Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Green Party economic plan a pipe dream-Channel 4's factcheck

Natalie Bennet's "Excruciating" interview on LBC yesterday was not the only thing that has gone horribly wrong for the Green Party. Today, Channel 4's fact checking service checked some of the claims made by the Green Party, which don't appear to hold up to scrutiny. Here are some of the key points:

  • The Green Party claims that the top 1% own 18% of the UK's wealth. However, official statistics, with offshore accounts factored in, suggests that it is just 12.5%.
  • The OFS did a simulation of how the Greens' proposed "Wealth tax" would turn out. It turns out that it would bring in only around £7 Billion, much less than the Greens say it will. In France, a similar wealth tax raised just €4 Billion last year.
  • Dr Malcolm Torry, an academic whom the Greens seem to have based their universal basic income policy from, originally published a fully costed (Or so it was thought) version of how it would work. However, after major flaws in his calculations, he was forced to adjust it, so now it would cost the taxpayer an additional £24 Billion per year, and other benefits would also have to be kept in place.
The final point may be why the Greens appear to have quietly sidelined the UBI policy. A Green Party source told channel 4 today that the policy was merely "A long-term aspiration", and that the party would not be pushing for it if it got into government.

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