Cameron announces £1,000 married tax allowance from 2015

mailmarried“Millions of married couples are to receive a tax break to recognise their ‘commitment and responsibility’, David Cameron reveals today. In an article for the Daily Mail, the Prime Minister says a £1,000 transferable tax allowance will be introduced in 2015.” – Daily Mail

  • “Alongside the birth of my children, my wedding was the happiest day of my life. Since then, Samantha and I have been a team. Nothing I’ve done since – becoming a Member of Parliament, leader of my party or Prime Minister – would have been possible without her.” – David Cameron – Daily Mail
  • “In a Guardian interview ahead of the conference, which opens on Sunday in Manchester, the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: “We want a strong society. Marriage is one of the institutions that creates glue in society and it makes sense to recognise that.” – The Guardian
  • “Let’s call it what it really is, the “unmarried tax”, and make sure it follows the pasty tax, the bedroom tax and the charity tax into history.” – Chris Bryant The Independent

timesgreenOsborne to keep “a close eye” on cutting green taxes on energy

“In an interview with The Times, the Chancellor dismissed as a gimmick Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices, but he signalled that he could ease green measures if prices continued to rise. “I think we have to keep a very, very close eye on the affordability of energy prices going forward,” he said. “You have to constantly assess the value for money of your energy policies and obligations,” he said when asked if he would halt green tariffs.” – The Times (£)

  • “Although Mr Miliband’s new promise that a Labour government would forcibly hold energy prices down is insane, it is – as insane ideas go – more immediately pleasing to the voter than the current, also insane, alternative, which is that government forcibly puts them up.” – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Charles Hendry MP: How Miliband’s energy plan will harm not help consumers

PM extends cancer drugs fund

“A £200m-a-year fund for life-enhancing cancer drugs is to continue until 2016, the prime minister has announced. The Cancer Drugs Fund was set up in 2011 to help patients in England access certain drugs before they get approval for widespread NHS use.” – BBC

Hard decisions are “paying off” says Cameron

“We are on the right track. We are seeing more jobs, more new businesses, we’re beginning to see things moving again,” Mr Cameron told the BBC. He said there would be a “clear choice” at the next election between his party’s record on the economy and Labour’s programme. “Do you want to stick with us, on the right track – delivering an economy for hardworking people? Or do you want to put all of that at risk with Ed Miliband and his crazy plans to tax business out of existence? That’ll be the choice.” – BBC

mayMay seeks easier visa entry for Chinese tourists

“Theresa May, home secretary, has bowed to pressure from retailers and businesses who want to lure high-spending Chinese tourists to Britain by seeking to bring in a joint visa application for the UK and other European countries.” – Financial Times

  • “It won’t happen today, or tomorrow, or next month. But sooner or later, and the polls suggest sooner than David Cameron would like, there must be a new Conservative party leader. And who is chosen will be a litmus test of what we want from politics in a more sober, chastened age. .. is charisma still everything, or could an era of cool, capable, but not wildly exciting superwomen be nigh? Theresa May seems to think it is.” – The Guardian

Top posts secure but cabinet reshuffle speculation continues

“Education minister Elizabeth Truss, welfare minister Esther McVey and junior whip Nicky Morgan are all tipped for promotion to bigger jobs. The Prime Minister is under pressure from some senior Tories to ease out some veteran Tories to ease out some veteran ministers, including Chief Whip Sir George Young and Commons Leader Andrew Lansley, to free up room at the top…Mr Cameron is also under pressure to find jobs for talented backbenchers from the 2010 intake, such as Nadhim Zahawi and Gavin Barwell.” – Daily Mail

TelegraphcoalitionCameron and Clegg in talks about new 2015 coalition

“David Cameron has held talks with Nick Clegg about forming a second coalition after 2015, amid growing concern in Downing Street that the Conservatives will not win the next election.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Inside the Coalition – Matthew d’Anconna book serialisation Daily Telegraph

Conservative Vice Chairman Alan Lewis arrested for alleged rape

“The Tory Party was rocked last night after one of its most senior figures was arrested over an alleged rape of a teenage girl. Alan Lewis, 75 — a party vice-chairman appointed by PM David Cameron — was held by specialist officers after a woman claimed he sexually assaulted her while she was a teenager.” – The Sun (£)

Lynton Crosby rejects targeted messages for ethnic minority voters

“Senior No 10 figures have warned that Labour attracts most non-white votes and could prevent the Tories from returning to power. In the 2010 election only 16 per cent of voters from ethnic minority backgrounds chose the Conservatives, compared with 68 per cent who supported Labour. Mr Crosby, the Australian strategist who helped Boris Johnson to become Mayor of London, has made it clear to MPs that he believes electoral success hinges on universally targeted, simple messages on the economy, welfare and the character of Ed Miliband, which are repeated over and over.” – The Times (£)

Youth backing for the benefit cap

“Young people overwhelmingly support the Government’s cap on benefits, according to a poll for The Times that reveals a “harder edge” compared with earlier generations….Oliver Cooper, the 26-year-old chairman of the Tory youth group Conservative Future, said that a new generation of teenagers and twenty-somethings was agreeing with his party’s economic policies. As evidence, he pointed to a boom in university Conservative associations, which will have a presence on 75 campuses this year compared with 45 last year.” – The Times(£)

>Today: We will stop paying people to be idle: An interview with Iain Duncan Smith

>Yesterday: Matthew Sinclair: Why IDS is right to make welfare claimants work for dole

Reject “Blade Runner capitalism” says Peter Franklin

“If “we’re all in it together” when times are bad, then ordinary voters expect their fair share when times are good. Certainly, they’ve earned it. According to the Office for National Statistics, real wages fell by about 9 per cent over the five years from April 2008. Having done their bit for British competitiveness, the last thing working people want are proposals to further weaken their position in the labour market.” – Peter Franklin The Times(£)

Britain can do better than returning to the 1970s

Parris“Mr Miliband was only a boy in the 1970s. He cannot know from personal memory what millions of his countrymen do. Anyone aged over 55 remembers the statutory prices policy, and most of us remember its failure, and the reasons for its failure.” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

McBride says Gordon Brown knew about budget leaks

“Mr McBride claimed Tony Blair sometimes confronted Mr Brown about damaging leaks after being told by the security services that Mr McBride was responsible for them. He said Mr Brown was “convinced” the services were monitoring whom Mr McBride was speaking to on the telephone.” – The Independent

Ralph Miliband “hated Britain”

“As for the country that gave him and his family protection, the 17-year-old wrote in his diary: ‘The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world. . . you sometimes want them almost to lose (the war) to show them how things are. They have the greatest contempt for the Continent . .. To lose their empire would be the worst possible humiliation.’ ” Geoffrey Levy Daily Mail

News in brief

  • House prices rising across the country – Daily Mail
  • Thatcher’s Bruges speech “not anti EU” says Charles Powell – BBC
  • Royal Mail will be sold by mid October – BBC
  • Labour to hand out “desolate north” postcards at Tory conference – Guardian
  • Carney rejects further Quantative Easing – BBC

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