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Photo: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

This Thursday, people in Northern Ireland will go to the polls to elect a new Assembly. They will have the chance to vote for the policies they believe in, that will see Northern Ireland through the next 5 years. But what are some of the Green policies that people can support with their #1 vote on May 5th?

1. LGBTQ Rights

The Green Party have supported the LGBTQ community extensively over the past 5 years, now standing 22% LGBTQ candidates. The GPNI manifesto includes:

  • The introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland
  • An end to the blood ban for men who’ve had sex with men
  • Accessible, respectful and inclusive healthcare for transgender individuals
  • Updating the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to provide transgender and non-binary people in Northern Ireland with gender recognition processes based on self-declaration

2. #TrustWomen

With the recent prosecutions of women seeking abortions in Northern Ireland, its laws are in bad need of reform, and accordingly, the Green Party is committed to #trustwomen by:

  • Ensuring equality of healthcare services for women including the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland.
  • Promoting parity of pay for women and men and seek publication of rates of pay by gender in public sector and large corporations.

3. Free School Meals

Following on from Steven Agnew’s Children’s Bill being passed into law, Greens continue to seek better services for children. This includes making sure that children don’t go hungry in school by introducing free nutritious school meals for all children in P1-P3.

4. A Living Wage

Living work for living pay! Everybody should get a wage they can afford to live on. As such, the Greens believe in a living wage and call for a properly calculated living wage as outlined by the Living Wage Foundation.

5. End Corporate Food Waste

There is enough food in the world to feed everybody, but among other factors, corporate food waste stops meals going to people who need them most. As has been introduced in other countries, we support a law to make supermarkets donate surplus food to charity and aim to reduce food waste by introducing regulations requiring surplus food from supermarkets to be offered to food banks.

6. Treat Drugs as a Health Issue

The current system of criminalising sufferers of drug addiction is bad for the sufferers and bad for society. Greens support shifting the issue from the area of criminality, and towards health and aim to treat drug addiction as a health problem rather than as a crime.

7. A Green New Deal

A Green plan for jobs in Northern Ireland would see both the introduction of thousands of good jobs, a reduction in fuel poverty, which affects homes in Northern Ireland badly. The Greens will:

  • Campaign for the full implementation of the Green New Deal home energy efficiency scheme, which will create up to 15,000 jobs.
  • Draw together the many diverse funding streams for energy efficiency measures under a one stop Green New Deal model.
  • Meet housing need and tackle homelessness through incentivising the building of 2000 units of energy efficient social housing a year to meet lifelong living needs.

These policies and positions can be found in the GPNI manifesto, along with many others. If the Greens see enough representation in the upcoming Assembly term, the new MLAs will be able to be work to implement these policies. So if you have a vote in Northern Ireland, on May 5th, vote for good policies and give the Greens your #1 preference.

Ashley Jones

About Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones is a student activist and writer based in Belfast, particularly interested in secondary school education and queer recognition. She is currently Chair of Young Greens Northern Ireland.