2011

2011

Record of Policy Statements (RoPS)

Apology for Coerced Adoptions

Green Party conference calls on Green Party elected representatives and GPEx to campaign for an official government apology for the historic treatment of birth parents (primarily between the 1940s and 1980s) who were coerced into giving up babies for adoption, usually because of their unmarried status, with in many cases long-lasting detrimental effects on their lives and health. They should work to ensure the government recognises the pain and suffering of birth parents and children separated by inappropriate and unethical past adoption practices, and that it commits to an effective and ongoing dialogue with birth parents and their children affected by past adoption practices. They should also campaign for research to fully understand the impact of these practices, and what services or support those continuing to be affected by them might need.

Passed Autumn Conference Sheffield 2011

Immigration Cap

The Green Party reaffirms it’s commitment to a liberal immigration policy. Everyone is equal no matter what the colour of their passport. The Coalition’s policy of introducing an immigration cap restricts people’s rights based purely on their nationality, harms the economy and is not conducive to a free and happy society. The Green Party is in favour of a real review of border controls that takes in the full benefits of immigration and stops treating those who are not native to the UK as a problem.

Passed Autumn Conference Sheffield 2011

One Million Jobs

Conference calls on the Green party to support the “One Million Jobs” pamphlet and petition produced by the Campaign Against Climate Change by encouraging sales of the pamphlet and signatures for the petition.

Passed Autumn Conference Sheffield 2011

High Speed Rail

TR11.3  The Green Party believes that long-distance service provision should not concentrate on high speeds where this will affect local service provision or take up an excessive amount of limited resources.

Current proposals for a new north-south high speed rail route are based on assumptions about continuing growth in mobility, energy use and CO2 emissions which are not compatible with green party policy.

The Green Party does not support the current (2011) high speed rail proposals known as HS2 but will review this policy if and when evidence emerges that HSR is embedded within an overall policy context that can deliver reductions in the demand for transport, energy use, land take and CO2 emissions.

Passed Spring Conference Cardiff 2011

Cuts and Local Public Services

  1. We recognise that global capitalism has set its sights on the public sector as part of the solution to its crisis. Recognising that simple privatisation of local services is unpopular, successive governments have introduced more subtle forms of ‘creeping privatisation’ – taking services out of public hands and handing them over to new bodies which are vulnerable to being taken over by the private sector at a later stage; and surrounding public services with private sector consultants and advisers.
  2. We oppose all these moves and insist that local public services should be provided overwhelmingly by public service providers and be accountable directly to local people, not to private sector shareholders. Claims that only the quality of local public services matters, and not who provides them, are inaccurate, because private sector providers are ultimately accountable to their shareholders and their financial bottom line. The public sector is different: it is wholly dedicated towards delivering services for those in need, and the dedication, skill, and innovation of public sector workers should be unleashed to improve services. Defending the public service ethos is therefore a top priority for the Green Party.
  3. We believe that all local public service providers should therefore be under a duty to promote the environmental, economic and social well-being of the local community; and to optimise efficiency, and avoid waste, in public service provision.
  4. The total cost of public service provision in an area, through all providers, should be published and made available for public scrutiny. The remit of local councils should be expanded so that locally-delivered services are commissioned by democratically-elected local authorities. Primary Care Trusts should be supervised by, and accountable to, elected local government, for example. Separate elections for police and health will splinter accountability and threaten partnership working.
  5. We need a revolution in participation – freedom of information and transparency is not enough. We support the approach of local people playing a major role in planning, commissioning, managing and assessing local priorities, services and budgets, using appropriate local forums and techniques such as participatory budgeting. Such deliberative discussion is preferable to the blunt instrument of local referenda for complex decisions on services and budgets.
  6. In the current economic climate, we also commit ourselves to support national and local campaigns against cuts in public services and to use everything in our power when in opposition or in office to oppose them.

Passed Spring 2011

Declarations of War

We call upon GPEx and our elected representatives to campaign for legislation which gives Parliament alone the right to declare war, and which requires all future military actions to be fully and openly costed, and approved by Parliament, both in advance and annually throughout such conflicts.

And to work with sympathetic legal and political organisations and individuals to find a way to bring such legislation before Parliament.

Passed Spring 2011

Welfare Reform

  1. Conference notes that the Green Party’s Citizen’s Income policy sets us apart from other political parties. Successive governments’ oppressive use of coercion  and privatisation of public services which diminish the bargaining power of ordinary citizens makes implementing our Citizen’s Income policy more urgent, yet also a potentially great electoral opportunity
  2. Conference regards the Government’s planned changes to the benefits system as incoherent, poorly thought through and an unjustified attack on  the benefit incomes of the poor and not so poor. Whilst welcoming attempts  to simplify the benefits system and allow some groups to earn more before  losing benefits, conference draws attention to an inherent contradiction.  Whilst the proposal to standardise the withdrawal rate at 65% recognizes  the fact that the withdrawal of means tested benefits has the same effect  as a tax on low incomes, that rate is effectively 76% when National Insurance deductions are taken into account. Set against this, it is  unacceptable that the top rate of income tax is only 50%.
  3. We find the following elements of the government proposals unacceptable:-
    1. their emphasis, like their predecessors, on conditionality and the  condemnation of benefit claimants
    2. their reliance on profit-making providers in the back-to-work and medical testing industries
    3. their proposals for massive cuts in housing benefit and tax credits
    4. their cuts in the benefit rights of sick people, disabled people and those looking after children
    5. their changes to the rules around pension age and
    6. their changes to uprating rules to reduce the real rates of benefit on into the future.
  4. We urge local Green Parties to campaign against the Government’s proposals. We urge them to lobby their MPs against the cuts and to ally with local groups campaigning against particular aspects of the cuts, including, but not limited to:
    • Campaigns against cuts in DLA mobility element for people in care homes
    • Campaigns against the private providers of the back to work and medical industries
  5. We also urge local parties to support:
    • Campaigns for better rights, job opportunities and in-work support for all those wishing to work
    • Campaigns for better benefit rights for carers.
  6. We ask our MP and other parliamentary campaigners to bring forward amendments which both highlight the confused and incoherent nature of the current proposals as well as also criticising the most obvious and unpleasant aspects of these cuts.

Passed Spring 2011

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