Why you should give up power for the social good | Letters

Dr Katharine Sutton highlights the importance of the everyday economy

Lynsey Hanley is right (We need to make growth work for all, 15 October). The everyday economy in which most of us are pitched is far less glamorous than the high-skill, high-tech ambitions espoused by the economic elite, yet its impact is far wider and the challenge it poses for now and future generations far greater.

It’s not only economists, however, who need to focus on foundational activities or the overlooked economy, it is the way services are organised that also must be changed. Society has to provide more efficient services that are renewed and replenished from the ground upwards. This means devolving power downwards, removing lines of management, eradicating paper systems and trusting and valuing the contribution that those working on the frontline of the everyday economy can make.

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UK government borrowing target back on track

£800m fall in borrowing on same month last year bolsters chancellor’s budget war chest

Philip Hammond’s plan to bring down the government’s annual borrowing was back on track last month after a blowout in August that knocked the chancellor off course.

Public sector net borrowing in September, excluding the nationalised banks, was £4.1bn – £800m less than in the same month last year. The drop had the effect of cutting the level of borrowing since April to £19.9bn, which is £10.7bn less than in the first five months of the 2017 financial year.

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Manchester police couldn’t stop the bike muggers. So we stepped in | Helen Pidd

Across the UK, others like us are taking action where a depleted police force cannot. Is this really how we want Britain to be?

If I am being perfectly honest, the austerity cuts haven’t affected my life much over the past eight years. I’ve written about them so I know about the resurgence of rough sleepers, the proliferation of food banks, the increase in NHS waiting times and the closure of libraries and youth clubs.

But have they hurt me? Not really. My bins got collected a bit less frequently, it took even longer to get answers out of council press offices and everything seemed to grow a bit grubbier. I got angry at what was happening to others, sure. But for me, life essentially continued as before, just with a lower mortgage rate and a larger tax-free allowance from HMRC.

Related: The growth of private policing is eroding justice for all | John Harris

Related: Policing at ‘tipping point’ over budget cuts, warns police chief

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Hundreds join growing list of Britain’s ultra-rich

Fortunes of already wealthy people grow much faster than that of general population

The UK’s ranks of the ultra-rich have swelled by 400 over the last year, taking the number of people with fortunes of more than $50m (£38m) to nearly 5,000.

The fortunes of the already very wealthy are growing at a far faster rate than the general population, according to a report by the Swiss bank Credit Suisse published on Thursday.

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UK and US pull out of Saudi event over alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi

UK trade secretary, Liam Fox, and US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, join others in boycotting economic forum in Riyadh

Liam Fox, the UK trade secretary, and the US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, joined key European partners in pulling out of a major economic forum in Saudi Arabia nicknamed Davos in the desert, in response to the alleged murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Reports of Khashoggi’s gruesome murder at the hands of a gang of 15 men with links to the Saudi royal court have already led to many western media firms and bankers pulling out, and the political lead from Fox and Mnuchin is likely to accelerate the boycott of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh next week.

Related: As Trump cozies up to Saudi Arabia, the rule of law collapses further | Richard Wolffe

Related: Search for Khashoggi’s remains focuses on consul general’s house

Related: Mohammed bin Salman never was a reformer. This has proved it | Dilip Hiro

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EU members should be wary of stealing London’s super-sized financial sector | Howard Davies

Paris and other cities have put out Brexit welcome mats for the City, but does banking unbalance the wider economy?

As the UK’s Brexit negotiations stumble on, other European countries are using the uncertainty about the future regulation of the continent’s financial markets to tempt firms and activities away from London.

The French have been particularly active in support of Paris, but Frankfurt, despite lukewarm support from the government in Berlin, has not been far behind. And other cities such as Luxembourg City, Dublin and Amsterdam have laid out their own welcome mats. Bankers have not been so popular for a decade or more.

Related: Blockchain isn’t about democracy and decentralisation – it’s about greed | Nouriel Roubini

There is a ring of plausibility to the argument that with finance you can have too much of a good thing

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When council leaders petition No 10 to end austerity, things are bad | Polly Toynbee

Labour councils have had enough. As another round of devastating cuts looms, the leader of Newcastle council has gone to the source

With the budget barely more than a week away, the queue of desperate petitioners would stretch down Whitehall far out of sight. If austerity is over, who’s first in line? In the battle of crises, whose need is greatest?

This morning an actual petition was handed into No 10 by one sector that has suffered among the worst in the great state shrinkage of the last eight years – local government. Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle city council, handed in a plea signed by all Labour local government leaders to stop the next round of cuts – the next £1.3bn due to be lopped off in April. If that axe falls again, Theresa May’s “austerity is over” conference message was pure deceit.

Related: Even Tory councils are now calling on ministers to ease the pain of cuts | Patrick Butler

Related: Yes we must take back control, not from Brussels – from Whitehall | Simon Jenkins

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UK retail sales fall in September as shoppers spend less on food

ONS snapshot shows drop of 0.8%, which is bigger than expected after summer splurge

A strong summer for Britain’s retailers came to an abrupt end in September as weaker demand for food dragged down spending overall.

The latest snapshot of spending from the Office for National Statistics showed that the volume of sales for shops and online businesses dropped by 0.8% – a bigger monthly fall than analysts had been expecting.

Related: Cheaper chocolate and meat drive down UK inflation in September

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