21 November 2019
Ahead of the General Election on the 12th of December, the Green Party has published its manifesto. We have summarised the most relevant commitments for the youth sector below.
You can find similar summaries for other political parties here.
Youth sector commitments
Shaking up central government
- Empower the Youth Select Committee, currently a learning programme, to scrutinise and hold the government to account like any other Select Committee.
- Introduce a Future Generations Act for England, modelled on the current Act for Wales, building the needs of future generations into every government decision. We will also appoint a Minister for Future Generations to represent young people at the heart of government.
- Give 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote and have a say on their future. We will also allow people to stand for Parliament and all other elected offices from the age of 16, offering support to elected young people so that they can combine their duties with studying. We are proud to march with the inspiring Youth Strike activists against climate chaos and know the passion and wisdom young people can inject into our policies.
- Give fuller voice to regional and national identities, holding a referendum on a Cornish Assembly and increasing the powers of the current National Assembly for Wales.
- Introduce an English Climate Emergency Education Act to support schools to teach young people about the urgency, severity and scientific basis of the climate and environmental crises, and to ensure youth voices are heard on climate issues. We will also enable more outdoor lessons, where children will learn more about nature, animals and the environment, and a new Nature GCSE.
Restoring our nature and countryside
- Create a Nature GCSE to encourage children to value nature, and to grow a whole new generation of naturalists. We will also introduce an English Climate Emergency Education Act to support schools to teach young people about the urgency, severity and scientific basis of the climate and environmental crises, and to ensure youth voices are heard on climate issues.
- Remove the spousal veto so that married trans people can acquire their gender recognition certificate without having to obtain permission from their spouse. We will also change the law so an X gender marker can be added to passports for non-binary and intersex people who wish to use it, and update the Gender Recognition Act to allow trans youth and non-binary people to get legal recognition through self-declaration.
- Invest in youth services and centres, to help turn at-risk children away from crime. All the evidence shows the cuts in youth services have increased crime, especially knife crime. To end knife crime once and for all we need to invest in specialist programmes provided through youth centres.
The Green New Deal for incomes
- We think financial security is a key building block of a good society. No one currently in receipt of benefits will be worse off under UBI – and many will be much better off. Those excluded or overlooked by the current means-tested system will see the biggest benefits. This includes low to medium income families with children, young people and students, and some pensioners. Someone earning the minimum wage and working 37.5 hours a week would see their income increase by 10 to 15% through UBI.
Brexit and a People’s Vote
- We will make staying and fighting for the Europe we want a pathway to change – to a society that is genuinely fair, green and fulfilling. Greens will play a leading role in mobilising a positive pro-European movement that has young people at its heart. We have demonstrated that we are willing to work across party boundaries to resist Brexit, and will continue to do so. We will inspire a vote to remain with a vision of the way membership of the EU can improve all our lives. And whatever happens, we will guarantee the full rights of EU citizens and their families living in the UK, including the right to automatic settled status and ensure there is no rolling back of the rights and protections enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Empowering local government
- Increase central government funding to councils by £10 billion a year. This funding, combined with the local council revenue raising, will enable local government to improve the frontline services they provide and which local people need and want. We will support councils to also use this funding to nurture arts and culture in their areas, keeping local museums, theatres, libraries and art galleries open and thriving.
- Ensure councils can plan with financial certainty by committing to annual, rolling multi-year financial settlements.
- Fund councils to deliver new training and skills for residents, to equip them for jobs.
- Support councils to further democratise their own processes, including introducing more participatory democracy, allowing residents to form panels and assemblies to directly input into council decision making. Introduce participatory budgeting, to enable local citizens to decide how to allocate part of the council budget, through identifying, discussing and prioritising public spending projects, and having real power to decide how money is spent.
- Support councils to extend staying put arrangements, to enable fostered young people to stay with foster parents until they are 21.
- The freedom to let children play, flourish and grow has been replaced with endless testing and measuring. It demoralises teachers and adds yet more pressure on young people. And we have turned further and higher education into a commodity, when it should be a basic right. It’s time to build an education system on the principles that learning must be lifelong, liberating and accessible to all. Education can and should unlock creativity and enable self-expression across all ages.
- Free schools from centrally imposed testing regimes, OFSTED inspections, rigid national curriculum and league tables. Teachers will be trusted to plan their lessons and assess progress according the needs of their pupils, not to meet one-size-fits-all measurements that currently cause huge stress to pupils and teachers alike. Formal education will start at 6 years, to allow young children to develop at their own pace. Those under 6 will remain in early years education, with a focus on play-based learning and access to nature. Sweden has hugely benefited from using a similar system.
- Make sure all children get at least a half-day equivalent of sports in school and encourage both the use of schools sports facilities by the community and participation in regional and national sporting events by our young people.
The New Deal for Tax and Spend
- All the while, small and independent businesses are crying out for reform of the unfair business rates system, and young people face a lifetime of housing insecurity and high prices.
Other General Election resources
As each party releases their manifesto, we will be summarising the most relevant commitments for the youth sector, which you will be able to find here.
Find out why young people having their say is so important in this excellent blog, Will we see a ‘youthquake’ at the next election?, from Harry Crumless, our Communications Officer.
You can also find some useful information on how young people can vote and have heir voices heard here.