News digest 28 June 2013

News digest 28 June 2013

28 June 2013

The first #PeopleUnited bus will be in Grimsby from noon to 15:30 before heading off to Hull for an evening People’s question time while Bristol plays host to the second bus. Full details on the People United website.

And while the bus is on tour around the country, chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander yesterday announced some £100 billion of spending on new infrastructure projects, except that they are not really new and many of the projectsare either underway, or even delayed, after all look how long it has taken for the Siemens Thameslink contract to be confirmed. The Indie headline - Five year plan for infrastructure on shaky foundations - sums up the real message, although the FT notes that a number of attractive schemes happen to be in marginal seats, same as it ever was.

Many of the papers also report on the threat of blackouts within the space of the next couple of years. It looks like ageing power stations combined with a lack of investment could see the lights going out across the country. Admittedly Alexander announced plans for energy spending – including £10 billion for the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point – but the real question is whether there will be enough energy. The Times says that businesses will be paid to switch off power so the lights can stay on at home, the problem will be the cost of keeping the lights on will be borne by ordinary people and as the Telegraph notes families can be expected to face even more pressure as income falls further.

And talking of further falls, there was a little relief for chancellor George Osborne as it was confirmed that double dip never happened, sadly the report also said the UK economy was in an even worse state than before with economic output now estimated to be 3.9 per cent below the pre-crash peak, rather than the 2.6 per cent previously thought. Looks like new Bank of England governor Mark Carney will have to work miracles when he starts work on Monday or perhaps Osborne will have to borrow even more.

And talking of Osborne and borrowing the ‘wonga budget’ continues to cause concerns in the press with many saying that the proposed benefit changes will push people in to the hands of payday lenders. Unite’s Steve Turner said: "The government must recognise the damage being done to our communities and the growing debt and poverty resulting from the exploitation of legal loan sharks. Payday lenders are preying on people in hardship, exploiting their desperation and pushing them deeper into debt with their rip-off rates.” The government yesterday signalled that it will look at greater regulation for the industry, but don’t expect much real action.

And while Osborne thinks the solution to the country’s problems is to cut faster and further, Phillip Collins in the Time argues there is a much simpler way, simply said cut the welfare bill by paying people a proper wage, a fifth of British workers are low paid, the second worst figure in the western world. The way to change this is to make sure companies take on their responsibilities for workers, rather than solely supporting shareholders. If only government would give a greater steer…

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Britain faces blackout (p1)
  • £1 million bill for Will and Kate’s new home (p3)
  • All hospital doctors to be judged by results (p6)
  • £28 billion road funding covers projects already being built (p8-9)
  • Let 5,700 illegals stay, urges Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi (p15)
  • Cut the welfare bill. Pay proper wages – Philip Collins (p31)
  • Double dip? No it was worse than that (p47)
  • Church joins bidders for RBS branches (p49)
  • Rolls-Royce: We failed over mid-air explosion (p53)


  • Get fracking: Ministers back dash for shale gas (p6-7)
  • Five year plan for infrastructure on shaky foundations (p8-9)
  • More welfare cuts on the way, warns Osborne (p10)
  • Church backed bid for RBS could herald ethical bank (p57)
  • QE could be back (p58)
  • Clean up or close down payday loan firms told (p59)(p)



  • Millions face higher taxes (p1)
  • Families face pressure as income falls (p4)
  • Schools to be given £7.5 billion for extra pupils (p5)
  • Blackout risk (p6)
  • Health watchdog not fit for purpose (p9)
  • Boris as prime minister: Are you serious? (p16)
  • Google’s brand damaged by tax avoidance (b3)
  • Greene King toasts to record results (b3)
  • Siemens finally awarded trains contract (b5)
  • Church backs bid for 315 RBS branches (b5)

 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Lights risk going out (p1)
  • Biggest building plans for a generation (p2)
  • Payday lenders face fresh scrutiny (p4)
  • Economy in deeper hole (p4)
  • Britain let down by its beancounting politicians – Samuel Brittan (p11)
  • Rolls Royce admits safety failings (p19)
  • Bankia offloads IAG stake (p20)
  • Church backs bid for RBS branches (p21)
  • Greene King toasts gloomy weather (p21)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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