Friday, 25 June 2010

The West Lothian Question

Spent a long and hot day yesterday doing a uni trip to Loughborough with my youngest daughter.As one daughter leaves uni the next one is looking to finalise her own plans and the whole process does raise the dreaded issue of tuition fees. A particular bugbear is that Scottish kids pay no fees whereas English kids do - even if attending uni in Scotland. Devolution is all well and good - and perhaps no bad thing for the English! - however how can it be right that decisions on matters relating only to England are taken by all members and therefore heavily influenced by members representing Scottish constituencies whose residents are not affected. As it is the Scottish are over represented on a per head basis, although we have been promised action on this by the Government. I also remain to be convinced that as English taxpayers we are not subsidising this benefit which is not available to our own children. It is time for a clear convention that if a parliamentary decision only applies in England it should be taken solely by MPs representing constituencies in England. We also need equal sized constituencies and clear confirmation that if one country within the UK decides on a cost bearing policy it will only be the residents of that country which bears the cost. In the meantime Loughborough was a great place although they were invovled in the development of the football being used in South Africa!!

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