Green Party calls for '˜three-day weekends'

The Green Party's co-leaders have called for weekends to be expanded by a day as part of their pitch to younger voters.

Co-leaders of the Green Party Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas MP on The Andrew Marr Show. Picture: Jeff Overs/BBC via Getty Images

The idea was announced at the party’s conference in Liverpool this week, with an eye to including it in its 2020 manifesto.

Caroline Lucas, the party’s sole MP, said the proposal was a response to the fact that people are working ‘ever-more hours’ in the modern economy and experiencing ‘ever-more ill-health’.

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She appeared on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One to explain the policy with fellow leader Jonathan Bartley, who said people were feeling “short-changed” by growing inequality.

“We really want to flag this up because we think we need bold new ideas for the country,” he 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 all we’re seeing is growing inequality and we feel that people are being short-changed.”

Ms Lucas said the Greens’ policies were an attempt to provide a ‘hopeful alternative’ for ‘young people in particular, let down by Brexit’.

“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?”

The party is turning to ‘radical innovation and creative disruption’ as a response to stalling productivity.

It also backs the Universal Basic Income, which would guarantee a minimum income paid by the government to every citizen, on top of what they might earn from work.

The Greens pulled in more than a million votes nationwide in 2015’s general election, but are represented at Westminster by Ms Lucas alone.

In 2016, she and Mr Bartley won the leadership as part of a ‘pioneering’ jobsharing plan.