Ownership for everyone

Ownership for everyone

Now is the time to galvanise free enterprise and boost the UK economy by promoting wider ownership. The big idea is to encourage and help many more people own a stake in the property and business of the country. The campaign would inform and influence many individual policies and proposals that could assist and encourage people in such a popular direction. The first task is to show how possible it is for the many to be owners, and the second task to create the policies and background to accelerate the trend.

Changing attitudes – being positive about ownership

It is time to tell everyone they have the opportunity to be owners. We should want more to own their own home. More people should set up and own their own business.
More people should come to own a share in the business they work for. More employees should be able to buy out their business and run it as a co-op or partnership or employee owned enterprise.
More people could save and own investments for their retirement or for life’s events.

Owning some capital is transformational. It gives you more freedoms to change your job or move your home or set up or expand your business. Owning realisable assets gives you more self confidence, more choices, and a better sense of participating in the wider society. Having some capital enables you to take more control of your life. Owning capital gives you the power to borrow or to release cash from your assets for new purposes.

Too many think ownership is for the few or for the richer half of the country. They think you need to inherit wealth or go to a posh school or university to be a person of property. Government treats those with some wealth as a cash machine for the state, or even as potential criminals who broke rules to come by their wealth. People who make money and save it are taxed on earning and then again on saving it. They may be subject to special enquiries into where they got their wealth, and to endless inspections of their tax returns to make sure they have not undertaken aggressive tax avoidance. Parliament debates how the rich can be taxed more or kept out of our country by tough rules. The impression is created by some in Parliament  that there is something unclean about an entrepreneur or investor who has been successful.

We need a revolution of attitudes. We want a state that promotes and helps the accumulation of assets by individuals and sees it as a good, not a bad to tax. We need to show how individuals who failed at school and who inherit nothing can build businesses, build or renovate their own homes, or get stakes in someone else’s business so they too can participate in the wealth of the economy.

Changing policies to promote wealth and ownership

It will need new approaches to bring about a very British coup, a coup for a new generation of owners to take control of homes and businesses. The policies would include changes to the way we tax and to way we spend public money, to the rules we set over business and capital and to attitudes towards success.

We need to roll back some of the aggressive policies on wealth accumulation. Stamp duties need to come down on acquiring a home or a rental property. VAT needs to be taken off doing up a property. Capital gains tax rates need lowering so there is no great penalty on wishing to move between properties  or change the assets you hold. Mobility of capital and change of uses and ownership of property is a good thing which helps capital accumulation . People can be happier if they can move home to the accommodation and location of their choice without a large financial penalty for daring to do so. Doing up a home and moving to another should not be highly taxed as it improves the building stock and gives people equity in their main asset.

Higher rate income tax needs to come down. More revenue would be collected as more earn higher incomes, working harder to do so. The range of reliefs on your own business should be extended. HMT should stop trying to force people who work for themselves to pay tax as employees. The VAT threshold for a small business should be raised higher.

The state can help build a bigger population of owners by changing the way it operates. It should spin off more of its activities to employee controlled enterprises. These thrive from the unity of interest between the employees and the government, providing a better service at a lower price to the state and empowering the employees. They will work smarter when they work for their own benefit as well, discovering that higher quality service is also more efficient and better value . The John Lewis and the Co-op models should be more widely adopted in bidding for public sector contracts. The employees as business owners will be able to expand their business activities with other clients whilst benefitting from an initial contract to serve the state. This was done, for example, with the Property Services Agency in the late 1980s.

The rules of the business world need amending to allow more flexibility for start ups and small businesses . They are subject to the disciplines of the market and their customers anyway. The totality of controls and requirements is a major impediment to the average business start up.

We need a new wind in favour of people doing well, running their own show and owning property and assets as a normal part of their lives. We want capital and income to reinforce each other and to be flexible . A new generation of owners will then have the means to get better training, to improve their businesses, upgrade their jobs and improve their homes.


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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    A nice positive piece that says much but has no substance.

    To repeat many commentors from yesterday. We need to get rid of the Labour Client State, QUANGOS and fake charities.

    Less is more.

    • agricola
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      It is a seed. We the people must provide the substance for such a revolution.

      • Hope
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        JR, talks about home ownership. All strivers, workers and the prudent penalised by this Tory govt. It is his govt who wants us to work hard as he suggests to buy our homes then his govt wants us to sell it to pay for our care in elderly life to live in the same care home who sponged off the state all their lives! EU citizens can get social housing ahead of our own citizens. Tories have broke their promises on this many times in nine years with Mayhab claiming nothing has changed!

        Govt breaking another promise and still fleecing us every way possible through IHT with Hammmond recently putting another IHT on us as an administration cost!

        Johnson announces £1.8 billion for the NHS in the same week it is reported by Guido the NHS wasted over £500,000 on consultants fees on Blaire formers cronies

        JR, as a matter of fact- not hope or wishful thinking in your blog to deceive us- your govt has wasted billions of our taxes on overseas aid, European Development Fund- their overseas aid etc while taxing us until our pips squeak! Public services are dire despite highest taxation in fifty years and your mob still borrowing to piss it down the drain! Get real.

      • Peter
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        It is all wishful thinking.

        ‘Ownership’? Large numbers cannot even afford to own the roof over the head these days.

        • Dennis
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          Peter – Large numbers will be able to afford properties in the UK – foreigners who now can buy very cheap £s.

        • bigneil
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          “cannot even afford to own the roof over the head these days. ” – true – -yet how many houses are going up ? who is going to buy them? and equally important – who is going to live in them? – I can only see that (the non-contributing but i’ll have a three bed semi to start with
          and a four bed after othe next kid comes along – delivered by the FREE to them NHS ) thousands a month arriving hands out – with multiple wives and multiple kids with each. These have to be paid for – where is that cash coming from? – the people who are already seeing their tax funded services going down and down. Yet more burdens arrive daily – wanting – and getting – a FREE life on the taxpayer.

          • L Jones
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            Apropos your comment, bigneil, I am surprised that petition number 266925 is not growing more quickly.

            Why should we be called ‘xenophobes’ simply because we want our own people (and that includes those who came here a generation or two ago) to be given priority over ‘newcomers’, even if they are here ‘legally’?

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        And revolution is the key word.You need a Lenin not a karaoke Churchill(who don’t forget was a reactionary and an anachronism in his own lifetime).

        The Establishment has no appetite for reform and will only ever dissemble until it collapses under it’s own weight.

      • agricola
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Hope, Everhopeful, Peter,Mitchel to name but a few, there is no point in having a multi faceted rant except to let off steam. Lets take it one subject at a time. Define it, highlight it’s shortcomings, offer solutions, disect them and plan a way forward. Some call it a Chinese Parliament. One such subject would be banks, and banking. Get that right and we have solved a large element in a revitalised property owning population. Taxation in all it’s 17000 pages is another subject ripe for discussion in all it’s aspects.

        Lets be systematic and logical and avoid getting too excited. If things are to change we are in for the long haul. We won’t achieve much with a gilette jaune demo. Generally I don’t have much time for demos apart from what is happening in Hong Kong.

        • Hope
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Housing demand will force prices up as mass immigration continues as well as illegal immigration, Asylum and refugees.

          JRs policy is from the eighties when people were encouraged to buy their council houses, now his govt wants to provide social housing for the world! For goodness sake, when is immigration going to be stopped, cut or managed at all under the useless lying Tory govt.? Nine years of lies and broken promises that were deliberate to con voters away from UKIP and now Brexit a Party.

          How many houses is JR talking about to give away to foreigners? How much of draw will that be!

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      My business was literally destroyed by regulation. Relentless, uber expensive and totally unnecessary regulation.
      Regulations did however make a great deal of money for the governing body and also for those “compliance’ firms which undertook, for a huge fee, things like CPD etc.
      Then of course the entire profession was handed lock stock and barrel to the big outlets.
      It just would not now be possible to provide the service I used to ( health related).
      Similar happened to a close relative with a thriving internet business. Search engines dropping small businesses in favour of the big boys makes a huge difference.
      Funny thing though…JR writes of rosy possibilities but we DID have the freedoms he speaks of.
      And they were taken away!!

      • a-tracy
        Posted August 6, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        I know business people Everhopeful with the same problems. Regulations put in place as blockers for small businesses, when the small business invests and jumps through all the hoops taking five years and more and gets the certificates and fulfils the requirements for the work, jobs are downgraded, certificates no longer required, prices dropped and service levels dropped so the large concern can keep the work.

  2. Richard1
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    All sounds very sensible. Presumably though, all this would need a general election and a good Conservative majority to have the slightest chance of implementation?

    • agricola
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Yes but that is only one piece in the jigsaw, and what What sort of Conservative government do you propose. Not I hope the ones we have experienced of late. To achieve this revolution the thinking needs to be more bottom up and less top down. All the forces that will range against it, best known as the establishment prefer top down. From the referendum of 2016 we have all seen how they react to bottom up direction.

      • tim
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        only the poor pay tax, the rich do not pay tax

        • Dennis
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          Of the total tax take the richest pay a higher percentage than the poorer – or so we are always told at the dispatch box – another lie or what?

          • a-tracy
            Posted August 6, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            Dennis, I don’t think it is a lie. I read this on the BBC by Karishma Vaswani
            Asia business correspondent “Sir James Dyson’s decision to move to Singapore may have been greeted with scorn by some but there could be advantages for the UK if more companies followed his Asian growth strategy.

            The better Dyson’s business does in Asia – the more likely more tax will be paid in the UK by Sir James and his shareholders on the dividends they receive from the profits the company makes in this fast growing region.”

            I am sick and tired of the bad mouthing of British businesses without any rebuttal from our tax collecting department.

        • agricola
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Not true Tim. Should the so called poor pay a small element of tax, if only to give them a sense of responsibility when claiming support from the system.

          Should the rich pay much less to encourage them to invest in the country, providing job opportunities for those less rich.

          Should government cease to control society via taxation of all varieties. These are some of the questions we should be asking and thinking about.

        • a-tracy
          Posted August 6, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          tim, Sir James Dyson, Mike Ashley and the Beckham family have been named among those who paid the most tax in the UK last year. Nearly £2 billion in tax was paid by the 50 people at the top of the Sunday Times Tax List.27 Jan 2019

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed the biggest deterrent to investment currently is the the danger of a Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP Marxist government and a trip to Venezuella. Let’s hope that Boris can deliver a real Brexit and a real Conservative government too. This despite all the traitor Conservative MPs like Hammond and Grieve trying to undermine him at every turn. We have, after all, not had a real Conservative goverment (UK based democracy, small government, low taxes, freedom and choice) since Mrs Thatcher and even she mad big mistakes John Major as chancellor and the ERM being the main one.

      The Brexit must not be based remotely on Theresa May’s dire W/A.

      An interesting talk by Sir Edward Leigh on what it might have been like under Heseltine as PM whom he supported against Major. He said he preferred someone who stabbed her in the front rather than in the back. On the BBC Parliament channel yesterday.

    • Bob
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Brexit has revealed the true Blairite nature of the “modern” Tories.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Ah the vision thing!Take this gem of a tweet from President Trump from 2 August:

      “Chairman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country,and only the United States,with me as President,can make that vision come true.He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to,and he does not want to disappoint his friend,President Trump!”

      Boris,get yourself down to the hairdressers and ask for the Kim cut!

  3. Iain Gill
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    What would be transformational would be people controlling their own public subsidy. Let them really control their own health spend, their own housing subsidy, their own school funds.

    Watch the massive transformation if we removed the power from the providers of public services and gave it to the people.

    • a-tracy
      Posted August 6, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Iain, but it doesn’t work look at dental care, I know people having teeth pulled because the NHS isn’t doing root canals as they used to and they couldn’t afford to have dental insurance or pay privately. Just getting appointments with low-cost NHS dental practices are nearly impossible in some areas and the treatments are limited and low treatments. for those that can afford insurance things get better but for the many who can’t their choices are dire.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 6, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        Give the people the money, and providers emerge.

        Dentists won’t do it for the crap money NHS is prepared to pay, payments need to be sensible levels.

        Plenty of provision around for sensible money.

  4. Shirley
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    I started my own small company, initially as a one man band. I put my home on the line and worked non-stop to get that business established. Not every new business is successful, but generally, those who work for themselves work much harder. There is no sick pay, holiday pay and no pay at all if you don’t get the work in. Once you manage to expand and employ other people the workload lightens, but the responsibility increases. It is extremely hard work and stressful, but also very rewarding and I am not referring to financial reward alone.

    If you are not afraid of hard work, and willing to invest in your own skills and abilities, then self employment is the route to take. Being your own boss is where you take all the risks, but also the rewards.

    Small businesses employ more people in the UK than large businesses, but large businesses have the influence and they get priority every time to the detriment of small businesses.

    • agricola
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      What you say reflects my experience too. It’s tough out there, it could be less onerous were John to have his way, but I would not swap the experience. My only regret was that I was 35 before I realised I was unemployable.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Agreed! Most big business is lazy, their idea of a competitive market place is to remove competition, not by competing on a level playing field, but by tilting it in their favor. Their lobbying gets heard and taken as the default for that industry. Rather than innovate they will buy out those they see as a threat.

      Consolidation is in some quarters is seen as good management – again it just laziness of not wanting to compete. ‘Scale’ is the lazy management excuse for their own inability to achieve efficiency.

      UK tax laws are disproportionate, the smaller the business the greater the tax proportion.

      We have some of the Worlds best businesses in the UK and some of the Worlds worst. The feeble excuse is the ‘tax break’ code for saying if the Taxpayer funds our operation we will be OK, is deplorable.

      • Shirley
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Well said Ian. My profession was a heavy user of technical software. The big names provided very complicated and expensive software, which required heavy use of technical help and support, at very inflated prices.

        Small businesses would come along and offer competing software which was much simpler and more intuitive to use and very much cheaper and eventually cornered the market of small business. The big guys then buy them out and revert to making it expensive and complicated. The big guys hate competition and have the funds to keep their (almost) monopolies intact.

        • agricola
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          It is why big business via the CBI loves the EU. They can further control their market sector.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink



      • Bob
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Corporate welfare is a government’s bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment for corporations.

  5. agricola
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    The system it operates under at present vests control in the hands of the politicians, the civil service ie unions, and the banks. To achieve your desirable goal all three need radical reprogramming. They like it as it is because they retain power and control. They have worked at it for many years so their position is deep seated. Not only the above. The people who are destined to benefit from this ownership philosophy need the confidence to know that they are not going to be shafted.

    You will need to look around the World at places where such freedoms exist and take on board how they achieve them. There maybe lessons to learnt from many different approaches. It is a very worthy goal, it fits with human instinct, and it is possible. Write a book/battle plan on the subject and sow the seeds of revolution, for be in no doubt, that is what it is.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Freedom and Democracy in the UK is now the EU model. It is not Government for the People by the People. It is I have the power, I will keep the power, we occasionally through you a bone, but you answer to us. We are not your servants, we are your Overlords and you are our slaves.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink


      • agricola
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Put another way, freedom and democracy barely exist in the UK.

        • Ian!
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          Always promised and never delivered.

          Those in Power just don’t trust that some else can do it better, as we have see more and more, they fear the People.

  6. Dominic
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    All very laudable but your party’s been in power since 2010 and we have witnessed the most appalling rise of a politics that is authoritarian, interventionist and deeply anti-libertarian

    You have done nothing to reform Labour’s client state which is the main driving force of what we are seeing

    Attacks on enterprise, our capital, the promotion of a politics that elevates the power of the State above the freedom of the individual

    To create a culture of private ownership, reform the tax system, disrupt the march of the left and undermine Statist control you have to first commit to the belief that the British State itself will have no interest in reforming itself and will fight any attempt by the Tories to impose changes

    The public sector is responsible for massive waste but you continue to throw cash at it because your party haven’t the courage to stand up and expose it for fear of losing votes. The more cash you waste the higher taxes will be and the more difficult it will be for the private person to take back control

    We need a revolutionary reset of the relationship between the private person and the State. I resent being bombarded with liberal left propaganda 24/7.

    I would strip all legislation from the Statute books that makes reference to race, gender and sexuality and then elevate the fundamental importance of the individual above that of the State and the contrived nonsense that is society

    • agricola
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      All very true, but it is the past if our host’s thinking is to hold sway. We the individuals need to create the battle plan for the future. When we create our plan for individual freedom we must always remember that there are members of society who are in no position to grasp these freedoms in their entirety. They must not be left behind as a monument to our inhumanity.

      • Hope
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Well said Dominic.

        Small businesses hindered by pensions, living wage and bureaucracy created by this govt following EU directives. Large companies can afford small one s cannot. Business rates out of control, on street parking charges after paying car tax!

        JR, talks a good job for the upcoming general election but he knows it was HIS party over the last nine years that created this anti business, red tape over tax mentality while virtue signalling to throw away our taxes and money at every turn! When the left shouted The Tory govt jumped even further left. They have an appalling record on failed economy promises, failed taxation promises, failed crime and disorder, mass immigration while lying to say it will be cut, failed border security, decimating the military, decimating the police and trying to micro manage our lives telling us what we can eat, think and say! I am sick to the teeth of them. Lies just to get elected.

        We must have the largest amount of intelligent self confessed drug users in cabinet than ever before while they tell us about morals and how to live our lives! Anyone believe their drug policy? Anyone wonder why no action being taken about drug use or the huge amount of criminality that follows it? This exemplifies the Tory Govt claim the law or policy is in place and do nothing about it. Spinning it away that it is complicated etc etc. The same with immigration, economy etc.

        JR you did not finish your blog why the military seized an Iranian ship and refused to allow protection from the US on U.K. Shipping in the area. Was it at the insistence of an EU decision or Mayhab? This was a significant disaster in foreign policy when Hunt was aiming to be PM! No more brushing it under a carpet the truth please.

    • M Davis
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, +++

  7. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Sounds like a new political party is needed to campaign for this. Even the Tory party has been terminally infested by this liberal “left” philosophy (not that the champagne socialists really should be described as left wing). Call it the “British Enterprise Party” or something like that. It might be a home for Brexit Party sympathisers who believe in their country, after we leave the EU, as well.
    Remember the genuine poor and needy however, but not the foolish. Let those who were fools have sympathy for them.
    Keep it centre ground, as many working class people would like to have pride in their country as well.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Its the ‘gimmie’ culture. I am here, the Government owes me.

      When was the last time a Government in the UK had money? The have access to tax-payer wallets but no money.

      In another world our government would be locked-up. Years ago what was called Pyramid Selling was made illegal – nowadays we call it a Ponzi scheme still illegal’s. The UK’s State Pension policy is basically a Ponzi scheme.

  8. Nigl
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    An excellent summary but let’s just mention Universal Credit, Crossrail and the ongoing saga of Heathrow to show why nothing will happen.

    Johnson announces another ‘bribe’ in the form of more money for an unreconstructed NHS. Says it all.

  9. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    What you outline John is the way it should be, but unfortunately we have had, and still have, far too many politicians who have never been self employed, have never set up their own businesses, and treat people who have, as demons who can never be trusted.

    In order for your sensible suggestions to work, we need far fewer and more flexible and simple tax rules on profits and earnings than at present.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Like! (:0)

    • Ian terry
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Alan Jutson

      unfortunately we have had, and still have, far too many politicians who have never been self employed, have never set up their own businesses, and treat people who have, as demons who can never be trusted.

      1000% correct. You can reckon on there being about a 100 odd within the present parliament who do not fit your template. When are the people going to wake up and demand change and the draining of the swamp

  10. James Bertram
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I am in favour of encouraging free enterprise and wider ownership, but the problem comes when a small section of society owns too much of the cake and stifles free enterprise and wider ownership.

    It is not dissimilar to monopolies or large multinationals dominating a market, or large supermarkets dominating the retail trade. Then legislation is sometimes put in place to prevent such dominance.

    Yesterday I looked at land ownership in the UK, noting that some 36,000 people, 0.6 percent of the population, own more than half of rural land in England and Wales.
    Scotland has the most unequal land ownership in Western Europe, with just 432 powerful landlords owning 50 percent of the land.

    I noted that the price of land is far too high in the UK (largely due to the subsidies farmers receive per acre – the more land, the more subsidy); that the UK industry is dominated by large landholders (and these may be investors, rather than active farmers); that far too much unproductive land is farmed in the UK (and these uneconomic lands should be rewilded); that small farms provide considerable more employment (and use just as much farm machinery).

    I noted that agricultural land in the UK on average costs about 3 and a half times that of agricultural land in France; and that employment in agriculture in France is two and a half time that of the UK. And to restructure high land costs I suggested that we stop giving subsidies to large landowners, and limit land available for subsidy to no more than 200 acres; and that we stop making agricultural land attractive to investors through market-distorting tax advantages of IHT and CGT. This is pricing active farmers out of land ownership.

    For free enterprise to thrive we need less concentrated ownership of agricultural land (not more, as JR perhaps unwittingly argued for the other day). We need to look at Land Reform, and maybe reconsider Inheritance laws.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      A simple Land Reform policy could be to state that no person (or corporation) in the UK can own more than 3,000 acres. (They can be given 10 years to reduce their landholdings to that amount from the date of legislation.)
      Another way would be to change the inheritance laws to that effect.
      A third way would be to heavily tax landholdings above 3,000 acres.

      Just examples – but should demonstrate that such positive change can be done where there is the political will to do so.

      • JohnK
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink


        Who are you to say what another person may or may not own? Why are you so wise? If I have the money to buy 3001 acres of land, and want to do so, what business is it or yours how I spend my money?

        • James Bertram
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          Not me only, John, but society. How do we want to organise it as a society?
          Let’s take your ‘freedom of the individual’ argument to the extreme – one person owns 99.99% of the land and the other 8 billion are starving. Society will then deem this to be an unacceptable resource allocation, and step in.
          As I said before, nothing new in this: Competition authorities, Monopolies commission, basic principle of taxation, etcetera.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            When the State owns everything they are in charge and individual freedom is crushed.
            Like the many dreadful examples in 20th century history when once tje State robbed people of their land they were then told where to live and where to work and it ended with the state killing them in their millions.
            Your example us ridiculous.
            The only time one person owned all the land and millions starved was in communist societies.

      • forthurst
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Firstly, our agriculture has been distorted by the CAP whose main purpose is to promote the interests of French farmers whose holdings are smaller than ours and therefore less efficient. Second, in considering the number of people owning land, this needs to be compared with the numbers actively involved in agriculture, namely < 1%, as I agree that those not actively involved in agriculture should not own agricultural land.
        As to Scottish land, much is unsuitable for cultivation so ownership is hardly a pressing issue.

        • James Bertram
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          Forthurst – smaller holdings are not less efficient. They are often more efficient:
          French Agriculture value added per worker (constant 2000 US$) is $ 627973.
          UK Agriculture value added per worker (constant 2000 US$) is $ 290563.
          [Agriculture value added per worker is a measure of agricultural productivity. Value added in agriculture measures the output of the agricultural sector (ISIC divisions 1-5) less the value of intermediate inputs. Agriculture comprises value added from forestry, hunting, and fishing as well as cultivation of crops and livestock production. Data are in constant 2000 U.S. dollar].
          If I’ve read this correctly then French farmers are twice as efficient per head than UK farmers.
          There are 212,000 farm holdings in the UK, and 490,000 in France (wikipedia – about 2009?)
          See my posts on this subject on 31st July.

          Regarding land unsuitable for cultivation, it is a pressing issue. Often it requires subsidies higher than the production value to cultivate it: (In Wales, the average subsidy for sheep farms on the hills is £53,000, whereas average net income is £33,000 – 2012 figures). Secondly, cultivating unsuitable land is highly damaging to the environment (water run-off is a current topic; also heather-burning, carbon sinks and river pollution), and creates wildlife wastelands (due to sheep farming, fir plantations, grouse moors). Rewilding creates better employment opportunities and a better, more profitable environment. [See ‘Feral’ by George Monbiot; and ‘Inglorious’ by Mark Avery].

          Reply If the French figures include vineyards like Lafite and Latour its no wonder productivity is higher given the sales value of the product

          • James Bertram
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            Forthurst, regarding your second point – my error.

            The original article is Country Life 2010. This states:
            ‘More than a third of land is still in the hands of aristocrats and traditional landed gentry. Indeed, the 36,000 members of the CLA [Country Landowners Association] own about 50% of the rural land in England and Wales.’

            36,000 members is 0.06% of the UK population (not 0.6% as stated in the Socialist Worker article I quoted from).
            From the Trading Economics link above, 1.1% of the UK workforce are in Agricultural employment.

            Because of the high price of land, few UK farmers can be owner-farmers. It is a huge barrier to entry, to creativity, and to motivation.
            Serfdom, anyone?

          • James Bertram
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            John – I’d think you’d have to drink lakefulls of it to account for the entire economic difference – but it would be fun to try.

            But, yes, grapes is ISIC code 0121, so should be included..
            Looking at the Trading Economics figures the difference seems to be that the French have much more good quality arable land and use much less inputs than we do; are cultivating far less of their unproductive land than we do; and have a lot more land under forestry. And they have more wine! And more expensive wine!

          • forthurst
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            French viticulture produces 8 billion bottles of wine every year and is the largest exporter by value in the world at €12.91 billion. The French also get €11 billion in subsidies from the CAP. Of course the French ensure that their subsidies are well targetted whereas ours are substantially wasted on farmers who don’t need help, paying farmers for not producing food and subsidising uneconomic and harmful activities. The French invented the CAP to benefit themselves and harm others. It is a French market distorting racket backed up by the Customs Union tariff schedule allowing them to over produce and dump subsidised produce on world markets including the third world.

          • James Bertram
            Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            French Viticulture – agreed, forthurst. Much truth in that.
            And too, besides dumping goods on the 3rd World, also blocking their exports to France (EU) through high tariff barriers (though if it is a French Colony, it somewhat helps – Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Mauritius).

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Land Value Tax.

      Use it to replace some of the fundamentally broken taxes in the UK such as Business Rates and Council Tax.

  11. jerry
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Apologies, but you did cover rather a lot of ground…

    “It is time to tell everyone they have the opportunity to be owners. We should want more to own their own home. More people should set up and own their own business.”

    But many do not have the skills needed to run a business, even as a Sole Trader never mind as a registered company, many prefer to rent because it gives then the freedom, perhaps because they need to follow their work or move to seek work, as for wider share ownership – that was your promise in the 1980s-90s when your privatisation ideas were at their hight, today we are told that Labour could not possible renationalise such industries as water without massive compensation payment to shareholders because the bulk of the shares are owned by pension companies.

    “More people should come to own a share in the business they work for.”

    Whilst nationalised it could be argued that those who worked in or used such a business did just that, or as a co-operative they do just that, you later point out John Lewis, its board does not call those working in the company “Partners” for nothing, nor return profits to them when possible!

    “People can be happier if they can move home to the accommodation and location of their choice without a large financial penalty for daring to do so.”

    Someone who rented a LA council house back in the 1950s could do just that, after all their bank and savings accounts (or even the mattress!) moved with them, ownership is not a prerequisite for wealth, in fact the former tends to follow the latter – bar foolishly massive mortgages or other debts.

    “Doing up a home and moving to another should not be highly taxed as it improves the building stock and gives people equity in their main asset.”

    Whilst often pricing those new to the market out of the market, in the past many new to property ownership took on such projects as a way of obtaining a serviceable mortgage. I have no problem in abolishing VAT on building restoration & modernisation products or services but taxation on the difference in the before & after value should remain, or at least be tapered, the longer someone has lived in a property the lower the financial penalty upon its (re)sale.

    “[the State] should spin off more of its activities to employee controlled enterprises.”

    Is that not how co-operative work, wasn’t that how Nationalisation was meant to work, not that the latter did, because politicos still decided that they needed to appoint Chairman etc. and micro manage, this interference could be even worse with the ex State agencies because for many agencies the State would be the main if only customer.

    As for Govt procurement procedures, yes they do need to be overhauled, it has become far to difficult for small and even some medium sized companies to enter such markets. Unless the rules are changed it won’t matter what the format of ownership is.

    “The rules of the business world need amending to allow more flexibility for start ups and small businesses”

    The best thing any Govt xould do, to encourage start-up and expansion of the SME sector, is overhaul UBR and commercial planning rules/laws, and this would also help the residential environment by ‘helping’ to move smaller businesses away from domestic the home, garage and especially driveways into more appropriate locations and premises – & no I’m not talking about those businesses that simply use a desk/workbench in the spare bedroom.

    “We need a new wind in favour of people doing well, running their own show and owning property and assets as a normal part of their lives.”

    Indeed, but we must not loose sight of those for who that is not an option or perhaps desirable, we need a mixed economy, a bit like we had back in the 1950s – oh dear, jerry’s off on his time machine again I hear people cry…

    • Hope
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      No, you are quite right.

      JRs blog is an aspiration for electioneering while his govt over the last nine years bears no resemblance to what he promotes. Tory govt are for the lazy, feckless, left wing virtue signallers. There is nothing conservative about his party. Perhaps he is harking back to bygone days when conservatism was in his party.

    • jerry
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Sir John, you talk about co-operatives, others talk about assuring UK defence contracts remain in the UK, how about the govt helping to set up a co-operative out of H&W in Belfast and then placing a contract to either build the new ships we are told the RN and Coastguard are going to need post Brexit?

      But I suspect there is little or no chance, after all the Govt has ‘better’ things to spend tax payers money, not to mention it being “against EU rules”…

      No I do not have any vestige interests, other than a tax payer.

  12. Everhopeful
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    For this very nice vision to come true…
    Corbyn and the Labour Party ( not to mention Limpdems) must be kept out of government.
    And every single aspect of political correctness must be abandoned.
    Freedom of thought and speech need to be be reestablished.
    Get woke..go broke…it is happening now…massive losses ( serves them right) but it is no way to run a business!

    • Dominic
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      The rise of minority rights activism and its ability impose its influence on our politicians is without question one of the most disturbing aspects of the last 25 years in British politics. It has led to laws that crush freedom of expression in the name of so called tolerance and diversity to the point where the most appalling levels of criminality are deliberately ignored on the altar of culture and racial sensitivity. The State’s become a vehicle for collusion and complicity. It is utterly immoral and constitutionally abhorrent. And the Tories have enthusiastically embraced this form of Labour’s political and social engineering.

      It all points to a culture in which the individual is neutered and social group politics is left free to politicise our every waking moment

      Labour is at the very heart of the attack on the individual. They hate the private, moral space because they cannot control it. Therefore they politicise all human interaction and the Tories simply fall into line for fear of being accused of bigotry and intolerance

      Free the individual from State politicisation and neuter Labour, the BBC and the leftist agents of the State. Starve them of of funding using our taxes

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        The individual used – in the last century – to belong to a family unit. The individual had several important societies to join – men’s clubs in London, the masons, the Methodist Church, Probus, reading the lesson at Evensong – and he/she was valued as a member of society.
        All that has gone now, leaving the individual naked in face of a set of bureaucrats (Google is one such).

    • jerry
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      @Everhopeful; “Freedom of thought and speech need to be be reestablished.”

      Indeed, but surely if you want freedom of thought and speech you also want freedom of association, freedom for a majority to form closed-shops perhaps, or freedom for a majority to use the power of collective bargaining etc?

      Careful of what you wish for, otherwise you might get more than you wanted, or simply show yourself up as the hypocrite!

      • sm
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        Freedom of thought and speech does not automatically entail active harm – if it does, then it must be restricted. Saying “I do not like XXX” is not the same as saying “I want to dismember XXX”.

  13. Alison
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Agree, and with many of the comments. Could the UK please stop selling off its crown jewels, eg parts of Rolls-Royce, Pilkington … It has always seemed to me that the main purpose of these sales are juicy fees for the advisers and deal brokers.

    • Shirley
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Yes, while we are on the subject of ownership, I would like to see all essential services (some of which are virtual monopolies) prevented from being sold to foreign companies.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Pilkington was sold to basically what is foreign power that wouldn’t permit the reverse to happen. Their prime income therefore the bit they paid UK tax on, came from royalties on patterns etc. – their IPO. On take-over the earning taxable element was moved to Japan. Their value to the exchequer, virtually nil.

      The same Guy that reasoned it was a good deal, sold Boots at around the same time. Now owned by the US Walgreens.

      While it is good to permit sell-offs/trade in companies, blatantly removing a well earned and at time part taxpayer funded companies into other tax jurisdictions is close to shooting one self in the foot as it gets.

      It is not who owns something created in the UK – but it is the removal of its IP, headquartering and tax base that is damaging the UK exponentially

      • forthurst
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        You overlooked the far more important sale of ARM Holdings also to the Japs by the same individual, signed off by the hypocritical Tories.

  14. oldtimer
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    These are highly desirable objectives. Perhaps they are essential for the UK in a post Brexit world. It will require a government with a majority to achieve the revolution you seek – and a meeting of minds between the Johnson government and the Farage Brexit party. In certain circumstances, say a forced election, this may not be impossible to achieve.

  15. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately Conservatives don’t supply this solution these days, so perhaps this is a manifesto for the Brexit Party, post Brexit?

    Own your own house plus another, even abroad, and you cop up to 8% stamp duty when you purchase another.
    Own your own business and you have this making tax digital complication plus NEST for your business but severe restrictions on what you can place in pension.
    Sell your assets and you pay CGT even though inflation has eaten into those gains.
    Die and you’re taxed on all but a non-inflation adjusted amount.

    • Christine
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      The Brexit Party is asking for policy ideas. I suggest everyone sends their ideas in rather than waste time on the current mainstream parties who have let us down for years.

      • jerry
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        @Christine; What is the point of sending policy ideas to UKIP/TBP when they (neither party, happy now NickC?…) stand little chance of forming the next govt or even being a significant party of Coalition, might as well try shouting into a vacuum and expecting to hear an echo back!

        • Christine
          Posted August 6, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          It’s your sort of defeatist attitude that has given us the failed two party system for so long. I doubt TBP can win enough seats to get into power but they may be king makers like the DUP currently are.

          • jerry
            Posted August 6, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            @Christine; There hasn’t been a two party system in the UK since the Limehouse Declaration of 1981, if not before.

            Politics is not a populist beauty contest, it’s about who runs the country. After the last time Farage was able to boast to his ‘Tifosi’ “You’ve all done very, very, well” the morning after a GE it was pure luck the arithmetic dictated that Clegg could only help form a coalition with Cameron, not Brown, and without help from the SNP.

            We were even luckier in 2017, not that is was all UKIP’s fault, but they certainly made a bad situation even worse, what if the SDLP had won the other NI seats, or SF changed its mind with regard taking their Westminster seats [1], Brexit would have been done for, and Corbyn would also likely be in Downing Street heading up a grand coalition of very europhile parties.

            [1] perhaps because they consider defeating Brexit to be more important than their principle of not swearing an oath to a UK monarch

      • Andy
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Deport Brexit Party members on the grounds that they have failed to integrate.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          The EU is not a nation with which one can integrate.
          Whereas Europe is a delight of different people and cultures.
          Do you begin to understand the difference Andy?

      • James Bertram
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        Agreed, Christine.
        I’ve sent a lot of my ideas here to the Brexit Party; and too, asked them to trawl this site regularly for worthwhile policy comments and debate.
        If the Tories foul up, by failing to leave with a clean WTO exit by 31st October, then The Brexit Party has every opportunity of forming the next government.

  16. Alec
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Back to the 1980’s then. The only problem with the desirable situation of mass ownership is that we are no longer in the 1980’s. Now property is very overpriced compared and stocks and shares are extremely overpriced. What encouraging mass ownership now amounts to is inflating bubbles even further to enable the “insiders” to get out with a thuge profit leaving the mugs to take the losses. There are certainly some assets worth owning but I’m dubious of establishment encouragment to do anything nowadays.

  17. Ian Wragg
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Whilst the NHS is a World Health organisation and every EU citizen has the right to our benefits and social housing it can never happen.
    There will never be enough housing whilst we continue to import half a million immigrants yearly annually.

    • Ian terry
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      There will never be enough housing whilst we continue to import half a million immigrants yearly annually.

      Well said Ian, totally correct

      • Fred H
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        but Andy, who is a world expert in most things, tells us they all go ‘home’ in the winter. So they should be taxed for leaving all these homes empty. Plus if that were true they would not earn enough, nor spend enough to pay all these taxes he claims in the UK.

    • Andy
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      The ill-informed clap-trap from you people is incredible.

      Genuinely. I would like you all to try to claim any benefit (except) your pensions of course. Getting anything from the government is like getting blood from a stone A especially if you are foreign.

      The notion that we chuck cash at people as they pass through Dover is, and always has been, Faragist bile.

  18. danieljames
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I would like to see complete reform of our ridiculous tax code. At 17000+ pages it is far too long, complex and just wholly unsuitable. Compare those numbers to what many people consider to be the best tax code in the world, that of Hong Kong. It is only 276 pages long. All of the above and much more could be achieved by re-writing our tax code and making it fit for purpose. Is our new administration bold enough to reform it? Think of all the things that could be achieved if that were so.

    • Dominic
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      More tax regulation equals more State employment for tax officials and other state employees. More state employees equals bigger budgets year on year.

      Complexity and higher levels of bureaucracy is a boon for public sector employment.

      Understand that the State is a financial and a Labour political vested interest for the unproductive and they will fight tooth and nail and embed themselves, make themselves indispensable to protect that privilege

      I believe it is a fight to the death, figuratively speaking of course. Labour, should they achieve power, will smash the Tories into next week and destroy the private arena both in a moral sense, freedom and in business

      These people are Marxist, brutal political animals

  19. MikeP
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Some good ideas but sadly tainted by many MPs becoming property moguls on the back of flipping between second homes bought and ‘done up’ with our money. Put some limits on that and we’ll maybe agree the rest.

  20. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    1. We need to stop prioritizing the failures, the vulnerable, the ones who have given up, the addicts, the weak. We should start to prioritize the successful. The ones who help build society. The ones who provide employment. Fathers and Mothers. The family.
    2. In schools and universities, we need to prioritize the ones who are successful and stop muddling equality before God with identity before the State. We should leave teachers to get on with it and train them to teach subjects which both appeal and help society – building new homes, engineering better transport, coping with the programming of the internet. Secondary Moderns got this totally right. Syphon off the professionals into their high calling and give the rest some confidence in building a batter world.
    3. Opportuinty – not control. Doctors, nurses, teachers, vicars – all of them prevented from their high calling by bureaucratic meddling by people who have little or no idea about the meaning of the word “trust”.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Fear of failure is indoctrinated into society. The well-meaning, we will hold your hand brigade, miss the point, it is failing that causes success.

      Athletes that come 2nd aspire and work to be 1st.

      Success and asperation creates wealth, that can take care of the less fortunate.

      Top down control of Society is about just that ‘control’. It benefits a very few.

      Remove the micro-managing, and a society flourishes, for the simple reason if it is the ‘guy in the mirror’ that is in control, takes responsibility – the only result is the people are emboldened.

      A centralized controlling power fights this in everyway possible and calls it ‘in your best interest’

  21. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Can only agree with this: “We need a new wind in favour of people doing well, running their own show and owning property and assets as a normal part of their lives”

    We need less oppressive government, and the nanny state needs to take a hike – No more social-engineering, and less government all round.

    Most certainly, those with ambition and innovation should not be stymied by the socialist establishment.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    You say:- “Changing policies to promote wealth and ownership”. Well current policies are to suffocate and kill these things. The highest taxes for 50 years, endless and increasing red tape, planning restriction, inheritance tax at 40% over just £325K, damaging employment laws, uncompetitive banking and finance, plus police who have virtually given up on most crimes.

    An NHS that is one of the worst health care systems arround. This despite the many good & hard working people that work there. Universities that often give people little of any value for £50K of government debt. Expensive & pointless renewable energy with extra taxes and bills to fund this lunacy. So much that could be done with a sensible government.

  23. John S
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The lessons about ownership and entrepreneurism under the Thatcher government seem to have been forgotten. The Conservatives are trying to out-Labour Labour. What happened to the clear blue water divide?

    • Nigl
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Politics. We saw the shameless money grabbing of the 80s and on with which the Tories were and still are to a certain extent associated.

      I have total sympathy for a yearning for some sort of ‘Thatcherism’ as do many who blog here but frankly I do not think we would ever be elected!

    • Peter
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Depends what lessons you are talking about – the official government lessons or the ones we discovered for ourselves later.

      Gains on flogging off privatised utility shares?

      Price of shares goes down as well as up?

      Foreign owned utilities are now ruthless price gougers so you will pay through the nose for your services while proper investment in infrastructure maintenance is neglected?

      Don’t tell Sid!

  24. gordonB
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Could be that the breakup of the UK following departure from the EU will be the real changer in this country- remains to be seen- but real change will need a catalyst.

  25. Rhoddas
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Gordon Brown introducted IR35 legislation under Blair, then paperazzi Osborne and now spreadsheet Phil have continued to meddle and extend it’s malign influence, now massively affecting the self-employed, contractors, personal service companies, forcing them into paying NI/Income tax as employees, BUT without ANY of the paid for holidays/pensions/sick pay/insurances and job protection benefits employees would normally receive.

    The gig economy [and also private property rental] have been hounded on taxation and turned into pariahs, despite being part of the economic growth success politicians keep banging on about.

    So no-one has really noticed this Conservative government in power, as proper Tories, just more of the same leftist, complicated, intrusive interventionist fiddling. Even dividends are now taxed differently from personal income, yet that’s just what it is, income!

    It will take a wholesale change of political will to deliver the changes you are seeking, just as we see with Brexit. It’s a bit like overcoming gravity to achieve take-off, well it’s 31/10 do or die for the latter, otherwise enter the Brexit Party…. who in any event should hoover up the northern labour vote. Boris may have his bounce, but I venture it would be arrogant and foolhardy not to seriously consider a pact with TBP, the Brecon result clearly demonstrates this. No-one on this site (almost) wants Limp dims/Corbynista/SNP coalition of the dreadful.

    Indeed we all want free enterprise, rolling back years of leftist legislation, free ports, free trade deals coupled with the sovereign control of our laws and borders. Both the sound policy principles you espouse AND vital tactics are needed.

    • Shirley
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      IR35 was originally intended to put the liability on the hirer. They benefit from not paying Employers NI and contributing to employee pensions, they do not provide training or any of the other benefits enjoyed by employees. Big business used their influence to get the liabilities transferred to the worker, who get a double whammy in being tax as employed, but as you said, they get none of the benefits and have to pay for their own training and have to take a break from paid work whilst undergoing that training.

      IR35 is just another example of big business thriving at the expense of small business.

      • acorn
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        “The government announced at Budget 2018 that to increase compliance with the existing off-payroll working rules in the private sector, businesses will become responsible for assessing the employment status of the off-payroll workers they engage.

        This will bring the private sector in line with the public sector. As with the reform in the public sector, these changes seek to increase compliance in the private sector with rules that have been in place since 2000, to make sure that they operate as intended. The reform does not introduce a new tax.

        The government has listened to the views put forward by stakeholders during the previous consultation. As a result, the smallest organisations will not have to determine the employment status of the off-payroll workers they engage.” (HMRC: Off-payroll working rules from April 2020)

        Keep in mind that there is a body of evidence that says the more self employed persons a country has the lower its aggregate productivity and GDP per capita. The Greeks for one can tell you about that; and how not to combine it with using the German Euro as your currency at the same time.

        • Shirley
          Posted August 6, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

          If they engage a self employed person, then the liability does stay with the hirer.

          That is why big business will only engage freelancers who are limited companies. Millions of contractors were actually forced into becoming companies by their hirers so that the IR35 liability transferred to the worker. Incorporate, or they won’t offer you work.

          • acorn
            Posted August 6, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Which is exactly what HMRC intended to happen Shirley. The days of freelancers dodging taxation had to be shut down.

            The days of freelancers offering two prices, one of which was VAT free, “over the counter” cash in hand, was transfering the tax requirement to bonafide PAYE employees. The problem was the big corporates had a problem explaining to HMRC where the cash had gone from their accounts.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      Exactly the tax laws that Brown, Osborne and Hammond how generated are hugely damaging and totally idiotic.

  26. BR
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Yes, Thatcher realised that getting people into property ownership and in jobs with decent pay is the way to convince people that they can do better than live on hand-outs of other people’s money.

    Conservative government shave for too long tried to be Labour-lite, not understanding that socialists can always promise to give away more – you can’t outdo them on ‘free’ money.

    A major impact of the taxes you mention is flexibility of the workforce. If people can’t easily move house to a new job then the scope of their job search is limited to commutable distance. My parents moved several times to better themselves, taking work from Scotland to NE England to the SW of England. That would be very difficult now with the costs so high AND employers no longer offering relocation packages, just as they don’t offer final salary pensions – employers (organisations in general) have become rapacious profit-making machines serving the interests of their investors above all else. There appears to be no interest in serving society as a whole, therefore this is perhaps where legislation needs to step in.

    One other obstacle is the inability to claim expenses. A freelance person can claim expenses but only for up to two years. Why??? If they win repeat business, with a contract being extended to do new work every 3 months, then why on Earth do they suddenly stop becoming a business (ion HMRC’s view) after two years of successfully winning repeat business? Whereas larger organisations have no such restriction.

    My view is that all workers should be able to claim travel to work and subsistence expenses. I hear that it would cost too much, or be too difficult to administer – this is simply not a justification for failing to do the right thing.

    The obstacles that have been put in the way of the flexible workforce in the name of ‘fairness’ in tax policy are destroying that sector. As long as we have totally artificial distinctions between types of workers it will cause pain and misery and clog up the courts with expensive ’employment status’ cases. Why should employment be taxed so much more heavily than other ways of working? One tax code for all workers, please – and not the way they’re currently doing it which is to move towards taxing all statuses as heavily as employment.

  27. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    You make me laugh. You are always going on about having more cheap credit to encourage more borrowing which puts house prices up. We need to take land from the big landowners and give it to young people to self build on. The aristocracy stole the land centuries ago. It’s time to take it off them.

    • Dominic
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Pathetic, Marxist hate and idiotic trash.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        You need to try thinking sometime.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Remove the rights of citizens to own land by forcibly taking it from them by the State takes us to being a marxist dictatorship.
      First there is a call for “big landowners” to have their land stolen off them and soon you will be calling for all land owners to have their land stolen off them.
      That’s how it works.
      There are many obstacles faced by anyone trying to get planning permission to build on land they own.
      Perhaps easing those problems would be a better first step.
      You think being able to get a mortgage is the only reason house prices are high.
      Forgetting an extra population the size of a city like Southampton is arriving here every year and has been every year since 2000.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        So it was okay for the common land to be enclosed and stolen by the aristocracy but not okay to want it back.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          What a red herring
          No actual response to my post.
          Stop living in the political past.
          Go out and buy some land.
          It’s your right as a free citizen in our wonderful modern democracy to do that.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Remove the rights of citizens to own land by forcibly taking it from them by the State takes us to being a marxist dictatorship.

        Boy it’s hard work with some people. I am NOT talking about removing the rights of citizens to own land! Where did you get that nonsense from? Out of your own head? You certainly didn’t get it from anything I wrote. I am talking about taking the land back that the aristocracy stole from the common people by enclosing the common land. Do you know ANYTHING of history?

        • James Bertram
          Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          Good comments, Mike. Thoroughly agree. (See my comments on agricultural land, earlier).

        • Prigger
          Posted August 6, 2019 at 12:09 am | Permalink

          The sad truth is that the ‘common people’ who are in most of our ancestries did not have the then intelligence, skill, education or desire to produce anything more than meagre food. Marx and Lenin realised such hierarchical governance as an aristocracy and later capitalist individuals were in fact ‘progressive’ at the time, in those contexts. So its fruitless hating upper classes.
          Whether it will ever be possible to have an equalitarian society is doubtful without dehumanising genetic engineering. We are what we are and where we are. Nothing to write home about.

          • Prigger
            Posted August 6, 2019 at 12:32 am | Permalink

            Education may help for those needing Hope. Though it is forever an education of now. It is not a skeleton key opening all doors or showing all doors.
            At the end of the day, we cannot all be a Bill Gates, or a King, or a PM. We could take it in turns like some Local Authorities have mayors in rotation. Pity they do not think a Mayor should sit an exam. So Education is not complete even today.
            An alcoholic, wife beater, husband beater, gambler, drug taker, fox, politician —-they all have a go and make a complete mess in perfect equality.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 6, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          You said
          we need to take the land off the big landowners and give it to the young people, that’s what you said Mike.
          That means a State stealing from people and the destruction of the ancient rights of people to own freehold land.
          No amount of furious back peddling alters that fact.

  28. Gareth Warren
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    My experiences with money is that it is no longer respected.

    It was a few years ago when I last walked down the high street, the result was I had to ask banks for interest rates – the vast majority did not have them on display. This is a direct result of QE and near zero interest rates.

    Loans too are incredibly easy to make, companies even openly advertise they are happy with unreliable borrowers and advertise rates starting at 100% and raising to over 1000% – this is economic lunacy.

    Houses are a favoured asset in the UK, it is true now that you have to be rich to own one, this is the consequence of very high immigration pushing up demand (I note it is accepted as normal an immigrant who cannot afford will be provided one by government). And secondly low interest rates and required deposits funneling money for savings into a second home.

    All of these problems are governmental in introduction, although I note interest rates are low worldwide.

    To regain respect for money we should require minimum deposits and ban high interest rates with severe punishment. This will cause the rise of loan sharks, but they exist already. The governmental safety net should be good enough to prevent geniune need.

    While the UK is not a work camp, government must respect we have a generous welfare state and protect it by requiring immigrants increase average salaries. This reduction in immigration will reduce house prices, increase lowest salaries and reduce the amount of taxes paid in welfare thus giving more people money to spend.

    Lastly I would like to see a reduction in the size and complexity of government and laws in general, this would greatly reduce taxes. There are many non-jobs where people are paid vast amounts of money, a rule should limit salaries to below the PM and should take account of generous pensions that the private sector cannot afford.

    Leaving the EU lets us cut red tape – hopefully this will just be the start.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      If you follow the micro-management pattern through, its the hand outs that cause the problem. They create expectations that are not realistic.

      A deposit for a home once-upon-time had to be saved. Saved with a Building Society – the reward was a mortgage from that society.

      Help to buy projects, as they try to avoid ‘means-testing’, just mean that those that can afford something are subsidized by those that can’t.

      If a mortgage lender knows that should a lender default they will hand the keys back and walk-a-way. i.e. they wont be perused for ever and a day. Loans will be on realistic terms. Yes House prices will fall as a result, but they would fall equally

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      “and advertise rates starting at 100% and raising to over 1000% – this is economic lunacy”

      It certainly is the bank want to pay you .2% of something and charge you 5% to 1000% + is this a sign of real competition? Where are the competition authority?

      Almost anyone who can only get a loan at 30% plus is probably better of without one!

  29. Local Lad
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Like Equitable Life savers who wanted to build up an asset and found their hopes dashed.

  30. Christine
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    If I live in rented accommodation and I lose my job the Government will pick up the cost of my rent. If I have bought my own home, the Government will offer no help with my mortgage and allow the bank to repossess my property and throw me out on the street. It used to be the case that the Government would pay towards interest on mortgages but this safety net was taken away. Many with insecure jobs see home ownership as too great a risk.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Nice thoughts. However, in the UK the government doesn’t have money, it access to your wallet. So giveing money away means removing it from one taxpayer to another .
      The question therefore is what do you want to fund on a compulsory basis and how deep are your pockets?

      • Christine
        Posted August 6, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Once a family is made homeless the council is obliged to rehome them. So there is a cost to the taxpayer either way.

        I’m just pointing out a downside of buying your own home.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink


  31. Christine
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I do wonder what the point of the middle classes accumulating assets and wealth is. If it’s not taken away for nursing care in our old age, the Government will take it away via Inheritance Tax. Of course, the rich with their fancy lawyers, trust funds and off shore accounts don’t have to face this cost. Over years we have been conditioned to be a spend now, live for today society.

  32. Wilcox
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Dunno for real change to happen we will need to overthrow the archaic class system we continue with- next thing we will need to do is to confiscate and break up the large landed estates held by royalty and lords and parcel out to deserving and enterprising young farming people

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, Wilcox.
      (See my comments on agricultural land earlier).

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted August 6, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Yes let’s go back to the time when people had a strip of land on which they were expected to grow their own food. Maybe you could start and show how it is done.

  33. BillM
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Homeownership is the aim of most of the population. However ultra-low interest rates encourage higher borrowing and consequential rises in property prices. Osborne’s home-buy incentives did more harm than good because they merely made it easier for a couple to buy a higher-priced property.
    It is so bad now that the average house prices in England exceed eight times, 8.0, the average salary. in 2002 it was 5.11.
    The conclusion is that the cost of homeownership now is too great for too many and only a substantial rise in interest rates to diminish demand is going to change that.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      I am not so sure ownership cost is the problem. If you can rent, you can afford a mortgage, often a mortgage is cheaper than renting. The problem is raising a deposit which in many places needs to be £30-40,000 – far out of the reach of most savers. 100 percent mortgages are what is required, in large numbers. The banks make billions in profits so are well placed to take a risk, which with property is negligible. If necessary the government could underwrite this small risk, (the deposit size risk, not the whole thing) probably far cheaper than help to buy and things like that. If you have been paying rent reliably for say 2 or 3 years without default, you should qualify for a mortgage where the repayments are no more than the rent you are paying. Seems quite simple to me, but no doubt there are flaws in it as simple things never get implemented.

  34. agricola
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    The key to it all is to evolve a vision that the electorate can respond to. The next step would be that any political party selling that vision must represent the people to the extent that the members of that party must choose who represents them. No involvement by central office or any other vested interest. Any difficult decisions to go to national referenda. It must be a bottom up political party.

    Once these fundamentals have been put in place, a manifesto should be created from a bottom up shopping list.

    The big question from your diary submission is how to make affordable finance available to return us to being a property owning population. As part of that how can we create sufficient property to satisfy demand.

    After that there are myriad things that would benefit from being done differently. Perhaps you might use this diary to identify the ills in our society and the ways they could be corrected. Future submission to identify them and their rectification would be time and space well spent.

    I want to see a purer form of democracy evolve, in fact the very antithisis of the broken form we have at present or the even worse delusionary form espoused by the EU.

    • James Bertram
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Seems very much the way the Brexit Party is trying to re-structure politics, Agricola – i.e. bottom-up driven policy-making. (Claire Fox mentioned this on her ‘Sophy Ridge on Sunday’ interview at the weekend.)

  35. BJC
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Surely, attitudes don’t just extend to potential ownership of property and businesses, but also to government. It’s very noble to champion “a coup for a new generation of owners to take control of homes and businesses”, but we’ve created a “get rich quick” society where property and business ownership is considered little more than an investment opportunity.

    Plodding global corporates have been allowed to exercise huge influence over government, helping to develop policies favouring their business model, and simultaneously stifling small innovative companies and limiting the amount of competition.

    It will take a determination of gargantuan proportions for government to distance itself from the seductive overtures of the corporates and truly recalibrate attitudes.

  36. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    John Redwood’s vision here is very good and should really be genuinely adopted by the Conservative Party.
    Some of it can and ought to be enacted forthwith – much less regulation and some critical tax cuts, especially where those cost relatively little or can be self-financing or almost self-financing.
    However some of this is either unachievable or only achievable in the very long term. The fact is buying one’s home in many places and most especially in and around London is simply unaffordable for most workers and a price crash to make it affordable would be catastrophic for existing owner-occupiers and property owners. However where homes are potentially affordable (in much of the North, Midlands etc.;), much more could be done to facilitate owner-occupation(via perhaps extensive mortgage guarantees to lenders to new owner-occupiers and relief from Capital Gains Tax to landlords/holiday home owners selling to an owner-occupier).
    Another harsh fact is that most new businesses fail. Most people just don’t have the technical, financial and personal skills to start, develop and run a business successfully and partnerships usually don’t work out either. Nor can such skills generally in practical reality be taught. I don’t know what the answer to that one is.
    However I do agree that personal ownership and consequently individual wealth should be encouraged and policies aiming in that direction should be pursued where helpful and potentially effective.

  37. Arnie from Newington
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    We have lost employees as their wages can’t keep up with rents.

    These people would be saving a considerable amount if they had a mortgage but they can’t pass the banks affordability tests.

    It’s a dogs dinner and the Governments war on landlords has just made it worse. I actually don’t have a problem with the additional dwelling supplement as it will stop LLs hoovering up properties but Section 24 is an awful tax and the way it is calculated will make landlords with modest incomes into higher rate taxpayers.

    As a parent I have no problem putting up part of the equity in my home as security for my kids to get a mortgage and this is the way out of the current stalemate that is denying young people access to buying and forcing them down the Private rental route which isn’t designed for the long term.

  38. Vee Tsar
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    If all the government can do is to get young people ( 42% get divorced well within 10 years irrespective of negative equity ) into debt via mortgages, borrowing, student debt and propaganda about America and Trump to stop them emigrating to the USA then it may as well pack it in and have us formerly join the United States of America, conditionally of course.

  39. Vee Tsar
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Trump has said he wishes greater ease of British immigration to America. We need his doctors and senior nurses on fixed term contracts ,with advantages possibly. We require much cheaper US drugs not Canadian dopey-style ones. Also American teachers,professors, not wacky Democrat Party ones ( we have too many of our own ).
    A deal could be made to mutual advantage. We should lick our wounds of our needing US help in WWII and get a life.
    American English is updated, better, yes it is, and would do well for us.

  40. newmania
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    The country is split between the educated and the Brexit voters .The Conservative Party have alienated business, the young and the academic terminally. In fact in the West these higher social groups have been leaving the Conservative Parties for year leaving the with the lower income groups. This is Trump and Brexit`s constituency.
    Telling them that immigrants are taking their homes and jobs has been useful but there is a long term problem in that many are natural Labour voters . Some Conservatives do not care about that ( after all if they cared about economic progress we would not have Brexit at all)Mr Redwood is not of this kind , he would like to enlist this class to a Free Market cause as Ms Thatcher did with’ right to buy’. That is what this post is about .
    What we will actually get is what we are getting now, ballooning borrowing, lies, hand outs and chaos whose only rationale is selfish survival.

    Reply Unpleasant use of phrase higher social groups, silly generalisations, and nasty attack on my wish for many more to be owners

    • Edward2
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      When has the Conservative Party ever been “telling them that immigrants are taking their homes and jobs”
      Either come up with evidence or apologise.
      A really dreadful post from you MN even by your standards.

    • sm
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Newmania – I found, in the many years that I spent canvassing in suburban London areas that covered all income levels, there was great truth in Mrs T’s observation that ‘just because there’s a Jaguar in the driveway, it doesn’t mean there’s a Conservative behind the front door!’.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      I think that when we have 50% getting degrees and 26% of those getting firsts that we have to redefine ‘academic’ and ‘educated’.

      It would also be a good idea to stop putting people with arts degrees in charge of things. STEM tends to be much more exacting.

    • dixie
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      @Mania If you are so educated and clever, why didn’t you see Brexit coming?

      Why did you let the country get into such a position that the EU was stripping us bare and bragging about it. Why didn’t you have the nous to realise that you needed the majority and not just the “higher social groups” to enjoy tangible and worthwhile benefits from EU membership.

      Were you incompetent or simply didn’t care, or perhaps you really aren’t as clever as you think your are and the EU simply used you as useful idiots while you were blinded by your greed and holidays away from the slobs at your gite/finca.

      • James Bertram
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps Newmania is a double-agent?
        By being so obnoxious and bigoted he makes me more determined than ever to Leave the EU which seems full of similar arrogant thoughtless characters, Verhofstadt, Junker and Tusk.
        Thanks, Newmania.

    • newmania
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Boosting the housing market will not encourage wider ownership, it will prevent it. By happy coincidence such policies would protect the assets of the “C1 and C2” home owners on whom the Conservative Party relies.
      Your humble and positively oleaginous servant ….

  41. forthurst
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    “Stamp duties need to come down on acquiring a home or a rental property”: why? why should rent seekers be given equal treatment to those who wish to own their own homes, especially as they are competing for the same limited supply?

    Want to reduce tax for all? Then, stop tax avoidance by companies and individuals by offshoring their incomes. Is there any reason why a business renting out property in this country should be domiciled abroad? No. Either it is a foreign operation trying to exploit the UK housing market (Toryspeak: invest) or it is a resident trying to avoid their share of taxes.

    40% of properties sold off to tenants under right to buy are now buy to let in which in many cases the local authority is the tenant. Of course, people should be able to buy their own home if they wish; however, people do need a roof over their heads in this country to survive our winters and as a result of the Tory immigration policies, many people are subsisting in privately-owned temporary accommodation of the direst quality whilst falling back in the LA housing queue as invaders are given preference.

  42. mancunius
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    “We should want more to own their own home. ”

    Indeed, Sir John, but where were the Westminster politicians when more and more (from all over the globe, including absentees with untaxed cash to launder, and no intention of ever occupying the property) bought up UK housing in order to make a killing out of owning somebody else’s home?
    I have been closely following the London market since the 1980s, and I can tell you for a fact that since the late 1990s waves of eezy-mortgage BTL landlords have used their debt leverage to buy up entire urban areas, and have made property virtually unaffordable for the less well-heeled – unless they are desperate enough to roost uneasily in grungy, suburbs with poor transport, infested with crime and anti-social behaviour.
    London MPs pretend to ignore this: they are naturally interested only in their council tenant clientele.

  43. Andy
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    The problem with your plan is that it assumes that everyone starts in an equal place – and they don’t.

    Let’s take Jacob Rees-Mogg as an example.

    A man born into great wealth and privilege. Sent to the best school, with a passport to the best university. There he makes the connections which guarantee him success in life. He sets up a business – there is no risk because even if it goes wrong he is insulated from any fallout. It is not hard to see how he gets where he is. Now, none of this is his fault. It is not his fault he was born into these circumstances. But the reality is that most people are not.

    Take a child of equal natural intellect to Mr Rees-Mogg – who is born to a single alcoholic parent. They do not have the support of a wealthy home. They go to whichever school is nearby. University? That is an unlikely route as the expense is eye-watering for those with nothing. There are no connections. Work is whatever it can be. Of course you don’t set up by yourself. You have very little, you cannot risk it all.

    No offence to Mr Rees-Mogg but there is precisely zero chance that he would be in the Cabinet if he had not been born with all the advantages he had. There is next to zero chance that he would have his own investment business. He would likely be working in a lower managerial role somewhere not very glamorous.

    And until we remove these inbuilt barriers which benefit the Brexiteer elite at the expense of everyone else I’m afraid your proposals are a pipe dream.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      The new elite are your remain pals.
      Look at the rich today and they all love the EU
      Leave is almost entirely a grass roots movement.
      Public sector, media, quangocracy, charity sector, PLC bossesversus the blue collar workers and the small business owners and the self employed.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted August 6, 2019 at 12:08 am | Permalink

        Of course you completely ignore the points made by Andy. Care to comment on them?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 6, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          The thrust of Andy’s article was that there is inequality of opportunity in the UK and it is because of the brexiteer rich elite.

          I was just pointing out how silly that theory is Mike seeing that almost the whole of the rich elite establishment is pro EU

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted August 6, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          Mike, those of us who have followed Andy’s rants over the years have been shocked into silence by the sheer hypocrisy of the man. He’s bragged about having a nanny for his children, who all go to private school. Some of us spend all our efforts working among those less fortunate. Frankly, this post of his is stunningly insensitive.

    • Norman
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      This is communistic thinking. Consider the following, Andy.
      1. A country benefits from great men who are leaders, and I’d also say, a leadership class. Privilege brings with it high responsibilities – nothing wrong with that: E.g Winston Churchill.
      2. Dr Livingstone, from a poor but devout background worked long hours in a factory, then went to night school to train in basic medicine, before going to Africa as a medical missionary and explorer.
      3. Susanna Wesley bore 19 children, of whom 10 survived. She home-schooled all of them, among them Charles and John, who gained scholarships to Oxford, where they began to set the world upside down; they were joined by George Whitfield, who worked his way whilst at Oxford, and made a huge impact in America.
      4. Many, in my time, had a wonderful opportunity to enter a profession based on aptitude and hard work, despite being from a very poor background. The parents of that generation respected authority, but gave their all to see their children make the most of their talents. They also lovingly nurtured those who were not especially gifted. Honouring one’s parents was, and is, foundational to such a settled society, even where forgiveness for failings was necessary.
      The issue here is not class and privilege, but something more elusive that sadly, we as a society, have almost lost.

    • formula57
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      @ Andy “[Mr. Rees-Mogg] would likely be working in a lower managerial role somewhere not very glamorous”

      What makes you think he is not now?

    • Al
      Posted August 6, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      “The problem with your plan is that it assumes that everyone starts in an equal place – and they don’t.”

      For once I actually agree with Andy. Improved access to startup funding would do a great deal to encourage new businesses from those with limited resources. So would support services for business opening outside work hours, as many startups are run in their spare time by people already working standard jobs to support their families. Red tape which someone like Mr Rees-Mogg (to use your example) can hire a solicitor to cut through and a small startup can’t afford to remains a significant barrier, and one the government should be removing.

      However as my suggested solution includes things like Grammar and Technical Schools to ensure everyone can get an education that lets them make the most of their abilities, I suspect this is where we part ways.

  44. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Instead of encouraging endless consumer debt, why not encourage Boris to do something sensible like:

    1) Save our steel industry. The idea that a developed nation has no steel industry is unthinkable.

    2) Save Harland and Woolf. The idea that we will have no shipbuilding capacity is unthinkable.

    Well, I say ‘unthinkable’. It seems very thinkable to this Tory government. Heaven save us all. We’ll have no steel industry and no way of building and equipping our own navy. The mind boggles.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      You could be forgiven for thinking the Tory Party is determined to flush this country down the toilet.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 6, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        Over the years billions have been “flushed down the toilet” supporting subsidising and bailing out both our steel and shipbuilding industries.

        If those billions had been spent on new growing industries instead of being mis-allocated then the UK would have now be much better off.
        The world has loads of cheap good quality steel capacity in fact there is a ditto a large spare capacity for ship building.

  45. acorn
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    To illustrate just how far the UK is “behind the curve” in government inspired and directed infrastructure developments, China has now completed one of the largest airports ever conceived, the Daxing International Airport in Beijing.

    It has four runways that can be expanded to seven. A passenger is never more than six hundred meters from a departure gate. It cost the equivalent of US$12 billion. It has been designed and built in five years.

    Meanwhile, the addition of just one extra runway at Heathrow Airport, is currently scheduled to cost the equivalent of US$ 17 billion. Just like HS2, you can expect the original headline price to expand by a factor of three.

    The UK does not have a sufficiently technically competent government system, that can prosper outside the EU. Playing Punch & Judy politics all day in Westminster, doesn’t build a twenty first century nation that other peoples take notice of and trust to stick to a deal.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted August 6, 2019 at 12:12 am | Permalink

      Indeed. The cost of UK infrastructure projects is obscene. Not far off a BILLION pounds just to tart up Reading station.

  46. formula57
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    I welcome your proposals, bold, fundamental and far-reaching as they are.

    The chief concern is about introducing them into a system that at present is broken for the inevitable eventual corrections will create conditions of hardship that may well leave many who have seized the initiatives on offer undone.

    The contortions to avoid the consequences of the 2008 Great Financial Crash, resulting in asset bubbles and sustained mis-pricing of risk, globalization and its current decay, the emergence of oligopoly capitalism and the concentration of wealth (assisting the erosion of the middle class) indicate there are profound challenges that may well blight your proposals – unless they are the public face of something even more fundamental?

  47. ukretired123
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Well today’s topic certainly gave rise to some of the serious realities – the trials and tribulations that small companies have to deal with and it was refreshing to hear the actual experiences from many others.
    So many folks think they know about business after reading about it but the reality cannot be simulated as it’s multi-dimensional requiring many skills. Many fail in the first year as they have to hit the ground running.
    Many large companies however also fail on many fronts and rely on smaller companies to save their blushes. These never make headlines and credit taken by others.

    The history of IT and major project failures in Govt alone is mind blowing, incredible incompetence and waste, but too big to fail applies and reward another contract follows the failures.
    Complexity is encouraged by large powerful lobby groups which edges small companies out in favour of big business. EU bureaucracy rules too, encouraging this.

  48. Trumpeteer
    Posted August 5, 2019 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    If the British had had The Second Amendment on 23rd June 2016, owned guns, would we have left the EU yesterday?

    • Trumpeteer
      Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      An alternative fact or truth in answer is NO. For if we had had the rest of the US Constitution we could never have been in the EU in the first place. Any elected representative actively promoting the engagement in EU membership would have been put in Court on a charge of High Treason.

      • Trumpeteer
        Posted August 5, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        Stig Abel who writes lots of good books, was on Skypapers tonight and said, and I paraphrase: ” It is hard for we British to understand the context of all those guns in America. ”
        One or two of us do.
        No one shot back did they?Why?

  49. Lucy
    Posted August 6, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    You used the word ‘more’ too often, Mr Redwood, without actually quantifying . How many is ‘more’? How much is ‘more’? More than you own, or more than I own? Or just more than the status quo, regardless of how many/much more?

    Oliver Twist asked for ‘some more’, having been nominated for the task by his orphan mates in the workhouse. They were starving. Worth reading that novel again, if only to see what becomes of him at the end.

    Why strive to earn more, to own more, to have more freedom when it’s all taken away from you if you develop a medical condition such as any one of the life-changing dementias? If you live long enough with more than dementia, with more illnesses or disabilities that require more care, in a care home, every single bit of the ‘more’ you’ve worked so hard to achieve is stripped from you by an uncaring, unkind state. Including the house you own, if you live alone. Meanwhile, the sub-standard care you are likely to be forced by the state to pay for will enhance the bank balance of the care home owner. Your own ‘more’ then becomes his/her/their ‘more’. Theft in return for not a lot of care.

    If we are all to achieve ‘more’, the first thing to change must be our housing and education systems, so that those who are born into poverty can aspire to ‘more’. You make it sound so easy though, as if everyone is born with the abilities to earn enough to own a property, to own and run a business, to thrive through their own efforts. Real life doesn’t work like that. Only the world of fantasy makes that achievable.

    A government that cares ‘more’ about those who are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth would be a good start too.

  50. Dominic
    Posted August 7, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink


  51. benjamin weenen
    Posted August 9, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Conservatives (should) be most concerned with optimising the economy for growth, as in the long run, its this that helps the poorest most.

    But taxes on wealth creation (Income Tax, NICs, VAT, Corp Tax etc) distort incentives to supply goods/services, putting a deadweight around the neck of the economy.

    There are alternatives that don’t cause these distortions, like taxing the rental value of land.

    Such a tax reduces it’s selling price to zero, precisely because it transfers incomes back to those that find housing affordable now, thus making owning property much, much easier.

    So such a tax shift kills the two biggest birds with one stone, and should be a natural Conservative policy.

    Would Mr Redwood like to explain why it isn’t?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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