News digest 17 July 2014

News digest 17 July 2014

17 July 2014

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

·                Pay packets lighter despite jobless fall – Morning Star

·                Low-paid in workplace shops blow - Mirror

·                Nick Clegg accused of hypocrisy after U-turn on bedroom tax - Guardian

·                Cameron’s reshuffle spin convinces no one – Andreas Whittam Smith – Indie

·                This fiasco of a reshuffle almost looks like an act of sabotage – Peter Oborne - Telegraph

Today’s digest opens with many of the papers hailing yesterday’s employment figures which showed that UK unemployment fell by 121,000 to 2.12 million in the three months to May, the figure is the lowest level in nearly six years. The Mail is suitably pro-government with its: “After one million  jobs in a year, ministers hail milestone in recovery” while the FT also says that “Britain’s jobs market is booming”, however behind the data is the detail and while jobs are rising, the pay for workers is not, in fact people are working harder and getting poorer. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, quoted in the Morning Star and Times, said: "Falling unemployment is welcome, but now is not the time to pop the champagne open. Behind these figures is a story of rising insecurity as self-employment soars to record levels while the assault on living standards continues as wages lag behind inflation. With wage growth at its lowest rate since 2001, while inflation continues to vastly outstrip wage rates, ordinary people are working harder and getting poorer. The Bank of England must put this to the fore when deciding interest rate levels. Too many people are living pay cheque to pay cheque and there is simply not the slack for additional demands on their incomes." Put simply, Britain needs a pay rise.

But don’t bank on that, as Unite last night revealed the reality of life on the minimum wage with a detailed poll of people earning the minimum wage  confirming their poverty pay is pricing them out of the economy. The poll found over one in three cannot afford to shop where they work, nearly 60 per cent are trapped in low pay, and three quarters think their employer can afford to pay them more, but does not. Quoted in the Mirror, Unite’s assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The crying shame is that low wage work in this country is no longer the first rung on the employment ladder but actually the first step into a poverty pay trap. People with the skills for better paid work are not escaping into it because there are no decent jobs around ... the message from this poll to government is clear. These workers are looking to you to act because too few boardrooms do. The minimum wage must be the living wage.”

Also in the Mirror, a front page splash no less, is a so-called shock Lib Dem U-turn, with the headline: “Clegg: We must axe the bedroom tax”, somehow I don’t believe the deputy prime minister will stick to his word as he has already had six opportunities to vote against the hated tax. Don’t trust the yellow Tories…

And speaking of the Tories there seems to be rather a kerfuffle over the reshuffle as the details are looked at more closely. Apart from major conflicts of interest for Priti Patel and the tobacco lobby and nominated EU commissioner Lord Hill and his lobbying business, prime minister David Cameron’s reshuffle looks to be more spin than substance. There’s a lot of unkind words in the Mail [and I’m not talking about its usual catty copy or catwalk feature] and Tim Montgomerie in the Times said Cameron will face a “dangerous army of the disaffected”, even Peter Oborne in the Telegraph says the reshuffle “looks like a deliberate act of sabotage.” You know there’s something wrong when the Express has to do a puff piece, but the scorn from some over former education secretary Michael Gove’s demotion looks like it will run and run…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

Daily Mirror

Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Harman in tax hike row (p2)
  • Vine: Knifing Gove is shabby (p2)
  • PM’s EU lord forced to sell lobby shares (p4)
  • Unions in lead role (p4) – Unite/Jennie Formby cited
  • Jobs up, but wages down (p6)
  • France’s Mail rap (p47)
  • 22 Chevron oil jobs go (p47) 



Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Veto threat to Cameron’s man in Brussels (p1)
  • Employment hits record high but wages fail to keep pace (p3) - Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Cameron accused of lying about Labour tax policies (p2)
  • Ruthless reshuffle leaves Cameron facing dangerous army of the disaffected (p8)
  • One in 20 on NHS waiting list (p18)
  • Crosby’s growing power did for ‘toxic’ Gove – Tim Montgomerie (p25)
  • French threats ease Cable’s woes (p33)
  • FirstGroup hit by revolt over £2m pay deal (p39) 




FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • CBI tells politicians not to rock [recovery] boat (p2)
  • Scots activists shift focus to ‘missing million’ (p2) – Unite/Duncan McPhee cited
  • Hill offloads stake in lobbying firm (p3)
  • Reproach and scorn after Gove’s demotion (p3)
  • Employment rate matches record high (p3)
  • Labour defies rail policy warning (p4)
  • Network Rail faces equal pay claim from women (p4)
  • Britain’s jobs market is booming – Chris Giles (p11)Emirates urges Airbus to revamp A380 (p18)

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