Boom Britain 1) Osborne pledges to connect the great cities of the North

OSBORNE SWORD‘George Osborne plans to put the regeneration of northern England at the heart of his Autumn Statement with the promise of new money for infrastructure, transport and science in the region. The Tory chancellor will be speaking on Tuesday at the launch of a report on the future of the north by the cities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle.’ – FT

Boom Britain 2) Unemployment to fall below 2 million

‘Unemployment in the UK will fall below two million by the end of the year, experts predict. Workers will also start seeing their wages rising faster than inflation, according to the National Institute Economic and Social Research. In a report, they said the economic recovery was now “entrenched”.’ – The Sun (£)

>Today: The Deep End: How to spin Britain’s economic recovery as bad news

Boom Britain 3) Growth or crash, voters always trust the Tories more on the economy

Opinion Poll graphic‘Voters trust the Conservatives over Labour to run the economy whether they believe that it still faces serious storms or is sailing into better weather. The finding in the latest poll from Lord Ashcroft suggests that the Tories will hold on to their lead on economic competence until next May’s election regardless of whether growth stalls or speeds up in the coming months.’ – The Times (£)

  • Downgrade places France well behind Britain – The Times (£)
  • Portugal pours more cash into stricken bank – FT

>Today: Mark Field MP on Comment: The protectionist political posturings of Cable – bad for jobs, growth and Britain

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Labour lead by three points in the last Ashcroft National Poll before the autumn

Boom Britain 4) Housebuilding booms

‘Housebuilding in Britain is increasing at the fastest rate in more than a decade, creating record numbers of jobs as demand for property continues to soar. The housing market in July was so buoyant that it propelled the construction industry to one of its best performances since before the recession, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.’ – The Times (£)

Boom Britain 5) Ganesh: Britain must be the global meeting place

World-shield‘Britain, with its open economy, has an interest in the preservation of a rules-based liberal order across the world, just as it did in 1914. The country does actually have a role in the world, and it is that of host. It is a nexus for global flows of capital and people, and makes its living this way. But a century ago it had the power to uphold this world system. Even 50 years ago, its thumb on the scales could tip things this way or that. That is less true now.’ – Janan Ganesh, FT

More powers for Scotland…if they stay

‘The leaders of the UK’s main political parties will today give a firm commitment to grant new powers to the Scottish parliament after a “no” vote, before the first referendum TV debate. The move will be seen as an attempt by the pro-Union parties to pre-empt the first minister’s arguments before tonight’s televised debate with Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign.’ – The Times (£)

  • Salmond and Darling get ready to rumble – FT
  • First Minister is the favourite – The Scotsman
  • 59 per cent in England and Wales want a No vote – The Sun (£)
  • Hope the Scots remain with us – The Sun Says (£)
  • Remaining in the UK is the real economic risk – Ralph Topping, FT
  • The debate should be broadcast in England and Wales – Daily Telegraph Leader

Clegg: Cameron knows he can’t deliver immigration cap

Border‘The Tories have secretly dropped their election pledge to reduce net migration to tens of thousands a year, Nick Clegg will say today. The Deputy Prime Minister will say David Cameron was ‘fixated’ on the target but has now realised he ‘won’t deliver it’.’ – Daily Mail

Boris mulls Better Off Out

‘The London mayor will this week challenge the prime minister on the vexing matter of Europe by pronouncing that Britain may be better off out. Controversial and provocative, Mr Johnson’s intervention is a reminder to Downing Street that the London mayor is on manoeuvres as he aligns himself to the hardline eurosceptics in the Conservative party.’ – FT

>Today: ToryDiary: It’s make-your-mind-up-time for Boris

>Yesterday: Cameron Penny on Comment: Lies, damn lies – and Slovenian tractors

Over 500 council staff earn over £150,000

Pay‘More than 500 local council managers were paid more than the Prime Minister last year, according to an analysis of town hall fat cat pay yesterday. Those pocketing more than David Cameron’ s £142,500 salary included council chief executives who would once have carried the title town clerk, and officials responsible for handling schools budgets, running subsidised social housing and organising rubbish bin collections.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Local Government: Fall in the number of town hall bureaucrats on six figure salaries

Betty Boothroyd calls for peers’ age limit

‘Former Commons Speaker Betty Boothroyd yesterday called for a retirement age to be introduced for elderly peers. Amid claims that the House of Lords has run out of space, Baroness Boothroyd said that the conditions have become ‘appalling’ and suggested that a time limit could be imposed on peers’ length of service.’ – Daily Mail

Labour complains about the benefits bill, after opposing every cut

LABOUR dead rose‘An extra £12.9 billion will be spent on handing the benefit to people who have a job between 2010 and 2019, according to figures compiled by the independent Commons library. The research, commissioned by Labour, will be used by Ed Miliband and his team to demonstrate that a “cost-of-living crisis” is affecting millions of workers even as the economy recovers. However, Labour was accused of hypocrisy yesterday for complaining about the rising housing benefit bill while refusing to back government measures designed to cut it.’ – The Times (£)

UK reviews Israel arms exports

‘Britain is reviewing its arms exports to Israel following the upsurge of violence in Gaza, Downing Street said yesterday. Over the past four years, arms export licences worth £42million have been granted to 130 UK defence manufacturers to sell military equipment to Israel.’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Garvan Walshe’s Foreign Affairs column: It’s not enough to grieve for Gaza’s dead

>Yesterday: Mohammed Amin on Comment: My perspective on the Gaza conflict

40 per cent rise in GPs giving antibiotics for colds

NHS‘The proportion of patients given antibiotics for coughs and colds has risen 40% this century, a study found. It comes despite government efforts to reduce prescriptions for antibiotics, which do not have any impact on common coughs and colds and work in only 10% of sore throat conditions.’ – BBC News

>Yesterday: Jeremy Hunt MP on Comment: No-one should have to wait more than a year for an operation

News in brief

  • The lamps go out all over Britain – Daily Mail
  • Cameron: We will remember them – The Sun (£)
  • Green terrorists firebomb shale gas worker’s home – The Times (£)
  • Who knew? Academic claims Gardeners’ Question Time is racist – Daily Mail
  • Triplets look so alike their parents have to paint their toenails to tell them apart – Wales Online
  • World bank pledges $200m to fight Ebola – FT
  • Superboomer? The over 50s don’t have it that good – Jenni Murray, Daily Mail
  • HP accuses Autonomy founder of fraud – FT
  • We will see life on other planets within 20 years – Daily Telegraph
  • Eton head calls for better exams – The Guardian

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