News round up: Brown plans to take cash from poorest families

Brown plans to take cash from poorest families

Gordon Brown is facing a Labour revolt over plans to cut the benefits of the poorest families by up to £15 a week, The Times can reveal.

Proposals to be implemented next April, a month before a general election, could mean some people losing a fifth of their income.
Read more on this story in The Times

Tax credits may be cut in Conservative reforms

Tax credits could be scrapped as part of a long-term reform of benefits, the Conservatives have suggested.

Theresa May, the Tory work and pensions spokeswoman, used a speech on welfare to attack tax credits in principle, rather than the way that they are implemented.

Previously under David Cameron, the Conservatives have said that they opposed the way tax credits have been managed and did not think that they should be given to the middle classes.
Read more on this story in The Times

Middle class face bigger bills for care: Labour’s sliding scale would make savers pay more

Middle-class people who have saved throughout their lives may have to pay even more to cover their personal care in old age, it emerged yesterday.
Plans unveiled by Health Secretary Andy Burnham last month envisaged everyone with property and savings over £23,500 paying a lump sum into an insurance scheme to fund the full costs of their personal care.

But it has now emerged that another option is a sliding scale, with people with larger savings paying more than £20,000, while those who have only a modest amount pay less.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Tory controlled borough Barnet adopts budget airline model

A leading Conservative council is using the business model of budget airlines, Ryanair and easyJet, to inspire a radical reform of public service provision which is being seen as a blueprint for Tory government.

The practices of the no-frills airlines, who charge customers extra for services which were once considered part of the standard fare, are being emulated by the London borough of Barnet as it embarks on “a relentless drive for efficiency”. A spokesman for the council has unofficially dubbed the project “EasyCouncil”.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Baltimore’s mayor rebukes Tory Chris Grayling over Wire remark

Comparing Britain to an episode of the cult television series The Wire must have seemed like a clever way of illustrating how the Tories say the country has been driven to rack and ruin.

But after drawing parallels this week between what his party calls “broken Britain” and the fictional drama about the crime-ridden US city of Baltimore, Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, was rowing back last night as he came under fire from two figures he would probably rather keep on side: the mayor of Baltimore and the chief constable of Greater Manchester police.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Pensioners spending more on council tax under Labour, Institute for Fiscal Studies claims

Economists say the amount of their budgets elderly people must devote to paying for local services has risen by 84 per cent over the past 15 years, equivalent to an extra £10 a week.

In addition, the study of more than 6,000 households found that pensioners are spending far more on heating and lighting their homes and having to cut down on their energy usage as bills rise.

Read more on this story in The Daily Telegraph

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