Daily Archives: January 24, 2008

Jim Pickard

Today’s volte-face on capital gains tax shows that the government is capable of listening to entrepreneurs and their spokesmen. But do ministers pay too much attention to business lobbyists?

That is the argument of Friends of the Earth, which – in July 2005 – made a freedom of information request for access to records of lobbying meetings between the CBI and DTI (now BERR) after the last general election.  Read more

Peter Hain’s resignation was inevitable once the police were called in to look into the shambolic financing of his doomed attempt to become Labour’s deputy leader. After coming fifth in the contest (who came sixth? Can’t remember), he must be wishing he hadn’t bothered.

But the big question at Westminster this afternoon is whether Gordon Brown will use this as a chance to beef up his cabinet, which many Labour MPs believe is lacking in heavyweights: people who can take the fight to the Tories. Read more

So it looks like MPs are going to step up this afternoon and vote themselves a below inflation pay rise — all for the good of the nation. It would be inspiring but for all the whining and grumbling. But who are the MPs blaming? The answer is both baffling and slightly disturbing.

In the tea rooms and bars, there is a growing sense of enmity towards the Senior Salaries Review Body. This is hard to explain. After all, the independent body did their bit and recommended an above inflation pay rise for MPs. But even this has failed to satisfy the honourable parliamentarians hankering for more pay.  Read more