Greens to call for measure of nation’s free time

5 October 2018

* New Green co-leaders to announce commitment to Free Time Index at Autumn Conference in Bristol

* Sian Berry: “True freedom will only be found when people have more control of their time”

* Jonathan Bartley: “The Government must aim for a yearly increase in the Free Time Index so time off becomes the real measure of wellbeing”

The Green Party will call for a new economic indicator which measures people’s leisure time.

New co-leaders Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley are set to announce their party’s commitment to a Free Time Index in their speech to Autumn Conference on Friday 5 October [1].

The new indicator would count the number of hours people spend outside of work and commuting, and be published once a year by the Government as part of the Autumn Budget.

Berry and Bartley will call for this new indicator to replace GDP as a measure of wellbeing. It is their first policy announcement since being elected co-leaders of the party on September 4 this year. [2]

The announcement follows Green Party policy for a four day working week which was announced at Spring Conference in 2017 [3], and will expand work to ensure people are given  a better work life balance and adapt to the changing ways of working.

Research has found links between free time and happiness. Studies have shown that focusing on free time rather than money makes people happier [4], while people who choose to spend money on things which free up leisure time are happier than those who spend it on material goods [5].

Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party, is expected to say (check against delivery):

“It’s time to shift away from the culture which sees us work harder and harder for longer and longer, often without reward or satisfaction. And to recognise that true freedom will only be found when people have more control of their time and how it is spent.

“That is why Greens want the next Budget, and every future Budget, to include a new economic indicator that measures people’s leisure time.”

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, is expected to say (check against delivery):

“The Free Time Index would count the hours people are not at work - or doing work on a long commute. The time to have a family life, relax, and pursue the things they care about.

“It should be an aim of the Government to see a yearly increase in this Free Time Index, so that the quality of time which is truly our own becomes the real measure of wellbeing.”



Diary note: Green Party Autumn Conference 2018

Green Party members will soon gather in Bristol for Autumn conference to hear from the party’s new co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry, vote on party policy, and debate issues from climate change to Brexit.

Green Party Autumn Conference will be held from 5 to 7 October 2018 at Bristol City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR.

Co-leaders’ speech by Jonathan Bartley and Sian Berry: 2pm, Friday 5 October 2018.

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