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COUNCILLORS' ALLOWANCES: The Government last night announced the scrapping of the ceiling on the level of allowances paid to top councillors in England and Wales. The Local Government minister, David Curry, also disclosedthat on 1 April he is to end curbs on the total amount authorities can spend on payments to members. But he stressed there will be no extra Whitehall cash.

TODAY IN PARLIAMENT - Commons: Home Office questions; questions to the Prime Minister; Town and Country Planning (Cost of Inquiries) Bill, Second Reading; debate on childcare facilities for the House. Lords: Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, committee. Debate on gene therapy.