Personal Pension  

Greens call for revolutionary ‘citizen’s pension’

Greens call for revolutionary ‘citizen’s pension’

The Green Party has pledged to introduce a ‘citizen’s pension’ of £180 a week paid regardless of contribution record by next year, in a manifesto ahead of next month’s election.

Its manifesto, published today (14 March), estimated the cost of the new pensions at £116bn, while the existing state pension and pension credits cost £90bn a year, giving a net cost of £26bn.

This would be funded by reducing tax and national insurance incentives for private pensions by one half, raising an estimated £20bn, plus a further £6bn by abolishing the national insurance upper threshold.

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A lack of any breakthrough for major parties is increasing focus on smaller parties’ pledges, as a potential coalition after the next election could require the majority party to make concessions to minor partners in return for propping up a government.

The Green’s manifesto promised a “peaceful political revolution”, which would also see the introduction of a financial transaction or ‘Robin Hood’ tax, in addition to controls on bank lending.

There were also plans to introduce a wealth tax of 2 per cent a year on the top 1 per cent, in order to raise £25bn per year, while the additional top rate of income tax would also be increased to 60 per cent along with corporation tax from 20 to 30 per cent, to raise £12bn per year.

In terms of housing, the Greens promised to give the Bank of England the powers it has requested to curb excesses in the housing market, which is currently under consultation.

It would also scrap the government’s Help to Buy scheme, saving £600m a year, and committed to building 500,000 new social rental homes.

Caroline Lucas, the party’s former leader and only ever MP, stated they would also back a free nationwide insulation programme to tackle cold homes, specifically in areas blighted by fuel poverty, helping 2m children.

She accused the government of a “a woeful record on energy insulation”, with the installation of energy-efficient measures in UK homes falling by 80 per cent over the last two years.

peter.walker@ft.com