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AJMAL MASROOR (Liberal Democrat)

PUBLISHED: 18:10 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:56 05 October 2010

AJMAL MASROOR (Liberal Democrat)

BETHNAL GREEN & BOW

AJMAL MASROOR (Liberal Democrat)

NOWHERE is the gap between rich and poor more visible than in Tower Hamlets. After 13 years of a Labour government, child poverty and unemployment are on the rise, acute youth unemployment has reached crisis levels, and the elderly are forced to live in 'fuel' poverty.

All of this occurs in the shadow of a financial centre that precipitated the worst recession in 60 years. It is not fair that ordinary people in Tower Hamlets are forced to pay for the mistakes that the Labour party has made.

My vision for Tower Hamlets is to put back fairness at the heart of our society. As Liberal Democrats, we believe the current UK tax system is deeply unfair. One of our first acts would be to eliminate tax on the first £10,000 of your income, reducing the average tax payment on the middle and low incomes by £700.

Our next step would remove useless Government spending on such projects as ID cards. All political parties claim they cut bureaucratic waste, yet both the Conservatives and Labour will not even include the Trident Nuclear Deterrent in the coming Defence Spending Review. Under Vince Cable's Treasury leadership, only the Liberal Democrats are able to prioritise both spending and cuts.

We will have more police on the streets and will reduce offending by establishing community justice panels where people will have a say in how petty criminals should be punished. We would like to reduce the current 'surveillance' society established under Labour.

Public safety begins to dwindle when people become selfish, losing all sense of their responsibility to others. Under Labour, young people have been too easily criminalised. I would like to provide early intervention programmes in schools, more effective role models and youth leadership initiatives.

We would reduce classroom sizes, reduce the prevalence of supply teachers and scrap tuition fees over a define period of time to free students of university debt. Vocational courses must lead more quickly to early employment.

New schools are urgently needed. This will be top priority of a Liberal Democrat administration to ensure our children are not disadvantaged. We have a two-tier education system in our country, one for the rich and one for the poor, but fairness and equality must be at the heart of what we do.

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Abjul Masroor (Liberal Democrat)

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