TUSC stands for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. We are standing in all three Medway seats in the General Election this May. We are also contesting the council elections on the same day. This amounts to the largest socialist challenge Medway has ever seen!!!
You can find a full list of our policies here, however, our General Election candidates have picked out a few high-lights and local issues that we will be campaigning around:
1) Health & Social Care
Successive governments have tried to break up and privatise the National Health Service.
– Scrap Labour’s Foundation Trusts and repeal the Tory Health & Social Care Act – for 1 NHS.
– Cancel all Private Finance Initiative debt and only compensate companies in proven need.
– Bring the social care industry into public ownership and nationalise the pharmaceutical companies.
– Re-open lost beds and expand capacity at St Bart’s to relieve pressure acute services.
– Councillors to take over failing care homes. Bring privatised care homes back in-house. For a massive expansion of community based services e.g. The Balfour Centre.
2) Work & Wages
Even by conservative estimate, pay has fallen in real terms by 8% since the crisis began. TUSC stands for:
– Increasing the minimum wage to £10/hr.
– Scrapping zero hours contracts, for guaranteed hours and rights for all workers.
– Repealing the Anti Trade-Union laws.
– Support workers action to defend their pay, conditions, jobs and services.
– Bringing businesses on the edge of bankruptcy into public ownership to protect jobs e.g. Aylesford Newsprint.
3) Housing & Welfare
In Medway, house prices here have gone up by 26% in three years with rents also increasing. As the cost of housing spirals, TUSC demands:
– A cap on rents set by elected tenants and housing workers.
– Use council reserves to renovate existing Local Authority homes.
– Bring Housing Association stock back in house.
– For a council house building program which meets the needs of communities and the environment.
– Axe the bedroom tax and reverse benefits cuts.
4) Transport & Utilities
Britain has the most expensive train fares in Europe. Privatisation has cost £11bn and the taxpayer continues to subsidise profit-driven private operators. TUSC says:
– Re-nationalise the railways!
– Bring bus and ferry networks into public ownership.
– Build an integrated, low-pollution public transport network meeting the needs of the community and the environment.
– No to Rochester Airport.
– Re-nationalise the major utilities e.g. gas, electricity and invest in renewable energy.
The Con-Dem Government has damaged education. Their determination to open free schools and academies has left a fragmented education system. The attacks on pay, conditions and pensions have demoralised staff. Excessive testing and divisive league tables have driven enjoyment out of education for staff and students alike. TUSC stands for:
– Free Childcare for all.
– Scrap Academies and Free Schools. All schools to be under local, democratic control with adequate funding.
– Bring back Educational Maintenance Allowance and scrap tuition fees.
– Invest in our libraries and local community arts projects. Re-instate the Fuse festival in full.
– Expand publicly owned and available, free further, higher and adult education. Life-long learning for all.
6) Down with Austerity
When the banks failed in 2009, they were bailed out. Now working class people who did nothing to cause the crisis are being expected to pay for it. TUSC demands:
– Councillors who’ll refuse to pass on cuts.
– Bring the banks under public ownership and democratic control.
– Tax the rich. For an increase tax on the super rich and big business. Close the tax loop holes.
– No to racism, sexism, homophobia and all forms of discrimination.
– For a socialist society, run in the interests of the millions not the millionaires.