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Why does the government want to tax whisky so much?

Why does the government want to tax whisky so much?

by David Frost / 07 Jan 2014 15:39

I am lucky enough to represent the industry that produces one of the United Kingdom’s most successful and iconic products - Scotch whisky.  The Scotch industry is that rare thing - an industry steeped in history, but thoroughly modern in outlook, and with a positive future.  It contributes around £4 billion to the UK’s balance of trade and supports 35,000 jobs.  

So why does the Government want to tax it so much?  

I

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David Davies MP in defence of Andrew Mitchell

David Davies MP in defence of Andrew Mitchell

by David Davies MP / 06 Jan 2014 10:57

As a Conservative MP I publicly opposed the increases in the foreign aid budget under Andrew Mitchell's leadership. As a Special Constable in London I have spent 8 years working side by side with regular officers and experienced first hand the verbal and sometimes physical threats which the police all too often face. 
 
So it might surprise people to learn that I believe Andrew Mitchell has been badly treated by the police,

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A response to Mary Honeyball

by Alex Bryce / 24 Dec 2013 00:21

Mary Honeyball, Labour's Spokesperson on the European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, has been a vocal supporter of anti-sex work legislation and has written a report to the European Parliament recommending the Swedish Model, which criminalises the purchase of sex.  She recently wrote an article published in Total Politics on the issue and has appeared regularly commenting on the issue on a variety of BBC platforms including Daily Politics, Women’s Hour and the

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Legislation, institutions, and prostitution

Legislation, institutions, and prostitution

by Mary Honeyball MEP / 12 Dec 2013 17:55

This month police raided brothels and other sex premises in Soho. The operations, which came in response to sex trafficking and rape allegations, drew to the surface stark contrasts in attitudes towards prostitution. Pro-legalisation campaigners argued that immigrant sex workers in the area were employed safely, but senior officers took the opposite view, photographing the operation so that punters could see the “full story” behind the bohemian mystique of Soho.

As yesterday’s article in

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PMQs from a 15-year-old's perspective

PMQs from a 15-year-old's perspective

by Joseph Roberts / 26 Nov 2013 11:41

We enter the gallery above the chamber to the raucous jeering from the politicians below us. It is not exactly how it appears on the TV and my first reaction is one of shock at just how bizarre it all seems.

As we take our seats, the shouting dies down into a lull of obedience, and the booming voice of our prime minister rang throughout the room. The topic? Energy prices. A turbulent subject to

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Inequality: Looking beyond MPs to the backrooms

Inequality: Looking beyond MPs to the backrooms

by Anoosh Chakelian / 12 Nov 2013 14:40

Lib Dem Jo Swinson, now business minister, needed the encouragement of her MP husband to ask Nick Clegg to consider her for promotion.

Labour MP Stella Creasy was flooded with phone calls from journalists asking her if women can 'have it all' when Louise Mensch - neither in her party nor in any way resembling her domestic set-up - left parliament to join her husband in America.

Tory education minister Liz Truss recalls being on

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What we should debate during Living Wage Week

What we should debate during Living Wage Week

by Katie Schmuecker / 04 Nov 2013 10:46

Today marks the start of Living Wage Week.  This is the week when the new Living Wage rates for London and the rest of the UK will be announced, but it’s also an important opportunity for us to focus on the related problems of low pay and in-work poverty in the UK, and what we should do about them.

Families experiencing poverty despite having some - or all - adults in work is a problem

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HS2: Some answers to the critics

HS2: Some answers to the critics

by Jim Steer / 31 Oct 2013 10:44

Tuesday’s Strategic Case for HS2 was a significant turning point for the future of Britain’s railways. It answered critics and resoundingly reaffirmed HS2’s convincing business rationale in principle and in detail.

The case was crystal clear on what HS2 would achieve in both improving transport links and in real added value to the UK economy.

Benefits for capacity were particularly convincing. Not only for stations directly served by HS2 but for towns and cities off

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The rights, lefts and wrongs of free schools

The rights, lefts and wrongs of free schools

by Nick Tyrone / 29 Oct 2013 15:10

Nick Clegg has spoken of his discomfort around three current areas of Free Schools policy: teacher qualifications, Core Curriculum and school meals standards. The Tories and the right wing press have bit back hard on the Deputy Prime Minister for this sudden about face. Some of it has been (predictably) overtly political, with Conservative peer Baroness Buscombe describing Clegg as “two-faced”. But some of the criticism actually does appear to be genuinely policy driven.

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Is Westminster listening to regional rebalancing?

Is Westminster listening to regional rebalancing?

by Graeme Henderson / 29 Oct 2013 14:52

Yesterday saw the launch of yet another commission aimed at reviving the UK’s regional cities. Jim O’Neill, the Chair of the City Growth Commission, as a retiring Goldman Sachs banker, seems an improbable candidate for rebalancing the economy. Yet promisingly his commission will focus on infrastructure, skills and devolution rather than special incentives and tax breaks for business. The key question though is with several high profile reports over the last 12 months

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Review: Handbagged

Review: Handbagged

by Anoosh Chakelian / 24 Oct 2013 15:55

“It’s all artifice and sham,” grumbles one of two unsettlingly realistic Margaret Thatchers to the audience. The essence of Handbagged, Moira Buffini’s play sending up the Queen and former PM’s relationship, is its self-referential wit. “Whatever we say must stay between these three walls,” quips an Elizabeth II, poker-faced.

This new political satire showing at the Tricycle Theatre and sturdily directed by Indhu Rubasingham is a feast of mirroring and juxtaposing characters – with most

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PMQs sketch: It's not easy being green

PMQs sketch: It's not easy being green

by Anoosh Chakelian / 23 Oct 2013 13:31

"It's not easy being green," a morose puppet once sang, wearing a perpetually fixed smile while perching sorrowfully on a selection of hard green and brown benches, alone. The lyrics continue: "When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow... or something much more colourful like that."

But the only hue Kermit the Cameron was today was blue - in more ways than one. For he began singing that signature tune the moment Ed 'the Eagle'

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