'Vote for us and get a three-day weekend': Green Party launches audacious bid for the youth vote

Christopher Hope
Green Party co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas speak at the Green Party Spring Conference at the ACC in Liverpool. - PA/PA

The Green party is making a bid for the youth vote by promising to give everyone a three day weekend if they win power at the next election.

The new manifesto pledge for the 2020 general election was announced by the party’s joint leader Caroline Lucas at its annual conference on Friday.

Ms Lucas told delegates in Liverpool that the party was “exploring policies like a three day weekend, and fair pay” in a bid to reach out to young people.

She said “for young people in particular, let down by Brexit, the Green message is one of a more hopeful alternative”.

Ms Lucas said the Greens  - which were backed by 1.16 voters at the last general election - were "a political movement that redistributes both money and power. One that redefines the relationship between work and life.

"One that embraces the future.  Pioneering and forward facing. A future better balanced between what we own and how we experience life – and tipped towards what genuinely makes us happier.’

Caroline Lucas

Ms Lucas told Green delegates that she wanted to create “a future better balanced between what we own and who we are – and more focussed on what genuinely makes us happier."

Aides to Ms Lucas claimed that the part was looking to include the pledge for a three day weekend for all in its manifesto for the 2020 general election.

He said there was “plenty of evidence which suggest working less has positive impacts”. Shorter working weeks would be “good for tackling climate change” while productivity could increase.

One aide pointed to a report by the New Economics Foundation thinktank which called for a 21 hour working week, down from the current 40 hour week.

The report said: “While people can choose to work longer or shorter hours, we propose that 21 hours – or its equivalent spread across the calendar year – should become the standard that is generally expected by government, employers, trade unions, employees, and everyone else.”

It added that “a much shorter working week would change the tempo of our lives, reshape habits and conventions, and profoundly alter the dominant cultures of western society”.