The Green Party has unveiled its radical general election manifesto with extra spending of £141.5billion a year.
The massive document pledges £89 a week for every adult, a ‘maximum wage’, a 20mph speed limit, and a Ministry for Peace.
Heroin would be available on prescription under a decriminalised drugs regime and aid spending would soar.
Rent controls would bring costs of private lets down, all new road-building will be halted and misogyny will be a hate crime.
And of course, the jewel in its 92-page crown is a Green New Deal to bring carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.
All those are just a snapshot from the costed document – titled If Not Now, When? – which pledges to spend an extra £141.5bn a year plus £94.4bn in capital.
Launching the manifesto at the London Wetlands Centre, co-leader Jonathan Bartley said: “Our very planet is ringing the alarm.”
“Hitting snooze for another 15 years simply isn’t an option. This is a different magnitude to the financial crash.
“You can’t double down on business as usual, pray to the markets and expect the climate emergency to magically go into reverse.”
Of course, it all would depend on the Green Party increasing their tally of MPs from one to 326.
But the party still receives millions of votes, so it’s important to thumb through the manifesto to know what they stand for.
We’ve rounded up as many of the policies as we can and presented them in an easy-read version below.
Environment and animal rights
- Invest £100bn a year by 2030 as part of a “green new deal” to tackle climate change – to be mainly paid for by borrowing.
- Set up the position of Carbon Chancellor to take responsibility for reporting on the UK’s C02 usage
- Become carbon neutral by 2030
- Refocus farmers away from “intensive livestock farming and encourage organic farming and other environmentally friendly agricultural methods
- Create thousands of agriculture jobs by the “shift away from intensive farming”
- Reduce pesticide and fungicide use by at least 50% by 2022 and immediately ban the most harmful chemicals
non-agricultural uses of pesticides
- Plant 700 million new trees
- Encourage ‘rewilding’ to create new habitats for wildlife to help tackle the ecological crisis
- Encourage urban food growing, including new community farms and allotments,
- Introduce a tax on meat and dairy products over the next ten years, to encourage people to adopt “plant-based” diets
- Ban live animal exports from the UK to the European Union
Ban the killing of animals for sport across the EU
Extend the plastic bag tax to apply to plastic bottles
- Allow communities to develop their own renewable energy projects so that the “benefits of locally generated energy can stay local”.
- Pay for incentives to accelerate the development of solar, geothermal, tidal, hydro and other renewable energy sources
- Remove subsidies to the oil and gas industries and apply Carbon Tax on all fossil fuel imports and extracted in the UK – with plans to raise it over a decade to make them ‘unviable’
- Expand the UK’s short-term capacity for energy storage so that excess electricity generated can be stored.
- Ban the construction of nuclear power stations
Ban fracking , and other “unconventional forms of fossil fuel extraction”
Rapid decommissioning of North Sea oil rigs
Coal mines and plants phased out with ‘transition’ for workers
NHS and health
- Increase funding for the NHS by at least £6bn per year , until 2030
- Rollback privatisation of the NHS, through repealing the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and abolishing the internal market
- Focus funding on new community health centres, to bring treatment closer to people’s homes
- Spend cash to put mental health care on an equal footing with physical health care
- Free birth control and ensure access to PrEP – a daily pill which prevents HIV infection
Education and childcare
- Increase funding to schools by at least £4 billion per year
- Reduce class sizes down to under 20 in the long term
End “centrally imposed testing regimes” and scrap the national curriculum, league tables and Ofsted
- End academisation and bring all schools back into the control of local authorities
- Introduce an English Climate Emergency Education Act to support schools to teach people about the risks of climate change
- New GCSE in Nature
- Remove charitable status from private schools and charge full VAT on fees
Scrap tuition fees and write off existing debt for former students who studied under the £9k tuition fee regime.
35 hours a week of free childcare for all children from 9 months
General election 2019 countdown
Universal Basic Income of £89 a week for every adult, rich or poor – replacing the current tax-free Income Tax allowance
And extra £70pw UBI for families on incomes under £50k a year
Provide all pensioners with a £178 a week, that will increase in line with inflation
People in receipt of Housing Benefit and the Carers Alliance would continue to receive that cash on top of their UBI
Scrap Universal Credit and the benefit sanctions regime
Brexit and migration
- Hold a second referendum on the UK remaining in the EU, and campaign to Remain
- Guarantee the full rights of EU citizens and their families living in the UK, including the right to automatic settled status
- Reform the EU by allowing groups of EU citizens to propose reforms to the EU treaties.
- Co-ordinating crackdowns on tax avoidance and evasion, making sure people trying dodge bills can’t do so inside the EU
- Reducing migration by raising standards EU wide on things like the minimum wage
- Guarantee the future of Freedom of Movement allowing people to live anywhere across the EU
- Reform European refugee policy and reestablish an EU sea-rescue mission
- Scrap the Home Office and create a Ministry for Sanctuary , which would enforce migration riles with “compassion” and a Ministry of the Interior.
Economy and public services
- £12-an-hour minimum wage for all over-16s by 2024
- Maximum wage in any organisation of 10 times what the lowest-paid worker earns
- Merge several taxes including income, inheritance, capital gains and dividends into a Consolidated Income Tax
- Abolish council tax and business rates and replace them with a Land Value Tax
- Corporation tax rises from 19% to 24%
- £2bn a year for training including apprenticeships to help people transition to a low-carbon economy
Force manufacturers to offer 10-year warranties on white goods
- Scrap HS2 and use the money for smaller-scale transport projects
- 20mph will be the default urban speed limit, cut from 30mph
- And in non-residential areas it’s cut from 60mph to 40mph, except on major roads
- Carbon Tax will raise price of petrol, diesel, shipping and air fuel
- Domestic flights become particularly more expensive with surcharge on fuel and loss of exemption from VAT
- Anyone who takes more than one return flight per year will be hit with a Frequent Flyer Levy
- VAT will be removed from UK hotel stays to boost staycations
- Stop the building of new runways and all increased road capacity – including the Stonehenge tunnel
End the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles from 2030
Spend £2.5bn a year on new cycle- and footpaths, built with woodchips and sawdust because they’re more sustainable
- Cut fares on rail and buses to make them cheaper than travelling by car
- Open new rail connections and re-open some shut stations
- Electrify all intercity rail lines and set up a government-run firm to buy a fleet of new electric trains
- Councils to run short-distance passenger rail links
- More public toilets at bus stations and train stations
Women and equalities
- Make misogyny a hate crime and increase police capacity to deal with it and domestic violence
- Make LGBTIQA+ inclusive classes mandatory at school
- Close the gender pay gap with several changes to rules/laws
- Launch a 40% quota for women on major company boards
- Roll back cuts to domestic violence support centres and refuges
- Ministry for the Interior will be tasked with protecting Travellers’ rights
- A new press regulator to allow formal complaints against media coverage that encourages misogyny
- Give 16-year-olds the vote (currently the age is 18)
- Replace the first-past-the-post system with proportional voting
- Introduce job-sharing “at all levels of government”
- Implement a system where political parties are funded by the state
- Build 100,000 new council homes per year
- All new homes must be within 1km of rail, Tube or tram station
- Rent controls on private lets to bring payments down
- An end to no-fault evictions
- End the Tories’ Help to Buy scheme
Retrofit 10million homes by 2030 and improve insulation
Ensure all 8million rented homes are rated A ‘or as close as possible’ for energy efficiency by 2030
Reduce the use of steel, concrete and cladding which ‘produce massive amounts of carbon’ when made
- Replace the MOD with a Ministry for Security and Peace
- Stop arms sales
- Introduce a public interest defence for breaching the Official Secrets Act
- Increase aid spending from 0.7% to 1% of GDP
Make monthly cash transfers to women in developing world
Police, crime and justice
- Pardon all those convicted of possession or small-scale supply of drugs – and expunge their criminal records
- Make drugs legal with a new ‘regulated’, taxed system with different levels of availability depending on harm
- Heroin available on prescription after a doctor’s medical assessment
- Cannabis can be sold by small firms with minimum unit prices and plain packaging, a bit like cigarettes
- Cut the number of short-term prison sentences and replace them with restorative justice
- Invest in youth services to prevent knife crime
- A £178-a-week payment for pensioners
- Reinstate free TV licences for the over-75s
- Continue to pay full carers allowance of £3,200 a year on top
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