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Tom Rippeth
Tom Rippeth
Welsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru
Party 24


Incumbent : No

Party positions on the election issues:

These positions and quotes are based on an analysis of party manifestos and policy documents

Economy

Targeting tax increases at high earners only is an ineffective way of raising revenue

The idea behind this statement is that high earners have resources allowing them to respond to changes in the tax regime to limit their liability - but there is no conclusive evidence of whether this statement is true or false.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"In order to balance the books and build a sustainable economy for the future we must ensure that everyone pays their fair share. "
1 of 40 questions

To encourage economic growth, the UK's corporation tax rates should be decreased

The UK's current 'main rate' of corporation tax is 19%, the lowest rate in the G20 group of countries, however some EU countries, such as Ireland, rates as low as 12.5%.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We would reverse a number of the Conservatives’ unfair and unjustified tax cuts, including: The cutting of Corporation Tax from 20% to 17%"
2 of 40 questions

To fund public services, a financial transactions tax should be levied

The term 'financial transactions tax' covers a wide array of taxes levied on financial transactions. At the moment, in the UK, there is a 0.5% tax or duty on purchasing shares. Most proposals for a financial transactions tax involve expanding this tax or duty to transactions on other asset classes.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
3 of 40 questions

The UK government should expand its ownership of strategically important companies and utilities

This policy mostly refers to the reversal of privatisation - a process that involved the transfer of responsibility and ownership of a company/utility from the public to the private sector.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Build on the Coalition’s industrial strategy, working with sectors which are critical to Britain’s ability to trade internationally, creating more ‘catapult’ innovation and technology centres and backing private investment in particular in green innovation"
4 of 40 questions

The UK should borrow substantially more money to invest in national infrastructure, even if this increases the national debt

The UK's Office for Budget Responsibility expects UK debt as a percentage of national income to peak in the current financial year at 88%.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Liberal Democrats will (…) commit to a responsible and realistic £100 billion package of additional infrastructure investment."
5 of 40 questions

To fund public services, there should be a small increase in income tax for all earners

Currently, UK income tax outside of Scotland is levied at 0% up to £11,500 (the 'Personal Allowance'), at 20% from £11,501 to £45,00 (Basic Rate), at 40% from £45,001 to £150,000 (Higher Rate) and at 45% over £150,000 (Additional Rate).
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Ensuring strong public services by investing the proceeds of a 1p rise in Income Tax in the NHS and social care, and commiting to protecting the schools budget in real terms."
6 of 40 questions

Brexit

Leaving the EU's Single Market is a worthwhile price to pay to gain control over immigration to the UK

Access to the EU's Single Market tends to be associated with the free movement of people (one of the Single Market's 'Four Freedoms'), making it difficult to envision a scenario whereby full Single Market access can co-exist with full control of immigration.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We support the principle of freedom of movement. Any deal negotiated for the UK outside the EU must protect the right to work, travel, study and retire across the EU"
7 of 40 questions

Once talks with the EU are complete, there should be a second referendum on whether to accept the Brexit deal or remain a member of the EU

In the UK, the principle of parliamentary sovereignty means that referendums have a 'non binding' quality. The absence of a formal constitution in the UK means that deciding to have a second or subsequent referendum is a political decision for parliament to make.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"we will Protect Britain’s Place in Europe put that deal to a vote of the British people in a referendum, with the alternative option of staying in the EU on the ballot paper."
8 of 40 questions

The UK should remain a member of the EU

This is a close approximation of the wording of the 2016 'Brexit' referendum, which received 48% of the vote on a turnout of 72%, compared to 52% voting in favour of the 'leave' option.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Britain is better off in the EU."
9 of 40 questions

Even if there is no transitional UK-EU trade deal in place, the UK should leave the EU in 2019

Having notified the EU of its intention to withdraw under Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) in March 2017, UK withdrawal will take place either when there is an agreement in place or after two years - unless there is unanimous agreement in the EU to extent the negotiating period.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We believe that any deal negotiated for the UK outside the EU must ensure that trade can continue without customs controls at the border, and must maintain membership of the single market"
10 of 40 questions

Health

There should be no role for private sector operators within the NHS

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling Health in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
11 of 40 questions

New taxes raised to support the NHS should be earmarked solely for NHS spending

This would be an example of what is known as 'hypothecated tax' which the Financial Times defines as: 'A tax where the money obtained, or part of the money obtained, is used for a particular purpose, rather than spent on a number of things.'
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Saving the NHS by putting a penny in the pound on Income Tax to give the NHS and social care services the cash injection they need."
12 of 40 questions

Social care costs above a threshold of £100,000 should be met by individuals' estates, including the value of their family home

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling Social Care in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Sky News: 'Lib Dem leader Tim Farron tells Sky News that the PM's "dementia tax... will become her version of the poll tax".'"
13 of 40 questions

Workers' Rights and Pensions

The UK's minimum wage should be raised to £10 per hour by 2020

Since April 2017, the UK's National Minimum Wage rates are as follows: £7.50 (25 and over); £7.05 (21-24); £5.60 (18-20); £4.05 (under 18); £3.50 (Apprentice)
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Establish an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine Living Wage across all sectors."
14 of 40 questions

Zero hours contracts facilitate flexible working and should not be banned

Zero hours contracts mean that employers are not obliged to provide any minimum working hours to a worker , who is not obliged to do the work when asked. Such contracts legally cannot prevent a worker for looking for or accepting other work.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Stamp out abuse of zero-hours contracts. We will create a formal right to request a fixed contract and consult on introducing a right to make regular patterns of work contractual after a period of tim"
15 of 40 questions

The UK government should maintain the ‘triple lock’ of increasing the state pension each year

The 'triple lock' promises to increase the state pension annually by whichever of earnings growth, prices growth or 2.5% is the highest
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Maintain the ‘triple lock’ of increasing the state pension each year by the highest of earnings growth, prices growth or 2.5% for the next parliament."
16 of 40 questions

Education

University tuition fees should be abolished

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling Education in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"In government, Liberal Democrats established a fairer system such that no undergraduate student in England had to pay a penny of their tuition fees up front or pay anything afterwards until they earn more than £21,000 per year."
17 of 40 questions

The government should dedicate resources to opening new selective 'grammar' schools

This is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling Education in Wales, but it is a key issue dividing parties in this election.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Scrap the planned expansion of grammar schools"
18 of 40 questions

Social security and Housing

The 'bedroom tax' should be scrapped

The 'bedroom tax' (also known as the 'under-occupancy penalty' or 'spare room subsidy') is a cut in housing benefit if you live in a council or housing association home and are classed as having a spare bedroom.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’, while seeking to achieve the aim of making best use of the housing supply through incentivising local authorities to help tenants ‘downsize’"
19 of 40 questions

The UK government should invest substantially in expanding the number of council houses built in the term of the next parliament

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling housing in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Lift the borrowing cap on local authorities and increase the borrowing capacity of housing associations so that they can build council and social housing."
20 of 40 questions

The government should introduce legislation that caps landlords' ability to raise rents

While this is a devolved matter, with the National Assembly for Wales controlling housing in Wales, a move in this direction in England would likely have profound consequences in Wales.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes."
21 of 40 questions

Unemployed people who fail to seek a job or accept training should have their benefits sanctioned

Sanctions for failing to seek work or accept training are a key feature of the way that Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is currently administered.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
22 of 40 questions

The Political System

The voting age should be reduced to 16 in UK elections and referendums

The minimum voting age is currently set at 18 years old.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Introduce votes at 16 for all elections and referendums across the UK."
23 of 40 questions

A system of proportional representation should be adopted for UK general elections

Proportional representation' refers to methods of casting and counting votes that are designed to facilitate a closer correspondence between the proportion of votes and seats won by parties than the current 'first past the post' system.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Change the way voting works to a new way called proportional representation."
24 of 40 questions

Wales should aim to become an independent country

Wales is not currently an indpendent country, but its devolved parliament controls many key aspects of Welsh life, including healthcare and education.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will recognise Wales as a distinct legal jurisdiction"
25 of 40 questions

Substantially more powers should be given to the National Assembly for Wales

The Wales Act 2017 recently passed into law, and it set out some new powers for the Assembly as well as moving from a 'conferred' to a 'reserved' powers model.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We will drastically reduce the number of reserved subjects and prevent Westminster from being able to override Wales on devolved matters. "
26 of 40 questions

The House of Lords should be reformed so that all of its members are democratically elected

Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are not directly elected.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Reform the House of Lords with a proper democratic mandate"
27 of 40 questions

Wales is currently unfairly underfunded by the UK government

Adjustments to the Welsh budget are determined through the 'Barnett Formula'.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
28 of 40 questions

Environment

The government should do more to tackle climate change, even if this increases costs for industry

The term 'climate change' in this question refers to the scientific finding that human activity is resulting in changes to the global climate.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"We have a duty to future generations to protect our environment and tackle climate change. Liberal Democrats will ensure that everything is done to maintain those high standards in UK law, including the closest possible co-operation on climate and energy policy"
29 of 40 questions

Regulated 'fracking' of shale gas and oil should be allowed by the UK government

The term 'fracking' in this question refers to the process of injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks, boreholes, etc. so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Oppose ‘fracking’ because of its adverse impact on climate change, the energy mix, and the local environment."
30 of 40 questions

Foreign Policy and Defence

The UK should maintain the 'special relationship' with the USA in international affairs

The Special Relationship is the unofficial term for the exceptionally close political, diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
31 of 40 questions

Renewal of the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system should be cancelled

Last year the House of Commons voted by a large majority to renew the Trident system.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Maintain a minimum nuclear deterrent"
32 of 40 questions

The UK should continue to spend 0.7% of its national income on overseas aid

This has been the level of UK spending on foreign aid every year since 2013.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Maintain our commitment to spend 0.7% of UK gross national income on 85 Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2017 overseas development assistance, in line with the OECD definition, which we legislated for in the last parliament."
33 of 40 questions

Social Issues and Crime

The UK should dramatically expand its number of police officers, even if this means cuts in other public services or tax increases

The Home Office reports that there were 124,066 officers in the year ending March 2016 compared with 143,769 seven years previous to that - a fall of 14%
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Increase community policing in England and Wales by giving an additional £300 million a year to local police forces to reverse the increase in violent crime, boost community confidence and increase the flow of community intelligence."
34 of 40 questions

For those convicted of a crime, there should be more of an emphasis on rehabilitation than on punishment

Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Transform prisons into places of rehabilitation, recovery, learning and work"
35 of 40 questions

Burkas and other face-covering garments should be banned from being worn in public

There is currently no ban on Islamic dress in the UK.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Guarantee the freedom of people to wear religious or cultural dress"
36 of 40 questions

The recreational use of cannabis should be legalised

It is currently illegal to possess cannabis in any form in the UK.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis. We would introduce limits on potency and permit cannabis to be sold through licensed outlets to adults over the age of 18"
37 of 40 questions

Immigration

Immigration contributes significantly to the UK's prosperity

The latest ONS report estmiates that annual net migration to the UK was estimated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at 273,000 a fall of 49,000 from the previous year.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Immigration is essential to our economy and a benefit to our society. We depend on immigration to ensure we have the people we need contributing to the UK’s economy and society, including doctors, agricultural workers, entrepreneurs, scientists and so many others"
38 of 40 questions

Net immigration to the UK should be reduced to below 100,000 per year

The latest ONS report estimates that annual net migration to the UK was estimated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at 273,000 a fall of 49,000 from the previous year.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"The Liberal Democrats are proud of the UK’s historic commitments to assisting those seeking refuge from war, persecution and degradation, and believe that we should continue to uphold our responsibilities."
39 of 40 questions

Too much immigration has undermined British culture and identity

The latest ONS report estmiates that annual net migration to the UK was estimated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) at 273,000 a fall of 49,000 from the previous year.
Agree
Disagree
No opinion
Comment:
"Immigration broadens our horizons and encourages us to be more open, more tolerant."
40 of 40 questions