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Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen, including George Osborne being questioned by the Commons Treasury committee about Scotland getting more tax powers
Osborne says the Airports Commission did some work two years ago suggesting Manchester airport could lose 3% of its traffic, and Newcastle 10%, from Scotland cutting air passenger duty.
He says the government should look at what can be done to help those regional airports that do lose out.
Q: If income tax went down in Scotland, would borrowing projections go up or down?
Macpherson says he does not do the borrowing projections; it’s up to the OBR. And it would depend on the Scottish government’s finances.
Labour’s John Mann goes next.
Q: The Smith Commission secretariat and the Scottish secretary have different definitions of the “no detriment” paragraph in the report.
Osborne says the Commons spends most of its time, when dealing with income tax, looking at definitions and reliefs.
All of those things will remain UK responsibilities. And Scottish MPs will be involved.
Osborne says, with the exception of Canada and Switzerland, the UK will be going further than other countries in devolving tax powers.
Alok Sharma, a Conservative, goes next.
Q: So are you saying that, if Scotland lost revenue from having higher taxes, England would not have to compensate it?
Q: What if Scotland were to cut the 45p band? Wouldn’t some English taxpayers move to Scotland, or claim to move to Scotland, as a result?
Osborne says, under this agreement, the Scottish government would have to bear the costs of a tax cut like that. They would lose money at first.
David Ruffley, a Conservative, goes next.
Q: Will the devolution of income tax rates and bands lead to tax competition?
Osborne says the Smith Commission is clear that the Scottish parliament should have the power to create new benefits in areas where power is devolved, but not in other areas.
Q: What would stop the Scottish government using discretionary payments to make pensions in Scotland more generous?
Andy Love, a Labour MP, goes next.
Q: Aren’t you contradicting what the Smith Commission says?
Q: Doesn’t this contradict what the Smith Commission report says about all MPs continuing to vote on all aspects of the budget?
Osborne says he thinks that all MPs should vote on those aspects of income tax relevant to the whole UK.
Q: Should MPs representing Scottish MPs continue to vote on income tax rates and bands after these powers have been devolved?
Osborne says he does not want to pre-empt what the government will say on English votes for English laws. But the Evel principle will apply to some elements of income tax.
Stewart Hosie, the SNP deputy leader, goes next.
Q: If Scotland used its tax or borrowing powers to boost the economy, can you confirm that would not be seen as a risk to the UK?
George Osborne is giving evidence alongside Sir Nick Macpherson, the permanent secretary at the Treasury.
Andrew Tyrie, the chair, kicks of the questioning.
This is what the Smith Commission report says about Scotland getting control of most aspects of income tax.
Income Tax will remain a shared tax and both the UK and Scottish Parliaments will share control of Income Tax. MPs representing constituencies across the whole of the UK will continue to decide the UK’s Budget, including Income Tax.
Within this framework, the Scottish Parliament will have the power to set the rates of Income Tax and the thresholds at which these are paid for the non-savings and non-dividend income of Scottish taxpayers (as defined by the Scotland Acts).
George Osborne will be giving evidence to the Commons Treasury committee shortly about devolving tax powers to Scotland.
The government is planning to implement the proposals in the Smith Commission report.
As for the rest of the papers, here’s the PoliticsHome list of top 10 political must-reads, and here’s the ConservativeHome round-up of the day’s politics stories.
Tim Aker has been sacked as Ukip’s policy chief after failing to complete the party’s overdue manifesto.
It is understood that Ukip had set the beginning of January as the deadline to agree policies before sending off the manifesto to be checked and costed by an independent think-tank.
The other propitious circumstance is David Cameron. No prime minister since Harold Macmillan has been so temperamentally geared to campaigning as the “safe” option. When critics say he does not believe in much, they are right. But the burden is on them to explain why this is a bad thing. For a certain kind of swing voter, groping nervously for his wallet as he looks at an unquiet world, Mr Cameron’s beliefs are reassuringly milquetoast. He does not seem like a man who would noticeably improve the country — or trash it.
Whatever his colleagues say, Mr Cameron is a proper Tory. A Tory does not care for ideas or even politics itself. They claim no singular moral insight, unlike Labour, and espouse no mission, unlike the free-marketeers who now pepper the Conservative benches. They often cannot even stand their own party. They are quiet, bland patriots who get involved in public life on the hunch that more excitable types would mess it up. A Tory is a funny compound of civic entitlement and intellectual humility.
Sir David Cannadine, the historian, hosted a press conference at the Cabinet War Rooms this morning outlining some of the events that will be taking place to mark the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death.
In the morning, the Houses of Parliament will host a remembrance service and wreath laying ceremony, in recognition of Churchill’s outstanding contribution to Parliament. Speeches will be delivered by Mr Speaker, accompanied by a reading by Nathania Ewruje, Best Speaker in the English-Speaking Union’s National Public Speaking Competition for Schools 2014 and subsequent winner of the ESU’s inaugural Winston Churchill Cup for Public Speaking.
The Havengore vessel, which carried the coffin of Sir Winston, will retrace its journey down the Thames, taking the same route at the same time of day as 50 years previously. Forming part of a small flotilla, the Havengore will pass under Tower Bridge, which will be raised in honour of Sir Winston at 12.45, continuing its journey past HMS Belfast, under Blackfriars Bridge and Waterloo Bridge, passing the London Eye and culminating in a special service and wreath laying in the waters directly opposite the Palace of Westminster at 13.15. In echoes of the original river procession, the Havengore will feature crew in ceremonial bright blue and red uniforms and two Scottish pipers standing in the bows to play the pipes. The on-board party will include members of the Churchill family and others who were closely connected with the State Funeral and the event provides a fitting yet highly visible public tribute to Winston Churchill.
On Paxman calling Churchill an egotist and charlatan, David Cannadine: “Well, it’s interesting for Jeremy to criticise someone for that.”
For the record, here are today’s YouGov GB polling figures.
Here’s Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, on Nigel Farage’s comment about wanting to reopen the debate about replacing the NHS with an insurance-based system.
Nigel Farage has confirmed that a vote for UKIP is a vote for the privatisation of the NHS and for a full American healthcare system.
Farage admits he says one thing in public about the NHS but another behind closed doors. He has shown UKIP’s statements on protecting the NHS to be hollow.
For more on the de Montfort parliament, this post by Dr Sophie Ambler for the History of Parliament website is useful.
On Twitter MPs and MSPs have been celebrating the demise of the Sun’s Page 3.
Most of the comments I’ve seen have come from Labour politicians. I haven’t seen any Conservative MPs celebrating the move, although Andrew Cooper, David Cameron’s former pollster, has welcomed it.
Glad that @TheSunNewspaper p3 gone. Women expect to be equal in C21. Not posing half naked. Well done Clare Short & 1000s of women campaign
At long last – boobs are not news! Well done everyone at and with @NoMorePage3 – huge victory for people power
Delighted the the Sun has dropped #page3 – shame it took so long but nevertheless good news.
Let’s not forget Clare Short. In 1986 she was 1st MP to speak out against Page 3 was attacked by other MPs, vilified & threatened with rape
Glad that Page 3 is no more. Now let’s get media to stop the relentless ‘she’s too fat/thin’ gossip and perving after underage girls too?
If page3 toplessness really has gone, tribute due the early fighters, not least (though I think she’s wrong about most else), Clare Short
Grant Shapps, the Conservative chairman, has leapt on the Mandelson bandwagon, and used it has a chance to take a hit at Ed Miliband. He’s put out this statement:
With Mandelson joining the chorus of Labour voices opposed to Labour’s homes tax, it is clearer than ever that Ed Miliband is a weak leader peddling a bad policy. It is yet more proof that he simply isn’t up to the job of running the country.
It’s always good to celebrate a birthday and today, on one measure, it’s parliament’s 750th. On 20 January 1265 the de Montfort parliament met, and it is seen as a precursor of the modern House of Commons. Simon de Montfort was a French warlord, to use modern terminology, but never mind; it’s nice to know our European roots run deep.
Seven hundred and fifty years on, democracy can still throw up surprises. There are two this morning.
I don’t happen to think that the mansion tax is the right policy response to that. I think it’s sort of crude, it’s sort of short-termist. What we need is what I think the Liberal Democrats are proposing and that is the introduction of further bands that relate to different values of property within the council tax system. That’s what I would like to see. It will take longer to introduce, that’s true, but it will be more effective and efficient in the longer term than simply clobbering people with a rather sort of crude short term mansion tax.
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