8.30pm ToryDiary: Has George Osborne presided over one of the largest tax cuts in British history?

Screen shot 2011-11-22 at 19.56.108pm WATCH: Civil war is a "real possibility" in Syria, says Cameron in a press conference with the Turkish President

5.30pm Local Government: Lord Young attacks Westminster Council's parking charges

5.30pm MPsETC: Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski warns National Trust against becoming too political

5pm: Today's teatime newslinks – including Ofsted's report on school standards, party funding reforms, and executive pay

Weatherlybikers4pm MPsETC: Motor biking MP Mike Weatherley joins protest outside the European Parliament in Brussels against EU regulation

3pm David T Breaker on Comment: The educational tug-of-war must end

2pm MPsETC: Michael Gove, our mutual friend

1.30pm LISTEN: If you want to turn off Andrew Lansley on the hospital video loop, turn on the radio

1pm MPsETC: Martin Callanan MEP's report from the European Parliament

12.15pm ConHomeUSA: Today's newslinks focus on the failure of the so-called supercommittee to resolve the US deficit crisis

Priti11.30am Priti Patel on Comment: State funding of political parties cannot be morally justified to the public and to party members

10.30am Mohammed Amin on Comment: An Israel for all Israelis

ToryDiary: What will J Alfred Prufrock MP make of Cameron's new EU strategy?

Stephan Shakespeare on our Columnists' page: British voters have more faith in Merkel than Cameron to take necessary decisions for €urozone

Christian Guy on Comment: We haven’t yet fought a true war on drugs

ElphickeCharlie Elphicke MP on Comment continues our seven-part series on growth: We need to reform the banks so they can finance the recovery

John O'Sullivan on Comment reviews Robin Harris' The ConservativesEvery Tory moderniser should read this book

Stephen Hammond MP on Local Government continues the Conservative Home series on Housing: How this Government will boost home ownership

Also on Local Government: Higher rents planned for rich council tenants told "pay to stay"

WATCH: Daniel Hannan MEP: Against the International Criminal Court

Cameron admits that Britain is struggling to cut debt

Cameron"The Prime Minister on Monday conceded that tackling Britain’s debts was “proving harder than anyone envisaged”, raising the prospect that the Coalition would be unable to close the deficit by 2014-15. That would rule out any significant tax cuts before the next election. Departing from the deficit-reduction timetable could raise fears that Britain will face rising borrowing costs as bond markets take fright. Debt is “a drag on growth”, Mr Cameron told business leaders. “We are well behind where we need to be,” he said" - Telegraph

  • 79% of voters believe the country will fare "badly" next year, however 18-24 year olds are less pessimistic about the economy than the rest of the population - Times (£)
  • Rachel Sylvester: "Osborne is engaged in a difficult balancing act. It’s about what he says as well as what he does. This is a case where rhetoric can actually affect reality" - Times (£)

> Yesterday 

Despite confidence in the economy being at its lowest since 2008, 30% of Britons blame Labour's legacy, compared to 24% holding coalition cuts responsible Guardian

"The Government is creating its own market" says Phillip Johnston, who believes state-backed mortgages are not the answer to the housing market's problems - Telegraph

  • Allister Heath on the "coalition’s dreadful neo-Brownite plan to part-guarantee 95 per cent mortgages … reminiscent of tax credits and of the meddlesome, flawed micro-management of yore -  'Brownonomics makes a shock return' - City A.M
  • Michael Collins: "Although a Tory government brought council housing as we knew it to an end in 1979 with the great sell-off, it was Labour who demolished a fair letting system" - Independent

In fresh sanctions announced on Iran, Osborne forbids UK banks from dealing with Iranian financial system

Osborne_george_smiling_10"Osborne said the Government had acted ‘because of international evidence that Iran’s banks are involved in the development of Iran’s weaponised military nuclear weapon programme. We believe that the Iranian regime’s actions pose a significant threat to the UK’s national security and the international community.’ All UK credit and financial institutions must ‘cease business relationships and transactions with all Iranian banks" - Daily Mail

> Yesterday WATCH: Osborne: All contact between the UK banking system and Iranian financial system will cease under new sanctions on Iran

Business leaders support Boris Johnson's proposals for an airport in the Thames Estuary

Boris"The heads of the Institute of Directors and the London Chamber of Commerce told The Times that ministers needed urgently to address a shortage of landing slots in the South East and to take a serious look at a long-term solution in the Thames Estuary. Their comments came as the Mayor of London published a report setting out the economic benefits that such a development could bring. He warned that Britain would be left in the slow lane of international commerce unless a new hub airport was built to provide direct flights to emerging markets in Asia and Latin America" - Times (£)

  • Cathy Newman: 'Boris and Dave issue rival economic plans' - Channel 4

> Yesterday WATCH: Boris Johnson: The Government should urgently look at the proposals for an airport in the Thames Estuary

Vince Cable is listening to the High Pay Commission, who warn that high pay in boardrooms is "corrosive" to the economy - Guardian

Proposals announced by ministers would stop retailers from offering incentives for shoppers to take out store cards 

"Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mark Hoban, said: ‘The public told us that consumers can be tempted into taking out a store card by being offered a discount at the till. We’ve listened to these concerns and have worked with industry to develop a strong package of measures in response.’ He added: ‘This ban will mean that stores will not be able to offer discounts, free gifts or similar incentives to encourage consumers to take out store cards at the point of sale, or for the first seven days.’

The Government's expansion in aid has increased the risk of corruption and fraud, report warns

Mitchell"The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) described the Department for International Development's approach to tackling fraud and corruption as "fragmented" and in need of "significant improvements". It said DfID should draw up an explicit anti-corruption strategy for any country where there was deemed to be a high risk of corruption and fraud and ensure there is better communication between international Dfid staff and colleagues based in the UK" - Guardian

  • Mitchell pledges to implement the report's findings - FT
Ken Clarke defends the comments he made about rape earlier this year, describing them as "eminently sensible"

Clarke"Appearing on BBC Radio Four’s Woman’s Hour yesterday, he risked fuelling a fresh row by again suggesting he said nothing wrong. He said: “My remarks about rapes were eminently sensible and agreed to by most women I knew. “Mass hysteria was set off by an entertaining range of parodies of what I was supposed to have said and most of my critics had not listened to the programme" - Telegraph

  • More in the Sun

Man accused of threatening Louise Mensch MP over Twitter could face a jail sentenceExpress

All the three main parties are requested to stick to their promises for party reform funding, as they look set to reject proposals from an independent commission

"The committee will robustly challenge the parties by pointing out that all three supported reform of party funding in their 2010 general election manifestos, but repeatedly refuse to shift from their entrenched self-interested positions. The committee will publish a poll showing the public is more willing to accept greater state funding of political parties if the choices are properly explained" - Guardian I Independent

The SNP has received its second donation of around £1million in a month – this time from Euromillions winners Colin and Chris Weir - Times (£)

Would you try a Mrs T? – New biopic The Iron Lady makes a style icon out of Margaret Thatcher Daily Mail

And finally …. Ed Balls admits crying to the Sound of Music and the Antiques Roadshow

"The Labour bigwig also admits to blubbing through sugary movie The Sound Of Music. Shadow chancellor Mr Balls revealed that what makes him well up the most is when a Roadshow expert tells someone their family heirloom is priceless. He said: "And they say, 'I'm amazed it's worth that much, but it means more to me than money.' Incredibly emotional." - Sun


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