James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
1722 Committee: Ian - Help Decaying Coastal Towns And Scrap HS2
31 May 2019, 07:29 | Updated: 31 May 2019, 07:34
Ian is the latest LBC listener vying to be Prime Minister. His manifesto is around taking money from metropolitan areas and distributing it more evenly around the UK.
Eddie thinks it's very unfair that the next Prime Minister must be a Conservative - we should all have a say. So he's convening the 1722 Committee.
Every day at 17:22, he'll hear from an LBC listener, who will lay out their plan on what they would do if they were Prime Minister. Today, it's Ian's turn.
Default position is no-deal. Pursue trade agreements with the new largest free trade area in the world, the African Union. Begin CANZUK negotiations on free movement and reciprocal investment opportunities in technology, industry and services and zero tariff free trade. There is much, much more here that I would pursue.
Use the available funding to improve transport infrastructure in the South West, North East and West. Much more in this area.
Social capital is in dire deficit
We attach very little value to our voluntary and charity sectors that deserve so much more. I would begin a national community currency scheme run through local credit unions (re: Brixton Pound and Bristol Pound). Volunteers can earn 'community credits' supported by local authorities and businesses where they can be spent. If we value volunteers, we must reward them for the services they provide that save on public resources.
Universal credit is a disaster
We need a national consultation on the best way forward to treat benefit claimants with dignity not as potential criminals.
Decaying coastal towns
A shameful problem. As with the community currency approach and government funding through credit unions, business micro loans and access to vocational training with the potential to relocate to government sponsored apprenticeship schemes.
Equality of opportunity
Higher education in STEM subjects, health care and nursing would be free. Parents will be able to use a voucher scheme to send their children to a school of their choice or stay within catchment areas. There is an attainment trap and gap but also an aspiration gap. Adult education evening classes will be significantly expanded for trades and technology subjects.
Extensive social housing regeneration and building. Self build schemes, self regeneration schemes and grants for vacant properties. More importantly, unsafe housing with flammable cladding would be replaced immediately. Full fire safety surveys and immediate repairs.
Our tax system is a disaster. Complete overhaul to simplify and modernise. Small business rates would be halved, VAT threshold increased, tax breaks for apprentices on recognised industry certification routes with a higher minimum wage. R&D company start ups zero tax for the first 5 years, zero interest government funding. Abolish income tax below £20K, flat rate of 20% to £30k. Progressive scale over £30K. 93% of private sector employment is provided by SME's with less than 50 employees who contribute £1.2trn to our GDP. Tax dodging multinationals will have licenses revoked until correct tax status in the UK is obtained. With no exceptions. None.
There are many more areas I would want to apply significant focus and attention to. The core focus would be outside Metropolitan areas and into the whole country. Globalisation has left behind large swathes of our towns and communities and they deserve much more from our government.
To be a country, we need to think, act and work as one. This disjointed London-centric view of our politics has proven to be toxic.
These would be a small part of my manifesto pledges.
If you want to join the 1722 Committee, fill in the form below.