Danny Gallagher: Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Copeland – Writing in the Whitehaven News.
We live in a society which is becoming increasingly unfair. The gap between rich and poor in Britain is steadily widening. An international “league table” assessing income equality shows that Britain now ranks 28th out of 34 of the world’s richest countries. Unlike Germany, for instance, we reward our top managers and bankers wth excessive amounts through salaries, bonuses or share options, whilst many employees struggle on barely enough to survive. OXFAM has calculated that the top 1% of the world’s population, the corporate, financial and social elite, will soon own more of the world’s wealth than the bottom 99%.
This growing inequality requires radical action. President Obama recently asked ”how much longer can we accept a situation where only a few do spectacularly well?”. Many of the political parties in the UK express concern about the vast differences of income and wealth even within our own relatively uncorrupt society. So one key question for politicians from voters in the approaching General Election will be: “What is your party planning to do about our unfair and unequal society?” It is a question which Liberal Democrats have been debating for many months.
Answers to this key question should be contained in the different party manifestos. I hope that voters will examine how each party plans to make ours a fairer society, in which people are rewarded fairly for their work and in which benefits are properly directed to those who genuinely need them. If we fail to tackle what has been described as “the cancer of inequality” I believe we will be confronted by catastrophic social consequences.
Liberal Democrats will ensure high earners and the wealthiest pay their fair tax share; increase public spending in line with the growth of the economy; raise personal tax thresholds to at least £12,500, guarantee decent state pension increases every year; and enforce minimum wage laws. We will also safeguard our precious NHS, ensure those with mental health problems get treated as well as those with physical problems, and protect education funding, from early years through to school and college.
Liberal Democrats understand that a strong economy and a fair society have to go together if we are to enable everyone to progress and achieve their full potential. We have worked hard in this coalition government to rescue and repair Britain’s shattered economy. The task ahead – which we accept – is to move from rescue to renewal, and to restore optimism and fairness. Building a fair society will be at the heart of my campaign.
To contact West Cumbria Liberal Democrats visit wcld.focusteam.org.uk
or telephone Danny Gallagher on 019467 23361