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Andrew Nicholas
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This is something the Coalition should get to grips with quickly. It must align with the aims of both partners to reduce bureacracy and strengthen the power of the individual. HMRC already has far too much power and is clearly run by a man who thinks he is infallible. The simplest way to overcome all of this is to sweep away the vast majority of the tax code(the most complex in the developed world thanks to Gordon Brown) and introduce a simple one rate flat tax on all income above a certain figure (say half average wage). This has often been mooted by sensible economists and a number of countries have now introduced it, leading to a rise in revenue, reduced complexity and a huge reduction in the bureacratic burden.
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If "True Blue Tory" is expressing a view commonly held by others, there is clearly a section of british society that thinks we are still living in the Middle Ages. I fear for us all!
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The Polls are irrelevent - we are not fighting an election. Cameron must do what is right and do it fast, not be concerned with courting good polls. Indeed I think good poll ratings for us would indicate that we aren't doing the job properly. The quicker we take the pain, the quicker we recover. The LibDems would be crazy to put the Coalition at risk. If they precipitated an election they would probably be wiped out - where is their incentive for that? Their only chance is to stick with the status quo and hope that by the time of the next election the economy is riding high and they can claim to have been part of the solution to the disaster of 13 Labour years.
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Tim is spot on. Whilst the coalition is to be commended for the speed at which it has got down to work, it needs to keep up the momentum. Chris Grayling is woefully underused, but a great choice as welfare minister and one of the few MPs who might actually reverse the culture of taxpayer dependency that has flourished for so long. The public may be swallowing some of Labour's pretence that we can delay tackling the problems of their horrendous legacy, but they will have no problem with us tackling welfare dependancy. What we must do is push hard and fast whilst Labour's profligacy is still in people's minds.
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The unfortunate fact is this: we did not win the election, so there is currently no possibility of a conservative government. There is and will continue to be an inevitable and extremely unwelcome left wing bias required, simply to keep the Coalition intact. In the early days we need to accept the inevitability of giving ground to the left, simply to ensure that the really difficult choices can be implemented and the country put back on its feet. In some respects we are in a uniquely advantageous position in that with LibDem help we can make some real inroads into the massive task of rolling back the State. The economic conditions have created a climate in which it is not just imperative that this be done, but is supported by a wide section of the electorate. We may even be in a position to roll back the dead hand of government to a greater extent than we could have dreamed of a couple of years ago. For a while we need to hold our noses and accept some unpleasant LibDem influence to get the job done. Tim's point refers to "will drift left" and that is the salient point. As the country gets back on an even keel economically, we can remind the LibDems who are the (very) senior partners in the coalition. As the polls are showing, an election now would wipe the LibDems out and I see no reason to expect that to change. Economic recovery however, should strengthen support for the Conservatives even more, such that in a couple of years time, we can afford to govern as real conservatives and call the LibDems bluff; either go along with us or risk electoral annihilation by forcing an election. In either case it would be win-win for us.
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What an extraordinary message from Mr O'Brien! On the one hand I would totally agree with your "economics 101" message that if you have a restricted supply with an increasing demand, prices go up. We have a housing shortage (in some parts of the country) and rising prices because of the restrictive planning policies which stifle supply. No argument there. You then go on to suggest that you would free things up by involving local people even more in planning decisions - something which would be totally counter-productive. The planning system needs to be totally overhauled.To have each individual planning application decided as it is now, by a local council is utterly absurd. It is arbitrary, incredibly slow and extremely complex. The whole planning system needs to be removed from Local Authority control and changed to a zoning system (as in most developed countries), whereby the market decides what to build and when, within the constraints of the use authorised by the zoning.
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Why doesn't the Home Secretary simply legislate to extend the definition of incest to include first cousins. That would make the marriage illegal. Problem solved. God only knows why it isn't already.
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I cannot disagree with you on those points. Perhaps the policy should be applied only to urban council housing, which would render the geographical movement less controversial. I completely agree that there are many people who will never be able to enter the private sector. On the other hand we frequently see rented council properties (not sold under RTB!) with £30,000 cars in the drive.
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I am not in favour of ANY tax on land or buildings.
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I assume they have been there all their lives and I can appreciate why they wouldn't want to move from the village but: 1. Throughout their whole life, they were never in a position to buy or rent in the private sector? 2. Why should the taxpayer continue to subsidise their accomodation in a house which is too big for their needs and also have to subsidise massive housing benefit costs for families to rent larger accomodation? 3. Why do we accept restrictive planning laws which should allow small units of accomodation (for sale or rent, social or private) to be built within the village in which they live?
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Of course it still applies in common law with respect to property "entailed", usually in trust. I fail to see how this could be applied in respect of property you do not own!!
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You are confusing taxpayer funded provision with private property rights.
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Whilst there was no single reason why we failed to get an overall majority, Cameron reneging on the commitment to a Lisbon referendum was a disaster. The country was crying out for a leader who would be honest and stick by his principles. Sadly Cameron failed this test at the first fence. It made him look untrustworthy and also probably kept a lot of UKIP supporters from voting for us. Having said that I think he is doing a very good job playing the cards he was dealt. Let's look to the future.
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I am delighted to hear this announcement. About time someone tackled this absurd situation. The State should provide only for those who are unable (not just unwilling) to provide for themselves. Council housing should, for most people, only be a temporary measure, to provide housing for those who are unable to buy or rent in the private or Housing Association sector. The very existence of the permanent tenure system only serves to reinforce the welfare culture, and deny housing to those most in need.
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Labour appointed Lord Paul, a non-dom big financial supporter of the Labour Party, not only to the House of Lords where he was deputy Speaker, but to the Privy Council, both positions of considerable national political influence of a far greater extent than Michael Ashcroft. Who wouldn't be a non-dom if they were able? At least Michael Ashcroft is supporting the only party that might actually reduce the crippling levels of taxation that make this country so expensive in which to be resident.
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This is an absolutely absurd strategy and extremely badly thought through. The result will be that the planning process is slowed down even further, costs will rise and even less homes built. How can a Conservative shadow minister be so ignorant of simple economics? The most fundamental lesson is that if you reduce supply, price goes up, increase supply, price goes down. Make it easier to get planning consent, more homes will be built and the market will decide the mix. The supply and price of housing is a national issue and should be dealt with as such. Giving narrow minded, self interested "local people" even more of an opportunity to interfere in the process is a recipe for total disaster. We need a radical overhaul of the Green Belt and a far more structured, much faster planning process dealt with by professionals, not distorted by the whims of local busy bodies.
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Without doubt this is a result of the comments by that bufoon Winterton. Thank God he is stepping down (and would he have done so if he hadn't been found out in the expenses scandal?) He is exdactly the sort of person we DON'T want representing us in parliament
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I understand how Renee Kinzett may be wanting to appeal to the whingeing left wingers in his constituency, but acting like a socialist won't help. Why not be honest. Either stand as a Tory and ask people to support decent low tax, low public spending conservative values - encourage people to think, act and take responsibility for themselves and their families, or join the Labour Party. People who try to ride two horses at once usually fall off.
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Tim's piece is absolutely spot on. It should be reproduced verbatim in every candidates election address.
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Your mother was very wise! I was just 18 at the time and it was my first ever chance to vote. I voted yes because I thought we were joining a free trade area. How gullible you can be!
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Indeed it was, but then of course we didn't appreciate how badly we had all been conned by Edward Heath.
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As far as I am aware only Clarke and Heseltine have been in favour of closer union! The Conservative Party members have always been overwhelmingly against.
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This is a completely sterile argument. The avowed belief of the EPP is further european integration. Thank God we got out. Why om earth would we want to be a member of a club whose interests are diametrically opposed to our own?
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