“The Green Party’s manifesto is a progressive pitch to electors promising a radical overhaul of post-16 education by scrapping tuition fees, cancelling student debt for those who paid £9,000, increasing funding for adult education and raising the rate for 16-17-year-olds. They have promised a large increase in funding for the NHS and an investment in nursing students, with the reinstatement of nursing bursaries, that would help to protect the NHS workforce and address the mental health crisis.
The Green New Deal that they propose is a solid commitment to tackle the climate emergency and they recognise the need to replace the racist and Islamophobic Prevent Duty. Plans to extend the franchise to all 16-year-olds are essential to increase participation in democracy. Increasing the living wage to £12 and extending this to 16-year-olds is a major step but the party needs to confirm whether this will apply to apprentices.
It is positive to see the Green Party advocate a People’s Vote as the only way to resolve the Brexit dilemma and commit to reforming the inadequate immigration system by removing minimum income restrictions for visas. Although it is very disappointing not to see a commitment to reintroduce 2-year post-study work visas included in this ‘humane’ immigration system.
Crucially they have not taken any actions to address a major concern of students – basic maintenance support whilst in education. To not restore maintenance grants across further and higher education and to not tackle the spiralling cost of student accommodation will leave students out of pocket when they are studying and only increase the inaccessibility of higher education for many.”