In a letter to The Guardian, Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, writes that "Brexit threatens to increase poverty and inequality" and that we must do more to tackle extreme inequality "whether we are inside or outside the EU".
The letter in full reads:
Ken Clarke is right to suggest that economic inequality contributed to the Brexit vote (Report, 6 February). Indeed, by convincing millions that the bogeyman of Europe was responsible for the loss of jobs, erosion of our overstretched public services and a housing crisis, the hard right achieved one of the most successful of political coups. It was their ideology that led to the loss of 1 million well-paid public sector jobs, and now their Brexit threatens to increase poverty and inequality by reducing regional aid.
Clarke is wrong that no politicians have ideas on how to address inequality though. I can only assume he has never read a Green party manifesto. Greens have a range of policies to redistribute wealth, including a wealth tax on those with assets of more than £3m; a maximum pay ratio of 10:1 between the highest paid and lowest paid in every organisation, and raising corporation tax on large firms to at least 28%. Greens were also the first party to support a policy that has now become positively trendy: a basic income for all – guaranteed and non-means-tested. This is currently being trialled in Finland and is central to France’s Socialist presidential campaign.
It is convenient for wealthy elites to suggest nothing can be done about the extreme inequalities they themselves have helped create – but there is, whether we are inside or outside the EU.
Molly Scott Cato MEP
Green, South West