A free market research center with close links to Liz Truss and Quasi Quarting He outlined “slash and burn” ideas that could form the basis of the government’s supply-side reform program to be developed in the coming weeks.
The document from the Free Market Forum (FMF), a branch of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), proposes abolishing free childcare hours, releasing greenbelt land for housing, abolishing corporate tax and dropping teacher training qualifications for graduates.
Other ideas include distance learning so that parents can choose the best teachers, amending the Equality Act so that working-class white boys are better protected, and restoring the link between taxes and family income so that a married woman’s income can be considered as part of her husband’s income.
Truss plans to unveil a package of supply-side reforms, primarily including lifting restrictions, as part of the chancellor’s medium-term fiscal plan later this month, but the government has remained mum on the details.
Kwarteng is expected to announce changes in eight areas including planning, business regulation, childcare, immigration, agricultural productivity and financial services.
The prime minister’s allies hope her proposals, a key component of her growth drive, will help put her on the cutting edge after two weeks of bruising from a mini-budget unleashed market turmoil, followed by a dominated Tory party conference. Convert the highest tax rate 45p After the deputies rebelled.
The introduction to the Free Market Forum paper, published in September last year, stated that it aimed to “incubate and promote ideas” among Tory MPs on future policy directions.
The document is described as a “set of policies for a brighter Britain by the end of this decade”, which it says will “start the conversation about where we’re headed next, and put the Military Finance Fund at the forefront of those discussions”.
However, a Labor source said: ‘It is of great concern that the Prime Minister and Chancellor – both of whom have any mandate from the British people for their plans – are supporters of this shadowy group. With the economy already collapsing, Les Truss She must now distance herself from these slanting, burning thoughts and the people behind them.”
In one chapter, Annabelle Denham of the International Energy Agency suggested eliminating free childcare, arguing that the 15 hours a week provided cost the state about £6 billion a year “but there’s not much to offer”.
It notes that adult-to-child ratios are “unnecessary and harmful” and assessments of early years should be dropped.
Another proposal, from Cabinet Office Minister Brendan Clark Smith, proposes re-linking taxes and household income.
He writes: “Under the previous regime…a married woman’s income was seen as part of her husband’s income.” “Of course attitudes toward women’s jobs have changed…and yet debate has raged over the merits of individual taxation.”
Conservative MP Richard Fuller, the current Treasury Secretary, is proposing to move education online so that parents can choose teachers for their children. The ability to learn from a distance is advanced[s] Opportunities… give schools the ability to identify the best teachers and provide access to time slots.”
Meanwhile, Sam Collins, FMF’s director of outreach, suggests that “standardized” minimum wage increases be reconsidered because they are “centrally set for the whole country” but have led to “disastrous and harmful unintended consequences”.
Professor Lynn Shackleton, a research fellow at the International Energy Agency, wants the government to allow graduates to teach in public schools without teacher training qualifications, as part of raising entry requirements for skilled professions such as law and social work.
Dr Christian Nimitz, head of political economy at the International Energy Agency, is urging ministers to release greenbelt land to build more housing, a move likely unpopular with Tory MPs. He suggests that greenbelt land within an 800-meter radius of a passenger terminal, which is not otherwise protected, should be freed up, with additional infrastructure costs paid for by taxing the increase in the value of the land.
Other less controversial proposals include tackling the NHS staff shortage, encouraging cooperatives and extending the corporate super discount, allowing companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest, to help boost growth.
The IEA has inspired the Truss Policy Bulletin and its graduates are packing government ranks, including chief economic adviser to Prime Minister Matthew Sinclair. It does not claim to represent the views of the Prime Minister.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has 60 Conservative MPs among its “parliamentary supporters” including Truss, Quarting, Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey, Compromise Minister Simon Clark and Trade Minister Kimi Badenoch.
Former Chancellor Norman Lamont and former Secretary John Redwood are also supporters, while the 10th Deputy Chief of Staff, Ruth Porter, is on the advisory board.
The think tank was launched as a successor group to two other bodies: the Free Enterprise Group – an organization of Conservative MPs founded by Truss at her party’s conference in 2011; and Freer, a joint initiative of Tory MPs and the International Energy Agency, launched in March 2018.
Sam Collins, who is now head of the FMF, said: “Regulation has been estimated to cost the British economy £220 billion a year. If the Prime Minister is to succeed with her economic agenda, significant reform will be needed to facilitate business formation and growth.
Many of the 30 policy suggestions in our paper focus on removing these barriers to growth that make it difficult for people to build homes, start businesses, create jobs, or move into new sectors.
But it’s not just the growth numbers in the spreadsheets that affect supply-side reform. The cost-of-living crisis facing British families is due, in part, to government regulations that artificially maintain the prices of everyday items such as food, childcare and energy.
“Supply-side reforms, well targeted, will not only help the economy grow but also help improve the financial situation of the most vulnerable.”