Political & Economic Capital

Political & Economic Capital

Coin Dropping Into Piggy Bank

 “Just some ideas that might help, may not be popular but they would help…….”


“Every idea can help if you just listen more than you talk…….”


I wonder if most politicians start their careers in the vicious zoo called Parliament, wanting to serve their constituents and1i effectively improve society, serve their community, become servants of the people. It would seem the atmosphere of the commons is corrosive, acidic, slowly stripping off layer upon layer of morality until many an MP is utterly unaware of their original values, beliefs and why the hell they wanted to become our servants in the first place. Now many mainline ‘power’ for their daily fix, the more committees they are on the higher they get in ministerial power. Now unrecognisable and no longer servants of the state; perhaps more self-serving as they rack up Company Directorships and influence by the dozen.


This is where the problem starts from. They are no longer servants wanting to do what is right, they become self-serving with a list of people not to upset, people to groom for donations to their next campaign to be re-elected, loving the wealthy lobbyists, cuddling up to the corporations, feathering one’s nest for the future just in case these “plebs” (as formally once said by a minister), turn on them and vote for another. So how can they possibly do what is right, they become totally risk averse, averse to upsetting the rich and the powerful. The days of political heroes, politicians we can look up to in The House of Commons are long since dead. The era of politicians doing what is right, what they sincerely believe in and absolutely know that this will improve the society they serve, even if it is utterly unpopular, faded into distant memory.

Like her or loath her last such person to hold the highest office in the land and forge ahead with changes she had faith 1kin was Margaret Thatcher. To some she was the Devil, to others a hero, to some the saviour of the Falklands from the tyrannical Chileans, but all agreed she acted with an iron fist (from the Iron Lady), to implement change regardless of the popularity; she really was the last of the old school. Since then we have media stars courting positive images and on-message sound bites in this 24/7 global network of news. We have certainly gone down a road well-travelled by American politics, where the image is more important than personal convictions or actual content of policies, where battering your opponents is far better to win votes than actual delivering of throw-away manifestos, or delivering what you promise – how stupid can I be to think a promise will be delivered; a promise is there to be forgotten or re-worded, reconstituted to fit personal need and not expectations of the “plebs”.


So, in this context it is not surprising that cuts or changes which will make a real difference to the recession and pay down the debt the UK owes, no matter how unpalatable they may be, are ignored by the politicians because they are just too bitter to take. So the following are some examples of what one could do if one did not have other fat cats or even the voters, but it would help the country as a whole from a fiscal perspective:

  • Cyclists, horse riders, even motorised mobility scooters must:-
  • Have insurance (as per car users);
  • Have a road tax of £25 per annum(there are approximately 4.5 million cyclists, so    this would generate, just from cyclists, £112,500,000 = £1.125 billion per year – remember car/lorry users pay road tax to use the roads. Cyclists on many city roads also have exclusive lanes so they should def pay Road Tax of some amount;
  • Helmets for cyclists, mobility scooters and horse riders should be mandatory as this would reduce fatalities, serious head injuries and would reduce costs to the NHS;
  • The same should apply to spine and torso protectors, which are in common use in horse riding already, again this would reduce injury and therefore reduce costs to the NHS;

Over 25’s should have health insurance, which would be contributed to by their employer at a rate of 10-20%, and on which one can claim tax relief as per current personal 1mpension arrangements. The NHS would not cease and would remain for those unable to get health insurance cover through their employer, or for the unemployed, etc.:

  • Employees would not be entitled until they have served 12 months with an employer, regardless of employment contract type;
  • Insurance companies have the right to refuse cover but such decisions would need to go to Independent Arbitration;

Once cover is given it would cover as a minimum:


  • All hospital treatments
  • All dental treatments
  • All physical or psychological therapies in the community or in a health care setting
  • All rehabilitation regardless of setting
  • All ambulance costs

This would save the NHS (the tax payers’ money), billions very year:

  • As the insurance companies generate profits this would translate into taxable revenues;
  • The private care, nursing , medical, hospital and community health care would boom creating 10’s of thousands of jobs, again increasing tax revenue from a corporate and personal level;


Other items that should be brought in that would save some money, although not billions, but even these smaller amounts would add up to millions (I feel ridiculous saying millions of pounds are smaller amounts!):

  • People or families with incomes in excess of £50,000 per annum would not receive the Child Benefit;
  • People or couples of pension age or over with an income in excess of £50,000 per annum would not receive:
    • State Pension
    • Free travel passes
    • Winter Fuel Allowance payments
    • Free prescriptions
    • Or other benefit relating to pensionable age
  • People in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance or the equivalent state benefit must pay it back once they have an income of £25,000 or over per annum, as is the case with students paying back University Loans, as this seems only fair;

So there you have just ideas put together would raise billions, and at the same time save billions. But there are other ideas that could save billions such as:

  • Rather than each hospital or trust purchasing individually, thinking they all try to purchase the same sheets, pens, paper, beds, etc (I remember that recent article that should the cost of a box of sheets varied by 100% depending on Wonderful  (76)which NHS Hospital purchased them). I would centralise all NHS purchasing into one Government based unit/department, and bring to bare the purchasing power of not 100’s of individual trust, but one NHS purchaser. They would have enormous purchasing power and be able to drive down price and increase quality of equipment (this would only be for equipment purchasing and not services purchasing). This ‘unit’ would also be able to powerfully negotiate reasonable and cost effective maintenance contracts of any technical equipment needing servicing;
  • Hospitals and trust would simple put in an equipment request to this ‘unit’, who would then arrange for delivery1f from the supplier, with the amount of equipment help could be managed centrally to ensure over purchasing by individual hospitals “just in case its needed” is diminished, as is the waste that comes from ‘use by’ dates expiring with reference to sterilised sealed packages;
  • Effectively the supplier would bear the cost of storing the equipment as a norm and not the NHS;
  • This powerful cost saving model of equipment purchasing could be applied to other equipment purchasing Statutory services such as Councils, Social Care, Children’s Homes, etc.;

But I have saved my personal favourite for last, with regards to Members of Parliament, give them one off payments each year to replace the open ended expenses claims 1pthey currently have (and associated criminal fraud in some cases, certainly misuse and loss of public trust through over claiming). Perhaps a payment of £20,000 a year on top of their salaries to account any expenses that occur, no need to justify its use, and certainly no way of claiming more, a payment at the beginning of each Parliamentary year and do what you will with it. This change alone should save the tax payer millions and perhaps aid in moving on from the continuing miss-trust of MPs, rebuilding their standing in our society. I would also ½ the amount of expenses payment for the House of Lords members as on average they attend far less to Parliamentary business in the House of Lords than MP’s do.

Yes of course there would be some administration costs relating to the think, do, be positiveabove proposals, but it would still save and raise billions per annum and make it all a little fairer and equal re car users, tax payers, pensioners, etc., as it would increase the money available for those who truly, genuinely, absolutely need it. Yes these proposals would be hellishly unpopular but they would make a positive difference to the fragile and fickle situation we are in. I am sure many other ideas could be brought into the light if only the MPs would stop worrying about losing any political capital and just do what is right, what is fair, what is equal, and make a positive difference to the recession blowing a chill across the British economy.

What fiscal ideas to raise money or save expenditure can you think of to help pay down the national debt?



Jonathan Wade

Smiling Cat Ventures and Innovations Group



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