Nick Clegg exposed a serious faultline within the coalition earlier today as he said that the “huge, huge” sums needed to replace the Trident nuclear weapon would make it harder for ministers to explain cuts in welfare and other areas.
The £20bn cost of fully replacing the ageing submarine-based weapon has already prompted a spat between Liam Fox, defence secretary, and George Osborne, chancellor, over which department should carry its cost in the coming years. Read more
I was not the only one to react with some cynicism at the news that Tony Blair is giving proceeds from his autobiography to the Royal British Legion. Read more
Alex has written several times in recent months about the huge cost of lending students interest-free loans to pay for their education. For example here. As he wrote back in July, the subsidy works out as 23p in the £1, according to IFS research.
It seems that Vince Cable is now moving towards a “graduate contribution” which could fall somewhat harder on high earners than low earners. It is likely to be combined with a loosening of the cap on fees, which the Russell Group of top universities – and others – want scrapped. (Lord Browne’s review of tuition fees is expected in October). Read more
Fascinating interview with Lord Myners in the Guardian this morning by Allegra Stratton in which the former City minister admits that Labour abandoned fiscal responsibility.
He suggests that Gordon Brown “forgot” the Golden Rule. That Labour ran large deficits when the economy was at full capacity. That the party needs to come clean on what cuts it would make. And that it needs to prove once again that it is a credible party of economic management. Read more