News digest 15 August 2013

News digest 15 August 2013

15 August 2013

Many of the front pages focus on the turmoil in Egypt where hundreds - including a British TV cameraman - have died. Over 400 are dead as bulldozers and live ammunition were used by military and police forces to storm the pro-Morsi camps in the capital. Cairo is now quiet with only the condemnation of the international community ringing around the city, and even though the curfew has lifted, the roads remain clear, for now.

On the home front the main focus of the day remains on the economy and the latest UK unemployment figures. Although there was a 4,000 fall in the jobless figures to 2.514 million yesterday, hidden behind the headline rate was a further rise in youth unemployment and continued job insecurity. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The small fall in the jobless total of 4,000 is to be welcomed, but this figure hides a lost generation of young people being consigned to the dole queue. There can be no crowing and champagne cork popping in Downing Street, especially given that youth unemployment increased to 973,000 and the working world is now pockmarked by low-waged, insecure employment. Britain's people deserve better than this. We need the creation of more ‘real’ jobs paying decent wages; more help to get our young talents off the dole queues and the long term unemployed back to into work; and an economic policy that pumps demand into the economy.” Unite is calling for an immediate £1.50 rise in the minimum wage and for the companies awash with cash - UK firms made £82.8 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2013 – to pay their workers a fair wage to get money out of company safes and into the high street.

And the fall in unemployment may also be a sleight of hand. The front page of the Times splashes on the news that ministers spent some £800 million parachuting in consultants and temporary staff to Whitehall to make up for the thousands of civil servants that were made redundant. So even though cabinet office minister Francis Maude banned the use of management consultants saying they were “wasteful and demoralising for mainstream civil servants” he has presided over a massive ramping up of spending  with more than £328 million spent on ‘off payroll’ staff and £506 million on specialists ‘helping’ with projects. As ever with the Con-Dem coalition this looks like yet another false economy, or is it a case of giving jobs to the boys?

And not so much jobs for the boys but bonuses, as the continued rewards for failure or excess continues. A number of the papers report on the NHS Trust head in line for a £30,000 pay boost. Karen Jackson, chief executive of the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – which was criticised in the Keogh report – is due to get a20 per cent pay rise, the trust was embroiled in a scandal after patients had to wait in a hospital car park because the A&E was full. They never learn do they.

And it is not just there, bonuses for bankers continue to hit the headlines with the Sun quoting Unite over the scandal of deferred bonuses that could rob the Treasury of billions in taxes. A 2.1 per cent rise in UK earnings announced yesterday was driven by bankers deferring their bonuses so they could take advantage of the top rate tax cut, Unite’s simple response: “This proves the City has learned nothing.” Too right.

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror

 Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Labour faces crisis over mounting debts (p2) – Unite cited
  • Egg Ed (p2)
  • Back to work (p4)
  • Plan to make care kids pay (p6)
  • Sky newsman shot dead in Egypt massacre (p11)
  • Rod Liddle on the Labour party (p13)
  • NHS lifts ban on HIV surgeons and dentists (p28)
  • Bankers scoop bonus rollover (p43) [deferred bonuses] – Unite cited



 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • £800 million cost of replacing sacked Whitehall staff (p1)
  • Hundreds killed in Egypt (p1)
  • Pelting leaves Ed sunny side up (p2)
  • Lower jobless rate threatens Carney’s rate plans (p37)
  • Npower threatens more price rises (p39)
  • Balfour looks beyond building losses (p41)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Day of bloodshed rocks Egypt (p1)
  • MPs seek extra fracking sweeteners (p2)
  • Miliband dismisses egg attack (p3)
  • Carney faces doubts over forward guidance (p3)
  • Finance: balance sheet battle (p7)
  • Balfour Beatty suffers £6 million loss (p14)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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