The row over changes to the planning system has been both angry and loud, polarising opinion in a stark manner. On the one hand we have George Osborne, the DCLG, business lobbying groups and the property industry, all of which back the new National Planning Policy Framework.
Lined up against them are charities including the CPRE, Friends of the Earth and National Trust, who fear that the document – with its presumption for sustainable development - could provide a carte blanche for a wave of ugly developments across the countryside. Read more
This blog has in the past been cautious about the prospect of mass industrial action in the UK, given the tendency for union leaders to exaggerate their militancy – and newspapers’ love of a good “Winter of Discontent” headline.
But now the threat feels very real for the first time in months. When the likes of Prospect and the FDA are talking about strike ballots, there is a sense that more confrontation is inevitable; the only question is how widespread the actions will be, the level of support within the unions, and the timing. It is still not guaranteed that there will be a crippling universal action.
(Those unions who went on strike in June – the PCS, NUT etc – were not Labour-affililiated.) Read more
Banks must set up (quite flexible) internal ring-fences between retail and investment banking operations. The ring-fenced part must hold 10 per cent equity capital. The reforms will cost about £7bn a year. Implementation date: by the end of the decade.
Reactions are broadly predictable. The CBI says the reforms could be draconian. Unite says they are “weak” and push reform into the “long grass”. Read more