Kate Taylor: The real questions facing us this general election

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Prime Minister Theresa May has today declared her intention to hold a national election later this year, whilst Conservative polls appear to be holding steady. The latest YouGov poll sees them leading with 44% whilst Labour trail behind at 23% – a 2% rise and fall respectively.

However, before the election on June 8th can go ahead there must be a vote in the House of Commons, set to take place on Wednesday. May will need a two thirds majority to secure the impending political race. After denying an early election for many months, likely down to the current Brexit negotiations, the PM has now said that her decision is down to the feeling that “the country is coming together but Westminster is not.”

Indeed, public and officials alike on both sides of the fence are in agreement with this; the push for Brexit, selling off chunks of the NHS faster than the media can report it and the hush hush tone of yet more state cuts have targeted the fear in voters. This is the problem Labour now faces in its uphill struggle to secure a majority election win.

Corbyn has today said that the party intends to reach every town and city in the upcoming weeks – and they’ll need to. A big part of their last defeat was down to preaching to the choir, tail between their legs; the party avoided disillusioned voters and those who were fed up with working hard yet still struggling.

The problem many don’t see is that regardless of your political ideals, the Conservative party are categorically dismantling our welfare state, our education system and our National Health Service.

Benefit fraud is and always has been dramatically lower than many would make out – it accounts for 1% of all benefits and 2% of estimated fraud in the UK; unlike tax evasion which accounts for an overwhelming majority at 69%.

Teachers are leaving schools at an ever increasing rate due to the pressure not only put on them, but on their students. This year GCSEs have been dismantled and haphazardly put back together with a completely new grading system (which FYI – educational establishments still haven’t been given full guidelines on even though exams are impending. Many spend their lunch breaks checking out TES and other publications for some sort of clue to help their classes).

Richard Branson secured a £700m deal to take over 200 NHS care services at the end of last year in the latest privatisation deals made by our government.

We cannot go on like this. Our children are being set up to live in poverty, and our full time jobs are not enough to raise them. Our disabled and elderly are living in abject poverty in what is supposed to be one of the richest nations in the world.

What have these cuts, the swath of privatisation and dismantling of each and every part of our great and glorious country, actually done for us, the public?

Who of us is better off in 2017? If there are any millionaires reading this I doff my cap to you — if you could set up a Direct Debit to your local food bank that’d be of help. Working 50 hours week to make the same amount 38 hours used to cover is not progress. Worrying that your elderly parents may not survive the winter because they can’t afford heating or sort out sufficient at-home care is not progress. Your disabled neighbour being stuck in her house because her mobility car has been taken away is not progress.

Our country needs infrastructure, it needs an economy that helps everyone from top to bottom, and it needs a future that we can be proud to leave to our offspring. This is not what our ancestors fought for. They gave their lives so everyone could live in peace and equality with no fear of prejudice nor poverty.

At this point it has nothing to do with being on the left or right, it’s about our humanity for each other as well as ourselves.

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