Unite News digest 26 September 2014

News digest 26 September 2014

26 September 2014

Today’s digest opens with a simple message – and one that has been analysed in detail – namely it is time for an immediate rise in the national minimum wage of £1.50 an hour. The Morning Star, Mirror, Sun and Guardian cover the call from Unite after the publication of a major new independent report which will be submitted to the Low Pay Commission today. The reports shows that a national increase of £1.50 per hour in the national minimum wage in 2015 would benefit 4.6 million workers by an average of £1,400 per year while at the same time adding an extra £2.1 billion to the public finances and potentially generating at least 30,000 new jobs. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “We have long-argued for an immediate uplift in the minimum wage of £1.50 to get people out of poverty and get some real growth into our economy. This report shows that this is both affordable for employers, would in fact create not cost jobs, and is a great deal for the national finances. It need not be put off any longer.” No delay, raise it now.

The other major story of the day is the recall of parliament where MPs will debate possible airstrikes in Iraq although there’s no mention of an exit strategy [or any strategy in reality], not good, but they’ll vote for action.

Elsewhere in Westminster there are still some grumblings about Labour party conference – with the Mail saying Labour leader Ed Miliband’s threats have undermined shares in some companies while that is actually in outsourcers like Serco and rapacious hedge funds [good in other words], the political focus will shift to the Ukip conference (with pledges to cut taxes and fees and everything – none of them costed], as well as exit the EU, the Tories are looking to take the political agenda by what the Indie calls “playing the English card” which is interesting to say the least as after supposedly being pro saving the union the party is now trying to divide it [as ever for Tories it is not about principles, just hanging on to power].

From politics to the City and there is good news from Airbus which says there is record demand for jets, although that does not help Monarch where workers have had to take pay cuts to keep their jobs, even weirder is Ryanair’s claims that its new ‘nice’ approach [nice and Michael O’Leary don’t often appear together] is paying dividends although a third of shareholders voted against the pay report [not so nice then], and while Tesco is still in trouble and Royal Mail shares are now at post float low [all the profits have been banked already] there is also woe for Wonga after a leak reportedly shows the pay day lender will see a 40 per cent slump in profits next week, sadly that is not down to cutting its sky high interest rates, but down to fines for fake legal letters and more. Another way of stopping the sharks is to give Britain a pay rise, as said it’s affordable and will pay dividends for the exchequer, so raise the minimum wage now…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Isil attacks planned (p1/6-7)
  • Farage takes swing at Ed (p2)
  • Minimum wage to hit £8.06 in 6 years (p2) – Unite cited
  • Union raps Mili on heroes (p2)
  • Branson gives staff unlimited holidays (p4)
  • £30m drop in Wonga profits (p59)
  • RBS chief exit (p59)
  • Jettison wages (p59) [Monarch job cuts]


  • Ukip targets Labour voters (p2)
  • Ed’s big mistake on England (p2)
  • Lloyds [of London] profits soar (p62)
  • Royal Mail at post-float low (p63)


  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Avenge my father says daughter of aid worker (p1)
  • Tories to put home rule at heart of election (p4)
  • Energy firms awful at customer service (p22)
  • Britain can handle higher rates, says Carney (p43)
  • House price growth stalls (p43)
  • Lloyds to sell another £150m of TSB shares (p44)
  • O’Leary backs board in one-man show (p49)




FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Brussels set for clash with City over bonus cap dodge (p1)
  • MPs prepare to vote on Iraq strikes (p2)
  • Farage vows to protect NHS (p2)
  • Manchester seeks greater powers (p4)
  • Time running out for US-EU trade deal (p10)
  • Now the English want to tear up the union – Philip Stephens (p15)
  • BHP freezes pay of chief (p19)
  • Air France abandons low cost expansion (p20)
  • Ryanair chief hails success of ‘nicer’ approach (p23)
  • Monarch’s owners step up efforts to fill pension gap (p25)
  • Tesco trouble (p25)

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