Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Labour Party

More than a million better-off families will lose some or all of their child benefit, under changes which came into force at midnight.

Over a million UK families are set to be hit by one of the most significant changes to the amount of child benefit they will receive. The new rules, introduced by the coalition government mean that where one parent earns more than £50,000 per year they will lose part of their child benefit with incremental reductions up to those who earn £60,000 when it will be completely cut.

Quite rightly Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the government should tax the richest, rather than make changes that affect those on middle incomes, and described the changes as a “complete shambles”. Families where both parents earn £49,000 a year will be completely unaffected by the cut and will be able to keep their benefit.

You can read more on this here.

Tory Prime Minister David Cameron appeared on the Andrew Marr show yesterday. Questioned on relation to Europe he agreed that being in the single market gives us ‘a seat at the table’ and means we have far greater negotiating powers.

But Marr masterfully tackled Cameron further and suggested he wished to cherry pick certain things that Britain could be part of, and repatriate powers over the things he didn’t. “The problem” Marr said, “is that you need every other member of the EU to agree, and that’s not going to happen is it?” Showing he has still failed to understand properly how the EU works, Cameron responded; “it’s difficult, but it’s not impossible.”

Marr insisted that any form of repatriation or re negotiation of powers would be an extremely difficult and long process. Cameron refused to be drawn on the specifics and simply said he’ll reveal further details during his ‘big Europe speech’ which he will deliver later in the month. So watch this space for his big plan…

You can watch his interview in full here for the next six days.

Hilary Clinton has left hospital having suffered a cranial blood clot. The next presidential election will not be held until 2016, by which time she will be fully recovered, of course.

Yet commentators are already raising questions-as she left hospital-regarding her ability to stand as the Democratic Presidential candidate for the 2016 election, even though her doctors confirmed she will make a full recovery.

She has consistently denied that she intends to stand but that hasn’t stopped speculation. The Daily Mail reported that at “67, detractors have claimed Clinton’s advancing age and health make her too old to realistically serve as a two-term president were she elected in 2016.” You can read this here.

I don’t recall such intense scrutiny over the age of John McCain who was a Republican Presidential nominee for the 2008 Presidential election at the age of 71, or Ronald Regan who was 70 years of age when he first took office.