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Government orders inquiry into union bullying

FIST Red“The government has ordered an inquiry into industrial disputes, including “leverage” tactics by unions. Downing Street said the wide-ranging review would be led by Bruce Carr QC. The announcement follows last month’s Grangemouth dispute, in which union teams reportedly targeted managers’ homes.” – BBC

  • “Employment lawyer Bruce Carr will chair a panel of industry and union representatives investigating whether the police should be given more powers to crack down on activists. The Independent Review into Industrial Disputes, which is expected to report to Business Secretary Vince Cable and Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude within six months, will keep Mr Miliband’s union links in the spotlight in the run-up to the next Election.” – Mail on Sunday
  • Revealed: How Unite brushed aside Labour’s corruption inquiry – Sunday Times (£)

Cameron to set out better online protection for children

“The Prime Minister, David Cameron, is set to lay out a number of initiatives tomorrow aimed at helping to better protect children from harmful content online, as part of a summit involving the National Crime Agency (NCA), children’ charity the NSPCC plus all of the major search engines and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) at Downing Street.” – Independent on Sunday

Gove accused of delaying Grammar School expansion

“Education Secretary Michael Gove is under growing pressure to give the green light to the first significant expansion of a grammar school in
England for 50 years. The site for an annexe has been found in Sevenoaks, Kent, where staff and parents are anxious to get moving. Kent County Council has already given its approval to Invicta Grammar School in Maidstone to expand in Sevenoaks.” – Sunday Express

  • “Education Secretary Michael Gove is to be applauded for easing Labour’s ludicrous restrictions on grammar school expansion. So it makes his foot-dragging over approving a satellite grammar in Sevenoaks all the more baffling. The suspicion must be Mr Gove is trying to spare a row with Lib Dem coalition partners opposed to selective education.” Leader Sunday Express

Tories plan to revive 1992 election message

tax_bombshell“David Cameron is planning to use John Major’s successful 1992 campaign victory against Neil Kinnock as a model for the next election, portraying himself as the underdog against high-tax and high-spending Labour. Speaking during a trip to the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, the prime minister said he was ready to roll back the years and “dust down” some of Major’s posters, which vilified Kinnock and helped prevent the then Labour leader entering No 10.” – The Observer

Conservatives put speeches back online

“The Conservatives have allowed access via an internet archive to a decade of speeches, after criticism over their removal from the party’s website. The purge erased records of speeches and press releases from 2000 until May 2010, and a file on Conservatives.com instructed sites such as the Internet Archive and Google, which store copies of webpages for posterity, to remove the deleted pages from their databases.” – The Observer

Nikki Sinclaire hopes to be Westminster MP

“Ambitous politician Nikki Sinclaire today reveals her secret — she is Britain’s first transsexual parliamentarian. The striking-looking MEP lived as a man until the age of 23 before having a life-changing op on the NHS. In an exclusive interview she tells The Sun on Sunday how she wants to enter the UK Parliament and emulate her idol Maggie Thatcher.” – The Sun on Sunday (£)

Clegg calls for tax threshold to rise to £10,500

“Nick Clegg has said the coalition government should raise the income tax threshold for a fifth time. The government has repeatedly raised the personal allowance – the amount people can earn before paying income tax – since the 2010 election. The threshold is due to reach £10,000 in 2014/15 – the level agreed when the coalition was formed – but Mr Clegg wants to make it £10,500 from 2015.” – BBC

  • “HARDWORKING Brits are poised for a £100 tax cut — in a sensational vow by Nick Clegg to The Sun on Sunday. The Deputy PM describes it as a “workers bonus” after the three-year squeeze that has helped get Britain back on its feet.” – The Sun on Sunday (£)
  • “With so many families feeling the squeeze, the Government must provide all the help we can, as soon as we possibly can. This would take the Liberal Democrat workers’ tax cut up to £800. It will bring us a step closer to my party’s goal for the next parliament — we don’t want you to pay any income tax on anything you earn up to the minimum wage. The Conservatives would not deliver this in government on their own. The priority for them has been cutting taxes for the highest earners.” Nick Clegg The Sun on Sunday (£)

Polls show Labour leads of 6 per cent, 6 per cent and 9 per cent

“Conservative support has fallen by three points since last month, giving Labour a six-point lead, which would mean a 74-seat majority for Mr Miliband if repeated at the election, even though 53 per cent of voters say they disagree with the statement, “I can imagine Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.” – Independent on Sunday

  • “Ed Miliband’s Labour has marginally stretched its lead over the Tories according to a new Opinium/Observer poll, which also suggests widespread concern about a lack of social mobility in the country. Labour edged up by 2 points compared to a fortnight ago while the Conservatives lost 3 points, stretching the opposition’s lead to 9 points. Labour is on 37%, the Conservatives on 28%, Ukip on 16% and the Liberal Democrats have edged up 2 points to 9%.” – The Observer
  • Labour lead at 6 per cent – YouGov

IDS targets benefit cheat hotspots

IDS headshot“AREAS identified as benefit cheat hotspots are to be targeted by an intensive advertising campaign asking people to report on their neighbours. Hoardings featuring Google maps are to be used by the government, with slogans urging people to turn in their neighbours. One will say: “They are claiming benefits and getting cash in hand — do something about it. Help us catch benefit cheats one street at a time.” Facebook ads will also urge people to report on their neighbours.” – Sunday Times (£)

Tory PCC urges residential programme for problem families

“Layabout parents – like the characters in hit TV show Shameless – would undergo an ‘intensive’ programme to keep them out of crime and unemployment, says Adam Simmonds, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Northamptonshire. He said derelict Army bases could be used to house them while they were taught basic household skills, ordered to stop drinking and smoking, and given basic job training.” – Mail on Sunday

John Baron leads Tory revolt on army job losses

“Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is this week facing a revolt among his own MPs over controversial plans to replace full-time troops with Army reservists. Rebel Conservative backbenchers are plotting to line up with MPs from Labour and other parties to block plans for a dramatic expansion of the UK’s reserve forces.” – Mail on Sunday

Heseltine’s son Rupert battles against HS2

“LORD HESELTINE, one of the leading supporters of the government’s contentious HS2 high-speed railway, faced embarrassment last night after it emerged his son and heir to his publishing empire had tried to derail the project.” – Sunday Times (£)

Miliband’s team attack “nightmare” Balls

“Explosive leaked emails have laid bare for the first time the depth of the bitter feud between Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. The emails, sent last week and obtained by The Mail on Sunday, reveal that the Labour leader’s team think Mr Balls is a ‘nightmare’. They prove the two are deeply divided over how to respond to the economic revival. And they indicate Mr Miliband is sick and tired of the shadow chancellor’s refusal to obey his orders and ‘stay on message’.” – Mail on Sunday

Ed Davey calls for consumers to sign up for big switch on energy suppliers

“More than a million households are poised to swap energy suppliers in a move of unprecedented magnitude in Britain. In a dramatic escalation of pressure by the Government on energy suppliers over their soaring prices, homes across London and in 77 local authority areas, helped by the Department for Energy and Climate Change, can change their fuel provider this Tuesday.” – Independent on Sunday

  • “LABOUR peers have pocketed hundreds of thousands of pounds from energy firms — while party leader Ed Miliband vows to halt their price hikes. The party was accused of “hypocrisy” as it emerged one peer got almost £200,000 in 18 months. Baroness Denise Kingsmill earned £78,933 in 2011 and £118,400 in 2012 as a non-exec director for E.ON, which has put up prices by 8.7 per cent.” – The Sun on Sunday (£)

Richest 1 per cent pay 30 per cent of income tax

“THE top 1% of taxpayers are now paying almost 30% of all income tax, with the nation’s finances increasingly reliant on a small wealthy elite. New research shows an ever smaller proportion of taxpayers are contributing an increasing share of income tax. In 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher came to power, the highest-earning 1% of taxpayers contributed just 11% of all income taxes — even though the highest rate of income tax was 83%.” – Sunday Times (£)

Matthew d’Ancona says John Major is right about social mobility

“In the near future – imminently, I am told – the Government is to publish a report on the fortunes of the 65 per cent of 16-24 year-olds who do not go to university: their educational attainments, employment record and the fate of those who are neither working nor learning. The Cabinet Office inquiry, headed by Sir Jeremy Heywood, is not a direct response to Sir John Major’s remarks last weekend about social mobility. Yet its timing could scarcely be better.” – Matthew d’Ancona Sunday Telegraph

News in brief

And finally…Roger Daltrey of The Who attacks Labour and the EU

“Daltrey, 69, has expressed his anger on immigration before but this time he directs much of it at Labour and the European Union. He is vitriolic about the immigration policies of the government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. “I can’t stand the bureaucracy of the European Union. It’s detrimental to the whole place. They’ve made some decisions now where I think it can only fly apart at the seams. Sooner or later. Hopefully sooner.” – Sunday Times (£)

 

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