union for life

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

Major employers

BT, UK Power Networks, EDF Energy

Questions

  1. How will you ensure that key, cross-border industries – including energy, telecoms, broadcasting, nuclear, science and aviation – can prosper outside the single market?
  2. Will you publish a coherent long-term policy framework to secure the investment necessary to deliver secure, sustainable and affordable energy in the UK?
  3. Will you take action to tackle skills gaps in the energy sector by including a specific training allowance and ring-fenced training funds within support frameworks such as contracts for difference, the renewable obligation, and Ofgem’s regulatory reviews?
  4. Will you provide the telecoms sector with the certainty and stability needed to deliver necessary investment by ruling out further interference in the legal and operational structure of BT and its subsidiary OpenReach?
  5. Will you prioritise a data adequacy agreement with the EU to ensure that Brexit does not disrupt data flows and the UK’s ability to access the digital single market?

Candidates’ responses

Dan Poulter (Conservative)

Response awaited

Elizabeth Hughes (Labour)

First of all, may I say I was very upset to read about BT's plans to 'cap' the BT pension scheme. Pensions are under attack in the UK and since the Tory Government removed pensions from TUPE negotiations in January 2014, thousands of people in well paid and secure jobs are losing pension benefits. This has recently happened in my own company, with a transfer of over 10,000 colleagues to a French company last year, which has just announced the closure of four UK sites with the potential loss of over 2,000 good jobs. The plants in France and Germany, although slightly less profitable, have been retained. Needless to say, under local laws our European counterparts are more expensive and much more difficult to discard - and they are better organised and are fully unionised, unlike the UK workforce. The goods made in the UK plants are/were all manufactured for the European market.

How will you ensure that key, cross-border industries – including energy, telecoms, broadcasting, nuclear, science and aviation – can prosper outside the single market?

I cannot 'ensure' this for you. The only radical proposal is to nationalise all essential industries, regulate them according to the needs of the UK economy and give them further inward government investment so they can compete with European and global companies.

What is your view on securing a coherent long-term policy framework for the investment necessary to deliver secure, sustainable and affordable energy in the UK?

Nationalisation plus active government support for emerging energy technologies, together with the recruitment and retention of the 'best of the best' from education directly into UK state enterprises, is one potential route. Short term planning does not work - we need effective short, medium and long term plans devised for self sufficiency for the UK for energy, at cost and with minimal waste, for maximum and sustainable growth for the UK market and beyond to be achieved.

Will you provide the sector with the certainty and stability needed to deliver necessary investment by ruling out further interference in the legal and operational structure of BT and its subsidiary OpenReach?

I believe the government must remove the need for BT/OR to make profit and take it back in to quasi national ownership - the continual attempts to asset strip BT and OR IP needs to stop.

Will you prioritise a data adequacy agreement with the EU to ensure that Brexit does not disrupt data flows and the UK’s ability to access the digital single market?

Agree. this is also an opportunity to revisit and improve Data Protection Laws and Regulations in the UK. We are tighter than the USA at handling data and it should stay that way

Aidan Van de Weyer (Lib Dem)

Response awaited