The Religious Society of Friends doesn’t take a party-political stance. However, in common with other faith groups, Quakers seek to bring into focus the social concerns that touch upon our core values.
The Coronavirus pandemic has dramatically affected everyone’s lives both in the UK and abroad, not least by undercutting the structure of the economy. Quakers in Britain are calling for the government to fundamentally review how the economy works, putting in place new priorities that will help the UK be a more resilient, equitable and sustainable society. These are called ‘Six principles for a green and just UK recovery’ and are…
1. The long-term recovery package must be designed to support a just transition to a zero-carbon economy, with all decision-making guided by this goal.
2. Measures to support the economy should prioritise quality of life, health and equality, not profit and growth at all costs.
3. Steps must be taken to reduce the inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic, including higher taxes on wealth.
4. The recovery should create opportunities for useful work which contributes to the zero-carbon transition, paid at or above the real living wage, for everyone who wants it.
5. Binding social responsibility requirements should be placed on large companies in receipt of public money.
6. The recovery must foster peace, cooperation and human security.
The outworking of these principles would see a far greater investment in green technologies and employment than the government are presently proposing, together with a commitment to public services, continued support for foreign aid and a move away from military spending – in particular the UK’s holding of nuclear weapons.
Quakers believe that peace, security and prosperity can never be the preserve of a few or even of a single nation. No-one is truly secure or truly free unless everyone is secure and free. Peace and justice go hand in hand and the root of peace lies deep in the care of the earth which is our shared home.