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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
MPs join mobiles call
Seven Scottish MPs are amongst nearly 90 who are calling for a ban on hand-held mobile phones while driving.

The MPs, mostly Labour, say the practice is hazardous and dangerous.

They are calling for the Transport Secretary, Stephen Byers, and the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, to instigate a 'wider public debate" on the issue.

Five former Labour ministers have signed the Commons motion - claiming that 17 people have died on Britain's roads as a result of accidents involving the use of mobiles.

A ban has recently been introduced in Ireland.


MSP hurt in dog fight

A Tory MSP has described how he was left "covered with blood" after he forced his hands inside a dog's mouth to stop it killing his pet boxer.

Keith Harding, a list MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, was bitten on the hand four times after he intervened in a fight between his dog and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

He was walking in a Dunblane park when his pet, Tika, got into a vicious fight with the terrier which clamped its jaws around the boxer's neck.

Mr Harding, his party's local government spokesman, is trying to bring in new laws to fine people whose dogs foul public places.


Liddell welcomes tax changes

Scottish Secretary Helen Liddell hailed tax benefits for new parents as "good news for our children's future".

Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo announced that parents of children born from Saturday would benefit from a doubling of Children's Tax Credit (CTC).

The change means the amount of tax credit parents of new born babies can claim has risen from 520 to 1,040 for the first year of a child's life.

According to the Government, the tax cut is equivalent to two and a half pence off the basic rate of income tax for an eligible family with average earnings of 27,000.

Ms Liddell said the Government was committed to giving every child in the UK "the best start in life".

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