News digest 20 November 2012

News digest 20 November 2012

20 November 2012

There are a mixture of stories vying for the front pages today with the attacks on Gaza dropping off most front pages - even though the attacks continue - to be replaced by energy prices and the return of MPs expenses.

Today will see energy secretary Ed Davey try to fulfil prime minister David Cameron’s surprise pledge to force energy firms to automatically put people on the lowest tariffs and reduce the pay plan options to just four. The scheme is scheduled to come into force by 2014 so a test for Cameron will be whether bills become cheaper just before the election, don’t hold your breath.

And quite a few MPs are holding their breath and refusing to reveal from whom they are renting as the latest scandal on MPs expenses is detailed across many of the papers. In the main the list shows that MPs rent second homes from a variety of sources – including Labour’s Tom Watson renting from Unite’s Jim Mowatt – and can claim up to £1,450 a month for doing so. Some MPs have refused to reveal details of from whom they rent ranging from deputy prime minister Nick Clegg to jungle dweller Nadine Dorries. Some 200 MPs are claiming expenses fro a second home in total, but David Cameron no longer does after paying off his mortgage on a home in his Oxfordshire constituency.

And from Oxford to Brussels and as the EU gears up for a special summit looking at the budget going forward Cameron is again talking tough. His latest claim is summed up in the Daily Mail headline: ‘Stop picking taxpayers’ pockets, Cameron tells Brussels’ although at the CBI conference yesterday he got short shift for his sleepwalking approach to exiting the EU with the CBI saying it would be bad for business, that can be seen from the announcement by Vion that it plans to exit its UK business, not a ringing endorsement for Con-Dem Britain. Perhaps if the government cracked down on the corporate tax avoiders there’d be a bit more growth in the economy, sadly the only growth industry seems to be payday lenders with Wonga expecting to see a boost in its value to take it to over $1 billion. Remember this is on the back of ordinary people squeezed by the elite, as the Sun notes of the payday loan trap where hard-up Brits are taking out multiple payday loans to make ends meet and pay back the exorbitant interest. Time for a cap on rates now…

And finally there’s a piece on the wonders of the UK health service and in particular London’s Maggie Centre attended by Unite’s own Andrew Dodgshon. Faced with life threatening illnesses, men often find it hard to talk, the hard work of this group lets them speak up, read more: We need to talk about cancer

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall – not delivered)

  • MPs to test British use of drones at heart of secret war (p1)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Osborne eyes fresh raid on pensions (p1)
  • Coalition tensions rise over energy (p2)
  • CBI chief warns against retreat from EU (p2)
  • Ryanair ridicules estuary airport plans (p4)
  • Greece close to €44 billion bailout (p8)
  • Flag carriers struggle to find route to profits (p19)
  • Weather hits Majestic Wines sales (p22)Mitie upbeat on prison outsourcing (p23)

Edited by Mik Sabiers

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