Sunday, 4 June 2017

Review of UKIP Manifesto

This is a quick review of the manifesto of the UK Independence Party, based on the bullet-point summary provided by the BBC here.  I will make a brief comment on each bullet and award a score as follows:

  • 2 points if I agree and it is important, or I very strongly agree
  • 1 points if I agree but I don't consider it important
  • 0 points if I am unsure or don't care
  • -1 points if I disagree but I don't consider it important
  • -2 points if I disagree and it is important, or I very strongly disagree

To clarify, since I am libertarian I will give a positive score to any policy that increases liberty and a negative score to any policy that decreases liberty.

I have done a similar review of the manifesto of the Conservative Party here, the Labour Party here and the LibDem Party here.  I'll do the same for UKIP over the coming days.  I have already written a detailed review of the Libertarian Party manifesto here.


Health and Care



  • -1: The NHS doesn't need more funding, the system is flawed and we need a free market in healthcare
  • -1: Government shouldn't be funding education or training for anyone, even nurses.  Students should pay for their own training or find someone willing to voluntarily pay for them.  If there were a free market in healthcare, it is likely that private healthcare organisations would pay for nurse training
  • +1: Those who have not paid into the NHS should not be able to reap the benefits from it without paying.  Charitable individuals are welcome to pay for the healthcare of foreign nationals if they wish
  • +1: The NHS should be moved towards a market-based system, but PFI doesn't do this.  It is simply the NHS outsourcing the building of hospitals to the private sector, and in many cases represents a worse deal than if the new hospitals had been funded directly.  See the IEA report "Universal Healthcare without the NHS" for more details.

Brexit



  • +2: We sensibly voted to leave the EU, including the ECJ, single market and customs union, so this is merely the implementation of the will of the people expressed in the referendum 
  • +2: Fishing rights was an important issue during the campaign, and it is important for the UK fishing industry to take back control of our waters, which the EU has forbidden us from fishing in
  • +2: We do not owe the EU anything.  We have been one of the biggest contributors to the EU budget over the years.  If anything, they should be paying us as we are relinquishing control of assets that we have paid for
  • +1: 2 years is more than enough time for the negotiations.

Immigration



  • +1: Freedom of movement is unsustainable while we have a welfare state, socialised industries and subsidised housing
  • -1: High-skilled immigration is needed and benefits the country.  Quality is more important than quantity, and a net figure of zero would mean we are turning away many immigrants that would benefit this country
  • +1: If an immigrant is economically self-supporting, they should be welcomed, while those that cannot support themselves should be turned away.  It is likely that unskilled or low-skilled immigrants cannot support themselves and would be a net loss to this country
  • +1: Those who have not paid into the NHS should not be able to reap the benefits from it without paying. 

Economy and Taxes



  • +2: Taxation is theft and economically destructive.  So tax cuts should always be welcomed
  • +2: See above
  • +2: See above
  • -1: See above.  Tax loopholes should be opened to everyone, not closed.

Education and Family



  • 0: Grammar schools are better for children than comprehensive schools, so they should be more of them.  However, government shouldn't fund them, and this is presumably what is meant by this pledge
  • -1: Students, their parents (or private charities) should pay for their own university education; taxpayers should not
  • +1: Government should not be offering or underwriting any loans to anyone
  • 0: Government should not be involved in education at all.  However, while it is, it is right to focus more on technical and vocational education rather than frivolous degrees such as gender studies.  

Housing



  • -1: Government should not be in the business of building houses; it should get out of the way so that the private sector can build the houses needed to meet demand
  • -1: See above
  • -1: Compulsory purchase is a euphemism for theft
  • 0: Whether this increases or decreases liberty depends on what the review finds.

Welfare and Pensions



  • -1: Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidise pensioners.  State pensions should be privatised, but until they are they should not increase at a rate above both inflation and wages, because this is effectively a forced transfer to pensioners from younger people who are working hard to make ends meet
  • -1: Care should be paid for by the individuals receiving the care or by those willing to voluntarily pay for them; taxpayers should not paying for anyone's care
  • -1: The welfare system should be privatised, so that everyone can decide for themselves who is deserving of their charity.  Private charity is better targeted and delivered more effectively than welfare payments
  • -1: The "bedroom tax" is not a tax; it is a reduction to a subsidy.  

Foreign and Defence



  • -1: We already have sufficient armed forces to defend this country.  The focus of the armed forces should be changed to be purely defence of this nation, not fighting wars overseas
  • +1: The EU would benefit much more from military cooperation with us than we do from cooperating with them; we should make use of this during the negotiations
  • +1: It is good for nations to cooperate together, such as by agreeing free trade deals, as long as they do not give up their sovereignty to international organisations or get involved in entangling military alliances
  • +2: Obviously the UK should not get involved in any foreign wars.

Future of the UK



  • 0: This would move us towards direct democracy and this is in some ways worse than representative democracy.  On the other hand, it may bring about some important changes in the political system that might not take place otherwise, such as increased decentralisation
  • +1: While we have a state, it should reflect the will of the people, and UKIP getting 13% of the popular vote but only winning one MP suggests there is something wrong with the current system
  • +1: This would help reduce the costs of government
  • 0: This would decentralise the state which is good, but I would rather see further devolution and secession in Scotland, NI and Wales such that the UK parliament becomes the de facto English parliament.

Transport and Environment



  • -1: Government should not be making this decision.  Airports should be privately owned and each owner should decide for himself whether to expand or not.  It may be that expanding Heathrow is more efficient than expanding the other airports; government has no way of calculating this.
  • +1: Government should not be funding new transport infrastructure.
  • -1: There are very few toll roads in this country.  Charging tolls is more efficient (it reduces traffic for those willing to pay more) and it is fairer for the actual users of any given road to be the ones to pay for it.
  • +1: The Climate Change Act is economically destructive as well as completely pointless.

Overall

  • Health and Care: 0
  • Brexit: +7
  • Immigration: +2
  • Economy and Taxes: +5
  • Education and Family: 0
  • Housing: -3
  • Welfare and Pensions: -4
  • Foreign and Defence: +3
  • Future of the UK: +2
  • Transport and Environment: 0

Final Score: +12


Have I been fair in my review?  Do you agree with how I have scored the policies?  Let me know in the comments below.



Don't forget to check out my similar review of the Conservative manifesto here, the Labour manifesto here, and the LibDem manifesto here.

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