News digest 13 August 2013

News digest 13 August 2013

13 August 2013

The top story is the fight for fair fares on the railways after today’s inflation figures will trigger a 4.1 per cent rise in train fares next January. As figures show that workers’ wages have seen a 15 per cent rise in the last five years, the rise in rail fares is over 40 per cent, with six out of the last seven years having seen above inflation rises. Unite national officer for the rail industry Julia Long said: “The current system of privately owned operators is haemorrhaging enough cash each year to cut fares by at least 18 per cent, without reducing staff or services. Yet every year we see fares soar way beyond the inflation rate. Such fare rises are piling even more pressure on hard pressed families and, for some, making it impossible to use the trains to get to work. This exercise is to do with putting profits into shareholder pockets - and nothing to do with an cost efficient and effective national rail system.” Time to nationalise the railways…

Elsewhere on the political front the main story remains the Labour U-turn on immigration with Chris Bryant taken to task for trying to suck up to Tesco after his leaked speech attacked the company. Although some of the points he was making about employers having all the power was right, the fact that he got his facts wrong effectively shot his fox, the FT is perhaps kindest in saying ‘shadow minister fluffs his lines but pinpoints a worrying trend for British workers’ but even the Labour friendly Mirror calls it a ‘fiasco’. No argument there.

And there’s more bad news for Labour on the front page of the Guardian which argues that confidence in the Tories’ economic confidence has surged. Although reading the detail it is not as bad as it seems as Labour still retains a lead in the main poll (albeit of just three per cent), but economic competence is often the key test for voters, if after three years of cuts prime minister David ‘frack anywhere’ Cameron and George ‘housing bubble’ Osborne comes across as more competent, then there’s a lot more work for Labour to do.

Away from politics and on the business front there’s trouble for Blackberry which has put itself up for sale, Unilever is sitting pretty after selling off its dressings division, while its quids in for Diageo’s Walsh who is walking away with millions – the Indie claims £46 million - in his last year in the job, expect him to have a massive pension, but what about the workers? And there’s fury at Thames water which despite £1.7 billion in profits wants to add a £27 surcharge to water payers bills, anyone care for a windfall tax, and if you were hoping energy prices were going to come down today also sees the closure of one of Britain’s oldest power stations, even though we could face an energy crisis in just years the government has refused to award Tilbury’s owners a subsidy to switch from coal to biomass. How long before the lights go out…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror

 Sun (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Labour’s reverse on Tesco (p1/8)
  • Diageo tops up boss with £15 million (p38)
  • H&T quits pawnbroking (p38)
  • Thames £29 water fee (p38)



 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Surge in first time buyers (p1)
  • Critics snipe at Miliband as jobs plan backfires (p1)
  • Labour anger at websites that exclude Britons (p4)
  • Britain goes to law over Gibraltar (p9)
  • Nowhere will be off-limits for fracking, says Downing Street (p11)
  • Debt dodgers blamed for soaring water bills (p16)
  • Immigration chiefs to consult over ‘go home’ vans (p20)
  • Don’t panic Mr Miliband. Here’s how to win – Matthew Elliott (p24)
  • Blackberry in search for a saviour (p35)
  • Unilever cuts out dressings division (p37)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Struggling Blackberry put up for sale (p1)
  • Madrid warned on Gibraltar action (p2)
  • Fracking puts Tory vote at risk (p2)
  • Labour tackles retailers over migrants (p3)
  • Tilbury plant shut (p3)
  • Thames water seeks eight per cent price rise (p14)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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