Sunday 24th June 2012
Topic: Postcode lottery - Benefit cuts
"Benefits could be cut outside of South East"
Source: The Mirror
Extract: Jobless people in the poorest parts of Britain could have their benefits cut in a huge shake-up of the welfare system.
The Tories are considering a postcode system with lower payments for people in areas outside the South East where it is cheaper to live.
The plan emerged as David Cameron declared war on Britain's benefits culture in a major speech in Kent yesterday.
Among other ideas floated by the Prime Minister were: forcing single mums of kids over three back to work; cutting benefits for under-21s; evicting the wealthy from council homes and axing housing benefit for under-25s.
Comment: I'm getting even more disillusioned!"
Monday 25th June 2012
Topic: Welfare reforms - Cameron
"David Cameron unveils sweeping welfare reforms"
Source: The Guardian
Extract: David Cameron has laid down a barrage of new ideas to cut the welfare budget, including linking benefits to wages instead of inflation, a specific £20,000-a-year cap on housing benefit and exploring if more benefits can be paid in kind rather than in cash.
The prime minister also suggested young people might not be entitled to benefits until they have paid contributions and asked whether requirements to seek work should be more intense for those who have not made lengthy contributions to the tax system.
In a vast array of proposals delivered in a speech in Kent on Monday, Cameron pointed out that in some countries claimants are required to undertake work in return for benefits within six months of becoming unemployed and said it might be necessary for those on sickness benefits to do more to improve their health.
He also suggested some single mothers with children as young as three should be required to prepare for work by writing a CV in return for income support.
Comment: I'm put of work, and do not get Income Support, despite my having eighteen customised and distributed CV's to hand on my computer ready for use!
Tuesday 26th June 2012
Topic: Council funding
"Councils will have 'no money' for main services by 2020
Extract: Councils will no longer be able to pay for any libraries, parks, leisure centres or fixing potholes in roads by the end of this decade because of a catastrophic funding crisis, they warned today.
Comment: I wonder if will mean the end of the Free fact-finding holiday missions to the Bahamas to study the feasibility of gaining sales of Lamb Kebab residue flavoured sick-bags currently being studied in Nottingham?
Wednesday 27th June 2012
Topic: Lords reform - Political nepotism
"Elected peers to have pay slashed"
Source: BBC News
Extract: Ministers have decided to slash the pay of future members of a largely elected House of Lords, the BBC has learned.
The move is designed to answer Conservative critics who fear the coalition's proposals for reform could be hugely expensive.
The pay reduction comes after ministers agreed to increase the membership of the reformed chamber from 300 to 450.
The maximum earnings level could be about £45,000 a year - down from the original proposal of about £60,000.
Comment: What about the pay of the 'Unelected' peers? You know, the spoon-in-the-mouth 'arf arf' Mummies boys?
Thursday 28th June 2012
Topic: Nepotism - Government - Cut-backs
"Welfare cuts reward: Fatcat lands £1m bonus for helping to slash disability benefits bill"
Extract: Details of the obscene sum paid to the head of French firm Atos come as David Cameron draws up draconian new welfare cuts.
The fatcat boss of a firm hired to help slash the benefits bill has won a bonus of nearly £1million.
Thierry Breton's bumper payout means he pocketed more than £1.9million last year.
Details of the obscene sum paid to the head of French firm Atos come as David Cameron draws up draconian new welfare cuts.
Atos was brought in to reassess 2.5 million people on incapacity benefit to help the Department for Work and Pensions decide whether they are fit to work.
Mr Breton received his massive pay out despite mounting numbers of successful appeals by people ordered to get a job after being tested by the firm.
Heart attack and lung disease victims are among those judged to be well enough to work.
Comment: Like the other near 4 million of unemployed fit people who cannot find a job?
Friday 29th June 2012
Topic: NHS demolition - Cutbacks
"Are NHS walk-in centres on the way out?"
Source: BBC News
Extract: Walk-in centres are rapidly becoming a casualty of the tougher financial climate in the NHS in England.
The centres - which treat minor ailments without an appointment - were a flagship policy of the previous Labour government.
They are popular with patients but critics say they're not cost-effective.
Figures suggest a quarter have closed in the past year but the government say the services they offered have not been cut.
The centres were meant to relieve pressure on A&E departments by providing easy access to treatment for minor ailments.
Comment: Would you believe the Tories who explicitly promised not to touch "frontline services" and to protect the NHS before the election, had 67% of their members fiddling expenses, Cameron claiming he wouldn't cut EMAs. And pledges to protect school funding from cuts, but instead playing jiggery-pokery with the accounts to disguise reduced funding beneath the veneer of a hollowed-out pupil premium?
They hope that our anger at bankers' bonuses was a flash in the pan. They think we've moved on. And Mr Osborne is hoping that we didn't notice that those who caused this crisis have seen their wealth soar in the last year - they have crashed our economy and made a killing from the salvage.
Yes, Mr Osborne, we remember! Because in the past, the bankers wouldn't have been allowed to get away with this. We used to regulate our financial sector. We had rules to keep everyone safe. But then came Mrs Thatcher, Mr Reagan, Mr Clinton, Mr Blair - they dismantled the protections that wise men had put in place after the last great depression. And, all the time, they were cheered on by Mr Osborne and his friends. Because for the last 30 years, Britain has been built on the myth that if you give money to the rich, it will trickle down. And for 30 years, ordinary people's wages have stagnated, while the mega-rich have plundered the wealth our work creates, and now scuttled the ship. Nepotism is more rife now than ever in the Government of millionaires!
Phew... I feel better for getting that off me chest!
Saturday 30th June 2012
Topic: Royalty costs
"Prince Charles's public funding increases by 11.8% - up to £2,194,000"
Source: BBC News
Extract: The accounts showed the Prince of Wales's funding from grants-in-aid and government departments rose from £1,962,000 in 2010/2011 to £2,194,000.
The cost of travel by air and rail for the prince and the Duchess of Cornwall to attend official engagements was £1,318,000, up from £1.08m.
His spokesman said the spending represented good value for money.
The prince's private income from the Duchy of Cornwall rose by 3% to £18.3m.
Of £9.38m spent on official and charitable duties, £6.7m - or 68% - went on staff costs.
Comment: Oh I am pleased for him!