Paul Edwards

party: Green Party
constituency: Tiverton and Honiton

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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

Yes. There should be a formal minimum high standard for rented accommodation as there is in many parts of Europe. It should be illegal to rent properties that do not meet the standards as set.

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 people have a right to privacy provided the "authorities" have no reason to suspect them of illegal acts. I also believe that we need a formal statute that guarentees a citizen's right to privacy both from the police, the spooks and the media. If formal surveillance is considered necessary then it should be the subject of a formal court order regardless of the level of importance and the surveillance, itself, should be formally monitored to ensure that individuals' civil rights and right to privacy are not infringed except insofar as it is absolutely necessary for the the enforcement of specific laws or in narrowly defined interests of security.

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

The rights of parents to remain with their children in hospital should be expanded to cover carers of people with dementia.

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.

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

Yes. Tenants are entitled to expect that rent rises are affordable but landlords are also entitled to a reasonable rate of return of their property. These should both be determined by a formal process through an independent agency charged with creating a fair outcome for both parties.

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 not restrict access to information on the internet except insofar as the information either promotes or distributes child pornography or there is a extremely well-founded belief, as evidenced before a court hearing, that people are actively promoting actual violence or recruiting people for the commission of actual violent acts such as ISIS. I also believe that posting of pictures of naked males or females should be illegal without their consent. Private companies should have no ability to restrict access to information on the internet.

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

The Green Party policy is to empower and require local Councils to again build Council Housing for long term rental and available to all citizens. This should be funded by an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion and beyond.

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

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes. Part of the problem is that there is no longer a large pool of high quality public housing that acts as a brake on the demand for house purchase and reduces the upward pressure on house prices.

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

The reason for the high level of housing benefit is the lack of a viable alternative to private rental. I would prefer to reduce the demand for housing benefit by increasing the supply of public and social housing so that private rental becomes a choice and not a necessity. This should be paid for by cancelling Trident and closing the loopholes that allow £38 billion a year in tax avoidance and tax evasion. A rent tax would only be passed on to tenants who are already struggling to pay the existing level of rents.

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

organisation: CISTA

Yes. The use of illegal drugs should be decriminalised and drug abuse and addiction should be treated as a medical not a legal problem.