News digest 14 August 2014

News digest 14 August 2014

14 August 2014

There were mixed messages on the economic front yesterday, although there was yet another sharp drop in unemployment – down to a six year low of 2.08 million – the reality on the wages front was that people saw an actual pay cut (taking into account bonuses) as wages fell by 0.2 per cent, the first fall since 2009. Many of the papers touch on what is becoming an ‘invisible’ recovery as no one is really feeling the benefit. The Sun says the UK is going back to the ‘dark wages’, the Times and Telegraph say that stagnant wages will push any rate rise back  while the Guardian sums it up best with the line: “More pay, please.” Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The British economy is in a Jekyll and Hyde situation. While the fall in the jobless total of 132,000 is welcome, we have to ask what sort of jobs have those people entered? Millions feel insecure in their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of our young people are languishing on the dole or press-ganged into workfare. This government's claims of economic competency are laughable. A government serious about job creation would not be borrowing to keep people in benefits, but would be investing to create work and skilled, decent jobs, through a mass house-building programme, rebalancing the economy away from its increasing dependency on the low-wages service sector, and tackling the chronic housing need in this country.” Britain’s workers need a pay rise and they need it now.

And life for those out of work due to illness or disability is being made worse by the government according to Citizens Advice, with a feature in the Indie highlighting how sanctions can force people into having no money left for food and raise the risk of homelessness. Sadly, work and pensions secretary argues ‘we are all better off’ according to the Mirror, although that argument is blown apart by the fall in incomes and the 700 per cent rise in disabled people hit by sanctions, not so much an out of touch Tory, but an insulting one.

And another insulting and soon to be jobless Tory is moaning Mark Simmons who resigned because he could not afford to live on his ministerial salary, although Unite has uncovered evidence that Simmons used to get £50K extra a year as an adviser to private healthcare company Circle, could Simmonds be joining the health merry-go-round where patients are put last and private profits come to the fore?

And talking of private profits, it looks like G4S is back in the black after announcing it has made profits of £85 million, ominously the company has also won a servicing contact for Guantanamo bay, and I thought US president Obama said he would shut the facility down, or is that the reason G4S won the contract?

And finally there is a new row over party funding, as Tory chairman Grant Shapps tries to push the Lynton Crosby agenda about the links between unions and Labour [get over it Grant], it is notable that Ukip received more in donations than the Lib Dems, although the Tories were top of the pile raking in £7.18 million (mainly from lucrative fundraising dinners and rich businessmen). And is it not odd that a City banker who was made a peer last week has been revealed as having given the Tories £300,000 just two months ago, so there you go, the Tories cosying up to rich City bankers and giving them a seat for life to legislate over the rest of us...

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

Daily Mirror

Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Cameron back as Iraq cracks (p2)
  • Red Ed’s 41 union meetings (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Lib Dem pay vow (p2)
  • UK goes back to dark wages (p4)
  • Sterling dips (p51)
  • Admiral shares sink (p51)
  • Ads loan danger (p51) 



Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • SAS joins mission to save trapped refugees (p1)
  • Ukip pulls ahead of Lib Dems with £1m donation (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Stagnant wages delay rise in interest rates (p7)
  • Eastern European workers soar by 25% in a year (p12)
  • Osborne halts Lloyds share sale (p35)
  • Oil dips to $100 level (p37)
  • G4S taps £85m profit (p37)
  • Lower pay puts dent in feelgood factor (p38) 




FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • BoE inflation report pushes bets on rate rise back to 2015 (p1)
  • Carney gripped by weak pay puzzle (p2)
  • Tories raise twice as much as Labour (p3)
  • Energy controversy over private equity deal (p15)
  • Sales of private jets soar (p16)

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