House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
The Grafton ministry was the British government headed by Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton. It served between October 1768 and January 1770; the Grafton ministry arose from the gradual decay of its predecessor, the Chatham ministry, which Grafton had been leading for some time due to the illness and withdrawal from public affairs of its nominal head Lord Chatham. In order to maintain a comfortable parliamentary majority, Grafton had drawn the Bedford Whigs into the ministry at the end of 1767. Although Grafton himself and many of the previous members of the government supported a conciliatory policy towards Britain's restless American colonies, the Bedfords favoured stronger, more coercive measures, the ministry, in spite of Grafton's own views, drifted towards the Bedford position; when this led to an attempt to replace the conciliatory Southern Secretary, Lord Shelburne, Chatham roused himself enough to resign from his position as Lord Privy Seal, leaving Grafton as the nominal as well as real head of a ministry in which the Bedford faction was now stronger than ever.
The government was criticised for its handling of foreign affairs for allowing the Republic of Corsica, a British ally, to fall to the French during the Corsican Crisis. It was subject to a series of attacks in. With the resignation in January 1770 of Grafton himself, Lord Camden, Lord Granby, Chatham's remaining adherents in the cabinet, the Grafton ministry was replaced by the North ministry under the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord North, to last until 1782. October 1768 – Lord Weymouth is succeeded by Lord Rochford as Northern Secretary. Lord Shelburne is succeeded by Weymouth as Southern Secretary. January 1770 – Lord Camden is succeeded by Charles Yorke as Lord Chancellor. Yorke dies on 20 January and the position is left in commission. Black, Jeremy. Pitt the Elder. CUP Archive. ISBN 978-0-521-39806-0. Cook, Chris. British Historical Facts: 1760–1830. Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN 978-0-333-21512-8. Whiteley, Peter. Lord North: The Prime Minister Who Lost America. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-85285-145-3
Lord North led the government of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. His ministry oversaw the Falklands Crisis of 1770, the Gordon Riots of 1780, the outbreak of the American War of Independence. North was appointed Prime Minister by King George III. Cook, Chris. British Historical Facts: 1760–1830. Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN 978-0-333-21512-8. Thomas, Peter David Garner. Tea Party to Independence: The Third Phase of the American Revolution, 1773–1776. Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820142-7. Volo, James M.. "Tories and Whigs". The Boston Tea Party: The Foundations of Revolution: The Foundations of Revolution. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-39875-9. Whiteley, Peter. "Introduction". Lord North: The Prime Minister Who Lost America. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8264-3493-7. Bloy, Marjorie. "The Ministry of Lord North: January 1770 – March 1782". A Web of English History. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016
A tax is a mandatory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures. A failure to pay, along with resistance to taxation, is punishable by law. Taxes may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent. Most countries have a tax system in place to pay for public, common or agreed national needs and government functions; some levy a flat percentage rate of taxation on personal annual income, but most scale taxes based on annual income amounts. Most countries charge a tax both on corporate income and dividends. Countries or subunits also impose wealth taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, value-added taxes, payroll taxes or tarrifs; the legal definition, the economic definition of taxes differ in some ways such as economists do not regard many transfers to governments as taxes. For example, some transfers to the public sector are comparable to prices. Examples include, tuition at public universities, fees for utilities provided by local governments.
Governments obtain resources by "creating" money and coins, through voluntary gifts, by imposing penalties, by borrowing, by confiscating wealth. From the view of economists, a tax is a non-penal, yet compulsory transfer of resources from the private to the public sector, levied on a basis of predetermined criteria and without reference to specific benefit received. In modern taxation systems, governments levy taxes in money; the method of taxation and the government expenditure of taxes raised is highly debated in politics and economics. Tax collection is performed by a government agency such as the Ghana Revenue Authority, Canada Revenue Agency, the Internal Revenue Service in the United States, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in the United Kingdom or Federal Tax Service in Russia; when taxes are not paid, the state may impose civil penalties or criminal penalties on the non-paying entity or individual. The levying of taxes aims to raise revenue to fund governing or to alter prices in order to affect demand.
States and their functional equivalents throughout history have used money provided by taxation to carry out many functions. Some of these include expenditures on economic infrastructure, scientific research and the arts, public works, data collection and dissemination, public insurance, the operation of government itself. A government's ability to raise taxes is called its fiscal capacity; when expenditures exceed tax revenue, a government accumulates debt. A portion of taxes may be used to service past debts. Governments use taxes to fund welfare and public services; these services can include education systems, pensions for the elderly, unemployment benefits, public transportation. Energy and waste management systems are common public utilities. According to the proponents of the chartalist theory of money creation, taxes are not needed for government revenue, as long as the government in question is able to issue fiat money. According to this view, the purpose of taxation is to maintain the stability of the currency, express public policy regarding the distribution of wealth, subsidizing certain industries or population groups or isolating the costs of certain benefits, such as highways or social security.
Effects can be divided in two fundamental categories: Taxes cause an income effect because they reduce purchasing power to taxpayers. Taxes cause a substitution effect when taxation causes a substitution between taxed goods and untaxed goods. If we consider, for instance, two normal goods, x and y, whose prices are px and py and an individual budget constraint given by the equation xpx + ypy = Y, where Y is the income, the slope of the budget constraint, in a graph where is represented good x on the vertical axis and good y on the horizontal axes, is equal to -py/px; the initial equilibrium is in the point, in which budget constraint and indifference curve are tangent, introducing an ad valorem tax on the y good, the budget constraint's slope becomes equal to -py/px. The new equilibrium is now in the tangent point with a lower indifferent curve; as can be noticed the tax's introduction causes two consequences: It changes the consumers' real income It raises the relative price of y good. The income effect shows the variation of y good quantity given by the change of real income.
The substitution effect shows the variation of y good determined by relative prices' variation. This kind of taxation can be considered distortionary. Another example can be the Introduction of an income lump-sum tax, with a parallel shift downward of the budget constraint, can be produced a higher revenue with the same loss of consumers' utility compared with the property tax case, from another point of view, the same revenue can be produced with a lower utility sacrifice; the lower utility or the lower revenue given by a distortionary tax are called excess pressure. The same result, reached with an income lump-sum tax, can be obtained with these following types of taxes (all of them cause only a budget constraint's shift without causi
The gallon is a unit of measurement for volume and fluid capacity in both the US customary units and the British imperial systems of measurement. Three different sizes are in current use: the imperial gallon defined as 4.54609 litres, used in the United Kingdom and some Caribbean nations. The IEEE standard symbol for the gallon is gal; the gallon has one definition in the imperial system, two definitions in the US customary system. There were many definitions and redefinitions. There were more than a few systems of liquid measurements in the pre-1884 United Kingdom. Winchester or Corn Gallon was 272 in3 Henry VII corn gallon from 1497 onwards was 154.80 fl oz Elizabeth I corn gallon from 1601 onwards was 155.70 fl oz William III corn gallon from 1697 onwards was 156.90 fl oz Old English Ale Gallon was 282 in3 Old English Wine Gallon was standardized as 231 in3 in the 1706 Act 5 Anne c27, but it differed before that: London'Guildhall' gallon was 129.19 fl oz Jersey gallon was 139.20 fl oz Guernsey gallon was 150.14 fl oz Irish Gallon was 217 in3 The imperial gallon, now defined as 4.54609 litres, is used in some Commonwealth countries and was based on the volume of 10 pounds of water at 62 °F.
The imperial fluid ounce is defined as 1/160 of an imperial gallon. The US gallon is defined as 231 cubic inches, 3.785411784 litres. A US liquid gallon of water weighs about 8.34 pounds or 3.78 kilograms at 62 °F, making it about 16.6% lighter than the imperial gallon. There are four quarts in a gallon, two pints in a quart and 16 US fluid ounces in a US pint, which makes the US fluid ounce equal to 1/128 of a US gallon. In order to overcome the effects of expansion and contraction with temperature when using a gallon to specify a quantity of material for purposes of trade, it is common to define the temperature at which the material will occupy the specified volume. For example, the volume of petroleum products and alcoholic beverages are both referenced to 60 °F in government regulations; this dry measure is one-eighth of a US Winchester bushel of 2150.42 cubic inches. The US dry gallon is not used in commerce, is not listed in the relevant statute, which jumps from the dry quart to the peck.
Gallons used in fuel economy expression in Canada and the United Kingdom are imperial gallons. Despite its status as a U. S. territory, unlike American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U. S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico ceased selling gasoline by the US gallon in 1980; the gallon was removed from the list of defined primary units of measure catalogued in the EU directive 80/181/EEC for trading and official purposes, with effect from 31 December 1994. Under the directive the gallon could still be used – but only as a supplementary or secondary unit. One of the effects of this directive was that the United Kingdom amended its own legislation to replace the gallon with the litre as a primary unit of measure in trade and in the conduct of public business, effective from 30 September 1995. Ireland passed legislation in response to the EU directive, with the effective date being 31 December 1993. Though the gallon has ceased to be the defined primary unit, it can still be used in both the UK and Ireland as a supplementary unit.
The United Arab Emirates started selling gasoline by the litre in 2010, along with Guyana, Panama in 2013. The two former had used the latter the US gallon until they switched. Myanmar switched from Imperial gallon to litre sales before 2014; the Imperial gallon continues to be used as a unit of measure in Anguilla and Barbuda, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Other than the United States, the US gallon is used in Liberia, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Peru, but only for the sale of gasoline. All other products are sold in its multiples and submultiples. Antigua and Barbuda planned to switch over to using litres by 2015, but as of 2018 the switch-over had not been effected. In the Turks & Caicos Islands, both the U. S. gallon and Imperial gallon are used, due to an increase in tax duties disguised by levying the same duty on the 3.79 L U. S. gallon as was levied on the 4.55 L Imperial gallon.
Both the US liquid and imperial gallon are divided into four quarts, which in turn are divided into two pints. These pints are divided into two cups, thus a gallon is equal to four quarts, sixteen cups or thirty-two gills. The imperial gill is further divided into five fluid ounces, whereas the US gill is divided into four fluid ounces, thus an imperial fluid ounce is 1/20 of an imperial pint or 1/160 of an im
Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in others, a separate step. Under a modern constitutional monarchy royal assent is considered to be little more than a formality. While the power to veto a law by withholding royal assent was once exercised by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been rare since the eighteenth century. Royal assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the sovereign may appear in the House of Lords or may appoint Lords Commissioners, who announce that royal assent has been granted at a ceremony held at the Palace of Westminster for this purpose. However, royal assent is granted less ceremonially by letters patent. In other nations, such as Australia, the governor-general signs a bill. In Canada, the governor general may give assent either in person at a ceremony held in the Senate or by a written declaration notifying parliament of their agreement to the bill.
Before the Royal Assent by Commission Act 1541 became law, assent was always required to be given by the sovereign in person before Parliament. The last time royal assent was given by the sovereign in person in Parliament was in the reign of Queen Victoria at a prorogation on 12 August 1854; the Act was repealed and replaced by the Royal Assent Act 1967. However section 1 of that Act does not prevent the sovereign from declaring assent in person if he or she so desires. Royal assent is the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law. Once a bill is presented to the sovereign or the sovereign's representative, he or she has the following formal options: the sovereign may grant royal assent, thereby making the bill an Act of Parliament; the sovereign may delay the bill's assent through the use of his or her reserve powers, thereby vetoing the bill. The sovereign may refuse royal assent on the advice of her ministers; the last bill, refused assent by the sovereign was the Scottish Militia Bill during Queen Anne's reign in 1708.
Under modern constitutional conventions, the sovereign acts on, in accordance with, the advice of his or her ministers. However, there is some disagreement among scholars as to whether the monarch should withhold royal assent to a bill if advised to do so by her ministers. Since these ministers most enjoy the support of parliament and obtain the passage of bills, it is improbable that they would advise the sovereign to withhold assent. Hence, in modern practice, the issue has never arisen, royal assent has not been withheld; the sovereign is believed not to have the power to withhold assent from a bill against the advice of ministers. Legislative power was exercised by the sovereign acting on the advice of the Curia regis, or Royal Council, in which important magnates and clerics participated and which evolved into parliament. In 1265, the Earl of Leicester irregularly called a full parliament without royal authorisation. Membership of the so-called Model Parliament, established in 1295 under Edward I included bishops, earls, two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough.
The body came to be divided into two branches: bishops, abbots and barons formed the House of Lords, while the shire and borough representatives formed the House of Commons. The King would seek the consent of both houses before making any law. During Henry VI's reign, it became regular practice for the two houses to originate legislation in the form of bills, which would not become law unless the sovereign's assent was obtained, as the sovereign was, still remains, the enactor of laws. Hence, all Acts include the clause "Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, by the authority of the same, as follows...". The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 provide a second potential preamble if the House of Lords were to be excluded from the process; the power of parliament to pass bills was thwarted by monarchs. Charles I dissolved parliament in 1629, after it passed motions and bills critical of—and seeking to restrict—his arbitrary exercise of power.
During the eleven years of personal rule that followed, Charles performed dubious actions such as raising taxes without Parliament's approval. After the English Civil War, it was accepted that parliament should be summoned to meet but it was still commonplace for monarchs to refuse royal assent to bills. In 1678, Charles II withheld his assent from a bill "for preserving the Peace of the Kingdom by raising the Militia, continuing them in Duty for Two and Forty Days," suggesting that he, not parliament, should control the militia; the last Stuart monarch, Anne withheld on 11 March 1708, on the advice of her ministers, her assent to the Scottish Militia Bill. No monarch has since withheld royal assent on a bill passed by the British parliament. During the rule of the succeeding Hanoverian dynasty, power was exercised more by parliament and the government; the first Hanoverian monarch, George I, relied on his ministers to a greater extent than had previous monarchs. Hanoverian monarchs attempted to restore royal control over legislation: G
The Townshend Acts were a series of British Acts of Parliament passed during 1767 and 1768 and relating to the British in North America. The acts are named after Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who proposed the program. Historians vary as to which acts they include under the heading "Townshend Acts", but five acts are mentioned: The New York Restraining Act 1767 The Revenue Act 1767 The Indemnity Act 1767 The Commissioners of Customs Act 1767 The Vice Admiralty Court Act 1768 The purposes of the Townshend Acts were To raise revenue in the colonies to pay the salaries of governors and judges so that they would remain loyal to Great Britain To create more effective means of enforcing compliance with trade regulations To punish the Province of New York for failing to comply with the 1765 Quartering Act To establish the precedent that the British Parliament had the right to tax the coloniesThe Townshend Acts were met with resistance in the colonies, which resulted in the Boston Massacre of 1770.
The Townshend Acts placed an indirect tax on glass, paints and tea. These goods had to be imported from Britain; this form of revenue generation was Townshend's response to the failure of the Stamp Act of 1765, which had provided the first form of direct taxation placed upon the colonies. However, the import duties proved to be controversial. Colonial indignation over the Townshend Acts was predominantly driven by John Dickinson's anonymous publication of Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, as well as the Massachusetts Circular Letter; as a result of widespread protest and non-importation of British goods in colonial ports, Parliament began to repeal the Townshend duties. In March 1770, most of the indirect taxes from the Townshend Acts were repealed by Parliament under Frederick, Lord North. However, the import duty on tea was retained in order to demonstrate to the colonists that Parliament held the sovereign authority to tax its colonies, in accordance with the Declaratory Act of 1766; the British government continued to try to tax the colonists without providing representation in Parliament.
Resentment and corrupt and abusive enforcement spurred colonial attacks on British ships, including the burning of the Gaspee in 1772. Retaining the Townshend Acts' taxation on imported tea, enforced once again by the Tea Act of 1773, subsequently led to the Boston Tea Party in 1773, in which Bostonians destroyed a shipment of taxed tea. Parliament responded with severe punishments in the Intolerable Acts in 1774; the Thirteen Colonies drilled their militia units, tensions escalated into violence in April 1775, launching the American Revolution. Following the Seven Years' War, the British government was deep in debt. To pay a small fraction of the costs of the newly expanded empire, the Parliament of Great Britain decided to levy new taxes on the colonies of British America. Through the Trade and Navigation Acts, Parliament had used taxation to regulate the trade of the empire, but with the Sugar Act of 1764, Parliament sought, for the first time, to tax the colonies for the specific purpose of raising revenue.
American colonists argued. The Americans claimed they were not represented in Parliament, but the British government retorted that they had "virtual representation", a concept the Americans rejected; this issue, only debated following the Sugar Act, became a major point of contention after Parliament's passage of the Stamp Act 1765. The Stamp Act proved to be wildly unpopular in the colonies, contributing to its repeal the following year, along with the failure to raise substantial revenue. Implicit in the Stamp Act dispute was an issue more fundamental than taxation and representation: the question of the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies. Parliament provided its answer to this question when it repealed the Stamp Act in 1766 by passing the Declaratory Act, which proclaimed that Parliament could legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever"; this was the first of the five acts, passed on June 5, 1767. It forbade the New York Assembly and the governor of New York from passing any new bills until they agreed to comply with the Quartering Act 1765, which required them to pay for and provide housing and supplies for British troops in the colony.
New York resisted the Quartering Act because it amounted to taxation without representation, since they had no representatives in Parliament. Further, New York and the other colonies did not believe British soldiers were any longer necessary in the colonies, since the French and Indian War had come to an end. However, New York reluctantly agreed to pay for at least some of the soldiers' needs as they understood they were going to be punished by Parliament unless they acted; the New York Restraining Act was never implemented. This was the second of the five acts, passed on June 26, 1767, it placed taxes on glass, painters' colors, paper. It gave customs officials broad authority to enforce the taxes and punish smugglers through the use of "writs of assistance", general warrants that could be used to search private property for smuggled goods. There was an angry response from colonists, who deemed the taxes a threat to their rights as British subjects; the use of writs of assistance was controversial, since the right to be secure in one's private property was an established right in Britain.
This act was the third act, passed on June 29, 1767, the same day as the Commissioners of Customs Act.'Indemnity' means