Clear commitment to deficit reduction. Absolutely essential to have a stable basis for business and economic growth.
Commitment to take people earning under £10,000 out of tax. A positive incentive to move from benefits into work.
Cuts in company taxes. Vital if the UK is to remain competitive against low-tax countries.
A Swedish-style school system with private providers and state funding that follows parents’ choices. Could bring real choice, competition and innovation into the bureaucratic state education monopoly.
Scrapping quangos and bureaucracy. Good to get rid of pointless cost. But there is still a lot more to get rid of.
Scrapping ID cards. Most people in Britain think that nannying by the state is far too pervasive.
Student loan scheme. Students should pay the cost of their higher education, which boosts their lifetime salaries. the combination of higher fees and loans (repaid only by higher earners) is a good compromise.
Moves towards a negative income tax. Replacing a mishmash of different state benefits, the Universal Credit should make sure that the poorest people aren’t facing effective ‘taxes’ of 90% when they earn a few pounds more.
Higher taxes. Some are needed to help balance the books. But the rise in Capital Gains Tax will drive investment abroad, as will the Bank Levy, the new tax on oil exploration, and the 50% tax on higher earners that was inherited from the last government.
Bail-outs. Britain is not a member of the Euro, but has still chipped in to the bailouts of Ireland, Greece and Portugal. It’s surely better to countries to face the realities of overspending and Euro membership.
Reversing the Forestry Commission sell-off. It looked feeble – and the country’s biggest landowner monopoly is an environmental disaster that needs to be broken up.
Abandoning NHS reform. This may be the price of patching up the coalition spat over electoral reform. But it would be another lost opportunity to bring new ideas into this unmanageable 1.4m-strong monopoly.
And still to decide
The localism agenda. Good to see a government saying that power should move from London down to local communities and indeed to individuals themselves. Making it a reality, though, will be a lot harder.
Commitment to stop more powers leaching to the EU. A positive stance – but a forlorn hope?