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Newslinks for Friday 15th February 2013

5pm WATCH:Dr Madsen Pirie on the Daily Politics defending capitalism

2.45pm LeftWatch: Yvette Cooper should apologise for blocking access to foodbanks

12.15pm Local government:

11.15am Adrian Hilton writes this week's Culture Column on the language of culture

  Javid11am WATCH: Chris Leslie and Sajid Javid debate tax

ToryDiary: John Major backs in/out referendum - as strange outbreak on Tory unity on Europe continues

Anatole Pang on Comment: Trying to be German - Britain needs a China policy

Also on Comment, Michael Dowsett: The Conservatives’ class quandary

Local government:

The Deep End: Heresy of the week: For economic recovery we need stronger unions

TelegraphhorseCameron calls on supermarkets to end silence on horsemeat

 "As Asda withdrew four beef products following the discovery of horse DNA in bolognese sauce, David Cameron was said to be increasingly angered at the way consumers had been “misled” about what they were buying. The Prime Minister believes that senior executives of major stores should have given media interviews to explain why horse meat had got on to British plates and what checks were made with suppliers." - Daily Telegraph

  • "Downing Street has criticised the apparent reluctance of retailers to comment publicly on the horsemeat crisis. Sources at Number 10 have told the BBC that "it isn't acceptable for retailers to remain silent"." - BBC

John Major backs in/out referendum on EU

Johnmajorpic
"The former prime minister said the move could "heal sores" and have a "cleansing effect" on politics. Labour said his comments confirm Mr Cameron's EU policy is designed to manage a "divided Conservative Party". The prime minister wants to renegotiate the terms of Britain's relationship with Europe before putting it to a public vote by 2017 at the latest." - BBC

  • "Sir John said that Mr Cameron and the Conservative Party must conduct themselves “courteously and with understanding” in dealing with the rest of the EU or they would fail. He said the Prime Minister should appoint a Cabinet minister to be his lead negotiator and personal emissary around the 26 other EU capitals. Mr Cameron would have to hold “innumerable” one-to-one meetings with EU leaders to explain his case." - The Times
>Yesterday:MPsETC: Conservative MPs launch the European Mainstream group. "The torch is being passed to the next generation."

TimesbenefitsCameron pledges to stop EU benefit tourists

"The Prime Minister thrust the issue to the forefront of the Eastleigh by-election yesterday, saying that Britain must do more to deter immigrants by cutting their access to benefits and services. “There’s a lot more to do to make sure that we are not a soft touch,” Mr Cameron told voters...One possible solution would be to make EU migrants register for residency permits on arrival in an effort to deter so-called benefit tourists." - The Times (£)

  • "Asked about how the UK, and particularly the NHS, would cope with an expected influx of people from Bulgaria and Romania when immigration restrictions are lifted at the end of this year, Cameron replied: "There's a lot more to do to make sure that while we're welcoming we don't allow people to come here and take advantage of us, because I think that does happen too often. We're not tough enough right now about people who come from the other side of the world who decide to use the health service: they haven't contributed their taxes, they should pay when they use the NHS."  - The Guardian

GbradyGraham Brady says radical tax cuts needed to win global race

"For too long, Britain has forgotten the virtuous circle that a lower tax economy can bring: lower living costs, stronger demand, more investment, more jobs and growth. Too often, the debate about tax has been dominated by those who are more concerned about penalising success than creating a more productive environment." - Daily Telegraph

Ed Miliband says Labour would bring back 10p tax rate

"Mr Miliband said it was a  "very bad mistake" to get rid of it and the move would send a "clear signal" his party was on the "side of working people". The move, worth about £2 a week for people, would be funded by a "mansion tax" on £2m properties, he said." - BBC

  • "Mr Miliband has begun to write something specific on what for too long has been Labour's fiscal blank page. For that alone, he deserves credit for a good day's work." -leader The Guardian
  • "Miliband claims he wants to “put right the mistake” made by his former master Gordon Brown when he scrapped the 10p rate. So why won’t he wholeheartedly commit his party to it — rather than describing it as an “ambition?” Perhaps because it’s a cynical stunt hurriedly thrown together to woo wavering voters at next week’s Eastleigh by-election." The Sun Says
  • "So, far from being a One Nation standard-bearer, Mr Miliband is in reality the champion of divisive, old-style “us versus them” politics. After all, don’t people in large houses make a contribution to the economy? Recent figures showed that more than 60 per cent of the UK’s income tax is paid by 14 per cent of taxpayers, and the numbers paying any tax at all have fallen by 1.4 million under the Coalition." - leader Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday:

HeathAllister Heath: What about flatter, simpler taxes?

"From Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, we got a proposal for a partial reintroduction of a 10p starting rate of income tax over a very narrow range of income, to be funded by a “mansion tax”. I’m very much in favour of cutting tax on the working poor, who are being horribly squeezed by falling real wages – but the best way to do it is to increase the personal allowance, not to introduce yet another band in our overly-complex tax system...Those of us who believe in flatter and simpler taxes have been roundly defeated." - Allister Heath City AM

MPs challenge Government over Quantative Easing

"The Public Accounts Committee said the Treasury could not say what the effect of the Bank of England's quantitative easing programme had been. A flagship lending scheme had also "failed" the MPs said." - BBC

MailnhsNHS whistle blower faces ruin

"An NHS whistleblower said last night he faced ruin for telling the truth about patient safety. Gary Walker was paid £500,000 to keep quiet after he was removed as chief executive of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust. But this week he broke his silence about a care scandal that may have
cost the lives of 670 patients. In doing so Mr Walker ignored an email from NHS-funded lawyers
ordering him to respect the terms of the gagging order in 2011." - Daily Mail

Danny Alexander warns against "fiscal nimbyism"

"Danny Alexander, the Treasury minister charged with finding another £10bn in spending cuts, has warned colleagues against “fiscal nimbyism” as he searches for new savings across Whitehall. Speaking ahead of bruising coalition negotiations on the next public spending round, the Liberal Democrat indicated he was tired of hearing Tory colleagues urging fiscal restraint but opposing cuts in their own departments." - Financial Times

Conservatives aim for more female MPs

"The Conservative party is in the process of selecting candidates for the 40 new seats they have targeted as vital to their chances of winning a majority at the 2015 election, and the emerging list of names is seen as a crucial test of whether it stands a chance of increasing women's representation. So far 16 have been selected, of whom just four are women.." - The Guardian

Anne_mcintoshDog bites Anne Mcintosh

"The select committee, whose chair Anne McIntosh has revealed she herself has been bitten by a dog, has been carrying out an investigation into government plans to tackle recent rises in dog-related offences and hospital admissions. Government officials estimate there are around 210,000 people attacked by dogs in England every year." - BBC

MPs urge response threshold on anti-social behaviour complaints - BBC

Brooks Newmark talks about his eating disorder -

"Conservative MP for Braintree, Brooks Newmark, has revealed he had an eating disorder at the age of 17. He said it developed while he was at boarding school when he felt under "enormous pressure." - BBC

>Yesterday: Caroline Nokes MP on Comment: Busting the myths about eating disorders

UKIP targets seats in Holyrood - Scotsman

Third of councils planning Council tax rise

"One in three local authorities will increase council tax from April, despite a government offer of hundreds of millions of pounds of funding if they freeze the charge, according to a survey of nearly 200 councils." - Daily Telegraph

 And finally...Cameron's DIY challenge

"As he took questions from staff, Mr Cameron said he was ready to tackle anything after spending some of this morning helping one of his children build a Lego City. He said he struggled to decode the instructions for his son's seventh birthday present." - Daily Telegraph

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