Tag Archives: direct

Enough is Enough: people in Luton explain why they’re taking action

Standout moment from this video is early, when a member of the public explains that people have to take direct action themselves because Keir Starmer’s Labour Party doesn’t know what opposition to government failures is.

Take a look:

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If your energy bill direct debit has doubled or tripled, here’s Martin Lewis’s advice

Martin Lewis: the ‘Money Saving Expert’ has advice that could save you hundreds of pounds if your energy supplier is overcharging you.

It seems some energy firms are playing fast and loose with customers on direct debit, with price hikes of up to 250 per cent.

So take a hard look at what your energy firm is charging you.

It seems some of them are trying to boost their own bank balances in advance of another expected price hike in October – in effect, relieving their own cash flow problems by inflicting them on you.

But it could lead to a fine of up to one-tenth of a company’s turnover if it is caught.

‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis has given advice on this, warning that there are some circumstances in which higher bill increases may be allowed.

But if you are in credit and “on the price cap”, and seeing a bill increase of more than 54 per cent, then you should call up the companies – politely – and dispute the new bill by asking them to justify the hike.

This would not be a “negotiation” as there is a legal requirement for your direct debit to be fair.

If the firm refuses to reduce the bill, then you should announce that you will take the matter to the Ombudsman. This will cost the energy company money.

Source: Martin Lewis’ urgent advice to anyone who uses direct debit to pay for their energy bills

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Check your direct debits to energy companies, warns Martin Lewis

Martin Lewis: last time I used this image, a reader said he never attaches his image to advertising so the story must be fake news. Let’s not have any of that silliness this time, please!

Energy firms are increasing customers’ direct debits by more than the 54 per cent cap imposed by Ofgem, according to ‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis.

He’s saying – well, see for yourself (this version of the clip by the Mirror):

There is no point having a price cap imposed by a regulator if the regulator won’t enforce it.

So, come on – check your direct debits and, if you’re being charged more than 54 per cent extra, contact Ofgem.

And come on, Ofgem.

Let’s see some hefty prosecutions.

Source: Martin Lewis urges MPs to crack down on worrying trick used by energy companies

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Would this firm have won PPE contract if it wasn’t represented by an ex-Tory advisor?

Buddies: Boris Johnson with Samir Jassal, the “seller’s authorised representative” who is also a former Tory councillor and Parliamentary candidate, and a former advisor to 10 Downing Street.

The strands of Tory corruption are converging in this revelation.

Details have – unintentionally – come to light of a contract granted to a firm after the Tory government bypassed the competitive tendering system, showing that it happened after lobbying by a former Conservative Parliamentary candidate with strong links to 10 Downing Street.

There are several elements of note here:

Firstly, these details would not have been available if the Good Law Project had not proven in court that Health Secretary Matt Hancock had broken the law by withholding details of contracts with private firms.

The contract had been signed in July last year, but details were not published until March – after Hancock lost the court case. Even then, the names of those involved were blacked out.

Information showing that former Tory councillor, Parliamentary candidate and Downing Street advisor Samir Jassal was the supplier’s “contact” only came to light via a second document in which his name was listed, apparently after the government had failed to black it out.

Secondly, this is further evidence of members of the Conservative Party lobbying the Conservative government on behalf of private business, and (apparently) being granted exclusive access, similar to the way David Cameron lobbied the government on behalf of Greensill Capital.

Thirdly, we should be asking how this company came to bid for a £102.6 million contract to provide PPE to the NHS. Did it use the exclusive contact system that had been devised for friends and donors to the Conservative Party – the so-called “high priority lane”?

The government has refused to say whether this contract was processed as part of this system, which tends to indicate that it was (if it wasn’t, there would be no incentive to deny it).

Fourthly, the firm, Pharmaceuticals Direct Ltd, had won a £28 million contract previously. How was that arranged? Was Mr Jassal involved? Did the firm use the “friends and donors” route then, as well?

Remember: both deals were awarded to the firm without any competition.

Finally: was the contract honoured? Contracts signed by the government with Tory friends and donors, especially in the early days of the crisis, had an appalling tendency to go unfulfilled because the firms had no experience in providing the equipment.

Admittedly, a firm called Pharmaceuticals Direct Ltd, which I understand was formed in 1999 to provide wholesale distribution of medical material, seems likely to be able to provide the contracted gear. But in the light of other revelations, we need to see proof.

Taken as a whole, this seems to be further proof that the Tories have corruptly – if not illegally – used a national emergency as a pretext for diverting public funds to their friends, donors and party members. Doesn’t it?

Source: Revealed: £102.6 million to ex-No10 advisor – Good Law Project

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Coronavirus: Johnson takes ‘direct control’ – because the mess isn’t big enough yet?

Boris Johnson: if he really is taking more control – away from chief medical officers – it’s only so he can make this gesture to everybody who has fought off Covid-19 so far.

Take a look at the tweet directly below – and the response by Another Angry Voice:

Good question. According to the Telegraph article…

A shake-up in Downing Street will see the Government’s entire approach to the pandemic run by two centrally-run committees, covering strategy and operational delivery.

Tory MPs said the changes could weaken the influence of chief adviser Dominic Cummings – who was heavily criticised for a 260-mile trip during lockdown – and allow Mr Johnson to tighten his grip on the fight against the pandemic.

… it appears to have been Dominic Cummings.

But isn’t that just scapegoating – blaming the aide who is out of favour with the public? Not only that – we don’t know that the claim has any accuracy at all but, now it has been made, for all we know Cummings can carry on as normal while we assume he’s been consigned to less commanding roles.

It would be hard to blame anybody, even Johnson, for wanting a bit of distance from recent disasters, though.

Consider Test and Trace – the scheme that was criticised as a risk to people’s privacy before it was rolled out:

Channel 4 wasn’t the only recipient of the leaked information; the Daily Mirror had it too:

So much for data security under the Conservatives!

Then there’s this:

So more than 25,000 Covid-19 patients were released from hospitals to care homes that did not have the facilities to isolate them.

It’s a miracle only 20,000 of them died!

Or is that yet another statistical… mistake… of the kind for which the Johnson government has become justly infamous?

Meanwhile, the total number of excess Covid-19 deaths was revealed to have given the UK the worst death rate in the world, proportionate to the size of its population, from May 22. It was suspected but now it was proved:

Against this backdrop, it was revealed that Johnson wanted to lower the Covid-19 alert level – but all four UK chief medical officers vetoed his demand:

Perhaps he is taking more “direct control”, as the Telegraph claims, in order to override this influence. If so, then what follows is ill-advised.

If Starmer was saying Johnson taking a firmer grip should reduce the risk of a second wave of Covid infections, the evidence suggests he is bitterly mistaken.

Johnson taking over is far more likely to speed up that second wave’s arrival – and boost it to overwhelming size.

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Tories have frittered away half a trillion pounds. Is this good financial management?

This looks like another result of Brexit.

It is balance of payments data – the difference between the amount we pay to foreign countries for goods and services and the amount we receive – that shows the loss.

Also, direct investment in the UK by foreign firms has nose-dived.

It is exactly as This Writer warned, only a few days ago.

The really galling aspect of this is that the minority Conservative government will still claim to be the party of sensible financial management, even though it is its own division over Brexit that has created the uncertainty in which the money has disappeared.

Remember: Brexit is happening because David Cameron thought a referendum on EU membership would unify the Tories. It didn’t.

Remember: The vote to leave the European Union was based very strongly on lies and wild speculation by people who knew better but were trying to trick the public. There was never any chance of the NHS seeing £350 million of investment per week, for example.

Remember: The Conservatives have botched negotiations on the terms of our departure so badly that businesses are fleeing the UK. They can’t get away fast enough.

The longer this farce continues, the worse it will be for the UK as a whole.

And it will be the poor who bear the brunt of the harm.

Global banks and international bond strategists have been left stunned by revised ONS figures showing that Britain is £490bn poorer than had been ­assumed and no longer has any reserve of net foreign assets, depriving the country of its safety margin as Brexit talks reach a crucial juncture.

A massive write-down in the UK balance of payments data shows that Britain’s stock of wealth – the net international investment position – has collapsed from a surplus of £469bn to a net deficit of £22bn. This transforms the outlook for sterling and the gilts markets.

“Half a trillion pounds has gone missing. This is equivalent to 25pc of GDP,” said Mark Capleton, UK rates strategist at Bank of America.

Making matters worse, foreign ­direct investment (FDI) by companies is plummeting. It fell from a £120bn surplus in the first half 2016 to a £25bn deficit over the same period of this year.

Source: Britain’s missing billions: Revised figures reveal UK is £490bn poorer than previously thought


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