The coalition agreement now published gives the impression of being pro-business, and the impression of dealing with the budget deficit, but it commits to a vast range of new spending measures, and to interfere with private businesses on a grand scale in multiple sectors.
The envy-touting, dependency supporting left should be relieved, and the Greens thrilled.
Take the following:
- "The parties agree that funding for the NHS should increase in real terms in each year of the Parliament, while recognising the impact this decision would have on other departments. The target of spending 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid will also remain in place." Yes, the NHS, subject already to record spending increases in the past, can continue to extract ever greater inefficiencies, and not be accountable for it. Meanwhile, the British taxpayer will have to mortgage to continue increasing state aid to developing kleptocracies.
- "We will restore the earnings link for the basic state pension from April 2011 with a “triple guarantee” that pensions are raised by the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%, as proposed by the Liberal Democrats" So the retired wont have to face any austerity, just their children and grandchildren. Why? Well given they voted for profligate governments in the past you might well ask.
- "We further agree to seek a detailed agreement on taxing non-business capital gains at rates similar or close to those applied to income, with generous exemptions for entrepreneurial business activities" No income tax wont be coming down, it is about increasing capital gains tax. Yes, if you get capital gains for your OWN profit, not for "business" then screw you, Clammyegg wants your money.
- "We agree that a banking levy will be introduced. We will seek a detailed agreement on implementation.. We agree to bring forward detailed proposals for robust action to tackle unacceptable bonuses in the financial services sector" Why? Well let's tax one of the country's most successful service sectors, never mind which banks never needed a bailout and those that did. Oh and let's deter the most successful people in the sector being tax resident in the UK, to please the envy ridden proletariat. So it's off to Switzerland for that lot then?
- "We have agreed that there should be an annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants admitted into the UK to live and work" Don't worry, you'll not be attracting the best and brightest anyway, they'll be leaving. Nice sop to the BNP though.
- Finally, taxpayers will prop up a massive programme of Green fetishes and an effective end to growth in the British aviation sector including "The creation of a green investment bank" (quite where the money comes from is irrelevant), "Measures to encourage marine energy" (again, whose money?), "The establishment of a high-speed rail network" (ah the grand show off project that has next to no positive environmental impact), " The cancellation of the third runway at Heathrow. The refusal of additional runways at Gatwick and Stansted" (privately owned airports and the airline industry can go to hell, less competition for European airports and airlines), "Mandating a national recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles" (with whose money?).
So that's it. More spending, more taxes, more regulation of the current crop of hated businesses (banking and aviation), and worshipping at the totem of environmental fetishes regardless of cost and benefit.
No reason behind most of it, and a distinctly anti-business agenda particularly if you are in finance or aviation.
Anything for freedom? Well, besides scrapping ID cards, ending the storage of internet and email records without "good reason", and something called a "Freedom Bill", there isn't much. Free schools, paid for by taxpayers maybe, and talk of some tax cuts (which don't offset tax increases of course).
Anyone who voted Conservative expecting less government, less interference in business and a more reason based view of policy should be sorely disappointed. When the Treasury briefs the new government on the fiscal debacle, it will become clear how little of this can be afforded, and so it will be a lie, taxes will go up dramatically, other spending will be slashed substantially or a conbination of it all. Furthermore, with a new agenda of faith based Green initiatives, reason appears to be distinctly absent from this administration. The government wont be shrinking.
Fortunately I didn't vote Conservative.