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UK Green Party launches election manifesto

Tina Rothery, Green Party parliamentary candidate (left), Shahrar Ali, Green Party deputy leader (right)

The Green Party has launched its General Election manifesto with a pledge to end austerity with a radical £176 billion a year spending splurge.

On Tuesday, the Green party leader, Natalie Bennett, and former leader Caroline Lucas launched the party’s manifesto at the Arcola theatre in Dalston, east London.

During the event, Bennett said her party wanted to end “the disastrous policy of austerity”.

Caroline Lucas said that “key elements of the Greens’ plans were connected to social justice.”

“No one in this, the world’s sixth-richest economy, should fear not being able to put food on the table or not being able to keep a roof over their head. This is a politics that is founded in humanity,” said Caroline Lucas.

The deputy leader of the Green Party, Sharhar Ali, has shared his take on the Greens' manifesto with Press TV's UK desk:

“Well, we got a fantastic manifesto for the general election and there is both an analysis of what’s gone wrong with the politics in the last few years and also an assessment of how to improve things especially with respect to austerity. There, we are trying to invest in public services like health and education and housing.”

Rather than seeking to cut government spending, the Greens have proposed to increase it from its present level of £743bn to £799bn in 2015, rising to £919bn in 2019. The increases would pay for everything from free prescriptions to organic school dinners for all.

The party also pledged to increase state pensions by more than £60 a week, double child benefits and scrap tuition fees.

The Greens also have an ambitious target to save £6bn in 2015 alone by tackling tax avoidance and evasion. That figure would rise by £6bn a year to £30bn in 2019.

The party's parliamentary candidate for Tatton, Tina Rothery, has explained to UK desk how the Greens are planning to spend that money: 

“We will also pay for this by making the taxation and payment system fairer for everybody in society. So, for those people in our country, these off-shore banks that use tax havens and avoid tax, we will tax them and we will fine them and they will pay for what they are supposed to pay in our country and that money then can help to support the underprivileged, the poor, those that need healthcare. We will keep our health care system in public hands. It will not be a private system like what they have in America.”

The party also pledged to pump an extra £12 billion a year into the National Health System from day one, restrict the "creeping privatization of the NHS" and increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour. It also pledged to make prescriptions, dentistry and chiropody free for everyone in England.

The party leaders also promised to bring the railways back into public ownership and cut train fares by 10 per cent.

During the unveiling of her party's manifesto,Natalie Bennett, defended her 'vision of a fair economy'.

"That fair economy demands the end to austerity. It demands we restore and enhance the essential public services we all but particularly the most vulnerable," said the leader of the Green Party.

The 84-page manifesto, entitled "For the common good" also sets out the Greens' plan to help the millions of children growing up in cold homes.

The former party leader, Lucas, said a free nationwide insulation program to tackle cold homes, specifically in areas blighted by fuel poverty, would help two million children.

The Greens are fielding a record number of candidates - 571 - on 7 May and claim a surge in membership numbers to 59,000 - more than UKIP and the Liberal Democrats.

HH/PHX


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