Queen Elizabeth II would be evicted from Buckingham Palace and moved into a council house in plans to abolish the monarchy and build more social housing, as suggested by the Greens leader.
The party would move the royal family out of the 775-room mega-mansion, complete with tennis court, lake and heli-pad amid 40 acres of land nestled in the leafy St James’ Park area of Westminster.
However there are no plans that Her Majesty and Prince Philip would be turfed out in the cold, like the estimated 2,500 people sleeping rough in England alone, as Green leader Natalie Bennett said she would not be short of potential places to live.
She said in an interview with The Times: “I can’t see that the Queen is ever going to be really poor, but I’m sure we can find a council house for her — we’re going to build lots more.”
This would mean, under the Greens’ suggestions, that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and the unborn baby would also be served an eviction notice from Kensington Palace and would have to shell out for private rent, buy their own house or join the chronically over-subscribed social housing register.
Ms Bennett said that the party is planning to expand on the country’s dwindling social housing stock as “GDP is a lousy tool for progress” compared to people having a “better quality life”.
The housing crisis and lack of universally-affordable properties has been attributed to the Tory policy of allowing council and housing association tenants to buy their homes at heavily discounted prices. It has also been blamed on foreign investors buying up land for luxury developments while mortgages and private rents go through the roof.
Ms Bennett also criticised “parasitical” global companies who do not pay their fair share of tax by basing their businesses in tax-havens such as the Cayman Islands, even though they rely on public assets such as roads and the NHS to make a tidy profit.
Experts' predictions for the general election
Experts' predictions for the general election
1/10 Andrew Hawkins (ComRes)
Just as the polls in 2010 pointed to no overall majority for any party, the overwhelming evidence points to Labour either being the largest party or getting a small majority, probably below 20. The Lib Dems and SNP should each win between 25 and 35 seats, with single-figure wins for both Ukip and the Greens.
2/10 Joe Twyman (YouGov)
I predict it will be close. I predict a few tremors, though earthquakes are unlikely. I predict the eventual winner may not be the direct result of public opinion, but instead the outcome of political negotiations. It’s too early to predict numbers given all the uncertainties surrounding (among other things) Ukip, the SNP and the Lib Dems. It is possible that it will be close between Conservative and Labour in terms of both votes and seats. The Lib Dems might retain 20-30 seats and the balance of power, despite small gains for the SNP, and at most half a dozen Ukip seats. Gun to my head? Labour minority government.
3/10 Ben Page (Ipsos MORI)
A mug’s game for this election months away, but my predictions in order of likelihood: most likely a hung parliament or coalition of some kind, closely followed by either a small Labour majority or an equally small Conservative majority. Given how close the parties are, the unknown performance of Ukip in key marginals, the effect of incumbency on Lib Dem losses, the final size of SNP surge and so on, to be more precise is simply foolish! Professor Tetlock, who found that forecasts by experts were only slightly better than throwing dice, weighs heavily upon me!
4/10 Rick Nye (Populus)
I can see a hung parliament, where Labour is the largest party in terms of seats – though not necessarily in terms of votes, with the Lib Dems having 30 seats or fewer, the SNP having up to 20 seats and Ukip having no more than five seats. In short, it’s going to get messy and stay messy for some time to come.
5/10 Nick Moon (GfK)
I can’t recall there ever being an election more difficult to predict than this one. I’m confident no party will have an overall majority, with the Tories probably the largest party but no single partner for a viable coalition, with the Lib Dems on 25 seats, the SNP 20, Ukip three, and the Greens one.
6/10 Damian Lyons Lowe (Survation)
We might have expected a workable Labour majority, were it not for the wild-card rise of the SNP in Scotland. Survation’s December Scottish polls suggest an almost complete wipeout by the SNP in Scotland and result in 40+ seat gains – mostly at Labour’s expense. My current predictions are: Labour the largest party by 40-50 seats over the Tories, no overall majority; Tories 235-255 seats; Lib Dems 20-30 seats; SNP 30-40 seats – maybe held back from potential support level by opposition incumbency and tactical voting by pro-unionist voters. Finally, Ukip, 5-10 wins from Conservatives, including Rochester and Clacton, and potentially a single Labour-seat surprise.
7/10 Michelle Harrison (TNS)
The battleground over the next three months is at the kitchen table – the difference between what the statistics tell us about the economy, the experience that Britons are having of managing their household budgets, and where – and if – they believe politics can make a difference. In this regard, the disconnect with the major political parties is more interesting than the horse race.
8/10 James Endersby (Opinium Research)
Our first poll for 2015 shows Labour one point ahead [see above], but polls four months out from an election are snapshots, not predictions. It would be extremely unwise for a pollster to make a firm prediction now. At the moment, Opinium’s estimate on polling day would be the Tories slightly ahead on vote share, but Labour slightly ahead on seats. These numbers are based on a uniform swing, with tweaks to Green and Ukip numbers based on local information: Labour 320 seats, Conservatives 271, Lib Dems 20, SNP 16, Plaid Cymru three, Greens two, Ukip four. A hung parliament with Labour potentially closer to a majority coalition than the Conservatives.
9/10 Martin Boon (ICM)
I’ve not recovered from the Scottish referendum campaign yet, and here we go with another wildcard strewn nail-biter. For me, Labour on 30 per cent will only fractionally nudge past their woeful 2010 showing – behind the Tories on 33 per cent – but enough to secure more seats (290 for Labour, 280 for the Tories) on boundary wackiness. The Lib Dems will secure 14 per cent of the vote and 35 seats; Ukip will also get 14 per cent, but that only gets them a couple of seats. As for Scotland, I’m bewildered, but as you asked I’ll say 30 seats for the SNP, which wipes out a breathing-space victory in seats for Labour.
10/10 Lord Ashcroft (Lord Ashcroft Polls)
Declined to take part. His spokeswoman said: “As he has said many times, his polls are snapshots not predictions.” Health warning: when The Independent on Sunday carried out a similar exercise in April 2010, at the start of that year’s election campaign, eight out of eight pollsters predicted a Conservative overall majority.
The Greens, with branches in different regions of the UK, plan to “restructure society with the rich paying their way and multinationals paying taxes” with the top band of tax increasing to more than the current 50p rate.
Their rising popularity, as shown by rapidly increasing numbers of memberships, has catapulted Ms Bennett to being invited to take part in two televised political debates ahead of the general election on 7 May.
Prime Minister David Cameron had insisted that he would not take part unless Ms Bennett was included if Ukip’s Nigel Farage was invited, despite the Greens having announced a total of 43,829 memberships across the UK compared to the latter’s 41,966 members as of last week.
Ms Bennett said: “People are really hungry for something different. There is an element of us being fresh and new, but we are also talking about ideas, optimism and changing things.”
The Greens also plan to raise the minimum hourly wage to £10, with a guaranteed £71 a week universal basic income for all adults, with half of the £280 billion cost of the policy to come from tax, she indicated, with the rest made up of money already paid out in benefits like jobseekers’ allowance.
A tax of 1 or 2 per cent on people worth more than £3 million would also be implemented and the party suggested that the state could have powers to seize assets from the wealthy.
She said: “People say to me that the rich will dodge [the tax], but in some of the countries that already have it there is a simple rule that says if you haven’t declared something on your wealth tax, you don't own it.”Reuse content