The Week in Review: Home news

TINA - There Is No Alternative - was resurrected by Norman Lamont, the Chancellor, at the beginning of the week when he rejected calls to change course on the economy, in spite of depressed high street spending and figures showing that one million home-owners are trapped in houses worth less than their mortgage.

But he was forced into a U- turn by the end of the week when Treasury sources were quoted as saying that they were trying to work out ways of helping struggling home-owners. The options Mr Lamont was said to be considering included raising mortgage tax relief from pounds 30,000 for first-time buyers. Sceptics argue this would do little in the short term for those facing having their homes repossessed but it might help estate agents and solicitors to sell and convey a few more houses.

The Government's tactic of delaying the announcement of council tax levels until next year, apparently to avoid opposition campaigns, has been foiled by research published by geographers at Bristol, Southampton and Cardiff universities, which indicated that the rich will gain most.

The first street-by-street comparison of the old rates system, the poll tax and the new tax shows that people living in large, expensive homes will benefit because the highest valuation band is pounds 240,000. The old rates system, based on notional rent values, had no upper limit. Inequities between rich and poor under the poll tax were eventually evened out after the Government introduced a pounds 1.7bn relief scheme. The Government has until next April to devise a similar redistribution scheme.

The Cabinet approved the deployment of 1,800 British troops and declared a no-fly zone in southern Iraq, to protect persecuted Shia Muslims from Saddam Hussein. As the gung-ho tabloids shouted 'We're Going In', Downing Street sources emphasised the humanitarian nature of their role, pointing out that the soldiers will wear blue United Nations helmets. There was some confusion when the UN made it known that no resolution authorised action in the name of the besieged Marsh Arabs.

Government sources explained that the allies would be acting under a little-known principle of international law permitting military intervention in cases of grave humanitarian abuse. Humanitarian abuses were not enough to provoke the United States and its allies to create a similar zone in Bosnia, in spite of appeals from the Sarajevo government. Perhaps Amnesty International will supply the MoD with its long list of countries practising grave humanitarian abuses.

If any editor remained in doubt about what sells newspapers the Daily Mirror showed them when it hit the jackpot with photographs of a topless Royal in a love tryst, selling out the 3.5 million print run by 9am. The Queen was reported to be not amused. Some MPs called for press curbs; others for a code of conduct for royals.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Arts and Entertainment
books New York Times slammed over summer reading list
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine