News digest 17 September 2014

News digest 17 September 2014

17 September 2014

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

·                Scotland: A nation divided - Indie

·                6,000 jobs to be slashed in Birmingham – Morning Star

·                An old soldier’s last battle to save the welfare state – Real Britain Ros in the Mirror

The Scots referendum continues to dominate the headlines as the final countdown begins, at the moment the no campaign has a slight lead (52% say no, 48% say yes) but the real question is the undecided voters and which way they will go? Many of the papers report on the campaign getting nastier, with the Mail and Mirror splashing of intimidation by the ‘yes’ camp while the Telegraph also goes for the SNP leader Alex Salmond accusing him of ‘trying to bully a top academic into silence’. The Indie as ever sits on the middle ground with a simple headline of: “A nation divided against itself” as it outlines how both sides are antagonising one another. There’s just one day to go to polls open and we should know the result on Friday…

Away from the referendum campaign, the reality of politics on the ground strikes home with the Guardian reporting the leader of Birmingham council saying he faces a financial timebomb that will result in the loss of thousands of jobs as the council is forced to ‘save’ £800 million from its controllable budget, or 60 per cent of its spending. Unite regional secretary Gerard Coyne highlighted the false economy of council cuts: “For every pound spent on council staff wages 52 pence is spent locally. The city council faces about £200 million worth of cuts and the workforce which stood at 20,000 in 2011 will be pruned back to just under 7,000 in the next three years. This will be heart breaking news for the council employees whose jobs are under threat and their families and further reinforces the savagery of the coalition’s austerity programme. People rely on council services to educate their children, to care for the elderly, to provide housing for those in need, and act as an agent of economic generation – all these services, and many more, will be severely eroded.”  A false economy indeed and one coming to a council near you [unless you happen to live in a leafy Tory controlled area which seem to have had generous settlements].

And outlining a challenge to austerity is 91-year old Harry Leslie Smith, The Real Britain Ros column in the Mirror outlines how the ex-soldier is making one last stand, and that is to save the welfare state and NHS as we know it, Harry attacks the upside down economy that sees the rich and companies pay ever lower tax, while those with the least pay most: “Wealth and power are held in the hands of too few people. Working people pay their taxes while multinationals send billions offshore.” It’s time we did something about that, when many papers report that the cost of a home in London has soared over £500,000, when pay deals remain poor even with a dip in inflation, but Britain needs a pay rise, so join the TUC march and rally on 18 October, there’s only 30 days to go…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

Daily Mirror

Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Ukip jibe over Labour outsider (p2) – Unite cited
  • 41% back airport expansion (p2)
  • Referendum: One day to go (p6-8)
  • Npower voted UK’s worst for customer service (p12)
  • London house prices hit £500K (p44) 



Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • No regrets, says Cameron (p1/6-11)
  • City grandees to examine Royal Mail float (p2)
  • Falling food prices put rate rise on hold (p12)
  • New rules to end corporate tax abuse (p37)
  • Creditors call top law firm over Phones 4u’s sudden collapse (p39)
  • Scots still do not know the real price of independence – Ed Conway (p41) – Unite cited
  • Clock ticking down to interest rate rises (p44) 




FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Final flurry leaves Scots divided (p1-3)
  • Academy system hit by loopholes (p4)
  • House prices surge as inflation falls (p4)
  • G20 backs action on corporate tax avoidance (p5)
  • Use the outrage over Burger King’s tax flip to deliver reforms – Mort Zuckerman (p11)
  • Black day for cabbies as German court performs U-turn on Uber (p15)
  • Airbus sounds retreat from defence units (p18)
  • Renault puts shine on Russian tensions (p19)
  • AZ strikes Eli Lilly deal (p20)

Comment on this story