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by Niall Christie
THE Greens announced plans for Scotland’s “just transition” to a greener economy in their election manifesto today, including a jobs guarantee for all fossil fuel workers and wealth taxes on the country’s richest 10 per cent.
Party co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie laid out proposals ahead of May’s Holyrood election putting Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic at the top of their agenda.
The manifesto, titled Our Common Future, includes plans for a windfall tax on companies that have made a profit during the pandemic.
A millionaires’ tax, set at 1 per cent and charged against all wealth and assets above a £1 million threshold, was also announced, covering the wealthiest 10 per cent in society.
Mr Harvie said these new taxes would be “crucial, both to fund our aspirations for stronger and better public services and to build a more equal Scotland.”
He insisted that “taxing wealth properly is now more urgent than ever before.”
The party’s just transition plan for Scotland’s energy sector includes a commitment to expanding the country’s jobs guarantee scheme to all under-30s and fossil fuel workers, with the aim of providing new roles and training in greener and more sustainable sectors.
As well as a “new deal for workers,” which includes a significant number of policies backed by the STUC and Unite Hospitality, the manifesto includes commitments to back rent controls and other radical housing policies supported by organisations such as tenants’ union Living Rent.
The Greens are also backing plans for a public-sector and charity bid for asylum-housing contracts “with the intention of ending private-sector involvement and profiteering in the process.”
The party also pledges to recruit an extra 5,500 teachers for Scotland’s schools, which the party says would help cut class sizes to a maximum of 20 and allow teachers to spend just 20 hours a week in the classroom.
Overall, the Greens claim over 100,000 jobs could be created through their policies in Scotland alone.
Ms Slater said: “It is a programme of change because in the face of climate emergency and the economic fallout of the pandemic, we need change.
“It is bold. But it is also the minimum Scotland needs to do to keep up with the rest of the world, to emerge from this pandemic and help lead the global transition to a zero-carbon society.”
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