Better Britain will introduce an 18 month period of National Community Service to be carried out by all citizens between the ages of 16 and 24. The police, armed forces, fire and ambulance services will all have a role in designing and administering an appropriate National Community Service curriculam which will be designed to teach our youth the values of self reliance, character, self discipline, honesty, integrity, public service and good citizenship. With a focus on life skills we will help our children to be better and more productive citizens.
Our current Drug policy is not working and it never will. Better Britain believes that a very high percentage of all crime in the UK is drug related in some way or another and that legalizing, licensing and taxing all drugs, making them available on prescription at licensed Pharmacies, will substantially reduce crime levels and drug related deaths. Better Britain believes the individual has the right to try out and use drugs if they choose to and expects the benefits of decriminalizing them will far outweigh any short term increase in the number of addicts. Most young people are going to try drugs anyway. We did and I’m sure you did too. We grew out of it and I expect you will too. Let’s not criminalize our children for experimenting with drugs but lets try to make them safer when they are stupid enough to do so.
Better Britain believes that all children are born equal and that the perpetuation of the private schools system which, in it’s current form, benefits only a wealthy few is the prime cause of our failing state school system and the ugly class divisions in our country. In a Better Britain all children will have an equal chance (albeit a slim one) to attend one of the Country’s elite historic schools, which will be government funded, with entry based purely on merit. Better Britain believes School Fees are effectively an extra tax on Parents and that most parents of children at Fee paying schools would much rather spend this money elsewhere provided their children can expect a solid education in the state sector. Parent Power will ensure that the state school system is rapidly improved for the benefit of all.
Whilst taking into consideration the need to avoid a depression Better Britain will reduce Public Expenditure by 25% in real terms over its first term.. A huge amount of it is wasted anyway right now. It’s as if the largest company in the country had been run by the Unions for the last 12 years. What state do you think it would be in? Yes, overmanned and inefficient spring to mind. We believe Public Services are no better than they were 20 years ago but they cost the taxpayer several times as much. We will balance the National Budget within 3 years of taking power on the way abolishing National Assemblies and many Quangos and opening up government contracts to small businesses by publishing online details of all contracts.
Funds currently wasted in unproductive areas of the Social budget will be redeployed into job creating infrastructure improvements with increased money for school buildings, hospitals, roads and railways.
We will safeguard the NHS but reduce costs by ensuring no profiteering by the drugs companies. The drugs companies will argue that this will prevent them developing new drugs to keep us alive longer. Well Guess What – most of us are probably quite happy with the idea that living to 75 years old on average is long enough anyway and we believe we don’t necessarily need any more new drugs over and above those already developed to keep us alive for longer than this. There is little reason for people to live much beyond this age anyway and doing so, particularly if in bad health, creates an enormous burden on future generations and the Public Purse which we can ill afford. Better Britain will introduce legislation to allow assisted suicide to those who wish to end their own lives.
The State Pension will be increased to by 30 pounds a week immediately and reviewed annually. Pensioners will not be liable for Council Taxes and will receive enhanced winter fuel credits. The pensionable age will rise to 67 years old. All pensioners will be provided with free healthcare and hospice care to provide the opportunity for a dignified old age and death in due course.
We will reform the benefits system completely and put an end to the Benefits Culture. There will be NO safety net for able bodied adults with no dependents and we will design policies that encourage work instead of slothfulness. There will be a sensible safety net for the genuinely needy who Better Britain acknowledge do exist. However "genuinely needy" does not mean lazy and feckless". Statutory redundancy payments will be doubled to cushion the blow of losing your job but you will not be entitled to Unemployment Benefit. Job Centres will all be closed and moved online saving many millions. You will be expected to find a job on your own by searching the National Online Job centre, the small ads and sacrificing some shoe leather. Incapacity benefit, which today is greatly abused, will be restructured to discourage fraudulent claims. Council Housing and Housing Benefit will only be available to British passport holders and will be strictly means tested.
Apart from our radical plans for turning our elite historic public schools into centres of excellence open to all our brightest children we will encourage and fund the development of our state sector helped by much greater involvement from parents and by giving power back to teachers. Fitness and sport will be an immediate priority with a minimum of 3 hours of weekly compulsory organized sport or outside activity for all school age children and annual fitness tests to track childrens physical condition. To help foster a greater connection between our children and their country the National Anthem will be sung at all school assemblies, a framed picture of the monarch will appear in all classrooms. School hours will be changed to 8.30 to 5.30 daily to allow working parents time to reach their places of work after dropping off their children.
Better Britain cares about our children and the parents who look after them. Child Benefit will be extended and increased to 100 per week per child up to school age thereafter reducing to 20 per week per child when children are in full time school. Child benefit will only be payable to mothers over the age of 21 and only in respect of up to 3 children. Better Britain believes teenagers have better things to do than having children and no benefits will be payable to parents under the age of 21.
To prevent or delay the sexualizing of children, top shelf Pornography will be banned from sale in high street shops where it can be seen by children. To help this policy further following consultation we will consider censoring web sites with explicit sexual content. We will not make pornography illegal, thereby criminalizing our party leader and most of the male population, but we will do our best to ensure this end to a child’s innocence is delayed as long as possible.
Better Britain believes in spreading the good news and will introduce the Good News channel on the BBC with good news and happy stories about our Country’s progress towards a Better Britain.
The Prime Minister will give a monthly 10 minute state of the nation radio address during school hours and it will be mandatory for schools to broadcast this into classrooms and for all TV channels to carry the radio broadcast live.
Better Britain will seek excellence in Sporting Achievement by it’s citizens and substantially increased funding will be provided to our most promising sportsmen and women to assist them in achieving glory for Britain in international competition.
Better Britain believes in the separation of high risk investment banking activity from Commercial banking. In order to rebuild our banks balance sheets and make them safe from future crises bankers pay, including bonuses, will be capped at £1.5 million pa. If you want to get rich in Better Britain, and we hope you do, you will have to start and own your own business instead of becoming a banker.
Better Britain will seek international agreements to tax and regulate banks in such a way as they do not in future pose systemic risks to the financial system. In particular proprietary trading activities will be taxed at a higher rate than normal profits because Better Britain believes these profits, and their astonishing regularity, are derived from a form of Insider Trading by virtue of traders seeing the customer flow. Proprietary trading profits are essentially therefore a confiscation of our savings and must therefore be taxed highly to compensate the public.
Better Britain believes that sending 50% of the population to University just to massage the Unemployment figures is ridiculous. Employers in the real world want hard working “can do” types with passion and common sense. We don’t need more deeply indebted graduates from second rate Universities with degrees in Sociology ( whatever that is !) and fooling our kids that this will help their careers is not fair on them either. Half the Universities will be closed and reopen as National Service centres. Youth training Schemes will be reintroduced to provide skills based training.
The taxation system will be simplified and reformed. No one will pay Income tax unless they earn more than £20,000 pa. Over £20,000 income tax rates will rise from 10% to 40%. Employees National Insurance contributions will only be payable in respect in earnings in excess of £15,000 pa. To create jobs Employers national insurance contributions will be phased out and the minimum wage will be abolished with people free to work as many or as little hours as they wish.
Inheritance tax will be abolished.
Capital Gains Tax will be tapered so that short term gains are taxed at the same rate as Income and assets held for over 10 years are not taxed.
Better Britain will raise VAT rates as necessary to replace reduced tax revenues from elsewhere and smooth revenues but with the expectation that ultimately VAT rates will be able to be reduced to no more than 15%.
To help our struggling Pubs, Duty on Beers and Spirits will be reduced to 2005 levels and frozen for the lifetime of a Better Britain government. Minimum Prices for Beers and Wines will be introduced at Supermarkets and Off Licences to reduce binge drinking and level the playing field with Pubs.
VAT on all sporting provision will be abolished to encourage sports participation, reduce cost and level the playing field for all Operators of sporting facilities.
The recent strikes at British Airways have shown that the enormous progress made in the 1980’s to curb the power of the Unions has been almost completely reversed in the last 12 years. It is imperative that employees, consumers and businesses are protected from Union bullying and Better Britain will consult urgently on sensible legislation to curb the worst excesses of Union Power. Additionally Better Britain will make it illegal for Unions to make political contributions of any kind.
Better Britain will develop a Foreign Policy that is consistent and proportionate with Britain’s standing in the world today. The days of empire are long gone and the emphasis of foreign policy will be firmly on trade opportunities and security issues. Overseas Aid to third world countries will be significantly reduced in the short term until government finances are in balance.
Better Britain will seek to be a voice of reason in the great foreign policy issues of today including Arab/Israeli relations and relations with Iran.
Public Transport will be free for all citizens under the age of 18 and over the age of 60.
Fuel Duty will be reduced significantly and Vehicle Excise Duty will be abolished. Some motorways will become toll roads with no maximum speed limit as in Germany. The speed limit on Britain’s other motorways will be increased to 80 mph with a minimum speed limit introduced of 50mph. All speed cameras, except in built up areas, will be removed. Parking Ticket penalties will be fixed at a maximum of £40 pounds. To further assist the growth in low cost air travel we will abolish Airline Passenger Duty Tax and ensure that the BAA monopoly is broken up in line with the original Competition Commission recommendations. Exchange rates at Banks and Currency Exchanges will be strictly regulated to reduce travellers enormous costs of changing money with spreads on major currency crosses set by law at sensible levels.
House Prices are far too high in the UK because of a shortage of new supply and absurdly relaxed lending criteria. We will release much more land for development including, in some cases, the sacred edge of town Green Belt, we will tax windfall gains from planning permissions, and we will impose strict limits on the size of mortgages which will be linked to borrower’s disposable incomes as in Europe.
Better Britain supports some (but not much) immigration into the UK by qualified applicants of all colours and creeds and will develop a points based system similar to Australia to determine who can be admitted or not. It will be a pre requisite that all immigrants applying for a British Passport pass a spoken and written English test and swear an oath of allegiance to the British Monarch. Immigrants will be expected to pay their own way and apart from Free healthcare will not be eligible for any benefits, beyond an initial short period, until they earn official citizenship after not less than 7 years of good standing and employment. Better Britain will continue to fulfill it's moral obligation to Asylum Seekers but will do so in a way that ensures in future, the substantially fewer, successful applicants for Asylum are genuine cases and will not be a burden on the public purse.
Better Britain’s borders will be fiercely protected and profiling introduced at border crossings to more accurately target higher risk groups. Queues for security at Airports are unacceptably long and profiling of passengers will significantly reduce these for the benefit of the vast majority. This will cause much offence with the PC crowd but will rapidly increase our National Security.
Direct flights to and from perceived high risk “terrorist” countries will be banned.
Better Britain believes that local government has become a bloated, unaffordable, and largely unaccountable bureaucracy. Better Britain will reduce the cost of local government by 25% over 5 years and devolve power to elected Parish Councils led by a local mayor, similar to the French system. Council Tax and Business rates will be halved over 5 years and the TV licence fee included in Council Tax to avoid unnecessary collection expenses and evasion. Planning policy will be decided at a regional level to take away the political nature of local planning decisions.
We will introduce a no tolerance “ three strikes and you’re out” policy towards crime and antisocial behaviour. This has worked well in the USA and we will develop a policy that learns from these successes. Under the “three strikes and your out” policy the third offence will carry a mandatory life sentence. We will increase sentencing guidelines to ensure that crimes are properly punished. We believe that a no tolerance policy will reduce crime substantially and tougher sentencing will mean a larger prison population in the short term. To accommodate these extra prisoners we will consider allocating one of the presently uninhabited Scottish Isles as a prison island where large prisons will be built to house our expanding prison population well away from mainstream society. Prisoners who are parolled will be parolled to halfway houses also on the island where they will be closely supervised and work until the end of their sentences. Mandatory reparations for Victims of crime will be built into all sentencing guidelines.
Extradition policies with the USA will be overhauled to ensure a level playing field and to ensure that convicted criminals serve their sentences in UK prisons.
Following the decriminalization of all Drugs a Better Britain will eventually need fewer policemen allowing for large savings to made in this area. However a Better Britain will not reduce front line police or “Bobbies on the Beat” until such time as our policies of reintroducing National Service and zero tolerance has led to a marked decline in anti social behaviour. Presently our Policeman spend the majority of their time on paperwork. Better Britain will change this and ensure that at least 75% of a Policeman’s time is spent on the street catching criminals.
We will reform our legal system to reverse the “where there’s blame there’s a claim culture”. No Win No Fee legal services will be abolished. Better Britain will be a place where people take responsibility for their own actions.
Britain is awash with new laws, many so ridiculous as to be laughable. Incredibly, it is now illegal to sell a goldfish to anyone under 16 or to ride a bicycle without a bell. In a Better Britain all these nonsensical laws will be repealed allowing us to dispense with many Trading Standards Officers and Underage Sales Enforcement Officers.
Prostitution is presently run by crime syndicates and pimps. To counter this and to provide a better customer experience and safer working environment Better Britain will reintroduce licensed brothels with regulated tariffs.
Better Britain is not persuaded that Climate Change is man made and even if it exists that it is reversible. The world has been warming up since the last ice age and to be interfering with the laws of nature is extremely costly and likely to fail. One day it is inevitable our species will go the way of the dinosaurs but we do not propose to waste much time or any money worrying about this. Better Britain will continue to promote Green policies as good housekeeping practice but not at all cost and the subsidies for Wind Farms and other barmy power generation methods will be stopped in favour of further development of cleaner and more efficient next generation nuclear facilities and the safe disposal of nucleur waste.
Better Britain supported the invasion of these countries at the time but believes we need to admit our policies have failed, we have outstayed our welcome and should now bring the troops home as quickly as possible.
The wars in Iraq and Afganistan have taught us that to win wars we need to properly care for and equip our troops and give our generals the authority to carry out our objectives. In future we will not tolerate the free reporting of war time actions as this is inevitably bad for morale. Churchill would never have tolerated a free press in wartime and we believe there is no reason to handicap our heroes with careless talk or the constraints of the Human Rights Act. The Geneva Convention will continue to be strictly enforced.
The treatment of our returning injured and dead heroes and their families will be an immediate priority for Better Britain and we will introduce legislation to ensure their contribution is not forgotten or underestimated. Non resident soldiers who have fought for Great Britain in previous conflicts will be given preferred Immigrant status should they wish to become British Passport holders.
Better Britain believes passionately in the benefits of free trade with Europe and the Rest of the World but will resist the moves towards federalism and protect Britain’s sovereign rights to self determination in all areas of domestic and foreign policy. A Better Britain will work with our European partners to promote a Better Europe.
Better Britain believes Politics and Religion do not mix. For what it’s worth we are a mainly Christian membership but Jews Catholics Muslims Hindus Sikhs Rastas etc etc are all very welcome in a Better Britain. In a Better Britain you are free to worship who or what you like but please don’t force your religious beliefs on other people or use places of worship to preach dissent or insurgency. New laws will be introduced to prevent places of worship becoming centres for grooming radicals and to prevent preachers inciting civil disorder.
Better Britain will transform the landscape with the most business friendly legislation in a generation. Better Britain will be the most business friendly jurisdiction in Europe making it easier for entrepreneurs to operate and rolling back the reams of European Red Tape. The quid pro quo for taking the vast majority out of the Income tax system will be that the minimum wage will be abolished along with the Working Time directive. Employers and Employees will be free to negotiate whatever terms they wish and with fewer rules many new jobs will be created at market rates.
Corporation Tax will be reduced to a flat 20% level. Anti avoidance legislation will be tightened to ensure businesses are paying their way.
Better Britain will introduce fixed term parliaments with elections being held every 5 years and will also legislate to forbid any individual holding the office of Prime Minister for longer than 2 terms.
MP’s are underpaid for the important role they play in Society. We will pay MP’s £250,000 pa and reimburse the cost of running their offices up to a maximum of £50,000 pa...MP’s will receive free Public Transport.
Better Britain is not perfect. Our people are not perfect and nor do we want to be. Instead we consider ourselves perfect with our imperfections. All our candidates will be invited to own up and publish their indiscretions in their application forms for membership which will be published on our website and available to all. We leave it to candidates to decide what they will and won’t disclose but suggest the more honest you are the more the public will trust you as their representatives (even if they pretend sometimes to be shocked).
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