Zacís Questions, Debates and EDMs
The Constant Economy
Where do I Stand?
††††Communications Data Bill
††††NHS / Health
††††Foreign affairs & Defence
††††The Planning System
††††Waste and Plastic Bags
††††Guardian policies Q&A
Guardian Policies Q&A
Zac took part in an interview for The Guardian called, 'The New Tories'
1. Perception: Do you consider yourself to be a progressive?
"Progressives tend to be associated with democracy, reining in the
political influence of big business, social justice, environmentalism.
I'd like to see more of all these things, and in that sense am a
progressive. But essentially I am a conservative who believes in
decentralisation, the human scale, light government and trust. I
believe a move towards direct democracy would bridge the gap between
people and politics, and would result in a much more receptive
decision-making process. "
2. Tax: Should David Cameron offer more tax cuts than he has outlined already?
There's a mantra that cutting tax means cutting services. I think
people are less inclined to believe that after 10 years of Labour.
Without knowing what the state of our finances will be at the time of
the next election, it's impossible to make detailed promises. But by
cutting government waste, and dramatically, we could be sure of
3 Tax: If yes to the above, do you think they should be funded by
(a) cuts in public spending, or
(b) increases in other taxes?
is a startling lack of delivery on government promises, not because of
political dishonesty, but because the machinery of government itself is
broken. There are too many people doing the same thing, and too little
accountability. Hundreds of quangos occupy the same policy spaces, and
the effect is a kind of paralysis. Good ideas are important for a
government-in-waiting, but without brave structural reform, they will
come to nothing. By streamlining government, making it work, I believe
we'd see better results and huge savings for the taxpayer. That is the
4. Tax: Should so-called "green" taxes increase?
but green taxes need to be totally transparent and honest, and they
should never be retrospective. There's no point introducing punishments
for choices already made. And where green taxes are raised, for example
on the dirtiest new cars, the proceeds need to be used to reduce the
cost of the cleanest cars. Green taxes must never become an excuse to
raise revenue for the Treasury."
5. Tax: As a share of GDP tax is currently around 37%. After four years of a Conservative government would you expect it to be:
(a) substantially lower – at least 2 percentage points
(b) slightly lower
(c) much the same as it is now
would hope the tax system would be simpler, and that the share of GDP
tax would decline, but that very much depends on the state of the
country's finances after 10 years of Labour."
6. Europe: On balance has Britain lost out or gained from its membership of the EU? If it has lost out, should it withdraw?
EU provides a useful mechanism for working together on issues of common
importance, not least the environment. But the organisation is
structurally flawed and needs dramatic reform without which it's hard
to see it either contributing usefully, or even surviving. The EU is
far too bureaucratic, too grasping, and too wasteful. But the biggest
problem with the EU is its lack of accountability. When the distance
between people and power is too great, the former have little if any
control over the latter. In the case of the EU, decision-makers are
almost entirely insulated from any real democratic pressure, and that's
always profoundly unhealthy. I would favour a lighter, more
decentralised EU that learns the difference between national and
genuinely international issues."
7. Family: Which of the following statements most reflects your view?
(a) The tax system should be reformed to recognise and promote marriage
(b) The tax system should help parents regardless of their marital status
wrong that the current benefits system gives couples with children more
money if they live apart. That's perverse, and needs to be changed. But
it's often single parents who need most support, and they mustn't be
8. Abortion: The House of Commons recently voted
to maintain the upper limit of 24 weeks on abortion. Do you believe it
should be reduced? If yes, by how many weeks?
"20 weeks is more
than enough time for people to make a decision in favour of abortion.
However, if after that time, serious medical problems are detected,
that option should remain open throughout."
Interview by Alexandra Topping