We have had seven years of austerity, first through the coalition government, and then the Tory government. Labour, pre-Corbyn, supported austerity-lite. The ‘cuts’ represent the greatest threat to the survival of our essential public services since their creation. Instead of finding new ways to cut spending and services, I will fight to protect the services on which we all rely.
The big issue
Sometimes it is easy to forget just how much we rely on public services paid for through taxation; from the pavements we walk on, and the roads we drive on, to the public parks we enjoy, the (relatively) clean air we breathe.
We rely on the food hygiene standards that mean we can eat safely in restaurants or from takeaways, the regular collection of our waste on a regular basis, the police service, the fire and ambulance services.
Many of us use libraries or subsidised rail and bus services and so on. Most of us still rely on state education, and, of course, most of us still have access to a large free at the point of use NHS.
Perhaps more importantly – services are targeted at those most in need, and cuts to them disproportionately fall on those most in need.
Today, many of those public services face their greatest threat since their creation.
The foremost of those threats is from the continued insistence on a policy of austerity – in other words, cuts – to public services in order to reduce Britains budget deficit.
Britain has run a deficit for much of its economic history and the reason for the recent increase in Britains deficit was not a sudden jump in public spending but a sudden drop in tax receipts due to the credit crunch caused by financial speculation.
Nevertheless, the three Westminster parties plus UKIP are committed to a programme to eliminate the deficit by cutting public services rather than investing in the countrys future. This economically illiterate approach will require billions of pounds of further cuts and will further exacerbate problems associated with inequality and poverty.
The second major threat to our public services is the governments support for TTIP, the trans-atlantic trade deal which will allow foreign companies to privatise public services in the UK, whilst being able to take democratically elected representatives to a special court of corporate lawyers if they do not get what they want.
The Green Party opposes TTIP just as the Green Party opposes austerity. We are committed to protecting public services. I fully support this stance and will oppose both TTIP and especially austerity as your MP.
What South Bristol needs
Properly funded quality public services Able to deliver the amenities and services that the overwhelming majority of us support and rely on almost every day and only a tiny percentage can do without.
Working out our priorities Rebuilding our economy so that everyone gets a fair share, and releasing funding for public services by clamping down on tax avoidance, implementing a Robin Hood Tax on financial services, and reducing truly unnecessary expenditures such as the multi-billion pound replacement for the Trident nuclear missile programme.
Services for the people, not profits Bringing the railways back into public hands, putting the public at the heart of the NHS, and keeping education free for all.