5.30pm Spencer Pitfield of the Conservative Policy Forum on Comment: Six questions for Conservative members about Europe
1.30pm Stephen McPartland MP on Comment: My campaign to stop big companies dodging tax
The Mail, Telegraph, Times, FT and Sun call for bolder action on economy
Daily Mail leader: "He must cut taxes and make deeper reductions in public spending to pay for them. Major infrastructure projects, which the Deputy Prime Minister now admits the Government has neglected, must be put in train. Banks must finally be made to lend. Red tape and green levies throttling small business must be slashed."
Telegraph leader: "Both Nick Clegg and Boris Johnson have called for a renewed focus on infrastructure and capital spending. This has been presented as a retreat from austerity, or an alternative to it. Not necessarily: there is plenty of scope to boost capital spending – to equip Britain for that global race – while at the same time slashing back the entitlements of a grotesquely swollen state."
The Times (£): "The Bank should also be given a revised mandate. Instead of targeting just inflation, it should target growth as well, much as the US Federal Reserve does with its dual mandate of price stability and full employment."
FT (£): "Ministers could do a little more on the fiscal side. While this newspaper supports the spending squeeze, it would like the Treasury to invest more in infrastructure. This should be offset with further cuts to day-to-day budgets. This could be both stimulatory and, if projects are chosen wisely, a sound investment."
The Sun Says: "Government building projects. The Chancellor must now push on with those new homes, roads and rail links — and make future tax cuts a priority. Cutting wasteful public spending must remain at the core of Coalition policy. In some areas, such as welfare reform, the axe has to bite deeper still."
"The Mayor of London said that not enough was being done to return the economy to growth, adding that it was time to ditch the rhetoric of austerity. Mr Osborne should instead be ploughing money into big housing and transport projects, he said. “The hair shirt stuff, the Stafford Cripps agenda — that is not the way to get Britain motoring again,” Mr Johnson said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos." – Times (£)
John Redwood agrees that there needs to be a change of direction: "The biggest ever fiscal stimulus, Keynsian stimulus, is being tried. It
is not working. Instead of asking for a bigger one, more of the same,
people should ask what can be done to promote a more buoyant and
successful private sector. That, as readers will know, rests on mending
the banks, setting competitive tax rates, reforming welfare and tackling
costs like energy and transport." –
- "Senior cabinet members are saying it is a racing certainty that the
economy will suffer a triple-dip recession, requiring a further first
quarter of negative growth" – Guardian
- It's the economy, not Europe that should worry the PM – Andrew Grice in The Independent
- Suggestions that Cameron, Osborne and Boris shared "raucous" meal on Thursday night – Scotsman
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: After the euphoria of the Europe speech, the dysphoria has returned – and how
On Monday Coalition will launch next phase of HS2 as sign of long-term plan for growth – FT (£)
"The second phase of the £34billion project – a Y-shaped route from
Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds – is to be unveiled on Monday by
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Prime Minister David Cameron"
– Daily Mail
William Hague claims Tory Party more united on Europe than at any time in last fifteen years – Times (£)
Janan Ganesh says Tory Eurosceptics are enjoying a sugar rush but will soon be back for more from David Cameron – FT (£)
Patrick O'Flynn: Don't rule out Cameron leading the 'No' campaign
"Note that this week David Cameron did not completely rule out leading the No campaign in his referendum. So long as Ukip keeps up the pressure and most Conservative grassroots members remain hostile to the EU there is a good chance that Cameron the pragmatist will decide the deal from Brussels is not good enough." – Patrick O'Flynn in The Express
- Unemployment, poverty, the weakening of democracy, and then revolt – Charles Moore fears for the worst if the Eurozone continues to persist – The Telegraph
The Europe issue proves Red Ed is totally out of touch with the British people – Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail
Labour has been too nervous in challenging Mr Cameron's Euroscepticism – Independent leader
- Four reasons why David Cameron's Europe speech was a dud: "Since Cameron can't say whether he will vote yes or no until he has secured all his demands, the field will be left to the anti campaign" – Jonathan Powell in The Guardian
- In The Independent, Lord Kinnock gives his recipe for defeating the Outers: "Keep on telling the truth about the multiple economic and political advantages of EU membership in return for paying less than 1 per cent of our GNP, the risks and costs of losing them, and the scope for achieving improvement in the EU as a strong, effective participant."
- Tony Juniper says environment will suffer if Britain leaves EU – Guardian
Sam Cam and Mum Cam don't agree on gay marriage…
David Cameron's wife Samantha is the 'driving force’ behind gay marriage – Telegraph
“David just won’t be told” – The Sun claims that Cameron's mum is against gay marriage.
- Tory MPs complain that Government isn't giving proper parliamentary time for scrutiny of gay marriage bill – Express
- Ivan Massow says most of Tory Party is ready to support gay marriage – Independent
"I like to cut through the crap and get things done" – International Development Secretary Justine Greening talks to The Guardian
Ms Greening names and shames global leaders' response to Syrian refugee crisis: "Russia, which has repeatedly vetoed any action against Syria at the UN security council, has provided only £5m, worth 0.0003% of its gross national income (GNI). Similarly China, another opponent of action, has provided £4m, worth 0.0001% of GNI. France has provided £10.8m, worth 0.0007% of its GNI." (The Guardian).
Michael Gove wants new schools to open in hotels and offices – The Sun
- Forty PRIMARY school pupils expelled for violence every day – Telegraph
Tory MPs, led by Robert Halfon, are plotting to restore the 10p tax band – Daily Mail
Tracey Crouch raises awareness of health consequences of excessive alcoholic consumption – Daily Mail
Henry Smith is The Sun's hero of the week for wanting crackdown on 'NHS tourism' – The Sun
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has announced plans to take her party down the route of extended devolution for Scotland little more than a year after she ruled out such a move – The Herald
The Telegraph reports Lord Forsyth's unhappiness: "I supported Ruth Davidson on the basis she told me that she passionately believed in a line in the sand on further devolution and she didn’t believe in further tax powers beyond those in the Scotland Act. I expected her to stick to what she said.”
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Ruth Davidson moves to distance Scotland's Conservatives from England's
Lib Dem MP David Ward could be kicked out of party after suggesting 'the Jews' had not learned the lessons of the Holocaust – Daily Mail
"No wonder the economy is in a mess – our leaders have lost sight of the national interest as they pursue party advantage" – Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian
And finally… Stripclub owner Peter Stringfellow has suggested he could stand against Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in the General Election due to be held in 2015…
"The 72-year-old has twice been singled out by the Liberal Democrat leader as someone who does not deserve state-funded pensioner benefits" – Sky News
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