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IEA reacts to announcement of early general election

Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the Prime Minister’s call for an early general election on 8th June 2017

“By calling a snap general election, the Prime Minister has provided all parties and politicians with an opportunity to upgrade their manifesto pledges and put forward strong and decisive policies that will lower taxes and the cost of living burden for working families, reduce wasteful government spending whilst ensuring fiscal discipline is maintained.

The IEA recommends:

Ending all departmental ring-fencing 

“This should include ring-fenced spending on the NHS and the commitment to the triple lock on state pensions. The triple lock guarantees ever-increased spending, and over long periods will place an unsustainable burden on the working age population. Rises should instead be linked to inflation and nothing else. The 0.7% target for international aid spending is arbitrary and should also be scrapped.

Intensifying fiscal discipline

“Parties should pledge to eliminate the budget deficit before 2020. For all the talk of austerity and fiscal discipline, the Government has made precious little progress thus far. This year the deficit will be in the region of 2.6% of GDP, and yet the government continue to write cheques for future generations to pay off. Fiscal discipline is an absolute priority, particularly given the uncertainty facing the UK economy over the coming years following Brexit.

Lowering taxes 

“Taxation should be lowered to alleviate the financial burden currently being placed on workers. The commitment not to raise income tax or National Insurance Contributions should be retained, while proposals to return the 50p tax rate should be abandoned to ensure economic activity is encouraged. Furthermore, reductions in corporation tax – paid for by workers and customers, not corporations – should be continued with the long-term aim of replacing it with a tax on earnings distributed to shareholders.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: nchesterfield@iea.org.uk or 020 7799 8920

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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