Douglas Carswell

14 JUL 2016

To solve inequality, Mrs. May, cut the corporatism

Theresa May's inaugural speech as Prime Minister focused on social justice. But her predecessor also promoted the 'Big Society.' In policy terms, it didn't amount to much. Patrician conservatism won't tackle inequality. The real solution is far more radical.

Inequality has increased not in spite of the last government, but, in part, because of it. George Osborne was a corporatist Chancellor. He backed monetary stimulus for broken banks. He subsidised corporate payrolls through the tax system. He tried to pick winners, and rig the market in the service of vested interests.

But the Official Opposition is no better. Ever since Rousseau, the left-wing answer to inequality has always been to redistribute wealth. Yet it has never succeeded. If anything, it has made the situation worse. In Venezuela – whose government Jeremy Corbyn admires – the population has starved while its Communist leaders live in luxury.

Redistribution fails because it just rigs the system in a different way. It channels wealth to a different privileged few. The real solution is the opposite. To solve the problem caused by rigging the market, Government has to stop rigging the market.

Think about your biggest financial challenges. Many of them are the direct result of public policy.

Houses unaffordable? The Treasury is stoking an unsustainable house price bubble.

Fuel bills going up? The Government is shutting power stations, and subsidising eye-wateringly expensive nuclear energy.

Broadband too dear? BT Openreach has a State-backed monopoly on the infrastructure.

No pay rise in years? Corporate tax credits and open-door immigration have let Big Business keep wages down.

Actually tackling inequality entails confronting vested interests. It requires overturning the certainties of both the corporatist right, and the redistributionist left.

The Labour party has no new ideas. I don't believe the Conservative party is capable of delivering change either – that's why I left it.

The radical agenda for progress is waiting to be seized. I hope UKIP takes it up.

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