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Watch: Tory MS defends ‘billionaires’ in climate crisis debate

08 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Janet Finch-Saunders. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

A Tory MS has defended billionaires during a debate on the climate crisis in the Senedd.

Janet Finch-Saunders, who represents Aberconwy, came to the defence of the super-rich after Plaid Cymru MS Luke Fletcher suggested that they should contribute more to tackle the emergency.

The Conservative politician argued that they “provide” jobs, but Fletcher shot back, saying that workers have “suffered poor working conditions to make those billionaires their billions”.

Luke Fletcher said: “We see that with how we idolise billionaires, how, during COP, people have swooned at the thought that these billionaires are putting their hands in their pockets and throwing us a few billion.

“Now, I’m trying not to be flippant here, because it’s definitely £1 billion more than I will ever be able to contribute myself, but, for some of the world’s most wealthy people, a couple of billion is a drop in the ocean, especially when some of these billionaires have the equivalent wealth of some eastern European countries.

Janet Finch-Saunders said: “I see where you’re coming from, but, with all due respect to these billionaires, have you ever worked out how many jobs they provide?

“How many people feed off the food chain from billionaires? It isn’t quite as simple as, ‘Oh, these rich billionaires.’ Anybody knows, if you actually look into it, that these billionaires, as you keep describing them as—. Have a look at how many jobs they actually provide.”

‘Throw it back at you’ 

Luke Fletcher replied: “Well, I’ll throw it back to you, Janet—and thanks for the intervention as well—have you ever looked at how many workers have suffered poor working conditions to make those billionaires their billions? That’s the reality here. There’s a lot of paying back that needs to happen, I think, right.

“And at what point, when we face a disaster that threatens to wipe out humanity, when we see so much poverty, when we know climate refugees are a reality—at what point do we as a society turn around and say that hoarding that amount of wealth is immoral?

“We must shift our culture as a society now to put the collective ahead of the individual, otherwise, it’s quite simply game over.

“In terms of the debate before us today and in the context of the Welsh economy, a green recovery is especially important in the context of the climate emergency. We must ensure that this period of transitioning our economy is a just one.”

 

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Catherine Hill
Catherine Hill
19 days ago

Her argument is basically “Who will do all the jobs if the billionaires don’t get huge profits?” She doesn’t seem to understand that people who are free from starvation, wage slavery and climate collapse will still do the jobs that need doing, just without all of the surpluses value from the work being given to a rather small cadre of despicable scum.

Elfed Jones
Elfed Jones
19 days ago
Reply to  Catherine Hill

She doesn’t have a argument but must justify her expense one way or another. Makes a change from knocking the NHS for a living ?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
19 days ago

This is the Conservative illusion that money trickles down to the poor, that the billionaires provide jobs. Little or no money trickles down, most of it ends up in off-shore accounts. This is why they need to be taxed heavily and any loop holes closed. The taxes should be used to help those who will suffer the most from climate change – the poor.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
19 days ago

Only the Conservatives would give to the rich and take from the poor.

They are a political pox on Welsh society, a society they would prefer not exist.

Dafydd
Dafydd
19 days ago

Another “sponsored by” Tory.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

Simple…minded…

j humphrys
j humphrys
18 days ago

I think it was Reagan who got the tax rate on the very rich down from 70%.
After that, lots in Europe copied, with little evidence of trickle down and now of course we have food boxes. Hope Indy will give us a chance at a more equitable society, one without Tories.

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