News digest 20 January 2014

News digest 20 January 2014

20 January 2014

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

·                Our job scheme is hard - Rachel Reeves interview - Indie

·                Workers’ wages are likely to begin growing again any time soon – David Blanchflower - Indie

·                TUC: Employment recovery restricted to south-east England – Guardian

·                Pay Royal mail chief more than £1.5 million, says chairman - Telegraph

·                Senior Tory: Ukip still full of fruitcakes - Mirror

  There’s a bit of a mixed bag of stories in the papers with no single headline dominating, although the Sun, Mail and Independent all lead with a focus on benefits. The continuing demonisation of anyone claiming benefits is summed up by the Sun which has Labour and the Tories seemingly trying to outdo each other. The Tories are to argue that there will be ‘no free houses for migrants on the dole’ while the Sun says Labour will demand ‘struggling’ jobseekers will face skills tests before getting any benefits. A joint piece in the Mail by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and home secretary Theresa May outlines a new crackdown which will see jobless immigrants lose their rights to housing benefit. The Indie also runs an interview with shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves trailing her speech today where she is expected to say: ‘Our job scheme is hard, but it is also fair. You can call it tough love.’ Reeves also outlines the fact that many people on in-work benefits are not earning enough to live, perhaps a bit more of the carrot and less of the stick would work better? Then again there will be a lot of stick as the third episode of controversial ‘Benefits Street’ series airs tonight, but for those that want to end the demonisation there’s a planned Twitter Thunderclap challenging Benefits Street with Parasite Street

And from benefits to the world of work and the news is mixed, the Guardian reports on TUC analysis which shows that the recovery in jobs that the government is crowing about is restricted to the south east only, with the likelihood of finding a job in the north east, north west, west Midlands and south west having actually fallen. Kevin Maguire in the Mirror argues that introducing the living wage would be the best approach, while David Blanchflower in the Indie argues ‘Workers’ wages are likely to begin growing again any time soon’, looks like the recovery will be restricted to the rich, and the Telegraph has the latest example of excess with call from the chair of the Royal Mail claiming that chief executive Moya Greene deserves a significant pay increase, last year she earned £1.5 million so not sure she really needs a rise, especially as she would have benefited from the top rate tax cut. Although there could be some good news on that from labour as the Telegraph hints that there may be a return to a ‘fairer’ 50p top tax rate. We can live in hope…

And finally with a couple of scandals swirling in the political arena – the ‘Lord Grope’ furore is hitting the Lib Dems who are still not covering themselves in glory – and many of the papers report on the Ukip councillor who said the reason for the floods over Christmas and the new year was the gay marriage law, yes really, then again if you believe the Express Ukip is Britain’s ‘favourite’ party, so expect more controversial comments, just don’t ever consider voting for them…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  • Workers: Sick and tired of low pay (p1)
  • Unions back debate on disclosure for Shrewsbury 24 (p2) – Unite/Len McCluskey cited
  • Bedroom tax martyrs start fresh appeal (p3)
  • Public pensions funding arms trade (p4)
  • TUC report: Employment chances ‘still low’ in much of Britain (p4)
  • Save Scots defence jobs (p5) – Unite/Jackson Cullinane cited

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Shopper Unite: Miliband to be consumer champion (p2)
  • Ukip bans gay slur ‘fruitcake’ (p2)
  • Dave needs to act on Europe, and quickly – Trevor Kavanagh (p6)
  • Benefits election battle (p8-9) [Labour to out Tory the Tories?]
  • Make rich pay for education (p12)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Miliband defends Balls (p2)
  • Labour may air Falkirk report (p2) – Unite cited
  • Ukip suspends councillor who blamed flooding on gay marriage (p2)
  • Housing market overheating (p6)
  • Migrants may lose benefit claim help if they can’t speak English (p16)
  • Barclays lifts bank charges for business (p37)
  • Royal Mail to benefit from online orders (p41)
  • Rivals fight for future of Smithfield (p42)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Cameron at odds with EU allies (p1)
  • Car industry to fight against EU exit (p2)
  • Financial sector sees jobs boom (p3)
  • London suck wealth from rest of country (p3)
  • Boost for Rolls-Royce probe (p15)
  • Pub groups start year with glass half full (p19)

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