I’ll start by clarifying that I am not a politician, I am not an economist, these are my simple thoughts.
I would get very tough on MP’s expenses. I would totally ban second homes. But what I would say is if you are an MP in Birmingham, and you have to travel to London, then the best you’re going to get is rent. And you can only choose somewhere to rent through an approved agency, not through your brother-in-law. And by the same token I would say the same with travelling, but it has to be reasonable travelling, and not first class.
I personally would abolish car tax and I would add the equivalent of car tax to car fuel. That would get rid totally of tax evasion because if you buy petrol you pay your tax. Obviously those who use roads most will pay the most. And those who have the least green vehicles will pay the most as well.
I would keep the 50 per cent tax rate on incomes of say £250,000 plus. That means the vast majority of people wouldn’t pay it. Those that are on £250k plus, I don’t believe their threats to leave the country and go abroad will come to anything. I think that is a load of rubbish.
I would like to see an alternative to the compulsory annuities. I think this rule is a great imposition. I’m not sure what the answer is, but to make people take out a compulsory annuity, when annuity rates are low particularly, is grossly unfair.
The first thing I would do is abolish Hips – they are a complete waste of time.
I bought a house a year or so ago, and my vendor had to have a Hip report. I didn’t take a blind bit of notice of it. I bought it because I liked the house, not because of what the Hip said.
I would take a radical step with stamp duty and actually reverse it. So, instead of the buyer paying the stamp duty, the seller would pay it.
“What that means is that first time buyers wouldn’t have to pay stamp duty, it’s the seller, not the buyer, who has to pay it. So, it gets rid of the problem for first time buyers. I also think it would improve the market because one of the things that is a massive expense when you’re buying is stamp duty. So, if you reversed it, the person that is going to get the money pays the duty, not the person who is buying, which seems only fair. If you earn money you pay tax on what you earn. So if you are selling something, you pay the tax for what you’re selling.
Colin Jackson is a director at Baronworth (Investment Services) Ltd
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