Tagged: tax on bankers’ bonuses

Green Party is set to stand candidates across the North East for the first time

The Green Party is set to field more than three times as many candidates in the North East as in 2010, in a further sign that the smaller parties could play a key role in the general election.

And the party has turned to an “crowdfunding” website where supporters, or anyone who want to help, are urged to contribute small sums of money to help pay the cost of deposits.

One candidate is even offering donors rewards such as a sketch or a personalised poem if they help to fund his campaign.

It follows the success of the Greens in winning support from one in 20 voters in the region in the European elections last year, placing them almost level with the Liberal Democrats.

The party had just ten candidates in the region in 2010.

But it expects to have candidates in 25 seats on May 7.

However, standing for election can be an expensive business – particularly for a party without funding from big businesses or trade unions.

To help raise the £500 deposit which every candidate needs, the Greens have turned to a website called crowdfunder.co.uk which allows anybody to contribute sums, typically of £5 or more, to a cause.

In return, donors will receive a reward which varies from candidate to candidate.

Michael Holt, who hopes to be the Green Party candidate for Hartlepool, is offering to draw a sketch for backers who donate £5, write a personalised poem for £10 or record a song, on the subject of the donor’s choosing, for £30.

Other candidates are offering more conventional rewards. Donors backing the campaign of prospective Tynemouth candidate Julia Erskine can receive a badge or a mug.

The fundraising has a serious purpose – to allow the Greens to take part in May’s General Election in a way that hasn’t happened before.

It comes amid speculation that the traditional three parties – Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – could lose ground to parties such as UKIP, the Greens and, in Scotland, the SNP.

One opinion poll published this week found that Labour had 27 per cent of the vote in the North of England while Conservatives were on 22 per cent, UKIP on 14 per cent, Greens on seven percent and Lib Dems on four per cent.

The North East has not traditionally been the most fertile ground for the Greens, who have one MP, representing Brighton Pavilion.

Brighton and Hove Council is also the only council controlled by the Greens, as a minority administration. London, the south east and south west each have one Green MEP.

But the party believes it could pick up support in the North East and is campaigning on a series of local issues across the region. In Northumberland they are opposing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and they are also working with residents concerned about planned open cast mining at Druridge Bay.

Greens in Newcastle and Gateshead are campaigning to protect the green belt. Greens have also opposed the closure of the Jarrow NHS walk-in centre in South Tyneside.

Shirley Ford, North East organiser for the Greens and the party’s organiser in South Shields, said:

“The party has pledged to stand in at least 75% of constituencies and we are determined to exceed that in the North East. We really want to give everyone the chance to vote Green in the General Election. The way our membership and supporter numbers are rocketing, we are optimistic that we will be able to do that.”

“With local parties right across the region blossoming, we are confident we can raise all the deposits and funds for campaigning.

“And one key way we are doing this is by crowdfunding, with some local parties having already fully funded their candidates’ deposits. We rely on the commitment and dedication of our members and supporters to raise the money we need.”

What they stand for:

In line with the other parties, the Green Party has not yet published its General Election manifesto. The party says that its manifesto published last year for the European Elections provides a good guide to what it believes.

Policies include:

  • Opposing austerity and instead creating jobs by investing in a low carbon economy
  • Scrapping the welfare cap
  • A new tax on bankers bonuses
  • Stopping the “privatisation” of the National Health Service
  • Bringing schools such as academies and free schools back under local authority control
  • Bringing rail franchises back into public ownership
  • Scrapping the high speed rail line known as HS2

> The Green surge in the North East is interesting because formerly UKIP were claiming to be the alternative vote in the region for disillusioned Labour voters.

I suspect that the Greens are now becoming the alternative to UKIP being the alternative (if that makes sense). Certainly you’d like to hope that any ex-Labour or Lib Dems with principles would vote Green rather than UKIP and its pathetic policies.

Source –  Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 14 Feb 2015

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Labour plans – same old stick, still no carrot

This article was written by Nicholas Watt, for The Guardian on Monday 10th March 2014

Every young person who has been unemployed for more than a year will lose their benefits if they decline to accept a guaranteed “starter job”, Labour will pledge in its manifesto for the general election next year.

> A preview of some of the new jargon we can expect in the future – starter job.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, will say on Monday that Labour will move to end the plight of “young people stuck on the dole” when he says that the party’s compulsory jobs guarantee, to be funded by a tax on bankers’ bonuses, will last the whole parliament.

The scheme, which will fund paid work with training for six months for those aged under 25 who have been out of work for more than a year, will also be paid for by cutting pensions tax relief for people earning over £150,000 to the same rate as basic rate taxpayers. Claimants will lose their benefits if they do not accept the jobs. The scheme will also apply to those aged 25 or over who have been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for two years or more.

> So, workfare by any other name ? Six-month starter jobs stacking shelves in Poundland ?

Labour launched its compulsory jobs guarantee last year. Balls believes the pledge will be a key element of Labour’s general election campaign by showing that the party is prepared to tax the rich to help provide work for people in danger of becoming Neets – not in employment, education or training.

Balls will say during a visit to a building project in south London which employs and trains young people: “It’s shocking that the number of young people stuck on the dole for more than a year has doubled under David Cameron. For tens of thousands of young people who cannot find work this is no recovery at all.”

The shadow chancellor will add: “We’ve got to put this right. So if Labour wins the next election we will get young people and the long-term unemployed off benefits and into work.

“The government will work with employers to help fund paid work with training for six months. It will mean paid starter jobs for over 50,000 young people who have been left on the dole for over a year by this government.

“But it will be a tough contract – those who can work will be required to take up the jobs on offer or lose their benefits. A life on benefits will simply not be an option.

> Here we go… get tough on the unemployed, no more something for nothing, they’re all lazy bastards, etc… which party does he represent ? It’s so hard to tell the difference nowadays.

“After the global banking crisis and with bank bonuses soaring again this year, it’s fair to pay for our jobs plan with a repeat of Labour’s tax on bank bonuses. We need a recovery for the many, not just a few at the top.

“As a country we simply cannot afford to be wasting the talents of thousands of young people and leaving them stuck on the dole for years on end. It’s bad for them, it’s bad for our economy and it’s bad for taxpayers who have to pay the bill.”

> Well, there we are – if you’re unemployed you can vote for the party with the stick but no carrot, or alternatively for the party with the stick but no carrot.

Six months workfare or six months starter job.

Source – Welfare News Network

http://welfarenewsservice.com/labour-tax-bonuses-fund-jobs-young-people/