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Why I'm standing: Speaking up for public services and young people
West Midlands Fire Brigades Union member and TUSC Dudley North parliamentary candidate Dave Pitt spoke to the Socialist.
Why are you standing for TUSC?
All the establishment parties, Labour, Tories, Lib Dems, share a huge austerity agenda. As a firefighter, I can see that the service in the West Midlands is already very lean. It's been almost hacked to the bone. Any more cuts will result in job redundancies. So I'm standing for TUSC as it's anti-cuts.
Why should people vote for you?
As a firefighter I've seen how the cuts are affecting the emergency response people get. You could say the same for the ambulance and the police.
Also I'm a young person, so I know what young people are feeling in terms of very high tuition fees if they go to university. If they don't go to university there's a higher chance they'll be offered a zero-hour contract if they've not got a degree. Many that do go to university then get jobs that aren't suitable for their skills and are overqualified for the jobs available. They're not in the right jobs because there's a lack of those at the moment.
There's got to be investment in the public sector, and in the private sector people have got to have decent contracts. Zero-hour or temporary contracts are no good for young people - especially if they want to get their own home. A lot of people are stuck with their parents still. They need a proper full-time contract.
Students at Dudley College are quite angry that they don't get Education Maintenance Allowance which was scrapped by the current government. I received EMA and greatly appreciated it while I was at college. Now a lot of young people can't afford to travel to their college or buy materials needed for their course. Some decide not to go to college, others have to work a lot for that money which cuts across their education. EMA should be reinstated.
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