Unleashing the British Underdog


The Conservative vision of fairness should focus on backing the underdog – people who work hard to compete on merit, overcome vested interests and succeed against the odds, writes Dominic Raab MP in Unleashing the British Underdog: 10 bets on the little guy.

He puts forward 10 policies which will widen opportunity and improve social mobility:

  1. Extend Open Access, the scheme that sponsors talented children from all backgrounds to go to independent schools.
  2. Fast-track Troops to Teachers, to encourage more schools staffed by veterans to be set up in areas of deprivation.
  3. Give VAT tax breaks to charities such as Fight for Peace which help turn round the lives of disaffected youngsters.
  4. Re-instate Young Apprenticeships, so that non-academic children have a better range of vocational options.
  5. Expand opportunities for “legal executives”, to encourage wider non-graduate entry into the profession.
  6. Give start-ups and micro-businesses tax breaks, such as exemptions on employers’ NI contributions and cuts in business rates.
  7. Extend the 0% band on stamp duty to £250,000, to help first time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder.
  8. Release ‘dead equity’ for tenants in social housing, to incentivise home ownership and finance new social housing.
  9. Teach refugees English on arrival, so they can find work and integrate into the community.
  10. Introduce a simple tax allowance for employers of disabled people to cover the cost of workplace adaptations.

Raab estimates that the cost of the above measures would be about £1.6 billion – a cost which would be covered six times over by a range of regulatory and bureaucratic reforms that he lists which would save at least £10 billion.

Media Impact:

Dominic Raab MP - Monday, 30th July, 2012