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Issue:-24/25 February 2009

Tax Returns – Publish and be damned says MEP

A North West Liberal Democrat Euro-MP is calling for the tax records of every person in the country to be made publically available.  With some local councils said to be resisting Government demands that they reveal the salaries paid to chief officers, Chris Davies says that Britain should adopt a policy of total openness and transparency.  Income and tax details of every individual are already available on the internet in Norway, and partly so in Sweden and Finland.  Davies said:- “These countries are strong in their defence of human rights yet they have no problem with being completely open about income and taxes.  It is a healthier situation than in Britain.”  The MEP says that elected politicians are now expected to reveal details about some of their sources of income. Publishing tax returns would bring total transparency.  He points out that there is also growing pressure for details of the pay packages paid to BBC presenters and personalities such as Jonathan Ross to be published.  There is currently controversy surrounding Conservative donor and vice-chairman Lord Ashcroft and Labour donor Lord Paul with questions about how much tax they pay in the UK.  Davies continued:- “Increasingly people want to know just how much is being paid out of their taxes to public sector employees.  If the rule applies to Council Chief Executives it should also apply to other council employees as well as doctors, dentists, teachers and the military.  With nationalised banks lending taxpayers money to businesses it would be strange to have one rule for the public sector and another for the private sector.  It is right that we should know how much bankers are getting in pay and perks as well as how much our top public servants are getting from our taxes.  In Norway it is simply taken for granted that this is the procedure and no-one worries. If there are some people who might be embarrassed if these details were to be made public then perhaps that is because they have reason to be embarrassed.”  The MEP publishes full details of his salary and allowances on his website and will publish his tax return online by 26 February 2010.


LIVERPOOL Coroners Office are appealing for help in tracing the next of kin of Margaret Christine Welsh who died on Wednesday, 17 February 2010.  Mrs Welsh, whose maiden name was Riley, was found in her flat in Sheil Road, Kensington, Liverpool. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.  The 58 year old is believed to have four adult children who may still live in Liverpool and any relatives or next of kin are urged to contact the coroners office on:- 0151 233 4703.


MERSEYSIDE Police have told us that 13 Year Old from Southport Joshua Sykes has been found safe and well on 19 February 2010. They would like to thank the public for their help.


A campaign to give Liverpool its own official bank holiday.  Celebrities, sport stars and city leaders have backed the campaign for the city to have its own public holiday, akin to St Patrick’s Day.  Social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have sprung up allowing supporters to back the campaign and a petition is being launched on the 10 Downing Street website calling on the Prime Minister to create a bank holiday to celebrate the City of Liverpool.  The idea was devised by Aintree, organisers of the John Smith’s Grand National meeting, who want to replicate Melbourne Cup Day, in Victoria, Australia, where the state’s residents are given a public holiday to celebrate its world famous horse race.  The campaign will be officially launched on Thursday April 8 when the 1st day of the Grand National meeting will be renamed Liverpool Day and include a series of events celebrating the city’s culture.

Emma Owen, marketing and PR manager at Aintree racecourse, who created the campaign, said:- “The response has been absolutely phenomenal and seems to have really captured the public’s imagination.  The idea is to get at least 500,000 people to sign up via social networking sites and the online petition and then we will submit a formal application to the government in order to get the day officially recognised.  The Aussies led the way by designating a public holiday to celebrate the Melbourne Cup and we don’t see any reason Liverpool shouldn’t do the same thing.”

In 2006, the Scots were granted a day off to celebrate St Andrew's Day and there is an ongoing campaign for St George's Day to receive similar treatment in England.  Merseyside celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, star of BBC2 show Something for the Weekend, said:- “I’m sure some people from outside Liverpool might have plenty to say about this idea but what other city in the UK, outside London, can honestly say it has such a high profile across the world?  I think it’s a great idea and reckon if the Scots and Irish can celebrate Haggis and Guinness, why can’t we celebrate good old Scouse? Roll on Liverpool Day.”

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, councillor Mike Storey, said:- “I think if any city in the UK deserves its own bank holiday, then it has to be Liverpool. We’ve given the world some of its finest sporting events and sporting moments so what better way to celebrate the greatest horse race in the world than by giving everyone with an L postcode a day when they can pursue sporting thrills – either as a spectator or participant.”

Details of events taking place on Liverpool Day at Aintree on 8 April 2010, will be announced next month.  Tickets and hospitality for the 2010 John Smith’s Grand National meeting including Liverpool Day can be purchased in advance by visiting  or phone:- 0844 579 3001. The advance booking office at the racecourse will open on Monday, 8 March 2010, for race goers who wish to purchase in person.

To follow the campaign on Facebook, click here.
To follow on Twitter, click here.
To sign the petition, click here.

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