News digest 15 February 2013

News digest 15 Febraury 2013

15 February 2013

With Unite general secretary Len McCluskey having laid out the challenge to New Labour in a blog for the New Statesman - the headline says it all: “The Blairite zombies need to face up to New Labour's failures.” today’s digest opens with a focus on Labour leader Ed Miliband’s speech which continued to mark the break with New Labour. Miliband outlined Labour’s tax plans with a call for a mansion tax to be introduced and the return of the 10p tax rate. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "This is a key speech. Ed Miliband is breaking free from the failed neo-liberal project embraced by both the Conservatives and New Labour. Today Ed has shown that his heart is in the right place defending working people. The restoration of the 10p tax rate is an important and welcome step towards building a fairer and more equal society. We believe Ed can go even further by announcing an extra £1 on the minimum wage … in 2015 voters will have a clear choice, 10 more years of austerity and misery, or the hope offered by a Labour government that will be on the side of the people, not the one per cent." 

And talking of the business elite today’s business stories are topped by the Heinz takeover. Warren Buffett – otherwise known as the sage of Omaha – has announced a joint $28 billion bid for the food company and Unite has called for urgent talks over job security for workers at the company’s UK plants. There’s also analysis of the world’s biggest airline after the US/AMR merger, and Britvic and AG Barr say they will try to keep their merger on track. All good news for the City fat cats who expect a range of merger deals – and hence big fees – to come to fruition over the coming months.

And the energy companies are also banking big profits as a number of papers report fuel companies are making more money, EDF made some £1.7 billion last year after the company hiked prices by 10 per cent, so much for Cameron’s cap, the Indie reports water companies are avoidingtax but  there’s better news for Rolls-Royce which hits a new record in profits although GM and Jaguar Land Rover both report poorer results, with GM facing strong pressure in its European operations but there is some good news on the roads as FirstBus has ordered over 450 new buses, the majority to be built in the UK. And talking of building, prime minister David Cameron campaigning in Eastleigh yesterday dropped another clanger after addressing B&Q workers in the byelection campaign. Asked by staff if he belonged to B&Q’s loyalty scheme Cameron instead sais he had assembled furniture from arch rival Ikea. Alienenating your audience to win an election, that not the way to do it…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Cameron vows to cut benefits for migrants (p1)
  • Labour plans ‘Robin Hood’ mansion tax (p9)
  • Purnell’s new role attacked (p18)
  • Sage of Omaha bags Heinz (p43) – Unite cited
  • MPs say Treasury experimenting cluelessly with taxpayers’ money (p47)
  • Soft drinks makers set sights on reviving deal (p47)
  • Record profits at Rolls (p46)
  • Unhappy Christmas for JLR (p48)
  • EDF plays hardball on new nuclear programme (p49)
  • BA may have to take co-pilot’s seat after $11 billion merger (p53)




  • PM attacks stores over horse meat (p1)
  • Up to 40% of A&E doctors are locums (p4)
  • Britain may have exported hundreds of contaminated carcasses (p8)
  • Labour would use mansion tax to restore 10p tax rate (p11)
  • NHS scandals (p10-11)
  • Improving NHS hospitals: We can make it better – Nick Seddon (p31)
  • Slavery, not horse meat, is the real scandal on our doorstep – Fraser nelson (p32)
  • Buffett strikes $28 billion Heinz deal (b1)
  • Fears for UK growth (b4)
  • Rolls-Royce profits soar (b5)
  • Britvic and Barr to fight for deal (b5)

 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Buffett in $28 billion move for Heinz (p1/17)
  • Miliband in £2 billion pension gambit (p1/3)
  • Price gap threatens nuclear aims (p2)
  • MPs criticise Treasury’s accounts (p4)
  • Analysis: Flexible fission [atomic industry] (p9)
  • Rolls chief welcomes Davis (p16)
  • GM’s European losses deepen (p18)
  • US/AMR air merger (p18)
  • Former Lloyds chief defends PPI sales (p20)
  • JLR woes dent Tata Motors (p20)
  • Britvic and AG Barr persist with merger plans (p21)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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