Party Policies Compare Plaid Cymru policies against Green policies

Please note this website was created for the 2015 General Election. Due to the lack of preparation time, we have not updated this website for the 2017 Election. Why?

Business
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Start a 'buy local' campaign, including legislation to improve public procurement, as well as improving opportunities for Welsh based business within the procurement chain to create 50,000 new jobs.

A Business bank for Wales to support SMEs and with promotion of the Welsh economy as a priority

Support new infrastructure projects which create jobs now and increase connectivity, such as the Valleys Metro, and special purpose investment vehicles such as Build 4 Wales.

Promote co-operative and mutual forms of business, including social enterprises, to develop and improve business and entrepreneurial skills in our communities.

Plaid Cymru would extend the Business Rate support scheme we established during our time in Government to cover all businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less. The scheme would cover 80,000 businesses across Wales and would relieve 70,000 businesses of having to pay business rates at all.

Businesses with a rateable value of up to 10,000 would receive 100% relief from business rates with tapered relief for businesses between £10,000 and £15,000.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We believe that crime and justice policy should be decided here in Wales, so that we can set our priorities for keeping our streets safe.

Plaid Cymru calls for a Justice (Devolution of Powers Wales) Bill. We will continue to campaign for Welsh control over our crime and justice system in its entirety, including policing and youth justice, so that Wales can fully tackle the complex problems of individual and community safety and rehabilitation.

We call for the building of juvenile and women's prisons and we fully support a prison in the north of Wales. We are also committed to the campaign for bilingual juries in Wales and a separate legal jurisdiction for Wales.

We believe that crime is committed for a wide number of interlocking reasons and so can only be dealt with through a full range of policies for the economy, education, social justice and the regeneration of communities.

We call for a National Community Safety Strategy for Wales, more drug rehabilitation places and programmes, drugs and alcohol education in every school in Wales and better amenities for young people in their communities.

We also want to see the introduction of stricter controls on how drinks are advertised and marketed, greater support for victims and witnesses to help people feel safer in their communities and a political commitment to restorative justice and community sentencing where appropriate.

Plaid Cymru has noted the disproportionate number of ex-service personnel in prison and has called for a strategic review of the ways in which welfare support is administered to veterans.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Plaid Cymru did not support the war in Iraq; in fact, we vociferously opposed it. Moreover, our MPs led the campaign to impeach Tony Blair for war crimes.

We also opposed the invasion of Afghanistan from the beginning and we now call for a move towards a situation in the country where Afghans can be safe to develop their own country without external political influence. Plaid Cymru therefore call for a sufficient humanitarian framework following the gradual withdrawal of troops.

We do, of course, believe that while they are there, the young men and women in the armed forces should be protected and cared for, so we have called for a Military Well-Being Act to promote and safeguard the physical and mental health and wellbeing of military personnel.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Plaid Cymru propose a new Green Skills Construction College that would specialise in green energy.

The party would establish a publicly-owned energy company.

A Plaid Cymru government would rebuild our economy around our strengths and create an environment in which the private sector can flourish. Rather than hand out individual support packages to individual businesses, we would make Wales an attractive place to do business through creating a skilled workforce specialising in high value sectors, investing in our internal and external infrastructure and making finance more accessible.

Plaid Cymru has called for a new arms length, publically-owned Bank of Wales business investment bank. The bank would make finance available to small businesses at competitive rates, encouraging existing businesses to invest in themselves, potentially boosting employment and encouraging new business startups.

Plaid believes that we should abolish the unfair and outdated council tax system and introduce a local income tax. A local income tax would be based on the ability to pay, not on the value of property. It would be fairer and more efficient.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

A single national curriculum will provide for core learning whilst enabling greater flexibility for schools and professionals to innovate, e.g. outdoor learning, third foreign language, Information Technology.

We will respect the professionalism of teachers and assistants, expect Continuous Professional Development and reward good practice with less bureaucracy

Examinations should be independently regulated, including a reduction in the confusing range that pupils are allowed to sit.

There should be a closer alignment between under-graduate and vocational skills, especially at the higher level.

We call for a study into the feasibility of providing every infant school child in Wales with free school meals as there is a clear link between poor diet and educational attainment.

We will continue to oppose foundation schools, academies and free schools, which lack public accountability and in many cases have poor staffing practices, including lack of union recognition and weaker conditions of service for staff, as well as introducing the private sector into our education system.

We strongly believe that every child in Wales has the right to education in the Welsh language, including pupils with Special Educational Needs and we will continue to push for strengthened targets.

We support the recommendations made in the review of qualifications for 14-19 year olds to retain GCSEs and A Levels and to develop and enhance the Welsh Baccalaureate as a framework for learning for this age group.

We will call for the Welsh government to look at moving from a per-pupil funding mechanism to a funding model based on the catchment area. It is crucial that education authorities have sufficient resources to provide Welsh medium education and adequate services for children with special educational needs.

The Party of Wales will not support any further increases in tuition fees for our higher education students, and will seek the abolition of tuition fees as and when public finances allow.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

The National Assembly has agreed, with cross-party support, to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Plaid will work to ensure that this decision is turned into meaningful and effective action to achieve the full reduction.

Plaid Cymru demands the full devolution of all powers over energy policy to the National Assembly.

Wales must take full advantage of our renewable energy resources and support micro generation and other small-scale sustainable power generation schemes, including tidal, wave-power, on-shore and off-shore wind, hydro and biomass.

Our preferred option for harnessing the energy of the Severn is a combination of lagoons and tidal-stream turbines which would minimise environmental damage while maximising zero-carbon electricity generation at a cost affordable to consumers.

We call for emission performance standards for all new power stations and we reaffirm our opposition to the construction of any new nuclear power stations in Wales.

Plaid in Westminster will continue to campaign for a windfall tax on energy companies to help pay for grants for insulation for lower income families.

We will continue to oppose the use of waste incinerators and support binding targets for waste prevention. We support recycling targets of 80% of domestic waste by 2020 and the introduction of a higher landfill tax.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We are committed to an independent Wales as a full member of the European Union.

We will continue to support further democratic reform of the EU.

We are committed to increased representation for Wales in the EU. This includes a fair number of MEPs for Wales, a European Parliament office in Wales, a rotating European Commissioner and most importantly, a vote for Wales in the Council of Ministers.

Plaid will continue to fight for transitional European financial support to continue after 2013.

We support further enlargement of the EU provided that those countries that wish to join improve conditions of democracy, justice and the rule of law. We support ongoing membership negotiations with Turkey as a means to encourage democratic reform in that country, improve women's rights and promote the democratic interests of the Kurdish people.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Plaid Cymru has three policy options for childcare: 1) Free optional full-time Foundation Phase place for all three and four year olds, 2) Top-up the existing ten hours Foundation Phase place offered to three and four year olds with twenty hours free childcare, and 3) Ten hours free childcare for three year olds on top of the existing ten hour Foundation Phase place and twenty hours free childcare for two year olds.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We oppose the micro management of local councils by central government and are committed to ensuring that local councils have the freedom and funding to respond appropriately to local issues.

In the long term, Plaid would create an All-Wales Civil Service, with civil servants and officers able to move freely between the National Assembly for Wales, Local Government in Wales and The National Health Service in Wales. We believe that this model will encourage cooperation, the sharing of best practice, and will result in more joined-up thinking.

We will make sure that voluntary groups, local businesses and individuals have every opportunity to share their views on decisions impacting their local community. We will support the campaign for participatory budgeting in our local authorities to ensure that local citizens have a voice in how money is spent.

Plaid is committed to a fairer voting system and will continue to campaign for the introduction of the Single Transferable Vote for every election in Wales including local authority elections. We will also continue to call for the right to vote at 16 as a way of encouraging young people to take part in the political process.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Plaid Cymru wants to train, retain and recruit a well-motivated, caring and expert NHS and social care workforce. We want to increase our capacity to train the future medical workforce and we will incentivise training in hard-to-recruit areas and specialisms.

We want to see the Welsh NHS participate in more clinical trials and research. We want to see improved availability of diagnostics for cancers and chronic conditions. We want to see a medical service that is judged on its outcomes for people, not on inputs.

Where individuals have developed substance addictions, then we want to provide a service to enable people to conquer their addiction.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

The next Plaid Cymru government would introduce several schemes designed to help young people in Wales get onto the housing ladder.

We would change planning laws to ensure that local people benefited from housing developments, and that young people were no longer forced to move away from their communities due to second home owners pushing up prices and lack of high wage employment in many parts of Wales.

We will reform the way in which social housing is allocated to stop abuses in the system and ensure fairness.

We will improve the quality of housing in the private rented sector through better regulation and tenancy reform that ensures both landlords and tenants are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

We will invest in the retro-fitting of older homes to ensure that families keep their fuel bills low and stimulate the local economy.

Plaid Cymru also believes that VAT for home repairs should be cut to 5% - people should not be paying excessive tax simply to ensure their home is a healthy and safe place to live.

Empty Properties are also an issue we want to tackle. We will extend the empty properties scheme to ensure more derelict and empty homes are brought back into use, and no longer will communities have to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour that can accompany such housing.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Plaid Cymru recognises the invaluable contribution that migrants have made to Wales. Our civic nationalism celebrates tolerance, mutual understanding and difference. Equally, we recognise the potential shared benefits of greater co-operation in asylum and immigration at EU level, and the important role that Europe could play in assisting the integration of new migrants including in the languages of the stateless nations.

We condemn the point-scoring used by other parties and the pandering to unfounded xenophobic prejudices in the debate on immigration.

We oppose a points-based system, which we know would take no account of the skills requirements in different parts of Wales.

Plaid Cymru also supports the right of asylum seekers to work in Wales while they wait for status decisions to be made and we call for the speeding up of the unnecessarily complicated asylum system.

We condemn the practice of housing recently-arrived asylum seekers, especially children, in "detention" or "removal" centres as punitive and cruel, and we will continue to lobby the Westminster government to ensure that they keep their promise to shut these centres.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We now have major plans for the future of public transport in Wales. We recognise that the rail network will never help us to achieve our environmental objectives unless it is both cheap and attractive to use, and that will not happen without significant and ongoing commitment of public funds.

We reiterate our call for the railway system to be brought back into public ownership. While we will pursue this objective, we will also pursue other socially useful options such as not-for-dividend or co-operative rail services, and greater devolution of rail infrastructure powers and responsibilities to Wales.

Plaid Cymru also supports providing alternatives to the car. Walking and cycling, particularly in urban centres, needs to be protected in legislation, and the right infrastructure provided in terms of routes, signage, and information.

Rural areas also need the right transport solutions, including demand-led bus services and the ongoing expansion of the Traws Cymru bus network, which aims to compensate for the disastrous Beeching rail cuts inflicted on Wales in the past.

To function as an economy and be recognised internationally, Wales needs an international airport of its own, as well as connections to hubs in neighbouring countries. Plaid Cymru suggested the idea of taking Cardiff Airport into public ownership, in order to prevent it from closing down.

We would look to use more of the annual Welsh Government budget to make rail fares more affordable, viewing this not as additional subsidy but as investment that also would benefit road users and the environment.

We will continue to campaign on the issue of Barnettising HS2 and in favour of spreading rail investment across the state, as part of a wider rebalancing of the United Kingdom and a state-level economic policy for the nations and regions.

Plaid Cymru is committed to maintaining the concessionary fares scheme which is a lifeline for many of our older citizens and accounts for over 40% of all local bus journeys.

Plaid Cymru is of the view that the case for a new M4 motorway is not sustainable or affordable.

Our proposal on the Severn Tolls is for ownership to transfer to the Welsh Government, and a reduction in tolls to cover maintenance levels only.

Plaid Cymru supports increasing the number of 20mph zones, especially around schools, but in whichever neighbourhoods where there is local demand.

We support the devolution of speed limits. Plaid Cymru does not see the case for changing the existing motorway speed limit, but notes that the UK Government has considered increasing the motorway speed limit for England and Wales.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Plaid Cymru is opposed to the welfare reform which links benefit payments to work and threatens benefit sanctions for those unable to meet unfair and unrealistic government demands. Plaid believes that this will simply result in a vicious cycle of people who live between in-work and out-of-work poverty.

Plaid Cymru in government will make the abolition of child poverty a top priority. We will press for a move away from complex and expensive means testing for child-related benefits.

Because legislation on pensions is not devolved, Plaid will instead continue to campaign for the introduction of a living pension during the period of the next parliament for those aged 80 and over. In the longer term, when the state of the public finances allows, we would lower the qualifying age.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Plaid Cymru would enforce a living wage for all.

Create apprenticeships and job opportunities by investing in training and working with both large and SME businesses and training providers to ensure that young people have market-ready skills.

Tackle under-employment by supporting people into work, supporting higher value jobs, flexible working patterns and childcare assistance.

Plaid calls for stringent implementation of labour laws for all workers, including enforcement of a living wage to address the injustice of poor pay and unfair working conditions.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Plaid will press the UK government to honour the commitment to delivering 0.7% of GDP as international aid and we will continue to campaign for the cancellation of developing countries' unaffordable debts.

We also reaffirm our support for the international Fair Trade movement. We will continue to campaign for the rights of minority nations and minority language speakers in Europe and in future possible accession countries such as Turkey.

We support a global tax on financial transactions as a means of encouraging more responsibility and stability in the global markets.

We support urgent and far-reaching reforms of the World Bank and IMF in order to improve regulation and accountability.

Source: Plaid Cymru party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We will require large and medium sized companies to carry out an independently audited annual audit of their social and environmental impact.

Current trends such as subcontracting are eroding employment rights and adversely affecting the most disadvantaged in society. Short-term contracts shall not be used as a way of avoiding statutory rights.

Registers of genuinely self-employed workers will be set up in appropriate industries e.g. construction. Businesses using non registered labour will be automatically deemed to be employers.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

A Green approach to crime reduction therefore places significant focus on the social causes of crime. As well as social crime prevention, this includes a broader range of social policies which will lessen the social pressures, such as poverty, inequality or addiction to illegal drugs, to commit crime.

We will introduce the principle of "restorative justice", which while denouncing the crime, deals constructively with both the victim and the offender. The primary aim will be to restore and, if necessary, improve the position of the victim and the community; the offender will be required to make amends.

Creation of Department of Crime Prevention: in addition to traditional modes of crime prevention, these departments will also promote social crime prevention.

Creation of Departments of Justice: in addition to responsibility for the judicial system, sentencing policy and practice, these departments will also sponsor services such as assistance to victims.

Ensuring universal access to high quality youth facilities and open spaces.

Improving street lighting and ensuring people-friendly street design.

Ensuring prompt repairs of public amenities and spaces.

Increasing resources for caretakers, attendants and staff on estates, railway stations, parks and other public areas.

Tackling drug related crime by pursuing measures.

Appointment of more community and part-time police.

Recruitment to police forces emphasising selection of candidates with previous experience in other walks of life.

More local police stations.

A comprehensive strategy will be adopted to tackle, significantly reduce and ultimately end hate crime.

We will bring to an end the disproportionate targeting of ethnic minorities through stop and search.

The Green Party calls for the repeal of the Vagrancy Act 1824 because it is open to abuse by police and government. It discriminates against homeless people and wrongly labels them as criminals when their plight is a social problem.

Prisoners will be granted the right to vote. Any decision to deny a prisoner the vote will be taken only by a judge, taking into account the particular circumstances of his/her case.

When individuals fail to make reparation or to pay taxes, maintenance, or other moneys where the present penalty for non-payment is imprisonment, they will be required to make reparation for their default through service to the community if no other way of recovering the money is effective.

The physical and social standards of prisoners will be improved so that as far as possible the only limitation on the dignity of their lives will be the denial of freedom of movement outside the prison.

Existing women's prisons should be replaced with suitable geographically dispersed, small, multi-functional custodial centres.

Cannabis would be removed from the 1971 Misuse of drugs act. The possession, trade and cultivation of cannabis would be immediately decriminalised, roughly following the Dutch model.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

On inspection, there is little or no threat of direct invasion of the UK by any nation. Commitment to a large standing army, a navy of large warships around our coastline, squadrons of fighter planes and a cripplingly expensive missile defence system is therefore unnecessary.

Similarly, the unhelpful and aggressive concept of nuclear deterrence (with the inherent dangers of handling concentrated radioactive substances) is also redundant. As such, immediate nuclear disarmament would be a priority of a Green Government.

The role for military personnel in defending sensitive establishments would also be reduced by the fact that they would be severely reduced in number. At present the military has a sizeable commitment to defending itself, particularly facilities related to nuclear weaponry.

A residual role for military personnel would exist in detection and apprehension of criminals attempting to by-pass customs and immigration.

All serving personnel will be required to sign a pledge that they will not obey any order which would entail any breach of international law. In particular they will be able to disobey any order that required them to fire on unarmed civilians of their own or any other country.

We would reform the Territorial Army to become a body of both civilian and military volunteers, willing to contribute their services in times of domestic and international crisis. As such doctors, nurses, civil engineers, heavy plant drivers and administrators (for example) would be encouraged to make themselves available for reserve work.

The minimum age of recruitment to the Armed Forces will be 18 or older. All members of the Armed Forces will be entitled to the same rights as any civilian employee, including the rights to refuse orders on grounds of conscience and trade union membership.

Some military training areas should be decommissioned and used as nature reserves, with suitable provision for access by the public.

Weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons and biological weapons must be dismantled and banned by international agreement.

Sales of military equipment to other countries will be tightly controlled by a stricter licensing system involving the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence, Department for International Development, and Revenue and Customs.

It is deeply regrettable that the EU has taken the first steps towards militarisation, by the formation of the so-called Rapid Reaction Force. Our primary aim is to reverse this process.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a military-oriented body, which imposes conflict cessation rather than encouraging peace building. As such, it is not a sustainable mechanism for maintaining peace in the world. We would take the UK out of NATO unilaterally. We would also end the so-called "special relationship" between the UK and the US.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

A 50% income tax would be payable by those that earn more than £100,000 a year.

People worth £3m or more would pay a wealth tax of 1%-2%.

Railways and energy companies would be renationalised.

Interest rates on the lending of money should be capped at a reasonable rate linked to the Bank of England interest rate. Any money lent should always be preceded by sufficient credit checks.

We would introduce limits on the sizes of banks: no bank operating in the UK would be permitted to have access to more than 10% of the domestic market or 5% of the global market.

A Green government will create a Green National Investment Bank out of one or more of the currently 'nationalised' banks. This bank would focus on funding the move to a green economy by investment in green technologies, renewables, energy efficiency programmes, and providing funds for worker-led buyouts of medium and largesized companies.

Personal tax-free allowances will be abolished, having effectively been replaced by the Citizen's Income. Income Tax will be levied on all income above the Citizen's Income. A Citizen's Income sufficient to cover an individual's basic needs will be introduced, which will replace tax-free allowances and most social security benefits.

Under a green taxation system, National Insurance will be abolished as a separate entity and merged into general Income Tax.

Capital Gains Tax exemptions/thresholds will also be removed with the exception of a person's only or main home which will continue to be exempt.

Inheritance Tax will be reformed so that it is calculated on a "recipient basis" (i.e. with reference to the circumstances of the person receiving the inheritance rather than the donor).

The Green Party would close any existing loopholes so that company profits earned in the UK were taxed here, even where this would mean that profits of trans-national corporations may be taxed twice - once in the UK and again in a foreign country.

The Green Party would phase out VAT over a period of time and replace it with a system of environmental taxation measures ("eco-taxes").

We will explore the feasibility of a tax on superstar performances which is hypothecated to local cultural enterprises.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We will move towards a system in which early years education extends until the age of 6. This will mean that academic learning is not introduced until the age of 6. That does not preclude those who wish to enter their children into school earlier from doing so.

There will be greater health involvement in these [early] important years and health visitors will make regular visits to all early years establishments.

It will continue to be compulsory for all young people to be educated between the years of 7-16. From the age of 14 this may be provided through a variety of contexts including through skills and practical training, vocational placements and at Youth Schools.

The Green Party will abolish external SATS exams and the Year 1 Phonics Test.

The Green Party will abolish league tables in their current form as they give an over-inflated impression of schools with a higher ability intake which can contribute towards problems with admissions.

The Green Party will instate a system of local accountability using continuous, collaborative assessment of schools. We would replace OFSTED with an independent National Council of Educational Excellence which would have regional officers tasked to work closely with Local Authorities.

We will conduct pilot projects to explore the benefits of all-year- round opening of schools; at the same time, we will also encourage greater community use of school buildings and equipment.

In the long run we would work towards class sizes of 20 at both secondary and primary level.

We would also work towards having smaller schools with a maximum size of 700 for secondary schools. There is evidence that smaller schools have a more positive ethos which can reduce behavioural problems.

Existing large schools will be supported to reorganise internally into smaller communities ('mini-schools').

Schools which remain in the private sector would be classed as a business and have all charitable status removed; they would pay all relevant taxes such as VAT and Corporation Tax.

The Green Party is opposed to creating more Academies and Free Schools and will support community, school and parent campaigns that share this aim. The Green Party will integrate Academies and Free Schools into the Local Authority school system.

The Green Party will allow no new grammar schools and gradually integrate grammar and secondary modern schools into the comprehensive system.

Where parents still choose to educate their children at home this would be supported by Local Authorities which would work to ensure that all young people have a broad and diverse education of a high quality.

We will abolish the requirement for a compulsory daily act of worship. Schools which choose to continue to hold acts of worship will provide an alternative activity for learners who choose not to take part.

It will be a minimum requirement that all children are provided free of charge with a balanced nutritious lunch including local and organic non-GM food, free from additives.

The Green Party opposes the introduction of performance related pay in education.

Under a Green government there would be no student loans as there would be no tuition fees and living costs would be met by Citizen's Income.

There will be a minimum requirement for Universities and Higher Education Institutions to offer a free creche to students and staff, nappy changing and breast-feeding facilities as well as religious facilities such as prayer spaces to cater for people from a wide range of ages, religions and ethnic backgrounds.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Ban fracking, phase out coal power stations and say no to new nuclear.

The Green Party calls for the establishment of annual targets for global and national greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and for the establishment of effective enforcement mechanisms. The Green Party policies shall be consistent with the UK doing its fair share in achieving RCP2.6 greenhouse gas level targets or similar pathways described in the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Emissions Gap Reports.

The Green Party calls for the establishment of a number of targets for global and national greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and for the establishment of effective enforcement mechanisms. All targets herein relate to a baseline of emissions in 1990, as in the Kyoto Protocol.

We should aim steadily to reduce all UK greenhouse gas emissions to 10% of their 1990 levels by 2030.

The Green Party calls for urgent replacement of the Kyoto Protocol with a new protocol which meets the requirement for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with prevailing science and which has an equal focus on safeguarding carbon sinks.

In line with party policy on applying the precautionary principle, the Green Party calls for an immediate moratorium on agrofuels from largescale monocultures - a period for scientists and policy makers in the EU and western nations to gain a greater understanding of the true impacts on the social, human rights, land rights, climate impact, and biodiversity impact issues.

he Green Party also calls for a moratorium on the use and development of genetically engineered crops and trees, microbes and fungi for the production of any biofuels including agrofuels, due to the high environmental risks involved in GM technology.

The Green Party calls for an emergency international agreement to stop global deforestation. This must be developed as a priority and implemented in full consultation with the local and indigenous communities recognising traditional land rights.

The Green Party believes that we all have an obligation to live within the natural limits of our environment and to adopt lifestyles that will not irrevocably damage the environment for future generations.

Increase the area and quality of woods, orchards, agroforestry, hedges and other tree cover.

Ensure food security, integrating human health and wellbeing, environmental protection, animal welfare and decent livelihoods for farmers, farm workers and growers.

The Green Party will make it a general offence to cause cruelty to wild animals or suffering where it can be practicably avoided.

The Green Party will ensure that wildlife-rich sites are adequately protected and extend a basic level of habitat protection to the whole countryside. We will ensure that there are sufficient resources to enforce the legislation.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

We will resist all attempts to introduce a 'barrier round Europe' shutting out non-Europeans or giving them more restricted rights of movement within Europe than European Nationals.

While remaining opposed in principle to the Single Market as currently envisaged, the Green Party believes that Greens in Europe must attempt to mitigate its effects.

A Europe wide and co-ordinated attack on corporate tax evasion, including offshore banking centres, and the regulation of corporate investments in a manner involving the wishes of the affected community.

The Green Party supports the closure of all nuclear programmes in the EU and elsewhere as soon as technically feasible.

Enforce restrictions on fishing within the Common Fisheries Policy, and where necessary take appropriate action to prevent the destruction of fisheries by over exploitation.

The Green Party does not wish the European Union to become a continental military power. The EU should neither adopt the WEU as its military arm nor become the European pillar of NATO. We seek the dissolution of both those military alliances.

In the long-term The Green Party wants to see the disbandment of NATO, and its replacement by a well resourced Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Green Party opposes the creation of a European Army and its precursors such as the Rapid Reaction Force, and the use of the EU to sustain military adventures. We are particularly opposed to suggestions that there should be "Eurobomb" nuclear capability.

The best structure at the European level through which to pursue basic human rights is the European Convention on Human Rights, with its own Court and Commission.

The Green Party believes that any European country which wants to join the European Union should be able to do so if it the country is a democracy, respect human rights, have a free press, an independent judiciary, a commitment to environmental standards at least equal to those demanded in the EU, civilian control of the military, and be at peace both outside and within its borders.

Whilst the Green Party is opposed to the objectives, structure and policies of the EU as currently constituted, as long as the U.K. remains a member of the EU the Green Party will stand in elections to the European Parliament and elected Green MEPs will work for fundamental reform of the EU from within.

Any UK decision to withdraw from the EU shall be subject to a referendum.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Nannies will be registered on a national register, enabling families to check the suitability of their potential employee. The treatment of au pairs will be regulated to stop them from being exploited by their employers.

Provide a comprehensive, free family planning service, available to everyone, in convenient high-street locations, funded by a separate budget within the NHS. This will include information, facilities and the materials necessary for people to plan their families.

Ensure that condoms are supplied free on demand from chemists and at a subsidised price from machines in public places.

The age of consent should be the same for everyone irrespective of their sexual orientation. It should be 16 years of age.

The Green Party deplores the ban on same-sex civil marriage and is committed to repealing it. We support civil marriage equality and believe that a same sex couple should have exactly the same right to get married in a registry office as an opposite sex couple.

The Green Party also supports an end to the ban on civil partnerships being conducted in places of worship whilst recognising it is up to religious bodies to make this decision and not for the state to dictate to them prohibitions on civil partnerships.

The existing [BBC] licence fee will be abolished and in the first instance replaced by a guaranteed inflation linked payment from general taxation.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

The Central Parliament needs to be prepared to surrender many of its traditional powers, and actively assist in the process of decentralisation. To this end, Parliament has a number of key roles to play - first, to devolve functions to more local bodies; second, to lift its hold over councils and enable them to realise their potential; and third, to work with the Constitutional Commission to meet demands from local Government to take on responsibility for resources and functions which are currently dealt with at too high a level by central Government and the private sector.

A Bill of political rights will be enacted at the earliest opportunity to prohibit oppressive actions by unrepresentative Governments and inaccessible bureaucracies.

Legislation will be introduced to provide for referenda to be held on any government decision at the instance of a prescribed percentage of that body's electorate.

When a Bill of Rights has been enacted, a prescribed percentage of the citizens of any area shall be able to take a Citizens' Initiative, whereby they place a proposition on a ballot paper for popular vote. Should the proposition succeed the result will, subject to the law, be binding on the relevant government body.

The right to vote and stand in elections will be based on residence rather than nationality.

The voting age for all elections, and the age at which people may take seats at any level of Government, would be reduced to 16.

All terms for elected representatives to all levels of Government shall be fixed in length, except when a seat is taken following a by-election. Each Parliament at Westminster should normally be for a fixed term of four years, but if the Government loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons before the end of the fixed term then an earlier General Election should be held.

UK political parties will be funded by the State. Such political funding will be calculated and administered on a regional basis, and funds allocated in proportion to the number of votes cast in the region in the last round of proportional representation elections held across the entire region.

The Green Party will work for the abolition of the City of London Corporation and the special statuses it enjoys, including its international ambassadorial role for the finance industries, its special status under freedom of information legislation, the postition of "City remembrancer" within the House of Commons, and its right to demand meetings with democratic institutions and the monarchy.

In a Green society, the UK central government will have less power than it currently has - with many of its functions being taken over by local authorities or the regions.

Central Government currently revolves around the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, with the role of Parliament greatly diminished. The most important reform needed to redress this imbalance is the move to proportional representation. This will help to bring an end to the traditional dominance of two political parties in Britain.

A First Minister would also be elected by the central Parliament as a whole, who would be responsible for chairing a committee, the Coordination Committee, of all the convenors of parliamentary committees.

The House of Lords, as presently constituted, has no legitimate mandate because it is not elected. It should be abolished and replaced by a second chamber directly elected by proportional representation.

Members of the second chamber would be elected to serve for a period of ten years.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Funding will be diverted away from centralised facilities towards community healthcare, illness prevention and health promotion.

Community Health Centres will be the focal points for self-help and community-based initiatives and will also provide a wide range of services including primary healthcare, and health education and health promotion programmes.

A variety of specialist services, in particular midwifery, obstetrics, family planning, counselling and psychiatry, will also be available.

It becomes an offence to stop nursing mothers from breastfeeding their children in public places (including the breastfeeding of toddlers in premises where children are already allowed). Businesses that break the law, or whose employees break the law, will face significant fines.

Councils are required to provide breastfeeding facilities in all their significant buildings open to the public, such as town halls and libraries.

The Green Party is opposed to the development of "Foundation Hospitals" which, although argued to be locally controlled, could actually result in reduced democratic accountability given that they will be unanswerable to parliament or local authorities.

Foundation Hospitals are in fundamental opposition to the Green Party policy of the public health service remaining fully funded by public taxation, given that they are required to produce a profit and are able to seek commercial partnerships.

We lament the disappearance of the School Nurse and would therefore bring back a dedicated NHS School Nurse in every school, both at primary and secondary level.

Prescription, and other charges, are wrong in principle, unfair in practice, and generate little income for the Health Service. They will be abolished as soon as possible.

The Green Party will support a change in the law to remove the requirement for two doctors to approve a woman's decision to have an abortion, and will support a change in the law to allow the procedure to be carried out by appropriately trained nurses and midwives up to three months of pregnancy.

The Green Party will not support any change to the current laws on abortions which would aim to make it more difficult for women to obtain them.

Assisted death presents moral and legal concerns to health care professionals and the public. We believe that people have a right to an assisted death within the following framework.

The Green Party recognises that suicide is the biggest killer of young men in the UK. We would ensure that local authorities took preventative action in terms of well-known suicide spots. For example, installing barriers and anti-suicide nets on bridges where suicides have taken place.

The Green Party would also introduce a complete ban on the promotion of tobacco and alcohol products, including sponsorship, advertising (direct or indirect) and product placement on remuneration or reward.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

National government has considerable powers to alleviate the housing crisis. However, many of the policies required are more suited to implementation locally, enabled and assisted by national government.

The Green Party proposes introducing LVT (previously known as Community Ground Rent) as a tax payable on the annual value of land. The valuation would be of the land alone, exempting all buildings on it, recent and future improvements to it, or minerals extracted from it. LVT would therefore not be a tax on the rent of buildings, the value of crops, manufactured products or the product of other forms of work.

Disincentives to the speculative ownership of housing will be introduced, including higher rates of Council Tax for unoccupied properties and second homes.

The Green Party seeks to increase the amount of social housing and commonly owned housing as representing the best way of ensuring an availability of affordable housing.

All new houses will be built to improved standards for accessibility, space and facilities, ergonomics, sound and thermal insulation, and energy efficiency. Design standards shall also include consideration of social factors, such as the need for privacy and the need for community focal points.

All new housing will be designed for low energy use, and the same standards applied retrospectively to existing houses where practicable. All sellers of houses will make energy use estimates available to buyers.

Self-build schemes will be encouraged. When unemployed people work on such schemes they shall not be subject to withdrawal of social security benefit.

A duty will be placed on local authorities to provide suitable sites for travellers.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

The Green Party would progressively reduce controls on UK immigration.

We will replace existing British Immigration law with an Immigration law which does not discriminate directly.

We will allow the partners, prospective partners, immediate families and prospective families of British residents to join them without excessive delays or unreasonable requirements for proof of relationship.

A person's right to stay will not be linked to that of partners or families but will be independent. Families will not be divided by deportation unless the deportee poses a serious danger to public safety.

We will abolish the 'primary purpose' rule under which partners are refused entry if it is thought that the primary purpose of relationship is for them to gain entry to the UK.

We will allow the victims of past errors in immigration decisions to come to the UK where these decisions have resulted in continuing serious deprivation.

Migrants illegally in the UK for over five years will be allowed to remain unless they pose a serious danger to public safety.

We will aim to ensure that UK immigration control takes place primarily at ports of entry so that no resident is required to carry proof of residence.

No prospective immigrant will be held in detention for migration-related reasons, other than in the most exceptional circumstances, eg a prospective migrant who poses a serious danger to public safety.

We will provide advice and assistance in appropriate languages at ports of entry and provide legal aid for immigration cases.

The party would introduce additional legal rights for asylum seekers.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

HS2 (High Speed 2) rail network would be scrapped.

Councils would be allowed to impose additional business rates on 'out-of-town' supermarkets in order to fund other local businesses.

Rail and bus fairs would be cut by an average of 10%.

The most obviously sustainable fuel is human muscle power, which is used when walking and cycling. Therefore, these two modes appear at the top of our hierarchy. Animal powered transport, in particular horse powered transport, is also sustainable provided that sufficient care is taken to ensure animal welfare.

The Green Party seeks to dramatically reduce the production of carbon dioxide from all methods of transport. The principle means of doing this are by demand reduction and modal shift.

The Green Party would increase road fuel tax incrementally until the revenue of fuel tax covers a high proportion of road traffic's external costs, with adjustments for transport use and the nature of the fuel.

The Green Party supports the introduction of fuel tax on aviation fuel and emission charges and increased landing charges on aircraft.

The Green Party will introduce a vehicle purchase tax on the purchase of all new vehicles, which would be steeply graded according to a vehicle's pollution level, fuel consumption and type of fuel.

In the short term, road charging should be introduced where road space is most congested and where traffic causes most pollution. These would be expected to be in urban areas and in areas that attract large numbers of tourists.

Maximum permissible lorry weights to 38 tonnes and adopt increasing taxation on vehicles of more than 20 tonnes. Lorry movements on Sundays should be prohibited throughout the EU as a first step to cutting long distance road freight.

There would be no new road building or widening schemes implemented except for essential access.

The Green Party would introduce a 20 mph limit throughout built up areas, including villages.

In rural areas, apart from trunk roads, the maximum speed limit would be 40 mph. Local communities would be encouraged to set lower limits on country lanes where pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders would be particularly vulnerable.

A national network of longer distance cycle routes will be encouraged, within which local networks will be connected. However, the priority in cycling provision will be for local needs.

The Green Party believes that the rail system, including track and operators, needs to be publicly owned, and would seek to bring the service back into public ownership.

The testing of drivers will also be made more comprehensive and stricter to include hazard awareness and environmental aspects and knowledge of working of vehicles. Driving tests would be done at regular intervals (e.g. 5 years) to ensure that drivers remain competent.

The Green Party will reduce the permitted level of alcohol [for motorists] to as close to zero, allowing for natural levels.

All speed limits would be rigorously enforced, as would any other regulations relating to drivers of vehicles (including public transport). Greater use will be made of automatic cameras and other speed measurement.

Driving without a valid licence or insurance will be penalised with immediate confiscation of the vehicle.

Vehicles would not be permitted for road use that had the ability to travel at greater speeds than the majority of EU national maximum speed levels.

All major airports should be taken into public ownership.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

In the short term the Citizens' Income will provide for a proportion of housing costs. To allow for regional variations, this will be supplemented by a specific housing benefit. This will be payable to all, regardless of their forms of tenure. It will be means tested, and related to rent or mortgage repayments.

In the long term the Citizens' Income will be sufficient to cover basic housing costs. Other benefits and tax reliefs will be gradually phased out.

The use of inappropriate short term accommodation (including hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation) as a way of complying with the duty to the homeless will be ended.

Better use of empty privately owned property will be achieved by empowering local authorities to use Empty Property Use Orders.

In the short term the Green Party would restore Income Support to people aged 16-25 to the same level to which those over 25 years old are entitled. In the long term the Citizens' Income Scheme is designed to eradicate poverty throughout society.

Retirement means that people no longer get paid for the work they do but that does not mean they stop working. The Green Party's Citizen Income scheme would enable retirement age to be completely flexible recognising that some want to retire as soon as possible and others want to continue working.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

Citizen's income of at least £72 per week given to all citizens.

The Green Party supports a national minimum wage until a Citizens' Income scheme has been fully introduced.

Minimum wage raised to £7.65, which is the same as the living wage.

The Green Party will support and improve legislation to make it an offence to harass or discriminate directly or indirectly against people at work, on grounds of race, sex, family status or responsibilities, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, political opinion or physical appearance. This will include people who are disadvantaged by reason of resistance to discrimination.

Every person should have an opportunity to challenge an employer who has "wrongly & unfairly refused to employ them", or failed to provide equal access to training & promotion.

CVs should be anonymised during the hiring procedure to prevent pre-interview discrimination on the basis of an individual's race or gender.

There should be a legal right to at least 28 days (or 196 hours) paid holiday in a calendar year, in addition to public holidays, for those employed at least 35 hours per week. This should apply pro-rata for those employed less hours per week or for shorter periods; it won't apply to people working fixed term contracts of less than 60 days.

We are committed in the medium-term to a reduction in working hours to an average of 35 hours per week. The Green Party will enact legislation in order to bring about this change.

Someone wishing to leave their current employment shall not be disqualified from claiming unemployment or other social benefits.

We support the right to join a trade union, and condemn discrimination by employers against union members.

Dismissal of a worker for refusing to cross a picket line shall be unfair. Lockouts shall be illegal.

We will grant employees the legal right to buy out their companies and turn them into workers co-operatives. Buy outs would be funded by a Green National Investment Bank and contingent on the co-ops following green and ethical policies.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

The United Nations should be reformed and democratised. The current national basis for membership should be extended to include regional (sub-national) representation and all representatives should be democratically selected. The WTO, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and similar bodies should also be reformed, democratised, or replaced.

Expertise in the UK military in disaster support will continue to be offered for UN operations and harnessed in the training of civilian volunteers. We will aim to put a standing body of unarmed units, under the aegis of the UN, ready to respond to civil disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.

All permanent seats on the UN Security Council should be abolished, all nations should take a seat in turn, continents should be represented in proportion to their populations, and decisions should be made by a 2/3 majority.

All foreign debts owed by countries officially defined as "Least Developed" should immediately be written off by concerted international action, as well as those of all other countries which need such support in order to meet their MDG targets.

British aid should become 0.7 percent of Gross National Product (GNP) within five years and 1.0 percent of GNP within ten years. Emergency aid, aid to dependent territories and debt relief should be an addition to this.

British emergency and recovery aid should be allocated in proportion to objectively assessed needs. UK-funded humanitarian action should be guided solely by the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality, and should be independent from political, military, economic or other objectives.

The British Government should institute capital controls to ensure money made by trans-national corporations in Britain is re-invested here.

The Green Party believes that all Israelis, Palestinians, and their families should have and be able to exercise full human and civil rights throughout Israel, Palestine and the occupied territories in Palestine. Israel must be subject to the Geneva Convention concerning the rights of individuals and communities, in the same way that other states are.

The Green Party calls for the implementation of United Nations Resolutions 194, 242 and 338, which addressed the problems created by Israeli conquests in the wars of 1948, 1967 and 1973.

The Green Party calls on Israel to evacuate the illegal settlements within the occupied territories of Palestine.

We would promote town twinning, exchange visits, and Internet-based methods for learning about other countries and cultures by direct contact.

Source: Green party website, existing manifesto or officially-published policies.

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