PCS news digest 3 February

3 February 2012

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

3 February

RBS chairman defends Stephen Hester’s near-£1m bonus – Guardian

Royal Bank of Scotland's chairman has defended the near-£1m bonus awarded to its chief executive Stephen Hester by insisting he was doing a "great job" and paid less than his peers.

Bankers face calls for a judicial inquiry and an end to ‘obscene’ bonuses – Daily Mirror

David Cameron faced calls for a judicial inquiry to hold bankers who caused the credit crunch to account, reported the Daily Mirror.

2 February

IFS warns on scale of spending cuts – Financial Times

The Financial Times reported that Britain faces spending cuts “almost without historical or international precedent” over the next few years and, painful as the squeeze has been so far, it amounts to less than a 10th of what is planned by the 2016/17 fiscal year, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Cameron accused of breaking promise on midwives – UnionNews

The RCM has accused David Cameron of breaking his promise to recruit more midwives, according to the UnionNews website.

1 February

Civil servant tax claims: Danny Alexander order review – BBC website

A review of the tax affairs of top civil servants has been ordered by the chief secretary to the Treasury, reported the BBC website

Coalition overturns Lords amendments on welfare and bans further dissent – Guardian

The Guardian reported that the coalition has raised the stakes over its welfare bill by overturning seven key Lords amendments passed to soften the reforms, and taken the rare step to direct peers they have no constitutional right to challenge the Commons' decisions further.

31 January

Solid support for HMRC strike over privatisation threat – PCS website

There was solid support for a strike held on the day of the deadline for online self-assessment tax returns, reported the PCS website.

HMRC delays tax return deadline as civil servants stage one-day strike – Guardian

The Guardian reported that thousands of tax office workers were due to stage a 24-hour strike in a row over privatisation, leading to a delay in the deadline for filing tax returns.

Public sector pensions reforms won’t save money, says IFS – Huffington Post

The government's controversial reforms to public sector pensions may not save money in the long-term, according to a report from respected think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), reported the Huffington Post website.

30 January

A century of political posters from the provocative to the downright dishonest – Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire in the Mirror wrote about an exhibition of posters at the People’s History Museum charting the history of British politics.

RBS boss bows to pressure and gives up £1 million bonus – The Independent

The Independent reported that the threat of a Commons vote on pay may have proved the final straw for RBS chief executive Stephen Hester

Ken Clarke plans to reform crime compensation rules – BBC website

The BBC reported that criminals will only be able to claim compensation for being victims of crime in "exceptional circumstances", under proposals by the justice secretary.

29 January

NASUWT refuses to sign “scandalous” pensions deal – UnionNews

NASUWT members have said the government’s “scandalous” heads of agreement document is set to “wreak a massive injustice to teachers”, reported the UnionNews website.

Andrew Lansley forced into major climbdown on planned health reforms – The Observer

Threat of a Lords revolt has compelled the health secretary to change his NHS bill amid claims of 'sheer panic' in government over opposition, reported the Observer.

28 January

National Gallery assistants escalate their dispute over staffing cuts – Guardian

The Guardian interviewed PCS members on strike at the National Gallery about their dispute.

Organise! City cleaners fight for a living wage – Red Pepper

Michael Pooler reported for Red Pepper magazine on the struggle of cleaners in the heart of London’s financial district.

Disabled protesters’ blocking of Oxford Circus an “amazing success” – UK Uncut

A group of more than 200 people blocked Oxford Circus and brought the surrounding area to a complete standstill, with traffic backlogs extending for several hundred yards. 

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