Dave Turner, Central Manchester, Green Party
1. Are you in favour of Britain renewing its Trident nuclear weapons system ?
I totally oppose our government's role in the construction and trading of weapons of mass destruction. I would like to see Trident scrapped, and have the £100 billion instead spent on fighting poverty and promoting peace worldwide.
2. Do you think our country is right to be involved militarily in the Ukraine, even if in a training and support role?
I believe that the role of the armed forces should be to defend our country by de-
3. Do you give full weight to the urgency of minimising global warming? In the light of this, do you accept that much of the known fossil fuel reserves should be left underground, especially the most environmentally damaging such as tar sands and Arctic oil?
Absolutely! Global warming is the greatest threat to the future of our species. We must, as a society, divest entirely from fossil fuels within a generation. I am standing for a Green New Deal to create 250,000 jobs to tackle climate change. Investment is needed in renewable energy, household insulation, and electrification to create a zero carbon economy by 2050.
4. What is your attitude to fracking?
I support the Green Party’s call for a moratorium on fracking across the UK. It is an unsafe and inefficient energy source. We should be investing in renewable energy, not pumping toxic chemicals into the earth and our water supply.
5. Many people can’t afford to heat their homes over the winter. We can’t afford to ignore climate change either. How would you tackle fuel poverty in a long-
Through the Green New Deal we would insulate the poorest 9 million homes in the country within the next five years. We would also increase investment in renewable and sustainable energy. The energy crisis could be tackled if every home was well insulated, and had an electric heater running on Green energy.
C. ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
6. Do you think our economy can or should go on growing indefinitely?
Great question! No, it’s impossible. We have a planet of finite resources, which Western civilisations are depleting. We are currently living as though there are three earths. In the last five years, the Green council turned Brighton into the first declared “One Earth” city – with a commitment to only using the resources one Earth can sustain. I believe that we must move away from measuring society’s progress on GDP growth, and instead measure our progress in GPI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Peace_Index) and Income Equality.
7. Are you opposed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? If so why; if not, why not?
I am totally opposed to TTIP, and have made this clear several times in the media:
TTIP is the greatest threat to our democracy and public services and must be opposed!
8. Do you intend to help shrink the yawning gap between rich and poor and check the extraordinary concentration of wealth in very few hands? If so, how?
Another excellent question! I would like to see a more progressive taxation system. The Green Party propose several new tax measures to fight inequality:
1. The closing of tax loopholes and action on tax avoidance to reclaim the £70billlion lost each year and pay off the deficit
2. A wealth tax of 1-
3. A Robin Hood Tax of 0.05% on bank-
4. Increase Corporation Tax on large corporations to 30%. This will help local businesses compete.
5. Increase the top rate of income tax to 60%
In the short term, The Green Party are calling for the minimum wage to be replaced with a Living Wage of £7.85 an hour, rising to £10 an hour in 2020. In the longer term, we support the establishment of an unconditional Citizen’s Income to replace most of the current benefit system, to ensure that no-
I am also running to end tuition fees, which prevent the worst-
9. Do you recognise that low wages and benefits, plus harsh and arbitrary stoppage of benefits, is causing serious and unjust hardship? Do you want to restore the safety net which ought to protect British people from serious want?
Yes, absolutely. The welfare state was founded to fight poverty, it was not intended to be a tool for government to sanction the poor and create an economic underclass. Labour’s Rachel Reeves recently stated that they “are not the Party for people on benefits”. Well, The Green Party is. We want to end benefit sanctions, ATOS assessments and the abhorrent bedroom tax. Instead, we want to see a Citizen’s Income replace the bureaucracy and stigma of the current benefits system.