Daily Archives: September 29, 2011

Jim Pickard

The tactics in the battle of Daily Telegraph v George Osborne/Greg Clark over the planning system are the equivalent of trench warfare. The ministers insist, day in, day out, that they will not budge over its planned changes. Introducing a new “presumption in favour of sustainable development” will help the economy to grow, they fervently believe.

On the other side we have the Telegraph, which agrees with charities who fear that the changes (a new ‘national planning policy framework’) are a licence for developers to run amok. Read more

Elizabeth Rigby

I wrote a piece today on Labour’s attempts to exploit the Tories’ failure to connect with women voters. The piece highlights the coalition’s failure to help low-paid women cope with childcare as a major issue for the working mother. But during my research, another issue was brought up by Tory women: David Cameron’s marriage tax allowance.

It may be the Tory leader’s totemic ‘family’ policy but it is exactly the sort of scheme that chimes well with his old-style grassroots but does little to endear the party to the plight of the working couples.

Under the scheme as it was outlined before the election, a married couple only benefits if one person stays at home since the policy is based on one member of the couple being able to transfer £750 of their tax-free personal allowance to their partner to reduce the ‘family tax bill’. Eligible couples where the main earner has an annual income of between £7,300 and £42,000 will be £150 better off. Read more