Daily Archives: October 8, 2012

What a difference a political hat makes. Around 20 years ago, Vince Cable as a company economist angered Nigeria’s military rulers by pointing out corruption – but got away with it.

Returning to Nigeria as British business secretary to foster links, he chose somewhat safer topics, discussing areas for improvement for both countries.

The last time Vince Cable set foot in Nigeria was “during the dark days of military rule” in the mid-90s.

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This blog revealed back in March just before the Budget that George Osborne was considering capping child benefit at a certain number of children per family. At the moment, parents receive £20.30 a week for their first child and £13.40 for each additional child after that, but Treasury officials were looking at stopping those payments once a family had reached a certain number of children.

At the time, the measure was supposed to be an alternative to capping child benefit at a certain income level: the family-size measure would have been easier to implement and involve less of a cliff-edge for

people increasing their earnings. In the end, it was ruled out as too controversial, but judging by George Osborne’s speech at the Tory party conference today, the idea is back on the table. The chancellor said:

How can we justify a system where people in work have to consider the full financial costs of having another child, whilst those who are out of work don’t?

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George Osborne targeted his fire firmly on Ed Miliband in the strongest proof yet that the Labour leader’s successful oration last week has rattled the Conservative party.

Miliband had spent “a third of his life working for Gordon Brown”; he did not mention the word “deficit” in his conference speech; he was Brown “reincarnated”, the chancellor of the exchequer told the Birmingham conference hall.

Until recently many in Conservative HQ had believed that “geeky” or “odd” Miliband would be their secret weapon in the 2015 election campaign and that the public would never warm to their rival.

The Miliband speech in Manchester, where he spoke confidently without notes for over an Read more