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STEPHANIE DAVIES

A. PEACE

1. Are you in favour of Britain renewing its Trident nuclear weapons system ?

NO

2. Do you think our country is right to be involved militarily in the Ukraine, even if in a training and support role?  We would work to support a negotiated settlement between Russia and Ukraine, while developing a new security structure for the region involving the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with opposition to arms transfers and military interventions in regional and internal conflicts.  


B. ENVIRONMENT


3. Do you give full weight to the urgency of minimising global warming? In the light of this, do you accept that much of the known fossil fuel  reserves should be left underground, especially the most environmentally damaging such as tar sands and Arctic oil? Yes and Yes


4.  What is your attitude to fracking? I am opposed to fracking and believe it is inefficient, unsustainable  and uses and releases dangerous pollutants in the process.

5. Many people can’t afford to heat their homes over the winter. We can’t afford to ignore climate change either. How would you tackle fuel poverty in a long-term, sustainable manner?

The Green Party would:

Reduce the amount of energy we use, mainly by improving energy efficiency.

Re-organise the electricity supply industry in particular breaking the dominance of the ‘Big Six’ suppliers.

End fuel poverty.  

Invest massively in renewable generation.

Caroline Lucas MP is looking to implement an Energy Bill Revolution – the creation of the world’s most ambitious home energy efficiency programme, slashing energy bills and carbon emissions, creating over 100,000 jobs and helping end the fuel poverty crisis once and for all

C. ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE


6. Do you think our economy can or should go on growing indefinitely? No. The current pattern of growth only benefits certain sectors of society, the wealthy and large corporations. The effects of growth don’t necessarily filter down to all members of society. We would look to introduce a Living Wage of £10ph by 2020; to ensure that people have the opportunity to develop the skills and qualifications to be able to take up jobs in their local area; to protect the Greenbelt from development/growth.  


7. Are you opposed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership?  If so why; if not, why not?


As a Green Party candidate I believe that TTIP is globalization in its worst form, designed to submit democratically elected governments to the will of private corporations.  Companies will be able to take legal action against governments they think threaten their profits.  National policies in EU countries for health, environmental, consumer and social protection could be challenged by companies from anywhere in the world in private international tribunals, run by corporate lawyers.


Under TTIP:


- attempts to bring the NHS and the railways back into public ownership could be challenged;

- GMO authorisations may be accelerated at EU level and risk assessment standards lowered; and

- regulation of banks and the financial industry would be harder


8. Do you intend to help shrink the yawning gap between rich and poor and check the extraordinary concentration of wealth in very few hands? If so, how?


I would look to provide equality and security in a mixed economy by committing to the common good, a larger public sector and higher taxation, funding properly our  health, education and local services, and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Create a taxation system that promotes equality and sustainability. Ensure that everyone who wants one has a decent secure job paid at least a living wage.  


9. Do you recognise that low wages and benefits, plus harsh and arbitrary stoppage of benefits, is causing serious and unjust hardship? Do you want to restore the safety net which ought to protect British people from serious want?


We would look to reform the existing working age benefits regime; pay an enhanced Child Benefit; introduce a universal Citizens’ Pension.


Also, pause implementation of the Universal Credit programme, and carry out a thorough review on its structure and implementation, including the treatment of earned income, and removing conditionality; end work for benefit programmes and ensure a fair choice of waged work opportunities or voluntary training for jobseekers; ensure that all those on training or work placements as part of the benefits regime are either in college based training or at work earning at least the minimum wage.


We will review the harsh systems of sanctions and benefit caps introduced by the present government and its predecessors; restore Council Tax Benefit at the equivalent of 2012-13 levels for low income householders, costing around £0.5bn pa; cancel the DWP contracts with the private sector for benefit entitlement assessment; restore the link between state benefits and earnings; ensure state benefits rise as fast as prices or wages, whichever of those grows more; abolish childcare tax credits and tax reliefs in the light of our proposals for free universal early education and childcare; raise the minimum wage, and outlaw exploitative zero hours contracts, so that the jobs taken by unemployed people are above a minimum standard.