9.45pm ToryDiary: After the PBR – Conservative Future hits the streets

9.15pm update ToryDiary: Reaction from the blogosphere to the PBR and George Osobrne’s response

9pm Latest from our CentreRight authors on the Pre Budget Report:

5.45pm ToryDiary: Initial reaction from the blogosphere to the PBR

5.15pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight notes that the Government has now committed itself to extremely tight spending control

4.45pm ToryDiary: Outstanding performance by George Osborne

4.30pm: Live blog of George Osborne’s response

From 3.30pm
Live blog of the Pre-Budget report

3.15pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight is worried about the deflationary implications of lower VAT while Jonathan Isaby spots an amusing contradiction in Vince Cable’s BBC interview

3.15pm Local Government: Boris’s cultural plans for London

2.45pm Parliament: Lord Taylor of Holbeach asks why so many bees are dying

2.15pm Parliament: Recent Early Day Motions

1.45pm WATCH: Highlights of David Cameron’s speech to the CBI this morning

12.30pm Peter Cuthbertson on CentreRight: The feebleness of the criticisms of the CSJ shows the strength of its arguments

David_cameron_at_cbi Noon ToryDiary: David Cameron’s speech to this morning’s CBI conference

Noon CentreRight: Policy Exchange’s James Mackenzie Smith on the borrowing dilemma

11.45am Parliament: Dominic Grieve asks about the deportation of terror suspects

9.30am ToryDiary: The politics of envy is back

ToryDiary: Is Boris too much of a maverick?


ToryDiary: What would you like to ask Eric Pickles? Leave us your questions

Daniel Hannan in Local Government: Councillors should be given more power from the centre

SusiesquireSusie Squire on Platform: The rich get richer in the public sector

The latest on CentreRight:

Two items to WATCH:

Tax_bombshell_2008_2 The Government will announce tax cuts in today’s Pre Budget Report…

"In the most important pre-Budget statement for many years, VAT will be cut from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent… Among the measures Alistair Darling is expected to announce are: home owners to be given three-months "grace" before repossession proceedings begin; an extension of the £120 rebate for basic-rate taxpayers; small businesses to get more time to pay corporation tax, VAT and National Insurance bills; a delay in the one per cent tax rise on small business profits; a delay on the increase in vehicle excise duty in older cars; and tax exemption on foreign dividends for bigger firms" – Daily Telegraph

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: David Cameron says the only certainty about a VAT cut is that it’ll add £12bn to the national debt

…and a tax rise which will sound the death knell of New Labour

"Alistair Darling will announce today that income tax for those earning more than £150,000 a year will rise to 45p in the pound during the next parliament to help pay for Labour’s £15bn anti-recession emergency package… Darling’s statement represents a watershed for Labour, which has ruled out raising either the standard or the top rate of income tax in successive election manifestos since that of 1997" – Guardian

> Yesterday’s ToryDiary: Labour to raise top rate of income tax to 45%

  Cameron_in_classroom_4 Tories hope for jackpot as Cameron gambles on tax…

"If today’s massive “fiscal stimulus” is the Labour Government’s biggest gamble, David Cameron’s decision to oppose it is for him and his party just as crucial. From the moment that Alistair Darling sits down, the Conservative leadership will accuse him of recklessness for which the country will pay later. If they can persuade people they are right, victory at the next election is probably assured. " – Philip Webster’s analysis in The Times

"But what if that fragile thing, confidence, does begin to return next year? What if the coordinated international action, and a return to liquidity in the financial system, and some kind of recovery in consumer spending, make the fiscal boost seem a success? Then Cameron is in a terrible position. He has turned himself from Sunny Dave to Mr Glum and still got it wrong. It will be too late to save himself by reshuffles. He is tied to his chum Osborne and the two of them will look too inexperienced." – Jackie Ashley in The Guardian

…as another leading columnist severely doubts Brown’s motives

"Gordon Brown has a duty to do everything possible to prevent a recession from turning into a slump. At the very least, he ought to ensure he does nothing to make matters worse. Today, he will fail that test, for one reason: his motives. He is happy to risk further damage to the economy as long as he can inflict damage on the Tories. The only recovery which interests him is the recovery in his poll ratings. Today’s measures are not economic. They are political." – Bruce Anderson in The Independent

Retailers doubt VAT cut will be effective…

"Leading retailers fear the VAT cut will be too little to save the British high street as the latest figures show "unprecedented" sales are failing to get shoppers to part with their cash… Some believe certain businesses might pocket the handout to help their balance sheets – while others accuse the Government of creating a "logistical nightmare" for retailers who have already priced up products." – Daily Telegraph

…as does Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun

"If you’re deep in debt, scared of the sack and watching your miserable pension pot evaporate, will you celebrate with a bottle of wine tonight to save 15p? Or splash out £500 on a plasma TV to save £12.50? If you’ve got £12,000 in a building society, will you keep it there or save £225 on a new car? Probably not, especially when you’re going to have to pay it all back later, with interest." – Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun

Lawson_nigel_today_2 Nigel Lawson: Britain will pay for Brown’s fiscal boost

"Given that we are facing – at least in the UK – the worst recession since the war, it might be thought that the bigger the fiscal boost, the better. That would be a serious mistake. The truth is that the smaller the fiscal boost, the better." – Lord Lawson writing in the FT

Brown attacks Tories over "tax bombshell" claim

“Those people who say ‘do nothing now’ would leave people, as in the 80s and the 90s, without hope that their mortgage problems could be sorted out, or their jobs problems could be sorted out. It would be lacking in compassion as well as irresponsible, in my view.” – Gordon Brown quoted in The Times

Tory backbenchers disagree with Cameron over tax cuts

"A survey of MPs by ComRes for The Independent shows that Tory backbenchers support using tax cuts to stimulate the economy by a two to one margin." – Independent

Shapps backs Express campaign to support home-buyers

"As Chancellor Alistair Darling this afternoon unveils a £20billion package of anti-recession measures, this newspaper demands a proper amnesty to give struggling home-buyers a lifeline… Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps branded the Prime Minister “Brown the Bailiff” and said: “The Daily Express is quite right to highlight this issue and I welcome its crusade.” – Express

David Cameron can find tax cuts inspiration in Tory local councils

"What people want is for the services they receive to be both necessary and efficiently delivered; for their taxes to be as low as possible; and for as little of their money as possible to be wasted. This is a message the Conservatives on the national stage should be banging home. They have, after all, an exemplar in local government." – Philip Johnston in the Daily Telegraph

Latest poll prompts Brown to kill off early election speculation

"Gordon Brown moved to kill off speculation of an early general election by warning yesterday that it would be ‘completely wrong’. The Prime Minister said the public would not thank him if he focused on winning a fourth term for Labour rather than sorting out the country’s economic difficulties." – Daily Mail

Boris to unveil his cultural plan for London

"Boris Johnson is to outline his cultural plan for the capital that includes outdoor film screenings and a touring jazz festival. Mr Johnson wants to extend enjoyment of art, music and theatre to all of London’s boroughs from the most affluent to the least well-off. He has pledged to cut red rape for smaller arts organisations, improve music and art education and use the 2012 Olympics to create "a cultural legacy" for all Londoners." – Daily Telegraph

Grieve_dominic_nw Grieve backs the return of the clip round the ear

"The police would be formally discouraged from taking action against adults who tackle misbehaving youngsters under a Conservative government, Dominic Grieve, the Shadow Home Secretary, reveals today." – Times

Scottish Tories refuse to give evidence to official devolution review

"The Scottish Conservatives are refusing to give evidence to an official review of devolution over fears of ‘boxing in’ David Cameron if he becomes Prime Minister. They have decided against submitting any evidence to the Calman Commission as they do not want it to be used against Mr Cameron in future to force him to give the Scottish Parliament more powers." – Telegraph

Catholic Archbishop backs Boris on illegal immigrants…Independent

…as immigration minister labels the London Mayor a "naive nincompoop"Daily Mail

And finally… The credit crunch hits Buckingham Palace

"The Queen is saving a fortune during the credit crunch — by having her Christmas presents made on the cheap in China. She ordered 1,000 boxes of silver-plated drinks coasters for her household staff. But, keen to watch her sovereigns, the thrifty monarch had them made in the Far East for just £20 a set." – The Sun


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