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Newslinks for Wednesday 5th December 2012

8pm WATCH:

5.15pm ToryDiary: The sad neglect of conservatives.com

4.45pm ThinkTankCentral: Where's the radicalism George? Think tanks worry at Osborne's "tinkering".

4pm WATCH: George Osborne: "Britain is on the right track, and turning back now would be a disaster"

LibDemDead3.45pm LeftWatch: Lib Dems say the Tories only want tax cuts for the wealthy... or don't they?

2pm ToryDiary: Osborne makes the right calls on benefits, basic income tax threshold, corporation tax, shale gas, fuel duty and teachers' pay

2pm Iain Anderson on Comment: Britain's on the Right track... "Don't Turn Back"

2pm WATCH: David Cameron: We WILL increase NHS spending in real terms every year of this parliament

12.45pm ToryDiary: PMQs: Cameron attacks Labour's NHS record in pre-Autumn Statement warm-up

11am MPsETC: 70 Tory MPs vote to repeal the Human Rights Act

ToryDiary: Cameron and Boris both want renegotiation not exit --- but both seem ready to give voters an In/Out choice

Osborne whitehall

ToryDiary: Osborne remains Whitehall's central figure but he's looking lonelier these days

Columnist Andrew Lilico: When Ed Balls attacks infrastructure cuts he is actually attacking cuts that Labour scheduled

Dr Phillip Lee MP on Comment: The Autumn Statement must give small businesses confidence - not just cash

Columnist Jill Kirby: Theresa May mustn't browbeat Parliament into accepting the Data Communications Bill

Local government: Power of the state to inspect your dustbin abolished

The Deep End: Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his enemies

On eve of Autumn Statement Tories drop to 30% in latest YouGov tracker - YouGov

ASNEWS

Big picture message: Gloomy George Osborne will tell MPs there is "no miracle cure" to the UK's economic problems - BBC

  • "George Osborne will claim on Wednesday that he is protecting the “strivers” of Middle Britain from the fiscal storm, in a highly political Autumn Statement that will squeeze the rich, the unemployed, civil servants and “tax-dodging” multinationals" - FT (£)

Spending priorities: £5bn squeeze spending for most Whitehall departments will fund new schools and transport schemes - BBC

More infrastructure promises: "George Osborne is expected to put infrastructure at the heart of his Autumn Statement on Wednesday... However, the chancellor is likely to face scepticism from many in the business and investment communities after previous pledges largely failed to unleash the promised wave of private sector funding for energy, road, rail and other projects." - FT (£)

Longer austerity: One more year of deficit reduction - Laura Kuenssberg for ITV

Slimmer Whitehall: "More than 13,000 civil service jobs could be axed" - Independent

More tax for banks: "George Osborne will announce he is to raise taxes on banks for the fifth time today as he sets out the need for deeper and longer-lasting spending cuts in a bleak mini-budget" - Times (£)

Petrol duty: "Osborne will today help hard-pressed motorists by axing the 3p fuel duty rise" - The Sun

Foot on the gas pedal: "The Chancellor will today unveil plans for a ‘dash for gas’, which he sees as the cheapest source of future energy and a way to keep household fuel bills affordable.
He will also give the go-ahead for shale gas exploration using the controversial technique of fracking – cracking open rock by pumping in water and chemicals." - Daily Mail

  • Let’s get fracking, and slash our gas bills - Matt Ridley in The Telegraph

Greening overseas aid: "£2bn of UK aid to help Third World go green" - Telegraph

Fairness: The rich will not bear their fair share. Instead, yet another annual £10bn will be hacked off the benefits for the poor - Tom Clark in The Guardian

Public perception: Just 6% of the public realise what’s happening to the national debt - Fraser Nelson in The Spectator

  • "More people believe that Elvis is alive than understand what is happening to the national debt" - Allister Heath in City AM

Inadequacy of Chancellor's grip: "Far from cutting current public spending, or even total public spending, he put it up in the first couple of years. There were individual areas of cuts, but overall the UK economy has recorded growth in its public sector. Austerity fell on the private sector through tax rises and inflationary price increases, especially of energy." - John Redwood in The Guardian

In the FT (£) Ben Gummer MP calls for Britain to adopt a version of Sweden’s budget surplus law; "because spending limits must be approved by parliament, it has empowered the legislature to hold the government to account and helped forge a political consensus to bear down on debt."

Statistics watchdog says Cameron HAS cut the NHS

Conservative-poster-featu-001

"In a deeply embarrassing and damaging intervention ahead of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement tomorrow Andrew Dilnot, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, concluded that spending on the NHS is actually lower in real terms now than it was in 2010" - The Independent

"Mr Hunt is expected to challenge Mr Dilnot’s findings and write back to the authority. A Whitehall source claimed Mr Dilnot had taken the wrong baseline year for comparing health spending and that the fall reflected Labour's spending cuts, not Coalition decisions" - Telegraph

Labour MP Ann Clywd says NHS treated her parent like a "battery hen" - The Sun

In a powerful article for the Daily Mail Ian Birrell argues that the NHS needs more kindness as much as more money: "Ultimately, what sort of human being can ignore an old woman begging for food, leave a distressed man with dementia in soiled bedding or fail to act when a disabled person is being bullied?"

Cameron inches towards In/Out referendum

Cameron earnest"In his gamble, Mr Cameron would urge the public to support a looser relationship with Brussels that he hopes to negotiate over the coming years. But he is ready to give the country the chance to say “no” to such a deal, a result that would effectively be seen as a vote to quit the EU, at least on the proposed terms." - Times (£)

"Pre-empting a speech by David Cameron on Europe, to be delivered before Christmas, the Conservative London mayor outlined his own "minimalist strategy" which would see Britain shift to an "outer-tier" relationship with Europe focused on trade." - Guardian | Express

  • Deal with UKIP by abandoning gay marriage and offering EU referendum - Ann Widdecombe in the Daily Mail
  • 72 mostly Tory MPs voted for the repeal of the Human Rights Act yesterday - Daily Mail | Telegraph

Cameron gives Oliver Letwin job of handling Leveson deal with newspapers

Letwin Hand copy

"Letwin said that Leveson, minus statute, had to be implemented "line by line"" - Guardian

"David Cameron has told newspaper editors to implement the Leveson Report recommendations urgently – with a clear ‘direction of travel’ by tomorrow – if they want to hold off Labour demands for a law regulating Press freedom." - Daily Mail

“They have got to do it in a way that absolutely meets the requirement of Lord Justice Leveson’s report,” said Mr Cameron. “That means £1m fines, proper investigation of complaints, prominent apologies, a tough independent regulatory system.” - FT (£)

  • Reasons for defending press freedom - Frederick Forsyth in The Express

In bid for lucrative tourist shoppers David Cameron overrules Theresa May to relax Chinese visa rules - Telegraph

"Britain is facing an influx of almost half a million Romanians and Bulgarians, an MP warns. Tory Philip Hollobone claimed the number of people from both countries could TREBLE to more than 425,000 when work restrictions are lifted next year." - The Sun

A million migrants from East Europe now live in Britain - Daily Mail

  • Customer service at the UK Border Agency is "shockingly poor," the chief inspector of immigration has told MPs - BBC

BARKER-GREG-PORTRAITClimate change minister Greg Barker hails wind turbines as 'wonderful and majestic' - Daily Mail

One hundred years of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party - David Torrance in the Scotsman

Public schools can decide for themselves how to be charities, says William Shawcross of Charity Commission - Telegraph

The Independent apologises to Lord Ashcroft - The Independent

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