More bad news for Conservatatives


In some parts of the country there will be no doubt be local government elections owing to the ward boundary changes this was the Conservative Government doing not Labour as they would love to spin it as it was labour’s fault. Think of it this way if you like or dislike marmite it’s more of the taste that left in your mouth under the conservatives in a nutshell to ensure that all the main political parties don’t have a overall majority or they want to create a return of a two horse race in politics. There is no doubt people will have heard of the government austerity plan which continues to affect local services by implementing cuts. Yet the government expects local services to continue to run smoothly with the cuts to public services. Some people are turning to foodbanks, soup kitchens, junk food projects on the grounds of being on low incomes or they have had a sanction on their universal credit for various reasons which leaves a nasty sting in your throat. Both the government and press loves to play the blame game to target immigrants to avoid addressing the real issues which they fail to mention that food, prescription, and energy prices are increasing this includes rail and plane fares. Families struggling to make ends meet will be hit by the biggest annual benefits cut for six years, according to a new analysis that exposes the impact of continuing austerity measures on the low paid.

It’s alleged that Chancellor Philip Hammond is preparing to give a stripped-down spring statement where he is expected to boast of lower than expected borrowing figures. He will use them to suggest Britain has reached a “turning point”. He will point to forecasts showing the “first sustained fall in debt for a generation” to claim “there is light at the end of the tunnel” in turning around Britain’s finances. The cuts will affect around 11 million families, including 5 million of the struggling families that the prime minister stated she would focus on. It is further alleged that there will also be some good news for the low paid, with more than 1.5 million workers set to benefit from a 4.4% pay rise when the national living wage increases from £7.50 to £7.83 at the start of April. However, that measure will be outweighed by the effective £2.5bn cuts to working-age benefits. While there were bigger cuts in 2012 when child benefit was removed from higher earners, this year’s squeeze will fall on low- and middle-income families. The new analysis suggests these families are set for an average loss of £190 this year alone, though some will be far worse off. There are four key benefit cuts this year. Working-age benefits will be frozen for a third year, saving £1.9bn and affecting almost 11 million families. The 3% real-terms cut in working-age benefits this year will be by far the biggest of the freeze, set to last four years. A measure limiting benefit claims to a family’s first two children, costing up to £2,780 for a family having a third child, saves £400m this year and affects 150,000 families. The withdrawal of the family element of support for new tax credit and universal credit claims from families with children will cost families up to £545. It saves the public purse £200m this year and will affect 400,000 families.

Finally, the rollout of the controversial universal credit system, which combines several benefits into one payment, saves £200m because some claimants have lower entitlements compared with the existing system, especially the long-term sick and working families. It comes just days after Paul Johnson, head of the respected Institute of Fiscal Studies, warned that Britain was nowhere near out of austerity. Theresa May’s alliance with the DUP is facing fresh criticism after it emerged that the Government is set to protect Northern Ireland from free school meal cuts due to be imposed on poor children in England. The cuts planned for England stand in sharp contrast to the situation in Northern Ireland, where children of the “working poor” will get stronger protection. In legislation due before MPs today, English families on universal credit will see the income threshold for free school meals slashed to £7,400 a year. But in Northern Ireland, where the Government has just taken direct control of spending budgets, the same threshold for eligibility will be nearly double that rate, at £14,000. Theresa May already faces claims that she has “bought” the Democratic Unionist Party’s support with a pledge of £1bn in extra funds for Northern Ireland, at a time when the rest of the UK continues to suffer from Tory austerity.

I don’t have a problem with city councils charging customers to use their council parking facilities but it must be proportionate but what residents strongly object to is when people from outside use residential car parking bays which is for the residents those people are denying the residents the use of their car parking space or outsiders parking on the pavements blocking wheelchair users and pedestrians access to the pavements they have to walk around the badly parked cars which is a constant nightmare and communities should take back control of their residence car parking by having a residential parking schemes in their area like what they do in some parts of the UK. It’s been purported in the daily mail of increased car parking charges for some local authorities to plug holes in their budget. Motorists face steep hikes in parking charges to plug holes in council budgets. Car park spaces and residents’ permits will cost up to 45 per cent more. Some town halls are bringing in fees on Sundays to catch shoppers and churchgoers. Householders are already facing an above-inflation rise in council tax next month, with bills expected to go up by as much as £100 for the average property. A number of local authorities are in extreme financial difficulties with much of the pressure coming from the rising cost of social care.

The Government has been accused of “papering over the cracks” after it announced a new funding formula for schools that will see budgets fall in real terms and which “does nothing” to reverse cuts that have already been made. Tory cuts are starving schools of the funding they need to deliver a first-class education. Crippling underfunding across our city is driving up class sizes and forcing schools to cut corners. Justine Greening, the former Education Secretary, said schools will be given a funding rise of 0.5 per cent per pupil next year and a 1 per cent increase in 2019-20. The most under-funded schools will see their budgets rise by 3 per cent. Ms Greening announced last July that an additional £1.3bn will be invested in primary and secondary education. However, the rise for most schools is lower than the current 2.9 per cent rate of inflation, meaning it equates to a funding cut in real terms. The former Education Secretary also made no mention of any plans to reverse previous cuts to school budgets, which Labour said have totalled £2.7bn in real terms since 2015. Under the new National Funding Formula, primary schools will receive a minimum of £3,500 per pupil and secondary schools will get £4,800. Announcing the changes, Ms Greening told MPs: “This is an historic reform. It means, for the first time, the resources that the Government is investing in our schools will be distributed according to a formula based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country.”  “Addressing these simple but damaging inequalities will represent the biggest improvement in the school funding system for decades.”

Britain’s housebuilding sector shrank at its sharpest pace on record at the start of the year, according to official figures.

The 9% downturn was the biggest month-on-month fall shown by data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) going back to the start of 2010.

It contributed to a bigger-than-expected decline for the wider construction sector, which contracted by 3.4% – the largest since June 2012.

The setback is likely to come as a disappointment for ministers seeking to boost the number of homes.

There was speculation that the demise of construction giant Carillion may also have hit the figures. The ONS said it could not comment on the impact of individual firms.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “Rising interest rates and Brexit uncertainty are proving to be a toxic combination for the construction sector.”

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said: “The volatility of this sector suggests some bounceback is likely, although the recent bad weather presents a downside risk.”

Official figures also showed the manufacturing sector – which has been buoyed recently by the strength of the global economy and the weakness of the pound – only managed a rise of 0.1%, though it was the ninth month in a row of expansion.

GDP grew by just 1.7% last year – the slowest of the G7 advanced economies.

The slowdown has been attributed to the Brexit vote, which saw a collapse in the pound, driving up inflation and squeezing household spending, as well as creating business uncertainty seen as weighing on investment.

The Conservatives are braced for big losses in May’s local elections, after a poll found that few voters in London believe the party’s claim that its councils can spend less but still provide high-quality local services. The survey, commissioned by former Conservative treasurer Lord Ashcroft, suggests only three in ten voters in the capital see the Conservatives as the party of low council tax. A mere 18% believe Tory-run boroughs deliver on the promise of lower bills and better service. It will nevertheless make worrying reading at Conservative HQ, where analysts believe it may reflect a nationwide trend.

When I look into the conservative policies I’m more than convinced that there is more bad news for them in the form of a meltdown for them and I’m more incline too urge all to vote Labour on the 3 May in local elections 2018

 

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