Published:

6pm ThinkTankCentral: Cameron's former head of policy, James O'Shaughnessy, joins Policy Exchange to develop school federations

5.30pm Local government: Labour's claim of TfL "surplus cash" is nonsense

5pm newslinks: Miliband's DISASTROUS ratings among LabourList readers lead our 5pm political news review

15103_1325591823_a4pm ToryDiary: Wetherspoon introduces 'Veto Ale' to celebrate Cameron's patriotic act

1.45pm Local government: Five Conservative councillors included in New Year Honours

12.15pm WATCH: Louise Mensch MP photo-shooting for GQ

Noon ConHomeUSA: Romney, Paul, Santorum each hope for victory in today's Iowa contest

11am WATCH: Labour MP Grahame Morris says gun laws may need review after County Durham shootings

10am MPsETC: A lesson from Louise Mensch's GQ interview

ToryDiary: Ken Livingstone begins his 'kick Cameron, oust Boris' campaign

Columnist Stephan Shakespeare: As long as the Tories lead on the economy they will command British politics

On Comment: Lord Ashcroft records the accomplishments of Australia's John Howard, new member of The Queen's Order of Merit

LouiseGQ

MPsETC: In sexy photoshoot, GQ bill Louise Mensch as the "Iron Maiden"

Local government: Conservative returned unopposed in Derbyshire Dales Council byelection

WATCH: Andy Burnham accuses Coalition of "mixed messages" on breast implant scare

ConHomeUSA: Fox News more popular than any Republican politician; Rubio and Christie more favored than any presidential candidate

Chris Grayling will pay private and voluntary groups up to £15,000 if they move members of problem families from welfare to work

Grayling Change

"Providers will be paid in three stages – when they have made a member of a troublemaking family sign up to a personal action plan, when the plan is completed, and finally when the individual has moved into employment. In total, a three-year contract will be worth up to £15,000 per family." – Daily Mail

  • Like the Mail, The Sun illustrates this story with a picture of TV's Shameless family.
  • "The government has appointed eight specialist welfare-to-work firms to help individuals overcome barriers to getting a job and staying in work. These include skills like timekeeping, writing a CV and job interviews." – BBC
  • The Sun Says the Coalition should use more stick and less carrot in reforming problem families.

The nation’s benefits bill is almost five times higher in some constituencies than in others

"Glasgow East has the highest cost per person of any seat in Britain, with unemployment, sickness and child benefit payments now amounting to £5 for every adult and child in the seat every day. That compares to North East Hampshire, the seat with the lowest per head payments in the UK, where people receive less than a pound a day." – Scotsman

Byrne LiamMeanwhile… Liam Byrne says welfare state has become detached from Beveridge's founding principles

  • "Byrne identifies the spiralling housing benefit budget, benefits for long-term unemployment, and the lack of proper incentives to reward responsible long-term savers as three key flaws in the current welfare state" – Guardian
    "Families are offered too little reward and incentive – in social housing and long-term savings – for the kind of behaviour that is the bedrock of a decent society" – Liam Byrne in The Guardian

Ken Clarke plans to double the number of inmates working up to 40 hours a week because they are currently a “wasted resource”Telegraph

Screen shot 2012-01-03 at 05.28.43Tory MPs Anne-Marie Morris and Priti Patel complain about HMRC's "harassment" of small firmsIndependent

An unprecedented coalition of government advisers, charities and independent experts warns of terrible abuse and neglect of elderly

"In a letter published in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, the experts say that a lack of “political leadership” must not be allowed to condemn 800,000 frail pensioners to a life of loneliness any longer." – Telegraph report

Text of the letter: "the unavoidable challenge we face is how to support the increasing number of people who need care. It is a challenge which we are failing to meet – resulting in terrible examples of abuse and neglect in parts of the care system."

  • "Care Not Killing, which campaigns against euthanasia and assisted suicide, said yesterday that lifting the ban on assisted suicide could lead to 13,000 deaths a year and put the lives of the disabled and vulnerable at risk." – Times (£)
  • Policymakers should look at introducing bigger tax incentives to keep older workers employed – FT leader (£)

Wollaston SarahSurgeons who profit from the breast implant industry must be made fully accountable – Sarah Wollaston MP for The Guardian

"Don't move Gove!" – James O'Shaughnessy, Cameron's former head of policy, explains his own plans to support the free schools project and urges the PM to keep the Education secretary in place to finish his work – Times (£)

> Michael Gove was voted Conservative of the 2011 by ConHome's readership.

Tory backbenchers plan alliance with Lib Dem MPs who see need for EU reform

"Tory sceptics are… insisting a section of the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party are desperate to avoid the label of Europhiles. They also claim Nick Clegg has instructed his office to draw up a list of powers that could be returned to national parliaments." – Guardian

  • Amol Rajan warns David Cameron about the rise of "UKIP's increasingly impressive leader, Nigel Farage" – Independent

Trevor Kavanagh: We need to hear from David Cameron about the Government's plans for €uro break-upThe Sun

Economists see bleak year ahead FT (£)

"Of the 83 economists polled by the FT (£), only four thought credit easing would be remembered as a transformative policy in a year’s time while 54 thought the opposite."

  • George Osborne faces campaign against rising train fares – Times (£)

The Centre for Policy Studies and Civitas warn of cost of Coalition's climate change policiesDaily Mail

Nick Clegg to make aggressive push for cap on donations to political partiesDaily Mail 

"The Conservative Party has spent a large chunk of the past hundred years under leaders who were not conservative in any recognisable sense"Dan Hannan MEP

Cooper YvetteNo one to replace Ed Miliband? Try Yvette Cooper

"She may be barely known outside Westminster – just ask a normal person who the Shadow Home Secretary is – but she came top of the Shadow Cabinet elections among MPs before Ed Miliband abolished them. If she is clever, the Brownites, Swedes and Blairites could unite behind her. Her politics are not mine, but she would be populist on law and order, and she would certainly be noticed." – John Rentoul in The Independent

Alex Salmond claims that hjis interruption of Nigel Lawson's Budget speech was beginning of the end for Margaret ThatcherScotsman

And finally… Subsidy for MPs' bars and restaurants rises £5.8m

"The Commons Commission said in June 2010 that £500,000 should be sliced from catering costs and bar prices should rise to those of high street pubs as part of a £12m cut to the Commons budget. But in the Members Dining Room, MPs are served an artichoke and tomato salad with truffle dressing for £2.05, or a seared breast of pigeon with aubergine purée and spiced couscous for just £4.15." – Telegraph

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