Conservative Manifesto 2010 Change the Economy Create A More Balanced Economy
We will create the conditions for higher exports, business investment and saving as a share of GdP.
for the last decade, growth has been too dependent on government spending and debtfuelled consumption. more than half of the new jobs created were driven by public spending.
Household savings collapsed, and the UK has the lowest investment as a share of gDP of any G7 country. Our share of world exports has fallen by almost a third. a sustainable recovery must be driven by growth in exports and business investment, and through a better environment for wealth creation.
make britain the leading hi-tech exporter in Europe
We will implement key recommendations from Sir james Dyson’s review into how to achieve our goal of making britain europe’s leading hi-tech exporter, including:
• encouraging the establishment of joint university-business research and development institutes;
• initiating a multi-year Science and research budget to provide a stable investment climate for research Councils;
• creating a better focus on Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects in schools; and,
• establishing a new prize for engineering. Research and development tax credits will be improved and refocused on hi-tech companies, small businesses and new start-ups. at the same time, we will give strong backing to the growth industries that generate high-quality jobs around the country.
We will improve the performance of UK trade and investment with a renewed focus on high priority sectors and markets where the return on taxpayers’ money is highest. We will regularly compare government support for exporters and inward investment against the services provided by our competitors. We will work for the successful conclusion of the Doha trade round and support bilateral free trade negotiations between the European Union (EU) and other countries.
encourage saving and investment
Only by saving more can we finance investment for the future without being dependent on unsustainable inflows of capital from abroad. We will help stop the spread of means-testing by restoring the link between the basic state pension and average earnings, making it worthwhile for people to save. other measures we will take to encourage saving include:
• reinvigorating occupational pensions and working with employers and industry to support auto-enrolment into pensions;
• working with the trade unions, businesses and others to address the growing disparity between public sector pensions and private sector pensions, while protecting accrued rights; and,
• when resources allow, starting to reverse the effects of the abolition of the dividend tax credit for pension funds.
We will reward those who have saved for their retirement by ending the effective obligation to buy an annuity at age 75. and we will raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million to help millions of people who aspire to pass something on to their children, paid for by a simple flat-rate levy on all non-domiciled individuals.
We must not let the mis-selling of financial products put people off saving. We will implement the ombudsman’s recommendation to make fair and transparent payments to equitable Life policy holders, through an independent payment scheme, for their relative loss as a consequence of regulatory failure.
help households manage their debts going into the recession, britain’s consumer debt was the highest in the g7. a Conservative government will promote responsible consumer finance by creating a powerful Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) to take over the financial Services authority’s consumer protection role. in addition, we will:
• give the CPA new powers to define and ban excessive borrowing rates on store cards;
• launch Britain’s first free national financial advice service, funded in full through a new social responsibility levy on the financial services sector;
• introduce a seven-day cooling off period for store cards;
• require credit card companies to provide clear information; and,
• ensure that no-one is forced to sell their home to pay unsecured debts of less than £25,000.
“i’ve always believed that we’ll only solve our big social and economic problems if we all get involved and try and make a difference. it’s never enough just to sit back and think ‘well the government can take care of it’ – i think we’ve all got a responsibility to do what we can. that’s why every day, my colleagues and i use all the innovation and flexibility we can muster to help those furthest from the labour market to overcome their personal barriers to work. for me, it is all about believing in the power of people. tomorrow’s People welcomes the concept of the single Work Programme – it pulls everything together and allows organisations like ours to support people more effectively on their individual journey from welfare into work.”
Debbie Scott is the Chief Executive of Tomorrows People, a national employment charity founded in 1984
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