Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
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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