Top story: ‘Breaking the social contract’
Hello, Warren Murray here, let’s get stuck into it.
Britain’s youngest adults have suffered a slump in their discretionary spending power while people aged 65 and over have enjoyed a sharp 37% rise. The findings shatter the myth of millennials wasting their disposable income on fripperies.
In its first ever national audit on the subject, the Resolution Foundation’s new Intergenerational Centre concludes that compared with people the same age at the turn of the millennium, today’s 18- to 29-year-olds are 7% poorer in real terms after paying rent, or if they can afford it, mortgage dues. Much of their spare cash goes on groceries, utilities and education – while baby boomers splash out more as a proportion on recreation, restaurants, hotels and culture. “The clear picture in terms of day-to-day living standards as measured through household consumption is of generational progress for older generations, and generational decline for younger ones,” the report says.
Claire Turner, a director at the Centre for Ageing Better, urged caution, blaming “decades of political short-termism and a failure by successive governments to respond to Britain’s changing population structure”. But a spokesman for Generation Rent said “resentment is growing” and the co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation accused older people of “breaking the social contract”. Angus Hanton said older voters allowed policies that have financially hobbled the young: “When asked to ease the pressure on the intergenerational contract by contributing a little more if they have it, older generations demand intergenerational solidarity and universal benefits for their generation, but not for others.”
Chancellor’s lunge to stop Johnson – As Theresa May heads to the EU summit, Philip Hammond is staying back to launch a broadside at Boris Johnson who is today expected to become one of the final two Tory leadership candidates. Four people go into this morning’s latest vote of MPs: Johnson, the favourite, followed by Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid. Wednesday saw Rory Stewart knocked out. After a YouGov poll of Conservative party members found they are willing to lose Scotland and Northern Ireland from the union and accept “significant” economic damage to bring about Brexit, Hammond, the chancellor, is to say he will fight for an outcome that “protects the union and the prosperity of the United Kingdom”. Johnson’s backers are saying that in the final vote by party members they would prefer to face Hunt, rather than Gove, who triggered Johnson’s exit from the 2016 leadership race. But they are being warned any tactical voting operation against Gove, like the one that eliminated Dominic Raab, would “go down very badly with Tory MPs and members”. After Johnson failed on the BBC to guarantee Brexit by 31 October, members of the ERG group of hard Brexiter Tory MPs have warned the frontrunner that not sticking to the leave date will earn him the same fate as Theresa May, “only a lot quicker”.
Global heating devours glaciers – The Himalayas have lost more than a quarter of glacial ice lost over the last four decades, scientists have revealed. The rate of loss has doubled since the turn of the century, indicating a “devastating” future for the region, upon which a billion people depend for regular water. The analysis shows 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with lower level glaciers shrinking in height by five metres annually. The study shows that only global heating caused by human activities can explain the heavy melting. It combined declassified US spy satellite images from the mid-1970s with modern satellite data to create the first detailed, four-decade record of ice along the 1,200-mile mountain chain.
Porn block on shelf – The UK’s online pornography age checking regime is expected to be delayed indefinitely. It had been due to come into force on 15 July, but it is understood government officials failed to notify the European commission of key details. Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, is expected to give a statement on the issue in the House of Commons this morning. The block, which would require users to provide proof they are over 18, was due to be one of the first of its kind anywhere in the democratic world. But it has come under repeated attack from privacy campaigners who have raised fears it would be possible to connect an individual’s browsing habits to their identity, which could then be exposed in a data leak.
Bus stop attack – Four members of a girl gang who inflicted a “sustained and horrific” bus stop attack on a frightened Egyptian student who later died have been given non-custodial sentences. Mariam Moustafa, 18, had a stroke and went into a coma after being slammed against a bus shelter on 20 February 2018. She died the following month.
Mariam Moustafa died after being slammed against a bus shelter. Photograph: PA
After admitting affray, Rochelle Dobbin and Netesha Lewis, both 18, and two 16-year-old girls were handed referral orders by a district judge at Nottingham youth court on Wednesday. The district judge condemned the teenagers as “aggressive” but said the court would only jail young people as a last resort. Six people in all were charged, and two women had already been sentenced: Mariah Fraser, 20, was ordered to spend eight months in a young offender institution, while Britania Hunter was given a 12-month community order and 40 hours’ unpaid work.
Breath of fresh air – London is to hold a car-free day on 22 September, billed as its biggest such event to date. The mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced plans to close 12.3 miles of roads in the city centre, including around London Bridge, Tower Bridge and much of the City of London. Boroughs across the city will hold events promoting walking, cycling and public transport, as well as creating scores of “play streets”. The capital’s illegal air pollution levels kill thousands of people each year and blight the health of at least 400,000 children. More than 50% of London’s toxic air pollution is caused by vehicles.
Today in Focus podcast: Footballers who sued the boss
The Women’s World Cup favourites, the US, are taking on their governing body in a gender equality lawsuit that could have huge implications for women’s sport. Plus: Jonathan Freedland on Donald Trump’s economic record.
Lunchtime read: Are slavery tomatoes on your plate?
In the Italian south, the lives of foreign agricultural labourers are so cheap that many NGOs have described their conditions as a modern form of slavery. Desperate for work, these labourers will accept any job in the fields even if the wages are far below, and the hours far above, union standards.
Illustration: Christophe Gowans/Guardian Design
Italy’s agricultural sector is booming, with the tomato industry alone worth £2.8bn. Mass immigration is chaotic and uncontrolled, the exploitation of immigrant workers is systematic – and the produce they pick regularly ends up on the shelves of Italian and international supermarkets, bought by consumers who have no idea of the suffering involved. Today’s lunchtime read is by Tobias Jones and Ayo Awokoya.
Phil Neville looked forward to the “business end” of the Women’s World Cup after watching his side defeat Japan 2-0 to reach the knockout stages as group winners. But while England can look forward Scotland can look only back with regret after they were knocked out in dramatic circumstances in their final Group D game. There are some 20 Cricket World Cup group games still to run but after New Zealand’s Kane Williamson produced an epic unbeaten 106 to overcome South Africa in a tense finale at Edgbaston, the identity of the four semi-finalists is already taking shape. Eoin Morgan claimed his six-hitting spree against Afghanistan went beyond his wildest dreams but, for Joe Root, who watched all but one of the 17 record-breaking blows from the non-striker’s end, the captain’s assault came as no surprise.
Global rugby union is braced for fresh turmoil after the governing body announced it had discontinued plans to introduce a Nations Championship for the leading Test nations. And Feliciano López sought to restore some injured pride on Wednesday when he denied any suggestion that he and his regular doubles partner, Marc López, had been involved in an alleged betting scam at Wimbledon in 2017.
The strong hints by the US Federal Reserve that it will begin cutting rates next month to head off growing global and domestic economic risks have encouraged investors to bid up stock markets in Asia overnight. They were following the increasingly optimistic mood on Wall Street where stock prices are near an all-time high. Futures trading suggests the FTSE100 will rise 0.4% at the opening this morning. The Fed’s words pushed down the US dollar and yields on US 10-year bonds sank below 2%. The moves helped the pound lift a bit to $1.268 and €1.125.
The battle for the Tory leadership and Tuesday’s BBC debate dominate the front pages today, and the adjectives are out in force. “Biased Brazen Contemptible” screams the Mail, complaining that leadership hopefuls were subjected to a “disgraceful debate” involving “nakedly anti-Tory” guests. The Express sings a similar tune with “Storm over Tory TV debate”.
Guardian front page, Thursday 20 June 2019.
The fight to be the next leader of the Conservative party, and the country, features heavily in other papers. The Times predicts “Javid ‘wants to be the next chancellor’”, while the i leads with “Gove momentum builds but Tories fear dirty tricks.” The Telegraph is also worried about the chances of the environment minister: “Johnson hatches plot to knock out Gove”.
The Guardian splashes on the ramifications of the end of an insurgent campaign: “Stewart exists Tory leadership race as Johnson pushes further ahead”. Away from the Tory party maelstrom, the FT leads on the Fed holding rates steady, while the Mirror is outraged about an NHS hospital charging “£18k for hip op”.
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