Sunday, May 02, 2010

Three of the Best


As a Tory, I hope the Conservatives win a majority.

As a realist, I accept this might not happen. I think a hung parliament would be bad for the UK, but perhaps it's time to think the unthinkable: what if we get one?

The most likely coalition, I hope, would be Tory/LibDem. So here's a challenge: if that came about, which three policies would you like to see the new government implement? The rules are simple: you must choose one Tory policy, one LibDem and the third can be from either party, or perhaps one of your own. Here are mine.

Education

The Tory policy here looks excellent, as I've written earlier. It's a real incentive for improvement and in a globally competitive world, nothing is more important than a good education.

Tax

I am sorry, but I love the LibDem proposal to raise the threshold at which you pay tax to £10,000. It's almost a Tory policy, it simplifies tax and it's a vote-winner.

Tax again

A policy of my own: eliminate 95% of tax law, and make the UK a better place to do business. Sustained recovery will depend on people wanting to do business in this country, yet our tax code is incredibly complicated.

So that's my three. What would you choose?

For your information you can get the Conservative manifesto here and the LibDem one here.

13 comments:

Anthony said...

1) Preventing reforms of the commons or lords. I.E. Keeping the house of lords & not bringing in proportional representation. (Tory)

2) No tax to first £10,000 earned (Lib Dem)

3) Community service sentences to those who commit petty offences worthy of crimes less than 6 months imprisonment. (Lib-Dems)

Slim said...

1) The £10,000 tax free earnings idea
2) Increase VAT by 2.5% and taxes on alcohol and cigarettes up by 10% (rake in some cash, cut the deficit quickly).
3) New laws to enable voting for local taxes. For example locals can vote for a 50p per household increase in Council tax to pay for a new school.

Oh, and a sneaky 4/5:
4) Abolish HIPs
5) Put a law in place ensuring property sales become legally binding much sooner in the process (like in Scotland)

Frugal Dougal said...

It's a question I'd have to think about, but on tax, I should point out that under Disraeli, the income tax threshold was set at £150, which meant that almost all unskilled labourers didn't have to pay it.

Nick Drew said...

As a Tory too, I'd scrap Trident

what we have always needed is an independent deterrent, & we haven't had that since we scrapped our airborne nuclear bombs

like Sean, I see this policy carve-up as eminently do-able

& like Sean, it's not my first preference !

Sean Haffey said...

Nick

I like your blog posting. We'll know in four days' time!

On the matter of Trident, although I like to think I am quite well-informed, I don't think I know enough to take a position. Trident does have the advantage that it's mobile: I'm not sure cruise missiles would be as effective, although I'm interested to hear more.

Nick Drew said...

Sean - cruise missiles can be launched from just about anything: submarines (including smaller ones than the monsters needed to carry Trident), trucks, ships and planes

smaller warheads than Trident, but their effect is achieved by pinpoint accuracy (can be nuke or 'conventional')

the ultimate problem for independence, BTW, is guidance: everything flexible & highly accurate needs a SatNav nowadays, and the USA controls the sats ! But there are ways around this in many circumstances

I reckon BAe can do the business - in which context, you might be interested in this

glad you liked the post - i think we are agreed on the tax aspect ! (the Mansion Tax would have to go, though ...)

Malcolm Todd said...

Hm. You Tories do realise that the £10,000 tax threshold doesn't stand on its own, don't you? Unless you want an extra £17bn hole in your deficit plans. If you're signing up for higher property taxes, an end to higher-rate reliefs, and wherever the rest was coming from (note to self: shoulda read the manifesto by now), then fine.

Sean Haffey said...

Malcolm

I realise there is a cost to the £10,000 threshold but maybe one of Slim's suggestions above would help. The point is, it takes away tax from those least able to afford it and reduces the number of people who pay income tax (and thereby a small saving, needing few tax inspectors).

But absolutely: it needs to be funded.

Craig said...

The UK deficit is 14% of GDP, higher than Greece (11%). To avoid a Greek tragedy in the UK, three things for the first 12 months:

1) Tory: £6bn 'efficiency' cuts
2) Lib-Dem: £17bn 'specific' cuts & taxes (WITHOUT the associated tax cut that we CAN'T afford).
3) Other: A budget neutral stimulant - reduce taxes on the poorest, matched with reductions in benefits, such you're ALWAYS better off working than on benefits. Won't go anywhere near £10k, but will embed an important principle.


In months 12-24, much larger tax rises and - more to the point - spending cuts will necessary to plug the £167bn gap*. This will hurt, but nowhere near as much as it will if we put it off or ignore the problem.


* The 2009-2010 deficit. Of course, even if we found £167bn of permanent cuts & taxes TODAY, we'd still have £900bn stock of debt, 62% of GDP.

Angie Brooks said...

I really don't envy whoever ends up running this country - he'll need a big spade. Strikes me the first two things needed are to slash waste of public money - The Taxpayers Alliance have documented the huge dollops of dosh which have been pouring down a black hole for several years. Then we need to scrap the entire current tax system and HMRC and start again from scratch URGENTLY, making it simpler and more cost effective to calculate and collect tax. Then we cut back on everything we can't afford, its no good saying we need it and people deserve it - if we can't afford it we can't have it. Then we scrap unemployment benefit and replace it with community benefit i.e. anyone out of work can chose from a selection of community work e.g. clearing rubbish/flytipping; helping old people; helping farmers; assisting in hospitals and schools and will EARN benefits in proportion to the number of hours worked. Same with prisons - put all inmates to work (what happened to sewing mailbags?). Most important of all, is to have a weekly-updated public website showing the deficit and the effect of all the above measures in decreasing it.

Anonymous said...

AND ANOTHER THING!..... I like Cameron's idea that everybody has a stake in the country and that major decisions can be voted for or vetoed by referendum. The internet should make that so easy. We should all be treated like shareholders in a company and keep fully abreast of how the board of directors are performing - and told in no uncertain terms that any director who fails to perform or breaks the law (or commits fraud) will be sacked immediately. We all - every single one of us - owns this country, so lets see to what extent we really can all have a say in how it is run and how quickly we can all pay back our personal debts and the country's deficit.

dazmando said...

Hi Sean, Here are mine

http://bracknellblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/pick-and-mix-which-3-policies-from.html

Slim said...

I'm not against alternatives to Trident, but we do need a big dog in our garden. Mobility is key, and subs can go places other vessels can't (even to places they shouldn't be). One of the big costs/problems is that Labour has postponed decisions on Trident, resulting in on-going maintenance for an aged fleet while the new class comes online (late).

BTW, if the yellow corner want no nukes does this include power stations? How will they keep the lights on in a few years? Windmills and cow farts?