News digest 6 November 2012

News digest 6 November 2012

06 November 2012

Today’s digest starts with a contrast between the top and the bottom of the pay pile. There’s wide coverage of the push towards a living wage by Labour leader Ed Miliband as Labour councils across the country ranging from Ealing in west London to Newcastle in the north pledge to pay the living wage which stands at £7.45, or £8.55 in London. The rise in the wage – which is not legally enforceable – will put some £500 extra in the pockets of Britain’s poorest paid workers. Downing Street has come out against the proposals, no doubt because they are backed by London mayor Boris Johnson, the Mail repeats the misnomer that a minimum or living wage will kill off jobs, while Downing Street tries to turn the spotlight on EU law saying a living wage would be discriminatory. If so how come we have the minimum wage or do they want to abolish that too?

And from a minimum to a maximum wage. Sadly the government does not realise that by paying low paid workers more it would help to boost the economy as they would spend the money, rather than save it as those at the top are wont to do. And those at the top have enjoyed a bumper rise in earnings with directors of Britain’s top companies seeing a 27 per cent rise in earnings over the past year. Despite a near freeze on salaries and bonuses the bosses of FTSE 100 companies have benefited from a substantial rise in long-term share incentive plans. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “While millions of working people are either without work, or having their pay frozen or slashed, Britain’s boardrooms are finding even more devious ways to squeeze even more cash from their companies. Wages for many working people have stagnated since 2003 and have fallen in real terms since the recession hit. But the richest have continued to pull ahead. The top 10 per cent have 12 times more income than the bottom 10 per cent.  Britain has the fastest growing income inequality compared to other developed countries.”

But don’t expect the shower to do anything about ending inequality, Kevin Maguire in the Mirror highlights the Unite campaign to protect rural workers from poverty, while the paper also highlights the attack on health workers’ pay. The Morning Star notes how benefit caps are forcing thousands of people out of the capital while the Mail says child benefit may be limited to two children only, all as a means to deal with the cuts.

And the government has however still refused to take action on big companies offshoring their revenues and paying minimal taxes. Anger is growing, but still the government buries its head in the sand, then again prime minister David Cameron has more trouble on his hands as he launches an inquiry into claims that a senior Thatcher aide – and also possibly senior Tory minister – were involved in allegations over child abuse in Wales. Cameron – who is out of the country on an arm sales junket – is also facing pressure to release his correspondence with Rebekah Brooks so there could be more embarrassment on the way. Then again he will be pleased to know that his backbench nemesis Nadine Dorries has also jetted off, sadly she is to join the line up of I’m a celebrity, get me out of here… I’m sure her constituents will value her sterling service while she spends a fortnight in Australia, bush tucker trials and all, time for another byelection…

Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Big business faces tax raid (p1)
  • Treasury to raid pension pots to build recovery (p3)
  • Full inquiry promised into child abuse in Wales (p14)
  • Comet owner kept us in the dark (p33)
  • Recovery doubt as services sector slows (p36)
  • Apprenticeships are about quality, not quantity (p38)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Apple loses big slice of tablet market (p1)
  • HSBC braced for fines (p1)
  • Osborne tax threat to big companies (p4)
  • Sluggish services erodes optimism (p4)
  • Obituary: Labour reporter John Bourne (p4)
  • Director pay rises despite rebellions (p6)
  • Business chiefs warn against compulsion on living wage (p6)
  • Pickles seeks to ‘unlock’ council pensions (p6)
  • Notebook: Beyond the City things look brighter (p13) – Unite cited [on banking job cuts]
  • Toyota raises profit forecasts (p17)
  • Volvo to focus on costs (p20)
  • City celebrates success of Cadbury code (p22)
  • Ryanair says profits set to soar (p24)

Edited by Mik Sabiers

Comment on this story