Election Diary: Print money to give to people, say Greens

North down MLA and Green Party leader Steven Agnew
North down MLA and Green Party leader Steven Agnew

The Green Party has called for a “bailout for the people”, with money being printed and given to the public — rather than to banks.

The party, which launched its manifesto in Belfast yesterday, said that “there appears to be no technical reason why the government could not also provide quantitative easing for the people, rather than the banks, to inject funds into our local economies where the need is greatest”.

The environmental party’s manifesto largely reflects its left-wing economic policies and its liberal social stances.

The party, which is avowedly nonviolent, said that “we cannot weaponise our way to security”.

It wants to see Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles scrapped and proposes to replace “our outdated nuclear-era defence policy with a comprehensive policy of addressing and dismantling the conditions of instability and violence at source”.

The manifesto also calls for the scrapping of a major — but it says undemocratic — EU-US trade treaty.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP), being negotiated between the US government and the European Commission, would help to remove barriers to trade between the EU and the US.

The Greens condemned “undemocratic deals such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” which it said “is designed to restrict the power of democratically elected governments in favour of corporations”.

The party also said that would oppose a “race to the bottom” by cutting corporation tax in a bid to lure investors.

Elliott says his rival is getting ‘desperate’

Tom Elliott has claimed that comments by Michelle Gildernew which leave open the possibility of Sinn Fein MPs taking their seats one day are an indication of “desperation”.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone agreed unionist candidate was responding to his Sinn Fein rival’s interview with the Fermanagh Herald.

Mrs Gildernew told the newspaper that the circumstances are not now right for her to take her Commons seat if she wins on May 7, but added “never say never”.

Mr Elliott said: “It is quite clear that Michelle Gildernew is so concerned at the prospect of losing her Westminster seat that she is prepared to hint at ditching 
the only policy which Sinn Fein has to offer in a Westminster election — abstentionism.”

Hustings events

l South Belfast: MS Resource Centre on Annadale Avenue, April 17, 12.30pm; questions to South Belfast candidates from local people with MS.

l South Belfast: Taughmonagh Social Club, April 21. DUP, UUP and Ukip candidates invited, Pete Shirlow as chair (organiser: South Belfast UPRG).

l Lagan Valley: Legacurry Presbyterian Church, April 22, 7.30pm (Evangelical Alliance/CARE).

l North Down: First Holywood Presbyterian Church, April 23, 7.30pm (EA/CARE).

l North Antrim: High Kirk Presbyterian Church, Ballymena, April 28, 7.30pm (EA/CARE).

l South Belfast: Windsor Baptist Church, April 30, 7.30pm (EA/CARE).

(The Magee campus event advertised in this column has been cancelled)