Ed Miliband has done an interview with Paul Waugh in the House magazine: there are a few interesting nuggets.
The Labour leader has dismissed the idea of a new Royal yacht, at least with any public money. He says that the “welfare state is too inadequate in some parts” – such as child care, elderly care and social care. Read more
An additional 3,000 civilians will be axed from the Ministry of Defence after ministers realised the department’s “black hole” – the gap between revenue expectations and spending commitments – was bigger than previously thought.
This “black hole” has become one of the government’s most effective examples of Labour profligacy versus coalition (especially Conservative) fiscal discipline. But in truth, we’ve never really known how big it is or how close it is to being eliminated.
It is generally reckoned that when the coalition came in, there was a £10bn gap that needed closing over the course of the parliament, but the total overspend on existing projects could eventually be as high as £38bn. Read more
Nick Clegg is making a speech today where he will call for the £10,000 personal tax allowance to be accelerated faster than its 2015 target – indicating that the wealthy will be squeezed in the Budget to pay for this.
This threshold policy is clearly branded as a Lib Dem policy; the 2011 Budget saw a significant lift of the figure by some £630 or so. Party strategists believe that it is an easy concept for the public to understand and casts them in a positive light. Read more