United Kingdom Law/Bill of Rights
There is the idea of a Great Repeal Bill. The problem with repealing legislation is that it doesn't actually make much of a difference. There is a far simpler way of getting legistalation changed in the UK, and it needs just one bill. A bill of rights.
For example, with the repeal bill, it will repeal the bill, you can't implement any changes in the legistalation. That's a major problem. What is needed is the general rights and constitution under which the country operates. Then if laws don't operate with regard to the Bill of Rights, its not legal.
It can a very short bill, and achieve far more than repealing little bits of legistaltion here and there.
Proposal[edit | edit source]
- The Bill of rights had primacy over all other bills and treaties.
- All Bills and Acts passed by parliament must be approved by a simple majority of the electorate in a referenda
- The House of Lords is abolished.
- All information held by the state is open to the public unless in the interests of national defence.
- The Human Rights act is incorparate into this bill.
- No one can have debts imposed on them by anyone else.
- The government shall publish details of all debts and future spending on the basis of current rules each year
- No laws shall be past by statutory instrument
- The government shall be banned from taking out new debts
- Right of opt out
- Subsidies are illegal
- Where possible, taxation should be hypothecated
- Reduce the House of Commons to 300 members
Clause 1 - Primacy of the Bill[edit | edit source]
Having the Bill of Rights take primacy, means that all other laws that are incompatible are illegal.
Clause 2. - Referenda[edit | edit source]
Quite simple. Authority should flow from the people to the state, not the other way round
Clause 3. - Abolishment of the HoL[edit | edit source]
With the people scrutinising bills, there is no need for the House of Lords.
Clause 4. - Information[edit | edit source]
The presumption has to be this way round. For example, it would mean that the state has to publish all its contracts, and make them open to all to see. It's clear there are some awful contracts, very unfavourable to the citizen that the state has entered into. The expenses scandel shows how opening up information leads to the removal of abuses. However, with Bercow putting 20,000 pounds on redecoration on expenses, it won't work completely.
Clause 5. - Human Rights Act[edit | edit source]
Whilst people complain about the HRA, very few have read it. The relevant parts are here . I doubt there are many who will query of the clauses, bar the ban on hanging people.
Clause 6. - Born into Debt[edit | edit source]
This is one of the major clauses. Currently a new born in the UK faces paying off 300,000 pounds of debt, with interest, over their lifetime. It is unacceptable that in a developed country, people are born into debt.
Clause 7. - Publishing of Debts[edit | edit source]
This is needed. Just saying that the government publishes a doomsday book of debts, means they will carry on with their Enron accounting. Publishing the steady state figure means that pensions debts must appear on the books, and not be hidden by an accounting trick.
Clause 8. - Enabling Acts[edit | edit source]
Stops the use of Enabling Acts as used by Hitler. All laws have to go to referenda, none can be put into law by dictact by a minister.
Clause 9. No new debts[edit | edit source]
Since there is a ban on more debts for children and future generations to pay, the government should be banned from borrowing more. When you have a income of 500 billion a year, it doesn't take long to save up for any project. Paying cash up front means we get more value for money because we don't pay the interest. With the current debt set up, it starts addressing the risk that we pay more and more for less and less.
It also means that all government pensions schems have to move to funded schemes. The government can regulate, but the public doesn't run the risk of default. If we take the state pension scheme the contract was in exchange for your NI, we would pay out a pension linked to wages. That contract was broken. The contributions were linked to wages where inflation is higher than the payout, now linked to RPI. The same happened with the retirement age. It's a partial default on that contract. Fully funded pensions solve this problem. If someone on median wages 40 years ago invested in the FTSE, even post crash, they would have had 20K retirement income instead of 5K. (Compound interest sees to that). Given the rule about referenda, a future government would find it very hard to steal the funds. I would propose also as part of a bill sorting the pensions out, that there is a right of removal of all cash, tax free, if any attempt is made to tax the fund. Even with a referenda, people would be safe. A referenda would be difficult to get through.
Clause 10. The right to opt out of government services[edit | edit source]
People should have the right to opt out of government services where appropriate and receive the average spend for that service.
ie. If you want vouchers to go to a private school, you get the average spend for those services.
If you want to go private, you can opt out of the non emergency part of the NHS, and go private. However, if you do this, and then rely on the state, you get to pay the full cost, even to the point of bankruptcy. Alternatively, the cash gets routed to an insurer.
Clause 11. Ban subsidies?[edit | edit source]
Pretty clear cut. No subsidies for rail, wind generation etc. Sink or swim like those paying for the special interests.
But maybe not. Lots of activities have had an unnoticed subsidy for generations. For example, the very significant costs of cleaning up the effects of the petrochemical industry - from oil spills to carbon dioxide reduction - are not borne by the relevant agents. So an inverse subsidy is in effect, that should require us to use social resources to promote economic and social activities that do not require long-term hidden subsidies such as environmental pollution.
Clause 12. Hypothecation[edit | edit source]
A good example is the roads. If you are going to have a tax for the roads, it should go on the roads and nothing else. It's the flip side of the subsidy issue. Hypothecate and people know what they are paying for what service.