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Labour Conference 1) Miliband proposes to cut Business Rates and increase Corporation Tax…

Miliband Ed Official“Ed Miliband is to pledge to help about 1.5 million small businesses in England by reversing a planned business rates rise if Labour wins the next election. The move would be paid for by reversing a planned UK-wide cut in corporation tax for “big business” in 2015.” – BBC

  • Labour “will be party of small business.” –Daily Telegraph
  • “The real answer is to cut spending and use the money to slash business rates, not hike one tax to freeze another for a bit. Taxes on business are actually rarely paid by shareholders: in fact, the evidence suggests that the bulk of corporation tax is actually borne by employees, who over time are paid less. Cutting corporation tax, as the coalition has been doing, ought to eventually translate into higher wages; hiking it, as Labour wants to do, will actually reduce pay (and thus cut revenues from income tax and national insurance).” – Allister Heath City AM

…and build 200,000 homes a year

“Ed Miliband will propose on Tuesday to reform Britain’s dysfunctional housing market by building 200,000 new houses a year by 2020, the end of the next parliament. The Labour leader’s move is a response to a collapse in UK housebuilding, which has stoked house-price inflation, and will see him set up a commission designed to curtail the planning logjams preventing houses being built in sufficient numbers.” – The Guardian

  • This could be the game changer he needs – George Eaton New Statesman

ballsLabour Conference 2) Balls casts doubt on Labour’s backing for HS2…

“Ed Balls has cast fresh doubt over the future of the controversial HS2 rail link by questioning whether it was “the best way to spend £50 billion”….Ed Miliband has been notably warmer in his support for the project.” – The Times (£)

  • The arguments for and against HS2 – BBC
  • Clas of two Eds on HS2 – The Sun (£)
  • We’ll clobber mansion owners – Daily Express
  • “A strong speech from tough would-be chancellor Iron Balls gave good reasons to vote Labour – and firm warnings against a penny of uncosted spending. Offering up the manifesto for forensic scrutiny by the Office for Budget Responsibility was a deft move: how foolish the Tories will look if they refuse to let the OBR take it on.” – Polly Toynbee The Guardian

…and claims that he didn’t know that McBride briefed against Ministers

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 08.48.48“Ed Balls sparked disbelief yesterday by claiming he had no idea Damian McBride was briefing against Labour colleagues. The Shadow Chancellor insisted the former spin doctor was a ‘law unto himself’, saying he was horrified to learn what he was up to.” – Daily Mail

  • “Damian McBride told BBC Two’s Newsnight that many in the Labour Party regarded him as a “traitor” for serialising his memoirs during its annual conference. But he added Labour must “learn lessons from his mistakes”. He said the party needed to move on from “destructive” feuds of the past.” – BBC
  • “The shadow chancellor’s record on the economy should be reason enough for voters never to trust him again. His barefaced protestation of innocence over Mr McBride’s activities surely puts the question beyond doubt.” – Leader Daily Mail
  • McBride: Book will pay my debts – The Times (£)
  • “Until today, the most famous Roman Catholic with a penchant for knifing people to roam the streets of Brighton was Pinkie, the fictional protagonist of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock.” – The Independent
  • Gordon Brown refuses to condemn McBride – Daily Telegraph

YvetteCooperMPAnd what did Yvette think of the beach towel joke?

“The Shadow Chancellor recalled unflattering photographs of the Prime Minister changing into swimming trunks during his summer holiday. Smirking to delegates, Mr Balls quipped: “I just thought for a Prime Minister it was a surprisingly small towel.” One audience member appeared distinctly unamused and a thin smile disappeared from the lips of Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper – Mr Balls’s wife.” – Daily Express

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Alun Cairns calls for the police to investigate McBride

“Conservative MP Alun Cairns has now written to Met Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, claiming Mr McBride may have violated the Computer Misuse Act and Official Secrets Act by leaking confidential details.” – The Sun (£)

Labour Conference 3) Unite leaves empty table at Labour dinner

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 08.49.58“Ed Miliband’s biggest trade union backer is to boycott his gala dinner in the latest rebuff to the Labour leader. For the first time in years, Unite will not pay for a table at tonight’s event, where Mr Miliband is guest of honour. Nor is it holding its usual conference party.” – The Times (£)

Labour Conference 4) Shadow Scottish Secretary on the failure of devolution

“Margaret Curran, the Shadow Scottish Secretary, said there are a “lot of question marks” about whether devolution has led to the improvements that its supporters claim. She also indicated her support for abolishing the Barnett formula, which gives Scots almost £1,200 per head more public spending than the UK average, and replacing it with a system based on need.” – Daily Telegraph

Labour Conference 5) Jim Murphy says Labour must reach patriotic church going voters

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 08.50.49“Mr Murphy told a meeting on the fringe of Labour’s annual conference in Brighton..”there needs to be a new language about respecting diversity that is about some of those voters who live their lives in a way that is entirely straightforward. They go to church on Sunday and they have an immeasurable sense of patriotism and a real affection for the Royal Family and much else besides.” – The Times (£)

Labour Conference 6) Hain attacks “licensed bigotry” of UKIP

“Labour’s goal must be to stop UKIP winning next year’s European elections, Peter Hain has said. The Labour MP and veteran anti-apartheid campaigner said UKIP was “dangerous” because it could not be branded “fascist” or “racist”. But it “licensed bigotry” among some voters, he told a Unite Against Fascism fringe meeting.” – BBC

Hammond warns of British death toll in Kenya

Hammond P Jan 2012“Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said it was possible more Brits died in the Nairobi shopping centre attack, and that the death toll could rise once the building was secure.” – ITV

Hague meets Iranian Foreign Minister

“Foreign Secretary William Hague has held his first meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif since President Hassan Rouhani was elected. A series of talks are taking place at the United Nations amid signs of a thaw in Iran’s relations with the West.” – BBC

Taxpayers bail out for benefits cheat

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 08.54.23“Judge Beverley Lunt was astonished to learn that mother-of-seven Cleo Embley can carry on claiming £237 a week even though she fiddled the welfare system for four years. When Embley’s barrister said she “knows she is going to have to pay the money back”, Judge Lunt replied: “But she isn’t. The taxpayer is going to have to pay it back.” – Daily Express

Legal Aid cuts mean Michael Mansfield’s chambers close

“The chambers led by leading Left-wing ‘celebrity’ barrister Michael Mansfield QC is closing down, blaming Government cutbacks to legal aid… It comes after a revamp was announced in April to slash £220million from the £1billion a year criminal legal aid bill.” – Daily Mail

Damian Green says police can give a ticking off for minor offences

Green Damian August 2011“Police officers need to use more judgment and discretion when dealing with low-level crime rather than automatically charging people, Damian Green, the justice minister, has suggested.” – Daily Telegraph

No action against Mid Staffs doctors

“Four senior doctors who presided over appalling care at Stafford Hospital will face no further action after regulators said there was no evidence against them. In a decision condemned as “absolute nonsense” by relatives of those who suffered at the hospital, the General Medical Council (GMC) said it was powerless to take action for institutional failings against doctors who did not personally mistreat patients.” – The Times (£)

Benedict Brogan says the Conservatives are better than Labour at spin

Screen shot 2013-09-24 at 08.57.24“Every conversation in Brighton, it seems, includes an admission that the Conservatives are winning the propaganda war hands down. If Craig Oliver and Lynton Crosby could hear what the shadow cabinet are saying in the bars, they would blush: “Their attack unit is ruthless. Their messaging is consistent and disciplined. They are beating us.” ” – Benedict Brogan Daily Telegraph

Mats Persson: Merkel’s triumph is good news for Cameron

“David Cameron knows that his plan to negotiate a new deal between Britain and Europe depends almost entirely on Germany’s approval. So Angela Merkel’s crushing victory will have been a cause for both celebration and trepidation.” – Daily Telegraph

> Today: Stephen Tall: How Germany’s result could tempt me to vote Conservative in 2015

>Yesterday: Mark Wallace: What does the German election result mean for Cameron’s EU renegotiation?

News in brief

  • Fears immigration level could be undetected as ONS scraps census – Daily Telegraph
  • Landlords face higher interest rates – BBC
  • Eurozone growth improves – BBC

56 comments for: Newslinks for Tuesday 24th September 2013

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