Clampdown on Consumer credit

reduce household debt, encourage saving

   Two  generations have  grown up, believing that it's normal to get everything you want first -  and then pay for it  later.  This boom of debt-fuelled  shopping on credit, is down to Margaret Thatcher in her 1979 administration  She freed all the consumer credit restrictions, believing it would cause the economy to expand, with more jobs for us.  Well it's certainly created a lot more jobs - nearly all of them in the Far East. Here the only jobs created are at checkout tills, and in delivery companies like Amazon.  What's been created here - which Thatcher never foresaw - is an ocean of household debt.  TV adverts portay the payday loans firms as being our saviours - coming to our rescue.  How is  getting easy credit helping us when it puts us into debt?

   We need to get back to the way it was in the pre-Thatcher era - the only thing you could own before you'd paid for it, was your house - and possibly some very large purchases like cars. For everything  else - you save up, you wait till you've got enough money - then you go and buy it.

 Obviously there have to be savings facilities which mean bank accounts paying us interest which is MORE than the inflation rate.  So when we save money in these accounts, the value of the money goes up instead of down.  That's why Mainstream wants the Bank Base rate set to 2% TODAY.

Capitalism is supposed to work  by banks lending money to businesses, not private individuals. Businesses make the money grow and create jobs in doing that.  Individuals just spend the loan and get into debt.  WE would clamp down , restricting the number of credit / store cards per person, and making the minimum monthly repayment on any credit / store account, 60% of the  outstanding balance. 



The answer is NOT to flood all our remaining green fields with a million new houses

The answer is to STOP house-buying speculators

Suppose you've got some savings. This could be from an inheritance, from a Pension lump sum, redundancy money, whatever.

You could just keep it in a piggy-bank, but each year that passes by leaves your money worth less because of inflation. So if you don't want to splurge it all immediately, you put it in a Savings account. This pays interest on your money - the more your savings, the more interest. But the interest should be at least enough to cover inflation so at least your money is not LOSING its value.

AT LEAST that's what used to happen - till the 2008 crash, when politicians in power all over the world came up with the totally stupid idea of zero or near-zero interest rates. Overnight saving became useless and pointless - governments wanted us to do the opposite, borrow and get into debt, and then spend this money to create jobs. Savings accounts paying a meaningful interest are now only available if you're in the premiership footballer earnings league. For the rest of us the only way to stop your savings LOSING money is to buy a domestic property. This will always go up in value more than inflation, so when you sell it, your savings have actually GONE UP in value.

Well all that credit-fuelled spending has created loads of jobs - but not HERE - these new jobs are all in the Far East. We're all poorer - China, Malaysia, South Korea, India are all richer. So now all these new rich, have lots of savings, they have the same problem: where can they put their money so it keeps its value? There are no savings accounts anywhere in the world. So they look for small countries with big populations, which already have a housing shortage. They also need a country which lets anyone from anywhere buy our houses - no questions asked. You guessed it - they picked on US. Our Tory and Coalition government have been screaming invitations to the rest of the world "you're welcome! Please buy up our property and housing land! It's a good investment! It's shooting up in value!" That's why none of our own citizens can get on the housing ladder any more - even a couple with both working in professional jobs. The Chinese especially are buying up huge chunks of land and housing in all our cities. Most of these houses and flats are empty - they don't care, they know the worse our housing shortage gets - the more their property holdings are worth. They're laughing. We're not laughing.

MAINSTREAM would pass laws to stop ALL overseas speculation. All our housing stock - and building land - would be reserved by law for our own citizens. The expatriate empty-house investors would be forced to sell, house prices would start to fall - this in turn would force more and more speculators to sell to avoid a loss - so prices would fall even more. Then the speculators won't be laughing. But our people who want a house as a family home - not as a way of making a big profit - we'll be laughing.





MORE  tax on luxuries - LESS  tax on essentials 

   We would abolish VAT - the Eurotax. (See 'Europe').  VAT is  a Brussels invention - a tax on EVERYTHING.  We'd  remove all tax from necessities - not just food (now zero-rated) but all clothes and shoes , excepting sports clothing.  Remove the tax on on isurance, on Gas and Electricity, on phone bills, on broadband,  and on take-away food like McDonalds. If I decide to get the family's  evening meal in a fast-food, instead of us cooking - that's still our food and it should not be taxed in any way.  NONE of these household necessities would be taxed if there was a Mainstream government.

 Instead we'd transfer all purchase tax (tax on stuff we buy)  - to LUXURY  items only: sports cars, yachts, TVs,  gambling, and leave some  taxes on tobacco and cigarettes.  All these things are stuff we can live without .   Food, clothes, water, home fuel and insurance - we can't live without.


House prices need to go DOWN not UP

     One of the ways that we're supposed to be better off under the coalition is what Cameron and Clegg call the "buoyant housing market".  This is another way of saying "House prices are shooting up all over the country".  The political establishment and their economic "advisers" LOVE to see house prices shooting up. They call this "buoyant", "healthy" -  how would we feel if politicians said that it was healthy and buoyant if food prices shot up - or clothes prices shot up. Housing is a NECESSITY just like food, clothes, petrol and electricity; and we should be trying to keep prices of all necessities stable. Prices are going up because the demand for houses far outstrips the supply.     

   The causes of the over-demand are firstly the enormous pressure of inward migration; but secondly the use of houses as a way of earning money from savings.  Instead of houses being just a place to live - a home - the housing market has become en enormous casino, where people with spare money to spend, buy up our houses, knowing that the "buoyant" market means that their value will keep on shooting up, and they can be re-sold at a profit in one or two year's time.  Whose fault is this?  This is totally the coalition's fault, by setting the bank rate so absurdly low at 0.5%, that there is no way any more that anybody (apart from a millionaire or a premiership footballer) - can find a savings account, where the interest they get will keep up with inflation.

 But a large number of house purchases - probably up to a third - are not by our own citizens at all: they are being bought by overseas buyers who often leave them empty; these houses are not being used as homes at all - just a big investment gamble. Of course the coalition welcomes this as well - they call it "inward investment".

  MAINSTREAM by putting the bank rate up to 2% immediately, will make saving bank and building society savings accounts, worthwhile again. MAINSTREAM will encourage the public to see stable  or falling house prices as a good thing - it enables first-time buyers to get on to the housing ladder. House sellers who up-size to a bigger house - will get less when they sell their existing property - but of course their NEW house will also cost less. The only people who lose out when house prices fall, are those who sell up to go abroad, or when houses are sold after a house-owner's death and the money goes into the deceased's estate. MAINSTREAM would set up rules to make it more difficult for investors from overseas, or anyone else, to buy up houses as a way of investing money to make a profit.  We'll get back to the situation where a house is just a place to live - a HOME.  Period.

  MAINSTREAM would set a minimum deposit and end the "Help to Buy" scheme and any other schemes which offer zero-percent deposits, as these schemes simply encourage people to get into debt, instead of the normal way which is to save first for a deposit - then buy and pay the balance over 25 years.                       

Red-Tape bonfire for all small businesses 

 The coalition promised to cut red tape from small businesses, but instead they have just added more of it – like the new rules on flexible working, paternity leave and so on. Business Secretary Vince Cable says “these new rules benefit small businesses, because they can retain workers with vital skills, and so will make more profit”. But hold on – if flexible working is going to increase the profits for a business – they are going to do it anyway, and don’t need it to be compulsory. Cable is talking rubbish – maybe for BIG companies, these new rules will help them to keep a better workforce and get more profits. But for most small firms, these new extra rules are a burden which brings extra costs and CUTS  their profits. It is the businesses THEMSELVES which know, whether these rules are an advantage or not - so they need to be optional, not compulsory.  Mainstream would abolish all these regulations for small businesses.  

 Bank  Base Rate up to 2%  

  Mainstream would put up the Bank of England Base Rate immediately to 2%. This will not only discourage people from taking on more credit and debt - it will help savers, who have been totally abandoned by this government. Present savings rates are so low, that the interest (afer the government  creams off yet more tax) - is less than the raee of inflation. In fact, everyone apart from super-rich footballers and celebrities, who  keeps money in a savings account as a way of preparing for their future, and their children's future- is LOSING money because of this. Cameron and Clegg know this, they want all savers to EMPTY their savings accounts by spending all the money, so it will "boost the economy" and people will then vote them into power again. (In fact, money left IN savings accounts also boosts the economy - because the banks and building societies lend this money to businesses, which creates real wealth; rather than the same money just being frittered away on new TVs or holidays).  A base rate of 2% is, by historical standards, extremely low.      


How should the government spend £12 billion tax? 

Give it to third-world governments ? 

or fund our own students'  University studies ? 

"There's something utterly nauseating about the world's richest man telling us that our taxes should be given to other countries, instead of going to our own children's education ."

 Bill Gates urges UK to protect foreign aid  .

   They're at it again!   The celebrity millionaires who lecture us  that we should give our tax away to other countries, instead of spending it on our own schools and hospitals.  Gates, the world's richest man, tells the Tories they must maintain Cameron's guaranteed amount of overseas aid.  But of course the money is neither Theresa May's nor Cameron's - its OUR taxes Gates is talking about. There's something totally nauseating about this man, sitting on his $86 billion, telling our hardworking taxpayers how our taxes should be spent.

    Current UK annual overseas "aid"  budget:  £12 Billion 

  Current debt OWED by our students:           £12 Billion.* 

  This is the amount our students have been forced to borrow,  to pay their fees and maintenance,  so they could study at University. (This after David Cameron's  coalition government ended the previous grant system, after promising not to do that). (* this is for England & Wales students  - Scottish students are still funded by their taxpayers).

   Our students are  forced to take out these colossal debts - for fees alone, over £28,000 - right at the start of their adult lives; in most cases, before they've actually earned any money. These are eye-watering debts - amounts that high-earners in their 30s or 40s, would think twice anout taking on. And our students (including my own daughter) are contracted to repay these vast amounts of money, from their future earnings in a future job - which they may or may not get.

 Is it any wonder that University applications from our own young people (and especially from boys) is less that in our neighbour countries, as they do the Maths and decide they don't want  to be so much in debt.   


  Close the Department for International Aid.   Take  ALL the £12 Billion tax  from their foreign aid budget  

   Use this  £12 Billion instead, to pay for our university students'  tuition and maintenance.  

 The existing overseas aid is a waste of money - it goes to corrupt third world governments who use it to build palaces for their families and cronies, to buy warplanes and cluster bombs. It's counter productive because it stops these countries from growing up and standing on their own feet - like keeping paying pocket-money to  children after they become adults - and then wondering why they don't support themselves.   



 Your Overseas Aid FAQs 

  Q. I'm sure you're right that most of our citizens would rather spend this £12 billion tax on our own children's education, than send it overseas. But a minority of people do still want their taxes to go to help the Third World.  What should these people do about it ? 

A.  yes as you say, some people want to carry on  seeing their tax go to help Third World governments - David Cameron,  George Osborne, Richard Branson, Polly Toynbee to name but a  few    .  All millionaires as you would expect.  Mainstream would have a solution for these people - a new VOLUNTARY tax called G.A.Y.E. 

Q   How would this work ? 

A. Just like PAYE (Pay as You Earn) -  the new voluntary tax  is called GAYE. This stands for Give Abroad Your Earnings .  This would be a box all employees could tick, on their self-assessment or P35, to allow 0.5  percent of their income to go on selected third world projects. A win-win. We use tax money for our own children - the 3rd world countries still get aid. 

Q Would the end of Overseas Aid affect disaster relief? 

A.. No, of course not.  Government Disaster Relief - eg after floods, earthquakes, whatever - would still be funded, providing the aid went directly to the disaster victims . What would NEVER again happen is sending money to Third World governments.  (You only have to look at Haiti after the Earthquake, to see the folly of doing that.  The international aid money just disappears from the face of the earth.)  



Council Tax replaced by Rates 

MAINSTREAM  would abolish Council Tax and replace it with a Rates system.  This would set the householder's payments based NOT on the house value , but only on the house SIZE.  This is much more sensible as the value of a house varies over time, and also in different parts of Britain - eg, a house in London is worth far more than a house in Newcastle or Lincoln.  The size of a house hardly ever changes. With Rates, you don't ever need revaluations; the  ten bands would be the same all over the country:  One-bedroom  Flat, Two-bedroom Flat, Three-bedroom flat; Two-bedroom house, three-bedroom house,  Four-bedroom house; Five or more bedroom house; Large Detached House;  Mansion, and Palace.   Rates would be paid as one payment per home, not per person occupying the home; which would encourage house-sharing. 

    Councils would also be able to cut the Rates to lower than existing Council Tax, because their set of functions would be cut down to just the basics - removing the necessity of councils being responsible for stuff like Adoption-Control, recording Hate-crime, and so on.


Abandon HS2

  A  MAINSTREAM   government would immediately  the colossally expensive HS2 railway project. There is no justification for spending so much money on a completely new railway line in our already overcrowded land.  For one hundredth of the cost of HS2, we could make the existing railway work much better, for instance by lengthening all station platforms to allow all trains to be ten coaches long. HS2 is a disaster - quite apart from the amount of new land (now very scarce in our overcrowded island) taken up, the line is a "niche" railway. YES It will make the London to Birminham journey far quicker - but hello!  Rail journeys between London and Birmingham  are a tiny fraction of all rail journeys made. HS2 will do nothing to improve the vast majority of rail journeys - in fact the opposite, as it will drain away resources from all the other lines. ** STOP PRESS** As the recent snowy winter showed, it's the EXISTING rail network which needs investment: heating on all the points so they don't freeze up.