Politics Summary: Monday, September 14th

In a speech today to the Labour pressure group, Progress, Peter Mandelson will contrast Labour’s approach with the Conservative Party’s “slash and burn” programme accusing David Cameron of planning “deep, savage, indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts.”

The Daily Mail report the speech as a challenge to the unions with the headline: “Mandy tells unions: We’ll fight you on spending cuts after TUC chief predicts 4m jobless and riots in the streets.” TUC Secretary General Brendan Barber has warned that, “Spending cuts will provoke a double quick, double dip recession. Unemployment could well exceed 4 million.” Jackie Ashley in the Guardian writes, “if there have to be cuts, then taking away child benefit from the better off, and the winter fuel payment from richer pensioners, would seem sensible ideas.”

The Guardian’s annual survey of executive pay shows that although bonuses were lower, basic salary hikes hit 10 per cent with “the average chief executive of a blue-chip company now [earning] a basic salary of £791,000.” Only 22 women hold full-time executive director positions in the FTSE-100.

The Independent report that early results from a heroin prescribing pilot showed crimes committed by addicts dropped from about 40 to six a month, after six months of treatment. Their leader outlines that, “A nationwide roll-out of heroin clinics would be a significant step, but a profoundly sensible one.”

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released today reveals that opposition is easing on the Democrats’ plan for healthcare reform “with 46 percent in favor of the proposed changes and 48 percent opposed.” When asked on the necessity of government reform to control healthcare costs and expand access to care, “53 per cent now call government action essential, while 44 per cent see it as doing more harm than good.”

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