The Scottish Greens today (12 April) launched their 2016 election manifesto, pledging to deliver a bolder Holyrood and a better Scotland.
Opinion polls suggest Green MSPs will be elected from across the eight parliamentary regions. The party is enjoying a membership surge to over 9,000.
Key manifesto pledges include:
-Using newly devolved income tax powers to enable those earning less than £26,500 to keep more of their pay, while raising revenue from those on above average incomes to invest in public services.
-Creating over 200,000 jobs in lasting industries including oil and gas decommissioning, renewables and housing.
-A Living Wage Plus of 9 pounds an hour for social care staff.
-A 50 per cent increase the Carer’s Allowance to recognise the value of unpaid care.
-Enabling councils to buy land cheaply to encourage the construction of more and better homes.
-A guarantee of work, training or education for every school leaver.
-Scrapping the outdated, unfair Council Tax and phasing in a residential property tax under which most households would pay less.
“The Scottish Greens have a track record of achievement. In the last session of parliament we pushed SNP ministers for bolder action on everything from land reform and rent controls to fracking and fan ownership of football clubs.
“With fellow candidates on the campaign trail in recent weeks I have seen how we are tapping into a public appetite for a Scottish Parliament that is bolder in its actions. Our high calibre candidates are ready to get to work in Holyrood, delivering great results for communities the length and breadth of this country.”
Scottish Greens co-convener Maggie Chapman, social justice spokesperson for the party and MSP candidate for the North East, said:
“A more equal Scotland is a core principle of the Scottish Greens. We are the only party proposing to cut income tax for those earning less than the average while asking those on high incomes to contribute a fairer share. Scotland can raise extra funds fairly for public services while also tackling inequality.
“Our manifesto shows how a vote for the Scottish Greens is a vote for a bolder Holyrood, for a plan to deliver lasting jobs, high quality social care and good homes for all. The Scottish Greens are best placed to meet the challenges of our time.”
Alison Johnstone, Health and Sport spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Lothian, said:
“Our country faces huge challenges, from pressures on health and social care to the scandal of fuel poverty and the threat to communities from fracking. Scottish Greens have shown in parliament and in communities our principled approach and determination to tackle these issues.
“Our belief in a better Scotland is shown by our actions. We are ready to step up to a bigger role.”
Other manifesto highlights include:
-Recruiting 4,000 full-time equivalent teachers to tackle unsustainable workloads.
-Guaranteeing financial support for college students.
-Prioritising a healthy start for children with support for healthy pregnancies.
-Restoring locally-accountable policing and investing in crime prevention.
-Promoting a written constitution and devolving power to local level.
-Rebalancing the transport budget to tackle under-investment in walking, cycling, buses and trains.