The Workers Union has issued a bold statement, telling politicians and policy makers that ‘it’s time to back Britain.’
In a statement released this morning, a spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘It’s been two long years since this country left the European Union. In that time the world has undergone seismic changes – not least in its response to a life-threatening virus. At the same time, the British economy has had to absorb the fallout out from the pandemic as well as the aftershocks of Brexit. But we’ve survived – now it’s time to pursue a new era of prosperity. We’re calling on government and business to come together and make decisions that promote growth and opportunity for the people of these islands. Now is the time to be brave, be strong and back Britain.’
The statement came after the government published its 332-page “Levelling Up White Paper.” The paper was launched by Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government, Michael Gove.
In a speech to the House of Commons, Mr Gove said that the white paper will ‘allow overlooked and undervalued communities to take back control of their destiny.’
The substance of the paper centres around 12 “levelling up” missions to be delivered by 2030. The missions include boosts for local public transport connectivity to bring it broadly in line with the capital, as well as devolution options for local government and additional skills and training initiatives.
Mr Gove told MPs that ‘The White Paper we are publishing today sets out a detailed strategy to make opportunity more equal and to shift wealth and power decisively towards working people and their families.
‘After two long COVID years, we need to get this country moving at top speed again. We need faster growth, quicker public services and higher wages and we need to allow overlooked and undervalued communities to take back control of their destiny. Because we know that while talent is spread equally across the United Kingdom, opportunity is not.’
The Workers Union Says…
The latest policy announcement on the levelling up agenda dovetails neatly with the Prime Minister’s decision to launch a new Business Council, which the government hopes will drive productivity and economic growth over the next 12 months.
Given the inequalities in infrastructure and opportunity that characterise areas of the country, the government, business and regional authorities will need to show that there’s substance beneath these headlines. That is not to say that we doubt the intentions behind the white paper: what we have here is, in effect, an agenda for change that could make a substantial difference to the lives of working people. But fine words need to be met by equally determined action.
If there’s one truth to emerge from our recent ordeal, it’s that this country is at its strongest when the government and the people are bonded together in a mutually beneficial covenant. We saw it during the height of the pandemic, when workers put themselves in the firing line to help the sick and vulnerable through the worst of the crisis. By the same token we saw the political classes acknowledge the effort and sacrifice of working people through business support schemes, investment in jobs and skills and, most tellingly, the Job Retention Scheme (furlough).
Now, with the levelling up agenda, we have an opportunity to recalibrate Britain’s approach to jobs, transport, skills and regional development. To make it work we must put petty disagreements behind us and focus on this opportunity for renewal. The genius of the British people needs nothing more than the right circumstances in order to convert energy and ideas into productivity. So let’s roll up our sleeves, and get to work.