Green Party co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley want healthcare publicly provided and funded ©PA Wire/PA Images
Green Party co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley want healthcare publicly provided and funded ©PA Wire/PA Images

Greens pledge to roll back NHS outsourcing

The Green Party has promised to reduce private sector involvement in the NHS as part of its election manifesto.

Speaking before the manifesto’s launch today, the party’s co-leader Jonathan Bartley said contracted services were “sucking money out of the system”.

Bartley told the BBC’s Today programme: “We have private companies... making money out of our health needs and taking that money out of the system. We’ll never see that coming back in once it’s gone from the system.”

He said the health service was paying over the odds with private finance initiatives and that the internal NHS market had proved to be inefficient and bureaucratic.

The manifesto, which had other headline policies including a referendum on the Brexit deal and the cancellation of all student debt, also included a number of environmental pledges.

In the document the party said it would levy a one-off fine on car manufacturers who cheated in emissions testing, expand clean air zones and give local authorities more powers to control air pollution. The party also said it would take diesel cars off roads with a scrappage scheme and an increase in vehicle excise duties.

The Greens said they would support onshore wind, stop fracking and cancel the contracts for Hinkley Point C. They would also cancel any airport expansion.

In other manifestos, the Conservative Party emphasised prompt payments and said it would not let late payers bid for government contracts, while the Labour Party said it would use government procurement to support British Steel. The Liberal Democrats said they would use central government procurement as a tool of local growth and community development.

The general election takes place on 8 June.

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