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UK needs fixed: are these the top 10 things to fix?

(32 Posts)
xtinak Mon 25-May-20 13:22:40

Beyond coronavirus, I feel like there are about a million things wrong in the UK that need fixed. If I had to pick 10 things to do right now, I would go for these. Are they reasonable? What would you choose?

Expanded mental heath care
More staff and beds throughout the NHS
Better pay for all care work
Make UC pay in advance and increase the work allowance
Increase the affordability of childcare through government subsidy
Recruit and train more teachers for a better staff to student ratio
Increase teacher pay
Invest in an expanded low carbon rail network
Invest in onshore wind energy
Subsidy scheme to promote regenerative agriculture and silvopasture

Appreciate there is nothing remotely innovative in this list which also has a lot in common with the conservative and labour manifestos for 2019. The bigger challenge is how to bring any of these about.

Also, I think the UK is actually a pretty good place. We are lucky to have good healthcare and education systems.I think we are still a relatively welcoming and tolerant society that promotes diversity. It's just that we could do better.

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passthemustard Mon 25-May-20 13:36:40

I really hope that some/all of these things will be done post coronavirus. Unfortunately I feel there may be another period of austerity while the torys are in power.

I'd go one step further and I'd like to remove UC and replace it with universal income.

EasternDailyStress Mon 25-May-20 13:40:37

"need fixed" doesn't make sense.

xtinak Mon 25-May-20 13:42:27

I need to understand more about how universal basic income would work and that's why I hesitated to put it in. I thought that some changes to UC might be more achievable as first steps towards some bigger changes. I agree that we all need to discuss UBI.

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SorrelBlackbeak Mon 25-May-20 13:57:29

There are two problems with UBI that Tim Harford (more or less) has reported on in the past.

1) to have a decent level of UBI either taxes have to go right up or public services cut massively so you might get a UBI to have to pay for medical care and education yourself

2) inflation - you need a whole host of additional legislation to stop the whole UBI payment being absorbed into rent increases, food price increases and utilities costs.

I think a land value tax would be interesting (land value, not house value).

rosiejaune Mon 25-May-20 14:14:34

Well rather than fix 10 very specific things, I would make some changes that should have broader effects, e.g. in terms of equality etc that will have knock-on effects on many issues anyway.

-Universal Income
-Proportional representation
-Make all rented housing non-profit
-Make education learner-led, not curriculum-driven
-Carbon allowances
-Renationalise/relocalise anything that can be
-Recentralise neighbourhoods within cities

xtinak Mon 25-May-20 14:16:55

@SorrelBlackbeak

Yes and these are really quite big potential stumbling blocks! I feel that there may be some middle ground in an improved welfare system that incorporates aspects of UBI.

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Biscuitsdisappear Mon 25-May-20 14:19:19

The downside to all of the suggestions is that the tax payer takes a hammering yet again.

GinDaddyRedux Mon 25-May-20 14:23:39

@xtinak

Notable omission on your list is affordable housing for all. Built at pace and on brownfield land near cities.

However no one seems to talk about housing because of the vested interests clause as I call it -

I.e if you're a homeowner, you tend to want inexorable house price growth and low supply of housing. Then you want to pass the windfall onto your kids etc.

Nothing wrong with any of that, but it just means the UK becomes drugged and hooked on property price increases as a form of "wealth".

And the housing problem never gets solved in order to prop up the Ponzi scheme.

P.S am a multiple homeowner so no chips or bitterness here

Sindragosan Mon 25-May-20 14:24:30

Living wage
Restrict house/flat purchases to owner/occupier or UK landlords
Better funding for:
-family planning
-chilren's centres
-social services
-health visitors
-respite care
-teaching assistants
-SEN provision
Etc.

xtinak Mon 25-May-20 14:25:06

@rosiejaune

I definitely support proportional representation and I agree with many aspects of this.

Issues of UBI discussed above.

I'm unsure about a blanket policy of renationalising/relocalising. I think it makes sense in some cases depending on the structure of the utility we are discussing.

I'm also not sure all renting non-profit would have the desired impact and might have some unintended fallout but agree we need affordable renting.

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MoltoAgitato Mon 25-May-20 14:25:37

I don’t think that teachers should be paid more. They need better working conditions.

I also don’t think the NHS needs more staff - and I work in the NHS. We need better quality of management and fewer patients taking the piss - just look at the fall in people phoning their GP or rocking up at A and E during coronavirus. Some people stayed at home when they should have seen a doctor, but a lot of people bother medical services unnecessarily.

Social care absolutely should be better resourced.

MoltoAgitato Mon 25-May-20 14:27:42

I would add:
More focus on sustainable travel - good public transport and excellent cycling provision.
Better regulation of housing rentals - long term rentals should be the norm and I’d rather see housing rentals managed by larger housing associations than private landlords.

xtinak Mon 25-May-20 14:28:05

@GinDaddyRedux

I freely admit it's a very notable omission, because I'm very unsure of the right set of policies to achieve it. I don't think vested interests are the only issue though they are a big one. I think regional inequality is a big issue.

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Mucklowe Mon 25-May-20 14:28:40

True socialism would solve these things.

Ylvamoon Mon 25-May-20 14:31:19

... and where is the money coming from?

First thing to fix is the UK's low wage economy, the rest will follow!

CancH0l1day20 Mon 25-May-20 14:31:24

There are already lots of wind farms. You can goggle for a map of where they are located. Some off coast of Lake District, some off coast of East Anglia

There are real time stats of how much electrify is produced for UK by wind, nuclear, coal, other like hydro
Currently being under utilised due to many factories being shut

However if all cars/transport become electric in the future, more efficient batteries & more power will be required

LockedInMadness Mon 25-May-20 14:31:48

"need fixed" doesn't make sense.

I'd fix the "need fixed" sentence 😂

SodaSodaBanana Mon 25-May-20 14:37:33

What about corporation taxes? The mega businesses paying tiny amounts of taxes while small local businesses struggle.

I think the council/subsidised & social housing, grace and favour apartments need to be reassessed. They shouldn’t be seen as a long term right, but to help those who need them, when they need them.

xtinak Mon 25-May-20 14:37:59

@Ylvamoon I agree that if we pick the right place to start then we will see a wider positive impact. So how do you fix the UK's low wage economy?

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xtinak Mon 25-May-20 14:43:10

@MoltoAgitato

Interested that you think NHS needs better management as I have seen a lot of critique of the managerial focus of the NHS as part of the problem. I thought more staff would be better given that other countries with better outcomes seem to have more front line staff per head of population, I think. Also I know people have been staying away recently but we seem to have a lot of excess deaths not explained by coronavirus which suggests that people could be avoiding access essential care.

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IDefinitelyHaveFriends Mon 25-May-20 14:44:33

Social care is a huge ongoing problem. The others ideally need work but social care is both a time-bomb for the future and wrecking people’s lives today.

Corporation tax avoidance can only realistically be tackled internationally.

UBI is never going to work unless you deal with the cost of housing, if you don’t address that then universal credit/UBI/housing benefit/living wage are all doomed to flow into a bottomless pit.

xtinak Mon 25-May-20 14:45:20

@Mucklowe I'm trying not to get into traditional left right arguments because I suspect we have a lot more in common than what divides us. I also do think we need to balance proper social security with incentives for free enterprise and innovation.

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Subordinateclause Mon 25-May-20 14:46:26

For the pedants upthread, "Need fixed" might not be Standard British English but it's the usual form in many parts of the UK ("needs fixing" or "needs to be fixed" sound strange to my ears).

xtinak Mon 25-May-20 14:54:37

@IDefinitelyHaveFriends any thoughts on tackling the cost of housing?

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