In part five of our general election special, we look at the Green party pension promises
Earlier this month, Ofcom ruled that the Green party is not a “major party”. It is therefore suprising that the latest Ashcroft poll data shows the the party is hot on the tail of UKIP (who Ofcom have put in the majors).
Admittedly this poll is an outlier, with others showing Green support at anything from 3% to 8%, but what is clear is that the Green party may have some part to play in a coaliton if neither main party reaches a majority.
What to expect
The party’s 2014 mini-manifesto makes absolutely no reference to pensions whatsoever, suggesting it will not be a key platform in the coming elections.
However, both the European MEP manifesto and the UK 2010 election manifesto make some references to pensions, which shed light on Green party thinking.
1. State pensions
At a UK level, the Green Party has stated that it supports an increase in the basic state pension and the phasing in of a “citizens’ pension, payable to all”.
The MEP manifesto states they will push the EU to stop encouraging blanket increases in the retirement age, saying “if people want to work, they shouldn’t be forced to stop, but no one should be made to continue to work after pensionable age.”
2. Social Responsible Investment
The party has long campaigned for measures to “stop pension funds investing in the industries of the past, such as fossil fuels, the arms trade and other unsustainable industries which will by necessity be phased out in coming years.”
The policy website takes this a step further, stating “employees should have a majority stake in the management of their companies’ pension funds, to decentralise and democratise investment decision-making and to give it a social and ethical dimension.”
David Cameron is currently pushing hard for the Greens to be involved in the televised debates in the run up to the election (with a view to splitting the left), so we can only hope that the party will have better developed pensions policies by then.
Beyond a focus on ethical investments, it would be good to have an indication of where the party stands on core pensions issues like tax, auto-enrolment and the ‘triple lock’.