News digest 12 February 2014

News digest 12 February 2014

12 February 2014

Today’s top reads: Stories to keep an eye out for:

·        Obscenity of Barclays bonuses as workers lose jobs - Express

·        Chris Blackhurst on Barclays – the ‘Go From’ bank - Indie

·        Money no object to flood misery – Telegraph

·       View from flooded Somerset: 'I don't think they know what's going on' - Guardian

·       Over 140,000 in arrears misery over hated bedroom tax - Mirror

·       Bedroom tax wrongly levied on thousands - Indie

·       Shrink our hospitals to give better care, says outgoing NHS chief – Telegraph

·       BLOG: Putting VAT on private health care would raise £2 billion – Richard Murphy

·        Labour family’s horror as widow leaves £770K to the Tories and nothing to relatives - Mail

Today’s digest opens with bonuses for bosses and senior bankers at Barclays and the sack for 7,000 staff. There’s comprehensive coverage across all the papers, with the majority questioning the bank’s overall strategic focus, Unite’s Dominic Hook said: “Despite claims there would be no return to its old ways, Barclays is increasing bonus pools for those already paid unimaginably high salaries. At the same time the bank continues to announce thousands of job losses for ordinary workers. There are big questions about how Barclays will maintain customer service standards as it cuts jobs and forces those workers that survive to be ever more productive. The retail bank is performing well so workers will be angry that they are bearing the brunt of the cuts.” The best summation of the hole situation is in the FT with a simple but damning headline: Barclays chief on back foot over bonuses and job cuts.”

From bankers bonuses and loads of money floating around to the floods and the government is in danger of being washed away by the storm of anger across the country. The front of the Express warns of a “vicious superstorm” on its way and while that is not a reference to angry flood hit homes across the country it means things may get worse before they get better. Reeling from the fallout prime minister David Cameron held a press conference where he pledged unlimited funds for flood relief, so much for austerity, but then the Con-Dems must be getting worried as even Alice Thomson in the Times comments that the – what can only be termed inadequate – response to the floods is a result of the coalition’s neglect of rural Britain…

Struggling to find funds are people penalised by the hated bedroom tax. Ahead of Ian Lavery’s 10 minute rule bill aiming to bin the bedroom tax later today a number of the papers report that over 140,000 people are already in arrears with housing heads saying tenants cannot afford the extra rent and there are not enough properties to go to. Even more frightening almost one in six received eviction notices, this truly shocking scheme should be abolished.

Talking of finding funds the Morning Star reports on a query over NHS funding and so-called efficiency savings. Some £10.8 billion has been taken out of the NHS budget, but while it was supposed to be reinvested in services it seems that has not happened. On top of that outgoing NHS chief Sir David Nicholson, writing in the Telegraph, reports that hospitals should shrink to give us better care, or would that be to save costs. Then again there could also be funds out there that are untapped, tax expert Richard Murphy notes that putting VAT on private healthcare could raise £2 billion for the Treasury which could go back in to services, while even a Tory MP – Stephen Dorrell – calls for a rise in nurses pay in the Sun of all papers, where’s the money?

And finally if you ever wanted confirmation that the Tories are the nasty party then many papers report on a story of a widow who decided to leave £769,000 to the Tory party rather than to her family, and all because they supported the Labour party. So much for brotherly and sisterly love. One family member said: “She’s done that out of spite. She was a wicked woman.” If a party is defined by its donors that sums up the Tory  party rather well…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Bumper bonuses at Barclays (p1) – Unite/Dominic Hook cited
  • MPs ask where £10.8 billion of NHS savings have gone (p2)
  • Tube bosses cave in over ticker office closures (p3)
  • Hunt for Labour’s scab lecturer MP (p5)
  • Nuclear base workers hit pickets (p4) – Unite cited
  • TUC announces October demo (p5)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Floods coverage (p1)
  • Survival of the fattest [at Barclays] (p2) – Unite/Dominic Hook cited
  • Benn sick in hospital (p2)
  • Tube walkout scrapped (p4)
  • 200,000 disability claims thrown out (p14)
  • Top Tory: Up nurse pay now (p20)
  • ‘Rigged sterling’ ploy (p40)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Truth about Plebgate officer (p1)
  • Floods: Battered Britain (p6-9)
  • Alexander has not gone native, says Clegg (p19)
  • The floods highlight the coalition’s neglect of rural Britain – Alice Thomson (p27)
  • ‘Greedy’ Barclays rapped (p37)
  • Give up on forward guidance, carney told (p40)
  • BoE accused of aiding money-fixing (p42)
  • London taxis get electric jolt (p45)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Barclays chief on back foot over bonuses and job cuts (p1/23)
  • Good chance of rate raise in 2014 (p2)
  • Nestle trims L’Oreal stake (p17)
  • Union could benefit VW’s US plant (p20)

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