built around people
The Green movement has long said that the old economic system was unstable and unsustainable, and recent events have confirmed this view.
By placing such an emphasis on GDP and continual growth, previous Governments have lumped together the good and bad aspects of economic activity, and in doing so have neglected to take account of non-material wealth.
Unfortunately, despite all the evidence to show that the old ways aren’t working, this is still the model that the other political parties are pushing.
Greens offer an alternative. Rather than prioritising consumerism, Greens believe that economic policy should also take quality of life into account - things such as our health, our relationships, and our sense of community.
A More Equal Society
In order to ensure a fairer and more equal society, Greens believe that the universal approach to benefits must be defended. A citizen’s income - a universal payment sufficient to cover the basic costs of living - would replace means testing and put an end to the benefits trap.
The majority of people work hard in ordinary jobs, but the unrealistic minimum wage means that in-work poverty remains a serious problem, as is the excessive pay and bonus culture amongst some Chief Executives. As well as increasing the minimum wage to the level of a living wage, Greens believe there should be maximum wage ratios in the public sector and, ultimately, throughout the private sector.
Greens would support better parental leave for all parents, protect the interests of older people by investing in housing and providing a Citizens' Pension at a genuinely liveable level, and would use the benefits system to recognise the role of volunteers and carers in our society.
Over the last few years we have seen the huge problems that are caused by megabanks - those that are "too big to fail", and which combine retail banking and casino-style investment divisions. Greens believe that the immense power wielded by these banks should be curbed.
Instead we should be encouraging and supporting mutual financial institutions such as building societies and co-operatives.
Banks that have been bailed out with public funds should be used for public good - investing in small businesses, low-carbon technologies and ethical trade, rather than supporting the arms industry and dirty projects like tar sands.
A green economy is also a social economy. It will mean investment in universities to provide the skills and knowledge we will need as we make the shift towards a low-carbon, low-waste, localised community.
Current government policy fails to protect independent local businesses, and instead favours large multinationals. In contrast, Greens would place a greater emphasis on local economies and small businesses. Reforming public sector procurement policies to let these companies into the process would be a straightforward way to support smaller businesses and local companies.