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COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: Cabinet Office questions (topicals at 11.53pm) 12 noon: Prime minister questions 12.30pm: Ten minute rule motion: Private Rented Sector Bill (Dr Julian Huppert, LD, Cambridge) Main business Intellectua... Continue to article
I'm delighted to say our House Magazine Guide to the Spring Conferences boasts pieces from all of the main party leaders, plus their party activists. We have a strong section on Scotland, with Alex Salmond, Johann Lamont and Ruth Davidson w... Continue to article
David Laws pledged to press for the introduction of a new definition of child poverty. “What is disappointing is that the Coalition Government has not been able to agree on a new set of measures to target child poverty and to reduce chil... Continue to article
"Sharp-elbowed" parents who move house to get their children into better schools should not be criticised, the Schools Minister has said. David Laws rejected the idea that some working-class children were being pushed aside to make room... Continue to article
David Laws tells me he will publish the Teacher Workload Survey on March 4 -
Nick Clegg has sought to end the row between Liberal Democrat figures and Michael Gove. Mr Gove was criticised by Mr Clegg and Schools Minister David Laws over his decision to end Baroness Morgan’s tenure as chair of Ofsted, while Mr... Continue to article
Tristram Hunt said Labour wanted to see state schools and private schools learn from each other more. “We think that the state sector has a great deal to learn from private schools, but we also think that private schools have a great dea... Continue to article
Michael Gove ruled out the possibility of Schools Minister David Laws appointing the next chairperson of Ofsted. “No. No politician will have a responsibility for finding a replacement… They [independent panel] will make a recommendation... Continue to article
Labour's plans for an MOT-style test for every teacher risks creating a “costly bureaucratic nightmare”, Schools Minister David Laws said yesterday. Continue to article
Liam Fox has joined the calls for tax cuts to be included in the Chancellor’s Budget next month.
Writing for Wednesday’s Financial Times, the former Defence Secretary argues for a reduction in employers’ national insurance contributions across the board, to be paid for by spending reductions.
Dr Fox also acknowledges that Lib Dem calls for an increase in the income tax threshold may be necessary as part of the Coalition agreement. David Laws has this evening reiterated the advantages of such a move, writing in the Guardian that “the case for bringing forward tax cuts is overwhelming”.
Speaking on Newsnight yesterday, the Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury predicted that household incomes would rise for first time in four years if the Coalition cuts taxes for low earners.
“Now that we’re seeing inflation this year on a firm downward track, that gives us the opportunity, if we can make these other reductions in taxation by increasing the income tax thresholds….that gives us the opportunity of ending the austerity on households budgets and allowing the budgets of most people, the household budgets of most people, to start expanding again from later on this year into next year.”
The Lib Dem confirmed he wanted to fund the move by cutting higher rate pension tax relief.
Nick Clegg has asked David Laws to lead cross-party talks on party funding, continuing the political rehabilitation of the former Cabinet minister. Mr Clegg has proposed talks between the parties on donations, unions and state funding.
Nick Clegg is prepared to oppose what he sees as "arbitrary and vindictive cuts" to the benefits bill next year, the Financial Times reports. He was joined by David Laws, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who said the Coalition should stick with plans to increase benefits by 5.2% in line with inflation. It is feared that cutting the benefits increase would lead to a "significant rise" in poverty in the run-up to the 2015 election.
David Laws has put the pressure on George Osborne to raise personal tax allowances in next month's Budget, saying such a move could “end the austerity on household budgets”.
In an interview with Newsnight, the Lib Dem MP followed Simon Hughes and Ed Balls in calling for the tax cuts:
“We have to distinguish between the period of austerity for public spending and for public services, which is clearly going to go on for a period of time, from the austerity that we’ve seen in household budgets… now that we have completed most of the tax increases, now that we’re seeing inflation this year on a firm downward track, that gives us the opportunity, if we can make these other reductions in taxation by increasing the income tax thresholds - as Nick Clegg has suggested - that gives us the opportunity of ending the austerity on households budgets.”
A group of economists and politicians from all sides have said the eurozone cannot survive in its present form. Writing for the Independent, expert figures including Alistair Darling, David Laws and Ed Balls warn the single currency is doomed without reform.
David Laws, the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has warned that companies and entrepreneurs could quit Britain unless the 50p top rate of income tax is abolished. In an interview with The Independent, Mr Laws contradicted Nick Clegg and his successor as Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander by calling for the abolition of the 50p rate.
28/02/2014 on The House - 2014 Spring Conference Special
27/02/2014 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
03/02/2014 on BBC News
03/02/2014 on World at One, BBC Radio 4
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
07/03/2014 on PM, BBC Radio 4
07/03/2014 on BBC News