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Published on April 12th, 2010 | by The Editor
Image © “We’re undecided”. That’s the phrase I’m hearing more than any other on the doorstep as I go round the Wirral South constituency. Sure, there’s plenty of people telling me they’ll definitely vote Lib Dem, and a smattering of support for the other parties as well, but the overwhelming number of people I meet are genuinely unsure over which way they want to vote. Let down by Labour, and not convinced by Cameron, disillusioned over expenses, but fearful of the future, the votes of thousands of people in my constituency, and millions across the country are up for grabs in a way that hasn’t happened in my lifetime. People are prepared to listen, and open to persuasion. And that can only be a good thing for the Liberal Democrats and my campaign. I’m working as hard as I can to make it happen for us on the Wirral. Just take my last weekend: on Saturday I started with a meeting with the proprietor of a local website at 8.45am, then to the Wirral Farmers Market in New Ferry for 9.30, followed by a visit to the new NHS Walk-in Centre at Eastham (for which the Local Lib Dems have fought for many years) later in the morning, then delivering our new tabloid in Clatterbridge in the afternoon, followed by a spot of early-evening canvassing in Spital. Sunday was much the same, delivering and canvassing in New Ferry, Mill Park and Bromborough. As the old saying goes, there’s no rest for the wicked, although the same thing could easily have been said of a politician at election time. There are two things making the difference on the doorstep for me though – honesty and fairness. If there’s one thing the voters out there want it is for politicians to be truthful with them, to tell it like it is rather than endlessly spin. They know cuts are on the way, but they want clear answers to the questions “Where”, “How Much” and “How Soon”. Politicians owe it to the public to be up front with them. Unlike the other two parties, the Lib Dems have a clear and sensible plan to cut public spending – at the right time – without frontline services bearing the brunt. It will mean some difficult decisions on what we can keep, but people accept that you can’t have something for nothing, and that we have to live within our means. But they are also not prepared to stand for the continued unfairness in our political system. That’s wear policies like our tax plan come in. Simply put, our taxes could be much, much fairer. If we give priority to cutting income tax for people on low and middle incomes, and making the rich bonus-boosted bankers pay more, we can make them fairer. That’s why we’re calling for the first pound;10,000 of income to be tax free – a saving of £700 a year for every tax payer. We’d pay for it by closing existing loopholes, including reducing higher rate pension tax relief, and bringing capital gains tax rates into line with income tax rates. A £10,000 starting rate for income tax would reward hard work and reduce dependence on welfare payments. Most importantly, it would help those people who most need extra financial assistance. The voters are agreeing in greater numbers. I had one gentleman in new Ferry tell me today that, although he had voted Tory in the past, he didn’t like Cameron, felt let down by Labour, but liked our plans on tax, as they would make work pay, and get people off benefits. As a result, he told me he would be voting Lib Dem in the General Election for the first time. A young couple with two children in Eastham told me that they too were backing us because the extra money they would have under our tax plan would take just that little bit of pressure off their budget. There’s still a lot to play for, and plenty of people who are willing to listen to sensible ideas, and want a vision of a more hopeful future. My job now is to use these last 25 days before polling day to get that message across to them. Jamie Saddler, 23, is the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Wirral South (Photo courtesy of Jamie Saddler)

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Young PPCs week 11: Jamie Saddler

“We’re undecided”. That’s the phrase I’m hearing more than any other on the doorstep as I go round the Wirral South constituency. Sure, there’s plenty of people telling me they’ll definitely vote Lib Dem, and a smattering of support for the other parties as well, but the overwhelming number of people I meet are genuinely unsure over which way they want to vote. Let down by Labour, and not convinced by Cameron, disillusioned over expenses, but fearful of the future, the votes of thousands of people in my constituency, and millions across the country are up for grabs in a way that hasn’t happened in my lifetime. People are prepared to listen, and open to persuasion. And that can only be a good thing for the Liberal Democrats and my campaign.

I’m working as hard as I can to make it happen for us on the Wirral. Just take my last weekend: on Saturday I started with a meeting with the proprietor of a local website at 8.45am, then to the Wirral Farmers Market in New Ferry for 9.30, followed by a visit to the new NHS Walk-in Centre at Eastham (for which the Local Lib Dems have fought for many years) later in the morning, then delivering our new tabloid in Clatterbridge in the afternoon, followed by a spot of early-evening canvassing in Spital. Sunday was much the same, delivering and canvassing in New Ferry, Mill Park and Bromborough. As the old saying goes, there’s no rest for the wicked, although the same thing could easily have been said of a politician at election time.

There are two things making the difference on the doorstep for me though – honesty and fairness. If there’s one thing the voters out there want it is for politicians to be truthful with them, to tell it like it is rather than endlessly spin. They know cuts are on the way, but they want clear answers to the questions “Where”, “How Much” and “How Soon”.

Politicians owe it to the public to be up front with them. Unlike the other two parties, the Lib Dems have a clear and sensible plan to cut public spending – at the right time – without frontline services bearing the brunt. It will mean some difficult decisions on what we can keep, but people accept that you can’t have something for nothing, and that we have to live within our means.

But they are also not prepared to stand for the continued unfairness in our political system. That’s wear policies like our tax plan come in. Simply put, our taxes could be much, much fairer. If we give priority to cutting income tax for people on low and middle incomes, and making the rich bonus-boosted bankers pay more, we can make them fairer. That’s why we’re calling for the first pound;10,000 of income to be tax free – a saving of £700 a year for every tax payer. We’d pay for it by closing existing loopholes, including reducing higher rate pension tax relief, and bringing capital gains tax rates into line with income tax rates.

A £10,000 starting rate for income tax would reward hard work and reduce dependence on welfare payments. Most importantly, it would help those people who most need extra financial assistance. The voters are agreeing in greater numbers. I had one gentleman in new Ferry tell me today that, although he had voted Tory in the past, he didn’t like Cameron, felt let down by Labour, but liked our plans on tax, as they would make work pay, and get people off benefits. As a result, he told me he would be voting Lib Dem in the General Election for the first time. A young couple with two children in Eastham told me that they too were backing us because the extra money they would have under our tax plan would take just that little bit of pressure off their budget.

There’s still a lot to play for, and plenty of people who are willing to listen to sensible ideas, and want a vision of a more hopeful future. My job now is to use these last 25 days before polling day to get that message across to them.

Jamie Saddler, 23, is the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary
Candidate for Wirral South

(Photo courtesy of Jamie Saddler)

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