Newspaper review: Papers weigh up welfare cuts


After the vote for a 1% cap on increases in most working-age benefits, the Times says wealthy pensioners could be next in line for welfare cuts.

The paper says David Cameron is being urged by senior Conservatives to withdraw benefits, such as the £300 winter fuel allowance, from well off pensioners.

The Financial Times says Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is also looking at stopping fuel payments to pensioners who spend the winter in Spain, Greece and other warm countries.

He is said to be considering a "temperature test".

According to the Daily Mirror, Ed Miliband has healed the rift with his brother, David, after their bruising battle for the Labour leadership.

The two brothers are said to have exchanged gifts at Christmas.

The paper says the door is now open for David to make a political comeback and return to the shadow cabinet.

Heat alerts

Many papers publish dramatic photographs of the battle to contain Australia's bushfires.

The Independent devotes its front page to the new extreme temperature warning developed by meteorologists, called "purple alert".

The paper says the temperature scale has had to be adjusted to allow for forecasts above 50C (122F).

That has meant the creation of two new colour warnings - purple alert and pink alert.

The Daily Mail reports that the brother of the murdered teenager, Stephen Lawrence, has made an official complaint against the Metropolitan Police.

Stuart Lawrence, who is a teacher, says he has been stopped 25 times and thinks it can only be because of the colour of his skin.

He has never been in trouble with the law, and describes being repeatedly pulled over by officers in his car as "a sustained campaign of harassment".

The Daily Telegraph says imperial measurements are to make a return to the classroom amid concern that pupils are failing to learn about pints, pounds and miles.

The paper says ministers want imperial units to be placed at the heart of maths lessons in England and Wales.

Daydream believer

David Bowie's first new work for a decade arrived, as the Times puts it, like unexpected overnight snow.

A "masterful return" says the Independent, a song of "majestic power" says the Daily Mirror, the best material since Scary Monsters in 1981 believes the Times.

The Guardian reports concerns by universities that recent government statements on immigration are putting off foreign students.

The paper says Universities UK believes the crackdown on "bogus students" has given the impression to legitimate candidates that they are no longer welcome in Britain.

And finally, if you find yourself daydreaming at work you may not need to feel guilty about it.

Research reported in the Daily Mail suggests that staring into space can make you more creative by giving your mind a chance to wander.

Studies carried out at the University of Central Lancashire suggest that daydreaming may enable workers to think laterally and assist with problem solving.

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