Big Issue founder Lord John Bird has urged Westminster to back his Future Generations Bill or risk England being the “odd one out” after Scotland joined Wales in making sure political decisions include long-term thinking as well as just short-term gains.
The Scottish government will appoint a future generations commissioner to ensure decisions made by leaders today consider the impact on people in the future, as part of the shake-up that introduced Scottish Greens’ Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater into government.
Former Labour councillor Sophie Howe became the future generations commissioner for Wales in 2016 and Lord Bird is hoping Westminster will follow suit with his private member’s bill currently making its way through parliament. The legislation looks to banish short-term thinking in politics to focus on prevention and tackle long-term issues such as poverty and climate change.
Lord Bird said: “I commend Scotland in following the footsteps of Wales and appointing a future generations commissioner. The case for a Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill in Westminster is growing – England must not be the odd one out.
“My bill will ensure that future generations in every part of the country have the same prospect of a secure future, with policymakers looking out for their interests.”
The Scottish government announced a future generations commissioner would be appointed under the responsibility of Harvie when he was named minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights on August 30.