General Election 2019 UK Politics

General Election 2019: Greens’ Manifesto

Written by Callum Williams

Note: The Manifesto summarised below is for the Green Party of England and Wales. Separate Green Parties represent Scotland and Northern Ireland however, some of the policies will cover the whole of the UK.

Green New Deal

The Greens’ keynote policy is their Green New Deal, they plan to invest £100bn a year into tackling climate change. They aim to reduce net climate emissions to zero by 2030.

Energy

The Greens’ plan to ban new nuclear power stations and fracking. They will remove subsidies for the oil and gas industries whilst introducing a Carbon Tax. The Greens’ aim to move from fossil fuels to renewables by supporting wind, geothermal, tidal and hydro energy and by expanding short-term capacity for energy storage.

Housing

The Greens’ plan to improve the insulation of existing UK homes and non-domestic buildings. They will build 100,000 homes for social housing, roll out solar panels to domestic building at a rate of one million homes a year and will introduce new fire safety regulations regarding insulation.

Transport

The Greens’ plan to introduce new footpaths and cycle-paths. They will renationalise the railways within a decade, electrify all the rail lines and scrap HS2. They will stop the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2030 and promote electric cars through an increased network of charging ports.

Industry

The Greens’ want to have a green industrial revolution by assisting businesses to decarbonise. They will invest £2bn in training and skills, require manufacturers to produce energy-efficient goods and vehicles and introduce a ‘Carbon Capture and Capture (CCC) system’.

Food, Farming and Forestry

The Greens’ plan to plant 700 million trees and reduce pesticide and fungicide use by at least 50% by 2022. They plan to support healthy and sustainable food and farming systems, introduce new flood management measures and enforce a temporary prohibition on GM foods.

Income

The Greens’ plan to introduce a Universal Basic Income for every adult. The basic rate will be £89 per week with disabled individuals, pensioners and families with children receiving additional payments. This policy will be funded by the Carbon Tax.

Democracy

The Greens’ plan to enfranchise 16 and 17-year-olds, abolish the First Past the Post system and introduce a ‘fair and proportional voting system’. They will introduce a fully elected House of Lords with terms of 10 years and half the house will be elected every 5 years. The Greens’ also want to modernise parliament through electronic voting and measures against filibustering.

They plan to end ‘support’ for the arms trade and introduce a public interest defence for breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Brexit

The Greens’ support a second referendum and will campaign to remain. If the UK votes to remain, the Greens want to transform the EU by improving democracy within the EU parliament. They believe the EU could be a force to fight Climate Change, support low-income families and support refugees.

Health

The Greens’ would invest £6bn every year until 2030 in the NHS and reinstate nursing bursaries. They plan to reverse privatisation by abolishing the NHS internal market and repealing the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (An act which allowed private companies to perform NHS services).

Education

The Greens’ plan to invest a further £4bn a year into education, they aim to reduce class sizes to under 20 and remove the charitable status for private schools. The Greens’ would scrap tuitions fees and write off existing student debt.

Justice

The Green Party would focus on enhancing rehabilitation in prisons to prevent re-offending, invest in youth centres to reduce knife crime and improve community policing.

They will end the ‘War on Drugs’ by expunging all past convictions for possession and ‘small-scale’ supply, treating addiction as a medical issue and repealing the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. This would effectively legalise drugs and the Greens would ‘regulate access’ for ‘stimulant and psychedelic’ drugs.

Tax and the Economy

The Greens’ plan to combine an array of taxes (including capital gains, inheritances and income) into a single income tax, they claim this will generate an extra £20bn a year.

The Greens’ will introduce a Land Value Tax to replace numerous taxes including stamp duty on land, business rates and council tax. They also plan to increase corporation tax to 24% and work to prevent tax avoidance.

The Greens’ will end ‘wasteful spending’ by abolishing trident, HS2, airport expansions and the NHS internal market.

Analysis

The Greens’ have lived up to their namesake with a manifesto which proposes significant investment into tackling climate change. The Greens’ own analysis claim they will need to borrow an additional £94.4bn. The Greens believe that the expenditure is worth it to tackle the climate emergency, something their supporters will be pleased about.

The plan for a second referendum forms part of their wider ‘Remain Alliance’ with the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru. This manifesto reiterates their commitment to a second referendum.

Their plan to shake up democracy with a new voting system, elected house of lords and the modernisation of Parliament will likely appeal to voters who are increasingly discontented with current Westminister politics.

The Greens’ drug policy is a radical step, a move away from criminalisation to medical intervention, combined with their plans to introduce Universal Basic Income and the abolition of trident will gain support from their core left-wing supporters but will likely struggle to gain centralist support.

Despite having zero chance of winning the election, this time the Greens have a reasonable chance of gaining the Isle of Wight, alongside their solitary MP Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion.

You can read the full manifesto here.

About the author

Callum Williams

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