Professor Selina Todd and the History Faculty have been approached for comment. Woman’s Place UK received £20,000 in return for consultancy work as part of the University of Oxford’s project Women and Equalities Law: Historical Perspectives on Present Issues. In their 2018-2020 financial statement, the group explained: “We received a consultancy fee of £20,000 from Oxford University to support research into women’s sex based rights… The funding from Oxford University went towards the costs of the Women’s Liberation 2020 conference and in support of The Political Erasure of Sex research project.” £20,000 is the largest single amount recorded in the financial statement and represents 15.7% of the group’s total income from January 2018 to October 2020. The group does not publicly advertise any consultancy services. Sex and the Census claims that “the UK census authorities are jeopardising our ability to collect robust, high quality sex-disaggregated data in the forthcoming UK census” due to “changes to the sex question in the census” so “the sex question now records ‘self-identified sex’, or gender identity, rather than biological sex”. The report concludes that “the demands of groups which claim to represent the interests of the trans community have been privileged to the detriment of women, but also to those who require robust data on sex to plan public services, allocate public resources and monitor equalities outcomes”. This funding has culminated in a research project titled The Political Erasure of Sex. On the project’s website, the first report, Sex and the Census, is described as one which “explores how the almost exclusive reliance on consulting with stakeholders from LGBT organisations led the census authorities to conflate the concepts of sex and gender identity, confuse what they are measuring, and redefine the sex question on the census as a gender identity question. This process, we show, has happened without democratic transparency or accountability, and to the detriment of the interests of people who are protected in law under the characteristic of sex, and to the needs of data-users more widely”. Professor Selina Todd has been described as having “anti-trans beliefs” by the Oxford SU LBGTQ Campaign and was disinvited from the Oxford International Women’s Festival in March on the basis of her views regarding gender identity. Todd has also described herself as a “strong supporter” of Woman’s Place UK and co-signed a letter to the Labour Party regarding the Party’s inclusion of transgender women within their all-women shortlists. The letter claimed that this stance was “asserting gender identity over sex-based exemptions” and did not uphold women’s rights to “sex-segregated spaces”. The letter continued that “we will not tolerate women being slurred with the misogynist insult TERF [Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist] or being called ‘cis’ against their will”. The Labour Campaign for Trans Rights has criticised Woman’s Place UK, describing them as a “trans-exclusionary hate group”. The campaign’s pledges labelling WPUK as such were signed by politicians including Lisa Nandy, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Dawn Butler, and Emily Thornberry. The Oxford Student Union LGBTQ Campaign responded to Woman’s Place UK’s consultancy work: “The campaign is horrified but not shocked to learn of the university’s financial contributions to WPUK. We do not believe that the presence of WPUK in Oxford or the university’s monetary support of them is compatible with any effort to create an environment that is welcoming or supportive of trans students and employees, but the institution’s failure to listen to its trans students makes its repeated positive engagement with this group less surprising than disappointing”. When approached for comment by Cherwell, the University provided a link to the project’s website. Woman’s Place UK declined to expand on the precise nature of their consultancy work for the University and referred to the claims of the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights as “scurrilous and unevidenced”, continuing: “We are against all forms of discrimination. We believe in the right of everyone to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment…We were established to ensure that very real concerns about how changes to the GRA might impact on the Equality Act were considered in the government’s public consultation… Sadly, several LGBT+ organisations (Stonewall, Gendered Intelligence, Scottish Trans Alliance) have actively lobbied to have these single sex exemptions removed from the Equality Act. It is perfectly proper that women should be able to campaign to keep them”. The History Faculty, which hosts Women and Equalities Law: Historical Perspectives on Present Issues, has described the project further, explaining how it was “funded by Strategic Priority QR funding allocated to Oxford University. It is led by Professor Selina Todd and aims to use existing research to inform policymaking in the area of women’s equalities… An outcome of the project is a report examining the importance of collecting data on men and women in national records such as the census. This report has been disseminated to policymakers and bodies responsible for designing and delivering the next UK census in 2021 (2022 in Scotland)”. Image Credit: Pixabay.
The Bill seeks to provide a framework for the new Omnibus incentive regime. Story Highlights The tabling of the Bills meets an important structural benchmark agreed with the IMF. Dr. Phillips explained that the Jamaican economy has not been well served by the existing regime of sector-based incentives. The Fiscal Incentives (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act and the Income Tax Relief (Large Scale Projects and Pioneer Industries) Act 2013 were tabled in the House of Representatives, on October 29.Tabled by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Peter Phillips, the Bill seeks to provide a framework for the new Omnibus incentive regime.The tabling of the Bills meets an important structural benchmark agreed with the International Monetary Fund, that involved a deadline for the preparation and tabling of legislation providing for a consolidated generalized incentives regime.In a statement to the Lower House, Dr. Phillips explained that the Jamaican economy has not been well served by the existing regime of sector-based incentives.He noted that the consensus has been that such incentives may have been partly responsible for Jamaica’s lacklustre track record of growth by encouraging misallocation of limited economic resources.The Minister said the new incentive regime focuses on the granting of incentives to the primary inputs to production.“It incentivises investment through streamlined and modernized capital allowances that more closely accord with the useful lives of assets, and it incentivises the employment of labour through the instrument of Employment Tax Credits,” Dr. Phillips explained.The Minister noted that one of the most often-cited criticisms of the current incentives regime is the extent to which the application and approval processes represented hurdles to business persons.These hurdles, he said, were most likely to be overcome by those with “access” to the government functionaries responsible for processing or approval of applications.“Currently, Jamaica’s compliance rates across various tax types do not compare favorably with peer countries. Access to fiscal incentives generally ought to apply only to compliant taxpayers. In that regard, the system has been designed to reward only those who are compliant, and who pay their fair share of taxes,” the Minister said.Explaining both Bills, Dr. Phillips said that the Fiscal Incentives (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2013 sets out the reforms to be carried out to corporate tax, including the introduction of an Employment Tax Credit (ETC), changes to the capital allowance regime, and revision of provisions governing the utilisation of tax losses.He added that the Bill also deals with transitional arrangements relating to the change from the old to the new incentives regime.In terms of the Income Tax Relief Act (Large-scale Projects and Pioneer Industries) Act, it sets out provision for the designation of large scale projects and pioneer industries that would qualify for tax credit under the Income Tax Act.Other elements of the framework for the new Omnibus Incentive Regime will be covered under other legislation, namely the (Customs Tariff (Revision)(Amendment) Resolution 2013 and Stamp Duty (Amendments of Schedule) Order 2013.“These replace the myriad pieces of legislation put in place since the 1940s and that underpin a system which lacks administrative coherence and generates significant tax expenditures,” Dr. Phillips said.He added that the new tax incentives regime is only one piece, albeit an essential component, of the broader tax reform exercise being undertaken, and which is guided by the principle of ensuring growth with equity, transparency and simplicity.“By providing a competitive general tax regime that incentivises productive activities across all sectors, it has the potential to stimulate investment and improve the overall business environment. In short, the overriding objective of this element of the reform is to stimulate business activity and put people to work,” Dr. Phillips said.He further commented that the modern framework that will govern the new Omnibus regime will bring benefits in terms of more efficient allocation of resources.“Rather than a system with a few tax-preferred sectors that enjoy negotiated concessions, while the non-preferred sectors are subject to higher effective tax rates, the new generalised regime will allow for uniformly reduced rates for all tax-compliant corporate entities and individuals involved in productive activities. This should also serve to enhance the competitiveness of the overall economy,” the Finance Minister said.