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Brief Reports

David Cameron has announced he wants to cut housing benefit for people under 25, in order to reduce the welfare bill. In an interview in the Mail on Sunday, the Prime Minister said he wanted to stop those who were working from feeling resentment towards workshy and parasitical loafers who relied on a something for nothing culture. He added: ‘We’ve got enough of those in the House of Lords’.

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Police Minister Nick Herbert has used parliamentary privilege to name an undercover police officer who allegedly planted a fire bomb at a London department store in 1987. He said: ‘Undercover operations are sometimes necessary to protect the public. I think we should commend the difficult job performed by our undercover officers. Sometimes they have to step outside the law in order to frame the right people. Without their sterling work, some innocent people who deserve to be put away might get off scott free.’

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Low-paid workers who take strike action will no longer be able to claim working tax credits. The Work and Pensions Minister Ian Duncan Smith says the fact that the current benefit system compensates workers and tops up their income when they go on strike is ‘unfair and creates perverse incentives to defend their pay.’ He added: ‘The current benefit system is an expensive mess anyway. We’re aiming to replace the whole thing with a single universal benefit that nobody gets.’

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The Roman Catholic Church has dismissed a poll suggesting the majority of Scots support same-sex marriage. A church spokesman said asking whether people support the right to do something solicits a positive response: ‘The gay lobby is clearly biased. When we do our polls we ask people if they think godless poofters destined for hellfire should be allowed to abolish our most precious institutions, and we tend to get the answer no.’

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Many people in their fifties appear to be planning to work past the current state pension age (SPA) of 65, research suggests. The number of people working beyond the SPA has almost doubled since 1993, to stand at 1.41 million in 2011. A spokesman for the CBI said: ‘The business community fully supports people’s right to work until they drop.  Pensions are derisory anyway. It’s much cheaper for people to be carried out of the factory gates and into the knackers’ yard.’

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is requesting political asylum in Ecuador, the country's foreign minister has said. Mr Assange is facing extradition to Sweden as a first step to rendition to the United States. He was previously offered asylum in Greece but turned it down. ‘You must be joking.  I’d rather be in Guantanamo. At least they’ve got food there’, he was reported to have said.