BBC asks: Who has selected the most women as candidates?

The article goes on to disect how many women candidates have been selected for each party and what type of seats (target, safe, etc):

But they forgot one “party”!

Claire Wright!

100% female in her party of one true Independent!

SOME of the “missing millions” registering to vote but not enough

“Almost a third of the 316,264 voter registration applications submitted in the last two days have been from voters aged under 25, according to government figures.

Young voters rushed to send almost 45,000 applications on Tuesday after the announcement of a snap general election on 12 December. This increased to 59,000 on Wednesday, with both days marking a significant surge on the 13,109 applications sent on Monday, and the 4,981 applications the day before that.

The total number of applications marked the highest and second highest number of applications submitted on any day of 2019. Almost 140,000 registrations were counted on Tuesday and more than 170,000 were received on Wednesday.

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About 65% of applications came from people under 35, while only 4% of those registering were aged 65 and over. Some applications may have been from people already registered to vote.

However, Willie Sullivan, a senior director at the Electoral Reform Society, said 9.4 million people were still missing from the electoral roll. “There’s a long way to go before we close the registration gap,” he said, adding that there remained large disproportions between different social and economic groups who register to vote.

“Younger people and renters are most at risk of being missing from the register, so it’s welcome to see this surge in registrations from the ‘missing millions’.”

Sullivan said the registration process needed urgently improving across the country to avoid similar scrambles to register.

“It’s an annoying reality that many of these applications will be already on the register, since there’s no way to check online if you are already registered. Let’s make this the last time we see a manic registration rush – putting strain on local electoral offices.

“We cannot be complacent – this election must see the biggest registration drive this country has seen to ensure it genuinely represents all of us.”

The final date for registering to vote is 26 November.”

Business rates system broken say MPs

The business rates system is “broken” and needs to be reformed for the benefit of councils and businesses alike, according to a report from the treasury committee released today.

It revealed that the tax generated £31bn in the UK in the last financial year, with revenues rising faster than inflation.

MPs also found councils have applied business rates reliefs inconsistently and urged the government to create a “single comprehensive” guide on how they should operate.

The report acknowledged the government’s plan to increase councils’ retention of business rates from 50% to 75% – but this move, which was meant to start in April 2020, has already been pushed back by a year.

“Any reform of the system should have particular regard both to the need to maintain the total income for local authorities, and to keep the link between individual authorities and the current and potential new businesses in their areas,” it said.

Alison McGovern, Treasury committee’s lead member of the inquiry, said: “It’s abundantly clear that the current business rates system is broken. The tax represents an increasing burden on businesses, particularly those with a physical high street presence struggling to remain competitive.”

Commenting on previous attempts to improve the business rates system, she said: “Odd reliefs here and there are nothing more than sticking plasters to a system in urgent need of reform.”

The committee has heard arguments for alternatives to business rates, such as a ‘land value’ tax – a levy on the land a property exists on rather than the property itself. Another suggestion has been to have online sales levies as the system places a “disproportionate burden” on bricks-and-mortar high street shops compared to online businesses.

However, McGovern said that alternatives had not been “sufficiently modelled to examine who would be the winners and losers of any change.”

The report concluded that it should not be up to “external stakeholders” to develop and evaluate detailed proposals for a new system. Instead, the government should prepare a consultation on the business rates system by the next Spring Statement, it said. …”

Source:Public Finance (pay wall)