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Obviously the figures need to be neutrally audited but there is a logic in that the major stock and commodity exchanges generate "invisibles" and there is a much larger tourist income (and therefore tax paid) in the SE than in, say, Hull.

I agree the figures are always skewed by the protagonists - for example there was a counter-argument to the Scots Nats' complaint about North Sea oil revenue. As I understand it, the international boundary extends at 90 degrees from the coast at the border. That would have put many of the so-called "Scottish" oilfields within English territorial waters.

The London Assembly is effectively a restoration of the middle-tier authority that there used to be under the GLC and before that Middlesex and Surrey so perhaps should be taken out of the "regions" discussions. Cerainly the current boundaries make no sense at a federal region level. The M25 for example falls partly in and partly outside of the GLA area. Two of London's main airports are even further outside. You also get the question of the point income tax would be collected. Do you tax according to home or workplace?

These are the sorts of arguments that will run and run until there is agreement on a final form to pass laws that relate only to England. The danger in not addressing it is that the issue will be taken up by the Right (ie the Conservatives or people like the English National Party) who are likely to more blatently exploit the racist undertones inherent in nationalism.  That is why I suggested a Constitutional Convention or Speaker's Conference along the lines of that which drew up the draft of the Scottish settlement.

by Londonbear on Tue Jun 13th, 2006 at 08:07:49 AM EST
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Local authorities already tax according to residence...

You can tax people by workplace by taxing their employer, and by residence by taxing them.

Each overlapping layer of governance with a democratically accountable government should have the power to tax and spend within its boundaries. Then you get redistribution of income at each level. Different levels of government would tax different things as they would have ready access to different kinds of information.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 13th, 2006 at 08:14:52 AM EST
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