News digest 24 January 2013

News digest 24 January 2013

24 January 2013

The top story across the papers is prime minister David Cameron’s speech on the EU where he promised an in or out referendum if he is elected prime minister at the next election. As expected, most of the right-wing press praise the speech and also condemn Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pledge not to hold a referendum. While the speech was well received by his backbenchers, internationally there is more pressure and while the French viewed Cameron’s call with disdain, German chancellor Angela Merkel has hinted that she may allow some scope for Cameron to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU. That could spell the end of multiple workers’ rights including a cap on working hours, and statutory holidays, but even more than that could end with the UK exiting the EU if the right wing press gets more agitated, that is presuming voters are interested as this debate rings very much of the Westminster bubble and politicians bickering amongst themselves…

Ordinary people are however plagued with trying to stay afloat, although yet another drop in unemployment was reported yesterday – the claimant count is now back at the level it was when the Con-Dem’s took power – the recovery continues to evade the coalition. The Telegraph sums it up best as ‘pay squeeze creating a ‘jobs without growth economy’, sadly it rings too true, and could worsen further after over 1,000 more job cuts were announced. Flybe said it needed to cut over 300 jobs as air passenger duty hit customer demand and state backed Lloyds has cut yet more staff bringing the total axed at the bank to over 38,000 people. That on top of all the job cuts at high street stores means there will be many more people looking for work.

And also looking for work are blacklisted construction workers. MPs yesterday called for an investigation into blacklisting in the industry after Labour used its opposition day debate to call for construction companies to apologise for the shameful practice. Business secretary Vince Cable is so far resisting the request and that echoes the response to the call for the release of the papers related to the Shrewsbury pickets, namely they won’t be published any time soon, can only be because the government has something serious to hide.

A bit harder for the government to hide could be a worsening in the economic outlook, as seen with the fall in unemployment the jobless recovery looks anything but. The Telegraph is one of many papers that trail the forecasts from the IMF which has cut UK growth prospects to just one per cent and this ties in with the Bank of England which says that austerity was holding back recovery. No mention of why it has taken them over two years to realise what we knew from the start although the IMF’s head Christine Lagarde at Davos yesterday declared that financiers should cut bankers’ pay or risk another crash, sadly it seems governments are focused on cutting ordinary workers’ pay while giving tax cuts to top rate payers…

Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Business backs PM’s EU call (p1/6-8)
  • Labour halts Commons vote on Leveson (p14)
  • MPs demand inquiry into blacklisting (p15) – Gail Cartmail quoted
  • Civil service ‘lacks vision’ (p17)
  • Labour market defies downturn (p33)
  • Lloyds cuts (p33) – Dominic Hook quoted
  • IMF lowers UK growth forecasts (p37)
  • Unilever’s record turnover (p37)
  • Tax forces Flybe cuts (p37)
  • Dreamliner inquiry lands at Eaton (p39)
  • TUI pulls out of merger talks (p39)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Cameron stirs Tory passions (p1-3)
  • Trident renewal dealt fresh blow (p4)
  • Burger King drops beef supplier (p4)
  • Employment data continues to defy signs of stagnation (p4)
  • Cable resists probe into building blacklisting (p4)
  • General Dynamics hit by defence spending decline (p15)
  • Siemens and Bosch eye cost cuts (p17)
  • Dreamliner battery probe continues (p17)
  • Caterpillar unearths trouble in China push (p19)
  • Nissan cuts price of Leaf (p20)
  • Lloyds to shed 940 more jobs (p20)
  • Investors quash TUI plan (p21)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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