Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond delivered a budget that promised much, but delivered little, echoing the work of his predecessor, George Osborne.
Mark Chapman, Pirate Party Economics Spokesperson said:
"This was a budget with tinkering and updates, but with no real structural changes in either taxation or spending.
"Despite incurring significant political flak by clearly breaking a manifesto commitment not to raise National Insurance on the self-employed he doesn't go nearly far enough. The tax and National Insurance system continues to be too complicated and we need to restructure the way in which tax works rather than simply trying to plug the most recent loophole that accounts happened to have found.
"The Pirate Party has a very clear commitment to tax simplification, and a desire to move towards Land Value Tax as the primary revenue collection mechanism. This would mean a shift of focus onto the taxing of wealth, rather than income - meaning a fairer spread of the tax load across society, and greatly reducing the disincentives to working.
"The Chancellor highlighted the real issue of young people saying that "too many of our young people are leaving formal education without the skills they need for today’s labour market" - whilst we approve of the announced T-Levels and a focus on technical qualifications we wait to see the details of how these will work and how they will be treated by employers. Obviously if the Government really wanted to listen to young people they could start by implementing our policy of Votes at 16 to engage and encourage political involvement from a young age.
"There were specific giveaways to certain areas - with a commitment of over £300Mn to tackle specific pinch points - but nothing about taking urban congestion off the roads by investing instead in segregated cycleways and following the wide spread evidence from the Netherlands and elsewhere to reduce pollution near schools, and increase children's health and well-being.
"In short - this was a tinkermans budget from a Chancellor trying not to rock the boat. As with the original 'tinkerman' Claudio Ranieri it might well work for a year or so - and he can pull of a Leicester style surprise in economic growth and government borrowing figures - but it is not focused on the underlying long-term structural changes that the country so desperately needs.
"For that we need a new type of politics that truly understands digital and the internet, and doesn't just pay them lip-service with tokenistic give-aways. We need politicians that understand the digital economy, that understand and have a plan for a future digital economy with Universal Basic Income. We need Pirates in Parliament and politics."
About Pirate Party UK
The Pirate Party in the UK is a fledgling political party. It has fielded a few candidates in European and National elections, but like most small parties it is significantly constrained by the UK electoral system. Despite this, the Pirate Party now has a representative in local government and is looking to build support from the grassroots.
Find out more about the UK Pirate Party at https://pirateparty.org.uk/ or contact [email protected]