I will act on death taxes, says Cameron

Snip20140325_1“The Tories will revive their £1 million inheritance tax pledge at the next election. David Cameron said the threshold should rise to ensure only the rich pay death duties. Without action, the number of families paying the 40 per cent levy will double to one in ten over the next five years…Tory MP Douglas Carswell said: ‘It is very encouraging. The Prime Minister is starting to show us what a proper Conservative government would look like’” – Daily Mail

  • Old people can’t put Cameron back in Number Ten – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph

Ganesh: “Coalition more radical than Tories alone”

“The truth, which Mr Cameron cannot utter within earshot of his MPs, is that the coalition has governed much more radically than even a single-party Tory government with a working majority ever could. This is partly because it has two parties to source ideas from. The rise in the income tax threshold to £10,000 and beyond is a Liberal Democrat project, although Mr Osborne, as the chancellor who implements it, gamely contests them for credit. The pensions reform…owes a lot to Steve Webb, the Lib Dem pensions minister” – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

>Yesterday: ToryDiary – In praise of Steve Webb

Britain “ignored” in Europe, Eurosceptics claim

EU Exit“The UK has virtually no influence in Europe because every British ‘no’ vote has been ignored since 1996, a Eurosceptic business group claims. Freedom of information documents show that since records began in 1996, Britain has opposed 55 measures in the Council of Ministers and has been overruled 55 times. The figures, provided by Business for Britain, were disputed by the Foreign Office” – The Times (£)

  • The Clegg-Farage showdown could seriously damage the PM – Benedict Brogan, Daily Telegraph
  • Why Britain should stay in the EU – Hugo Dixon, Independent
  • The Coalition must fight UKIP with progress – Rachel Sylvester, The Times (£)
  • UKIP’s strengths and weaknesses in eastern England – John Harris, Guardian

Foreign criminals dodge deportation

“Almost 4,200 foreign rapists, killers and other criminals who should have been kicked out of the UK are walking the streets after a surge in failed deportation cases. The number of overseas convicts who are being released from jail without being deported has soared by a fifth in the past year, despite a series of promises by ministers…Tory MP Dominic Raab, who has campaigned for tougher laws, said: ‘It’s bad enough foreign criminals using spurious human rights grounds to defeat deportation controls, but the growing number being released on to the streets increases the risk to the public’” – Daily Mail

  • Grayling urged to head off flood of jail payout claims – The Times (£)

Senior Tories attack Grayling’s prison book ban

Grayling470“Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is under pressure to reverse a ban on books being sent to prisoners which has been branded ‘unenlightened’ by senior Tory colleagues…Even senior Conservatives who normally back Mr Grayling’s hardline approach are uneasy. One senior Tory minister said: ‘Chris Grayling wins the prize for the Government’s least enlightened minister. He has no backing for this from any quarter at all’” – Daily Mail

  • Authors blast “vindictive” book ban – Independent

Scottish independence poll: only 28 per cent support Yes

“The Yes campaign’s momentum in the polls has suffered a blow, with a new survey showing only 28 per cent of Scots back independence. The TNS UK results are well down on a weekend poll in Scotland on Sunday, which put support for Yes at 39 per cent. The latest poll suggests 30 per cent of Scots remain undecided, while 42 per cent intend to vote No” – Scotsman

  • Independent Scotland “needs higher taxes or more immigrants” – Daily Telegraph
  • Darling attacks Salmond for using public money to fund propaganda – Glasgow Herald

Miliband faces MPs’ rebellion as poll gap narrows

Ed Miliband stare“Ed Miliband has accepted he is now in a ‘close’ election race with David Cameron as Labour’s poll lead slips. The Labour leader also defended his faltering response to the Budget, which has raised doubts about his performance. He spoke after facing new challenges from all sides of his party. Several Labour MPs are this week planning to defy Mr Miliband’s orders by voting against the Coalition’s plans for a cap on welfare spending” – Daily Telegraph

  • Safety-first election policies expose Labour split – The Times (£)
  • Cruddas and Creasy call for new Labour direction – Guardian
  • Everyone now agrees: Ed Miliband isn’t working – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
  • The Left has united behind Ed: now he has to be bold – Polly Toynbee, Guardian
  • This pension reform is no liberation and Labour must explain why – John McTernan, Guardian
  • Labour has never sounded realistic on the deficit – Times Editorial (£)
  • Labour jobs for sons of Labour grandees – The Sun (£)


News in brief