Greens Hope to Win Renters’ Votes with Housing Commitments in Election Manifesto

On June 12, 2024, the Green Party launched its election manifesto in Brighton, outlining significant housing and taxation reforms aimed at appealing to renters and younger voters. Co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay presented the manifesto, emphasizing the party’s commitment to new and environmentally friendly housing solutions, including requisitioning empty properties and improving home insulation.

Key Housing Commitments

  1. £49bn Investment in Insulation and Heat Pumps:
    • The Greens propose a substantial investment to insulate homes and public buildings over the next five years. This includes fitting properties with heat pumps, which aligns with their environmental goals.
  2. Requisitioning Empty and Poorly Insulated Properties:
    • Councils would be empowered to bring empty homes back into use, especially those left vacant for more than six months or those that fail to meet the decent homes standard. This could involve councils, social landlords, and community housing groups purchasing such properties.
  3. Rent Controls and Ending Right to Buy:
    • The manifesto includes the introduction of rent controls and the termination of the Right to Buy scheme for social properties. This aims to stabilize rent prices and preserve social housing stock.
  4. New Housing Developments with Infrastructure Guarantees:
    • Local authorities would be guaranteed that new housing developments are built in appropriate sites and come with necessary infrastructure investments, such as GP surgeries, public transport, and educational facilities.

Taxation Plans

  • Wealth Tax and Higher National Insurance for High Earners:
    • The Greens propose an annual wealth levy starting at 1% for individuals with assets worth £10m or more, increasing to 2% for those with assets above £1bn. Additionally, capital gains tax would be aligned with income tax, and higher earners would pay increased national insurance.
  • Raising £50bn a Year:
    • The proposed taxes are expected to raise at least £50bn annually, which would be used to support public services, including the NHS.

Political Positioning

  • Targeting Labour Voters:
    • The Green Party is particularly focused on attracting traditional Labour voters, with promises to push for a more ambitious and fair tax system under a potential Keir Starmer government.
  • Key Electoral Targets:
    • The Greens are running a focused campaign targeting four seats, with strong chances in Brighton Pavilion and Bristol Central. Siân Berry is contesting Brighton Pavilion, and Carla Denyer is running in Bristol Central.

Co-leader Adrian Ramsay criticized the major parties for not addressing how they would fund improvements to public services without tax increases, calling it a “conspiracy of silence.” Carla Denyer highlighted the need for a dramatic change in the tax system to support frontline services and address economic inequalities.

Conclusion

The Green Party’s manifesto reflects a comprehensive approach to tackling the housing crisis and environmental issues, alongside significant tax reforms aimed at wealthier individuals. These commitments are designed to appeal to renters and younger voters, positioning the Greens as a bold alternative to the major political parties.

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