News digest 9 July 2014

News digest 9 July 2014

09 July 2014

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

·                Most shocking result in World Cup history – Indie

·                Top Tory has family link with offshore banker who gave party £800,000 – Guardian

·                Farage: Give MPs a 50% pay rise - Mirror

·                Con-Dems take eight months of food out of our mouths – Morning Star

·                TUC counts cost of austerity on public sector pay - Guardian

It is rare that the digest opens with a sports story, but all the papers are full of the World Cup’s thrilling and somewhat shocking 7-1 victory by Germany over hosts Brazil in the semi-finals. Suffice to say the unlike the many overpaid and over pampered players in England, for once the teams actually gave us some good entertainment which was well worth watching (although rather painful for Brazilian fans). Interestingly if the Argentinian team beats Holland in tonight’s second semi-final then England fans will have an interesting choice of who to support in Sunday’s World Cup final. I know who my money’s on…

And speaking of money, we’re back to overpaid and in this case undertaxed as the Times focuses on details of the tax avoiders that used the so-called ‘Liberty tax strategy in one of the country’s most aggressive tax avoidance schemes which could have seen some £1.2 billion sheltered from the taxman. About 1,600 investors poured money into the scheme and after some hard work by HMRC a wide range of those investors are due to receive a large tax bill. As an example Tory supporter and Take That frontman Gary Barlow invested £4.46 million in the scheme, this is on top of the investment in another avoidance scheme called Icebreaker, let’s hope he makes his full and proper contribution to government coffers.

And the Guardian also covers contributions to coffers, but of a different kind. Instead it seems that an offshore financier who also happens to be the brother-in-law of the financial services minister Andrea Leadsom has donated some £816,000 to the Tory party  since the minister first ran for parliament. Rather than cash for questions, could this be a case of cash for seats? One Labour MP said it sounds like a “cash for political office” arrangement. It doesn’t look good, and expect more revelations to come out…

Then again it must be hard for MPs on their salaries, and Ukip leader Nigel Farage is arguing that pay for MPs should be increased to £100,000 a year, they currently struggle to get by on £67,060. Could this have anything to do with the ex-City stockbroker planning to stand for parliament next year, sadly MPs are probably the only public servants that do not deserve a pay rise.

But the rest of the public sector does – TUC research shows that the average public sector worker has lost the equivalent of £2,245 a year due to Con-Dem pay freezes - and the Tories and Lib Dems don’t like being reminded of it. There’s more coverage in the papers of coalition politicians slamming tomorrow’s strike action over the proposed paltry pay rise [another cut in real terms] and changes to pensions. Up to two million workers will walk out on strike as the patience with the politicians and their “do as I say, not as I do” approach to pay, pensions and negotiations. Solidarity to all taking action on #J10…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Royal link to paedo dossier (p2)
  • Farage: Pay MPS £100K (p2)
  • Education gap to last years (p10)
  • Striking unions give Labour £23m (p18) – Unite cited
  • M&S disaster in the browser department (p41)
  • Yanks bank on Rollers (p41)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Secrets of the aggressive tax avoiders (p1/6-7)
  • Juncker’s thumbs-up ends Cameron truce (p12)
  • Harman vents anger over ‘sexist, Brown (p12)
  • Pay MPs £100K, say Farage (p16)
  • Buy to let couple selling up for £200m (p21)
  • AbbVie returns with £30bn bid for Shire (p35)
  • Fall in factory output hits pound (p37)
  • Bovis feels benefit of recovery (p38)
  • Pension fund chief backs Labour plans for infrastructure (p42)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • (p)Manufacturing data disappoints (p2)
  • Donations flood in to No vote campaign (p3)
  • Break up will finish’ shipbuilding north of border (p3)
  • Buy-to-let  couple opt to cash out (p4)
  • Smithfield saved (p4)
  • AbbVie lifts Shire offer (p17)
  • Airbus staff quizzed in SFO probe (p17)
  • Unipart hopeful of takeover rescue (p18)
  • Air-KLM earnings hit by long haul (p20)

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