by Natalie Bennett
Green Party member of the London Assembly Darren Johnson kindly attended our March members’ meeting, tackling the mammoth task of discussing the deficit and alternative Green Party approaches to it. (And he gathered with some members present for the obligatory photo…)
Darren explained that the Green Party accepted the deficit needed to be tackled, having gone into the last election with a fully funded manifesto that provided for cutting it in half by 2014 (incidentally the same as the Labour Party planned then, although not by the same methods!)
One key fact is that taxes need to be both fair in their levels, and need to be actually collected! He was able to give us a sneak preview of the campaign Caroline Lucas was to launch the next day against tax evasion – one important area of action.
The second plank of the Green Party’s plan is to ensure the rich, those most able to afford it, contribute more tax. Darren was able to explain how the London Assembly had that day passed a motion opposing the mayor’s call for an end to the 50p tax rate for people earning over £150,000. (The Green Party would bring that level down to £100,000.)
Then there’s the widely supported Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions.
The third plank is to cut spending – of the bad sort. The easy one of these is Trident nuclear submarines – £6-8bn per year, adding up to a total of around £100bn, and saving several billion through energy savings in government activities (with of course added environmental benefits).
There’ll be a lot more about this tomorrow at the joint north London Green Parties Alternatives to the Cuts meeting.