Joe Otten

party: Liberal Democrats
constituency: Sheffield Central

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

organisation: Generation Rent


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

Surely this policy would drive up rents by about 50%.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

Private data should be protected. Criminal activity should be prevented and prosecuted irrespective of whether it involves use of the internet. Otherwise information should be free.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

All surveillance must have judicial oversight.

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

Scotland should be free to maintain its own legal system, but I would support everywhere, libel reforms that give strong public interest defences, exemptions for science, etc.

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

It is important to enforce the standards that exist, and to raise standards in areas such as energy efficiency where there may be little incentive for landlords to insulate as it is the tenants who must pay the energy bills.

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 allowing housing associations to borrow against their assets.

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

No. Price controls always restrict supply, whether that is seen in empty supermarket shelves, power cuts, or homelessness. The solution is to build more homes. Rent controls would see fewer homes for rent being built.

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

organisation: CISTA

Yes. In particular the legal persecution of patients who self-medicate with cannabis should be ended.