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A Magazine for Sheffield

General Election: Party Manifestos & Sheffield

With the General Election on the horizon, at the time of writing most of the party manifestos have been published and candidates should know what's in them. I approached a selection of candidates standing in Sheffield, asking five questions important to the city to find out what their manifestos offer. At the time of going to print, The Conservative Party had not responded. What is the party's policy on the £10 minimum wage campaign? NATALIE BENNETT (GREEN): I’ve backed the Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise campaign, and £10/hour by 2020 has been Green Party policy since 2015. I’m delighted Labour followed us. PAUL BLOMFIELD (LABOUR): A Labour government would raise the national minimum wage to £10 by 2020 for everyone over the age of 18. NICK CLEGG (LIB DEMS): We took millions of low-paid workers out of income tax. We would ask the Low Pay Commission to propose a higher minimum wage. JOHN BOOKER (UKIP): A great way to boost the income of working people is to increase tax thresholds, so that nobody earning the minimum wage pays income tax. As a City of Sanctuary, Sheffield welcomes refugees. What is the party's policy on immigration and refugees? BENNETT (GREEN): An end to routine immigration detention, welcoming our fair share of refugees now in Europe. An end to a culture of disbelief at the Home Office. BLOMFIELD (LABOUR): We must live up to our international obligations to help those fleeing war and persecution. Labour believes in reasonable management of migration with fair rules. CLEGG (LIB DEMS): We would take 10,000 refugees from Syria every year in the next parliament, as well as reopening the Dubs programme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children. BOOKER (UKIP): Immigration must be managed fairly, with an Australian-style points system focused on skills. We will respect and enforce the UN Convention on Refugees. Sheffield is due to vote on a City Region Mayor in 2018. What is the party's policy on devolution for English cities? BENNETT (GREEN): Yes to genuine devolution in principle. No to Tory dodgy devolution without proper funding. Structures should be democratically decided locally. Assemblies not mayors. BLOMFIELD (LABOUR): Our economy is far too London-centric. We believe cities and regions need more powers, but must be given adequate resources alongside them. CLEGG (LIB DEMS): Devolve more decision-making to local areas, prioritise transfer of transport, housing and infrastructure funding, skills training and back-to-work support. Scrap the requirement for an elected mayor. BOOKER (UKIP): Devolution can provide great opportunities, but must be open and transparent, and done with the consent of the people. A Labour stitch-up benefits no one. What is the party's policy on transport and investment outside London? BENNETT (GREEN): Money should go on local walking and cycling, local buses and train routes running east-west and linking up the North, not on the London-focused HS2. BLOMFIELD (LABOUR): Labour would invest across the country to rebalance our economy, including prioritising a CrossRail for the North to improve connectivity between our Northern cities. CLEGG (LIB DEMS): We want a comprehensive Government Transport Strategy, incorporating long-term planning and investment across the whole country, based on the recommendations of an independent commission. BOOKER (UKIP): We will scrap the £55 billion HS2 project and use the money to fund better regional transport schemes that actually benefit ordinary people. No to clause 21 [prevents councils setting up council-owned bus companies]. What is the party's policy on overseas students and the impact of Brexit on them? BENNETT (GREEN): We say no immigration cap, but if there is one, students shouldn’t be included. EU citizens already here shouldn’t be treated as bargaining chips. BLOMFIELD (LABOUR): I’ve led the calls in Parliament to take international students out of net migration targets and boost recruitment from the EU and beyond. CLEGG (LIB DEMS): To not include international students in immigration targets, reinstate post-work study visas for STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] graduates. Guarantee EU university staff’s citizenship immediately. Keep Erasmus scheme. BOOKER (UKIP): Overseas students should be welcomed, so we want to exclude them from immigration quotas. After Brexit, new EU students should pay international student fees. We hope this helps decide your vote and please make sure you vote on 8 June. )

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