Saturday, April 16

UKIP's Election Manifesto

Central to UKIP's policy which is outlined in the party's manifesto is the claim that the UK currently pays £12 billion in contributions to the EU, the non-payment of which the Party says will enable it to raise state pensions by £25 a week for all pensioners.
However, apart from the fact that this varies – from £9-11 billion – UKIP seem to have forgotten that this is the gross contribution, of which more than half is returned to the UK to pay for things like agricultural subsidies and regional funding. The current UK rebate of between £2-3 billion is also not considered in the manifesto's figures.
So, having given all the ''independence dividend'' to the pensioners, what of the farmers. The manifesto states we would replace CAP subsidies with guaranteed minimum prices, along the lines of the deficiency payments scheme which operated before 1973.
The slight problem here is that such a scheme could hardly cost lest than the current subsidy arrangement (no costing is offered) yet there is no money available in the kitty. Additional borrowing, the Party tells us, is to be diverted to cutting taxes – there is no money left for farmers.
Yet another slight problem comes when the manifesto tells us that we “shall regain our independent seat in the World Trade Organisation” yet, when this happened, UKIP would immediately find that the agriculture subsidy scheme would fall foul of WTO rules.Turning to perhaps the more substantive point in the manifesto, the Party argues that formal withdrawal from the EU “will be achieved by repealing the European Communities Act” (ECA), following which a transitional committee would be set up, at Cabinet level, to govern the repeal or amendment of EU originated law.

EU law is promulgated by way of EU Regulations. These have direct effect, without being passed into UK law. Repeal the ECA and these regulations fall, leaving vast swathes of commercial activity entirely uncontrolled – until replacements are drafted. This resultant confusion, particularly to the business community, is exactly the point that I and Chris Williamson made from the podium at the party conference last autumn in Bristol.

In proposing and seconding a motion urging UKIP to develop a detailed exit strategy from the EU we argued that constructing a plan of withdrawal would give credibility to our cause and assist the pros of business in a post EU UK.

The motion, from the Sedgefield Branch was passed by a majority of some 85 percent. Since this was over a two thirds majority of the delegates, the motion automatically became party policy.

Since the successful UKIP Sedgefield Branch motion has not been acted upon by the party, as is evidenced by the lack of detail in the manifesto, I submit that the manifesto is therefore contrary to party policy.

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