News digest 9 April 2014

News digest 9 April 2014

09 April 2014

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

·                Miller quits as culture secretary in blow to PM – Guardian

·                Bedroom tax fails to hit savings target – Indie

·                Need for food banks is caused by welfare cuts, research shows - Guardian

·                UK to head growth table - Telegraph

·                Just how balanced is the UK economy? - Ben Chu - Indie

·                Ed Miliband will shift power from London – but there's a catch – Steve Richards - Guardian

Today’s top story is the resignation of culture secretary Maria Miller, unfortunately it comes too late for the morning papers, but finally she has caved in and handed in her resignation. What she has yet to do is apologise properly. What’s worse is the rising pressure on prime minister David Cameron’s judgement, it’s always been considered poor, but this takes the biscuit. As ever, it is one down, but still more to go, but what we really want is shot of the Con-Dem coalition and its nasty policies.

And a key example of a nasty policy of the nasty party is work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s hated bedroom tax. Today is Duncan Smith’s 60th birthday, but is also a year since the bedroom tax came in. The Indie simply reports that the so called savings have yet to materialise, while the Guardian notes that the rising need for food banks has been caused by welfare cuts. That’s why Unite will today deliver a ‘unhappy’ birthday card to the work and pensions secretary at the DWP, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner spoke on Daybreak this morning: “As Iain Duncan Smith enters his seventh decade, he may care to reflect on the misery his creation - the bedroom tax - has caused to 600,000 families. It has brought nothing, but hardship and suffering to the already vulnerable and should be scrapped immediately.” Spot on. The sooner the hated bedroom tax is axed the better…

But better news for chancellor George Osborne as the IMF has predicted that the UK will top G7 growth rates in 2014 with an estimated rise of 2.9 per cent for this year, against an average of 1.2 per cent for the Eurozone. However, growth is expected to slow in 2015, not so good for an election year, and there are fears that the housing bubble could leave the recovery one sided. There’s a good piece in the Times, quoting Unite’s Tony Woodley, about how the car industry has helped the road to recovery, but Ben Chu in the Indie argues that the recovery is not balanced and there is more to do. If less money goes to managers and more goes to workers in terms of wage rises then the recovery may be more established, until then the cost of living crisis continues as does the fear people have over job security.

Saying that, there is an alternative programme, one outlined by Len McCluskey in last Saturday’s Mirror and warmly welcomed by readers. And Labour leader Ed Miliband seems to be offering an alternative, after last week’s pledge to abolish the gagging law, on top of axing the bedroom tax, plus the warm words over bring the railways under government control, yesterday Miliband outlined his plans to spread growth across the regions, that’s what we need a recovery that touches not just north and south and not just for the spivs and speculators in the City…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star (website not updated)

  • Maria Miller coverage (p1)
  • Labour vows to give power to the towns (p2)
  • Youth joblessness hits 13 per cent (p3)
  • A&E closures see wait6ing times shoot up (p4) – Unite Barrie Brown cited
  • Workers may down tools in contract row (p5) Unite/Bernard McCauley cited
  • Royal Mail a case to answer – John Elder (p8)

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Miller: Everyone is picking on me (p2)
  • Osborne growth boost (p8)
  • Tesco in sales slump (p42)
  • Banks raise rates despite BoE holding them (p42)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • MoD tries to block its own book on Helmand (p1)
  • Feel my pain… Miller’s plea to voters (p4)
  • Britain growing faster than other nations, IMF admits (p5)
  • The political class is losing, not gaining, power – Daniel Finkelstein (p25)
  • British jobs are safe – in or out of Europe – Nigel Lawson (p27)
  • M&S’ lack of spark likely to disappoint City (p39)
  • Tesco’s market decline could spell more trouble (p41)
  • Cars, exports and the road to recovery (p42) – Unite/Tony Woodley cited




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Boost for Osborne: UK to head growth table (p1)
  • Welfare reform exceedingly slow (p2)
  • Miller coverage (p3)
  • Insurers doubtful of pensions revamp (p4)
  • Pressure mounts on Tesco (p23)

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