National news round up

Caroline Lucas MP

The General Election of 6th May saw the historic election of the UK’s  first ever Green Party Member of Parliament, Caroline Lucas MP who won in the constituency of  Brighton Pavilion.

On 25th May Caroline Lucas  Green MP, writing for Channel 4, proposed an alternative Queen’s Speech for the State Opening of Parliament.

The alternative speech sets out the priority “to modernise the British economy for a low-carbon future, to create an economy more balanced between manufacturing and services, more resilient in the face of financial crises, where wealth is more equitably distributed and the more vulnerable in society are offered greater protection” – beginning with a £44 billion investment package which would create over one million new jobs and training places, mostly in the low-carbon sectors the Greens believe the UK must develop rapidly in order to meet demanding CO2 targets.

The speech promises to tackle the budget deficit, but with greater emphasis on taxing higher incomes. It refers to halting any new private finance initiative (PFI) schemes, and to keeping the Royal Mail in public ownership.

The alternative speech also talks about wide-ranging financial reforms which would include separating retail from investment banking, setting up a national network of not-for-profit community banks, severe restrictions on bankers’ bonuses and the introduction of a “Robin Hood tax” on financial transactions. The redistributive tax measures will ensure that a non-means-tested citizen’s pension may be introduced at the level of £170 for individual pensioners and £300 for couples. This will ensure that no British pensioner is living below the poverty line.

Other measures would include an early withdrawal from Afghanistan and the scrapping of the Trident missile system and its proposed replacement.

The full article can be found here.

On 27th May Caroline Lucas MP delivered her maiden speech to Parliament, a truly historic moment. Caroline’s full speech can be read here.

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