Today’s Political Headlines include May’s speech on planning policy, May’s criticism of Trump over the steel tariff plans, higher tax for baby boomers and legal action over immigration data blocks.
May to give speech on planning policy today
As the BBC reports, Theresa May is due to give a speech on housing today. She will warn firms that are slow to build new homes that they could be refused planning permission in the future and criticise bonuses ‘based not on the number of homes they build but on their profits or share price’. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, May argues that ‘England needs more homes’ but promises ‘extra protection for Green Belt land’, environmental protections, and ‘a stronger emphasis on good design’.
May criticises Trump over steel tariff plans
In a phone call yesterday, Theresa May criticised President Trump for his plans for tariffs on steel and aluminium imports and after he threatened taxes on EU-made cars, The Times says. A spokesperson told the paper that the Prime Minister said that ‘multilateral action was the only way to resolve the problem of global overcapacity in all parties’ interests’.
Willetts to argue for higher taxes on baby boomers
David Willetts, the former Conservative minister and the Chair of the Resolution Foundation, will use a speech today to argue that the Government needs to target the wealth of baby boomers, through capital or property taxes, according to The Guardian. The paper also reports that the Institute for Public Policy Research has said that income tax bands could be scrapped without costing the Government and giving average earners as much as £1,100.
Legal action over Home Office plans to block access to immigration data
Two organisations are to challenge plans by the Home Office to deny millions of people access to the immigration data held on them in court, The Guardian says. The Open Rights Group (which campaigns on data privacy) and the3million (which represents EU citizens in the UK) argue that a clause in the Data Protection Bill breaches EU law.
EU to offer UK a Canada-style trade deal, as Tory customs union rebels back down
The Daily Telegraph claims the EU is to offer the UK a Canada-style trade deal this week, with only a short section on customs and services (and potentially no mention of financial services). The Sun says Conservative rebels are to back down on their threat to vote to keep the UK in a customs union, following Theresa May’s vow to keep the UK aligned in key industries. As the BBC reports, a Sinn Féin delegation is to meet EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier today, with the DUP meeting him tomorrow.
Five-sixths of employers fail to submit gender pay gap data
Just one sixth of employers with 250 or more staff have submitted gender pay gap data to the Government, with just a month before the deadline, according to the Financial Times. The Government expects about 9,000 employers to be captured by the regulations, but the paper’s calculations suggest that 13,500 could be affected. Only 1,442 have reported.
Government did not pursue opportunity to retrieve £364m from Carillion
The Guardian reports that the Government was aware of a plan that could have retrieved more than £360m from Carillion, limiting the cost to taxpayers and sparing cuts to pensions, but it did not encourage the firm to pursue it. The plan, presented by EY in December, would have broken the firm up, selling the profitable parts and liquidating the rest.
Team Sky ‘crossed an ethical line’, committee finds
A report by the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has concluded that Team Sky ‘crossed an ethical line’ by using drugs permitted by anti-doping rules to enhance performance, instead of just for medical purposes, the BBC reports. Team Sky says that it ‘strongly refutes’ the claims in the report.
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