Saturday, 30 May 2009

What does UKIP stand for?


I realised today that I hadn't got a clue what the policies of UKIP, which claims to be Great Britains fourth largest party actually stands for. I knew they wanted to withdraw the UK from the EU, but what else do they believe in? What would a UKIP government give us? Would it be a golden age or the destruction of the British economy?


Well here's what their website says :-

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Here is a summary of the broad range of policies proposed by UKIP for an independent Britain in which democracy really works.


UKIP will leave the political EU and trade globally and freely. We will re-embrace today’s fast-growing Commonwealth and we will encourage UK manufacturing so that we make things again.
We will freeze immigration for five years, speed up deportation of up to a million illegal immigrants by tripling the numbers engaged in deportations, and have ‘no home no visa’ work permits to ease the housing crisis.
We will have a grammar school in every town. We will restore standards of education and improve skills training. Student grants will replace student loans.
We will radically reform the working of the NHS with an Insurance Fund, whilst upholding the ‘free at the point of care’ principles. We will bring back matrons and have locally run, clean hospitals.
We will give people the vote on policing priorities, go back to proper beat policing and scrap the Human Rights Act. We will have sentences that mean what they say.
We will take 4.5 million people out of tax with a simple Flat Tax (with National Insurance) starting at £10,000. We will scrap Inheritance Tax, not just reform it and cut corporation taxes.
We will say No to green taxes and wind farms. To avert a major energy crisis, we will go for new nuclear power plants on the same existing site facilities and for clean coal. We will reduce pollution and encourage recycling.
We will make welfare simpler and fairer, introduce ‘workfare’ to get people back to work, and a new citizens pension and private pensions scheme insurance.
We will support our armed forces with more spending on equipment, military homes and medical care. We will save our threatened warships and add 25,000 more troops.
We will be fair to England, with an English Parliament of English MPs at Westminster. We will replace assembly members like MSPs with MPs. And we will promote referenda at local and national levels.
We will make customer satisfaction number one for rail firms – not cost cutting and will look seriously at reopening some rail lines that Beeching closed. We will make foreign lorries pay for British roads with a ‘Britdisc’ – and we will stop persecuting motorists.
Last, but never least, we will bring in fair prices and fair competition for our suffering farmers, and restore traditional British fishing and territorial waters.

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So who will be the big winners under UKIP? People earning under £10,000 a year & millionaires - A flat tax means that there is a single teax rate. The shortfall from the abolished higher rate will be made up by those in the middle.


What about their environmental policies? Well it looks like a nuclear future. This flies in the face of public opinion. Would you want to live next to a nuclear power station. Just consider that when Chernobyl went bang, parts of Britain, thousands of miles away were contaminated. Anyone who knows how long a nuclear powerstation takes to build will realise the flaws in this plan.


As to a Gramamr school in every town. I've got a daughter at a grammar school so I recognise the benefits. The flaw in UKIP's plan is that this will mean yet more reorganisations in some areas where the system works fine. If there are poor schools fine, but where the existing system is delivering, why change it at huge cost.


As to the plan to boost the navy & the army. I am suspicious of numbers plucked out of the air. If the army says it needs 25,000 then we should consider it. Where they say they will save warships, what does that mean? Does it mean doing up old & obsolete vessels for the sake of it?


Finally they talk about reopening rail lines axed by Beeching. I would wholeheartedly agree with this if the lines reopened served a pressing need and this is the best way to deliver it with the investment. Do they have specific lines in mind? I couldn't find any details of the lines they referred to or the case for reopening them.


The Barnet Eye summary :-


Good things - Marginal tax relief for those earning less than £12,000 - which would be welcomed. A review of closed rail lines. Increased Tax from millionaires who currently salt their cash away.


Bad things - Almost everything else. No details, just back of the fag packet unrealistic aspirations which sound nice.


Am I right? Am I wrong. If there are any UKIP supporters who could flesh this out, please leave a comment explaining where I got it right or wrong. Given the likely upturn in UKIP fortunes due to the MP's expenses scandal & Norman Tebbits comments, we really need to understand what the UKIP actually stand for.



17 comments:

danfhope said...

UKIP aside, flatter taxes are the way forward. Countries that have emerged from tyranny or recently developed have adopted flat taxes and benefited.

It's not just the rich and poor that benefit, we all do through higher tax revenues. This was shown after Nigel Lawson reduced the top rate of tax to 40p in the £ and total revenue from top rate tax payers went UP!

There are two powerful groups who oppose flatter taxes: government bureacrats and accountants. Both derive their livings from complicated regimes one in drafting and maintaining them and the latter in helping people through the maze and helping them avoid tax. Together they block change.

When you are paying 50p in the £ tax there is a huge incentive to pay an accountant to help you dodge it. Would you bother if it was only 20p in the £, wouldn't it be cheaper to just pay it?

Govts tax alcohol and tobacco at high rates as they want to stop the activity. When they want something to happen ie regeneration of waste land they cut red tape and give tax breaks and the activity booms. So why would you want to tax income in the same way as you tax fags and booze? Do we really want economic activity to be slowed down or encourage it like in the latter example.

Flatter lower taxes = more tax take = businesses coming here and more jobs for all = less accountants = less govt bureaucrats = happy days!

Rog T said...

Dan,

I'm no expert on flat taxes, but surely the middle class will be the ones who pay for this. Presumably the lower rate will have to rise if the top rate is abolished? I'm self employed, so I'd agree with the comments re accountants, but most people are on PAYE.

I do take the point that some very rich people will be tempted to pay tax, but I suspect that if you earn £10 million a year, you'd still try and avoid paying tax be it £1,£2 or £5 million.

Richard said...

Rog - let's not be mistaken, the UKIPs are really just the BNP in Blazers. They are as racist as the BNP and their political policies are just as morally bankrupt.

Tom Hughes said...

What you posted is a summary of UKIP policies. I can't possibly post an argument in favour of every single one as there is such a list. Which ones do you particularly have a problem with?

Obviously, a summary is not going to go into vast detail - that would be contrary to the purpose of a summary. If you are looking for more detailed policy proposals, then take a look at this page - http://bit.ly/13AkMA. There are a series of policy documents on this page which go into extensive detail about UKIP policy. Hopefully this will help dispel your feeling that UKIP's policy are "back of a fag packet".

Of course, you must also accept that no party can state at every single moment exactly what it would do if it got into government. With no General Election imminent, how can UKIP say exactly what they would do if they won the next election, given that they do not know what the situation will be like at the time of the next election. To set down exact proposals would be impossible and foolish.

Tom Hughes said...

To try to address some of the specific concerns that you raised:

Under UKIP's flat tax proposal, everybody would pay less tax. To take three examples, someone currently earning £9,000 a year would pay no tax, which is £1,106 a year less than at present. Someone currently earning £25,000 a year would pay £5,280 a year instead of £6,386 (a saving of £1,106 a year) and someone currently earning £50,000 a year would pay £13,530, rather than £15,089 a year, saving £1,559 a year. Full details are here - http://bit.ly/j4urc.

Regarding environmental policies, I agree nuclear is not perfect. But if one agrees that we need to close coal and gas power stations because of the pollution they cause, what to replace them with? Wind turbines, solar power etc. may be a great idea at some point in the distant future, but at present it is completely unrealistic to suggest that they could even begin to cope with British energy needs. The Green lobby can continue trying to fool themselves into thinking that these things are the answer, but in the real world, they just will not cut it. So, if we don't want the lights to go off, we need a solution. What do you suggest? - See the full policy document at http://bit.ly/R5wYN

Grammar schools - perhaps the fact you have a daughter at grammar school has clouded your view on the issue. I went to a comprehensive school (a "good" comprehensive school in a "good" educational area). However, I passionately believe that I would have received a significantly better education at a grammar school. Trying to teach people of wildly differing academic abilities in one school just did not work. It led to those at the lower end of the academic spectrum getting bored and frustrated and all too often disrupting the lessons. Countless time was lost due to this. Those at the higher end of the academic spectrum just weren't stretched, and often also got bored and frustrated. It served practically nobody's benefit.

Under your suggestion, my area, as one of the better areas educationally (better is a relative term), I would not have been eligible to go to a grammar school. I really strongly believe that you are wrong here and that everyone should have the opportunity that your daughter has.

At 16, my parents sent me to an independent school for two years. They are not super-rich, but they were prepared to spend their hard earned cash to send me there, so disappointed were they with the education afforded by comprehensive schools. I was fortunate, although because my parents could not afford to send me through my entire academic career, had to suffer comprehensive schooling for many years. Those two years were so much better, I was so much happier, and I wish everyone could have this opportunity to good education, rather than just those who can afford it.

Army and navy - again, I refer you to UKIP's policy paper on this, which sets out their defence policy in extensive detail - http://bit.ly/19t9YM

Rail lines – As far as I am aware, UKIP have not produced a transport paper yet. This may well be being written presently. Hopefully when one is produced, it will have more details. As I said above, please remember that what you posted is intended to be a brief summary of UKIP’s policies. I’m glad to see that you agree with this policy in principle.

I hope this answers your questions. Please take a look at the policy papers on UKIP’s website, which I trust you will find give you the details you are looking for. Thank you so much for your interest in UKIP. Feel free to ask if you require any more information.

Rog T said...

Tom,

Firstly thanks for the post. I must say that if someone tells me that EVERYONE will pay less tax, then I tend to think "come off it".

As to power & fuel generation. I'd like to see major investment in carbon neutral oil/gas replacements using biotechnology.

I agree with your comments about bureaucrats, I think every government has made it an aspiration to reduce their powers & failed.

I disagree with your comments about setting out policies. UKIP must set out policies. They must also be mature enough to change and modify them. If they have "hidden agendas" people will become suspicious. If UKIP wishes to be taken seriously, we have to know your position. o party is perfect, we all make a compromise when voting. No one expects perfect policies, just a general idea of what the package is.

This is a blog, not a detailed analysis. I thought UKIP's summary was a fair place to start the discussion.

I went to 2 comprehensive schools (got slung out of the first). Being dyslexic in the days when the term was "thick", I can see both sides of the coin on schools. We just seem to waste loads of money on continual "rebranding" exercises. I'd rather mend the existing schools, before we start dictating that schools should change their selection policy. I think streaming within Comprehensives works well.

Tom Hughes said...

Hi. Thank you for your response.

I understand that you were not intending to undertake detailed analysis of UKIP’s policy on your blog. However, in your post you stated “Bad things – Almost everything else. No details, just back of the fag packet unrealistic aspirations which sound nice.” Many of your criticisms of individual policies also revolved around the assertion that UKIP’s policies were vague and lacking in detail.

What I wanted to point out to you was that the list you were looking at was a summary. By its very nature, it is just a brief overview of the main points of UKIP’s policy platform. If a summary went into the level of detail you were asking for it would cease to be a summary. A summary has the purpose of providing a general overview of the party’s policies, and then, as I linked to in my previous post, there are policy papers which go into much more detail about each of the party’s policies (plus the manifesto from the last general election which also goes into some level of detail).

In my previous post I was not trying to suggest that you should engage in a detailed analysis of UKIP’s policies, but that it is unfair to assume that a summary on UKIP’s website is the full extent of the party’s policies and to then criticise them for not going into detail. I agree that UKIP’s summary is a fine place for a discussion to begin, but if you deliberately choose a brief overview of UKIP’s policies, it is unfair to then centre your discussion on the fact that it is brief.

I am happy if there is any area of UKIP policy that you are unsatisfied with or unclear about to explain it to you and to try to justify it to you. This is what I tried to do in my previous post where I addressed the concerns you raised in your original post. I will also pass your concerns on to the party.

Regarding your comment on setting out policies, UKIP will as always set out a full range of policies in its manifesto at the next election, as it the custom. As I said above, you can find UKIP’s 2005 manifesto on the party’s website. As you say, it’s important that when people go to vote they know the parties position, and this is exactly the purpose that a manifesto serves. However, in the meantime I think that the summary you posted in your original post gives people a “general idea of what the package is”, and for those, like you, who want a deeper insight into the party’s policies, UKIP’s policy documents I referred to above are available.

I never for one second suggested that UKIP have a “hidden agenda”, and neither do I believe it. I am completely happy to tell you UKIP’s position on any area that you desire to know about. One of UKIP’s main problems is that very few people know what the party’s policies are, and certainly the party would not wish to deliberately conceal them from voters – quite the opposite, the party can only benefit from their dissemination.

My original post was not intended to suggest that UKIP should not set out policies, but merely that there is only a certain level of detail that any party which is not in power should go into. Even when the government wishes to implement a new policy, it will go through green and white paper stage, opened to consultation from the public, businesses, other interested parties, MPs and peers. The final proposals will therefore have had input from many different sources. As I stated, UKIP cannot know what the exact position will be, budgetary or otherwise, when they come to implement the policies in their manifesto.

Tom Hughes said...

Regarding tax, let me be clear on this: UKIP’s proposal of a flat tax involves a tax cut. This is partially to do with the massive savings that the UK would make if it withdrew from the European Union. It is right that this saving would be passed on to the British public. It is also based on the fact that any tax cut stimulates the economy, so that although some revenue would be lost, a stronger economy would generate more tax revenue, as well as cutting costs such as state benefits. Thus the revenue losing effect of cutting tax would be negated to some extent. Thirdly, to promote more freedom and independence for British citizens (UKIP is not just about independence from the EU, but also independence for individuals), UKIP would reduce the role of the state, which would reduce the need for funds, as the state would be doing less.

Regarding power and fuel generation, Chernobyl was a creature of the USSR, an inherently unstable design in which the reactor’s safety systems had been disabled. I agree with you that I wouldn’t want to live next to a nuclear powerstation, but then there are many things I wouldn’t want to live next door to. I wouldn’t want to live next door to a railway line, but I don’t think railways should be banned. I agree with you that they take a long time to build, and that is why it is critical that the decision is made soon.

However, I am all for the development of environmentally friendly power generation, but this country faces a serious energy crisis in the not too distant future, and I do not believe that at present biotechnology is sufficiently developed to meet the UK’s energy needs. It also has substantial drawbacks such as taking land out of production for food, which risks widespread famine and increased poverty in some of the poorest parts of the world. UKIP will of course watch developments in this field and if technology develops such that it does become a viable alternative, then obviously UKIP energy policy will be reviewed. But politics is the art of the possible, and solutions are required now to avoid an energy crisis, which would, seen as you introduced your original post by asking about the effect of a UKIP government on the economy, be disastrous for the economy.

Regarding grammar schools, I come back to what I said about UKIP being about freedom of choice and independence of the individual. You support comprehensive schools, I support grammar schools. At the moment, the government do not give us a choice – in many areas of the country (such as mine), there are no grammar schools. Your only choice is to attend a comprehensive school (unless you have the money to buy yourself out of the system). What UKIP want to do is to offer parents who support grammar school education the opportunity to have their children attend these schools. Now considering how strongly many parents feel about their children’s education, and considering the importance of education, is it not desirable to give them the choice.

Also, you suggest that simply renaming or rebranding schools will not improve academic achievement. I quite agree. This is not what UKIP are proposing. Even UKIP’s summary says that they “will restore standards of education and improve skills training.” You can find UKIP’s education policies in more depth here – http://bit.ly/2lDzpc. If you have any suggestions of your own, you are very welcome to contribute and I can pass your ideas on to the party.

Tom Hughes said...

I hope that I have addressed your concerns. I am very pleased that you chose to take so much time to look into UKIP’s proposals. To go back to the quotation of yours I picked up on at the beginning – “Bad things - Almost everything else. No details, just back of the fag packet unrealistic aspirations which sound nice.” It is good to see that you think UKIP’s proposals “sound nice”. This implies to be that you generally like the policy proposals put forward by UKIP, but were put off by your concerns about their potential lack of depth. I hope that my posts in response to this article have illustrated to you that UKIP’s policies are detailed and well thought out. I have pointed out to you where you can access these details and arguments if you wish to. Please ask if there is anything further that you would like clarifying.

Rog T said...

Tom,

The main reason I'd not vote UKIP is because UKIP are anti EU & I'm pro EU. I posted this blog as I thought that the general UKIP proposition deserved a wider debate. As they finished 2nd nationally, I feel that this was a good question to ask.

I actually live next to a busy railway line & the M1, it is OK, I'd feel totally different about a nuclear facility.

I hope this post and your comments have helped people make an informed choice re your party.

You may be interested to know that this post is in my top 10 for hits. That suggests to me that you need to put more effort into makin people aware of what you stand for.

As a parent of 3 kids, I think my position is a fairly common one. I want my children to attend good, well run establishments that give them a chance to develop their potential.Whether this is a comprehensive or grammar school is irrelevant

esme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
esme said...

I agree with the above statement^

mmmc said...

From the brief amount I have read on this party, the points that jump out 2 me R>Nuclear power a def no. We could go green @ least in residential areas,w/ solar, wind, geo-thermal & properly insulated houses, we may even put elec back in2 the grid, Denmark has done it.They pay v little 4 elec. 2 say we do not have Glob al Warming is nonsense. I'm against allowing smoking back. Abolish Human Rights again no esp 4 victims, the rights should B written, that terrorists,criminals, etc R not protected. Bring back the death sentence 4 heinous crimes.

davidagunn said...

mmmc,
What language are you using here?

Anonymous said...

I do think we are ruining our own environment but UKiP are also right. When you talk about climate change you do have to consider it over millenia not the last hundred years or so. I think we are exacerbating a natural cycle. Not sure about UKIP, I am still researching who to vote for. I work in health and want to see patients get the care they should expect. This will influence who I vote for.......along with taxes. Your blog is helpful.

Anonymous said...

Richard! In what way are UKIP racist? Not once in this page or on there website did they mention someone's race!Or colour,while I do not agree with all their policies,some do make sense,I think any government is for themselves first and the people second,but at least with all this human rights rubbish gone,terrorists and murderers like Abu Hamzer will be shipped out a lot quicker!

P Murf said...

I only have 1 question, What is meant by "go back to proper beat policing and scrap the Human Rights Act"? As far as I am concerned being a proper bobby means upholding the human rights act not scrapping it! A bobby is a public servant and takes an oath under common law to protect that public, Removing that public human rights is not only "Unlawful" It should be considered treason and a "Proper" Bobby should arrest immediately ANYONE who attempts to commit a crime against the entire people of this nation.

I will also say this, It is common knowledge in the alternative news community that 10 years ago Tony Blair and Jack Straw committed treason against the people of this land and by giving assent to it, the Queen herself committed treason, Broke her oath and as such relinquished the throne. She is illegitimate and so is the government and every corporate whore politician in it. She changed the freedom of information act a few days later to exempt herself from the truth but the truth is well known and now, on November the first, as you must know,You ALL must know, she will be handing us officially to Europe and there will be no getting out, It will be too late. So how can any party remove us from a ten year old pact sealed by the queen. You and no other can. Only the people themselves can do that.

On the 1st November 2014 Our right to govern ourselves as a country will be removed. Brussels will have the final say on our rights. We lose the right to govern and this is unlawful. In 1215 the Magna Carta was agreed upon and under article 61 is that if ANY Monarch or Government allows the ruling of our land to be governed by foreign land then TREASON has been committed and Lawful rebellion invoked. We are not talking violence we are talking de registration. This was actioned in 2001 by 4 of the 25 Barons who are responsible for the protection of the Magna Carta. This seventh treaty of a seven part treaty that was installed by Harold Wilson is unlawful under our Common Law. What this means to you? well those vegetables that our older generations are growing to subsidize their mediocre pensions will be illegal. We will not have the right to grow food or to collect water. Those allotments will be destroyed as is happening in USA and anyone living off the grid and out of the system that is run by corporations, that is dependant on your consent to rule over you, will have the right to prosecute you as a domestic terrorist. I kid you not. We loose the Habeus Corpus an ancient human right that allows detention of a suspect for only 72 hours without evidence. Which means that you can and will be held without evidence indefinitely. The sectioning of people under the mental health act for protesting or asking questions of the government is already in force and the Habeus Corpus has protected many innocent people from indefinite imprisonment unlawfully. There will be foreign "policy" (Police)enforcers working on behalf of a EU Corporate government with "boots on the ground" of our country and we will have no human right law to stop them. The referendum was denied to the people of this country. We have valid alternatives such as the Universal Community Trust Treaty and demand to govern ourselves. Not UKIP, NOT Labour, Tories NO Party AT ALL is representative of the people, THEY have their own agenda, WE function for THEM while THE function for the corporate cartels, WE have to stop functioning for THEM! Stop kneeling to THEM! Stop worshipping THEM! Stop listening and being conditioned by THEM!Stop voting for THEM!

THEY are not US!

NOT 1 Politician, NOT 1 Party, NOT a single part of the construct of it all is in anyway geared to favour US. WE freely participate. STOP! And have a look at the big picture.