We asked our readers to submit questions to be answered by all six candidates for the South Holland and the Deepings seat. Voyteck’s answers are below...
1 - Mrs Sue Croucher
I have been a carer most of my life and know from personal experience just how hard this role can be. I would like to ask the candidates how they will address the problem of the 700k+ children under the age of 16 who are currently carers for family members, distorting their childhood, and placing a huge burden on such young shoulders. I understand they receive no financial compensation, and very little support from government agencies. They are therefore working for free, an easy opt out for Parliament.
VK: In our manifesto we have pledged to immediately address the social care funding crisis. In the long term, we will create of the National Care Service, built alongside the NHS, that will pull together the resources needed to provide high quality social care for those in need. Amongst other benefits, this will allow to relieve young carers and, indeed, the grown up carers so that they can avail themselves of the benefits provided by the National Education Service, which we have promised to roll out.
2 - Nita Attwood and Christine Ayliffe
Theresa May stated that she is willing to repeal the Fox Hunting ban. How do the other parties feel about this? This law is surely for the few (elite landowners only) and not the many. My friends and I are beginning to doubt our allegiances to the Tory Party if this becomes law.
VK: We, in the Labour Party have always stood against the cruel sports.
You are so right that the fox hunting is the pastime of the privileged few. It is also morally wrong, for it exposes innocent creatures to despicable suffering and traumatic death. If elected, I will vote to uphold the ban on fox hunting, stop badger culling and work to improve the animal wellbeing.
It is scientifically proven that badger culling is ineffective and that vaccination programme would work better. I will also work to improve protection of endangered species, starting with an immediate, comprehensive ban on trade in ivory.
3 - Roly Hare
What are you able to bring to the table in support of a greater and improved railway link to the people of South Holland, bearing in mind that the franchise is due for renewal in near future and that a huge amount of money has already been spent in modernisation of the network to allow 24 hour access for freight?
VK: In our manifesto we have committed ourselves to gradually bring back the railways into public ownership in order to improve the services both in terms of quality and availability.
There is no evidence that public ownership is less efficient that private enterprise. Quite to the contrary, when the East Coast Mainline service was brought back to public ownership following the private operator failure, it has become highly profitable and delivered an excellent quality of service.
4 - Paul Poll
Why should low earners pay tax so a government can give subsidies to farmers so they can pay exorbitant rents to rich landlords?
VK: At present the agricultural subsidies paid to the farmers are supported by the EU budget. Arguably at the end the bill is, at least in part, footed by British tax payers. Very obviously, when we leave the EU these subsidies will cease. A lot of farmers and in particular the smallholders depend on those subsidies to make the ends meet and will struggle to continue producing our food.
Any government will have to find alternative solutions to protect British agriculture and make sure that the food prices do not soar.
5 - Andrew MacDonald
Given the increasing number of candidates that don’t live within the constituency, isn’t legislation prohibiting such applicants overdue as they can hardly best represent local opinion?
VK: Many voters believe that candidates with strong links to the constituency, equipped with knowledge of the local issues will better represent them in the Parliament. And indeed many are guided by this belief in making their voting decisions.
I am afraid, however, that legislation barring people not living in the constituency from standing in general elections would narrow the pool of talent from which constituents could choose and prevent many respected MPs from entering the Parliament.
To use a local example, had such legislation been in place in 1997, it would have prevented Mr John Hayes from standing in our constituency.
6 - Alan Meekings
If elected, will you campaign for a referendum on the terms of Brexit actually offered by the other 27 members of the EU? If not, why not?
VK: As you may know, I campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU.
My Party and I accept the referendum result.
There will be two stages of the negotiations: we will first agree the terms of leaving the EU and then these of future relations with them. We will not know the conditions of the latter until we have left the EU.
This means not one but, perhaps, two divisive referendums. Therefore, I believe, the parliament should have decisive say on those deals. As we vote on the 8th of June we must elect candidates whom we trust to deliver the best deals.
7- Yvonne Allcott
Is there no mention of the deliberate destruction of UK Armed Forces for EU Military Unification because the British people would overwhelmingly disagree with this merger?
VK: Article 42 of the Lisbon Treaty provides for substantial defence and military integration within the institutional framework of the European Union. Complete integration is an option that requires unanimous decision of the European Council of heads of state or government. There has been no substantial progress made as several governments, in particular the British, have opposed further defence integration.
As we leave the European Union the Lisbon Treaty will no longer be binding for the UK. We will continue military cooperation with other European countries within the framework of NATO.
8 - Rodney Sadd
With so many zero hours contracts in the UK, my concern is with the unscrupulous agencies that exploit job market.
VK: Labour Party will ban zero hours contracts so that every worker has a guaranteed number of hours each week. We will also give all workers equal rights from day one, whether full or part-time, permanent or temporary.
I believe that employers should not be allowed to advertise jobs abroad unless these vacancy(ies) have been advertised in the UK. We will legislate to ensure that employers wishing to recruit workers from abroad will not do so to undercut the wages and employment standards.
We will repeal the Trade Union Act and guarantee the trade unions right to access the work places and hold sector collective bargaining.
9 - Michael Ingamells
What will the candidates do for dementia care, how do they see the future of social care... for instance what will they do to enable people to stay in their own homes for longer? What will they do for people who give up work to care for their loved ones in the way of increasing carer’s allowance?
VK: Whilst Mrs May has promised the “Dementia Tax” in her Party’s manifesto, we, the Labour Party, are committed to properly fund the social care.
We will phase in the National Care Service, built alongside the NHS, that will pull together the resources needed to provide high quality social care for those in need. We have identified the revenue streams that will allow injecting £3 billion into social care.
This additional funding will allow providing adequate care for all people needing it, including those suffering dementia.
10 - John Hayter
£13 billion on foreign aid and for our own people, potholes and foodbanks. Discuss, bearing in mind we are paying £60 billion a year on national debt interest payments, more than we spend on the education of the nation’s children.
VK: Britain has committed to dedicate 0.7% of GDP to international aid and we have kept this promise. I support this commitment, but I will work to see greater transparency and control over how this money is spend. The interest payments on our National debt indeed keep growing. It is, because, after seven years of budget cuts, whilst NHS is on the brink, public services shrink and roads are crumbling, the debt has grown to £1.73 trillion.
Labour is honest in saying that the wealthy will have to pay a little more to provide high quality public services and help reducing deficit.