BUILD BACK BETTER STATEMENT:
As we emerge from this crisis, now is the time to Build Back Better.
To do so we must heed the lessons it has taught:
That as a society, for many years, we did not listen to the scientists about the risks of such a pandemic and were not prepared.
That for decades our health and social care systems were both dangerously under-resourced and in need of reform.
That many key workers in our economy – many of them women, and many not born in this country – are among the least valued and lowest-paid.
That longstanding inequalities in our society have left too many vulnerable.
And that no country can stand alone in the face of common threats.
Yet we can also draw on new sources of hope:
That when faced with a crisis, government can spend wisely, at speed and at scale.
That care, neighbourliness and mutual support are the threads that bind our communities together.
That clean air and a concern for wellbeing can inspire more sustainable and enjoyable ways of living.
And that by working with other countries we can find common solutions to the gravest problems.
Some have compared this crisis to the Second World War. Then, as now, it was widely agreed that there was no going back.
But #BuildBackBetter must be more than just a slogan. We must answer these profound questions:
- How to ensure health, social care, housing and other vital public services are properly resourced and able to meet our future needs.
- How to mend the inequalities in our society so that everyone, no matter their background or race, can live a decent, fulfilling life.
- How to create secure, well-paid and rewarding jobs for all who want them, particularly for young people.
- And how not just to build our resilience to future pandemics, but to tackle the climate and environmental emergency already upon us.
Many will have other questions too: like how to create a better democracy, to harness technology for public good, to build a fairer and more cooperative world.
Answering these questions, and more, is a challenge to us all; to governments, businesses, trade unions, civil society and citizens.
But it is a challenge to which, together, we can rise.
With the best of human values, and the determination of politicians and citizens, we can emerge from this crisis a stronger, fairer, greener country.
We must #BuildBackBetter.