Experts study Osborne mini-budget
THE impact of George Osborne’s prolonged austerity drive will come under close scrutiny today amid Labour claims that the working poor will be hit hard.
Verdicts on the Chancellor’s benefits squeeze and other measures will be delivered by bodies including the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank.
In a bleak Autumn Statement yesterday, Mr Osborne said painful cuts would continue until at least 2018, as Britain’s faltering economy went into reverse.
Bank expected to hold rates at 0.5%
BANK of England policymakers are unlikely to deliver an early Christmas present to the economy today despite warnings that output could shrink again in the final three months of the year.
The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is forecast to keep interest rates at their record low of 0.5% and hold its quantitative easing (QE) stock at £375 billion.
The economy sprung back to life in the third quarter when gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1%, ending the longest double-dip recession since the 1950s.
Hall faces indecent assault charges
VETERAN BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has been charged with three offences of indecent assault against young girls.
The 82-year-old former It’s A Knockout star is accused of alleged offences committed between 1974 and 1984 involving three girls aged between nine and 16, Lancashire Police said.
He was initially arrested on suspicion of rape and a further allegation of indecent assault, for which he has been released without charge.
Bid to update sex attack sentencing
SENTENCES for rapists and sex attackers should be brought up to date with advances in technology and tactics used by offenders, according to draft guidelines released today.
Judges are being urged by the Sentencing Council to take into account the psychological and long-term effects on victims, as well considering new factors such as filming or photographing a rape, when deciding on punishments.
A tougher maximum sentence of 19 years should be given for “one-off” rapes, a limit currently only available for those who attack the the same victim over a course of time or rape multiple victims, the guidelines said.
Editors pressed on new watchdog
MINISTERS will seek commitments from newspaper editors today about progress towards agreeing a new independent press watchdog.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller set a two-day deadline for a timetable of action when she met senior Fleet Street figures in Downing Street on Monday.
National editors met yesterday to discuss joint efforts to produce proposals sufficiently strong to see off demands for a watchdog backed by law.