2.30pm Dr Madsen Pirie on Comment: Despite the nanny state, the British people retain a sense of personal responsibility and ambition
12.30pm Local government: Selling expensive voids to increase social housing supply? Southwark shows the way
Noon Sayeeda Warsi on Comment: We're throwing everything we've got at the Police Commissioner elections
11am MPsETC: First past the post, Matt Hancock MP wins charity horse race, loads of street cred and raises £10,000 for good causes
ToryDiary: Laws to Business, Cable to Home Secretary, May to the Foreign Office, Hague to CCHQ… Paul Goodman's reshuffle plan
Tim Leunig on Comment: How to cut the cost of railways and keep fares down
Peter Walker on local government: Despite the G4S Olympics shambles the police still need private sector efficiencies
The Deep End on the mis-selling of higher education: Universities don't face any downside if courses don't enhance the earning power of students. That must change.
Tory MPs take to airwaves to attack "unreasonable and unacceptable" increases in rail fares – Express
"David Cameron will jet home from Majorca to a storm this week — a TRIPLE rebellion by his MPs. Tories are fuming at huge looming hikes in train fares, more building on green belts and feared plans for a Sunday shopping free-for-all." – The Sun
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: The next Coalition u-turn on the horizon: rail fare increases?
Cameron revives multi-billion pound Severn Barrage scheme
"The Prime Minister has instructed officials to look again at plans to build a barrage across the Severn estuary that could provide 5% of Britain's electricity needs and create thousands of jobs. Peter Hain has called the project "the single most important low carbon renewabe energy project in Europe". The Neath MP stood down as Shadow Welsh Secretary to concentrate on bringing the barrage project to fruition." – Wales Online | BBC
Ken Clarke is refusing to move and has warned the Prime Minister that firing him would ‘retoxify’ the Tory Party – Daily Mail
> Last week ConHome predicted that Clarke would NOT move: "Clarke may choose to go but the PM relies on his experienced advice and he recently became a member of the Cabinet's inner seven. Clarke and IDS recently formed an unusual alliance in successfully urging Cameron not to whip the programme motion on Lords reform."
Conservative Party to intensify monitoring of BBC for party political bias
"The BBC will be more closely monitored by the Conservative Party’s high command to check for signs of political bias, ahead of the party conference season. Tory fury at what they call the liberal, left-wing leaning of the state broadcaster was laid bare after Iain Duncan Smith accused the BBC’s economics editor, Stephanie Flanders, of ‘peeing all over British business’." – Daily Mail
The Government has a mixed record in cutting regulations – John Redwood
Treasury considers bid to boost employment with tax-free 'mini-jobs'
"The creation of "mini-jobs", which allow people to take on work without paying tax or national insurance, is being considered by the Treasury as one of a package of measures to make it easier to create employment. The idea – being promoted by some influential Conservative MPs – is modelled on a scheme in Germany, in which employees can earn up to €400 a month (about £314) without giving up any of their salary, and employers pay only a flat rate to cover pensions, social insurance and wage taxes, making administration simpler." – Guardian
"Although unemployment in Germany is at near record lows, many of those with mini jobs receive very low hourly wages as there is no blanket minimum wage. Labour market experts and trade unionists have criticised the reforms for having entrenched a new class of working poor in the cleaning, hotel and restaurant trades." – FT (£)
Advice piles up for Chancellor
- Telegraph launches 'Go for Growth' series – The Telegraph
- The consensus now seems to be that the Chancellor’s policies have resulted in failure – David Blanchflower in The Independent
- Bill Emmott in The Times (£) argues that dynamism not infrastructure is key to western bounceback: "It is rigid, deferential, hierarchical societies that have ended up stagnating and dying. That is what doomed imperial China, the Ottomans and the cod-revolutionary communist systems of Soviet Russia and Mao’s China. A thousand flowers were never allowed to bloom, so countless millions had to die in famines or labour camps instead."
"Philip Hammond announced yesterday that about 26 posts would disappear to make savings of £3.8 million. The head office, which is in charge of strategy and policy for the Royal Navy, Army and RAF, would also be restructured, losing its ability to get involved in the day-to-day running of the three Services, which are taking over management of their own budgets." – Times (£)
Cameron insists on single question in Scottish independence referendum – Scotsman
- "David Cameron is prepared to let Alex Salmond select the timing of the Scottish referendum and the wording of the question provided voters are offered a straight "yes or no" choice" – Independent
- 16-year-olds could be given vote in deal over Scottish referendum – Daily Mail
Nearly nine out of ten 16-year-olds last year took at least one ‘Mickey Mouse’ subject such as ‘cake making’, ‘party décor’ and ‘sugar confection’ – Daily Mail
Daily Mail leader: "‘Mickey Mouse’ qualifications never fooled employers and thousands of young people realised too late that they had been gulled. Many are paying the price in finding it hard or impossible to get a job. Of all Labour’s cynical deceptions, this was surely among the cruellest."
"Selling top homes when they become vacant would raise £4.5bn a year, enough to build 80,000 to 170,000 new social homes, providing building jobs. It says social tenants deserve a roof over their heads but not one that is better than most people can afford. The National Housing Federation said it may lead to a form of social cleansing." – BBC
Civil servants want early talks with Labour about helping Team Miliband prepare for government
"Senior civil servants want closer links with Labour before the next general election, including helping with the party’s manifesto, The Times has learnt… One option being considered is whether officials should be seconded to work with Labour as part of their career development. The move coincides with fears in Whitehall that the coalition is breaking up, with the two parties in government pursuing different paths over the next two years. Civil servants argue privately that climbdowns on NHS reform, forestry privatisation, tax measures and the Lords could have been avoided if Whitehall had been involved earlier in some of the decisions." – Times (£)
Younger people will pay for the Coalition's (welcome) U-turn on long-term care – Jackie Ashley in The Guardian
Olympic gold medallists will also have had to put something back in community if they are to receive New Year gong – Daily Mail
A three point economic plan for Spain – Jesús Fernández-Villaverde and Luis Garicano in the FT (£)
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