Following on from my previous post, David Willetts has been promoting his book in which he suggests that the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation are too well off, and need to give some money to people in their twenties who need help starting off. Given that this is not Conservative Party Policy, it is not a critique of the Party, far from it given that David Cameron has pledged to cut the deficit and to closely examine the budgets of nearly all government departments. Given that all three parties have yet to put forward precise economic policies however, for fear of Labour copying them I suppose, it seems a worthy subject of debate.
Personally, I can’t find anything to argee with in this policy. Yes, house prices are high, but when I buy a house I don’t want it to be because of a government grant. Yes, there is a pensions crisis on the horizon and how we fund our pensions certainly needs to be looked at. But asking someone who has worked, and is now retired or nearing retirement, to help me out is, in my opinion, an outrageous idea.
One contributor to the debate suggested enforcing the Lib Dem Policy of a Mansion Tax on all properties. The man was clearly an extremist Lib Dem (if such a thing exists), and the idea that everyone is both cash and property rich is ridiculous. The result would be a property crash and thousands being forced to sell their homes. Not for my benefit, thankyou.
Given the current campaign being waged to oppose Labour’s ‘Death Tax’, this idea seems to run counter intuitive to it. We should be encouraging personal responsibility and an efficient state which has the ability to help those in need. We should not be asking other citizens to give us their savings to fix the government’s self-inflicted problems.
I don’t know exactly how much is wasted by the government, but I know that in 2005 Michael Howard identified £35 billion worth of savings in Whitehall from efficiency savings alone, and we’ve endured a recession since then. I know that tax from cigarettes raises over £10 billion, but the NHS spends only £2 billion treating smoke related diseases. I know we have a huge deficit, but an even larger government. I believe that there is an opportunity to create a smaller, more efficient government, which costs less and can still provide the welfare state, defence and a strong economy. No politician has yet come up with a policy to cut the deficit which seems fair, reasonable and feasible; but for this void conservative principles seem to be perfectly suited.