Economic Agendas: 2. Recent election manifesto

A relatively recent economic manifesto from lesser known party which had election success.

The three main parties support deep cuts to public spending. They support war in Afghanistan. They have presided over historic levels of inequality.

We believe the bankers should pay their share. We believe there is an alternative to war and want the troops home now. At a time when inequality and racism is increasing we want a society where ALL our children are treated equally and can realize their fullest potential.

A fairer, more equal, greener and more prosperous society
Invest and defend public services. …aim to build a future of peace, justice and equality. We give voice to the millions who want a fairer, more equal, greener and more prosperous society. Here are some of the simple changes in policy that we believe the British people need to turn our country around.
Investment, not cuts – defend public services

Cuts will choke off economic recovery and send unemployment spiralling for years to come. There is no reason why ordinary people should pay for a bankers’ crisis we did nothing to create. It is wrong and not necessary.

The recession has been led by a decline in investment. This accounts for well over half the entire decline in the economy. We need a programme of public investment aimed at getting people back to work. Over 650,000 jobs have been lost in Britain in the last 2 years. We need to get people working again, and we should start by focussing on three areas: transport infrastructure, housing and education.

As the public sector is usually the most efficient way to provide excellent public services, we oppose market fundamentalism.

There should be no further deregulation or privatisation.
• No cuts to our public services
• For major government investment in schools, hospitals, home building, transport and green industries to create the jobs we need and stimulate growth
• For an overhaul of the finance sector and introduction of tighter regulation
• For a windfall tax on bank profits
• For the establishment of a peoples bank at the post office
• For progressive taxation: raise corporation tax; for 50% income tax on those earning over £100,000; eliminate income tax for those earning less than £15,000; no increase in VAT; restore the ability of local authorities to set their own business rates
• Capital Gains Tax should be paid at the same marginal rate as Income Tax
• For a Robin Hood tax on bank trading and a permanent tax on bankers’ bonuses
• Clampdown on tax avoidance and close tax loop holes
• For raising the minimum wage in line with earnings and ending the lower rate for young workers.
• An immediate increase in the state pension and an immediate restoration of the pension link with earnings
• Royal Mail should be kept entirely in the public sector
• As part of a programme to establish equal pay for women Respect supports compulsory equal pay audits.

A green recovery – People and Planet together
prevent runaway climate change from destroying humanity’s future.
create thousands of sustainable skilled jobs in new green industries. Respect is committed to a low carbon future where Britain leads on clean energy, upgrades its creaking public transport system and helps every household and business to reduce energy costs and waste through efficiency measures.

• Investing in new green jobs
• Generating at least 40% of energy from renewable sources by 2020
• An active industrial strategy to drive investment into our world leading offshore wind, wave and tidal power sectors.
• Reducing fuel poverty and supporting home energy savings through free home insulation
• Creating green jobs in every town through new recycling facilities, and modern plants that generate clean energy from waste.
• Revive the British rail system with new high-speed rail lines across the country – More buses, with better services, and low fares in every town

Health and Education
Instead of wasting money by boosting the unemployment total, Respect calls for investment in education to boost jobs, exports and attract investment.
• Introduce free personal care for the elderly
• Abolish charges for dental and optometric examination
• End PFI in health and education
• Abolish all fees in further and higher education
• Raise grants to cover living costs
• Increased funding for schools to cut class sizes
• Introduce free school meals for all school children
• Expand of free nursery places and Sure Start