7.45pm Local government: Taunton Deane Council pulls back from plan to raise Council Tax

Prescott John5.15pm WATCH: Lord Prescott: "I think I've got more experience than any candidate likely to be standing" as a police commissioner

5pm The row over the Government's Health Bill and reactions to a council meeting prayer ruling lead our teatime newslinks

4pm Robert Kaye on Comment: If today's ruling is not appealed, the Government should give local authorities the power to hold prayers at council meetings

3pm Reform's Nick Seddon on ThinkTankCentral: The NHS Bill should not be dropped – it is only the start of the reforms we need to make

2pm Dr Samantha Callan on Comment: The Government should use all available measures to help prevent family breakdown

1.15pm Local government: Government will ensure ban on prayers at council meetings is overturned

Hammond Philip qt12.15pm WATCH: Philip Hammond: Taking action against Syria would risk "a very major military conflict"

Noon ConHomeUSA newslinks: CPAC offers Romney and Santorum chance to appeal to grassroots support

11.30am Local government:

9.45am Baroness Warsi on Comment: As Conservatives it is our duty to support the NHS Bill

Cameron NHS

ToryDiary: The unnecessary and unpopular NHS Bill could cost the Conservative Party the next election. Cameron must kill it.

Columnist Bruce Anderson: It may have been based on British law, but the ECHR is now preventing Britain from protecting her interests

Screen shot 2012-02-10 at 06.02.20John Howell MP on Comment: Proof that Conservative MPs are interested in a wide range of subjects, disproving the old stereotypes

Also on Comment, Dale Bassett: The Government must keep reforming public services – or risk wasting its time in office

WATCH: Capello was wrong about John Terry, says Cameron

Bank of England injects another £50bn into UK economy, taking total Quantitative Easing to £325 billion

"The BBC's economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, said the £275bn of QE undertaken so far was an amount equivalent to nearly 20% of the country's gross domestic product." – BBC | Telegraph video of Cameron backing QE3

  • George Osborne should come clean about the long-term effects of quantitative easing: QE is "an orchestrated transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers" says Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph and it's being "carried out without anyone admitting what’s going on".
  • QE NOT the answer to UK's economic problems – City AM
  • The FT (£) leader-writers think the Bank of England should have exceeded market expectations with an even bolder gilt purchase programme.

Cameron called for the state pension age to rise automatically in line with life expectancy

CAMERON COLOUR"[The Prime Minister] urged state employees to show the same “work ethic” as the private sector in being prepared to carry on longer. And he said he would “love the idea” of people who retire later getting a bigger state pension income. His remarks raised the prospect of millions of workers labouring on well into their seventies to pay for their retirements." – Express

  • "The dispute over public sector pension reforms has raised its head again, with firefighters and some unions representing teachers, civil servants and health workers threatening renewed strikes over the government’s proposals." – FT (£)

PM told to adopt Swedish tax breaks for parents

  • "Working parents would be offered tax breaks for hiring babysitters, cleaners and gardeners under plans to be examined by David Cameron. The Prime Minister expressed his interest in a Swedish scheme that cuts the cost of employing domestic staff, making it easier for parents to go out to work themselves." – Independent
  • Scheme worth up to £3,000 could backfire on PM by encouraging employment of 'domestic servants' – Daily Mail
  • "The idea immediately ran into criticism. Gavyn Kelly, director of the Resolution Foundation, which researches life on low and middle incomes, said last night that it was wrong to prioritise better-off families. “Tax breaks for families who can afford cleaners at the same time as severely cutting support for childcare for the poorest working parents seems like a wrong priority,” he said." – Times (£)

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Tax breaks for childcare are a bad idea

Cameron has said he will not "rule out quotas" as a way of getting more women into top executive jobsBBC

America leads the way in promoting women to the boardroom because the US has one of the lowest levels of labour regulation of any Western economy – Jill Kirby in The Telegraph

Cameron is slammed for female board quota call – City AM | Institute of Economic Affairs

Cameron says Argentina's appeal to the United Nations to stop Britain's "militarisation" of the Falklands will failTelegraph

Cameron: Syrian regime is 'hell-bent' on 'murdering and maiming' its own peopleTelegraph

David Cameron speaks to King Abdullah over Abu Qatada trialIndependent

Cameron should steer clear of commenting on the England football managerMichael White

  • The pre-eminence of football in England is both distorting and debasing – Mary Dejevsky in The Independent

Gove and IDS are "coasting", says Reform think tankProspect

MoD criticised for £6bn overspend on big defence projectsGuardian | Times (£)

  • "The Public Accounts Committee said the MoD was still only able to say its budget was "broadly in balance". It warned that public spending cuts may make planned increases in the equipment budget from 2015 "unrealistic"." – BBC

The Health and Social Care Bill

Dorrell-Stephen-new"Stephen Dorrell, Conservative chairman of the health select committee, has been one of many Tory MPs pointing out that many of the changes could have been implemented without the need for legislation or such controversy. The shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has offered to strike a deal to bring in wider GP commissioning. Labour tabled a vote on Thursday to force the government to publish a report assessing the threats posed by proposed changes to NHS finances and patient care." – Guardian

"The government trims and tilts on its proposed reform of the National Health Service. The initially radical bill, which would give family doctors more power to commission services and allow private provision to expand, enraged health workers. The coalition has mangled the legislation with so many concessions that even many reformers now suggest abandoning it. By bowing to pressure—to the extent of undermining Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, in private briefings—the government is likely to achieve neither popularity nor meaningful reform." – Janan Ganesh in The Economist

ZahawiNadhim Zahawi MP: Vince Cable’s university chief would harm a world-class systemTimes (£)

Key UK-wide business networks, including the Royal Mail's universal service obligation, could be threatened and lost if Scotland became independent, Vince Cable, Britain's Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) Secretary, warnedThe Herald

Energy ministers keep a lamp blazing at their HQ 24 hours a day — as they nag Brits to switch THEIR lights offSun

Former Deputy PM John Prescott WILL run for police commissioner post in the Humberside elections in MayGuardian

Darling and Mandelson warn Miliband against excessive banker bashingIndependent

Apprenticeships touted as solutions to the grave crisis of youth unemployment are not remotely up to the job – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian

"Lazy MPs have abandoned Westminster for an ELEVEN day half term break as the rest of Britain slogs to work in the bitter cold"Sun

TrumpAnd finally… 

"US tycoon Donald Trump has written to First Minister Alex Salmond, accusing him of seeming “hell-bent on destroying Scotland's coastline” with wind turbines. Mr Trump, who opposes plans for an offshore wind farm to be built near the site of his luxury golf resort in Aberdeenshire, called the turbines "ugly monstrosities" and "horrendous machines"." – Independent


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