News digest 14 October 2013

News digest 14 October 2013

14 October 2013

Today’s digest opens with a challenge to fascism and racism with the front page of the Morning Star covering Saturday’s march through Liverpool with Unite general secretary Len McCluskey at its head. With an estimated 5,000 marching through the city Len told the rally the protest was not just about rejecting the violence and division of the right, but also about the myths and lies on which it is based.

The other issue over the weekend was the Ineos dispute. After serving notice of strike action on the company last Friday, a busy weekend has finally seen the company respond to Unite’s repeated requests for talks at Acas. Unite will meet with Inoes today, Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: "We welcome Ineos' change of heart to join us at Acas. We've repeatedly urged the company to sit down with us at the conciliation service to resolve the issues surrounding the unfair treatment of our convenor and the future of Grangemouth. Over the weekend we have been working tirelessly to secure these talks and hope that the company will engage in them in an open constructive manner."

Away from Scotland and today’s Times runs a story about Unite’s tax bills accusing the union of hypocrisy, although it seems a number of facts in the piece don’t stand up. The union responded by saying: “Unite entirely refutes any suggestion that it is engaged in tax avoidance. At all times we comply with HMRC guidance and rulings, and we are continuing discussions with HMRC about the specific VAT issue raised. We will continue to pay all tax due in full. Further, it is surely highly irregular for a civil servant, former or present, to be briefing the press on confidential taxation matters. Unite therefore requests that the HMRC explains to us why such information has been passed to the press, and if needs be conducts an investigation into this conduct.”

And still on tax a number of the papers report on Richard Branson who is quitting the UK, but says that is because he wants to relax and not avoid tax. Apparently Branson moved to a tax haven for health reasons.

And health is also on the agenda in a number of papers, the Morning Star and Guardian report that a third of health trusts are having to fill nursing shortages with staff from out side the country and the Sun reports London’s NHS is close to breaking point – perhaps that’s why they’re planning on downgrading all the hospitals? Or perhaps not, as the Mirror reports a leaked document which says that the founding principle of the NHS - that it is free at the point of need – cannot be sustained. Under the Con-Dems it looks like an new NHS mantra will ring out ‘fees at the point of need’, don’t say you weren’t warned…

 Morning Star (web not updated until afternoon)

  • Thousands rally to beat fascism (p1) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Welsh government set to run threatened buys routes (p2)
  • [Grangemouth] Workers call for strike talks (p3) – Unite/Par Rafferty cited
  • Wales marks 100 years since Aber Valley blast (p3)
  • Foreign nurses plugs NHS gaps (p5/9)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • £1.5 billion NHS migrants (p2)
  • Reeves rap (p2)
  • Labour poll lead doesn’t add up – Trevor Kavanagh (p8)
  • London NHS at breaking point (p12)
  • Minister: Energy prices will continue to rise (p15)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • We cannot stop fuel bills rising – minister (p1)
  • Unite accused of hypocrisy over unpaid tax bill (£) (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • I’m leaving to relax, not avoid tax, says Branson (p19)
  • Boost for Osborne as help to Buy makes his bank less bad (p37)
  • Factory bosses tell Cameron to stay in European Union (p39)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Help to Buy risks house cost bubble (p1)
  • Energy chief stirs green cost row (p20
  • Tories tom pledge higher tax allowance (p2)
  • Cameron clamps down on culture of late payment (p2)
  • Rise in demand boosts output (p4)
  • Number of working Londoners in poverty rises (p4)
  • Lloyds chief builds his baptism of fire (p19)

  Edited by Mik Sabiers

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