COVENTRY South MP Zarah Sultana put down a ‘Green New Deal’ amendment to the Queen’s Speech to ‘revitalise industries in Coventry’, avert ‘the intensifying climate crisis’ and tackle social injustice.
The Queen’s Speech, along with amendments to it, was voted on in Parliament last Wednesday (May 19).
In Ms Sultana’s contribution to the debate, she highlighted the need for investment in a gigafactory in Coventry to build electric vehicles. Describing the effects of this state-led investment programme, the city’s Labour MP said it “could revitalise industries in Coventry, the West Midlands and across the country, kick-starting a green industrial revolution, building everything from electric cars to wind turbines.”
The call for a Green New Deal has been growing on both sides of the Atlantic. Designed by trade unionists and think tanks, the proposals could create “millions of well-paid jobs”, Ms Sultana argued in her speech.
Ms Sultana compared the post-pandemic crises with the situation the Labour government faced in 1945, when, she said, “they built a country for the people and for the future”, noting its achievements including creating the NHS, building the welfare state and millions of council houses. Ms Sultana said “it’s time to match the scale of the challenges we face with an ambition like the Labour government did in 1945.”
Ms Sultana’s amendment to the Queen’s Speech calls to “tackle inequality by raising taxes on the richest 5% of earners and large corporations, while introducing a windfall tax on corporations who have made excessive profits during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Ms Sultana has also put down an Early Day Motion echoing these demands. Both the amendment and the motion have been signed by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
Speaking afterwards, Ms Sultana said: “This country faces an unemployment crisis, a poverty crisis, and a looming climate crisis. It’s not a time to tinker around the edges or go back to business as usual.
“We should be taxing the very richest and putting huge investment to create jobs and decarbonise our economy. That’s what a People’s Green New Deal would do.
“This could transform the lives of people in Coventry, providing hundreds of thousands of good, well-paid jobs across the region and building better public transport for all.
“Instead of just letting the crises we face get worse, we should collectively act for the good of all – putting the needs of the many before the greed of the few.”