We are a group of individuals who are disillusioned with all of the major political parties in the United Kingdom. We are fully independent of any political group, cause or control. 

Our members come from all aspects of the political spectrum and together we believe in the traditional values of debate, compromise and tolerance to try and make our country a better place, as well as highlighting injustices and educating citizens to help them understand their fundamental right

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The Citizens’ Independent Network is the work of multiple contributors which, due to the our independent nature, may vary in opinion and thought. We encourage any author to backup their work with as many citied sources as possible. However, some work will be purely personal opinion.

Our aim is to identify solutions to problems through debate and by acknowledging varying points of view. 

If you read something you disagree with – Do not presume we are biased to one side of an argument, or another. We strongly welcome counter-argue and debate in a mature and concise manner.

As a simple rule, we will not have profanities, insults, threats or general hate to any individual or group. Common sense when it comes to being a civilized human being. 

No one is 100% right on everything. We can always learn from each other.

A programme for regeneration: A practical look at the UK economy for the concerned citizen – Part One

FinTech

Wiki defines it thus:

“Financial technology is the technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services. It is an emerging industry that uses technology to improve activities in finance. The use of smartphones for mobile banking, investing, borrowing services and cryptocurrency are examples of technologies aiming to make financial services more accessible to the general public. Financial technology companies consist of both startups and established financial institutions and technology companies trying to replace or enhance the usage of financial services provided by existing financial companies.”

So far, London has been the main centre for European FinTech companies although Amsterdam, Stockholm and Lithuania are also emerging centres.

Start-up FinTech companies have major advantages over established financial institutions.  They are easy to sign up to, log into. The customer is also protected by UK banking laws protecting deposits.

Clearly, if traditional banks don’t adopt this technology, they will lose some of their (potential) customer base as more tech savvy people enter the banking market.

This technology also provides a possible basis for cheaply run local banks, credit unions or banks for specific professions/sectors as in Germany.

Any political party wanting to support start ups and  UK small and medium firms should be seriously exploring in what way FinTech can be adapted to this end.

Bitcoin

It is difficult to see a future in which National Central Banks allow freedom for Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies to play a major part. Cryptos are useful for secret transactions especially the slave trade and drugs as well as many other money laundering exercises. In addition they  are very useful for avoiding taxes and undermining national currencies and economies. 

What is likely is that national governments will adopt their own cryptocurrencies as China is doing at the moment.  This is a major field of discussion that I’m not qualified to lead on here.

A 13 point Programme for UK Economic Regeneration

This proposed programme is accompanied by observations on the UK economy above and, in the author’s estimation, achievable within our present parameters of democracy, although some vested interests, including those in the media and finance sector, will oppose it strenuously. If carried through these reforms could change the direction of the UK economy.

We need a national plan for developing the UK economy. But no plan can succeed unless there are effective controls, inducements and disincentives. At the centre should be a public national investment bank referred to in point six below.

1. A re-skilling of the UK workforce aimed at a resurgence of manufacturing from traditional to state of the art.

2. An increase in the availability of finance to UK start-ups and improvements in productivity and technology for existing industry.  Prevent successful start-ups from being bought-out by foreign or foreign controlled  companies.

3. A programme of banking decentralisation for regions and industries including  the use of FinTech. Stop tax avoidance through offshore and other artificial devices. Impose a turnover tax for those multinationals avoiding tax. Bring banking reform to ensure greater inward investment in wealth creating industries.

4. Grants for those studying strategic courses such as IT, AI, Maths, Sciences, Engineering, Health, Agriculture, Construction etc.

5. Stabilise both UK Banks and Strategic companies by taking out a golden share in them.

6. A large scale, government led investment in infrastructure: transport, power, water, etc. (STEM). Thus we welcome the establishment of an Government Investment Bank in Leeds. Bring infrastructure back into the public sector.

7. A programme to attract and persuade UK firms to re-locate their manufacturing back in the UK. Prevent further asset stripping by converting low income companies into non-profit organisations thus lowering imports and saving jobs.

8. Use the present high pound to import advanced technology.

9. When manufacturing re-established around 25% of GDP ensure the pound stays at a competitive level. A mass, publicly funded skills training programme using apprenticeships and college training.

10. A major council house building programme to ensure all UK citizens have somewhere to live. Propose an end to long term empty properties and land banking.  Examine how to reduce/abolish rents across the UK for both residential and commercial properties.  End “Right to buy” for council houses but to be extended to privately rented commercial and residential property. Prevent the buying up of property by foreign companies, big building companies, banks and other financial institutions. Review the nature of the whole private renting sector, especially residential.

11.  To ensure all working peoples’ salaries and pensions keep up with inflation. Free health and education provision for all age groups.

12. Determine a fair difference between top and bottom pay within both private and public enterprises.

13. A major reduction in immigration from 600,000 per year to 100,000 – using  a  points based system specific to the needs of UK society and industry.

14. Ban non-governmental cryptocurrencies.

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