We believe in a free market economy where businesses are less constrained by government.
This means reducing regulation, a simple taxation system and involves workers more in the
running of companies. This also involves helping companies and workers to work together
to improve businesses.
The minimum wage is the lowest amount you can be paid for an hour of work. The minimum wage should be £9 for people under 18 and £12 for people over 18. It should also be linked to inflation, so it keeps up with increasing or decreasing prices.
We believe that when work hours end, employees shouldn’t have to answer emails from their place of work unless it is extremely urgent or is agreed to when applying to the job. A similar system is already used in Germany to restrict business from interference in people’s personal life.
Tax based regulation is where the government places a tax on a harmful product and uses the revenue to reduce the tax on another product. This means that rather than a complete ban on something, it makes it more profitable for a business to follow government policy. This will be used in several areas. The first is existing policy which includes areas such as product market regulations where we would use tax-based regulation rather than standard regulations. The second is to promote a switch away from carbon usage, non-renewable energy sources and materials that damage the environment. The revenue from this would be used for environmentally friendly alternatives and research into alternatives. Finally, existing taxes such as Air Passenger Duty, Vehicle Excise Duty and Hydrocarbon Oil Duty would all be merged into tax-based regulation with the revenue going back into environmentally friendly alternatives. The primary advantage of this system is that it is cost neutral both for the government and in terms of the amount of tax placed on products overall.
Inheritance tax is taxation paid on someone’s estate (money, property and possessions) after they have died. Inheritance tax will be paid on any money over £200,000 regardless of the recipient unless it is a charity in which it would start at £300,000.
We would add in brackets:
Exempt below: £200,000
25%: £200,000 - £500,000
50% above: £500,000
This tax will only be paid by corporations who employ above 500 people worldwide and/or make five million pounds per year.
Corporation tax should be raised to a maximum of 25% and smaller businesses should be exempt. This would mean that corporation tax in the UK would be below the G7 average, so it won’t be uncompetitive for the UK when compared to other large and advanced economies around the world.
This will be done using spreadsheets to show how the government spends taxes. It will be based off of the system already used by some Nordic countries.
We support merging National Insurance, capital gains tax and dividends taxes into the existing income tax system. For the capital gains tax and dividends taxes these taxes would be paid at the same rate as other forms of income whilst National Insurance would simply be abolished with the revenue instead coming from general taxation.
Exempt: below £12,500 (Personal allowance)
20%: £12,501 - £40,000 (Basic rate)
30%: £40,001 - £50,000 (New: Lower rate)
40%: £50,001 - £150,000 (New: medium rate)
45%: £150,001 - £250,000 (higher rate)
50%: above £250,001 (additional rate)
This would replace Stamp duty, business rates and Council Tax with one single tax. Council tax is a tax on houses which looks at how much a property is worth and how many people are living there. Business rates look at how much a property could be rented at and taxes that. We feel this is unfair because it does not take into account the land a property has around it.
As it suggests, a land value tax is a tax on land regardless of what is built on it. For land that doesn’t serve a useful purpose to the owner they are more likely to sell it off as it will cost money to keep it whilst serving no real purpose. It would be a progressive tax because those with land worth more would pay more money even with a flat rate of tax. All of this money will be given directly to councils. As the amount of land available doesn’t increase or decrease very much, a land value tax would generate roughly the same amount of money each year.
During times of economic recession, a Land Value Tax would be increased to allow the government to significantly reduce taxation on earnings and spending. Unlike taxation on earnings and spending, a Land Value Tax doesn’t reduce productivity. Therefore, the government can increase the Land Value Tax and reduce other taxes to kick-start the economy during a recession.
Below £250,000: 1%
Farmland and for people receiving at least half of a full Negative Income Tax: 0.5%
Above £250,000: 3%
Land around unused properties: 15%
When a good or service is sold a business may have to pay VAT on it. On most goods VAT is 20% although some items have a reduced rate of 5% or on other items 0%. VAT is charged on the full price something is sold at. If a business produces a product or service that isn’t charged VAT, they can’t be refunded for purchases they make that incur VAT.
If a business has a turnover of less than £150,000, they can just pay a fixed amount to the government.
Currently maternity pads, mobility aids, sanitary products and products to end smoking are given a reduced rate of VAT but we would either push from them to be exempt from VAT if this is still under EU control or we will make them exempt if it is up to the UK government. If possible, we feel a business should only be charged VAT with turnover above £80,000 rather than £83,000.
This would include the adoption of a dual board system as is used in Finland and Germany. It would have a management board which looks at the short-term operations of the company whilst the supervisory board would look at the long-term strategy of the company and will keep the management board in check. 50% of the supervisory board must be elected by all members of the company in a one person one vote secret ballot of everyone in the company that wishes to stand.
If companies don’t do this, then they will face a levy from the government making it economically beneficial to allow workers on their company boards. It would also only apply to companies on the stock market as is the case in Germany.
This is moving towards a system where the workforce knows what is going on inside their place of work and it can lead to easier resolution of conflicts between management and the workers without needing trade union action. Workers will also add to the company board as they are more likely to look at the long term with a possible risk of unemployment whereas shareholders can sell their shares more easily.
This would involve the employer and a group of employees negotiating the conditions they are employed under rather than just being imposed by the employer. This would not affect minimum work standards guaranteed by the government or the minimum wage. It would however allow a way to negotiate the additional benefits that the job offers employees.
Currently the UK has far too many monopolies and oligopolies in operation. To counter this, we feel the Competition and Markets Authority should be given more power to break up companies. Although no competition may seem initially beneficial to companies in the long term they stagnate and have less drive to make services better for their customers. A more competitive economy means more choice and lower prices for consumers.
This includes worker cooperatives where the company is owned by its workers, where the customers own the business such as the co-op and partnerships where businesses are owned by their workers through stocks along with a say in the business such as the John Lewis Partnership. These types of companies give the workers more influence within the business and for models where employees own the business, greater incentive to work towards the business as a whole succeeding.
This would copy Sweden by allowing the employees of a business a six month period of leave if they want to start up a new business. It would only be available if the new business is not in direct competition with the business they are currently in. In this time the position that person is in within the business can’t change. Just as it works in Sweden, it would be available to employees after they have spent six months in a business, businesses can only reject this leave if the person is absolutely vital to the functioning of the business and it would only apply to business of over 250 people.
We propose that ringfenced areas of income tax revenue, which include a pensions and social care fund, should be placed within a wider sovereign wealth fund. This would be with the aim to keep these savings from falling below the rate of inflation.