Bill aimed at tackling short-termism moves a step closer to being adopted

PUBLISHED: 12:53 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:53 13 March 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his budget. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 11 Downing Street before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his budget. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

A bill aimed at bringing post-Brexit social justice to the UK has moved a step closer to being adopted.

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Big Issue founder Lord (John) Bird is taking forward a Wellbeing Of Future Generations Bill, which receives its second reading in the House of Lords.

He said that he is aiming to tackle persistent problems such as poverty, inequality and the climate crisis, for future generations.

The bill calls for 'well-being goals' to be set, and would create a commission to deal with issues for future generations.

'We're working to put prevention and long-term thinking at the heart of our democracy, as part of revolutionising how persistent problems are tackled. It's all about acting for tomorrow today,' he told the PA news agency.


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'The bill beholds the government to defend our children, grandchildren and future generations.'

Current problems with the environment and social issues would not have happened if things had been done differently 40 years ago, Lord Bird argued.

Measures should have been put in place when areas of the UK, including northern England, suffered from industrial closures decades ago, he said.

'The bill could be a post-Brexit rallying call to bring social justice to everyone in the UK,' he added.

Green MP Caroline Lucas, who is co-sponsoring the bill, said: 'This bill has the potential to transform the way we are governed, removing the overriding focus on GDP as a measure of success, and shifting instead to well-being.

'This huge cultural change will take time, but the bill starts us on that journey.'

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