Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Economy & Industry Week

Over the last four weeks the National Liberal Party has showcased five Key political issues with a footnote policy in each. The final area is the Economy. Given the importance of this area in times austerity this will be extended into an Economy & Industry week.
A leaflet explaining our position on the Five key issues can be obtained here

The Economy – Give Britons a greater stake in business!

POLITICALLY, the National Liberal Party takes a general position that’s ‘neither Left nor Right’ and ‘neither capitalist nor communist’.

This neutral or ‘third way’ is also reflected in our economic views. As National Liberals we, like our forebears in the Liberal Nationals, favour a balanced approach over dogma but we do have preferences.

Although supporting a ‘mixed’ economy of public but mainly private ownership, we want one where the ownership of property and the means of production, distribution and exchange are widespread and significant. This will be largely reflected through small (even sole) businesses but might also include co-operatives. In all cases we believe it is beneficial to all if the workforce has a stake in the enterprise.

Whilst many of those businesses may require financial assistance, we don’t want Britons to become slaves to the banks. We need a fairer banking system. The banks should be run as a service and not a money making exercise. Ideally, they would not charge interest (as apart from a fee) on loans. If private banks won’t do this then perhaps a National Bank could.

We want as many people as possible to be in meaningful employment – either through private enterprise (preferably self-employed or small business) or some form of co-operative. Only very large-scale operations should be/remain nationalised – but even they should involve some form of representation of the workforce.

The National Liberal Party would also like to see a re-growth of a rural-based economy. We feel that this would herald a massive revival in old (and potentially ‘lost’) crafts.

Apprenticeships and a limited degree of economic protectionism also feature in our economic policies.

The NLP favours a move away from Britain’s existing policy of allowing mass – and seemingly unlimited – immigration. Neither the previous Labour government nor the current Con-Dem one can accurately say who is in Britain and who is not. This is irresponsible. How can we plan any of our public services (hospitals, education, housing or transport) if we don’t know how many people are in Britain?

Thus, we believe that there needs to be a cap on migrant labour, including from within the EU (despite inevitable EU resistance). Ironically, black Britons including descendants of the Empire Windrush generation are now being put out of work by cheap, white Eastern European labour.

Additionally (and where available) our own people should be given jobs first. To facilitate that, we need to strictly limit the intra-company transfers of the multi-nationals and, most vital of all, we need to invest in home grown youth to meet future skill needs.

Large-scale Apprenticeships, whether in the financial or manufacturing sectors, are a vital tool with which to supply industry with the skills, and the young (and not so young) with the jobs, they both need. It is long overdue!

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