Today’s digest opens with coverage of Unite general secretary Len McCluskey speaking on yesterday’s Murnagham show on Sky. The front page of the Morning Star – as well as inside the Indie – quotes Len as calling for a campaign of "civil disobedience" in protest against government austerity measures - saying workers and unions have a duty to stand and fight. Len added: "When governments are acting in a way that is against ordinary working people we have a right, in fact we have a duty, to stand up and protest. Those protests will take all kinds of different forms - marches on streets, civil disobedience, industrial action. All of those should be used and none of them should be ruled out." Listen to Len outline his vision on a working class politics for the 21st Century at the LSE in London tomorrow.
And it also looks like Labour leader Ed Miliband is beginning to get the message as he has vowed to act to stop companies dodging paying tax in the future. The promise came as figures published today – as noted in the Mirror - reveal the amount big business has paid has fallen for the fourth year in a row as FTSE100 companies paid just 24.5 per cent of global profits in tax, down from 35.8 per cent in 2009.
But could it be because firms are paying more bonuses? The Mail notes that three Network Rail bosses are in line for £800,000 in bonuses, I’m sure that’s because the UK network is so reliable and cost competitive, and the Mirror reports that the head of bailed out bank Lloyds will bag a bonus of some £2 million even though the bank is set to lose £1.4 billion this year, if you get £2 million for failure, how much for actual doing something right? Still on bonuses and not doing right, this week heralds the start of the bankers’ bonus season, but the front page of the FT reports that Goldman’s bankers are not in line for their bonuses just yet. The reason? The bank is considering delaying the bonuses until April to take advantage of the millionaires’ tax cut. That is the type of action that should be cracked down on, but will the Con-Dems bother?
The answer is a big fat no, the coalition is instead happy to penalise ordinary workers, with the Telegraph reporting that Gove wants to force through performance related pay for teachers, while the National Pensioners Convention says the new pension proposals will see many work longer for less even as everybody is in line to gets £145 a week, as ever the devil is in the detail and this government is very devilish…
Away from Westminster and there is mixed news on the industrial front, the Guardian notes the ongoing concerns over Boeing’s new Dreamliner which has five faults in as many days, from planes to cars and although Honda is planning cuts JLR has announced the creation of 800 jobs at its Solihull plant as demand continues to rise. Once commentator noted that Honda needs to produce cars that people demand, but if you want to see what is happening then many of the papers are trailing the Detroit motor show which showcases new products with up to 50 different models to be displayed later this month.
And finally a number of the papers report on the latest cold snap to hit the country. As snow falls many comment on how pretty the country looks but those struggling to heat their homes face even more pressure as some of the papers report energy bills may continue to rise, whatever happened to Cameron’s promise on energy prices? About as reliable as a snowflake, but then again many papers report on his former strategy guru’s lecture that said Cameron often learned of his policies from the press, no wonder he has to keep making U-turns…
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- Taxman set to lose over Goldman Sachs bonus delay (p1)
- EU redrafts bank rescue funding plans (p1)
- [EU] pressure mounts on Cameron (p2)
- Miliband vows to end tax secrecy (p2)
- Regions struggle to deliver Heseltine’s devolution vision (p4)
- Work longer for full state pension (p4)
- Unsafe offshore – taxation (p9)
- The Tories must make reforms for the right reasons – Danny Kruger (p11)
adopts an international flavour (p20)
- Jaguar jobs boost (p20)
- FTSE 100 chiefs best for value (p22)
Edited by Mik Sabiers