We must act decisively to break down the barriers to success, provide a ladder which all may climb and a safety net below which none need fall. However, governments are often guilty of replacing the ladder with handouts to buy votes. Not only does this harm our economy, it de-motivates those who are willing to work.
There are some things that governments can and must do. They can ensure that an effective education system is in place for all and promote diverse skills. They can remove barriers to trade and make sure that laws facilitating trade are upheld. They can provide good transport links, keep bureaucracy to a minimum and encourage savings and investment.
On the other hand, governments must not seek to micro-manage or manipulate the market. The most sustainable and successful economies are those whose governments impose the minimum bureaucracy, regulation and cost. Crippling a hardworking private sector to prop up an inefficient public sector and buy votes is a well trodden path which leads to increased poverty for all.
In the post-war years successive governments tried to boost economic growth through public expenditure. This approach eventually collapsed in 1976 when Britain had to call in the International Monetary Fund. Incredibly, the present government has done exactly the same and the results are even worse this time round. Economic growth depends upon flexibility in the labour market, a tax regime which rewards hard work, a skilled and motivated workforce and efficient transport systems.
The first steps
The New Party would encourage a wide range of wealth creation by providing an environment in which all types of business may prosper. We would do this by reducing direct costs such as taxation and indirect costs such as over-regulation. We would also deregulate education and encourage our universities, further education and training establishments to address the shortages in core skills by the targeted use of scholarships.
Replacing the dead hand of government
The New Party would develop a low tax, lightly regulated economy that would allow enterprise to flourish and return public spending to affordable levels. Our education proposals would ensure better skills and the qualifications that the country needs. We would create more free trade agreements and help businesses to compete in international markets. Above all, we would replace the dead hand of government with freedom and choice.