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The Tories have pushed public debt past £2 TRILLION after they promised to eliminate it

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“Spaffed up the wall”: Boris Johnson’s phrase – inappropriately applied to public money used to investigate child abuse – may now be more correctly applied to his own government’s use of all public funds..

Remember when the national debt was just £950 billion and the Tories slithered into office with a claim that they would eliminate it?

What happened?

George Osborne – remember him? – promised that he would eliminate the national deficit (regular borrowing by the government) by 2015, and would then reduce the debt.

He never did. And now he’s nowhere to be found.

And the national debt is now more than double what it was in 2010.

The Tories will say it’s because of the cost of the Covid-19 crisis – which they have increased exponentially by involving inept private health companies that have failed to carry out a single task adequately.

They may say it’s due to the cost of Brexit – which Boris Johnson pushed on us with a campaign of lies back in 2016 and which has cost us more in four years than we paid in more than 40 as an EU member state.

And they will certainly try to blame the Labour government of 1997-2010 and the international financial crisis that happened during that period, which had nothing to do with Labour policies.

They’ll also say a Labour government would have made matters worse, even though they have squandered more money in the last 10 years than was ever spent by every Labour administration the UK has ever had.

And don’t forget that Labour has reduced the national debt when in office, which is more than the Tories have done in our collective lifetime.

The BBC article is full of Tory apologists saying there was nothing they could do, but it simply isn’t true.

The Conservative Party has, in the words of Boris Johnson “spaffed up the wall” all the public money it could get its hands on, and then borrowed more than a trillion pounds more.

And ministers will say that you have to pay it back.

Source: UK government spending on virus measures pushes debt to £2 trillion – BBC News

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While Sunak offers pointless meal vouchers they can’t use, child malnutrition doubles in six months

The offers in Rishi Sunak’s summer statement were intended to distract you from this.

Of course child malnourishment has doubled in the last six months, because more children are in poverty – and were, even before the Covid-19 crisis hit the UK.

The number of households with hungry children has doubled during lockdown because children reliant on school breakfast clubs and lunches have been deprived of them.

And their parents – already too poor to afford to feed their children in normal circumstances – have been left to support their families on a fraction of their normal pay (if they’re lucky) or on Universal Credit.

But if they’re claiming UC, they’ve had to wait at least five weeks for their first payment – and possibly as long as 11 weeks.

They won’t be able to benefit from the Chancellor’s “meal deal” vouchers because their parents/guardians can’t afford half the price of eating out – which is necessary before the vouchers can be used.

And let’s remember that Boris Johnson wanted to end free school meals for deprived children during the summer holidays, only relenting after a high-profile footballer’s campaign won widespread public support.

The detail that makes this news horrifying, rather than merely appalling, is the fact that fewer than two-thirds of all hospital trusts have provided information.

It means the number of malnourished children in the UK may in fact have tripled – or worse.

What if any – or many – of them die?

Tory voters: did you really want that on your conscience when you voted your beloved Boris Johnson such a huge victory last year?

Almost 2,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition in the first six months of the year – double the number over the same period last year – prompting fresh concern that families are struggling to afford to feed themselves and that the pandemic has intensified the problem.

Freedom of information responses from almost 50 trusts in England, representing 150 hospitals, show that more than 11,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition since 2015.

Almost 1,000 under-16s with malnutrition were admitted as inpatients to Cambridge University hospitals NHS foundation trust alone, suggesting the affluent city has wide disparities in wealth.

Collectively the figures reveal 11,515 cases of hospital admissions of under-16s due to malnourishment. Fewer than two-thirds of all trusts responded, suggesting the real total figure is much higher.

Source: Cases of child malnutrition in England double in last six months | Society | The Guardian

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The DWP simply refuses to pay benefits properly. Why so many underpayments?

Loose change: It’s all the Tories think benefit claimants are worth; that’s why people are being short-changed across the UK, and not just in Scotland.

See the headline? That’s what politicians are asking after the Department for Work and Pensions was found to have made “errors” that have nearly doubled the number of people underpaid since 2011.

The proportion of claimants who have been underpaid due to official errors has risen by 86 per cent to almost 1,000.

The total number of claimants underpaid by the DWP has risen by 64 per cent.

I find this odd. Are the figures saying that the number of claimants has fallen, while the number being underpaid has increased? It’s not entirely clear.

The SNP has used the revelation to demand that the administration of benefit payments in Scotland should be handed over to the Scottish government.

Personally, This Writer supports the demand wholeheartedly. The Welsh government should do the same, as far as I’m concerned, and possibly the Northern Irish government too, now that it is back up and running.

But I don’t see it getting much traction.

Tories like underpayments. They keep the poor hungry and desperate, which is exactly how the Tories like us.

They hope the situation will result in either the poor signing off and finding jobs, or in many deaths. It’s all the same to Boris Johnson, I assure you.

They will certainly act to make sure that this situation continues into the future.

Source: DWP slammed over rising number of benefit underpayments

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Johnson’s Brexit policy means UK will be MUCH better-off under LABOUR

Valueless: Oscar Wilde said a cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Boris Johnson doesn’t even know the price of anything. Perhaps that is why he is spaffing your money up the wall like a fool.

Listen to this:

John McDonnell was referring to a report by the respected Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), stating that the UK will be £110 billion better-off under a Labour government than with Tory rule, by 2022.

The IFS stated that the outlook for the public finances has “worsened dramatically” since the spring and will deteriorate further if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal.

There can be few clearer statements that Boris Johnson’s leadership is a threat to the United Kingdom and everyone in it.

The report stated that the government’s current spending plans, including a £13.4 billion increase to meet Mr Johnson’s promises on police and schools (but not – notice – the NHS) mean the budget deficit was likely to be £52.3bn in 2020-21, more than double the £21bn forecast by the OBR in March.

But Mr Johnson also promised huge tax giveaways for the rich in his leadership campaign including cuts to Income Tax and National Insurance. If he goes ahead with these, he will harm the national finances even more brutally.

No doubt Mr Johnson – and his chancellor Sajid Javid – will come out with some mealy-mouthed excuse to pacify us all. It will probably involve another claim that the Conservatives are the “party of financial responsibility” and “Labour will bankrupt the country”. But it’s a funny thing – if they think Labour’s fiscal plans are so harmful, why has IFS director Paul Johnson claimed that their own current ideas are almost identical to Labour’s from 2017?

Most tellingly, of course, we know that Boris Johnson is a liar.

You cannot trust him when he says he’ll fund the police. You cannot trust him when he says he’ll fund schools. You cannot trust him when he says he’ll fund our NHS. You cannot trust him when he says he’ll cut tax. And you absolutely cannot trust him when he says the UK will be better-off after his Brexit.

He thinks you’ll vote for him in an election likely to happen before Christmas. Just remember this:

If you vote for a liar, you will only get broken promises.

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Hypocrite Bradley’s ‘apology’ video for ‘vasectomy’ blog makes matters WORSE

Ben Bradley: Two weeks ago it was “Vasectomies for wasters”, last week it was “Splat the chavs”. This week it’s “I have matured”. What pearl of wisdom will we have from him next week? [Image: Getty.]

Ben Bradley has turned out to be just like every other Tory recently tasked with improving the Conservative Party’s profile with the young – he just can’t get anything right.

Yesterday (January 23) he posted an apology for blog posts written in 2011, calling for unemployed “wasters” to have “vasectomies” and saying he could not wait for water cannons to arrive in London so police could play “splat the chav”.

It’s a cringeworthy performance, made worse by his claim that matters have improved across the nation since he scribbled those appalling blog posts, with the arrival of the benefit cap and the limiting of child benefit to just two children.

So enforced poverty on families who rely on benefits is a good thing, is it?

The so-called ‘rape clause’ – that says mothers can only receive benefit for a third child if it is the result of sexual assault – is a good thing, is it?

I know many mothers who would disagree. But then, Mr Bradley isn’t a mother. He just thinks he can tell them what’s good for them.

Here’s his video; see for yourself:

Blog posts update

After the blog posts that came out last week, that I wrote as a 21 year old in in 2011, I wanted to let the dust settle a little bit before responding fully as it's been a pretty intense and chaotic week. Here is my response and my take on it all:

Posted by Ben Bradley MP on Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The Daily Mirror has been having fun with Mr Bradley too, pointing out that he reckons he should be excused because his time in politics has allowed him to mature – just three months after he said Jared O’Mara should be “condemned” for offensive homophobic and misogynistic posts he put online.

Mr Bradley begged for his own mistakes to be forgotten – having already, it seems, forgotten that he said Labour’s failure to condemn Mr O’Mara was a “copout” and “weak”.

But that’s Tories for you. They are the Party of Double-Standards, after all.

A Tory MP has begged for his online mistakes to be forgotten just three months after saying another MP should be “condemned” for comments he made on the internet.

Tory youth spokesman Ben Bradley called for the unemployed to have vasectomies in blogs that were unearthed last week.

In another post he said it would be “incredibly sensible” to relocate people on benefits hundreds of miles from home.

Theresa May has been under pressure to sack Bradley, now 28, over the posts which were made when he was 22.

Bradley today issued a video, admitting he had “cocked up”, but pleading to be “judged based on what I’m doing now as a member of parliament, not stupid things I said as a young man.”

But just three months ago, he launched an online attack on another MP over posts he made online as a young man, criticising Labour for insufficiently condemning him and accusing them of a “cop out”.

Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara, who defeated Nick Clegg in June’s General Election, was suspended by Labour in October, after a string of misogynistic and homophobic online comments posted when he was in his early twenties were revealed.

Many of O’Mara’s posts were published when he was younger than Bradley was at the time of his blogs.

Bradley also mocked O’Mara’s claim to have been “on a journey” since making his offensive posts.

But when he was forced to apologise over his own posts, he claimed he had “time in politics has allowed me to mature”

Bradley tweeted: “Labour totally fail to condemn Jared O’Mara again on Daily Politics. He’s been on a journey you know! #Copout #Weak”

Source: ‘Vasectomies for jobseekers’ Tory begs for mistakes to be forgotten months after attacking Labour MP for online comments – Mirror Online


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Now work has begun, the cost of repairing Big Ben’s tower has soared. Other worthy projects go without

Repair costs for the Elizabeth Tower have been doubled [Image: PA].

If I’m reading this right, initial repair cost estimates were kept low to stop companies from artificially inflating their prices.

But now we’re being told that the cost has more than doubled, based on “better” information.

So what, exactly, was the point of the lower amount, which was only quoted to us all less than 18 months ago?

And why was the announcement sneaked out quietly on a Friday evening – in the hope that nobody would notice?

It seems like just another grubby attempt to hoodwink the general public.

Despite all Theresa May’s – and the other Tories’ – recent rhetoric, they are still pushing ahead with austerity for the poor, so projects that deserve public money are being neglected in order to push public money at vanity projects like this. There is nothing seriously wrong with the tower; the decision has been made to push money at it in order to save cash later.

But in the light of other pressures on public funds, is it really money wisely spent?

Some would say it isn’t:

The Tories are really shaking that Magic Money tree, aren’t they? Let’s remember to remind them of this, next time they tell us there’s no cash for anything useful.

Repair costs for the clock tower which houses the famous bell known as Big Ben have now doubled to an estimated £61 million, parliamentary authorities have said.

The conservation project for the Elizabeth Tower in the Palace of Westminster, London, was originally priced at £29m in the spring of 2016.

The House of Commons and House of Lords Commissions have been told that the increase in costs is due to a better understanding of the complexity of the work needed to restore the tower.

In a joint statement the clerk of the House of Commons, the clerk of the Parliaments and the director general of the House of Commons, said: “We acknowledge that there have been estimating failures and we understand the concern of the commissions.

“In advance of tendering contracts, the initial high level estimates were set at a lower level to avoid cost escalation from the market.

“Subsequent estimates, using better data and more extensive surveys, better reflect the true likelihood of the costs.”

Read more: Repair costs for Elizabeth Tower which houses Big Ben double to estimated £61 million


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Childcare changes threatened by underfunding, charity says – BBC News

Who do you believe? The Conservatives – as reported here:

Childcare providers in England say the system is at “breaking point” due to underfunding and a plan to double free provision could lead to “meltdown”.

That warning – from industry body the Pre-School Learning Alliance – comes as ministers say trials of the new scheme are being brought forward to 2016.

The current allowance of 570 hours a year for three and four-year-olds will be doubled for working parents.

The government says it is committed to increasing funding.

Or this man:

150601 chomsky privatisation

Source: Childcare changes threatened by underfunding, charity says – BBC News

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Are the Tories lying again about spending cuts?

140721balls

Labour has claimed that Conservatives will make £70 billion worth of spending cuts if re-elected in May – more than double the amount that David Cameron and George Osborne have claimed.

It is possible to dismiss this as electioneering hyperbole but, let’s face it, Cameron and Osborne don’t have a good record here; they promised to balance the books by May and instead the deficit is stubbornly sticking to £100 billion a year and they have doubled the national debt.

Labour has published analysis showing that the “unprecedented” and “extreme” scale of these spending cuts would pose a major risk to the National Health Service and/or vital public services such as policing, defence and social care.

The cuts would be so extreme that they would lead to the smallest police force since comparable records began, the smallest army since Cromwell and over a third of those older people who receive social care losing their entitlement to it.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has claimed that George Osborne can only achieve his spending plans by pressing ahead with “unprecedented, extreme and close to impossible cuts”, by raising VAT yet again, or by cutting the National Health Service.

He said that, across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there have been only seven countries since 1945 where reductions on this scale have been attempted and for which we have available health spending data. Across these examples, public spending on health care has been cut – on average by one per cent of GDP.

If the average experience of these past fiscal consolidations were to be replicated in the UK over the coming four years of the next Parliament, then this would imply a real terms cut in NHS spending of over £10 billion by 2019-20.

“This is the implication of the choice that George Osborne made last December – and which he is now trying to brush under the carpet,” said Mr Balls.

“If he is to deliver on his Autumn Statement plans for a £23 billion overall budget surplus, as he says, through a Budget with no fiscal loosening, while promising unfunded tax cuts in the next parliament, then he is going to have to deliver these colossal cuts.

“The evidence is clear – countries which reduce public spending at the pace George Osborne intends have found they have had no alternative but to cut health spending.

“And after their broken pledge not to have a top-down re-organisation of the NHS in this Parliament, the British people know that the Tories have form when it comes to broken promises on the NHS.

“If David Cameron and George Osborne cannot spell out how their sums add up… the British people can only conclude – and would be right to conclude – that alternative plans do exist: to cut NHS spending and introduce charging.

“David Cameron and George Osborne must come clean or the British people will draw their own conclusions. And then, in May, they will make their choice.”

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