Squeezing out profit

ON MONDAY Barclays Bank announced its scheme to employ school students on ‘work experience’. No, not cheap labour - heaven forbid.

On Tuesday Barclays announced record half-year profits of £1.125 billion. Nothing to do with the 18,000 job cuts in the past five years, and more to come. Heaven forbid again.

Perhaps profit is made purely by shuffling money around and not from the labour of that now very old fashioned word, workers. Perhaps. Or perhaps, as workers at Barclays think, profits are being made on their backs.

Still you needn’t worry about losing your job. Peter Lilley, the social security secretary, has made us all a lot more secure in the knowledge that he intends to knock £4 billion off benefit spending by the end of the decade. Phew!