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Northcliffe media chief to launch in depth internal review.

Former Metro boss, Steve Auckland, will review his struggling new group's regional newspapers with t

Steve Auckland is set to launch a thorough review of 115 regional newspapers owned by Northcliffe Media, itself a property of Daily Mail & General Trust (DGMT).

Northcliffe currently employs 2800 staff and has seen is profits drop from £93 to £30, between 2007 and 2010. This has lead DGMT to consider selling the regional publisher.

Auckland said he would consider measures such as reducing the number of publishing days for loss-making titles, adding closures were also a possibility.

"I've not got a brief to carve up and sell on. I think regionals still have a future, it is a great brief to have and it's long-term growth I'm after, not a short-term fix", Auckland said.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.