2015 Scottish Greens General Election Manifesto

Here is a summary of the Scottish Green Party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election.  You can read the full manifesto here and find the manifestos of the other parties here.  Click one of the links below to read the relevant summaries.


Economy and Equality
  • raise the minimum wage in steps, with a target of £10 an hour for everyone by 2020.
  • Roll back welfare cuts and abolish the Bedroom Tax and Workfare, halt the roll-out of Universal Credit
  • replace the Council tax and business rates with a progressive land tax
  • introduce secure tenancies and rent controls in areas of spiralling cost.
  • invest in community-run health projects which keep people fit and healthy through a new Healthy Challenge fund
  • invest in affordable quality childcare to give children the best start in life with early education from well qualified teachers and workers, and to give parents the chance to earn or learn for the future
  • clamp down on tax evasion and avoidance
  • introduce a wealth tax of 2% on the wealthiest 1%.
  • help ensure women are paid the same as men by raising the minimum wage, requiring businesses to publish pay data, requiring public and company boards to comprise least 40% women, and improving flexible working rights.

 

Public services
  • make sure when railway franchises, like the Scotrail franchise, are ready for renewal the default option will be public ownership.
  • repeal the 2012 Health and social Care act which is privatising the NHS in England and Wales
  • oppose any corporate power grabs, like the transatlantic trade investment Partnership (TTIP), which will lock-in privatisation.
  • support investment in schools and highly-qualified teachers, and we support maintaining free university tuition in Scotland and ending tuition fees across the UK
  • support colleges and access to vocational learning by increasing the minimum wage for apprentices from the paltry £3.30 an hour to £10 an hour
  • provide more public-supported investment in research and innovation to create the foundations for new businesses and new jobs.
  • Fight to create a banking system with banks of all types and sizes. that means supporting more cooperatives, credit unions, mutuals and small banks serving the local area, focussed on lending to local businesses.
  • use the government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to create a network of local banks for every city and region.
  • support an EU-wide financial transactions tax which could raise £20 billion every year in the UK.

 

Democracy
  • ensure the full set of new powers proposed for Scotland are devolved as quickly and completely as possible.
  • give employees the legal right to buy out their companies and turn them into workers cooperatives. this right will be subject to limits, consultation and an asset-lock but will help create a revolution in workplace cooperation and direct employee involvement in management, product development and innovation.
  • promote other forms of workplace democracy like employee participation on boards and a positive role for trade unions.
  • make access to employment tribunals free.
  • introduce laws to limit the size of CEO pay relative to the lowest paid workers in the company.
  • Communities should also be able to own important local assets – for example the fans’ right to buy their football clubs.
  • deliver more transparency by requiring MPs who take paid jobs and directorships in big companies to openly declare them.
  • Roll back recent legislation which gags small campaigns and community groups during an election.
  • end the ‘first past the post’ voting system and replace it with a proportional system to elect MPs who better represent the politics of voters
  • the House of Lords should be replaced by people who are actually elected to make law.
  • the voting franchise will be extended to 16 years old.

 

Energy
  • support Councils to create ‘local energy companies’ to build publicly-owned renewables, earning profits to fund public services.
  • the Green investment Bank will invest in public and community-owned energy schemes.
  • reform the energy generation market to support low-carbon energy and community ownership.
  • not build new nuclear power plants

 

Environment and Climate Change
  • invest millions of pounds in Green industrialisation and the homes, transport and energy we need for a low-carbon future
  • promote sustainable expansion in industries such as quality food production, clean chemical sciences, digital and creative industries, medical and life sciences, construction, engineering and the energy industry.
  • Support independent small retail, tourism and sports, waste reuse and recycling, shipbuilding, textiles and design.
  • ensure our most important wildlife sites are given proper protection from development, encourage restoration of habitats that help us manage land and water sustainably and ensure that people across Scotland have access to high quality greenspace.
  • invest in marine renewables to use the skills, engineering expertise and wealth of natural resources around our shores.
  • Direct European funding for agriculture and fishing to support sustainable land management and long-term fish stock recovery.
  • improve competition law to regulate supermarkets where they prevent a local food economy from flourishing.
  • continue to oppose GM crops.

 

Society
  • consistently challenge the toxic rhetoric used by too many politicians which turns people against their neighbours.
  • reinstate the post-study work visa to allow students who study at UK universities to stay and use their education in Britain.
  • reform the dysfunctional approach of the UK Visas and immigration agency to meet Scottish immigration needs.
  • create an asylum system which treats people with dignity.
  • Support UK-wide actions to tackle poverty and inequality – such as the £10 minimum wage, a wealth tax on the richest 1%, affordable housing and a fairer social security system.
  • respect the basic human rights of all citizens and will celebrate the UK’s Human Rights Act. Prejudice such as that of race, colour, gender, sexuality, age, disability, religion, national or social origin has no place in our society.
  • oppose any mass surveillance of the population and will roll back untargeted state powers to intercept emails and phone records. We will strengthen oversight of the security services and introduce a Digital Bill of Rights to protect net neutrality and online privacy.

 

Europe, Trade, Defence and Foreign Policy
  • fight for a more democratic Europe.
  • use our diplomatic and trade muscle, not on behalf of corporations, but in support of human rights, indigenous people and impoverished nations. We will support the poorest countries and communities affected by climate change with aid and an expanded Climate Justice fund.
  • deliver a foreign policy based on peace, a global deal on climate change and a halt to the arms trade.
  • disarm the Trident nuclear weapons in the Clyde and scrap the Vanguard-class submarines
  • leave NATO and collaborate on security with our neighbours without the use of weapons of mass destruction
  • reduce military spending and reorient the armed forces away from the projection of power and towards defence, UN-sanctioned peace-keeping, conflict resolution and international humanitarian efforts.

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