Monthly Archives: July 2013

In Reply to The Voice Newspaper dated 25-31 July 2013 Is Labour Losing The Black Vote?


971562_602259113139496_574719167_nDear Editor,
In reply to the Voice Newspaper dated 25-31 July 2013 Is Labour Losing The Black Vote?
I note with grave concerns to know that the Voice has taken the decision to pander to centre right agenda which most popular newspaper seemed to have adopted since 1997 then they moved to the right and failing to get the full facts in regards to Labour Party selection process. The simple fact is not many Black and Ethnic Minorities are not coming forward to stand as candidates in Labour Party. I can assure the Voice Newspaper that Labour Party does inform and encourages BAME party members to stand candidates for European, General, Local  NEC, NPF, and Standing Orders Elections.

1069194_624863887547061_348568354_nIf candidates are not coming forward that’s down to a number of factors such as candidates does not meet the criteria or they lack the knowledge on how the European, Parliamentary, and Local Government structures is implemented  and some of us fail to turn up to campaign meetings when it has been arranged by the ward and CLP secretaries. Granted there could another factor which most candidates fail to understand that camapign cost money and some have the fear of losing their deposits. There is a saying:

“MONEY, MONEY NO MONEY NO TALK”

They are the ones who moan the most in my opinion that the party does not do anything for Black, Ethnic Minorities and Chinese yet they are not prepared to do nothing about it.

Labour has many self-organize groups that members can attend and participate which they receive information on a regular basis I can give a number of ways how I am active in Labour Party.  I’m heavily involved in Chinese for Labour and BAME Labour are some examples where we encourage members from Black and Ethic Minorities to come forward to stand as candidates. Many regional and local parties do encourage members to stand as candidates if members are being put off it’s because they lack the skills to make a difference.

You may say that is not the case. However I can argued that I have mentored and trained many black and Ethnic Minorities to stand as candidates and some have moved forward whilst some decided that they were not ready to stand as candidates and I would like to take issue with Marc Wadseorth as he seems to forget that not all black and ethnic minorities votes for Labour but they do vote for the Conservatives and LibDems as their status improves.

In terms of de-selection from any political parties this is an internal matter for the political parties to sort out. Yes it’s disappointing and it’s hurting but do remember there is the appeal process that he or she can refer to. Although I do not know about the individual case therefore I can not comment. One thing that I am certain of is the members have a right to deselect a sitting councillor(s) unless its been brought to the attention to the Labour Group Leader, or secretary, to regional office of the Labour Party attention they can recommend to the NEC to investigate depending on the charges he or she can exercise the right to challenge alleged incident. Then there is the Standards Committee they have the power to investigate any issues that has been referred to them.

The other side of the coin is that anybody who stands for General Elections need to pay for campaigns which the candidates will have to part pay for then the rest is paid for by the Labour Party this includes fund-raising etc which helps to of set the campaigns then there is community activities that they have to attend to promote him or her self.

Some of your readers may recall the former Black Socialist Society I concur did many things to promote black and ethnic minorities to stand as candidates for the party. Do remember that all the socialist societies were suspended and it went though a period of change the then Socialist Society is now called BAME Labour and our representative on the NEC is Keith Vaz MP.

The voice alleges Labour has not done nothing for the Black community I rebut this by stating the facts yes Labour has introduced the Race Relation, Implemented the Stephen Lawrence, and other policies however more can be done. I put the question to all your readers:

“Do you really think that the Coalition would have implemented those policies and recruit more candidates from Black and Ethnic Minorities I think not”.

The fact that Theresa May MP spoke of Stop and Search then some black communities continues to cave in play into the hand of tokenism. Well done. It’s about time that all Black and Ethnic Communities stand united and not fall into the trap of Big Island VS Small Island. The only agenda May has on her mind is to become the leader of the Conservatives and once she achieves this back to business again by bashing the Black and Ethic Minorities. It’s no surprise the ad vans “Go Home” appearing in Black and Ethnic Minorities communities.

I take leave and I would remind all brothers and sisters of another quote

“Pick Sense Out Of Nonsense”

Gordon Lyew

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Obsorne alleges UK On The Mend


downloadHow intriguing that UK allegedly to be on the mend after it purported to be at 6% via George Obsorne. Well if it’s a strong choice between Obsorne vs Balls I know who I’m likely to believe hands down.

If the economy is on the mend then I’m sure many would join me by saying where are the jobs Osborne oh let us all guess the class of Champaign where the rich feeding of each other whilst low and middle income continues to pick up the crumbs of the table of the upper-class handed down by their butlers.

photoLets be clear that success of the Olympic  games was down to a Labour government who secured the games to come to the UK and the coalition are  on a high by claiming the credit as one of their successful story.
The question I would love to be answered is has G4s return the money to the government for not adequately supplying the security for the crowd and control and the stewards to cover the grounds me thinks not as the people’s army had to step in. Yet they have the cheek to stick two fingers at the coalition and say they will not pay it back. Almost all of Britain’s top political donors hand their cash over to bankroll the Conservatives, figures buried in the annual Rich List show.

download11Out of the 50 biggest donations made by individuals last year, 43 went to David Cameron’s party, as the coalition he leads continued to hand tax breaks to the rich while hammering ordinary workers.

The biggest Tory donor was upmarket metal dealer Michael Farmer, who gave them £1.3million.

The hedge fund founder, known as the “king of copper”, is worth £150million and is 522nd on the list of Britain and Ireland’s wealthiest.

Mr Farmer, 68, the Tory party’s co-Treasurer, embarrassed party chiefs last year when it emerged he had paid for son George to join Oxford University’s elite and controversial Bullingdon Club.

Mr Farmer also bailed out ­the Oxford Conservative Association when a racism row led to it being banned from holding events.

Second highest Tory backer is hedge fund boss Lord Fink, 55, who gave a huge £289,240. Worth £130million and the owner of a £10million London penthouse, he came 608th on the overall list.

Labour has accused Chancellor George Osborne of using last month’s Budget to hand a huge tax break to hedge fund bosses.

By axeing stamp duty reserve tax he saved them a total of £145million a year.

Third highest Tory backer is David Rowland, 67, who gave £287,248. He is so rich he actually owns a Luxembourg bank with his son Jonathan, 37.

The pair, recently given permission to open a branch of Banque Havilland in the UK and worth £700million, are ranked 126th.

Other backers include ex-Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas, who donated £215,244. He was forced to stand down over allegations he arranged dinners with the PM in exchange for party donations.

JCB founders Sir Anthony Bamford and family dug deep with a £188,500 donation while Sir Paul Ruddock – who was recently given a knighthood by Mr ­Cameron – coughed up £83,500.

The Tories also netted £50,000 from Wigan FC chairman Dave Whelan.And celebrity crimper and Lulu ex John Frieda gave a cut of his £150million by donating £62,260.

Richest Tory backers are Tetrapak billionaire Hans Rausing and family. Worth £5.1billion, they gave £98,000.

Meanwhile just five rich backers including Sir Alan Sugar gave money to Labour. Two of the top 50 donations went to the Lib Dems.

The Sunday Times Rich List was topped by Russian Alisher Usmanov, 59, who owns nearly 30% of Arsenal FC and is worth around £13.3billion.

Sir Paul Mc- Cartney, 70, still rock’n’rolling in it with around £680million, is the UK’s richest entertainer.

Let’s not forget the LibDems donors:

Top 50 donations to the Liberal Democrats

Donation to Amount Date From Category
Section 62 (12) PPERA 2000 £207,300.00 30/06/2001 Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Company
Federal Party £40,000.00 01/12/2001 Mr P Yeldon Individual
Federal Party £38,000.00 12/12/2001 The Liberal Democrat Ball 2001 Unincorporated Association
Section 62 £31,000.00 31/03/2001 Lord Jacobs Individual
Federal Party £30,000.00 10/05/2001 Lord Jacobs Individual
Federal Party £30,000.00 15/06/2001 Lord Jacobs Individual
Federal Party £25,000.00 16/03/2001 Mr A H Wilkinson Individual
Bristol West Accounting Unit £23,908.39 20/03/2001 Coteval Ltd Company
Federal Party £22095.99 (in kind) 08/05/2001 Peter Bennett-Jones Individual
Federal Party £20919.46 (in kind) 07/06/2001 GJR Events Ltd Company
Hereford Accounting Unit £12,000.00 30/06/2001 Hereford Liberal Club Company
Federal Party £11,000.00 30/06/2001 Mr P Thurnham Individual
Federal Party £10,565.00 30/06/2001 Mr A Jukes Individual
Hillingdon Accounting Unit £10,000.00 16/02/2001 Mr Garth Underwood Individual
Cheadle Accounting Unit £10,000.00 22/03/2001 Mr Peter Yeldon Individual
Reading East Accounting Unit £10,000.00 21/06/2001 Reading Liberal Club Ltd Company
Cheltenham AU £10,000.00 20/12/2001 Mr P Baker Individual
Federal Party £10,000.00 22/11/2001 Mr P Thurnham Individual
Federal Party £10,000.00 19/12/2001 Mr A H Wilkinson Individual
Federal Party £9,000.00 11/06/2001 Hon David Layton Individual
Federal Party £8,016.33 10/04/2001 Mrs G Alefounder Individual
North Norfolk Accounting Unit £7,957.75 19/06/2001 Mr N Lamb Individual
Federal Party £7,500.00 05/11/2001 Hon David Layton Individual
Federal Party £6,748.02 16/08/2001 Manchester Airport PLC Company
Southend Accounting Unit £6,500.00 25/05/2001 Southend Liberal Club Limited Company
Federal Party £6,185.20 30/09/2001 McDonalds Hamburgers Ltd Company
Aylesbury Accounting Unit £6,000.00 23/03/2001 Hampden Buildings Ltd Company
Section 62 £6,000.00 31/03/2001 Hon Raymond Bonham-Carter Individual
Federal Party £6,000.00 30/03/2001 Sir Eddie Kulukundis Individual
Oldham Accounting Unit £6,000.00 02/04/2001 Oldham Lib Dem Council GP Unincorporated Association
Federal Party £6,000.00 30/06/2001 Lady Stevens Individual
Bath AU £6,000.00 13/11/2001 Roper Rhodes Ltd Company
Colne Valley Accounting Unit £5,950.00 01/06/2001 Mr G J Beever Individual
Federal Party £5,500.00 29/11/2001 Mr T Hope Individual
Federal Party £5,365.05 21/08/2001 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd Company
Federal Party £5,250.00 15/08/2001 Mr D Pannick Individual
Section 62 (12) PPERA 2000 £5,172.24 01/06/2001 Mr P Crystal Individual
Section 62 (12) PPERA £5,100.00 01/07/2001 Sir Peter Parker Individual
Orpington Accounting Unit £5,000.00 19/03/2001 Orpington Liberal Club Unincorporated Association
Hereford Accounting Unit £5,000.00 13/05/2001 Farm Assist Ltd Company
Reading West Accounting Unit £5,000.00 21/06/2001 Reading Liberal Club Ltd Company
Colchester Accounting Unit £5,000.00 09/04/2001 Dr E Hall Individual
Caithness and Sutherland Accounting Unit £5,000.00 16/05/2001 Lord Kirkham Individual
Edinburgh Pentlands Accounting Unit £5,000.00 07/05/2001 Mr G Macnaughton Smith Individual
Section 62 (12) PPERA 2000 £5,000.00 30/06/2001 Mr P Thurnham Individual
Cheadle Accounting Unit £5,000.00 13/06/2001 Mr P Yeldon Individual
Business Forum AU £5,000.00 01/11/2001 Mr G P Ellis Individual
Ceredigon AU £4,800 (rent-free office space) 31/12/2001 Aberystwyth Liberal Association Unincorporated Association
Taunton AU £4,680.00 31/12/2001 Mr J A Horsley Individual
North Dorset Accounting Unit £4,500.00 28/05/2001 Ms E Gasson Individual
Islington AU £4,500.00 31/12/2001 Islington Liberal Democrats Council Group Unincorporated Association

Then there is coalition calling for the heads of the trade union to be handed to them on a platter over union funding. They seem to forget that their hands are tried too with donations from big businesses, bankers and millionaires oh have they forgotten about them can someone remind them. What they seem to forget what the trade unions give in donations to Labour is small compared to the fat cats gives to both the Conservatives and LibDems put together

Here comes the interesting bit all the political parties will be holding their annual conferences very soon they all will be mentioning about the economy international trade relations and social policies. The only difference both Conservatives and LibDems will be calling for further cuts for the short term but refusing to acknowledging the long term unemployment and talking down about immigration which they will forget that foreign companies brings many opportunities to the UK.

Ed-Miliband-and-Ed-Balls-006Labour must remember to move above the challenge and introduce policies that will bring back voters to us and never forget out core values which gave us the victories in 1997-2010. Granted there will be many critics but lets us remember why the Labour Party was formed and give the working class the aspirations to come out to vote for us and stop the backstabbing each other.

There are many will continue to argue from the far left that Labour should introduce policies that will not work and  they continue to talk down about many Labour Leaders yet not one of them have introduced policies that helped win elections during the 1980s which saw Labour in the wilderness until the 1997.

Let’s not forget that there are different levels of socialism granted some people will say they left Labour over Clause 4, and wars etc. If the hard left looks closely political parties has to move with the times as we live in a world that constantly changes. Labour is in the ideal place to make the changes. When Ed Miliband got elected he was quite right to say that Blair and Brown is history and it’s a time for Mililbandism well I say this many people can lead but it takes a true leader Leads by example by leading nation.

Let us all remember United We Stand Divided We Fall, its our chance to fight for Labour Party to save the Trade union link and fight in the Local Government, and European Elections in 2014 and again in 2015 Local and General Elections.

Keep the Trade Union Link


Jaws-of-doom-graph-repres-006Since the Sun is shining the weather is sweet children outside playing whilst the Jaws of Doom is fast approaching and wages are not going up food prices increases, more workers from all walks of life are forced on to the dole queue as some companies both large, medium, and small goes bust while parliament is in recess until September.

This Government has failed totally to understand economics and the basic workings of public services and the benefits to the economy.

A-joke-1The more you starve public services, the more you cut and scrap them the more it costs the state. For every cut there is many times the cost to replace what is not there. You cannot take out a service for child protection and then just expect the issues that led the child to be at risk to go away. Yet that is exactly what this Tory Government has done by cutting Councils budget. Child protection has been put are risk. 

Other services like the police end up picking up the tab or its left from budgets from other council services meaning more people go without other help.

Not only does cutting these services lead to suffering they also lead to few pound spent in the shops in the local community. The rubbish that the private sector have jobs that would match that of public sector every is just that. Jobs in Tesco and Pound land do not equate. The wages are low and therefore the county suffers twice. 

We cannot become a low wages low skilled economy, yet that is what is being created. With public services going and replaced by useless profit motifs of private companies, quality is being destroyed and the economy is getting less and less money put back into the economy. It will lead to yet more recessions and if the Tories get back in, in 2015 that is exactly what will happen again. Thankfully Labour will win, yet the harm will be deep and it will hurt for many years to come.

Show_Racism_the_Red_CardThe coalition continue with their right wing reform agenda which is hurting the pockets of low and middle income whilst the bankers and millionaires continue to fund the fat cat party(Conservatives) yet they continue to use the mantra inappropriately “We’re All In It Together”

Just the other day there have been vans driving through communities with a strong message to all illegal immigrants “Go Home” some would argue by saying yes that telling them F ing bastard which quite correctly plays into the hands of EDL, BNP, and UKIP compliments of this coalition.

The policies the government is dreaming up to encourage illegal immigrants to leave Britain are becoming increasingly absurd. It is already targeting employers and landlords, and has tried persecuting children in schools. Now the Home Office is putting expensive advertising money into the mix: a new billboard campaign is being piloted this week telling illegal immigrants to “go home or face arrest”. And it is just a precursor to the next pilot scheme, a Christmas gift for families of ethnic minorities. From November, visitors from “high risk” countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, will be expected to produce a £3,000 bond to be allowed in to Britain. For many people, that could equate to up to six months’ worth of salary.

rexfeatures_113717_2247405bThere is no less racism in Britain today than there was 50 or so years ago when my parents arrived. It has merely changed in type and style. And it has become bolder. I am still biting my tongue with anger at the British Olympic Association’s original decision (later reversed) not to give accreditation for a journalist at The Voice, Britain’s oldest and biggest black newspaper, owned by a Jamaican publishing house, to the track and field events. Yet on the days that Usain Bolt ran, a man called Scott who sold national pins in Stratford’s shopping centre, told me “everyone was Jamaican”. And he sold out of Jamaican memorabilia – yes, even more than the union flag.

But because we don’t want to be seen with a “chip on our shoulder” we use polite terms such as “outrageous”. Call this new advertising campaign what it is: racist.

Two things about this latest scheme scare me. First, that the authorities are so bold with their racist tactics and their justification of them. Second, that this attitude risks encouraging and validating everyday personal racist incidents.

Racist attacks, both overt and covert, happen in small ways on a daily basis to many people in Britain. Sometimes they are laughable, because that is just a bit better than crying. And when I personally experience such an act, or see or hear of others experiencing it, I do feel like crying – for my parents, my friends’ parents, and all the parents I don’t know who came to Britain to make a better life for themselves; families back home and their children here.

You can’t tell by the colour of people on the streets who is in the UK legally and who is not. Has anything really changed since Enoch Powell gave his “rivers of blood” speech in April 1968? This advertising basically says, it is easier to get rid of them all. I wonder how many of our parents now, if asked, would say it was worth it.

Let’s not forget there is no such thing as a true English person in UK as most of us are descendants or sons and daughters of a foreigner who helped to rebuild UK maybe we all should pay the sum of £3000:00 bond to the treasury.

conservative-liberal-democrat-logo-468965850Why is it no surprise to the many and not for the few the LibDems will go back into a coalition with the Tories who will continue to attack our NHS by selling it off to the private sector with a vengeance I kid you not.

All eyes will be on Labour Party for two reasons the police have found lack of evidence on membership rigging from Unite to Labour selections secondly it will be in Labour NEC to produce the evidence which will remind some party members in some parts of the West Midlands and other parts of the regions why their CLPs and branches were suspended on a similar grounds so certain MPs could control the CLP after a long campaign to lift the suspension it still remained in the so called Special Measures.

mccluskey-miliband

 

ED Milliband has fallen for the Tory plot to demonise the unions. The attack on UNITE the union by the Tories is a deliberate attempt to discredit the entire trades union movement, which has so far proven to be the only organisation prepared to oppose the Con/Dem right wing austerity attacks on the welfare state and public services. Ed Milliband played nicely to the tune of the Tories.

Milliband knows exactly what he is doing. He has not only been leading an ineffective opposition in Parliament, but has committed the Labour Party to carrying on where the Tories have left if Labour wins the next election.

Milliband now recognise that UNITE is leading the opposition against the government’s attack on working class people. Both Cameron and Milliband are colluding to discredit the leader of UNITE as they are both opposed to a call for a general strike, which is likely to be supported by UNITE.

This is where the capitalist class and the political elites converge. They believe in putting their self interest and that of the corporations and the rich above that of the people, or the country. Labour leaders like Tory leaders have always been involved in fixing Parliamentary selections for generations.

Milliband is nothing but an opportunist and a careerist who would even betray his brother and anyone else who stands in his way to securing the most powerful job in Britain. It is about time that the unions reclaim the Labour Party which they created to represent the working class in Parliament.

Sadly, the right wing trade union leaders have colluded with right wing Labour leaders to reduce the power of the unions in government, whilst accepting the fact that the Tories are openly the party of business and the corporations. Cameron is a hypocrite, yet Milliband has fallen for his script against the unions.

While some of my followers say they admire Ed taking on the unions for what he perceived as an attempt by the Unions to influence the process of selecting Parliamentary candidates and hoping that the electorate will see that he is not in the pocket of those that finance him.

On the other hand there is another part of me saying that perhaps the electorate would rather have seen him standing his corner, and taking on Cameron and the Tories, who were leading this campaign, by revealing all the millionaires, and big business who were financing them and the favours that they were receiving because of their donations. It is all the more important now because the police have said no action is going to be taken in the Falkirk affair. Time will tell whether Ed’s moral and principled stand will be the correct one. Labour winning the next election is vital some followers don’t care whether they are right or wrong with their thoughts so long as they do that.

Frankly I do not say this lightly I concur with Unite General Secretary warned Ed Miliband the party should not be a “pinkish shadow” of the government if it expects Unite members to decide to join it. He told a meeting of activists tensions had been growing since the start of New Labour, “fuelled by the failures and disappointments of Labour in office”.

Labour and Unite are at odds over claims the union tried to rig Labour’s candidate selection in Falkirk. The row has seen the selection process halted, Unite threaten legal action and Labour’s campaign chief Tom Watson resign from the role.

It also prompted a raft of attacks from Prime Minister David Cameron on Mr Miliband and Labour in the Commons, alleging they were being controlled by unions, who are the party’s biggest donors.

 Earlier this month Mr Miliband said he planned to change Labour’s relationship with unions so members would have to actively decide whether they wanted to join Labour, rather than automatically becoming affiliated party members.

He said this would strengthen individual members’ links with Labour and revitalise politics. He plans to hold a special Labour Party conference next spring to decide on the change. Several unions have predicted that ending the levy will damage Labour and lead to a large fall in the £8m it currently gets from union members’ fees.

But Mr McCluskey said: “Ed Miliband has made some bold and far-reaching proposals for recasting the trade union relationship with the Labour Party. I know that some pundits were expecting me to reject them outright.

“To re-run the experience of the last generation on this issue – the party leader says something, the unions reject it and have no positive proposals of their own, the first plan goes through anyway and we look like not just losers, but conservative losers.” He said: “We have to be interested in outcomes, not processes. Why dig in behind a status quo that has not worked for us?

“The block vote didn’t stop a Labour government invading Iraq. Affiliation didn’t keep Labour out of the clutches of the banks and the City. Our special relationship didn’t get the union laws repealed.

“So don’t let anyone say that the status quo is worth defending. And don’t let’s be dishonest with ourselves. Before Falkirk, before Ed’s announcement, there were plenty of people in this room today saying, absolutely rightly, that the relationship with Labour had to change.”

Mr McCluskey added: “It is clear we are at a turning point in the historic relationship Unite and its predecessor unions have had with the Labour Party.

“This will have come as a surprise to many of you – although no-one will be shocked by the knowledge that strains in the Labour-union link have been building up for years, at least since the advent of New Labour in the 1990s.”

He said his members were feeling “that for a long time we have been taken for granted by people who welcome our money, but not our policy input, who want to use our resources at election time but do not want our members as candidates”.

“And all this in an environment when ordinary people in all walks of life have become increasingly disengaged from and disenchanted with politics and politicians,” he said.

Unite’s main aim, he said, was to ensure that as many members as possible signed up individually to be affiliate members of the party. “For that to work, and for the trade unions to put their shoulders to the wheel to make it work, the offer has to be an attractive one. Above all, that means a Labour Party that our members want to support, because they believe it can and will make a difference in their lives.

“Not a party that is a pinkish shadow of the present coalition that gives the City a veto over economic decisions and embraces the austerity agenda squeezing the life out of the country.

“A party that makes the 2015 election a real and vivid choice as to the future of our country, not one that leaves the electorate indifferent.

“I believe that Labour under Ed Miliband can be that party – a party that our members want to support because it feels like their party.” Responding to Mr McCluskey’s speech, a senior Labour source said: “Under the reforms Ed has proposed, individual trade unionists will become a proper part of our party. Working people will have a real choice about joining Labour, and those that become members will be a real voice inside the party like all other members.

“Donations from any source be they big businesses or major trade unions, will, as now, have no link with policy proposals.”

 

So Much For Coalition’s Austerity


photo67889On 22 July 2013 I spent most of the day with friends and relatives all had to downsize and move out of London as they could not afford to keep up with their mortgage or rent and out of a job because of this coalition’s austerity.

Intriguingly most of us was reading a article in the Guardian Newspaper which happen to mention what most of us continue to believe for a long time Ed Ball first mentioned this to the Chancellor Of Exchequer which will come back to hunt the coalition.

The chancellor George Osborne has cut public spending too quickly and hampered the UK’s recovery, according to former Bank of England official Adam Posen.

EdballsThe likelihood of a triple-dip recession and more than two years of flat growth can be partly blamed on Osborne’s handling of the economy, said Posen, who stepped down from the central bank’s interest rate setting committee last year.

Posen said the crisis in the eurozone remained a large factor hampering the UK’s expansion, and would continue to be a drag in 2013 while it remained in recession.

However, a lack of demand for UK goods from the continent was not the only reason the economy had failed to grow.

Echoing the stance taken by opposition Treasury spokesman Ed Balls, Posen said: “It was not something I was able to say when I was at the bank, but it is my belief that the government has pressed ahead too quickly with austerity.”

He warned that the time to cut spending is later in the economic cycle, when the economic recovery has become established and tax receipts are restored to levels that can cushion the impact.

photoPosen, who was appearing in parliament on Tuesday before the Treasury select committee, will fly to Davos in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum where he take part in a debate on new economic thinking.

He has previously expressed concerns about government policies, especially the continued concentration of lending by the major banks.

In collaboration with other leading economists, he has championed a state-backed investment bank to boost lending to small and medium-sized businesses as a major plank of a growth package.

He tolds MPs on the all party committee that Labour and the Liberal Democrats had backed the plans, but he had failed to win over the Treasury.

Posen also expressed alarm that UK businesses had failed to wean themselves off exporting to the eurozone in favour of new markets. He said it was likely that while cultural issues played a strong part in exporters following existing trade routes, restrictions on funds for investment to new markets were also an important factor.

Procurement in the UK takes longer than it does in France and Germany and progress on making it more centralised has been “painfully slow”, they say.

Their report says a “fundamental shift” is needed in the civil service’s ability to run effective procurement

The government says its reforms have already saved billions for the taxpayer but it knows there is “more to do”.

The public sector spends £227bn a year on goods, services and works – £45bn of which is controlled by Whitehall departments. The Ministry of Defence, which has been criticised repeatedly for the way it spends money, spends £20bn a year.

‘Risk averse’

The public administration committee says if the process was made more efficient, big sums could be saved and it could even drive economic growth.

It welcomed moves to make the process more efficient but said that procurement and management failures – recent examples of which could be seen in contracts the Ministry of Justice had with G4S and Serco – “continues unabated”.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has accused the firms of overcharging for tagging criminals in England and Wales.

The report said the UK had fallen behind other EU countries in securing contracts for its own companies to help national economies and said procurement generally in the UK took 50% longer than it did in France and Germany, despite operating under the same EU rules, due to a “process-orientated, risk-averse culture”.

Committee chairman Bernard Jenkin said the government had made efforts to centralise procurement but “progress so far has been painfully slow and sporadic”.

“The government has failed to set out a clear strategy for public procurement and it may be impossible to achieve this without changing the relationship between departments and the centre … The government is a single customers and should behave as such.”

The Cabinet Office said it had already halved the length of the average procurement process from 208 working days to 102, slimmed down procurement guidance, stripped out “unnecessary procedures” and used “bulk-buying” powers to get the best value from suppliers – something it said had saved £3.8bn in 2012/13.

A spokesman said: “We are pleased that the public administration select committee highlights our progress to improve data, act as a single customer and renegotiate contracts, and we will study the report carefully and respond in due course.

“Our unprecedented reforms to transform Whitehall into a leaner, more efficient machine that manages its finances like the best-run businesses generated £10bn of savings for the taxpayer last year alone. These reforms will help ensure Britain can win the global race. But we know there’s more to do and so we will keep pushing ahead.”

Britain’s Conservative Party has set out plans to escalate the government’s assault on welfare.Earlier this week, Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps said unemployed parents should only receive benefit for their first two children, meaning entitlement to child benefit and/or income support and other financial aid could potentially be removed for any children above that number.

Shapps claimed that the plan would place the unemployed on an “equal” footing with working parents. Unemployed parents who decide to have more than two children should “know that welfare is not going to fund that choice,” he said. He suggested further restricting entitlement to housing benefit by barring all unemployed under-25-year-olds from access to the rent subsidy. Again, Shapps claimed that welfare benefit provided an “incentive” for unemployment. The proposal would affect some 380,000 jobless under-25-year-olds, forcing them to live with parents/friends or face homelessness.

Shapps’s comments came as the government’s cap on the amount of welfare benefits claimed by any household was rolled out across the country.The scheme, first piloted in four London boroughs—Haringey, Enfield, Croydon and Bromley—means that no jobless household can receive more than £26,000 a year in benefit and other entitlements. It is part of a further £11.5 billion of cuts unveiled by the government in June. This comes on top of the £155 billion austerity measures already passed by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition since its election in 2010.

The government’s Spending Round in June for the first time covered a single financial year—2015/2016. It therefore tied any future government (the general election is due in 2015) to the reduction.

Shapps’s statements were once again justified on the grounds that cutting welfare is motivated by “fairness” to taxpayers, as it ensures that no jobless household will receive more than the national average wage, regardless of its family size or circumstances.

The pilot cap has already caused great hardship. Haringey Council reported that 740 families lost income during the trial, with just 34 people finding employment. The government’s own figures calculated that up to 56,000 families will be hit, losing an average of £93 a week, while in London, some 7,000 households will lose more than £100.

London and the south are especially affected by the cap due to high housing and living costs. Families are being forced out of the capital and into accommodation in northern England where rents are cheaper.

Amid reports that Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has requested additional time to legislate for further changes to welfare for next year’s parliamentary session, the government is said to be intending to reduce the benefit cap still further. Conservative MPs are reportedly demanding it should be cut to £20,000. In addition, the Forty Group of Conservative MPs—so-called because they represent constituencies with the slimmest majorities is demanding benefits be withdrawn from teenage mothers and a host of other measures.

Teenage single mothers should no longer be automatically entitled to help with their housing costs, or be considered a priority for social housing, they argue. They propose deducting fines for school truancy from the child benefit paid to mothers, while restricting access to “repeat” abortions.Those most affected by the cap and the additional measures now being proposed are children.

According to the Children’s Society, children are seven times more likely than adults to face hardship as a result of the measures. Matthew Reed said 140,000 children, compared with 60,000 adults, “will pay the price as parents have less to spend on food, clothing and rent.”

The amount of money supposedly “saved” by such measures is paltry.

Teenage single mothers account for just 2 percent of all single parents. Similarly, the benefit cap is estimated to reduce social security spending by just £110 million this year and £185 million in 2014, because the vast majority of people already receive far below the cap. Only in May, Duncan Smith was publicly reprimanded by the UK Statistic Authority for publishing misleading figures as the supposed success of the pilot benefit cap. In an open letter on behalf of the authority, Andrew Dilnot said Duncan Smith’s claims on the numbers finding work was “unsupported by official statistics.”

The Tories’ moves are clearly punitive. They are aimed at stigmatising and punishing the unemployed, while legitimising a broader offensive against social rights from welfare to education and health care.

Rolled out under the heading “Rewarding Work”, Duncan Smith once again sought to set “working” families, “paying their taxes”, against the jobless, arguing, “The days of blank cheque benefits and people milking the system are over.”

The measures have the wholehearted support of the media, which routinely demonises the unemployed and promotes propaganda blaming welfare costs for the squeeze on spending, enabling the Conservatives to claim that their plans are in response to “public” pressure.

Not a word is said about the criminal activities of the major banks and financial institutions, which are responsible for the biggest economic crisis in 70 years. Billions have been and continue to be paid out to the banks and super-rich, while the majority of the population are put on rations.

Unemployment is nearly 3 million, including more than 1 million out of work and not claiming benefits. Employment is scarce, with much of that available temporary and low-paid. That is why the majority of those on benefits are the “working poor”, those whose pay is so low they need additional state subsidies to survive. Even this bare minimum which acts as a subsidy to employers is now being scrapped as the ruling elite seek to overturn all the social gains made by the working class.

A central role is played by the Labour Party, which is committed to maintaining the coalition’s benefit cuts and introducing more of its own. It has jettisoned its verbal opposition to the benefit cap, arguing that it should be determined three years in advance and have a regional component.This week, Labour attacked Conservative plans from the right, arguing that they were too soft on welfare.

Labour’s Liam Byrne denounced the cap for not being hard enough because it would not affect those with very large families and would do nothing to prevent those “living a life on welfare.”

A single-tier “universal credit” comes into effect later this year, which will streamline existing benefits into one, with the obvious aim of further slashing welfare payments. Labour claims that design flaws will mean that single jobless households with seven or more children will “slip through the cap.”

Meanwhile, the Trussell Trust reported that the numbers of people being referred for food parcels increased in the three months since the government’s welfare measures began by 200 percent. The voluntary food aid network reported that more than half of the 150,000 people referred for emergency food aid between April and June were affected by benefit cuts and delays, and financial problems caused by changes to housing.

“The reality is that there is a clear link between benefit delays or changes and people turning to food banks, and that the situation has got worse in the last three months,” said Trussell Trust’s Executive Chairman Chris Mould.

EDL-rally-Birmingham-PA-3-5164262Recent events in Birmingham in regards to EDL and UAF has led to more trouble than it was worth have to say they(EDL) have cause more violence and arrest and not forgetting the damages left behind to my beloved city Smoke bombs, cobble stones, bottles and coins were hurled at police as the English Defence League and their opponents descended on Birmingham city centre for simultaneous demonstrations.

One policeman suffered concussion during scuffles with protesters at Paradise Circus while other demonstrators were left bloodied by missiles and clashes with police in the shadow of the city’s new library.

An estimated 2,000 EDL supporters poured into Centenary Square on Saturday chanting hate-filled, anti-Islam slogans.

In Chamberlain Square about 300 people – some wearing balaclavas – from Unite Against Fascism and other groups turned out for their counter-demonstration.

More than 1,000 police officers from the West Midlands and other forces had been drafted in with one mission; keep the groups apart.

Set against the backdrop of soldier Lee Rigby’s murder and three bomb attacks on Midland mosques, West Midlands Police said the demos were being held at a time of heightened tensions.

Given the EDL’s history in the city – where previous demonstrations have ended in violence, many were anxious in the run-up to the demonstrations.

In the event around 20 arrests were made in total with supporters of both factions being detained for public order offences.

But the afternoon marked the return of hate to the streets of Birmingham

As many will be aware of the cost implementations to Birmingham City Council and police cuts yet the police have to cope with fascists and protecting all the citizens to keep the peace. This is what you get from the coalition which they have imposed on us all. They have the cheek to say “We’re All It Together and part of the “Big Society” which does not help to put food on their tables.

 

Is It Time For A Labour Reshuffle?


Liam-Byrne-007Well folks there comes a time when fellow comrades from all walks of life receives some positive news from Liam Byrne Shadow Department Works and Pension  Minister then only for him to withdraw the statement to undo the positive message on behalf Labour for a far worse news release from Labour HQ.

It may sound strange to some people but its true Liam Byrne Member of Hodge Hill is very popular in his own CLP as I understand it  to sum this up in a nutshell Liam is highly regarded as a people’s person in his CLP he gets his work done with the Local Councillors  and their activists. I have been on the campaign trail with Liam Bryan 3 times in his constituency and he had the opportunity to come over to campaign in my CLP.

I kid you not when Liam Byrne puts his shadow minister cap on he becomes very unpopular with the public. I find myself on a cross-road at this moment and time I don’t say this lightly when I say it’s about time that Labour gets its act together. I’m sure many will recall a moment when there was a vote on the Jobseeker’s (Work Programme) Bill a few months ago on the advice of Liam Byrne most Labour MPs abstained which caused a public outcry from both Labour members and supporters.

On saying this he has worked with other MPs in Birmingham to hold a job summit recently which is the first of its kind which brought all the major companies together to recruit young people into employment which has not happened under the coalition.

My only hope is for Labour to consider some thoughts about a reshuffle of Shadow Cabinet very soon.

Now we have learned from the New Statement that Liam Byrne has changed his tune again moving to the right see link below:

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/07/labours-disastrous-new-line-attack-benefit-cap-its-too-soft

Then there seems to be a competition between Liam Byrne Vs George Osborne to see who can faring well with the welfare Cap see below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23325667

NHS is dying and on life support because  of the Tories, and despite what our unelected PM is saying here about things being covered up by the last government, let us not forget that the Conservatives have made covering up the figures a veritable fine art of late!

Indeed, if the Tories are now placing hospitals into ‘special measures’ then I can assure you that it is for one reason and one reason only, and that is to make them fitter to deliver the private care that the Conservatives have in mind for them to deliver once the NHS has been fully privatised.

After all, if they can’t do that then they can’t earn their wealthy new owners the projected profits that they are expecting of them, can they.

huntNotice how the coalition is quick to knock the NHS the government want you all to think it is failing so we will see privatisation as a benefit. ‘Is there no limit to what this Government will privatise?’: UK’s blood supply sold to US private equity firm Bain Capital

The Government was tonight accused of gambling with the UK’s blood supply by selling the state-owned NHS plasma supplier to an US private equity firm.

The Department of Health overlooked several healthcare or pharmaceutical firms and at least one blood plasma specialist before choosing to sell an 80 per cent stake in Plasma Resources UK to Bain Capital, the company co-founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a £230m deal. The Government will retain a 20 per stake and a share of potential future profits.

PRUK has annual sales of around £110m and consists of two companies: it employs 200 people at Bio Products Laboratory (BPL) in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and more than 1,000 at DCI Biologicals Inc in the US. DCI collects plasma from American donors and sends it to BPL where it is separated into blood proteins, clotting factors and albumin for supply to NHS hospitals in the treatment of immune deficiencies, neurological diseases, and haemophilia.

British jobs are being safeguarded in the deal and Bain, which has invested in dozens of private and state-owned health companies worldwide, is prepared to spend £50m in capital investment on the Elstree laboratories.

However, critics of the deal warned the Government that Bain Capital was the wrong company to own the NHS plasma supply line.

Lord Owen, the former Health Minister, wrote to David Cameron earlier this year asking the Prime Minister to intervene and halt the sale. “In 1975, against some resistance from those guarding the finances of the DHSS budget, I decided as Minister of Health to invest in self-sufficiency in the UK for blood and blood products,” he wrote. “I now believe this country is on the point of making exactly the same mistake again. The world plasma supply line has been in the past contaminated and I fear it will almost certainly continue to be contaminated.”

After hearing of the sale Lord Owen told The Independent: “It’s hard to conceive of a worse outcome for a sale of this particularly sensitive national health asset than a private equity company with none of the safeguards in terms of governance of a publicly quoted company and being answerable to shareholders.

Private equity has a useful function, as I saw in years past on the advisory board of Terra Firma, but Bain Capital should not have been chosen for this sale. Is there no limit to what and how this coalition government will privatise?”

Blood from UK donors, typically collected in vans and centres by NHS Blood and Transplant, is not supplied to PRUK, a separate organisation. Plasma donors at DCI centres in the US receive cash for each donation, typically around $25 for the first visit and $20 for any subsequent visit. People can donate up to twice a week.

Due to safety concerns following the emergence of ‘mad cow disease’, or vCJD, NHS hospitals only use plasma from around 20 per cent of blood collected from donors in the UK with the remainder used for diagnostic and research purposes. As the UK was unable to secure a long-term ‘safe’ blood supply for the NHS following the vCJD outbreak, the Government spent £50m in 2002 on the US firm that provided all of BPL’s plasma.

The majority of NHS hospital plasma supplies come from PRUK, which sources all its plasma from low contamination risk groups in the United States across DCI’s network of 32 donor centres.

Lucy Reynolds from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine wrote an academic paper earlier this year strongly arguing against the sale of PRUK.

She said the coalition deal undervalued the company adding: “Plasma supplies have a long record of being operated on a not for profit basis, using voluntary donors where all the necessary checks take place. The difference with a commercial firm is that they will want to have as many donors as possible and be looking to secure large profits first and foremost.

“This amounts to the government abandoning UK blood products users to the tender mercies of the cheapest supplier.”

The PRUK deal is the latest move from Bain Capital into the expanding privatised UK health market. The Independent reported last month that the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), co-owned by the assets management firm, already caters for around half of all private patients in London and runs three joint NHS ventures, renting building space from public hospitals for exclusively private treatment. HCA is also a large buyer of plasma-derived products.

Devin O’Reilly, managing director of Bain Capital in London, said: “We have completed over 50 healthcare investments in companies such as HCA and we will ensure that all of this experience and expertise is applied to building PRUK into a true global leader.”

Health Minister Dan Poulter said: “This deal will ensure that patients will have access to high quality plasma products for years to come and it is good news that Bain are investing in medicine and the life science industry in the UK.”

See link below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23334981

nhs-2-stgeorges-2-unisonjan2011-cohseNotice how the coalition is quick to knock the NHS the government want you all to think it is failing so we will see privatisation as a benefit. ‘Is there no limit to what this Government will privatise?’: UK’s blood supply sold to US private equity firm Bain Capital

The Government was tonight accused of gambling with the UK’s blood supply by selling the state-owned NHS plasma supplier to an US private equity firm.

The Department of Health overlooked several healthcare or pharmaceutical firms and at least one blood plasma specialist before choosing to sell an 80 per cent stake in Plasma Resources UK to Bain Capital, the company co-founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a £230m deal. The Government will retain a 20 per stake and a share of potential future profits.

PRUK has annual sales of around £110m and consists of two companies: it employs 200 people at Bio Products Laboratory (BPL) in Elstree, Hertfordshire, and more than 1,000 at DCI Biologicals Inc in the US. DCI collects plasma from American donors and sends it to BPL where it is separated into blood proteins, clotting factors and albumin for supply to NHS hospitals in the treatment of immune deficiencies, neurological diseases, and haemophilia.

British jobs are being safeguarded in the deal and Bain, which has invested in dozens of private and state-owned health companies worldwide, is prepared to spend £50m in capital investment on the Elstree laboratories.

However, critics of the deal warned the Government that Bain Capital was the wrong company to own the NHS plasma supply line.

Lord Owen, the former Health Minister, wrote to David Cameron earlier this year asking the Prime Minister to intervene and halt the sale. “In 1975, against some resistance from those guarding the finances of the DHSS budget, I decided as Minister of Health to invest in self-sufficiency in the UK for blood and blood products,” he wrote. “I now believe this country is on the point of making exactly the same mistake again. The world plasma supply line has been in the past contaminated and I fear it will almost certainly continue to be contaminated.”

After hearing of the sale Lord Owen told The Independent: “It’s hard to conceive of a worse outcome for a sale of this particularly sensitive national health asset than a private equity company with none of the safeguards in terms of governance of a publicly quoted company and being answerable to shareholders.

“Private equity has a useful function, as I saw in years past on the advisory board of Terra Firma, but Bain Capital should not have been chosen for this sale. Is there no limit to what and how this coalition government will privatise?”

Blood from UK donors, typically collected in vans and centres by NHS Blood and Transplant, is not supplied to PRUK, a separate organisation. Plasma donors at DCI centres in the US receive cash for each donation, typically around $25 for the first visit and $20 for any subsequent visit. People can donate up to twice a week.

Due to safety concerns following the emergence of ‘mad cow disease’, or vCJD, NHS hospitals only use plasma from around 20 per cent of blood collected from donors in the UK with the remainder used for diagnostic and research purposes. As the UK was unable to secure a long-term ‘safe’ blood supply for the NHS following the vCJD outbreak, the Government spent £50m in 2002 on the US firm that provided all of BPL’s plasma.

The majority of NHS hospital plasma supplies come from PRUK, which sources all its plasma from low contamination risk groups in the United States across DCI’s network of 32 donor centres.

Lucy Reynolds from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine wrote an academic paper earlier this year strongly arguing against the sale of PRUK.

She said the Coailtion deal undervalued the company adding: “Plasma supplies have a long record of being operated on a not for profit basis, using voluntary donors where all the necessary checks take place. The difference with a commercial firm is that they will want to have as many donors as possible and be looking to secure large profits first and foremost.

“This amounts to the government abandoning UK blood products users to the tender mercies of the cheapest supplier.”

The PRUK deal is the latest move from Bain Capital into the expanding privatised UK health market. The Independent reported last month that the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), co-owned by the assets management firm, already caters for around half of all private patients in London and runs three joint NHS ventures, renting building space from public hospitals for exclusively private treatment. HCA is also a large buyer of plasma-derived products.

Devin O’Reilly, managing director of Bain Capital in London, said: “We have completed over 50 healthcare investments in companies such as HCA and we will ensure that all of this experience and expertise is applied to building PRUK into a true global leader.”

Health Minister Dan Poulter said: “This deal will ensure that patients will have access to high quality plasma products for years to come and it is good news that Bain are investing in medicine and the life science industry in the UK.”

116883093__432080cJust wondering how many of you had the opportunity to watch the last of the Prime Minister Questions time before it went to recess how interesting that a question was asked Re: Lynton Crosby. David Cameron’s face went from red to lobster red when he tried to duck and dive the questions when Critics have questioned Mr Crosby’s role in the decision to put plain packaging for cigarettes on hold and at Prime Minister’s Questions Mr Cameron was accused by Labour leader Ed Miliband of having “caved in to big tobacco” in a “disgraceful episode”.

See link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/18/mehdis-morning-memo_51_n_3620368.html?ir=UK%20Politics&utm_campaign=071913&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-uk-politics&utm_content=FullStory

 

 

 

Liam Byrne Hits back at IDS benfit caps


article_60019656d84b0336_1333110544_9j-4aaqskI see one of the most hated MP for Labour has come out with fight talk over benefit cap but most people in my circle of friends are asking how long will this will last and who will have the last laugh Liam Byrne or Iain Duncan Smith.

Liam Byrne, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “Iain Duncan Smith is having to make things up as he goes along because his policies are failing. Even the [DWP] report he hides behind makes absolutely clear that there is no evidence for his claims. It is simply incredible that the Work and Pensions Secretary thinks it is acceptable to operate his department on guess work and blind faith.”

Labour seized on the small print of a Department of Work and Pensions progress report issued as the welfare cap, which has been trialled in four London boroughs, was rolled out nationally from on Monday. It said: “This analysis is confined to correlation and does not show causation”.

photoIDS1The Work and Pensions Secretary said that more than 12,000 people had moved into work after being told about the £500-a-week cap for families and £350-a-week ceiling for single people.

The qualifying statement follows a rebuke for Mr Duncan Smith’s previous claim about the number of people taking jobs as a result of the benefits ceiling. In May, he was criticised by the independent UK Statistics Authority.

On Monday, his department cited a poll it commissioned by Ipsos MORI of 500 people who were told their state handouts would be capped. The survey found that 61 per cent of the group now in work found their current job after being told about the cap. But critics said there was no proof that they would not have found work anyway or that the policy was responsible. In Haringey, one of the trial areas, only 30 of the 734 claimants affected by the ceiling are said to be in work.

Alison Garnham, chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “This polling only demonstrates the paucity of evidence for the benefit cap. [It] reflects the fact that most people hit by the cap have worked and will soon work again. It’s also unhelpful for public policy and quite misleading to the public  for the spin to run ahead of the facts through repeating dodgy claims about the effect of the policy on people moving into work when the evidence is clearly not there to back up these claims.”

An unrepentant Mr Duncan Smith accused the BBC of “seeking out lots of cases from people who are politically motivated”. He clashed with John Humphrys, presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme, who reminded him of the Statistics Authority’s ticking off. Mr Duncan Smith replied: “No. What they [the Statistics Authority] said was that you can’t absolutely prove that those two things are connected.”

Mr Humphrys then quoted the independent authority as saying the minister’s statement was “unsupported by the official statistics published by your own department”. Mr Duncan Smith replied: “Yes, but by the way you can’t disprove what I said either.”

You can make any claim on that basis,” Mr Humphrys replied.

“Well, I am. I believe this to be right. I believe that we are already seeing people go back to work who were not going to go back to work until they were short of the cap,” Mr Duncan Smith countered.

He told Mr Humphrys: “What you’re doing, as always in the BBC, you’re seeking out lots of cases from people who are politically motivated to say this is wrong … The fact is that people will not be earning more than average earnings sitting out of work unless they are in exempt categories.”

The Work and Pensions Secretary claimed that predictions that the benefit cap would lead to thousands of people becoming homeless had not materialised. “The homeless figures have hardly moved at all,” he said.

He also rejected claims that the ceiling would force families to move out of London. “The vast majority of the areas in London – a third of all rentable accommodation in the private sector – is available for those who are on social rents,” he said.

But Ruth Davison, director of the National Housing Federation, warned: “In many parts of the country, families won’t be able to pay high private rents because of the cap. There will be more demand for than ever for affordable housing, particularly in Greater London where nearly half (49 per cent) of the people affected by the benefit cap live.”

She added: “Families could face the stark choice of cutting back on essentials or having to move away long distances from their support networks to look for cheaper places to live. Until we see a long-term affordable housebuilding programme that will drive down the price of rents for everybody, housing costs should be removed from the cap.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has spoken out to defend the new benefits cap of £500 a week being rolled out across Britain on Monday.

The benefits cuts have already been implemented in the London boroughs of Haringey, Enfield, Croydon and Bromley since April this year.

Sanctions on Job Seekers Allowance and the introduction of the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ will come into effect immediately.

The new welfare measures, which Mr Duncan Smith argues is based around the income of an average household, will ensure couples and lone parents do not receive more than £500 a week, with single people limited to £350 a week.

Mr Duncan Smith said a “very, very significant number” of people had gone out to work in households within the four London boroughs already affected by the cap.

“In fact, what the Jobcentre staff have told us as we have been going round is that they have seen a genuine increase since they have alerted people to the fact that they are likely to be in the cap,” he told BBC Breakfast.

He added: “This is both about saving money and, more particularly, about changing a culture that had left families, particularly large families, finding it easy and a reality for their lives to stay out of work on taxpayers’ benefits.”

He also rejected suggestions that jobs were not available for claimants who wanted to go back to work.

“The private sector has been providing jobs. Every week something like half a million new jobs are in the jobcentres and out in the universal job match that we have now produced,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“I believe that we are already seeing people go back to work who were not going to go back to work until they were informed of the cap. I believe that this will show, as we go forward, that people who were not seeking work are now seeking work because that is the way to avoid the cap.”

He hit back at presenter John Humphrys who challenged him over comments by the leader of Haringey Council, who said that 740 families in the borough had been severely financially disadvantaged by the cap but only 34 family members had found work.

He accused Mr Humphrys and the BBC of “seeking out lots of little cases from people who are politically motivated to say that this is wrong,” he said, something he argued the BBC “always” does.

“The key principle behind this all over the country is that those who work, those who are trying to do the best in their households, do not see others who are down the road, who are on benefits, on welfare, actually getting more than they do,” he said.

Mr Duncan Smith said the “greatest effect” of the benefits cap would occur within London and the South East.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of the Children’s Society, accused the Government of trying to use a “blunt instrument” to solve a complex problem.

“The debate around this cap has focused solely on workless adults, but the reality is that children are seven times more likely than adults to lose out,” he said.

“140,000 children, compared to 60,000 adults, will pay the price as parents have less to spend on food, clothing and rent.

“And almost half the adults affected will have children aged four or younger, and would find it extremely difficult to be in work, even if they could afford childcare which can cost as much as £100 per child per week.

“Families, especially in London where the cap is being launched, will have their lives disrupted as they are forced to find cheaper rents in other parts of the country, resulting in children having to leave behind their schools, friends and breaking vital support networks.

“We fully support efforts to make work pay.

“But it is not right to do this by putting more children on the breadline. Instead, the Government should do more to help families by tackling the sky high rents in some parts of the UK and making childcare affordable.”

Disability Living Allowance, the Personal Independence Payment and other benefits such as widower’s pensions will not be subjected to the cap.

The Department for Work and Pensions argue that these measures will save £110million a year. The cap is not yet law in Northern Ireland.

 

 

David Miliband was on right track trade union reform


ed-miliband-david-miliband-12096473To all my followers I would like to clear the air which has caused many divisions during and after the leadership challenge to succeed Gordon Brown. Let me begin with that this article is NOT about which of the Milibands would have made the best leader of the Labour Party. Instead of going on the doorstep on Sunday 14 July I decided to stay in with the family to watch some telly instead of going doorknocking with my Labour family which I have to say many of them said it’s about time you did Gordon.

Chineese New Year004I had a rare discussion with David Miliband before he stood down as Member of Parliament at an event interestingly it was in regards to trade union link with Labour. Whilst in his deep thoughts he mentioned what many of us in the trade union movement was thinking in the same lines that its been great for the trade unions as they help to pave the way for the National Minimum Wage, SureStart, and Health and Safety, securing more funding NHS to name a few.

He mentioned that he was glad to see UNISON had long argued for trade union reform with GMB supporting the changes hence union 21at Century via TUC had been transformed the way how the trade unions engaged with its members and UNISON was the first trade union to introduced a opt in to Labour. Lets not forget that union has two funds general and political. Members can opt to be in both or they can choose to be in between funds.

I believe I’m right in saying that UNISON is the only union to have this system in place whilst the other trade unions just have one political fund. I’m sure that some of my followers will correct me if I’m wrong.

Blow me over when I was watching Andrew Marr Show on 14 July 2013 this was the very subject that David Miliband briefly touched on. Three years on after this discussion never in my wildest dreams did I thought this would pave the way for the trade union reform from Ed Miliband setting the challenge to both the trade unions and the coalition to put a spending cap on political donations.

I concur that Ed Miliband has changed the course of debate in parliament which caught out David Cameron and his cronies which he has them on the run. The underline tone from David Miliband is spread the message to our core voters let’s give the Conservatives and Libdems a bloody nose at the ballot box in 2014-15 European, Local and  General Elections. Now that I have got this off my chest I call on all Labour Party members and supporters to enjoy your summer with your families and the campaign will begin with a vengeance after all the party conferences be warned Conservatives and Liberal Democrats

ids2face1Today benefit cap comes into force from age 16-64 can receive has begun rolling out across the UK.

Couples and lone parents will now not receive more than £500 a week, while a  £350:00 limit applies to single people.

Key Payments including Jobseeker’s Allowance and child and housing benefit count towards the cap.

securedownloadA third of Britain is effectively off limits to lower income working families because private rents are unaffordable, a new report alleges.

Here comes the bombshell Tories in most marginal seats in Parliament are urging David Cameron to bring in tougher conditions on housing benefit for teenage mothers.

At a time of austerity it has been noted with concern that pay rise for MPs has been branded about which is very annoying to the public at a time when public sector workers have had a pay capped at 1% while people who have to depend on food banks this coalition knows how to get people backs up and the economy is still stagnating.

There are many people have lost their jobs they are forced to downsize their accommodation and move to different parts of the country though no fault of their own. How does this coalition repay the public by telling us about the Big Society and We’re all in it together does not help to put food on our table, pay our bills let alone our mortgage or rent.

photo(1)Intriguingly George Obsorne says that will need to raise taxes to meet deficit reduction targets after the next election.

He was speaking at the Treasury Committee he will be able to cut borrowing through spending cuts alone.

The original plans to cut the deficit with 80% spending cuts and 20% tax rises were only ever “a guide”.

Well I’m still not convinced that the plan A is working as there is still child poverty, unemployment and a shortage of skills in leading industries.

What have we witnessed from the coalition they have involved the Serious Fraud Office to investigate G4S over alleged over charging for tagging criminals in England and Wales the figures seems to be tens of millions of pounds. I call this mismanagement of tax payers’ money.

David-Cameron-NHS-posterThen there is the NHS funding gap in the range of 30 billion pounds. So much for coalition ring fencing which sounds like more cuts will take place to our beloved NHS. I would not be surprised if this coalition will introducing a private health insurance in a nutshell no health insurance, no treatment.

There has been an increase of criminal damages to mosques across the UK. There is a feeling that the police force not doing enough to bring those to justice fast enough.

Whilst there has been some work done but it seems to be a long and hard process which is playing into the hands of racist and fascist organizations who have decided to have marches across the UK to the cause of the EDL and BNP.

nhs-2-stgeorges-2-unisonjan2011-cohseThe coalition may be promoting the controversial practice of fracking for gas because senior figures from that industry sit in the heart of Government, campaigners have warned.

The former BP boss Lord Browne, Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw and BG Group director Baroness Hogg have all been accused of the potential for conflicts of interest, as they hold senior advisory roles at a time when the Government is heavily promoting fracking. This involves fracturing tightly packed shale rock with a high-pressure water and chemical mixture to release oil and gas.

Cuadrilla, which is chaired by Lord Browne, is searching for shale gas in Lancashire, but suspended operations there in 2011 after its drilling was found to be the likely cause of tremors in Blackpool.

The Government has signed up to the potential of shale gas after it transformed energy policy in the United States, despite severe criticism from environmentalists.

Last month, George Osborne spoke of “tax and planning changes which will put Britain at the forefront of exploiting shale gas”. A recent report by the British Geological Survey found that the UK could have trillions of cubic feet of the gas in the North-west alone, but critics argue that it would be difficult to extract from deep beneath the ground even with modern drilling techniques.

Anti-fracking campaigners and industry insiders are concerned that major energy-sector figures have roles that gives them access to ministers in Whitehall. Among those said to be worried is a top executive at EDF, who believes that the Government’s new-found commitment to shale has ended up hurting the French group’s negotiations over building a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

There are more than 60 “non-executives” (Neds) who sit across Whitehall departments, largely drawn from Britain’s most impressive corporate talent. Their job is to help ministries be run in a more business-like manner, and Lord Browne is the overall lead for this group.

Lord Browne sits within the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude’s constituency includes Balcombe in West Sussex, another area where Cuadrilla is drilling. On his website, Mr Maude acknowledges that fracking “understandably rang alarm bells” after the tremors in Lancashire, but argues that “shale gas could help significantly by contributing both to improving our security and independence and to keeping prices down”.

Mr Laidlaw has been the lead non-executive at the Department for Transport. Centrica, which owns British Gas, recently bought a one-quarter stake in Cuadrilla’s most promising licence, which is the one in Lancashire.

Baroness Hogg sits in the Treasury, but she is also a non-executive director at BG Group, which has extensive shale gas interests in the US. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by any of these advisers.

Elsie Walker, a campaigner with the anti-fracking group Frack Off, said it is easy to argue that there is a “line blurred between the shale-gas lobby and Government”. She added that the Government is “littered” with people who have current or recent ties to the fracking industry.

Ms Walker argued: “It doesn’t take a genius or a cynic to realise that those who stand to make a serious amount of money from the success of a particular industry should be nowhere near those who will be making decisions that will influence the future health of that industry.”

A Government spokesman said: “All non-executive directors declare their interests to their departments to ensure there is no conflict of interest, and departments will make the necessary arrangements to manage any potential conflicts in the normal way. None of the Neds named sit on the board of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and therefore there is no conflict of interest.”

Conflicts of interest?

Lord Browne

The former BP boss is chairman of Cuadrilla, which is exploring for shale gas in Lancashire and West Sussex. He is lead “non-executive” across Government, meaning that he helps recruit other non-executives to Whitehall.

Baroness Hogg

The non-executive for the Treasury sits on the board of BG Group, which has significant shale gas assets in the United States.

Sam Laidlaw

The non-executive to the Transport Department is also chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, which recently bought a 25 per cent stake in Cuadrilla’s most promising shale gas prospect.

Ben Moxham

A former executive at BP when Lord Browne was at the helm, he followed the peer to Riverstone Holdings, which owns 42 per cent of Cuadrilla. Moxham was energy adviser at No 10 but quit in May.

Lord Howell

George Osborne’s father-in-law is also president of the British Institute of Economics, whose backers include BP and BG Group.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith speaks at last year’s Conservative conference in Birmingham.

Iain Duncan Smith has been touring the studios this morning, rather unpleasantly referring to people “being capped”. The policy which he’s promoting – the benefit cap of £26,000 – is introduced nationally today (after being piloted in Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey) and is one of the coalition’s most popular. A YouGov [2] poll published in April found that 79 per cent of people, including 71 per cent of Labour voters, support the cap, with just 12 per cent opposed. But while politically astute, the cap may be the most flawed of all of the coalition’s welfare measures. Here are five reasons why.

1. An out-of-work family is never better off than an in-work family

The claim on which the policy rests – that a non-working family can be better off than a working one – is a myth since it takes no account of the benefits that an in-work family can claim to increase their income. For instance, a couple with four children earning £26,000 after tax and with rent and council tax liabilities of £400 a week is entitled to around £15,000 a year in housing benefit and council tax support, £3,146 in child benefit and more than £4,000 in tax credits.

Were the cap based on the average income (as opposed to average earnings) of a working family, it would be set at a significantly higher level of £31,500. The suggestion that the welfare system “rewards” worklessness isn’t true; families are already better off in employment. Thus, the two central arguments for the policy – that it will improve work incentives and end the “unfairness” of out-of-work families receiving more than their in-work equivalents – fall down.

(And it will hit in-work families too)

Incidentally, and contrary to ministers’ rhetoric, the cap will hit in-work as well as out-of-work families. A single person must be working at least 16 hours a week and a couple at least 24 hours a week (with one member working at least 16 hours) to avoid the cap.

2. It will punish large families and increase child poverty

The cap applies regardless of family size, breaking the link between need and benefits. As a result, most out-of-work families with four children and all those with five or more will be pushed into poverty (defined as having an income below 60 per cent of the median income for families of a similar size). Duncan Smith has claimed that “”at] £26,000 a year it’s very difficult to believe that families will be plunged into poverty” but his own department’s figures [3] show that the poverty threshold for a non-working family with four children, at least two of whom are over 14, is £26,566 – £566 above the cap. The government’s Impact Assessment [4] found that 52 per cent of those families affected have four or more children.

By applying the policy retrospectively, the government has chosen to penalise families for having children on the reasonable assumption that existing levels of support would be maintained. While a childless couple who have never worked will be able to claim benefits as before (provided they do not exceed the cap), a large family that falls on hard times will now suffer a dramatic loss of income. It was this that led the House of Lords to vote in favour [5] of an amendment by Church of England bishops to exclude child benefit from the cap (which would halve the number of families affected) but the defeat was subsequently overturned by the government in the Commons.

The DWP has released no official estimate of the likely increase in child poverty but a leaked government analysis [6] suggested around 100,000 would fall below the threshold once the cap is introduced.

3. It will likely cost more than it saves

For all the political attention devoted to it, the cap is expected to save just £110m a year, barely a rounding error in the £201bn benefits bill. But even these savings could be wiped out due to the cost to local authorities of homelessness and housing families in temporary accommodation. As a leaked letter [7] from Eric Pickles’s office to David Cameron stated, the measure “does not take account of the additional costs to local authorities (through homelessness and temporary accommodation). In fact we think it is likely that the policy as it stands will generate a net cost. In addition Local Authorities will have to calculate and administer reduced Housing Benefit to keep within the cap and this will mean both demands on resource and difficult handling locally.”

4. It will increase homelessness and do nothing to address the housing crisis

Most of those who fall foul of the cap do so because of the amount they receive in housing benefit (or, more accurately, landlord subsidy) in order to pay their rent. At £23.8bn, the housing benefit bill, which now accounts for more than a tenth of the welfare budget, is far too high but rather than tackling the root of the problem by building more affordable housing, the government has chosen to punish families unable to afford reasonable accommodation without state support.

The cap will increase homelessness by 40,000 and force councils to relocate families [8] hundreds of miles away, disrupting their children’s education and reducing employment opportunities (by requiring them to live in an area where they have no history of working).

5. It will encourage family break-up

Duncan Smith talks passionately of his desire to reduce family breakdown but the cap will serve to encourage it. As Simon Hughes has pointed out [9], the measure creates “a financial incentive to be apart” since parents who live separately and divide the residency of their children between them will be able to claim up to £1,000 a week in benefits, while a couple living together will only be able to claim £500.

This Government is cutting the very measures that would ensure not only growth in the short-term, but economic security in the future, too. They are portraying their cuts as eliminating “waste” and “necessary”, when in fact they are seriously jeopardising our future economic prosperity: cuts in funding for Regional Development Agencies; scrapping the Future Jobs Fund, which was a success and supported at least 200,000 people back into work through the recession; withdrawing industrial support, for example.

That is before we even begin to discuss the damning, detrimental economic and social implications of the welfare “reforms” (CUTS), and the Localism Bill (more CUTS), and Legal Aid Bill (even more coordinated and carefully planned Tory CUTS that will serve to keep quiet and hide away evidence of the rising numbers of impoverished, destitute and starving victims of all of the other CUTS and subsequent human rights abuses).

“Who could ever forget the sight of a grotesquely hypocritical David Cameron working himself up into a fit of faux outrage at the fact that the Labour party are mainly funded by the trade unions. There was a man who knows damn well that his own political party is almost entirely funded through vast donations from the wealthy and privileged (many of them “rogues” to put it mildly), ranting on about the fact that the Labour party are funded through small donations from millions of working people.

Cameron knows exactly where the vast majority of Tory donations come from, because he gladly prostitutes himself out to the wealthy like some kind of podgy, shiny faced, middle aged male escort, “having dinner” or “attending drinks receptions” with anyone willing to stump up a few hundred grand in order to attempt to buy some influence.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable is today set to accuse the Tories of being too keen to make further cuts.

The Lib Dem will claim “Conservative politicians seem all too eager” to attack public spending after the next election.

His outspoken attack comes after George Osborne promised to tackle the deficit after the next election through massive cuts alone – without any tax rises.

Experts warned that the Chancellor’s plan may lead to cuts to NHS spending.

But speaking in Manchester today, Mr Cable will say that future cuts could be avoided – if Mr Osborne did more to boost the economy now.

He will say: “Fundamentally, we think that the economy can do much more, and want to leave no stone unturned.

“And if we get it going, then tax revenues rise, unemployment payments fall, and we can avoid the sort of cuts that Conservative Politicians seem all too eager to anticipate.

“That is the vision that Nick and I are trying to push.”

He will add: “But we’re not going to do it just by sitting on our hands.

“The Government needs to take action, because it is clear that matters don’t just improve all by themselves.

“The greatest illustration of this is where the housing crisis and the needs of the community coincide – social housing, or the lack of it.”

The Business Secretary will call for more houses to be built.

He will say “Tory dogma” is stopping a potential boom in new council houses being built – by stopping local authorities borrowing more to invest in social housing.

Mr Cable is expected to add: “The Tories are hiding behind Treasury methodology, saying that more borrowing by councils beyond permitted limits will break the fixed rules.

“So even though freeing up this borrowing space would result in tens of thousands more homes being built, and many times more jobs, they would rather start talking about the cuts they want to make, rather than the houses that we should build.”