This week-end is crunch weekend for the five survivors in the race to No 10. The candidates who have answered many MP questions in private rooms now go public and answer questions from the press and public. Here are some of the things people need to know from them –
- Why do you want to do this very difficult job?
- What would be your immediate priority on September 6th?
- What changes would you make if any to the structure and posts in Downing Street to ensure you are well served, and to the way Cabinet and departments relate to No 10 to ensure the smooth and effective functioning of government?
- How would you control your own diary and allocate precious time to priorities?
- How much delegated authority should rest with Cabinet Ministers and departments?
It’s the economy , stupid.
- How do you explain the big failure to keep inflation under control, bearing in mind Japanese and Chinese inflation is around 2.5% despite energy prices?
- Do you accept the current Bank forecasts that inflation will tumble next year?
- Do you agree the task now is to fight possible recession and to ease the cost of living squeeze to do so?
- Do you think lower taxes are only possible once growth has resumed and speeded up, or do you think lower tax rates are crucial to achieving better growth?
- How would you find savings and productivity improvements in the public services? Are there current spending programmes that could be removed?
Getting Brexit done means achieving Brexit wins
- What are your main Brexit wins that you wish to deliver?
- Will you use our freedom to cut VAT on domestic fuel and on petrol?
- Will you design an agricultural support programme which promotes more UK food production?
- Will you beef up the freedom of the Freeports including lower taxes?
- Will you legislate business rules that allow greater global expansion from a UK base?
- Will you pursue the life sciences/medical research agenda which requires regulatory change?
- How will you use the UK’s seat on the World Trade Organisation as an independent country to advance the cause of free trade worldwide?
- How will you police UK borders so we have UK decisions on the number of economic migrants we welcome?
- How will you develop the UK’s contribution to the NATO response to Ukraine?
- What additional capabilities do UK armed forces need to defend us in an unsettled era?
- Will you work closely with the private sector to ensure the UK controls essential technologies, and has sufficient capability to produce weapons and equipment which can be scaled up rapidly were need to arise?
- How will you develop the growing alliance with our Five Eyes partners, Japan and Korea?
- How do we become more energy self sufficient? Will you develop UK home based energy to cut our reliance on European electricity which in turn depends on imported gas and on burning coal?
- Will you review our access to crucial minerals and other industrial inputs to cut our dependence on China and Chinese influenced parts of the world?
Health and education
- Will you continue educational reforms to raise standards and level up opportunities around the country?
- Will you expand grammars and Academies, to offer more choice to students and parents?
- How will you get the NHS waiting lists down?
- How will you ensure more nurses and doctors, and more access to services?
- Is the NHS over administered but undermanaged?
- What are your plans to improve services for the disabled?
- How will you expand capacity for mental health?
- What changes will you make to the outline plans for reform of social care?
Environment and Transport
- Do you agree it makes little sense to close activities in the UK that produce carbon if we import goods from abroad that use as much or more carbon? Will you substitute UK gas for imported LNG to cut CO2 output? Do you agree gas is an important transition fuel?
- Will you allow parts of the country that have plenty of new housing to choose their own local Plan to control future numbers, freeing more housing investment for places that welcome it?
- What are your plans to improve the railway as we move to a world where the patterns of rail use and demand have changed a lot?
- What is your vision for a greener and pleasanter land?
- How will you help more people achieve their dream of home ownership?