New Years often start with fantastical ambitions.
So here are my top three fantasy policies for 2015. They are not properly costed or even fully thought through but hopefully worth a look.
1. 100% direct re-distribution (not tax) of all inheritance to non-spouses / partners.
2. Compulsary mixed-demographic non-military national service for all 18 year olds.
3. Massive tax disincentive on second homes.
These are all aimed at levelling the playing field and creating more equality of opportunity.
The first will no doubt seem draconian. Maybe. But I think the fact that monies were simply divided up amongst everyone rather than being absorbed into government spending is very important. The “incentivisation of the benefits class” by the removal of hand outs would be challenged nicely if we were to consider “incentivisation of the inheriting class”. There are obvious problems. Migration in and out of the system would make it unworkable unless there was international parity. And of course, some children might require significant resources to get things order prior to liquidation of the estate.
The second will probably be seen as illiberal. But the world wars and national service were significantly socially equalising in many ways. One way was the mixing of the demographics when life stories to be shared and our common humanity to be revealed. This would be a unique chance for those from deprived backgrounds to show their value to those who could create opportunity.
Finally, housing needs to be prioritised as a social good, and not an investment opportunity. Investment money is being chronically diverted into housing rather than being put into more constructive investment. This double whammy of inflating house prices and diverting funds out of business and research investment is easily solved.
Let me know what you think. And let me know what you’re fantasy policies would be.