6.30pm WATCH: Ed Balls: Bank Governor Mervyn King doesn't mean what he says publicly
1.45pm WATCH: "I think it’s bad for the country, frankly, to have a former president criticize his successor": George W Bush says he is done with politics and will not be campaigning for GOP candidates in 2012
11am LISTEN: Radio 4 profiles Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
Robert Kaye on Platform calls for more drug addicted offenders, the mentally unwell and foreigners to be removed from Britain's prisons
George Osborne may accelerate tax cuts for the poor
"The income tax threshold is already set to increase by £1,000 to £7,457 from April 1. However, Osborne is expected to raise it by about a further £500. Details of the additional concession are still being worked on, but it marks a victory for the Liberal Democrats, who have been arguing within government for tax cuts for the poor." – The Sunday Times (£)
In a leader The Sunday Times (£) calls for tax cuts: "Sir Richard Lambert, head of the CBI, and Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, say there should be a prospect of lower taxes. High taxes destroy incentives and stultify growth. Britain became a high tax economy under Labour and is becoming a higher tax economy under the coalition. The long-term growth strategy should include lower taxes. Never mind Plan B; that should be Plan A."
The Institute of Directors (IoD), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) call on Osborne to deregulate and cut tax for business. The News of the World (£) also reports Charlie Elphicke MP's backing for a Dragon's Den-style enterprise fund that small businesses could access.
Ed Balls: George Osborne is doing everything Thatcher did
In the Independent on Sunday Ed Balls paints George Osborne as an unreconstructed Thatcherite: "There is no doubt that George Osborne is a highly-skilled political strategist – unmatched in today's Tory party. And the political strategy he is implementing is straight out of the Margaret Thatcher 1980s manual: impose as much pain as you can straight after the election, raise taxes, cut spending, slash benefits, make people feel lucky to have a job, build up your war-chest, and then cut taxes just before the election, win a majority, and start all over again. He is following Mrs Thatcher's strategy to the letter – right down to the immediate hike in VAT, even if it breaks a pre-election promise."
Andrew Rawnsley in The Observer paints Osborne as a fiscal conservative: When it comes to public finances, tax and spending, there are broadly three types of Conservatives in the world. The followers of Reaganomics who essentially think that the answer to any economic question is a tax cut. Big Government Conservatives who like state spending as much as politicians of the left except that they spend a lot on rightwing causes such as the military and Conservative-inclined voter groups like the elderly. Messrs Cameron and Osborne are neither Reaganauts nor Bushites. They are fiscal conservatives.
Government to launch £400 million drive to revolutionise mental health treatment
"Ministers want the doctors to stop simply prescribing pills to patients with a range of conditions including eating disorders, self harm, addictions, attention disorders and post-natal depression – a practice which has led to claims the NHS is turning Britain into a "Prozac nation". Instead they are targeting a massive take-up of "personalised" services, including one-to-one counselling and group therapy. The coalition believes at least one million people will take up these options over the next few years." – The Sunday Telegraph
YouGov: By two-to-one public oppose greater role for profit-making companies in NHS
"The YouGov survey found that only 27% of people back moves to allow profit-making companies to increase their role the NHS. The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, plans to allow groups of GPs in England to commission £80bn a year of care for their patients after April 2013 from "any willing provider". Overall, 50% of the 1,892 respondents opposed the policy. But hostility was more evident among Lib Dem voters, 56% of whom said they were against, with just 30% in favour. Conservative supporters were also split: while 46% backed the use of private firms, 32% were against." – Observer
In The Sunday Telegraph Janet Daley asks why voters believe that government is inherently good and private is inherently bad.
Ring-fencing Scottish NHS will mean harsh cuts in other services, report warns – Scotland on Sunday
Water meters could be made compulsory in all British homes
"Caroline Spelman, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is understood to have accepted in principle that charges for water should in future be based on metering, with the aim of cutting water use… Tory MP Anne McIntosh, admitted that a more widespread introduction of metering will mean there are "winners and losers… and some, including groups of vulnerable customers, could see significant rises in bills."" – Independent on Sunday
Plans for one of the Government's flagship "free" schools to be set up within the Department for Education's headquarters in central London were revealed yesterday – Independent on Sunday
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: In praise of the plan for Woodpecker Free School
Oliver Letwin is turning to left as well as right-wing think tanks in search for new ideas – Independent on Sunday
Tory MP renews warning about Tory/LibDem merger
"[Mark Pritchard MP] obeyed an order to ‘stop rocking the boat’ in return for a promise that Mr Cameron and his allies would keep the Tories as a completely independent party. But he claims that Cabinet Ministers have since covertly carried on encouraging Press speculation that some kind of election pact or merger is on the cards… Mr Pritchard said: ‘I was told that this nonsense about joining with the Lib Dems would stop, but it hasn’t. ‘I am not prepared to have unnamed Cabinet Ministers putting about stories of pacts and mergers while party traditionalists like me are gagged." – Mail on Sunday
> Friday's ToryDiary: David Cameron's particular issue with his ultra-modernising wing
David Cameron's revolution will take years – he should say so – Matthew d'Ancona in The Sunday Telegraph
Equality and human rights in Britain are adrift from their natural moorings – Dominic Raab in The Sunday Times (£)
Ed Miliband joins opposition to forest privatisation
"This Conservative-led government argues that we cannot afford to keep the forests public. The Forestry Commission costs each of us 30p a year. What sort of cheapskate nation are we now, that we cannot agree to spend 30p a year for every person in this country to preserve its ancient oaks, ash and beech?" – The Labour leader in The Sunday Times (£)
- Cyclists and riders may lose access to woodland – The Sunday Telegraph
- These are our forests – how can they be for sale? – Rachel Johnson, Trudie Styler and Tamsin Omond in The Sunday Telegraph
- "One of the nation's best-loved broadcasters, Lord Bragg, has given his support to the growing campaign to prevent the government sell-off of 30 forests and woodlands in the Lake District." – Observer
Nick Clegg's red box closes at 3pm most weekdays and noon on Fridays – The Sunday Telegraph
Rumours are whirling around Westminster that Cable will soon be replaced by the far more business – and Tory – friendly David Laws – James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday
Second marriage of Lord Taylor of Warwick, facing jail, ends – The Sunday Telegraph
Yes to AV campaign plans to spend £6.1 million – The Sunday Telegraph
'Flush Gordon' nets £250,000 in last three months
"He may have been the “invisible man” at Westminster since leaving Downing Street, but Gordon Brown’s globetrotting has helped him quietly earn £250,000 in just three months. Despite his low profile in Britain, speeches on the international lecture circuit, an honorary post at a university in New York and a book deal have recently enabled the former prime minister to generate a small fortune." – The Sunday Times (£)
Mandelson coached Barclays' boss Bob Diamond for Commons grilling – The Sunday Times (£)
NUS leader faces barrage of anti-Jewish abuse at rally as protesters accuse him of being a Tory – Mail on Sunday
"Tonly Blair's son Nicky has set up in business… as a football agent, the News of the World (£) can reveal. The 25-year-old former teacher is understood to be scouting for talent in the Middle East – where his father is a UN peace envoy."
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