7.45pm Melanchthon on CentreRight: Continuous assessment versus exams
William Cullerne Bown on Platform: The issue of student fees could be the Coalition's first real crisis
ThinkTankCentral: Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa May nominated to be 'Reformer of the Year'
Conservatives up 3% over conference season, Labour down 3% – Yesterday evening's ToryDiary
By 56% to 23% a YouGov/ Sunday Times (£) poll says the Coalition should cut other universal benefits including the winter fuel allowance and free bus pass.
Cameron: We will not tax workers to pay for the idle
"Taking money from the man who trudges out to work long hours each day so the family next door can live a life on benefits without even thinking about work is not fair. We need to think carefully about what we are asking people to pay – and we need to recognise that there are ways in which what you receive should depend on how you behave." – Independent on Sunday
Britain's defence budget may be cut by 5% to 10% instead of the threatened 10% to 20% – Sunday Express
£16bn Future Rapid Effects System faces axe in defence cuts – Sunday Telegraph
Dozens of casualty and maternity units are facing the axe in an "unprecedented" wave of NHS frontline cuts – The Sunday Telegraph
Cameron's cuts will be worse than Thatcher's, says Alan Johnson
"Alan Johnson launched a ferocious onslaught on the government's plans for deep and immediate spending cuts, warning they would "fundamentally alter our community" and inflict greater and more lasting damage on public services than Margaret Thatcher… Pointing to Ireland's descent back towards recession, he said: "We don't have to look far to see what the effect can be of cutting too deep too soon. Even if double dip doesn't happen, the way this coalition is implementing these changes will fundamentally alter our community and lead to a situation where we spend years trying to repair the damage." – Observer
The Sunday Telegraph leader: "Alan Johnson is no economist – but he is just the man to depict the Tories as spoilt metropolitans with no personal experience of hardship. It is difficult to imagine the young George Osborne delivering letters on a freezing morning; his new opposite number actually did so. An irrelevant point, to be sure – but will it seem so when the cuts bite?"
David Davis wants 60% turnout threshold for AV vote
"Senior backbenchers including David Davis are preparing to table amendments to a Bill introducing a referendum on switching to the Alternative Vote system (AV)… MPs are seeking to amend the Bill to ensure a minimum turnout of up to 60% in the proposed referendum, which is set to be held in May next year." – Sunday Telegraph
Tory MPs set to revolt over over plan for students who earn more to pay higher interest on their loans – Mail on Sunday
Cameron accuses of 'ripping-off' Obama speech for his Birmingham address – Mail on Sunday
Priti Patel urges crackdown on 40,000 EU children getting UK child benefit
"A Tory MP last night attacked the ‘scandal’ of child benefit payments being sent overseas to the children of migrant workers in Britain. More than 40,000 children overseas now get child benefit payments worth up to £1,000 a year – 29,000 of them from Poland alone. MP Priti Patel, who obtained the new figures, said: ‘British taxpayers being asked to make difficult sacrifices will question why they are footing the bill for child benefit to be paid to children in other countries because of EU regulations." – Mail on Sunday
The child benefit change should have been announced to parliament
"Making this announcement at a party conference was a bad mistake. The tone of the announcement was always going to be as important as the substance. This was the first conference of a Tory party in government since 1996. The delegates were triumphant. Using that stage to announce big cuts to public spending was utterly discordant. It made Osborne look like he was celebrating the cuts, not introducing them through gritted teeth. In any event, the place for an announcement of this magnitude, which calls into question some of the basic principles of the welfare state, was the House of Commons. It does not augur well that yet another government bypasses Parliament so readily." – Duncan Hamilton in Scotland on Sunday
Janet Daley: Osborne's child benefit change is a tax ON marriage
"This testament to “fairness” was quite grotesquely unfair to traditional families with a single earner, and to couples who had made the mistake of actually marrying (cohabiting parents will be unaffected, since there is no way of proving that they are connected to one another), an even more unfortunate signal escaped unnoticed." – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
"In the Cameroon circle, they talk about “fiscal Nimby-ism”: a reference to those who say they are all in favour of wiping out the deficit – as long as they or the people they profess to represent are not affected." – Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph
Andrew Rawnsley suggests the big difference between Cameron and Thatcher
"She believed that political victories are won through battle. He thinks it is possible to be simultaneously radical and consensual, to achieve sweeping changes and at the same time retain a position on the centre ground." – Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer
Police to investigate allegations of voter fraud in Halifax and also Poplar and Limehouse
"Police are to investigate voting in at least two constituencies that the Conservatives believe they may have lost at the general election because of fraud. Dossiers compiled by Tory activists in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Poplar and Limehouse, east London, have been passed to the authorities. Questions have also been raised about polling in Bradford West." – The Sunday Times (£)
Nick Clegg gets his son into a strict Catholic school but his party wants to dilute faith schools – Mail on Sunday leader
Twelve of Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet have Yorkshire links – Independent on Sunday
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