Séamus Martin

party: UK Independence Party (UKIP)
constituency: Bury South

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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)

As a Libertarian I am fundamentally opposed to the surveillance state and wish to see the rights of central and local government to conduct surveillance severely curtailed. It should only be permitted with a court order and then only on the basis of "probable cause" for anti-terrorism purposes.

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

I am ashamed to say that I had never even thought about this before. But I am sympathetic and willing to listen to any ideas you may have and, if elected, to help raise awareness.

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

I don't know enough about this issue to comment. Please tell me more. What has prompted this question?

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

The idea of rent controls is superficially attractive, but it is not the answer. It will only lead to fewer houses being offered to rent by private landlords if rent control means that they do not receive enough to cover their buy-to-let mortgages. We simply need to build far more houses. It is a simple question of supply and demand - the more houses available to rent, the less rent landlords will be able to charge. And we also have to reduce the demand by curbing the currently unlimited immigration from the European Union.

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, absolutely. There should be both quality and size minimum standards.

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 desperately need a huge increase in house-building. I am willing to consider any reasonable, funded proposal.

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

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes.Much too high. Ordinary working people need to be able to afford to obtain and pay a mortgage on a house in the area they grew up in or near where they work. The current situation is utterly ridiculous. The dream, the expectation, the right to home ownership is being lost to an entire generation.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

To a very small degree, if at all. However, the right to privacy of private individuals must be protected. Likewise the right to privacy of public figures in their private lives unless they flaunt their private life in public, e.g. reality TV stars.

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

Absolutely not. Lanldlords are already paying tax on their rental income. This proposal would bankrupt many landlords and lead to a huge crash in the number of properties being offered to rent. It is a crazy idea. Economically illiterate. We definitely need much more housing but this is so not the way to fund it.

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

organisation: CISTA

No. It would just be a costly talking shop. We should just have a referendum on this issue. I personally would campaign for the decriminalisation of all currently illegal narcotics. As a Libertarian I believe that people should be free to do whatever they want, including using drugs, as long as it doesn't hurt or harm me. People should be able to buy cannabis etc from pharmacies. But somehow I think that that would take away a lot of the outlaw chic associated with the use of drugs! Decriminalisation would probably actually lead to a substantial fall in drugs use.