Newspaper review: Papers react to marriage tax break


David Cameron's promise of a tax break for millions of married couples is welcomed by the Daily Mail.

"At last," it says, "Britain has a champion of marriage". Mr Cameron has written an article for the paper to proclaim the new policy.

He uses it to say there is "something special" about marriage and that he is proud to be honouring his 2005 commitment to the policy.

The Mail says the prime minister deserves great praise and the move will send a powerful message despite being only a modest sum of money.

The Daily Telegraph notes that the scheme is still more generous than the one promised in the party manifesto and it will be introduced at the height of the next general election campaign.

There is backing for the announcement from senior Tories - Francis Maude tells the Guardian that "marriage is one of the institutions that creates glue in society, and it makes sense to recognise that".

But Labour's Chris Bryant, writing in the Independent, is dismissive of the policy. He says it is bad politics from a distant era and is offensively naive.

He labels it the "unmarried tax" and suggests it should follow the pasty tax and the charity tax into history.

Years to calamity

The report by a panel of UN scientists is described by the Guardian as "the most comprehensive assessment yet of our knowledge of climate change".

It says there could be just 30 years to calamity if the world keeps on blowing its carbon budget.

Despite those warnings, the Times thinks the report was more confident than the last one in 2007 and less alarming.

It says there is still time for a practical, technology-led transition to cleaner global energy.

The Financial Times agrees that governments must respond to the report with renewed efforts. But it also thinks the UN's process must be changed.

It describes the current six-year cycle for assessing data as "cumbersome", saying the world must be updated more frequently on the changing science.

The Times says that when the government announced more details of the sale of Royal Mail it took a gamble on outflanking the unions.

The flotation will take place before those opposed to the sale can take strike action but the paper says an unnervingly long list of risks attached to the company could cut £1bn from the Treasury's profits.

Ageing population

The Daily Mail also thinks the risks for buyers are "alarming" but says it is a good bet for investors.

For the Daily Mirror, the decision to rush through the sale is grubby and cynical and it says the government should be ashamed.

The Daily Express is one of several papers to report figures from the Office for National Statistics that show an increase in centenarians.

The number of people living past 100 has shot up five-fold in 30 years.

In an editorial, the Independent notes that an ageing population is often seen as a cause for concern since working-age taxpayers have to fund a growing pension bill.

But it says we should not forget the wonder of our new-found longevity and that the figures are a triumph to be celebrated not a tragedy to be bemoaned.

Finally, the Sun pictures vegetable grower Ian Neale with his "world beating" swede, weighing in at eight-and-a-half stone.

Mr Neale, 70, from Newport, will display the veg - along with "Britain's biggest" carrot at 2ft long - at the Autumn Show in Malvern, Worcestershire.

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