Tag Archives: cut

Zahawi asks nurses to take pay cut as ‘message to Putin’

Nadhim Zahawi: He claimed public money to heat his stables but he thinks nurses will accept another huge pay cut if he tells them it will help defeat Russian Premier Vladimir Putin.

Minister Without Portfolio Nadhim Zahawi has asked nurses to accept a real-terms pay cut “to send a message to Putin” that the UK will not accept his attempt to dictate to us using energy prices.

What?

Well, see for yourself:

Firstly, this is a non-sequitur. Nurses’ pay has nothing to do with energy prices or what has happened to them because of the war in Ukraine. What message would Putin really take from the UK government denying its underpaid nurses a decent pay rise?

Secondly, let us remember that this is the Tory MP who claimed a large amount of money – on expenses, so it came from the public purse – in order to keep his horses warm during the winter by heating his stables.

He has no right at all to preach to people who are having to go to food banks, simply to be able to eat.

What is he having to go without, to aid the resistance against Putin?

Nothing. And that is precisely what’s wrong with this massive hypocrite.

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How badly will you be hit if Tory cuts mean councils cancel services?

Liz Truss: her lunatic economic ideas created an economic black hole. Jeremy Hunt’s attempts to fill it are likely to harm us all – including people who say they can’t be bothered with politics.

This is another story about how politics affects you, even if you don’t want anything to do with it.

Councils in England are warning that the cuts Jeremy Hunt is likely to force on them – in a desperate bid to fill the financial black hole that Liz Truss created with her daft neoliberal trickle-down economic plan – will mean the cancellation of everyday services.

They mean services they provide that help you do the things you need to, every day.

The BBC is reporting that a survey of county councils suggests bus services, home care for the elderly and climate change projects are most likely to face the axe.

Other services under threat are leisure centres and parking.

So you will be faced with the added expense of driving to work – and spending a lot of time in traffic jams because many more vehicles will be on the roads.

If you have elderly relatives who need care, then you’ll be the one providing it. While their pensions and possibly other benefits will help financially, your free time will be wiped out.

And obviously any project that actually helps reduce the threat of climate change is vital for our future existence. Who knows what could be cancelled that may otherwise change the world for the better?

You won’t have anywhere to go to relieve the pressure on you because all the leisure centres will be closed.

And you wouldn’t be able to drive there anyway because so would all the car parks.

All because Liz Truss couldn’t do her sums, because 12 years of Tory rule made the UK vulnerable to energy and food price inflation, and because the Tories had spent all that time cutting council funding to the bone, so there is nothing left to tackle emergencies.

Council funding from central government – which makes up the vast majority of the money councils use – has been halved by the Tories since 2010.

And there are more services facing cuts: road maintenance, home-to-school transport, and opening hours of libraries and recycling centres may all be cut. Charges may be introduced to use public toilets and may be increased in car parks. You may be forced to wait longer for your rubbish and recycling to be collected (which may create a problem with vermin).

Apparently the best idea the Tories have is to raise the cap on council tax increases so local authorities can charge already-impoverished residents even more money for the meagre services they continue to offer.

And the Tory government of Rishi Sunak seems to be in denial. A spokesman has said Westminster gave £3.7 billion to councils last year, to shore up services. But that was before inflation went through the roof. How much was actually needed to maintain them at their proper level?

You won’t hear an answer from Downing Street. The press office there is all about damage control, not factual accuracy.

And when I mention damage control, I mean controlling any damage to the reputation of the Tory government – not controlling damage to the fabric of UK society.

Damaging our society has been Tory policy since before they slithered back into government in 2010.

But we still have people who say they’re not interested in politics and they don’t think politics have anything to do with them.

Someone should create a checklist to demonstrate exactly how badly they already have been affected by this country’s political choices – and how much worse it will be in the future.

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Detainees with weapons cause disturbance at immigration centre

The scene of the action: Harmondsworth immigration removal centre.

A power outage at a London immigration removal centre seems to have given detainees the opportunity to cause trouble.

According to the BBC,

a group of detainees left their rooms and went into the courtyard at the immigration centre armed with various weaponry.

Police officers arrived at 7.45am and Prison Service officers were also there. The detainees involved were returned to their rooms and nobody was injured.

But why did it happen?

Was the incident connected with complaints about the Manston immigrant processing centre, a concentration camp in Kent where conditions were compared with prison by one inmate who wrote a message in a bottle and managed to pass it to the press.

The chief inspector of prisons reported filthy cell toilets, problems with pests and dilapidated communal showers.

Other concerns raised included high levels of vulnerability among detainees, people assessed to be at risk of harm being held for too long and detainees being locked in their cells during lunch and overnight.

Diseases including diphtheria are also said to be present, but the sick – along with people who are pregnant – were said to be treated with nothing more than Paracetomol, according to the ‘message in a bottle’.

And this small disturbance kicked off, the instant the power went down.

Earlier this year, the UK was facing the threat of widespread power cuts due to low fuel supplies.

That threat seems to have subsided now, but what if it hadn’t? How many more such disturbances would we have been facing – and how bad would they have been?

The people involved in this one were said to have had weapons – what exactly were they and how did these people come to have them?

Even if we had the answers to these questions, it seems clear that there are many reasons for concern here.

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Pre-teen children are being groomed to deal drugs. Are Tory service cuts to blame?

This report from Sky News might not be shocking if you know a few teenagers living near you:

Kids are being used to deal drugs. And some of them are going to be harmed or even killed because of it.

Whether the measures outlined in the report can help prevent this from happening, This Writer cannot predict.

But the fact that funding for children’s services has been cut by 75 per cent since the Conservatives came to power in 2010 is an indictment against Tory government.

Could this situation have been prevented if the Tories had not cut the funding?

Were the Tories told that this was a possible outcome of them doing so?

We already know (from Covid and from their attitude to state benefits) that it’s too much to hope that they would care.

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Truss press conference: she reverses Corporation Tax cut and refuses to apologise

Liz Truss says she wants growth but went too far in her mini-budget.

She’ll keep the increase in Corporation Tax now, raising an extra £18 billion per year.

She’s asked former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to become Chancellor (so he’ll do as much damage to the Treasury as he did to the NHS).

She’s keeping the energy price “guarantee” (note: no longer a cap).

“This is difficult but we will get through this storm,” she says – not for a moment admitting that she is responsible for it.

She goes to questions – and is immediately asked why she has junked the Corporation Tax cut on which she was elected Tory leader. She evades answering.

Second question: the 45p tax cut was her idea, so was the Corporation Tax cut. But Kwarteng had to go. Why does she have to stay? She evades answering.

Third question: what credibility does she have to continue governing? She puts it all on Jeremy Hunt, the new Chancellor, and says they have to “deliver the mission in a different way”.

Fourth question: will she apologise to her party for having “totally trashed” its “reputation for economic competence”. She evades answering.

And she leaves. As she goes, a voice can be heard very clearly asking…

“Aren’t you going to say sorry?”

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Now IAIN DUNCAN SMITH is challenging Liz Truss – over BENEFIT CUTS

The Tory who inflicted the most harmful benefit cuts ever to blight the UK has raised his voice to challenge new prime minister Liz Truss – saying her plan to cut benefits in real terms is too harsh.

Wait, what?

Iain Duncan Smith, whose cuts to sickness benefits led to at least 2,400 unexplained deaths between 2011 and 2014, now says benefit cuts are bad?

Well, yes:

It may not be hypocrisy.

He resigned in 2016 over plans to cut disability benefits, saying they were too harsh as well.

And the argument he is using now – that cutting money available to benefit claimants is likely to harm them – is entirely correct. How do I know?

Because I wrote it.

I, along with many other campaigners of the time, made it clear when newspaper stories about people dying for that reason were proliferating.

Suppose a claimant is diabetic. If they can’t afford to power their refrigerator, then they can’t keep their insulin at the right temperature. What happens if they then go into diabetic shock?

Just ask the family of David Clapson.

But This Writer doesn’t recall any remorse from Iain Duncan Smith over the deaths his policies caused while he was Work and Pensions Secretary.

Perhaps a more likely explanation for this is that the policy is likely to be hugely unpopular during a cost-of-living crisis caused by the Tory government.

The thought of people on benefits receiving a help package that is reduced if Truss refuses to authorise an inflation-linked uplift in benefits may be deeply unpopular with voters, so perhaps Iain Duncan Smith is simply trying to cling on to his Parliamentary seat.

His other words are absolutely correct, though: if a government wants to build economic growth, it needs to give money to the poorest in society because they are the ones who will spend it – not the richest.

He is the latest in a lengthening line of senior Tory MPs to challenge the prime minister’s authority.

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Kwarteng cuts £18 billion from the NHS and schools – to fund his tax cuts for the obscenely rich

The grinning Kwarteng: he’ll be smiling on the other side of his face when the roar of protest against his attack on our health and education reaches him.

Your health and your children’s education are to suffer in order to make the rich richer, Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed.

He didn’t say it in quite that way, of course – but he has announced that public services will lose up to £18 billion per year – and that is a result of his decision to cut taxes for the rich.

He – and prime minister Liz Truss – has claimed the non-existent “trickle-down” effect means these fat cats will spend the extra money into the economy, making other people richer too.

But this is not true. Instead, the money will most likely go to tax havens while you suffer due to the loss.

Here’s what has been announced:

CHANCELLOR Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed that public services face further cuts of up to £18 billion per year.

This comes following his dramatic U-turn on the 45p tax rate.

Budgets will not be topped up in order to take account of soaring inflation, the Chancellor said.

The move has been described by economic experts as one which is likely to have an “extraordinary” impact on the NHS and schools.

Last week, head of the IFS Paul Johnson said: “It is pretty extraordinary. There’s a real problem for schools and hospitals. It’s going to be a real squeeze.”

Paul Johnson isn’t the only one saying there are real problems. Already the social media are filling with outrage:

In terms of the NHS, it’s murder by proxy – if you think about it.

Truss and Kwarteng used the fear that you wouldn’t be able to heat your home as an excuse to bring in changes that mean you may not even be able to afford to live in it.

Then, mindful of the effect of these changes on your health, they are now imposing changes that mean the National Health Service will have to turn you away to die – after you spent years paying for it with your taxes.

Remember: health and education are your right; you have paid for them and the Tories have a contractual obligation to provide them – up to the highest standard.

Kwarteng should be reminded of this. It might make him grin on the other side of his face.

Source: Chancellor confirms cuts of up to £18bn for public services amid economic turmoil

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Liz’s legacy: crashing pound and pensions, housing crisis, inflation, unemployment. What’s to be done?

Liz Truss: “Duh… what did I do?”

Economist Richard Murphy has given his verdict on the result of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s new economic direction for the UK – and it is damning.

But he has also done something far more important; he has suggested ways forward for the UK. Principal among those is making sure the Conservative Party is never allowed into power on its own again, so it can never again ruin the finances of millions of people for the benefit of a few spoilt rich kids.

It’s the first positive series of suggestions This Writer has seen.

See what you think – and be sure to send those thoughts in via the comments section:

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Tories will punish up to 120,000 working people by cutting their benefits

People who work 15 hours a week – or less – will lose benefits in the latest Tory attack on the poor.

It’s not being reported on the BBC today (September 23), but Kwasi Kwarteng was set to announce that from January next year, 120,000 benefit claimants could see their payments reduced if they fail to work up to 15 hours a week, meet regularly with their work coach and take active steps to increase their earnings.

So people who are already struggling to make ends meet amid the Tory-created cost-of-living crisis are to be punished while – for example – bankers are to enjoy huge increases in income with the removal of the cap on their bonuses.

There is no good reason for either measure but the Tory excuse for hammering the working poor is that there are 1.2 million job vacancies after Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Presumably the people being targeted are being expected to take 10 jobs each.

There’s an elephant in the room here, though: how much do these 1.2 million jobs pay? What holidays are offered? What about sick pay? In short: will people actually be better-off for taking them?

New Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith says they will: “We are committed to helping people on lower incomes to boost their pay – because we know work is one of the best ways to support your family and help grow our economy.

“Whether it’s increasing their hours in their current role, entering a new sector or switching careers, we want people of all ages and all stages to be able to progress into fulfilling careers.”

But is it just propaganda?

Maximilien Robespierre thinks it is:

“Give them a job – any job – to meet a target… and sell it as work to help people out of a disaster – that being the cost-of-living crisis.

“Notice [Chloe Smith] did not say anything here about better benefits. Many people can’t work, or find jobs that either suit their skills or are in their vicinity.

This is about punishing people at the bottom and reducing numbers on benefits, which we have seen comes at a huge human cost.

Liz Truss’s National Insurance ‘cut’ will help high earners massively – you get 63p per month

Yes – it’s another con from the Con Party.

Here’s the gist:

Now have some details:

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