The Wilberforce Society | Policy Papers
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Policy Papers

A paper assessing the potential costs and benefits of lowering corporation tax in Northern Ireland. We conclude that while potential benefits of a reduction in corporation tax may be high in the very long term, the costs are very likely to be high in the short term and may well remain so in the future. Potential benefits are far too uncertain for Northern Ireland to risk a significant corporation tax rate reduction; and a small reduction may be ineffectual in attracting significant amounts of new business.

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An assessment of mechanisms to repay graduate debt, with four proposals to improve the system: median earnings to be the income threshold at which repayments are made, CPI + 3% to be the interest rate paid on graduate debt (with rate relief for low earners), early repayment to be permitted with no penalty, and the progressive aspects of the system to be publicised clearly and aggressively.

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A call for a radical alteration of the legal penalties for alcohol and drug related crime, in addition to prison sentences for serious crimes and replacing prison sentences for non-serious crimes; the report proposes compulsory placement of offenders on a programme which tests daily for excessive drug and alcohol levels and imposes an immediate 24 hour prison sentence if offenders fail the test.

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A presentation of the case for the adoption of a UK written constitution, after society-wide consultation, to entrench fundamental human rights and to clarify constitutional arrangement regarding the roles of different branches of government and parliament, and to vest the power to interpret the constitution in the judiciary.

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A four-faceted proposal for Britain and the USA to facilitate a peaceful limited regime change in Iran through increased engagement with Iran and moderate Iranian politicians and clerics, working with Iran to tackle domestic Iranian terrorism, implementing focused sanctions while lifting general ones, and proposing a permanent US representative in Iran.

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A proposal to levy a £5 surgery fee for each GP appointment, on the German model, with exemptions for certain disadvantaged groups, and to levy a fine on patients who do not attend appointments at GP surgeries or hospital outpatient departments, to raise awareness of the cost of appointments, reduce non-attendance and discourage unnecessary GP visits.

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A proposal for British cities to emulate Berlin’s success in regenerating abandoned areas, by funding cultural regeneration activities, by giving special incentives such as reduced tax rates to investments in the area, and by reducing regulation on the spontaneous creation of youth-culture areas including graffiti zones and skate parks.

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