Record of Policy Statements (RoPS)
Living Within Our Means
LWM1 The Green Party restates its commitment to developing an economic policy that is compatible with ecological sustainability and ‘recognises the limits of . . . the natural systems of the planet’ (EC100).
LWM2 In this context it is important that we recognise the current fiscal deficit as a consequence of a policy based on monetary inflation without respect to ecological limits; for our policy to be consistent we cannot rely on growing our way out of debt, as many conventional economists propose.
LWM3 The unprecedented level of public deficit means that a significant restructuring of our economy is inevitable. The Green Party would use this opportunity to achieve the managed descent from overconsumption that our commitment to sustainability requires, while simultaneously addressing the rapid rise in inequality that has occurred in the past 30 years. We could consider this to be a domestic equivalent of our global policy for Contraction and Convergence.
LWM4 Conference instructs the policy co-ordinator, the economics policy working group, and the Party’s media team to work together to find ways to exploit the opportunity offered by the fiscal crunch to publicise the Green Party’s unique commitment to steady-state economics.
LWM5 The policy co-ordinators are instructed to begin a process that will bring to spring conference proposals that will, in the context of the current public spending position, explore the synergies and conflicts between: The Green New Deal proposals that were passed as a fast-tracked policy motion in Autumn 2008; The proposals for implementing our economic vision included in the 2010 election manifesto; The commitment to building an economy within ecological limits included in the first paragraphs of our economic policy.
Passed Autumn 2010
Equality and Diversity
The human rights struggles of LGBTI movements in oppressive states such as Jamaica, Iran, Uganda, Malawi, Iraq, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Russia will be supported, and the criminalisation of LGBTI people will be strongly opposed. Visas for ‘murder music’ singers and others who incite homophobic and transphobic violence will be refused.
Passed Autumn 2010
Community Pubs, Pub Goers and Alcohol Policy
The pub and brewing industries are in crisis. Every day seven pubs close and small brewing companies struggle to find business, while the market is dominated by four global companies. Tie licensees can currently only buy a limited range of beer at prices inflated by around 40%. This restricts pub goers’ choice, prevents small local brewers selling to such pubs and hastens pub closures. We believe that an effective approach to reduce alcohol related harm must involve support for good community pubs which provide a safe and responsible place for people to drink.
Therefore, the Green Party of England and Wales supports CAMRA’s Beer Drinkers and Pub Goers Charter and will campaign to:
- Promote the interests of Britain’s 15 million regular pub goers.
- Champion the community importance of well-run pubs
- Support the rebalancing of alcohol taxation to protect well- run community pubs, small brewers and traditional cider producers.
- Reform “beer tie” arrangements to ensure a fair deal for consumers, allow local brewers to sell their beers to local pubs and deliver a sustainable future for Britain’s pubs.
- Seek to address issues of alcohol-related harm through a more targeted approach that supports pubs which play a positive role in community life and provide a safe and responsible place to enjoy a drink.
In particular the party agrees that;
- GPEx should contact CAMRA and the GMB union to inform them of our support for the Charter and for a radical reform of “beer tie” arrangements.
- Control over the change of use and demolition of pubs should be brought into the hands of local people by giving Local Authorities greater power over planning.
- The Sustainable Communities Act 2007 should be extended to provide a rolling programme allowing local people to continue to submit proposals to the Government to protect their local small brewers, traditional cider producers and community pubs.
- Supermarkets should abide to the same high standards as ontrade alcohol suppliers, and end the selling of alcohol as a lossleader.
- That the promotion of community pubs should be the cornerstone of a strategy to promote responsible drinking and preventing anti-social behaviour. Pubs which act as hubs of their community should be given 50% mandatory business rate relief as recognition of their value to society.
- Supports beer as a low alcohol product, creating a zero duty rate for beers of 2.8% abv and below.
- Support for the retention of small breweries’ relief.
- Change to the legislation on short beer measures (it is not currently illegal to serve customers less than a full pint in a pub) so beer drinkers are not short changed.
- Support the changes to the 2003 Licensing Act which provide for greater flexibility in pub opening times and greater choice for pub goers.
- Supports the revision of the EU Excise Duty Directive allowing the UK Government to introduce a preferential duty rate for all alcoholic drinks sold in pubs.
- Supports radical reform of the “beer tie” to ensure equity in the relationship between large pub companies and licensees, including the provision of a guest beer right. Currently “tied” licensees can only buy a limited range of beer at inflated prices, often up to 40% higher. This limits pub goers’ choice, prevents small breweries selling to tied pubs, and hastens pub closures.
- An amendment to current compulsory purchase orders so that when a community pub is being sold the community and current lessee are given an opportunity to buy.
Passed Autumn 2010
The Landfill Communities Fund
The Green Party believes it is unacceptable for companies who have to pay Landfill Tax because of their impact on local communities, to be able promote themselves in a positive light using their role as Landfill Tax fund holders and distributors (through linked trusts) to gain PR.
The Green Party shares the opinion of many communities, who are impacted by these companies, that no polluter should be seen to gain positive PR from administrating these funds.
The Green Party further believes that communities should not have to go effectively cap in hand to these companies for funds – instead the administration of Land Fill Tax funds should be given to one independent funding organisation – absolutely separate from the companies paying Landfill Tax. Landfill Tax is a tax and it should not be seen as a way for a polluter to gain positive publicity. Distribution of Landfill Tax funds should be taken away from polluters directly or indirectly including the control of where the funds are allocated. This decision must be based on an independent assessment of need in the community in respect of bids for funding.
The Green Party further believes that the present constraints placed on projects that Landfill Tax presently fund are too restrictive and believes that any project (Capital and Revenue) that could be seen to benefit the community, should be able to apply to the Landfill Communities Fund (LFC)
This Conference therefore calls (through our elected representatives) upon Government to take action to remove the Landfill Communities Fund administration and allocation (directly or indirectly) from Landfill Operators and allow grants to be seen and used to be operating in the interests of local communities rather than positive PR for a Landfill Operator.
Passed Autumn 2010