Require All New Laws to pass the Liberty Test

Any criminalisation of any action should be required to fall under one of the following four categories:

  1. Infringement upon another person or company
  2. Infringement upon another person or company's land
  3. Infringement upon another person or company's property
  4. Infringement upon another person or company's privacy (this would cover slander, libel etc as well as copyright infringements)

Why is this idea important?

Any criminalisation of any action should be required to fall under one of the following four categories:

  1. Infringement upon another person or company
  2. Infringement upon another person or company's land
  3. Infringement upon another person or company's property
  4. Infringement upon another person or company's privacy (this would cover slander, libel etc as well as copyright infringements)

Unfair School Transport Policy for Low Income Children Living in Rural Areas

Dear Nick Clegg,

Please can you change the School Transport Policy to INCLUDE children from low income families living in rural areas that do not have 3 schools within 2 to 6 miles from their homes.

The policy states that the statutory right to free transport for secondary school pupils from low income families provides a choice to one of the three nearest schools to their home address. However, transport will only be provided if the school is between 2 and 6 miles of the home address, and to the nearest school preferred by reason of a parent's religion or belief, between 2 and 15 miles of the home address.

Real Choice – In a statement, School Minister Lord Adonis said "We want to remove transport as a barrier to parental choice. No young person should be prevented from going to a school of their choice simply because of travel costs. That's why it is vital to expand the right to free school travel for young people from low income families to give them real choice in applying for schools."

I look after my disabled husband and have two young secondary school aged children. I chose the second closest school for many important reasons and then was refused help with transport costs. Where is our "Real Choice"? There is no real choice if you live in a rural area!! Even religion is taken into account and are allowed up to 15 miles from their home. My second closest school is 12 miles from our home. You are lucky in most rural areas if you have one school close to your home! It is the children who live in rural areas that really need the help with transport costs as they have much further to travel thus incurring high costs.

We strongly believe we are being excluded from this policy just because we live in a rural part of Devon.

Please, please PLEASE can you amend this policy? Thank you.

Why is this idea important?

Dear Nick Clegg,

Please can you change the School Transport Policy to INCLUDE children from low income families living in rural areas that do not have 3 schools within 2 to 6 miles from their homes.

The policy states that the statutory right to free transport for secondary school pupils from low income families provides a choice to one of the three nearest schools to their home address. However, transport will only be provided if the school is between 2 and 6 miles of the home address, and to the nearest school preferred by reason of a parent's religion or belief, between 2 and 15 miles of the home address.

Real Choice – In a statement, School Minister Lord Adonis said "We want to remove transport as a barrier to parental choice. No young person should be prevented from going to a school of their choice simply because of travel costs. That's why it is vital to expand the right to free school travel for young people from low income families to give them real choice in applying for schools."

I look after my disabled husband and have two young secondary school aged children. I chose the second closest school for many important reasons and then was refused help with transport costs. Where is our "Real Choice"? There is no real choice if you live in a rural area!! Even religion is taken into account and are allowed up to 15 miles from their home. My second closest school is 12 miles from our home. You are lucky in most rural areas if you have one school close to your home! It is the children who live in rural areas that really need the help with transport costs as they have much further to travel thus incurring high costs.

We strongly believe we are being excluded from this policy just because we live in a rural part of Devon.

Please, please PLEASE can you amend this policy? Thank you.

In contented claims, Pay Child Benefit to the Parent with the lowest income

This is not a repeal of legislation.  It requires a change of policy only, which is in effect a ministerial directive.

At the moment when a contended claim (two parents claiming for the same child) comes along, there is a "no change" policy, unless the claiming parent has IN EXCESS of 50% of the time.

Thus, the mother (due to the fact that she will have been getting it when the couple were living together by means of the order of priority) will continue to receive child benefit in the vast majority of cases, even when 50/50 shared care exists.  Which then means that the father will be considered the NRP for the purposes of the CSA.  (Interestingly, both government departments blame each other for this)

Now my proposal is simple.  Remove the "no change" rule, and instead pay Child Benefit to the parent who had the LOWER income for the % of care they have.  As Child Benefit is administered by HMRC this should not be a major burden, and it only needs to be done for contended claims.

The formula would be:

(Claimant 1's Income x percentage of care) <> (Claimant 2's Income x percentage of care)

and then paying the claimant with the lower income. to care.

 

This would have very little "cost" effect.  The reason is that if the 2nd claimant had a higher income than the first claimant for the amount of care, or a lower amount of care, they would not apply and contend the claim (as they would not stand a chance of winning).

Why is this idea important?

This is not a repeal of legislation.  It requires a change of policy only, which is in effect a ministerial directive.

At the moment when a contended claim (two parents claiming for the same child) comes along, there is a "no change" policy, unless the claiming parent has IN EXCESS of 50% of the time.

Thus, the mother (due to the fact that she will have been getting it when the couple were living together by means of the order of priority) will continue to receive child benefit in the vast majority of cases, even when 50/50 shared care exists.  Which then means that the father will be considered the NRP for the purposes of the CSA.  (Interestingly, both government departments blame each other for this)

Now my proposal is simple.  Remove the "no change" rule, and instead pay Child Benefit to the parent who had the LOWER income for the % of care they have.  As Child Benefit is administered by HMRC this should not be a major burden, and it only needs to be done for contended claims.

The formula would be:

(Claimant 1's Income x percentage of care) <> (Claimant 2's Income x percentage of care)

and then paying the claimant with the lower income. to care.

 

This would have very little "cost" effect.  The reason is that if the 2nd claimant had a higher income than the first claimant for the amount of care, or a lower amount of care, they would not apply and contend the claim (as they would not stand a chance of winning).

Stupid Council Rules

I truly thing Local Authorities need to think their refuse policy-where is the sense in levying fines upon people just because your bin lid will not close…..all this does is to encourage people to fly tip, which in turn, costs the authorities money to clear, let alone the administrative cost of taking proceedings against the individual.  Where is the logic in this petty rule.  Make it easier for people to use local waste disposal site instead of making them apply for 'permits' …..more admin……more paper……..more money………more waste.

Why is this idea important?

I truly thing Local Authorities need to think their refuse policy-where is the sense in levying fines upon people just because your bin lid will not close…..all this does is to encourage people to fly tip, which in turn, costs the authorities money to clear, let alone the administrative cost of taking proceedings against the individual.  Where is the logic in this petty rule.  Make it easier for people to use local waste disposal site instead of making them apply for 'permits' …..more admin……more paper……..more money………more waste.

Empirically evaluate policies / ground policy in evidence

Recognising the problems with relying on universal, positivistic methods, I still think it's better than some of the hysterical faddism that passes for policy. 

New ones should be justified with reference to available evidence, not ideological commitments. It's not always possible, fair enough; but some things have been studied to death. Literally. 

Why is this idea important?

Recognising the problems with relying on universal, positivistic methods, I still think it's better than some of the hysterical faddism that passes for policy. 

New ones should be justified with reference to available evidence, not ideological commitments. It's not always possible, fair enough; but some things have been studied to death. Literally. 

Make planning applications for affordable housing subject to the same planning restrictions as other applications

Currently in rural areas, planning restrictionscan be waived for applications for  "affordable housing" if the developers and the housing association agree that there is a need for the housing and houses can be built on green field sites, in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, outside village boundaries, and so on.  However, too many of these developments once they've been built are being sold to, or rented out to, people from outside the local area because there really wasn't a local need for this "affordable housing."  Planning restrictions should apply equally across the board to all proposed developments in rural areas to help preserve the countryside, to prevent much needed farm land from being built on, to protect biodiversity, to reduce the amount of out-commuting, to help deal with climate change, and to prevent small villages from becoming suburban sprawls.  Also the process for determining local need for "affording housing" needs to be transparent and overseen by a truly independent body (one that's not influenced by developers and housing associations). 

Why is this idea important?

Currently in rural areas, planning restrictionscan be waived for applications for  "affordable housing" if the developers and the housing association agree that there is a need for the housing and houses can be built on green field sites, in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, outside village boundaries, and so on.  However, too many of these developments once they've been built are being sold to, or rented out to, people from outside the local area because there really wasn't a local need for this "affordable housing."  Planning restrictions should apply equally across the board to all proposed developments in rural areas to help preserve the countryside, to prevent much needed farm land from being built on, to protect biodiversity, to reduce the amount of out-commuting, to help deal with climate change, and to prevent small villages from becoming suburban sprawls.  Also the process for determining local need for "affording housing" needs to be transparent and overseen by a truly independent body (one that's not influenced by developers and housing associations). 

European Directives which impact on SMEs

 

To create a Small Business European Task Force to ensure legislation which could impact on SMEs is effectively monitored and engaged with from the outset.

Why is this idea important?

 

To create a Small Business European Task Force to ensure legislation which could impact on SMEs is effectively monitored and engaged with from the outset.