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Policy isn’t everything. A Party can have the best set of policies in the country, and still make no headway with voters.  They may dislike its personnel or distrust its record.

But policy isn’t nothing, either.  Policies help to win elections.  Here are 25 that should be floated over the next year and set out in the Conservative manifesto.

  • Take up Lottie Dexter’s ideas for more welfare localism – by handing more powers to JobCentre Plus managers, ” the people who know the local jobs landscape”.
  • Reduce the number of government departments – for example, by moving responsibility for prisons back into the Home Office.
  • Set up an Affordability Commission to examine at the long-term challenges posed to health, pensions and social services by the ageing of the population and propose policy solutions.
  • Replace the immigration net target with a points-based system prioritising skills and investment.
  • Cut the size of the House of Lords by removing from it members who have failed to meet an attendance requirement.
  • Reduce business rates further.
  • Negotiate a grand bargain on the regulation and planning of shale gas development – including a direct financial stake for local residents.
  • Replace our membership of the European Convention of Human Rights with a British Bill of Rights.
  • Bring in a Right of Recall for constituents over MPs.  Zac Goldsmith and Douglas Carswell have won the argument for a system triggered from below, not above.
  • Guarantee the independence of Universities by ensuing that no action taken by the Office for Fair Access can compromise it.
  • Lower the benefits cap.
  • Place a cap on central government head count and payroll – using reductions achieved in local government as a benchmark.
  • Remove all entitlement to benefits for new immigrants until they’ve paid a threshold amount into the system.
  • Reform equality legislation to protect religious freedom and clarify the hierarchy of protected characteristics.
  • Commit to an airport expansion decision.  We must now wait for the Davies report, but have waited long enough.
  • Offer compensation to local residents affected by housing developments and ballot them on whether to accept.
  • When possible, raise the threshold at which lower earners raise national insurance contributions.
  • Outsource and civilianise back-office police jobs.
  • Encourage more primaries to become academies.
  • When possible, raise the marriage allowance, and also boost the provision of marriage and relationship education.
  • Empower private, voluntary, independent and charitable providers to focus more provision on the hard-to-reach unemployed, such as men with learning difficulties and few qualifications.
  • Build more nuclear power stations.
  • Fund more apprenticeships and better vocational education by transferring money and resources from a smaller University sector.
  • Scrap the licence fee, and fund a smaller, quality-focused, Reithian BBC through subscription or tax.
  • Pledge to take no donation to the Conservative Party of over £50,000 a year from any individual by the end of the Parliament.
  • Introduce a voluntary Veterans’ ID card as proof of identity for those who have served in the armed forces to complement the present discount scheme.
  • Raise the employment allowance to take more firms out of national insurance.
  • Cut aid to governments that treat religious minorities and other minorities, such as gay people, unjustly.
  • End the cap on admissions to faith schools.
  • Stick to the commitment to hold an In-Out referendum on the EU by 2015.
  • Freeze MPs pay but relax some restrictions on outside earnings, in order to move towards a Commons with more citizen legislators and fewer professional politicians.
  • Tear up Nick Clegg’s unworkable free school meals plan and target free school meals where they are most needed.
  • Provide all under-25s work, education or training, but remove their access to housing benefit and jobseekers’ allowance in most case.
  • Dump the plan to put plain packaging on cigarettes.

 

 

65 comments for: Post Euro-elections fightback: 50 policies for the future

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