News digest 4 December 2014

News digest 4 December 2014

04 December 2014

The top news story is chancellor George Osborne’s final autumn statement. The main points of the autumn statement were that the reality is we’ll have more austerity [his aim is to go back to spending levels last seen in the 1930s], but the main coverage is of an overhaul of stamp duty [good news for the buy-to-let investors, not so good for renters/first time buyers], personal tax allowance rises to £10,600 next April [£100 higher than before - woohoo], while growth forecasts rise to 3 per cent a year, government borrowing should fall but the debt will rise [there’s a £5 billion rise this year and by £7 billion next year in contrast to previous forecasts], tax receipts in the next five years expected to be £23 billion below expectations [pay people more George!] so bank fines will be used for GP services [the £1.2 billion won’t go far enough], a new diverted profits tax to raise just £200 million a year [a drop in the £60 billion tax avoidance ocean], employer national insurance on apprentices abolished [let’s hope they use that to hire more], fuel duty frozen and air passenger duty scrapped for children as well as a £15 billion road building plan.

As such the death knell of the Con-Dem coalition continues with George Osborne pulling some rabbits out of his magician’s hat [mainly the stamp duty changes], the reality is he can’t wave a magic wand and make a recovery that puts money in people’s pockets, because bosses are sitting on their fat profits and they’re taking their line from Osborne and his central government crackdown on pay which has seen earnings drop year on year for ordinary working people. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The vast majority of people listening to George Osborne talking about an economic recovery will think it’s a figment of his imagination. This is a phoney recovery … not only are the people worse off since he took office, but so is the nation. Today we heard nothing that would reverse wage stagnation or end the curse of low paid work now the norm for millions and their families ... people across the nation are crying out for action on wages, for security at work and the ability to put an affordable roof above their head. There was nothing in this autumn statement to offer any of this.” Same old Tories, same old cuts…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Santa Osborne’s Xmas presents (p1/6-7)
  • Firms told to boost disabled workers (p2)
  • Ladbrokes boss leaves (p51)
  • Rouble rumble (p51)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Gambling the house (p1)
  • Stamp duty to become new stealth tax (p6-7)
  • I’m the poorest politician I know, says Farage (p20)
  • George’s medicine tastes rather good – Tim Montgomerie (p33)
  • Game over for Glynn at Ladbrokes (p57)
  • Services pick up (p59)
  • Phones4u makes court call over VAT (p63)
  • Autumn statement pull out (supplement)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Banks and big business under fire as Osborne shifts to poll position (p1)
  • Autumn statement coverage (p2-9)
  • Ukip employs six Farage guards (p10)
  • German probe into Airbus unit (p22)
  • Lufthansa plans low cost departure (p22)  

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