Cheaper than Replacing Trident

This from the 2020 Climate Emergency Series of interviews on the IndyLive Morning Show. Robin McAlpine, then director of Commonweal, talks to us about their Our Common Home Plan – a Green Deal for Scotland.

How much will it cost? £175 billion. 

This is less than Trident, about the same as HS2, two thirds of Scotland’s share of what we found to cover the banking crisis, and only five times as much as we’re paying out for PFI schemes in Scotland.

It will take 25 years to do everything. We would finance it over two generations, 50 years. If we borrowed that amount all up front ( which we won’t need to do actually) it would cost £5 billion a year to service that borrowing. That’s a normal level of national borrowing repayments. 

When you put the scheme through the Scottish Government’s economic multiplier – and yes it is a very approximate guestimate – even with conservative assumptions it comes out as generating £4billion a year in extra revenue from economic growth and 100,000 jobs. It would also take resources back into public ownership and that creates another £1.5billion national income.

This is our generation’s equivalent of the Victorians building the railways, or the Keynesian projects after WW2 that built the hydro-electric stations. 

It’s mainly engineering… and we’re good at that!

It’s not beyond us. It’s mainly engineering. And what are Scots good at? Engineering. It will create massive numbers of jobs. We’ll need tradespeople, a design revolution, architects, scientists, etc, etc.

It assumes no income from oil & gas. We also fix the supply chain for the transition from oil in NE Scotland to this plan. We end up with an extra £1.5billion to spend over and above having paid for the borrowing.

We need to get independence to do this. While we are in the UK we can’t finance it, we don’t have control over the means to carry it out and we’re still stuck in the UK economic model. 

Uniting the independence & climate change movements

In fact we need to unite the independence and climate change movements. Climate change movement is now bigger than the independence movement even there is a lot of overlap.

Commonweal doing a Common home stage show around the country this year, taking the plan round the country including music festivals. Need a team to do that and spread this message. Commonweal is also going to be homing in on all political parties because now it’s manifesto time for 2021. 

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