What is in the Green Party’s manifesto?
As Britain heads to the polls, here’s a final look at the environmental party’s manifesto
The Green Party of England and Wales is leading its manifesto with a promise to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the UK by 2030.
The party is also pledging to spend £100bn a year by that deadline to tackle climate change, as part of a “Green New Deal” that co-leader Jonathan Bartley says is the “most ambitious” plan of its kind “proposed anywhere in the world”.
“While the other parties are trying to catch up, we’re still racing ahead, reaching new horizons,” Bartley added following the manifesto launch last month.
The party has described today’s vote as the “climate election”, amid growing public concern about environmental issues. In a year that has seen school students nationwide going on strike and Extinction rebellion protesters shutting down swathes of central London, what are the Greens offering voters?
The Greens backed Remain in the 2016 EU referendum and “continue to believe that membership of the EU makes our future more hopeful and secure”, says the party.
They want a relationship with the EU that offers freedom of movement, with the UK remaining part of the EU single market, and rights for people and the environment protected. They would guarantee the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK, and seek the same deal for UK citizens in the EU.
The environment is “at the heart of everything” the Greens do. The party plans to put £100bn a year by 2030 into policies that tackle the climate crisis.
The party would introduce a green new deal bill to “get the UK on track to reducing climate emissions to net zero by 2030”.
The manifesto includes pledges to build 100,000 new zero carbon homes for social rent each year. The Greens would also improve tenants’ rights and lower rents.
Co-leader Jonathan Bartley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “When we’re facing an existential threat, we don’t hold back, we know that we have to tackle it.
“Frankly if the climate were a bank, we’d have bailed it out by now.”
The Greens would introduce an NHS reinstatement bill, which would increase funding for the health service by at least £6bn per year, until 2030.
Like Labour, they would “roll back privatisation of the NHS” and guarantee that all health and dental services are provided free.
It would stop arms sales to “oppressive regimes” and introduce an “ethical” foreign policy that is aimed at conflict resolution rather than “aggressive wars of intervention”.
The Green manifesto pledges to completely scrap university tuition fees, fund full student grants and invest more in further and higher education.
The party has also said it will increase and protect spending per school pupil. It will offer free universal early education and childcare for all children, with formal education starting at the age of seven.
Like Labour, the Greens would abolish Ofsted – something former Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw described as “bonkers”.
The Greens would bring back Education Maintenance Allowance and make apprenticeships open to all qualified young people aged 16 to 25.
Like Labour, the Greens have pledged to return the railways to public ownership and re-regulate buses.
To tackle climate change, the party would cancel all airport expansions and end subsidies on airline fuel, and would introduce incentives to take diesel vehicles off the roads.
One of the Green Party’s most radical ideas is the introduction of universal basic income bill, which would legislate to introduce “unconditional” payments for everyone in the country “above their subsistence needs”.
Unveiling the policy, Green Party co-leader Sian Berry said: “Financial security is the key to a good society... people receiving a universal income will have more choices, and more people will be able to cut working hours to retrain, start new green businesses, take part in community action or simply improve their well-being.”
The Greens would introduce proportional representation voting and an elected upper house of parliament, scrapping the House of Lords.
They would lower the voting age to 16 and give young people the chance to “take an active role in democracy” by introducing non-biased political education and promoting “active citizenship”, says the party website.
How are the other parties trying to win our vote?
Here are The Week’s guides to the main parties’ policies: