• Clamp down on tax avoidance in the UK
    The ‘Paradise Papers’ are just the latest in a long line of tax scandals. The system, which is rigged to benefit the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, is broken. The impact on our public services of these corrupt practices, protected by a veil of secrecy, has been devastating. After seven years of austerity, it is time for irresponsible tax dodging to come to an end. HMRC, the government body tasked with policing the tax system, has seen its staff numbers and budget halved since it was formed in 2005. Meanwhile, the UK government has failed to take the opportunity to clean up the offshore system, in territories like Bermuda that are under its control, and make it harder for individuals and companies to avoid tax. It is little wonder that tax dodgers are taking advantage. Tax Justice UK, the country’s leading campaign organisation for a fairer tax system, is now calling for the UK government to take decisive action to end the scourge of tax avoidance, once and for all, by tightening up on enforcement and introducing new transparency rules.
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    Created by Will Snell Picture
  • Save The current route of our Number 32/33 Fintry Bus Service
    Xplore are proposing two alternative routes to the 32/33 bus which would cut out Forfar Road. Their consultation highlights that the route could also stay as it is. You can see the proposed two route changes at this link http://nxbus.co.uk/files/NXDundee/misc/FintryRouteReview-PublicConsultationDocument.pdf This re-routing would severely restrict people's ability for travel: • make it harder for people with disabilities and older people with mobility problems to catch a bus and get out of the house, potentially leading to loneliness and social isolation • safety concerns of having to work through a scheme to get to/and from the bus • get to and from work • visit friends and relatives • access education and training • access to hospitals, doctors, dentists and other medical services • access to leisure activities including town and countryside locations Fewer buses on the road will mean more traffic congestion and delays which affects all of us.
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    Created by Michael Hughes Picture
  • Privatization of the Ministry of Defence Guard Service (MGS)
    For the protection of MOD staff who work on the sites and visitors. Most importantly for the protection of this country
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    Created by Gary Johnson
  • Fair public sector procurement
    British businesses are being placed into administration because the public sector is choosing suppliers that are able to offer lower prices in part because they achieve an unfair competitive edge by avoiding taxes. The government should ensure that all suppliers pay a consistent share of tax. Failure to do so will only either drive British businesses into failure or force them to employ the same tax avoidance measures merely to compete. Example: A British company DataCentred was placed into administration because HMRC procured similar services from Amazon, a company that pays far less tax both in the UK and globally than any UK tax-rate. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/24/datacentred_went_under_due_to_hmrc_move_to_amazon/ https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/11/uk_gov_cloud_favourite_amazon_comes_under_fire_for_tax_bill/
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    Created by J M Picture
  • Stop Excessive Data Usage Fees
    Currently mobile data providers (Vodafone) let the consumer run up excessive bills and then take the money directly from their bank accounts. This is morally reprehensible.
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    Created by Carl Britton Picture
  • Bank refunds
    There must be millions of pounds waiting to be refunded into accounts. If the money can be taken from bank accounts immediately, why can it not be refunded immediately. A lot of people need their money back and it seems in this day of technology ludicrous that people cannot get an immediate refund.
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    Created by Kathleen Troughton Picture
  • Reinstate more railway lines in England
    In hindsight, it is recognised that the Beeching closures in the 1960s went too far as many larger settlements lost a very valuable lifeline to the national rail system leading to an explosion in motor vehicles for leisure and work and an equal increase in new road expansion and air pollution. The City Region hubs of commerce are now gridlocked in the peaks leading to high levels of air pollution from wear dust and exhaust emissions. 430,000 tons of tyre dust alone is produced annually from 50 million tyres. Particulate size less than ten microns become airborne and inhaled by all mammals and are small enough to reach the deepest parts of lungs causing pulmonary and coronary disease. Tyre wear dust also has a carcinogenic and mutatogenic effect on tissue cells contributing to 50,000 premature deaths annually from road traffic pollution. Many closed railway lines within urban areas are now essential in reducing city and town centre congestion and pollution. It is a known fact that bus usage has reduced at the same rate as rail footfall has increased in the last ten years to a point where more rail routes are desperately needed to increase capacity and opportunity to use rail. Rail is the preferred mode of transport in urban and inter urban travel and as such can encourage modal shift away from car by reducing travel time. There has been an increase in new rail route investment in Scotland and Wales, in the last fifteen years but not in England outside London. The Campaign for Better Transport has identified routes in every Region in England that would benefit local communities by being reinstated increasing connectivity and social inclusion with the rest of the UK. The Government would do well to take notice of Campaign for Better Transport's list of preferred reinstatements.
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    Created by Adrian Dr Morgan
  • Commit to a full move out of Westminster during renovations.
    To not move MPs and Lords out of Westminster would be a gross misuse of taxpayer finance at a time when the budget remains constrained. Not doing so would arbitrarily add 2 billion to the cost of renovations for no compelling reason. Additionally, the government should commit to the full scope of redevelopment of the palace of Westminster. Including the provisions for additional public, corporate and educational spaces listed on pages 73 and through 75 of the "Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster" report. Such provision would assist both in revenue and tourism as well as helping to educate people in the workings of our government and allow it to feel less removed. BBC Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33184160 Reports: https://restorationandrenewal.parliament.uk/ioa-report.html
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    Created by Robert Bell
  • Scrap Mersey Tolls
    With the opening of the tolled Mersey Gateway Bridge, and the tolling of the Silver Jubilee Bridge and the Mersey Tunnels, there are now four toll ‘barriers’ along a substantial length of the Mersey which effectively divide the Region into two. These toll barriers damage both the local and wider economies and divide communities, families and friends. As the City Mayor said in his election manifesto of April 2017 “We are the only City Region in Europe where in the future all cross-river traffic movements will be subject to expensive tolls...… we need to ensure that our river ceases to be a barrier to movement and commerce.” Mersey Tunnels The region has been subjected to tolls since the end of 1933, when the tunnel from Birkenhead to Liverpool was opened to traffic. The £7 million cost of the tunnel was supposed to be shared between the Government, the local authorities and the users of the tunnels. The tolls were only intended to be for a limited period and should have ended before 1950. They did not. A second tunnel was opened in 1971, the twin-tube tunnel between Wallasey and Liverpool, at a cost of £37 million. This too was tolled and both the Queensway and Kingsway Tunnel toll charges have continued increasing ever since. During 2016, the total Tunnel tolls collected passed the one billion pounds mark. The tolls collected to date are now 23 times the original construction costs of the two tunnels. Money has been wasted on a vast scale and the Tunnels have been used as a cash cow to fund other activities. The two Mersey Tunnels provide important economic strategic links and they should be taken over by Highways England and funded from existing road-use taxes and not from tolls. Silver Jubilee Bridge This bridge linking the north bank of the Mersey at Widnes with the south bank at Runcorn was opened in 1961 and carried the A533. The £3 million cost was mainly met by the Government with contributions from Cheshire and Lancashire County Councils. It was never tolled in its 56 year history. It has now been closed to traffic and when it reopens it will become a tolled bridge crossing, making it the only free bridge crossing in Britain ever to have a toll imposed upon it. We want the plan to toll the bridge to be immediately abandoned. The bridge maintenance and repairs should be financed in the same way as it has been for over half a century – from Government highways grants. Mersey Gateway Bridge This bridge opened to traffic from midnight on the 13th October 2017. It is a tolled bridge crossing. There are many issues with this scheme, but we will mention just two. The Council and Government said that all such new bridges have to be tolled, but a larger bridge over the Forth was opened by the Queen in September 2017 and is not tolled. In fact most 'estuarial' crossings in Britain are not tolled, including all those in North Wales and the numerous Thames crossings in the Greater London Authority area, and of course the Silver Jubilee Bridge was not tolled when it opened in 1961 and has remained untolled – till now. The other issue is the effect on congestion in the wider North West road network. The tolling of the Mersey Gateway Bridge means that a significant number of drivers and businesses will actively avoid using it and are diverting to areas with free bridge crossings several miles upriver, adding to and even causing congestion in the greater road network in those areas. We want the Government to buy-out the private finance contract. This is likely to cost no more than the Government are already committed to spend to support the Gateway tolls, and the cost would be less than one week of one year of the taxes on drivers. The bridge should then be maintained by Highways England as part of the national road network.
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    Created by Scrap Mersey Tolls Picture
  • Appoint more women, BAME and non-finance sector candidates to the Bank of England's senior positions
    The Bank of England's policy making committees make decisions which have a huge impact on everyone in Britain, yet their members come from a narrow range of backgrounds. Over the last decade, the Bank’s policies have disproportionately benefited the wealthiest in society, while doing very little for the rest of us. [1] Unless its most powerful committees are representative of society as a whole, they won’t fully understand how every community is affected by their decisions. 75% of those on the Monetary Policy Committee, which is in charge of setting interest rates and policy such as quantitative easing, were working in the City or for large companies before taking up their post. There are no members with recent experience working on behalf of the interests of the rest of society, such as in trade unions or civil society organisations. And out of the 23 members on the Bank’s most important committees, only two are female, and BAME communities are underrepresented. Appointments to the Bank’s most senior positions are made by the Chancellor. We support Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, Nicky Morgan MP's recent call for Philip Hammond to seek out and appoint a more diverse range of candidates. ----- [1] Researchers at civil society organisations like Positive Money have shown that quantitative easing and low interest rates - the Bank of England’s main policy responses to the crash - have benefited the richest households by almost 200 times as much as the poorest. See our website for more details.
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    Created by Rachel Oliver
  • Fight Hospital Privatisation Plans at Airedale General Hospital
    The Directors of Airedale NHS Trust are about to transfer the staff who run hospital buildings, grounds and purchasing departments into a private company. This private company can only provide cheaper services to the hospital if it cuts corners, or cuts jobs, pay and working conditions. Lower pay and increased work will hit the morale of already overstretched NHS staff, making it hard for their families to make ends meet and the whole community. Hospital staff should be thinking about how to provide the best service for patients, not worrying about how they’re going to pay the bills. The NHS is not only a provider of health care for all, free at the point of need but an important provider of good quality, fairly paid jobs.
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    Created by Bob Thorp Picture
  • Referendum on the final terms on which the UK will leave the European Union
    The EU referendum represented a low point in post war UK democratic politics. Only now are problems coming to the fore that were not considered in the referendum and not debated at the time. Oeople did not know the consequences of them and Brexit impact reports are being unacceptably hidden from the people. This is unacceptable and we need a final decision when we know exactly what Brexit means and that means the full terms of an any deal.
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    Created by Roman Haluszczak