Communication for Sustainable Development

Scottish election: Scottish Green Party manifesto

The Scottish Green Party has launched its manifesto for the 2011 Scottish Parliament election.
Here is a look at all the key pledges:


- Introduce land value tax at just above 3p in the pound to replace Council Tax, to raise an extra £1bn a year, and 8p in the pound levy to replace business rates.
- Owners of urban vacant land would pay "fair share" to tackle speculative land banking.

- More than 85% of Scots - those living in average homes in bands A to E - would save money against their current council tax bill, with increases only for the most expensive properties.
- Support councils to raise more of their own cash, including through prudential borrowing or revenue-generating activity including community-owned projects.
- Bring disused and untaxed business property into the scope of business rates and raise existing large business supplement from 0.7p to 2p as "interim measure".
- Consider new "hotel tax".
- New £80m-a-year fund for small farmers and crofters.
- Use Holyrood tax powers, under the Scottish Variable Rate, to raise tax by 0.5p in the pound to offset UK spending cuts, with those in the higher tax band paying an extra £15-a-month and an extra £4-a-month for those earning a salary of £20,000.
- Scope to reduce land value tax rate or income tax rate at end of cuts period.
- Reinvigorate town centres with new generation of small businesses, markets and infrastructure of community work hubs.
- Set a "living wage" of at least £7.15 per hour in public sector and encourage private and voluntary employers to do the same.
- Budget decisions to be "poverty-proofed" so as not to unfairly affect people living on low incomes.
- Public bodies required to make reducing the gap between rich and poor a "core policy aim".
- Introduce a Green Procurement Bill to support localisation, small businesses and social enterprises, and to make Community Benefit clauses the norm in major public sector contracts.
- At least 10% of public spending to go through social enterprise.
- Adopt alternative economic indicators, outwith "narrow" gross domestic product, which value health, wellbeing, social equality and other factors such as voluntary work.
- Review regional selective assistance funding to ensure long-term social, environmental and ethical objectives are met.
- "Comprehensive" reform of Scottish Enterprise and other business support measures to ensure firms prioritise economic activity which "serves public good".
- Ensure that skills agencies prioritise areas like renewable energy, low carbon industries, creative and cultural industries, waste management, manufacturing and the built environment.
- Renewed convention on Scottish devolution, with public and civic organisations in the driving seat instead of politicians.
- Back multi-option referendum on status-quo, more powers for Holyrood and independence.
- Increase in Scotland's international development budget, as well as establishing a climate adaptation fund of £9m per year for communities in developing countries.

Public services

- Will not "not stand in the way" of council mergers but will "urge caution" on wider-ranging reorganisation.
- No centralisation of police or fire and rescue services.
- More devolving of power from Scottish government to local authorities and beyond.
- Introduce common good legislation to manage transfer of assets to community control, holding at least 10% of land in regeneration areas.
- Work with social enterprises to take over Scottish Post Offices threatened with closure, using them to provide access to a wider range of services.
- Tourism policy emphasis on promotion of domestic, rather than international, visitors.


- Allow young people to study flexibly alongside work if they wish, with support to put their own small business ideas into practice.
- No fees for Scottish university students studying at home.
- Shift government support to smaller scale, sustainable finance like co-operatives and credit unions and move to create a Scottish green bank, offering micro finance programmes.
- Set up £1m small loan scheme to help 16 to 19-year-olds set up their own businesses.
- Reverse the revenue cuts to further and higher education budgets, with priority on funding education and research, ending student poverty, and keeping student debt down.
- Ensure that students moving between institutions do not lose council tax discounts.
- Give councils with the "resources they need" to keep local nurseries and schools open and class sizes down.
- Each local authority to produce comprehensive school estate improvement programme.
- Free nursery education for children from age of three.
- Increase support for eco-schools programme.
- Pre-school and primary pupils to have at least two hours of outdoor education at least once a week.
- Support home schooling.
- Ensure that playing fields and important play spaces are not sold off.


- £100m-a-year fund for universal home energy efficiency, rolled out on area-by-area, street-by-street basis to boost construction jobs, cut carbon emissions by more than 6% and save the average household £340 a year.
- Minimum energy standards for private rented housing sector.
- Renewable energy to meet Scotland's domestic energy demand by 2020.
- Expand Scottish Water to become publicly-owned renewable energy company.
- Councils to produce heat maps.
- Establish community energy companies to put control of energy generation in community hands.
- Increase value of climate challenge fund to £25m per year.
- Oppose new coal-fired power stations.
- Close existing nuclear power stations at or before the end of their normal working lives, with waste to be stored on site in secure, monitored and retrievable conditions.
- No deployment of carbon capture and storage technology until "shown to be a realistic, efficient long-term option".
- Meet emissions annual targets without use of carbon credits and increase them to 4.5%.
- Set up forum for just transition, as oil supplies peak and fall.
- Large-scale ecosystem restoration projects, including provision of dedicated funds for peatland restoration.
- Oppose commercial use of GM crops.
- Urgent review of the Allotments Act to allow best community use of land.
- Increase native woodland cover to 40% by 2050, back community orchards and oppose forest privatisation.
- Councils to provide targets for providing household recycling and composting services to all homes in Scotland.
- Boost recycling rates with packaging deposit schemes, including levies for non-reusable and non-recyclable packaging.
- Waste destined for recycling or composting to be separated at kerbside and collected there.
- Designate Scottish waters a whale and dolphin sanctuary, end the legal shooting of seals and block ship-to-ship oil transfers.
- Work towards 100% of Scotland's fisheries being certified sustainable with the Marine Stewardship Council blue tick.
- End the dumping of waste at sea.
- New agency dealing with animal-related issues with the authority to co-ordinate policy and ensure implementation and enforcement across government departments.
- Councils to develop animal welfare charters, and employ animal welfare officers.
- Immediate moratorium on the cloning and genetic engineering of all animals pending a wide-ranging review.
- Ban animal snaring.


- Save almost £2bn by scrapping the Aberdeen West Peripheral Route and new Forth road bridge, while repairing the existing one, at a cost of £122m, and tackle roads repair backlog.
- Long-term shift away from investment in extra trunk road capacity, while protecting maintenance of existing road network.
- Comprehensive access to broadband to ease road use by encouraging more home-working.
- Road pricing "will have a role to play" but schemes must be affordable.
- Ensure "active travel" such as walking and cycling to get at least 10% of the transport budget by end of next parliament.
- £75m-a-year to cut fares.
- £650m to fund additional public transport infrastructure, including park-and-ride facilities and opening railway stations.
- Workplace parking charges to support cut-price public transport deals and bike-to-work schemes.
- Promote high-speed rail.
- Develop plans for a non-profit body to bid for the ScotRail franchise.
- Cut the national speed limit to 50mph on single carriageways.
- Consult on greater regulation of bus services, including more powers for the traffic commissioner.
- End airport expansion and oppose the return of any form of aviation subsidy.
- End use of internal UK mainland flights by the Scottish government "except in emergencies" and push for similar policy throughout the public sector.
- Flights to any destination within reach of Eurostar train "should become the exception rather than the norm".


- Reverse the cut to the housing budget and invest in social housing.
- Further restrict the right to buy council homes, ensuring social housing remains available as social housing.
- Bring more empty homes back into use, using a mixture of grants, loans and strengthened legal powers for councils and social landlords to take over properties.
- Enhance regulation of private sector landlords by introducing management standards.
- Programme of investment in flats and tenements, funded by small grants and equity release loans.
- Review planning laws with view to restoring planning's original purpose of achieving development in the public good, rather than economic growth.
- Revisit rights of developers.
- Ensure urban communities can assert a right to buy land and community facilities.


- Oppose the closure of community sports and leisure facilities.
- Community ownership of football clubs on the land reform model.
- Ensure access to diverse, innovative artistic and cultural experiences is protected and promoted.
- Encourage growth of local arts associations.

Human rights

- Open marriage and civil partnership up to mixed-sex and same sex couples.
- Support action plan on human rights.


- An NHS free at the point of use, with no privitisation.
- No serial health service reorganisation.
- Emphasis on primary and community care, provided as locally as possible with support for cottage and community hospitals.
- Back integration of health and social only if change benefits service quality.
- Fund day-care services for older people at the overlap of health and social care.
- Improve hospital food.
- Back minimum alcohol pricing and a strategic plan to reduce smoking.
- Review health visitor services, with the aim of ensuring adequate routine child health checks and general levels of contact with families.
- Increase obesity awareness in schools.
- Develop a national tobacco control strategy, aimed at preventing young people taking up smoking.
- Improve breastfeeding rates.
- Review sexual health strategy, and commit to developing high quality sexual health services and "appropriate" sex education.
- Introduce health impact assessments to the planning system.


- Focus on restorative justice and crime prevention.
- Let prisons concentrate on serious offenders.
- Respect the independence of judicial system but support presumption against very short jail sentences.
- Oppose prison privatisation.
- Improve victim support services.
- Oppose single, national police force for Scotland.
- Increase focus on corporate crime.
- Monitor implementation of recent sexual offences legislation, in particular to ensure historically low levels of rape conviction are improved.
- Consider legislation to protect peaceful protesters from "heavy-handed tactics" such as kettling, bribery and intimidation, or undercover surveillance.
- End blanket ban on giving prisoners right to vote, with the right removed on specific circumstances.
- Modernise environmental regulation and fines.

source:  BBC

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