Two parties pledge £100bn climate change fund Watch
However, while this investment looks the same at face value, the Lib Dems have pledged this amount to be spent over 5 years, whereas the Greens have anticipated this level of spending each year over the duration of a decade - £1 trillion over 10 years.
The Greens have also planned a 'carbon chancellor' who will will lead the Department for the Green New Deal and issue an annual carbon budget.
Both parties have also pledged carbon targets, joining the Conservatives and Labour in doing so.
While the Lib Dems plan to finance this through borrowing and tax changes, the Greens say £91.2bn a year would come from borrowing. The party justifies this by saying that rates are at "unprecedented historical lows". The UK deficit, for context, was £25.5 billion in the financial year ending March 2019, with a gross debt of £1,821.3 billion.
Do you think that we need to be spending so much on this issue? Is it worth being fiscally irresponsible if it means tackling climate change?
What do you think this money would actually be spent on?
- Political Ambassador
The really have three choices:
1 - raise taxes
2 - borrow
3 - move funds from different areas
3 causes arguments between departments, and will result in cuts - something politically they cant handle.. and they don't have enough faith in the public to go for 1. So they choose 2.
In reality though 2 is only a sensible choice if you believe that either what you are investing in will give you a decent return or if you believe that your economy will out-grow your debt over the next few decades. Given that their prposed green policies will not return a profit, and the outlook for our economy doesn't look incrediably strong in the near future.. the reality is that they are just kicking the can down the line. Solve the problem now, pay for it later.
Is it a problem worth solving? Yes. But they should trust the people, be honest. Just like politicians were when they launched the NHS. They didn't borrow then, or say that it was going to come out of thin air.. they went to the public and said "We are going to radically revolutionise this sector.. but we need you to pay higher taxes" and what happened the public have been on board ever since.
Just go to the people and honestly say... look we want to do this, but its going to mean you have to pay more in tax each year to fund it. We think its so important for our future, and if you do to - then you will be happy to pay a little more. (numbers hypothetical obviously). The lower band pays an extra 1%, the band above pays an extra 2%, above an extra 3% etc. Make it a progressive green tax that targets the wealthy most, but has all of us contributing at our level. Ring-fence the money especially for the environment.
That way you can pay for your policy, but not with hypothetical borrowing.. but with actual money raised by people who care deeply about the issue.
Obviously this won't happen - it relies on actually be honest about the climate situation and clearly saying to people: We need to make you poorer, but in doing so we can solve this problem. People are not ready to vote for that - it would be up to the enviromentally minded parties to convince them. But delaying the cost, getting the policy through now, and pretending like its not going to hit people in the pocket, until its to late and it eventually does.. is a dishonest policy that is awful for future generations. We raised taxes and we payed for our NHS, we didn't borrow more and expect our children and grandchildren to pay.