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News digest 19 August 2014

News digest 19 August 2014

19 August 2014

Today’s digest opens with bad news for rail travellers in that UK rail fares will rise by a further 3.5 per cent next year after this morning’s inflation figures were announced (RPI fell to 2.5 per cent today, while CPI was down 0.3 per cent to 1.6 per cent). That will keep up the pressure not only on fares, which will have risen some 40 per cent in the past six years, but also for an interest rate rise. Even worse the Mail claims that rail prices will jump another 25 per cent in the next four years. That is why today demonstrators took to stations to push a postcard campaign calling for the railways to be brought back under public control and for fares to be frozen, email your MP and get on board to demand a railway that puts passengers before profits: http://campaign.actionforrail.org/page/speakout/all-on-board-for-public-ownership#

From transport to immigration and it was not a good day for home secretary Theresa May who yesterday saw her actions land the government [and yes us taxpayers] with a £224 million bill over a cancelled contract after a tribunal ruled that a government contract awarded to US defence firm Raytheon was unlawfully terminated. The contract was signed in 2007, but cancelled shortly after the Con-Dem coalition came to power, sadly it looks like May ignored the legal advice with the result that the Home Office has to pay some £50 million in damages as well as a whole host of other charges. The £224 million bill (or £500 million according to the Mail) equates to 2.5 per cent of the annual budget of the Home Office, but May says she hopes to make sure the costs are met without hitting front line services [like that will happen], fortunately for May, the announcement comes in August when Westminster is otherwise occupied.

And as prime minister David Cameron jets off on another holiday, let’s hope he has not left the reins with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. Many of the papers report on the failing of his plans for free schools meals for all infant age schoolchildren with cases across the country of councils having to use money earmarked for expansions and new classrooms to instead build kitchens. Yet another Lib Dem failure.

And from failure to affront as one Ukip MEP – Janice Atkinson – reportedly slurred one of her constituents and - get this - her supporter with a racist comment about that constituent’s Thai origins. The MEP was forced to issue a grovelling apology after the racial slur, but if the party says such things about their own supporters imagine what they think of others? Scratch the surface and the reality of Ukip is not nice to behold, leader Nigel Farage may push his clown like approach to politics but the reality is shown by these comments…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

Daily Mirror

Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Cameron on holiday, again (p2)
  • Ukip MEP’s Ting Tong ding dong (p2)
  • Fares’ d-day (p2)
  • £220m IT boob (p2)
  • 31 pubs closing every week (p8)
  • Assange: I’ll leave embassy (p24)
  • Monarch poised to axe 1,000 (p41)
  • Housing cool off starts (p41) 

Express

Mail

Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • IT fiasco over border control costs £224m (p1)
  • Support grows for arming Kurdish forces (p4)
  • Vodaf9one is worst network (p15)
  • Labour must scrap HS2 – Damian McBride (p25)
  • Pressure grows over banks’ loan ‘abuse’ (p37)
  • Punch begins search for new leader (p39)
  • Balfour set to see off Carillion with sale (p41)
  • Nationwide lending suggests slowdown (p47)
  • Royal Mail fails to deliver (p49) 

Indie

Guardian

Telegraph

FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • UK ordered to pay Raytheon £224m (p1)
  • Salmond focuses on NHS (p2)
  • Banks face grilling over lending (p3)
  • Cameron media blitz fails to calm doubts over Iraq policy (p3)
  • China probe snares Mercedes (p13)
  • Balfour in talks over £700m sale (p13)
  • Punch’s debt plans build up impetus (p17)
  • Surge in Bovis house completions profits by 166% (p17)

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