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Green party lauch "New Deal"
4:36pm Friday 8th May 2009 in News
THE Green party has pledged tens of thousands of extra jobs in Hampshire under a Green "New Deal".
Rolling up in Southampton on a vegetable oil powered campaign bus they insisted a switch to a green economy was essential to tackle the recession, energy and environmental crisis.
Party leader and South East MEP Caroline Lucas called for a massive investment in a green energy efficient infrastructure.
She was it was the "quickest way to get people back to work" and cut emissions.
Greens claim they could create 140,000 jobs in the south-east within one year if their Euro manifesto was adopted.
Around half the jobs would come through training the workforce in green skills, from building, renewable energy to gardening and bus driving.
Investment would be "massively" stepped up in large-scale wind and tidal power, and micro-generation, while homes, schools and hospitals would get free insulation.
Jobs would be created through buying up more affordable housing to rent and doubling the size of the bus fleet. Rail fares would be cut rail to the European average.
Mrs Lucas said the Government should set a greener framework and incentives for investment in renewable technology to avoid the loss of more green businesses such as wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.
Some 700 jobs are at risk the firm told staff at plants at Woolston in Southampton and Newport on the Isle of Wight they were planning to pull out of operations in the UK blaming a "lack of political initiatives" to commit to wind turbine technology. Sales were lacking in the UK but flourishing in northern Europe.
Mrs Lucas said: "In the midst of a global energy crisis the Government has missed one opportunity after another to launch a clean energy revolution that would provide hundreds of thousands of green collar jobs, reduce energy bills and deliver long-overdue improvements to the UK' s infrastructure."
The Greens are hoping to win two seats in the south east.