Boundaries vote to split government
DAVID Cameron and Nick Clegg are expected to enter opposing division lobbies today as the Liberal Democrats seek to thwart Conservative plans to redraw parliamentary boundaries before the next general election.
The Prime Minister wants to overturn a Lords defeat that means the boundary review – which could hand the Tories up to 20 extra seats – will not be implemented until after the 2015 election.
But with the Tories short of a majority in the Commons, Downing Street acknowledged that “the arithmetic looks pretty difficult”.
Report calls for sugary drinks tax
SUGARY drinks should be subject to a new tax, which could add 20p a litre to their price, with the proceeds going towards child health, a report said today.
The report by food and farming charity Sustain said the Government could raise £1 billion a year from a sugary drinks duty to pay for free school meals and measures to encourage children to eat fruit and vegetables.
The levy would also help save lives by cutting consumption of sugar-laden drinks, said the report, which has been backed by more than 60 organisations including the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Friends of the Earth, the National Heart Forum and the Royal Society for Public Health.
Iraqis seek ‘abuse’ public inquiry
SCORES of Iraqis will come to the High Court today seeking an “independent” public inquiry into allegations that British interrogators were guilty of systemic abuse of civilians in Iraq.
Lawyers for the Iraqis allege there were a number of unlawful killings as well as incidents of torture from March 2003 to December 2008 in British-controlled detention facilities.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond plans to investigate the claims through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), which includes members of the Royal Navy Police (RNP).
Give tax-raising powers to councils
TOWN halls in England should be free to impose local “tourist taxes” as part of a move to legally guarantee them independence from Whitehall control, MPs said.
Tax-raising powers are among elements included in a draft code published by an influential Commons committee which it said could form the basis for a statutory relationship.
And it also suggested that councils should be directly handed a share of income tax to bring them in line with powers granted to the Scottish government and proposed for Wales.
Taxes ‘increased 300 times’
TAXES will have been increased almost 300 times by the coalition Government before its term of office ends in 2015, new research claimed today.
The Taxpayers Alliance (TPA) said it had reviewed all of the Government’s tax policies and found 254 tax rises had already come into effect, with 45 more planned before the next election.
It calculated the amount of tax paid in Britain would rise in real terms by 15% as result.