Ben Mayor

party: Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
constituency: Leeds West

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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

Absolutely, see other answers on housing.

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

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes, see other answers on housing.

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

See other answers

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

organisation: CISTA

Our drugs laws need revisiting. The 'war on drugs' is a nonsensical one and costly in not only money but lives. All drugs should be de-criminalised, ensuring that their production is brought out of the hands of the blackmarket and can be regulated. As a result, we can ensure that drugs are safe but anybody suffering from addiction will be more able to come forward for support and much needed medical assistance.

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

Absolutely. Everyone should be protected from online bullies.

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

Absolutely. TUSC in West Leeds has been campaigning with anti-bedroom tax campaigners across Leeds for many years now. We have been lobbying the council to initiate rent control and go about a mass council house building programme. An increase in affordable housing would force private rents to come down however we would not stop there. We would initiate a council run letting agency to ensure that rents could be capped at affordable levels and quality in housing could be ensured, forcing private landlords to sign up to certain quality standards, decided by residents.

Nationally, we would nationalise the construction industry, employing thousands of construction workers but going about a mass, affordable and council house building programme, scrapping the 'right to buy' and maintaining housing associations under Local Authority control.

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

Absolutely, see other answer on housing. One of the main reasons that we pay so much out in housing benefit is to subsidise greedy private landlords charging extortionate rents. The Children Poverty Action Group has highlighted that 60% of children in poverty are in working families. The vast majority of those claiming benefit being in work as well, chiefly housing benefit. This says volumes of the poverty wages that people are being paid. We fight, alongside unions such as the Bakers Union, for a £10 an hour minimum wage, now. This would bring millions out of poverty instantly, but would vastly reduce the reliance on housing benefit. We would continue to fight and reverse the cuts to tax office workers in the HMRC as well, where the reorganisations of all governments has had only 300 tax officials working to collect £120bn lost in taxes to major companies of this country, yet employs 3,300 officials chasing just £1bn in benefit fraud. We would work to re-address that balance immediately.

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

Knowledge and understanding of dementia is well behind where it should be within the health service and social care services. The cuts to public funding, which are totally unjustified, given the over £800bn sat in the bank accounts of major companies of the country have seen much of our Social Care services taken out of the hands of Local Authorities and into private companies. We would reverse these cuts and return all social care services into public hands, properly accountable to the local authority and properly funded. We would work with service user groups and patients to ensure that this became a possibility. A fully funded and publically owned NHS alongside a publically run social care system would be less strained on staff numbers with proper facilities to enable this to happen.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

The internet has opened up a huge amount of information to everyone. We would fight to keep internet freedom for all to access the information they want. It has enabled the sharing of culture and knowledge like never before.

We would continue to fight, and reverse the cuts to Local Authority libraries, ensuring everyone was able to access the internet.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

Much of the new legislation, in the name of cracking down on terrorism is also used to justify surveillance against community activists, campaigners and trade unionists. We would scrap immediately any legislation that would be used in such a way.