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1.5 A Parliament for England
1.5.1 Democratic fairness for England is needed, via a referendum on the creation of an English Parliament, Executive and First Minister with at least the same powers as the Scottish Parliament, Executive and First Minister within a federal UK and a reformed Second Chamber at Westminster.
1.5.2 There should be fiscal devolution so that the English, Scottish, Welsh and N. Irish parliaments become responsible for financing their own expenditure. This will save the taxpayers of England a substantial amount of money.
1.5.3 We reject the plans for regional assemblies because, among other things, they will promote disunity and conflict with England.
1.5.4 The English Democrats’ will study the future findings of the English Constitutional Convention (ECC), and may accommodate ECC findings within future party policy.
We demand action on the following matters;
1.5.5 England to be recognised and treated as a unified country. Scotland and Wales have been recognised as countries and their people given the opportunity to vote in referenda for devolved government. Scotland now has a parliament, and Wales an assembly. In contrast, the people of England have been denied the opportunity to choose an English Parliament. Instead, England is being dismembered into nine regions. We find this discrimination unacceptable. England should be a political entity with its own parliament and executive.
1.5.6 The immediate abandonment of the Barnett formula. The formula institutionalises discrimination against the people of England by ensuring that public spending in Scotland and Wales is far higher per head of population than in England. The Barnett formula diverts about £12 billion of extra public expenditure to Scotland each year. This means that the entire population of Scotland enjoys an additional unfair subsidy. This has meant, for example, smaller class sizes in Scotland, higher pay for teachers, shorter hospital waiting lists, and the availability of prescription drugs and surgical procedures which are unavailable in England on grounds of cost. This unjustified discrimination must end. A new fairer system is needed which enables England’s share of the £12 billion to be used to improve public services in England.