Budget cuts

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Erasmusletter_en. La Culture va-t-elle passer l'arme à gauche ? - Idées. GRANDE-BRETAGNE. 40.000 familles risquent la rue - Monde. L’Angleterre, 
nouveau royaume des inégalités. Millionaire tax avoiders 'shock' chancellor. Royaume-Uni: la lutte des classes aura-t-elle lieu? David Cameron pris dans le scandale de la tourte. Pasty row hots up for David Cameron. David Cameron's efforts to show he loves a hot takeaway far more than a private dinner with his rich backers came to a crumbly end when his fond memory of eating a large Cornish pasty at Leeds railway station turned out to be somewhat faulty.

Pasty row hots up for David Cameron

The prime minister's problems began at the Treasury select committee on Tuesday when the fiercely independent and somewhat lugubrious Labour MP John Mann asked George Osborne why he was imposing VAT on hot foods such as pasties. He asked the chancellor when he had last eaten a pasty at Greggs the bakers. Osborne – more interested in the dynamic modelling of tax reforms than hot food VAT anomalies – looked nonplussed, and said he could not recall.

One tweet suggested he was then probably subjected to a Treasury presentation where he was told that pasties were "similar to mini boeufs en croute". The Sun newspaper, currently intent on doing over the Tories, described him as the Marie Antoinette of the 21st century. Q&A with Polly Toynbee: politics and society. At the Guardian Open Weekend, Polly Toynbee's session with readers included wide-ranging questions and answers on the state of politics.

Q&A with Polly Toynbee: politics and society

What should Labour do now? Why aren't they bolder? Cameron announces Tory plan to slash benefits. David Cameron will on Monday launch a scathing attack on what he calls the "culture of entitlement" in the welfare system, as he warns that claimants with three or more children may start to lose access to benefits, and almost everyone aged under 25 will lose housing benefit.

Cameron announces Tory plan to slash benefits

The prime minister will claim there is now a damaging and divisive gap in Britain between those enjoying privileges inside the welfare system and those resentfully struggling outside. It is likely to be seen on the left as the death-knell for Cameron's brand of compassionate conservatism. Budget 2012: pensioners fund tax cut. George Osborne's gamble in cutting the top rate of income tax to 45p came under mounting assault after the chancellor announced that his generosity to Britain's richest 300,000 households would be accompanied by a "stealth tax" on pensioners, a fresh £10bn attack on welfare and continued cuts to child benefit.

Budget 2012: pensioners fund tax cut

Osborne insisted that the centrepiece of his third budget was a move to take a million low earners out of tax through the biggest increase in personal allowances for 30 years. But Labour accused the chancellor of funding this giveaway through a "granny tax", pointing out 4.4 million taxpaying pensioners would lose on average £84 a year as a result of the plan to freeze their personal allowances.

They claimed Osborne had thrown away any pretence that he was a one-nation Conservative. Les Britanniques les plus fortunés paieront moins d'impôts - ROYAUME-UNI. Budget 2012 visualised. George Osborne has now delivered his much-leaked 2012 Budget.

Budget 2012 visualised

But how did it compare to his previous two? A quick and easy way of making the comparison is with a word-cloud, like this. This is a visualisation of his statement today: As you can see, all the tax changes - the personal allowance increase, the personal statements, the top rate tax cut - made an obvious impact. The myth of Tory credibility on the economy. Quick quiz: has the government saved the economy by taking difficult decisions to cut spending drastically, or are they cutting by almost the same as Labour would have anyway?

The myth of Tory credibility on the economy

You'd be forgiven for being confused because the Conservative-led coalition is not sure either. The government's "new cuts narrative" has been outlined in the past by Fraser Nelson, attempted by George Osborne, and articulated last week by Tim Montgomerie as: "Cameron state is 3% larger than the Brown state. " So did they save the economy or are they matching Labour? That depends on how you slice the figures. But the government is getting away with such brazen U-turns because journalists either look away or don't understand the economics. Protesters set for London march against spending cuts. 27 March 2011Last updated at 00:09 Watch: The BBC's Sophie Long spoke to some people taking part in the march More than 250,000 people have attended a march and rally in central London against public spending cuts.

Protesters set for London march against spending cuts

Labour leader Ed Miliband addressed crowds in Hyde Park and the main march organised by the Trades Union Congress passed off peacefully. Budget 2011 at a glance: George Osborne's key points. 24 March 2011Last updated at 09:34 The key points of Chancellor George Osborne's Budget on 23 March 2011.

Budget 2011 at a glance: George Osborne's key points

Fuel duty to be cut by 1p per litre from 1800 GMT. Public sector cuts – the truth. A week today the cuts will start to bite.

Public sector cuts – the truth

As the financial year ends, grants will run out, contracts will wind up, and charities and services will begin to shut their doors. After months of anxiety about the impact of the cuts, the consequences of the government's rapid deficit reduction programme will begin to be real. The Guardian gives a slice of what this will mean across the country, highlighting a cross-section of 50 services that will shrink or cease to exist from the end of this month. Most are unglamorous, obscure, unfeted projects, staffed by employees who are not very well paid, but hugely committed to what they do. All of these losses come as a result of the government's decision to cut spending by £95bn over five years.

Protest march against coalition cuts expected to attract 300,000. More than a quarter of a million protesters against public sector cuts are expected to flood central London today in the biggest political demonstration for nearly a decade.

Protest march against coalition cuts expected to attract 300,000

Police sources, normally cautious about estimating numbers, said last night they were braced for up to 300,000 people to join the march – far higher than previous forecasts from TUC organisers. More than 800 coaches and at least 10 trains have been chartered to bring people to the capital from as far afield as Cornwall and Inverness. A recession is no excuse for dismantling the NHS. By Diane Abbott MP Last week, David Cameron promised a ‘public sector revolution‘, It has become clear that the top target on Cameron’s hit list is our NHS. But we know that the so-called “public sector revolution” is merely an excuse for cuts and scaling down the welfare state permanently. EMA day of action: students fight for grant. Seven in 10 students could be forced to drop out of college without financial support.

Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian Students are holding a day of action to focus attention on government plans to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) that pays poor teenagers to stay on in education. Shane Chowen, the National Union of Students vice-president for further education, tweets: "Massive weeks for the #save EMA campaign and the futures of hundreds of thousands of young people. Get involved. " Public sector strikes live blog. 4.44pm: Here is a summary of today's key events. • More than 11,000 schools around the country either closed or cancelled lessons today as a result of the strikes over public sector pensions. More than two million pupils were affected by the industrial action. Michael Gove, the education secretary, said a quarter of schools were closed, and said the strikes were "disappointing and unnecessary". • A fifth of civil servants walked out, the government said.

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said: "What today has shown is that the vast majority of hard-working public sector employees do not support today's premature strike and have come into work today. " Axing EMA is not a tough choice - it's a stupid one. So will you get divorced without it? Yes, comes the reply. The marriage assessor scratches her head. There has been a constant procession of couples streaming into her office for days now since the process started. All of them have claimed that they will get divorced without their targeted married tax allowance.

The problem is that she can only give the allowance to the expected one in ten cases of marriage threatening hardship. How Austerity Is Ushering in a Global Recession. Not only is the United States slouching toward a double dip, but so is Europe. New data out today show even Europe’s strongest core economies – Germany, France, and the Netherlands – slowing to a crawl. We’re on the cusp of a global recession. Policy makers be warned: Austerity is the wrong medicine.