In the lead-up to the General Election 2017, Impact Magazine sat down with representatives from the four political societies at the University of Nottingham: The Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Greens. From The Green Party, we spoke to Tiago Costa, President of the Young Greens.
What is the Green Party stance on tuition fees?
TC: “The Green Party has a longstanding policy of scrapping tuition fees in order to guarantee every person in the UK has the right to a quality education should they wish to pursue it.
“The party very much welcomes Labour’s new stance on tuition fees and will work with them and any others that are passionate about making education a right and not a privilege.”
Outside of this, what specific policies will be put in place to help those aged between 18-25?
TC: “As an environmentalist party, the Greens advocate for a strong environmental policy that will ensure our and future generations a society with clean air and water, a sustainable economy, and clean energy.
“We advocate for a fairer voting system that young people can participate and contribute by giving 16 and 17 year-olds the opportunity to vote and make their voices heard.”
“It’s up to young voters to make sure the path the country will follow for the next generation reflects their thinking”
For any young voters who may not have considered voting for the Green Party, what do you say to them?
TC: “We see this election as one of the most important ones in recent years. The UK is facing unprecedented circumstances in its history and it’s up to young voters to make sure the path the country will follow for the next generation reflects their thinking.
“The Green Party thinks this path is one of making sure everyone is able to live in a fair society where workers have their rights protected from precarious contracts and working conditions, a society where education is for all, regardless of class or wealth, a society that takes care of the environment in a sustainable way, a society where public services ensure no one is left waiting for hours with a critical condition in A&E.
“If this is the kind of society where you would like to live then the Green Party is the one that will carry your voice in this election.”
In terms of economic stability for people of our age, is there any other policies that you believe are vital?
TC: “The party has also pledge to scrap age-related wage bands, which put young people at an unfair disadvantage, and raising the national minimum wage to match the living standard. We also believe it is important to tackle the overwhelming reality of zero-hour contracts and the impact it has on preventing young people from gaining independence.
“It is also critical to address the difficulty young people feel in accessing the housing market through the reintroduction of housing benefits to below-21s and scrapping the injustice of the bedroom tax.”
How does the Green Party desire the Brexit process to be handled?
TC: “Our stance on Brexit is one that many young people are keen on which is being able to travel, work, live, and study in the EU. The party vows to fight for a Brexit that benefits the people, including a deal that includes the right to freedom of movement, and maintaining many workers and consumers right and environmental protections that would the transformed into UK law and put before parliament.”
Why do you think that typical voter turnout among 18-25 year olds is so low?
TC: “We think young people are disillusioned with politics as usual. They see successive governments that don’t reflect their views and don’t work towards tackling their needs. The party believes a big party of this problem is born out of the unfair voting system in the UK. We advocate for a proportional voting system where all voices are heard and all votes matter.
“Actually elect MPs that will fight for their interests in Westminster and a government that will improve their lives”
“Ending the reality of safe party-seats is crucial if we want all people to gain interest in politics, feel their voices matter, and actually elect MPs that will fight for their interests in Westminster and a government that will improve their lives.”
What do you think the General Election result will be?
TC: “This election we hope people will go out and vote towards a better Britain. The successive conservative governments have pushed an agenda of cruel and unfair cuts and we need to bring an end to this austerity. Let’s leave the predictions to the polls and the experts.
“For now, the campaign for a fairer and more equal UK continues and in June 8th the British people will cast their votes. We think the UK has had enough of austerity and cuts and wish to see a government in place on June 9th that will bring about much needed change.”
Featured Image: Young Greens.