The traditional Westminster parties are failing to act as guardians of our planet.
They are putting our homes at risk of flooding and watching as native species are driven to extinction by temperature rises. Meanwhile they back the big corporations who are doing the most damage, allowing them to frack our countryside and pollute our air and waterways with their toxic waste.
– Take serious action on climate change by working with other countries to ensure global temperatures do not rise beyond 2 degrees.
– Phase out fossil-fuel based energy generation and nuclear power.
– Invest in a public programme of renewable generation, flood defences and building insulation.
We have world class universities, brilliant teachers and talented students.
But by putting a price tag on education, running schools as businesses and making them exam factories we are wasting children’s potential and stifling creativity.
We can free education from these shackles if we are bold and ambitious.
– Scrap university tuition fees.
– Promote a comprehensive system of local schools offering mixed ability teaching staffed by qualified teachers.
– Bring Academies and Free Schools into the Local Authority system.
Britain is one of the wealthiest nations in the world but this wealth isn’t being shared fairly.
We currently have an economic system that prioritises growth in company profits over the wellbeing of society. This has seen money concentrated in the hands of a wealthy few; leaving the rest of us to suffer at the hands of the Coalition’s austerity agenda.
We believe there is a positive alternative to this mix of one-sided growth and austerity: an economy that works for everyone.
– End austerity and restore the public sector, creating over one million good jobs that pay at least a living wage.
– Pay for this with a new wealth tax on the top 1%, a Robin Hood Tax on the banks and the closure of tax loopholes.
– Increase the minimum wage to reach a living wage of £10 an hour by 2020.
When every other party – Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP – seems so similar it’s like they’re in a boyband, it’s time to stand for what you believe in, and vote Green. Get involved at http://action.greenparty.org.uk
This article by Rowena Mason originally appeared in the Guardian.
Leader Natalie Bennett would limit £15bn road-building programme to save public transport passengers £1.8bn a year
The Green party would scrap the building of new roads and use the money to pay for a 10% cut in bus and rail fares, Natalie Bennett, its leader, has said.
Bennett, who is standing for the Greens in Holborn and St Pancras, said her party would scrap the bulk of the government’s £15bn road-building programme. The resulting savings would be used to subsidise public transport, translating into a £1.8bn-a-year cut in fares for train and bus passengers.
The policy will be included in Bennett’s general election manifesto as she tries to woo disaffected former Liberal Democrat and Labour voters from the left. Bennett is not only focusing on the environmental benefits of public transport but the financial benefit for passengers, reflecting the party’s efforts to broaden its appeal.
Green party members on Monday marked the announcement by joining protests by the RMT, Action for Rail, Compass and the People’s Assembly calling for the renationalisation of the railways, which is another key policy championed by the party.
Speaking at King’s Cross station, Bennett said: “Today, as many workers return after the seasonal holiday, they’re encountering an all-too-familiar pain: the damage done to household budgets in our low-wage economy by the latest jump in rail fares that are already the most expensive in Europe.
“That’s why I’m pleased to announce that included in the Green party’s 2015 general election manifesto will be funding to allow a 10% cut in the cost of public transport for passengers, giving the travelling public a much-needed financial break.”
She said the Greens were the only party that believes public services “should be run in the interests of those that use them, not the minority who happen to own them”.
Recent research by YouGov found the public supports nationalisation of the railways by 59% to 21%, with other surveys showing it is even supported by Conservative voters.
Labour has faced calls from within the party to support taking the train system back into public ownership but its policy stops short of this. Under Ed Miliband’s plans, public bodies and not-for-profit companies will be allowed to bid to run franchises when they come up for tender.
Supporters of nationalisation point to the success of the east coast mainline, which was taken into public hands after private provider National Express said it could no longer afford to run it. However, the coalition has now agreed to privatise it again, awarding the contract to Virgin and Stagecoach to run the line from February.