Monday, 28 March 2005

Conservatives and maternity pay

Howard and the Conservatives are to pledge they will increase maternity leave pay if they win the next election. The Tories are aiming to match Labour's plans to raise maternity pay. The Conservative plan would be worth £460 million and commence in 2008.

Is this the same Conservative Party who believe 'government is getting too big'? If so, then aren't they increasing the size and scope of the state by promoting extra welfare?!

The Tories seem to be emulating their American cousins in this respect. US conservatives often call for smaller government, yet seldom deliver such a thing. When Bush was running for President in 2000, the basis of his platform was to reduce the size of government. Has he done so? Of course not. That's unless one considers increased military spending (on account of the war on Terror) a sign of reducing the size and scope of government.

For many decades now, British government has been big government. Government as a proportion of GDP has been growing steadily under New Labour and is reaching the levels of France and Germany. Smaller government should be necessary to maintain a flexible, dynamic and loosely regulated economy.

I've stated this before, but government only really should be 5-10% of GDP. I feel that if government were reduced to the armed forces, police, judicial system, the money supply and the road system, 10% of GDP would be more than adequate. Ten percent of Gross Domestic Product currently equates with £100 billion. As I stated, this is more than enough to fund a smaller state.