Tag Archives: create

These Tory lapdogs have earned tasty treats for hounding benefit claimants to the grave

Sir Robert Devereaux.

These are the civil servants who have been rewarded with huge bonuses for creating a ‘benefit’ system that causes hardship and death:

Department for Work and Pensions Permanent secretary Sir Robert Devereux last year got up to £20,000 on top of his £185,000 salary. This year there was no bonus but his pay hit £190,000.

Neil Couling, director general of Universal Credit, got a bonus of up to £20,000 last year and a £125,000 salary. This year instead of a bonus his salary leapt to £145,000 a year.

Jeremy Moore, strategy director, had a £20,000 bonus two years running – taking his total pay to £155,000 a year.

Mayank Prakash, director general of digital technology, got up to £20,000 this year on top of his £200,000 salary – so he earned more than his boss Sir Robert.

And Andrew Rhodes, operations director, had a bonus of between £10,000 and £15,000 this year, taking his pay to £155,000 a year. He also claimed £37,600 in travel expenses.

(Information from the Daily Mirror article.)

These are not people who have been forced into carrying out this attack on decent people who have no choice but to claim help from the state; there is no low-payment poverty trap hanging over them like the Sword of Damocles.

They are very rich people, who command high prices for their work – even though that work has been substandard to the point of causing harm to the public.

What conclusion may we draw from the high rewards they have received?

Simply that their work was always intended to harm the public, and they are happy to have achieved that aim.

There will be no penalty for these five while a Conservative government – even a minority government – runs the United Kingdom.

But let us hope the Labour Party does not declare any amnesty for these villains. Evil on this scale deserves the strongest possible punishment.

Five highly-paid civil servants have had bonuses of up to £20,000 – and even pay rises – for devising a new benefit system causing hardship and misery for thousands.

Many people claiming the new Universal Credit have had no money for up to six weeks because of computer issues and slow helplines in trial areas.

A national roll-out of the benefit – meant to replace Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Child and Working Tax Credit, and some ­disability benefits – is behind schedule.

But bosses at the Department for Work and Pensions got bonuses for “top performance” and “leadership” – sparking fury from Labour MPs.

Read more: Civil servants pocket bonuses of up to £20,000 and pay rises for creating bungling benefits system hurting thousands


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Local election campaigns begin – but where are the NEW contenders?

Get your votes out: But who will you support, if your local council is holding elections this year? The mid-term vote is always carefully watched, so your vote could sway predictions for the 2015 general election!

Get your votes out: But who will you support, if your local council is holding elections this year? The mid-term poll is always carefully watched, so your vote could sway predictions for the 2015 general election!

Hard though it may be to believe, in the midst of all the ‘Mrs T’ drivel, but life goes on and there are elections on the way.

The Liberal Democrats have launched their bid for seats on 34 councils in England and one in Wales, predictably, with a smear campaign.

Apparently, both their Coalition partners the Conservatives, and Labour, are inefficient and waste money on “vanity projects”.

This will be a hard criticism for the Tories to counter, considering they are about to waste up to £10 million of taxpayers’ – our – money on a ceremonial funeral for Baroness Thatcher that the majority of the people in the UK simply don’t want.

Apparently, MPs can claim £3,750 each, from the taxpayer, because Parliament has been recalled to pay tribute to her. If they all take advantage of it, that alone will cost us £2,437,500!

Praise is due to Labour’s John Mann, who the BBC placed among those calling the debate a waste of money. He said tributes could have been made next week, when Parliament is due to return.

But then, what is the Liberal Democrat plan to increase the Personal Allowance, that we are all allowed to earn before we start paying Income Tax, if it isn’t a vanity project?

Nick Clegg says the Liberal Democrats will spread “the burden of austerity fairly”, but if this policy really has made 24 million families in the UK £600 better-off than they were in 2010, that means the Treasury has received £14,400,000,000 less than it otherwise would have. Nearly 14-and-a-half BILLION pounds!

This is money that could have eased the severity of the benefit cuts on the poorest in society, or the government could have invested it in projects that would have created jobs, increasing the tax take and lessening the burden of debt repayments and benefits for the poor.

Noticeably absent from Mr Clegg’s speech, at the Eden Project in Cornwall, was any mention of what his party would do with any new council seats it picks up. Instead, he went back to the Liberal Democrat ‘message script’ that was thrust upon his party back between Christmas and the New Year. “Only the Liberal Democrats will build a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life” he droned.

Here in Radnorshire, Wales, people hearing that will be thinking those words are familiar, and asking themselves when they were aired before. Oh yes – it was last week, when our MP Roger Williams and AM Kirsty Williams were talking up the increases in the Personal Allowance.

So there’s no offer from the Liberal Democrats.

At least Labour’s Ed Miliband launched his party’s campaign with a solid commitment – he wants councils to be allowed to prevent payday lenders from operating in their areas, and to stop bookmakers from opening as well.

In hard times, it makes sense for gambling to be curbed – although it is a shame that the last Labour government allowed it to become commonplace before the financial crash hit. And payday lenders must be brought to heel – the huge interest rates they charge mean borrowers – who need the money because they receive such a poor pay packet from their fatcat bosses, don’t forget – fall even further into debt.

But Labour’s recent behaviour in Parliament has created deep mistrust of the party among its core voters. Labour betrayed the poorest workers in the UK, and everybody who is looking for a job, by supporting Iain Duncan Smith’s retroactive law to legalise his illegal sanctions against jobseekers who would not take part in his slave-labour ‘mandatory work activity’ schemes to raise cash for ‘work programme provider’ companies and commercial enterprises that took part.

If Labour wants to win that trust back, it needs to field prospective councillors who genuinely want to represent the interests of the people in their wards, with good Labour values – ensuring they get the best value for their council tax money, rather than turning services over to private enterprises who then make councils pay through the nose for inferior work, for example.

And what about all the new contenders that have sprung up since the Coalition came to power and started reversing all the good work the previous Labour government did, justifying it by saying the new austerity made it necessary (it isn’t)?

The National Health Action Party can be ruled out, I think. That organisation is a single-issue party created solely to attack Coalition members of Parliament, and anyone else who voted in support of the Health and Social Care Act, that allows private, for-profit companies to run NHS services.

What about the ‘No’ Party? This group claims the UK needs a fresh start, and wants to contend the next general election “on a massive scale”. In that case, they should start at local level. Political organisations of any kind won’t be trusted with Parliamentary seats until their members have proved themselves in the local arena and the May elections are a perfect opportunity to get started. Where are the ‘No’ candidates?

What about the People of the British Political and Lawful Rebellion Party, which says it aims “to put the People back into politics”.

This organisation’s Facebook page says: “It is time this country came together and started the mass political and legal upheavel required for a legitimate, lawful, peaceful and successful rebellion. As a newly founded political party, we take one-step at at time while learning to utilise our skills as individuals and collectively.”

Okay, then why not start now – in local councils? Then the ordinary people will be able to find out what they’re all about.

It seems too early for any wide-based, mainstream ‘Party of the Left’, of the kind Ken Loach has been pushing, to come together in time for these elections – which is a shame.

In the light of Labour’s actions on the Jobseekers (Back to the Workhouse) Bill, it is possible that there does need to be another mainstream, national left-wing political organisation – if only to remind Labour of what it ought to be.

One of the most telling comments about the late Baroness Thatcher was that she changed not only the Conservatives, but other political parties, meaning that Labour followed a similar course to the Conservatives when it came to office in 1997.

It’s time Labour remembered that there are other, real and workable alternatives – and started working on them.

Cameron’s determination to ruin us all continues unabated – BBC

borrowing

David Cameron must think we’re all as stupid as his fellow Conservatives and that party’s most rabid adherents, if the latest BBC report is to be believed.

In it, he responds to comments from his Coalition government’s own Business Secretary, Vince Cable, suggesting the government could consider borrowing more – at, let’s remember, the lowest interest rates in British history – to inject some growth into the economy.

Cable’s remarks are eminently sensible – which is, of course, why Cameron is believed to be moving so quickly to counter them. The fact is that austerity never – ever – brought a country out of debt. Investment is the key. Investment needs money. If you don’t have money, you borrow it from someone who does. Then you pay them back – with interest from your profits. ‘Speculate to accumulate’, as the saying goes. It’s how most Conservatives and Tory voters made their money but Cameron – and his sidekick 0sborne, let’s not forget – inherited theirs and therefore, we may reasonably deduce, know nothing whatsoever about it.

Instead, Cameron will reiterate his insistence on following the ‘Starve the Beast’ policy that George W Bush used to such devastating effect when he was President of the USA, reducing a surplus of $128 billion to a deficit of $10.627 trillion within a few short years.

A decent definition of ‘Starve the Beast’ economic theory is that it is a fiscal strategy to create or increase existing budget deficits via tax cuts to force future reductions in the size of government.

This is clearly what Cameron and his cronies are doing – and the Liberal Democrats are helping them all the way, no matter what Cable says about it. It’s why they’ve borrowed more money in the last two and a half years than the Labour Party did in three terms of office (as a recent meme puts it).

And they will cut the machinery of this country’s government down to the marrow, for no better reason than their own personal enrichment and the fact that it will create huge problems for any government that follows them in 2015.

The BBC report contains excerpts of what Cameron was expected to say in a speech today (Thursday). These deserve interpretation, as their meaning is not entirely clear at first glance:

I know some people think it is being stubborn to stick to a plan. That somehow this is just about making the numbers add up.” He’s setting us all up with a false premise. We don’t think he’s being stubborn; we know his real plan isn’t what he has been trying to sell us. It’s about cutting the state to nothing, impoverishing the vast majority of us in the process and enriching his cronies. This is why, crucially, the numbers don’t add up at all.

The very moment when we’re just getting some signs that we can turn our economy round and make our country a success is the very moment to hold firm to the path we have set.” So the present moment, with the loss of our ‘AAA’ credit rating, high street shop chains dropping like flies and his own political party regularly being dropped to third place in by-elections, would definitely not be that time.

And yes, the path ahead is tough – but be in no doubt, the decisions we make now will set the course of our economic future for years to come.” This is absolutely true. The decisions he makes now will set the course of our economic future for years to come. What a shame nobody seems able, or willing in the case of the Liberal Democrats, to stop him.

And while some would falter and plunge us back into the abyss, we will stick to the course.” He is projecting the effects of his own actions onto his political opponents. He knows perfectly well that it is his course that will lead us straight to that metaphorical abyss – if he hasn’t pitched us over into it already.

The BBC article goes on to say that he will point to the creation of a million extra private sector jobs – a claim that has been debunked many, many times since he first made it. Private sector jobs have been created, but nowhere near a million of them! Also the terms under which people are being employed are appalling.

It is typical of the kind of ridiculous babble to which he and his lieutenants have subjected us for nearly three years now – a period in which our situation has never – not once – offered even the appearance of improvement.

This blog reported only a few days ago that Cameron had been put on notice by his own party – improve or lose the leadership.

The sooner those backbenchers follow through on this threat, the better.

For all of us.