Graham Naismith

party: Independent
constituency: Tunbridge Wells

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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 absolutley.

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

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes! How my kids will ever afford a place I do not know

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

organisation: CISTA

Yes, completely. Regulation has gone in the face of evidence and I would include alcohol in this.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

Freedom of speech and access to information in many ways defines a democracy and we have to be very careful when we allow any organisation or government to restrict that. However there are clearly examples where censorship, for lack of a better word, is required. For example child pornography, personal details etc.

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

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

I see this question of balance between the lives of a few and the rights of many. For me the former beats the latter any day. Terrorist organisations use many methods to communicate and email and social media no doubt plays a prominent role. Taking seemingly disproportionate amounts of data and interceptions is no doubt a fishing expedition but that’s how you catch fish. We can’t have our cake and eat it. If we want to prevent the atrocities that have occurred in recent years at home and abroad then we cannot tie our security services hands behind their backs. The security services are genuinely not interested in the lives of the law abiding citizen.
However this does not mean that we can wholly trust an organisation, government or otherwise, with all this data. Experience has taught us otherwise. Wide ranging surveillance laws need a well resourced non-political independent body of suitable (security cleared) individuals with statutory rights of audit and regulation.

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 would prefer to see appropriate and suitable resources available in hospitals to fulfil the role that carers would. That’s where fiscal support should be deployed in the main. However, there may be circumstances where this is not possible and I would endorse in those circumstances an approach similar to if the carer was a parent.

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 think it was a missed opportunity and the 2013 Defamation Act was a great improvement. However I respect the right for Scotland and Northern Ireland to regulate their own legislation.

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

No. Private Landlords are a valuable asset to the housing market and shouldn’t be considered as exploiters of it. They are taxed in the money they've used to buy the house and are taxed in the rent they receive from it. And then they are taxed in any profit they make when they sell it. Or taxed via inheritance tax when they die. For the Landlord, renting out a property is often their sole source of future income and pension and they have no faith in investing through other channels. What we do require is stronger regulation of the renting sector that prevents exploitation and maintains standards in accomodation.

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

I would be relucant to put a figure on it but clearly yes. The current position is a joke, just a not a very funny one.

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 live in a capitalist society where market forces dictate supply and demand. We need to think very carefully about state interventionism however I would endorse a system of caps as described.