Big Issue founder calls on UK Government to follow Wales and implement Future Generations Bill
More than two-thirds of the public want the UK Government to pass its own version of Wales’ Future Generations Bill, according to new research.
The Well-being of Future Generations Act passed in Wales in 2015 requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.
Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, and Conservative Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell are now among those calling of the UK Government to pass similar legislation.
A Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill, inspired by the Wellbeing for Future Generations Act (Wales), has already passed its second reading in the Lords but that is no guarantee of implementation in the Commons.
It comes as a new report ‘Facing Our Future’, conducted by Portland Communications reveals that more than two-thirds of the public (69%) want the Government to do more to plan and prepare for long-term threats.
Lord Bird said: “We now have hard evidence that the public are crying out for there to be long-term thinking embedded in UK policy making. Our Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill will put an end to short-term policies, which only serve to bite us back later.
“The pandemic has shown us all that we need to plan ahead properly. Get in touch with your MP to invite them to our report launch, if you’re interested in creating a future worth fighting for.”
‘Look no further’
Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, backed the UK bill, saying that the researcher showed that two-thirds of the public were demanding that the UK Government “gets serious” about long-term planning.
“The impact of COVID-19, combined with the climate crisis requires long term solutions,” she said.
“As UK MPs consider passing a UK Future Generations Bill – they should look no further than Wales to see what a difference a Wellbeing for Future Generations Act makes. On climate, transport, planning through to waste, Welsh ministers are required by law to make decisions on policies today that will benefit future generations, in 10 or 25 years’ time.
“As the UK’s first-ever Future Generations Commissioner I would urge the UK parliament, Scottish parliament and Northern Irish Assembly to join Wales and make our governments fit for future generations.’’