Rebalancing Britain (Part Three) : Tax, Incomes, Workplace Democracy
Rebalancing Britain: Tax
Introduction: Taxes are Power - The Tories know the enormous redistributive power of taxation only too well. They don't waste a second before shovelling public money into the pockets of their friends, relatives, donors, and of course themselves, then recycling our money through 'donors' to fill the Tory coffers. Money laundering in plain sight!
We are an egalitarian party, so those with the most should pay the most on a progressive basis, not the other way round. Making our poorest pay for the wealthy speculators world banking crisis was utterly shameless.
Of course we will also need to ensure that the rich (including corporations) pay all the tax that they owe - tackle loopholes, offshore hideaways etc.
National Insurance - Relaunch as a ring fenced main source of funding for a new Department for National Health and Social Care – keep the lowest paid below the threshold and have several progressive bands
Income Tax More Progressive – Adjust bands and rates to lower the burden on the lowest paid – new bands and progressively higher rates for highest incomes
VAT – Reduce Basic Rate – Zero rate necessities - introduce new higher luxury rate
Land Value Tax – Evaluate and implement as a fairer redistributive system to replace Council Tax etc
Inheritance Taxation – Review - majority pay nothing – steep progression for the most wealthy
Curb Tax Avoidance/ Evasion Abuses - Co-operate with EU and USA to regulate offshore banks/ holdings
Rebalancing Britain: Incomes
Genuine Living Wage – phased increases
Equal Pay- Enhance legislation/reporting and enforcement
Job Guarantee Scheme – To tackle youth unemployment and disenchantment - some form of voluntary and ethical public works to create socially beneficial employment. Combine with pre higher education Mandatory Gap Years Scheme – choice of military (non active duty), social or environmental service.
Unpaid Internships – make unlawful – they inhibit upward social mobility - offer tax breaks for appropriately paid socially inclusive scheme – graduate apprenticeships.
Universal Credit / Social Security - Total Overhaul – explore Universal Basic Income feasibility
Pensions - Lower the State retirement age to create more employment for younger workers . Make more equitable and retrospectively compensate recent injustice.
Rebalancing Britain: Democracy in the Workplace
Worker Directors - Legislate to promote greater gender and ethnic balance on boards of directors plus worker directors. Employees should be fully represented on boards.
Worker shareholders – Labour will need to go further to begin to break the clash of interest between capital and labour. This conflict often undermines good workplace relations, as well as creating division and inequality in our society. Workers should all be shareholders. Make it a legal requirement - % of total shareholding – phased increase
Workers Co-operatives - Labour should actively support the growth of worker co-operatives as a significant sector in our economy.
So much will need to be done. Tory policies are designed to destabilise and unbalance, to be divisive, and to widen inequality. To rebalance Britain will mean reversing more than a decade of Tory economic vandalism.
My suggestions are a far from complete list of possible remedies. Many have been suggested or have been policy before. I just hope that some are a useful guide to positively rebalancing Britain. In so doing, giving not only priority support for the most economically vulnerable and disadvantaged, but also building a better future for all.
If Labour don't do it – who will?