Monday, April 06, 2015

Our reply to the Oxford and District branch of the Child Poverty Action Group

1. The eradication of child poverty is enshrined in legislation (Child Poverty Act 2010). What are your plans and those of your party to comply with this?

REPLY: I should first explain that we are not making any promises (on any subject) as we are not running that sort of election campaign (“vote for us and we promise to do something for you”). We are seeking support only on the basis of agreement with the need for the common ownership and democratic control of the wealth of the world in place of the capitalist system of minority ownership and production for profit. The fact that the eradication of child poverty is enshrined in legislation is meaningless. You can’t abolish it by act of parliament as destitution and child poverty for some is endemic to the capitalist system. The most you can do is run fast to try to stand still, even to stop falling back.

2. What is your own and your party's policy on Child Benefit?

REPLY: As just explained, we have no specific policy on this.

3. The provision of free school meals for infant school children has led to a drop in the numbers of children attracting the Pupil Premium. How would you deal with this problem?

REPLY: I doubt that those who set up CPAG in 1965 imagined that you would still need to be campaigning 50 years later. The fact that you are ought to confirm that the problem is endemic to capitalism and that it can only be solved once and for all in a society based on common ownership and democratic control where every man, woman and child would be able to freely satisfy their needs as a matter of right. All meals would be free in such a society, so the problem you highlight would not arise.

4. How would you eliminate the need for food banks?

REPLY: Get rid of capitalism and its economic law of “can’t pay, can’t have”. The fact that food banks even exist, when we have the resources to provide enough for everyone, is a scandal that alone condemns capitalism as an anti-human system which doesn’t and can’t satisfy human needs, for some not even their basic needs.

5. What steps would you take to ensure that there are sufficient family homes which are affordable and which provide security of tenure?

REPLY: Once again, abolish capitalism which, as a production-for-profit society, produces homes as commodities for sale with a view to profit. Which is why the housing problem will exist as long as capitalism lasts. If we had a society based on common ownership and democratic control there would be no problem in providing decent homes, rent-free, for everyone as the resources and the skills exist to do this. Why should anyone have to pay for a basic need like shelter?

Kevin Parkin,
Socialist Party candidate for Oxford East