Having put up Labour’s alternative Queen’s speech, I wondered what mine would be. It would be something like this:
- A tax justice bill. This would a) increase the resources available to HMRC to cut the tax gap; b) Introduce a general anti-avoidance rule for the same reason; c) Cancel the UK-Swiss tax deal d) Demand full automatic information exchange from all Uk tax havens, with legislative power to impose it if refused and put the same demand to all other tax havens wordwide; e) massively improve the regulation of small companies in the UK and demand they all submit tax returns when only 40% or so do so now; f) reinstate the 50% tax rate g) increase the mainstream corporation tax rate to 28% h) reintroduce residence based corporation tax; i) Keep the small company’s rate at 20% and give 100% capital allowances to small companies; j) require the UK Stock Exchange to demand country-by-country reporting.
- Create a national investment fund through Green Quantitative Easing to deliver a Green New Deal; PFI would be banned.
- Reform pension tax relief so that in exchange for the relief 25% of all new pension must go into investments delivering job creation in the UK or EU, including hypothecated government bonds issued for that purpose to fund infrastructure regeneration;
- An NHS bill to end NHS privatisation and get rid of the internal market in the NHS to remove administrative waste and introduce new, medically driven key performance indicators that would be monitored by regional health authorities that would be responsible for primary, secondary and tertiary care;
- Increase Inheritance Tax to pay for improved care home facilities subject to a low payment cap during lifetime matched by a more rigorous inspection regime and the encouragement of local authorities to provide care services again;
- Renationalise water so we can tackle the crisis in our water supply that is going to cripple the economy in coming years unless addressed;
- Renationalise rail services so that transport integration becomes a possibility again;
- Refinance local authority house building programmes and encourage extensive building, including on land compulsorily purchased from private sector land banks at prices to be determined to exclude speculative gains;
- Challenge the EU ban on direct lending from the Bank of England to the Treasury to cut the cost of government borrowing that currently gives banks a risk free cut;
- Increase the minimum wage and impose a cap on pay that could be subject to tax relief;
- Reform pension fund accounting so that members know what they have their funds invested in and how their pension fund manages those investments: open up NEST to much larger contributions and transfer in of existing funds.
That will do for starters.
And don’t quibble it’s not self funding: I suspect you’ll find it is, with a little finessing. Borrowing limits may be breached – but candidly, I don’t give a damn if the solution works, and nor should anyone else. That is logic from another era designed to constrain what needs to be done now.
PS The list would change if I spent more than 15 minutes on it.