Today’s digest opens with action about to take place at cake maker Greencore. The Telegraph reports that today Greencore’s greedy management goes to the company AGM to ask for even more money while cutting wages for already poorly paid staff. 500 workers in Hull will take strike action tomorrow to demand the company reverses wage cuts of up to £2,000-a-year. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said. “Greencore must recognise that forcing workers into a daily struggle to support their families is not an acceptable way to build a sustainable business. I would urge you to intervene with local management and persuade them to do the right thing for those workers whose hard work and loyalty contribute to the profits that allow you to live a millionaire lifestyle.”
And from Greencore to green activists and the Guardian reports that MPs have called for an inquiry into a blacklist of green activists used by construction firms to disrupt high profile protests. This list – in addition to the one on 3,000 construction workers – means the call for an inquiry is getting ever louder. Damning the blacklisting as a national scandal Len McCluskey backed the call for an inquiry: “Lives have been ruined and families torn apart just because workers raised safety concerns or because they exercised their human rights to belong to a trade union.” Business secretary Vince Cable seems to be burying his head in the sand as the government has indicated it is not minded to do much.
But then the government does not seem to know what it is doing on many fronts. After announcing troop cuts last week Cameron is sending 200 combat troops to join the French in Mali, looks like Cameron likes the idea of foreign wars to deal with domestic troubles.
And on the domestic front with much fanfare the government announced the planned stops for the HS2 extension yesterday arguing that it will bring a welcome boost to the economy. However many papers report on the fact that building work won’t start for seven years so if the government thinks it will help with the recovery it is tremendously misguided.
Then again that seems to be the case in the almost three years the shamble has been in power. There was yet another U-turn yesterday – this time by Ken Clarke over secret courts – and part time chancellor George Osborne has been taken to task about his economic plans, or lack thereof. The next big battle will be over bankers’ bonuses as the FT reports that more companies will defer bonuses until the top rate of tax is cut.
For the rest of us however the front page of the Express sums it up: ‘Millions stung by new tax rises’ as an audit found that this supposed tax cutting coalition has raised 254 taxes since it came to power and 45 more rises are planned before the next general election. As ever the coalition will stick with one tax cut, namely for the millionaires and others in the cabinet reducing the top rate and gifting thousands to the rich while the rest of us – as reported in all the papers – suffer with increasing debt as many report that the average Brit now owes £3,200 and with pay freezes and more taxes that can only be expected to grow in austerity Britain…
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- Osborne braced for RBS bonus backlash (p1/2)
- Rail link cost rises £2 billion in 12 months (p3)
- MPs question chancellor’s sums (p4)
- Carney conscious on failing banks (p5)
- Premier Foods blow as chief quits (p15/21)
- Ryanair profits rise (p16)
- No failings at Boeing 787 battery maker (p16)
reclaims title of world’s largest carmaker (p19)
- Mitie sees increase in demand from local authorities (p20)
Edited by Mik Sabiers