Photo Courtesy of Young Greens
The 2015 general election is already shaping up to be an opportune moment for the UK to realise the same old politics just isn't working. Now that we've exhausted the traditional options we as a nation need to think outside the box. You would often be forgiven for thinking that we live in a depressing age of terror and fear, with civil liberties being stripped away in the name of protection and mistrust planted amongst us to turn against the most vulnerable in society, as well as those who have come from other corners of the world to contribute to our society. A country of fear is not a country worth living in. But despite this torrent of bad news we will often find the real people on the ground pulling together against the oncoming adversity of austerity to create localised social innovations to help their communities. We only have to look at examples such as the Real Junk Food project in Leeds that is taking food that would otherwise end up in landfills and making meals out of them on a pay as you feel scale to not only ensure a cut back on food waste but also making it available to everyone as food prices continue to soar.
As we head toward May the 7th we can be confident that the Green Party is ahead of the field with one crucial idea: the politics of hope. As a party rejecting austerity we are seeking the common good to help progress society, and our policies - on everything from the environment to the living wage - are strong signals that the future can be better for us all. Yes - not only are we going to help protect and preserve our planet, but also fill the pockets of workers who deserve more pay for what they do with a wage of £10 an hour. Pretty radical, huh! But there's got to be a catch, right? No?
While the party who must not be named fail to come up with anything positive to stand for, let alone a comprehensive list of thought out policies, we have a plan. To make society work everyone has to pay their fair share and to finance the positives our plan is to change taxation to reflect this. We are the only party to openly support the idea of a financial transactions tax, also known as a Robin Hood tax, which is minuscule in amount: a tax of approximately 0.005% on transactions of financial goods like stocks, bonds and currencies. This tax has a global potential of raising over £250 billion and stabilising the global economy. We want to ask large corporations to pay their fair share, raising corporation tax, whilst protecting small business by reducing the small firms rate. We also want to close tax havens and loopholes, and to raise capital gains tax. These changes are only small examples from an extensive plan of changes in contributions to society that can fund a better quality of life for all. We are also seeking to innovate for the future by investing in the development of sustainable technology and creative industry, switching to renewable energy and reclaiming higher education so it is free to those who chose it.
Most parties are holding the British public to ransom, saying 'vote for us or else'. Vote for us or else we'll be flooded with immigrants, vote for us or we'll fall off the road to recovery that was just for the wealthy, vote for us or the nasty party will get in. We're saying something different. 2015 is the year when we say 'vote for us and together'. Vote for us and together we'll fight for a fair and equal society. Vote for us and together we'll find social prosperity. Vote for us and together we'll work for the common good.