Green Party manifesto 'highlights'

In my constituency a Green Party candidate is standing and, as I knew next to nothing about them, I thought I should have a look at their manifesto.

Having done so I shall summarise some key points from it on here.  I hope I am being objective and disinterested in my summary.  I am summarising not commenting.  I do not intend to commend or condemn the policies.  Necessarily my summary is selective and deals with matters out of context.  I have focussed particularly on issues of taxation / economics / finance, given the likely readership on here.

 

The keyword is "fair".  The Greens aim to reduce inequality and discrimination.

To tackle inequality they will redistribute the tax burden so that tax impacts proportionately more on the wealthy and less on the poor.  In total, taxation will be significantly increased.  New taxes will be introduced and some tax rates increased. Taxes will also be used to promote environmentally friendly behaviour.

Also to tackle inequality, National Minimum Wage and State Pension will be increased substantially.

The Greens aim to move to a zero carbon economy and away from the obsession with growth.

To tackle discrimination new laws will be introduced.

Key tax points

  • Close the fiscal gap, caused by unacceptably low taxation levels, by 2013
  • Taxation to increase from 36% of GDP currently to 45% of GDP by 2013
  • Introduce a 'Robin Hood' tax on financial transactions and a permanent tax on bankers' bonuses
  • A top income tax rate of 50%
  • Abolish the upper limit on National Insurance contributions
  • Capital Gains Tax to be charged at income tax rates
  • Inheritance Tax rates to be based upon the wealth of the recipient not the donor
  • Corporation Tax rates to be increased to 20% and 30%
  • Crackdown on tax havens
  • Reintroduce the 10% income tax band and set the basic rate at 22%
  • Raise the threshold of National Insurance contributions in line with the personal income tax allowance
  • Reform Council Tax, increasing the tax charge on more expensive properties
  • Capital allowances for companies only allowed for investments in sustainable technology
  • Increase taxes on road fuel and aviation fuel
  • Increase Landfill Tax and Climate Change Levy
  • End VAT zero rating on new houses
  • Tax unnecessary packaging, and pesticides and non-organic fertilisers
  • Replace vehicle excise duty with a vehicle purchase tax penalising over-sized and over-powered vehicles
  • Gradually increase alcohol and tobacco taxes by 50% to match increases in NHS spending
  • These measures would bring in an extra £73 Bn in the first year, rising to £112 Bn by 2013.

 Other key points

  • Decommission the existing Trident fleet (submarines armed with nuclear missiles) and cancel the planned replacement
  • Withdraw from Afghanistan, leave NATO, review defence needs and create more 'distance' between UK and US foreign policy
  • Put pressure on Israel to end its siege of Gaza
  • Reform the UN and remove the structure of permanent members of the Security Council
  • Remain in the EU but without adopting the Euro
  • Replace the EU Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy
  • Increase UK overseas aid to poorer countries
  • Invest in public transport rather than road building
  • Reduce the 70mph limit to 55mph and the 60mph limit to 40mph
  • Phase out coal fuelled and nuclear fuelled power stations
  • Introduce proportional representation and lower the voting age to 16
  • Reform the House of Lords so that every 5 years half its members were elected for a ten year term
  • Introduce state funding for all political parties, abolishing large private and trade union political contributions
  • Ensure the BBC is free of government interference
  • Oppose the introduction of ID cards.

Further information: Green Party Manifesto.

 

Hung Parliament

In the event of a hung Parliament, “The greens would not be in the business of propping up a Conservative Government, what we would be doing it is looking at issues on a case by case basis,” according to a party spokesperson.

Comments
cymraeg_draig's picture

Crackpots pursuing crackpot policies.

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

So - the "greens" claim to be "fair" yet state -  “The greens would not be in the business of propping up a Conservative Government". Says it all really, even if the Tories were the largest single party, or, received the largest share of the popular vote, the greens would try to blackmail them, no doubt to pursue their own aims. 

 

And people wonder why I refer to them as eco-loons. 

 

   

davidwinch's picture

Blackmailing the Tories?

davidwinch | | Permalink

C_D

I didn't read that comment from as the Greens as an indication that they intended to blackmail the Tories in a hung parliament.

It seems clear that philosophically the Greens stand some way away from any of the 'Big 3' parties - and furthest of all away from the Tories.  Nevertheless there are some policy areas, such as ID cards, on which the Greens would support the Tory view. 

So I interpret the Greens' statement as saying that IF there are any Green Party MPs in the next parliament, and IF it is a hung parliament, and IF there is a Conservative led administration, and IF there were a vote of 'no confidence' in that administration, then the Greens would vote for the opposition to bring down that administration.

The Greens however have not said anything about what they would do on a vote of 'no confidence' in a Labour led administration.

So I don't read that as an attempt to blackmail the Tories (it could more readily be seen as an attempt to blackmail Labour).

One could argue that the Greens have been clearer about where they would stand in a hung parliament than any of the 'Big 3' parties.

David

P.S.  Do you think "eco-loons" is appropriate to the 2010 Green Party manifesto?  Surely, from a Conservative point of view, they are equally "tax-and-spend-loons"  or "big-government-loons"?

cymraeg_draig's picture

Not a political party

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

The greens are not a legitimate political party - they are a one subject pressure group which wishes to force their bizarre beliefs onto others and would totally bankrupt the nation in pursuit of their aims. 

Any other party could "buy" their support simply by implimenting their ill conceived "green" policies.   

Paul Scholes's picture

Good summary

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

Thanks David. 

Don't take any notice of CD, he's busy dashing back & forth, dumping school boy rants and, as with Oswald Moseley, is fast becoming a comedy character.  From my point of view, with his connection with the Tories, the longer he's on here the better.

The Green party http://www.greenparty.org.uk/ has, as you rightly point out, a full set of political policies but, with a base creed of only promoting policies that reflect long term environmental sustainablility.  These days that means far more than recycling and cutting carbon footprints and includes recognising that democracy should be applied to our economic structure, rather than following uncontrolled greed and growth at all costs.

They will not gain power but, by obtaining a good share of the vote and even an MP or two, will send a message to the party in power that environmental policies should be key rather than token.

 

cymraeg_draig's picture

Some "greens" make the BNP look like moderates

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

Don't take any notice of CD, he's busy dashing back & forth, dumping school boy rants and, as with Oswald Moseley, is fast becoming a comedy character.  From my point of view, with his connection with the Tories, the longer he's on here the better.

Posted by Paul Scholes on Mon, 19/04/2010 - 08:24

 

Thank you for your personal abuse. Nice to see just how bigotted "green" supporters are.

Your comments merely confirm what I said - that the "greens" are a one policy pressure group who have cobbled together a manifesto which is intended, not to address the needs of the nation, but instead intended to promote the secular aims of a tiny pressure group. 

Incidently, did you see the report of a "green" party member who is promoting the reduction of Britains population by means of conpulsary euthenasia from its current 60+ million to 3 million?  This was discussed this morning on the radio.  Makes the BNP look quite moderate doesnt it?

 

 

 

sue scherzo's picture

legitimate parties

sue scherzo | | Permalink

please will someone bring back the monster raving loony party? they made us laugh at least!

Seriously however, I don't really see the Greens as a political party, surely they are a pressure group? and in that arena I wish them a measure of luck... but the idea that they would be capable of government is a non-starter.

Paul Scholes's picture

It is a political party as well as a movement

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

Sue, as I said above, there is no way this green party will get into power but then over the past 80 years millions have voted for the liberal pary (now lib dems) knowing that they would not get into power, come to think of it I voted Labour for years locally & nationally knowing that they would not get "power", it's how democracy works (or doesn't depending on your views over first past the post etc).

Friends of the Earth & Greenpeace are pressure groups and do not seek representation, the Green party is a political party and seeks to bring the message of a more caring and responsible way of living to the wider public by placing its representatives into positions of influence in local, national and european governments.

What differentiates The Greens from other minority parties is that the three major parties all profess to have green agendas eg "Vote blue, Go green".  In fact the LIb Dems who represent my home town both nationally & locally have done wonders in the green department over recent years and are rightly proud of it.  So each party has (or says it has) a strong green agenda and rest assured it will move further up their priority lists but for me, it is my main priority so I vote for the real thing.

 

The Bookies

Iain Waterfield | | Permalink

I had heard that the Loonies had got some sponsorship and renamed themselves The Monster Raving William Hill Loony Party, worth a punt?

naomi2000's picture

Voting Green

naomi2000 | | Permalink

I'm belatedly catching up with Aweb (this thing called work does get in the way doesn't it ?) but that's exactly why I'm voting Green this year. Spot on, Paul.

 

 

John Stokdyk's picture

I suspect we'll see a big Green surge - in spite of what the Dra

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

I popped along with my partner to the polling station this lunchtime and while she voted (I'm a US citizen, so don't have one here) I chatted to the Green representative outside. He confirmed that the turnout was very high in Brighton Pavilion and was making confident noises that Green Leader Caroline Lucas could become the party's first Westminster MP.

The high turnout is probably to be expected with all the suspense and excitement that has been whipped up during the campaign. That spells good news for Labour, where larger turnouts may help it hold a lot of its inner city constituencies.

While the national polls (many commissioned by Tory-supporting newspapers) still show the Conservatives to be in the lead, AccountingWEB members have held firm in their support for the Liberal Democrats in our pre-election poll, and an online exit poll being conducted by BusinessZone.co.uk shows them doing well too.

I really think we are entering unknown political territory here - which is what makes the election so exciting. With a buzz in the air for a new approach to government and electoral processes, I think people will be more comfortable voting for smaller parties. If I'm right, I expect to see a strong showing not just from the Lib Dems, but the Greens and possibly UKIP and the BNP.

I read the Green manifesto too, and it does contain a set of policy proposals that are more coherent than those from Labour and Conservative, even if they are a little off the beaten track. But as I was reading in the Independent a week or two ago, the majority of UK voters are more progressive than the centre/right bunch that has held power for the past 30 years - and this election could finally break that "old politics mould" to borrow a phrase. Should be an interesting night - make sure you join us to discuss proceedings in our Live election results feed.

 

Paul Scholes's picture

Where's me pencil

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

I'm off to place my Xs, we have national & local, will walk to the station of course!

There are 3 possible Greens but one will do and a hope, as you say John, that there are sufficient votes to pass a message to the next government that the public are more serious about it than they have been.

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