I once wrote that whilst the left in the media and politics endlessly run their scissors over the defence budget to look as if they wish to curb spending, the far larger social security budget gets ignored. Social security costs around five times as much as national security. The simple truth is the UK cannot afford to keep almost six million people of working age on benefit and out of work.
I would like there to be more debate about this issue in this eleciton. Last night in my public meeting in Burghfield I set out a five point plan for dealing with unacceptably high levels fo worklessness. I will repeat it here for a wider audience:
1. Control our borders, to stop illegal immigration and cut the numbers of economic migrants with the Conservative’s quota and cap system. More of the jobs we do create need to go to the unemployed already here.
2. Cut taxes on jobs. The Conservative plan to cut Labour’s National Insurance Tax hike, to cut the rate of Corporation Tax and small business tax, and to get rid of the damaging effects of tax legislation like IR 35 is a start. The more that can be done to make the UK tax competitive, the more firms will stay here, come here and grow here, with the benefit of more jobs.
3. Cut needless regulation. The box ticking form filling cultutre has gone too far. I am all in favour of controlling the solvency of financial institutions and demanding high standards of health and safety, but the UK is now regulated in a costly and unhelpful way, which puts people off creating jobs here. The Conservatives have adopted my proposal of setting regulatory budgets and requiring cuts each year in the costs government imposes.
4. Split up the banks the taxpayers own, and make them compete more for our busienss. Change the current regulatory requirements so the main banks can lend a bit more to UK business to kick start the private sector recovery we need.
5. Reform welfare, so it is more worthwhile to work, and so fit and able people cannot live on benefit if jobs are offered to them.
I am all in favouir of being as generous as possible to those with bad disabilities who cannot work. They are the minority within the 6 million of working age without a job. We need to get serious about creating mroe jobs. Labour’s pathetic recovery is jobless. Under Labour the private sector has been badly squeezed in the last three years. We need to change things.
Promoted by Christine Hill on behalf of John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU