Tim Aker, head of the party's policy unit, takes Prospect through their "blue collar" election platformby Jay Elwes / August 20, 2014 / Leave a comment
Tim Aker is the UK Independence Party MEP for the Eastern Counties and the prospective parliamentary candidate for Thurrock in Essex. He is also a keen amateur darts player. “I got the highest checkout [closing three dart score] of the season last year—161,” says Aker, who complains that he has trouble finding the time to play.
These targeting abilities will be of substantial use in his position as head of the Ukip Policy Unit, in charge of writing the party’s manifesto. He spoke exclusively to Prospect about Ukip’s policies and how it plans to position itself in the run up to the general election.
“We’re beyond left-right, authoritarian-libertarian—those arguments are for university [common rooms],” says Aker. “Our people want to know how we’re going to make their lives easier, simpler and how they can just get on and feel more comfortable. That’s it. It’s a blue-collar platform, but for people that want to aspire to achieve absolutely anything.
“We want to take low earners out of income tax altogether. No tax on the minimum wage,” says Aker, though national insurance contributions will not be reduced. Ukip will also go into the next election promising to increase to £45,000 the point at which the 40p rate of income tax begins, a policy that Aker says will “stop George Osborne’s fiscal drag for middle earners.”
Read more on Ukip:
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And the top rate? “Abolish it,” says Aker. Above the 40p rate, there will be “no further rates,” he says. “We are for flatter, simpler and lower taxes.” When challenged that this might be regressive, Aker says: “On the inequality point—you don’t just deal with that through the tax system. You’ve got to look at making sure that poor kids can get the best education.” Ukip’s manifesto will put down plans for a “complete skills review.”
Aker says that the party is determined to reduce the deficit; the manifesto will outline substantial Whitehall cuts. “Foreign aid is an obvious target,” he says. The party is also committed to the abolition of the Climate Change Act, which he estimates costs Britain £18bn a year.…