Since October, Left Foot Forward has been asking our readers and contributers to submit their manifesto ideas. The full list of ideas can be read here but below we summarise the list.
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Peter Carrol has called for the London Living Wage to be rolled out nationally outlining that the “idea that anybody should be forced to live on £5.73 an hour should be abhorrent to any UK citizen.”
Financial Transaction Tax
Gary Kent argues that, “A global levy could both increase the stability of markets and raise revenues for good causes. It is vital that global markets provide some of the tax base for global social democracy. And it’s a potential vote-winner.”
The idea is also supported by Duncan Green in his ‘from poverty to power’ manifesto.
Crack down on tax havens and tax avoidance
Duncan Green also calls for reform of the regulation of UK tax havens and tax avoidance by UK companies, to require information disclosure and reporting by multi-national companies on the taxes they pay in each country. This should generate extra tax revenues for the UK, as well as poor countries.
‘Social responsibility levy’ on bonuses for top earners
Chris Leslie called for a new “social responsibility levy” on bonuses for those salaried over £200,000 annually. He suggested “using the proceeds to create a PAYE Reward Fund to give a little back to the vast majority of the working population who pay their fair share of taxes upfront through PAYE.”
Incentives for employee ownership
Jon Worth argues that one way to address unequal societies is to “incentivise employee ownership of companies.” He cites Robert Oakeshott, researcher on employee ownership, who argues that it “entails a movement from business as a piece of property to business as a working community.”
Nationalisation of rail and water industries
Julian Ware-Lane calls for renationalising of two industries because their privatisation has neither created a share-owning democracy nor created real choice in the industries.
David Stuttle made a similar argument on Labour List in relation to rail nationalisation.
John Slinger called for “a national network of staffed centres for young people of secondary school age” to be billed as the next phase of the highly successful and popular post-1997 Surestart scheme.
Free School Meals for All
Richard Watts suggests emulating the Labour party in Islington, Newham and County Durham and introducing free school meals for all. He says, “the results so far show that almost all children are now eating healthy school meals, instead of unhealthy (and expensive) packed lunches or, worse, just some snacks eaten on the way to school.”
Alex Smith of Labour List is another big fan of the idea.
Interventions for at risk children
Martin McCluskey writes: “more of an emphasis placed on intensive interventions for at risk children in early years … the state has a role to play to ensure that the most vulnerable are cared for and also to show that we won’t stand by when young children are being mis-treated and abused.”
Kate Bell says “Government should commit to ensuring that all Government jobs, and those with Government contractors, are offered on a part time or flexible basis.”
Better rights for people with disabilities
Sarah Ismail sets out three clear ideas including ensuring that disability hate crimes have the same punishment as crimes against all other minorities.
Replace University top up fees with a graduate tax
Votes for 16 year olds
Rick Muir argues, “I would invest seriously in community-based sentences, more half way houses/intermediary options between prison and the community, more residential places out of custody for offenders with mental health problems, close all womens prisons and place women offenders in open residential schemes (hardly any have committed serious or violent crimes) – this would rehabilitate more effectively, could meet the public’s demand for punishment if done right, and save money because we know these programmes cut reoffending rates.”
Future inhabitants’ policy veto
Rupert Read says that, like in Hungary, “every major decision made at any level of government should be subject to potential veto by an individual or small group charged exclusively with having regard to the interests of the future inhabitants of this, our one and only planetary home.”
Green new deal
Trevor Cheeseman argues for a Green New Deal “funding domestic and industrial renewal energy capacity, public transport works and additional eco-housing capacity – to sustain economic recovery”
Many of these ideas are included in Joss Garman‘s 12-point plan to “save the climate and our planet” while it is also covered by David Wearing in his manifesto calling for a “genuinely progressive foreign policy.”
Unilateral nuclear disarmament
David Wearing has made unilateral nuclear disarmament the main point of his 5-point plan for a “genuinely progressive foreign policy.” He argues that “Britain ’s ‘independent’ nuclear capability in fact renders us heavily reliant on US management and technology” and goes on to say that “it’s time Britain joined the vast majority of the world’s nations and become a non-nuclear state.”
Greater freedom of information
Jonty Olliff-Cooper has called for a reversal in the FoI Act so that data is free unless withheld.
New party funding rules to promote local political activity
Paul Cotterill calls for changes in funding for political parties so that all donations “could only be made to local parties.” This would “promote local political activity and devolve power within parties to the ’grassroots’.”
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