The Spectator

Barometer | 2 February 2017

Also in our Barometer column: frequent state visitors, sources of air pollution, and tax returns

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Trump’s rivals

More than 1.7m people signed a petition on Parliament’s website demanding that Donald Trump’s state visit be cancelled, and more than 200,000 one calling for it to go ahead. What are the most and least signed of the 2,500 or so other live petitions?

Most signed

Repeal new surveillance laws

209,000

Ban firework sales to public

150,000

Set £1,200 maximum price on car insurance for 18- to 25-year-olds

148,000

Least signed

Offer discounted counselling to housing professionals

6

Plain bottles for alcoholic drinks

6

Scrap juries

6

Visiting rites

Which countries have been awarded the most state visits to Britain? 64 countries have had a state visit during the Queen’s reign, of which 25 had more than one:

France

6

US, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Italy, Germany/West Germany

4

China, Turkey, South Africa, India, Brazil, Portugal, Nigeria

3

South Korea, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Poland, Jordan, Denmark, Japan, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nepal, USA

2

Since de Gaulle in 1960, every French President has had one except Pompidou and Hollande.

Particular problem

A warning of ‘very high’ air pollution was issued in London, with especially high levels of the small soot particles known as PM2.5s. Main sources of the 59,000 tonnes of these particles emitted in the UK in 2009, in tonnes:

Road vehicle exhausts

12,000

Combustion in homes

10,000

Aircraft

8,000

Road abrasion/brake or tyre wear

7,000

Waste treatment/disposal

6,000

Combustion in industry

3,000

Natural

2,000

Source: Defra

Many happy returns

The deadline for filing self-assessment tax returns passed on Tuesday 31 January. How many were filed on time last year?

11.3m tax returns were due.

10.4m (92%) were received on time.

870,000 people were late, making them liable for a £100 fine.

43% of returns reached HMRC in January, and 18% arrived on deadline day or the day before.

Source: HMRC