Budget 1): Osborne says he is sticking to his plan

Screen shot 2014-03-11 at 07.05.58“By working through our long-term economic plan and doing the hard work to find savings in government we’ve been able to cut income taxes. Next month the tax-free personal allowance will go up to £10,000. That’s a tax cut for 25million people — not just low earners but those on middle incomes too…Working through our plan is the only way to deliver what the British people” – George Osborne,  Sun on Sunday (£)

Budget 2): Osborne accused of insulting the middle classes

“George Osborne was accused of ‘insulting’ middle-class voters last night after claiming that making them pay higher tax rates is ‘good for them’ because it makes them feel successful – and more likely to back the Tories. Conservative MPs were stunned when the Chancellor made the explosive remark at a secret meeting at his Downing Street office…MPs at the meeting reacted with horror when he told them: ‘Let’s not forget there are advantages in more people paying tax at 40p. It means they feel they are a success and joining the aspirational classes. That means they are more likely to think like Conservatives and vote Conservative’” – Mail on Sunday

Budget 3): Daley says the Tories cannot be the party of the poor

“In the contested incoherent mess that is now the public image of the Tory party, there is one fact of which we can be absolutely certain. The Conservatives are never going to be credible as the party of the poor, OK?…So when David Cameron and George Osborne penalise precisely that section of the aspiring middle and upwardly mobile working class that their party once championed, in order to favour ‘the poorest in society’, what exactly do they think they are doing?” Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

>Today: Tony Lodge – A chance this week for Osborne to start cutting the carbon tax

Gove backed Osborne, condemned Boris at Murdoch dinner

GOVE, Michael blue sky“Mr Gove told the dinner guests:  ‘There are only two people fit to be Prime Minister: George Osborne and William Hague. William has made it clear that he doesn’t want it so that leaves only one candidate – George. Boris is incapable of focusing on serious issues and has no gravitas. He isn’t a team player and plays to the gallery the whole time. The whole Boris routine will wear thin with the electorate very quickly if he became PM. And he can’t make tough decisions” – Mail on Sunday

  • Osborne is on the up, but Boris remains the man to beat – John Rentoul, Independent on Sunday
  • Boris Johnson’s irreverent loyalty is a constant threat – Andrew Gimson, Observer

>Yesterday: ToryDiary – Time for Gove

Boris: we must stop this horrific mansion tax

“Labour and the Liberal Democrats are taking us to disaster with their plans for a so-called mansion tax. This tax is not only brutally unfair on people who happen to be living in family homes, but it would hit the economics of new housing developments and make it even more difficult for people to find the property they need. It is time people woke up to the horror of what is being planned” – Boris Johnson, Mail on Sunday

Senior Tories condemn leadership manoeuvres

“Charles Walker, vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, is so angry about the plots that he told the Observer those involved, directly and indirectly, were harming their careers and should stop at once: ‘We have a prime minister. There is not a vacancy. There is a general election in a year and there are a lot of people out there who want to know what our party is going to do for them. I don’t think that this reflects well on any of the participants and perhaps if they continue it will lead to them being disqualified as serious contenders in future’” – Observer

Cameron: the new settlement I want in Europe

CAMERON EU fence“If I am Prime Minister after the election, I will negotiate a new settlement for Britain in Europe, and then ask the British people: do you wish to stay in the EU on this basis, or leave?… And although it would not be a very smart negotiating tactic to lay all Britain’s cards on the table at the outset, I know people want more detail about the specific changes we will seek…Let me set out some of the key ones. Powers flowing away from Brussels, not always to it. National parliaments able to work together to block unwanted European legislation” – David Cameron, Sunday Telegraph

  • Poll puts UKIP on course to win Euro elections – Sunday Mirror
  • Ex-UKIP MEP calls Nigel Farage a bully and a hypocrite – Nikki Sinclaire, Mail on Sunday
  • UKIP to tell its MEPs to donate £50,000 each – Observer
  • Eighteen Tory MPs to make case for staying in EU – Sunday Telegraph
  • Cameron plans to ease hunting ban – Sunday Times (£)

Labour plan to tax rich Scots

“Labour has signalled its willingness to use new powers for the Scottish Parliament to tax the country’s highest earners. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said her party’s proposal to give Holyrood more power over income tax would let a Labour first minister narrow the gap between rich and poor. In an interview with Scotland on Sunday, Lamont was asked whether more Holyrood control over income tax would allow a Labour-led administration to redistribute wealth and have higher taxes for top earners. She said: ‘Yes it would. I believe so. It’s an agenda of having powers for a purpose’” – Scotland on Sunday

  • Miliband’s £4 billion sweetener for Scots to vote no – Sunday Times (£)
  • Scotland’s growth rate to be lowest in UK until 2022 – Sunday Herald

News in brief