News digest 3 June 2013

News digest 3 June 2013

03 June 2013

The top story in the papers is yet another sting this time with Lords caught in a web of cash for questions and lobbying. All three main parties are braced for further revelations but so far two Labour lords – Lord Cunningham and Lord MacKenzie – and Ulster Unionist Lord Laird face allegations that they offered to work with undercover journalists posing as lobbyists. All three have been accused of breaking parliamentary rules by offering to carry out work for cash, although all three deny any wrongdoing. Not sure the video of Lord Laird saying he could “bribe” colleagues to ask questions highlights his innocence.

Cameron and Clegg have pledged to introduce new laws to sweep the sleaze out of parliament and that could even see Lords facing expulsion ending the centuries of tradition that have seen the Upper House as a job for life. However, the coalition has had three years to deliver on this policy – and one that prime minister David Cameron warned about – so the question would be what took you so long? In fact expect to see more new peers created (another 30 should be appointed this summer) before any real action is taken. In fact Cameron actually seems more concerned about rumours of an affair in high places which most of the papers mention, but no names are forthcoming, yet.

The other main story featuring in the papers is a set piece speech from shadow chancellor Ed Balls. Balls outlined some ideas for the economy this morning including the much trailed plan to cut winter fuel payments for the UK's richer older people if Labour won the next general election. Balls told an audience at Thomson Reuters headquarters in London that chancellor George Osborne's economic policies have "failed catastrophically" on growth, jobs and deficit reduction and called for the government to heed the advice of the IMF and spend more on infrastructure projects. Again, believe it when you see it.

And as for the “we’re all in this together” refrain the Mail reports that the number of people with salaries of £1 million or more has doubled in the past two years. The number of higher earners at the top end has also continued to stretch and with the top rate tax cut they will be getting even more money. At the other end of the scale ordinary working people are not expected to see incomes recover to 2008 levels before 2023, yes a whole decade of squeezed incomes. That will be the real legacy of Con-Dem Britain unless the government taxes the avoiders, builds more homes and challenges the greed in the City, well we can live in hope…

 Daily Mirror

  • GMB: Build 80,000 new homes with benefit cash (p2)
  • Balls: We will end fuel help for rich OAPs (p2)
  • Peer pressure – Lord lobbying scandal (p8-9)
  • Set up court for veterans, says labour (p26)
  • Bradley manning trial to starts (p31)




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Peers face expulsion (p1)
  • Revenue in crackdown on unpaid internships (p1)
  • Balls to cut benefits for pensioners (p2)
  • Patients needs ignored, NHS chiefs say (p7)
  • RBS cutback sweeps into Asia (p37)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Hunt in warning over NHS ringfence (p1)
  • Balls aims to push fiscal discipline (p2)
  • Cameron top speed up legislation for lobbyists register (p2)
  • Osborne to reject RBS split (p3)
  • It is no time for faster cuts to the US budget deficit – Lawrence Summers (p11)
  • Co-op works on rescue options (p23)
  • Tax burden for UK’s big retailers up by two thirds (p23)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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