9pm LeftWatch: The Liberal Democrats' remarkable u-turn on tuition fees

7.15pm WATCH: Outside his home, ready to bike to work, David Willetts talks to BBC reporter about tuition fees

5pm Parliament: David Nuttall MP explains why he is introducing a Ten Minute Rule Bill to relax the smoking ban

Screen shot 2010-10-12 at 15.32.404pm Parliament: Vince Cable tells Commons that, given fiscal situation, opposition to tuition fees is "no longer feasible"

3pm ToryDiary: "We are seeing the fastest rate of school reform in English history"

2pm Paul Goodman on CentreRight: Why the Conservative Party should have nothing to do with the East London Mosque

12.15pm Local government: The BBC profiles the cost-cutting Hammersmith and Fulham council

Noon ThinkTankCentral: The moral and economic imperative of reducing worklessness

AchillesToryDiary on Cameron's Seven Vulnerabilities: (1) Prisons policy

Nik Darlington on Platform: Our universities need extra funding and they are not going to get it from the taxpayer

Donal Blaney on CentreRight: "Why should the overtaxed and underpaid tea lady or the dustman pay for a child from a wealthier family to spend three years partying under the guise of studying an all too often worthless degree?"

Local government: £44 million of unnecessary council jobs identified

5P6 Seats and candidates: New, enthusiastic Tory MPs are the seventh reason why Cameron can be hopeful about 2015

Lord Browne to recommend end to caps on tuition fees

Screen shot 2010-10-12 at 07.52.04 "Virtually all taxpayer funding will be removed from the majority of degrees and students will have to borrow tens of thousands of pounds to cover the doubled cost of courses. Universities will have to charge at least £7,000 a year to cover the loss of central government funding and some elite degrees are expected to cost up to £12,000 a year." – Telegraph

"The Browne report emphatically rejects a graduate tax to fund universities and examines its pitfalls in great detail. State funds for teaching in universities will be cut dramatically in next week’s spending review, with public funds concentrating on research. Top universities will need to charge higher fees to replace lost teaching grants, which may be cut by £3 billion." – Times (£)

Liberal Democrat MPs must compromise on university funding, says Cameron – The Sun

Steve Richards: George Osborne won't deliver 25% cuts

"I am willing to bet the size of the deficit that the Coalition doesn't reduce public spending by 25 per cent in this parliament as it is pledged to do. I do not believe it will get anywhere near that target… There was much evidence in the public speeches at last week's Conservative conference that senior Tories support the idea of spending cuts but not the specific consequences. Lauded for his "boldness" in the summer by some mighty newspapers, Osborne is being attacked now for daring to cut child benefit. Cameron and Osborne counted on the support of the Tory newspapers as they began their crusade. But newspapers are like departmental ministers. They support cuts in theory and then discover a very strong case for spending when faced with specific examples." – Steve Richards in The Independent

Sir Philip Green identifies £20bn of savings

15756256 "Whitehall waste has reached “staggering and shameful” levels costing the taxpayer billions of pounds a year, a devastating report revealed last night. Huge buildings with annual rental values running into millions are left empty while even junior civil servants make personal calls on mobile phones given out by the Government." – Express

"The retail magnate Sir Philip Green was asked by David Cameron to shine a light into the darkest corners of Whitehall, and there is no denying he has uncovered staggering levels of waste. His assessment is that he could save £20billion without cutting a single public sector job – trimming £700million from the jaw-dropping £2billion telecoms bill alone." – Daily Mail leader

"Responding to Sir Philip’s recommendations, Mr Cameron said it was a “solid” report that identified how much money had been wasted. He told a press conference that public spending had increased in recent years, yet “crazy” decisions had been made about property, computers and other goods and services." – Times (£)

Benefit claimants set to lose hundreds of pounds from move from RPI to CPI measure of pricesGuardian

More poverty in working households than workless households

"There are now more children living in poverty among working families than in homes where no-one has a job, analysis revealed yesterday. It found that the number of children who live below the official poverty line even though at least one of their parents goes out to work has jumped by a third – 80,000 – in just ten years." – Daily Mail

"The apparent resilience of public sector wage growth compared with the private sector largely reflects the nationalisation of two of Britain’s biggest banks along with an explosion of low-paid jobs in the private sector since the recession. When the effects of these changes are stripped away, pay for public sector workers has risen broadly in line with that of the private sector over the past year." – FT (£)

The EU gets more money as everything else is cut

EU-FLAG "Are we really going to sit back and watch the EU spend more of our money while we are having to cut back the Royal Navy, axe child benefits, postpone school building schemes, throw thousands out of work and close down dozens of quangos? The argument in favour of more spending is that the infrastructure and regional development projects funded by the EU are actually good for growth and will help economic recovery. But why can't some of that money be spent directly by the countries providing it rather than expensively laundered through Brussels?" – Philip Johnson in The Telegraph

> Yesterday on CentreRight by Alex Deane: European spending should be cut, just like other budgets

Hague defends unsuccessful attempt to rescue Linda Norgrove

"William Hague today defended the decision to try to rescue Linda Norgrove, after David Cameron revealed it is now thought the British aid worker was killed by US troops rather than her captors. In a statement to MPs in the Commons this afternoon, the foreign secretary paid tribute to the US forces in Afghanistan who had "risked their lives to rescue a British subject" after her kidnap, and cautioned against a rush to judgment." – Guardian

Alan Milburn disagrees with Ed Miliband on child benefit for higher rate taxpayers

MILBURN-ALAN "Alan Milburn, the Blairite former Health Secretary, who is advising the coalition on social mobility, sees it as a symbolic policy. “We have to be frank with people and show our mettle,” he told me. “In times of plenty, giving child benefit to high earners is a luxury the country can afford; in times of want I don’t think it is. We would be wrong to oppose it. I can’t see it having an adverse impact on social mobility.” – Quoted by Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)

AV referendum set to be on May 5 next year after allFT Westminster blog

BBC has aired its Panorama investigation into the financial affairs of Lord AshcroftIndependent


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