While MPs are paid massive expenses and many have more than one job, the reality of life for many people - especially young people - is that they are one pay cheque from financial strife.
I live in Rugby and work locally and I know what the real world
is like. The scary reality of making £70 last three weeks despite
earning a good wage, but being devastated by high living costs hit home.
I know how much
I rely on public transport such as trains to see family and buses to
get to work and how the high fares eat into your wages at the end of the
month. I learnt how much I relied on doctors at the clinics and the
hospital, only for them to charge me even more
to pay for prescriptions at the behest of the Condems..
My friend Graham encouraged me to join the Greens after being left very
angry by Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems' betrayal of young people over
In September, Rugby Green Party took to the high street to start our
election campaign and feedback that we gained is that the national
360,000-people survey of voters on the Vote For Policies website is true
when it shows that our policies are the most popular
in the UK and Rugby.
When people read our policies then in the main we reflect their views most closely.
Based on the feedback we've had from local people, a major concern is
the severe lack of health services in Rugby from having no A&E
department in Rugby and no GP surgery to the east of the town and
further cuts taking place.
People are very angry about us paying for the bankers' gambling debts
and the fact we have major shops on our high street not paying the full
amount of tax they should be paying next door to small independent shops
paying high business rates, rent and taxes
and struggling to survive.
I get it, making ends meet when families are facing the struggle of the
bedroom tax is tough, and I get it, when having to pay out fares to get
to Coventry hospital or high car parking charges to a private PFI
I also get it when you're forced to live on benefits because of a disability and the threat of sanctions for being ill.
Work is a scary place when you're working for very low pay or being
forced out of a job, and no one is there to back you or your trade
I further get it, you're sick of having an MP who will give himself a
pay rise while you're struggling to put food on the table to feed your
The NHS is still under threat from cuts, and Labour and the Condems' PFI
scheme means public money is being paid to the tune of £300 billion to
More academies and free schools are being opened without parents'
consent, we still haven't had a say on Europe, and if politicians aren't
playing with expenses, they're getting a pay rise.
A coalition of Trade Unions and community groups believe that over
1million jobs could be created in the renewable energy sector and Rugby,
with our history and skills, should be at the front of this green
economic revolution so that local people can have jobs
that you can build your lives around as many people in Rugby will
remember – we do not have to have an economy based on flipping burgers
on zero wages.
Tax evasion is a national disgrace and the large energy and rail industries need to be brought back into public ownership.
When I was elected to contest the seat of Rugby & Bulkington, I made
a pledge to my local party. The average wage in Rugby is £31,000 per
year and that is all I would take as an MPs salary and donate the rest
to community projects across Rugby.
I would also push for a referendum on Europe, but campaign to remain a
member of the European Union, giving Rugby's younger residents a say for
the first time on who governs them. I will commit also to returning a
fully functioning A&E department to Rugby and
a GP surgery to the East of the town as a start