What do the 2019 General Election manifestos offer voters in Suffolk and Ipswich?
PUBLISHED: 05:30 26 November 2019
Copyright Ashley Pickering
The political parties have all now published their manifestos for the 2019 General Election.
Today four candidates hoping to win election for seats in Suffolk outline five points from their manifestos that they believe would improve life for the constituents they hope to represent after December 12.
Sandy Martin, Labour Candidate, Ipswich:
Labour is determined to carry out a massive increase in public investment in order to build the society and the economy we all need for the future. Ipswich stands to particularly gain from this:
1)Ipswich as the County Town has a substantial number of public sector workers. The proposed increase in support for our NHS, our Police, our schools and colleges, and local government, will provide better services for all and also boost the local economy.
2) The commitment to a Green Industrial Revolution will open up opportunities for Ipswich residents - especially young people - to build careers in renewable energy, building insulation, waste management and other environmental industries.
3) The plan for investing in our transport infrastructure will reduce congestion in Ipswich and also enable the Port of Felixstowe to thrive, providing more job opportunities in the Port and in the rail industry.
4) A Labour Government pledged to build 100,000 new council homes a year - on top of those built by the private sector - will empower Ipswich Borough Council's housebuilding problem, rather than hobbling it as the current government have done.
5) The commitment to full-fibre Broadband for every business and household will provide a massive boost to Ipswich's knowledge-based economy, give extra impetus to our insurance businesses, and enhance the prospects for IT and software companies.
Tom Hunt, Conservative candidate, Ipswich:
1) Get Brexit done. Only the Conservative party can resolve Brexit and make sure that 2020 isn't another year dominated by Brexit discussions, or worse still a second referendum. We can pass the Brexit deal that has already been agreed with the EU. It protects jobs and trade and means that we can leave the EU by the end of January.
2) Invest in our NHS. Nationally there will be an additional £33.9 billion for the NHS. This funding will support 50,000 more nurses 6,000 more doctors and create an extra 50 million general practice appointments a year. I will be making sure that Ipswich residents benefit from the merger with Colchester hospital.
3) Put an extra 20,000 police officers on the streets to make them safer. We will also end the automatic release of the most serious violent and sexual offenders at the halfway point of their sentence. The residents of Ipswich have the right to feel safe in their town.
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4) Invest in our schools. A Conservative government will give a £14bn boost to school funding and ensure a minimum of £5,000 of funding per secondary school pupil by next year and a minimum of £,4000 funding per primary school pupil by 2021-22.
5) Build a strong economy. We'll help people with the cost of living by making sure people keep more of the money they earn through keeping their taxes low. We will raise the National Living Wage, reduce business rates through a fundamental review of the system, and increase the employment allowance for small business.
Jules Ewart, Liberal Democrat candidate, Suffolk Coastal:
Tackle the Climate Emergency. We are pledging to generate 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030, making projects like Sizewell C redundant. We'll also introduce subsidies for green upgrades to homes and businesses and earmark £5bn for flood defences.
2)Invest more in the NHS and on social care. As a former nurse, the NHS is a subject dear to my heart. With bed numbers slashed in Felixstowe, and Halesworth further away from a district hospital than anywhere else in the country, the additional £7 billion for the NHS is great news for Suffolk Coastal.
3) Increased council tax on empty second homes. If second homes lie empty for most of the year then we want to make sure the surrounding community receives at least some benefit. This increase in council tax on empty second homes will be especially welcome in places like Aldeburgh and Southwold.
4) Deliver a reliable railway service. Trains are often cancelled and we simply don't have the infrastructure in place to make them any faster. We'll invest £15 billion to improve rail infrastructure and freeze train fares.
5) Regional rebalancing programme to improve infrastructure. This could be a game-changer for a rural constituency like Suffolk Coastal which has been ignored for too long. There will be more money available to spend on our infrastructure, and importantly, we will have a big say in how it is spent.
Helen Geake, Green candidate, Bury St Edmunds:
1) Firstly there's the Green New Deal, a huge investment of £100bn every year for ten years - as much as we spend on education, and nearly three-quarters of the annual NHS budget. This will make energy completely renewable, sustainable transport available for all, housing warm yet cheap to run, and help businesses to decarbonise.
2) We will provide 100,000 social-rent homes a year to halt the housing crisis. These won't all be new-buil - we don't need all the houses currently being built around Bury St Edmunds, and many simply become investments not homes. Instead, we'll build some and convert others. More social housing will free up privately-rented homes for owner-occupiers.
3) The Green Party will tackle NHS privatisation with a bill making the government provide our NHS rather than outsourcing it to others. This would mean no more of the expensive commissioning process that saw Suffolk's community health services outsourced to Serco for three years.
4) We also want to reform the tax system so that we don't tax good things - like renewable energy or warm homes - and we penalise the bad things, like pollution and waste. A carbon tax and a tax on single-use plastics would help cut both.
5) Lastly, this is a crucial election for the climate emergency. We have to achieve net zero carbon by 2030 to guarantee a stable climate for our descendants. There is no time to waste, and the next government could be in power until 2025 - so the time to vote Green is now.