Newspaper review: Energy bill hikes provoke indignation

Papers

The increase in energy bills announced by Scottish Power provokes indignation in popular and "quality" papers.

The Daily Mail says the increase, coupled with the rise in food prices, is imposing the biggest squeeze on household budgets in 100 years.

Another 100,000 homes will be plunged into fuel poverty, says the Times.

The Sun accuses Scottish Power of failing to explain why they pass on increases in wholesale costs so quickly but drag their feet when prices fall.

No confidence

School leavers face a tough struggle to get into university because offers are being restricted to avoid government fines, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The paper says universities in England were fined more than £8m last year for recruiting too many undergraduates.

The Guardian sees Oxford University's vote of no confidence in David Willetts as the first sign of an academic backlash against his reforms.

A similar vote against the universities minister is expected at Cambridge soon.

Selling up

The deepening crisis in Syria makes the lead in the Independent.

It says the revolt against President Assad is turning into an armed conflict with demonstrators now fighting their own troops and government militiamen.

The Daily Express reports on a warning from the man appointed to review long-term care for the elderly in England.

It says Andrew Dilnot believes pensioners may have to sell up and move to smaller homes to help pay - even after the current system is reformed.

'Flaparazzi'

The Times reports that US officials are considering speeding up the military withdrawal from Afghanistan by pulling out 30,000 troops by late next year.

It says Britain would match that strategy by accelerating the withdrawal of UK forces.

And finally, Sun reports on what it calls the "Flaparazzi" - a thousand bird watchers flocking to see a robin in Hartlepool.

It was no ordinary robin, though - it was a white-throated robin, unseen in the UK since 1990.

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