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Response from the Green Party to our Open Letter

On 4 February 2015, we wrote to the relevant spokespeople at the five main political parties, asking them to summarise their party’s main policies to address the issues around poverty in the UK, ahead of the general election in May 2015. To read the letter, click here. 

We have had our first response from Jonathan Bartley of the Green Party, who is the Spokesperson for Work and Pensions. You can read his response below: 


Hi Mohamed - Many apologies for the delay in responding to you. 

In summary, the Green Party believes that a society can be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable members.  

Like you I have been alarmed, not just at the rise in inequality, but also at the way the welfare state has been cut, and indeed "welfare" has become a dirty word.

We would make the minimum wage a Living Wage, of £10 an hour, and would take significant steps to tackle inequality. We would save £100bn by not renewing our Trident nuclear weapons. We would also introduce a wealth tax, on the top 1% of earners, to tackle inequality, as well as a Financial Transaction Tax.

Our longer term aspiration would be to introduce a Citizens Income (Basic Income) of around £80 a week. This would not be means tested, and it would be paid for by scrapping certain existing benefits (but not housing benefit or disability benefits). Everyone earning up to £41,000 would be better off under this scheme. We would increase carers allowance by 50%.  

In addition we would replace council tax with a land value tax, which is more progressive, and so would also address inequality. 

Our belief is that the problem is not that there isn't enough money, but that the money and wealth is in the wrong hands.


With all good wishes,



Jonathan Bartley

Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Streatham

(Covering bits of Balham, Tulse Hill, Brixton and Clapham)


Twitter: @jon_bartley




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