Monday, April 18, 2005

Election manifesto (2)

As threatened, some more elements of my election manifesto:
  • Increase punishment for driving without insurance to £1,000, ie the same as not having a TV licence fee. No reduction for people with limited means. The punishment should be at least double the annual car insurance cost otherwise it is rational for some people to drive without insurance as it's cheaper!!

  • Review the legal aid bill and identify means to reduce costs. I do not believe that people should be subsidised with legal aid for getting divorced. It's a private transaction between a couple. Legal aid should be cut back to encourage competition between lawyers and drive fees down. No other professional group could ever dream of being subsidised by the state to such an extent with the possible exception of medics!!!

  • The TV Licence fee to be scrapped and the BBC funded out of general taxation. It is far cheaper to fund and administer it centrally, would stop free-riding and free court time to prosecute "more deserving crimes". Before I get too many comments about this, I do believe the long term solution is to make the BBC a commercial enterprise with no state funding. This is a stop gap solution!!

  • Inheritance and capital gains tax to be removed as they both discourage savings and creating / holding wealth. If they are to be retained, farms should no longer be exempt from inheritance tax, whilst the inheritance tax limit should be raised to £400k. 10% tax rate applied thereafter rather than the 40% rate currently applied.

  • Savings should not be taxed as it discourages saving and personal responsibility.
  • 5 comments:

    Blithering Bunny said...

    >The TV Licence fee to be scrapped and the BBC funded out of general taxation. It is far cheaper to fund and administer it centrally, would stop free-riding and free court time to prosecute "more deserving crimes". Before I get too many comments about this, I do believe the long term solution is to make the BBC a commercial enterprise with no state funding. This is a stop gap solution!!

    I'm not sure I'm in favour of this. I understand that you intend it to be a stop-gap solution, but I suspect it would make the BBC less likely to be privatized.

    I say this based on comparing the UK and Australia. The Australian equivalent of the BBC is funded out of general revenue. And I suspect you're right that this makes it far more efficient and less wasteful. The ABC is certainly not even in the same league as the BBC for wealth, although maybe that's just due to Australia's much smaller population.

    But the thing is, although the ABC is as thoroughly lefty as the BBC, if not more so, there's much less talk in Australia of abolishing or privatizing it. Because it's not seen as a separate entity, this option doesn't even occur to most people.

    In Britain, on the other hand, the fact that the BBC is highly visible as a (mostly) separate, (mostly) self-contained entity with its own powers, including draconian powers to harass people for money, means that people are much more aware of the possibility that it could be run from private, voluntary subscription.

    And they have that extra level of resentment based on the TV license bill coming up every year, whereas if it's funded out of general revenue, they don't think of the ABC as being responsible for money being taken from them.

    That's why I think keeping the BBC as separate from the government as we can means that it's more likely that it will be privatized before the time that the next license renewal is due.

    Blimpish said...

    I know where Scott's coming from, but there's a more sinister reason why the BBC might be better funded out of general taxation... and that's that it can be starved of funds over time, for budgetary reasons. Keep them in tact, but let the bastards starve.

    Snafu said...

    Would anyone notice if it was starved of funds!?!

    Richard said...

    Hi,

    I may have missed it, but do you have a stance on ID cards in the manifesto?

    Will you still be encouraging people not to vote Tory, given their ID cards stance?

    Richard.

    Snafu said...

    Richard

    I'm against the introduction of ID cards. I struggle to see how they would reduce crime or help in the fight against terrorism. We already have various forms of ID and numbers allocated by the state. Why can't these be adopted?

    If they are introduced, it will not be obligatory to carry which seem to go against the whole point of carrying them in the first place!!
    I balk at having to pay an estimated £85 to obtain my card whilst people on low incomes will be subsidised.
    There is an issue over the open Irish border. Should Irish citizens carry passports when they visit the UK?
    I'm not convinced that the British Government could deliver the project on time and to cost anyway, they hardly have a strong record in successful IT projects.
    What happens if you lose your ID card? Someone unknown to you will potentially have all of your biometric data!!
    Why will they take ten years to introduce? Britain went to war in 1939 and I believe ID cards were introduced the following year!! On this time scale, the war would have been over for four years before they are introduced. Hardly timely is it!?!

    I don't believe that ID cards is THE issue that will swing the electorate come the election. I hope I'm not discouraging people from voting Conservative too much. However, yesterday's Sun seemed to encapsulate my views on the present Conservative party. "When the Tories start acting like Conservatives, they might deserve our support. The Tories talk about “small government” then offer a manifesto that would spend just about as much as Labour. They boast about tax cuts, then promise a pathetic £4billion out of a £630billion total tax haul. On health and education, they offer nothing much more than misty promises."