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Contributions to the Finance Bill Committee 2013


Budget 2013 has long been forgotten by the media but the Finance Bill implementing it returned to the House yesterday for report stage. From 23 April to 20 June, I served on the Bill committee. All Bill stages and documents may be found here. I made many contributions, including 25 April, 3rd Sitting – Support of the report of the 2020 Tax Commission 16 May, 6th Sitting – Equality in tax laws 4 June, 10th Sitting – An attack on […]

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Royal Bank of Scotland told by MPs to explain £25bn accounting ‘distortion’ – Telegraph


The Telegraph picks up my Bill on bank accounting: David Davis, the former Tory front bencher, and Steve Baker, the MP for Wycombe, have called for RBS to prove that its accounts are not being distorted by the controversial International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The letter, seen by The Daily Telegraph, details a disagreement between the MPs and RBS at a private meeting on May 24. The MPs argued that IFRS, which has been described as a “fatally flawed” system, […]

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A Bill to expose banks’ false profits, overstated capital and hidden losses


My Financial Services (Regulation of Derivatives) Bill has now been printed, ready for second reading on 10 June. You can obtain the PDF here and track the Bill’s progress here. The press release, including links to background evidence and press coverage, is here. When I introduced my Bill on 15 March, I explained how the accounting rules for banks incentivize trading in derivatives by enabling unrealized profits to be booked up-front, leading to large but unjustified bonuses and dividends. On 30th March, […]

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Debate on the Protection of Freedoms Bill


The Protection of Freedoms Bill is radical only in its moderation and extreme only in its conservatism. Nevertheless, it has been and remains a privilege to serve on the Bill Committee, for which you can find Hansard here. I have made a number of contributions but I think I most enjoyed saying this: Steve Baker: Following the exchange of interventions, which I very much enjoyed, and reflecting on the amendment, I am aware of a principle that comes out, which […]

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The Protection of Freedoms Bill


I attended much of the second reading debate on the Protection of Freedoms Bill today, conscious that liberty is still the subject about which I have written most, judging by the tag cloud, bottom right. There’s much in the Bill to be glad about and I shall certainly support it but of course I would have liked it to do more. I discover that many of my colleagues are less concerned about these issues than I might have liked: we […]

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Sceptical support for The Daylight Saving Bill


I’m waiting to vote on the second reading of the Daylight Saving Bill, a private member’s bill introduced by Rebecca Harris MP and promoted by Lighter Later. With considerable scepticism, I will be supporting the bill. It seems to me that good arguments can be made either way on this Bill because the offset we use from solar time is fundamentally arbitrary. Solar noon is when the sun is highest in the sky. Some people prefer lighter mornings and some […]

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Observations on a statutory instrument committee


I just completed my first act of scrutiny of legislation in committee for The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2010, which was drafted under the last government. It was an unedifying experience. Having obtained and read the instrument beforehand, I considered that: The Instrument was well-intentioned and thorough, or at least extensive, but imperfect. A page of simple law might have been more effective. Scrutinising ten pages of amendments to legislation is difficult to do without the context of […]

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