Thursday, 23 April 2009

Libertarian Party Response to the 'Budget'.

Anyone who has ever flown on a commercial flight will know the drill.
If the cabin depressurises and the masks drop, the first thing you do
is pull on your own mask before helping others – even before helping
your children. The reasoning behind this is stark - unless you do, you
will rapidly be in no fit state to help anyone and in fact you will
end up a casualty yourself, and who will be there to help you and your
dependents? Unless the flight crew pull on their masks and stabilise
the craft, we are doomed.

Well, in Britain’s economy, the masks have most certainly dropped.
This is due primarily to the reckless navigation and now piloting of
Gordon Brown. Had a more competent pilot been at the helm, had the
aircraft been in a fit state, the current turbulence would have only
required a tightening of safety belts.

Instead, we are told that we must expect additional borrowing by the
government of £175bln this year alone and similar figures for the
coming years, doubling our National Debt to £1,200,000,000,000, from
40% of GDP to 78% - and these are the Chancellors figures which many
say are wildly optimistic. Yet the Chancellor only proposes to reduce
the growth in expenditure. He talks of a £15bln “saving” while
increasing spending by 1/1%. Unless you call 40% off something you
have yet to buy and cannot afford a “saving”, you will see through
this turn of phrase. Drastic cuts are required to public expenditure.
It is not just about making efficiency savings, it is a hard look at
what the State does, or purports to do and cutting back on things that
are unnecessary or better performed by the wider economy. People might
say that is drastic, but our debt burden is drastic - one that will
saddle every one of us and all our children for a generation to come.
They will grow up under its yoke like some poor Japanese rice farmer
who inherits a mortgage from their forebears. New Labour has mortgaged
our and our children’s future.

Spending other people’s money and running up debt are common factors
in a Socialist administration. So is the politics of envy, and we see
this in the rise in tax rates for higher earners.

Economists and analysts will tell you that the 50% tax rise is a tax
rise too many. It will raise millions, no billions. It will punish
ambition and wealth creation. As Winston Churchill so rightly said:

“We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a
man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

Alistair Darling is straining at the handle and his red-faced
exertions are driving wealth away and our prosperity with it.

Those earning over £100,000 often pay more tax in both absolute and
percentage terms than most other people, yet they are now asked to
bear additional burdens. Such people are far more mobile and have far
more transferable skills. Faced with such discrimination and blatant
theft of their income, they will consider, seek out and in many cases
find a life beyond these shores, taking their wealth, energy and
business with them. The untaxed part of their income is spent on goods
and services that keep people employed and keep other companies in
business. This will be lost. Taxing high earners more with the
intention to “create” jobs is a delusion. Even if not one single high
earner left the UK, not one single company baulked at relocating to
the UK over this policy, even then the taxation will not “create” real
jobs, but will only serve to destroy them.

No, I must correct that. It will create real, sustainable jobs - but
not in the UK.

At the other end of the scale, we see promises to raise Tax Credits.
This grotesque piece of social engineering taxes the working poor
higher than they need to be so those the Government deem “worthy” –
families - can go cap in hand clutching their paperwork to beg for
some of their own earnings back. It is an utter disgrace. Even before
a Libertarian Government that will scrap income tax for all, Tax
Credits should be scrapped and personal allowances raised so the low
paid are not subjected to income tax. The social engineering, needless
humiliation, waste and administration must end.

Another announcement in this area is the idea of “green collar” jobs.
It is a conceit of the Government to think that such industries would
not advance if it were not for their guiding hand - only one hand,
mind, for the other is needed to pick our pocket to pay for it all.
And this is where the problem lies. Jobs created require taxes to fund
the subsidies. Ignoring the problems of lobbying, corruption and rent-
seeking that such initiatives spawn, Spain has shown that for each
“created” green-collar job, two are lost in the wider economy as a

The British are very industrious if left alone. The biotech industry
took off in part because of a lack of obstructive regulation. If the
State gets involved it will begin to direct matters intentionally or
unintentionally via the mechanism and decisions involved in who, what
and where the subsidies are spent. Wind? Wave? Ground Source? As if
those in Whitehall know or can ever keep up. The arrogance! Our
Formula 1 manufacturers show our country has some of the finest
entrepreneurial engineers in the world. How well would a Government-
subsidised F1 team work, I wonder? I think we know the answer to that.
Forget pole position – they would not make the grid.

The topic of motoring contains another disastrous, counter-productive
headline, that of scrapping vehicles over 9 years old in return for
£2000 towards a new car. This makes no sense economically – only 14%
of cars sold here are built in the UK - or environmentally - 80% of
the energy a vehicle consumes in its lifetime is used in its
production. It is encouraging wealth to leave the country so a group
of middlemen can secure their incomes. It is foolish environmentally,
negligent economically and so one wonders if it may be borderline

A government is meant to be responsible, not irresponsible. A
Government that weakens itself becomes dependent on and a burden to
the population. This Government, because of its fiscal incompetence,
arrogance, spendthrift nature, cowardice in confronting the systemic
inefficiencies and expansion in public services, has become a burden
to the population, yet it seeks to heap yet more burdens upon us as it
continues to fail.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is to do the same thing
over and over, expecting different results. This budget is
irresponsible. This budget is insane.

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