Article: David Miliband: Labour 'has turned the page backwards'

#AceNewsReport- Headlines: Britain:June.10: David Miliband has said:
Labour ‘has turned the page backwards’
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jun/10/david-miliband-labour-has-turned-the-page-backwards

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‘ David Cameron Military Action at Invitation of Iraq ‘

#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – September 23 – David Cameron supports the latest air strikes by the US and five other countries from the Gulf and Middle East, Downing Street has said.

The UK prime minister, in New York for a UN General Assembly meeting, will be holding talks about “what more the UK can do to contribute”, No 10 added.

The UK is already providing arms to the Kurds as well as surveillance support.

The BBC’s Nick Robinson said Parliament could be recalled by Friday if Labour and Lib Dems back UK military action.

The involvement of UK forces could be restricted to Iraq, where they would be operating at the invitation of the government in Baghdad.

Nick Robinson said Mr Cameron would only put the issue to a House of Commons vote, if he was confident of support from Labour, the Lib Dems and his own backbenchers.

“David Cameron will not risk a repeat of the Commons defeat he faced last summer over air strikes in response to President Assad’s use of chemical weapons.”

Fair wind’ for action:

Former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw said under the right circumstances there could be support for Britain joining air strikes in Iraq.

He said the situation was different from when the Commons voted against intervention in Syria last year.

“If Mr Cameron comes to Labour and there’s a clear proposition I think he’ll get a fair wind,” he said.

Several Conservative MPs who opposed air strikes in Syria last summer have told the BBC they would now support military action.

Crispin Blunt, a former minister and one of the Tory rebels at the time, said there was “no great controversy” about the UK’s military involvement – short of a significant ground commitment – and there was no need to recall Parliament.

“Any military strategy against ISIS, which is necessary, must involve taking them on in Iraq and Syria,” he said.

Another of last year’s Tory rebels, Sarah Wollaston, said if Syrian strikes were the only way to hit IS effectively she would support them.

She has explained her position in an open letter to constituents on her website.

Conservative Julian Lewis said he “would be in favour” of military action if there was “a coherent and sensible plan”.

Another backbencher who rebelled last year, Charles Walker, said he would support action against IS with or without the recall of Parliament.

Other Conservatives have privately confirmed they would support strikes.

#ANS2014

#britain, #conservatives, #iraq, #labour, #liberal-democrats, #syria, #united-nations, #united-states, #us

‘ Row Over Plan to Ban Scottish MP’s Voting on English Law Erupts ‘

#AceNewsServices – SCOTLAND – September 22 – A row over plans to ban Scottish MPs from voting on English laws has threatened to derail Labour’s final party conference before the general election Telegraph reported.

' Screenshot of Video Watch Miliband Squirm '

‘ Screenshot of Video Watch Miliband Squirm ‘  ‘ Video at this Link ‘  

Ed Miliband refused 13 times to say whether he would back plans set out by the Prime Minister for “home rule” in England in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum.

The Labour leader has been backed into a corner over the issue after he signed up to a “vow” alongside Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg to give Scotland greater powers over tax and welfare ahead of the independence referendum.

After having supported new powers for Scotland, Mr Miliband is faced with campaigning against devolution in England because it could leave him unable to form a parliamentary majority.

Labour has 40 Scottish MPs and would be left with the possibility of being unable to secure a parliamentary majority on English issues such as the Budget if they are banned from taking part in votes.

#ANS2014

#home-rule, #budget, #david-cameron, #english, #labour, #mps, #nick-clegg, #scotland, #scottish, #scottish-independence-referendum

Local Elections: UKIP Makes Significant Gains

Nigel Farage has claimed his party will win double the number of seats predicted as UKIP makes significant gains across the country. Early on Friday morning UKIP had already surpassed the 80 seats it had been expected to take, dealing a significant blow to the main parties. UKIP took seats of both Labour and the Conservatives in their heartlands, which was particularly damaging to Ed Miliband, who has been accused by his own party of running a “unforgiveably unprofessional” campaign.


A ballot box is emptied at Trinity School in Croydon

Labour lost its grip in the north and, in a serious blow, the party lost control of Thurrock, a key marginal for the General Election in 2015, to no overall control, losing two seats to UKIP. Douglas Alexander, Labour’s election co-ordinator, was forced to deny fighting a “lacklustre” campaign. He told Media the only way to tackle the march of UKIP was by deploying an “army of activists” on the doorsteps and said that Labour had knocked on seven million doors.

Mr Alexander said there was a “deep antipathy to how politics has been done” and UKIP had scooped up that vote but that “strengthening and growing the ground operation” was the only strategy for 2015. UKIP made its greatest gains in Essex, where Margaret Thatcher once identified the “Essex Man”, a man who moved out of London, once voted Labour but switched to the Tories. UKIP took seats from Labour in Hartlepool, won 10 seats in Rotherham and polled more than a third of the vote in wards in big cities, such as Sunderland, Birmingham and Hull, where it previously had little or no presence.


Mr Farage casts his vote in Cudham, Kent

On Friday morning Mr Farage said he was “very pleased” with the result, which showed UKIP was now a “serious player” and said the party was now expecting to win double the 80 seats that had been predicted. He said: “The idea the UKIP vote just hurts the Tories is going to be blown away by this election” and added: “The UKIP fox is in the Westminster henhouse.” However, he admitted that the party was unlikely to be successful in London.


Mr Miliband and his wife Justine in Yorkshire after casting their votes

According to the latest Media projection, the results so far would give a hung parliament at the 2015 General Election. Media election analyst Professor Michael Thrasher said on the basis of the early results, UKIP looks likely to make significant gains in next year’s poll. Prof Thrasher said UKIP’s success suggests the party would claim at least one seat in the House of Commons in 2015.


Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha vote in Westminster

Conservative Education Secretary Michael Gove said the results had not been as bad as expected. He categorically ruled out any chance of a pact with UKIP. Most councils will not declare their results until later on Friday. The Liberal Democrats suffered significant loses, particularly in Portsmouth where it lost control with UKIP gaining six seats. However, it managed to hold on in Eastleigh, where UKIP had been expected to make gains, which was a significant victory for the party. Business Secretary Vince Cable admitted it would be a bad night, adding: “We take a kicking for the things that government does that are unpopular.” He argued supporters would be “pleasantly surprised” in areas where the party is organised. Brentwood – constituency of the Tory secretary of state for local government, Eric Pickles – has slipped from the Conservatives to no overall control.

#conservative-party, #david-cameron, #ed-miliband, #european-elections, #labour, #local-and-euro-elections, #local-elections, #makes-significant-gains, #michael-gove, #nigel-farage, #no-torieukip-pact, #ukip

“Georgia court convicts former prime minister `Vano Merabishvili’ of `embezzlement & abuse of office’ is Sentenced to Five Years”

#AceWorldNews says that a court in Georgia has convicted a former prime minister, Vano Merabishvili, of embezzlement and abuse of office and sentenced him to five years in prison, AP reported.

The top ally of former President Mikhail Saakashvili served for nearly eight years as interior minister before he became the head of government ahead of a parliamentary election in 2012.

After Saakashvili’s party suffered a defeat, prosecutors filed charges against many of the ex-president’s allies. Merabishvili was arrested in May 2013 and accused of putting nearly 22,000 party campaign workers on the Labour Ministry payroll.

He also was accused of illegally appropriating a seaside residence.

#abuse, #ap, #embezzlement, #georgia, #labour, #ministry, #vano-merabishvili

” Switzerland will not be able to sign a `Labour Market Pact’ with Croatia following a Shock Referendum”

#AceWorldNews says after immigration vote, Swiss have to rework Croatia labour deal according to ZURICH (Reuters).
Switzerland has told the newest European Union member, Croatia, that it will not be able to sign a labour market pact as planned on July 1, following a shock referendum vote in favour of immigration curbs.

#croatia, #deal, #european-union, #immigration, #labour, #reuters, #switzerland, #zurich

#UK : ” Storms have been `Lashing our Coastline for Days’ Now `Sink Hole’s’ Open Up”

#AceNewsServices says that “A `Thirty Five Foot Sink-Hole’ has opened up in flooded UK‘ as storms lash coastline”

Published time: February 15, 2014 16:09
 
Large waves hit the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex, southern England February 15, 2014. (Reuters / Toby Melville)Large waves hit the lighthouse and harbour at high tide at Newhaven in Sussex, southern England February 15, 2014. (Reuters / Toby Melville)
A 35-foot-wide sinkhole has opened up in the storm-battered UK as two people have died in a wave of floods spreading havoc across the southern England. A total of 17 flood warnings, denoting a “danger to life,” are in place.

One woman died after part of a building crushed a car driving past Holborn tube station in central London. The concrete front of the structure collapsed onto her car late Friday night. A further two people in their mid-20s – who were also in the car – were injured and hospitalized as a result of the incident, which is being investigated by police.

“Sadly, despite extensive efforts to resuscitate her, a woman was pronounced dead at the scene,” a London Ambulance Service spokesperson said Saturday.

Ten more people were evacuated from buildings in the area as a precautionary measure.

A passenger on a cruise ship in the English Channel also died after a massive wave struck the British vessel Marco Polo as it headed toward Tilbury in Essex late Friday, smashing through a window, and injuring several passengers. The 85-year-old man was airlifted to hospital, but didn’t survive.

“My thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the people killed in the storms last night,” Labour Party chief Ed Miliband, the opposition leader, tweeted.

Strong waves posed a danger to the public in a seaside restaurant in Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire. Thirty-two people were evacuated when a tidal surge flooded the ground floor and windows were smashed by airborne shingle.

Members of the Army move a tree which was blown down in a flooded street in Egham, southern England, February 15, 2014. (Reuters / Paul Hackett) Members of the Army move a tree which was blown down in a flooded street in Egham, southern England, February 15, 2014. (Reuters / Paul Hackett)

Over 140,000 homes nationwide are without power and severe weather warnings remain in place across the country, which has seen its wettest January in two and a half centuries. Gales of around 80 miles (129 km) per hour have swept through the country, according to the country’s Met Office.

Seventeen families were forced to evacuate their homes after a sinkhole measuring some 35 feet wide appeared in Hertfordshire on Saturday – the largest of three such sinkholes in the space of a week.

“Police are currently in attendance in Oatridge Gardens, Hemel Hempstead after receiving a report of a sink-hole appearing in the road at 7:30am,”Hertfordshire police said in a statement. They confirmed that the depth of the hole had reached 20 feet.

“The road, and surrounding roads, have been closed for the safety of residents,” police said.

The M2 – a motorway in the south-eastern county of Kent – also developed a sink-hole 15 feet deep earlier in the week, while a garden, also in Kent, saw another crater – 10 feet deep – opening up.

Low-lying areas in the south-west – specifically Somerset – have been submerged in flood water since December. Train lines have been subject to delays and cancellations – some because of landslides – while a sea wall in the southwest collapsed as storms battered the coast last week, forcing the closure of the specific part of track that lay behind it.

Police officers walk down a street in Egham after the River Thames burst its banks in southeast England February 14, 2014. (Reuters / Paul Hackett)Police officers walk down a street in Egham after the River Thames burst its banks in southeast England February 14, 2014. (Reuters / Paul Hackett)

The UK has not yet applied for financial help from the EU to cope with the crisis. Prime Minister David Cameron declared Tuesday that money would not be an issue when it came to dealing with the floods. He has denied that there is a political motivation – in an increasingly anti-EU atmosphere in right-wing UK politics – behind the absence of a call for aid, despite the country having had its 10 weeks from the “first damage caused” by a natural disaster.

“We are ready to consider the possibility of providing the UK with help – both in their struggle against the elements, and to contribute to the elimination of its effects – but for this we need to receive an official request from the British government, which we do not have,” the news service of the European Commission stated on Saturday, according to Itar-Tass.

“As Labour and the Lib Dem’s have killed the Wharton Bill, the one way to guarantee a referendum is to vote Conservative at the Gen Election.”

MEPs addressed a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Patterson, on January 8, reminding him that: “The fund has been given a budget of 414 million pounds in 2014 ($693 million), but your department must apply within 10 weeks of the date on which the natural disaster struck in order to be eligible. Several weeks have already gone by…We also urge you to ensure that the full grant is used for repairing the damage from the floods in accordance with EU rules and does not get diverted or returned by HM Treasury, as was allegedly the case with 79 million pounds ($132 million) of the 110 million pounds ($184 million) granted to the UK by the fund in 2007.”

On Friday, Welsh Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans reiterated her call to the UK government to apply to the EU Solidarity Fund which was set up with the intention of providing aid in such times of crisis, despite the deadline having technically passed.

“The EU Solidarity Fund was set up as an emergency fund to be used by countries hit by natural disasters to help them recover. Welsh citizens, like all EU citizens, pay into the Solidarity Fund…the UK government should have applied immediately,” Evans wrote in a statement.

RT

 

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#NHS : ” Tales of Neglect Increase Under this Conservative Government”

Ann Clwyd (Labour, Cynon Valley MP), photo by ...

Ann Clwyd (Labour, Cynon Valley MP), photo by Aberdare Blog. Photo taken at a ceremony to unveil the Keir Hardie bust, at Rock Grounds, Aberdare, December 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHealthNews says `Tales of Neglect on the NHS now amount to  3,000 as `MP Exposes Shocking Care of the Elderly’ `

  • Ann Clwyd was put in charge of investigation into NHS complaints after exposing the shocking care her husband received
  • Said she was inundated with patients‘ letters about a ‘lack of compassion’

Elderly patients are still routinely being neglected and abused by NHS nurses, an MP has warned.

Ann Clwyd, who was put in charge of an investigation into NHS complaints after exposing the shocking care her husband received, said she was inundated with patients’ letters about a ‘lack of compassion’ – 3,000 in the past year alone.

Nurses were telling elderly patients they ‘do not have time’ to administer pain relief, and making them and their families feel like intruders, she said.

The MP also told how families contacting her claimed patients were routinely left to starve on NHS wards ‘because food was taken away’. The weight of one woman in her 90s dropped to just five stone.

Another woman, aged 88, was left in a chair in A&E for seven hours ‘in agony’ and expected ‘not to make any demands’, she said.

Mrs Clwyd, the Labour MP for Cynon Valley, South Wales, broke down in the Commons in December 2012 when she described how her husband Owen had died in hospital ‘like a battery hen’.
Read more: DM

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#UK:` Financial Crisis for the Poor’ Meanwhile the `Wealthy Gain Rich Pickings’ from this Government’s Strategy’

#AceGuestNews says Financial crisis for many, bonanza for the few.  

Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian & investigative radio journalist.
Published time: February 03, 2014 13:42
Reuters/Kacper PempelReuters/Kacper Pempel
Despite what the UK’s ruling politicians or statisticians from palm-greased think tanks may say, the UK’s economic “recovery” is visible nowhere on the country’s streets.

The opiate of Quantitative Easing (QE) or Printing Money, the £375 billion fraudulently spirited up so far, is making some of the figures look good, but it is killing the patient.

The effect of QE is to propel the nest eggs of the rich from prudent “savings accounts,” where interest rates are at an all-time low, into capricious stock and bond markets to be managed by hedge funds and other pushy players. Meanwhile, everything with half a brain that moves, including the Parliamentary Commission on Banking, chaired by Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, is demanding to see clear blue water between public-facing banks and the casino economy. However, precisely the opposite is happening, as billions of savings leaves the safe ground in search of higher returns.

The London media have no excuse to talk of a “recovery.” They don’t have to look very far to see the tell-tale signs of a nation falling apart: Try looking down next time you’re in the street. None of the infrastructure of the nation is being maintained. From jutting-out high street paving slabs to potholed roads and even silted up rivers in the Somerset Levels that have been flooded since Christmas, the vital systems of the nation are clogged and breaking.

For a country with one of the highest living standards in the world to have 20 percent of its population, ticking up every month, existing below the poverty line, something must be very wrong. And the “democratic” strings that are supposed to tie Britain’s 65 million people to the cosseted elite that spend the nation’s taxes are also horribly frayed. The period before a general election is when a government courts its voters.

And what is the role of Britain’s third-party in all this? The Liberal Democrats (with 56 MPs) hold the balance of power between Labour (256) and the Conservatives (303). Any party in such a position should call the shots, as Irish MPs did with the 1885 Ashbourne Act which forced absentee English landowners to hand over land to Irish farmers who had been impoverished by the famine: A dramatic change in ownership that was one of the main catalysts for Irish Home Rule.

A broken labour market

Like the “Balance of Payments,” which compares British exports to imports, taking stock of the “Cost of Living” has fallen out of fashion in the London media. Maybe it’s the lack of the feel-good factor in both sets of statistics – but that doesn’t make either of them any less crucial to understanding whether or not the economy is working. Cost of living is rarely mentioned because an enormous, economically driven, social engineering by the power elite has been played out in our lives in a generation. Britain has fallen from a high-wage, unionized, high-job security economy, from a developed world to a third-world economy in those 30 years.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFPSpencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

A broken housing market

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) has a “great plan” to exterminate Britain’s welfare benefits. So as Work and Pensions Secretary he has put the onus on the claimant, however disabled, mentally ill or otherwise infirm, to prove they are in need, and many are struggling to do so. Scores have already taken their own lives because the vulnerable cannot endure his“survival of the fittest” ATOS test. Duncan-Smith’s own family, though, continue to receive around £1.2 million in annual welfare benefits – in the form of agricultural subsidies for their inherited land.

IDS’s other “flagship” policy is the Bedroom Tax. So vicious is this tax that it puts the most vulnerable in constant fear of eviction and, unbelievably, costs the government more! Both to pay the higher rents the private sector demands and in eviction fees. Meanwhile, Britain is encouraging mass economic migration and building fewer homes than any time since the 1920s, so as to keep property prices artificially high. Now Britons who don’t get Housing Benefit are, on average, paying a staggering 45 percent of their income on rent or mortgage costs.

A broken food market

The international grain trade, according to Oxfam, is now dominated by only five multinational companies. ADM, Bunge, Cargill, Glencore and Louis Dreyfus control 90 percent of this fundamental trade. Through the unregulated derivative markets’ ability to speculate on a future collapse in world food supplies, a hideous profit motive is being whispered of which enriches the few by pushing billions of people to the edge of starvation.

With the demise of the biggest traditional fish, meat and fruit and vegetable markets, deals are now cut behind closed doors for vast quantities of food, the economies of scale suiting buyer and seller alike. With only seven supermarket chains in the UK (Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose) selling 85 percent of the country’s food they are able to coax almost every consumer with other basic essentials on the same site: petrol, banking and pharmacies, for example, driving traditional, locally owned shops to the wall.

As historian E.P. Thompson wrote in his 1979 book, “Writing by Candlelight,”quoting from an Elizabethan diary he found behind an oak panel in his library:

Fruit cannot go to Markett, not for Money nor even yett as Charitye for the Poor. Some say it be through a Sort of Monopolisers in the Dealing Trade, wch wd keep all Price at its Customary Heighth as it is set in any Leen Yeer. And that these Dealers wd rather that the Poor Starve, the Fruits fall Rotted and Wormey, and the Husbandmen & their Familys Toile & Swinke for no Reward – all so that their Proffits be not Sunke.

Prices paid to farmers today, they say, are driven down by the supermarkets while what the consumer pays is ratcheted up. The small grocers go to the wall and the poor cannot afford to eat, while the multinational food cartels become more powerful every day. With an exponential threefold rise in food bank use this Christmas, and food bank users set to top the 1 million mark in 2014, it seems that monopolies – after 400 years, the crooked markets of Elizabethan times – are back.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

A broken energy market

One of the most damning indictments of Coalition Britain is the obscene way in which the destitute have been quietly and gradually made to pay the energy bills of the rich. An investment now in an energy company of £20,000, peanuts for the rich, delivers annual share dividends which will pay the annual gas and electricity bill of the average two or three-bedroom home. That investment grows above inflation too and will provide a tidy sum if the investor ever tires of his free energy. Through the privatization of the utilities, indentured servitude has been hardwired into the economy and the suffering.

At the other end of the spectrum, those living hand to mouth are forced off cheap direct debit payment schemes onto key meter energy tariffs, where they can pay as much as double what the rich are paying, or not paying, for each unit of energy they use. Such injustice and cruelty is scarcely conscionable in a nation proud to suit among the top ten wealthiest in the world. One can only speculate that this must be worked out on average wealth, a handful of billionaires surrounded by hoards of 16th Century destitute.

Perhaps these markets are not ‘broken’ at all?

Given that Britain’s plutocrats are doing very nicely, thank you, out of the £850 billion bank rescue in 2008 and the subsequent financial “crisis,” and that their friends in the London media have promised not to tread on their toes, let’s take an educated guess at what the real game might be here.

Perhaps there is no democracy? Perhaps all the political parties are bought and paid for lock, stock and barrel by the power elite who have no conscience, letting accountants run their affairs.

And when they have filled all their garages with the most ostentatious sports cars money can buy, the next thing up the pecking order perhaps is a government department or a newspaper or two?

“Nobody wants a crash,” some might say. But they’d be wrong. One of the unintended, or intended, consequences of deregulation in financial markets is that it’s now easier than ever to make a fortune from betting on disaster. What Naomi Klein calls “Disaster Capitalism” – economic warfare and deliberate sabotage of a nation’s economy – is more profitable than ever before.

The ordinary people of the world had better wise up and look sharp, because we are swimming in shark-infested waters. What the power elite don’t seem to have realized, though, is that we are teaching our children to watch those overnight subjects like hawks. The younger generation are good swimmers, and getting ready with their rocket harpoons.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and full editorial rights to print have been obtained.

Though they do not necessarily represent those of: Ace New Group

 

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#UK : " If `David Cameron' is `Prime Minister' after next `Election' there will be an `EU Membership' Referendum"

#AceUKNews says the British Foreign Secretary William Hague' has said there will be a referendum onEU Membership’ if the Tories win the next general election in 2015.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday morning Andrew Marr show, Hague said, “If David Cameron is Prime Minister after the next election there will be a referendum.”

The Labour Party is currently well ahead of the Conservatives in virtually all opinion polls.

#andrew-marr, #bbc, #conservatives, #david-cameron, #general-election, #labour, #william-hague

#Austerity for Everyone Unless Your Are A Minister of Parliament #Rich/Poor

English: MPS Logo

English: MPS Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceNewsServices says plans to award MPs an 11% pay rise have been criticised across Westminster, with one minister describing them as “utterly incomprehensible”. 

BBC NEWS: 

Parliamentary watchdog Ipsa is set to recommend a rise of £7,600 to £74,000, to come in after the 2015 election.

Ipsa does not need to get the agreement of Parliament to bring in the changes.

But Treasury minister Danny Alexander urged it to reconsider, saying it would be “wholly inappropriate” at a time of curbs on pay in the public sector.

The rise – to come into effect in May 2015 – comes as part of a package of changes to MPs’ salary and benefits which would see some allowances scrapped.

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MPs currently earn a basic salary of £66,396 but the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is expected to say on Thursday that their pay has fallen behind in recent years and a substantial “one-off” rise is justified.

The BBC’s political correspondent Gary O’Donoghue said Ipsa would conduct a statutory review of pay at the start of the next Parliament, at which point the rise could theoretically be reversed, but this remains unlikely.

‘Preposterous’

All three party leaders disagreed with the move when it was first proposed earlier this year but the watchdog is expected to say it will press ahead with the rise – expected to cost the public purse £4.6m.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

What I’m concerned about is to ensure that the pay is sufficient to attract people from modest backgrounds ”

Jack StrawLabour MP

English: East entrance of HM Treasury Français...

English: East entrance of HM Treasury Français : Entrée Est de HM Treasury (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr Alexander, Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, urged the watchdog to reconsider, saying it must take into account public opinion as well as “the wider economic climate and the climate of people’s living standards”.

It would be “wholly inappropriate for MPs to get such a large pay rise when every other public sector worker sees their pay rises capped at 1%,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

Conservative defence secretary Philip Hammond said he would not personally be accepting the pay increase, saying it was the “not the moment” to do so.

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of whether MPs’ pay is too high, too low, comparable to other people, at a time when we are asking people across the public sector – nurses, doctors, teachers – to accept pay restraint, members of Parliament have to be seen to be leading the way,” he told BBC Five Live’s Pienaar’s Politics.

He suggested the Cabinet would take a “collective line” on the issue of whether to accept the rise or not.

Continue reading the main story

Analysis

image of Alan SoadyAlan SoadyPolitical reporter, BBC News

It is regarded as a no-brainer by MPs that many voters loathe the idea of politicians being paid more, especially at a time of austerity.

The main party leaders conclude that it’s too politically toxic.

But privately a lot of MPs believe a pay rise, however unpalatable to taxpayers, is justified.

Like so many workers, they have seen real-terms pay cuts in recent years (albeit on salaries at least three times the average).

Other perks have also been trimmed since the expenses scandal.

Few are keen to put their head above the parapet, but those who have argue that MPs’ pay has fallen behind that of head teachers, doctors or local council leaders.

The argument goes that people from those middle class professions could be deterred from running for Parliament.

“We could end up with a Commons full of toffs and nerds,” a former MP once said to me, adding that this would not be an unedifying combination.

But no matter how many arguments are put forward in favour of a hefty pay rise for MPs, it’s not going to be an easy one to sell to the public.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls told the Dermot Murnaghan show on Sky News that the proposed increase was “preposterous” and he could not defend it at a time when people were facing a “cost of living” crisis.

But former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw, who is retiring as an MP in 2015, said the party leaders could not complain about the decision after handing responsibility over to an outside body.

“What I’m concerned about is to ensure that the pay is sufficient to attract people from modest backgrounds who have not inherited a house, who don’t have family or personal income, but who are going to make a career out of politics,” he said.

And Conservative backbencher Sir Peter Bottomley said it was sensible for MPs’ pay to be set by an outside body at the start of each Parliament, with a regard to how to attract MPs from all walks of life.

“The only way MPs could overturn this is to defy their leaders and pass a law saying Ipsa is abolished or it will be ignored,” he said. “That’s impractical given the public interest in setting up Ipsa first.”

Tea and biscuits

A Downing Street spokeswoman said MPs’ pay was “a matter for Ipsa” but ministers believed the “cost of politics should be going down, not up”.

Ipsa previously said it had looked at increasing the current salary of £66,396 to anywhere between £73,365 and £83,430, but opted for a lower figure “in recognition of the current difficult economic circumstances”.

After 2015, it proposes that MPs’ wages would increase annually in line with average UK earnings.

At the same time as recommending a pay rise, the watchdog is also expected to announce a squeeze on pensions and the resettlement grants that MPs are given when they leave Parliament.

The amount that MPs have to contribute to their pensions is set to increase while MPs’ final salary scheme is expected to be downgraded to a career average in line with the rest of the public sector.

Other changes would also see a £15 dinner allowance and claims for tea and biscuits scrapped. And it would mean taxpayer-funded taxis were only permitted after 23:00.

There would also be a crackdown on claims made for running second homes, with costs such as TV licences and contents insurance no longer being met.

Ace Related News:

http://glynismillward189.wordpress.com/

#austerity, #richpoor, #bbc, #danny-alexander, #downing-street, #independent-parliamentary-standards-authority, #ipsa, #labour, #member-of-parliament, #peter-bottomley

Universal Credit Simplifying the Welfare System by Making People Pay

Ace News Group For a while l have followed the roll-out  by the UK Government of  their “Universal Credit” scheme, its is billed by politicians as the way to simplify the welfare system ,by guiding people back into work!

Of course as with all “Government Initiatives” there is a person tasked to front this policy in this case it is Iain Duncan Smith and so far he is keeping a lot of people in this country happy with the result! The reason being that the emphasis is for those that work and pay their taxes, whilst the scroungers get it all for free! Now everyone wants a government to spend their taxes wisely, so it is a winner as far as it goes!

So concept good on the face of it, but as my personal investigations have uncovered, behind what looks good for some, hides the real truth for others! In this instance the part in this latest system about “Making Sure Work Pays” well my insider source says it does, for the contracted service companies that get paid for providing a job, any job, as long as you work!  Now the pay can be low, the conditions can be unfair and the consequences can lead to tribunals and even dismissal ,as my source has confirmed. But as long as you do not turn up on the unemployment register as an applicant claiming welfare benefits ,that suits this government just fine!

As a lot of people are aware a number of employers have signed up to this contract and it enables these companies to get cheap labour, on short-term contracts and unburden the register for the unemployed, massaging the figures and making this government, look as if they are looking after the people’s interest.

So it is a real vote winner for the government, welfare system and unemployment!

But these companies do not care about all that, they just want you to work in any job, and of course they get paid for providing such a service, but according to my source their tactics are not very humane, their interview techniques are questionable and their methods would lead one to believe we are back in the 1930’s not living in this day and age. The problem is that my source had to take a job working on a third-party contract for a Property and Maintenance Services company ,providing their services to the NHS and on a 24 hour call-out arrangement, being told  that he would receive a vehicle, mobile phone and only be on call-out every two weeks. Sounds great and so with no choice he took it ,against my best advice as the contract was exceptionally onerous, to say the least!

That was 6 months ago, since that time the mobile phone, has one feature the employer can ring him, no call back or checking procedure, the van never arrived, he now works every weekend using his own vehicle, and never sees his wife ,or his very ill house bound mother! His time at the company has gone from bad to worst as refusal to do these hours, has brought him into conflict and recently before the disciplinary board, and he is now awaiting an appeal!

Now upon reading this you would think that these are all excuses ,he does not want to work! Well l can tell you l have known this person all of my life, and he is nearly 60 years old now! He has worked all his adult life from the age of 16, but has been unlucky like so many to be made redundant 4 times, and he has always done his job to the best of his ability!

So you might say, why is this situation not well-known, well of course these so-called interviews are carried out behind closed doors, so nobody gets to see or hear how they get you to agree to a job! This can include standing you in the middle of a room full of people and publicly humiliating you, saying you are lazy and a burden on the state, so if you do not take the job we offer you, we can make a phone-call and stop your benefits! Of course they couch it in such a manner, saying words like we could, as we have been given the job of getting you off the unemployment register and into work.

What they do not say is that for everyone who takes a job they received a payment, so the incentive to get people a job, any job is paramount as more that stop taking benefits, the more money they make!

Conclusion: 

At present there is an appeal under-way and the story of this tribunal will be written in part two, but suffice to say for now my source has asked me not to share his name ,or the name of the company! Also l will eventually after more investigation name the company tasked by this government to carry-out these recruitment services and where in the country this took place!

Of course for all those that want to look at the government’s way of providing Universal Credit here is a link explaining it all, together with a small  snippet the scheme:

Department of Work and Pensions Introducing Universal Credit:

We are introducing Universal Credit in 2013 for people who are looking for work or on a low-income. Universal Credit brings together a range of working-age benefits into a single payment. It will:

  • encourage people on benefits to start paid work or increase their hours by making sure work pays
  • smooth the transitions into and out of work
  • simplify the system, making it easier for people to understand, and easier and cheaper to administer
  • reduce the number of people who are in work but still living in poverty
  • reduce fraud and error

Read More at: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/simplifying-the-welfare-system-and-making-sure-work-pays

or download this PDF: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/253919/uc-faqs.pdf

#david-freud-baron-freud, #department-for-work-and-pensions, #government, #iain-duncan-smith, #jobseekers-allowance, #labour, #poverty, #self-employment, #social-security, #universal-credit, #welfare, #working-tax-credit

Does the Latest NHS Recruit to the Ranks Simon Stevens-Sound the Death Knell for our Healthcare System

NHS Employers stand

NHS Employers stand (Photo credit: NHSE)

I was just listening to the BBC today about the latest recruit in the UK NHS healthcare system ,namely a man called Simon Stevens! This person was recruited from none other than United Healthcare and had previously work under the previous labour government, in healthcare! His main objective was to privatise healthcare, but this was not possible under labour, so he left the UK to work for this  private healthcare company. He has now been recruited by the providers of the NHS service company, to make vast changes and proposals in the area of delivery of services! What is a bet that his first will be providing delivery of all services through a private healthcare initiative! I wait and see in the very near future!

The Independent news today stated: A former adviser to Tony Blair who has spent a decade at the top of an American private healthcare giant has been appointed to run the NHS in EnglandSimon Stevens, the architect of Labour’s health reforms who left the UK in 2004 to take up a lucrative post at the American company United Health, was welcomed by the Health SecretaryJeremy Hunt, as a “reformer and an innovator”. But his choice as chief executive of NHS England will raise concerns among critics who claim the NHS is being “softened up for privatisation”.

NHS Warning

NHS Warning (Photo credit: michaelhenley)

The future from April 2014 for the NHS will be massive reforms built on providing healthcare at the point of delivery or providing healthcare through designated and contracted healthcare companies, with one eye on the balance sheet and the other on the profit margin. The person of individual paying will be the taxpayer and the taxpayer when ill will be paying again, if this government wants to fulfil Mrs Thatcher‘s legacy!

Well more soon: Ed #AceHealthNews

#acenewsservices, #jeremy-hunt, #labour, #national-health-service, #nhs, #secretary-of-state-for-health, #simon-stevens, #tony-blair, #united-states, #unitedhealth-group

The Problem with Idols Is They Eventually Fall From Grace

The achievements of Britain’s Olympic medallists are to be marked by streets named after them. Under plans being drawn up in Whitehall, town and parish councils will be advised to call roads after successful athletes. Separately, Olympic gold medallists have urged the government to invest in grass-roots sports clubs. 

A new book Britannia Unchained, Global Growth and Prosperity co-written by a number of Conservative MPs has called on the government to bring in tough new employment reforms to tackle “lazy” Britain. The book also claims that a “bloated public sector” is “dragging down” the UK’s economy. Commenting on the publication Labour’s business spokesman Chuka Umunna says: “People who work hard, play by the rules and pay their taxes shouldn’t have to put up with Tory MPs calling them lazy. David Cameron should immediately distance himself from this attack on hard-working British families”.

So now we are being shown how we should act in society and if we do not come up to certain standard, we are classed as idle and shiftless! It appears that unless we are world champions, celebrities or went to the right school, we are not stock!

Well Mr Cameron l came from a hard-working family and my dad worked 14 hours a day, my mother worked all her life! They paid their taxes and in 1984 my dad died of Leukemia.when l was 30 years of age! I made a promise to care for my mother and have kept that promise!

Meanwhile you give my mother £4.00 per week and take away £3.00 by changing the welfare rules! Her costs for her care for working all her life is now £59.22 it was £32.35 only 3 years ago! I can can claim £58.35 as long as l give 35 hours of my time, so l cannot work full-time! So l work in the community and help people in need by providing work for those that this government has managed to be made redundant!

When you leave school with little or no qualifications and cannot get a job, it is because under-graduates can! Then they sign on and are humiliated by the fact that service contract companies are set-up to make sure the government like       ” Pontius Pilate” can wash their hands of them!

These so-called Tories should be put in their place by our so-called Prime Minister, as he is supposed to be the leader of this country! Then instead of spending money on new street names for the recent crop of winners, he should spare a thought for the ones that are having their benefits cut!                    

#britain, #britannia-unchained, #chuka-umunna, #david-cameron, #labour, #london, #tory-mps, #whitehall

The True Cost Of Care Reforms

United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

United Nations Human Rights Council logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Andrew Lansley, British politician an...

English: Andrew Lansley, British politician and Shadow Secretary of State for Health, speaking at the Health Hotel reception at the Manchester Central Conference Centre during the Conservative Party Conference 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Care 

The Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has suggested that elderly people could be forced to pay up to £100,000 towards the cost of their care before the Government picks up the bill. The figure is nearly three times the £35,000 cap proposed by Andrew Dilnot. Pensioners moving into residential homes would be able to borrow money from their local authorities, meaning they would not have to sell their homes before they die. Such a move angered councils, charities and unions, with pensioners’ groups describing the loans as a “death tax”. Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the LGA, said the proposals were “papering over the cracks” and did nothing to resolve the funding shortfall faced by town halls. Councils will also have to offer a minimum level of care and be unable to limit who could get care.

This extract l saw today and it led me to write this about the truth behind the story!

At the same time l saw this article and it became so clear to me about how we are so easily deceived!

Human Rights Considerations

A Government panel of experts are considering whether Labour’s Human Rights Act should be extended to include so-called “socio-economic rights”. Such a move would allow the unemployed to take the Government to court if ministers did not provide a minimum standard of living. The review has also raised the prospect of a legal ban on all discrimination against any group, and the introduction of the “environmental right” to live free from pollution. 

What ever happened to our human rights and how is it we let these so-called politicians, dictate our lives, to such an extent that we have no life. Let us look at this great new way to stop people selling their home to pay for their care. On my post yesterday l said how l saw the future and how we will all become hooked by what we need becoming what they want! On the face off it the government gives us a new way to keep our home and excludes to add the fact that the loan will enhance their lending policy and earn their lenders a nice healthy interest to boot! On the plus side we can all wait until we die and instead of a cap of £35,000 it will be a mere £100,00 plus interest of course. But what about death duties that can be mitigated by giving away our assets prior to death, oh hang on we cannot and another tax is payable at a mere X now and by the time of your death Y or even Z.

So in 1980 onward we are all told to become homeowners and we will all be better off and not have to rent anymore, well  that was a crock was it not! Well it all fell apart for some in the early 90’s and many lost their home. Then we all saw a rise in property that trebled and quadrupled until a home could cost millions in places of the world. So why not use it to borrow and borrow and borrow and have more and the upshot when we retire and pay off our mortgages, the government puts us back in hoc to them until the day we die!

So the true cost of care reforms is not what we are told we gain,but what we lose. By the fact we wanted this bill and now we have got it and we do not like the fact, we are the real losers again!

#andrew-dilnot, #andrew-lansley, #government, #labour, #loan, #local-government-association, #merrick-cockell, #secretary-of-state-for-health