19 Nov 2019

The Green Party Manifesto states that they want to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. At the centre of their manifesto is the 'Green new Deal' for which they promise to invest £100bn a year to deliver this for energy, housing, transport, and industry to deliver a "fast and fair" transformation of the economy and society, with bulk of the proposed policies affecting energy. The Manifesto also includes a number of radical proposals to reform taxation to fund the Green new Deal.

The proposed policies for energy include the following:

  • A new government department to oversee the implementation of the Green New Deal, led by a Carbon Chancellor and yearly early Carbon Budgets
  • A Future Generations Act for England, modelled on the current Act for Wales, building the needs of future generations into every government decision
  • Remove subsidies to the oil and gas industries
  • Apply carbon tax on all on all fossil fuel imports and domestic extraction
  • A complete ban on fracking, and other unconventional forms of fossil fuel extraction
  • Introduce new support and incentives to directly accelerate wind energy development, paving the way for wind to provide around 70% of the UK’s electricity by 2030
  • Prohibit the construction of nuclear power stations
  • Enable community-driven renewable energy projects
  • New support for solar, geothermal, tidal, hydro and other renewable energies to provide much of the remainder of the UK’s energy supply by 2030
  • Transform the planning system so that it works to support a massive increase in wind power and other renewable generation
  • Ensure that the long-term profits from offshore wind and marine energy assets come to the UK government rather than energy firms
  • Support for interconnectors and subsea connections to Norway and Iceland in particular
  • Deploy demand side management and improve the efficiency of the grid, doubling its capacity
  • Expand our short-term capacity for energy storage
  • Energy efficiency training for businesses and public bodies.

Under the heading of ending wasteful spending the Greens would cancel:

  • Trident nuclear weapons system and nuclear powered submarines
  • The road building programme, including the proposed road tunnel at Stonehenge with funding reallocated to supporting sustainable public transport and cycle ways
  • Plans for airport expansion across the country
  • HS2 with funds reallocated to more effective sustainable public transport options and enable an increase in rail capacity in regions that need more investment, including the creation of three electrified rail lines running from Liverpool and Manchester to Sheffield, Hull and the Tees Valley. These three newly electrified lines will run through Bradford and Leeds, creating new rail hubs in Yorkshire
  • Help to Buy Programme with funds redirected to a council home creation programme
  • Right to Buy Programme and instead allow councils to set discounts locally and retain 100% of receipts to reinvest in new and existing homes

The Greens propose to transform the tax system so it is able to generate the funds needed to deliver good public services and the Green New Deal. Proposals include:

  • A single Consolidated Income Tax, replacing Employees National Insurance, Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax, Dividend Tax and Income Tax
  • Universal Basic Income to replace the Income Tax threshold
  • On land and property taxes the proposals include abolition of Council Tax and Business Rates (as well as absorbing a number of other taxes), and replacing them with a Land Value Tax (LVT) phased in over 10 years with reliefs and protections for those on low incomes. The new LVT would charge the landowner a proportion of the capital value of the land each year (estimated to be around 1.4% of current values). LVT would shift the burden of taxation from the land user to the landowner who would be liable for it whether or not they live on the land.

On business taxation the proposals are:

  • Increase the rate of Corporation Tax to 24%
  • Increase the Bank Asset Tax
  • Establish HM Revenue & Customs as an independent agency of government
  • Entrench the anti-avoidance principle in UK tax law and oblige banks to provide information about companies automatically to HMRC
  • Widening the definition of 'profit' to cover dividends, share buybacks, additions to cash holdings, payments to parent or subsidiary companies (both onshore and offshore), and other distributed income.
  • Require offshore companies to reveal their beneficial ownership before being accepted as competitors for publicly funded contracts
  • Abolish the rule that allows non domiciled residents not to pay tax on foreign income.

On supporting small business the proposals are:

  • Access to lending at affordable rates, by helping to establish a network of regional mutual banks
  • Requiring traditional banks to increase their lending to small businesses and businesses focussed on the sustainability transition
  • Grant 15% of government contracts to small and micro businesses
  • Introduce fines for large companies that fail to pay small businesses on time
  • Reduce VAT charged in the leisure and cultural sectors
  • Increase the Employment Allowance to £10,000 (currently £3,000) per year
  • Promote and support an increase in co-operatives and community interest companies
  • Roll out high speed broadband.

While many of the proposals will require legislation some specific bills are promised under the Greens:

  1. Digital Bill of Rights that establishes the UK as a leading voice on standards for the rule of law and democracy in digital spaces and ensure independent regulation of social media providers
  2. New Domestic Abuse Bill, which enables prosecution of economic abuse
  3. Bill to repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and increase funding for the National Health Service by at least £6bn per year, until 2030
  4. Bill to introduce a Universal Basic Income introducing an unconditional payment to "everyone at a level above their subsistence needs"
  5. Future Generations Bill which would build the need to balance the needs of future generations into every government decision
  6. People's Vote Bill which calls for a second vote on the terms of any Brexit deal and with remain as an option on the ballot paper
  7. Voting Reform Bill to replace the UK’s first past the post voting system with proportional representation and extend the voting age to 16 and 17 year olds.