Glyn Robbins

party: Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
constituency: Bethnal Green and Bow

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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.

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, please see previous answer.

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

Yes (and incidentally, similar measures to reduce the number of empty homes).

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

We're living in an era of self-induced paranoia. At a mundane level, I see this in my daily work as a housing officer (entry door systems, security gates, CCTV etc), but this is obviously part of a much wider sense that we can no longer trust each other and that governments therefore have a duty to protect us from ourselves. I reject this, as I do the excessive and often unaccountable use of security, policing and surveillance powers. I believe that the best way to reduce the need for these things is for our government and others to change systemic features of its domestic and overseas policies that create the conditions in which the need for security becomes a necessity - albeit an exaggerated one.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

Not at all, except in exceptional cases relating to child protection and clearly demonstrable security risks.

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

Both these scenarios are close to my heart. I have been able to remain in hospital with a dying child and I now have a parent with dementia. Given my own experience and that of millions of others, I believe our society is generally failing to adequately address the issues around dementia and carer-friendly hospital care is only one aspect of this. However, I also believe that this issue is intrinsically linked to the need for us to fight to defend our NHS because the nature of dementia and other chronic conditions are not compatible with commercialised health-care.

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! I have worked in, campaigned on and written about housing for over 20 years and it's my number 1 campaign issue. Not only do I support rent control, but also other measures to improve the private rented sector including longer tenancy agreements and rigorous enforcement of repair/fitness standards. However, I would also like to see an emergency national campaign of council house building that meant people were less reliant on private renting and that in general, housing was not treated as a speculative commodity. Housing for need not greed!

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, but I would also like Generation Rent (and others) to stop using the politically-corrupted and increasingly misleading term 'social housing'. As stated in my previous answer, I believe a significant proportion of the new homes we need must be council homes.

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

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes, but for as long as we have a housing policy fixated on private home ownership and housing as a vehicle for financial speculation house prices will always be be too high, or if they are not, collapsing and creating the kind of economic and social wreckage we saw in 2007/08

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

organisation: CISTA

We need to review our drug laws. I'm not sure a 'Royal' Commission is the way to do it. I'd like to see a 'People's Commission'.