Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Socialist Labour aims to 'end capitalism'

Arthur Scargill Image copyright PA
Image caption Socialist Labour - led by former NUM president Arthur Scargill - is fighting eight seats in Wales

Arthur Scargill's Socialist Labour Party says public schools like Eton and Harrow should be abolished and a 90% top rate of tax introduced.

Launching the party's manifesto, the ex-miners' leader called for the UK to leave the EU to save £170bn a year.

He also pledged a tax on bank profits to fund a million new or renovated homes, nationalising all transport systems, and the scrapping of Trident.

All eight Socialist Labour candidates at the election are standing in Wales.

Mineworkers' pensions

Party treasurer Ken Capstick said the party was anti-austerity and wanted to see "a transfer of wealth back into the hands of ordinary working people and away from the richest people in this land".

"We're fed up to the back teeth of the poorest people in this land having to bear the brunt of this economic crisis that they did not create," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"They are not the perpetrators of this crisis, but they are being made the victims of it and the richest people in this land have been supported by this coalition government - they are being saved from their own actions.

"No-one has faced any prosecutions as a result of what the bankers did in 2007-8 that brought this economy to the very brink of disaster."

Mr Capstick, former vice-president of Yorkshire National Union of Mineworkers, claimed both Labour and Conservative governments had "taken money from people's pension funds for years", so a key party policy would be to nationalise private pension funds.

"The mineworkers' pension fund has half its surplus taken by this government every time there's an actuarial valuation..." he told Today.

"If they can do it to us, then what's the difference in us doing the same thing?"

Faith schools

Mr Capstick said nationalising transport and bringing it up to date would cost around £100bn, but added: "The things that would cost us are outweighed by the things we'd do away with."

These would include scrapping the UK's Trident nuclear missile programme and withdrawing from the EU.

The party would introduce a 90% top rate of tax on incomes over £300,000, and use profits from the banks to help subsidise a £12 an hour minimum wage.

Socialist Labour has also pledged to scrap nuclear power and launch an integrated energy policy, based on a publicly-owned deep mine coal industry along with forms of renewable energy.

Unveiling the party's manifesto in Port Talbot, Mr Scargill added: "We should abolish all private schools, such as Eton, Harrow and Westminster, because they are an elite which gives a better education because of the more money that is pumped into them.

"We believe all faith schools should be abolished as well because they are a breeding ground for prejudice and intolerance.

"If Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics or Protestants can go to university together then they can go to school together."

Mr Scargill, famous for his role in the miners' strike, formed the Socialist Labour Party in 1996 as a reaction to Tony Blair's overhauling of Labour's commitment to socialism.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail on Tuesday, Labour's Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint visited the site of a planned tidal lagoon project in Swansea.

The Conservatives called for a freeze on council tax, while Plaid Cymru campaigned in Carmarthenshire for better rural broadband and mobile phone coverage.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats launched a "Countryside Charter", aimed at boosting rural areas by creating thousands of jobs and providing essential services.

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