Iain Hamilton

party: Green Party
constituency: Thornbury and Yate

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

organisation: CISTA

Yes.

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

We would abolish landlord perks, such as tax deductions against a variety of expenditures, including mortgage interest relief. Ending
mortgage interest tax relief alone will raise £5.8 billion a year

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

We oppose any case for secret unaccountable mass surveillance of the type exposed by Edward Snowden. We do accept that
government law enforcement agencies may occasionally need to intercept communications in specific circumstances. Such
specific surveillance should be proportionate, necessary, effective and within the rule of law, with independent judicial approval
and genuine parliamentary oversight.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

We oppose the privatisation of data held by the government that should be open to all, such as the Postcode Address File, or by
companies providing public services, such as data on the progress of buses that can be used by Smartphone apps to predict
waiting times.

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

We would reform the private rented sector by introducing a ‘living rent’ tenancy (including five-year fixed tenancy agreements), smart rent
control that caps annual rent increases linked to the Consumer Price Index, security of tenancy and local not-for-profit letting
agencies, and abolishing letting agents’ fees and insurance-based deposit schemes.

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

A secure and affordable place to live is one of our most basic human needs, so yes.

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

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes. There are three reasons for the current chaos and unfairness:
• A misplaced faith in the market as the way to meet housing needs, where the market for houses has too often reflected a desire
to make an investment rather than buy a place to live, and prices have risen faster than inflation;
• A lack of investment in public housing for at least 20 years, following Right to Buy and restrictions on what local authorities can
do; and
• A private rented sector where too often people have insecurity of tenure and are being charged extortionate rents for
unsatisfactory housing.

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

Yes, we would provide 500,000 social rented homes to high sustainability standards by increasing the social housing budget from £1.5 billion a
year to £6 billion a year in the lifetime of the Parliament, removing borrowing caps from local councils, and creating 35,000 jobs.

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

Yes, we would place the quality of patient care, especially patient safety, at the heart of the system. Reducing costs would not be the primary
driver of behaviour but would be the outcome of best practice. Respect the families wishes.

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

As you know, the Libel Reform Campaign led to the Defamation Act 2013 which introduced significant changes to the law of libel in England & Wales. The law now includes a 'serious harm' test, a new public interest defence, protections for web hosts, privilege for peer reviewed academic papers. Together, these reforms should expand the space for free expression in England & Wales. The Defamation Act 2013 must be extended to Scotland.