Duncan Smith gets tough on Brown’s tax credits

DUNCAN SMITH white background“Ministers last night threatened to get tough with firms paying ‘poverty wages’, as they prepared for a Budget assault on Britain’s £30billion tax credits bill. Iain Duncan Smith told MPs that firms ‘should pay higher salaries’, rather than relying on the taxpayer to top up their employees’ incomes. He also accused Labour of cynically boosting tax credits before elections to ‘buy votes’. The Work and Pensions Secretary joined David Cameron in indicating that tax credits, which were introduced by Gordon Brown, will be the focus of the Government’s drive to cut the benefits bill by £12billion when George Osborne unveils his Budget on July 8.” – Daily Mail

  • Labour accused of bribing voters with benefits – The Times (£)
  • IDS claims Opposition hiked tax credits before elections ‘to buy votes’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron wants wage rises to replace benefits – Financial Times
  • Duncan Smith refuses to rule out cutting disability benefit – The Independent
  • Tax credits and housing benefit to bear brunt of £12bn savings – Daily Express


  • Think-tank claims £12bn cuts will fall unfairly on the poorest – The Guardian
  • DWP minister denies cutting benefits could force people into food banks – The Independent


  • Mr Angry! IDS gives Labour a tonking – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • No one takes kindly to the Quiet Man’s kindness – Ann Treneman, The Times (£)
  • Duncan Smith plays cards close to chest on welfare plan – Donald Macintyre, The Independent


Rachel Sylvester: Labour needs to learn its lesson on welfare

“Whatever Mr Osborne announces on low pay and welfare reform in the Budget, the interesting thing is that he now realises any argument must be put in terms of moral values as well as value for money. Labour, in the middle of its leadership contest, is unsure how to respond and risks being outmanoeuvred over a politically crucial issue. Mr Field, the man who was once asked to “think the unthinkable” by Tony Blair on welfare, says he urged Mr Miliband not only to back the government’s benefits cap but also come up with his own tougher proposals for reducing the total amount that households could claim. His advice was ignored and he is convinced that Labour now needs to rethink its whole approach to welfare.” – The Times (£)

Small business group backs Cameron on EU reform

EU FLag“And the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) will today come out in support of the Prime Minister’s strategy. The organisation, which represents tens of thousands of firms, says the nation must not ‘sleepwalk into an ever closer union’ and should be freed ‘from the regulatory burdens imposed by the EU’. British industry has traditionally been pro-union, but the BCC said its members now need real reform and urged the Prime Minister to fight for their interests.” – Daily Mail

The deal:

  • Prime Minister could have secured terms of deal by conference – Daily Telegraph
  • Cameron under pressure to spell out his strategy – Daily Mail
  • Prime Minister’s secret EU plans – The Sun (£)
  • Majority of Briton’s don’t think Cameron will get a good deal – The Independent
  • Eurosceptics fear renegotiation stitch-up – Financial Times
  • Germany ready for next stage of negotiations – The Independent

The benefits:

  • EU exit could make households £933 richer – Daily Telegraph
  • British families quids in on Brexit, claims new report – The Sun (£)


  • Don’t let reform plans turn to mush, Cameron warned – The Guardian
  • Tory MPs attack Brussels over claim UK has too many stay at home mothers – Daily Telegraph

Comment and Editorial:

  • At last, some good news for Eurosceptics – Toby Young, Daily Telegraph
  • Greece’s lesson in how to handle the EU – Daily Mail

Janan Ganesh: A sorry from the pro-Euro camp would be welcome

“Lots of people on the edges of Europe have been impoverished as an indirect consequence of the euro. Internal devaluations have taken Spanish unemployment to approximately 24 per cent and locked Greece into its circular hell. Extremists have prospered, a poison has seeped into relations between capitals. Had Britain joined the currency, our recession might have been much worse than it was. At best, we would be more financially exposed to eurozone bailouts. If pro-Europeans feel sorry about any of this, they might let us know. Their reticence suggests callousness as much as decorum.” – Financial Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Just say Out

Peacekeeping spending redefined to help meet NATO target

Armed Forces“The move comes after Michael Fallon repeatedly refused to say whether Britain would continue to meet the Nato target of 2 per cent. He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the figures would show the UK was spending ‘comfortably over’ this amount. But when pressed on whether it would continue, the Defence Secretary said: ‘We can’t set the budget on this programme, we set the budget in September, then you’ll have your answer.’ Michael Fallon has repeatedly refused to say whether Britain would continue to meet the Nato target of 2 per cent. Military chiefs and politicians have repeatedly called on the Government to commit to the 2 per cent target for fear of undermining Britain’s standing on the world’s stage.” – Daily Mail


  • We’ve left the Baltic States at Putin’s mercy – Edward Lucas, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Are we prepared to police the Libyan coast?

Education 1) Prime Minister to tackle problems getting summer-born children school-ready

“David Cameron today revealed his struggle to prepare his summer-born daughter Florence to start school this September. The Prime Minister said it was ‘challenging’ to get the three-year-old ‘school ready’ before term starts this autumn. It comes as the government prepares to review rules to allow parents to delay their young children starting school for up to a year… Schools minister Nick Gibb is poised to announce details of the government’s approach soon. ‘It is very much a priority,’ a Department for Education source said.” – Daily Mail

  • Ten things Cameron needs to address if he is serious about building ‘One Nation’ – Tim Montgomerie, CapX

>Today: ToryDiary: Cameron backs family hubs. Now he must make them work.


Education 2) ‘Coasting’ schools will be forced to become academies

School“David Cameron moved the focus of education reform from disadvantaged to better-off areas as he laid out the criteria for a “coasting school” in a speech on improving social mobility yesterday. He also called on parents to be more demanding of schools and of their own children. Ministers have previously suggested that 1,000 schools will be required to become academies during this parliament after new laws come into force. Every school in England rated inadequate by Ofsted will be turned into an academy under the Education and Adoption Bill.” – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Nicky Morgan MP in Comment: More academies. Greater freedom. Higher standards. More opportunity. What our Education Bill will deliver.

Gove claims justice system fails victims

“Britain’s dysfunctional justice system is providing a ‘world-beating service’ to rich foreigners but ‘failing’ our own victims of crime, Michael Gove will say today. In his first speech as Justice Secretary, he will tear into the delays, inefficiencies and incompetence of the legal establishment and the courts. Mr Gove says the ‘wealthy international class’ who come to Britain to fight divorce cases and business disputes are receiving the ‘finest legal provision in the world’.” – Daily Mail

  • No-holds-barred speech will directly confront the legal establishment – Daily Telegraph
  • Evidence may be heard on Skype in courts shake-up – The Sun (£)
  • Details of Gove’s toughening up of Freedom of Information system emerge – Daily Telegraph


  • Dear Mr Gove, your grammar rules are complete nonsense – Oliver Kamm, The Times (£)

Rudd claims wind subsidy cut could save hundreds of millions

Wind turbine“Ending onshore wind farm subsidies will save hundreds of millions of pounds, energy secretary Amber Rudd has said, as she confirmed that 250 proposed projects were now “unlikely” to get built. Ms Rudd announced last week that a key subsidy scheme, the Renewables Obligation, would be shut down a year earlier than planned, although projects which already had planning permission and other conditions could still get built under a “grace period”. The policy is a key part of the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge to end new onshore wind subsidies.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Anti-fracking paper cited by Burnham based on scare stories – Daily Telegraph


  • Time is running out, but we can stop Osborne’s fracking free-for-all – John Ashton, The Guardian

Cabinet Office fly rainbow flag as Hammond bans it from embassies

“Conservative ministers are at odds with each other over flying the rainbow flag from government buildings. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond last week banned the flag being flown from British embassies to highlight gay rights. But today Cabinet Office Matthew Hancock said that it would be seen over Whitehall ministries to show ‘pride in our LGBT community’ is shared at the very top of government. Mr Hammond banned British embassies from flying the rainbow flag to mark this summer’s gay pride marches. In a break with last year, when William Hague was Foreign Secretary, the Foreign Office is also not not flying the striped banner which is the symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movements.” – Daily Mail

Jowell’s opponents claim support for Heathrow will cost her the mayoralty

Banks Face 6 Billion Of Libor Litigation“The gloves came off in the fight to be Labour’s candidate in next year’s election to be London Mayor as opponents of Dame Tessa Jowell claimed  she could not win the contest because she supports the expansion of Heathrow Airport. Senior Labour figures in London warned that Ms Jowell, the front-runner to win the party’s nomination, would be defeated in the election to choose Boris Johnson’s successor by Zac Goldsmith, the favourite to be the Conservative candidate and a staunch opponent of  a third runway at Heathrow.” – The Independent

>Today: Adrian Pepper in Comment: Aviation expansion – the perils of going for Gatwick

Liberal Democrats attempt to decriminalise possession of any drug

“Possession of all drugs, including heroin and cocaine, would be decriminalised under radical plans tabled by the Liberal Democrats today. The party’s push, led by ex-police chief Brian Paddick, will attempt to ambush a Government Bill to ban the sale of legal highs when it is debated by the Lords. Under their proposals, nobody would be arrested or prosecuted for possession of drugs – even the hardest Class A substances. Instead, police ‘may’ ask the offender to attend a drug awareness course or treatment programme. In total, the Lib Dems have tabled more than ten amendments to the Government’s Psychoactive Substances Bill.” – Daily Mail

  • Party calls for legalisation of cannabis and personal possession – The Guardian

News in Brief:

  • Head of doctors’ union claims NHS would be ‘on its knees’ without migrant staff – Daily Mail
  • France blames Britain for Calais’ migrants crisis – The Sun (£)
  • Fears that Greece could be forced to introduce capital controls – Daily Telegraph
  • Cancer tests to be extended to millions more patients – The Times (£)
  • Creditors will still need to support Greece – Financial Times
  • Sinn Fein will give conditional support to new Ulster budget – Belfast Telegraph