Zack Polanski speaking to Green Party volunteers

The Green Party of England and Wales released its general election manifesto earlier in the campaign. Bright Green has already taken a look at some of the most eye-catching policies in it. But there were too many for one article. So here’s 10 more game-changing policies in the Green Party’s manifesto.

1. Abolishing tuition fees

The Green Party’s manifesto has a comprehensive policy offer on education. One of the most significant interventions the party is proposing is to abolish tuition fees for undergraduate students. Alongside the party’s promise to restore maintenance grants, this would go some way to ridding the higher education system of a model whereby students graduate with eye-watering levels of debt.

2. Repealing anti-union laws

The UK has some of the strictest anti-union laws in the Global North, with successive governments since the 1980s introducing more and more restrictions on workers’ right to organise. These include threshold requirements in strike ballots, minimum service requirements and the ban on sympathy strikes. The Green Party has said it would repeal the existing anti-union legislation and replace these with a positive ‘Charter of Workers’ Rights’.

3. Allowing local authorities to run their own bus services

Margaret Thatcher deregulated buses in the 1980s, leading to many local authority run bus services being privatised. Since, thousands of routes have been cut from the bus network. Local councils are now explicitly prohibited from being allowed to establish their own municipal bus companies. The Green Party is proposing to overhaul this mess, to bring buses back under the control of local authorities and allow councils to run bus services directly themselves.

4. Banning domestic flights

As part of the party’s suite of policies designed to reduce carbon emissions, the Greens are proposing to initiate a ban on domestic flights. The ban would apply to any journeys that would take less than three hours by train.

5. Setting aside 30% of land and sea back to nature

Recognising that only 5% of land in the UK currently qualifies as being effectively protected from nature, the Greens are proposing to set aside 30% of the land and sea in the UK to nature in order to “bring nature back to life and restore valuable habitats”. The Green Party is proposing to do this through grants to landowners to return land to nature, investment in urban tree planting schemes and re-wetting all peatland.

6. Introducing proportional representation for parliamentary and council elections

The Green Party has long been critical of the poor state of democracy in the UK. Central to the party’s critique is that the current first past the post system for electing MPs and Councillors is undemocratic as it allows people to be elected without securing the support of the majority of the electorate, creates distorted majorities in parliament and council chambers, and that it pushes people to vote for the ‘least worst’ option, rather than for what they believe in. As such, the Greens are proposing to replace the current system with a proportional one so that the votes cast for each party in an election are reflected in the number of seats those party hold.

7. Abolishing the House of Lords

In a similar vein got their critique of the voting system, the Greens have consistently opposed the unelected House of Lords. In its 2024 general election manifesto, the Green Party is proposing to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with a fully elected upper chamber.

8. Establishing a Parliamentary Commission to address reparations for slavery

The Green Party’s manifesto has an extensive section on international issues, setting out in particular how the party would want to reshape British foreign policy towards one of global solidarity. One element of this is the party’s commitment to establishing a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice in order to address reparations for the global inequalities caused by slavery.

9. Ending custodial sentences of under two years

“Prison is a demonstrably ineffective way of reducing reoffending: evidence shows that short prison sentences are especially ineffective and lead to higher rates of recidivism.” That quote sits within the section of the Green Party’s manifesto on crime and justice. In light of that, the Greens say they would legislate for a presumption against custodial sentences under two years.

10. Introducing free school meals for all children

As part of the Greens’ proposals to address food poverty, the party is proposing to overhaul the system of free school meals. Rather than maintaining the current system of means testing, the Green Party is proposing to roll out a new scheme where every child receives a daily free school meal.

Image credit: Rob Browne – Creative Commons