‘I have a blue mountain to climb’ - New political party that wants to scrap income tax standing in Broadland

Simon Rous, founder of the Universal Good Party, who is standing for election in Broadland. Picture:

Simon Rous, founder of the Universal Good Party, who is standing for election in Broadland. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

A small piece of political history will be made in Broadland this general election, with a brand new political party fielding its first candidate.

Simon Rous, of Spixworth, is the founding member of The Universal Good Party - and makes up 50pc of the party's membership.

Mr Rous formed the new party after growing exasperated with national politicians and is pledging to put the feeling of community back into politics.

He said: "For the most of my voting life the candidate I have always gravitated towards was 'none of the above'. I may have occasionally voted tactically, but for me, I've never really felt like any party was giving me what I really wanted."

The idea of forming his own party is one that Mr Rous has held for some time, however, until now the timing has never been right to mount a campaign.

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"In 2015 it was too late, then in 2017 it was so sudden that I didn't feel there was time. It probably isn't ideal timing now either, but I just can not let go of the idea."

But just what is The Universal Good Party and what does it stand for, heading into what could be one of the most divisive elections in recent memory?

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"Rebuilding community is my big passion and motivation," said Mr Rous. "I think there is a real hunger for that and one way I would do this is through a new form of national service. Not a military-based one, but one where young people can learn key skills and come out of it with real motivation and sense of community.

"I also believe there should be a total reform of taxation to a more transparent system. I would do away with income tax, VAT and other types and replace it with a single transaction tax which would be paid whenever any kind of good or service changes hands."

And as for Brexit, Mr Rous says that while he places himself as a remainer, he feels there is a need for a second referendum.

However, standing in a constituency with an overwhelming Conservative majority, he recognises how much of a challenge there is before him.

He said: "I have a blue mountain to climb."

The full list of candidates in Broadland is as follows:

- Jess Barnard (Labour)

- Andrew Boswell (Green)

- Ben Goodwin (Lib Dem)

- Jerome Mayhew (Conservative)

- Simon Rous (Universal Good Party)

MORE: Revealed: who is standing in your constituency this general election

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