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Updated lesson resources suitable for Politics and Sociology students


When I saw the heading I thought it was a post on George Osborne's speech in Manchester. I think it might even cost them the election.

I've always admired your optimism John - was the speech that bad?

From the BBC website:


Shadow chancellor George Osborne has unveiled proposals to tackle Britain's debts - including a public sector pay freeze in 2011.

He told the Conservative conference in Manchester that only frontline military and people on less than £18,000 a year would still get rises.

He said the freeze would help protect jobs and repeatedly said "we're all in this together".

And he warned bankers he may tax their bonuses if they were deemed excessive.

Mr Osborne said he wanted to be straight with voters about the scale of cuts needed and repeatedly said that the better-off must take their share of the pain.

"I don't believe in balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest," he told Tory party members.

His proposed public sector pay freeze goes further than the one announced by Labour on Monday, which will be restricted to GPs, judges and other high earners.

Mr Osborne said the measures contained in his speech would, by the end of the next Parliament, be saving £7bn a year in government spending.

He said he could not think of abolishing Labour's new 50% tax rate on the rich "while at the same time I am asking many of our public sector workers to accept a pay freeze to protect their jobs".

In a series of measures likely to form the backbone of the Conservative election manifesto, Mr Osborne proposed a freeze on the pay of government ministers and curbs on "excessive salaries at the top of Whitehall".

Any new public employee with a salary greater than the level of the prime minister would need special permission from the Treasury.

And he said the time had come to "find ways to impose a £50,000 annual cap on the size of public sector pension payouts".

He also vowed to cut the cost of Whitehall - proposing to slash departmental budgets by a third during the lifetime of Parliament, a move he said would save £3bn.

Tax credits for families earning more than £50,000 a year would be ended and the Child Trust Fund would be limited to the poorest third in society.

But child benefit will be preserved as a universal benefit and the party would not axe the winter fuel payment or free TV licences for pensioners, he said.

Mr Osborne also confirmed plans revealed on Monday to bring forward a rise in the age at which people can claim a state pension.

Explaining the need for the tough package of measures, he said: "These are the honest choices in the world in which we live and we have made them today.

"Anyone who tells you these choices can be avoided in not telling you the truth. We are all in this together."

The government has come under fire from public sector unions for its plans to freeze the pay of senior civil servants such as judges and GPs.

Chancellor Alistair Darling has written to salary review bodies calling on them to freeze the pay of 40,000 senior public servants in 2010/11.

He also recommended that about 700,000 middle-ranking public servants, including doctors, dentists and prison officers, get a rise of between 0 and 1%.

Mr Osborne attacked Mr Darling for "sneaking out" the announcement during the Tory conference saying "he didn't have the guts to announce it to the Labour Party conference".

But Liam Byrne, chief secretary to the Treasury, said: "George Osborne appears intent on talking Britain down. We were told his speech would tell us 'everything' we needed to know about how the Tories would get the deficit down. But he lost his nerve.

"How can George Osborne say 'we're in this together' and then recommit his party to a tax giveaway to the wealthiest 3,000 estates?"

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"How can George Osborne say 'we're in this together' and then recommit his party to a tax giveaway to the wealthiest 3,000 estates?" [/color]

Good question - Thanks John - you've just planned my next Power and Politics lesson for me B)

I wonder if we can get that speech on youtube yet?

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