A Mixed Economy
We favour a market economy but not an unrestrained market economy. Trade and industry should, within reason, meet the needs of the society within which it operates. Societies should not be expected to subvert their democratic and cultural institutions in order to meet the needs of trade and industry.
More consumption does not necessarily produce more happiness. A healthy economy is a mixed economy. We should expand our manufacturing sector and halt the trend towards an over-reliance on service industries. It is a fallacy that manufacturing industry is low-tech metal-bashing which can be replaced with service industries. Most of the service sector does not provide high-tech jobs. Catering, retailing, warehousing, and call-centre work is mostly low-tech, low paid work. The aerospace, electronics, pharmaceutical, and engineering industries should be the bedrock of our economy and the core around which a high-skill, high-pay service sector is built.
In furtherance of this policy, and in the interests of a healthy economy, there should be an industrial policy which promotes and expands manufacturing industry. Manufacturing is an essential part of a modern and prosperous economy.
Appropriate encouragement and targeted support should be given to ensure that certain strategic resources are produced in England. Complete self-sufficiency is impossible but we should ensure that we are not placed in a position where we are unable to defend our vital interests because we lack control of the necessary strategic resources.
Our economy and currency should be managed, as far as possible, by our own government. States may be less independent than they once were but we should resist those who would leave our economic well-being in the hands of global corporations and institutions.
We should retain what independence and control we have and strive to gain more. We advocate support for core "strategic" industries without which England would not be able to maintain her economic well being. Many vital, highly capital-intensive industries are unlikely to be restarted by private entrepreneurs alone.
Examples are energy, agriculture, manufacturing (including shipbuilding, bearings and machine tools), transportation, water, aviation and defence to name but a few.
There should be some emphasis on supporting strategic industries in the North of England, where there is less overcrowding and more affordable housing for workers. A key method of support for these strategic industries is to encourage the public sector to purchase from them, especially during downturns in their open market.
We also favour support for these industries from the government - intellectually, educationally and via private-public financing arrangements, although we recognise that there isn't necessarily a prevalence of business skills and experience within government circles. As a last resort, where it is necessary to avoid the loss of a strategic industry, we advocate the purchase of a government-held "golden share" which can be sold as and when the industry regains stability. We recognise that England's ability to implement its own industrial strategy is impaired by its being subject to EU authority: the English Democrats support EU withdrawal, subject to referendum authorisation.
A One-Country Economy
There should be a more equal spread of government, and government-directed spending throughout England. This objective could be furthered by an English Parliament committed to ensuring that good public services and the infrastructure for a modern economy exist in all parts of England.
We call for honesty in taxation policy. We oppose the imposition of stealth taxes, such as the tax on pension scheme dividends, because such dishonest taxes are tantamount to theft by the state. We support the ring-fencing approach to taxation for major areas of public expenditure such as health and pensions, whereby taxes are collected for a specific purpose and the state cannot redirect those funds to a different purpose.
Employment & Welfare
We believe that the government should pursue policies which provide the conditions necessary for full employment. Welfare payments should, where possible, be linked to employment and retraining schemes. We support the principle of National Insurance benefits, such as Unemployment Benefit, providing short to medium term relief. Income Support should provide a net for citizens with dependent families or other commitments requiring additional support.
The National Insurance system has been allowed by successive governments to become unacceptably open to abuse. There are currently millions more National Insurance numbers than the adult population of the whole of the United Kingdom. The scheme should be immediately overhauled to prevent fraud and duplication. Once this process has been completed, there should be vigorous enforcement of the rule that persons without a valid national insurance number should not be allowed to undertake paid employment or claim any form of welfare benefit.
Child maintenance allowances or any public monies paid to parents for their children should only be claimable if the child is resident in the country. Such allowances are only to be paid to citizens of this country. Obtaining allowances to which people are not entitled through fraud or deception should carry a prison sentence and the possibility of the confiscation of assets to repay fraudulent claims. Any provision of welfare for non-citizens should only be on the basis of reciprocal rights between states.
Housing supply and pricing is being severely distorted by the levels of immigration into England. First time buyers find it difficult to afford a home of their own and need to take on large mortgages, and the attendant interest payments, in order to do so. Social housing is currently insufficient to meet demand. With our pledge to bring mass immigration to a complete end and to expel illegal immigrants, then the pressure on housing will be lessened.
We advocate a fairer points system for the allocation of social housing, giving greater priority to local people and those who are married and in work. Publicly funded affordable housing purchase/rental schemes should only be available to first time buyers who are citizens of this country.