News digest 23 October 2014

News digest 23 October 2014

23 October 2014

The top story in today’s papers is the future of the NHS. As the Daily Mail continues in its attempts to undermine the whole service by tarnishing the service in Wales, most of the papers report on the publication of a report by NHS England which outlines a five year plan to shake up the NHS by giving more power to GPs, putting more pressure on firms to get their own staff fit, an assault on chronic public health problems and greater integration of services. The plans aren’t cheap, it all comes with an £8 billion bill, more than any of the major parties has promised. Commenting, Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The best investment that the government could make in the NHS is the immediate scrapping of the Health and Social Care Act which has already squandered £3 billion in a pointless reorganisation ... the picture remains very bleak and it is clear that the plan will not plug the predicted £30 billion financial black hole by 2020/21.” And sounding a note of warning based on the four year Lansley reorganisation – the Tories’ self-confessed biggest mistake – combined with falling staff morale, the dash towards privatisation and the past threat from PFI and the future threat from TTIP, Rachel Maskell added: “One positive to take from this plan is that it will focus the minds of politicians of all parties for the need to provide a suitable financial framework to underpin the NHS going forward.” It’s all about the money made available in the end…

And speaking of money, there are a welter of financial stories topped by the leaking of a potential cull of 9,000 jobs – yes 9,000 – expected to be announced by Lloyds Bank early next week. Unite queried why potentially sensitive market information yet again found itself in the public domain in advance of planned announcements: “Leaks and speculation about the future of thousands of staff is a reprehensible way to treat customers and a dedicated workforce who have worked hard to get Lloyds back on track. It is deeply unsettling for staff who have already endured the uncertainty of job cuts and we will be urgently meeting the bank to get answers.” There are also 2,000 jobs going at Homebase, Tesco has lost its chairman over the financial scandal and the report on Co-op’s failings over its failed merger with TSB is out.

And for those that could lose their jobs look forward to working life in Con-Dem Britain as the Guardian reports Lord Tebbitt saying young people should “pull up ragwort for benefits” [no mention of whether they need to do it on bicycles], while work and pensions’ secretary Iain Duncan Smith continues his nasty streak by reclassifying MS and Parkinson’s as ‘curable’  diseases [meaning sufferers will have their benefits slashed], and while those struggling get ever more sanctions the fat cats at the top continue to wallow in riches with the Mirror reporting that fat cat salaries are rising at twice the rate of profits, as ever bosses pay themselves handsomely while driving down the wages of their staff, and that is shown by the St Mungo’s Broadway boss who awarded himself a £30,000 pay rise while slashing staff salaries by £5,000 each, solidarity to those demonstrating outside the company’s HQ today…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star (not delivered)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Wonga founder gets £17m quit cash (p1/10)
  • £8bn NHS black hole (p2)
  • PM & Juncker migrant fight (p6)
  • ‘Woolf a bad pick’ for probe (p22)
  • Fear the Ripa (p34)
  • 2,000 jobs face axe at DIY firm (p55)
  • Monarch rescue (p55)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • NHS: The £8bn black hole (p1)
  • Parents must work longer hours to claim benefits (p20)
  • Shabby Labour pandering to prejudice – David Aaronovitch (p31)
  • The workers must share the good times too – Tim Montgomerie (p33)
  • Homebase not for sale (p47)
  • Lloyds plans 9,000 job cuts (p47)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • HS2 chief battles to keep budget on track (p2)
  • Co-op takes bl8unt of blame over Lloyds affair (p2)
  • Health service head calls for spending  rises above inflation (p3)
  • IDS scraps targets for universal credit roll out (p4)
  • ThyssenKrupp gives airport walkways an upgrade (p18)
  • Homebase to shut quarter of stores (p21)
  • Lloyds poised to cut 9,000 jobs (p21)

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