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2015 Political Quiz

Try this short quiz to see which political party you side with.

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Where do you side on social issues?

Do you support the legalisation of same sex marriage? Learn more?

Same sex marriage was legalised in England, Scotland and Wales in 2014. Ireland will vote on a same sex marriage referendum on May 22 2015. Northern Ireland currently has no plans to introduce its own legislation but treats same-sex marriages from other countries as civil partnerships.  See public opinion

Should the UK reinstate the death penalty? Learn more?

Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal process whereby a person is put to death as a punishment for a crime. The UK abolished capital punishment in 1965. In 2004 the 13th Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights became binding on the UK, prohibiting the restoration of the death penalty for as long as the UK is a party to the Convention.  See public opinion

Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide? Learn more?

Currently, assisted suicide (Euthanasia) is illegal in all countries of the United Kingdom. However, as a devolved matter to the Scottish parliament, it is possible that at some point in the future different laws on euthanasia could apply within the UK.  See public opinion

Where do you side on environmental issues?

Should the government increase environmental regulations on businesses in the UK? Learn more?

The 2008 Climate Change Act established a framework to develop an economically credible emissions reduction path. The act commits the UK to reducing emissions by at least 80% in 2050 from 1990 levels. The target includes GHG emissions from the devolved administrations, which currently accounts for around 20% of the UK’s total emissions.  See public opinion

Do you support the use of nuclear energy? Learn more?

Nuclear power generates around one sixth of the UK's electricity, using 16 operational nuclear reactors at nine plants. By policy, the future construction of nuclear power plants must be led and financed by the private sector.  See public opinion

Do you support the use of hydraulic fracking to extract oil and natural gas resources?  Learn more?

Fracking is the process of extracting oil or natural gas from shale rock. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which fractures the rock and allows the oil or gas to flow out to a well. While fracking has significantly boosted oil production, there are environmental concerns that the process is contaminating groundwater.  See public opinion

Do you support the use of genetically engineered crops and foods? Learn more?

Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Currently, the EU has one of the stringent regulations of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods in the the world. All GMOs, along with irradiated food, are considered "new food" and are subject to extensive, case-by-case, science-based food evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority.  See public opinion

Where do you side on economic issues?

Should the minimum wage be increased? Learn more?

In March 2015 the UK government announced that the minimum wage would be raised 3% to £6.70 an hour. The increase was supported by Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg. Opponents say that the increase is too small. They argue that too many workers are living in poverty and the national wage should be raised to a “living wage” of £10 per hour.  See public opinion

Should the government prosecute people who avoid paying taxes by hiding money in foreign bank accounts? Learn more?

A former employee of HSBC recently leaked data that revealed 106,000 of the bank’s clients in Switzerland held secret accounts with the bank for the sole purpose of avoiding taxes. The leak revealed that the clients came from over 200 countries and were hiding over $118 billion dollars in the accounts. The data also revealed that HM Revenue and Customs failed to prosecute citizens who they knew were liable for unpaid taxes. Proponents of prosecution believe the government should take a more active role in monitoring people’s taxes and those caught evading taxes should be subject to stiff fines or jail time. Opponents believe that the people who evaded taxes were not breaking any laws since their funds were stored in Swiss bank accounts.  See public opinion

Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits? Learn more?

In 2011 the level of public spending on the welfare state by the British Government accounted for £113.1 billion, or 16% of government. By 2020 welfare spending will rise to 1/3rd of all spending making it the largest expense followed by housing benefit, council tax benefit, benefits to the unemployed, and benefits to people with low incomes.  See public opinion

Should 18-21 year olds take on unpaid community work in order to claim benefits? Learn more?

During the March 26, 2015 debate David Cameron proposed a series of welfare cuts that included preventing young people from going directly on to housing and unemployment benefit directly after school. The plan would require all 18 to 21-year-olds who claim unemployment to do 30 hours of community service per week work experience while searching for a job. Proponents argue that too many young people are receiving government benefits after school. Opponents argue that cutting benefits will punish young people who need time to look for a job right out of school.  See public opinion

Should the government make cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt? Learn more?

In 2014, total government spending fell to 35% of GDP, down from 45% in 2009-10. Economists predict that the British government will have to continue to cut spending if it would like to balance its budget by 2020. The Independent Institute for Fiscal Studies said the government would have to raise taxes by £21billion or cut welfare spending which will rise to 1/3rd of all spending by 2020.  See public opinion

Should bankers’ bonuses be capped at 100% of their pay? Learn more?

n 2014 the EU passed legislation that capped bankers’ bonuses at 100% of their pay or 200% with shareholder approval. Proponents of the cap say that it will reduce incentives for bankers to take excessive risk similar to what led to the 2008 financial crisis. Opponents say that any cap on banker’s pay will push up non-bonus pay and cause bank’s costs to rise.  See public opinion

Should child benefits be restricted to a maximum of two children? Learn more?

Currently, there is no cap on child benefit. £20.50 per week is paid for the first child and £13.55 per week is paid for each additional child. More than 80% of children are in families also eligible for means-tested child tax credit.  See public opinion

Should the top tax rate of income over £150,000 be raised to 50 percent?

Should the UK abolish the inheritance tax? Learn more?

The inheritance tax is a tax on money and possessions you pass on when you die. A certain amount can be passed on tax-free, which is called the "tax-free allowance" or "nil rate band". The current tax-free allowance is £325,000 which has not changed since 2011 and is fixed at that rate until at least 2017. The inheritance tax is an emotionally charged issue as it comes up during a time of loss and mourning.  See public opinion

Should homeowners pay higher taxes on "mansions" valued over £2m? Learn more?

Currently, the UK does not tax residential property on an annual basis. The "Mansion Tax" is a proposed annual property tax on homes valued at or over £2 million that would increase tax revenue to allow for a decrease in tax rate for low earners. Proposals estimate that properties valued between £2m and £3m would pay £3,000 per annum, but properties over £3m would pay considerably more. Commentators have suggested that in order to raise the projected £1.2bn, the Mansion Tax payable on homes over £3m would have to be £28,000.  See public opinion

Should tenants receive less benefits if they live in a housing association or council property with more bedrooms than occupants? Learn more?

The Bedroom Tax (also known as Spare Room Subsidy) is a change to Housing Benefit Entitlement that restricts housing benefits for tenants of working age (16-61) living in a housing association or council property that is deemed to have one or more spare bedrooms. Tenants with one spare bedroom lose 14% of entitled housing benefit and those with two or more spare bedrooms lose 25% of entitlement. Possible exemptions exist for tenants receiving a state pension, rent a shared ownership property, have a severely disabled child who requires their own room, have a foster child, or have a child how is on duty in the armed forces.  See public opinion

Should the UK raise or lower the tax rate for corporations? Learn more?

The United Kingdom treats a corporation as a tax resident if it is organised as a UK corporation or is controlled and managed in the United Kingdom. The U.K. recently abandoned its worldwide system for a territorial system and reduced its corporate tax rate to 21 percent. The U.S. currently taxes corporations at 39%, France at 33% and Germany at 45%.  See public opinion

Should the UK pursue free trade deals with other countries?

Should the government use economic stimulus to aid the country during times of recession?

Should mortgage lenders be allowed to provide buy-to-let mortgage loans? Learn more?

A buy to let mortgage is a loan arrangement in which a landlord or investor borrows money to purchase property in the private rented sector in order to let out to tenants. The interest rates and fees are slightly higher than those of owner-occupied mortgages.  See public opinion

Should the government abolish the non-domicile rule which allows residents to limit the tax paid on earnings outside the UK? Learn more?

The non-domicile rule was established by William Pitt the Younger in the late 18th century and allowed many of Britain’s richest permanent residents to avoid paying tax in the UK on their worldwide income. Non-domiciles pay UK income tax and capital gains tax on their UK sources of income and gains, and whatever income generated overseas they choose to remit to the UK. By contrast, UK domiciles have to pay tax on all of their income and gains, wherever in the world they are made – Britain or overseas. Proponents of overturning the rule argue that it has been wide open to abuse and offends the moral basis of taxation. Opponents argue that ending the rule will discourage foreign investment and that some non-doms pay as much as £132,000 per year in taxes.  See public opinion

Where do you side on domestic policy issues?

Should the British Monarchy be abolished? Learn more?

The British monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours, appointing the Prime Minister, and by tradition is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate formal executive authority over the government is still through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and within the constraints of convention and precedent.  See public opinion

Do you support the use of zero hour contracts? Learn more?

A zero hour contract is an employment agreement. It does not oblige the employer to provide work for the employee but the employee is expected to be on call and receives compensation only for hours worked. Zero hour contracts may be ideal for retirees and students who want occasional earnings and are flexible about when they work but general workers run the risk of unpredictable hours and earnings. The National Minimum Wage Regulations require that employers pay the national minimum wage for the time workers are required to be at the workplace even if there is no "work" to do.  See public opinion

Should Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish MPs be entitled to vote on legislation which only affects England? Learn more?

The issue of English votes for English laws (EVEL), commonly known as the West Lothian question, refers to whether MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should be able to vote on matters that affect only England. Some argue that because of the Barnett formula, issues in England greatly affect Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Barnett formula automatically adjusts levels of public spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland based on the population of each nation and which powers are devolved to them.  See public opinion

Should the UK reinstate a form of mandatory national service? Learn more?

National military service in the UK was abolished in 1960. Recently, parliament has proposed the idea of a new modern form of national service that would make it mandatory for 18-26 year olds to participate in military or charitable service for a period of one year.  See public opinion

Should nonviolent drug offenders be given mandatory jail sentences? Learn more?

In 1997 the Conservative government passed a 'three strikes' policy which imposed a minimum sentence of seven years for those convicted for a third time of drug trafficking involving class A drugs. Soon after, the Labour party passed legislation that enabled Judges to reduce the sentences in cases they find to be unjust.  See public opinion

Should the House of Lords be a wholly elected body? Learn more?

The House of Lords is a historically powerful body whose members traditionally consisted of hundreds of hereditary peers, whose titles passed from generation to generation. In 2014 Parliament passed the House of Lords Reform Act which allowed members to resign, be disqualified for non-attendance or be removed for receiving prison sentences of one year or more. Recent proposals to reform the house include making 240 of the 300 members elected by the public.  See public opinion

Do you support the use of Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ABSOs)? Learn more?

Currently, the UK enforces anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) which tell an individual over 10 years old how they must not behave. Examples of anti-social behaviour include: arson, begging, dangerous driving, defecating/urinating in public, disturbing the peace, dogging, drug use, drunken behaviour, fare evasion, homophobia, intimidation, littering, loitering, noise pollution, racism, rioting, rudeness, smoking in public places, spitting, stealing, mugging, vandalism, and graffiti. Penalties for individuals proven to behave antisocially include fines, being banned from certain locations, and/or spending time with people who are known as trouble-makers for at least two years.  See public opinion

Should England establish a devolved Parliament? Learn more?

Currently, representatives of English voters do not have separate decision-making powers (also known as a Devolved English Parliament) similar to the representation given by the National Assembly for Wales, Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.  See public opinion

Should the Welsh assembly be granted more devolved power from Parliament to create regional laws?

Where do you side on healthcare issues?

Should there be more or less privatisation of the NHS?

Should foreign visitors have to pay for emergency medical treatment during their stay in the UK? Learn more?

Overseas visitors to the UK are currently charged for hospital visits, dental treatments and prescription drugs. People working for UK-based employers and students on courses of at least six months duration are entitled to at least some NHS hospital treatment free of charge. The government had considered charging for GP consultations, but decided that easy initial access was important to prevent risks to public health such as HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections.  See public opinion

Should private firms reimburse the NHS if they exceed a 5% profit on contracts? Learn more?

Ed Miliband launched Labour’s election campaign with a promise to cap the amount of profit a private contractor can make from NHS contracts. Under the proposal private firms would be limited to profit margins of 5% on all contracts above £500,000. Proponents argue that the plan will stop the NHS’s "drive to privatisation." Opponents argue that limiting private contractor’s profits will make it harder for the NHS to keep up with rising demand for care.  See public opinion

Do you support the legalisation of Marijuana? Learn more?

Marijuana is currently illegal to possess, grow, distribute or sell in the UK without the appropriate licences. It is a Class B drug, with penalties for unlicensed dealing, unlicensed production and unlicensed trafficking of up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both. The maximum penalty for unauthorised or sanctioned possession is five years in prison.  See public opinion

Where do you side on foreign policy issues?

Should the UK withdraw from the European Union?

Should the UK abolish the Human Rights Act? Learn more?

The Human Rights Act of 1998 is an Act of Parliament which aims to give further effect to the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights.  Learn more  or  See public opinion

Should the UK increase or decrease foreign aid spending? Learn more?

The United Kingdom is currently ranked #2 in the total amount of foreign aid spending per year ($13.66B) and ranked #6 in foreign aid spending as a percentage of GDP (.56%).  See public opinion

Should the UK increase or decrease military spending? Learn more?

The UK is currently ranked #4 in total amount of military spending ($60.8B) and #38 in military spending as a percentage of GDP (2.5%).  See public opinion

Should the UK renew its Trident nuclear weapons programme? Learn more?

The UK Trident programme encompasses is a nuclear weapons system consisting of four Vanguard-class submarines armed with Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles, able to deliver thermonuclear warheads. It is the most expensive and most powerful capability of the British military forces.

the development, procurement and operation of the current generation of British nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them.  See public opinion

Where do you side on education issues?

Should the UK abolish university tuition fees? Learn more?

Tuition fees in the U.K. were first imposed in 1998 and required students to pay up to £1,000 a year for tuition. England increased the fees to £3,000 a year in 2004 and in 2012 64 universities announced their intention to charge the full £9,000 allowed by the government, with the remaining 59 all charging at least £6,000. Scotland currently does not charge any tuition fees. Northern Ireland, Wales and Ireland currently impose a cap on their tuition fees of £3,000 a year.  See public opinion

Should all state schools be required to follow a standard curriculum? Learn more?

In 1988 the federal government passed the Education Reform Act which required students at all state schools to be taught a standard curriculum. The curriculum is intended to “promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.” Proponents believe that this is necessary to keep standards high at all schools funded by the government. Opponents believe that teachers should be able to develop curriculum content that is best suited for their students.  See public opinion

Should every student be required to take a GCSE exam at the end of Year Eleven? Learn more?

GCSE exams are taken by pupils at the end of school year 11 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The exams are a uniform framework for academic performance, with students given grades ranging from “A to G.” Scotland has an independent system in which three different levels of exams are given to different age groups. Proponents argue that the GCSE encourages students to work hard in school and provides clarity for college admissions and employers. Opponents argue that standard end-of-year exams will encourage a narrow academic focus, over-regulate teachers and discourage instruction of the arts.  See public opinion

Would you support the return of a selective education system and the reintroduction of grammar schools?

Should free meals be offered to all primary school students? Learn more?

In 2014 the government passed the Universal Infant Free School Meals policy which required all schools to offer a free lunch to students in Reception to Year 2. The Department of Education pays a flat rate of £2.30 for each meal given to students. Opponents argue that the government cannot afford a program that costs £200 million per year. Proponents argue that the requirement is necessary for students to get the necessary nutrition they need to succeed in their studies.  See public opinion

Should the government allow businesses, charities, parents or teachers to use public money to start "free schools"? Learn more?

A free school is classified as a non-profit making, independent, state-funded school which is free to attend but which is not controlled by a Local Authority. They are subject to the same School Admissions Code as all of State-funded schools. The Department of Education must approve all free schools and they are expected to comply with standard performance measures. Supporters argue that they create healthy competition for public schools and increase standards. Opponents argue that the schools will divert money away from existing schools and only benefit middle-class students whose parents have the resources to start them.  See public opinion

Where do you side on immigration issues?

Should the UK deport immigrants who are considered to be promoting terrorism?

Should the government enact a stricter immigration policy? Learn more?

70% of the population increase between 2001 and 2011 was due to foreign-born immigration. The UK government is currently phasing in a points-based immigration system for immigrants from outside the European Economic Area. The system is composed of 5 tiers to ensure that people are working or studying the UK legally. Opponents of the system argue that it might allow in too many immigrants by failing to impose a cap. There have also been concerns that the system might prevent low-skilled workers from migrating, causing skill shortages in sectors such as the construction industry.  See public opinion

Where do you side on transport issues?

Should the London Underground be considered an "essential service" which would ban all future worker strikes?

Do you support the construction of a high speed railway (HS2) connecting London to Birmingham? Learn more?

High Speed 2 is a planned high speed railway between London Euston to central Scotland. The project is being developed by High Speed Two Ltd, a company limited by guarantee established by the UK government. Four major city centres shall be served directly: London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.  See public opinion

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Which party do you plan on voting for?