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David Boothroyd
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The problem with the council tax is that government grants and redistributed NNDR covers the vast majority of council spending, so a fairly minor budget change means a vast difference in marginal tax rates. Also the discretion of an individual council in budgeting is nowadays almost nothing. Basically there is almost nothing you can tell about the way a council is run from the level of its band D council tax. I am not a Henry George adherent but I do endorse the principle of public authorities benefiting from planning gain. A wealth tax might be a good principle but it's totally impractical. But it is reasonable to use property value as a basis for assessing liability for local taxation. Of course it is interesting that the Conservative Party keeps as quiet as possible about the fact that it both invented the council tax, and continues to endorse it as the means of raising money for local authorities.
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You clearly meant 'raises the question' not 'begs the question' - look it up. Wales did go through a revaluation, which had a different approach to band setting (basically they cocked it up and allowed band inflation) so the actual Band D council taxes are significantly lower than in England where they are raising the same amount. Therefore Welsh council taxes are not comparable. In any case Wales is devolved and the Assembly Government decides council grant allocations, not the DCLG. It's quite wrong to say that a more subtle approach to valuation being introduced for the next revaluation amounts to "a change in the basis of valuation". The first and only valuations were very cheap and cheerful, with whole estates being valued just by looking at the outside of one house. Really there should be no bands and local taxation assessed as a small proportion of the capital value of property, with suitable discounts for single occupation and rebates for people with low income.
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There are other councils where Labour and Conservative have deals to keep out the Liberal Democrats. Stockton-on-Tees has a Labour/Conservative coalition with a Conservative leader although Labour is the largest single party. In Ashfield, the Conservative/Independent group recently supported a minority Labour executive into power to get rid of a hated and incompetent Liberal Democrat one.
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I raised this point on the committee. The idea was that the statue would balance General Eisenhower, and it wasn't being sponsored by the Embassy but by a separate committee to fund a Reagan statue so I would imagine it will stay there. (That's one of the reasons it got permanent permission not the five years asked for)
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One possible objection to introducing recall of Members of Parliament is that the system in the USA applies only to executive officials - Mayors, State Governors - and not to representatives. Members of Parliament have no executive responsibility.
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Taking up the procedural aspects of the Carswell motion: from what was said during the Points of Order after the Speaker's statement, it seems as if the motion has been put down today for debate tomorrow. That certainly does not mean that it will be debated tomorrow. The way things work is that a whole load of items of business are formally set for debate on a particular day, but not actually selected for debate. The selection of business for debate is done by the Leader of the House of Commons - a Government minister. Any Member can put a motion down for debate and there is no procedural mechanism for requiring the Leader of the House to select it; some longrunning motions (such as allowing recall of the House by Members) have been put down years ago but never selected for debate). None of this process has changed since 1997, incidentally.
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Dennis Kucinich, one of the most left-wing Congressmen, voted in favour. There was one dissenting Republican who voted Present (ie abstained), Rep. Peter King of Long Island, who is known for his support of Irish Republicanism.
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I also think this is a speculative story. The reason Crossrail died in the mid-90s was that the small group of members of the House of Commons looking at it in committee were persuaded (for different reasons) that it wouldn't pay its way. This time we've long since gone past that stage and the Crossrail funding package is basically agreed. It has a very good business case behind it and a good deal of political will. The Standard seems to think it is an alternative to work on the tube which isn't actually true.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2009 on (11) Delaying Crossrail at starchamber/
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Exactly right to say that getting 80p in the £ from Heritable deposits, and only after waiting three years, is not good news. The important thing to learn from all this is as Steve Horgan writes - councils making investments should not be just ticking the boxes "Yes they've got the required Fitch rating, so get the money shovels out", but checking on any wider news about the safety of institutions.
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If, hypothetically, a supporter of the Buff Party joins the civil service during a period of Mauve Party government, with the hope of obtaining embarrassing documents and passing them on to a Buff Party politician of his acquaintance, what would be your comment?
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The Prime Minister is also Minister for the Civil Service and has therefore personal Ministerial responsibility for maintaining the security of confidential Civil Service documents. If he was indeed aware in general terms of an investigation into a Civil Service leak then this would not merely be unsurprising, it would be a inevitable matter of routine.
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