The Citizens UK manifesto is the result of thousands of one-to-one conversations, house meetings and people’s assemblies. It is the agenda which citizens’ organisations have been taking to business and political leaders over many years. It identifies workable solutions to the key challenges identified by civil society.
We, the People, call upon the the Government to:
Recognise ‘civil society’ as an equal partner with good government and competitive markets in the governance of a healthy country. This means the Prime Minister meeting with a delegation from CITIZENS UK at least once a year and attending at least two major civic Assemblies over the course of the next Parliament. The voice of the people should be heard by our rulers.
Adopt the ‘living wage’ in the public sector and champion it across the country. Work should pay enough to provide a dignified standard of living. Government should ensure that the Living Wage is the new minimum for all government employment and procurement. Leading by example, the Government should champion the Living Wage across all sectors of the economy and use all Government finance to promote the Living Wage.
Create a 20% interest rate cap on all unsecured money loans and bring access to affordable credit to local communities. Personal debt is undermining family life and trust and the terms of usurious loan should be limited. In order that families and businesses are not starved of the capital they need, 1% of the bailout should be used to endow local communities and stimulate local banking, credit unions, micro finance etc.
Restore pride in our tradition of providing sanctuary to people fleeing persecution. As a first and urgent step, Government should work with us to end the practice of housing children and families in detention centres.
Facilitate affordable owner-occupied housing through community land trusts. Within the life of the next parliament Government should endow at least ten neighbourhoods with public land as Community Land Trusts for CITIZENS to organise affordable, family housing in urban areas, starting with the vacant St Clement’s Hospital site in Poplar and Limehouse and in the Olympic Legacy Park.
Introduce a one-off conditional ‘earned regularisation’ for long-term irregular migrants. Government should recognise the presence of a large irregular population in Britain by offering a one-off legalisation to those who have been present for more than five years, ubject to a series of tests, as part of its border-tightening policies.