Repeat offenders responsible for millions of crimes

GRAYLING Chris blue“Almost 150,000 criminals convicted or cautioned last year had committed 15 or more previous offences,  figures revealed last night. The ‘frightening’ re-offending rates mean this group alone have been responsible for more than two million crimes between them…Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said the figures exposed the abject failure of the criminal justice system to get to grips with repeat offenders and showed the desperate need for action to tackle persistently high reoffending rates.” – Daily Mail

Cost of Living 1: Energy firms: We’ll cut bills if you cut taxes

cut taxes“The Government faced mounting pressure to reform its green policies yesterday after bosses from Britain’s largest energy companies promised that cutting the levies would be passed on to customers via lower bills. Executives from the big six energy firms were grilled by MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee as to why electricity and gas bills are rising so sharply, with independent suppliers such as Ovo Energy also present on the panels.” – City AM

  • Green tax cuts would lower bills within weeks – Daily Telegraph
  • Big Six scrap over responsibility for rises – Daily Mail
  • Why did the companies’ bosses fail to turn up? – The Sun (£)
  • Have Select Committees become show trials? – City AM
  • Competition inquiry may illuminate this murky market – Daily Telegraph Leader


Cost of Living 2: Ministers plan to cap pension fees

pound-coin“The Department for Work and Pensions plans, which go out for consultation today, call for a 0.75 per cent charge cap on workplace pension schemes. At the moment someone who saves throughout their working life (46 years at an initial £100 per month) could end up losing almost £170,000 from their pension pot with a one per cent charge, and more than £230,000 with a 1.5 per cent charge.” – Daily Express

Latest HS2 figures: Government scales back estimated returns

“The rising price tag of the HS2 rail link has forced the Government to scale back estimates of its economic benefits. Latest forecasts claim the 351-mile high speed line will earn £2.30 for every pound spent by 2026 – 20p less than thought last year.” – Daily Mail

Crunch time for press regulation

Newspaper mastheads“The Privy Council is to meet today to approve a plan to impose draconian controls drawn up by politicians from all three main parties along with the Hacked Off pressure group.  Last night Government sources said the meeting would be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg but refused to say who else will attend or even where the meeting will be held.” – Daily Mail

  • Last ditch legal challenge by the newspapers – The Sun (£)

Tougher sentences for the owners of killer dogs

“Dog owners whose pets kill could be jailed for up to 14 years under tough new laws…Secretary of State Owen Paterson said the new sentences would be in line with the penalties imposed on motorists whose dangerous driving leads to someone being killed.” – Daily Mail

Pressure grows for Miliband to re-open the Falkirk inquiry

Miliband Labour Left“Former home secretary Jack Straw has urged Ed Miliband to take action over fresh evidence that Unite union officials attempted to rig the vote in the selection of a Labour party candidate. Mr Straw said Mr Miliband ‘should actively consider re-opening the investigation’ into the selection process at the Falkirk constituency.” – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: WATCH: Jack Straw says that Unite put politics before the interests of their members

We should have cut before the crash: Blair drops Balls in it

“Labour should have made cuts to public spending before the financial crisis hit Britain, Tony Blair has admitted. The former Prime Minister said that he regretted not following through on a plan to weed out billions in unnecessary and wasteful spending in 2005.” – The Times (£)

  • Hollande is an economic and fiscl disaster for France – The Times (£)

Electoral Commission sparks row over EU referendum question

EU Exit“The Electoral Commission considered the wording contained in the draft legislation, which asks: “Do you think the United Kingdom should be a member of the European Union?” It discovered that Britain’s 40-year membership of the EU had passed some people by. “The phrase ‘be a member’ in the question was felt by many to imply that they are being asked whether the United Kingdom should become a member, rather than if it should remain a member.” – The Times (£)

  • Brussels shouldn’t poke its nose into our toilets – The Sun Says (£)

Home Secretary warns of security risk to independent Scotland

“The UK’s current intelligence and security network could not be easily divided and resources such as the £860million UK cyber security programme ‘would not be available to Scotland’, she said. Mrs May added: ‘Separate bits could not be hived off. This is one of the challenges, one of the hard issues that the SNP need to address.’” – Daily Mail

>Today: Henry Hill’s Red, White and Blue column: Five suspected republican terrorists arrested in Scotland

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: How the Conservatives could gain traction in Scotland

Britain lags behind in international education rankings

School“Education in the UK lags behind much poorer countries including Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary, according to a major international report. The knowledge and skills of British adults is ranked 30th out of 142  countries – despite our economy being the 28th best. Schools in Lithuania were rated two places higher than here, even though it languishes in the bottom third of economies in 94th place.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Sharon Shoesmith asked for £1.5 million – Daily Mail
  • Hunt loses appeal over Lewisham cuts – The Times (£)
  • Assad’s barbarism continues – FT Leader
  • 1000 years after the invasion, a Norman name still helps you succeed – Daily Mail
  • MoD and MoJ pay their bills late – FT
  • Don’t be afraid of public speaking – The Times Leader (£)
  • Those who missed out on Royal Mail shares may have lost ISA rights, too – Daily Mail
  • Squatters seize £3 million council house – Daily Mail

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