Panama 1) Cameron challenges critics to “put up or shut up”

David Cameron 04-05-15‘[His] initial response had been to insist that his tax affairs were a “private matter” but after 24 hours of confusion and criticism Mr Cameron caved in to pressure, saying: “In terms of my own financial affairs, I own no shares. I have a salary as Prime Minister and I have some savings, which I get some interest from and I have a house, which we used to live in, which we now let out while we are living in Downing Street and that’s all I have. I have no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that”…The carefully-worded comments made no reference to whether he or close family members had benefited in the past or stand to benefit in future…In response to demands for clarity, Downing Street later issued a further statement which said: “To be clear, the Prime Minister, his wife and their children do not benefit from any offshore funds.”…The sources added it was “put up or shut up time” for people questioning Mr Cameron’s tax affairs.’ – Daily Telegraph



>Today: ToryDiary: The Panama problem

Panama 2) Ministers accused of backing down on transparency rules

‘David Cameron was accused of backing down on his plan to open up Britain’s tax havens to full public scrutiny, as he struggled to contain the political fallout of the Panama Papers leaks. Mr Cameron said in 2014 he wanted to list the true owners of offshore companies on a public register, but ministers are now negotiating with the tax havens on a less transparent regime…The prime minister has prided himself on leading a global crackdown on tax avoidance and evasion, but the leak of millions of pages of files from the Panamanian agent Mossack Fonseca has put him on the back foot.’ – FT

  • FCA promises money-laundering crackdown – FT
  • Settling for simply averting crises will ruin the West – FT

Javid is in India to persuade Tata to give more time to save Port Talbot

Sajid Javid 12-07-15‘Business Secretary Sajid Javid will today beg Indian steel bosses for more time as ministers try to save the stricken industry. Embattled Mr Javid jetted to Mumbai overnight for a meeting with Tata chief Cyrus Mistry. He will plead with the firm not to shut UK plants before a buyer can be found. Tata bosses have given just five weeks for a buyer to save the plants.’ – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: Nick Timothy’s column: Port Talbot, globalisation – and the governing class that gains from mass immigration while poorer people lose out

EU 1) Brussels agency warns that open borders help terrorists

‘Mass migration is allowing terrorists to sneak into the EU, its own border agency admitted last night. In a devastating report, it said the Paris attacks proved jihadists were exploiting the refugee crisis. The Frontex agency logged a record 1.82 million illegal crossings into the EU last year – six times more than in 2014. But it said it had no idea how many illegal migrants there were and, in any case, had no way of tracing their movements inside the EU. Officials also warned a ‘staggering’ number of European citizens had become jihadists and were taking advantage of lax border controls.’ – Daily Mail

  • Hammond attacks EU states’ poor anti-terror co-operation – FT
  • ECJ refuses to deport criminal suspects to Romania and Hungary – Daily Mail
  • If their prison standards are so bad, how come they’re allowed to be EU members? – Daily Mail Leader
  • Downing Street struggles to preserve asylum rule – The Times (£)

EU 2) Lord Owen: A Remain vote would threaten the NHS

NHS_Logo‘The NHS will be at risk of further privatisation if Britain stays in the EU because of the major trade deal being negotiated with the US, David Owen will say on Wednesday. Lord Owen, who was health secretary for Labour in the mid-1970s before co-founding the SDP, said it would be impossible to take the NHS back to its original purpose unless the UK votes to leave in the June referendum. Speaking to the Guardian, Owen said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US could put the NHS in “serious danger”.’ – The Guardian

  • Migration is overwhelming GPs’ surgeries – Daily Mail
  • Grayling: We’ll be isolated and outvoted if we stay in – Daily Mail
  • Hammond: We’ll lose influence if we leave – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Liam Fox on Comment: How to ensure that this EU referendum doesn’t destroy the Conservative Party

EU 3) NFU claims Brexit could increase food prices

‘Consumers would face higher food prices if Britain were to leave the EU under two out of the three most plausible trade scenarios modelled by the National Farmers’ Union. If the UK were to strike a free-trade agreement with the EU along the lines of Canada — an option that has been suggested by Boris Johnson, London mayor — it suggests farmgate prices, or the price of goods if purchased directly from the producer, would rise by 5 per cent…But George Eustice, farming minister, said the report “ignores the fact that we would have lower burdens of regulation and better, more effective policy design if we took back control.”‘ – FT

EU 4) Dutch referendum poised to give Eurocrats a bloody nose

EU FLag‘Dutch voters are expected to give the European Union a bloody nose today in a referendum on a trade treaty with Ukraine that will be seized upon by British Eurosceptics. The Dutch referendum is being closely watched in Downing Street amid fears that a “nee” (“no”) vote will give a filip to Brexit campaigners. The latest British polls suggest that the campaign to leave the EU is flagging. According to an Ipsos opinion poll the Dutch “no” campaign was going into today’s vote with a seven-point lead, at 37 per cent.’ – The Times (£)

Millions might not qualify for the full pension rate

‘Millions of workers are in for a ‘nasty surprise’ when they retire as they qualify for the full flat rate pension, a leading thinktank warned yesterday. A single tier or flat rate scheme worth £155.65 a week will be introduced today in the biggest shake-up to the state pension since it was introduced more than a century ago. The chancellor described the reform as the ‘biggest since its inception’ and claimed it would deliver ‘dignity in retirement’ for millions of people. But the Institute of Fiscal Studies warned many savers will be disappointed and suggested ministers may have misled the public by exaggerating the simplicity of the new state pension.’ – Daily Mail

  • Watchdog investigates possible mis-selling of pension products – Daily Telegraph

Zac clashes with Uber drivers

Uber‘The Conservative candidate to be mayor of London announced plans last week to restrict the expansion of Uber, in an attempt to appeal to black cab drivers and their supporters…The Richmond Park MP has vowed to cap the number of private hire licences and to allow the fleet to grow only with zero-emission vehicles — that is with fully electric cars, not hybrids — despite the lack of a convenient, comprehensive charging network. Almost 13,000 Uber drivers have hit back with a letter accusing Mr Goldsmith of unfairness. “Your transport manifesto seems to treat us, and the millions of passengers we help get around the city, like second-class citizens, ” they wrote.’ – The Times (£)

  • Black cabs increase fares despite competition – FT
  • Goldsmith struggles in taxi quiz – The Sun (£)

Junior doctors stage two-day strike

‘Thousands of patients will face disruption on Wednesday as junior doctors hold a second 48-hour strike against changes to working conditions. The British Medical Association’s decision to hold two-day strikes, following two 24-hour days of action, had put “considerably more pressure on the NHS”, according to Anne Rainsberry, its national incident director in England. The proximity to the Easter break, after which demand typically rises, meant the strike would be “a difficult period, especially over the course of the second day”, Dr Rainsberry warned.’ – FT

Rallings and Thrasher predict Labour will lose 150 councillors in May

LABOUR dead rose‘Labour’s local elections campaign chief has been accused of “throwing the towel in” after suggesting that losing to the Conservatives could represent a good result…The shadow communities secretary, who is overseeing the party’s efforts before the elections, was immediately accused by MPs of “getting his excuses in early”. Two of Britain’s leading local election experts predicted that Labour would lose 150 councillors in the polls. The analysis from Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher estimated that the Tories would secure 33 per cent of the vote, with Labour three points behind on 30 per cent. Losing councillors would be a blow to Jeremy Corbyn, the party leader. The last time an opposition party lost seats in local elections was in 1985.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Chris Grayling’s column: Labour is corrupted by racism

Vine: Clegg was more interested in virtue signalling than good legislation

‘This stubborn reluctance of the masses to join in his social engineering project must be most frustrating for Mr Clegg. I mean, honestly, don’t they know what’s good for them? But that’s the problem with the voting public. They know vanity politics when they see it, and Nick Clegg was the master of self-aggrandising, headline-grabbing initiatives that never amounted to anything more than what’s being dubbed virtue signalling — showing off to the world how compassionate and enlightened you are. How typical of Calamity Clegg that employers report that complex rules make shared parental leave ‘possibly the worst-drafted employment legislation of the past 40 years’.’ – Sarah Vine, Daily Mail

Cruz deals Trump a blow in Wisconsin

TRUMP hair‘Ted Cruz put new pressure on Donald Trump Tuesday night as he scored a convincing victory in Wisconsin’s Republican presidential primary, an election he had to win in order to stay in the presidential hunt. He framed the win as ‘a turning point’ in the GOP race and ‘a victory for every American,’ projecting strength despite the lack of a path to the nomination outside of a contested convention. Together we will win a majority of the delegates, and together we will beat Hillary Clinton in November,’ he said.’ – Daily Mail

  • Sanders beat Clinton there, too – FT

News in Brief

  • Hunt saboteurs mock nine-year-old who died in an accident – Daily Mail
  • Prison population rises as crime falls – FT
  • Teenage girls convicted of brutal murder – The Times (£)
  • Refugee theme for Eurovision – Daily Mail
  • Whatsapp implements end-to-end encryption – The Times (£)
  • It should be no surprise that legal highs are hard to ban – Daily Telegraph Leader
  • Pentagon launches cyber-assault on ISIS – FT

9 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 6th April 2016

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.