Steve Gee

Liberal Democrat Candidate for Epsom & Ewell

  • Steve Gee

    I am your Liberal Democrat Candidate for the General Election.

    This blog gives you my views on current political issues.

    It also covers some Lib Dem
    policies that I think are particularly important.

    Steve

  • Contact Details:

    98 Nork Way,
    Banstead,
    Surrey SM7 1HP.
    01737 362810
    steve@steve4epsom.com

  • Administration

  • Published and promoted by Derek Harwood on behalf of Stephen Gee and the Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats all at 38 West Farm Close, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2LJ.

    Printed (hosted) by Automattic Inc (WordPress.com) 570 El Camino Real, Redwood City, California 94063, USA.

Thinking of voting Labour? Study this graph:

Posted by Steve Gee on Monday 5 June 2017

[From The Economist quoting data from IFS.]

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Posted in Lib Dems, National Issues, Taxes, UK Economy | Comments Off on Thinking of voting Labour? Study this graph:

The middle has fallen out of British politics

Posted by Steve Gee on Friday 2 June 2017

The leaders of both main parties have turned away from a decades-old vision of an open, liberal country The Economist

Posted in National Issues, UK Economy | Comments Off on The middle has fallen out of British politics

Some good questions for the conservatives to answer

Posted by Steve Gee on Friday 2 June 2017

Security

  • 1. Why are the Conservatives insisting on a Brexit negotiation strategy that will automatically prevent access to the vital EU Schengen Information System – used 16 times a second by UK police forces to track terrorists and criminals?
  • 2. Why has only one individual out of hundreds who have travelled to fight for ISIS in Syria been subject to the Temporary Exclusion Order powers introduced by the Coalition?
  • 3. How will the Conservatives ‘ban encryption’ without weakening internet banking security for millions of British citizens?

Schools

  • 4. How many children will lose their free school lunches?
  • 5. How much money will the Conservatives spend on providing free school breakfasts instead of lunches?
  • 6. Exactly how much money will the Conservatives give to schools to plug the hole in their budgets, and why is their pledge unfunded?

Health and social care

  • 7. How many people risk losing their house as a result of their social care policy?
  • 8. At what level will losses be capped for people with long-term degenerative conditions like dementia?
  • 9. How will the NHS cope with the loss of 26,000 EU staff who are planning to leave because of Brexit?

Welfare

  • 10. How many people will lose their winter fuel payments?
  • 11. How many lives will be lost as a result?
  • 12. Will the coldest areas of England and Wales be exempted, as Scotland has been?

How will they pay for their manifesto policies?

  • 13. Why should anyone vote for a manifesto without costings?
  • 14. How many billions will be lost to the public finances as a result of the Conservatives’ plan to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands?
  • 15. How much will they raise taxes and national insurance by in order to pay for their pledges?

Posted in Education, Health, National Issues, The EU and Brexit | Comments Off on Some good questions for the conservatives to answer

Warm reception by Epsom commuters

Posted by Steve Gee on Friday 26 May 2017

Steve Gee enjoyed a warm reception from voters this morning at Epsom Station.



Posted in Local Issues | Comments Off on Warm reception by Epsom commuters

Election Hustings “Question Time” re-scheduled

Posted by Steve Gee on Thursday 25 May 2017

Question MarkThe General Election hustings “Question Time” postponed due the Manchester terror attack has now been rescheduled.

It will now be at St Martin’s church, Church Street, Epsom KT17 5PX (NOT St Paul’s), at 8.00 pm to 9.30 pm on Tuesday 6 June.

Churches Together, Epsom and Ewell, are inviting everyone to join them for a lively event with our General Election candidates, chaired by Rev Chris Hancock.

Please note there is no on-site parking. However there are council car parks further down Church Street,

St Paul’s have also expressed thanks to all those who came to pray for Manchester and our nation.

Posted in National Issues | Comments Off on Election Hustings “Question Time” re-scheduled

Question Time at St Paul’s Howell Hill cancelled

Posted by Steve Gee on Wednesday 24 May 2017

Tonight’s election hustings Question Time at St Paul’s Howell Hill cancelled and replaced by Prayer for Manchester.

For details see: St Paul’s on Facebook

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Question Time at St Paul’s Howell Hill cancelled

Lib Dems would give Surrey Police an extra £3.6 million a year

Posted by Steve Gee on Friday 19 May 2017

The Liberal Democrats have announced that we would boost investment in police forces by £300 million a year. This is in stark contrast to the Conservatives, who have overseen devastating cuts to community policing. Theresa May, as Home Secretary, and now Prime Minister, has cut policing budgets by over £2 billion, eroding the very fabric of community policing.

Under the Lib Dems, Surrey Police would see a funding increase of £3,630,000 a year. This could be used to restore a visible policing presence in the community and ensure that the police have the training and tools to deal with the changing nature of crime.

This investment in our police force is absolutely vital. Under Theresa May, both as Home Secretary and as Prime Minister, our police have had to deal with the most brutal of cuts. These are now cutting to the bone.

The police work tirelessly to keep us safe and this Government have completely betrayed them. Our councillors know first-hand just how weak the local police team now is. We all know they are no longer out and about in the community.

Only the Lib Dems have a credible plan to reverse the increase in violent crime, boost community confidence and ensure the police have the resources they need to keep us safe.

Posted in National Issues | Tagged: | Comments Off on Lib Dems would give Surrey Police an extra £3.6 million a year

Fair taxes

Posted by Steve Gee on Thursday 18 May 2017

In order to balance the books and build a sustainable economy for the future we must ensure that everyone pays their fair share. Liberal Democrats have a longstanding commitment to fairer taxation, and in government we raised the personal allowance for Income Tax. It remains our ambition to make taxes fairer and simpler, to help those on low and middle incomes, and to ensure that those on the highest incomes, and large international companies, make a fair contribution. We will:

  • Aim in the long-term, and as resources allow, to raise the employee national insurance threshold to the Income Tax threshold, while protecting low earners’ ability to accrue pension and benefit entitlements.
  • Ensure those with the highest incomes and wealth are making a fair contribution. We have identified a series of distortions, loopholes and excessive reliefs that should be removed. These include reforms to Capital Gains Tax and dividend tax relief, and refocusing entrepreneurs’ relief. We would reverse a number of the Conservatives’ unfair and unjustified tax cuts, including:
    • The cutting of Corporation Tax from 20% to 17%.
    • Capital Gains Tax cuts.
    • Capital Gains Tax extended relief.
    • The Marriage Allowance.
    • The raising of the Inheritance Tax threshold.
  • Take tough action against corporate tax evasion and avoidance, including by:
    • Introducing a General Anti-Avoidance Rule, setting a target for HM Revenue and Customs to reduce the tax gap, and continuing to invest in staff to enable them to meet it.
    • Reforming Corporation Tax to develop a system that benefits the smallest companies while ensuring the biggest multinationals cannot avoid paying sums comparable to nationally based competitors. We will consult on shifting away from a profits-based tax to one that takes account of a wider range of economic activity indicators, such as sales and turnover.
    • Reviewing the Business Rates system, prioritising reforms that recognise the development of the digital economy, lessening the burden on smaller businesses, and ensuring high streets remain competitive. We will also consider the implementation of Land Value Taxation.
  • Conduct a full-scale review into the burden of taxation and spending between generations to ensure that government policy promotes fairness between generations.

Posted in Taxes | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Fair taxes

Immigration and asylum

Posted by Steve Gee on Thursday 18 May 2017

Immigration and asylum are under attack. Immigration is essential to our economy and a benefit to our society. We depend on immigration to ensure we have the people we need contributing to the UK’s economy and society, including doctors, agricultural workers, entrepreneurs, scientists and so many others. Immigration broadens our horizons and encourages us to be more open, more tolerant.

Refugees are human beings fleeing from war zones and persecution, and we have a legal and moral obligation to offer them sanctuary. The Liberal Democrats are proud of the UK’s historic commitments to assisting those seeking refuge from war, persecution and degradation, and believe that we should continue to uphold our responsibilities. **

The immigration and asylum systems have suffered from inefficiency and severe backlogs and delays over many years, harming their credibility and ability to operate effectively. We recognise that large-scale immigration has placed strains on some local communities and services. Major improvements are urgently needed. For that reason, when it comes to immigration the Liberal Democrats will:

  • Ensure that the immigration system is operated fairly and efficiently, with strict control of borders, including entry and exit checks, and adequately funded Border Force policing of entry by irregular routes.
  • Hold an annual debate in parliament on skill and labour market shortfalls and surpluses to identify the migration necessary to meet the UK’s needs.
  • Continue to allow high-skilled immigration to support key sectors of our economy, and ensure work, tourist and family visas are processed quickly and efficiently.
  • Recognising their largely temporary status, remove students from the official migration statistics.
  • Ensure the UK is an attractive destination for overseas students. We will reinstate post-study work visas for graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects who find suitable employment within six months of graduating. Give the devolved administrations the right to sponsor additional post-study work visas.
  • Work with universities to ensure a fair and transparent student visa process and find ways to measure accurately the number of students leaving at the end of their course.
  • Establish a centrally funded Migration Impact Fund to help local communities to adjust to new migration and meet unexpected pressures on public services and housing.
  • Provide additional government funding for English as an additional language classes to help migrants and residents gain independence and integrate with their local communities.

And for asylum, the Liberal Democrats will:

  • Apply the asylum system fairly, efficiently and humanely, including the process for those who have no right to be here.
  • Offer safe and legal routes to the UK for refugees to prevent them from making dangerous journeys, which too often result in the loss of life, for example via reform of family reunion rules to make it easier for refugees to join relatives already living in safety in the UK.
  • Expand the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme to offer sanctuary to 50,000 people over the lifetime of the next parliament.
  • Re-open the Dubs unaccompanied child refugee scheme, ensuring Britain meets its responsibilities by taking in 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children.
  • Liberal Democrats would offer these children indefinite leave to remain, meaning they will not be deported once they turn 18.
  • End indefinite immigration detention by introducing a 28-day limit.
  • Speed up the processing of asylum claims, reducing the time genuine refugees must wait before they can settle into life in the UK.
  • Expect working-age asylum seekers who have waited more than six months for their claim to be processed to seek work like other benefit claimants, and only to receive benefits if they are unable to do so.
  • Offer asylum to people fleeing countries where their sexual orientation or gender identification means that they risk imprisonment, torture or execution, and stop deporting people at risk to such countries.

** See also page on Asylum and Refugee Issues

Posted in Immigration and asylum | Comments Off on Immigration and asylum

Combatting the harm done by drugs

Posted by Steve Gee on Thursday 18 May 2017

The war on drugs has been a catastrophic failure. Every year, billions flow to organised crime while we needlessly prosecute and imprison thousands of people, blighting their employment and life chances, and doing nothing to address the impact of drugs on their health.

The current approach to drugs helps nobody except criminal gangs. For that reason the Lib Dems would:

  • End imprisonment for possession of illegal drugs for personal use, diverting those arrested for possession of drugs for personal use into treatment and education (adopting a health-based approach), or imposing civil penalties.
  • Break the grip of the criminal gangs and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis. We would introduce limits on potency and permit cannabis to be sold through licensed outlets to adults over the age of 18. **
  • Concentrate on catching and prosecuting those who manufacture, import or deal in illegal drugs.
  • Repeal the Psychoactive Substances Act which has driven the sale of formerly legal highs underground.
  • Move the departmental lead on drugs policy to the Department of Health.

** For more detail see Regulating the cannabis market

Posted in Health | Comments Off on Combatting the harm done by drugs