Equality not poverty
In this section of the manifesto the party lays out one of its main policies: to make work pay with a £10 minimum wage by 2020. This goes further than the SNP’s pledge to increase it to £8.70 and Labour’s pledge to make it £8. The policy could help convince some of Scotland’s lowest paid workers as well as those clearly on the left of the political spectrum.
The party also pledges introduce a 2% wealth tax on those worth more than £2.5 million and reduce tax avoidance.
They also pledge to reduce welfare cuts and eventually introduce a Citizens Income. Additionally, they also promise to “invest in home, health and children” and tackle gender inequality by “requiring businesses to publish pay data”.
Public services in public hands
This section of their manifesto also contains a key pledge: to renationalise the railways, making the case for it by saying: “East Coast rail returned over £1 billion pounds to the public purse in five years of public ownership, which could be used to pay for a better, more affordable, public transport system or wider public services.”
They also reiterate support for the NHS remaining in public hands and repeat their pledge to oppose TTIP.
Power to communities
The Scottish Greens (who backed independence in the referendum) make the case for further devolution to Scotland and to local communities. Furthermore, they say that the House of Lords should be abolished and replaced by elected representatives and that votes should be extended to 16 and 17 year olds. They also pledge to fight for a more proportional voting system and that they support the Women 50:50 campaign in support of equal gender representation in parliament.
Environment and climate change
The manifesto says that: “it is vital the international negotiations in Paris this year agree a global deal to reduce carbon emissions and deliver climate justice for communities in the global south. We will help tackle climate change, safeguard our ecosystem and deliver social justice.”
They then say they will do this with green industrialisation, promoting wildlife, seas and landscape and by having growing and fishing sustainability.
The Scottish Greens laid out there vision regarding immigrants saying that “We believe that immigrants are an asset to our economy and enrich our culture.” On the issue of Europe they say they will campaign to remain in the EU - if a referendum emerges from the election - but that the EU should become more democratic.
An uphill battle?
The Scottish Greens have little chance in winning any seats in Scotland, nonetheless they are standing their highest number of candidates ever. Furthermore, the party has seen a massive increase in membership since the referendum suggesting that they will do relatively well compared their performance in 2010, but with the SNP surge and the restrictions of Britain’s current electoral system, the party will struggle to gain any MPs.
Nonetheless their manifesto is a step towards the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections in which they currently hold 2 MSPs.
The full manifesto can be accessed here.
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