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 Post subject: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:16 am 
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Good morning.

I am very annoyed this morning to see that the Tories - in the form of William Hague - are attempting to subvert democracy. Again.

Our elected representatives have no business having secret ballots on any vote concerning the conduct of Parliament.
That's why we have the lobby system, so that it can be recorded how MPs vote.
The electorate must be allowed to know how their MPs vote - how else can we judge whether they are supporting or opposing legislation on our behalf? Making any vote secret is removing our scrutiny of those we elect.

This idea may be only applicable to the election of the Speaker of the House now - but it would set a dangerous precedent.

The convention that the main parties take turns in supplying the Speaker has not always applied - Boothroyd and Martin were both Labour - and the Tories are doing this in the hope that the next Speaker is from Labour.
They are thus hoping to reduce the number of Labour MPs who can vote on Parliamentary business - and in a hung Parliament where a majority might depend on a confidence and supply arrangement that one vote could be crucial.

What the Tories are doing is tinkering with established Parliamentary convention - there for a reason - and attempting to gerrymander.
It's appalling behaviour.

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 Post subject: Tuesday 26th March 2015
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:18 am 
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Morning all.
Quote:
Britain Elects @britainelects · 9h 9 hours ago

Latest YouGov poll (24 - 25 Mar):
LAB - 35% (-)
CON - 34% (-1)
UKIP - 12% (-)
LDEM - 8% (-)
GRN - 6% (-)


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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:36 am 
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Morning.

Blood pressure peaked already, James Naughtie doing a biog report of Ed Miliband and of course in his opening statement....'political fratricide'.


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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:38 am 
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Morning - can you merge our threads please? Started before you this morning!

More on Troubled Families. Except they're not. Troubled.

Wave 2 of the Troubled Families Programme is now being rolled out. Tameside is one place where it's starting.
See the poorsideoflife.wordpress

Single parents who happen to be out of work, families who may have a few problems with debt of housing (caused by benefit problems more often than not) are being targeted for this programme.
In Tameside, Chartered Housing has the contract to attach families to the programme; each family attracts an "attachment" fee of £1,000; if the family is signed up, there is a "results" fee of another £800.

These families are not "troubled" in the sense that they have multiple issues as with the original parameters for this programme - they are just ordinary families with a few problems.
Once signed up, they become a "troubled family" and subject to the monitoring of their lives by social and key workers delivering this programme.
The target for Tameside is 1,750 families.

This is disgusting.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:40 am 
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Deleted as duplicate threads have been merged.


Last edited by yahyah on Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:42 am 
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& Ephie, I heard that this morning and immediately thought how Tories always chunter about transparency in union ballots, yet seem to want, as you so well expressed, something different when it suits them.

Scary stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:45 am 
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Twilight Zone. :shock:

Tuesday?

EDIT: This post no longer makes sense. But for a brief moment...

:P

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Last edited by Swarthlander on Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:49 am 
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Ah Thursday, phew!

I see the Tories pulled a fast one about VAT. John Mann not a happy chappie on R4.
Love and War I suppose.

Good Morning. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 7:50 am 
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Another restless night I'm afraid with far too many thoughts. However when thinking about my sons I did think some things are worth a mention, not specifically their individual circumstances but how detached those with wealth or money seem from the world that our young have to navigate today. 'And yes I blame Thatcherism or neo-liberalism as it is sometimes called. Yet today we have a government that seem completely blind to its results and are hell-bent on making things worse. I guess when you can pass on your own wealth on to your kids you're somewhat sheltered from the circumstances you impose on the rest. The realities that Tories speak of are in my book lies, more lies and yet more. What follows may be somewhat random with little cohesion, so if disjointed please bear with me and appreciate the message.

I'll start with tuition fees. Nowadays even the most basic of jobs often require university degrees given the relative lack of employment. Something went wrong along the way and for my part I blame Labour as much as Tory for the ridiculous number of university students. I don't think there's anything august about an academic path, putting it simply those who are not so suited are not the lesser for it and should not be condemned to a less prestigious existence , particularly when it comes to money. Those who are fortunate enough to have their breaks are no more deserving than the rest. Why should the efforts of those who clean our streets, tend to our sick or are otherwise employed without the luxury of choice be worth any less. I've sometimes sold to those with relative wealth and they're always after a bargain. As I would often ask, 'Would you get out of bed for the wages those who make your product have to?' I did say this would be disjointed.

Anyway tuition fees. When what was it? 10% of us attended uni and were offered grants. Yes we'd be overdrawn or require summer jobs and/or part-time work to make ends meet but we were not burdened by thirty year loans even before we'd begun our careers. As for the rest of us, even if pay and prestige was somewhat less, we were offered proper trade apprenticeships or training sponsored by our employers, either in-house or at technical colleges. 'And no I'm not suggesting that women are any the less deserving of parity, indeed my own mother worked as soon as she could, but a single wage was once enough to support a family.

I hate what this world has become for our youth. Debt, insecure and/or low wage economy and the ridiculous housing costs they have to endure. So where did I start? With my sons. One of them has a management role that back in the day would have been salaried, whereas he now works on an hourly rate, his hours are not guaranteed from one week to the next, neither is there a premium for evening or weekend work. His (common law) wife works part-time with professional qualifications and is nevertheless on relatively low pay. My grand-daughter shares a bedroom with her eight year old (half) brother and they live in social housing. I have no idea whether or not they get Housing Benefit but they do get Tax Credits. It seems there are some, such as IDS for example, who think them undeserving of separate rooms. It makes me sick.

As for my youngest, he recently returned home after a broken relationship. I'm not saying that he wouldn't have otherwise but it was during a period of unemployment. I just see this as putting additional stresses and strains upon our youth and their relationships. They are our future and it sickens me that so many of them are building their lives with so little security. He is working now btw and has been taken on by the company that use the agency he worked for, but as I once said in the other place, he is vastly over-qualified for the role.

I'm not even going to proof-read because I don't want to ramble on any more, so shall leave this as it is. I've posted here because ephemerid knows what day it is.

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:01 am 
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Mafterevenoon all...

UKIP revolution anyone? (Predictions based on opinion polls from 08 Mar 2015 to 25 Mar 2015, sampling 11,242 people.)

Attachment:
ukipproj0.GIF
ukipproj0.GIF [ 17.87 KiB | Viewed 9965 times ]


...and isn't Farridge standing in Thanet South?

Attachment:
ukipproj2.GIF
ukipproj2.GIF [ 17.13 KiB | Viewed 9965 times ]


I'm absolutely totally convinced that the BBC and SKY and everyone will be rushing to plaster these poll results all over the media to present a...what's that? CCHQ/Murkydochia/Westmonster have found some more shiny squirrels?...oh good - that's more like it...'political fratricide' sounds much better :o

Also, wrt the 'level pegging' in the polls, is this the 'Budget Bounce' and without it, are Labour 4 points up?

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:08 am 
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Threads merged.


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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:24 am 
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Lonewolfie wrote:
Mafterevenoon all...

UKIP revolution anyone? (Predictions based on opinion polls from 08 Mar 2015 to 25 Mar 2015, sampling 11,242 people.)

Attachment:
ukipproj0.GIF


...and isn't Farridge standing in Thanet South?

Attachment:
ukipproj2.GIF


I'm absolutely totally convinced that the BBC and SKY and everyone will be rushing to plaster these poll results all over the media to present a...what's that? CCHQ/Murkydochia/Westmonster have found some more shiny squirrels?...oh good - that's more like it...'political fratricide' sounds much better :o

Also, wrt the 'level pegging' in the polls, is this the 'Budget Bounce' and without it, are Labour 4 points up?


We need Anatoly for the clear picture on these things but I think that electoral calculus have almost certainly got it wrong as far as UKIP are concerned - not dreadfully wrong, but I would think that Carswell is one of the safest MPs in the country (although exactly what he's doing in UKIP is another question) and the constituency polling I've seen for Thanet South doesn't make Farage a ruanway but it does make him fairly likely.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:29 am 
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A Welsh charity helping people deal with debt problems have had an 84% increase in demand for their services in the last three years.

Their chief exec says 'He said: “Falling behind on paying off debts due to borrowing is bad enough, but when people are struggling with everyday living costs, the situation for individuals and their families becomes a crisis that society cannot ignore.”

The really hard hit areas are, unsurprisingly, the ex-industrial parts of Wales that have suffered so much in the last thirty years.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales ... ce-8921153


Last edited by yahyah on Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:30 am 
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adam wrote:
Lonewolfie wrote:
Mafterevenoon all...

UKIP revolution anyone? (Predictions based on opinion polls from 08 Mar 2015 to 25 Mar 2015, sampling 11,242 people.)

Attachment:
ukipproj0.GIF


...and isn't Farridge standing in Thanet South?

Attachment:
ukipproj2.GIF


I'm absolutely totally convinced that the BBC and SKY and everyone will be rushing to plaster these poll results all over the media to present a...what's that? CCHQ/Murkydochia/Westmonster have found some more shiny squirrels?...oh good - that's more like it...'political fratricide' sounds much better :o

Also, wrt the 'level pegging' in the polls, is this the 'Budget Bounce' and without it, are Labour 4 points up?


We need Anatoly for the clear picture on these things but I think that electoral calculus have almost certainly got it wrong as far as UKIP are concerned - not dreadfully wrong, but I would think that Carswell is one of the safest MPs in the country (although exactly what he's doing in UKIP is another question) and the constituency polling I've seen for Thanet South doesn't make Farage a ruanway but it does make him fairly likely.


Accepted and fair enough - still looks good though and certainly goes against the received wisdom of the MSM and the 'UKIP to hold balance of power' bullsh1t :)

(and my position on polls is the same as it's always been - they're pretty much all b******s)

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:50 am 
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Thank you Refitman!

Re. the Speaker and Hague's grubby little move - someone called Walter Heliotrope (who writes like someone I know) has told me that the votes even out as the 3 Deputies plus the Speaker are equally represented.
This is untrue - Deputy Speakers are allowed to continue to contribute to debates, they can vote at divisions, and they can do both while actually in the chair. See - www.parliament.uk where there is a good explanation.

Re. OGRFG's "announcement" on a VAT rise.....some are saying that Hancock let slip that this was known about for some time, and the only reason Osborne didn't mention it when questioned (5 times) at the Select Committee is because they wanted the PM to announce the good news at his last PMQs of the Parliament.
I do not believe a word of it. Osborne didn't answer because he knows that if he remains Chancellor he will have to get his "savings" from somewhere and he will increase VAT (my bet would be increasing it on domestic fuel); Cameron wanted to impress on his (hopefully) final outing in the House with his adoring family looking on.
He doesn't give a fiddlers' fart if Osborne is stitched up because of it; and if there is any truth in the idea that all this was planned to wrong-foot Labour it doesn't mean that they're not lying yet again.

Re. meeting with my PPC yesterday. Thanks again for all the ideas for my statement - in the end, I drafted several short ones using some of the ideas you gave me plus a few of my own.
I thought Matthew could then choose which are best for the leaflet - there will be other contributors too, and offering a few options means there is less likely to be repetition and/or he won't have to ask for more!

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 8:58 am 
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ephemerid wrote:
Thank you Refitman!

Re. the Speaker and Hague's grubby little move - someone called Walter Heliotrope (who writes like someone I know) has told me that the votes even out as the 3 Deputies plus the Speaker are equally represented.
This is untrue - Deputy Speakers are allowed to continue to contribute to debates, they can vote at divisions, and they can do both while actually in the chair. See - http://www.parliament.uk where there is a good explanation.

Re. OGRFG's "announcement" on a VAT rise.....some are saying that Hancock let slip that this was known about for some time, and the only reason Osborne didn't mention it when questioned (5 times) at the Select Committee is because they wanted the PM to announce the good news at his last PMQs of the Parliament.
I do not believe a word of it. Osborne didn't answer because he knows that if he remains Chancellor he will have to get his "savings" from somewhere and he will increase VAT (my bet would be increasing it on domestic fuel); Cameron wanted to impress on his (hopefully) final outing in the House with his adoring family looking on.
He doesn't give a fiddlers' fart if Osborne is stitched up because of it; and if there is any truth in the idea that all this was planned to wrong-foot Labour it doesn't mean that they're not lying yet again.

Re. meeting with my PPC yesterday. Thanks again for all the ideas for my statement - in the end, I drafted several short ones using some of the ideas you gave me plus a few of my own.
I thought Matthew could then choose which are best for the leaflet - there will be other contributors too, and offering a few options means there is less likely to be repetition and/or he won't have to ask for more!

John Mann has accused Osborne of a breach of the SC system:

Quote:
George Osborne has been accused of the “most serious breach ever” of the parliamentary select committee system after he refused to rule out a future VAT rise a day before David Cameron announced such a pledge.

Although the Chancellor ducked five opportunities to forswear a VAT rise 24 hours earlier at the Treasury select committee, business minister Matthew Hancock revealed the decision had already been taken by the leadership.

Labour’s John Mann accused Osborne of misleading the committee in the “most serious breach of the select committee system ever” and claimed his “integrity is now in question”.

The Bassetlaw MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Hancock “let the cat out of the bag by showing that this was pre-set – that holds parliament into contempt”.

He said: “If the governor of the Bank of England or the financial regulator did that in front of our committee, I think they would have to resign because we are there in order to hold whoever is the government to account on a cross-party basis on what they are saying and what the facts are.

“For the chancellor of the exchequer to mislead the committee and then for it to be a political set-up the next day, what it does is it brings into disrepute the whole select committee system,” he added.

On Tuesday, Osborne told the committee: “We don’t need to increase VAT. I couldn’t be clearer. We do not need to increase VAT because our plans involve saving money on the welfare budget and government departments.”

But the chancellor declined at the time to give a “cast-iron guarantee” to match Labour’s pledge not to increase VAT over the five years of the next parliament.
(AP via AS)


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:02 am 
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Picked this up yesterday....

A complaint to the United Nations was today launched on behalf of disabled people in the UK whose rights have been breached by the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF). The ILF, which is the subject of an on-going and desperate battle between disabled people and the Department for Work and Pensions (1), is high on the priority list for disabled people deciding how to vote at the forthcoming election. The complaint brought by Inclusion London (2) on behalf of two disabled women, Nicky Baker and Dr Melanie Wilson Jones, alleges that the government has violated Articles 17, 19, 20, 30 and 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), ratified by the UK in 2009 (3).

http://dpac.uk.net/2015/03/uk-disabled-people-appeal-to-the-un-over-independent-living-fund-closure/

...it'll go with this UN report...

http://direitoamoradia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/A_HRC_25_54_Add.2_ENG.pdf

...even though it says this...

'The United Kingdom was the first country to ratify the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in 1951, and has ratified several international human rights instruments. In carrying out her assessment, the Special Rapporteur is guided by these instruments, in particular in relation to the prohibition of discrimination and the protection of the right to adequate housing, as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living.'

...it is dismissed as a 'misleading Marxist diatribe'...

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/03/ministers-savage-un-report-abolition-bedroom-tax

..and this UN Report, when it arrives...

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/stuart-weir/britain-faces-un-investigation-over-systemic-violations-of-disability-rights

Here in Hope, we believe(TM) that common sense and decency will prevail after May the 7th and the people who have triggered these reports, and the conditions for them to be necessary, will be forced to account for their actions.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:07 am 
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utopiandreams wrote:
Another restless night I'm afraid with far too many thoughts. However when thinking about my sons I did think some things are worth a mention, not specifically their individual circumstances but how detached those with wealth or money seem from the world that our young have to navigate today. 'And yes I blame Thatcherism or neo-liberalism as it is sometimes called. Yet today we have a government that seem completely blind to its results and are hell-bent on making things worse. I guess when you can pass on your own wealth on to your kids you're somewhat sheltered from the circumstances you impose on the rest. The realities that Tories speak of are in my book lies, more lies and yet more. What follows may be somewhat random with little cohesion, so if disjointed please bear with me and appreciate the message.

I'll start with tuition fees. Nowadays even the most basic of jobs often require university degrees given the relative lack of employment. Something went wrong along the way and for my part I blame Labour as much as Tory for the ridiculous number of university students. I don't think there's anything august about an academic path, putting it simply those who are not so suited are not the lesser for it and should not be condemned to a less prestigious existence , particularly when it comes to money. Those who are fortunate enough to have their breaks are no more deserving than the rest. Why should the efforts of those who clean our streets, tend to our sick or are otherwise employed without the luxury of choice be worth any less. I've sometimes sold to those with relative wealth and they're always after a bargain. As I would often ask, 'Would you get out of bed for the wages those who make your product have to?' I did say this would be disjointed.

Anyway tuition fees. When what was it? 10% of us attended uni and were offered grants. Yes we'd be overdrawn or require summer jobs and/or part-time work to make ends meet but we were not burdened by thirty year loans even before we'd begun our careers. As for the rest of us, even if pay and prestige was somewhat less, we were offered proper trade apprenticeships or training sponsored by our employers, either in-house or at technical colleges. 'And no I'm not suggesting that women are any the less deserving of parity, indeed my own mother worked as soon as she could, but a single wage was once enough to support a family.

I hate what this world has become for our youth. Debt, insecure and/or low wage economy and the ridiculous housing costs they have to endure. So where did I start? With my sons. One of them has a management role that back in the day would have been salaried, whereas he now works on an hourly rate, his hours are not guaranteed from one week to the next, neither is there a premium for evening or weekend work. His (common law) wife works part-time with professional qualifications and is nevertheless on relatively low pay. My grand-daughter shares a bedroom with her eight year old (half) brother and they live in social housing. I have no idea whether or not they get Housing Benefit but they do get Tax Credits. It seems there are some, such as IDS for example, who think them undeserving of separate rooms. It makes me sick.

As for my youngest, he recently returned home after a broken relationship. I'm not saying that he wouldn't have otherwise but it was during a period of unemployment. I just see this as putting additional stresses and strains upon our youth and their relationships. They are our future and it sickens me that so many of them are building their lives with so little security. He is working now btw and has been taken on by the company that use the agency he worked for, but as I once said in the other place, he is vastly over-qualified for the role.

I'm not even going to proof-read because I don't want to ramble on any more, so shall leave this as it is. I've posted here because ephemerid knows what day it is.


Our son is in the same sort of position. He has four grown children. Three daughters and a son. Two with special needs. They rent a 3 bedroomed house from a housing association.
Their eldest daughter who has a good job, has broken up with her boyfriend of 6 years [he kept emptying out their housekeeping account] and has just returned home, so once again their small dining room has had to be turned into a bedroom.
The two younger girls share a bedroom, but one of them is autistic and doesn't sleep well at times and disturbs the youngest who is potentially very bright, which makes her tired for school. It also makes having a quiet corner to do her homework impossible.

I really worry about the pressure it puts on my son. He doesn't handle stress that well. He has just been promoted but the wages aren't that good so they're more or less stuck and always likely to have their two special needs children living at home.
Mr Ohso hasn't been too well lately and I saw the panic in my son's eyes when he suddenly realised that his dad might soon be needing help. But we shan't do it to him, we're planning on moving away far enough that it won't arise. I've been a carer and know what it can do.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:20 am 
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Good day all.
This was briefly mentioned on the BBC this morning:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32057948

Quote:
NHS problems 'at their worst since 1990s'

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:24 am 
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And there are times when the worries and hardship slip into insignificance.
Mr Ohso has been taking our special needs grandson to his 'apprenticeship' job in the mornings and as part of trying to make him learn to be independent and the fact we're now on a low income J has been paying for the petrol.
He is finishing the apprenticeship in a months time as they'd said they wouldn't be keeping him on, had stopped his training and had him valeting their cars. He's sorted himself out a job at a local hotel and is already working there two evenings a week, so won't get sanctioned. He'll be able to bike there so late nights won't be a problem.

This morning he offered to carry on paying his granddad every week to 'help out'.
Needless to say Mr Ohso said no, but wasn't that lovely...

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:33 am 
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The other day I mentioned with some sadness that even traditional Labour voters around these parts, some of them anyway, are drifting toward UKIP. It isn't that they're racist thankfully, I'd hate a return to the fifties, but many of them are out-competed when it comes to low-paid work, which quite frankly is largely what's available. Anyway one of the merits of freedom of movement is that my youngest is learning Polish and Hungarian. I have warned him and he has already learned some lessons. For example, and I think I can say this on an adult forum, one of the greetings he was taught was, 'suck my dick'. Obviously he thought it meant otherwise.

Another amusing anecdote was when he once found a Polish lad tucked away between some racking. Things were winding down that shift as they were having a 'stress day' the following morning, that is when they were being tested with extra (pre-Christmas) demand. When he asked what he was doing, the Pole answered that he was hiding, his supervisor had told him he was on hiding. After a brief period of puzzlement my son burst into laughter. "No", he said, "you're on hygiene." That's what they call brushing or tidying up.

Edit: when I say out-competed I'm assuming what the agencies get for their money or rather the extras that they charge the foreign workers. I cannot be sure but lots of them are bused in by taxi and minibus, presumably from overcrowded hostels or suchlike. I wonder how much the agency charges for the privilege and no doubt make their initial travel arrangements from overseas.

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Last edited by utopiandreams on Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:36 am 
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Lonewolfie wrote:
Mafterevenoon all...

UKIP revolution anyone? (Predictions based on opinion polls from 08 Mar 2015 to 25 Mar 2015, sampling 11,242 people.)

Attachment:
ukipproj0.GIF


...and isn't Farridge standing in Thanet South?

Attachment:
ukipproj2.GIF


I'm absolutely totally convinced that the BBC and SKY and everyone will be rushing to plaster these poll results all over the media to present a...what's that? CCHQ/Murkydochia/Westmonster have found some more shiny squirrels?...oh good - that's more like it...'political fratricide' sounds much better :o

Also, wrt the 'level pegging' in the polls, is this the 'Budget Bounce' and without it, are Labour 4 points up?


Wow! look at how many seats the LibDems will lose.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:38 am 
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There were a few posts yesterday about claims from the Tories that they have saved money on social security.

I've had a little think, and this is what I've worked out so far - bear in mind this is only what I know and there are so many different stats and budgets etc. it's difficult to keep track of it all, plus we have to account for spending too.

Also, what Osborne calls "welfare" and we think of as social security are two very different things. He includes things like social care (LA funded) and various NHS provisions in his definition (see the breakdown of how he defines it at the IFS website)

There has been no saving on JSA or ESA - because what's saved on one gets moved elsewhere.
In 2010, JSA cost £5BN PA. It's now down to £3.5BN PA.
In 2010, ESA/IB cost £12BN PA. It's now up to £13BN.
This looks like a saving of £0.5BN - but the Work Programme has cost £5BN.

There has been no saving on Housing Benefit - in fact it has increased by £5BN this Parliament.
Working people claiming HB are now more than a million (600,000 in 2010)
DWP claimed that spare rooms cost the taxpayer a million a day - £365M PA. DWP issued £345M in Discretionary Housing Payment funding to LAs in the first year. In theory, the saving in the first year would have been £20M once DHP was taken into account. But that would have been more than offset by increased rents in the private sector, so there is probably no real saving at all.

We are now spending more on in-work benefits for the low-paid than we spend on the main out-of-work benefits if HB is included.
There have been no savings in terms of what is actually paid out to claimants - the spend has increased overall.

What we don't know - because LAs funding is devolved for some things - is how much has been saved by cutting the block grants for local "welfare". Places vary, but most have cut social care and emergency provision for homelessness/domestic violence/care leavers etc.
NHS cuts have removed many community services for elderly and disabled people too; plus the changes to DLA have removed some people's access to services through the passporting system.

Osborne is quick to define "welfare" as all these disparate things when he is preparing his nasty little pie charts for taxpayers.
But he cannot claim - and neither can IDS - that any savings have been made on social security because they haven't.

Between them, they have shuffled people around on to schemes and programmes, pretending all those people aren't claiming JSA any more, when in fact they are but the payments they get are called something else.
The numbers claiming ESA haven't changed a jot - people are getting sick at the same sort of rate they always were; the bill is increasing because more people are being (correctly) allocated to the Support Group.
There are some savings on Income Support, but that's mainly because lone parents are being shunted on to JSA much sooner than before and are more likely to be encouraged to work part-time and claim tax credits and childcare - which saves very little if anything overall.
There are small savings on DLA - not because of PIP but because of DLA rule changes; the PIP claimant count is too small to register the effects yet, but the planned savings of 20% on an annual spend of £12.5BN will only net about £2BN IF it works as anticipated.

Osborne reckons he has saved £20BN. Not on benefits, he hasn't. He might have done on all the other things he includes in "welfare".
IDS reckons he's saved various hundreds of millions from various schemes and changes - but he's spent billions on "reforms".

My verdict is - they have failed to save any money whatsoever and have increased the overall benefit spend, despite removing income and other vital support from the claimants.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:52 am 
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ephemerid wrote:
...
My verdict is - they have failed to save any money whatsoever and have increased the overall benefit spend, despite removing income and other vital support from the claimants.


Thanks ephemerid, I can always count on you to elucidate that which I merely allude to, which may explain why you're a Secretary of State and I'm merely a committee member. I'd rather play games than do the real work.

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 9:53 am 
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refitman wrote:
Morning all.
Quote:
Britain Elects @britainelects · 9h 9 hours ago

Latest YouGov poll (24 - 25 Mar):
LAB - 35% (-)
CON - 34% (-1)
UKIP - 12% (-)
LDEM - 8% (-)
GRN - 6% (-)


Still some odd weighting on that one, the 18-24 age group shows the Tories ahead (which is clearly ludicrous) and the newspaper weightings are skewed more than normal; yet, despite all their best efforts to skew the figures (knowingly or unknowingly) they still can't manufacture a consistent Tory lead!! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:07 am 
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Osborne will not tell the electorate how he plans to achieve the £12 Billion he says he will cut from "welfare".

If he cuts social security (and as we know his definition of welfare is very flexible) this is what I think he would do.....

The Tories have already announced no HB for 18-21's - I think this might be extended to 25-year-olds. They'll keep the bedroom tax.
They will freeze all benefits except pensions, claiming zero inflation as the guide for uprating.
They will keep sanctions; as time goes on, more people will reach the "3-strikes" rule and be out of benefit for 3 years.

They will remove the WRAG component of ESA - those claimants already have some time-limiting and jobsearch conditionality, and I think on those grounds he will bring all but the most seriously ill into line with JSA. That will reduce the conts-based ESA from 12 months to 6 months.
I think he will probably cut Support Group rate by about £5 to bring it down to what WRAG is now.

2 years ago, he insisted that the above-inflation uprating of sickness benefits applied to all of them. In fact, for ESA, that uprating did not apply to the whole of the various payments - it applied only to components, and the basic rate was uprated at the same level as other benefits.
I would expect more of this sort of sleight-of-hand from him if he gets back into office.

If he does these things, he could probably save about £4BN - so where would the rest come from? I suspect that Universal Credit will account for some more - there will be many more people subject to sanction; and in time Housing Benefit will be sanctioned when UC is disallowed.
There are also hundreds of thousands of people in self-employment now who will not have sufficient earnings to reach the UC income floor - they will have to give up their business if they cannot continue without the UC elements of tax credits and HB, and some of them may get sanctioned anyway for stopping work depending on the circumstances.

There is no question in my mind that he'll find a way to make these savings, and it will cause immense social hardship if not unrest.

We have to get these bastards out.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:22 am 
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Good-morning, friends.
Are party manifestos out today?


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:23 am 
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@Ephemerid
Quote:
We have to get these bastards out.
I'm with you :rock:


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:36 am 
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citizenJA wrote:
Good-morning, friends.
Are party manifestos out today?

Unfortunately not, which is why Cameron wanted the debates in March.


LC, Image


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:37 am 
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utopiandreams wrote:
The other day I mentioned with some sadness that even traditional Labour voters around these parts, some of them anyway, are drifting toward UKIP. It isn't that they're racist thankfully, I'd hate a return to the fifties, but many of them are out-competed when it comes to low-paid work, which quite frankly is largely what's available. Anyway one of the merits of freedom of movement is that my youngest is learning Polish and Hungarian. I have warned him and he has already learned some lessons. For example, and I think I can say this on an adult forum, one of the greetings he was taught was, 'suck my dick'. Obviously he thought it meant otherwise.

Another amusing anecdote was when he once found a Polish lad tucked away between some racking. Things were winding down that shift as they were having a 'stress day' the following morning, that is when they were being tested with extra (pre-Christmas) demand. When he asked what he was doing, the Pole answered that he was hiding, his supervisor had told him he was on hiding. After a brief period of puzzlement my son burst into laughter. "No", he said, "you're on hygiene." That's what they call brushing or tidying up.

Edit: when I say out-competed I'm assuming what the agencies get for their money or rather the extras that they charge the foreign workers. I cannot be sure but lots of them are bused in by taxi and minibus, presumably from overcrowded hostels or suchlike. I wonder how much the agency charges for the privilege and no doubt make their initial travel arrangements from overseas.
Wonderful post - your son's work experiences, interesting reading. Your edit addition in the final paragraph is correct - that's how some employers keep labour costs down - they use agencies to cheat all workers.


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:41 am 
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utopiandreams wrote:
I've posted here because ephemerid knows what day it is.


Indeed. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:43 am 
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ohsocynical wrote:
And there are times when the worries and hardship slip into insignificance.
Mr Ohso has been taking our special needs grandson to his 'apprenticeship' job in the mornings and as part of trying to make him learn to be independent and the fact we're now on a low income J has been paying for the petrol.
He is finishing the apprenticeship in a months time as they'd said they wouldn't be keeping him on, had stopped his training and had him valeting their cars. He's sorted himself out a job at a local hotel and is already working there two evenings a week, so won't get sanctioned. He'll be able to bike there so late nights won't be a problem.

This morning he offered to carry on paying his granddad every week to 'help out'.
Needless to say Mr Ohso said no, but wasn't that lovely...
Thank you for reminding me of a primary duty I work to fulfil. One of my jobs is to help, support, share & cooperate with my family, friends & community.

I ask your pardon if I've neglected this work.


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:44 am 
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A charity director from Age UK has written a piece in the Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general ... ign=DM7716

In it is this chart from the IFS on how the DWP budget gets spent:


Attachments:
Chart of how the benefit bill broken down.png
Chart of how the benefit bill broken down.png [ 34.62 KiB | Viewed 9766 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:49 am 
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gilsey wrote:
utopiandreams wrote:
I've posted here because ephemerid knows what day it is.


Indeed. :)

I'll blame that on auto-complete :roll: :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:55 am 
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Quote:
The House of Commons Procedure Committee... re-examined the means of electing a Speaker and recommended a new system which came into effect in 2007 and was first used in June 2009...Under the new system, candidates must be nominated by at least twelve members, of whom at least three must be of a different party from the candidate. Each member may nominate no more than one candidate.

The House then votes by secret ballot; an absolute majority (in the UK sense, i.e. more than 50% of the votes cast) is required for victory. If no candidate wins a majority, then the individual with the fewest votes is eliminated, as are any candidates who receive less than five percent of the votes cast.

The House continues to vote, for several rounds if necessary, until one member receives the requisite majority. Then, the House votes on a formal motion to appoint the member in question to the Speakership. (In the unlikely event that this motion fails, the House must hold a fresh series of ballots on all of the nominees.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaker_of ... Kingdom%29
Is this accurate?


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 10:55 am 
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@ephe

My understanding is that Osborne's 'savings' on the welfare budget are not measured against the actual level in 2010 when they got in, but against some dodgy projections picked from whichever budget/autumn statement suited their purpose, whether theirs or the previous govts.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:05 am 
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Parliament will be dissolved on Monday. Dave going to the Palace and all that malarkey.

That's the official start of the campaign.


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:06 am 
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danesclose wrote:
Good day all.
This was briefly mentioned on the BBC this morning:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32057948

Quote:
NHS problems 'at their worst since 1990s'
'Finances have become critical' - Kings Fund on NHS
Services in the NHS in England are deteriorating in a way not seen since the early 1990s, according to a leading health think tank.

The government says the report shows the NHS has performed well in the face of huge challenges.

But John Appleby, the King's Fund's chief economist, says the service has missed several targets and is heading for a deficit.

"Finances have become critical," he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02msmhr


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:09 am 
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gilsey wrote:
@ephe

My understanding is that Osborne's 'savings' on the welfare budget are not measured against the actual level in 2010 when they got in, but against some dodgy projections picked from whichever budget/autumn statement suited their purpose, whether theirs or the previous govts.

Lies, damned lies and statistics.


Quite, gilsey, somewhat similar to the oft repeated £12.7bn for Health using their own projections of what they thought Labour would have done during this parliamentary term. When a Tory says, 'the reality is' what they really mean is 'here are some figures we conjured up earlier'. What is most annoying is that they're hardly ever challenged on it, certainly not in most msm. The Parliament Channel should employ real-time researchers who can live-feed fact-checkers; it will never happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:11 am 
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So, Clegg believes Charles' letters to government should remain secret.

How very democratic - not !


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:12 am 
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citizenJA wrote:
danesclose wrote:
Good day all.
This was briefly mentioned on the BBC this morning:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32057948

Quote:
NHS problems 'at their worst since 1990s'
'Finances have become critical' - Kings Fund on NHS
Services in the NHS in England are deteriorating in a way not seen since the early 1990s, according to a leading health think tank.

The government says the report shows the NHS has performed well in the face of huge challenges.

But John Appleby, the King's Fund's chief economist, says the service has missed several targets and is heading for a deficit.

"Finances have become critical," he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02msmhr


Can somebody please remind me who was in power in the early 90s?

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:14 am 
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citizenJA wrote:
Quote:
The House of Commons Procedure Committee... re-examined the means of electing a Speaker and recommended a new system which came into effect in 2007 and was first used in June 2009...Under the new system, candidates must be nominated by at least twelve members, of whom at least three must be of a different party from the candidate. Each member may nominate no more than one candidate.

The House then votes by secret ballot; an absolute majority (in the UK sense, i.e. more than 50% of the votes cast) is required for victory. If no candidate wins a majority, then the individual with the fewest votes is eliminated, as are any candidates who receive less than five percent of the votes cast.

The House continues to vote, for several rounds if necessary, until one member receives the requisite majority. Then, the House votes on a formal motion to appoint the member in question to the Speakership. (In the unlikely event that this motion fails, the House must hold a fresh series of ballots on all of the nominees.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaker_of ... Kingdom%29
Is this accurate?


It is accurate for electing a Speaker for the first time. When re-electing the Speaker, voting is done via the lobby in the same way as all other votes are taken in the Commons.


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:18 am 
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citizenJA wrote:
danesclose wrote:
Good day all.
This was briefly mentioned on the BBC this morning:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32057948

Quote:
NHS problems 'at their worst since 1990s'
'Finances have become critical' - Kings Fund on NHS
Services in the NHS in England are deteriorating in a way not seen since the early 1990s, according to a leading health think tank.

The government says the report shows the NHS has performed well in the face of huge challenges.

But John Appleby, the King's Fund's chief economist, says the service has missed several targets and is heading for a deficit.

"Finances have become critical," he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02msmhr


Take care with that report because it also gives numbers of GPs etc since the election.

This information is erroneous because the numbers are actually calculated from the previous September, not from May 2010.

Quote:
The number of GPs working in England has grown by 1,300 between 2010 and 2014, according to figures published today.

You might be forgiven for thinking that means they’re up 1,300 under this government, which came into office in May 2010.

But it doesn’t. The figures are annual and they only count the number of GPs as of the end of September each year. So we know how many GPs there were the September before May’s election, and how many there were the September after it. But there’s no way of knowing how many there were at the election, as the UK Statistics Authority wrote last year.


https://fullfact.org/live/2015/mar/gp_n ... ning-40734


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:24 am 
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@Pk1
Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:25 am 
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Good morfternoon.

Does anyone here have any idea how Grants Shapps's "regional tour" is going?


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:29 am 
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pk1 wrote:
citizenJA wrote:
danesclose wrote:
Good day all.
This was briefly mentioned on the BBC this morning:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32057948

Quote:
NHS problems 'at their worst since 1990s'
'Finances have become critical' - Kings Fund on NHS
Services in the NHS in England are deteriorating in a way not seen since the early 1990s, according to a leading health think tank.

The government says the report shows the NHS has performed well in the face of huge challenges.

But John Appleby, the King's Fund's chief economist, says the service has missed several targets and is heading for a deficit.

"Finances have become critical," he said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02msmhr


Take care with that report because it also gives numbers of GPs etc since the election.

This information is erroneous because the numbers are actually calculated from the previous September, not from May 2010.

Quote:
The number of GPs working in England has grown by 1,300 between 2010 and 2014, according to figures published today.

You might be forgiven for thinking that means they’re up 1,300 under this government, which came into office in May 2010.

But it doesn’t. The figures are annual and they only count the number of GPs as of the end of September each year. So we know how many GPs there were the September before May’s election, and how many there were the September after it. But there’s no way of knowing how many there were at the election, as the UK Statistics Authority wrote last year.


https://fullfact.org/live/2015/mar/gp_n ... ning-40734

Morning all. Also we should bear in mind that anyone who has become a GP in this parliament must have started their medical training under Labour.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:32 am 
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https://www.ipso.co.uk/IPSO/rulings/IPS ... html?id=61

' Mr Newmark subsequently initiated private contact with ‘Sophie’ via direct messages, which culminated in an exchange of explicit images. This exchange was the subject of the article. '



So there we have it. Newmark stitched himself up.


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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:33 am 
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gilsey wrote:
utopiandreams wrote:
I've posted here because ephemerid knows what day it is.


Indeed. :)



Erm.........

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:39 am 
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On the topic of employment agencies, I'm guessing they're what Osborne and Cameron describe as wealth creators. You know the type, not those who manufacture or deliver worthwhile services, but those who find ways of creaming off as much as they can from others to create their own wealth. Just look at their paymasters for evidence and then see who Cameron chose for party chair.

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 Post subject: Re: Thursday 26th March
PostPosted: Thu 26 Mar, 2015 11:47 am 
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gilsey and utopian dreams -

You are both quite right - the "savings" the government quotes depend entirely on what parameters they have chosen on any given day.

The way I look at it is to see what was being spent on what (as far as we are allowed to know) and what is being spent now (ditto).

Unless we know what counts as welfare, what counts as actual benefits spending, and how the two are related and calculated, it's virtually impossible to get an accurate picture - but we DO know that more is being spent on social security despite the cuts to individual claimants, and more is being devolved to LAs without the funds to deliver the same level of services which is where savings to central government (if any) are made. IMHO!

On GPs - the numbers are not the same thing as whole-time equivalents, are they? It would be more useful to know how many WTEs there are.
I'll have to go and find out.

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