8.15pm Melanchthon on Comment: Two Problems with the European Union Bill 2010
5pm Jill Kirby on Comment suggests that the Coalition should rollback the Equality Act if it wants to help business
3.45pm ToryDiary: Public rejects LibCon Coalition candidates in three opinion surveys
2.15pm Charlie Elphicke MP on Comment: Where will jobs and growth come from?
10.45am Tim Montgomerie on Comment: I blame Obama for the shooting of Representative Giffords…
9.45am LeftWatch: Green Party candidate, "Rich Whitey"
Mark Prisk MP on Comment: How the Coalition Government will help small businesses to thrive and grow
Martin Parsons on Comment: We have a problem if ordinary people cannot afford to become an MP or peer
New "Employers' Charter" will give firms new powers to "fire slackers"
"The new “employers’ charter” will allow companies to sack workers during the first two years of their employment without the threat of being taken to a tribunal for unfair dismissal… To reduce the number of vexatious allegations, workers will face a fee when lodging an employment tribunal claim. The Daily Telegraph can disclose that the Government is also launching a review that is likely to see small companies excluded from some stringent employment laws."
…but other red tape continue to grow: "Government departments had failed to provide sufficient justification for many of the 200 new regulations proposed since September, Michael Gibbons, chairman of the independent regulatory policy committee, told the Financial Times (£)."
Trade tops the agenda for Cameron's meeting with China's vice premier Li KeQiang – BBC
Boris Johnson in The Telegraph talks about expanding UK economic relations with India.
Cameron hosts "jobs summit" at Number 10
"Leaders of some of Britain’s biggest companies will today promise to create thousands of jobs in 2011 as they attend a “jobs summit” at Downing Street hosted by David Cameron. The prime minister is determined to show that the private sector can generate enough growth to offset deep cuts to the public sector, where about 300,000 people are losing their jobs." – FT (£) | BBC
Cameron urged to honour pledge as anger grows over fuel duty – Daily Mail
> Andrew Lilico on Comment yesterday: The price stabilising fuel duty needs to be understood as a green tax
Fleet Street divided on Coalition policy on banker bonuses
- In the blue corner: "Mr Cameron has to work every day with ministers whose dislike of the banking sector verges on the pathological. That may be why he also declared yesterday that RBS should "not be leading the way on bonuses – they should be a backmarker". Such a view may please Mr Cable, but it sounds to us remarkably like micro-managing the financial sector, something Mr Cameron has promised not to do." – Telegraph leader
- In the red corner: "If, as seems increasingly likely, the Government waves through large bonuses this year, it will prove a fateful decision. The public sector spending cuts will bite hard over the next 12 months and the cost of living will rise steeply. Meanwhile, unemployment, which is painfully high, could well increase further. The financial gulf between those privileged few working in the financial sector and the rest of society is on course to widen. The Government's claim that "we are all in it together" is about to be tested, probably to destruction." – Independent leader
- In the populist corner: "When the coalition came to power it gave a written pledge: “We will introduce detailed plans to tackle the issue of bankers’ bonuses.” Tell us when, Mr Cameron. It would be a tragedy if people began to think your promises were as reliable as Nick Clegg’s on tuition fees." – Express leader
- And also from the free market corner: "The Labour Party, the unions, the Lib Dems… refuse to admit that large incomes – and, yes, especially the dreaded bonuses – are an absolute boon to the Exchequer, with around half of the compensation paid out by big firms being gobbled up in tax. And the more tax raised, the less there is need for spending cuts." – Allister Heath in City AM
Cameron defends Coalition on flu
"David Cameron was yesterday forced to deny that spending cuts had made Britain vulnerable to swine flu as he warned that the country faced ‘significant outbreaks’ of flu for years to come. But the Prime Minister said lessons must be learned from the vaccine shortages that have seen GP surgeries turning away vulnerable people seeking the flu shot in recent days. His comments came as Labour accused the Coalition of putting pregnant women at risk by failing to promote the flu jab." – Daily Mail
Also from the Prime Minister:
- Cameron sees threat from rising inflation – FT (£) | Oliver Kamm in The Times (£): "If policy is not tightened early and sharply enough, then a repeat of the wage-price spiral and currency crises of the 1970s is plausible. Relying on inflation to reduce the debt burden might be superficially attractive, but it would have huge costs. It would erode the value of savings and reduce real incomes. It would be hard for the City to maintain its status as an international financial centre and generate significant export earnings in these circumstances."
- David Cameron says "murky" Fifa executives misled England 2018 World Cup bid – Sun | Telegraph
- Cameron promises Tories will fight next election as independent party and opens door to ending of 50p tax rate – Yesterday's ToryDiary
Peter Bone will seek to amend EU Bill with clause on 'Better Off Out' referendum – Express
Control orders will see end to house arrest – Guardian
Andrew Pierce on how the Tories have toughened up on security v civil liberties since 2005 – Daily Mail
Maria Miller will unveil measures to discourage divorce
"Couples who want to separate are to be confronted by experts about the impact a divorce would have on their children and finances. Those who go ahead with the split will be charged a fee if they want the state to sort out child maintenance arrangements. The measures are designed to reduce Britain’s divorce rate which is among the highest in Europe, and will be unveiled by the Government this week." – Daily Mail | Express
Andy Coulson under pressure as police prepare to release new alleged phone hacking files – Telegraph
Yasmin Alibhai Brown: Jack Straw is right to ask hard questions about Asian men – Independent
Multicultural, reverse-racist, sickeningly hypocritical Britain should be in the dock – Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail
> Saturday's ConservativeHome: Debate about unacceptable practices shouldn't be swept under the carpet – Paul Goodman
And finally… Helena Bonham Carter on spending New Year's Eve with the Camerons
"We had a great time, we had really good fun," she said at a special showing of her film The King's Speech at the Everyman Cinema in north-west London. "They are very unbelievably down to earth and you would not know that he was Prime Minister and she was Mrs Prime Minister if you walked in, that's how down to earth they are." – Telegraph
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