Green Party candidate for Wellingborough & Rushden pitches as "not just another career politician"

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Paul Mannion is the Green Party candidate for the Wellingborough & Rushden constituency the General Election on July 4th. He has pledged to only take the East Midlands average wage if elected and campaign to prioritise investment in Wellingborough & Rushden to create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and bring down energy bills.

This is a contributed party political press release. This website and its associated newspapers support no political party and it does not necessarily reflect our views. We consider contributed releases from all lawful parties as part of the vibrant debate in the run-up to the General Election and would encourage all candidates to use this platform to positively explain their vision and policies for their local communities.

“I am openly standing in this general election on not being a professional politician. Instead, I’ve worked in ordinary blue and white-collar roles for my whole life, but I’ve also run my own small business. This is in stark contrast to most politicians these days who never seem to have run anything before, have never created any jobs or have ever done anything at the coal face[1].

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On this basis, I am also pledging that if elected I would only take the average East Midlands salary of £33,280 rather than the full MP salary of £91,346. That salary puts MPs in the top 5% of earners in the country[2]. Additionally, beyond this, many MPs supplement their income with high-paying second jobs, earning substantial amounts. As one example, David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham and Shadow Foreign Secretary, has earned substantial additional income from his work outside Parliament. According to the MPs' Register of Interests, Lammy has earned over £200,000 from broadcasting, public speaking, and writing since 2019[3]. He is also, like a disproportionate number of MPs compared to the country at large, a private landlord[4].

Time for a fairer greener Wellingborough and fairer greener country.Time for a fairer greener Wellingborough and fairer greener country.
Time for a fairer greener Wellingborough and fairer greener country.

In contrast, if elected, I plan to be at Westminster to serve you - not corporate shareholders or the country's wealthiest individuals or indeed myself. As a representative of somewhere like Wellingborough and Rushden, I believe it is crucial that my income aligns more closely with that of the people in my constituency. The difference in my salary will be used to fund various charitable and mutual aid projects in the constituency.

What is to be done?

I have 5 campaigning priorities for Wellingborough and Rushden. The first is around the existential threat to all humanity of climate change. Climate change impacts are already being seen in UK, particularly in the shape of more extreme weather events[5]. While addressing climate change may seem costly initially, the long-term benefits far outweigh these expenses. Investing in renewable energy, for example, not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but can also create well paying jobs. Consider also the transition to solar power: though it requires substantial upfront investment, it leads to lower energy costs and a more sustainable environment in the long run.

Secondly, I will be focusing on investment. Public investment in the UK has lagged behind comparable economies for decades. Since 1995, the UK has tended to have the lowest level of investment as a percentage of national income in the G7[6]. We can all see the result of this in our towns and villages in Wellingborough and Rushden. Significant public investment is urgently needed to modernise and repair our roads, public transport, healthcare, and education. And, to invest in the productive green economy of the future. Only the Green Party is standing for this sort of large-scale investment in our country.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Green Party Candidate Paul Mannion in his sub-Post OfficeGreen Party Candidate Paul Mannion in his sub-Post Office
Green Party Candidate Paul Mannion in his sub-Post Office

Thirdly, we need housing reform to bring down rents in the exorbitant rental market and provide more security for renters. The Green Party advocates for the construction of hundreds and thousands of new zero-carbon social homes annually to address the housing crisis and environmental concerns. This would in addition to what the private sector will produce. In contrast the two main parties who want to “leave to the market” in this area - when that approach is exactly what got us into the housing crisis. We also support the retrofitting of existing homes to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, and lower energy bills. Additionally, we are calling for abolition of the Right to Buy scheme to preserve social housing stock.

Fourthly, reversing the failed privatised model in the natural monopolies and the NHS. Reversing the privatisation of water, rail, buses, energy, and the NHS is essential due to the now clear cut failures of privatisation in these areas. Take the water industry, since privatisation in 1989 the private water firms have paid £85.2 million in dividends to shareholders and taken on £60 million debt[7]. Meanwhile despite the huge surge in population in the last period no new reservoirs have been built since 1992. It is absurd that Labour have said it would be too costly to bring water back into public ownership. The opposite is true. Leaving water in private hands will mean limited investment and higher bills.

Finally, it is time for democratic reform to create a fairer and more representative political system. The Green Party advocates for increased direct democracy, empowering citizens to have a more active role in decision-making processes. We propose the introduction of citizens' assemblies and referenda on key issues, providing platforms for public deliberation and input. The right of recall should be extended so it is possible to recall an MP in any circumstances - not just the ones Peter Bone found himself in! The principle of subsidiarity should be encouraged to hand power back down to local councils and communities rather than having it centralised at Westminster.

All this will be funded by getting innovative with taxation. We need to move away from a focus on taxing earned income and instead look at taxing the super rich, unearned income and land. Far from “trickle down” economics in the UK over the last few decades, what we’ve seen instead is “hoover up” economics with vast inequality developing in our country. This is why a modest wealth tax on assets (starting on assets over £3.4 million) would raise such vast sums very quickly. Similarly, it is clearly unfair to tax unearned income at the same rate as earned income. Taxes like capital gains tax should be brought into line with income taxes. Finally, we need to look closely at a land value tax to replace regressive taxes like council tax.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The naysayers will claim these policies are unrealistic, but the real unrealism is thinking business as usual is going to change much for the better. A major part of Labour’s offer seems to be: “we’re not the Conservatives” but the Conservatives are already down and out. They currently stand on an average of 20% in the national polls. So, in this election, you can freely vote for what you do want rather than what you don’t want. That is why, if you like our offer, I’d urge you to vote Green on 4th July”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad