News digest 27 June 2013

News digest 27 June 2013

27 June 2013

After last night’s question times in Peterborough and Plymouth, today the #PeopleUnited bus tour is in Lincoln from 13:00, while the second bus worms its way towards Bristol with a question time in the evening ahead of two full days of activities. Find out all the details on the People United website or via @PplUnited.

The top story in all the papers is the comprehensive spending review with chancellor George Osborne outlining to parliament the latest round of cuts facing the country. Effectively Osborne outlined the mantra that austerity will have to continue because austerity has failed. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey castigated the chancellor: “George Osborne’s comprehensive spending review offers no hope and no growth and will cast the UK into economic gloom for the next decade. With over 80 per cent of the cuts yet to come, it is clear that there will be no let-up in the misery that the coalition is inflicting on ordinary families trying to make ends meet. Don’t expect this chancellor to create jobs for our kids, to support families struggling with soaring energy bills or ease off on the destruction of our NHS. Instead, we face a future of economic misery where the chill winds of self-defeating austerity continue to howl through town halls and communities up and down the country.” still 23 months to the election though…

The main points of the spending review were that government spending will hit £745 billion meaning further savings – cuts to you and I - of £11.5 billion are needed. This will be achieved by a one per cent cap on public sector pay combined with the end of pay progression in the civil service, schools, hospitals, prisons and the police, but not the armed forces. There are scandalous changes to welfare including a seven day wait before jobseekers  - like the 2,000 Direct Line workers whose jobs were yesterday put at risk - can claim benefits, have any of these politicians seen people living on the breadline, seen those on zero hours contracts, seen the queues in food banks or are they just looking to push ever more people into the hands of predatory payday lenders like the case quoted in the Mirror where a £150 loan has soared to £15,500 in two years? Then again there is one person celebrating a pay rise, the Times and the Telegraph report that the Queen will receive a five per cent pay  increase, so much for we’re all in this together…

 A quick outline of some of the changes by key departments is as follows:

·     Work and pensions budget cut by 9.5 per cent and new cap on welfare spending

·     New temperature test for winter fuel allowance but state pension protected

·     10 per cent cut in local government budget but council tax frozen for next two years

·     Culture cut by seven per cent with museums/arts organisations facing further five per cent cut

·     Defence budget frozen at £24 billion, and civilian staff posts to be cut further

·     Transport cut by nine per cent but rise in capital spending to £9.5 billion

·     Education budget at £53 billion and money for 180 new free schools

·     Health budget to rise 0.01 per cent to £110 billion, and new social care plan

·     Energy cut by eight per cent but guarantees for new nuclear plants

·     BIS budget cut six per cent, more money for apprentices but science budget frozen

·     £50 billion of infrastructure projects to be announced by Danny Alexander today. Too little, too late?

Morning Star

 Daily Mirror



  • Osborne’s war on the public sector (p4-5)
  • Osborne has done a remarkable job – Leo McKinstry (p14)
  • Direct Line to axe 2,000 (p50)
  • Virgin eyes listing (p50)
  • Stagecoach profits from bus fare rises (p51)


 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Osborne turns his guns on benefits (p1/6-9)
  • Key services threatened by council cuts (p6)
  • Queen in line for £38 million windfall (p17)
  • CSR reviewed: better on the politics than economics (p28)
  • Rock returns to profit (p41)
  • Bank tests health of economy before rate rise (p45)
  • Direct Line to cut 2,000 more jobs (p47) – Unite cited




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Osborne overhaul hit by overspend on HS2 (p1)
  • Gold price tumbles (p1)
  • CSR: Hard reality yet to be faced (p2-4)
  • BoE orders ‘rates rise’ inquiry (p5)
  • Osborne sets a trap for Labour on welfare – Janan Ganesh (p13)
  • BA raises $927 million (p17)
  • Balfour sells stake in Exeter airport (p22)
  • Direct Line to cut 2,000 jobs (p23)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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