Maureen Martin has taken part in our virtual hustings. You can read the full questions here. And find responses from other candidates here. Maureen is standing as a candidate in the General Election in June 2017 in Lewisham East representing the Christian Peoples’ Alliance.
1& 2 A CARING ECONOMY & EQUAL PARENTING
The CPA recognise the immense contribution of carers and thus would raise the carers allowance from;the current £62.50 not linking it to any other benefit. 2. CPA intend to address the issue of marriage breakdown which is costing the nation about 48billion per year and child care costs are included in this figure. We want the tax threshold to be transferable from husband to wife to make it financially viable for one parent to stay home with the children. Tackle child poverty by introducing new child tax allowances of £2,373 per child to all up to 5 per family. The cost of this has been estimated at £4 billion. 4. Allow parents who stay at home to receive enhanced child benefit in the early years to encourage parents to spend more time with very young children.
3. The Impact of BREXIT:
CPA would ensure that all Uk citizens get a fair deal out of the Brexit negotiations and of course this includes women. Our commitment to support families will continue, work place equality will be improved upon, the Uk already had most of the employment rights legislation even before we joined the EU. Greater representation in public office will be encouraged, the example of the current Prime Minister is case in point. We believe that our negiationed exit from the EU is key to maintaining and improving the quality of life for all UK citizens. CPA would grant all current EU citizens already in the UK the right to stay without threat of deportation.
4. WOMEN AND MIGRATION
The Convention on Refugees 1951 (globalised by the 1967 Protocol) states that countries should offer first port of call shelter for those perceived to be fleeing from unjust persecution. If Port 1 is overloaded, subsequent ports should be open for fair distribution. The wisdom and fairness of the UK Border Agency has long been suspect. Their policies and actions must be audited for just ethical standards, including a proper up-to-date awareness of worldwide human rights issues, such as the way conversion to Christianity and other faiths can lead to serious persecution, including a death sentence, in many countries; for instance, in a number of Islamic nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia. We will certainly give priority to those who have faced or may face persecution in such countries. Economic/Educational Immigrants. We will greatly increase the efficiency and effectiveness in which our borders are managed. If we remain in the EU this will be managed within EU rules. Outside of the EU it can be much more effective and fairer to all non Britains wanting to come here.
5: EQUAL PAY
The pay gap must be based on equal work for equal pay. The reason for the discrepancy is women are more likely to have lower paid jobs. In most companies directors are on the same pay scale whether male or female. The question is how do we ensure that women are equipped to succefuly compete for higher paid skilled work. Education is the answer. Making higher education more accessible to all those who desire to pursue it. Emphasis on adult part-time education for more mature students and of course the inspiration of role models. a company must have much greater voting right than investors from outside so there is a much greater sense of employees having a say in how their company is run. Executives should be rated as Companies are rated for their credit worthiness by credit rating agencies. This will end the absurd position where Executives are valued according to how much they are paid and extreme salaries are the result. Ours is not the policy of envy; it is the policy of efficiency and fairness. Wealth creation must seek to lead to full employment using all measures to improve our education system to make as many people in the country as possible employable. We must also constantly improve schemes to help people to find work. There must be a safety net but that will be a last resort not a first resort.
Q6: EQUAL EDUCATION
As far as school structures are concerned we will do all we can to provide a stable educational environment for children and where possible reduce class sizes. Stability is vital in education and constant changes leave children feeling insecure. Too many structural changes have been taking place over the past 20 or so years. At the same time the more individual attention children get, especially those with special needs, the better. For Universities the CPA wants open debate on all issues and to encourage close relationships between Universities and the world of work. Our universities should increasingly become national debating centres and State funding should be given to encourage this process with certain debates and lectures being open to people from outside the University to come and participate. The CPA wants an open and free society where ideas can be expressed and no-one lives in fear of expressing them. The CPA is in principle opposed to tuition fees which are saddling young people with debt from an early age. We will immediately consult on how we can increase funding for Universities and maintain and increase student numbers without tuition fees. Liberal Democrat betrayal of their voters on this issue is something which they deserved to be punished for and should never happen again. We urgently need to restore trust to politics.
Q7: WE require an end to violence against women and girls
CPA believe in Restorative Justice, For a real and lasting reduction in crime we need to tackle it’s root causes. If Christian values of loving neighbours, loving enemies and forming lasting stable relationships are followed perfectly then real crime will cease. However simply by promoting those values crime will reduce. The by product of this will be safer streets, better parenting and a happier society. Our aim is to eliminate the yob culture and the “me first” society. Relationships are absolutely key when we are talking about crime. Stable relationships of love and caring are needed in every society and are the fundamental basis of a Christian community. Of course everyone at some time in their life will make mistakes. When this happens as a society we should look first at restoration and only second at punishment. At the moment too easily we arrest people and bang them up in a police cell or jail without making any attempt to understand why the so called crime has been committed or what is happening. This frequently causes resentment and anger. The police approach is arrest first and ask questions later. This has got to change to a process of ask questions first and seek to resolve a problem and arrest only as a last resort. We are very keen to re-envigorate Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and these will be properly funded. At the same time support for Street pastors and special constables will support the community approach. CPA policies are to invest in social institutions which encourage a law abiding lifestyle and especially to support the family.
Q8: Equal Representation
As an MP I would seek to insist on the redress of any local or national policies that are clearly biased against any one that wants to enter public service this includes BME’s and women. Openly encourage women to get involved and make it easier for them, for instance quite often child care is an issue especially attending evening meetings etc. Measures can be put in place to offer incentives where this concerned, to encourage participation.
Q9: Equal Health
The CPA would take the following approach: Restore a pro life ethic across the NHS so that every member of staff is doing their best to assist the healing of a patient and are not asking questions about whether their life is worth living. e. Provide the means for staff to identify and report their concerns about quality of care and patient safety without fear of recrimination for whistle blowing. f. Restore the voice of the patient and improve responsiveness to patients and public by improving the NHS complaints process and by instituting independent, accessible bodies with statutory powers to intervene and act on concerns expressed by patients and staff. g. Reduce the NHS and Department of Health dependence on management consultants; increase the influence of healthcare professional bodies, health staff and patient groups; and restore responsibility for health planning to public health and clinical leader. Use the purchasing power of the NHS to get the best deals for all NHS supplies, equipment, and pharmaceuticals for the benefit of patients. i. Increase efficiency at all levels including dealing with engineering and repairs. Encourage nursing training to contain an increased sense of vocation and enable nurses to be involved in the care of patients to a greater extent.
Q10: EQUALITY IN THE MEDIA
The CPA do not have a policy on this, but my own view is that in order to effect change corporate action is needed, and the way to make a statement is with purchasing power. Brands and platforms that are clearly exclusive can be subject to a purchasing ban, just do not buy their products. Do not watch their programmes or use their social media platform. This is one area where legislation would not be effective. Let your wallet fo the talking! Other methods create our own media platforms, fashion, music, get involved instead of just complaining.