News digest 12 May 2014

News digest 12 May 2014

12 May 2014

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

·                Britain has world's most billionaires per capita – Guardian

·                Cameron hits out at aggressive tax avoiders - Indie

·                Loan sharks threaten mums at school gate - Mirror

·                Voters call for block on Pfizer takeover - Mail

Today’s digest is a tale of two worlds, the rich elite enjoying bumper bonuses and their billions in the lap of luxury and the reality of life for the rest struggling to get by on zero hours contracts, with low pay and no security. A number of papers follow up on the latest UK rich list which shows that the wealth gap in the UK is widening. The 100 richest UK households are now worth 10 times more than the combined wealth of the poorest 20 per cent of the UK population and there are now a record 104 billionaires living in the UK, with the Guardian noting that Britain has the most billionaires per capita in the world. Is that fair? I think not, especially when the Telegraph splashes on the fact that many of the richest are still avoiding their tax obligations. Not a billionaire – but a Tory supporter – Take That’s Gary Barlow is also taken to task on the front page of the Times which follows up on how the pop star was part of a giant tax avoidance scheme, Barlow has been asked to return his OBE, although prime minister David Cameron remains tight lipped on what he thinks Barlow should do, don’t worry Gary, Dave will probably cut the top rate of tax for the richest yet again…

The rest will however get no respite. The Indie reports on a Markit study which shows that part time workers are desperate for more hours of work. And while the FT reports a CIPS poll saying it is the best time to find a job in six years, the real question is what kind of job? The Mirror is among many papers that reports on the scourge of zero hours contracts and that workers on them are scared to speak out or even apply for work with other companies in case they get even less hours or lose their jobs, and the reality of breadline Britain is made bare by the front of the Daily Mirror which reports that loan sharks are turning up at the school gate to demand money from parents, the shocking factor is 310,000 families owe cash to these crooks…

And finally the main business story continues to be the proposed hostile takeover of AstraZenaca by Pfizer. The front page of the FT reports that Cameron has warned against closing the door on the Pfizer bid, so he’s still cheerleading then, but that shows just how out of touch he is as the Mail of all papers has conducted a poll which reveals widespread public concern over the proposed takeover, only 9 per cent of the public think the deal should be waved through, while 34 per cent want an immediate block to the bid, tomorrow will see the future of AstraZeneca discussed in parliament, with Unite’s Tony Burke outlining the case against the takeover. Shouldn’t take long, the workers don’t back it, the public don’t back, but will the shareholders just follow the money? That makes it all the more important for the government to step in, but is Cameron’s judgment compromised by his continued cheerleading for the bid, people are keeping a close eye on the bid…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • PM backs migrants (p2)
  • Lawyer gets £675K legal aid in year (p27



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Cameron hits out at aggressive tax avoiders (p1)
  • Cameron backs freedom of movement for EU workers only (p10-11)
  • Woman in driving seat at Citroen (p17)
  • BAT seeks to offset slow growth with mega-deal (p39)
  • Zero hours mistrust (p39)
  • MPs set to give Pfizer chief rough ride (p46) – Unite cited




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Ex-Barclays chiefs face SFO grilling (p1)
  • Cameron warns against closing door on Pfizer’s AZ bid (p1)
  • Cuts blamed as fraud trials fall (p2)
  • Political risks threaten recovery, CBI warns (p3)
  • Best outlook for jobs in six years (p3)
  • Late payers squeezing business (p21)

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