Green Party wants to ‘mend broken Britain’ through higher taxes for ‘very richest’ | Politics News

The Green Party says it wants to “mend broken Britain” through a programme of investment paid for by the “very richest” in society.

Speaking at their launch in East Sussex, co-leader Carla Denyer said their suggested “overhaul” of the tax system would see “billions go into the country’s collective pocket to pay for the future of our public services”, including the NHS, schools and social care.

Her fellow leader, Adrian Ramsay, said the party was “realistic” that they won’t form the next government.

But he said after the election on 4 July, “we plan to be that in parliament in greater numbers to speak up for you on the issues you care about, like a revitalised NHS, bold action on the climate and a fair economy”.

Politics live: Greens launch manifesto with vow to target ‘super rich’

In its 45-page manifesto, the party offered a raft of policies, with many being covered by the top 1% of earners having to “pay a bit more into the pot”.

This would include a 1% annual wealth tax on assets above £10m and 2% on assets above £1bn, along with reforms to Capital Gains Tax to align with workers’ income tax, and removing the upper earnings limit on national insurance.

Read more:
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The Greens believe this could raise up to £70bn a year, with their plans to introduce a carbon tax adding another £80bn to the government’s coffers.

But unlike some of their rivals, the party also said they were “prepared to borrow to invest”, rather than be “trapped by a self-imposed fiscal straitjacket”.

When it comes to the NHS, the manifesto says in bold that they are committed to a “fully public, properly funded health and social care system” with an investment of £50bn.

But more specifically, the party will push for a year-on-year reduction in waiting lists, guaranteed access to NHS dentists, guaranteed rapid access to a GP – on the same day if urgent – and an immediate boost to the pay of NHS staff, including the restorative pay junior doctors are striking for, as well as hospital building and repairs over the next five years.

On social care, the Greens want to see a £20bn investment for free personal care, to increase pay rates for staff and introduce a new “career structure” for carers to “rebuild the care workforce”, alongside an additional £3bn for children’s social care specifically.

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Their housing policies include launching a new charter to make local authorities spread small housing developments across an area, and the pledge to build 150,000 new social homes each year by the end of the next parliament – as well as ending the “right to buy” scheme that takes those houses out of circulation.

New homes would have to meet energy efficiency standards, including installing heat pumps and solar panels “where appropriate”, and the party would push for a street-by-street retrofit scheme to insulate homes, “because a warm, secure, affordable home is something that millions of people in this country don’t have, but… is a basic building block for a happy and successful life,” said Ms Denyer.

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Mr Ramsay said the climate crisis had been “pretty much absent” from the election campaign, but his party’s commitment was to put “protecting our climate and nature at the heart of all of our policies”, adding: “Only the Greens understand that the solutions to the climate crisis are also the solutions to the cost of living crisis.”

The Greens will push for a transition to a “zero carbon society as soon as possible” – and more than a decade ahead of the current 2050 target.

Plans include seeing 70% of the UK’s electricity provided by wind by 2030, more investment in energy storage capacity, and the cancellation of all recent fossil fuel licences such as Rosebank – as well as calling for the phase-out of nuclear energy.

“The science is clear,” said Mr Ramsay. “The desire from voters is clear. Now we need representatives in parliament who are ambitious enough to make it a reality.”

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Why is this a ‘historic’ election? Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby explains.

Other policies in the Green Party manifesto include:

• Bringing rail, water and the big five energy firms into public ownership
• Scrapping the Trident nuclear deterrent
• Creating a new department for immigration and offering safe routes for asylum seekers fleeing persecution
• Abolishing the House of Lords and replacing the first past the post electoral system
• Introducing a £15-an-hour minimum wage and moving to a four-day working week
• Scrapping tuition fees
• Bringing in an act to protect nature and a new commission on animal protection

“Now is the moment to be ambitious, not unrealistic, but ambitious,” said Ms Denyer. “To be clear about the kind of country we want to live in. About how broken our public services are and the action that’s needed to fix them.

“Because we can have an NHS that works. We can have an economy that benefits everyone, not just the very richest. We can have affordable housing that’s actually affordable.

“Think of that. We can have it. We can have real hope and real change for the future.”

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