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ECONOMIC POLICY

Introduction

The general principle of the Democratic Party is to encourage industry and commerce by judicious use of the taxation and grant aid systems. While encouraging private enterprise, the need to help those falling on hard times without helping the more idle members of society, we recognise that many areas of economic activity in Britain have reduced in size and some in quality over the last few decades, and this trend must be reversed if we are to maintain our current position in the top five economies of the world. We also recognise that the current practice of creating employment by providing education and training only is insufficient. Long-term careers can only be ensured in a thriving economy, which must not be shackled by extensive taxation or bureaucracy. The individual must be given equality of opportunity by providing the means to achieve their maximum potential. To this end fundamental education, together with opportunities for further training and education, are crucial and the duty of the state.

European Union

A major "plank" of our policy is to leave the European Union and return to the democratically valid position of participating in a 'Common Market'. More than 4 billion a year will then be available to encourage research and development, long term investment in modern methods and the provision of, not only the graduate level employee, but also the competent hard working middle ground work force who have been the backbone of Britain for so long but have decreased in number dramatically in the last 30 years.

Value Added Tax and Interest Rates

Withdrawal from the EU would enable us to abolish VAT and reduce many other areas of bureaucracy, which currently stifle entrepreneurial activity. The manufacturing and distribution chain will pay a single sales tax, since we recognise that a tax on consumption is an essential element in controlling inflation. It is a mistake to use the "sledge hammer" of interest rates to "crack the nut" of inflation when simultaneously business is discouraged.

We realise that the farming industry in particular has been badly distorted, in many undesirable ways, by the common agricultural policy. We will ensure that the farming industry is supported at a reasonable level, while the provision of food returns to a level at which the consumer is happy to buy, in the knowledge that it is free of disease, is economically priced and has been produced in ways which provide a reasonable life for livestock. Unfair competition from factories/farms abroad will not be tolerated.

The Fishing Industry

Control of our own fishing grounds will allow the rebuilding of the fishing industry while allowing us to ensure conservation of stocks for long-term viability. The increased fleet will have a beneficial effect on the boat-building industry, with consequent increases in economic activity to suppliers of that industry.

Shipbuilding Industry

The taxation and grant system of the U.K. will be modified to encourage major shipbuilding of all types. Not only does this capability have implications for a strong defence policy, but the increased economic activity at all levels of British industry is increased dramatically. In addition, shipbuilding increases employment significantly, while high technology applications are also encouraged.

Redevelopment

We believe that the taxatoin and business rates system should be modified to encourage redevelopment on brownfield sites for both commercial/industrial and residential property.

National Insurance

The Democratic Party would combine National Insurance and taxation, thus offering a major simplification in the bureaucracy which is currently such a large burden on business.

Taxation

The regulations on both income and corporation tax would be modified so that the system would be more transparent with major simplifications in documentation. Civil Service staff thus released would be utilised to investigate fraud, while encouraging the great majority of law-abiding taxpayers. We believe that the penalties that are now applied to genuinely honest, unpaid tax collectors in industry and commerce constitute an unfair mental burden upon the citizens of this country.

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