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Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Will the Legal Drinking Age Rise to 21?

Monday, April 16th, 2007

Young Person DrinkingAccording to an article on the BBC News Website there is talk of raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21. Statistics show that alcohol-related illnesses have doubled in the last ten years to 262,844 cases per year and that people suffering injuries due to too much alcohol consumption has again doubled to 148,477 a year. There has also been a 20% rise in hospital admissions from underage drinkers misusing alcohol.

It is obvious that the UK has a problem with alcohol misuse and that children and teenagers are drinking too much too often, but even if the legal age is changed, will this really stop them from drinking? I don’t think so… the main problem my friends and I faced as teenagers was a serious lack of anything to do in the area. We drank because we were board and I expect the situation is still the same now. Unless the government plan on creating somewhere for teenagers to go in the evening the problem will persist.

I’m not saying this is the only issue related to underage drinking; home life, location, choice of friends and many other factors will lead children and teenagers to drink. I doubt the main problem is with young adults between the age of 18 and 21, so I can’t really see how raising the legal drinking age will stop school children from drinking.

Gordon and the Donkey

Friday, March 30th, 2007

DonkeyI found an article on The Herald today that discusses Gordon Brown and this year’s budget, however I was more interested in the comment left by Alan on 22nd March 2007.

It’s a cleverly written hilarious story and well worth a read if you’ve got a spare five minutes!

Miscalculated Olympic Bill

Monday, March 26th, 2007

London Olympics LogoThe original estimate of £2.37 billion to host the London Olympics in 2012 was badly miscalculated by the Government. Last week Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced that the actual bill had rocketed since the original estimate in 2003 to £9 billion at the expense of the taxpayer. Lottery bosses are furious because it is thought that 1/5 of the entire lottery budget until 2013 will be consumed by the London Olympics.

My main concern is the reliability of these new figures, the construction work hasn’t even begun so will the bill double over the next few years, can anyone really be sure? Read more at This is London.

Rory Bremner Does the Budget

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Here is Rory Bremner’s impression of Gordon Brown announcing the budget; it’s very cleverly worded and very funny.

Budget 2007

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

In his eleventh Budget, Chancellor Gordon Brown has rejected Conservatives’ claims that his Budget tax changes were a “con trick”. The basic rate of income tax will fall from 22p to 20p (its lowest for 75 years) from April next year, but the lower starter rate of 10p will also go – which means those who pay income tax will start at 20p in the pound instead of 10p. From 2009, the cut-off point for NI will rise from £34,840 (this year) to £43,000, with 1% NI for earnings above that level continuing, and the top-rate income tax threshold will rise to £43,000.

Beer will increase by 1p a pint, wine by 5p a bottle and cigarettes by 11p a packet. However, some good news for those of you trying to quit smoking – nicotine patches and gums will have their VAT cut to 5% from 17.5% for one year. Other positive changes include a reduction in corporation tax from 30p to 28p in the pound (from April 2008) and the income tax free allowance for pensioners under 75 will rise from £7,280 to £9,770 in 2010.

So what does this mean to you? Mr Brown claims the average family will be £5 a week better off thanks to the income tax changes. However Shadow Chancellor George Osborne challenged Mr Brown to admit that 3.5 million families will be worse off. Let me know your thoughts …

10,000 Passports Wrongly Issued

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

The Home Office has admitted that 10,000 passports were obtained under false pretences in the past year. The conservatives have called this news “shocking” and I completely agree. With everything that’s been happening in this country you’d expect security to be at its highest – but of the 16,500 fraudulent applications during a 12 month period, 10,000 went undetected.

Face to face interviews will now be introduced gradually from May so adults applying for a passport will be expected to know questions about their personal history such as when their parents were born and their previous addresses. Applicants will also be told to allow 6 weeks to receive their passports, instead of the three or four weeks currently allowed.

This has also posed some serious questions about ID cards as false passport holders would be able to get a genuine card.

Read more on the BBC website.

Newsnight Publishes Tony Blair Photo

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Newsnight LogoThe photograph of 21 year old Tony Blair supposedly making a rude hand gesture has until now only been shown as a cropped version. However, Newsnight reporter Michael Crick discovered the photograph while undertaking research about David Cameron and the full picture has now been shown.

Some say it is possible that Tony was playing an air guitar in the photograph as apparently he had always wanted to be in a rock band, whether people will believe this or not, I’m not too sure.

Read more at BBC News.

YouTube Used For Attack On Tories

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Labour has posted a video on YouTube (below) of former Welsh Secretary John Redwood messing up the words to Wales’ national anthem. Apparently this is the first time a party has put an official broadcast on the site and it has been labelled as ‘too offensive for television’.

Election rules for standard TV political broadcasts ban the use of moving images of opponents, however these rules do not currently apply to the Internet.

Via icWales