The top political story of the day was yet another conference speech by deputy prime minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg who must be in cloud cuckoo land after the amount of credit he claimed for his part in the coalition. With Clegg arguing that the Lib Dems ‘were fit to govern’ most of the papers consider the speech to be rather smug, with Clegg also arguing that the coalition should be governed by what it has not done, rather than what it has. Then again when you look at the top rate tax cut, the tuition fees turnaround and the wholesale support for the austerity agenda - they haven’t really got a positive record to defend.
And the government is taken to task by none other than author JK Rowling who – writing on the Gingerbread website - challenges the Con Dem coalition over its 'skivers v strivers' rhetoric arguing it should help people into work rather than impose cuts. No argument there.
Sadly the impact of Con Dem policy in action can be seen on the front page of the Indie which says that at least 50,000 people are now facing eviction as a result of the bedroom tax. A survey by False Economy has found that a third of penalised council tenants have been pushed into rent arrears since the bedroom tax was introduced in April, another 30,000 people in housing association properties are also expected to be hit and the fearful issue is that one in four of the people affected got into debt for the first time. It’s time to get rid of this pernicious and backwards tax now.
And still on housing and chancellor George Osborne has tried to damp down the housing price bubble, although Stephen Glover in the Mail argues in the Mail that the boom is a foreign led bonanza that is freezing out local Londoners and more as the cost of living literally goes through the roof.
And it is not just rent and housing costs, according to the Express food prices are also expected to shoot up with a global food crisis expected to see the cost of everyday staples jump by up to 20 per cent in the next five years. Expect more growth in food banks as ordinary Britons are squeezed dry.
And talking of squeezing people dry a number of the papers report on the Which poll of the worst brands which sees budget airline Ryanair top the table as the worst for customer service, knowledge, attitude and dealing with complaints. TalkTalk and Npower limped in next with BT and EDF also among the worst. The odd thing is that Ryanair carries 50 million passengers a year, we really must be gluttons for punishment…
- Tower Hamlets council cuts off blacklisting firms (p2) - Unite/Len McCluskey cited
- Unison takes on payday predators (p3) [new credit union launched]
- Lecturers balloted over fifth year of cuts (p4)
- Half of construction sites fail HSE inspections (p5)
- ONS reports productivity slump (p5)
(no links all stories now behind paywall)
- Poll: Tory-Labour tie (p1/6) [LAB36% CON36% Ukip 12% LIB 10%]
- No idea – Clegg at conference (p2)
- Anger at BoJo’s sick Costa quip (p12)
- JD Sports profits zoom (p48)
- Bank on more growth (p48)
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- Lib Dems defence strategy ‘reckless’ (p1)
- Tory numbers halved (p7)
- We’ve proved we’re fit to govern, Clegg tells faithful (p9)
- After cutting 5,000 jobs, hospitals seek nurses from abroad (p14)
- Rowling attacks ministers over single-parent stigma (p21)
- Bedroom tax blamed for tenant arrears (p21)
- Fed casts doubt over US revival (p41)
- British workers caught in slow lane as G7 rivals surge ahead (p45) [productivity gap]
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- Fed blinks on QE3 (p1)
- NHS top team will be sent to Harvard (p2)
- Clegg pledges to end two-party system (p2)
- Wind farm jobs soar 70 per cent in three years (p4)
- Agricultural groups diversify (p19)
- Nissan top open Myanmar plant (p20)
- Ryanair set on fresh flight path after ‘winter wobble’
Edited by Mik Sabiers