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Newslinks for Monday 11th February 2013

4.45pm MPsETC: Prime Minister's statement on the EU budget deal

2.45pmToryDiary: David Cameron's good press - on the continent

2pm Paul Abbott on Comment asks: Where is the 38 Degrees campaign on Mid Staffs?

1pm Dr James Mumford on Comment: Dilnot reforms ignore the most vulnerable

11.45am LeftWatch: Ed Miliband's relationship with the far left

Tory Diary: The Conservatives should not be increasing Inheritance Tax

GrantshappsGrant Shapps on Comment: Eastleigh residents deserve an MP they can trust, who is on their side

Also on Comment George Freeman MP: www.littleplatoons.com --- Why we must unleash the little guys to drive economic recovery

Local government: Labour councillors repudiate Labour Government's centralism

The Deep End: Incredibly stupid questions of our time: No. 1 – Is immigration good or bad for Britain

OwenpatersonPaterson to brief MPs on "criminal substitution of beef with horse"

"Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is to update MPs on the latest developments in the horsemeat scandal. He has already said a moratorium on EU meat imports, which has been called for, was not allowed under EU rules. In France, the government has summoned meat industry representatives to talks and some ready-meals were withdrawn after horsemeat was found in some beef-labelled foods sold in Europe." - BBC

  • "The further you whizz around the world, the more unusual the British scruple seems to be. From Mexico to Kazakhstan, you find people eating horse flesh – and the Chinese manage to chomp through an astonishing 1.7 million gee-gees every year. You feel like Captain Cook, when he first came across the phenomenon among the South Sea Islanders. You are in the presence of the mighty socialising force that helps knit together the vast and disparate communities of this hairless ape. Yet horse meat in Britain is taboo." - Boris Johnson Daily Telegraph

TelegraphinheritanceThe Government plan to freeze Inheritance Tax threshold at £325,000

"George Osborne, the Chancellor, will announce that the level at which inheritance tax becomes payable will be frozen at £325,000 until at least 2019 to fund reform of the social care system. The decision will mean that the owners of an average home across much of southern Britain and large areas elsewhere will be liable for inheritance tax. Critics said it was effectively a “double tax” as it was a levy on assets already raided by the taxman and accused the Treasury of “picking people’s pockets”." - Daily Telegraph

  • "By 2019, the threshold would probably have increased to £420,000 without the freeze; so this is a pretty massive raid and will hit many elderly folk and their children. In many cases, this will be very unfair: a family that cares for its own elderly relatives will be hit by the tax, even if they were able to avoid using institutionalised care." Allister Heath City AM
  • "Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the "scandal" of many people selling homes to pay care bills must be tackled. Labour said the country needed "a far bigger and bolder response". At present, up to 40.000 people every year are forced into selling their homes because they face unlimited care bills, says Mr Hunt - who will set out the plan in a statement to the Commons." - BBC
  • "The average person in social care will not benefit from raising the cap on care home costs to £75,000, Labour has warned. As the government pledged to end the "scandal", in which people have to sell their home to pay for social care, the shadow social care minister, Liz Kendall, said most people would die before they could benefit from the new cap." - The Guardian
  • "The civilised solution is surely to lower the rate of income tax and introduce universal social insurance, by which  people must pay into insurance schemes to cover the risk of long-term care (and arguably, health care, too). This welfare model, so common in other European countries, promotes and rewards prudence and responsibility, cares for the truly impoverished — and equally crucially, raises care standards by giving purchasers the power to change insurance schemes." Melanie Phillips Daily Mail

Government looking to deter Romanian and Bulgaria immigrants

"Officials are examining whether changes can be made to the benefits system to make Britain less attractive, as a large influx could undermine efforts to reduce net migration to under 100,000 by 2015.
They are considering restrictions on access to the health service." - The Times (£)

An independent Scotland would have to reapply to international bodies

"Two leading lawyers have told the UK government that an independent Scotland would be forced to renegotiate its EU and UN membership from scratch, in a process that would take years to complete." - The Guardian

  • "At the moment, Mr Salmond is playing defence, not attack, over Europe. Last year he was badly damaged by appearing shifty over whether an independent Scotland could seamlessly acquire membership of the EU and other international bodies, as the SNP claimed it could. The legal advice published by the UK government is emphatic that Scotland could not, that it would have to negotiate that status afresh, while the rest of the UK inherited the existing membership. If that advice is sound, it is another big setback for Mr Salmond's already faltering cause." Leader The Guardian

Tim Montgomerie says the Conservatives must talk about the family - not just economics

"Politicians should be able to agree that we do more to combat the debt and addiction problems that drive families apart. We should align ourselves with nearly every other developed country and recognise marriage in the tax system. More controversially, we need to consider making divorce harder for couples with children." - The Times (£)

LetwinOliver Letwin to set out alternative to statutory press regulation

"Plans to create an independent press regulator backed by royal charter will be set out on Tuesday by the Conservatives. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have backed the statutory underpinning of media laws proposed by Lord Justice Leveson...Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office minister, will detail the Tories' alternative proposals tomorrow." - The Independent

MPs say Overseas Aid still being given to poorly performing bodies

"MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have called on the Department for International Development (DfID) to point “its funding gun” at the organisations’ heads and demand that they immediately improve the performance of their Third World programmes." - Daily Telegraph

  • "So how on earth can David Cameron keep up his irresponsible promise to give away even more money? There is a solution for him to save face AND Our Boys. He should widen the definition of foreign aid so it can be used to fund the conflict prevention work that the MoD and Foreign Office do." - The Sun Says

Lib Dem candidate for Eastleigh - BBC

  • "Coalition tensions were exposed by the Eastleigh by-election yesterday after Vince Cable revealed that the Lib Dems will “relish” the opportunity to attack their Tory partners." - The Times (£)

RedwoodJohn Redwood calls for a Budget to end private secor austerity

"The next budget should lift the squeeze on the private sector, to encourage the private sector led growth the economy needs. This in turn could increase the amount of tax revenue brought into the Exchequer at a time of high public spending. The aim should be to set tax rates that maximise the
revenue. 50% Income Tax cuts the revenue. 28% CGT cuts the revenue. Pushing too many into the 40% tax rate cuts consumption in the economy." - John Redwood's Diary

Budget summit in Dorneywood to prevent "omnishambles" repeat - The Independent

NHS targets went too far - Andy Burnham in The Guardian

MPs call for more pensions competition - Financial Times

Most voters now consider the Conservatives a divided party - The Sun

EU laws block deportation of rioters - Daily Mail

Boris Johnson calls for action against urban foxes - The Times (£)

And finally...Nick Clegg gives up smoking - again

"Liberal Democrat leader Mr Clegg told Sky News: "I'm off the ciggies again. I've been on and off the fags enough not to make bold predictions. But I'm off them at the moment." - BBC

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