Saturday 5th January – News headlines


800,000 families are to lose all child benefits in the Government’s first claw back of universal payments. Chile benefit will become a means-tested payment to save £1.5 billion from the welfare bill. Times, p3; From Monday, any household earning more than £50,000 will lose their eligibility to some benefits and families earning over £60,000 will lose all the child benefit. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has added that the scheme will establish yet another complex set of means testing in the welfare system. Telegraph, p1



A shock fall in activity in Britain’s services sector has put the economy on the road to a triple dip recession, as economists predict Britain will be stripped of its triple A rating. The sector shrank for the first time in two years, suggesting the British economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. Citi has also released a report suggesting that 2013 will be another disappointing year for Britain, suffering from weak growth, high inflation and budget deficits. Guardian, p32; FT, p2


Daughters of Bernie Ecclestone, Tamara and Petra have managed to defy the property market downturns, as they are expected to make millions from the sale of their London homes. Tamara is selling her seven bedroom Chelsea home for £19.75m while Petra is advertising her seven storey home for £32m. Daily Mail, p5


Pret A Manger’s reputation as an attractive employer is being challenged, with growing calls for the firm to pay its employees a living wage. An article in London Review of Books criticised the regime of ‘surveillance and assessment’ referring to the 17 point plan circulated to all staff setting out ‘Pret Perfect’ behaviour. With a new union Pret a Manger Staff Union (PAMSU), employees are demanding more, urging pay rate to be hiked and enough guaranteed hours to live on. Independent, p19



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