How Welfare Spending Increased By £28 Billion Under the Coalition

Ahead of tomorrow’s Budget, Guido’s interactive chart shows just how well George Osborne did at cutting welfare spending during the last parliament:

The massively increased spending on pensions makes up most of the overall rise, though it is debatable whether old age ‘benefits’ should be included in the welfare budget.

That said, spending on sickness and disability benefits increased by some £7 billion.

The housing bill went up by almost £4 billion.

There was a small drop in the cost of unemployment benefits.

Overall, between 2010 and 2014, total spending on welfare increased by £28 billion.

Austerity? What austerity?

Corbyn’s George Osborne Death Stare

George Osborne is the latest to sign up to #ToriesForCorbyn:

Labour insiders report Corbyn is on course to come a narrow second…

Rubber Banned: Avid Javid’s Condom Comedy Turn

Sajid Javid is not famed for his easy manner in front of a crowd, though he had the right-wingers at the Conservative Way Forward summer party in stitches with the latest EU diktat to cross his desk:

“Talking about rubbish from the EU, I’m gonna give you an example. As Business Secretary, I take overall responsibility for negotiations involving the single market. Do you know, across my desk the other day, I got a brief saying the EU now wants to regulate the number of condoms you have in a packet. 

The Swedes are saying there must be five. They want one for Monday, one for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The French are saying ‘non’, we want seven. One for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and one for Saturday and Sunday.

The Italians, they want nine! One for each weekday, and two for Saturday and two for Sunday. 

But you will be pleased to know that Britain has put its foot down. We want twelve.

January, February, March, April…”

Don’t be a fool, wrap your negotiating tool…

Tory MP’s House Husband Subsidised By Taxpayer

ansell

Continuing Guido’s series of troughing new MPs who are already employing family members on the public payroll, meet the new Tory MP for Eastbourne.

At her selection, Caroline Ansell revealed that her husband Nick would be giving up his full time job as a teacher if she was elected as an MP to look after their three boys.

A noble commitment. 

Yet, just two months since she came to Westminster, Caroline has declared:

“I employ my husband, Nicholas Ansell, as a full time Personal Assistant.”

Guido asked Caroline why the change of heart, but alas she declined the opportunity to comment. Only a cynic would suggest that Nick’s role as a house husband was being subsidised by the taxpayer…

Dave Meets UKIP

Guido is very hungover after last night’s Speccie bash. It was very hot and there was a lot of Pimms involved, also an inexplicable number of pretty models there…

Sadly no Miliband this year, instead it was Harman’s turn to pretend she wanted to be there. Osborne took a couple of hours off from preparing for the Budget while Michael Fallon was bullish about the jihadis. Liz Truss was flirty and Nicky Morgan wandered around looking for someone to talk to. Boris was banging on about some airport…

unnamed (3)

Most amusing was the PM’s drive by, where he immediately got locked into conversation with UKIP spin supremo Gawain Towler. Apparently Dave’s defence was that the smaller European nations are going to support his renegotiation plans. There are about four million reasons why that conversation looked painful. 

Despite the heat the PM’s old pal Steve Hilton got a proper hug, though the hippy chat was soon troubling Dave:

unnamed (4) Blogging may be light…

Dave Kills Mood at Summer Party With Rant About Surveillance

Dave used last night’s champagne fuelled Tory summer ball to go off on one about terrorists and mass surveillance.

Speaking to a 850 strong crowd at a packed Hurlingham Club, Cameron said he was all for Muslims who call out and condemn terror, but argued that he sees it as his mission to tackle any violent ideology.

First in his sights who those that say things like “I don’t condone terror, but a caliphate is a good thing” or that we bring terrorism on ourselves and it’s all our fault because of Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel, or poverty in Muslim countries.

An emotional Cameron got things stirring by declaring that we can’t sit idly by as even if we left them alone they’re not going to leave us alone, they’ll come and destroy us and our way of life using the only methods they know.

Witnesses report he then went on a passionate defence of data gathering – having a dig at those who think the government is overreaching/turning into Big Brother.

The PM’s shaky justification for mass-surveillance was that we have always tapped phones and intercepted letters of organised criminals and the IRA, now that technology has moved on, we need to react.

Iffy: bugging Seamas O’Bomber’s landline is somewhat different from reading everyone’s emails.

It’s safe to say the civil liberties lobby were not out in force at the £450 per head event.

Zac and Boris: Heathrow Not Happening

The long-awaited Davies Commission

“has unanimously concluded that the proposal for a new northwest runway at Heathrow Airport, combined with a significant package of measures to address its environmental and community impacts, presents the strongest case and offers the greatest strategic and economic benefits – providing around 40 new destinations from the airport and more than 70,000 new jobs by 2050″

Here comes trouble.

Zac Goldsmith, the Tories’ star mayoral candidate, confirms this morning that he will resign his seat if the government presses ahead with with recommendations. “It’s a pledge of course I’d honour,” he tells LBC:

Boris meanwhile tells the BBC “my services as a bulldozer blocker won’t be required” because a new Heathrow runway simply “isn’t going to happen”.

David Cameron would avoid all this if he kept his 2009 promise: “No ifs, no buts, there’ll be no third runway at Heathrow”. Good timing for the first Tory mayoral hustings on Saturday…

Sajid Slams CBI: Stinging Speech Threatens Brexit

The Business Secretary let the CBI have it at the Corinthia last night, telling them to their faces that their pro-EU intransigence doesn’t “make sense”:

“Imagine my surprise last month, when I attended an event much like this one and heard that the CBI thinks the UK should remain in the European Union no matter what. That the people of Britain should vote to stay in regardless of whether or not the Prime Minister wins the concessions that British business so badly needs. That none of the concerns the CBI has raised over the years are actually that significant. 

Of course you’re entirely free to come to that conclusion. But does it really make sense to say, so early in the process: … “the rules of this club need to change… but don’t worry, we’ll always be members no matter what happens”?

You’re some of Britain’s most respected, most successful business leaders. You know how negotiation works. You wouldn’t dream of sit down at the start of a merger or acquisition and like a poker player showing his hand to the table announce exactly what terms you were prepared to accept. It doesn’t work in the boardroom and it won’t work in Brussels.”

Before turning their own words against them:

“You have never been shy about highlighting the ways in which the EU can hamper and undermine British business. Here’s three quotes:

“The likely effect of many of Brussels’ current proposals will be to damage the UK’s prospects for growth.” That was John [Cridland], speaking in 2011.

“We don’t want a situation where smaller firms are saddled with poorly thought-out EU regulations which impede their ability to grow.” So said Katja [Hall] in 2013.

“The European Parliament’s decision … is bad for business … it will make it harder for firms to grow and export across Europe.” That was Sean McGuire, your man in Brussels, in a statement made four years ago.

These are all valid complaints, all concerns I share. They’re exactly the kind of points the CBI should be making to defend the interests of its members.”

Praising the CBI’s rivals while being hosted by John Cridland will have gone down like a cup of cold sick:

“Look at the stance taken by the Institute of Directors and the British Chambers of Commerce. Like the CBI, the IoD and BCC are great cheerleaders British business. Like the CBI, they want the renegotiation process to deliver genuine reform. But unlike the CBI, they’re waiting until that process is complete before recommending how to vote in the referendum.”

Finishing with a warning that Brexit shouldn’t be ruled out:

“We must speak with one voice. And we must be unafraid to say that we could walk away if Brussels refuses to compromise.”

Bravo for giving the CBI a deserved slap, but you can’t help reading this and thinking much of it could apply to the PM…

Boris Gets a Pay Rise

Last week the Telegraph gave new Tory MP Victoria Borwick a slap for raking in £100,000 a year for her three jobs. For some reason they neglected to look into the outside interests of another, more prominent London politician.

Boris […]

+ READ MORE +

Revealed: Cameron’s Demands to EU Leaders

EU REFORM

Top leak to the Guardian, revealing what the PM wants in his renegotiation deal:

  • Answering UK concerns about sovereignty by giving the UK an exemption from the EU’s historic commitment to forge an “ever closer union” of the peoples

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Tory Select Committee Election Results

Empty-Select-Committee-2yghf1joabt345iy8oltds

From: 1922 Committee 
Date: 24 June 2015 
Subject: ELECTIONS – SELECT COMMITTEES

Thank you to all colleagues who participated

The following have been elected to the Select Committees as listed below:-

Culture Media and Sport

Nigel Adams, Andrew Bingham, Damian

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Sky News’ Highly Disconcerting Budget Promo

George Osborne as you’ve never seen him before…[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Janan Ganesh on Labour’s soft left

“Ms Cooper does not believe the previous Labour government was wrong to run a fiscal deficit after 15 years of economic growth. Both she and Mr Burnham think families should be entitled to tax credits for a third child. These views are not mad. They are just a bit too left-wing for Britain. For any serious party, that amounts to the same thing. The soft left is more electable than the hard left but then Mars is more habitable than Neptune: neither planet will host human life anytime soon.”

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