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Do Britain's election claims for reform on taxation, immigration and the environment add up? | british reform

Do Britain's election claims for reform on taxation, immigration and the environment add up?  |  british reform
Do Britain's election claims for reform on taxation, immigration and the environment add up?  |  british reform

 



1. Economy and Taxation

Simply put, this is Liz Truss on steroids. Personal taxes worth $70 billion per year will be reduced, including the abolition of income tax under $20,000, and stamp duty and inheritance tax will also be significantly reduced. Cutting business taxes, including corporate taxes, would cost $18 billion per year.

The reforms scrap plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions (see more below), cut government departments and quorums by $50 billion a year, and add $35 billion in a technical process to ensure the Bank of England does not have to pay interest. They say they will pay for it. Commercial bank deposits created through quantitative easing.

All of this can be financially daring to submit. The Institute for Fiscal Studies called the package problematic, saying the totals in the manifesto do not add up, despite extremely optimistic assumptions about how much economic growth would increase.

2. Immigration

There is only so much room for the Conservatives to go to the right on this topic, but the reforms will tap into most of it, with a few exceptions – promising a freeze on non-essential immigration and imposing higher national insurance on overseas workers.

For asylum seekers, the reforms would take the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), process people abroad and pull illegal immigrants off boats and take them to France.

In small boat crossings, even outside the ECHR, there will be significant doubts about whether the UK can actually return asylum seekers to France. And even with limited exceptions for the NHS, an immigration freeze could have significant implications for the social care and services sector.

3. Environment and energy

A key part of the reform proposals is to roll back green targets, including scrapping the net zero target entirely. The party says this could save $30 billion a year over 25 years. The International Energy Agency estimates that the UK will spend less than $9 billion a year on low-carbon energy policies between 2021 and 2023. This is less than in comparable developed countries, and LSE research shows that higher green investment is more likely to lower household bills and boost growth than tax cuts.

The manifesto states that net zero has increased bills, damaged industries such as steel and weakened the UK's energy security. However, evidence from the IMF shows that energy bills have risen due to the UK's heavy dependence on imported gas.

In terms of security threats, the World Economic Forum identified extreme weather events as the main global risk to security in 2024.

4. Healthcare

As part of the tax relief, frontline NHS and social care staff will pay a zero basic rate for three years to encourage staffing levels. Taxes on private health insurance will also be reduced by 20%.

Farage has called for a switch from the current NHS funding system to one using social insurance, but this idea is not specified in the document. It is fair to say that current health and medical plans are quite extensive.

5. Policing and crime

As well as promising to deploy 40,000 more police officers, the party promised mass stop and search and the end of police.

The sentencing regime will be significantly strengthened, including mandatory life sentences for those convicted of drug dealing or a second violent or serious offence. And 10,000 new prisons will be built.

Considering that about 10,000 people are convicted each year for drug trafficking alone, such a policy would require far more prisons. There is also limited evidence that non-intelligence-led stops and searches are effective in deterring crime or that police want to use them.

6. Education

This section is low on detail and appears to be driven more by culture war issues. The first two points call for a patriotic curriculum and an end to transgender ideology in schools. There would be another tax cut, one that would provide a tax break on private school tuition.

On universities, it doesn't appear to appear in the cost section where, as well as abolishing interest on student loans, the party would cut funding for universities it believes are pushing two-year degrees and denying free speech.

7. Housing and transportation

On housing, the Reform Party says it wants to boost home building but will protect landlords by scrapping plans to ban no-fault evictions or other lease modifications.

In transport, the party will end its war on drivers by unilaterally scrapping clean air zones, low-traffic zones and nearly all 20mph zones.

These kinds of policies give a flavor of the type of voters the reforms are trying to attract: older people who are more likely to be homeowners and drivers.

8. Other policies

Social Security: Incentivize people to work, withdraw all benefits if they turn down two job offers.

Brexit: Find a compromise on EU trade and abandon the Windsor framework without a hard Irish border.

Constitution and Voting: Replace the Lords with an elected second parliament. Let’s move forward with a proportional voting system.

Culture: Scrap the BBC license fee and the Equalities Act. Make St Georges and St Davids Day public holidays.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.theguardian.com/politics/article/2024/jun/17/reform-uk-manifesto-key-proposals

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