POWER OF THREE

30th January 2018
POWER OF THREE Three leading Tory MPs urge Theresa May to sort the NHS, housing and education to get the UK back on track: Nick Boles, Sir Nicholas Soames and Robert Halfon warned the Prime Minister is leaving hard-working families in the lurch and putting the future of the country on the line because of her lack of vision in these key areas
The Sun
 
By Nick Boles, Sir Nicholas Soames and Robert Halfon
 
30th January 2018
 
THERESA MAY’S Government is under attack – from political rivals AND members of her own party.
 
Many argue the PM has lost their respect and is struggling to articulate a strategy for Brexit and the country as a whole.
 
They point to a lack of vision in key areas, notably the NHS, housing and higher education, that is leaving ordinary, hard-working families in the lurch.
 
Here, three prominent Conservatives put forward a powerful action plan they believe will get the party back on track.
 
"MARGARET THATCHER used to talk of “our ­people”, the hard-working, patriotic Sun readers who gave her three election victories.
 
As Conservative MPs today, when we think of “our people” we think of their modern equivalents: A young family living in Harlow, Grantham or Haywards Heath, the three towns we represent.
 
Both parents are working, one full-time, one part-time. They juggle childcare and keeping an eye out for their elderly parents.
 
They worry about the bills and thank the good Lord (and Robert Halfon) that fuel duty has been frozen, even if nothing else has. They talk about Grandad’s advancing dementia and what their son and daughter will do after GCSEs.
 
These are the people a modern Conservative Party must stand for and fight for. Those who Theresa May said were “just about managing” and pledged to help in her first speech as Prime Minister.
 
Here are three big ideas to make their lives better.
 
With the NHS going through the worst winter in ages and a shortage of beds in care homes, the time has come for all the political parties to agree a long-term plan to fund the NHS and social care.
 
The National Insurance we all pay should become National Health Insurance, and be paid into a separate pot that can only be spent on the NHS and social care.
 
It should be charged on the income that rich people get from investments. People who continue to earn money after state pension age should pay it too.
 
We may have to pay a little more as the population gets older. But this way, whenever we look at our payslip we will see a line called National Health Insurance and know all of that money is going to the NHS and social care.
 
We also need to tackle the snobbery in our EDUCATION system. If your daughter wants to become a doctor you know she has to take the right A levels and go to a good university to study medicine.
 
But what if her brother wants to learn a trade? Much too little is done for people such as him. All the attention seems to go to the 50 per cent who want to go to university. We must change that. We have to give better career advice in the run-up to GCSEs, so kids know what grades they will need to follow their dreams.
 
We must develop better courses for them at college: T levels for technical courses on a par with A levels.
 
We need more apprenticeships so youngsters can get qualifications without taking on big debts. We need to introduce new technical diplomas, two-year courses at technical ­universities, developed and backed by bosses.

Youngsters should only have to borrow £15,000 to £20,000 to do a technical diploma, compared to £50,000 for a degree.
 
Mrs Thatcher gave millions of Sun readers the right to buy their council house. She wanted everyone in Britain to have a stake in the future and a home of their own. But house prices have outstripped wages. The dream of buying your own place is slipping out of ordinary ­people’s reach.
 
We need a HOUSING revolution. We need to get tough on big house builders who sit on sites with planning permission and build out slowly to keep prices up. We need to limit the amount paid for development land so councils can afford to put in the roads, schools and doctors’ surgeries people need.
 
And we need the Government to borrow up to £50billion to fund a massive programme of housebuilding. That should bring us 50,000 to 100,000 genuinely affordable homes every year. Homes to rent but with a right to buy. Homes young people can afford to start a family in.
 
Government ministers are busy negotiating Brexit. But they need to think about Britain after Brexit too. We can’t let Corbyn and his Trots sneak into No10. He would drive the country into a ditch, increasing taxes for millions and bankrupting the country.
 
It’s up to Conservatives to stop him. By showing how we will offer “our people”, working people and their families, the readers of The Sun, a better life and a brighter future."
 
Sir Nicholas Soames is MP for Mid Sussex. Robert Halfon is MP for Harlow and chairman of the Education Select Committee. Nick Boles is MP for Grantham and Stamford and author of Square Deal, squaredeal.org.uk