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Monday, March 17, 2008

Oakeshott Bill may be blocked

Today's Guardian is reporting that Labour and the Tories will join forces to block a Bill being introduced by Liberal Democrat peer, Matthew Oakeshott, which would have tightened tax laws to make sure that only full British taxpayers resident in the UK could sit in Parliament's upper house.

Under the bill, peers would have to be "resident, and ordinarily resident and domiciled, in the UK and no other country for tax purposes". One of the first victims of the measure could be the multimillionaire Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, who has business interests in Belize and who has not spelled out his tax status, though the Conservatives deny that this would be the case.

Whether there is now a way forward on this matter has yet to be seen. The Conservatives have indicated that they may support a Bill introduced by Labour backbencher Gordon Prentice, which they consider to be "less draconian", whilst the Government, despite saying that they support the intentions behind the Oakeshott Bill, are arguing that it is not their place to back non-government legislation such as this.

It is funny how the establishment closes ranks at times like these, isn't it?
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