If you live in the UK then you will be sure to know that the General Election is on May 7th. At time of writing Labour and Conservative each occupy a third of the opinion polls. UKIP is in third position on 14% leaving the Greens and the Libs Dems behind on 6% and 8% respectviely. This BBC Poll of Polls leaves 5% for 'Other' in which no doubt the SNP features strongly; in an earlier Lord Ashcroft pollthe SNP is placed down two percentage points at 4%.

Of course every poll has a margin of error of about 3%, so the election is by nno means decided. It is increasingly looking as if there will be a hung parliament so Britain is set for another 5 years of coalition government. However, as it stands no party is able to form a coalition with only one other party (unless Labour and Conservatives work together which would be... interesting... to say the least).

With the election so close it is essential that as many people as possible vote. One of the main talking points in the run up to this election is the deficit, and how to get rid of it. Recently David Cameroon made a promise, a politicians promise mind, that if the Conservatives get into power they will not raise taxes. To go into more detail, they will introduce a law preventing them from raising income tax, National Insurance, or VAT. This raises the question why they have to wait until after the election to do this. Why not now? Or even two or three years ago?

The deficit is currently at £90.2 billion. That is a very large number. So large in fact, that it is equal to the budgets of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Education, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ combined. By 2018 the Conservatives have said that they will have eliminated the deficit. The main ways of doing this are by raising taxes or by cutting budgets. But now they have vowed to freeze the three taxes that make up the bulk of the government's revenues.

 

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Consequently, if they do get back into power, they are going to have to cut like mad or privatise a whole lot more public services.

In addition to this predicament, the Tories have already sworn to protect certain budgets and in some places increase them, such as the NHS. The NHS is getting £8 billion annually above inflation, however some worry that this may not be enough to keep up with the growing cvolume of elderly patients. Furthermore, the Tories have promised to protect the schools budget as well as overseas aid and the stats pension.

Therefore budget cuts are going to have to come from 'less essential services' like the Police, Transport, Housing and most of all benefits, cut by £18 billion by 2015, amongst others.

Your Local Guardian:

This means that when you go to the polling station next week you are not only deciding which party is in power, we are deciding how much tax or spending we want. We are deciding on how much we spend on our police force, who keep us and our communitees safe. We are deciding how much we want to spend to house the next generation. Do we want to force a rise in homelessness? Are we going to force young people to live on the streets? We are deciding how much we want to help this less fortunate in our society. We are choosing how much we want to help to single mother who has to care for three children and work long hours. We are choosing how much we want to help people afford houses. We get to choose how much we help our society. When we help our society, when we pay for a parent to drive their child to school, we are helping ourselves. Because when this child has an education, they can get a job. When this child has a job, they can do something with their life and give something back to our society. Please, on the 7th May, vote to help our national society, not increase inequality or homelessness. Vote to improve the society that you live in. For you, for everyone, and for the next generation.