Greens target free public transport

Harvie PatrickThe Scottish Greens have launched their manifesto for December’s snap election with a target of phasing in free public transport and a four-day working week.

The party’s platform is focused chiefly on tackling the “climate emergency” and building a “more sustainable economy”.

The Greens also want to set up regional banks and nationalise transport firms, energy companies and the national grid.

Co-leader, Dumbarton-born Patrick Harvie, right,  said the “clearest way to demand climate action” was to vote Green on 12 December.

The Scottish Greens Party candidate in West Dunbartonshire is Bearsden man Peter Connolly, who has been keeping a low profile thus far.

Mr Connolly, pictured below left, said:  “As a father and grandfather, I am truly terrified of the future we are creating for our children and grandchildren. Only the Greens are taking the climate crisis seriously.

“The Scottish Green New Deal is a plan of action that can be taken now to avert the climate crisis and create thousands of well-paid jobs. We can build a more just, sustainable and prosperous nation.

Connolly Peter Greens“I am standing in this election for the sake of all our children and grandchildren. We need immediate climate action through the Scottish Green New Deal. The loudest and clearest way to demand climate action is to vote Scottish Green on December 12”.

The party is standing candidates in 22 constituencies around Scotland, up from three in the 2017 election.

  • At-a-glance: Scottish Greens manifesto
  • Scottish Greens say climate ‘most pressing’ issue

The Scottish Green manifesto sets out the terms of a “Green New Deal” which the party says is needed to “invest in our future and tackle the climate emergency”.

They say this could create more than 200,000 “good quality, secure” jobs in Scotland under a new economic system, which would include a four-day working week and a Universal Basic Income – a monthly payment to everyone which would meet their basic needs and enable them to “choose their own types and patterns of work”.The manifesto endorses a “global move away from fossil fuel use”, with more government investment in renewable energy and the national grid being taken into public ownership.

The Greens also want to “redirect funding way from car-centred schemes” to “transform our transport network”, with a publicly-owned rail service and improved provision for cycling and walking in cities.

The party has an immediate aim of free bus travel for those under 21, and a long-term goal of free public transport for all.

Policies in areas like transport are devolved to Holyrood, and so would be decisions for the Scottish government rather than for the MPs being elected in December.

On the constitutional issues, the Greens oppose Brexit and support Scottish independence – calling for a new independence referendum before the end of the UK’s transition period in leaving the EU.

Co-leader Lorna Slater said: “Our Scottish Green New Deal reports have revealed the urgent action the Scottish government could do now to tackle the climate emergency, to secure thousands of jobs, an integrated public transport system and warm homes for all.

“But with the powers held by Westminster, we could do so much more. This election is an opportunity to push for a written constitution and citizen’s assemblies, but as an independent European country, Scotland could be an agile leader in the global effort to tackle the climate emergency.”

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