Friday April 6 2012
90 per cent demand:Let Britain have anEU referendum now
Bank boss King holds interest rates at 0.5%
Kate Hoey: ‘Amazingresult is wake-up callto MPs over the EU’
INTEREST rates were heldat 0.5 per cent again yesterday as a report showedthe UK has narrowly avoidedslipping back into recessionthis year.Despite a shock drop inmanufacturing output in theﬁrst few months of 2012 thecountry maintained aneconomic equilibrium. Butthe National Institute of Economic and SocialResearch predicts that anygrowth will remain sluggishwith a recovery only reallystarting in 2013.The record low interestrate, ﬁrst imposed by theBank of England in 2009at the height of the creditcrunch, has now stayed thesame for three years.The Bank also announced yesterday that there wouldbe no quantitative easing, orprinting money, this month.But many economists stillexpect another multibillionpound injection later in the year, possibly in May.Bank governor Sir MervynKing warned the Britisheconomy will “zig-zag” overthe next year. Meanwhile,sterling strengthened againstthe euro yesterday to a newtwo-and-a-half month high.
Young jobless told ‘live with Mum’
UNEMPLOYED young peoplecould be forced to live withtheir parents rather than renthomes at taxpayers’ expense,it emerged yesterday.Many working youngpeople have no choice butto stay living with theirfamilies because they cannotafford to move out.But under-25s earningbelow a certain level andthose on Jobseekers’Allowance may qualify forhousing beneﬁt help towardsrenting a room or bedsit.The Government is keen toclose the loophole.It is considering plans thatwould mean youngsters onbeneﬁts should also beexpected to stay withrelatives until they canafford to move out.No immediateannouncement is expectedand discussions are at anearly stage.But Downing Street isdetermined to ensure thatpeople are always better offin work than on the dole.But even supporters admitthe policy could be difﬁcultto enact. Emma Boon,campaign director of theTaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Itwill be hard to tell whether or
to political activity that engages them.Second, the political parties atWestminster are going to have to rethinktheir attitude. ‘Heads in sand’ is nolonger a viable strategy.”Electoral Reform Services, an inde-pendent ballot administrator, issued48,000 voting papers. Of these, almost14,600 people cast votes by post or elec-tronically. The 30.39 per cent turnouttopped that in the constituency’s lastlocal elections. And the number of votescast was just 2,200 below the total thatsecured the sitting MP’s seat in 2010.Turnout then was 59 per cent, withTory Jackie Doyle-Price – who last yearvoted in the Commons against a refer-endum – winning 16,869 votes to snatcha wafer-thin majority of 92 over herLabour rival.Meanwhile, yesterday’s result willfuel rumours starting to swirl atWestminster that the Government isexploring the possibility of holding somekind of Europe referendum on the dateof the planned 2015 general election, orthat Conservatives could commit intheir manifesto to holding a vote.
people a say – listen tous or lose our vote.”The Daily Expresshas backed demandsfor a national referen-dum for Britain to shedthe shackles of Brussels in ourcrusade, Get Us Out Of The EU.People’s Pledge plans several morelocal referendums this year and another100 next year to intensify pressure onpoliticians to grant voters a choice.As the Thurrock poll closed at 5pm yesterday, campaign director IanMcKenzie said the turnout was “trulyastonishing”. He added: “It proves twothings. First, that electors will respond
not a young person hassomewhere else appropriatewhere they can live.“However, in principle it isa good idea. It is right thatjobseekers who have someaccommodation don’t live attaxpayers’ expense.”Adult housing beneﬁtclaims have been capped ata maximum of £400 a week for a year. From next Aprilthe total beneﬁts package forfamilies with dependentchildren will be capped at£500 a week, dropping to£350 for single people.David Cameron yesterdaydefended the coalition’swelfare reforms, vowing hiswas the ﬁrst government toend Britain’s “something-for-nothing” culture.Launching the Torycampaign in Wales for theMay 3 local elections, hesaid the Government haddeﬁed the views of thosewho said it was impossibleto reform and cut welfare.He added: “We said, hangon, it can’t be right that wepay people more to stay athome than to go out to work.“It can’t be right to pay out£40,000, £50,000, £60,000 inhousing beneﬁt to familieswhere no one works.”
THE ﬁrst poll in a campaign to decideBritain’s future with the EuropeanUnion has ended in an overwhelmingvote in favour of a referendum on ourmembership.A total of 89.9 per cent of those votingin the local poll held by the People’sPledge organisation wanted a nationalreferendum, with only 10.1 per centrejecting the idea.Campaigners last night hailed theground-breaking poll in Thurrock,Essex, as “historic” and warned thatMPs could no longer deny people a sayon whether we should be in or out of the EU.The cross-party People’s Pledgecampaign described the results as a“wake-up call” for the Westminsterestablishment. Eurosceptic LabourMP Kate Hoey, a former minister andone of 64 MPs and morethan 100,000 members of the public backingPeople’s Pledge, said:“This amazing resultshould be a wake-up callfor all MPs who havesaid Europe is not animportant issue.“Thurrock has shownthat voters who want areferendum in marginalseats will have real power to decide theoutcome of the election.“I visited Thurrock during the cam-paign and was impressed with theenthusiasm for the Pledge campaign.“There is huge disenchantment withall the mainstream political parties withtheir failure to keep their promises on areferendum on the EU.“Today a clear message has gone toMPs who oppose giving the British