Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Britain’s bluster serves the eurozone well (Financial Times)

David Cameron is giving the grouping the nudge it needs, writes Wolfgang Munchau

2. When Leveson reports, parliament must act swiftly (Guardian)

MPs of all parties asked for this inquiry. We would be betraying the media's victims if we ignored its findings, writes Ed Miliband

3. A brief glimpse of a better Europe, then back to reality (Guardian)

David Cameron knows the value of working with the EU, but his hands are tied by Tory Europhobes and Ukip, writes Jackie Ashley

4. I see one last, if faint, hope for a truly free British press (Telegraph)

For the Prime Minister to offer the newspapers a final chance would be both statesmanlike and a complete political nightmare, says Matthew d'Ancona

5. Church and State must loosen their bonds (The Times)

It doesn’t need to be divorce. But if Anglicans take their laws from God, they can’t expect us all to follow them, writes Matthew Parris.

6. Horrible singers, horny snowmen and horrendous slave labour (Guardian)

This year's crop of festive high-street commercials feature fey, irritating cover versions and sexist scenarios, writes Charlie Brooker

7. Washington must stop the creeping rust (Financial Times)

The need to invest for the future becomes alarmingly clear, writes Edward Luce

8. Ignorance of paedophilia harms efforts to tackle it (Guardian)

News stories provoke panic but not informed debate. A charity aims to change that, writes Mark Solms

9. I’ve seen the future in India, and Britain can share the spoils (Telegraph)

Indian dynamism puts the eurozone to shame. This is where we need to be doing business, says Boris Johnson

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Britain’s bluster serves the eurozone well

One of the curious things about the EU is a predictable inverse relationship between the amount of money at stake and the time spent on negotiations.

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ab340340-34c9-11e2-99df-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2DJNcUcQa

Britain’s bluster serves the eurozone well

One of the curious things about the EU is a predictable inverse relationship between the amount of money at stake and the time spent on negotiations.

Has Lord Leveson noticed the demonisation of minorities? Writes Yasmin Alibhai Brown

 

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The 5 things the Tories aren't telling you about their manifesto

Turns out the NHS is something you really have to pay for after all. 

When Theresa May launched the Conservative 2017 manifesto, she borrowed the most popular policies from across the political spectrum. Some anti-immigrant rhetoric? Some strong action on rip-off energy firms? The message is clear - you can have it all if you vote Tory.

But can you? The respected thinktank the Institute for Fiscal Studies has now been through the manifesto with a fine tooth comb, and it turns out there are some things the Tory manifesto just doesn't mention...

1. How budgeting works

They say: "a balanced budget by the middle of the next decade"

What they don't say: The Conservatives don't talk very much about new taxes or spending commitments in the manifesto. But the IFS argues that balancing the budget "would likely require more spending cuts or tax rises even beyond the end of the next parliament."

2. How this isn't the end of austerity

They say: "We will always be guided by what matters to the ordinary, working families of this nation."

What they don't say: The manifesto does not backtrack on existing planned cuts to working-age welfare benefits. According to the IFS, these cuts will "reduce the incomes of the lowest income working age households significantly – and by more than the cuts seen since 2010".

3. Why some policies don't make a difference

They say: "The Triple Lock has worked: it is now time to set pensions on an even course."

What they don't say: The argument behind scrapping the "triple lock" on pensions is that it provides an unneccessarily generous subsidy to pensioners (including superbly wealthy ones) at the expense of the taxpayer.

However, the IFS found that the Conservatives' proposed solution - a "double lock" which rises with earnings or inflation - will cost the taxpayer just as much over the coming Parliament. After all, Brexit has caused a drop in the value of sterling, which is now causing price inflation...

4. That healthcare can't be done cheap

They say: "The next Conservative government will give the NHS the resources it needs."

What they don't say: The £8bn more promised for the NHS over the next five years is a continuation of underinvestment in the NHS. The IFS says: "Conservative plans for NHS spending look very tight indeed and may well be undeliverable."

5. Cutting immigration costs us

They say: "We will therefore establish an immigration policy that allows us to reduce and control the number of people who come to Britain from the European Union, while still allowing us to attract the skilled workers our economy needs." 

What they don't say: The Office for Budget Responsibility has already calculated that lower immigration as a result of the Brexit vote could reduce tax revenues by £6bn a year in four years' time. The IFS calculates that getting net immigration down to the tens of thousands, as the Tories pledge, could double that loss.

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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