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How to save Britain from bankruptcy? It’s not that complicated.

Once again some readers have challenged me to explain how to fix Britain’s woeful finances. I did something like this about 6 months ago. But at the risk of alienating regular readers, I’ll use today’s blog to show that a government with leadership and backbone could turn the country round rather rapidly.

Hopefully all my readers (unlike over 80% of the British population) understand the difference between deficit and debt. Then they understand that with the useless spending-increasing Coalition we’re borrowing over £100bn a year and our national debt will go from £700bn in 2010 to £1.4trn by the 2015 election. We are rapidly heading for national bankruptcy. So, what to do?

1. Declare a state of “national economic emergency” and put all public-sector and council managers and administrators on a 4-day week and all quangos on a 3-day week. After all, who would notice if the Department of Health only worked Monday to Thursday and the Equality and Human Rights Commission only did Monday to Wednesday? Saving £150m a week – £7.5bn a year (Many people might think we should scrap a lot of quangos – but that would lead to yet another expensive public-sector redundancy feeding frenzy. Much better to gradually throttle them)

2. Set a maximum public-sector pension of twice the average wage and abolish the 3-year taxfree payments made to bureaucrats, military bosses and top civil servants. Saving maybe £2bn a year

3. Stop all foreign aid till Britain eliminates its budget deficit and reduces its debt to 30% of GDP. Saving £10.5bn a year

4. Leave the EU – we can’t afford the cost of membership. No more prevaricating, no more grovelling to the corrupt, wasteful, unelected scum in Brussels. Just leave and stop all payments. Saving £21bn a year

5. Stop all subsidies to “green energy” and stop closing coal-fired power stations. Saving maybe £1bn a year. Resurrect Britain’s coal mines – extra tax revenues maybe £500m a year

6. Scrap Corporation Tax and replace it with a retention of part of the VAT charged by companies so that all companies operating in Britain pay tax whether they claim to be based in Jersey, Cayman Islands or on The Moon. (Financial institutions would pay a tax based on their assets). Increase in tax revenues maybe £13bn a year. This would also result in many foreign firms moving their HQs to Britain creating say 10,000 well-paid jobs and generating say £3bn in extra income tax and NI

7. Declare as “strategic national assets” activity sectors like energy, water, airports and ports that can only be owned by British companies fully based in Britain for tax purposes. Increase in tax revenues, perhaps £3bn a year

8. Bring in a False Claims Act (like they have in the USA) whereby whistleblowers who reveal that government departments are being overcharged when buying goods and services receive a % of all money saved. Saving of say 1% on the government’s procurement bill of £170bn = £1.7bn

9. Bring in a suggestions scheme whereby public-sector, frontline workers (not managers) get paid a % of any money saved up to a maximum of £50,000 per worker. Saving perhaps 1% of government spending of £500bn = £5bn

10. Set a mandatory improvement target for all public-sector managers of a very modest 2% a year. Saving in 1st year = £10bn: in 2nd year £20bn and so on

11. Cut the BBC’s budget by 10% a year for 3 years and restrict the BBC to making public-service programmes, not junk entertainment that belongs on the increasing number of commercial channels. Saving in 1st year = £300m: 2nd year = £600m: 3rd year = £900m

12. Lower housing benefit by 3% a year and the cap by 5% a year for 5 years to force down rents across the private rented sector. Saving maybe £500m in 1st year: £1bn in 2nd year and so on

13. Cut the number of MPs, MSPs, members of the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies and their staff by 50%. Reduce the Lords to 100 members from over 850. Saving maybe £500m a year. Sell off Portcullis House earning maybe £300m

14.  End the culture of breeding at taxpayers’ expense – only give child benefits to the first 2 children: restrict social housing and housing benefit to people over 25: house anyone, who cannot live with their parents, in army-like barracks where they have to work (cleaning, cooking and so on) to earn privileges like TV and make parents lose privileges if their children are disruptive in schools. Saving maybe £3bn

15. Stop us being bankrupted by immigration – withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights: extend restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians for 20 more years: tighten habitual residency rules: deport all foreign criminals: no benefits to be paid to anyone who is not a British citizen or who has not worked full-time in Britain for 10 years: benefits to be paid in the form of a “food stamp” card that cannot be used to buy cigarettes or alcohol.English language tests for all benefits claimants. Saving maybe £5bn a year

16. Restrict citizenship – make the right remain and granting of British citizenship signed legal agreements between the government and the person, whereby it is agreed that any breach of the law by that person or any dependent results in automatic withdrawal of the right to remain in Britain and immediate deportation at the person’s expense. Saving maybe £2bn a year

17. Give student grants to anyone aged 16 to 24 who goes on a vocational course to become a plumber, electrician, car mechanic, carpenter, bricklayer etc. Cost maybe £1bn

18. Impose a land tax on any development land that has been held for more than 3 years by a developer who has not built anything. Launch a programme to build 100,000 housing association homes a year on brownfield sites. Cost perhaps £4bn, but increases in revenue from income tax and NI and reduction in unemployment payments saving perhaps £1bn

We’re getting close to £90bn saved. Then hopefully economic growth would increase tax revenues by say 5% (£30bn) and that gives us the £120bn we need to eliminate the £100bn deficit and start paying off our debt.

Yippee, if we pay off our debt at a rate of £20bn a year it will “only” take us 70 years to become debt-free like successful economies.

Some of these may be possible and some not. And there are certainly many other things that could be added to this list saving tens of billions more. But what’s really important is not just the numbers. It’s that measures such as those proposed above would dramatically change the culture of the country. Instead of being a pathetic, benefits-focused, EU-subservient magnet for the world’s garbage where criminals, the idle and the feckless get an easy life while working people get fleeced, we’d become a country that promotes work, education, self-reliance and success. Now, that’s what we really should be aiming at.

4 comments to How to save Britain from bankruptcy? It’s not that complicated.

  • Bernard from Bucks

    One down – eighteen to go!
    “Downing Street has drawn up controversial plans to slash up to £5 billion a year from the welfare bill by limiting child benefit to families’ first two children. … Under the proposal, revealed today, families would also lose their entitlement to child tax credit for any more than two children. … The initiative has been put forward by Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi, recently appointed by David Cameron to the No 10 policy board to come up with vote-winning policies for the Conservative Election manifesto.”
    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Paris Claims

    I’m not so sure they want to cure our economic problems.
    It probably suits their purpose to be in a permanent state of one step away from a crisis that only they can solve.

  • Mike

    I will vote for your as Chancellor.

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