Tories ‘Ruthlessly Targeting The Poor And Vulnerable’, Say Greens

Green Party Media Release:

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s plans for a two year benefits freeze will once again penalise the most vulnerable in our society, says the Green Party, the only Westminster party committed to transforming the economy so that it works for the common good, not just the 1%.

Reacting to Osborne’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference today (September 29th), in which the Chancellor said a future Conservative government would freeze benefits paid to people of working age for two years, Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, said:

“It is obvious our current economic model, as inexplicably praised by the Chancellor today, has failed. Tackling the deficit by ruthlessly targeting the poor and vulnerable is not what constitutes an economic recovery.

“We should acknowledge that we are a wealthy economy that can afford to pay decent benefits to everyone who needs them, as a decent, humane society should. That must be paid for by rich individuals and multinational companies paying their way – something that this government has notably failed to enforce.”

Responding to news that a future Conservative government would freeze working-age benefits and make further public spending cuts of £25bn, Molly Scott Cato MEP said:

“Public debt is greater now than when the Tories came to office, demonstrating that public spending and welfare cuts have failed spectacularly in tackling the deficit. The truth is, austerity provides an excuse to punish the poorest in society, which is not only morally indefensible, it is also a false economy.

“Policies like the bedroom tax just push more people into the private rented sector which then costs the public more in housing benefit. Likewise, the increasing levels of poverty and inequality under the Coalition government impact on health and so pile more costs onto the health service. Greens believe in positive alternatives to austerity that would tackle the misery of poverty and address inequality; policies such as a citizens income, rent controls and a massive home insulation programme.”

Since the May 22 European elections, the Green Party has announced a string of progressive economic policies, which would deliver real change for the common good.

The Green Party’s 2015 General Election manifesto will include a Wealth Tax, and plans to deliver a £10 minimum wage for all by 2020, a Living Wage for all immediately, and a People’s Constitutional Convention to deliver meaningful constitutional and electoral reform.

The latest YouGov results for the Sunday Times have the Greens and Liberal Democrats both at 6% in voting intention.