Thursday, 9 April 2015


Ed Miliband's pledge to abolish the "non-dom" tax status has already sparked a maelstrom of controversy, with experts warning that the "cataclysmic" plan would drive out tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and business leaders. "Labour tax plan to spark exodus", is our take, Tweeters coined the term "#NonDomniShambles", while the Sun branded Miliband and Ed Balls "dom & dumber" over their policy "chaos". 

Will it raise much? Labour don't seem to know. Jolyon Maugham, a tax barrister who helped Labour develop the policy, admitted that it may result in an "enormous flight" of wealthy taxpayers from Britain. The policy, he estimated, could raise up to £1 billion, but he admitted there was a risk of a "negative tax yield". Footage also emerged of Ed Balls, back in January, warning earlier that abolishing the non-dom rule would cost Britain money. "That self-inflicted wound was particularly egregious given that at the time the interview was given, Mr Balls was one of few Labour figures who knew that the non-dom announcement was being prepared," my colleague James Kirkup notes

Labour also got into a muddle over whether they want to abolish the non-dom status outright, or just tighten the rules a bit. The Tories are now trying to take the sting out of their plan, with George Osborne - according to the Times - considering stopping children from being able to inherit non-dom status. What many won't mention is that non-doms pay as much tax as 10 million low-income families, and the wealthy are paying more than they ever did under Labour. Miliband's announcement is a "cheap election stunt", our view is.

Despite the fuss, ConservativeHome's Mark Wallace notes: "Most voters will simply hear "Labour plan to tax the rich", if they hear anything of the story at all." And so the Tories are moving the debate on, launching an offensive today against Miliband on defence policy and whether Labour would work with the SNP in government. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will warn that Britain will be open to "nuclear blackmail by rogue states" because Ed Miliband is "would be prepared to trade Britain's national security just to get his hands on the keys to Downing Street" by dumping the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent as part of a deal with the SNP. 

The Tories are turning the screws on Labour by making a £100 billion manifesto pledge to build a new generation of four nuclear submarines, coming after Nicola Sturgeon said Trident was a "red line" in any coalition talks and Ed Balls admitted that he would "of course" be looking at whether to have three, or four, subs. Defence, as I've argued before, is a good topic for the Conservatives to attack Miliband over, as the polls show David Cameron is significantly more trusted on the issue than his Labour rival. The Tories' tactics feed into their much-beloved "competence vs chaos" narrative. Floating voters, they hope, will ask themselves in the polling booth: "Who do I trust to keep Britain safe?"


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras ramped up his defiance towards eurozone creditors on Wednesday, using a visit to the Kremlin to assert that his country's sovereignty remained undiminished in the wake of its protracted debt crisis.. The Leftist premier hailed a "new spring" in Greco-Russian relations. "We are a sovereign state and we can sign agreements in our common interest in order to combat the crisis in our country. This is why we came here. We want to create bonds of trust with Russia," he said. Mehreen Khan has more


It's one thing trying to get children to read when its term time, it's another when they're at school during the Easter holidays. David Cameron encountered this on Wednesday when six-year-old schoolgirl Lucy Howarth from the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School in Westhoughton, Bolton seemed rather bored and ended up resting her head on the desk. You can watch what happened here


Tony Blair has insisted he is not among the "super-rich", despite reports that he has been earning around £20 million pounds a year since leaving office. Speaking to Newsweek magazine, Mr Blair said his high earnings went towards the "infrastructure" for his work around the world. He added: "Am I better off than most people? Yeah, I'm very lucky. Am I in the league of the super-rich? Absolutely not, though you will have to make up your own mind about that." The Daily Mail's James Chapman has more.


Nick Clegg has insisted, in an interview on ITV's Tonightprogramme, that he "rarely" thinks of himself as a "Chihuahua in David Cameron's handbag", after a Lord Ashcroft focus group with floating voters led to him being described in these terms


Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out agreeing to a second independence referendum for Scotland, telling the House magazine that the issue is now "settled", just 24 hours after SNP first minister Nicola Sturgeon hinted that her party would put another referendum in their manifesto. Read more here


Nigel Farage was joined by reality TV star Joey Essex on his campaign trail in Grimsby on Wednesday. The Ukip leader described the reality TV personality as an "icon of youth" who could help inform youngsters' opinions on politics. You can watch what happened when they met here


Justin Thornton says she fell in love with Ed Miliband when he bandaged her hand after she was bitten by a dog while out canvassing for him. The 44-year-old lawyer says she was leafleting in Runcorn in 2005 when she was attacked by the animal. She told the Mirror: "I'd been bitten by a Doberman. Ed bandaged me up and I fell in love with him." Nicola Harley has more


The BBC hosted a leaders' debate between the six party leaders in Scotland, which quickly turned into a shouting match between Labour's Jim Murphy and Ukip's David Coburn, as the Ukip MEP attacked "open door immigration". Murphy mockingly characterised the Ukip argument as "the immigrants are to blame for everything". HuffPostUK's Ned Simons has more


A Welsh politician was slammed on Wednesday for comparing the English to "Nazis". Plaid Cymru candidate Mike Parker said that rural Wales had been invaded by "gun-toting Final Solution crackpots" from over the border. Here are more details


Rachel Reeves has claimed that the Conservatives are planning to fill their welfare 'black hole' by taking child benefit away from millions of middle class families. Speaking to The Telegraph's Rosa Prince, the shadow work and pensions secretary said the refusal by George Osborne earlier this week to rule out a reduction in child benefit by wrapping it into the Universal Credit showed the party was planning to "clobber" middle class families.


David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage have joined together in a boyband, as depicted in a Green Party video in an attempt to urge voters to "change the tune". The video, which is due to be aired on BBC 2 at 5.55pm on Thursday, feature actors dressed as the four leaders singing about their shared love of austerity and agreement on other policies in "party political harmony". Mad, or just bad? You can watch their coalicious broadcast here.


Pub landlord Al Murray kicked off his official election campaign in South Thanet official by handing in his nomination papers at the local council's offices in Margate, Kent. He also unveiled his campaign vehicle, a fire engine, which he had converted into a mobile pub. Thanet Extra's James Rose has more


Not sure who to vote for yet? The Telegraph has teamed up with Vote Match, the UK's biggest voting advice app, in order to help you find the party that best matches your views. The app is quick and easy to use, and the results may surprise you...


Average of polls as of Monday, April 6: Lab: 34%, Conservative: 33%, UKIP 14.1%, Lib Dem 8.4%, Green 5%. The data is from: YouGov, Populus, Opinium, ComRes, Survation, Ipsos MORI, ICM, TNS-BMRB. 


@JamesCleverly: Farage meets Joey Essex. One is pretending to be thick, saying increasingly outrageous thing to get headlines, the other is Joey Essex!


From The Telegraph

James Kirkup - Tory scaremongering is playing into the hands of the SNP and putting the Union at risk

Simon Walker - Why scrapping non-doms would be a terrible mistake

From elsewhere

Mark Wallace - On non-doms, the two parties play tennis with their shoelaces tied together

Joe McGuffin - I'm mad as hell and Ed Balls needs to stay out of my eyeline


0830 UKIP deputy chairman Suzanne Evans announces the party's policies for women 

09:00 Nick Clegg's weekly phone-in on LBC

09.00 Ed Miliband makes an education manifesto announcement in central London.

12:00 UK interest rate decision from the Bank of England

12.00 David Cameron is giving a PM Direct Q&A in Nottinghamshire. 

1500 Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna speak in London on Labour's priorities for education and skills 

1900 LBC Women Leaders Debates with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, shadow deputy prime minister Harriet Harman, Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone and Suzanne Evans, moderated by Iain Dale.

19:30 Nick Clegg to feature on a special edition of 'Tonight' on ITV

22:40 Ed Miliband is to appear on ITV's 'The Agenda' alongside actor Brian Cox, actress and comedian Katy Brand and CEO of Newton Investment Management, Helena Morrissey.

22:45 'Question Time' from Bristol. On the panel: Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable, Conservative Environment Secretary Liz Truss, Labour's shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, Green MP Caroline Lucas and Telegraph journalist Tim Stanley

General election candidate declaration deadline, four weeks ahead of polling day

Greece is scheduled to make a €450m payment to the IMF as part of its bailout agreement



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