There is much doom and gloom about at the moment, but will we come out of this crisis with some positives? I hope so!
Here are 10 wishes:
1 The government will significantly alter its budget priorities and raise NHS and social care expenditure in line with other north European nations.
2 We recognise that to rebuild the economy, increases in progressive taxes like income tax may be necessary. Let’s reconsider taxes on unhealthy living too. Tobacco, alcohol, sweetened drinks, takeaway food. Unpopular, but maybe necessary.
3 We recognise the value of urban parks and open spaces. They should be be the centrepiece of new housing development.
4 We continue to talk to one another, to respect one another, to help one another and to support one another. That we keep up the thousands of acts of kindness shown to our fellow man.
5 We reconsider our lifestyles and our health. Most covid 19 deaths were people with underlying health problems. Smoking, excessive drinking or eating can kill too. We can control this ourselves so let’s all think about our own health.
6 We rethink our policies on immigration. We need help from our overseas neighbours, fruitpickers, careworkers, nurses, doctors, cleaners. Even the Prime Minister acknowledges his life was saved by a New Zealander and a Portuguese.
7 Sadly there will be a world and UK recession. It will hurt all our pockets. So let’s rethink our spending priorities now. How vital are the latest fashions, takeaway food, world cruises, pubs, clubs, cafes, bars, restaurants, nail bars, airlines, betting shops and poodle parlours? We are having to do without them now. Might they have to take a hit in the future?
8 This may change the nature of our towns and cities. There will be fewer shops as we shop less and shop on line. So why not repopulate our city centres so people can walk to work, or the shops, the bus and train station? But don’t forget to put in some public open space as well!
9 If we adopt may of the points above we will need our cars less and less. Air quality is already much better. Covid 19 has sadly caused much illness and death. But illness and death from poor air quality has been reduced. Nature has benefited too.
10 We may have got on top of one another during lockdown, especially those in overcrowded flats or houses. So let’s look at housing standards but also rethink how important family and friends really are. I long to hug my grandchildren, to be able to shake hands with those I meet in the street and to have a picnic in the park again with family and friends!
Written by Nick Eden-Green
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