Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Europe's left has seen how capitalism can bite back (Guardian)

Social democrats wrongly thought the reforms they won were won for good, says Leo Panitch. In Greece, the lesson has been learned by Syriza.

2. The tide is rising for America’s libertarians (Financial Times)

The new spirit in a rising climate of anti-politics has become an attitude, rather than a movement, writes Edward Luce.

3. State snooping will hit Britain in the pocket (Times)

Distrust of mass surveillance could spark a damaging exodus of IT companies, warns David Davies.

4. The many frailties of Britain’s recovery (Financial Times)

Sustained growth requires rising incomes and investment, says an FT editorial. 

5. Ed Balls flirting with Nick Clegg is bad politics for Labour (Daily Mirror)

Playing footsie with the Deputy PM is a dangerous admission of doubt in Labour’s upper echelons, says Kevin Maguire. 

6. The ‘flowers’ of the Arab Spring are so distracting that Ariel Sharon’s death has barely raised a whimper (Independent)

For years, Iraqis have been telling me that they prefer ‘security’ to ‘anarchy’, writes Robert Fisk. 

7. The west was behind this Chinese atrocity (Times)

A green idea based on a false premise, the one-child policy was the result of mathematical modelling, writes Matt Ridley.

8. The eurozone needs nurture not neglect (Financial Times)

Quantitative easing is still my preferred choice but more extreme options are also available, writes Wolfgang Münchau.

9. Nick Clegg's time to speak up (Guardian)

The Lib Dem leader's challenge in the runup to the coming elections is differentiating the party clearly from his Tory partners, says Chris Huhne. 

10. Trust the people to decide on Europe? Whatever next! (Daily Telegraph)

The public are perfectly capable of casting an informed vote – but Labour won’t let them, says Boris Johnson. 

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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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