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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another Tory u-turn?

The Conservative MP for Pembrokeshire complains in this morning's Western Mail that two companies in the County are generating nearly £7m a day in tax, yet the area suffers from second-class services.

Stephen Crabb said that the tax bills of the Chevron refinery in Pembroke and the Total site in Milford Haven, provide enough funds through taxes and duty on oil barrels to meet, theoretically, almost half the entire Welsh NHS annual budget.

This is an interesting point, however it is worth recording that at least some of those taxes, the companies' business rates, fail to benefit Pembrokeshire in full, because of a decision taken by a past Conservative Government. They changed the system whereby a Council received all the business rates generated locally and introduced instead a national pool, which distributes the money back to Councils by means of a formula. Is this another Tory u-turn?
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