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Newslinks for Saturday 10th March 2012

Screen shot 2012-03-10 at 17.29.435.30pm LISTEN: Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK and Matthew Sinclair of the Taxpayers Alliance debate a mansion tax, property taxes and wealth taxes

2pm ToryDiary: How the Government could cut spending by over £10 billion without reneging on its policies - a response to this week's ThinkTankCentral series

Noon Lord Flight on Comment: Don't cut family allowances - cut public spending

ToryDiary: Imagine yourself to be a businessman, on the verge of a big decision...

Tom Papworth on Comment: Planning for growth and prosperity

Nicky MorganMPsETC: Nicky Morgan MP's Parliamentary diary

Local Government:

WATCH: Clegg to LibDems: Stop lamenting, start celebrating

Clegg, Cable and Alexander use pre-LibDem spring conference interviews as budget negotiation platform

1) Clegg in the Telegraph wants a "tycoon tax"

Screen shot 2012-03-10 at 05.16.50" 'There are hundreds of people earning millions per year who are barely paying 20 per cent tax, forget 40 per cent, forget 50 per cent, forget 30 per cent. They are not even paying 20 per cent. Therefore, I think it’s time that we look at what I call a tycoon tax.  “If you’re earning millions per year, if you’re able to pay an army of lawyers and accountants to basically pick and choose what tax you are paying, if you are paying as low as 25, 20 per cent or even less in tax, there should be a minimum fair share that you should pay to society.' " - Daily Telegraph

Clegg interview in full

  • Clegg to tell LibDems that they are the One Nation party -  Andrew Grice, The Independent

2) Cable in the Guardian "launches scathing attack on Tories calling for more deregulation, saying they are out of touch with reality"

"In remarks that will enrage Conservative MPs seeking further deregulation to boost the struggling economy, Cable says: "I am going to confront the old-fashioned negative thinking which says that all government needs to do to generate growth is cut worker and environmental protections, cut taxes on the rich and stroke 'fat cats' until they purr with pleasure. I'm completely repudiating the idea that government has to get out of the way. Government has a positive role to play." - The Guardian

Cable interview in full

  • Cable to use LibDem spring conference to bash banks (again) - Daily Mail

3) Alexander in the Telegraph hints at pension savings squeeze...

Screen shot 2012-03-10 at 08.21.41"Millions of workers earning less than £10,000 a year could stop paying tax within two years under the centrepiece announcement of this year's Budget, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury suggests today. In an interview with The Independent, Danny Alexander said he was close to agreeing proposals with George Osborne to go "further and faster" towards removing low earners from tax.  He hinted that the measure could be paid for by toughening up tax breaks on the pension contributions of the highest earners and said that a tax loophole which allows multimillionaires to avoid paying stamp duty could be closed." - The Independent

Alexander interview in full

  • Pensions industry fights back - The Times (£)
    George Osborne's plans for higher-rate taxpayers will make him more enemies than friends - Graeme Archer, Daily Telegraph
    LibDem insiders complain that Alexander has gone native in the Treasury - The Times (£) 

...But the IMF says LibDem flagship policy is regressive

"The LibDem policy was dealt a blow by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) yesterday, which said that it was wrong to present the change as “progressive”, primarily helping the poorest, as Mr Clegg did last month. The IFS said that, when looking at the effect on families, rather than individuals, the move benefited the better-off. The second-richest tenth of families would gain most in cash terms — and the top half would do best as a proportion of income." - The Times (£) 

David Davis: "Stop threatening the rich and start cutting taxes instead"

"The chancellor’s problem is that Lib Dems are blocking the policies we need to develop, which will ultimately mean more unemployment and minimal deficit reduction. If Britain enters 2015 in that position, there will be little left of the Lib Dems after the next election. Their many sacrifices in the coalition will result in the ultimate sacrifice at the ballot box. Somebody needs to explain to Lib Dem MPs that their interest lies in collective success, not collective dissent." - David Davis, Financial Times (£)

  • "The political choice the Liberal Democrats made in forming this coalition was to give up the easy life of being the eternal opposition party for the hard but meaningful work of government. They now seem to want both. It is time to choose." - Times Editorial (£)

The LibDems square up for conference battle on the health bill

"A survey of party members showed 57 per cent are opposed to the shake-up, which is aimed at giving more power to doctors and patients while cutting red tape. Under Lib Dem rules, motions passed at the conference in Gateshead, Tyneside, should automatically become party policy. But a source close to Deputy PM Mr Clegg last night insisted that did not apply when Lib Dems are in Government." - The Sun

Other LibDem conference news and comment:

  • "After nearly an hour, it's clear Lynne Featherstone does herself no favours as a political interviewee." - The Equalities Minister is interviewed in The Guardian
  • Charles Kennedy returns to lead fight against independence with Alistair Darling and Annabelle Goldie - The Independent
  • The mansion tax strikes hard at something close to the English heart - Philip Henscher, The Independent

Centre for Social Justice joins the fray over child benefit

Screen shot 2012-03-10 at 08.44.22"Ditching child benefit for households with a higher-rate taxpayer could trigger a wave of family breakdowns, a think tank warned last night. The Centre for Social Justice said the Government’s “faulty and unthinking” proposals could stop parents ­getting married or even living together, eroding “the stable foundation two-parent families provide within society”. The centre, which has close links to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, fears the change will encourage parents to claim falsely that they live alone." - Daily Express

  • Labour pledge to withdraw benefits from jobless for six months if job offers are refused - The Guardian

Italian anger over British hostage rescue bid

"Italian officials expressed growing anger at being kept in the dark by Downing Street over the operation involving Britain’s Special Boat Service which resulted in the deaths of Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara. The chorus of disapproval was led by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who stoked up the tension by telling reporters: “The behaviour of the British government in not informing Italy is inexplicable.” - Daily Express

Tim Loughton: make adoption faster

LOUGHTON TIM"Children's minister Tim Loughton said that the adoption reforms were to "speed up" the process. 'Too often social workers look for a perfect match but often that perfect match isn't there.""If it means that children will wait months and years to get into that loving family, then it shouldn't be an overriding concern.' " - Daily Telegraph

Eric Joyce banned from pubs and fined £4500

"The disgraced ex-Army major — facing calls to resign from Parliament — admitted head-butting a Tory MP and punching a Labour whip and two political aides. A court heard how Joyce, 51, appeared "possessed" with eyes that "looked as if no one was home" after starting a fight in the Strangers Bar — claiming it was "full of f****** Tories". He lashed out at Tory councillors Luke Mackenzie and Ben Maney and Labour MP Phil Wilson as each one tried to intervene in the row." - The Sun

  • How MPs are tweaking their Wikipedia pages in bid to hide embarrassing information - Daily Mail

Police could be given performance-related pay for first time - Daily Telegraph 

"Marriage affects everything and there's no need to change it"

"Marriage has never meant simply the right of all people who believe they love one another to have their relationship legally recognised on demand. There are qualifications. You have to be adult. You cannot be married to somebody else. You cannot be closely related by blood to the person you marry. And the person you marry must be of the opposite sex. You could say that these are restrictions… I do not know how Mr Cameron, if he opposes discrimination, can possibly sustain the view that Muslims, who are much more numerous in Britain than homosexuals, should be forbidden the polygamy which their faith sanctions." - Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

  • Catholic bishops' letter against gay marriage to be read in churches tomorrow - Daily Mail
  • Ministers will hit back at churches next week - The Independent

Greek debt swap triggers massive payouts - Financial Times (£)

A battle looms for control of the '22

"The '22's critics claim that its proceedings are stuffy and stale: their battle cry will be "time for a change". Senior executive members counter that their proceedings are open to all, that few of their critics have sought to involve themselves in the 22's work, and that the campaign for culture change is being manipulated by the party's left – and Downing Street. Their slogan will be: "Don't let No 10 run the '22". - Paul Goodman, The Guardian

  • Cameron is losing the support of too many Tory MPs - Patrick O'Flynn, Daily Express

"Schools must become the new gangs" - Michael Gove's new schools adviser interviewed in The Times (£)

Scotland 1) Ruth Davidson: give Scotland's parents more freedom to choose their children's schools - Daily Telegraph

Scotland 2) Salmond at SNP Conference: Home rule beats Tory rule - BBC

Government wants new definition of fuel poverty which would make figures fall by a quarter - The Times (£)

Don't cosy up to Obama too much, Dave. He could be out of a job soon - Simon Heffer, Daily Mail


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