News digest 22 September 2014

News digest 22 September 2014

22 September 2014

Today’s digest opens with coverage of the Labour party conference in Manchester. With yesterday seeing a focus on raising the minimum wage by £1.50 to £8 an hour [but only by 2020] as well as the continued fight to save the welfare state [the Unite/Real Britain fringe was packed], today the focus is on shadow chancellor Ed Balls’ keynote speech where he is expected to reveal plans to slash ministers’ pay and cap child benefit rises and plans to axe the winter fuel allowance for the richest pensioners. So far so austere, but there was a progressive approach too with a pledge to reverse the 50p tax rate cut for the rich [no mention of raising it though]. There’s also coverage of the fallout from the Scots referendum with the right wing press gunning for Miliband over his response to ‘English home rule’, what is clear is that the right wing press is looking to make it difficult for the Labour leader, and tomorrow the Labour leader’s speech will be pored over. Nevertheless, the Mirror cites Unite general secretary Len McCluskey as giving the quote of the day: “We have all taken the welfare state for granted, and now we have a gang of posh boys trying to strip it all away.”

Elsewhere, pay remains on the agenda, David Blanchflower in the Indie argues that even though unemployment is falling, wages will not rise [all the more reason to join the Britain needs a pay rise march on 18 October], while the Mail and FT say business is worried about raising the minimum wage as a possible threat to jobs [surely they mean their excess profits], the Guardian claims that a ‘looming London transport crisis’ could ‘spark riots’ as low paid workers are pushed out of the centre of the capital.

On the industrial front there is a push for growth from leading manufacturers with the EEF demanding wider and more open trade [see Guardian letters for what TTIP would do] and free markets [no mention of investing in the workforce or paying them a proper wage] and also raises concerns over the European question with a call on all political parties to commit to EU membership ahead of any referendum in 2017. The other key story is looking at the collapse of Phones 4u, and while some positive news sees some jobs saved, the FT hits the nail on the head claiming it was private equity that broke the company, but will government do anything about that? No.

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Ed snubs England only laws (p1/8-9)
  • Balls: We’ll cut PM’s pay (p2)
  • Wage hike simply a diversion – Trevor Kavanagh (p9)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Cameron wants vote on English home rule (p1)
  • Scotland: Labour faces election humiliation from SNP (p6-7)
  • Miliband playing ‘political football’ with minimum wage (p14-15)
  • City braced for listing stampede (p43)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Tory anger as Cameron backtracks on English pledge (p1)
  • Minimum wage promise worries business chiefs (p2)
  • Balls [plans child benefit cut to help eliminate deficit (p2)
  • Unions urge Miliband to give voters a say on EU membership (p2)
  • Future of the union (p3)
  • Self-employed tax subsidy up ‘staggering’ two thirds (p4)
  • Manufactures set out five point plan for growth (p4)
  • Private equity killed Phones 4u – Jonathan Ford (p20)

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