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the Economy

SPEND THE BREXIT DIVORCE WINDFALL

Theresa May wants to pay Brussels £39 billion for a Brexit Divorce

We'll KEEP that Brexit Windfall, and spend it on inner-city front-line services 

There's an unexpected windfall from leaving the EU - the 'Brexit Windfall'. This is the so-called 'Divorce Bill' that Theresa May is going to pay to leave the EU - and it's a lot: £39 BILLION. That's because shambolic Tory-style Brexit involves the pantomime of still following all the EU 'rules' and obeying the so-called 'Article 50'. Can't she realise that the Brexit people's vote invalidates previous treaties! We don't have to follow any Brussels 'rules' or 'articles' any more - and we don't have to pay them ANY money - not a penny - now or at any time in the future.

Let's use this £37 billion Brexit Windfall to relieve the pressures on our people in the inner-city urban areas, hardest hit by the sudden population surge. We'd spend this money on the front-line services desperately needed: More GPs surgeries and walk-in clinics, smaller class sizes in Primary schools, more hospital beds and more midwives. NO we're not paying any 'Divorce Bill' . That's our money - to spend on our citizens.


ABOLISH VAT - THE "BRUSSELS TAX"

We STOP taxing necessities - we start taxing luxuries 

VAT (Value-added Tax) is the Brussels Tax. It's the Euro Tax. It's a tax on EVERYTHING - all goods and services. Now we're escaping from Brussels rule - so we can stop obeying Brussels, and one of the best things about this - we can ABOLISH VAT !

Just think about what we pay VAT on now: Our Gas and Electricity bills. Our Phone bills and Broadband bill. Our home insurance and motor insurance. Our food - if we go out for a takeaway. On our Water bills. All our clothing and shoes - even children's clothes and shoes if they wear a size that's the smallest adult's size. **

VAT is an appalling, disgusting, unfair tax. Governments love it - because it's difficult to evade. If we were staying in the EU, one of their 'rules' is you cannot abolish, or even reduce, VAT. But guess what? We're leaving them - so we CAN - and a Mainstream government certainly WOULD - abolish this hated tax.

This would be replaced by a new tax called Purchase Tax (similar to what some states have in the USA). This would only be on NON-necessities. So - not on normal clothes - but YES on sportswear. This tax would be set at some standard rate to be agreed, on all such luxuries as cars, TVs, tablets, boats, tobacco and alchohol, and so on. None of these are necessities for living.

(** I know this, unfortunately, from my own experience: a few years ago my 12-year old daughter bought a pair of size 3 shoes from the Far East; I think the value was about £17. But the package was 'intercepted' by our valiantly-named 'Border Force'. Think the Border Force is some kind of security setup, protecting our borders from criminals and undesirables coming in? Think again - the only 'force' they use, is against our own people, taking more tax off us. To get my 12-year-old's shoes, I had to go to to a Royal Mail depot and pay an EXTRA £26 being the VAT 'due' on these (children's) shoes; plus to add insult to injury, a fee to Royal Mail plc for their 'work' in helping the taxman make an illegal seizure of goods. There is no redress and no possibility to contest these obscene charges. )   


GET THE SAVINGS HABIT BACK ..

planning for our future - not just thinking about today  

Before the Margaret Thatcher era , if you wanted to buy an expensive purchase (but not a house) - say, a car, a washing-machine - you 'saved up' for it. There's now a whole generation of young people who don't even know what 'saving up' means. You put any spare cash into a savings account - and the money GROWS. Because you get interest which is MORE than the rate of price inflation. So after a year, your money is worth quite a bit more, than when you opened the account. Yes you do have to WAIT - you can't have the new purchase straight away! When Thatcher came to power in 1979 one of her first actions was to allow unlimited consumer credit. This means we can borrow as much as we can persuade banks to lend us - then take as long as we want, to repay the loan / credit card. The banks LIKE it if we take longer - then they make more interest off us. This policy has been great for big business - they sell more stuff; and for the Far East's economy as they export to us more manufactured goods. It's been a disaster for US the consumers - we've come to accept being in debt - and in many cases, ENORMOUS debt - as being a natural state of affairs. A MAINSTREAM government would get us back to an economy where we plan for the future, wait and save up for things; instead of thinking only of the present and wanting everything NOW. And the huge burden of domestic would be gradually cut down to zero. We would:


OUTLAW SPECULATION ON HOMES

Our houses and flats to be family homes - NOT a casino for rich people to grow their money pots

The Tories (and the other establishment parties) tell us that when our homes increase in value , this is 'good for us'. That we're 'richer'. No we're NOT! We can only use this value as money, by giving up the house; and if we're on a mortgage, then the house is effectively owned by the bank anyway, not by us.

As house prices have shot up - and there is no way to save money in banks any more - people desperate for their savings not to DROP in value, have bought up hundreds of thousands of domestic properties - not to LIVE IN - but as an 'investment' - knowing that their value keeps shooting up, year after year. But it's not just our own people. Overseas 'investors' - rich individuals as well as property companies - have also bought up hundreds of thousands of our houses and flats. They can see that we are a small island with limited space; in the middle of a huge surge in population caused by inward migration. These are people who already have big bags of money - by getting hold of one of our houses, to sell again after a year - they make their big pot of money, grow into an even bigger pot of money - without doing any work! That's why it's called speculation and it's disgusting. The Tory government actually WELCOMES these buyers! They call it 'Inward Investment' - and they welcome these rich foreign speculators with open arms!

A Mainstream government would OUTLAW this type of 'investment' or 'speculation' to give it its correct name. We would take actions to force house prices to come tumbling down. This would not harm owner-occupiers - as long as they stay put, or just move to another house. Their old house has dropped in value - but so has the new house they are moving into. The only 'losers' would be those selling and leaving the housing market altogether - eg, to move abroad. They would get less than they expected for their house - but almost certainly, it would be more than they paid for it; so they couldn't complain. A big fall in house prices would force the speculators to sell, before they got their fingers burned. New, tough, proactive legislation would transform our housing market, causing a rise in owner-occupation and a fall in rentals (apart from council houses):


RE-NATIONALISE UTILITIES

Gas, Electricity & Water distribution - and part of the Rail network - into public ownership  

Utilities such as domestic power and fuel, and water supplies, don't follow the free market rules as if they were cars, or goods sold in shops. That's because there's very little or no scope for competition. It makes much more sense for these utilities to be nationalised (again), and run solely for the benefit of the consumer and not for shareholders. We only have one electricity cable, one mains water pipe and one gas pipe coming into our homes - the companies which own this infrastructure should be the ones who supply the fuel or water and that is easier to do with one public-owned company for each utility.

It's a similar picture with Railways. Before they were first nationalised in 1946, the railways were run by about nine separate private companies. But they didn't COMPETE against each other! Each company managed the lines in one sector of the country - the West, the Northwest and so on.The present system as brought in by the Thatcher administration is absurd - where all passenger trains are labelled by the operator name 'the 7.15 Virgin service to Glasgow' or 'the 7.48 London North Eastern service to London Euston' - instead of just the 7.15 to Glasgow, the 7.48 to Euston, and so on.

We would make the ticket price for any particular journey the same, regardless of what train we use. Fast trains would run between the main hubs - slow trains would serve smaller places, stopping at all stations. We'd use some of the funds earmarked for HS2 (see below) to improve the whole rail network, most crucially with longer trains and longer platforms. We'd limit the number of first-class coaches to 1 in 5. We'd make all new coaches be on the same level as the platforms - so no stepping up and down. (That's they way they are on the London Underground, and used to be on all our trains).


 

STOP OUR TAXES GOING ON INTERNATIONAL AID

Use the £12 Billion Foreign aid budget, for our own children's higher education

"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. The US billionaire who says British Taxpayers must keep on giving our money to Third-World countries.

The present budget of the so-called Department of International Aid is £12 Billion. This was because Tory David Cameron passed a law, setting an absurd figure of 0.7% of our GDP reserved for Overseas Aid. This was Cameron grandstanding his big vanity project , to get him brownie-points on the international stage. He gloats and boasts at every opportunity, how 'proud' he is of us, that we're the Europe's number one contributer to International Aid, how generous because we give £12 billion a year.

Hello ! Cameron (and Tory successor Theresa May) aren't giving THEIR money away: They're giving OUR MONEY - OUR TAXES - away to other countries. What is there to be proud of ? These politicians should be totally ashamed of themselves, not proud. And as for Bill Gates , the American billionaire who has a reputed £86 billion in his piggy-bank - there's something especially nauseating to hear the world's richest person lecturing our hard-working taxpayers, on how we choose to spend our taxes.

And look where this money actually goes: to Third-World dictators who use it to build palaces for themselves, and their friends; and to buy warplanes and cluster-bombs. To rich countries like India, who can afford to have nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers and send spaceships to Mars - but can't be bothered to feed their own starving people, or give them clean water and proper toilets. More and more, experts are agreeing that this overseas 'Aid' is counter-productive; it stops local businesses from developing, in effect stopping the country standing on it's own two feet. (Rather like, you keep giving pocket-money to your children when they are in their 20s - and wonder why they don't go out to work!)

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 ). (* 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.

Abolish 'Cameron's Law'

A Mainstream government would abolish "Cameron's Law" - the law setting in stone a 0.7% GDP rule for Aid, and instead ring-fence taxpayers' money only for spending on domestic purposes - no more giving away overseas. BUT as there are some taxpayers who WANT to keep supporting Overseas Aid from their taxes, we'd give them that choice with a new 'G.A.Y.E.' option on the tax form where taxpayers could OPT to pay an extra 0.5% tax , to go to Third-World Aid.

 

LET'S START PUTTING OUR OWN CHILDREN'S EDUCATION FIRST. 

AND STOP BEING ASHAMED ABOUT IT.

Your Overseas Aid FAQs 

  Q. You're right that most of us 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 altruistic people want to carry on seeing their tax go to help Third World governments - David Cameron,  George Osborne, Richard Branson to name but a  few   .  All millionaires as you would expect.  Mainstream would have a solution to help 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 tax-funded 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.)  


SCRAP HS2 AND ALL VANITY PROJECTS

   A  MAINSTREAM   government would immediately  abandon the colossally expensive HS2 railway project. There's no justification for spending so much money on a completely new railway line in our already overcrowded land.  HS2 - like all these 'vanity' projects - is just about wealthy building companies making a lot more profits for themselves and their cronies, from taxpayers' money - by grandstanding this unnecessary new line, which will only benefit a small niche of travellers, while making the rest of the railways worse off.

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.


REPLACE COUNCIL TAX BY RATES

Before the Thatcher government brought in the Poll Tax - which then became the present Council Tax - we had 'Rates' as the way local councils raised their money. This is a brilliantly simple system because the amount of local tax you pay, depends just on the size of your home - not on the value. The (fair) assumption is made that if you live in a larger house - then you are better off. Council Tax is an idiotic system because the 'bands' which determine how much you pay, go by the value of the house or flat. But the value is completely different in different parts of the country; and also, house prices keep on rising. Councils have to constantly do re-valuations on all their houses.

MAINSTREAM  would abolish Council Tax and go back to the Rates system.  This sets 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.   


NATIONALISE STATE BENEFITS & HOUSING

Mainstream would nationalise all state benefits, and local government social housing, with no exceptions. These privileges would be reserved for our own citizens. Other people who want to live here would be expected to support themselves, or in cases of extreme need apply to their own governments for financial help.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY TAXES AND BENEFITS

Mainstream recognises the Family as the basic unit of society. This needs to be reflcted in all Tax and benefits policies. In particular, we'd allow married couples - if both spouses agreed - to be taxed as a single unit, instead of two single individuals as they are now under Tory rules.

Remember Cameron's pledge to give some 'help' to married couples? The Cameron 'help' is a pathetic fudge, smothered in T & Cs - one spouse can get only one-tenth of the other spouse's personal allowance - and then ONLY if their income is below a certain amount, etc, etc. It's incredibly difficult and complicated to claim - so only a few of those entitled, actually claim it. But that's what you'd expect with anything from David Cameron - he wanted it to be as difficult as possible to claim, so he could make the promise of 'supporting marriage', without his words having to mean anything.

Mainstream would do what Cameron promised to do and should have done: Families where the husband and wife register to be taxed as one unit, would get a double personal allowance to share between them. So both spouses together would now (2018) have a combined personal allowance of £23,700.


RED-TAPE BONFIRE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The Tories have continued New Labour's policy of helping big business, while putting the boot into SMALL businesses. Government after government promise to cut red tape for small firms - but they all do the exact opposite and INCREASE the amount of compliance and bureaucracy for small firms. The big firms - the Tescos, the Virgins, the BTs and so on - can afford all the accountants; they can afford all the lawyers. They can afford to get expensive temporary staff in, to cover for employees on flexible working.

Small companies can't. It's as simple as that. Instead of spending 50% of their time trying to deal with these oppressive duties, their managers should be freed to get on with running their business. MAINSTREAM would relieve all small companies, from the following burdensome legislative obligations:

All EU regulations, flexible working, paternity leave, apprenticeship levy, minimum wage, compulsory pensions, pay / gender audits, Employment Tribunal liability, real-time tax collection. (Small firms would be free to keep complying with any of the above if they wished on a voluntary basis.)


DEFENCE BUDGET RING-FENCED

We live in a Europe increasingly more dangerous, with a Russian regime which is openly agressive and incredibly powerful in military terms.

But we've been cutting our defence budget, down to the bone and then some more. And then spreading our thin resources by sending them overseas. MAINSTREAM would (as well as ending all foreign interventions - see elsewhere in this site) - DOUBLE the Defence budget and the RING FENCE it, so money earmarked for Defence would not be able to be hived off to other departments, as now.