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Politics Live blog: Thursday 8 December 2011

Nick Clegg's speech . cities - Summary

. Philip Hammond talks about defense - Summary noon . Summary

2:14 p.m.

Philip Hammond

, defense secretary, was in One World. There were two lines that goes well beyond what he said in his speech. I took the quotes from PoliticsHome.

Hammond said there could be more layoffs beyond the military already announced.

After the operation in Afghanistan is over, may be necessary for new rounds of layoffs to reach the size of the army that we have proposed. Now we have a commitment to an army that will be about 82,000 regular and reserve about 30,000 trained its overall structure. Now it's the end of the decade, and of course if need more layoffs will depend on the rate of recruitment and retention.

. He defended the decision to incude the armed forces on top of a salary increase of 1% announced by George Osborne. As reported by the Sun, David Cameron, has been criticized for this in PMQs yesterday. That's how Hammond defended the decision.

think you should look at the salary package in the round. First, the 1% that the Chancellor has announced a policy measure in the public sector is at the top of the deposit is already included in the contractual arrangements of the population and the increase in military pay is an important part of the structure.

[inflation] is more this time, but remember we are talking about two years after the wage freeze in place, when all forecasts indicate that the inflation will be much lower. Thus, it will be 1% at the top of the progress. No impact on performance, including performance attribution, that is out of cash in the amount of £ 5000 more than doubled when it came to power, people returning from a tour operation. We have doubled the tax relief advice, and the Chancellor also announced that military pay is not included in the review of regional wages is ordered.

1:20 p.m.:.

A summary of noon

. George Osborne, the chancellor, said the collapse of the euro " enormous damage "to the UK economy

testify before a committee of Lords, he said. "It would do enormous damage to the UK economy, and I think those who say they have one or two years of deprivation and then bounce out of it, can be a bit optimistic. There have been studies that suggest a very significant reduction in UK GDP were the euro to collapse "Speaking before leaving for Brussels for the European Summit, David Cameron, said:". We need the countries in the area that if they come together to make changes, to solve their problems, and get to the institutions of the euro area behind this currency, so that their economies moving again and it will be good for us. "There are more details in our blog in the euro zone debt crisis, which covers the top in detail.

Osborne could have been referring to this analysis in the Financial Times (subscription) Citi economist Willem Buiter.

disorderly sovereign defaults and outs of the euro area by the five peripheral states not only drag down the European banking system, but also the North Atlantic and the international financial system exposed parts of the rest of global banking system. The resulting financial crisis would lead to a global depression that could last years, GDP is probably a reduction of more than 10 percent and unemployment in the west to reach 20 percent or more. Emerging markets are inevitably affected.

Buiter chance think the risk of a crisis of this magnitude does not exceed 5%.

. Philip Hammond, Secretary of Defense, announced that women are allowed to serve in the Royal Navy submarines for the first time.

The Ministry of Defence has admitted that the medical opinion that was used to justify their exclusion was "flawed." Hammond made the announcement during a speech in which he also said that despite its reputation as a "numbers man", which is firmly committed to the protection of "essential skills and abilities." (See 10:51 ET 24:49.)

. Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, said that all boards of English who want to increase council tax above 3.5% will have to hold a referendum .

"Boards have a moral obligation to help working families and retirees with the cost of living," he said. "If they want to raise taxes on local residents more than 3.5%, which will now have to get a direct democratic mandate to do so. "This is the result of the law of localism. Pickles, the announcement revealed that councils face an average reduction of 3 3% of energy expenditure in 2012-13 - with an average household spending fell to £ 2,186, a decrease of 75 pounds last year.

. Greg Clark, the Minister for Local Government, said that the government wants to decentralize the power of all cities.

made his comments in the House of Commons, responding to a pressing issue on the announcement of Nick Clegg on "big cities". In a speech Clegg said the Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds , Newcastle, Nottingham, Bristol and Birmingham would be designated "cities" and that the government would give them new powers. In common Clark said that these cities were under special treatment. "We start with the eight cities, but our vision extends to all urban areas of Great Britain, "he said. (See 11:09 pm.)

. Ministers have announced a new offer on the NHS pension or about 630,000 service personnel health with lower wages are spared pension contributions have increased next year.

Offer Details are in the Department of Health press release. Unite has rejected this as a scam, and high incomes should pay more.

. The Office of Fair Trading has provisionally designated the private health sector to the Competition Commission on the basis that private patients are not sufficiently informed about the costs and quality of the various consultants due to lack of competition in the market.

. Two examiners were suspended after claims in the Daily Telegraph that teachers have received the secret tip on how to improve the performance testing of their students.

. The Ministry of Transport has admitted that two people were killed by drunk drivers who mistakenly returned their license without appropriate medical supervision.

As reported by the Associated Press, Mike Penning, the Minister of Roads, expressed "deep regret" over the two deaths in 1996 and 2006. Penning said that work was ongoing contact with their families. The drivers involved were returned to their license without a medical evaluation despite being convicted of drunk driving, while more than two and a half times the legal limit of alcohol. They are defined as "high-risk offenders" (ARH).

. Vince Cable, the secretary of business, has launched a £ 75 million innovation strategy and research.

. Sugar
Lord told his colleagues that the government should develop a "Made in Britain" logo to encourage people to buy British.

the point in a debate in the House of Lords.

We need to educate the public to buy products that are manufactured, assembled, or at least in Britain. We need to change the public's mind so that when they go shopping, can help in small way by purchasing products made or assembled in Britain. Consideration must be in the back of his mind at some point the line of your buying decision is to support employment. This new culture must be inculcated in British households.

. The Treasury Department has launched a consultation on changing the law so that insurers can not use sex as a risk factor in selling auto insurance .


The full text of the speech of Philip Hammond is now on the website of the Ministry of Defence. This is his first major speech as secretary of defense, and although the main story was about women serving on submarines, which contained a few other points of interest. Hammond is a business man of substance and, when the Department of Defense, it was suggested that his main priority would be to balance the books. In his speech, he admitted that he had a reputation "as a man of numbers." But he also said he wanted to protect the ability of the central Ministry of Defence.

These are the key points.

Hammond, said that "core competencies" within the Ministry of Defence would be protected.

I am determined that we can not compromise current operations or limit the future ability of the defense - which means it will not remove the essential skills and abilities that are beyond repair - so that we can retain the possibility of extending the future if the requirements of the threat and resources permit.

My first rule is that all our current limits should not prevent our successors to do more.

also said it would protect "the strengths, abilities and skills that allow us to add value to our most important alliances."

But he also stressed that no rewrite the Defence Review.

"unraveling of [Strategic Defense and Security Review] is simply not an option," he said.

said defense spending control is essential to national security.

have a balanced budget by instinct.

But the goal of the Department of Defense is not just to balance the accounts. Exists to defend the country

And let the Defence budget deficit to reach unsustainable levels as endangering the entire defense program, the last government betrayed the armed forces and utterly failed in its duty to the country.

. He says the cost of British war in Libya £ 212m.

I am pleased to announce today that the final estimate of additional net costs of operations in Libya is £ 212 000 000 - made up of 145 million pounds of operating costs, and more of £ 67 trillion dollars to replace ammunition.

is almost one third lower than the estimate provided by my predecessor in Parliament in October -. This is due to the speed at which operations have been completed and a reassessment of the replacement cost of ammunition used

He said "very signficant progress" is being done in Afghanistan.
in central Helmand province, where the British are on patrol, the number of insurgent attacks have "significantly reduced", and as a result "something like a normal life" is back in many areas.

announced that women are allowed to serve in submarines.


Caroline Spelman, the Secretary for the Environment, published a white paper on water. It includes plans for new social tariffs to help people struggling with the cost of bills, changes in the rules on the production of river water and a series of measures to liberalize the market to improve competition.


My colleague Polly Curtis looks

if the EU is really a threat to the city of London on his Reality Check blog


The Department of Justice announced a second change to the judicial system today. It is from the Press Association.

suspected thieves, violent criminals and racists who have their cases sent to Crown Court as soon as the government plans announced today.
"Either way the crimes" that can be treated either in the judiciary or the Crown Court depending on the seriousness of the allegations will be sent directly to the Crown Court if the judges deem appropriate.

Ministers hope the move, including the disposal of the hearings, expedite cases and save money.


is a reaction to Nick Clegg's speech to give more power to cities. (See 11:09.)


Hilary Benn

, shadow communities secretary

This speech is a smokescreen for deeper cuts in council funding announced today by the Conservative government. These communities, particularly the most disadvantaged in England, which were shorter than in the less poor. With jobs ranging from the local council - which affects twice as many women as men - to cut too far and too quickly forced local authorities across the country to reduce frontline services that residents and businesses depend. With all this going on, Nick Clegg, the recovery Touch to give our cities the key to their future is so low, that makes no sense.


Neil Lee

, Senior Economist at Work


The government has set a challenge cities - to use his new powers to promote economic growth outside London and the southeast. Now, cities have to deal with that. Do not be an easy task, however, with growth for next year is expected at 0.7 percent, cities are facing a difficult economic situation in which to prove.


You can read all the stories of today retains policy. And all the stories of the policy presented yesterday, some of them in today's newspaper is here.

For the rest of the documents, here are some articles and stories that are particularly interesting.

. Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph
says David Cameron's career could be destroyed by Europe.

The Prime Minister is a very dangerous revolt on their hands. Yesterday, the flames of rebellion crossed the line in the back in the closet - a very important moment. They are encouraged by the audience interested, such as Boris Johnson, Mayor of London. Europe is a subject so toxic that destroyed the careers of four of the last five leaders of the Conservative Party, one way or another. It is not idle speculation that Prime Minister Cameron would be ruined by Europe.

. The Daily Telegraph said the undercover investigation exposed the examiners to give teachers advice on how to improve your results secret of GCSE and A-level.

[Michael] Gove has ordered an official inquiry into the review system after an undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph has exposed questionable practices.

teachers are paying up to $ 230 per day to attend seminars in which the examiners are invited to test questions and the exact words that students use to get better grades.

The board seems to go well beyond the standard of "guidelines" and open review boards allegations that undermine the purpose of program review, encouraging "teaching to the test. "

Vasagar reports that young people, two examiners were suspended following the story.

Jason Groves . , the Daily Mail, says Nick Clegg has abandoned the responsibility of the government's crackdown on lobbying to prevent any conflict with the commercial interests of his wife.

Nick Clegg, has "waived" the responsibility of cleaning up the lobbying industry, because of fears that it might conflict with the commercial interests of his wife.

Deputy Prime Minister, a champion of lobbying reform, was secretly removed from any involvement in the reorganization of the £ 2 billion per year industry.

responsibility was passed to a deputy minister. Critics said the decision had left the government strategy in lobbying "rudder" and helped explain the delays in the promised crackdown.

conservative superiors complained that plans for a legal registration of lobbyists, promised in the coalition agreement, were "months gathering dust on the shelf Clegg.

. The Financial Times (subscription) argues that fund managers have become the major conservative donors.

Over the last 10 years have made over $ 14.3 million largely on personal donations. And during the 18 months since the general elections that took David Cameron at the head of a conservative coalition led by, who donated more than $ 2.2 million.

The figures show a little irony in the recent British politics. Success in the hedge fund industry in London has prospered under the previous center-left Labor, which was full of praise and facilitated the resolution. However, the Conservatives won the dividends generated: the sector is now the largest contributor to the fund of the party ....

the generosity of the industry is also likely to priorities through the party, some say. "The influence of the city is the leader of the Conservatives to spend time with people that the city issues," said Tim Montgomerie, editor of ConservativeHome. "If the party depended on the industrial North, which would be a different game."

. The Times (paywall) says that taxpayers will spend another $ 2 billion pounds into the NHS IT project, although the government has decided to give up.

taxpayers foot the bill for a period of £ 2 billion NHS IT project is not one that the government has pulled the plug on it.

Technology U.S. company Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) has boasted of Wall Street expected an extension of his contract to provide electronic patient records, despite not offering a fully functional version of its software.

. Kirsty Walker in the Daily Mail, says David Cameron has unveiled details of its reform of Downing Street.

No. 10 provided a breakdown of the £ 64,000 rehabilitation after a request from the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham.

list, seen by the Daily Mail, shows how Cameron and his wife Samantha oversaw a review luxurious bathroom and stripped of nearly all the accessories and furniture upstairs apartment.

11:09: Clegg has not mayors. But she was strong on rhetoric. Clegg said the government offered a series of agreements on devolution to cities in English would be "an unprecedented transfer of power."

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