In the run up to the general election, The Student analyses the main parties’ manifestos, allowing you to make an informed choice on the issues that matter most when polling opens on June 8.
When launching their manifesto, leaders of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas and Jonathon Bartley, claimed the party would deliver “a confident and caring Britain” if elected.
Along with abolishing tuition fees, the Greens would reinstate maintenance grants in England, a policy scrapped by the Conservative Government.
Their manifesto also commits to protecting university funding in the wake of Brexit and promises that they will continue the Erasmus programme and match European Union funding for universities with a British equivalent after Brexit.
At an event in Sheffield in April, Bartley said: “The Green Party is the only party standing up for students and putting young people at the heart of its campaign.
“Education is a right, not a commodity to be bought and sold, and we need a level playing field so everyone has the chance to go to university and college.”
Similarly, to the Labour party, the Greens would scrap tuition fees, paid for through changes in taxation, including a rise in corporation tax for large companies.
Debra Pickering, Green Party candidate for Falkirk, told The Student that as well as assisting students once they reached universities, further measures have to be put in place to allow for equality of access to higher education.
The Scottish Greens would push for admissions procedures that assess student potential using criteria beyond school grades.
In regards to housing, the Green Party would take steps to attempt to relieve the social housing crisis in the UK, with over one million people waiting for social housing in England alone. To do this they have pledged to ban letting fees and to build 100,000 socially rented homes by the end of the next parliament.
Similarly to the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party have pledged to hold a second referendum on any Brexit deal which is made, ultimately giving the public an option to vote to remain in the European Union.
They have also called for assurance that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK will be protected in the event of Brexit.
Pickering told The Student that students and young people should vote for the Greens because, “we have a number of policies that have been developed by our branches, by students and others members of the Scottish Green Party.
“We believe that Higher Education should be available to all and not depend on a person’s ability to pay.”
“In the Scottish Greens, we believe the right to a space to call home is a basic human right. We would encourage universities to maintain a stock of non-privatised student residences and look at other ways of developing cooperative ways of living,” she added.
The Green Party currently hold one seat in the UK parliament and hope to retain this after the election. They also hope to make gains in five constituencies where they have formed an alliance with the Women’s Equality Party, however, most polls are expecting their share of the vote to decrease from the last election.
Image: Jonathan Melhuish