Vote on ‘Top Of The Policies’ fringe ideas

Please VOTE below for your favourite policy idea, as presented at the fringe event, below:

Ben Bradshaw MP

Immediate change to continental time to save money, spread light, health and happiness.

Chris Cook – Enterprise architect, Nordic Enterprise Trust; and market commentator.

 Blogs here.

Energy Loans: a Green Deal that will actually work: The Coalition’s Green Deal won’t work because banks are too greedy and people can’t be forced to change behaviour. Investors in energy invest directly – ‘Peer to Peer’ – in future energy saving Nega Watts through loans priced and repaid in energy. Saving energy literally saves money.

Josie Cluer – Former special adviser and contributed an article to Pragmatic Radicalism on public service reform.

Spend 1% of GDP on making renewable energy cheaper than coal and accessible to all: Labour needs a growth strategy which creates a sustainable, balanced economy and encourages inward investment. It must also tell a story about the kind of society we want to build and our place in the world. The country that solves this – the greatest challenge of our generation – will not only be the world’s economic powerhouse, but will also be the most secure, and the most environmentally sustainable.

Labour should commit to Britain spending 1% of GDP on making renewable energy cheaper than coal and accessible to all: Labour needs a growth strategy which creates a sustainable, balanced economy and encourages inward investment. It must also tell a story about the kind of society we want to build and our place in the world. The country that solves this – the greatest challenge of our generation – will not only be the world’s economic powerhouse, but will also be the most secure, and the most environmentally sustainable.

Rowenna Davis -Journalist writing for the Guardian and author of the new book documenting the inside story of Blue Labour, Tangled Up in Blue. Labour councillor in Southwark. Twitter: @RowennaDavis

Dealing with Dangerous Dogs: Did you know if a dog ravages you on private property, you can’t take criminal action against the owner? Meanwhile authorities are wasting money putting down innocent dogs down simply because of their breed. People living with dogs on inner city estates, animal rights campaigners and police are united that law is broken, and it’s time for change. Let’s make it happen.

Gemma Doyle MP – Member of Parliament for West Dunbartonshire

Dan Fox – Researcher, trainer and occasional blogger

A No Claims Bonus for National Insurance: A No Claims Bonus (NCB) will re-connect National Insurance (which 
has essentially come to be seen as nothing more than an extra income
 tax) with the mutual assurance ideals that were at its root. An NCB
 for NI would apply after 25 years of paying contributions if certain
parts of certain public services have not been used. It would be
applied by raising the thresholds for the 2% rates of NI for both
employees and self-employed workers and can be targeted to support
particular policy goals in health and welfare.

Lord Glasman

Vocational training rather than transferrable skills: Closing the ex-polytechnics and turning them into vocational colleges in partnership with the unions and private sector. Put the Law and Medical Schools in the Vocational Colleges.

Mike Harris – Head of Advocacy at Index on Censorship and the Labour Vice-Chair of Lewisham Council. Website here.

Stop the gerrymandering, build communities – link MPs’ constituencies with local authorities: Local authorities especially the old shire counties and boroughs have a sense of historic place – MPs constituencies after the reduction in members won’t. MPs constituencies should be re-linked to local authorities as closely as possible, to do this MPs’ votes should be weighted according to the population of their constituency (from 0.75 – 1.25) with votes in the Commons being tallied electronically to produce a fractional result.

Sunny Hundal – Editor, Liberal Conspiracy

No tax for people on minimum wage

John McTernan –  Commentator and political strategist who works internationally. He was Political Secretary to Tony Blair and has been an adviser on health, welfare, defence and Scotland.

Capital charging would make Government owned assets work harder

: Central and local government owns a vast array of physical assets – and buildings. For example, the MoD own 1% of the UK landmass. There should be a deemed rate of return on all assets. This would force government at all levels to use assets efficiently and realise their full value.

David Rowntree – Former Labour PPC

New class of rented accommodation for young people: I am proposing that a new class of accommodation be built in partnership between the Government and large institutional investors. It would be managed accommodation working in a similar way to the private sector to student blocks, but with self-contained studio and 1-bedroom flats. The rent would be affordable, but contain a savings element, like an ISA, managed by the institutions. The savings element can be released as a deposit, when the person decides to

Amanda Ramsay – Former Labour Councillor and Cabinet Member, currently working on launch of Blue Dot – the third sector version of Nectar Points. Blogs for and can be followed at

Lateral-thinking Revenue Raising Ideas to pay for Public Services: a football transactions tax, a one per cent levy on transfer fees to fund school playing fields, for example. Let’s think more creatively…In theory, local councils could offer discounts on council tax for those who process recyclable items efficiently, generating capital receipt cash for public services, from their sale to third parties who recycle into new products.

Joe Sarling – Economist at Delta Economics. Blogs here.

Regional banks for regional growth and national prosperity: The over-reliance on the south-east to generate the opportunities and growth potential in order to fund regional projects has to stop. My answer is to set up regional banks, in a public-private collaboration, that are only able to lend within designated areas. This will harness the local knowledge of the local population and empower the regions to drive their own economic growth.

John Slinger – Editor, Pragmatic Radicalism and Labour Party Member

Citizens’ Quantitative Easing: £200bn of QE has not led to increased lending to the real economy as hoped. Ordinary people and businesses are suffering the results of a financial crisis they didn’t cause. What is required now is not more QE but instead Citizens’ Quantitative Easing, which would directly benefit ordinary people doing ordinary jobs, creating real and socially productive economic activity. A £200 time-limited, non-transferable, non-cashable voucher would be issued to all adults or the purchase of certain goods and services from small- and medium-sized enterprises. this would cost £9.6bn funded through printing money rather than borrowing.

Anne Snelgrove – Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for South Swindon; former MP for South Swindon

Right to Learn: Introduce a Universal Right to Learn so that everyone – whatever their age and qualifications – can continue their learning and education after the statutory school leaving age. This would build on and utilise successful past Labour Government initiatives such as The Open University and Union Learn. It would also introduce cost effective and innovative ways of building qualifications up to and including degree level, in contrast to Tory/Lib Dem policies which restrict access to HE.

Gisela Stuart MP

Apprenticeships for all: Creating the jobs and skills for the under 25s the single most important issue. Every  company employing more than five people to provide an apprenticeship place. Government support for those doing so [equivalent of Educational Maintenance Allowance] – levy for those who don’t.

Tom Tàbori – Barrister pupil, writer in residence for David Lammy MP and Branch Secretary of Kentish Town Labour Party.

The British homes investment fund: An affordable home for all and a guaranteed return for institutional investors in fund predicated on affordable housing.

Jonathan Todd – Ex Labour PPC, associate editor of Pragmatic Radicalism and economic columinist for Labour Uncut.

Affordable childcare for all: All parents should be able to choose the work-life balance that works for them. No one should have to work more or less than they want to because of the costs of childcare. In some cases, childcare costs can lock parents out of work and in poverty. In others, childcare costs can result in parents working longer hours than they would prefer and having less time with their families. Affordable childcare would enable parents to make choices that avoided these outcomes. This can be achieved by making childcare skills and management a strategic skill, so increasing the supply of childcare places and placing downward pressure on childcare prices, and tweaks to the tax system to reduce the end price charged to parents.

Dan Whittle – Labour Party Member

A social infrastructure stimulus, funded by pension funds: Billions in stimulus for UK plc could be unlocked from pensions including the local government scheme and the universities superannuation scheme if the government made investing in infrastructure worth their while. Approach should include regional banks, social housing and infrastructure bonds and training for fund trustees.

Jon Worth – Associate fellow at IPPR, EU columnist at LabourList and blogger at

Mainstreaming the EU

: The EU is no longer foreign policy. It is part of our everyday lives. From environment to economic policy, workers’ rights to transport, EU and traditionally national policy areas overlap. Labour should reflect this in its own policy approach – including EU related policy positions across its manifesto rather than hiding them away with foreign policy.

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