LIFE is unique in truly appreciating the proper role of the economy in human society. Our policies synthesise the industrial, financial and technological revolutions into an economy that serves the society that nurtures it.
LIFE policies will:
- Reduce basic labour rates,
- Lower the barriers to investment,
- Promote small business and micro-economic activity generally,
- Get the UK to fiscal balance faster,
- Reduce environmental impact starting immediately,
- and improve the standard of life for the average person.
Only the LIFE Party has an economic plan that matches fiscal prudence with prosperity, effort with reward, and progress with sustainability. The LIFE policies that will propel our economy into the lead are:
- the emancipation of enterprise through WellFair, that disengages the struggle for joyful society from the deadweight of “corporate responsibility”
- the unleashing of micro-economic activity, through the enablement of every individual contribution to the economy no matter how small
- the return to fiscal balance and monetary discipline, through diversion of social security costs into the “hygiene economy”
- support for effective price signalling that will drive investment to sustainable energy, infrastructure and resource use
Emancipation of enterprise
LIFE will correct the great failure of the 20th Century to develop a truly sustainable economic model. We recognise that our economy can only ever be a child of our greater society, and as such it will never generate enough taxes out of sustainable wealth to pay for our social support needs in cash.
We have to take responsibility for our social welfare, without being dependent on corporate taxes. Income taxes will be dedicated to providing social services.
By making WellFair the basis of our social security, LIFE’s economic policies separate the “wealth economy” from the “hygiene economy”. Businesses continue to operate as they do today, and in our society we provide the basic WellFair services without charge, effectively accepting everyone’s mutual contributions in lieu of payment. By providing the equivalent of a “living wage” in services instead of cash, the cost of every unit of labour is reduced. At the same time every person can take whatever work they wish to, without the coercion of survival needs, and without the artificial threshold of a minimum wage.
Unleashing our micro-economy
Our economy has become dangerously top heavy, and dependent on mega-scale corporations to produce products and services for consumption that is fuelled by debt. This is not only an unsustainable model, it also negates the massive economic contributions of millions of small-scale activities.
LIFE’s policies will grow our wealth economy by allowing millions of people to make micro-contributions, activity that is impossible today because it does not generate sufficient monetary value to cover our inflated subsistence costs when they are measured in cash. There are trillions of transactions a year going unfilled today because it is not “worth” repairing, restoring, rebuilding, cleaning, growing, painting, custom-making, fostering, rearing, guarding, inspecting, overseeing, helping, nurturing, caring for or looking after people and things. All these “micro” activities become worthwhile once the basic necessities of life have been provided for through mutual social support.
Return to fiscal balance and monetary discipline
The UK economy is running an unsustainable public budget, and leaning on imprudent monetary policy. Debts are being piled onto future generations without their permission, and monetary systems are being inflated, at the risk of the entire value chain collapsing. All this because the relationship between what is “wealth”, and what must be just “activity” has been missed.
Providing for our social needs through the mutual exchange of labour in a hygiene economy, and using cash where it is necessary to procure commercial goods and services, allows us to properly fund the level of decent social support we need for a prosperous and sustainable society. Funded this way, it is possible to pay for our social needs out of a sustainable tax on the wealth economy.
WellFair is the only way to provide comprehensive social security funded by a reasonable tax on wealth generating activity in our economy. Moving to WellFair services will allow us to restore fiscal balance to our budget within 10 years.
As fiscal balance is restored, so the pressure for loose monetary policy is relieved. It is essential to our fluid and dynamic economy that we continue to leverage the advantages of fiat currency, but that comes with the solemn responsibility to manage the money supply with discipline and respect for the value of the currency as a store of wealth.
Driving investment to sustainable energy, infrastructure and resource use
LIFE recognises that protecting the authenticity of price signals is not just a nice economic idea, it is vital to the proper functioning of a modern economy. The beauty of a modern economy is that it is so complex that it cannot possibly be directed, and yet it succeeds (mostly) in delivering the products and services that are needed. The reason why it works is because there are very basic principles at work, principles that are natural and work with normal human behaviour. One of those principles is the transmission of signals through the economy generated by market-based pricing – mess with that, and a system that we know we cannot control becomes unstable and misdirected, investing in and delivering products and services that are not needed.
The key to an economy that is sustainable, internally, socially and environmentally, is to ensure that prices are accurately transmitting signals that are as fully informed as we can make them. LIFE will stop subsidising ineffective, wasteful and dangerous products and services. LIFE will add additional weight to prices that demonstrate an inability to accommodate the full burden of known externalities. As examples: we will not subsidise fossil fuel extraction, and we will apply a GHG tax to all products and services in proportion to their GHG contributions.
To secure and catalyse investment in our long-term energy security we will use the NI Bank to fund a national “smart grid” and set carbon-neutral targets for every Community and every government body.
Sustainable Economics: The Wealth and Hygiene Economies
LIFE will drive economic prosperity through the proper understanding and implementation of sustainable economics, summarised in this diagram (click it for more detail on how to build a sustainable economy):