Just over two months ago I blogged about the arrival of the Libertarian Party on the UK political scene. At the time there was little in the way of policy pronouncements, but since then they've been busy in the forums on their website discussing a multitude of topics. Now they are beginning to assemble a very credible programme that would see the reduction of the size of the state and a restoration of individual responsibility.
The first highlighted manifesto policy is the abolition of personal income tax. It is a well thought through and well argued for piece of legislation that the LP would seek to introduce in the second year of them being in power and would finally, after 200+ years, rid us of this 'temporary' tax. This is the cornerstone of their economic programme which would also see them lower corporation tax to 10%, abolish IHT and CGT, the replacement of VAT with a national sales tax and Council Tax replaced with a local sales tax. As well as the strengthening of the Bank of England's independence they would also reduce government borrowing to zero and abolish the minimum wage. All very sound libertarian actions to take to drive an economy forward and free the market.
The manifesto is steeped in the notion of the rule of law which encompasses property rights, due process, equality and transparency. It outlines broad swathes of policy and the party's initial ideas concerning what action needs to be taken to free people from the dead hand of the state. Highlights include an end to the state monopolies in health and education, the former through a move to an insurance-based system the latter through a move to a Swedish style voucher system (similar to the one we covered here), a return to a more responsive and local police force, a localised planning system, a review of EU/UN membership and the removal of the welfare state hammock.
They are turning into a very well organized political party with appealing policies, so keep an eye on them. They may well surprise people in a few years time!