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MURDOCH Rupert 9.00pm ToryDiary: A modern Thatcherite manifesto from Rupert Murdoch

8.45pm Local government: Cllr Phil Taylor says the BBC exaggerates Council spending cuts

4pm WATCH: Nick Robinson first removes – and then smashes up – a protest placard

3.30pm ToryDiary: First post-spending review poll finds growing support for cuts in principle – and divided blame for yesterday's announcements

Screen shot 2010-10-21 at 15.28.17 1.15pm ToryDiary: The vulnerability of the Osborne plan is that the pain might well get worse as we get closer to the election

12.15pm Melanchthon on CentreRight replies to Jim McConalogue: "Eurosceptics really must get this right.  We are not opposed to new Treaties – our position is precisely the opposite of this!"

11.30am Parliament: Standards Commissioner finds against ex-MP Andrew Mackay, but clears fellow Expensesgate victim Julie Kirkbride, over use of parliamentary allowances

11am Parliament: Standards Commissioner rejects complaint about Nadine Dorries' use of parliamentary allowances – after a 15-month inquiry

10.30am Jim McConalogue on CentreRight notes a new Early Day Motion rejecting a European tax, an increase in the EU budget and EU economic governance over the UK

10am WATCH: George Osborne explains in an interview with Sky News why he had to make the cuts in yesterday's Spending Review

Screen shot 2010-10-21 at 08.02.23
ToryDiary:

Mark Littlewood on Platform: The Government is rightly getting the public finances under control – but the Spending Review could have been far more radical

Local Government:

Parliament: George Osborne's Despatch Box demolition of "deficit denier" Alan Johnson

WATCH Three clips from yesterday's Daily Politics on the Spending Review:

The Telegraph reckons the Spending Review decisions will hit the middles classes…

"Middle-class families are to lose an average of £10,000 each over the next four years as a result of the package of spending cuts and tax rises unveiled in the Coalition’s Comprehensive Spending Review. Households with an income of more than £48,000 will each lose about five per cent of their annual earnings by paying thousands of pounds extra in tax while losing benefits and access to public services, Treasury figures indicate. " – Daily Telegraph

…while the Guardian claims that the poor will be hardest hit…

"If you are not low-paid, not dependent on housing benefit or reliant on social services to help care for your mother, and not on sick pay, you may not notice anything – at first. If you are not a sixth-former from a poor family losing the £30-a-week allowance to keep you in education, if you don't use buses, whose subsidies are cut, and you don't work in the public sector, losing 10% in frozen pay and pension contributions, then at first you may think the four horsemen of the apocalypse have passed you by." – Polly Toynbee on the Guardian front page

…as The Sun concludes that everyone – even the Queen – will be hit

Queen unmoved "Britons were hit where it hurts yesterday as George Osborne slashed £81 billion from state spending. The Chancellor's dreaded Axe Wednesday onslaught was aimed at curing the nation's dire financial ills. Under his blueprint – covering the next four years – Brits will have to work longer and job shirkers will find skiving harder. Even the Queen will take a share of the pain, thanks to a 14 per cent cut in the Civil List." – The Sun

The Mail depicts Osborne as "the man who rolled back the state"…

"George Osborne yesterday launched a historic attempt to turn around the juggernaut of state spending. After decades of relentless expansion, the Chancellor set out plans for nothing less than a dismembering of the welfare system and a rolling back of the bloated public sector. Unveiling his ambitious reforms, Mr Osborne told MPs: ‘Today is the day when Britain steps back from the brink, when we confront the bills from a decade of debt’." – Daily Mail

…as The Express takes issue with spending on aid and environmental measures

"Despite imposing the blood­iest onslaught on public spending since the Second World War, Mr Osborne revealed that donations of taxpayers’ cash to developing countries will rise to £12.6billion a year over the next four years. And £200million has been earmarked for off-shore wind farms, £1billion for a “Green Bank” and a further £1billion found for other environmental schemes including “a commercial scale carbon capture and storage project”. – Daily Express

How the spending cake has been divided (graphic from the Daily Mail (click to enlarge)

Picture 6
The ministerial winners and losersThe Times (£)

Retirement age to rise to 66 for all by 2020

"Millions of men and women will have to work until they are 66 before receiving their state pension under changes announced by George Osborne yesterday. In a surprise move, the Chancellor said that the pension age for men would start moving up gradually from 65 in 2018 until it reaches 66 in 2020. For women, who can currently collect their pension at 60, the pension age would move up from 2016, so that theirs too reaches 66 in 2020." – The Times (£)

Welfare budget faces further cuts

"The Chancellor has announced more welfare reforms, including a fresh crackdown on benefit fraud, aimed at making £7 billion worth of cuts on top of previously announced savings of £11 billion. The current "complex" system of means-tested working age benefits and tax credits will gradually be replaced by a Universal Credit that will "sharpen" work incentives and reduce fraud and error, Mr Osborne said." – Press Association

NHS gets "bare minimum" funding riseBBC

Classroom spending is increased…

Traditional Teacher "Schools in England are to get a real-terms increase in funding, the chancellor George Osborne has said. The schools budget will rise from £35bn to £39bn for the next four years." – BBC

…but universities are "set to close as funding is slashed"

"Widespread closures of universities and colleges were forecast last night in the wake of a 40 per cent cut in funding for higher education. The budget is to be slashed from its present level of £7.1bn a year to £4.2bn by 2014-15. Ministers intend the reduction to be offset by a massive increase in tuition fees following the recommendation by Lord Browne's inquiry into student finance last week that the current fee cap of £3,290 be lifted." – The Independent

Kenneth Clarke pledges to cut daily prison population

"The justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, today made an unexpected pledge to cut the record 85,000 daily prison population in England and Wales by 3,000 within four years. The Treasury endorsed Clarke's claim that his planned sentencing reforms and "rehabilitation revolution" would "stem the unsustainable rise in the UK prison population". – The Guardian

20,000 police officers predicted to lose jobs

Police "Thousands of police and immigration officers will lose their jobs after the Home Office budget was slashed by almost a quarter. Although the pain was less acute than some forecasts, 20,000 posts could still vanish in England and Wales over four years." – The Independent

Commuters and motorists face soaring fares and tollsDaily Mail

Relief for museums but Arts Council faces 30% cutThe Guardian

Willetts wins science funding battle with warning of 'brain drain' – The Independent

Councils hit by huge drop in funding but new responsibilities

"The chancellor announced a cut of 27% in local authority funding over the next four years coupled with "a massive devolution of financial power". The move will give local authorities more control over where money is spent – and more responsibility for cuts in services from libraries to day care centres." – The Guardian

Lib Dems made sure cuts were fair, Clegg tells party membersThe Independent

And as cuts hit hard at home, we hand even more cash to Europe

EU-FLAG "Britain's contributions to the EU will rise by almost a quarter, despite the deep cuts to public services in this country. The small print of yesterday’s spending review reveals that net contributions to the EU will rocket from £8.3billion this year to £10.3 billion over the next four years. Much of the rise is due to Labour’s decision to surrender part of Britain’s budget rebate. The revelation came as MEPs rubber-stamped a 5.9 per cent increase in the EU’s budget for next year, prompting angry exchanges in the Commons." – Daily Mail

MEPs back 20 weeks' maternity leave on full payThe Guardian

Benedict Brogan on why politics still matter for George Osborne

Benedict Brogan "Conservatives should rejoice that they have a Chancellor who delights in the fray. Labour may be rudderless, but it will still need to be defeated. Which is why politics still matters, and why it was necessary to nail the Opposition yesterday. Repairing the finances may be in the national interest, but if you are George Osborne, so is making sure Labour doesn't get another chance. Politics with a purpose, you might say." – Benedict Brogan in the Daily Telegraph

Dominic Sandbrook: Osborne will be the most hated man in Britain (but history tells us unpopular Chancellors are the best) Daily Mail

Camilla Cavendish: The cuts were easy. Growth is the big problem.

"Mr Osborne’s biggest challenge is to put Britain back on a path to growth. Without growth, deeper cuts or higher taxes become inevitable. He is right to eschew an old-fashioned industrial policy. Governments are notoriously bad at picking winners. But his remarks about growth were thin. A regional growth fund here, some bridges and railways there, the green investment bank, are all very well. But where was the big sign that Britain is open for business?" – Camilla Cavendish in The Times (£)

Martin Wolf: A spending review for a diminished country

"Nevertheless, the politics of the cuts do, at first glance, look clever. The ring-fencing of health and development assistance and the protection of schools can be presented as “progressive”. The pain seems concentrated relatively narrowly. This should prove good politics, provided the government can manage the backlash from those directly affected, particularly public employees. Yet, Mr Osborne’s big political difficulty remains: if the economy turns out to be persistently weak, the government will be blamed; it will never win credit for any hypothetical crisis averted." – Martin Wolf in the FT (£)

Steve Richards summarises a poor outing for shadow chancellor Alan Johnson

JOHNSON-ALAN-PINK-TIE "Yesterday's exchanges confirm that Ed Balls would have been a more formidable opponent to Osborne, not only in the forensic assault that would have accompanied his appointment but also in his capacity to develop a distinctive alternative argument about the origins and significance of the deficit. On the whole Labour MPs were delighted with Johnson's witty response, but the new shadow Chancellor relied on evasive generalities and could not disguise entirely a lack of confidence in his new and daunting brief." – Steve Richards in The Independent

Unions threaten French-style riots as the axe falls on 500,000 public sector jobs

"Unions told the Government to brace itself for French-style street protests last night after the Chancellor confirmed that half a million public sector jobs will be axed. Militant bosses said the paring back of the state payroll would spark the kind of ‘resistance’ that has led to outbreaks of violence across the Channel." – Daily Mail

> Yesterday's Spending Review coverage on ConHome:

Baroness Thatcher in good spirits but set for several more days in hospital

Margaret Thatcher 2009 "Baroness Thatcher was 'in good spirits' and following the spending cuts speech from her hospital bed, her son revealed yesterday. The 85-year-old former prime minister was admitted on Tuesday for tests suffering from a persistent bout of flu. Sir Mark Thatcher, 57, visited his mother for an hour at the private Cromwell Hospital in west London, near her home in Belgravia, and said she would not be out for 'three or four days'." – Daily Mail

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76 comments for: Weblinks for Thursday 21st October 2010

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