BBC News: Election 2010 BBC News

Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Sunday, 11 April 2010 10:50 UK

Green Party have 'real chance' of MP after election

The Leader of the Green Party told Andrew Marr that people 'liked their policies'. Lucas also said the argument that cutting public services was a good idea was 'fantasy'.

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas sees a "real possibility" they will get their first MPs elected to Parliament.

Ms Lucas told the BBC that the Greens offered something different to the "identical" main parties, challenging the need for public spending cuts.

She said her party would reform the tax system to make society fairer, asking high earners to pay more as well as restoring the lower 10 pence tax rate.

Ms Lucas is one of 300 Green Party candidates standing at the election.

Ms Lucas told the Andrew Marr programme that she wanted to challenge the "fantasy" that public services had to be cut to deal with the deficit.

'Fairer society'

She said money could be saved in a way that did not damage frontline services, by cutting programmes such as Trident and ID cards as well as spending less on the road network.

She said it was a "scandal" that the UK was a less equal society than when Labour came to power in 1997.

The party's "fully costed" manifesto would include pledges for a 50p tax rate on those earning more than £100,000 and to remove the upper limit on National Insurance contributions, she added.

"I believe if you reform the tax system there are ways of paying for making this country a fairer society," she said.

Ms Lucas, who is standing herself, said if one or more Green MPs were elected, more would "swiftly follow" at future elections.

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