Tamara Galloway

party: Green Party
constituency: Orpington

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

I believe that targeted surveillance is more useful. I oppose secret unaccountable mass surveillance of the type exposed by Edward Snowden. The Green Party would replace the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which has failed to regulate undercover police, to support journalistic and legal confidentiality, and to provide an effective right of redress.

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

Tragically, I myself have been a carer for elderly relatives with dementia. I would liaise with hospitals to ensure that carers of people with dementia are allowed to stay with them overnight. In particular, I would ensure that a mattress and bedding are provided, and that there is at least one place somewhere in each hospital where a carer can take a shower, rather than having to leave the hospital to do so.
The same should apply to care homes, where people with dementia are often discharged to from hospital.

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

Yes, that's only fair.

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

I thoroughly support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies. The Green Party would also set up a Living Rent Commission to explore whether controls could bring rents more in line with local average incomes.

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

I support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of renting. For properties which don't meet that minimum standard, there should be means tested financial assistance to refurbish them available to owners, so those properties aren't just left empty. This could take the form of loans to owners, repayable from the subsequent rent.

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

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes, and I'm currently suffering the consequences of this myself. Houses are for living in, and profits from property should be taxed!

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

I that access to information on the internet should only be restricted in very limited circumstances, such as when it relates to making weapons, inciting terrorism, pornography involving or targeted at children, scams or threats. People's personal information should also be safeguarded.

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

I support an increase in social housing grant to £5 billion a year, provided that any new building is on true brownfield sites (not back gardens, which are currently designated as brownfield sites). I believe most of that money should be spent on the following:
* converting empty shops and offices to dwellings.
* changes to VAT rules. Currently there's no VAT on new builds, but there's VAT at 20% on refurbishments. This should be reversed.
* Empty Property Use Orders. I think these should be combined with a means tested scheme to bring these properties up to a habitable standard.
I also think the following issues should be addressed:
* Second, third or subsequent homes should be made much more expensive. At present, council tax can be as low as half the council tax on first homes, depending on the council. Instead, it should be more expensive. I think some MPs may possibly have an inbuilt bias against this, as most of them have second homes!
* Development should be spread more evenly across the country. The Regional Development Councils, which have been abolished, should be reinstated and their powers enhanced.
* Buy to let should be made less attractive, by removing tax breaks, including Mortgage Interest Tax Relief.
* Purchasing houses purely as an investment and then leaving them empty should be made less attractive, with much higher council tax bands for empty homes.

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

I'd support this, provided that it funded housing in the ways I detailed in my answer to a previous question.

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

organisation: CISTA

I'd support the creation of a Royal Commission to review Britain's drug laws. I think addicts should be supported, and helped to overcome their addictions.