Today I am inviting you to send it good ideas of how the government could help get the cost of living down and the standard of living up. It was welcome yesterday to learn that the Chancellor can freeze fuel duty for the rest fo this Parliament. Every little helps, as they say.
I have recently blogged on ways to cut the costs of energy. More gas fuelled electricity generation, shale gas extraction, more competition in the main energy markets, lower government fuel taxes, calling a halt to highly subsidised and expensive ways of generating power would all help.
The costs of housing also need attention. Stamp Duty should change to a system where the higher rates only apply over the thresholds which trigger them. The Energy certificate, the residual from Labour’s HIP, should no longer be compulsory. Money laundering regulations should be enforced by strong scrutiny of cash and money from poorly regulated jurisdictions, removing the need for the passport and utility bill procedures for cleared funds from regulated UK/EU bank accounts. Local authority search charges and planning permission fees should be reviewed to make sure they are not exploiting their monopoly position, but just recouping reasonable costs.
A wide range of government fees and charges should be frozen for a couple of years whilst real wages catch up.
What would you like to see done to cut the cost of living?
It goes without saying that people keeping more of what they earn would also help boost living standards. We want more people in work, and less tax on work – it should be a combination which is mutually reinforcing.