News digest 9 May 2014

News digest 9 May 2014

09 May 2014

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

·                Barclays to cut 19,000 jobs as it scales back investment arm - Guardian

·                Pfizer chief’s £70 million reward - Mail

·                Taxman has power to raid your bank accounts - Telegraph

·                £2,000 a day to let Hague live in luxury – Mirror

·                Tory MP claims for condolence cards on expenses - Mirror

Today’s digest starts with a focus on the continuing business news with Barclays and AstraZeneca still in the spotlight. Barclays tops the agenda with the announcement of a further 7,000 jobs cuts, primarily in its investment banking division. However, the cuts will also hit ordinary bank staff and national officer Dominic Hook is quoted in a number of papers: These have been extraordinarily turbulent times for ordinary Barclays’ workers who have worked hard to keep the bank on track against a backdrop of continued uncertainty and redundancies. The bank needs to recognise their tireless work to put customers first while jobs have been lost and give reassurances over their futures."

And AstraZeneca also remains in the headlines as the reasons behind the Pfizer bid come to the fore, and it does not seem to be to do with shareholder value or improved synergies, the Mail notes that Pfizer CEO Ian Read could gain some £70 million from any takeover, while the Indie asks about the government’s links with Pfizer. The Mirror notes that the Pfizer bid may be derailed as US president Obama is thinking of changing the loophole that the company wanted to use to minimise its tax bills while David Sainsbury in the Guardian and Martin Wolf in the FT both argue the deal is not good for the country, the company or the workers. And the workers yesterday came out in full opposition to the deal noting that “guarantees” given by Pfizer to the prime minister David Cameron will “prove to be worthless in the long run.” If you look at Pfizer’s track record in takeovers it is one of job losses and closures across the world, on the face of it this this proposed takeover seems to be an exercise in getting out of paying its fair share of taxes…

And many of the papers also highlight the issue of taxes, and more importantly a change in chancellor George Osborne’s last budget that will allow the taxman to raid people’s bank accounts without the need to apply to a court. Sadly it does not seem it will cover all those companies merrily avoiding their obligations, as ever, one rule for us and one rule for the rich..

And just to prove how out of touch those at the top remains, the Mirror reports that multi-millionaire foreign secretary William Hague is living in luxury after deciding to move in to his official office at the cost of an extra £2,000 a day to the taxpayer. Unite’s Steve Turner is quoted: “The Tory mantra of we’re all in this together is a sick joke. While ordinary families have struggled in the face of austerity and been turfed out of their homes by the bedroom tax, Hague has been living the high life at the taxpayers’ expense.” Even worse the Mail reports on Tory MP Caroline Dineage who has billed the taxpayer for £3.95 for three condolence cards, well she did replace Sir Peter Viggers, the MP who claimed a duck house on expenses, so it could be progress of a sort, not. They just don’t get it do they.

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Taxman raid fear (p13)
  • British gas loses 180,000 customers (p42)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Great recession has ended (p1)
  • Carmakers put brakes on tough pollution tests (p6)
  • Divided Tories await Pfizer’s next move (p20)
  • Ed will never have the look of a prime minister – Philip Collins (p25)
  • US plan to close Pfizer tax loophole (p43)
  • Barclays demolished brick by brick (p45)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Barclays cuts 7,000 jobs (p1)
  • Co-op agenda fails to address plight (p2)
  • Shareholders alone should not decide on AstraZeneca – Martin Wolf (p11)
  • Wellcome voices Pfizer doubts (p15)
  • Toyota warns of weaker year (p18)

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