Politics! I hate politics! I’m not at all interested in it! What does it have to do with me anyway? These are all statements that many of us will have heard or even said. In the build-up to elections it’s easy to become frustrated with the news coverage, despair at the confusion and feel it’s all pointless (they’re all the same anyway!).
If you really think about it, politics affects us all on a daily basis in a variety of ways. Politicians, and the decisions they make can make our lives better or worse – it really is as simple as that. That’s why, whichever party we support, it is VITAL that we use our right to vote. If we don’t, other people will decide what kind of life we can provide for our loved ones and ourselves. Surely that can’t be right?
Why does politics affect me?
If you’re one of the people that think politics doesn’t matter anyway, just think of all the things that politicians do that can affect our lives directly. They make decisions about:
- How safe our communities are. For example they decide how many police officers are in our local area and whether street lighting is on all night or not.
- What rights we all have. For example whether our disabled son has the right to receive the same wage as a non-disabled worker doing the same job.
- The number and type of new housing that will be built in the community – private housing, social housing or a mixture of both.
- What public transport is available, whether it is regular, reliable and easy to use.
- How much money goes to day services for elderly people, for example day care centres.
- The number of doctors, nurses, dentists and other NHS staff working in our area.
- What treatment is available free on the NHS, from medication to physiotherapy, counselling and speech and language therapy for our children.
- How much money we would get to live on if we couldn’t work because of illness or injury.
- The things available in our area, like hospitals, colleges, schools, leisure centres.
- How our streets are kept clean. For example how often our bins are emptied and our streets are cleaned.
- The financial help we get towards childcare so we can get a job and support our families.
- How much we pay for things in our area – council tax, council rent, parking in town centres, swimming pool entrance etc.
- The tax that individuals and businesses have to pay on the money they earn. Also how much VAT we have to pay when we buy things like washing machines, fridges, cookers, televisions etc.
- The number of children in classes and whether a qualified teacher always teaches them.
- Whether or not we should become involved in wars abroad.
I really could go on and on. Please don’t leave these things to chance. It’s just too important not to have our say.
How will I know who to vote for?
If you want to make an informed decision about who you vote for then you can find out what the different parties are planning. Below is a list of the 5 main parties. If you click on them it will take you to their websites where you can find out more about them.
If there are any other problems your family is having, then call our advisors on the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.
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