Conservative Manifesto 2010 Change the Economy Encourage Enterprise
We will improve Britain’s international rankings for tax competitiveness and business regulation.
Thirteen years ago, Britain’s tax system was one of the most competitive in the developed world. over the last decade, other countries have cut their tax rates while our tax system has become one of the most complex in the world.
our competitiveness rating has fallen, while the burden of regulation and the impact of taxation have risen. We can only make a sustainable economic recovery if we send a clear signal that britain is open for business again. that means stopping Labour’s jobs tax, lowering corporate tax rates, reducing the regulatory burden, and supporting innovation and sustainable development – changes that will benefit businesses of all sizes and boost employment.
Cut and simplify business taxes the Conservative Party believes in lower and simpler taxation. That is why we will ensure that by far the largest part of the burden of dealing with the deficit falls on lower spending rather than higher taxes. Cutting the deficit is the most urgent task we need to undertake if we are to get the economy moving, but it is not enough. So, initially, we will cut the headline rate of corporation tax to 25p and the small companies’ rate to 20p, funded by reducing complex reliefs and allowances.
over time, we hope to reduce these rates further. our ambition is to create the most competitive tax system in the G20 within five years.
We will restore the tax system’s reputation for simplicity, stability and predictability. in our first Budget, we will set out a five year road map for the direction of corporate tax reform, providing greater certainty and stability to businesses. We will create an independent Office of Tax Simplification to suggest reforms to the tax system.
We will take a series of measures to encourage Foreign Direct Investment into the UK, including:
• making the UK a more attractive location for multinationals by simplifying the complex Controlled foreign Companies rules;
• consulting on moving towards a territorial corporate tax system that only taxes profits generated in the UK; and,
• creating an attractive tax environment for intellectual property.
Increasing amounts of red tape and complex regulation have eroded britain’s reputation as a good place to invest, create jobs or start a business. a Conservative government will introduce regulatory budgets: forcing any government body wanting to introduce a new regulation to reduce regulation elsewhere by a greater amount. and we will give the public the opportunity to force the worst regulations to be repealed.
to encourage new businesses to start up, we will reduce the number of forms needed to register a new business – moving towards a ‘one-click’ registration model – to make britain the fastest place in the world to start a business, and end the restrictions on social tenants starting a business from their homes.
We are proud of the last Conservative government’s industrial relations reforms, which helped bring about our economic revival in the 1980s, and we will always be prepared to build on them if necessary.
Support innovation and sustainable development government procurement is a £200 billion a year market that can be used much better to stimulate enterprise and innovation. We will take steps to open up government procurement to small and innovative businesses by:
• publishing online all government tender documents for contracts worth over £10,000 via the Supply2gov website;
• creating a level playing field for open source iCt in government procurement; and,
• opening up contracts to Smes by breaking up large iCt projects into smaller components.
Britain’s complex and unwieldy planning system has long been cited as a significant barrier to growth and wealth creation. We will create a presumption in favour of sustainable development in the planning system. We will abolish the unelected infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) and replace it with an efficient and democratically-accountable system that provides a fast-track process for major infrastructure projects. We will:
• use private or hybrid bills to promote major projects, such as our plans for a national high speed rail network;
• ensure that all other major infrastructure projects are considered at planning inquiries which have binding timetables and which focus on planning issues – with final permission given by a minister; and,
• provide transitional arrangements for projects already before the iPC to ensure that these projects are not disrupted or delayed.
attract the brightest and best to our country immigration has enriched our nation over the years and we want to attract the brightest and the best people who can make a real difference to our economic growth. but immigration today is too high and needs to be reduced. We do not need to attract people to do jobs that could be carried out by british citizens, given the right training and support. So we will take steps to take net migration back to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands.
to help achieve this goal, we will introduce a number of measures, such as:
• setting an annual limit on the number of non- EU economic migrants admitted into the UK to live and work;
• limiting access only to those who will bring the most value to the british economy; and,
• applying transitional controls as a matter of course in the future for all new eU member States. in addition, we will promote integration into british society, as we believe that everyone coming to this country must be ready to embrace our core values and become a part of their local community. So there will be an english language test for anyone coming here to get married.
We want to encourage students to come to our universities and colleges, but our student visa system has become the biggest weakness in our border controls. a Conservative government will strengthen the system of granting student visas so that it is less open to abuse. We want to make it easier for reputable universities and colleges to accept applications, while putting extra scrutiny on new institutions looking to accept foreign students or existing institutions not registered with Companies house. in addition, we will:
• insist foreign students at new or unregistered institutions pay a bond in order to study in this country, to be repaid after the student has left the country at the end of their studies;
• ensure foreign students can prove that they have the financial means to support themselves in the UK; and,
• require that students must usually leave the country and reapply if they want to switch to another course or apply for a work permit.
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