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  1. West Country (E)

Labour accused of letting 'cat out of the bag' on income tax

Ed Balls speaking to Ian Axton on Tuesday's ITV News West Country

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has been criticised by the Tories for his comments on our programme yesterday, in which he refused to rule out lowering the 40p tax rate threshold if Labour get into power.

According to the Daily Mail, Chancellor George Osborne described the comments as confirming "a tax assault on middle earners".

Ed Balls has let the cat out of the bag ... He has confirmed that he and Ed Miliband will put up taxes on middle Britain. It is part of Labour's £3,000 tax rise for working families. By contrast, the Conservative plan is to increase to £50,000 the threshold at which people pay the higher rate of tax.

– George Osborne

The paper reports a Labour spokesman describing the Conservative proposal as "completely unfunded", and saying the party's spending plans could lead to an increase in VAT and cuts to the NHS.

Working people are paying more under this government, which is why the only tax changes we are proposing are on the very richest in society like reversing the Tory tax cut for millionaires.

– Labour Party spokesman

The Shadow Chancellor's original comments:


Tall ship arrives in Plymouth Sound

Lowering skies greet the Kaskelot's arrival in Plymouth Credit: ITV News West Country

The classic tall ship Kaskelot has arrived in Plymouth for a 10-day visit during which she will be berthed in Sutton Harbour and open to the public. Built in Denmark in 1948, the ship was used to ferry supplies to remote settlements in Greenland.

Kaskelot was refitted two years ago and has appeared in many films and TV dramas, including A Respectable Trade, David Copperfield and Longitude.

Royal Cornwall Hospital on brink of highest alert over beds shortage

Red alert: the Royal Cornwall Hospital Credit: ITV News West Country

The Royal Cornwall Hospital is on the brink of its highest alert little over a month after its last beds crisis. The hospital in Truro has told ITV News it is on "red alert, on standby for black" as it approaches the busy Easter weekend.

Black alert is the highest alert level, meaning the hospital is unable to provide enough beds for patients who need them

"We always plan for bank holiday periods in advance, we have put in additional investment to secure extra doctors, extra nurses and extra consultants in our A&E department and we've also put in additional care home placements to allow people to flow and leave the hospital as soon as they can."

– Tryphaena Doyle, NHS Kernow

No inter-city trains beyond Bristol during Easter period

Easter rail services face disruption owing to engineering work Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

There will be no direct inter-city services from London Paddington to most parts of the West Country from Good Friday to Easter Monday. First Great Western is instead running services from Waterloo to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance. These will operate hourly on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and every two hours on Easter Sunday. Services from Paddington will run as far as Bristol Temple Meads, with a diversion to Banbury owing to engineering work at Reading. More details here.

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  1. West Country (E)

Anti-nuclear protest at Hinkley Point

Protestors block the road near Hinkley B Credit: No New Nuclear

Anti-nuclear protestors have been staging a sit-down protest near Hinkley Point in Somerset. Campaigners from South-west Against Nuclear, Nuclear Free Bristol & Bristol CND say they're carrying out the action against plans to extend the operation of the ageing 'B' reactor.

Police at the scene as traffic builds up Credit: No New Nuclear
  1. West Country (E)

Police warning over theft of hazardous metal in Yeovil

Cadmium anode balls were stolen in the theft Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Police are warning that metal stolen from a factory in Yeovil could pose a health risk to the public. They say a large quantity of cadmium was taken from South West Metal Finishing in Limber Road on Monday night.

The cadmium anode balls were removed from chemical trays. Anyone who comes into contact with them is advised not to touch them and should seek medical attention should they have done so.

One of the suspects captured on CCTV Credit: Avon & Somerset Police

Cadmium is carcinogenic. Low-level exposure can result in flu-like symptoms, but more extensive contact can cause lung and kidney disease. Detectives are hunting two suspects who were captured on CCTV around the time of the theft.

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