You do not make the poor rich by trying to make the rich poor. High tax societies do less well than sensible tax societies. Societies that welcome in rich people and companies and give them some freedom do better than societies that let jealousy rule. Cuba and Venezuela show what poverty socialism can breed. France has just demonstrated under Mr Hollande that high personal taxes lead to a flight of talent out of the country and less growth and prosperity, forcing him to cut the rates.
The UK is the fastest growing European economy at the moment. It is aided by low corporation tax rates and the recent decline in the Income tax rate. Lower taxes for all is the first policy requirement to speed growth and raise prosperity.
The UK has done best when it fosters an ownership revolution. The twentieth century saw progress from most people renting to most people owning their home. It also saw some modest progress with shareholdings for the many, not just the few, largely through pension and insurance fund investments.
In the twenty first century so far there has been some backsliding on property ownership. A combination of high house prices, the great crash of 2008, and mortgage finance problems from 2007 has made it more difficult for young people to become first time buyers. A new generation of twenty somethings is as likely to be living at home with Mum and Dad, or sharing flats with friends, as to be climbing the property ladder.
I want the next government to tackle this problem vigorously. To let a new generation have the same opportunity to own as their parents we need to control migration numbers to limit demand, and take further action to improve the supply of new homes. The government’s Help to buy scheme can assist, given the tougher requirements of the mortgage regulators affecting the banks and building societies.
I als wish to see the tax regime help people set up and grow their own businesses. More of the talent we are nurturing at university and College should be encouraged and mentored to have a go at developing and selling their ideas directly to the market, forming their own enterprise. We need more direct contacts between financiers, venturers and the universities, more incubator business units and science campuses, more direct training in how to speed things to market through the web.