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Forthcoming Elections

April 26, 2017 10:51 PM
By Martyn Pennington

Liberal Bird

As you know we have elections on 4 May for KCC and 8 June for Parliament.

The day that Theresa May announced the General Election, the Daily Telegraph had the headline "Price rises ahead as inflation starts to bite". There is only one reason for this election - the Tories want a clear majority before their cuts and misguided policies start to hit us.

I want you to send a clear message that we will defend our local services against Tory cuts. Throughout this campaign we will highlight the cuts that are coming in hospital care (with the closure of services in Canterbury there will be even more burden on QEQM Margate and Ashford), local surgeries and village pharmacies. We will call for more support to mental health services and care of the elderly - the whole NHS is just being left to rot while Tory bigwigs rely on private care.

Only recently the Government has dropped tax evasion measures from its Finance Bill; these include tougher penalties for tax evasion, changes to prevent people avoiding inheritance tax through offshore trusts and the axing of permanent non-dom status. Meanwhile it's clear that the Conservatives will drop one of the main Liberal Democrat contributions in the coalition, namely the triple-lock pension, which we brought in to safeguard the wellbeing of vulnerable elderly people.

We want to see a government which doesn't just pay lip service to equal chances, but really offers a helping hand to young people (and old) who want to realise their full potential. We need more teachers not fewer, and more apprenticeships. We understand the role that small businesses play in driving our local economy and will make sure that they are helped not milked.

So the time is right for Liberal Democrats to become the main opposition to Tory governments, fighting for a fairer, more open and tolerant country. The KCC elections, where we may well emerge as the main group in opposition to the Tory majority, can serve as a spring board for the General Election, and the canvassing we can do from now will influence both elections. So if you plan to vote Liberal Democrat, maybe even for the first time, tell your friends and neighbours.

And please make sure you vote on 4 May!!