The newly formed British Libertarian Party now has a manifesto. Their policies are broadly similar to Australia’s own libertarian party, the LDP, with a few differences. Interesting to note the much more robust defence policies of British libertarianism as compared with the more passive variety that exists in Australia and the US. Also note that aim to abolish income tax rather than introduce a flat 30% tax favoured by the LDP.
The British electoral system does not favour small parties. Hence there has been much reluctance from British libertarians in the past to set up a new party, believing that they would rather have their prominent supporters in parties that are capable of gaining power. There is no chance of the BLP ever gaining a single seat. The other key difference is that there is arguably a much greater need for a classical liberal party in Britain as the state is so much more prevalent in people’s lives than here in Australia (hard to believe, i know) and the Opposition Tories have become much more statist than their Thatcherite predecessors. Government spending as a proportion of GDP is around 43% in the UK versus 23% in Australia (not counting the UK’s massive off-balance sheet liabilities such as pensions and PFI) and the economy is sagging under eleven years of regulation and state interference.
Their main policies are;
i) The abolition of personal income tax
ii) Corporation Tax to be lowered to 10%
iii) Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax to be abolished
iv) Aim to reduce government borrowing to zero
v) Abolish the minimum wage
vi) Introduction of Swedish-style vouchers allowing parents to choose their children’s schools
vii) Strengthen the Armed Forces
viii) Adoption of bilateral agreements with individual countries to manage immigration. Impose restrictions on immigration until the welfare state is reduced in size.
ix) Speed up the planning process to allow more houses to be built.
x) Introduce election of local Police chiefs
xi) All new legislation to have a sunset clause
xii) Legalisation of drugs and prostitution
xiii) Repeal the 28 day detention orders
xiv) Build more prisons and toughen prison sentences for violent offenders
xv) Repeal the Firearms Act to allow the use of hand-guns
xvi) Repeal the Human Rights Act
Good luck to them. Expect to be torched by the social democrat media.