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« Malcolm Dunn watches Newsnight cover the leader's speech | Main | Tobias Ellwood MP: Mission accomplished »

October 05, 2006



I am not sure the abolition of Regional Assemblies is a quick win as the stautory planning powers they have will have to be unwound as will any regional spatial stratgies that have been published.

Many Tory councillors sit on this bodies and collect allowances for any special responsibilities they hold. They may have to be dragged from the table.

Adrian Owens

Interesting then that the Scotish Tories have pre-empted the Lyons report and called for a slashing of council tax for pensioners.

As this will be funded centrally this will reduce further local council independence through increasing central grant.

Does any Scottish Conservative (Oberon Houston?) want to post on here and defend this position?

Phil Taylor

This may seem harsh but sheltering pensioners from council tax is really bad policy for lots of reasons. There is little enough connection between local voters and local government and this move will reduce that connection still further.

We have a real problem with overpriced housing in the UK and real issues with labour mobility being driven by Brown's rises in stamp duty. It really helps our economy if we can move easily and cheaply and as you get older you need to think about trading down. Trading down is one mechanism by which the supply of housing can be increased. Council tax is a cheap and efficient tax to collect and one that quite appropriately makes people review the size of their home.

There is a green angle too. Older people do need warmer homes and smaller, modern homes are much cheaper to heat. Otherwise we get to the idiocy of people in over-large homes arguing that they need protection from council tax so that they can afford to heat them.

Older people are big users of local services and for that matter big complainers. They need to pay their share too.

I hope that not too many of my voters are reading this!


One of the great policy problems governments will face over the next 25 years, is the temptation to pander to the increasing numbers of non-working old at the expense of the shrinking numbers of working young, to the inevitable detriment of the economy as a whole, and therefore the welfare of everyone, young and old alike.

I hope this move by the Scottish Conservatives is not a harbinger of things to come. Please, please do not applaud it because it looks like a tax cut - to me it appears to be nothing less than blatant redistribution of the worst kind.

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