News digest 7 December 2012

News digest 7 December 2012

07 December 2012

Today’s digest opens with yet more callous cuts as the Con-Dem coalition slipped out an announcement that hundreds more Remploy workers will face the sack as their factories are shut. A new round of compulsory redundancies will see 875 employees – almost 80 per cent of whom are disabled - thrown on the dole. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The timing is callous so close to Christmas … it is a cruel decision, given that of those sacked in the first round of closures, only about 50 have found new jobs in the last three months. We call on ministers to stop the closure programme immediately until there is a review of the shambles of selling-off Remploy sites to commercial interests. Once again, this reveals a heartless and calculating government, putting cost-cutting before the real needs and employment prospects of disabled workers. It is a national disgrace.”

And the autumn statement continues to hog the headlines with Osborne’s plan to trap Labour over benefit cuts used as a stick to beat the shadow chancellor Ed Balls with. Although Balls’ poor response to the statement is covered in quite a few papers the Mail says Labour has committed to block the welfare squeeze especially as the IFS found that working families will be hardest hit. All in all the reading is grim for the chancellor with the Guardian and Telegraph saying the UK’s AAA status is expected to go, the Mail noting the danger of a triple dip recession and the Times highlighting the record £28 billion trade gap. The FT reports that cuts will be continuing until the next election but it will be a real struggle to find funds.

Finding funds has however not been too troublesome for the new police commissioners with both the Times and Guardian reporting how the newly elected police chiefs have wasted no time in appointing a number of deputies – including friends, political allies and even a campaign manager - without advertising, nice work if you can get it, let’s hope the money is not coming out of the cuts to police officers starting salaries which the Times says are due to be cut by £5,000. Real value for money there…

And while many papers report that train fares are due to rise by up to 10 per cent, the Telegraph there are calls for former transport secretary Justine Greening to go over the West Coast fiasco. It now looks like more than £50 million will have been wasted on the aborted contest to run the line in what is being known as a ‘first class fiasco’. Then again the current transport minister Stepehen Hammond faces an inquiry over his directorship, looks like the department probably has the wrong type of ministers on the line.

And trying to get out of the line of fire is Starbucks which yesterday caved in and said that it would pay £20 million in tax. The company has taken out adverts to try and rescue its reputation but many still remain cynical as after the company pleaded lack of profitability it can now find the £20 million. What is less reported is that the company plans to cut workers’ pay and terms to help pave the way, however the real line is that the company is choosing to pay, it does not have to, in the same we can choose where to buy coffee, or not to...

 Morning Star

 Daily Mirror




 Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Disabled hit back over benefit cut (p1)
  • New police commissioners appoint ‘cronies’ to top jobs (p3)
  • Poorest 30 per cent to suffer most from Osborne’s big squeeze (p6)
  • Starbucks agrees to pay £20 million (p8)
  • West Coast franchise exposes ‘first-class fiasco’ (p14)
  • Labour must cut its dependency on welfare – Philip Collins (p31)
  • Rolls-Royce facing action over bribes (p47)
  • Trade gap hits record £28 billion as exports dive (p48)
  • Bank misselling by staff still widespread (p53)
  • French unions ‘disgusted’ by Mittal U-turn (p59)




 FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Starbucks pledges £20 million tax ‘donation’ (p1)
  • Franchise fiasco (p1)
  • Rolls-Royce warned over bribery (p1/19)
  • Osborne proposals to find savings appear ‘inconceivable’, says IFS (p2)
  • Coalition eyes £10 billion cuts in election year (p3)
  • Iberia’s bumpy ride – airline profiled (p11)
  • Aston Martin stake up for grabs (p18)
  • Hurdles for UBS on TNT deal (p19)
  • M&S in Christmas Eve early opening in bid to get around Sunday trading (p23)

 Edited by Mik Sabiers

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