Category Archives: Funding

Tories announce lavish new support scheme for businesses – after snubbing Manchester with a pittance

Stung: Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new support package for English areas under Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions in a move that seems time to snub Greater Manchester.

The north-west English area had been under Tier 2 restrictions until earlier this week, when Sunak’s government forced it into Tier 3 with a financial support package that has been vilified as punitive and unfair.

Now the BBC is reporting:

Rishi Sunak announced big changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) – set to replace furlough in November.

Businesses in tier two areas, particularly in the hospitality sector, had complained that they would be better off if they were under tier three restrictions.

Sunak delivered his announcement in the House of Commons:

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was unimpressed – and even that usually-staunch supporter of the Tories, the BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg, had to agree that he made a fair point:

Burnham expanded on this in a TV interview:

Anthony Browne, the Tory MP appearing on the day’s edition of the BBC’s Politics Live, tried to justify the timing of the announcement:

If it takes time to evolve a policy change like that which Sunak announced in Parliament, then that means it would certainly have been under discussion when the talks with Burnham were taking place.

So it also follows that the Conservatives holding those discussions – like Robert Jenrick, who spewed such a lot of nonsense about it earlier in the week – deliberately failed to mention it to Burnham.

Why?

The only reason that I can see would be to corruptly engineer a financial disadvantage for the Labour-voting people of Greater Manchester.

Once again, it seems, the Conservatives are using the Covid-19 crisis for their own selfish political gain.

How utterly despicable.

I am glad to see that the £2,100 per month grant is retrospective and may be backdated to August 2.

I hope hospitality businesses in Greater Manchester use it to take as much as they can from Sunak and his twisted government.

Source: New government Covid scheme to pay up to half of wages – BBC News

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Jenrick’s definition of fair funding: £237/person in his rich constituency – £7.95/person in Manchester

Robert Jenrick: what dictionary did he use when he looked up his definition of fair?

Why was housing secretary Robert Jenrick part of the negotiating team handling support for Greater Manchester while it is in Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions?

Clearly, it can’t be because he can be trusted with money; he corruptly induced a fellow MP to approve a grant for his constituency totalling £237 per person recently – contrast that with the £7.95 per person for Manchester. And Jenrick’s constituency isn’t in Tier 3!

Doesn’t it seem more likely that the opposite is true – that he was certain to deprive Manchester of the cash it needed? The precedent is there in his handling of Richard Desmond’s Tower Hamlet’s planning application, which Jenrick manipulated in order to deny London’s poorest borough £45 million.

He seems to have thought he could get away with this sleight of hand.

He thought wrong.

So after he appeared on TV saying this…

… the public responded with the facts:

And today the Commons will be debating whether children should have free school meals because, after years of Tory deprivation, their parents can no longer afford to feed them. What will Jenrick’s contribution be?

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Johnson forces Greater Manchester into pointless Tier 3 lockdown – penalising people for voting Labour?

 

Businesses in Greater Manchester are to close at huge cost to themselves after Boris Johnson imposed Tier 3 lockdown without offering a reasonable support package.

Tier 3 conditions don’t mean every firm will close – but significant harm will be done. The financial support package Mr Johnson is providing totals £8 per member of the local population.

Not only that: Tier 3 conditions will not stop the spread of Covid-19 (although they may slow it down a little).

So there seems little point to this…

Apart from to harm a Labour-voting area. I think this is party political.

Here in Wales, the Labour-led government is imposing a two-week lockdown in which all businesses apart from suppliers of food/groceries will close and people will be discouraged from leaving their homes.

The support package for this totals £300 million – more than £90 per person for the two-week period.

It’s still not perfect. It’s still controversial. But it’s hugely better than anything Johnson is offering.

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New three-tier alert system shuts down businesses – unless they’re run by Tories

Beer buddies: it seems pubs in Liverpool will be shut from Wednesday – apart from those owned by Tory donor Tim Martin.

Well, we learned a lot about the UK under the Tories in 2020, didn’t we? Most especially, we learned that they only look after their own.

So, according to the BBC, Liverpool is facing a new kind of lockdown as it stands in the highest tier of Boris Johnson’s new Covid-19 alert system:

The Liverpool City Region will be on the “very high” Covid alert level from Wednesday, Boris Johnson has announced.

Confirming new three-tier restrictions, the PM said pubs, bars and betting shops would close on Merseyside.

… with certain exceptions.

It seems the Wetherspoons chain of pubs is exempt from closure because the Tories have dreamed up the excuse that they are “food-based pubs”. Yes indeed, it’s nothing to do with them being run by a leading Tory donor, Tim Martin!

Or is it? On the social media, people have their own opinions:

Liverpool famously stopped buying The Sun after it ran a headline attacking football fans from the city after the Hillsborough disaster.

I’m wondering if this latest Tory abuse will prompt a similar response…

Meanwhile:

The PM said all retail outlets, schools and universities would remain open.

So his new rules won’t make a scrap of difference and Covid-19 infection rates will continue to rise.

Source: Covid: Boris Johnson confirms new three-tier alert system, with Liverpool ‘very high’ – BBC News

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What happened to the £3 billion Johnson paid for ‘missing’ Covid-19 contracts?

Spaffer: Boris Johnson has thrown billions at private consultants and contractors – but now it’s time to show where the money has gone, and it seems he can’t.

This is what comes of spaffing public money indiscriminately to your Tory mates and getting nothing back in return!

A cross-party consortium of Labour, Lib Dem and Green MPs have filed for a judicial review after the Johnson government failed to disclose details of £3 billion worth of Covid-related contracts.

These will be contracts made under the emergency system in which private firms are not invited to tender; instead, Johnson and his cronies have been shovelling money to their Tory mates, to provide multi-million pound services using start-up firms or companies that have been as good as dead for years.

Last month the Department of Health said £11 billion of contracts had been agreed between April 1 and September 7 – mostly related to Covid-19.

But analysis of publicly-available contracts information showed less than £8 billion of contracts awarded by the government.

It seems the government is taking 72 days on average to publish contract details online – despite a legal duty to do so within 30 days.

So the question arises: what are Johnson and his cronies trying to hide?

The Department of Health and Social Care has said it is committed to transparency and is working through its backlog of contracts with a view to publishing them “in due course”.

Is that after they’ve been doctored to remove any evidence of foul play?

It’s a reasonable question to ask, in the circumstances.

It’s incredible that Johnson, Matt Hancock and their buddies have splurged our money away in such a cavalier manner – and what have we got to show for it?

This Writer would like to see a full audit of all £11 billion worth of contracts, with details of whether they were honoured in an acceptable manner.

I think the result of such an audit could be highly embarrassing for Spaffer Johnson.

Source: Tories face legal challenge over £3bn of ‘missing’ coronavirus contracts – Mirror Online

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Blatant corruption as Jenrick and fellow Tory Berry allocate millions to each other’s constituencies

Robert Jenrick: he reckons it is ‘perfectly normal’ for ministers to corruptly funnel money from their own department’s funds into their own constituencies.

“Perfectly normal” is it, Robert Jenrick?

If you are utterly corrupt, it might be perfectly normal to allocate millions of pounds from a regeneration fund to your fellow MP’s constituency in return for him giving £25 million to yours. Not if you’re honest!

Jenrick tried to brazen out the Labour Party’s accusation against him when he appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has dismissed Labour’s call for an investigation into the award of a £25m regeneration grant to his constituency.

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show the decision to give the money to Newark, Nottinghamshire, had been taken by fellow minister Jake Berry.

Mr Jenrick said he had himself decided to grant funds to a town in Mr Berry’s constituency under the same scheme.

He called this “perfectly normal” and accused Labour of “distraction”.

The £25m was awarded to Newark under the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund, set up last year to help places that had “not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas”.

Here’s a clip of him doing just that:

Jenrick is the Secretary of State for Housing and Berry is a minister within the same government department.

The public has already passed its own verdict on whether the decisions were corrupt – and both Jenrick and Berry have been found lacking:

There will be no inquiry into this and neither Jenrick nor Berry will face the sack, or even any disciplinary action. Boris Johnson’s government doesn’t believe it is accountable to the public.

They’ll probably divert attention by claiming the controversy is about something different. Jenrick has already tried:

He added: “This is perfectly normal. Ministers don’t get involved in making decisions for their own constituency.

“But neither should their constituencies be victims of the fact that their MP is a minister.”

That is not the issue. Just to spell it out so it is perfecly clear: The issue is that ministers from the Ministry of Housing have colluded to funnel cash from that ministry’s Towns Fund into their own constituencies.

Jenrick’s passion for corruption is already well-established – remember the controversy over his decision to help Richard Desmond avoid paying £50 million to a community where he wanted to build a new development that did not conform to planning rules.

Now we may add Berry to our ever-growing list of corrupt Tories.

Source: Robert Jenrick dismisses call for constituency fund probe – BBC News

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Popular support for UK’s biggest union as it cuts funding to Labour because Starmer is ‘not listening’

Len McCluskey: as long ago as March 2018, he said if Labour won’t support left-wing policies, it won’t have left-wing funds.

Len McCluskey is providing the leadership the Labour movement badly needs, and right-thinking people across the UK know it.

Late on October 6, the BBC’s Newsnight told us the Unite union general secretary had announced a partial disaffiliation from the Labour Party because new leader Keir Starmer is “just not listening” to the Labour movement.

One of the most contentious issues recently was Starmer’s decision to pay £600,000 to so-called whistleblowers who contributed to a Panorama documentary about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

After Labour denied their story, they threatened to sue the party for defamation. Legal advice was that Labour would win – but Starmer decided to pay up anyway.

Now, United has disaffiliated 50,000 of its members, meaning its subsidy to Labour will drop by one-tenth – around £700,000.

This Writer thinks the close correlation between this sum and the amount paid to the “whistleblowers” is no coincidence. Unite – and McCluskey – are saying that if Starmer has so much cash he can afford to blow it on appeasement, he can afford to do without some.

The cash that has been freed will go to left-wing grassroots organisations – a shrewd move if it leads to wider understanding of alternatives to the neoliberal policies of Boris Johnson (and Starmer himself).

And the decision has been met with widespread support from the general public. Here’s This Site’s friend, Cornish Damo (be warned that he doesn’t hold back and you may find some of his language too strong):

We need an opposition, not an “appeasition”. Yes indeed!

Others have also leapt up to voice their support for Unite – and their disgust with Starmer on this and other issues:

AFTERTHOUGHT: Sadly, looking at the social media, it seems the Twitter trolls are trying to take over the discussion with support for Starmer and insults for McCluskey.

Perhaps Unite and all the other trade unions who co-formed Labour in the first place should just withdraw all their funding now, as these so-called members and representatives clearly neither need nor want it.

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Starmer runs out of credibility – and cash – and runs to the rich as Labour supporters run away

Another chance missed: Keir Starmer’s Marr Show letdown was the first of two broadcasting balls-ups for the Neoliberal Democrat Labour leader last week. His party is losing members because the people won’t support him – so he’s running to the rich.

It should have been a cakewalk.

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have screwed up the United Kingdom in the worst possible ways since before the December 2019 election. The leader of the main Opposition party should have had hearts and minds of the public, there for the taking.

But the leader in question was Keir Starmer, currently in charge of the Other Conservative Party, currently masquerading under the misnomer ‘Labour Party’.

When he gave his interview to Andrew Marr, the representative example of the public on Channel 4’s Gogglebox took a look – and the verdict was damning:

One doesn’t have to imagine how Starmer responded to this; in fact, one imagines this parody account has come close to the truth:

Result: well, party membership was haemorrhaging already but that flood hasn’t abated!

As a result, it seems Starmer’s cash is running out. How ironic that, now the party has been re-taken by the wing that reckons it’s better with money than the Left, it has spaffed all the extra cash accrued by the Left-wing leader up the wall.

So, in order to get money, it appears Starmer has copied the Tories again:

Think of the Conservative Party’s annual Black and White Ball fundraiser.

Of course, this information comes from Gabriel Pogrund*, who I wouldn’t normally trust to tell me what the weather’s like, but as there appears to be documentary evidence of this, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Starmer has also sent personalised letters to lapsed party donors:

This Writer hopes Starmer fails to attract the cash.

Firstly, if he does get it, he’ll finish Labour:

Moreover: His version of New Labour is nowhere near as investible as Tony Blair’s; he has made too many public relations blunders (again, he’s like the Tories in that respect). The Andrew Marr/Gogglebox incident is only the latest.

And if the rich donors don’t come back, they won’t be able to give Starmer any more excuses to steer Labour even further into Toryism.

Then who will Starmer ask for help?

That’s why, while This Writer can’t go back there (at least, not at the moment), I tend to agree with the following:

Monitor this situation closely. There may yet be a chance to bring democracy back to the UK.

*Pogrund wrote a story about This Writer in The Sunday Times that was riddled with falsehoods, for which that newspaper was forced to publish a lengthy “correction and clarification” almost a year later (it took me that long to go through the IPSO complaints process).

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Why are individual schools being asked to pay millions for Covid-19 safety?

Schools: it seems the cost of measures to protect children from Covid-19 will be paid using individual school budgets, meaning less money for teaching. Won’t that harm their education?

If the Tory government wants children to go back to school, then why isn’t Gavin Williamson prepared to pay the £216 million we’re told will be needed to protect them from Covid-19?

Here’s The Mirror:

Heads will have to pay the £216million cost of making schools safe for pupils to return this week.

And staff fear they will have to raid cash meant for teaching.

One union boss said: “The Government should cover these costs.”

Teachers’ leaders say that England’s 21,622 schools – already cash-strapped after a decade of austerity – are each spending an average £10,000 to prepare.

It seems strange to This Writer that people like Boris Johnson and the afore-mentioned Williamson are claiming that children’s education will suffer if they stay away from school, when they are ensuring that kids’ education will suffer due to lack of funds for teaching.

Source: Struggling schools must find cash for £216million bill to keep our kids safe – Mirror Online

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Whoever says scrapping 213 smaller councils could save £3 billion hasn’t been paying attention to Tory spaffing

Rubbish: who does the bins in your council area? A private firm? Expect much more privatisation if smaller councils are scrapped; the £3 billion we’re told would be saved has to be spent somewhere!

It seems some people really do have a blind spot.

Whoever wrote the report that says the following, for example:

Abolishing 213 smaller councils in England and replacing them with 25 new local authorities could save almost £3bn over five years, a report says.

The report for the County Councils Network says one body in each area would reduce complexity and give communities a single unified voice.

However, others argue bigger councils are unwieldy and undemocratic.

It’s a good point that bigger councils may be unwieldy and undemocratic, but the better point is that they won’t save a penny while we have a Tory government.

The money will be spent outsourcing decision-making to private consultants like PwC, Deloitte and McKinsey, and outsourcing work to private firms like Serco – who will probably go bust because they habitually offer to do it for too low a price after the bosses and shareholders have taken their enormous cut of (council taxpayers’) cash.

If this happens, just watch what happens and see if I’m right.

Source: Scrapping 213 local councils could save £3bn says report – BBC News

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