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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Here are some good ideas for you, Chancellor Hunt

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‘TREASURY calls for help’, a delighted Guido reported last week. ‘His Majesty’s Treasury has called for policy suggestions from . . . the public. The Treasury took to Twitter/X last night to fish for ideas, perhaps because they don’t yet have any themselves. Desperate times call for desperate measures . . .’

Unsurprisingly there was no shortage of responses to Guido’s article, never mind to the Treasury ‘representation portal’. The encouragement of resignations was very popular, along with hints that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and the government have firmly closed their minds to low tax, small state and energy security.

In my corner of East Switzerland, leaflets from candidates canvassing for the next election could give Mr Hunt plenty of ideas. Today’s delivery included a flyer from the two Swiss People’s Party candidates embellished with a sunshine stamp guaranteeing ‘Swiss quality’. Here’s what they advocate. 

Mr Sascha Schmid (sascha-schmid.ch) promotes four major platforms.

·         An end to asylum chaos: Almost 100,000 people have entered our asylum system in the past year. This is leading to massive costs and intensifies the housing shortage. Illegal migrants should be prosecuted and the raiding of our social funds halted. Failed and criminal asylum seekers have got to be deported;

·         An independent and neutral Switzerland: Thanks to direct democracy, independence and neutrality, Switzerland is characterised by well-being and prosperity. For that reason I am firmly opposed to entry into the EU, the automatic assumption of EU rights, and commitment to foreign laws;

·         More freedom for citizens and businesses: We are indebted for our prosperity as a country to our businesses and our hard work. Thanks to low taxes and deductions, people and enterprise are less burdened. As a result we empower individual responsibility and there’s more money for our own lives;

·         Security of national supply: Current crises have demonstrated that in many areas Switzerland is too dependent on foreign supply. Domestic production of food and energy has to be strengthened, and that means a reduction in the bureaucratic obstacles to agriculture and energy generation.

Mr Schmid highlights previous achievements from his seven years in local government: a 10 per cent reduction in the local tax rate; a strengthened border control; and greater transparency in MPs’ remuneration.

His colleague Mike Egger (mike-egger.ch) has similar political targets.

·         The ‘sustainability’ initiative: The Swiss population is heading unchecked towards 10million. This is leading to increasing demand for electricity and homes, ever more traffic delays and congested public transport. To maintain our high living standards, we have to control immigration;

·         Security of energy supply: the threat of an electricity shortage last winter showed that, to remain an economically successful nation, we need to be capable at all times of producing enough energy independently of other countries. The addition of technologically proven sources of energy, such as hydro-electricity, has got to have priority over left-wing-green pipe-dreams;

·         First-class vocational training: The dual-path education system is the great strength of our country. In the past years we have put a lot of effort into the strengthening of the academic career route. Now we have to do the same with vocational education. As a master craftsman myself, I am especially active in promoting development in this area;

·         Domestic agriculture: Our agricultural sector makes a vital daily contribution to our national food security. All the thanks our farmers get from the capital is ever more regulation and bureaucracy. I campaign strongly against this regulatory flood on behalf of our productive land economy. 

Unlike their UK counterparts, aspiring Swiss politicians appreciate the need to be responsive and responsible towards their constituents. It’s an increasingly rare scenario in Western states – the lone voice in Europe of Viktor Orban stands out, and in Argentina Javier Milai’s Austrian School economic policies are gaining ground. 

It is reassuring that in some corners of the globe, the advantages of the Enlightenment still prevail and it’s well beyond time to welcome them back to where it all started. Yes, there’s plenty of scope for good ideas, Mr Hunt.   

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Janice Davis
Janice Davis
Janice Davis is a grandmother and former girls’ grammar school teacher

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