News digest 16 January 2014

News digest 16 January 2014

16 January 2014

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

·                COMMENT: Don’t dither Mr. Osborne. You must veto these bonuses at RBS – Alex Brummer - Mail

·                COMMENT: Who's to blame for the crisis, bankers or benefit claimants? – Seumas Milne – Guardian

·                Who really got the blame | Benefit Street kids attacked by bullies - Mirror

·                Making a difference: Liverpool mayor makes national mark by fighting fire with fire – Indie

Banking continues to dominate the headlines with a debate in the Commons and a call for prime minister David Cameron to block bumper bonuses for bankers at state backed RBS. Responding to a question from Labour leader Ed Miliband in the Commons, Cameron said he would veto any attempt by RBS to increase its overall pay and bonus bill, but as ever the devil is in the detail and capping the overall bill is not the same as vetoing individual bonuses, especially as there are some 2,000 fewer bankers employed. As Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said: “The chancellor must not rubber stamp the corporate greed at RBS. Thousands of RBS staff are struggling to feed their children and pay their utility bills as they earn so little. They, along with taxpayers, have every right to expect this government to block any attempt to further reward these senior bankers.” As RBS is 81 per cent owned by the taxpayer and management needs 'shareholder approval' to hand out bonuses at 200 per cent of salary the simple message is to tell @RBSGroup to #blockthebonus. If you’re on Twitter you know what to do…

The other main speech of the day was chancellor George Osborne who - in a much trailed address to think tank Open Europe - said the UK could be forced to quit the European Union if the organisation does not reform. Widening his attack on welfare he said too much money was going on benefits across the continent claiming: "Europe accounts for just over 7 per cent of the world's population, 25 per cent of its economy, and 50 per cent of global social welfare spending." Sadly he was not arguing for the world to be brought up to Europe’s level, rather a continued race to the bottom, stereotypical Tory…

And speaking of races to the bottom, Britain’s poverty wages have once again come under attack with Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner slamming business secretary Vince Cable’s proposals to quadruple the fines on employers not paying the minimum wage to £20,000 would make little difference and leave exploited workers valued less than the penalty for touts selling dodgy football shirts. Steve is quoted in the Sun simply summing up the plans as a “shambles” and calling the average fines a “disgrace” and went on to call for an “active policy of ‘naming and shaming’ bad bosses so their local communities know the hard, ugly truth.” The answer is simple, come down hard on rogue employers, but also raise the minimum wage to a proper living wage and finally give the country’s poorest some purchasing power in their pockets…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Sack joke mayor not Tube staff (p1)
  • Unite forms anti-cuts war cabinet (p2) – Unite/Mick Whitley cited
  • PM’s cap on greed fails to convince (p3)
  • Council cuts risk 25,000 Welsh jobs (p4)
  • Unite activists take to Barnsley streets (p4) – Unite cited
  • Mitie cleaners to strike (p5)
  • One million take payday loan to pay rent or mortgage (p5)
  • Benefits Street and the Hunger Games – Alan Simpson (p8-9)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Tories third behind Ukip [in EU election poll] (p1/2)
  • Sex peer clear (p2)
  • Bank boss slams Miliband call for bonus cap (p4)
  • Scargill council flat bid (p18)
  • Union’s blast for pay fine (p40) – Steve Turner cited/pictured
  • GM revs up (p40)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Miliband’s crude bonus cap attacked by bank chief (p1)
  • Paxman attacks Gove (p6)
  • Lib Dem women ashamed of party as peer cleared over sex claims (p21)
  • House prices will rise for two more years (p37)
  • Shale gas gets clock ticking (p41)
  • Punch boss calls time on debt talks (p43)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • BoE chief deals blow to Miliband on bonuses (p1)
  • Bank cap will hurt customers (p3)
  • RBS push for big bonus sparks Commons clash (p3)
  • Osborne warns EU on reform (p)
  • Maude hails new rules opening up procurement market (p4)
  • GM costs to rise sharply (p15)
  • Sandell steps up FirstGroup pressure (p20)
  • Payday lenders to set up loan database (p20)

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