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10pm ToryDiary: New poll suggests "unfair" claims on Spending Review have traction

HERBERT NICK MP7pm ToryDiary: The coming Conservative clash about prisons policy

6pm WATCH: Sajid Javid MP, Mike Denham, Matthew Sinclair and Philip Booth address the TaxPayers' Alliance/Institute of Economic Affairs briefing on the Spending Review

5.15pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Rupert Murdoch's unfortunately dismissive attitude to the blogosphere

3.45pm Local government update: Full results from all thirteen of yesterday's council by-elections

3.15pm WATCH: The BBC meets the four would-be leaders of UKIP – Nigel Farage, David Campbell-Bannerman, Tim Congdon and Winston Mackenzie

Screen shot 2010-10-22 at 12.49.541pm Gazette: Michael Ancram receives a peerage

Noon ToryDiary: The battle to defend the Coalition's compassionate credentials must be won

11.30am WATCH: Ken Clarke to release David Kelly death papers

11am Local government: Conservatives gain from Lib Dems in Swansea Council byelection

ToryDiary: No Government Minister should go to this weekend's Global Peace and Unity event

Local Government:

Halfon RobertRobert Halfon MP on CentreRight: Five reasons why the Comprehensive Spending Review is good for the poor

Ian Fordham on Platform: We must free up schools and headteachers even further to deliver the best education for British children

Seats and Candidates: Mark Brown selected to fight Uddingston and Bellshill at the Scottish Parliament election

Parliament: Peter Bone suggests confirmation hearings for newly appointed Cabinet ministers

LeftWatch: Ken Livingstone has form when it comes to backing candidates standing against Labour

WATCH: David Cameron and Nick Clegg defend the spending cuts during a joint appearance in Nottingham

The IFS and others attack George Osborne over the Spending Review on grounds of "fairness"…

George Osborne summer 2010 "Britain's leading tax and spending experts today flatly contradicted the key claims made by George Osborne and the coalition over the fairness of its £81bn austerity programme. In a move that forced the government on to the defensive, the highly respected Institute for Fiscal Studies challenged the chancellor's contention that his plans for four years of belt-tightening would be progressive, safeguard frontline school spending, and require smaller savings for departments than Alistair Darling would have demanded." – The Guardian

"In every income group, from the richest to the poorest, parents with school age children will lose more than single people, childless couples and pensioners, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). The IFS – the country's most respected economic forecaster – picked a row with ministers by calculating that the burden of spending cuts and tax rises would fall disproportionately on the poorest families, contradicting government claims." – Daily Telegraph

"Up to twice as many women as men will lose their jobs as a result of public sector spending cuts, in what critics described yesterday as the "biggest attempt to turn back the clock on women's equality for generations". An analysis for The Independent suggests about 350,000 women will leave the public sector over the next four years, compared with 150,000 men." – The Independent

…but Nick Clegg accuses the IFS of peddling "distorted nonsense"…

Nick Clegg on Marr square "Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, today took the highly unusual step of attacking the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies, describing its methods of measuring the fairness of the coalition's controversial spending review as "distorted and a complete nonsense". The Liberal Democrat leader also contradicted IFS claims that the spending review would see cuts in spending in classrooms by insisting the coalition had provided a cash increase per pupil for every schoolchild, and had added on top a pupil premium for deprived children worth £2.5bn. He described the premium as one of the biggest engines for long-term fairness." – The Guardian

…and the OECD praises the "far-reaching" plan to tackle the deficit

"The spending cuts outlined by George Osborne have won international backing and leading global economists said the plans were ‘tough, necessary and courageous’. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development praised the Coalition for producing a ‘concrete and far-reaching plan’ to tackle the £155billion annual deficit left by Labour." – Daily Mail

There is nothing "fair" about a life on welfare

"No one suggested this would be a pain-free exercise, but the Coalition's aim of ensuring that it will always be more worthwhile to work than to live in idleness is absolutely right. Getting to that position, which is the only sustainable way to run a welfare system in the 21st century, will mean difficult times for many. But we should never lose sight of the fact that for all the hand-wringing of the Left and the welfare industry, there is nothing "fair" about condemning poor families to a life on hand-outs." – Daily Telegraph editorial

If "getting what you deserve" is what Cameron means by fairness, then he's talking about a revolutionary idea – Neil O'Brien in the Daily Telegraph

Has Osborne just completed the Thatcherite revolution? (Not that he'd ever want to admit it) – Andrew Grice in The Independent

Rupert Murdoch backs Coalition deficit action

Picture 2 "Media baron Rupert Murdoch backed the Government's tough line on the public finances, urging the coalition to "stay the political course". The chairman and chief executive of News Corporation said he had been "encouraged" by Prime Minister David Cameron's response to the deficit. In a speech full of praise for Baroness Thatcher, the former prime minister, he insisted: "Like the lady, the coalition must not be for turning." – Daily Telegraph

> Last night's ToryDiary: A modern Thatcherite manifesto from Rupert Murdoch

UK debt cost falls to lowest since 1980s

"Britain’s borrowing costs have dropped to the lowest in a generation, falling below those of Germany, Europe’s biggest and strongest economy, reflecting in part investor confidence that the government can bring the deficit under control. George Osborne, the chancellor, vowed on Thursday that he would not retreat on his plans to rein in the deficit, the most ambitious effort to cut public spending announced by any major economy." – FT (£)

More polling evidence that the Government is winning public support over cuts

"Sixty-two per cent of voters believed they would be affected by the cuts – but 58 per cent said they had already accepted drastic action is unavoidable. Asked who was to blame for the situation, most – almost 47 per cent – pointed the finger firmly at Labour. And when questioned on who they trust to reduce the country's deficit, 50 per cent said the Tories." – YouGov's poll for The Sun

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: First post-spending review poll finds growing support for cuts in principle – and divided blame for yesterday's announcements

Jeff Randall: Let's remind Ed Miliband where the deficit came from

Jeff Randall "Between 2000 and 2010, had government's annual expenditure just kept pace with inflation, the budget would have risen from £343 billion to about £450 billion. In the event, Alistair Darling spent £669 last year and Mr Osborne will spend £697 billion this year. In real terms, over the past decade, there has been a 50 per cent increase in the state's outgoings. The effect has been the fiscal equivalent of you or me adding a few pounds of weight every year for 10 years. At first we barely notice the bulges; then we kid ourselves that the scales are wrong. Finally we are burdened with rolls of dangerous flab, but struggle to slim down, because after gorging for too long even a modest diet feels like starvation." – Jeff Randall in the Daily Telegraph

Spending Review could make Royals better off after all

"The Queen stands to gain millions of pounds a year in extra funding, even as the rest of the country suffers from swingeing Government cuts, it emerged yesterday. The Royal Household’s budget is set to rocket under an overhaul that will see the sovereign share in the profits from the immensely lucrative Crown Estate for the first time in 250 years. The royals are expected to benefit annually from a 15 per cent slice of the £6.6billion property portfolio’s profits when the new ‘sovereign support grant’ is introduced, Treasury sources revealed last night." – Daily Mail 

Unlimited tuition fees 'not sustainable', says David Willetts

WILLETTS DAVID NW "The Universities Minister David Willetts appears to have ruled out allowing universities to set unlimited fees. He has said such a system would be neither sustainable nor sensible." – BBC

"David Willetts… said the government had to act swiftly on the fee proposals as universities would be printing next April their prospectuses for 2012 entry. "We do need to set out in the next few weeks the way forward for graduate contributions and student support if we are going to have any chance of implementing changes for the autumn of 2012," he told an audience of university leaders in London. "We hope to bring proposals on regulation of graduate contribution levels to parliament before Christmas," he added." – Reuters

Thousands will miss out in new university scramble Daily Mail

The Express questions why 20,000 British troops remain in Germany…

Picture 5 "Critics last night demanded to know why more than 20,000 British troops are still deployed in Germany despite the Cold War being over long ago. Taxpayers are spending tens of millions of pounds every year to keep our soldiers there despite the desperate need for budget cuts and the greatly reduced threat from Moscow." – Daily Express

…as the Times unveils "the truth about the aircraft carrier deal"…

"Taxpayers will have to pick up the £2.6 billion bill for the controversial aircraft carrier that will never carry jets because Gordon Brown agreed an “unbreakable” contract designed to protect shipbuilding jobs in Scotland." – The Times (£)

…and the Mail reveals how the Labour Government spent £560,000 of MoD cash

"Geoff Hoon spent nearly £560,000 of Ministry of Defence money on modern art while British soldiers were dying in Iraq and Afghanistan through lack of equipment. The former Defence Secretary wasted the huge sum on 15 pieces of abstract art to hang on the walls of his department between 2003 and 2005." – Daily Mail

Britain’s armed forces survive (just about) to fight another dayThe Economist

Defence cuts leave us vulnerable to our enemies around the world – Con Coughlin in the Daily Telegraph

EU budget rise to go on staff jollies as David Cameron faces pressure to block huge increase for Brussels bureaucrats

"David Cameron was last night under mounting pressure to block a huge rise in the EU budget – as it emerged it will fund a 90 per cent increase in staff jollies for Brussels bureaucrats. The European Commission has already angered ministers by proposing a 5.9 per cent increase in its budget at a time when public services in this country are being slashed." – Daily Mail

> Jim McConalogue on CentreRight yesterday noted a new Early Day Motion rejecting a European tax, an increase in the EU budget and EU economic governance over the UK

Eric Pickles: Lazy local councils must act smarter to save more

Eric Pickles BBC "Lazy councils will be tempted to slash and burn. Complacent councils will just “salami slice” services, expecting budgets to soon swell again. But the days of throwing money at problems are over, and this government will have little truck with laziness or complacency – so we must learn from the best money-saving ideas, at home and abroad." – Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles writing in the FT (£)

Ken Clarke to publish David Kelly files

"Explosive files on the death of Dr David Kelly are being released today after seven years of state secrecy. In a dramatic intervention, Kenneth Clarke will publish medical reports on how the weapons inspector died." – Daily Mail

Three peers suspended from the Lords

"Three peers who wrongly claimed more than £200,000 between them have been suspended from the House of Lords in the toughest punishment meted out for 300 years. The decision to suspend Baroness Uddin and Lord Paul, both Labour peers, and the crossbencher Lord Bhatia was endorsed by a unanimous vote yesterday, but only after a rancorous process which threw up claims of cultural insensitivity, sexism and racial bias." – The Times (£)

Nadine Dorries cleared over second home allowance claimsDaily Telegraph

> Yesterday in Parliament: Standards Commissioner rejects complaint about Nadine Dorries' use of parliamentary allowances – after a 15-month inquiry

Ex-Cameron aide Andrew Mackay ordered to apologise by Standards watchdogThe Guardian

> Yesterday in Parliament: Standards Commissioner finds against ex-MP Andrew Mackay, but clears fellow Expensesgate victim Julie Kirkbride, over use of parliamentary allowances

Defeated Labour MP and ex-minister admits mistakes on terror

"I was Counter-Terrorism Minister in the previous Government. We got a lot right, but we made mistakes. Some policies simply did not protect the public; others failed to strike the right balance between public safety and liberty. An important part of Labour’s renewal in Opposition will be to get its counter-terrorism policy right." – Tony McNulty writing in The Times (£)

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