Tag Archives: public services

Green Party Launches Manifesto Today

Today the Green Party launches our election manifesto. Click to download the full manifesto.

The Green Party is running in over 300 constituencies around the country (a record for the party in its 30 year history), and it is also running a full slate of general election candidates in London (for the first time ever). The key policies in our fully-costed manifesto for the general election are:

Health and the NHShttp://www.greenparty.org.uk/policies/nhs_2010

We will fight for a fair deal for those needing health care by opposing cuts, closures and privatisation and by demanding a full programme of locally accessible services. We will also fight to restore free dental care and provide everyone with the choice of an NHS dentist

Opposing cuts to the public sector

When markets fail, government needs to step in and get the economy working again. You just can’t cut your way out of a recession. Greens believe that public spending cuts would harm the economy. It would impact on jobs – and hit the poorest hardest. That’s just not fair

Jobs and a living wagehttp://www.greenparty.org.uk/policies/jobs_2010

Unemployment is skyrocketing, and the government is doing little about it. Our major and immediate priority is fight the economic and climate crisis together, and invest in a far-reaching programme of energy efficiency, renewable energy, social housing, public transit, and home insulation to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and training places

Pensionshttp://www.greenparty.org.uk/policies/pensions_2010

We would ensure all pensioners receive a basic non-means tested £170 a week

Housinghttp://www.greenparty.org.uk/policies/housing_2010/housing_detail.html

The Greens would bring back into use Britain’s 300,000 long-term empty private sector homes, and renovate Britain’s 37,000 empty council homes to help cut waiting lists.

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How The Greens Would Help Students

Students of the University of Derby submitted these questions to candidates in the Derby and High Peak constituencies:

1.  As the economy is moving towards recovery, how would the economic policies of your party help those looking for graduate employment?

The Green New Deal, which we have adopted, envisages the creation of one million green jobs, including investment in renewable energy technology, public transport and social housing. All of these initiatives will provide opportunities for graduates with technical and people/project management skills. We will seek to promote leadership opportunities for women in particular, requiring 40% of board members of larger companies to be female within 5 years. (For more information see http://www.neweconomics.org/projects/green-new-deal)

2.  The average student debt is approximately £27,000 upon graduating.  How would you reduce the cost of higher education without lowering standards?

The Green Party manifesto has a carefully costed pledge to abolish tuition fees. The cost of higher education is to be funded out of general taxation, maintaining current spending and standards:

Norwich Green Councillors Call For The Abolition Of University Tuition Fees
Norwich City Council on 2nd March, resolved to support the Union of UEA Students’ Higher Education funding campaign and write to the Government opposing an increase in tuition fees.  Green Party Councillors asked the Council to call for fees to be abolished altogether, but this proposal was voted down by Labour and Conservative councilors, who supported retaining the current fees of up to £3,000 per year for students.  Green Councillor Adrian Ramsay, who will be making a submission to the Browne Inquiry in to Tuition Fees on behalf of the Green Party, commented: “I am pleased to be joining the student demonstration against tuition fees. If I replace Charles Clarke as MP I will fight for tuition fees to be replaced by a fairer funding system involving a return to grants for students so that talented young people can go to university regardless of their background.”

3.  Building upon this; how would you maintain the quality of public services, in particular universities, in an atmosphere of public funding cuts?

We do not intend to cut public spending as a whole although we would reduce spending in certain areas, (defence, road building, expanding prisons for example), and save £2.5 billion by not introducing ID cards. We believe that we should pay for public services with a taxation system that promotes fairness and rewards behaviour that’s good for society and good for the environment. This will mean raising taxation for high earners, many of whom will be graduates, who thus will be repaying the cost of their education.

4.  As local councils provide much of the services that students use, how much responsibility would you like to see local councils have?

The Green Party manifesto calls for the revival of local government, with the introduction of proportional representation to encourage a grassroots democracy in smaller community and district councils. Such authorities should have enhanced powers over those areas of policy best settled at the local level including housing, education and the promotion of wellbeing by supporting cultural and sporting activity. Eventually this reinvigorated local democracy would have new tax raising powers delegated from central government.

5.  Given a finite pot of money in the Treasury, which would be your priority – returning those to work who could or supporting those who could not work?

This is a false and cruel dichotomy. All who are able to work must have the option to do so. Unemployment should not be used as either an economic or a political instrument. It represents a waste of our most valuable resource, human talent and aspiration. To squander this resource is gross mismanagement. Any person is at risk of suffering unemployment, may be through redundancy, injury, illness or because family circumstances. People in this situation should not be stigmatised. In many cases, they continue to make contributions to society. The humane and civilised society, to which we aspire, would continue to count all people as its members and beneficiaries, regardless of employment status.

6.  What are your views on how to combat Climate Change?

The failure of the Copenhagen Conference makes it more obvious than ever that finding a global solution to climate change must involve global justice. Rich countries need to reduce their emissions drastically, we think by 90% from 1990 levels by 2030, starting now! Our manifesto refers to the new three Rs: Remove, Reduce, Replace. Remove demand where possible, reduce demand through for example, energy efficiency measures, and recycling and replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. The lead must come from government, both through direct investment and through enacting the necessary legislation and tax regimes for a sustainable low carbon economy.

For more information and policy detail go to http://www.greenparty.org.uk/

Greens Attack Grey Economics

High Peak Green Party candidate Peter Allen has spoken out against the lack of substance in the recent ‘Chancellors’ TV debate, involving Alistair Darling, George Osbourne and Vince Cable.

“Their performance exposed the lack of real choice being offered by the three establishment parties. In the coming election, the Green Party will highlight the need to defend public services, control the activity of the banks and to increase taxation of the wealthy.”

The Greens found the budget similarly disappointing. Our leader Caroline Lucas, called it,

“a missed opportunity to put fairness and sustainability at the centre of Britain’s recovery plans.”

We were also critical of the lack of commitment to protect spending on social housing or public transport, two important issues that Peter is focussing on in his campaign.

“After 13 years of a Labour Government, inequality has grown, irresponsible bankers have been allowed to wreck the economy, and the services the rest of us rely on are under attack,” says Peter.

Peter and his team have been campaigning across the High Peak, and we are enjoying the official start of the campaign.

“We have a programme that is a practical and realistic plan to move towards a more equal society, protect public services, and fight climate change”

Our manifesto will include a costed commitment to an immediate nationwide programme to insulate homes. This would dramatically reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while creating 350,000 training places within a year for the unemployed. It also includes a costed commitment to a Retirement Pension of £170 pw.

Greens Campaign For A Fairer Derbyshire Dales

Josh Stockell, the Green Party’s general election candidate for Derbyshire Dales, joined fellow party members in Bakewell on Saturday to finalise their campaign in Derbyshire. The meeting heard Josh underline the party’s commitment to a fairer and sustainable society.

“Under this government the gap between the top earners and the average has widened. Top financiers are walking away with million pound bonuses while workers in public services face swingeing cuts. This is not our idea of fairness.”

Handing out leaflets in Bakewell with his team before the meeting, Josh said: “

I am encouraged by the response we are getting. Most of the people I have spoken to are aware of the Green Party and many are pleased to learn that we are standing in Derbyshire Dales – for the first time.”

In his leaflet, Josh, a town councillor in Wirksworth, calls for change to a fair and sustainable economic system and a stop to the ‘growth at all costs’ policies favoured by the other parties. No other party offers a ‘Green New Deal’ with a million new jobs.

Other issues that Josh highlights in his campaign are: an end to MPs’ greed; more affordable homes; local food and proper vetting of imports to support our farmers; better public transport; more renewable energy; no more privatising of the NHS; welfare not warfare.