2024-01-09 APPG Meeting
1. Welcome and apologies (Chair)
2. Minutes of 14/11/2023 meeting (matters arising as per items below)
3. Briefing Paper. LVT approach to cost of living crisis ( Joe Bourke)
4. APPG LVC communications strategy (Ed Randall)
6. Next meeting – rescheduled presentation to Parliament on Council tax reform
All Party Parliamentary Group on Land Value Capture
Minutes of MEETING held online Tuesday, 9th January 3.00pm – 5.00pm (2024)
Quorum (The quorum for a formal meeting of the group is five Members of either House, including at least one MP for election of officers).
Parliamentarians attending: John McDonnell MP (JMc)
Apologies received: Jacqui Connor (JC), Heather Wetzel, Dave Wetzell, John Muellbauer, Lord Best, Javid Bashir (who was able to attend towards the end of the meeting)
Others in attendance: Joe Bourke (JB) Convenor of the CEJ Secretariat supporting the APPG LVC, Rob Blakemore (RB), Carol Wilcox (CW), John Howell (JH), David Triggs (DTr), Duncan Pickard (DP), Michael Learoyd (ML), Ed Randall (ER), Andrew Dixon (AD), David Murray (DM), Tony Vickers (TV), John Lipetz (JL), Javid Bashir (JBa)
ACTION POINTS are listed at the end of each agenda item in the minutes where particular actions were suggested.
1. Welcome and Apologies (Chair and Convenor)
JB/RB shared the Agenda for the meeting at JB’s request and welcomed JMc to the meeting. JMc explained that he had been delayed at another meeting.
JMc asked if the number of apologies reflected difficulties with the timing of the LVC APPG meetings. JB said that from past experience it was very challenging to find a time that was suitable for everyone and that Tuesday afternoons were likely best.
2. Minutes of 14/11/2023 meeting and matters arising (see below)
The minutes of the APPG LVC meeting held on 14th November 2023 were accepted as a true record and it was noted that the one item arising for action was rescheduling the Parliamentary Presentation by the APPG LVC on Council Tax Reform.
ACTION POINT: Rescheduled Parliamentary Presentation room booking and timing still to be settled by JMc/JB and JC
JMc then moved item 3 on the Agenda - JB’s paper on Cost of Living and LVT – and asked him to present his paper.
3. Briefing Paper. The LVT approach to Cost of Living Crisis (Joe Bourke)
JB introduced his paper by reminding everyone about Henry George’s visit to New York city in the late 19th century. Henry George was:
“…struck by the apparent paradox that the poor in that long-established city were much worse off than the poor in less developed California. These observations supplied the theme and title for his George’s 1879 book Progress and Poverty. George made the argument in that book that a sizeable portion of the wealth created by social and technological advances in a market economy is claimed by land owners and accrues to land owners/land monopolists through economic rents, adding that this concentration of unearned wealth is the main cause of poverty.”
JB added: “Today the Californian cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles have caught up with New York in the levels of destitution and homelessness (something that characterises wealthy cities across the world. London contains the highest numbers of UK citizens living below the poverty line and ranks with the Welsh valleys and Northeast in terms of the proportion of the population living in poverty after housing costs.”
JB argued that the problem or rents remains at the core of the social and economic challenges facing policy makers in the US and UK (and elsewhere).
He offered a quick recap of the ground covered by the APPG in 2023. In each area we have considered land and resource rents have been shown to be a driver of social distress and economic inequality. Potential solutions to poverty and economic waste and to inequality have been shown to necessitate policies that address ‘the problem of rents’.
JB identified and talked about a trident of policies measures:
- A revenue neutral guaranteed minimum income based on replacement of tax and NI allowances with a tax reducer;
- Job guarantees focused on the long-term unemployed; and,
- Funding of housing benefit from LVT receipts
JB referred to Nicholas Timmins history of the Welfare State and the widely shared recognition and acceptance that - as Sir William Beveridge made clear in his famous 1942 report on social insurance and social services - framing an effective scheme of social security entails solving problems that are deeply embedded in the economic and social organisation of society.
The LVT approach is focussed on the capture – through a radically reformed taxation system - of a greater share of the economic rents created by social and technological advances for the welfare of all. It is an approach aimed at increasing the taxation levied on unearned wealth while simultaneously reducing the burden of taxation borne by all those engaged in productive activity.
JB drew everyone’s attention to a Guardian article written by the Chair of the APPG LVC (JMc) published in June 2023.
“Across the country, homeowners are facing a mortgage payments crisis. They ultimately face the possibility of losing their homes.”
“But the very same banks that offer mortgages are taking in huge profits. So here’s a solution to the current crisis: a decade since hundreds of billions were spent bailing them out with taxpayers’ money, the banks need to pull their weight and support customers.”
“…renters must not be forgotten. Alongside mortgage support, it’s long overdue that the mayors of our big cities are given the power to control rents that they have been asking for. Landlords have seen their profits rise between 15% and 20% in recent years.”
A House of Commons Library research paper on Housing supply noted:
“One potential response [addressing speculative investment in land and housing and making more land available for development] could be a Land Value Tax (LVT). Essentially, under this system landowners would be required to make payments based on the current market value of land, irrespective of whether, or how well, the land is used. Proponents argue: “The necessity to pay the tax obliges landowners to develop vacant and under-used land properly or to make way for others who will.”
Part of JB’s argument and the LVT approach to policy draws on international comparisons.
A regular attender at APPG LVC meetings, Professor John Muellbauer, has compared housing markets in Germany and the UK:
“In housing affordability levels and volatility, there could hardly be a greater contrast than between the UK and Germany. Even after Germany’s recent boom, average house prices compared to average incomes are still lower than in 1980, while the UK’s have rocketed. Residential housing supply has expanded far more in Germany and mortgage credit is more tightly regulated. A sensibly regulated rental market and stable German house prices have combined to produce a healthy rental sector with satisfied renters and long tenures.”
In setting out his analysis, presenting policy proposals and a scheme of work – for the APPG LVC – for the coming year JB identified Reform of Council Tax, the application of an LVT approach to Energy Costs and Natural Resource Rents and the introduction of Social Tarriffs as parts of a package of policies needed to rebalance the UK Economy and mitigate impoverishment attributable to high energy costs and housing costs.
He summed his paper up by saying:
“A permanent annual Land Value tax on sites extracting natural resources within UK territorial limits coupled with the reintroduction of a system of social tariffs aimed at helping households in ‘fuel poverty’ can address public concern with price gouging or profiteering by oligopolistic energy companies while mitigating the impact of increasing energy costs on the lowest income households.”
In responding to JB’s paper DTr observed that:
The case for Land Value Taxation is ‘absolutely dependent on it replacing current taxes (in particular NI contributions, income tax and VAT); taxes that currently double the cost to the Exchequer of all public sector employees and also double the cost to employers in the private sector of the people they employ’.
DTr continued that the lack awareness of the full implications of current tax choices and of failing to replace them with LVT meant that government policy was set on a self-defeating course that could only intensify the Cost of Living Crisis and exacerbate the problems faced by employers of labour in every part of the economy – public and private.
DTr emphasised what he referred to as a necessity for the APPG LVC:
The APPG LVC needs to major on the case for the replacement of the current tax regime with LVT – not simply on LVT/LVC independently of a fundamental transformation in the tax system.
He added that he was more than happy to provide the data on which his general argument and his detailed arguments about labour costs in the public sector were based.
JMc said that it would be helpful if DTr could provide him with the statistics/data on which he was relying so that the data could be used in speeches and in questions.
JMc invited JH to come in at this point.
JH reminded everyone that Henry George had made the case for a single tax: a tax on economic rents - a Land Value Tax.
JMc then expressed his thanks to JB for his paper and his appreciation of the way in which JB had brought different elements of the work going on within the APPG, over the last 6 months, together.
JMc went to explain that, in the run up to a General Election – speaking from the perspective of a Labour Party parliamentarian –it was difficult to see radical and wide-ranging policy proposals being taken up for the purposes of writing the Party’s Election Manifesto.
In saying this JMc made it clear he did not want to be misunderstood. He very much welcomed ideas, policy debates and arguments for reform of the tax system and believed that they could become a particularly valuable and important resource for all those in parliament and in government after the General Election.
JMc explained that he believed it was essential to raise the level of debate but added it was unrealistic to expect a damascene conversion, however well and engagingly the arguments for LVC/LVT were made. He said his focus was very much on the policy debate he anticipated following a General Election, when the constraints set by current taxation policies would be particular irksome and frustrating for all those who longed for change and were desperate for the introduction and adoption of policies capable of tackling poverty and improving public services.
All the work that advocates of radical tax reform could do in advance of the General Election would, in JMc’s opinion, enhance debate about policy options in the wake of General Election and could well increase opportunities for collaborative work amongst APPGs and parliamentarians (including parliamentarians from right across parties represented at Westminster) who wanted to promote an approach to the ownership and taxation of land that would support a more ambitious policy agenda.
JMc added that while there was debate about the tax system – much of it was currently focussed on tax evasion and avoidance; the debate needed, in his view, to go much wider and take in the broader issues of tax reform that were a particular concern of the APPG LVC.
He said that arguments advanced by DTr and others about NI, income tax and labour costs, in both the public and private sector, were important and well made. He also said that there was mounting concern about land ownership, much of it focussed on land banking by developers.
JMc had no doubt that the political salience of concerns about land ownership would go on growing.
RB responded, at JMc’s invitation, to what he had been saying. RB said that he was interested in exploring how the APPG LVC could play the most constructive role in following up the issues JMc had covered. How might the APPG LVC have the greatest impact? Can we do more in terms of posing parliamentary and other questions, and in terms of making contributions to parliamentary committees or in some other way/s?
JMc: Yes we can! Drawing attention to and making a noise in parliament through PQ’s is part of what we need to do. As AD had suggested in the chat we need to be doing more to interest and draw in parliamentarians to the work of the APPG LVC. This work is valuable and related to what needs to be done to encourage wider public debate. Debate amongst trades unionists, academics and members of policy groups of various kinds on LVC/LVT needs to be encouraged and followed up. It is, at least in part, about listening out for relevant contributions and research so that it can be connected with what the APPG LVC is doing and what is happening in parliament.
JMc said he believed the APPG LVC could connect with much more of what was going on outside parliament. From a Labour Party perspective, if you assume a Labour government post the General Election, it is important to recognise that a new government will be faced with a quite a toxic legacy and that good policy proposals, about how to respond to that legacy, will become especially important.
TV: “Thank you JMc for inviting me in at this point. It is good to hear you saying all of that”.
TV said he agreed with JMc that the proximity of a General Election meant that time was best spent talking to particular parliamentary candidates who are considered most likely to be sympathetic to radical policy measures.
TV: I’ve been cribbing material produced by AD’s Fairer Share . I hope – with the post GE period in mind – that it is possible to build a broad coalition for radical tax reform. It seems that it is possible to draw together a wide body of support for tax changes that entail reducing taxes on the asset poor and increasing them on the asset rich.
CW: “I wanted to ask if anyone had picked up The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (Five-Point Plan) (Fiscal Devonation: A Blueprint for Devolving Tax) proposal”.
CW referred to an article in the FT England’s funding system for LG from March 2023 [The article refers to a proposal that Council Tax, stamp duty and business rates in England should be replaced with a devolved land value tax as part of a radical overhaul of LG funding. The proposal is described as ‘cutting out the Treasury and is the work of a think-tank chaired by former chancellor George Osborne’].
CW said she would “…very much like to hear about someone in parliament mentioning this and following it up in ways that parliamentarians can do’.
JMc: Thanked CW for her contribution and suggestion.
He went on to refer to a potentially closely related aspect of local government – the future of directly elected mayors. Given the powers that directly elected mayors have and want and the key role that more locally generated revenue could play in their scope for action is it appropriate for the APPG LVC to invite their views and seek their engagement?
JMc commented: “I have shared platforms with some of the directly elected mayors and know that there is some support/sympathy for LVT amongst them”.
RB: Commented that one of the first meetings of the APPG LVC had been a meeting where some metro mayors accepted an invitation from the APPG and came together at Westminster at a session to discuss the potential of land value capture in relation to their specific ambitions for their areas, particularly in relation to capital investment in transport and housing.
ML said that he wanted to draw attention to what he thought was an important piece of language: extraction mechanisms.
ML - argued that while taxes were an extraction mechanism (widely considered to be the predominant extraction mechanism), there were other extraction mechanisms in operation in a modern economy. This was something that was pointed out and explored in Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson). So, for example, alongside LVT/LVC it was important to keep in mind the use of monopoly/monopoly power and economic rent.
JMc took the opportunity, in responding to ML, to point out that his screen was showing parliamentary business and currently reported parliamentarians were discussing dentistry and dental extractions in particular.
CW: “It would be really good if we could get a stall at the Councillors’ (LGA/Local Government Association) Conference. The CEJ – as well as the APPG LVC – needed to take account of a significant level of interest in LVC/LVT amongst people who are currently serving as members of local authorities.”
ER: Wanted to make the point that ideas for a transformation in the UK tax system were not getting an intelligent and regular airing on TV and in other places where radical ideas stood the best chance (or at least a better prospect) of influencing and affecting the policy agenda and political and economic debate.
JMc invited DM to make a contribution at this point.
DM held up a book entitled The Little Platoons (by David Skelton) and explained that: “I’d like to recommend this book…David Skelton was 10 years old when the steel works at Consett closed. The closure had a devastating impact on the whole community. The book can be described as an account of a levelling up policy for the whole country. Chapter 9 is about ‘taking back control and empowering the whole community’. I don’t think it contains ideas that the contemporary Conservative Party would be particularly comfortable with…but it contains lots of ideas worth reading about.”
DM: “On a Labour Party policy and manifesto suggestions document I noted it contained, in the section on reforming the UK tax system, 8 specific points about closing tax loopholes but only one about replacing the current system of business rates with a fully costed system of business property taxation. So far as I am concerned that suggestion paper and the reference to business tax reform sounds like going back instead of going forward with a land value based system of business taxation; a taxation reform needs to encourage businesses to relocate to areas where the sites they use/rent cost less.”
JMc “David, I am afraid that I don’t have more details on the party policy/suggestions document you mention.”
CW: “I was trying to contact the Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up…because property taxes are one of the responsibilities that go with that portfolio. Lisa Nandy did have that responsibility but that portfolio has since been transferred to Angela Rayner and I have found it impossible to contact her or anyone in her office. I know Lisa Nandy was supportive of land value taxation…like her colleague Andy Burnham. I wonder if Jacqui or yourself (JMc) could suggest someone who could be contacted as part of Labour’s Shadow LUp team.”
JMc: “CW, I will see what I can do to help.”
“The point made by ER about being able to put up articulate spokespeople is an important one and it relates to the APPG LVC’s ability and success in getting parliamentarians engaged.
“We need to do some ‘head hunting’ to see if we can identify 2 or 3 people (MPs or Peers) that we can involve in terms of advocacy and participation.
“I will do my best to follow that up. One person who does spring to mind is Prem Sikka, he is an accountant and academic and a Labour Party member of the Lords (he became a peer in 2020). Prem is an Emeritus Professor of Accounting at the Universities of Essex and Sheffield and has shared his views on the relationship between government policies and the cost of living crisis. Prem has also served as an advisor to parliamentary committees and has a good deal of media experience. Contact details for Lord Sikka can be found on the UK parliament website.”
JMc said that it would be helpful if DTr could provide him with the statistics and modelling on which the points he had made about labour costs in both the public and private sector were based.
RB thought the APPG LVC could do more in terms of posing parliamentary and other questions, and in terms of making contributions to parliamentary committees or in some other way/s. JMc made it clear he would be happy to receive suggestions for PQ's.
JMc wondered in response to a comments from CW and RB: Given the powers that directly elected mayors have and the expression of interest by Northern Powerhouse in land value capture, can the APPG LVC scan interest amongst Mayors in LVC related policy issues and proposals.
CW suggested it would be valuable for the APPG and the CEJ to look to have a stall at the Local Government Association conference.
JMc commented on the possibility of head hunting for spokespeople who could make the case for LVC/LVT and could regularly articulate APPG concerns in the popular media. Search for people who can advance APPG LVC agenda in terms of advocacy and participation.
CW wanted to know if it was possible to find out who to contact in Angela Rayner's Shadow Levelling Up team. JMc/JC to help if possible.
4. APPG LVC communications strategy (Ed Randall)
ER said he wanted to continue make the case for an APPG LVC Communication and Engagement Strategy but added that – on reflection – he had concluded that the target date for presenting a paper to the APPG LVC should be the inaugural meeting of a new APPG LVC. In other words at the first (or possibly second) meeting after the General Election rather than at the fag end of the current parliament [not in March or April this year but – most likely – at the end of 2024 or early in 2025].
ER said there were lots of people whose brains he wanted to pick, especially Andrew Dixon’s. Andrew had ‘worked so hard and must now be deeply frustrated that more progress had not been made during the current parliament’.
ER urged the development of strategy designed to build a network of APPGs with a shared interest in issues where land value and land monopolies were properly understood and fully appreciated as a common obstacle to effective reform.
ER also argued that networking amongst APPGs should be part of a strategy that was aimed at connecting the work of the APPG LVC to a multiplicity of interest, policy and pressure groups outside of parliament as well as with the concerns of a diverse set of parliamentarians in both the elected and the appointed chamber.
Ed echoed the views that JMc had expressed earlier in the APPG meeting about the circumstances in which truly radical ideas were most likely to be taken up and to become more acceptable. It was – he argued - when parliament and government were under huge pressure to move beyond ‘conventional wisdom’ about tax policy that the case for thinking what was ordinarily classified as too difficult/as unthinkable – such as a fundamental and radical reformation of taxation of the tax system –became palatable to those in the most powerful position (see 1 Mirrlees and 2 Delestre at IFS for presentations of those radical tax proposals).
It was also when truly radical proposals were likely to be most attractive and able to win new adherents and find an increase in enthusiasm amongst established supporters.
It was when things that policy makers and parliamentarians had generally looked upon as immovable parts of the public policy furniture no longer seemed utterly fixed that people with bright ‘new’ ideas stood a chance of advancing their recipes and detailed proposals for change. That was when having things ‘really well worked out in advance’ looked particularly attractive.
JMc: “It’s important that we hit the deck running in the new parliament. And we do need to give serious consideration to the alliances that could play a part in strengthening and building up support for the APPG LVC. I do want to follow up TV’s point about what we can do before the General Election and ways of getting something to all the individual candidates who will be standing at the General Election and whetting their appetite to get involved in the work of the APPG.”
Tony has put something in the chat about preparing material for parliamentary candidates and – based on my own experience as a candidate – I think the material needs to be as relevant as it can be to particular candidates (given their party affiliation and manifesto commitments).
We should be working on the material now that would be part of a PITCH to candidates - so that we can get it out to parliamentary candidates when the GE is called. The responses we get should help when it comes to re-establishing and reinvigorating the APPG LVC.
We will need volunteers and to pool our resources to enable that to happen. I think we can get that on the shelf fairly easily.
A. A short missive about the APPG LVC
B. Organising access to the contact information (e.g. emails) for each parliamentary candidate – so we can distribute the short missive along with C (below)
C. A short briefing paper – designed to be as relevant as possible to candidates taking account of their party/policy positions
I agree that an important part of what we do entails looking at and addressing issues that connect the concerns of the different APPGs together.
Any comments or questions?
JBa: “I’ve just got a quick question in light of your massive experience in the Labour Party of about how parliamentary candidates are likely to respond to invitations to make pledges.”
JMc: Contacting parliamentary candidates during the election campaign wouldn’t be about looking for pledges – speaking just from a Labour perspective - candidates are expected to be very disciplined about what they say and sign up to. It would be about (a) explaining LVC/LVT and (b) looking for expressions of interest that could be followed up after the election.
JBa: “Thanks John, it’s the same in the Liberal Democrats; specific pledges need to be cleared through HQ. Yes, at this point I agree its about seeking expressions of interest and building up a directory of potential participants in the APPG in advance of the new parliament. Reaching parliamentary candidates from 8 parties and most particularly the 600+ who will be MPs with information about the APPG is a substantial number of people for the APPG to contact and get the message out to.”
JMc: Rob – what do you want to say?
RB: “I’m just picking up on Ed’s comment in the chat: ‘Great to do the advance work, but who is going to do it?’.
“I’d like to follow up on something I said at the last APPG meeting – it is important to find a hook, something that a potential member of parliament is particularly interested in and explain how LVC/LVT is relevant to what concerns them. I made a suggestion, at the last APPG meeting, that all the organisations that are part of the CEJ (which after all provides the Secretariat for the APPG) could, through their membership/supporters, identify issues and people likely to be involved in GE campaigning to come forward with suggestions about both potential recruits to the APPG and issues of particular concern that connect with LVC/LVT. Surely, we have to make the most of the networks that are available to us through the CEJ and look to involve as many young people as possible.”
ER: It occurs to me, as the APPG LVC is already committed to making a presentation to parliamentarians, that the material that has been/is being prepared for that session in parliament, and will be presented by 3 very good communicators, could be used/ adapted/used in some form for the advance/GE invite exercise that’s been under discussion.
It could be used as the basis for something that could go out to all the parliamentary candidates, once it has been possible to identify the/determine how to contact them.
JMc: Could every one consider, for their party and other perspectives, what material could be prepared to go out at the time of the GE and get in touch with Ed and Joe. In the case of the Labour Party I’m looking to the Labour Land Campaign as I know that people such as Heather and Dave have done this kind of thing before. And Tony (TV) it would be good if you could look at your own party and see how it could be linked in. In case there is a Spring election we need to get some of this work done over the next two months.
Preparing to (JMc in response to ER and TV) 'hit the deck running in the new parliament'. Specifically preparing briefing materials and contact lists with the aim of engaging new (and old) parliamentarians in the work of the APPG LVC post the GE.
Making headway on GE contacts plans in advance of a possible Spring GE
Call for volunteers to prepare (a) missive (b) directory/contact list (c) suitably drafted briefing papers for parliamentary candidates (d) take work on contacting CEJ member organisations to invite participation ahead of GE/making the most of the networks currently available to us (e) turning material presented at planned Parliamentary Presentation into briefing notes.
JMc: Let’s move on to the next item on the agenda.
i. Current membership
JB: Just to follow up on something mentioned earlier in the meeting:
Kate Osborne MP. Kate was one of the people who signed the attendance sheet and helped to provide the quorum of parliamentarians needed to proceed with the 2023 AGM of the APPG LVC. Kate was then listed as an APPG member. Kate’s name has now been taken off the current membership list. The APPG LVC will need twenty parliamentarians in membership at the time of the next APPG LVC AGM.
Can I take this as an opportunity to remind everyone that contacting their local member of parliament to encourage them to join the APPG LVC would be helpful, if they haven’t done it already, to maintain and increase the APPG’s membership.
ii. Contact with PPCs during a GE campaign
JB: PPCs will almost always respond to an email from constituents during a GE campaign, almost irrespective of topic. Often animal welfare comes at or near the top of the list of subjects PPCs are contacted about. JMc confirms this.
JMc/JB: If the topic/issue/subject raised relates to local matters – such as housing and it is linked to LVC/LVT – then that is a really good opportunity to guage the PPC’s view about the capture of land value and raise the possibility of joining the APPG if they are elected.
iii. RB: I’ve removed Kate Osborne from the website list of APPG LVC members. In an APPG thread I know that Jenny Jones was mentioned and she used to be a member of the APPG so I am drafting an email and just want to check that inviting her to renew her membership wouldn’t create any kind of problem. JMc undertook to talk to Kate and see if, despite the error in including her in the list of APPG members, if she would be interested in joining.
iv. RB Reported that he had written to Lord Jim O’Neill, who became Chair of The Northern Powerhouse in in May 2023, but had not hear anything back.
JMc to talk to Kate Osborne about APPG LVC membership.
6. Next meeting – rescheduled Presentation to Parliament on Council tax reform
JB explained that he planned to coordinate arrangements with Jacqui Connor.
JB said that he would work with Andrew Dixon, Professor John Muellbauer, Heather Wetzell and Jacqui Connor on settling room and date for the session. Andrew, John, Heather and himself would be making the presentations.
JMc asked JB to confirm that ‘we’re still looking at March for the session’. JB said there would be an online meeting in March of the APPG but that the APPG LVC Presentation for Parliamentarians would be an in person event in parliament.
Work to continue on arrangements for rescheduled APPG LBC Parliamentary Presentation.
7. Next APPG LVC on-line meeting
The next online meeting of the APPG LVC is scheduled for Tuesday 19th March and the title for the main business of the meeting is:
Fiscal Policy – Land Value Tax and Economic Reform.
For supplementary information please go to: http://www.c4ej.com/appg
Presentations to the APPG LVC may be recorded and made available on the APPG web site.