News digest 19 June 2014

News digest 19 June 2014

19 June 2014

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

·                PM denies NHS in crisis – Morning Star

·                Poverty hits twice as many British households as 30 years ago - Guardian

·                8,000 McJobs on the menu, but most on zero hours - Mirror

·                Labour’s ‘progressive but no punitive’ plans to remove some benefits from Neets – Indie

·                Five years in work could mean extra benefits under Miliband’s plan – Telegraph

·                Iron Lady’s worshippers laud the past and lament the present – Archie Bland - Indie

Today’s digest is all about denial, denial about the reality of Con-Dem Britain as the Tories ignore what is happening on the ground and instead flit around their Westminster village in a self-congratulatory mode about the wonders they’ve supposedly worked on the economy and our essential public services.

However, while health secretary Jeremy Hunt was noticeably absent from claiming credit for the NHS being ranked the top health service in the world – he’d be sticking his neck out to try and do that - prime minister David Cameron denied there was an NHS crisis even as news was released that top down change has resulted in a £2 billion funding shortfall, a drop in staff and contributed to one in three hospitals being in deficit. John Lister, writing in the Morning Star argues there’s 11 months to save the NHS, fight for it…

And from one in three hospitals in deficit to a shock report on the front page of the Mirror (and also covered in other papers) which shows the number of Britons living in poverty has soared to one in three in the last 30 years, with some 18 million households unable to afford adequate housing and 2.5 million children living in damp homes. Poverty has doubled since 1983 and one in six adults in paid work is now defined as poor, the old adage ‘work pays’ is starting to break down and as the rich get richer the rest are condemned to life in insecure Britain, and a good example is McDonald’s announcement of 8,000 new jobs, but the devil is in the detail, the jobs are likely to be zero hours and on the minimum wage, where’s the hope?

Well, depending on which paper you read, Labour leader Ed Miliband is either about to outline a ‘progressive but not punitive’ change to Labour’s approach to benefits (the Indie) or he will just ‘cut benefits for the jobless’ (Guardian). Miliband is due to speak at the launch of think tank IPPR’s ‘Condition of Britain’ report where he is expected to unveil changes to benefits which look like they will see the end of state payments to 18-21 year-olds to be replaced with training and a means-tested payment. Miliband is also expected to link benefit payments to national insurance contributions as well as outline a range of other proposals. The question is what lies behind the rhetoric? A poll backing the IPPR report says 78 per cent of people believe the welfare system is failing to reward people, I thought it was there as a safety net to help people while out of work and support them in getting back in employment, trying to out-right the right and bash those on benefits is a battle that won’t be won, but then don’t always listen to what the polls say…

And the polls do not make good reading for Miliband today. The Times reports on a double poll blow for the Labour leader with the concerns over whether he is up to the job of prime minister. It does fail to note that most opposition leaders always have a lower profile with the electorate, and Labour does continue to retain a small lead in the polls which would put him in Downing Street, remember you vote for a party not a president and as Cameron is still too scared to take part in the TV debates, that may be Miliband’s secret weapon…

And talking of opposition it also looks like chancellor George Osborne is on manoeuvres  with the Telegraph reporting that the electorate should embrace the ‘Thatcher spirit’ while the Mail reports on how he thinks Thatcher would have dealt with Ukip. Is he angling for the post-Cameron crown? Of course he is, but then the Indie has the best pay off saying Thatcher’s worshippers laud the past and lament the present, can’t disagree with the latter…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Miliband lurches to right (p2)
  • £2bn NHS black hole (p2)
  • Premier Foods shares sink (p49)
  • Job lot of McJobs (p49)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Double poll blow turns up heat on Miliband (p1)
  • Paxman bows out (p3)
  • NHS may face public inquiry (p6)
  • Maggie’s disciples don’t understand her – Tim Montgomerie (p29)
  • Fed lowers growth forecast (p42)
  • Serco drops partner in new approach to rail (p44)
  • RBS signals demise of bank manager (p45) – Unite/Rob MacGregor cited




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Oil majors pull staff from Iraqi sites (p1)
  • Haldane takes front foot stance on interest rates (p3)
  • Lloyds to value TSB at £1.3 billion (p15)
  • Serco HK office to shut (p20)
  • Premier Foods waning (p20)

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