Greens' manifesto for 'real fairness' unveiled in Brighton

20 April 2010

Caroline LucasThe Green Party launched its manifesto in Brighton on Thursday 15 April with leader Caroline Lucas, who is tipped by pollsters and bookies to take the Brighton Pavilion seat on 6 May.

Caroline told journalists at the Brighton Metropole hotel: "This is an exciting time - we are on the brink of getting our first MP elected here in Brighton.

"People are crying out for real change, as the other parties become increasingly alike.

"Our key messages are those on the environment, on the economy and on fairness.

"We believe that the choice between safeguarding the environment or the economy is a false one - if you want to see how 'green' a party is, look at its economic policies."

ManifestoThe fully costed Manifesto [276KB PDF] has economic and environmental justice at its heart.

The Green Party leader called for practical policies such as the creation of ‘green' jobs in the face of the recession.

Caroline continued: "We are the strong contenders, ahead in the polls in Brighton and if you want to vote for a real and different voice, then you can afford to vote for the real thing this election.

"There is a real appetite for the values of the Green Party at the moment.

"In Brighton, when I'm speaking to people they have a real sense of homecoming.

"Disaffected voters are happy to see their values not only represented but also championed by an electable candidate.

"These are tremendously exciting times for the Green Party, who are standing on the verge of a Westminster breakthrough. In Brighton Pavilion, the odds are on for us to win.

"With all the other parties looking increasingly alike, we are the only party facing up to the economic and social challenges we face."

"We are calling for a major change, for social and economic justice that would see 87 per cent of the population significantly better off.

"Now is the time for radical tax reform, with those on higher incomes paying more, and those on lower incomes better off. For example, we have pledged to provide a citizens pension of £170 per week. At the moment, a quarter of pensioners are living in poverty.

"Thirteen years ago Labour promised to link pensions to earnings - and we're still waiting."

A living wage, higher income tax for the well off, and support for small businesses

Caroline Lucas continued: "We would bring in a national minimum wage of £8.10 an hour, and reduce corporation tax to make it easier for small businesses to thrive. But this is not fantasy politics - our manifesto is fully costed.

"We would pay for it by, for example, scrapping Trident which would bring in around £80 billion. We would cut the £30 billion to be spent on road building, and use the money to invest in public transport. We would raise income tax for those earning over £100,000 a year - that is just 2 per cent of the population - to fifty per cent.

"We support a Robin Hood tax. And we would ensure a permanent tax on bankers bonuses.

"Under Labour society is less equal that is has ever been since the Second World War - a damning indictment of the Government. In less equal societies, there is more violence, more crime, more health problems.

"It is in the benefit of all that we get society back on its feet, and make it more equal for the good of all."

No more PFI hospitals – and keep schools, post offices and surgeries local

Darren Johnson, who is the candidate for Lewisham Deptford constituency and who chaired the launch event, said: "This is the first time we go into a general election with the real prospect of winning our first Westminster seats.

"In Brighton Pavilion, where Caroline is standing, she is the first ever candidate in that constituency to be odds-on favourite with the bookies, as the seat is usually so marginal. We are fielding more candidates than ever before, currently 328, with a full slate in London."

Mr Johnson said the "fully costed manifesto... would see the creation of one million new jobs and investment in public services to avoid a 'double-dip' recession."

For more information please call the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.


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