Ministers should launch a “Marshall-style Plan” to build 100,000 council houses a year and plant two billion trees to help the country recover from the coronavirus recession, John McDonnell declared tonight.
The former Shadow Chancellor outlined his blueprint to rescue the nation, modelled on the $12billion US scheme to rebuild western Europe after the Second World War.
He also called for a Ministry of Public Works to pump cash into the Covid-ravaged economy – and help tackle carbon emissions.
He said: “As we deal with the Covid pandemic crisis we must not lose sight of the existential crisis of climate change that we also face.
“What we need now is a Ministry of Public Works to secure a sustainable economy that in turn will assist us with tackling the consequences of the economic recession caused by Covid.”
Under the plan, the Ministry of Public Works would invest in green projects to lead the economy out of the post-pandemic slump.
All premises – whether a home, office, factory or public building – would be helped to go carbon-free through insulation, double glazing and renewable energy schemes, such as solar panels and mini-wind turbines.
Flagship projects would include planting two billion trees, building 100,000 council houses a year and delivering a public broadband network.
The major infrastructure developments and mass planting would help tackle Britain’s youth unemployment crisis by providing work for the more than one million young people likely to be out of work by the end of the year, according to the former frontbencher.
Mr McDonnell, who was at Jeremy Corbyn ’s side for four-and-a-half years at the top of the Labour Party, outlines the proposed shake-up in a new report on Green Investment after the Crisis – part of his ‘Claim the Future’ project.
He also called for a National Investment Bank to make decisions on where to spend cash, based on schemes’ potential to help decarbonise the economy.