Politics Summary: Tuesday, October 6th

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Tory plans to increase the retirement age to 66 from 2016 to save £13 billion is the lead story in today’s Times, Guardian, Telegraph and Independent. The raising of the retirement age is one of a raft of proposals set to be unveiled by George Osborne in his speech to the Conservative party conference, with the Guardian reporting on the Shadow Chancellor’s plan to create 60,000 new jobs and the Express revealing that the Tories would “axe 175,000 civil service jobs to save £23bn.”

In what is being seen as an “audacious” move to spike the Tories’ guns, Alistair Darling’s plans to freeze public sector pay for the most senior civil servants receive almost equal coverage to the Tory spending plans. “It is surprising that the Labour Chancellor chose to make this announcement – which affects hundreds of thousands of people – in the middle of a Conservative Party conference. People will question his motives,” a Conservative party spokesman told the Independent, Telegraph and Guardian.

Outgoing head of the British army Sir Richard Dannatt alleges that the Government refused to increase troop numbers in Afghanistan. “One’s had to have the government at times screaming and kicking to agree to some of the things that we felt passionately about,” General Dannatt tells today’s Sun. “If you’re going to conduct an operation, you’re doing it for one reason – to succeed. Don’t let’s do it with at least part of one arm tied behind one’s back.”

A pioneering new directory of cancer drugs that will help specialists to identify effective treatment sooner and potentially save thousands of lives is reported in today’s Times, with some cancers, includind pancreatic, being treated earlier than was previously thought. “Pancreatic cancer affects more than 7,600 Britons each year but is notoriously hard to treat, with fewer than 5 per cent of patients surviving for five years after diagnosis,” explains the paper’s Health Correspondent David Rose.

With unemployment in the US hitting a 26-year high and expected to rise well into next year, the Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress are discussing extending measures in the $787 billion stimulus. “We’re thinking through all additional potential strategies for accelerating job creation,” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod.

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