The Bootleg Green

“I will fight to protect your public services”, says Bedford’s Green Party candidate Ben Foley

The Coalition agenda of cuts, an agenda feebly opposed by Labour, is creating the greatest threat to our essential public services. Generations of working people have fought for, and funded, these services. Now those services are under threat from the politicians in Westminster. Bedford’s Green Party Candidate, Ben Foley, says, “If I am elected to Westminster, I will fight to protect the services we all depend on”.

Ben Foley

Ben Foley

It is easy to forget how much we rely on public services, paid for through taxation. The pavements we walk on. The roads we drive on. The public parks we enjoy. The clean air we breathe. All are tax funded public services. Basic services.

Take a step up. Emergency services, fire, police, ambulance, passport control & customs. Tax funded. The NHS, Education, Social Services, vital for the health and well-being of common people.

We rely on the food hygiene standards. Who can forget the horse meat scandal? You can eat safely in restaurants, or from takeaways, because of the hygiene standards paid for through taxation.

Your waste is collected on a regular basis because we pay our taxes. So don’t let anyone tell you that they can cut your taxes without those cuts having an impact on your life.

You may use a library. You may travel on privatised, yet tax payer subsidised, rail and bus services.

Don’t think that only those in work pay tax on their income. VAT, alcohol, fuel, travel, plus many other activities, attract tax. And as a society we need to pay that tax.

Today, many of those  services are under threat from politicians in Westminster, through their pursuit of austerity . Austerity we are told is necessary to cut the deficit. Yet that austerity is accompanied by tax cuts for the most affluent and wealthy members of our society.

Green PartyBritain has run a deficit for much of its economic history. The reason for the recent increase in Britain’s deficit is not a sudden jump in public spending, it is a sudden drop in tax receipts. That drop in tax receipts was  caused by the credit crunch, a result of  financial speculation. Speculation that was designed to make the wealthy even wealthier. And who pays the price?

Having caused the financial crisis the wealthy speculators turned to you, the tax payer, when they found themselves in financial dire straights. You bailed out the banks with your income tax, VAT, fuel duty, alcohol duty, etc. You paid the price to bail them out.

Having paid the price you were then asked to pay again, through austerity, so the wealthy could keep their low taxes, and even have their taxes reduced. You paid twice. And Osborne announced a hike in the threshold for higher rate tax – a tax cut for all those paid more than the than the old threshold.

Now after five years of austerity, you are being asked to pay for another five years. Is that fair? It is if you are a wealthy speculator. It is if you are a millionaire cabinet minister. It is if you are a well paid politician. It is if you are well paid banker on a massive bonus. I could go on.

But it’s not fair if you are an ordinary person, with an ordinary job, earning an ordinary wage. Our current politicians call you “hard-working families”. They look to you to fund their wealthy life style through austerity, low wages taxes and the sale of national assets, privatisation.

We have three Westminster parties, plus UKIP,  committed to a programme to eliminate the deficit through austerity, cutting public services, low wages and privatisation.

This economically illiterate approach will require billions of pounds of cuts and will further exacerbate problems associated with inequality and poverty. All of this, so that the people who caused the problem can keep their millions, and in some cases their billions.Ben and Lucy your local Bedford Green Party Candidates

What Bedford demands is fully funded public services, able to meet the needs of the overwhelming majority:

  • a priority to rebuild our economy, so that everyone gets a fair share;
  • release funding for public services, by clamping down on tax avoidance;
  • introduce a Robin Hood Tax on the financial services which caused the problems;
  • reduce  unnecessary expenditure, such as the £billions of pounds to replace the Trident nuclear missile programme;
  • services for the people, not profiteering from essential services;
  • railways back in public hands;
  • an  NHS that is truly national and under democratic control, not in private hands;
  • education, free for all, under democratic control and not beset by the problems of academies and free schools;
  • industry based on green technology and renewable energies.
  • vote for what you believe inOnly The Green Party has the policies to make these changes. Other parties are either ideologically opposed to these changes, or do not have the commitment to make the change our country needs to reduce inequity, and share the wealth of the country fairly between all our citizens.

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