Steady State Manchester’s proposals for all parties contesting council elections in Greater Manchester, 2016.
Local Government elections policy points
Steady State Manchester wants to see moves towards a Viable Manchester where social, economic and environmental aims support one another so people can thrive without harming the planet on which we all depend.
For the local elections we offer these signposts to policies that benefit the majority and don’t cost the earth (hyperlinks take you to sources of supporting information).
Ensure all policies relate to the whole system that we depend on, and are:
Underpinned by a bold vision which recognises that we live in an abundant world where we can live well, with greater equity, within planetary resources and connectedness between people, communities and groups.
Measure success in terms of well-being or life satisfaction, and highlight positive life experiences that use fewer resources and produce less waste. That means using a basket of measures in place of those that emphasise the mere size of the economy.
Develop Manchester as a viable economy in solidarity with the rest of the world.
This policy orientation leads us to emphasise three key areas of policy that parties could adopt this year:
1) A future for Manchester’s low and medium skilled citizens, meaning a reset for the city’s economic strategy, building on the resilience of the already existing Foundational and Civil economies rather than jockeying for competitive advantage and inward capital investment.
2) A focus on equalities and severe poverty – an end to the scandalous treatment of homeless and destitute people and the use of positive procurement from the public sector to promote decent incomes and decent jobs. We will also need creative options for releasing abundance and sharing it without the medium of waged work. This should be explored as an alternative to austerity-driven “Welfare Reform” through the Greater Manchester Devolution Deal.
3) Getting serious about the ecological and climate crisis with an aggressive programme of energy demand reduction starting with buildings and transport and a de-linking of Manchester’s investments, procurement and economy from the fossil fuel market wherever there is the opportunity. Manchester should use less energy overall and be on a path to zero carbon energy by 2030.
To find out more about the Viable Economic approach see our pamphlet, The Viable Economy. It sets out, in concise and readable terms, a framework for policies that are at once socially, economically and environmentally wise.
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