News digest 18 June 2014

News digest 18 June 2014

18 June 2014

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

·                NHS is the world's best healthcare system, report says - Guardian

·                Millions of NHS record sold to private firms – Mail

·                NHS must learn from carmakers and superstores, says think tank – Indie

·                Breathing space on interest rates after dive in inflation – Indie

·                Needy Britain shackled by welfare cuts – Real Britain Ros – Mirror

·                Prentis: We’ll strike like never before – Morning Star

It’s quite a packed news day with the papers covering a series of disparate stories which go from good to bad and back again. A few of the papers feature the latest Commonwealth Fund report which rates healthcare systems around the world. The good news is that the UK’s NHS has been rated the world’s best, the bad news is this was probably before the widespread changes with the hated Health and Social Care Act.

The Guardian says the findings are a huge endorsement of the NHS, especially as the UK spends the second-lowest amount on healthcare per head of the 11 countries analysed, in fact the UK came first in eight of 11 measures analysed with top place for effective care, safe care, access to care and efficient use of resources. The problem is with the Con-Dem coalition’s changes the service is at critical risk, and as health secretary Jeremy Hunt looks to privatise ever larger swathes of the service, those fears are well founded. The Mirror and Mail also report that NHS patient data has been sold to private firms, many focused on trying to flog health insurance. On top of this the Times and Indie report on a proposals from think tank Reform that most NHS work should be carried out by the private sector, the Times headline is particularly chilling: “Learn from high street and privatise, NHS told.” Would that really be a good idea, well one of the other privatised industries comes in for a lot of criticism with all the papers reporting on the number of customer complaints about the Big Six energy firms. It seems rising prices and poorer service do not make people happier, who’d have thought that? As ever, privatisation is the wrong prescription for the NHS, but that won’t stop the Tories trying to flog as much of it off as they can in the remaining 11 months to the election.

And as the election nears there are fears regarding the UK economy. Chancellor George Osborne had some good news yesterday in that a surprise dip in inflation means a rise in interest rates may be put back until the end of the year, and while the FT profiles the economy and says things are ship-shape, it looks like there may be stormy waters ahead especially with fears over the housing market. Unite summed up the change in inflation noting that while house prices have jumped 9.9 per cent, inflation was down at 2.5 per cent, but wages were rising by just 0.7 per cent, the reality of Con-Dem Britain is “work harder, get poorer”.

And if you want evidence of that then just read the latest Real Britain column in the Mirror which highlights research from the High Pay Centre showing the poorest fifth of British households are now among the most economically deprived in western Europe, suffering levels of poverty on a par with those in the former Eastern bloc. Even the Sun gets in on the act and calls the UK ‘poor relations’. The UK has the second highest wealth inequality in Europe, and that has been a major shift in the past 50 years as back in the 1960s the UK was one of the most equal economies, today it’s bumping along the bottom as the rich get ever richer with the UK’s top one per cent taking home 13 per cent of total income. It’s time to challenge the inequality, and there are concrete plans, why not join this Saturday’s People’s Assembly rally and march and get set for the 18 October Britain needs a pay rise rally to make sure that everybody shares in the recovery not just those as the top…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • UK back in Iran (p1)
  • Apology on passports (p4)
  • UK’s lowest earners 30% worse off than Germany’s (p6)(p)
  • 2,600 axed at Morrisons (p6)(p)
  • Energy firms fail to pass on savings (p13)
  • Inflation at lowest rate (p47)
  • GM three million car recall (p47)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Make patients pay £10 to see a GP (p1)
  • Lib Dems may match Tory pledge on EU referendum (p2)
  • Nuclear industry opens door to China (p4)
  • Learn from high street and privatise, NHS told (p6)
  • Homes hit 14 times average salary (p12)
  • Big Six complaints soar (p14)
  • Car workers find voice with Dagenham, musical (p21)
  • Don’t shoot the adviser: Ed’s the one to blame – Daniel Finkelstein (p23)
  • High street jobs cull (p35)
  • Lloyds move increases TSB valuation (p37)
  • SSP given £2bn price tag (p41)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Isis analysed (p1)
  • Welby says banks ‘still too bog’ (p2)
  • Caution on Help to Buy risks (p2)
  • BoE adds 581 to payroll (p40(p)
  • UK economy profiled: Smooth sailing? – Chris Giles (p9)(p)
  • Santander in peer-to-peer pact (p15)
  • Morrisons to strip back store managers (p16)
  • Alstom suitors charm offensive (p18)
  • Tax complaints against Boots rejected (p20)

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