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.

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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

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

Abolishing the 1% pay cap

Posted by Steve Gee on Tuesday 16 May 2017

Tim Farron

The Lib Dems want to abolish the Conservatives’ pay cap on the public sector, which limits pay rises for nurses and teachers to 1% per year.

Party leader Tim Farron accused the Tories of treating health workers like dirt. Speaking to the Royal College of Nursing conference in Liverpool, Mr Farron said his party would give the health service the funding it needed by adding a penny to income tax in order to raise an extra £6 billion.

Promising to restore bursaries for student nurses, Mr Farron said that some nurses had been forced to use food banks. He went on: “And you find a prime minister who thinks that’s somehow not an issue, it feeds into a narrative of this Conservative government treating nurses like dirt and I will not have it.”

The end of pay restraint would result in an average additional pay rise of £779 for hospital staff by 2021, whereas if the Tories’ pay cap remains,  a new nurse will be £530 a year worse off by 2021, thanks to rising inflation, while a primary school teacher would lose £550 and an army sergeant £830.

Vince Cable

Former business secretary Sir Vince Cable said: “Public sector workers are facing a double blow at the hands of this Conservative government, with years of pitiful increases to pay combined with a Brexit squeeze caused by soaring inflation.

“Our NHS and schools are already struggling to recruit the staff they need. Living standards are falling, prices are rising and nurses are going to food banks – but Theresa May doesn’t care.

Posted in Health, National Issues | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Abolishing the 1% pay cap

Lib Dems’ penny for NHS would raise over £124 million extra for Surrey

Posted by Steve Gee on Friday 12 May 2017

The Lib Dems have announced we would plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax, in our first major manifesto commitment of the General Election campaign.

The tax would raise an additional £124.7 million for Surrey, with £76 million for the NHS and £48.7 million for social care each year.

This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and its first major policy announcement for the election.  The Lib Dems manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services in the manifesto.

At least 70% of Brits would happily pay an extra 1p in every pound if that money was guaranteed to go to the NHS, an ITV poll found last October.

Right across Surrey we are seeing patients lying on trolleys in hospital corridors, urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need.  The Lib Dems are prepared to be honest with people and say that to secure the future of the NHS we will all need to chip in a little more.

A penny in the pound would allow us to invest in improving local NHS services and ensuring the elderly receive the care they deserve.  This Conservative Government has left our health and care services chronically underfunded – and while the crisis gets worse they just do not seem to care.  We cannot continue asking the system to deliver more and more, without giving it the resources to do so.

The NHS was once the envy of the world and this pledge is the first step in restoring it to where it should be.  A penny in the pound to save the NHS is money well spent in our view.  However, simply providing more money on its own is not enough and that is why this is just the first step in our plan to protect health and care services in the long term.

Posted in Health, Lib Dems, National Issues | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Lib Dems’ penny for NHS would raise over £124 million extra for Surrey

The Liberal Democrats’ five priorities for the next five years

Posted by Steve Gee on Thursday 12 February 2015

2014 Logo 2

The Liberal Democrats have unveiled the party’s five priorities for the next five years.

These five priorities set out the Liberal Democrat agenda for government of building a stronger economy and a fairer society, creating opportunity for everyone.

1. Prosperity for all 

Creating a stronger economy is about more than just clearing the deficit that’s why we will balance the budget fairly and invest in building a high skill low-carbon economy. To build a strong, green, innovative economy we need to invest in upgrading our national infrastructure and producing the clean renewable energy that will power our future prosperity.

2. Fair taxes 

Creating a fairer society by cutting income tax by an additional £400 by raising the tax-free allowance to £12,500.

3. Quality healthcare for all

Creating a fairer society by properly funding our world-class public services by investing in them as the economy grows. This means making sure the NHS has the extra £8bn a year it needs by 2020. Ending the stigma around mental health and putting it on equal footing with physical is vital to building a fairer society.

4. Opportunity for every child

Protecting the education budget from cradle to college, so that every child and young person has the opportunity to fulfill their potential, from nursery school to higher education. Giving children the best start in life by making sure there is a qualified teacher in every class.

5. Our environment protected

Protecting the environment so that future generations are not left paying for the mistakes of the generations before them. Fighting climate change with five Green Laws.

Posted in Education, Environment, Health, Lib Dems, National Issues, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Liberal Democrats’ five priorities for the next five years

Extra £8bn for NHS by 2020 if Lib Dems re-enter government in May

Posted by Steve Gee on Tuesday 6 January 2015

Steve Gee, Liberal Democrat candidate for Epsom and Ewell says  “After all the chaos this week in A&E and the worst reported waiting times since targets were set, it’s clear that the NHS needs a boost of funds”.

“A review of changes to care for the elderly is also required, as they are increasingly finding that they are relying on A&E for basic care and support.”

“Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to increasing funding over the next Parliament. The Conservatives are only committed to continue privatisation, not  to increase funding. And Labour promises much, but won’t provide the economic strength to be able to fund the pledges they are making.”

The Liberal Democrats have set out plans to increase NHS funding by at least £8bn per year in real terms by 2020 if the Lib Dems re-enter government after the election in May, trumping the funding promises made by Labour and the Conservatives.

The Liberal Democrats are the first party to present a plan to meet the financial needs of the NHS as set out by Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England in his Five Year Forward View.

Stevens’ report, released in October, outlined an £8bn-a-year funding gap by the end of the next parliament between what the NHS gets and what it needs to deal with increasing demand because of population growth and people living longer.

Simon Stevens said the government would face a public backlash if the NHS did not get billions of pounds in extra funding on an annual basis. He hoped for more annual funding than the £2bn injection promised by the chancellor, George Osborne, or the £2.5bn promised by Labour.

key_health

To achieve this boost in funding by 2020/21, the Liberal Democrats will:

  1. Baseline into the budget of the NHS, the additional £2bn that Lib Dems secured in the Autumn Statement for 2015/16.
  2. In addition we will invest a further £1bn in real terms in 2016/17, as we set out at our Autumn Conference.
  3. Once we have finished the job of tackling the deficit in 2017/18, we will increase health spending in line with growth in the economy.

The extra £1bn in real terms in 2016/17 will be paid for by:

  • capping pensions tax relief for the richest pensioners (saving £500m),
  • aligning dividend tax with income tax for those earning more than £150,000 (saving £400m),
  • scrapping the Conservative shares for rights scheme (saving £100m).

As well as increasing NHS funding, the Lib Dems will also commission a non-partisan fundamental review of NHS and social care finances in 2015 before the next spending review, in order to assess the pressures on NHS budgets.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party to set out a credible road map for how we will safeguard the NHS over the next parliament. Neither Labour or the Conservatives have a credible response to the funding challenges that the NHS faces.

Labour have pledged £2.5bn only to be fully introduced by the third year of the next parliament and have not committed to any additional real term increases beyond that, while the Conservatives have made no specific real terms funding commitments.

Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to increasing NHS funding by £8bn in real terms by 2020.

The big difference between the Lib Dems compared to Labour and the Conservatives is that we have said that once we have dealt with the structural deficit, in 2017/18 we will link the amount of money going into public services – including the NHS – to the growth of the economy.

Posted in Health, Lib Dems, National Issues | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Extra £8bn for NHS by 2020 if Lib Dems re-enter government in May