John Clark writes…
First published: November 2013
When will politicians learn? Politicians ‘promise the earth’ and then do not even attempt to deliver. Most politicians try to say what the public want to hear. Thus they all become the same. The logic of these two approaches is “there is no point in voting”. Let me lay out some Liberal ideas. You judge if they are different.
HOUSING: There is a need for more affordable housing in places like Ryedale. These should be built by local councils, near to employment. This would create employment for local building workers and massively reduce the housing shortage. It was done in the 1950’s when the national debt was much larger than it is today. So why not?
BANKS: Banks should be taken into public ownership. Money and banks should exist to help businesses and people, not the present abuse where people and money are used to benefit the bankers. Having the British people at the mercy of casino money is totally wrong. If bankers don’t like the loss of bonuses then let them go abroad.
THE LIVING WAGE: One of the good things introduced by the Labour Government was the minimum wage. The Tory press, the Tory politicians, the CBI and vast number of businesses declared that this would cause hundreds of thousands of redundancies. Cleaners, catering workers, porters, food packers etc kept their jobs. The employers had made profits on the back of low wages for too long. The problem continues. People on the minimum wage have to claim benefits so as to survive. Employers are in effect being subsidised by taxpayers. The solution is that the minimum wage must be lifted to the ‘living wage’ of about £7.50 per hour.
ELECTRICITY and GAS: Energy prices are hurting the poor, the elderly, the ill, the vulnerable and many others. David Cameron says “It is for the energy companies to explain the decisions they have taken around bills to their customers.”That is about as much use as a burglar leaving a note to say why you were robbed. The price freeze proposed by Labour is equally worthless. The solution is to take the companies away from the bullies and into public ownership. Other countries own their energy companies and then buy ours. In the last year the wholesale price of energy has hardly changed, the profits have increased and the customers face massive bills. Public ownership would mean that the £billions of profit could be used to keep prices down and invest in cheaper energy.
RAILWAYS: A train company not making a large profit hands the franchise back. This happened with the East Coast Main Line. Now in public ownership it is making a profit. The logic is simple. Put them all into public ownership when the existing contracts run out. The cost would be small and the profit could go to the taxpayers and the train users.
Space prevents me from expanding further. In the future I will include the NHS, public ownership of water, increased taxation on the very rich. The above would link the economy to people. The majority are feeling the recession, austerity and cuts. The well off are benefiting from the growth in the economy. The system needs changing otherwise there is ‘no point in voting’.