The co-leader of the Greens has rejected comparisons with Liz Truss for proposing to borrow COVID levels of money to fund his party’s manifesto programme.

Adrian Ramsay, who leads the Greens alongside Carla Denyer, did not reject that his party would spend £325bn over the course of the parliament to invest in public services.

But speaking to Sophy Ridge, Sky News’ lead politics presenter, Mr Ramsay denied the suggestion his proposals could be likened to those put forward by the former prime minister whose economic plans unravelled and forced her from office.

According to the House of Commons library, the total cost of the government’s COVID-19 measures ranges from about £310bn to £410bn.

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The numbers in the Green Party’s manifesto were crunched by Sky News economics editor Ed Conway and total £325bn.

Put to him that his party could borrow that figure to fund spending, Mr Ramsay said: “Our proposal is that over the course of the parliament, the extra spending that we would have on day-to-day spending would be funded by increased day-to-day taxes.”

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He added: “This is money that’s being borrowed for investment. Investment in things like our school buildings that are crumbling, hospital buildings.”

The Green Party’s manifesto, launched last week, promised to “mend broken Britain” through a programme of investment paid for by the “very richest” in society.

It includes a 1% annual wealth tax on assets above £10m and 2% on assets above £1bn, along with reforms to Capital Gains Tax to align with workers’ income tax, and removing the upper earnings limit on national insurance.

The Greens believe this could raise up to £70bn a year, with their plans to introduce a carbon tax adding another £80bn to the government’s coffers.

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But unlike some of their rivals, the Greens have also made clear they are “prepared to borrow to invest”, rather than be “trapped by a self-imposed fiscal straitjacket”.

Challenged on the choice of language – which Ridge said mirrored that used by Ms Truss – Mr Ramsay said the key difference with the former Tory leader was that she “borrowed to give tax breaks to the very richest in society”.

“We’re talking about investing in a future that will be better for everybody,” he argued.

“And we need to bring about those changes because we have high levels of inequality. We have changes in the climate that are running away with themselves. And the climate experts are always, always very clear. The costs of not acting on the climate emergency are far greater than the costs of acting.”

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Mr Ramsay also defended increasing tax on people earning more than £50,000 by changing national insurance for those who earn over that threshold.

“Our proposal is that national insurance is changed so that everybody pays the same percentage of their salary on national insurance, regardless of what they earn,” he said.

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“I’m not saying £50,000 is too high a salary,” he added.

“Someone earning £55,000 on our proposals would pay £5 extra a week, but let’s look at what they’d get for that – because at the moment we have a situation where people are forking out for a private dentist because there’s no access to NHS dentists, they’re paying exorbitant rail fares, they’re paying high energy and food bills.

“Green proposals are about tackling the cost of living crisis, and the causes of why people are having to fork out those things, and we’d all be better off overall if we put the investment in.”

You can watch the full interview with Adrian Ramsay on the Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge from 7pm on Thursday.