The UK election babble is all about policies this week. For Gordon Brown and David Cameron the first week was all “…I agree with Nick”. The second week was all “…bloody hell! Didn’t expect that” but now they’re each having to persuade us what is special about them and their policies.
My original instincts about David Cameron and the Tories have become firm opinion. The majority of people in this country will not benefit under a Tory government and the already ginormous gap between the rich and poor will continue to grow.
I’m feeling more charitable towards Gordon Brown and his Labour gang. They’ve had a hard time of things recently and are taking the blame for financial disasters that had roots deep in Thatcher’s Tory days. I suspect that ‘the crunch’ would have happened whoever had been in charge of the country’s finances but I’m not even going to pretend I know how or why it all happened. Overall I don’t think Labour have done such a bad job over recent years. But don’t interpret my ‘not bad’ for anywhere near ‘good’.
My vote is still for Nick Clegg and the LibDems. UK politics needs a boot up the arse and if the LibDems get in, hopefully that will kickstart real political reform.
As this week is all about policies I thought I’d make up a few of my own…
Everyone earning over £10,000 should pay the same levels of tax as everyone else. The only differences would be that the tax rate will be stepped in the following way…
£0-10,000 tax-free, £10,001-15,000 @ 15%, £15,001-20,000 @ 20%, £21,001-25,000 @ 25%, £25,001-35,000 @ 30%, £35,001-45,000 @ 35% and so on, up until a maximum tax rate of 80%.
The rate will be applied so that someone on the current average salary of £25,000 would pay no tax on the first £10,000, then three different tax rates on the remainder.
This system might be rather complicated for the accountants but I’m sure they’d welcome that sort of challenge and those working for the uber-rich would really be earning their money.
No-one would be allowed to claim unemployment benefit for more than six weeks. After that period, they would have to undertake some sort of work-place training or community service (a fairly endless choice of places would be available), for which they would receive the same payment as they got for unemployment benefit, plus travel expenses. For agreeing to take on trainees, companies would receive 1% reduction in their business rates.
This training would be supported and monitored with progress reports and qualifications where applicable. Help would be given with job applications when a suitable standard of work was achieved. Companies would not be allowed to treat these trainees as cheap labour. Full child-care would be provided where necessary.
Hopefully this would drop dramatically with everybody busy working and learning new skills. Short-term sentences would be replaced with extra work hours and more training. ‘Do the crime – get over-time’.
School will run from 9-5 daily, with morning and evening clubs for children whose parents work longer hours. Children will be tutored under a child-adapted version of Cesar Millan’s Dog Whisperer training method: exercise, discipline, affection. Learning will be fun. All parents will be given an extra day of leave each term to act as classroom assistant.
The NHS will have more funding where needed – particularly in areas of training. Any ‘waste’ that currently exists, will be redirected into any areas in need of extra help. Preventative healthcare would get a higher priority than at present.
“I agree with Nick”. More research and discussion needed on this one. The tough question is: should someone who has worked hard all their lives but never earned enough to buy their own home – a nurse, for example – be denied the same standard of living in their retirement as, say, a bank manager? One has given more in care and helped to save lives – the other has contributed more taxes enabling the other to be paid for that work.
It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation and I’m inclined to think that both should be given the same excellent care in their old age. I need to talk to the accountants to see what we can do.
Let the illegals already here stay under an amnesty. It would be far too expensive and protracted to go through the legal hoops to deport them all. That said, the borders should be closed to any new non-EU people whose services UK society doesn’t currently need (excepting genuine asylum seekers).
Just think how much money would be saved if world leaders could agree to be nice to each other. I’m sure the war-mongering arms dealers wouldn’t stand for it though and would start to shit-stir, so I guess we’d have to keep the forces and a few weapons but I’d definitely try harder for a bit of global niceness.
Surprisingly, I haven’t been invited to join the Leaders Debate this coming Thursday but if any of the big parties wish to copy my policies, feel free. Just remember where you saw them first!