David James

party: Independent
constituency: Wirral West

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Britain spends £24 billion on housing benefit and less than £1.5 billion on building homes. Do you support an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion a year to build homes?

organisation: Generation Rent

It would be common sense to revers this balance as soon as posible! £5billion per year is a start.

How would you reform surveillance law, oversight and practice to respect the rights of law-abiding people?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

As a law abiding subject I have no personal problem being "spied"on by cctv, internet stites visited and telephone conversations. However, if the "altruistic" government can do it so can crooks and add men: I strongly object to that. I would sugest that a time limited court order should be needed for intensive surveillance.

To what degree should access to information on the internet be restricted by the state or private companies?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

The state should need a court order to access detailed internet usage. Private companies should be bard from intensive spying and only have access to limited data with the full consent of the user. No more opt outs! It must be a major and informed decision to opt in.

The right of parents to remain with their children in hospital has been established for over forty years. How would you ensure carers of people with dementia are equally welcome in hospital?

organisation: John's Campaign

Dementia is a dreadful and progressive illness that literally sucks the life out day by day. The duty of care frome a loving child is immense and every effort sholud be made to accommodate carers.

Should people in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same free speech protections from libel bullies as their neighbours in England and Wales?

organisation: English PEN

The whole case for libel reform should be re-visited to ensure a level playing field between the truthful author and the litigant. No more outrageous damages claims or lawers fees greater than that damage! That said, innocent victims of poison pens must also be able to contest without hugh costs.

Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent

This would be difficult to control while there is a "free" market. Landlords only have a property to rent for commercial reasons, needing a return on capital employed for it to be considered an "ivestment". This begs the question whether it is fair to make a profit from a person's basic need to be homed. I would welcome a surfeit of affordable homes to buy and enough council owned social houses to force down the going rents. This in turn will make houses an unprofitable investment and return those houses to the open market in such numbers as to reduce their value and re-establish affordable homes. Since the concept of double income households property prices have been chased up by aspiring couples... how silly is that!

The standards of goods and services that are essential, such as food and water, are generally highly regulated. Do you support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of a renting?

organisation: Generation Rent

Their must be a concept of a minimum standard: certification for gas and electrical, etc. is established but there could be a call for a house "health" check to disclose any damp or leaks etc. The tenant must decide if the property is suitable for the rent asked. It would become a travisty if a working family buying the best house they can afford has less facility than a property, (maybe with a bedroom per child that the working family could only dream of), is gifted to tenants on benefits. The whole housing market has become crazy.

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

We are back to a major cause of house price inflation above the rpi., double income! Now that it is the norm for both parties to work their double income originally allowed enough disposable income to buy a better home. Regretfully, the demand for "better" homes has dragged all house prices to rise. Typically a house was less than 5 times the mans wage and limited by the mortgage allowable. Whilst we benefit from the input of mature femal workers and many have and need fulfilling jobs the corollary is the house price bubble. All I can say is that I owe so much to my stable childhood with a full time mum in a poor run down rented teraced house, and poverty was not a problem. How things have changed!

Private sector landlords receive over £27bn a year in housing benefit and tax breaks. Would you support a rent tax that recouped up to a third of this to fund new housing supply?

organisation: Generation Rent

There is a balance to driving up the rent and returning unprofitable investment properties to the market. Very often the buy to let market teeters on financial viability. I would argue that homes should not be considered investments and we should develop an alternative area for investments that benefit the country --- a national fund for start-up business for example.

Would you support the creation of a Royal Commission to review Britain’s drug laws?

organisation: CISTA

I have never taken drugs and struggle to comprehend their attraction or need...... I know of a friends brother who has been sectioned twice from cocaine use. So to me drugs are a source of evil. That said, the youth, (and not so youthful), of today use drugs as an every day proceedure....

It seems most of the crime centers around the drug supply culture and adictive and all engaging need for drug money that something has to be done. If drugs are now out of Pandora's box then there is no going back so why not have the government take control and raise taxes as for alcohol and tabacco. If it takes a Royal Commission to establish common sense, so be it.