Newspaper headlines: ‘Tax cut’ confusion and a ‘welfare revolt’

The i

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The i paper says the government is facing a “revolt” from its own MPs over its flagship benefits reform programme, universal credit. Cabinet minister Esther McVey said some claimants would be worse off under the new scheme, which led former Prime Minister Sir John Major to warn of a public backlash not seen since the poll tax riots of 1990.

Daily Express

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While some benefits claimants might lose out under universal credit, “millions” of “hard-working households” could benefit from an income tax cut, according to the Daily Express. Writing in the paper, Chancellor Philip Hammond said keeping taxes low would be a “priority” for the next Budget.

Daily Telegraph

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Contrary to the Daily Express, the Daily Telegraph says plans for an income tax cut have been scrapped by Mr Hammond in order to “pay for a climbdown on universal credit”. Ahead of Friday’s wedding between Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, the cartoon on the front page complains royal weddings are now “more frequent than bin collections”.

The Times

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Continuing with the theme of universal credit, the Times reports charities and companies have been banned from criticising Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey. The paper says “at least 22 organisations” have been required to sign “gagging clauses” as part of their involvement in programmes associated with universal credit.

The Sun

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Friday’s royal wedding dominates the front page of the Sun, which says Princess Eugenie will “wear her childhood surgery scars with pride”. The princess had spinal surgery aged 12 to correct her scoliosis.

Daily Mail

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The prime minister is facing “uproar” over her plans to give judges a pay rise of almost £60,000-a-year, according to the Daily Mail. At a time when the population is watching “every penny”, the paper asks: “Where is the justice in that?”


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The Metro leads on the transgender prisoner jailed for life for abusing two women at a female prison. Karen White – born Christopher Wood – was described as a “predator” and a danger to women and children.


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The transgender prisoner story also features on the front page of the Guardian, which reports the Ministry of Justice has apologised for moving White to a female prison. Also on the front page of the paper is a story suggesting the M26 motorway in Kent is undergoing night-time closures in readiness for “turning it into a potential lorry park” to deal with the “possible impact of a no-deal Brexit”.

Financial Times

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Global stock markets are heading for their “worst week in six months”, reports the Financial Times. The paper says Asia has been particularly badly hit this week after rising interest rates spooked investors around the world, with worse still to come.

Daily Star

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“The Mild West” is the headline on the front page of the Daily Star. The paper complains that “snowflake students” are “in a war on fancy dress fun”. The report explains that, at Kent University, students have banned “offensive” outfits such as “native American clothes and priest and nun clobber”.

There is talk of ministerial revolts and resignations over the backstop proposal to avoid a hard Irish border after Brexit in Friday’s papers.

The Times reports that, at Thursday’s meeting of senior cabinet ministers, at least six of them challenged Theresa May to put a time limit on a plan to keep Britain tied to the EU customs union.

According to the Telegraph, at least three Eurosceptic cabinet ministers are said to be considering quitting – International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, and the Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom.

The Sun, meanwhile, says senior Tories are plotting to hand over tens of millions more pounds to their DUP allies to persuade them to accept a deal.

Tax cut confusion

Are taxes going to go up or down in the Budget later this month? It depends which paper you read.

The Daily Express has the headline: “Millions to get income tax cut.”

It says Treasury Minister Mel Stride has signalled to the paper that keeping taxes down will be a top Budget priority.

But the Telegraph’s headline says: “Promised tax cuts dropped to fund welfare”.

The paper understands the chancellor plans to scrap a manifesto pledge to raise the personal allowance for income tax so he can put more money into universal credit.

It says Philip Hammond is under pressure to find an extra £2bn to ease the troubled roll-out of the scheme.

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High Court judges are in the Daily Mail’s sights after the recommendation by the Senior Salaries Review Body that they should get a pay rise of 32%.

It is the paper’s main story – with the headline: “Where is the justice in that?”

It describes the increase as obscene and says pay restraint in the public sector is only now coming to an end after nearly eight years.

In the paper’s view, Justice Secretary David Gauke should put the recommendation back in a drawer, where it firmly belongs.

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Royal wedding, the sequel

Finally, the Telegraph says it is back to Windsor today for the second royal wedding of the year as Princess Eugenie marries Jack Brooksbank.

It says the Duke and Duchess of Sussex helpfully did a trial run for them – doing a recce of the chapel and giving the carriage a spin.

The Guardian says the wedding is scarcely less lavish than that of Harry and Meghan – and eyebrows have been raised at the couple’s decision to copy them with an open-topped carriage ride through the streets of Windsor.

The Mail reports that one royalist arrived in Windsor on Tuesday to get a prime spot – and found there was no-one else there. By noon on Thursday, however, she had been joined by two other hardcore royal fans – a far cry, the Mail goes on, from the heaving streets on the eve of Harry’s wedding.

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