11am Two posts on the Local Government blog:
- Mark Wallace on why local councils should not be art collectors
- Harry Phibbs picks out the highlights from the Sunday Telegraph’s Waste Watch column
10am ToryDiary: The only certainty about a VAT cut is that it’ll add £12bn to the national debt says David Cameron
Although over at CentreRight, Ridley Grove suggests calling it ‘the boomerang budget’
WATCH: Simon Heffer and Rod Liddle discuss George Osborne and Tory economic policy; Heffer urges Tories to replace Cameron with Hague after the election defeat, he says, Tories are heading for.
Tories 11% ahead in ICM poll – Yesterday evening’s ToryDiary
£13bn of £18bn tax giveaway likely to be used to cut VAT to 15%
"Reducing the VAT rate to 15 per cent would cost around £13bn, leaving around £5bn for other tax-cutting measures. Mr Darling is likely to announce raising income tax thresholds to help the poorest families who were hit by the abolition of the 10p tax rate." – Independent on Sunday
The News of the World summarises the likely package:
- "CUT VAT by 2.5 per cent to encourage consumer spending.
- INCREASE the state pension by between £4 and £5 a week.
- INTRODUCE temporary tax cuts for low-income families, who are more likely to spend and give the economy a boost.
- CANCEL planned tax rises on cars and small businesses and cuts in tax allowances.
- INCREASE spending on schools, hospitals and transport projects."
"Labour must ensure the rich pick up the tab for the multi-billion-pound rescue package the Treasury will announce in tomorrow’s pre-Budget report, according to a coalition of religious leaders, government backbenchers and trade unions." – Observer
The Sunday Times interviews David Cameron
Within an interview with The Sunday Times, David Cameron explains his changed policy on public spending: "I switched policy because they had become unaffordable. We can have an argument about whether they became unaffordable earlier and whether we should have moved earlier. But the Conservative party is doing what an opposition party ought to be doing, which is to warn of the huge cost of what the government seems determined to embark upon."
Fraser Nelson: How Osborne can get back on track
"Tory economic non-policy was the JOINT work of Osborne, David Cameron and policy chief Oliver Letwin. They ALL deserve the blame, for their lazy decision to sign up to Brown’s economic version of the road to hell. They need to reboot. And remember that old JM Keynes quote: “When the facts change, I change my mind.” Osborne can do it. He must pledge to cut wasteful spending, split the proceeds between tax cuts and debt repayment. He can say: “Brown’s tax cut is a con — it will bust you, and bust the country”. He needs a clear, compelling message." – Fraser Nelson in the News of the World
Martin Ivens: Tories need a ‘narrative of hope’
"One party bigwig sympathetic to Cameron and Osborne’s long-term policy wishes he could be so sure that temporary unfunded tax cuts are a mistake. “We are in uncharted territory,” he says. If the recession is short, Brown will claim his tax cuts got us out of hole, though they will have been unnecessary. If it is a long one, he will argue he used every weapon to fight it. Some fear the Tory leadership lacks “a narrative of hope” , a plan for recovery." – Martin Ivens in The Sunday Times
Labour’s mismanagement of IT projects
"Whitehall departments have wasted more than £200m over the past five years on IT projects that were never completed, according to evidence collected by the Conservatives." – Observer
Ed Vaizey gives green light to product placement on commercial TV – Mail on Sunday
Tories would run vast majority of police authorities under Labour plans
"Labour’s plan to give the public a greater say in how police forces are run would see local control of policing handed to the Tories in vast swaths of the country, the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) has claimed." – Observer
David Sumberg MEP in Sunday Times’ spotlight
"One of Britain’s least active MEPs has been receiving more than £40,000 a year for office expenses despite having no office in his constituency. David Sumberg, a Conservative MEP for the North West of England, has already declared he pays £54,000 a year for secretarial support from his wife." – Sunday Times
The TaxPayers’ Alliance’s Public Sector Rich List
"Nearly 200 public sector workers earn more than the Prime Minister, with four of them enjoying salaries of more than £1 million a year, it is revealed today." – The Sunday Telegraph
Michael Burleigh on how to start beating the BNP
"All parties need to listen to the concerns of their potential audience and find ways of addressing them. Rather than painting a Fascist spectre on the walls, politicians can start by acknowledging that it is not "racist" to be concerned about culture, identity, mass immigration and the cynical misuse of our asylum laws. If they fail to do this, they may find more people turning to politicians who are even less plausible than themselves." – Historian Michael Burleigh in The Sunday Telegraph
Rising energy prices are spurring plans for a big increase in coalmining – Observer
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