Peter Argues for Inclusive Development to Tackle ‘Perfect Storm’

Peter spoke at the InnovaBRICS conference at BAFTA on Wednesday, arguing that only inclusive and sustainable development can help humankind steer its way through a ‘perfect storm’ of climate change and food and water insecurity.

Peter argued for radical changes in the way we approach economic development and globalisation, insisting that it must be based upon renewable energy. But Peter also suggested that long-term sustainable development is only possible when it is inclusive, serving and involving the whole of society, rather than an elite few.

A central component of Peter’s vision of inclusive development, laid out at the conference, was the empowerment of women. The exclusion of women from economic development is a key reason for the endurance of world poverty. Peter gave the shocking statistics that sixty per cent of the poorest people in the world are women, owning only 1% of the worlds wealth, despite constituting 40% of the world’s workforce. Women play very important roles in resource distribution at a family level, so whilst women remain excluded from decision-making processes, as they are in many parts of the world, there cannot be an effective resistance to climate change.

Peter concluded that only with a radical change towards a more inclusive and sustainable model of development, can we give ourselves a chance of navigating our way through the ‘perfect storm’.

See the Speeches section of the website for the full text:

A Thousand Neath Women To Be Hit By Changes To The State Pension

Hundreds of thousands of women across the UK born between 1953 and 1954 will be dramatically affected by changes to the state pension age which could see them have to wait an extra two years before they can receive it. Government plans to accelerate the equalisation of state pension age will affect a thousand women in the Neath constituency, figures from the House of Commons Library suggest.

Neath MP Peter Hain has called the proposals a “travesty” as women who have worked hard all their lives and planned for retirement in the next few years are forced to adapt their plans with insufficient time to prepare.

Mr Hain said, “These plans are unfair and target women who are coming to the end of their working lives. They have planned for retirement and now those plans are dramatically affected as they face a longer wait to access their state pension, leaving them feeling they have been robbed.”

Across the UK 300,000 women born between 6 December 1953 and 5 October 1954, will have to wait an extra 18 months, and an unlucky 33,000 born between 6 March 1954 and 5 April 1954 will have to wait an extra 2 years, before being entitled to their state pension.

Local women to bear brunt of Government Cuts

The Tory-Lib Dem cuts are disproportionally affecting women In Neath and surrounding Valleys as they are asked to bear more than seventy percent of the cuts. Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and Neath MP has called the figures “damaging for the progress of the next generation of women.”

Independent research shows men on average will lose £4.20 a week, but women on average will lose £8.80 a week – despite the fact that women still earn less than men. Cuts to child tax credit, childcare tax credit, child benefit all hit mothers hardest. This combined with lower public sector, Carers Allowance payments, cuts to housing benefit and the rise in VAT, this Tory Government propped up by the Lib Dems is just throwing more hurdles in the way of women.

“Women play a vital role in the workplace and at home.” Said Mr Hain “Women have already achieved so much, there is still so much to do but this unfair attack will, I fear, not only halt the progress already made but set it back years. It is likely that their life chances and independence will suffer because of this government’s assault on women and families.”