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Sunak wants employers to pay a quarter of furloughed staff wages from August

Rishi Sunak: is he opening the door for employers to exploit their staff?

Funny how this story comes out when everybody’s talking about Dominic Cummings instead, isn’t it?

This Writer has said before that employers won’t pay – most probably because they can’t afford it.

But here’s a thought. Will employees go back to their old jobs, after being callously laid off over coronavirus?

And if they will, will employers try to get them to do it for lower pay?

I think it’s a definite possibility.

Employers will be expected to pay at least a fifth of the wages of furloughed staff from August, it is claimed.

The Treasury is said to be considering asking businesses to cover between 20% and 30% of staff wages.

Companies may also be told to cough up for national insurance contributions, which are approximately 5% of people’s wages, according to The Times.

Source: Employers may have to pay 25% of furloughed staff wages from August | Metro News

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Coronavirus: zero-hours workers sacked en masse despite Tory government promises

Rishi Sunak: his promises to employees are turning out to be worthless.

Another Tory coronavirus promise bites the dust.

Rishi Sunak promised that zero-hours workers would be covered by his promise to pay 80 per cent of employee wages, as long as they were on PAYE.

But his promise depended on employers signing up to the deal, and many haven’t.

Instead, the Department for Work and Pensions has been swamped with new claims for Universal Credit.

The reason?

Rishi Sunak said on Friday that workers on zero-hours contracts would be covered, as long as they were paid through PAYE. But many of these workers have simply been let go en masse in any case. Self-employed workers, who are not on PAYE, are not covered at all and will have to claim benefits if their work dries up and no new government measures are enacted.

There’s no two ways around it. The Tories promised people would be protected; the Tories lied.

Source: Sacked by text message: Zero-hours contract workers laid off because of coronavirus’ impact | The Independent

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Complaints about disability benefit assessments up 6,000% in three years

[Image: Black Triangle Campaign].

These are damning figures.

But what I find more upsetting is the way The Independent (in this case) suggests they have prompted “fresh” concerns about the Conservative government’s genocidal system.

The simple fact is that these aren’t concerns any more; they’re facts.

The Tory system isn’t simply harming disabled people; it is killing them.

For some reason, the mainstream media seems unwilling to admit that fact.

Who does that benefit?

The number of complaints to the government about its disability benefit assessment process has surged by more than 6,000 per cent in three years, prompting fresh concerns that the system is “flawed” and harming disabled people.

Government figures show 9,320 complaints were received about medical assessments for Personal Independent Payment (PIP) in the year to February 2019 – compared with 1,391 in 2016-17 and just 142 in 2015-16.

This marks a surge of 570 per cent in two years and 6,463 per cent in three years – which campaigners said shows that the process is “completely inadequate” for disabled people. The overall number of PIP claims has risen by 67 per cent since 2016.

Source: Complaints about disability benefit assessments up 6,000% in three years, figures show | The Independent

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UK economy 2.5 per cent SMALLER than if Remain had won EU referendum – experts

I don’t expect this to persuade anybody who voted ‘Leave’.

We all remember leave-voting Michael Gove’s comments about experts, after all.

But this is not speculation or prediction – it is an evidence-based finding.

The UK economy has suffered as a result of the Brexit vote and is 2.5 per cent smaller than if a majority had voted to remain in the EU.

A loss of £360 million per week!

That’s only £6 per person – but it’s £312 per year, and in a country where most people can’t even boast £100 worth of savings, it might be more relevant than it seems.

I await the excuses of the Brexiteers.

On a similar note, the figures seem to show an improvement in the economy of more than 15 per cent since the Conservatives took office in 2010, yet real-terms average pay has fallen by thousands of pounds per year.

The money has to go somewhere so we must conclude that those who control the money flow – business leaders and bankers – are keeping it for themselves.

Where’s the outrage at that?


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Fracking set to be banned from 40% of England’s shale areas

The Guardian is reporting that regulations proposed by the Labour Party and approved by the Coalition Government mean fracking will be banned from two-fifths of the land in England.

[Image: The Guardian.]

[Image: The Guardian.]

Labour faced harsh criticism last week, particularly from the Green Party of England and Wales, after it failed to support that party’s call for a moratorium on fracking that would have banned it altogether. Green supporters suggested that Labour had done a deal with the Coalition to abstain on the moratorium in return for support over the 13-point regulation scheme.

In fact, according to the newspaper, “Ministers were forced to accept Labour’s new environmental rules last week to avoid a rebellion by Conservative and LibDem backbench MPs, many of whom are facing opposition to fracking from constituents.”

So there was no dirty backroom deal and 40 per cent of England is free of fracking whereas, if Labour had supported the Green moratorium, none of England would be protected.

The article continues: “Neither the government nor Labour have stated how much of the land available for future shale gas drilling – 60 per cent of England – would be affected by the new bans. But a Guardian data analysis has revealed it is 39.7 per cent, with large swaths of the south and south east off-limits, as well as the Yorkshire Dales and Peak district.

“An independent analysis by Greenpeace also found that 45 per cent of the 931 blocks being licensed for fracking in England were at least 50 per cent covered by protected areas, which it said was likely to make them unattractive to fracking companies.

“Just three per cent of of the blocks have no protected areas at all, Greenpeace found.”

Well played, Labour! That was a good afternoon’s work.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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