Background to proposals
Historical Background to the proposals for transaction tax.
Hello, my name is Barry. I consider myself highly honoured to have been part of the most privileged generation this country has ever seen. Born in the late 40s, I grew up and was educated in the 50s and 60s - first in junior school, then secondary school. No honorary degrees in the conventional sense, though I do have titles that I am immensely proud of! Husband, Dad, and Q B E.
As managing director of several companies during my career, I found that the most frustrating issue that was common to all (regardless of business sector) was of course, cash flow. I was always exasperated by some bureaucratic government department demanding immediate payment of what, I regarded, as a fine for being an employer! I distinctly remember being threatened with legal action regarding P A Y E. They even told me that I taken the money from my employees, when in fact I hadn’t given it them in the first place! The net payment they did receive, actually came from extending my mortgage!
Over the years I learnt to conform, reluctantly employing accountants to exploit any loophole.
As a fairly well-known local businessman, I attended bankers’ dinners and receptions, held by the new town development corporation which were aimed at attracting industrial investment. I had just completed construction of the first new industrial unit on Walton Summit and was starting to recruit staff. I met with several politicians during that time. For example, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for the environment, Guy Barnett, toured the factory and again I considered but avoided politics.
The Thatcher years put forward many interesting policies and when (in 1982) she announced the introduction of a venture capital fund in order to help fledgling businesses, it sounded like just what the country needed. However after spending weeks putting together what I thought was a good proposal, rejection came as a complete surprise. I understood that it was a limited fund, but I knew I had ticked all the boxes and then some! Further investigation revealed that the director appointed for the funds administration was a Canadian businessman by the name of Jack Melcher who was commuting from the states and had never even visited the North West! Being angry wouldn’t change the outcome, so I took my frustration out in the form of a letter to the Financial Times.
I was taken aback by the response - questions asked in parliament, the media pressing me for interviews etc. Had I the inclination that would have been the time to enter politics. I did however accept an invitation to join the Economic Research Council and, as a result, attended various functions in the city. I felt a little out of place in that environment and retreated to Lancashire to start again, this time in electronics.
Self-assessment was to be introduced. I took part in the trials for the inland revenue. It involved filling out draft copies of the new self-assessment forms in order to ascertain which would be the easiest to use. That didn’t work, did it?
After gradually building the business, I again reached the threshold at which VAT registration was compulsory. Obviously, my prices would have to increase by 20%. Having not filled in VAT returns for some time, I found it had changed considerably since the first introduction at 15%. It was different percentages for various business sectors, even in some cases 0%. What a ridiculous way to do things!
At the time the government was in turmoil and a general election due. I attempted to form an alternative political party based entirely on reorganisation of the U K economy - the idea was to abolish all traditional forms of government revenue by providing government funding from a single system. Collecting a percentage of every financial transaction, conducted on a monthly basis, would produce a cash flow into the economy that would be constant and positive.
Sadly it wasn’t to be, mainly because government was so entrenched in tradition and being part of the European economy the project was doomed to failure. The unity party remained just an idea.
My destiny was not to be in the political arena. I do, however, have something in common with all the highly respected members of the House of Lords. We all have the distinguished title of Q B E! Qualified By Experience.
That experience now leads me to believe the time is right to try again. Never before in history has there been an opportunity to revolutionise the way we control our finances. Even the most sceptical agree that we need a radical change. History is repeating itself. As in 1983, the government yet again is in turmoil with an election looming.
Having always been pro-European, I was disappointed in Brexit. Most of the arguments used in the campaign centred around finance - Boris’ bus! Well, we’re out now. Let’s turn it to our advantage.
No longer having the constraints of the European Union means I can try again. Convincing the traditionalists may be a little harder, but not impossible.
Attempting this by forming an organisation like the Brexit party is out of the question. I have no wish to become a politician, besides age is against me. We now have the final piece of the jigsaw, which wasn’t available in 1983 - social media.
Thanks for your interest