They always try to hide some really bad news when they’re on the way home for the holidays.
We’ve already seen some headline-grabbing confessions – that Universal Credit has been delayed yet again, and that the Bedroom Tax is pushing more people into rent arrears.
Here is more evidence that the Conservative government is screwing up the UK.
It’s dubbed Take Out The Trash Day – a reference from TV’s The West Wing – by campaigners who accuse the government of trying to bury bad news in a mountain of paper.
Here’s some of the the bad news that’s been dumped:
Rich people get more second homes: The number of people with second homes is soaring despite a housing crisis. There’s been a 19% rise in second homes in the UK in just three years, from 314,000 in 2009/10 to 375,000 in 2013/14.
Meanwhile the number of people expecting to become first-time buyers has fallen in recent years, the Housing Survey shows.
The DWP got told off for its 45p-a-minute phone line: The DWP has been told to set up a freephone line for poor welfare claimants in a scathing report by its own experts. The Social Security Advisory Committee called for reform to “rip-off” 0345 numbers that cost callers on some mobiles 45p a minute.
Its 15 experts called for 0800 numbers or callback services for the most “vulnerable or low income customers” of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Tuition fees are going up: University tuition fees can hit £9,250 a year from September 2017. The rise of £250, the first since 2012, comes after the Tories allowed annual rises with inflation that could let fees hit £11,697 by 2025.
School budgets could be going down: The Tories paved the way to slash school budgets within hours of announcing the tuition fee hike. Education Secretary Justine Greening said schools could face cuts of up to “1.5% per pupil next year” in money they receive from a local authority funding formula.
A special jobs body will be shut down: Education Minister Robert Halfon announced he was taking the axe to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) just hours before MPs go for their summer break. The body was set up in 2008 to help encourage apprenticeships and vocational courses, and claimed to have helped more than 1,600 firms in 2015/16.
Nursing bursaries are being axed: The government confirmed it’s scrapping nursing bursaries worth £6,000 a year next summer in what campaigners fear will prompt an NHS recruitment crisis.
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