Some interesting headlines today:
IDS seeks way to save Universal Credit
Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith is urging Treasury ministers and officials to consider extending the government’s shared ownership scheme, which he believes would cut housing benefit costs. Housing benefit cannot be used to pay mortgage costs, so the scheme would cut this bill by billions, he believes, as well as promoting home ownership. “There are further conversations this week on the subject,” one Whitehall source said. The FT, the Telegraph and the Independent all argue that cutting Universal Credit, a move opposed by IDS, would come at a very high cost politically for the Chancellor and the party. The Times, Page: 4 Financial Times, Page: 12 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 21 The Independent, Page: 33
David Cameron will insist that EU migrants working in Britain are banned from claiming in-work benefits for four years as part of Britain’s new relationship with the EU. Implementing the measure is likely to require changes to EU treaties and the support of all 27 fellow EU countries, otherwise Britain would face legal action under discrimination laws.
The Times, Page: 1, 4 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1,7Chancellor “secures deals” on 30% cuts
Transport, local government and environment departments, plus the Treasury, have provisionally agreed to cut their spending by an average of 30% over the next four years, George Osborne has announced. The Local Government Association said that while the settlement with the Department for Communities and Local Government did not include council funding, should town halls see a similar reduction in resources, it would leave them £16.5bn worse off by 2020. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the cuts were “very tough” and would leave some departments with half the money they had in 2010. BBC News Evening Standard, Page: 6