The commentators 03-12-14
...on the Autumn Statement
George Osborne’s original plan was to get the economy back on track. The reality is more like a rail replacement bus service: it covers the route in a roundabout way, and not to the advertised timetable. Passengers wonder if the engineering works on the line will ever be completed. Yet the British public seems resigned to this slow service back to prosperity, having generally accepted that no quicker route exists. In that sense, the chancellor’s greatest political success has been to inoculate himself against economic failure.
- Rafael Behr, The Guardian
How is George Osborne going to explain that almost nothing has gone to plan in his Autumn Statement today? If only he would stand up and say that he had hoped to have closed the deficit by now, but it has proved harder than expected, because the eurozone has stagnated and because, although our economy has created lots of jobs, the tax take from them has been surprisingly low.
- John Rentoul, The Independent
As today’s Autumn Statement is unveiled, with a gaping hole in income tax receipts, the Chancellor can be thankful that at least the financial sector is still paying its way, even if Starbucks, Google, Amazon et al are not.
- Alex Brummer, Daily Mail
Whatever tax changes George Osborne announces today, one of the biggest names on the British High Street, Starbucks, will once again be paying no corporation tax. It won’t do next year, nor the year after that. The company’s UK boss Mark Fox has claimed this week that its operations here won’t be profitable for another three years. If all British businesses were doing as badly as Starbucks UK claims to be doing, we wouldn’t have an economy growing at three per cent a year.
- Ross Clark, Daily Express
A small country with ten national newspapers (a dozen, if you count the FT and Morning Star) might be expected to see its society accurately reflected on the newsstands. So what do we see today? Diversity? Multiculturalism? Do we see that warmth that Paddington was promised?
No, we see rejection, selfishness, triviality. Five papers splash on our terror of immigration; eight carry stories and/or photographs of people fighting to buy a cut-price coffee maker that will sit unused in a cupboard. The only paper to feature neither on the front - The Times - addresses a different kind of consumerism with an oversized cake and the word Eat! in huge letters.
- Editor's blog
Tuesday 25 November The Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards were announced at a breakfast ceremony this morning. David Aaronovitch was named Commentariat of the Year and his newspaper, The Times, won the award for the best comment pages. Stevie Spring, who led the judges, made it a hat-trick for the Times by choosing Melanie Reid for the chairman's award.
The FT, Guardian, Mail and Sunday Times each picked up two awards. SubScribe was also among the winners. You can see the full list of awards here. A video of the presentations will be posted online later.
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