To spend or not to spend? The Treasury says Philip Hammond is adopting a “balanced approach” as he works on the Budget, which he will unveil on 22 November. But the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank is arguing that the chancellor is between “a rock and a hard place”. He may have to abandon his target for getting rid of the deficit if he wants to increase spending on public services, which he’s coming under “increasingly intense” pressure to do, it adds.
Mr Hammond wants to eliminate the budget deficit – the difference between the government’s everyday spending and the money it has coming in – by the middle of the 2020s. But IFS deputy director Carl Emmerson says it might be time to “admit that a firm commitment” to this “is no longer sensible”. Schools, hospitals, prisons, public sector workers and those on working-aged benefits would like more money, he adds.
The IFS also warns Mr Hammond is facing a likely cut in the forecast for productivity growth, and uncertainty around Brexit, The Treasury said it would continue “repairing” the public finances by “dealing with our debts while also investing in our public services”.
Spacey apologies over ‘sexual advance’ claim
Actor Kevin Spacey has made an apology after being accused of making a sexual advance toward a child actor. Anthony Rapp says he was 14 when Spacey invited him to a party and that the future Hollywood star seemed drunk when the alleged incident then happened at the event. In a statement Spacey, who was 26 at the time, said: “I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago.” He added: “But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour.”
May: Reform the way Commons deals with harassment claims
Theresa May has written to House of Commons Speaker John Bercow to call for a reform of the way complaints of harassment of staff by MPs are handled. And she’s asked Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom to give Parliament an urgent statement on the issue. The prime minister argued workers must be treated “properly and fairly” and that the current system lacked “teeth”. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he’s ready to work with Mrs May to set up “robust and effective” new rules. Their statements come as international trade minister Mark Garnier faces a Cabinet Office investigation into whether he breached ministerial rules, after he admitted giving his former secretary money to buy sex toys.
“When I woke up in Downing Street one Monday in September (2009), I knew something was very wrong. My vision was foggy,” writes former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his memoirs. In fact, Mr Brown, who had already lost sight on one eye as a teenager, had torn a retina in his functioning eye, leading to fears he might lose his eyesight completely. He adds that he feels “lucky beyond words” this didn’t happen. Mr Brown, who was prime minister from 2007 to 2010, also reveals his struggles with “touchy-feely” politics and social media.
By Noel Phillips and Tanya Hines, Victoria Derbyshire programme
Twelve-year-old Elliot has autism and learning difficulties which, in his case, mean he is unable to speak. His condition requires round-the-clock care and he does not understand the effects of his actions. Ian and Lucy say their son became violent and aggressive from the age of five. At his current age he is becoming increasingly difficult to control. “If it was a toddler, having a huge tantrum, scratching and kicking you, you can manage it better,” Lucy says. “Whereas when Elliot does it, it’s like a small man suddenly attacking you.”
Allegations of sexual harassment at Westminster and the prime minister’s response to the situation dominate the front pages. The Daily Telegraph reports that Theresa May will sack any ministers found to have behaved inappropriately, while the Daily Mail says she is “battling” to deal with the scandal. Meanwhile, the Financial Times claims the authority of the Madrid government is coming under intense scrutiny after it imposed direct rule on Catalonia. And the Daily Express tells its readers that staying married can reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Student loans Scrap interest and extend payback time, says think tank
Storm deaths Five killed as strong winds batter Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic
13:00 Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in the unveiling ceremony of a monument in Moscow for victims of political repression.
21:00 US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis appear before the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.
On this day
1974 Heavyweight boxers Muhammad Ali and George Foreman meet in the ring in Kinshasa, Zaire, in the “Rumble in the Jungle”, recognised as one of the great fights in the sport’s history. Ali wins to claim back the world title from his younger rival.