The Green New Deal group has decided to favour us with their recommendations for how to make the UK a better place. Given who actually wrote the report – Richard Murphy and Colin Hines – it’s as bad as you’d think it is.
Take this about the startling opportunities for the British steel industry:
Salvation of the UK Steel Industry?
Around one million heat pumps being fitted into homes every year for decades to come
should be a huge growth opportunity for the UK steel industry. Many of these homes
will also want domestic charging points for their electric vehicles. To meet the UK’s
commitment to phase out new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 will also require
35,000 public electric vehicle charge points to be installed each year until then.
Put together, these two programmes are not only a source of long-term, skilled jobs in
every community, but they should also help save the UK steel industry where the
manufacture of heat pumps and chargers should be seen as a priority.
To help propel this shift, the government should make bailouts for, say, the
manufacturingxxviii and steel industriesxxix conditional on considering serious plans to secure
this decades-long domestic market.
A heat pump weighs 70 to 150 kg, that sort of amount. So, a million a year of them is 100,000 tonnes. They’re not all steel of course, there’s copper, aluminium etc in there too. But call it 100k tonnes. You know, roughly, between friends.
UK steel output is 8 million tonnes a year.
1.25% of current output is going to save British steel? They’re just not thinking about the scale of anything, are they?
They then make all the usual mistakes. Let’s create lots of Green jobs! But jobs are a cost, not a benefit. They think people should be saving for their pensions in 1% bonds. No, not paying themselves their pensions from a bond portfolio, that’s not too silly. But saving, now, for their future pension in 1% bonds. Insane.
They’ve also done their usual trick of not noting how the financing works. Money is raised in green bonds. Money is spent on green things. OK, cool, great. But then the who pays the interest and capital back all becomes very, umm, well, what? How do the houses who get the heat pumps pay back the money used to install the heat pumps? Everyone just gets a free heat pump from the government?
They’ve just not thought it through at all. But then, you know, Hines and Murphy.