NW Sheffield News asked the Greens, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour two deceptively simple questions.
So far, the Conservatives have responded (thanks Nicola Bates!) and this is their contribution:
What do you think are the main policy differences between your party and those of the other candidates?
We are the only party who would start to address the deficit while promoting growth. The budget deficit is a huge £167 billion – 13% of our GDP and almost twice the amount when Labour destroyed our economy in the late 70s with Denis Healey having to beg for cash from the International Monetary Fund. We would cut the deficit and look at addressing the largest peacetime national debt of national debt £950.8 billion. We have identified areas where savings can be made and at the same time we will not stifle our growth and we will ensure that we stop the tax on jobs which Labour would introduce next year. This will help 7 in 10 working people an would save 4,800 jobs in Yorkshire and the Humber.
A sign of our success in Government will be our addressing and enhancing of social mobility. This has fallen under Labour as while they had good intentions they have not tackled the inherent problems in our society. There are three groups who make a difference and in order of importance they are the family, our society and the state. The state can help by providing schools, social services and benefits, but it needs the encouragement of a family to take up the opportunities. We will fix our broken society by helping families directly through family counselling, Sure Start and the marriage tax allowance. But when life does get difficult then our society steps in. We must set the environment for a big society that can look after all of us through the development of charities, community groups and churches. They can have a huge impact; being local and giving the time required to build one to one relationships with those who most need support.
On what policies do you agree with the other parties?
With the Liberal Democrats we have come together to fight against Labour’s increasing encroachment on our personal liberties. Back in 2008 the Government sought to extend detention without charge for terrorist suspects from 28 to 42 days in the Counter-Terrorism Bill. Conservatives worked with the Lib Dems to oppose the plans for being unnecessary and counter-productive. The plans were thrown out by Parliament.
We have also seen in the last few years massive data losses by Government from 17,000 immigration applications to nearly 20 million people’s bank details of those with child benefits. Despite this Gordon Brown’s Government maintains that our most personal data is safe with them and wants to waste £20billion on ID cards.
Finally we are pleased that Sheffield Council took the lead in implementing the Sustainable Communities Act which was introduced into Parliament by the Conservative Shadow Charities Minister Nick Hurd MP. The Council has taken the initiative to develop our area panels into community assemblies; however they have only gone so far. Currently the councillors listen to the debate and then vote whichever way they fancy – this is does not have to take any regard of what local people have called for and we have received complaints of “community-wash”. There have also been complaints of councillors not attending. We would properly devolve power to the local community.
This is on behalf of:
Nicola Bates – Sheffield Hallam
Nigel Bonson – Sheffield South East
Anne Crampton – Sheffield Heeley
Andrew Lee – Sheffield Central
Spencer Pitfield – Penistone and Stocksbridge
John Sharp – Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough
Your comments are welcome!