You’re in Charge…

by Readers Question

6 months ago

You’re in Charge…

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You’re in Charge…

You are now the Prime Minister/President/Absolute Monarch/Dictator of the United Kingdom…

Your task is to restore the nation’s finances, to create sound economic foundations, and to ultimately break the current self-defeating cycle of:

reduced tax yields -> higher tax rates to regenerate public services -> stultified economy -> further reduced tax yields -> even higher tax rates to regenerate further depleted public services -> further stultified economy -> further reduced tax yields -> etc etc etc… and to thus avert the disastrous “reforms” of truly appalling politicians, such as George Osborne and Jeremy Corbyn,

How will you set about generating the sustainable, long-term prosperity that Britain needs to support itself, to fund essential public services, and for its people to be as happy as they can be with their lot in life?

Gareth Wilson



Comments

Mark Alexander

6 months ago

My views on this are my own and some may see them as being quite extreme.

SOCIAL ECONOMIC

I would introduce a form of National Service for all people under the age of 60 who have claimed benefits for three or more consecutive months.

I'm not suggesting this National Service should be military, it could be any occupation you can think of and does not need to be full time. Failure to participate = no benefits. It would be a huge infrastructure to build and administer but challenges are good. In every difficulty opportunities exist.

I am a firm believer that almost everybody can contribute something to society. Stephen Hawking is proof of that, and yes he's very special, but so are we all. People need pride, hope and self-worth. Finding something for everybody to do to contribute to society helps.

BUSINESS

Most economists concur that 11% corporation tax is the sweet spot for corporation tax as it attracts investment and productivity. I don't know what the sweet spots are for other forms of tax but I would find out and implement those too. The UK cannot afford for its most talented people or its most productive businesses to emigrate or base themselves in more tax efficient countries. We need to attract business investment and entrepreneurs, not to exile them!

HOUSING

See the video produced by the Libertarian Party.

https://www.property118.com/next-vote-goes-libertarian-party/

Neil Patterson

6 months ago

There have been several studies that suggest as Mark says 11% could be the optimum Corporation tax figure to maximise revenue and it has shown lowering the tax has increased the take in the last 5 years.

On the issue of big multinationals not paying UK taxes I think I saw an idea where you take their total declared profit worldwide, split it by the percentage of business or turnover they do in the UK and charge tax on that.

Universal basic income is also very interesting as an option to replace the welfare state and could be conditional as Mark said on some form of working after a period of time (totally not thought through yet though).

David Price

6 months ago

As a landlord who houses benefit claimants most of whom are adept at making themselves unemployable I like the idea of national service after three months of claiming. There is a wealth of labour, languishing in front of daytime TV at taxpayers expense, whose only malady is bone idleness.

Paul Shears

6 months ago

Start out by facing up to the absolute underlying realities first and never lose sight of them and keep them firmly in the public gaze.

The two greatest challenges we face are:

1. Total nuclear annihilation. So try not to do anything that brings the doomsday clock closer to midnight.

2. Over population both globally and locally. We are currently building "rent a coffins" (Sleep, wash, cook), in the UK of 64 square feet (Major cities and minor towns, first and second hand experience talking here) with no means of private or public transport or employment within walking distance. Beyond this, the old “Hot bedding” issue is very much a reality in the UK and this includes generations of UK nationals from all races.
(Re: "Employment"; I do not agree with Mark that almost everyone can contribute to society, especially when such a huge number of us are simply paid in both the public and private sector to consume and waste, even before we receive an income.) The inevitable disputes that this is creating are increasing both in frequency and intensity.
This cannot all be blamed on "others" who are not part of some club that happens to have our individual approval. I do not deny that enforced incompatible culture merging exacerbates the problem. Assimilation from otherwise incompatible cultures takes at least three generations so to try to do so en masse is social suicide.
The first problem above is so likely that it is a complete mystery why it has not happened already.

The consequences of previous collective and individual action have already rendered the above an unavoidable disaster which leaves only two scenarios possible. Some attempt might be made to steadily abandon a totally unsustainable social structure (An absolute limit on population both locally and nationally is just one inevitable future and one not unique to our species) or it will hasten our mutual destruction. Due to the sheer complexity of this global mess, I don’t see how anyone can predict a sustainable scenario, and the human historical track record does not bode well on this point, but this in no way undermines my points.

As someone who is right in the middle of the “aging population” argument via relatives and the internal workings of the NHS, this is ill conceived utter nonsense. The one thing that we do not have is insufficient indigenous or truly assimilated youth to support, in every sense, the elderly or society at large.
The effects of ever more technology alone has already proven that beyond all reason.
The huge number of empty beds and empty wards in NHS hospitals (Just go for a walk around a large hospital especially at night looking confident and no one will challenge you) is testament to the lack of judgement rather than resources here.
One has only to look at the global collapse of employment in the IT industry to see more of this. Some 155,000 staff over a six year period in two now merged companies alone with others mirroring this.

Anyone who does not have direct experience of the above might do well to follow the alternative media and note what does not appear in the state / large corporation controlled media rather than what actually does.
It's the first world countries that are hell bent on accelerating our approach towards the precipice.
Anyone who thinks that we can go on expanding consumption in a finite world is either mad or an economist.

I can see absolutely no way that the any meaning of the term “democracy” can be applied to a state when it is so complex that absolutely no one understands it.

As a practical starting point the concept of Fractional Reserve Banking, one of the greatest social evils ever created by man and one which has existed in one form or another for centuries, should be taught in schools.

Mark Alexander

6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 12/12/2017 - 10:08
Clearly you've given some deep thought to this Paul, as have I.

My comments above are a mere attempt of a short term fix in comparison to your much longer term projections for humanity as a whole.

I suspect, as I have, you have watched many sci-fi movies which portray humanity as a cancer on our planet, and if you think about it for longer enough that is difficult to deny because science is fixated on defeating the laws of nature, e.g. making us live longer. The world can only be home to so many people. Look at the explosion of the worldwide human population in the last few hundred years. If it continues on a similar trajectory for a few thousand years there will not be enough room for people to stand, never mind the resources to feed them!

Maybe we should focus this discussion on the next 100 years?

Paul Shears

6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 12/12/2017 - 10:32
Well said Mark. However this is already a daily reality for many of us. Over 40 years ago, as a commuter, I frequently had a physical problem putting one foot in front of the other without turning sideways.
Now in Winchester, a location which supposedly has the highest quality of life in the UK, I note that simply staying still is a problem. In the last week I drove around for 45 minutes trying to park on the edge of town in order to go to the dentist. I could not do so. So I went back home and set off on foot. I allowed and hour for this task based on previous experience. Within the same week, I tried to take someone to lunch on the edge of town and found it completely impossible to park and so I had to go back home again.
The tax payer funded public sector contribution to these problems is to shut one car park after another and then build things like homes for people with dementia in the centre of town some years later. The utter mindless incompetence leads me to despair even when there are protests on the streets (Yes really and in the UK as well!).

terry sullivan

6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 12/12/2017 - 11:01
and every town hall has at least one very large car park for staff and 0ne or 2 mayoral limousines--the public sector is parasitic

Gary Dully

6 months ago

1. After 2 years jobs seekers allowance, you go on to the Lazy Allowance.

3. Grammars and Technology Schools in all areas, that can only be got into by aptitude tests and NOT money.

4. Free training for the Health Service Staff with a return of fees after 20 years service or clawback if you quit.

5. VISA entry requirements for immigration to the UK.

6. Kill corporation tax off and introduce a gains tax with VAT in tandem on turnover.

7. Bump up student fees and lower the repayment thresholds.

8. Scrap section 24 and offer tax incentives for landlords that increase stock.

9. Pay the EU nothing for Leaving.

10. Ask Donald Trump around for tiffin and teas.

Will Taylor

6 months ago

Here goes! These are my personal ideas and I would seek to reduce the power of the State over the individual.
1. Create a formal UK constitution, which sets out cast iron individual rights: life, ownership of property, ownership of self, free speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement (subject to freedom of property). Provided no person infringes upon the freedoms of others, they can exercise their own freedoms as they see fit.
The constitution will limit the powers of government. It will devolve many powers to local authorities. The central government's role will be limited to organising military defence, operating a federal criminal and civil justice system, and building large-scale national infrastructure (subject to national referendum).
Local governments will have devolved taxation and legal powers. These are limited by the constitution. All changes to legislation, including taxation, must be subject to local referendums. 80% of voters required to pass any legislation. Only exception to this is decreases in taxation, which can be passed without referendum.
The national constitution can also only be amended with a majority of 80% of registered voters.
2. National deficit must be brought to zero immediately. Halt all foreign aid except for natural disaster relief, halt HS2, and carry out immediate bonfire of the Quangos.
3. Hold referendum on repayment of the national debt. Which parts do we repay? Which parts do we default on? Some of it we owe to ourselves, can this be written off?
4. Start to phase in reductions in spending and taxation. I'm vague on the exact timeframes.
- Start reducing corporation tax, income tax, and VAT incrementally to 10%. Ultimately, income tax should hit 0%.
- Stop most benefits for new claimants: child benefit, tax credits, JSA, housing benefits etc. Leave any changes to disability and incapacity allowances until last.
- Start to phase out payments of above benefits over a 5 year period.
- Allow people to opt out of National Insurance contributions and make their own arrangements for healthcare and pension funding. Allow an optional partial payment for emergency healthcare if they wish to have it.
- I would honour payments of pensions to existing state pensioners. But no more increases, not even inflationary. These payments would be financed from savings from government departments and bureaucracy (close Dept of Culture/Media, Trade/Industry, etc, mass layoffs of HMRC/social security staff etc.).
- Closure of all state final salary pension schemes which are non funded and depend on taxpayer subsidies.
- State pensions to be phased out. Payments will be proportionate to years of contribution. Anyone under 30 will generally not be eligible.
- Most public services to become optional opt-in/opt-out subscription arrangements, and allow private industry to compete freely with the public sector.
5. Trade: unilateral free trade deals with almost all nations. In fact why do we even need a "deal"??? Just let them sell to us. They'll soon see the benefits of allowing us to trade freely with them.
6. Military defence:
- Here's a controversial one, just for thought: allow optional military service, and allow everyone to keep their service rifle and ammunition. Just like in Switzerland (except theirs is mandatory).
- Even more controversial, to encourage people to do their military service, link service to the country with the right to vote! i.e. no service, no right to a vote. Mark mentioned science-fiction, this is actually an idea I got from Starship Troopers. (I'm only half serious!)
- Federal/central government to raise taxes from local authorities to finance strong defensive military capability, including nuclear weapons.
7. Criminal / civil justice.
- Abolish most victimless crimes (with exception for those where population was put at unnecessary risk of physical or material harm).
- Abolish most forms of licensing, and allow citizens/businesses to pursue each other in civil courts for compensation if they infringe each other's rights. No need for the government to license activities proactively. Allow a market for legal insurance to develop.
8. NHS.
- Opt of NI contributions to allow people to buy own healthcare insurance.
- Decentralise NHS decisions. Abolish Department for Health. Devolve this to local authorities who manage their own health budgets.
- Attempt to introduce more competition into healthcare, either by breaking up public NHS into smaller competing providers (like Singapore model) or allow private healthcare companies to compete directly with NHS for patients.
- Define very clearly what NHS is for and not for.
- Allow NHS (or parts of) to fail financially. No more bottomless pit of money. It either innovates or dies, just like private industry.
9. Education.
- In the interim, a voucher system to allow parents to access any school of their choice and the voucher can be claimed back by the school for funding. This will introduce competition between schools and give parents freedom of choice.
- Vouchers can be used at private schools (both high and low cost) and can be topped up by parents.
- Abolish OFSTED, or turn it into a voluntary industry body which audits/ranks/scores schools in return for a subscription from the school. Strip it of powers. It should become a version of TripAdvisor or Which.
- Schools should set their own curriculums, hours, holidays, etc. based on what they think parents want.
- Continue Academies programme, gradually privatising education, but with the voucher scheme parents will be the customers and not the government. This will drive up standards.
- As taxation decreases and funds become tight, phase out the voucher scheme and all education become private. Low cost education providers dominate the market. For the poorest of the poor, charitable schools will support them.
- Home-schooling becomes much more common. No regulation of this.
- Student loan management to be controlled by individual universities. All loans to be repaid in full, regardless of level of earnings. This might make students think harder about which degree to undertake.
- Allow universities to set their own fees. Create competition between universities.

OK that's enough for today!

Will Taylor
Deputy Leader of the Libertarian Party
http://www.libertarianpartyuk.com

Luke P

6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Will Taylor at 12/12/2017 - 15:28
Just less laws altogether. The goal should be as little interference from the state as possible. Less in handouts and fewer 'safety nets'. This country in particular seems to have an insistence on more regulation -getting involved in great detail in all manner of life where it's often not required. It's as though MPs feel they *need* to continually keep changing (in their minds 'improving') legislation, as though yesterday cannot possibly be better than tomorrow. Some things are best left untouched...and all the more so by those that aren't experts in the field (politicians).

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