Nick Clegg faced a double blow last night as one of his closest advisers admitted that the coalition’s spending cuts had been too deep and a new poll also showed that the Liberal Democrats were the fourth party in British politics behind Ukip. Also, a new poll finds that Vince Cable would be more electable as leader of the Liberal Democrats. The ICM survey for the Sunday Telegraph puts Mr Cable, who has not ruled himself out as a future leader, 11 points ahead of Mr Clegg among voters of all parties. Among Liberal Democrats, his lead is 7%.
Cover of The Observer, p.16 of The Sunday Telegraph, and p.12 of The Independent on Sunday.
Alexander, the Treasury Chief Secretary, who was accused of benefiting from a tax loophole on second homes, told the Mail on Sunday that the coalition is to launch a triple-pronged attack on the well-off in the hope of raising hundreds of millions of pounds. This plan includes:
- Half a million people with property and assets worth over £1million coming under scrutiny to make sure they are not cheating the taxman
- The government ordering the new BBC Director General George Entwistle to stop its celebrities and executives using tax avoidance ploys
- Soccer players and managers who dodge tax facing fines of up to £100,000
p.5 of The Mail on Sunday.
Elderly are going to be hit the hardest by the spiralling cost of energy as suppliers prepare to inflict yet another round of price rises. Those who are over 75 will be forced to spend 7.3% of their income after tax on energy bills this year, compared with only 3.6% for those aged 30-49, according to estimates from the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
A fifth of small companies are planning to cut pension contributions for existing members as a result of the Government plan to enrol more workers into occupational schemes, according to figures from the Smaller Firms Pension Survey (which will be published next month by the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA)). Millions of staff will join a workplace pension scheme for the first time through auto-enrolment from October 1, starting with the largest companies. According to figures released last week, the number of staff saving into workplace pension schemes has dropped to the lowest level since records began in 1953.
pp.1-3 of The Times Money Section.