News digest 18 September 2013

News digest 18 September 2013

18 September 2013

Today’s digest opens with a continued focus on the sale of Lloyds shares by the government. As George Osborne tries to claim credit for reducing the national debt – something the Indie calls a ‘silly accounting trick’ - a couple of papers follow up on Unite figures that argue if you adjust the government shareholdings for inflation plus fees et al then the chancellor should have held off on selling the shares until they reached 93p, rather than the 75p that was achieved on Monday. The attached graphic shows why Osborne sold too soon, especially as the Telegraph reports that market strategists Citigroup say the FTSE is expected to hit a record high next year…
Did Osborne sell Lloyds shares too soon

So from an estimated £770 million shortfall to a £600 million pledge and the Lib Dem conference continues in Glasgow. Yesterday, in yet another speech, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said the government plans to introduce free school meals for under eights from next September. Then again if you read the papers this is part of a deal with the Tories who will announce a £500 million a year tax break for married couples at their Manchester conference at the end of the month. Clegg will give his keynote address this afternoon where he is expected to say he could have been a better deputy prime minister, too right.

More fun at the Tory conference will be the #NHS299 demonstration as thousands will gather to challenge the Con-Dem plans for dismantling the NHS. A few of the papers report on the call to have the number of nurses on duty on wards published daily, the concern is there are not enough nurses available. The front page of the Guardian reports on the NHS IT systems failure which has so far cost some £10 billion while the Times reports that the NHS is unlikely to hits its £20 billion cuts target for efficiency savings. So don’t let the NHS fade away, join the march and rally in Manchester on Sunday 29 September – #NHS299 transport details here.

 Morning Star

  • Workers wages under siege (p1) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Sheffield Remploy workers ‘thrown on scrapheap’ (p2)
  • Osborne says Lloyds goose for quick buck (p3)
  • Clegg under fire at Lib Dem conference (p3)
  • Firefighters hit picket lines (p5)
  • Austerity has failed. Now it must end – Jeremy Corbyn (p8-9)

 Daily Mirror

 Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Free school meals for 5-7s (p2)
  • Tycoons dodge £77 million tax at luxury block (p4)
  • Poll: Brits back cuts [but say they are done unfairly] (p6)
  • Share it out – Osborne told to share Lloyds stock with taxpayers (p40)



 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Alarm over shortage of nurses on NHS wards (p1)
  • Clegg unveils free school meals plan (p2)
  • NHS unlikely to hit £20 billion cuts target (p4)
  • Clegg leaves door open to coalition with Miliband (p14)
  • If the Lib Dems join Miliband, they’re dead – Daniel Finkelstein (p25)
  • Osborne whets appetite for a bigger chunk of Lloyds (p37)
  • House prices at record high (p38)
  • Households struggling to escape wage squeeze despite lower inflation (p41)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • UK property prices hit fresh peak (p1)
  • Clegg in move on free school meals (p2)
  • Lloyds share sale a step forward (p3)
  • Scottish pro-union voters are for turning, polls show (p4)
  • Lloyds sale holds lessons for RBS (p12)
  • European carmakers’ hopes of recovery dashed (p17)
  • Air France/KLM flags further cuts (p18)
  • Costs rise on help to buy (p23)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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