28/12/2015 The Papers


28/12/2015

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81-year-old woman has been shot dead at a care home in Essex and a

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relative, also a resident, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

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Welcome to our look ahead at what the papers will bring us tomorrow.

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With me Martin Bentham, home affairs editor for the London Evening

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Standard, and the broadcaster Petrie Hoskin. We are going to start with

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the flooding in northern England which features on a number of

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tomorrow's front pages, with the Guardian saying the cost of the

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floods could top ?5 billion. The Telegraph is eight photograph of an

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RAF Chinook flying past York Minster as it helps with the efforts to

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repair the flood defences. The main stories about a planned change to

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stamp duty on second homes which critics have dubbed a tax on

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marriage. The Financial Times reports that 10,000 homes are built

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on flood plains every year and says David Cameron is coming under fire

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with accusations of a north-south divide and flood prevention. The

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Daily Mail has an image of a woman cleaning the window in a wine bar in

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York, as floodwaters washed against the side. The main story is about

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the fatal shooting of an elderly woman in a care home. That story is

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also on the front of the Sun. The Daily Express also chooses to lead

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with the shooting in Essex. The Independent focuses on politics,

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saying Jeremy Corbyn has challenged David Cameron to take part in an

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annual TV debate. The Times returns to the flooding, reporting that

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uninsured victims face a ?1 billion bill. The flooding is the place to

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start. Let's start with the Guardian, flood victims face ruin as

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the bill reaches 5 billion. Presumably these people for some

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reason don't have insurance. Insurance policies, a lot of people

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are finding in their insurance policies that in the small print,

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and they would argue it is therefore they didn't read it, but it will say

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something like, if you are so many feet or yards or half a mile away

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from a river or a lake, you are not insured. I was thinking, I'm not far

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from the Thames and I haven't checked to see if there is something

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in my policy. I think we all need to look at our policies and make sure

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we are covered. The companies will say, I'm sorry, you are not covered.

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Should the government paid the bill if the homeowner didn't check their

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policy? That will be the next question. I've got the Regents canal

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at the back of my garden. Check your policy. It might well be there. I

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will. ?5 billion is a lot. I think it will be higher. The government

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probably would feel it should step in, wouldn't it? That is the overall

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damage, some of which is insured, and ?1 billion is supposed to be

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not. The basic point is that it is an enormous amount of economic

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damage that has been caused, and personal misery, but also from an

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economic point of view the argue about how much to spend on flood

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defences, it obviously expects -- suggests that the events show that

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defences are inaccurate and if there are any arguments about this then it

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should be value for money to do this. If the government ends up

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picking up a lot of the bill... We are talking now about the immediate

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damage. There are businesses that will never be running again, people

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whose livelihoods will not be the same. It will take at least a year

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for people to get their homes and businesses back into any sort of

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semblance of Liverpool or workable condition. It is a huge cost. --

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Liverpool. We have seen with York, for example, some of the

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Communications in York city centre have broken down and people haven't

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been able to use cash machines, which seems a shambles to be frank.

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We need again, when we are looking at how to protect against these

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events in future, which it appears there is likely to be more, things

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have to be resilient. We can't have flood defences which don't work when

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floods happen, and you can't have electronics and communications which

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break down... The whole of civil society disappearing because of

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flooding. That increases the damage. If you can maintain your businesses

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and keep trading... But if you are knocked out because of something

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foreseeable to an extent... The Environment Agency is saying that

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flood defences need a complete rethink. If we go to the front of

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the Financial Times, figures show that 10,000 homes are built on flood

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plains every year, so the latest figures on these, 2013-14, 10,000

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homes were built on flood plains. Despite the fact that we know that

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more extreme weather events are going to become the norm. One of

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your report earlier and was showing that in 2007 there were floods, a

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great debate about that, and there have been subsequent ones. 2011,

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2012... You hear these debates every time. With places like York, it is a

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historic city and those houses will always be in a perilous situation.

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But building and putting your new properties in the line of fire, so

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to speak, seems to be an obscenity, but it keeps happening. This is not

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a new revelation, that there is a risk with flood plains. It has been

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talked about for at least a decade, more than that, that it is a problem

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to do that. Why is this continuing? Is it one in 14 homes? It seems to

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be insanity that planning permission is given, and it is probably if it

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is out of town and it will be bigger states presumably built on flood

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plains, not just one or two. There may be pressure on housing but there

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has to be a more intelligent way of doing this. How can they build a

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property on a flood plain, which is there so that water runs off? That

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is what it is therefore. It's supposed to take it and you are

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building houses! It would be good to look at the regulations and whether

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local authorities are able to resist the power of the developers to force

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it through. It could be that they are not. They have to make it

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illegal. It has to be like the green belt, where you can't build. There

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is no excuse. There is no point building houses on a flood plain and

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then paying millions of pounds for defences to defend homes you

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shouldn't have built there. It doesn't make sense. One would assume

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that insurance premiums are much higher if you are on a flood plain

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anyway. If you know you are. Building in extra cost for the

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people buying them in the first place, it seems bizarre. The Daily

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Telegraph, the Scottish edition, Scotland warned over severe weather.

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The suggestion is that it could well... I mean, the southern bit of

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Scotland, across the border, just across, has been badly hit over the

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past few days, but there is a suggestion it isn't quite as bad as

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it has been over the border. I was talking on my radio show over the

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weekend and there were calls from the border saying, look, it is bad

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but we don't feel anywhere near the pain being felt further south from

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where they were. There have to be warnings, and at least there are

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warnings, and at least their sandbags and preparation being made.

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Hopefully, there will be less of a surprise factor with Scotland, if it

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does get that bad. The bigger concern is that, of course, this is

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a Scottish edition so they are talking to their readers, but the

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bigger concern is the existing places that have been hit that have

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saturated ground. They are the ones who will be most in the firing line

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when bad weather hits in the next couple of days. Some bloke called

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Frank will be wondering over. Astonishing photo, with that chin.

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It says it all. We are going to go to the Independent, an interesting

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story. Corbyn challenges Cameron Stewart annual TV debate. The Labour

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leader once a state of the nation debate, taking its cue from a recent

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election. It would be well worth seeing. People would like it. We

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would all like to see it. I am not sure Mr Cameron would like it. That

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is the drawback. Nothing to win from that. David Cameron and his team

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didn't want a debate before the last election, let alone every single

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year. He has so much to lose. There is no point. The question would also

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be, in theory, he might not mind a one-to-one, the problem with the

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televised debates in the election was exactly who was going to

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participate, so you probably wouldn't be able to have a

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one-to-one debate, well maybe, but that would be a drawback, and he

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would probably repeat himself. It would be another string of people, a

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massive row of people. One-to-one, he has more to lose than to gain. I

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wonder if Jeremy Corbyn is going to e-mail questions to get people to

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write his speeches for him. Questions for the debate. If it

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happens, it would be good, because these things are good to engage the

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public. People can watch it and make up their own minds. They complain

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about how we present things to them, so people can see directly out their

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politicians... I don't think they believe what they say anyway. There

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is that problem of credibility. I think it would be boring, but there

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you go. If you are doing it every year, what are they trying to

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achieve? Please, concentrate on politics and being politicians and

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doing the job that we pay you to do, to get on with the job of either

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fighting the power that is being the power that is and getting things

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like, I don't know, flood defences, let's sort out actual work was then

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-- rather than worrying about public appearances. I'm bored of it. Let's

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go back to the Guardian. Martin, Japan issued an apology over sex

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slaves to Korea. One of those nasty, horrible episodes left over from the

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Second World War. 200,000 women it is estimated, Korean women, were

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basically made to work as sex slaves in brothels for the Japanese army. A

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horrible thing that happened in the war and some victims are still

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alive, as some of your reports were showing. The Japanese have made this

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donation as a gesture, an initial gesture. They were asked to do it by

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this year, they got in there just in time. The Japanese have been pretty

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poor at apologising for various things they did during the war. I

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suppose we should give them credit for making a step in the right

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direction on this. Yeah. You can't row back from what happened. These

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women are 80 or 90 and the Japanese are going to give some money that

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will compensate hopefully in some way for the psychological torture

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and horror, but for me this reminds me that women are still used today

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as sex slaves and victims of rape in war. I spent time in Bosnia and

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there were rape camps there. This is a reminder, still, of the plight

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that women face, today, in this world as the victims of war. They

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face this kind of brutality now. This is a good reminder to all of

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us, actually, that women are suffering all around the world.

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Sexual violence is a weapon of war. Always has been and I'm afraid it

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always will be. It is taking place in many parts of the world in

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complex. The Daily Telegraph, stamp duty change is being seen by some as

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a tax on marriage. Explain this. This is very iniquitous. It is

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saying that the new levy on having a second home, the new stamp duty, is,

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if you are an unmarried couple, you can each buy a home before you have

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to pay and, if one of few buys a second home in your name, you would

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have to pay it, but the two of you can each own one whereas, if you

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marry, a man who has a house already, a woman marries him who

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hasn't got a house, she then can't buy another property without having

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to pay this extra stamp duty. She is then treated as, in effect, in tax

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purposes, his chattel, or whatever. It works the other way round, but it

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is the principle of independent taxation, which is what women

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particularly fought for is one of the fundamental changes in sex

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equality, is being undermined by this. It is relating to marriage in

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this case because it is saying, if you are married, you are counted as

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two people, and it does seem to be wrong that you are discriminated

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against in the tax system. It is a real Telegraph story, because I am

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wondering how many couples struggle with who is going to buy their

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second property. I don't know how many people that will affect. It is

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also if you are buying a property for your child foster don't look at

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me, Simon, it's not happening! You would have the same thing. Stamp

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duty change, a tax on marriage. It should be on some marriage, a tiny

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proportion of marriages. A tiny proportion of Telegraph readers'

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marriages. We will end it there. You will be back in about an hour, I

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hope, looking at some more of the stories behind the headlines. Stay

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with us on BBC news. Much more coming up but now it is Sportsday.

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United draw a blank against Chelsea as it finshed goalless

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