In today's autumn statement, the Chancellor George Osborne has cleverly used a mix of spin and deceit to hide the biggest, unaddressed issues in the British economy: the national debt and deficit. In 2010 this government promised to re-balance our economy and reduce the deficit. Yet, they have failed to do so. In fact, our increasing annual deficits continue to add to our total national debt every year with a running total of over £1trillion. That is, every man, woman and child in the UK has to finance a debt obligation of £18,606! This is the elephant in the room in British politics with Osborne refusing to recognise it and Labour shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, failing to put forward any credible plans to reduce it.
Ukip is adamant that present UK inhabitants should not continue to build up debts that will have to be paid by future generations. So, just before the next election, Ukip will publish comprehensive UK government budgetary plans that will mean that the country does not have to borrow more than it spends on an annual basis by Financial Year 2018/19 - that is, over the course of the next parliament we will bring the UK annual deficit to zero. In the meantime, here some of the highlights of our approach to repairing Britain's public finances that we announced at our annual September conference in Doncaster:
- Ukip will leave the EU and save at least £8billion per annum in net contributions.
- Ukip will cut the foreign aid budget by £9bn per annum, prioritising disaster relief and schemes which provide water and inoculation against preventable diseases.
- Ukip will scrap the HS2 project which is uneconomical and unjustified.
- Ukip will abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change and pass its residual functions back to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs - saving £2billion
- Ukip will abolish the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and pass its residual functions to the Home Office - saving £1billion
- Ukip will reduce Barnett Formula (which determines Westminster's allocation to Scotland) spending and give devolved parliaments and assemblies further tax powers to compensate.
You can see that rather than salami slicing many much needed current government programmes we have grasped the nettle and made some big decisions on the structure of government that we want to see to make Britain an outward looking, global trading nation.
During his statement the Chancellor put an emphasis on strengthening the economies of the North of England at the centre of his speech. But as I travel across England, the economic and social disparity between the north and the south is not closing, but widening. I welcome our economy growing at the fastest rate in the G7, however this is an advanced economy driven by London and the South East. We do not have broad based growth driven nationally. In the North West which is the part of England that I represent as a Member of the European parliament, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are not feeling the Chancellor's so-called 'prosperity track'.
Whilst reducing the country's total national debt and annual deficits must be a priority, by taking the tough structural decisions noted above a new government can take the following measures to grow our economy and reduce the tax burden for working people with UKIP's full support:
- Increase personal allowance to the level of full-time minimum wage earnings (approx £13,500 by next election).
- Abolish Inheritance tax to encourage people to strive and save
- Introduce a 35p income tax rate between £42,285 and £55,000, whereupon the 40p rate becomes payable.
- Set up a Treasury Commission to design a turnover tax to ensure big businesses pay a minimum floor rate of tax as a proportion of their UK turnover.
Only UKIP, it seems, is being truthful and honest with the British people on the realities that we face on our budget deficit and national debt in an ever competitive world. As a country, we cannot keep kicking this issue into the long grass because eventually it will be our children who will have to pay the price of the mess we make of our economy today.
Listening to both George Osborne and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, it's clear that Labour and the Conservatives reflect both sides of the same coin. On the economy, they both speak the same language and both refuse to tackle the biggest issues facing our country, the increasing number of migrants settling here and the way that we can finance public services without borrowing. It seems they agree with each other on a lot of things. Both parties are pro EU, pro High Speed 2 and pro mass, uncontrolled EU migration. The people of this country are ready for the serious change that UKIP stands for.