Labour MP Laura Pidcock has tweeted the following:
Delighted to secure a Westminster Hall debate on Personal Independence Payments (PIP) next Wed 31/1. As debate is focusing on claimant experience, it would be really useful if people could share their experiences of the PIP process below or email [email protected]pic.twitter.com/rx9VOwkmXg
The face is Grant Shapps but the name tag says ‘Michael Green’! Clearly they allow strange business practices in the Conservative Party.
The disasters are coming thick and fast for the Conservative Party.
Commenting on Labour’s announcement of policies intended to boost small and large businesses, Tory Party co-chairman Grant Shapps told BBC News that Ed Miliband could not run the economy because he’d never run a business in his life.
Commenter Roy Saunders suggested to the BBC News website: “Perhaps Mr Shapps could take a moment to tell the British public about all the business experience that George Osborne has?”
Yes indeed; towel-folding in a posh department store must have set him up well for a career as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Mind you, Shapps can’t talk. He does have actual business experience – but not under his own name.
Not the whole story: But it seems unemployed people claiming they are self-employed may still be part of it. [Image: Ros Asquith in The Guardian]
It seems a surge in the number of people who say they are self-employed is not (solely) due to a DWP wheeze that gets people off the unemployment statistics after all.
Instead, Flip Chart Fairy Taleswarns that a lot of people are staying in self-employment rather than becoming employees again or retiring.
This suggests that either they have not been able to reach their target in terms of pensions, or there are no jobs available for people of their particular expertise or experience. The latter seems likely to Yr Obdt Srvt, who is currently trying to make Vox Political a workable concern in order to make a buck or two.
FCFT warns that “this is old-timers seeing their business shrink, rather than newbies trying to find their feet, under-charging and messing things up”.
The figures also show an increase in the number of self-employed tax credit claimants, lending credence to Vox Political‘s long-held belief that Job Centre Plus advisors have been telling jobseekers to pretend they are self-employed in order to get them off the books – let’s not write off that idea too quickly.
And a steady rise in non-VAT-paying businesses not only tells us “a lot of low-profit and low-turnover businesses are hanging on in there, or a lot more of them have become low-profit and low-turnover businesses since 2008”, it tells us that George Osborne will have a nasty surprise in January, when their tax returns come in.
If they are not paying VAT, they are not clearing the earnings threshold that would make such payments necessary. This mitigates against their earnings having increased significantly since the disasters of 2008-2012, when self-employed earnings fell by £8 billion.
So it seems our dancing Chancellor (see yesterday’s post) will find that either the music stops or the tune will change significantly…
Less ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet; more ‘I Don’t Need This Pressure On’.
Corporate ‘partners’: These are just some of the companies that ‘work with’ your representatives in Parliament. Wouldn’t it be better if the relationship was kept at arms-length and your MP wasn’t their employee?
This is an important step on the way towards winning a personal crusade of Vox Political – to clear corruption out of the House of Commons.
The Labour Party will change the law to ban MPs from having second jobs including corporate directorships, employment or consultancy work.
Think about it; this means MPs will no longer be allowed to have dangerous conflicts of interest between their positions as representatives of the electorate and any responsibilities to other employers.
It would go a long way towards meeting the terms of the Vox Political e-petition from last year, which called on Parliament to ban MPs from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest.
It would not help when MPs have shares in particular companies – but those should be declared in the register of members’ interests in any case, and neglect to mention such interests should lead to strict penalties.
I know. The Maria Miller case (to quote a recent example) isn’t going to fill anybody with hope, is it?
A Daily Mail report has stated that the move will infuriate many MPs on both sides of the House, and some Facebook commenters have already trotted out the now-tired line that they’ll believe it when they see it, or Labour won’t be able to push the measure through as MPs would oppose it.
That’s a mistake – a whipped vote in a House of Commons with a Labour majority means an automatic victory – in exactly the same way the Coalition government has continually won controversial votes in the current Parliament (against ardent Labour opposition that has subsequently gone unnoticed by the public – or at least, by many commenters on this site).
The Mail‘s article affected shock at Labour’s temerity in wanting to force this measure on members of other political parties, claiming it is likely to fuel claims that the party is anti-business.
This is, of course, poppycock. How is it anti-business to make sure serving members of Parliament concentrate on their jobs as public representatives, rather than trying to serve two masters at once? It seems more likely that business will revive without their over-rated expertise.
After all, look how well they’ve managed the nation’s finances!
The Mail also quoted some goon who said it meant the electorate would be lumbered with more career politicians who have worked as researchers and special advisors, when there need to be MPs in every party who have had “real world” professional experience.
This too is poppycock. There is no reason a person in any career cannot stand for election and, if returned to Parliament, take a sabbatical from their day job until they are voted out again or choose to return to their vocation.
Ah. I’ve just looked up the name of the goon who made this claim: Tory MP Andrew Bridgen. Need I say more?
Finally, the Mail turned to the Institute of Directors for support. It’s as if the paper really wanted to hammer home how corrupt the system has become, and will remain, if left as it is. Of course, the director general, Simon Walker, said MPs could better serve the public if they have “active links” with the business community.
Well, of course!
How could he influence Parliamentary decisions without a few directors in the Cabinet?
This is a policy that we should all support to the hilt.
I strongly advise you to contact your MP and seek their support for it.
Vox Political supports any move to keep MPs out of the pockets of big business
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