News digest 19 January 2015

News digest 19 January 2015

19 January 2015

The rich-poor divide and the north-south divide top the digest this morning with two separate reports showing the reality of almost five years of Con-Dem cuts. The British cities’ survey talks of the north-south divide becoming entrenched with faster jobs and business growth in the south. The front page of the Indie sums it up simply with the line: “For every 12 jobs created in the south, one is lost on the north” and the overall thrust is that the UK is becoming more unequal with the gap heralding the  entrenchment of a two-tier economy. The authors argue for all political parties to devolve significant fiscal and structural powers to the regions, but judging how the Con-Dem coalition has hit councils in this term don’t hold your horses.

And from the north-south divide to the rich-poor divide and another report – this one from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation – says that 40 per cent of the country’s families are now “too poor to play a part in society” as their incomes are too low to realistically live on, and the number has risen by more than a third from 5.9 million in 2008/09 to 8 million in 2012/13. The report calls for employers to pay the living wage, not just the minimum wage, changes to Universal Credit so low earners keep more money before benefits are withdrawn and reforms of the markets for essential goods and services so energy and transport prices are not just affordable, but that poorer families are not charged more. Sadly with the zombie parliament don’t expect any action before the election. 

Overall the news today (known as Blue Monday) is bad for the majority, but some won’t be feeling blue even if they are in newly expensive Switzerland (following last week’s float which saw the Swiss franc and hence the cost of skiing and staying in chalets soar). The annual junket to Davos starts this week with the news that half of the world’s wealth is now held by the 1%. Time for them to pay a bit more in tax? The FT reports US president Barack Obama wants to increase taxes, but the right wing are  anti the ides [go figure], sadly the Mirror reports on the reality with two stories side by side, namely the 100 richest get £40 billion richer in just one year while five million young Brits are too hard up to leave home as pay is too poor to afford to rent or buy. This despite prime minister David Cameron in the Telegraph hailing the UK as the jobs factory of Europe, but for factory read more like the factories of old with long hours, poor pay and bosses taking all the profits, oh hang on, it’s still like that now..

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star (not delivered)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Harman’s £30bn debt plan (p2)
  • Nick rant at PMQs (p2)
  • Second tunnel closure (p4)
  • Charge drunks for using A&E (p10)
  • Blue Monday: How to beat the debt despair (p23)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Plunging fuel prices to boost family spending (p1)
  • ‘Happy’ NHS patients in exodus from private care (p1)
  • Eurostar sprinkler leaves tunnel flooded (p4)
  • Tories ‘purge’ leadership challengers closest allies (p13)
  • Privatised hospital may sue inspectors (p19)
  • John Laing begins £1bn dash for cash (p37)
  • Obama to set out tax increases (p47)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Banks and Congress blast Obama plan to tax Wall Street and wealthy (p1)
  • City chiefs warn over political limbo (p1/2)
  • Scots rethink on homebuying tax proposal (p3)
  • North-South divided becoming ‘entrenched’ (p4)
  • Morning again for the world’s middle class – Lawrence Summers (p11)
  • Uber pledges 50,000 European jobs (p17)
  • UK looks to fast-growing robotics sector (p19)
  • Telefonica considers options for O2 (p22)
  • Logistics driven off the road (p22)

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