised by "Inclusive Growth" are only delivered via the ‘trickle down’ effect. But this results in tiny benefits at huge cost, and so widening inequality. In addition, ‘trickle down’ too often becomes‘trickle away’, as money leaves the city to benefit the largest corporates and the deepest pockets.
Greens recognise that we have to learn to deliver prosperity without growth. Within a city context, this means more redistribution and sharing, local investment to support neighbourhood economies and reducing our environmental impacts. Our response sets out some proposals to show that this can be done, but only if there is the commitment and will to achieve prosperity without growth.
For the full response, and for responses in 2017 and 2013, see the resources page here.