News digest 3 December 2014

News digest 3 December 2014

03 December 2014

Ahead of the autumn statement at 12:30 today, the digest looks at four key themes of jobs homes, health and hope. It starts with bad news for chancellor George Osborne with the threat of up to 2,000 job losses at insurance giant Aviva following its £5.6 billion buyout of Friends Life yesterday. Unite national officer Dominic Hook, quoted in many papers, said: “We would urge Aviva to resist the temptation of using the takeover as an excuse to slash jobs and erode terms and conditions of staff who have turned the company’s fortunes around in the last couple of years.” Let’s hope the company listens…

And from jobs to homes and the Tories seem to be trembling over the profiteering of private landlords with further coverage of Monday’s New Era demonstration and the Sun has a front page attack on Russell Brand branding the comedian and campaigner a hypocrite because he is renting his house from a tax avoider {no blame for the tax avoider] and paying an exorbitant rent [which he can afford, but don’t let the facts get in the way of a story]. The reality is that Britain needs not only more homes, the Mail says the Treasury is thinking of saying that the state should ‘build and sell houses’, the first is right but there needs to be cap on rents, a mass programme to build social housing and a focus on affordability and decent homes.

And with decent homes should come decent healthcare, but underfunding is causing trouble with the Mail saying A&E patients are waiting more than 24 hours to be treated, the Indie reports an influential Tory MP saying prime minister David Cameron will have to cut NHS spending and the Mirror sadly reporting on the creeping privatisation of the NHS with a Tory peer trying to muscle in on the NHS by bidding for a £1.2 billion contract. Tory Norman Blackwell was a key figure in the Thatcher and Major years and is now involved with a firm in the bidding to run cancer services in one of the biggest privatisation deals so far. The peer backed the controversial Health & Social Care Act in the Lords, leading people to ask conflict of interest, much?

But there could be some hope, namely that we are at the fag end of a failed Con-Dem coalition with even Osborne unable to magic rabbits out of his hat in all the announcements ahead of the autumn statement, the only option to deliver what this country needs is to change the government, so register to vote, get active, and demand that your representatives speak up for you and deliver on their promises…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Sun brands Brand a hypocrite (p1/5) [spurious attack job]
  • White van Dan budget (p2)
  • Cabinet Twitt (p4)
  • GMB back fracking in split with Red Len (p30) – Unite cited
  • 2,000 jobs at risk in Aviva deal (p47)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Osborne promises new boost for Labour (p1)
  • Punish tax avoiders, demand Hodge (p3)
  • Ukip spends £60k on Farage chauffeur (p4)
  • Autumn statement coverage (p8-9)
  • Families flash cash after years of austerity (p17)
  • Good riddance to Gordon – Daniel Finkelstein (p33)
  • Osborne relies on tax cash to fill black holes (p45)
  • Aviva takes over Friends Life (p47) – Unite/Dominic Hook cited
  • Balancing the books makes grim reading (p49)
  • Ofcom: Royal Mail not under threat (p52)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Osborne lines up stamp duty shift (p1/2)
  • Shares in Royal Mail fall (p2)
  • Two cheers for the oil price fall – Martin Wolf (p13)
  • Lloyds sell Irish mortgage portfolio (p18)
  • Times makes profit (p23)
  • Bankers hope Aviva deal means further action (p24)

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