In 2022 the government needs to put the pandemic behind it. It needs to return to its Manifesto promises of lower taxes, the successful implementation of Brexit and prosperity for the many through levelling up. Indeed, the three go together and are mutually reinforcing.
Lower tax rates on earning and venturing are essential to success. The Chancellor needs to sweep away the Maastricht austerity rules that we had to follow in the EU and which he has allowed back in using slightly different language. He needs to grasp that the way to get the deficit down and control the debts is to promote faster growth with the help of lower tax rates. Set the UK corporation tax rate at the new world base of 15% and the investment and activity will flood in as it has to Ireland with a lower rate than ours. Set the tax on jobs, National Insurance, at a lower rate to stimulate employment. Cancel the new features of IR 35 which penalise or prevent people working for themselves.
Now out of the EU the Chancellor should revise VAT to tailor it to UK policy aims. He should abolish VAT on boiler controls, draught excluder, insulation materials and other green products, The government is trying to encourage people to improve energy efficiency and change their ways of heating homes, so they should not be taxed for doing so. He should remove VAT from domestic fuel for the time being to assist with reducing the cost of living pressures.
The government should take action to restore full GB/Northern Ireland trade, as the Protocol allows. They may need to legislate in the UK to instruct our customs and excise officials to allow free passage of goods from GB to NI where those goods have a clear end customer and destination in the UK. The UK is losing a lot of business and therefore tax revenue from the deliberate diversion of trade to the Republic against the express letter of the Protocol. If we had been doing this the EU and its supporters would be accusing us of “breaking the law!.
The government should make more rapid progress to restore our fishing grounds to UK vessels . They should ban over 100 metre industrial trawlers that are doing too much damage to stocks and the marine environment.
The government should take stronger action, including legislation, to break the businesses of people traffickers and smugglers across the Channel. The UK is spending far too much on rescuing and housing in hotels people who are not genuine asylum seekers.
The government should set out a new subsidy scheme for UK farming which encourages more UK food production, The CAP did a lot of damage to UK agriculture., We need a system which is much more supportive.
The UK government should repeal the EU ports legislation and substitute UK rules that promote thriving ports. They need to be faster and more adventurous with the freedoms for Freeports.
The UK should legislate for its own data, intellectual property and innovation regimes . This is an innovative and enterprising country where some EU rules hold us back.
The government’s levelling up agenda is crucial. It is not going to be achieved by a few more trams, better town halls and some extra powers for local and devolved government. It will be achieved by government backing people’s personal journeys, removing some of the impediments to success. Excellence in education, more freedom in training, lower taxes on small business, more help with owning a home and a business are what is needed.