With the Conservatives and Labour both outlining their policies this week, the Green’s General Election Manifesto has pledged to ‘fund local government properly’ with a £10bn yearly rise in town hall budgets for ‘restoring’ services and creating over 200,000 jobs.
Councils would be allowed to launch new local levies – such as a tourist or empty homes tax – and keep all of locally collected sums from income tax and VAT if the Greens take power in May.
Town halls would also be freed from undertaking a council tax referendum on any rises ‘provided they are more progressive’.
Measures outlined by the party include abolishing the City of London Corporation and creating an Assembly for Cornwall with similar powers to Wales.
The party has committed to go about ‘reviving local democracy’ and see that ‘nothing should be decided at a central level that can be decided at a local level’.
The manifesto also pledges to restrict the ability of the communities secretary to call in planning applications, scrap the National Planning Policy Framework and its presumption in favour of economic development and restrict the rights of residents to appeal planning decisions.
It also outlines how the party would force local authorities to set out a local carbon plan that details how a region will meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Launching the document in east London, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett also outlined plans to end national austerity and tackle climate change.
‘Austerity has failed and we need a peaceful political revolution to get rid of it,’ Bennett said.
‘Our manifesto is an unashamedly bold plan to create a more equal, more democratic society while healing the planet from the effects of an unstable, unsustainable economy.
‘This manifesto presents the Green Party’s genuine alternative to our tired, business-as-usual politics. We desperately need a more equal society and the policies we announce today pave the way towards a brighter, fairer future for all.’