Road to recovery 1) Intensive Help to Work scheme is launched

FULL employment‘Long-term unemployed people will face benefit sanctions if they do not attend a jobcentre every day or carry out unpaid work placements under tough new measures that come into force today. Ministers have said the Help to Work scheme will help the long-term unemployed who were previously “written off” to get back into the workforce under supported placements.’ – The Times (£)

  • Only the workshy and the Labour Party could object – The Sun Says (£)

Road to recovery 2) Accelerating growth

‘Economists expect official figures this week will show the recovery gathering momentum, which is likely to provide a boost to the government ahead of elections next month. A clear consensus expects the Office for National Statistics to say the economy grew 0.9 per cent in the first quarter of the year, faster than the 0.7 per cent rate at the end of 2013.’ – FT

  • Regional Growth Fund criticised for failing to distribute money – The Times (£)
  • 97 per cent of homebuyers pay the asking price – Daily Mail
  • Record income tax paid by non-doms – FT
  • Shetland is the best place for unemployment and housing – The Scotsman

Road to recovery 3) Cut tax and red tape to drive entrepreneur boom

cut taxes‘An analysis by the Centre for Policy Studies found that Britain does not even rank among the top 10 countries for producing billionaire entrepreneurs and is lagging behind Hong Kong, the US, Australia, Canada and Ireland. In an article for The Telegraph, the report’s author, Dr Nima Sanandaji, says that the government should reduce capital gains tax and scrap the 45p rate if it wants to encourage potential entrepreneurs.’ – Daily Telegraph

Rail to recovery? Dozens of MPs expected to rebel over HS2

‘Dozens of Tory MPs are set to rebel in a crunch vote for the controversial HS2 line tonight, amid claims that homeowners could be criminalised for not letting officials into their homes. Some 20 to 40 Conservatives are expected to defy party whips and vote against the north-south rail project late tonight. But the rebellion by Tory MPs could have been far worse had Labour not vowed to vote in favour of it, ensuring it will go through.’ – Daily Mail

>Saturday: ToryDiary: HS2 and Ministers: when whips pull one way and constituents the other

Hunt: UKIP attracts ‘un-British’ racists

Hunt Jeremy 15‘UKIP attract “un-British” racists who just want to get elected, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says. He also challenged boss Nigel Farage to disown council candidate William Henwood — who suggested comedian Lenny Henry should move to “a black country”. Mr Hunt said: “Those comments were absolutely disgusting. Ukip position themselves as a patriotic party, but there’s something very un-British about this language.”’ – The Sun (£)

Truss: Open nurseries in schools

‘Red tape is being cut to ensure all primary schools open care centres for two to five-year-olds within their grounds, after a successful pilot scheme. Education minister Liz Truss told The Sun the move would not only help cash-pressed parents with childcare costs, but also boost the chances of disadvantaged youngsters. She said: “We know that good early education gives children the best possible start in life. This report shows the real demand from parents for flexible school nursery based learning for two-year-olds.”’ – The Sun (£)

  • Good for parents, good for schools, good for children – The Sun Says (£)
  • Teachers must stop blaming poverty for poor grades, Civitas urges – Daily Telegraph
  • The public services watchdog is failing, MPs warn – Daily Telegraph

Labour’s plan to keep Coalition MPs off the campaign trail

Labour-Party-Red-Rose-logo‘Labour is planning to spring a series of ambushes on the coalition government in the form of surprise debates over the coming weeks designed to force MPs to return to Westminster from their ­constituencies. Senior figures in the opposition complain that the government has run out of legislation to pass – calling it a “zombie government” – and is using the time to send its MPs to campaign in marginal constituencies instead.’ – FT

  • Glasman warns Labour is losing votes by being ‘too middle class’ – The Times (£)
  • Marginal candidate criticises Miliband’s sluggishness – The Times (£)
  • Electoral Commission allows extremist party to use Lee Rigby’s name – Daily Mail
  • MEPs in line for huge golden goodbye – The Times (£)

Make your mind up, Boris

‘Senior Tories have ruled out changing their leadership election rules to accomodate Boris Johnson, it has emerged. The rules allow only MPs to become the party’s leader, so the Mayor of London has no choice but to find a seat should he want to succeed David Cameron. Allies of Mr Johnson suggest he will reveal his intentions to run well before the party conference in autumn…Asked by BBC Radio 5 Live whether he would continue to “keep fudging” the issue, Mr Johnson replied: “Yes.”’ – The Times (£)

Hague: Loss of Russian money is ‘a price worth paying’

HAGUE William looking right‘Damage to the British economy from trade sanctions against Russia would be a ‘price worth paying’, William Hague said yesterday. Travel bans and asset freezes against Moscow’s ‘bullying’ behaviour towards Ukraine were planned, the Foreign Secretary said.’ – Daily Mail

Cyril Smith’s family support an inquiry into abuse allegations

‘The Liberal Democrats are under further pressure over Cyril Smith after even his family called for an independent inquiry into allegations he had abused boys. In a statement, the family said they did not believe the claims against him – but would be happy to co-operate with a proper inquiry.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Local Government: Big drop in number of Lib Dem council candidates

Howarth: Stop aid to the Palestinian Authority

aidgraphic‘British aid money given to the Palestinian Authority allows it to make payments to convicted terrorists, it was claimed last night…Tory MP Sir Gerald Howarth has called for Britain to suspend all aid to the Authority until payments to terrorists cease.‘ The Palestinian Authority is putting two fingers up to the British taxpayer,’ he said. ‘It is not the job of the hardworking British taxpayer to fund payments to terrorists.’’ – Daily Mail

New daily honour launched

‘Prime Minister David Cameron is setting up the Points of Light awards to champion normal people’s extraordinary efforts. He will give out five a week, from Monday to Friday, to replicate a hugely successful American scheme. Teacher Danny Glavin, 27, from Portsmouth, said he was “honoured” to be today’s inaugural winner. He founded charity The Inspiration Federation in memory of Royal Marine Commando Richard Hollington, 23, who was blown up in Afghanistan in 2010.’ – The Sun (£)

  • Great to recognise the nation’s heroes – The Sun (£)

News in brief