It's Queen's speech day, for the last time in tis Parliament. What will be offered looks like an agenda of desperation focussed mainly on bribing parts of the electorate with their own pension funds and some modest reform of the pub industry. There could be little that constitutes a better indictment of both coalition and fixed term parliaments than this inability to deliver an effective programme of reform when there is nearly another year of parliamentary time available before the next election.
I wondered what I would do as a result. I stress, this is early morning musing stuff before I've even got as far as a cup of tea. I reserve the right to amend what follows, but it has, I think, to be better than anything that the government is offering. So these are my bills.
A Pension Fund Investment Bill. This would require all pension funds to invest in activities directly resulting in new economic activity as a condition of enjoying tax relief on their contributions. This could generate £20 billion for investment in the economy. Details here.
A Local Authorities Borrowing Powers Bill. Tis would permit local authorities, singly or in regional combination, to borrow to fund housebuilding. The bonds they would issue would qualify for investment under the terms of the Pension Fund Investment Bill.
The Local Authority Pension Fund Bill. This would allow the merger of UK local authority pension funds to create a combined opportunity to save cost and to permit the biggest opportunity for the creation of an active investor fund dedicated to regenerating local economic activity in the UK that we could have.
The NHS PFI Buy Out Bill. A Bill to create a new authority that would raise funding to buy out NHS PFI schemes at rates fixed by statute and to then replace PFI funding as a future source of NHS funding to prevent the excess cost and postcode lottery that PFI currently delivers.
A Tax Gap Bill. A Bill to require HMRC to properly research and appraise the tax gap and its causes; to set targets for its reduction, to provide independent oversight of its achievements, to provide a funding mechanism for achieving tax gap reduction goals and to require that a cabinet minister have direct ministerial responsibility for HMRC and tax gap reduction.
General Anti-Tax Avoidance Principle Bill. This is one I wrote earlier.
United Kingdom Corporate and Individual Tax and Financial Transparency Bill. Another one I wrote earlier.
A Gamekeeping Act. A Bill to make the shooting of protected birds on managed estates the criminal responsibility of the landowner. Another passion of mine which needs to be slipped in somewhere to protect hen harriers and other species new regularly shot on grouse estates.
A UK Banking Reform Bill. A Bill to nationalise the ownership of the UK's bank payment and clearing system and to licence commercial banks to use that system. The aim is to make sure we never have to bail out a bank again because it owns parts of the banking system without which the country cannot operate ever again. The nationalisation would be costless: the up front payment required for the licence to use the system would be the same as the compensation due for loss of ownership but the transfer of ownership would require the immediate right of access to banking data in the event of an insolvency to prevent loss to customers and the tax payer.
A Pay Bill. A Bill to firstly restrict the right to corporation tax relief on wages paid in excess of 10 times median pay and secondly to require the payment of a living wage, with additional resources being made available to ensure that this sum was paid. Responsibility for monitoring would be removed from HMRC, but access to its records for monitoring purposes would still be available.
A Council Tax Reform Bill. A bill to require the introduction of additional top end valuation bands for council tax purposes and to permit the charging of council tax at five times the normal rate on domestic property left empty except for reason of the owner's ill health for a period of more than 12 months. The Bill would also grant borrowing rights to local authorities e.g for school building.
A Railways Bill. A Bill to require the nationalisation of rail franchises on their expiry or cancellation by the franchise operator and to merge Network Rail and the resulting train operating companies into one integrated entity.
An NHS Reform Bill. A Bill to merge all NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups within English regions into single organisations with a statutory duty to deliver integrated health care. Would include paving provision to bring social care into the same structure. The aim would be to ensure health care integration, to achieve economies of scale, to eliminate the massive duplication of effort, contracting and accounting the existing system entails and to improve democratic accountability by bringing these structures under combined county council control.
A Local Authority Education Bill. To bring all schools under direct local authority control and to end Foundation status to ensure the supply of integrated local education for the benefit of all in a community at lowest overall cost whilst enforcing inspection regimes, including on authorities themselves. Would also impose a requirement to provide adult education and skills training for lifelong learning.
I am sure there are more I could do: but I need breakfast now.
And this won't be today's Queen's speech, whatever happens.
NB Having had breakfast I realise I made a major omission:
A Green Investment Bank Bill. A bill to create a bank to fund major innovation in the UK economy with the power to borrow to provide the funds to do so. This is key element in the UK's industrial strategy.