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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Scottish parliament to get control over income tax and welfare spending

Far-reaching reforms to go ahead after Labour drops opposition but Westminster to have overall control of personal allowance*Live coverage and reaction with Andrew SparrowThe Scottish parliament is to be handed direct control over billions of pounds of income tax and welfare benefits after an £11bn cross-party deal which will lead to the biggest shakeup to Britain’s taxation system in the

UK net migration rises above 2010 level

Latest figures kill off hopes that the government can meet its target of reducing net migration below 100,000 by time of electionNet migration to Britain has surged by 78,000 in the past year to 260,000 – a level substantially above the 244,000 in 2010 when David Cameron and Theresa May took office, according to the Office for National Statistics.The figures for the 12 months to June 2014 ex

Osborne to push Labour on when it would end deficit

Chancellor seeks opposition agreement on coalition’s 2017-18 timetable, which would entail spending cuts of as much as £17bnLabour may face a challenge by the coalition parties within days of next week’s autumn statement to say whether it will eradicate the current deficit by 2017-18 – a decision that could require the party to impose as much as £17bn more spending cuts than if it tried to en

Scotland should control income tax, says Smith Commission - reaction: Politics Live blog

Rolling coverage of the Smith Commission report, saying Scotland should have control over income tax, with reaction and analysis*Smith Commission report in full (pdf)*Smith Commission says Scotland should control £14bn in tax and welfare benefits*Smith Commission proposals - Summary 12.58pm GMT Here’s David Cameron welcoming the Smith Commission proposals. 12.54pm GMT The Law

David Cameron on Scotland devolution: 'A good day for the UK' – video

The prime minister welcomes his government's announcement that more powers are to be devolved to Scotland. David Cameron says he is delighted to see Scotland take control of £14bn of income tax and welfare benefits in a deal that springs from promises made to the country during the UK-membership referendum Continue reading...

New powers for Scotland: key points from the Smith Commission

Main points set out by body charged with formulating devolution commitments on further powers for Scottish parliament• Live blog: reaction to Smith Commission report on ScotlandHere are the key points set out by the Smith Commission, which was charged with taking forward the devolution commitments on further powers for the Scottish parliament.• The Scottish parliament will have complete po

Scotland to control £14bn of income tax and welfare benefits in cross-party deal

Lord Smith describes agreement as ‘biggest transfer of powers to the Scottish parliament since its establishment’• Smith Commission report: live reaction•New powers for Scotland: key points from the Smith CommissionThe Scottish parliament is to be handed direct control over an estimated £14bn of income tax and welfare benefits in a cross-party deal that will bring about the biggest upheava

Labour now backs devolving tax-raising powers to Holyrood, says Jim Murphy

MP hoping to lead Scottish Labour says change of mind is aimed at bringing Scotland together and party backs Smith commissionThe Labour party changed its mind about devolving income tax-raising powers to Holyrood after listening to the wishes of the Scottish people, Jim Murphy, the leading candidate for the Scottish Labour leadership, has said.The Labour MP, who quit his role in the shadow c

Prime minister displays his love for the white van

David Cameron installs white van as the centrepiece of Downing Street’s nativity display, hoping the country might follow himIt had started so well. With Emily Thornberry and David Mellor having cancelled each other out with spectacular own goals, David Cameron and Ed Miliband had sensibly steered clear of white vans and taxis at prime minister’s questions. Instead the Labour leader had returne

Doctors call for tougher laws on alcohol abuse to tackle liver disease crisis

The UK is the only country in western Europe except Finland where liver disease has increased over the past three decadesSenior doctors are calling for tougher government action on alcohol abuse, after warning that Britain is the only country in western Europe except Finland where liver disease has increased over the past three decades.“There is a human, social, and financial imperative to a

Extremism, Facebook and freedom of speech | Letters

You are wrong to say that plans to block Britons from returning to the UK raise no issue of principle (Editorial, 25 November). What could be more fundamental to British citizenship than the right to be in the UK? The state has the power to arrest, charge and imprison British people for crimes. Passports can be withheld. But the right to come home – even if only to face justice – is sacred. Exil

David Cameron mocks Tony Blair over Save the Children ‘global legacy’ award

More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition against the former prime minister’s award from the charity’s US armDavid Cameron has mocked Tony Blair over his “global legacy” prize from Save the Children but stopped short of saying he should be stripped of the award.More than 100,000 people have now signed an online petition against Blair’s award from the charity’s US arm because of

Downing Street under pressure on plans to restrict judicial review access

Labour challenges Lib Dem MPs ahead of key vote to follow peers in opposing restrictions in criminal justice and courts billDowning Street is under pressure to make significant concessions on plans to curtail access to judicial review ahead of a key vote that could split the coalition.Labour has challenged Liberal Democrat MPs to follow the example of many of the party’s leading peers and op

Nicola Sturgeon unveils first legislative programme as Scotland’s first minister

Sturgeon identifies 12 policy areas including land reform, in-work poverty, public health, gender equality and domestic abuseNicola Sturgeon has pledged radical land reform in her inaugural programme for government as Scotland’s first minister.Promising an administration that is “open, listening, accessible and decentralising”, Sturgeon set out 12 bills and other policy measures dealing with

Northern Ireland police to investigate Stormont expenses scandal

PSNI to probe allegations of fraud at devolved parliament over politicians’ expenses after claims made in BBC documentariesThe Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has confirmed it is examining politicians’ expenses at the Stormont assembly following allegations of major fraud at the devolved parliament.A PSNI spokesman said on Wednesday that officers from its serious crime branch were

Jon Cruddas praises Tory adoption of Labour’s cities agenda

Labour’s head of policy review says the chancellor has made successful land grab of Labour’s agenda on cities and English devolutionThe chancellor, George Osborne, has made a significant and successful land grab for Labour’s agenda of re-empowering English cities as the new engine of economic growth, the head of Labour policy review, Jon Cruddas, has admitted.He has also conceded that Labour

How does Tony Blair keep winning awards?

Last week he won the Save the Children legacy award, to the dismay of a number of the organisation’s staff. It’s not the first time he’s been a controversial winnerIf you could set aside one thing, Tony Blair might be a hero today. Northern Ireland certainly took a decisive turn towards peace during his time as prime minister. In Kosovo there are now at least a dozen teenage boys named Tonibler

David Cameron and Ed Miliband at PMQs: Politics Live blog

Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen, including David Cameron and Ed Miliband at PMQs*My PMQs verdict*Lunchtime summary*Afternoon summary 4.13pm GMT Leaving useful land in the north to languish is not only bad for business, it can hamper the success of an area in so many ways. Which is why I want to see empty buildings brought back to life and back

Stalking the private schools is far trickier than it looks

Losing their share of an annual £164m of business rate relief won’t kill off powerful schools, though it may harm smaller onesTristram Hunt’s modest suggestion in Monday’s Guardian that Britain’s 2,570 fee-paying schools make a larger contribution to the wider community or risk losing their charity tax rebates roused predictable fury from the usual suspects, not least in Fleet Street which, lik

Tory minister joins calls for U-turn on local welfare cuts

Amber Rudd appeals against plans to scrap funding for crisis schemes as cross-party opposition to £180m a year cut growsA Conservative minister has joined growing Tory opposition to the government’s proposals to slash funding for local welfare assistance, which provides emergency help to Britain’s poorest citizens.Amber Rudd, the minister for climate change, said she had been “fighting” to

Nick Clegg backs curb to EU migrant benefits – video

The deputy prime minister says freedom to move around the EU is not the same as freedom to claim benefits from other Eu countries. Nick Clegg is speaking during a trip to Berlin designed to rally German support for restrictions on migrant benefits. The announcement signifies a change of stance from the Lib Dems over in-work tax credits Continue reading...

Terror law watchdog calls for court role in temporary exclusion orders

David Anderson QC criticises lack of provision for courts to scrutinise an exclusion order or ensure disclosure of evidenceThe lack of any effective check or court oversight of the home secretary’s new powers to impose temporary exclusion orders for up to two years on British citizens returning from Iraq or Syria has been strongly criticised by the official counter-terror law watchdog.“My ce

Nick Clegg echoes Labour call to curb tax credits for EU migrants

Deputy PM shifts stance on benefits but makes clear he does not support restrictions on right of EU citizens to move freelyNick Clegg has shifted his stance on the right of EU migrants to receive benefits, saying for the first time that some in-work tax credits should not be available to all of them.The UK deputy prime minister’s intervention followed comments by Rachel Reeves, the shadow

Schools minister seeks powers to intervene at struggling academies

Liberal Democrat MP David Laws wants to introduce ‘middle tier’ to deal with schools that need help to improve performanceCouncils would regain powers to intervene in struggling academy schools, reversing the trend of increasing autonomy, under radical proposals from schools minister David Laws.The Liberal Democrat minister will argue in a speech on Thursday that the system of school gover

Jeremy Hunt jousts with Labour shadow over children's A&E visit

Andy Burnham accuses health secretary on Twitter of ignoring official advice by not taking his family to see a GP before going to hospitalJeremy Hunt has been accused of contradicting official government advice for taking his children to A&E at the weekend rather than waiting to see a GP.The health secretary told the Commons he visited an accident and emergency department as he “didn’t wan

Theresa May accused of personally delaying critical reports on immigration

Chief inspector of borders and immigration claims his role is being compromised as the home secretary sits on findingsThe head of Britain’s immigration watchdog has accused Theresa May of personally delaying the publication of his office’s independent reports which are critical of the asylum system.In a letter to senior MPs seen by the Guardian, John Vine discloses that the home secretary is

Angelina Jolie could be deterred from UK move by mansion tax

Celebrity said it ‘would be really nice to have a foothold here for work’ but may be put off by tax on houses worth over £2mAfter Labour leader Ed Miliband’s bruising encounter with singer Myleene Klass on the same issue, an even more formidable potential opponent of his plans for a so-called “mansion tax” on properties worth more than £2m looms large: Angelina Jolie.The Hollywood A-lister,

Police launch inquiry into Tory peer Lord Hanningfield’s allowance claims

Former council leader ordered to repay £3,300 for claiming allowance for days on which he did no parliamentary workPolice have launched an inquiry after Lord Hanningfield was found to have claimed a £300 allowance for days on which he did no parliamentary work.The former Conservative council leader was suspended for the rest of the parliament in May by the Lords privileges and conduct commit

Nick Clegg sets out plans to curb benefits to EU migrants

Deputy PM insists UK can tackle ‘benefits tourism’ without challenging the key principle of free movementNick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, has set out proposals to curb benefits to European Union migrants without “tearing up” freedom of movement rules within the 28-member bloc.David Cameron is due to set out his own plans to restrict EU migration in a highly anticipated speech in the co

David Cameron admits NHS is under pressure

PM says accident and emergency units are 0.3% behind their target of 95% of patients waiting no more than four hoursDavid Cameron has admitted the NHS is under pressure and suffering problems caused by a surge in patients visiting accident and emergency units.The prime minister acknowledged that the government must respond but argued the health service could be strong only if the Conservat


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