Screen-shot-2010-11-30-at-1 6.15pm ToryDiary: Captions please…

5.30pm ToryDiary update: It's worth paying close attention to what the Coalition Agreement said about the LibDems abstaining on tution fees…

Lansley.ashx4.45pm Parliament: Andrew Lansley sets out strategy to improve public health and reduce health inequalities

3pm Local government:

2.45pm ToryDiary: Should we care if Cable and Clegg abstain on tuition fees?

Field Mark on BBCNoon Comment: Mark Field MP: The next financial crisis is now upon us

Noon LISTEN: Andrew Lansley on Today: "Every time someone smokes a cigarette they do themselves some harm."

ToryDiary: The latest ConservativeHome survey is LIVE

ToryDiary: Memo to Vince; Even Lib Dem voters love the immigration cap

75000 John Hayes MP on Comment: This Government will create more apprenticeships than modern Britain has ever seen

Martin Parsons concludes his series on Sharia: The new Government needs to take urgent steps to counter sharia-based radicalisation

Local government:

WATCH: George Osborne says Britain is on course to deliver growth and deficit reduction

"Chancellor George Osborne has said the economic recovery is "on track" despite challenging global conditions. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility' s (OBR) upgraded its 2010 growth forecast on Monday but lowered those for 2011 and 2012. While it cut its forecast for public sector job losses over the next four years from 490,000 to 330,000, it said it expected total unemployment to rise to a peak of just over 8% in 2011 – in line with previous forecasts – before falling to just over 6% by 2015." – BBC

Ageing population putting Britain under 'unsustainable' pressure, OBR warns – Telegraph

FT gives thumbs up to Osborne's deficit decisions

FT  "Mr Osborne looks wise to have taken out the additional insurance of a tighter fiscal stance given the scale of the crisis now engulfing the eurozone. By acting early and decisively, his plans have secured the confidence of markets in a way that those put forward by some of the eurozone periphery have not. Ten-year gilt yields have fallen since June and now stand at 3.31 per cent." – FT leader (£)

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Is George Osborne really more influential than Cameron?

…But is Osborne being bold enough?

  • Benefit cuts save 160,000 state jobs as Osborne sparks Tory fury by scaling down assault on public sector – Daily Mail
  • The Mail leader-writers are concerned: "Presenting the OBR’s report to the Commons, Mr Osborne seemed to suggest it was self-evidently good news that the public sector is to lose 160,000 fewer jobs than previously predicted. But is it? One of the great lessons of the past decade is surely that Labour allowed the state to become far too bloated for our economic health, draining the resources of productive businesses and strangling them in red tape."
  • The long view says the cuts are not deep enough – Hamish McRae in The Independent

IDS wants Treasury to allow more "spend-to-save" initiatives, like welfare reform

IDS TO CSJ "Mr Duncan Smith is working on proposals, which he wants to implement through the Social Justice Cabinet Committee, for government spending to be measured differently. His aim is introduce a way of auditing the social return on investment so that savings can be counted over a longer period. This would, he believes, make it easier to persuade the Treasury that getting somebody off drugs, making work pay, or spending money on rehabilitating prisoners, is as valid a way of saving money as capping housing benefit. “It’s not just the pound value cost of each policy, but the positive impact on society of each pound invested,” an aide explains. Although the Treasury is officially open-minded, there is a degree of scepticism about what one senior figure calls “spending departments bringing us spend-to-save measures as an excuse to get more money”." – Rachel Sylvester in The Times (£)

Nick Clegg warns that student protests might deter poor from universityExpress

"Nick Clegg has urged students to reflect on the "true picture" about government plans to raise tuition fees. Ahead of further expected protests on Tuesday, the deputy prime minister said graduates in England on lower incomes would be better off than they are now. It was "crucial" people realised there will be no upfront fees and repayments will begin at £21,000, he told the National Union of Students." – BBC

Borrowing a ConservativeHome phrase, the FT profiles "the breakneck coalition"

"The government has also set out plans to transform welfare, reorganise the health service, impose a highly contentious increase in university fees, empty the jails of petty criminals and put control of the police in the hands of locally accountable commissioners. All of this is to be undertaken as civil service administration budgets are cut by about one-third and as the government – at least in the short term – has taken the knife to the use of management consultants who might be able to help implement it." – FT (£)

Almost 40,000 violent offenders a year are being handed soft punishments because they are not taken to court

"John Thornhill, chairman of the Magistrates' Association, said the criminals are given a "simple caution" despite the fact they would have been jailed or handed a community order had their case been dealt with in court. It is the equivalent of one in seven of all cautions handed out and Mr Thornhill said it was denying their victims the chance to "see justice done" or to be given compensation." – Telegraph

"It is alarming that the prison pledge is apparently being diluted." – The Sun Says

Cameron misses Climate talks for football summit…


  • "Cameron refuses to attend UN climate change talks. PM turns down Mexico's invite to summit where backroom deals show how progress can be made despite low expectations." – Guardian
  • David Cameron one-on-ones could be a winner for England's 2018 World Cup bid – Daily Mail

The candid diplomatic information revealed by WikiLeaks is embarrassing, but it could also cause real harm

"It all comes down to trust in government. This was, very sadly, deeply corroded in both the United States and in Britain by the controversies surrounding the Iraq war and the failure to find any weapons of mass destruction. That trust must be rebuilt. Presidents and prime ministers of democratic nations must be allowed private and secure dialogue as they try to resolve some of the most difficult problems the world has known. If they are not allowed this freedom, the likelihood is that we will all suffer." – Sir Malcolm Rifkind in The Telegraph

Politics in brief:

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  • Two opinion polls overnight from ComRes/ YouGov: Lab 40%/40%, Con 36%/40%, LD 12%/10%
  • Security fears for David Cameron after Andrew Feldman's house is "ransacked" – Daily Mail
  • Philip Johnston in The Telegraph: A return to darker mornings would result in an outburst of anger

Unions threaten new year chaos with fresh BA and Tube strikesTimes (£) | Metro

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