PCS news digest 2 March

2 March 2012

This weekly news digest is a summary of news, campaign articles, media releases and reports from the past week

2 March

The 35 MPs who opposed the pensions robbery – PCS website

PCS has published the names of 35 MPs who opposed the theft of thousands of pounds from pensioners in public and private sector schemes in a parliamentary vote.

Letwin opens door to civil service privateers – Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph reported that private companies working in hospitals, police and schools will “no longer be a matter of debate” after the coalition’s reforms of public service, Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet minister, has said.


1 March

MoD £7.2million to fat cats – Daily Mirror

Tory donors profit as soldiers get sack, reported the Daily Mirror.

Government U-turn on work scheme – Guardian

The government abandoned a central plank of its work experience scheme when it was forced to bow to pressure from businesses to drop benefit sanctions against young people on the programme, reported the Guardian.


29 February

It’s sick to back coalition’s ailing health bill – Daily Mirror

David Cameron’s deluded claims that he is backed by doctors sound even more ludicrous when key GPs – who he insists would be better off – opposed destructive NHS reforms, reported the Daily Mirror.

Minister charged with slashing Whitehall waste orders £8.5million office renovations – Daily Mail

Francis Maude has spent £8.5million doing up the headquarters of his own department, reported the Daily Mail

Len McCluskey: unions should consider disrupting London Olympics – Guardian

The Unite general secretary said 2012 could see a dramatic escalation in battle between unions and the coalition government, reported the Guardian.


28 February

Barclays faces block on tax schemes – Financial Times

Barclays has been blocked from implementing two “highly abusive” tax schemes that could have cost the Treasury £500m, despite the bank’s commitment to a new code of practice in which it pledged not to engage in tax avoidance, reported the Financial Times.

Occupy London protesters evicted from St Paul’s site – Independent

Demonstrators who have been camped outside St Paul's Cathedral in London since October last year were finally evicted as riot police and bailiffs moved in after dark, dragging both tents and protesters away, reported the Independent.

Barclays tax could fund proper jobs for exploited youth – PCS website

The £500 million in avoided tax that a high street bank will now have to pay could fund full-time jobs above the living wage for all the young people who have been working for free under a controversial government scheme, argued the PCS website.

RMT rejects Tube Olympics pay offer – Bournelocal website

Leaders of thousands of London Underground workers have formally declared a dispute after a lack of progress in reaching a deal over payment for working during the Olympic Games, reported the Bournelocal website.


27 February

Contract workers could join national strike – PCS website

PCS members who work in jobcentres for a private contractor are to ballot for industrial action over redundancies.

Wind energy companies fear government’s commitment is cooling – Guardian

The Guardian reported that wind power firms have expressed concern over future policy and revealed how investment in the UK's energy infrastructure is on hold.

Unions express concerns about human rights – Union-News

A new report by Unite and the North American-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) highlighted serious flaws in the National Express Group’s human rights policy, reported the Union-News website.

Kill the bill: Now even former NHS boss slams reforms as “a mess” – Daily Mirror

Andrew Lansley's controversial reforms have suffered another body blow as it's set to resume its troubled passage in the Lords, reported the Mirror.


26 February

Tory critics want George Osborne to bring in more spending cuts – Observer

Tory MPs are to call for further cuts in spending in next month's budget – as well as reductions in income and business tax – amid growing fears that the chancellor, George Osborne, is not doing enough to stimulate economic growth.

Heathrow Express strike: RMT union members walk out – BBC website

The BBC reported that Heathrow Express rail services faced disruption after drivers and other staff went on strike.


25 February

A4e: a scandal so big it could be seen from 2008 – Red Pepper

Emma Harrison’s double resignation from her role as David Cameron’s families’ champion and chairman of A4e has finally focused media attention on the privatisation of job placement, argued Alex Nunns in Red Pepper magazine.

Public services, big earners: a sector-by-sector analysis – Guardian

The Guardian website considered what is the financial value of public services to the private sector and who are the chief beneficiaries.

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