Jill Payne Proud to stand for Labour in Eastleigh – these are some of the issues that are important to me.
Equality – I believe that an unequal economy is an unsuccessful economy. Extremes in wealth and income undermine society and respect between its participants. Happiness doesn’t come from unfettered consumption and yet real suffering to both physical and mental health can affect those living in poverty and all the insecurities that go with it. We have seen spiralling executive pay and increasingly large and often untaxed profits in the largest corporations and yet we have seen the longest period of stagnating wages, a reduction in benefits and a collapse in the provision of public services and of course the steady increase in the use of food banks.
Economy – I firmly believe that a strong public sector is important for re-distributing wealth and for the public provision of essential services like housing, health and education. The free market economy doesn’t target investment where it is needed and privatisation all too often sees increases in profits at the expense of workers on unrealistic targets, low pay and insecure contracts like zero hour, agency and the so called self-employed. I welcome the decision to re nationalise water and energy suppliers as well as the railways and royal mail and look forward to reduced costs as profits come back to the treasury and not abroad to foreign investors.
I do not believe in austerity which has seen cuts to benefits for the poor and disabled whilst seeing tax cuts to the rich (we have not all been in this together) and we haven’t seen the growth that was promised to help service our debt. We need a change and Labour will properly fund our public services paid for through progressive taxation. We will also use record low interest rates to invest 250bn over 10 years in upgrading our crumbling infrastructure, building new homes and in research and development for future growth.
Environment – I believe we must listen to scientists and experts about climate change and the sustainability of our planet and we must tackle air pollution. Labour will introduce a Clean Air Act. We must further invest in renewable energies to meet our international obligations in reducing carbon omissions.
Human Rights – I am a strong believer in equality and human rights and believe we should strengthen the commission to help eliminate prejudice, discrimination and hate crime. I welcome diversity and respect for other cultures, nationalities, different religions and the LGBT community. I also believe we have a legal and moral obligation to take our fair share of refugees.
Finally on Brexit I voted remain yet in respect for democracy accept the outcome of the referendum. I also believe that we must unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU citizens currently residing here. I would seek access to the single market and the customs union to protect our economy and to compromise on the way forward to unite our society. A no deal would be the worst possible outcome and the threat to turn the UK into a corporate tax haven a disaster for our society and our international relations.