The digest opens with the launch of a new Unite campaign #OurWelfareWorks. It’s running with the line that welfare isn't about being on the take; it’s about being a civilised society. Find out the truth on the Our Welfare Works website and keep an eye out for a couple of ad vans on the road in London highlighting the real welfare cheats whose cuts are going to make 11.5 million households poorer while giving millionaires a £100,000 tax break; follow @OurWelfareWorks on twitter for all the latest.
And sadly the latest from the government is yet more cuts. Chancellor George Osborne and treasury secretary Danny Alexander seem to have announced a Plan C for after the election, and the ‘C’ stands for cuts. Yes, more cuts. Many of the papers report that the Treasury is planning a further 10 per cent reduction in budgets - or some £3 billion – which could wipe even more of society away. Even though a third of town halls have defied communities secretary Eric Pickles and put up council tax, the central government onslaught continues.
Unfortunately the real crackdown on excess bonuses is yet to come to fruition. Many of the papers report that as the country is gripped by an incredibly chilly March and families facing soaring bills there are five families that are doing rather well. These would be after five bosses at Centrica – the owners of British gas – pocketed a £16.4 million payout even though bills have been hiked by six per cent. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Enough is enough – this excessive greed which sees casino bankers and the corporate elite running British business pocket millions, while working people struggle to pay their soaring household bills must stop. As Britain goes through the worst March weather in half a century, the sun shines brightly on Centrica’s bosses while those struggling to pay the bills shiver.” Whatever happened to the prime minister David Cameron’s crackdown on soaring energy bills, oh yes, nothing.
But then it’s a tough life in the Tory party after one backbench MP has moaned about having to borrow from his relations to survive. Tory MP Karl McCartney lambasted the Commons expenses watchdog and said he was forced to borrow £25,000 from his parents because of delays to his expenses being paid. The expenses watchdog Ipsa said that the MP’s claims “are simply untrue”, much like most of the what the Tory party says.
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- £25 billion shortfall at UK banks (p1)
- David Miliband camp hopes for comeback (p2)
- Treasury seeks 10 per cent more cuts (p4)
- May loses appeal against Qatada expulsion (p4)
- Enders secures EADS revamp (p17)
- Head of Iberia quits (p20)
- Man from Pru shrugs off censure (p22)
Edited by Mik Sabiers