News digest 12 August 2013

News digest 12 August 2013

12 August 2013

It’s a bit of a mixed bag of stories in today’s papers. Many of the papers look at rumblings over Labour leader Ed Miliband’s leadership. After shadow health secretary Andy Burnham’s intervention at the weekend, John Harris has a detailed piece in G2 looking at whether the left is in trouble, politics has changed or what Miliband must do next. The latest poll in the FT does show Labour’s lead has dipped, but at seven per cent it still remains well ahead of the Tories, the problem being the party remains below the 40 per cent mark. The FT also notes that it looks like the Tories are staking all on the handling of the economy, and on that measure Cameron and Osborne are still way ahead on economic management. It looks like the Labour party needs to start articulating its message and outlining its policies, after all it is less than two years to the general election.

Although it may help if Labour does get its facts right, a number of the papers report on Chris Bryant’s claims that Tesco and Next were using ‘cheap’ eastern European workers at the expense of British staff, something the companies both deny and Bryant’s argument was not helped when some of the facts in a leaked speech were proved to be wrong. Bryant did however get support from the Tory MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon, who said that Tesco had behaved “disgracefully” towards some of his constituents who were offered jobs on lower pay after their depot was closed and moved to another site.

And although the election may be fought on the economy, the feelgood factor has an important role to play, and while the government is claiming green shoots, the reality for working people seems rather different. One story that should have more coverage is the fact that British workers have suffered a greater cut in pay since 2010, seeing a 5.5 per cent reduction. This compares to 3.3 per cent in Spain while wages rose by 0.4 per cent in France and 2.7 per cent in Germany. As ever, the fruits of recovery seems to be going to the top.

And for those that are struggling to find work, there’s even more of a struggle. As the Times reports on LGA data that shows 80 per cent of people on benefits will need some form of extra help as the shortage of work and affordable homes will mean people will have to absorb the cuts as there will be no other means of saving, the Indie front page headline sums it up: ‘The real cost of the benefits squeeze: £1,600 per family’. Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith outlines his hard line approach to welfare in the Mail, today is the day that the welfare cap of £26,000 comes in countrywide, it is worth remembering that these so-called ‘savings’ will only save £300 million, but with more people pushed into poverty, poor quality housing and more, the real cost to the economy will probably be much higher, yet another false economy from the Tories…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror

 Sun (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • PM says: Back fracking (p2)
  • Miliband unity is a ‘mirage’ (p2)
  • Tesco’s ‘chief staff’ jibe fury (p4)



 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Obesity to send today’s children to an early grave (p1)
  • Boss of Labour union review ‘compromised’ by second job (p2) – Unite cited
  • Miliband silence ‘hints party has no direction’ (p2)
  • Tesco and Next say MP got his facts wrong (p2)
  • No 10 introduces summer of spin to show coalition works (p8)
  • RBS sale could be delayed for five years, says Cable (p13)
  • Most claimants ‘need extra help’ (p14)
  • Coop facing battle to justify unpaid bonuses (p31)
  • Diageo to introduce chocolate Baileys (p36)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Cable looks at imposing a levy on late payments (p1)
  • Major airlines make it clear they want to stay at Heathrow (p1/3)
  • Tories stake all on handling of economy (p2)
  • Labour attacks retailers for using foreign workers (p3)
  • Banks need €3.2 trillion asset cuts (p13)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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