Coffee House

Competition: any ideas for David Cameron’s new Policy Unit?

2 June 2013

Jo Johnson is now in situ, Christopher Lockwood has started his two-year sabbatical from the Economist and David Cameron’s new policy unit is in in place and ready to go producing ideas of how to win the 2015 election. But word is that they’re not entirely overflowing with ideas, and believe it will be tough to improve on the inherited agenda. This is true to an extent, as the Coalition Agreement was pretty radical. Then, ministers wanted to achieve a Moore’s Law-style expansion of Free Schools, elimination of the deficit and reconstruction of a dysfunctional welfare state. Any one of those three would have been more than Labour achieved in 13 years .

I always thought that, instead of the Queen’s Speech, they should give a progress report on that original agenda. But George Osborne has suspended deficit reduction for two years, and now envisages entering the 2015 election with the highest deficit in the Western world. Welfare reform is in trouble (as Isabel Hardman writes in this week’s magazine)  and the even free schools agenda is not progressing as fast as originally hoped. It’s not entirely clear what Cameron will have to boast about in 2015. To anyone who does not want to live through a five-year-long Ed Miliband learning curve, this is a deeply worrying prospect. These guys really do need help.


As James Forsyth tells us today, the new No10 Policy Unit will meet for the first time next week. So here’s a question: what should it focus on? What ideas could capture the imagination of a 2015 electorate? The winner will receive a bottle of Spectator gin (below). And the unending thanks of a grateful nation.


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  • Conal O’Hare

    To reward those who put in the extra hours, the Conservative party should propose a tax-free “overtime allowance.” This additional allowance of, say, £1,500 p/a for full-time employees – if earned outside contracted hours – would be tax and NIC free. It would send a clear signal that the Conservatives are on the side of working people whilst ensuring that overtime is worthwhile for many who currently view it as pointless because they lose much of their additional income through tax.

  • Mark_ld

    Encourage free market non-printable Currencies such as BitCoin.

  • Mark_ld

    EVERY Company should be forced/encouraged to offer a Share or Profit Scheme. When working people have a ‘stake’ in the Company they work for the Business and economy benefits. This also encourages a free economy spirit and addresses the need for the Conservatives to have more Worker focused initiatives.

  • evad666

    The Government collects vast amounts of data, is that data being used to aid the generation of new products and services. I suggest not.
    Hardly surprising as we have yet another Government lacking in scientific and technological nous.

  • Colin

    A flat tax rate, right across the board, to include VAT.

    Abolish property stamp duty.

    Abolish Inheritance tax.

    A complete overhaul of the charity sector – eliminating any “charity” that is any way involved in political activity.

    Break up the BBC.

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