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Green Party Promises To End Austerity And Massively Increase Tax On The Wealthy

A source told BuzzFeed News that Green MPs would refuse to help Labour form a government if a Queen's speech included cuts on welfare.

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The Green party pledged to end austerity, introduce massive tax hikes, and end cuts to welfare at the party's manifesto launch in Dalston on Tuesday morning.

A source even told BuzzFeed News that any elected Green MPs would refuse to help Labour form a government if Ed Miliband's party proposed cuts on welfare.

The Greens said they would increase government spending by £177 billion a year by 2020.

This would be spent on measures including an extra £12 billion on the NHS, £35 billion on "renewable generation", £9 billion on free social care for the elderly, and £4.5 billion on scrapping tuition fees.

In its manifesto, the party says it would also increase the health budget by £12 billion each year and allocate an extra £4.5 billion towards the social housing budget in order to help councils to build an extra 500,000 social rented homes.

The party also pledged to end a major £15 billion road building programme.

This is because we have hit "peak car", according to Bennett, and young people prefer to use social media such as Twitter and Facebook on their commute. The party would, however, continue to repair potholes.

Instead, this money would be invested towards reducing fares on public transport by 10%. The party would also renationalise railways, a move it says would lead to the government saving £1 billion a year.

One of the party's key announcements was that it would provide insulation to 9 million homes around the country.

Caroline Lucas, the former party leader, said: "It is nonsense to say that we could spend millions on roads or HS2 [a proposed high-speed rail link between London and Manchester], but we can't afford to keep people warm in their own homes."

She added: "That is the permanent way to keep down people's energy bills, not like Labour's measure to freeze energy bills."

Brian Heatley, a co-author of the Green manifesto, suggested that certain measures could lead to an end to growth in certain areas. "You could look at the manifesto and argue in both directions" of growth, he told a group of journalists after the event.

Industries like aviation would be unlikely to grow under the Greens, he said, as part of the party's vision to see greenhouse gas emissions in the UK reduced by 90% from 1990 levels by 2030. However, areas like renewable energy and insulation would see large growth, he added.

In particular, the Greens would hope to raise up to £20 billion a year by 2020 through a "Robin Hood" tax on financial transactions and a wealth tax on the richest 1%, who have a wealth of higher than £3 billion.

Heatley admitted the Greens' figures could change if some of the wealthiest in Britain moved abroad as a result of the new taxes.

The party would also crack down aggressively on tax avoidance by hiring more staff at HMRC, with the hope of raising £30 billion a year.

Other taxes include introducing fuel duty and VAT on aviation, which the party said would raise £16 billion a year by 2010.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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