Pledge on the jobless
GETTING people back into work has to be the first priority, Ed Balls said yesterday, as he visited a work centre with a new plan to tackle long-term unemployment.
The shadow chancellor met unemployed Londoners at Stratford's Workplace centre after unveiling plans for a new compulsory job scheme for anyone who has been looking for work for more than two years.
Mr Balls' idea was attacked by Prime Minister David Cameron, who dubbed Labour's position "bizarre".
The Government said Mr Balls' funding for the idea – from changing pension tax relief rates for higher earners – was the same as his pledge to reverse tax credit changes last year.
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But Mr Balls rejected the charge, which comes ahead of Tuesday's Commons vote on Government plans to limit most working age benefits to a 1% rise, which Labour is set to oppose.
THE first person in the UK to have a hand transplant has described how he is most looking forward to holding his grandson's hand.
A shocked Mark Cahill, 51, was told on Boxing Day that a donor hand was available.
And he underwent the procedure a day later in a pioneering eight-hour operation at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).
The former pub landlord from Greetland, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, said the move had changed his life.
CHILD benefit cuts will cause "incoherence" in the welfare system and undermine other Government reforms, a respected economic think tank has warned.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) issued a highly critical analysis of the move to strip the payments from some higher earners from next week. While it made sense to target universal benefits paid to the better-off as part of efforts to tackle the deficit, the way it was being done was "problematic", it said.
It warned that some families would end up losing as much as 65p of every extra pound they earned.