Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Election According to Ó Ceallaigh: Wish List

With the UK General Election date set for the 6th May, and all of the parties jostling for every last vote, the time is right for a bit of pre-Election dreaming. This dreaming takes the form of a list of demands directly addressed to the major political parties. Obviously, this is done on a ‘best fit’ principle and the party that best fits my demands wins my vote. Simple.
  1. The introduction of a Robin Hood tax. This would see the levying of a tax of around 0.05% on hedge funds, banks and other finance institutions that could be taken from profits et cetera, and redistributed to tackle poverty in the UK and abroad. Money could be spent on allowing many people from impoverished backgrounds in the UK receive free transportation or access to internet services.
  2. Government-sponsored scheme to allow teachers, medics and business/enterprise professionals to take a year’s sabbatical, with living costs subsidised, in order to assist in training programmes in the developing world. What many areas of the developing world needs is not aid or arms, but practical assistance that is often deprived of them by their governments.
  3. Extending the first time buyer and key worker benefits when buying houses in order to make the schemes more accessible. This could include schemes with houses being sold with 0% deposits and with the total cost of supposedly affordable housing capped to allow true affordability. It is only with a bold step that people can avoid their money evaporating through paying rent their whole lives.
  4. Encourage any foreign skilled workers to take up a position in the UK that makes the most of their training. It is an outrage that people that have trained as doctors, or who have a strong university education, are reduced to working as cleaners and traffic wardens. If there is a necessity for middle-skilled jobs to be filled, then the appropriate people should be prioritised by the Home Office.
  5. Too much of our food is being sourced from abroad at present. The UK should ensure that all British farmland is being used to the appropriate extent, regardless of EU quotas on such practices. Furthermore, trade with EU countries should not be prioritised over trade with non-EU countries. It is the responsibility of the UK to foster international links with Commonwealth countries to allow economic growth and to move away from EU protectionism.
It is worth noting that this is not necessarily what I think the future government of the UK should prioritise over any other issues, but rather is a representation of what I would personally like to see pushed forward.

1 comment:

Chris Horner said...

Good points Tom -I'd endorse them myself. What about less income inequality? I don't know if you are au fait with 'The Spirit Level' -the findings on the effects of inequality on health, crime,depression etc -to the effect that more equal societies show clear improvements on all those areas.

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