News digest 18 March 2014

News digest 18 March 2014

18 March 2014

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

·                Nearly 4,000 NHS staff laid off then rehired over three and a half years - Guardian

·                Nurses deserve a pay rise – Carole Watson – Mirror

·                Labour is to blame for the cost of living crisis – Jeremy Warner - Telegraph

·                What will be in Osborne’s budget? - Indie

·                Public losers from privatisation – Mirror

·                Plight of 2.5 million young adults whose talents go to waste - Indie

·                George Osborne's budget will be for the privileged few – Ed Miliband

The NHS features across most of the papers. The Times highlights the pressure on beds with the number of patients being moved ‘out of hours’ has risen by 20 per cent in the last five years and one person was even moved 24 times at night over a single stay. Sadly the government is more focused on false economies, almost all of the papers cover the revolving door row over the 4,000 senior NHS managers who have been rehired after being made redundant, it is worth noting that £1.4 billion has been shed out on making NHS staff redundant, with 330 of them receiving exit packages over £200,000. No news on when the redundancy payments will be claimed back for those boomerang bosses reinstalled at the top of the NHS.

On the NHS frontline there is still widespread anger over the effective NHS pay freeze imposed by health secretary Jeremy Hunt. There’s a positive pierce in the Mirror which sums up why nurses and other healthcare staff need a pay rise. Carole Watson, who had a heart attack last Thursday, said the work health staff do is priceless, however Hunt seems to think that means they should work for free, not deserve a proper pay rise; the question is where is the money going to come from?

Oddly there seems to be quite a bit of money sloshing about ready to be used, after all it is budget day tomorrow and many of the papers trail on what could be featured. The top leak – if you can call a feed to all papers that – is that the government wants to tackle the cost of living crisis by helping parents with childcare. The Telegraph is typical of the headlines: ‘Working parents to get £2,000 hand-out’ but as ever the small print is what counts and stay at home mums (or dads for that matter) will see no benefit. Then again the Lib Dem part of the Con-Dem coalition is crowing about the extension of the personal tax allowance to £10,500 from April 2015, however research shows that three quarters of the cash gains from that will go to the top half of earners, so much for thought through plans.

And talking of ill thought out plans the Mirror cites a report from the High pay centre which has shown that the only people that benefit from privatisations are – wait for it – the bosses. It seems rather than boost share ownership and raise service standards, prices have gone up, most shares are in the hands of top executives on investment funds and key assets are being sold off, just look at the £1 billion the privatised Royal Mail is expected to gain from selling off its Mount Pleasant site, let alone the fact that it was sold massively on the cheap. Time for a privatisation tax or at least Cable to show some contrition (or resign)…

And just imagine what a few extra billion could do, well the Indie highlights the tragedy of young adults whose talents are going to waste. The paper’s research shows that there are 2.5 million young people who are either on the dole, working part time or in jobs for which they are overqualified. The LGA report shows that cities in the north are suffering the most, but with the Con-Dems focused on the capital and the south don’t expect any change to happen soon. We need a n economy where all can succeed, not just those at the top, that is the call in the Guardian from Labour leader Ed Miliband, but it is still over a year to the next election…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • NHS cuts backfire (p1)
  • Amazon staff the heirs to Tolpuddle (p2)
  • Zero hours profiteer among top 5 richest (p3)
  • Barnado’s attacks job cuts (p3)
  • Osborne plans £1 billion sneak attack on services (p3)
  • Terminally ill face six month benefit wait (p5)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Give poor tax break (p6)
  • Mystery jet (p9)
  • Sainsbury’s sales slump (p40)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Patients are ‘shunted like parcels’ in the night (p1)
  • Putin shrugs off sanctions (p1)
  • Childcare tax break worth £2,000 to help families (p2)
  • Did suicidal pilot crash MH370? (p14)
  • Health service rehires 4,000 staff after redundancy pay-offs (p16)
  • The great Lib Dem – Tory love in – Rachel Sylvester (p23)
  • Is Osborne really a Conservative at all – Ed Conway (p24)
  • Bring on the sanctions, says Kremlin (p28)
  • Bonus backlash threat to British investment banking (p35)
  • Workers better off under coalition reign says Treasury (p36)
  • Chancellor’s scheme helps housebuilders (p41)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Osborne homes in cost of living (p1)
  • Putin backs Crimea independence (p1)
  • NHS redundancy payouts spark row (p)
  • The wolf at the door is the Tories’ best ally – Janan Ganesh (p11)(p)
  • GM recalls 1.5 million US vehicles (p15)
  • Barclays bonuses still expected to draw fire (p15)
  • Guinness boycotts St Patrick’s day march (p16)

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