Daily roundup: Tax breaks, armed forces, and hospital care

Laura McCardle
Monday, September 16, 2013

Lib Dems to push for income tax exemption for low paid; a career in the army is less appealing to young people than previously; and child death rates in intensive care drop to all-time low, all in the news today.

The Liberal Democratys will push for anyone one paid the minimum wage to be exempt from income tax from 2015, party leader Nick Clegg has said. Image: Crown copyright
The Liberal Democratys will push for anyone one paid the minimum wage to be exempt from income tax from 2015, party leader Nick Clegg has said. Image: Crown copyright

The Liberal Democrats will push to ensure no one on the minimum wage pays income tax if the party is still in government after the next election. The BBC reports that party leader Nick Clegg said that “tax fairness” will be “one of the signature tunes for the Liberal Democrats". He said: "We are committed as a party - and I am committed to this - to raising the allowance further such that... everybody on the minimum wage pays no income tax."

Young people think less of the British Army than their elders, according to a new survey by YouGov. The poll reveals that just 54 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 view the army as important for the country, compared with 82 per cent of older people, shedding light on why the British Army is struggling to recruit new soldiers.

Death rates in children's intensive care units have fallen to an all-time low. The BBC reports that the Paediatric Intensive Care Audit Network found the death rate fell to 3.8 per cent in 2012. This was despite admissions rising five per cent from 18,596 in 2011 to 19,516 in 2012. The death rate was 4.2 per cent in 2009.

Research commissioned on behalf of Mumsnet suggests women are dissatisfied with the Conservatives and plan to take their votes elsewhere unless they develop mopre family-friendly policies. The Women Problem report shows that female voters are turning their backs on the party as a result of the government's policies, including cuts to child benefit and the doomed childcare ratio reforms.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) and the Children’s Food Campaign have teamed up to launch the Junk Free Checkouts initiative, which calls on supermarkets to remove junk food from their checkouts and queuing areas. It comes after a nationwide survey conducted by BDA’s obesity management group found that the majority of shoppers were unhappy with the sale of unhealthy snacks in these areas.

Up to 150 men may have been involved in the grooming of vulnerable young people from care homes in Northern Ireland, police have said. The Belfast Telegraph reports that detectives are now working with health services and other professionals as part of the investigation. Police have identified a group of 22 young people - aged between 13 and 18 - who may have been abused. Many of the men under investigation are in their 20s it is understood, although some are older, including one suspect in his early sixties.

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