Green Party wants a three-day weekend to tackle UK workforce's 'stress and exhaustion'

'What we're seeing is just growing inequality and we feel that people are being short-changed', says co-leader Bartley

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Indy Politics

The Green Party is calling for a three-day weekend, saying it would help alleviate ill health and rising mental health problems among a stressed and exhausted UK workforce.

The new 2020 manifesto pledge was put forward by joint leaders Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas, the Greens' only MP, who urged a re-think on productivity and asked: "What kind of country do we want to be?"

On the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Bartley said: "We're facing in the 21st century a very uncertain world with big pressures from corporate globalisation.

"When I was a kid we were told there would be all this wealth created, we'd have this great technological advance, but you know what? What we're seeing is just growing inequality and we feel that people are being short-changed.

"We're seeing a right-wing coup over Brexit which is taking us into an even more deregulated situation. Crashing out of the single market, crashing out of the customs union."

Ms Lucas said: "I think there's a lot of evidence that suggests that when people are exhausted their productivity goes down. And what we're suggesting here is that we are now the sixth-largest economy in the world.

"People are working ever more hours, getting ever more stressed, getting ever more ill health, mental health problems as well. What we want to do is take a step back and think, 'What is the purpose of the economy? What kind of country do we want to be? And do we really want a future where all of us are just trying to work even harder?'

"We're bringing our work with us every time we go home in the evenings, at the weekends."