SCOTTISH GREENS SUPPORT LETS TIME-BASED CURRENCY
Local Economy http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/policies/ppecon.htm
The breakdown of the community has become a great concern in the late 20th Century. Previously the community and the household satisfied most basic needs such as food and clothing, now neighbours no longer need to work or communicate with each other to live. Even our simplest needs such as food are produced through multi-national networks that span continents. As the local links between production and consumption have deteriorated, people have become more remote from how their needs are met. For example the exploitation of child workers in developing countries by Western clothing manufacturers is not widely realised by people buying clothing in Scotland.
The result of this trend has been a concentration of the power to create jobs into the hands of increasingly few corporations - the scrabble for inward investment becoming central in the hope to revive deprived communities. The fragility of the global market has become a grave concern in the future of our communities.
Greens argue for a scaling down of economic policy to community level so that local needs can be partly met by a local economy which can also give people fulfilling livelihoods. In the short term Greens will; challenge the recent reform of the Welfare Benefits system to allow claimants greater participation in voluntary work and LETS (Local Exchange Trading Systems) allowing the development of local communities and the use and learning of skills
In the medium to long term Greens will;
bring public utilities under locally accountable democratic structures
establish a Scottish Community Development Bank which will offer start-up finance to community business and Financial Micro Initiatives such as LETS, Community Supported Agriculture and small scale energy projects,
move towards the introduction of a Citizens Income Scheme which would offer a basic living allowance to all removing the poverty trap creating a level playing field for personal choice between work, further education, or parenting.
It would also remove the need for most Welfare Benefits and student grants, develop the use of local currency systems such as LETS so that they can be used in the part payment of local taxes.
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