Tag Archives: funding

More than 40 Tory MPs demand extra funding for the councils they’ve been starving

Rubbish: will domestic refuse collections be cut back – again – if Rishi Sunak and his government refuse a plea from more than 40 Tory MPs for the restoration of funding to local councils?

Tory MPs who gleefully nodded through cuts totalling three-eighths of local council funding are now demanding extra cash so the same councils can fend off bankruptcy. Is it because this is an election year and they are afraid they’ll lose their Parliamentary seats?

More than 40 of them have joined dozens of others in demanding extra funding to avoid big cuts in council services.

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Here’s the BBC:

The group of 46 MPs, which is made up of 44 Conservatives as well as Labour’s Daniel Zeichner and Liberal Democrat Sarah Dyke, includes former ministers Priti Patel, Robert Jenrick, Greg Clark and Damian Green.

The letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove was co-ordinated by the County Councils Network and the County All-Party Parliamentary Group.

It urged the government to provide extra funding for local authorities ahead of a vote in the Commons next month “to ensure that the councils in our areas can continue to provide the services that our residents depend upon”.

There has been growing concern across the local government sector about council funding, with particular pressure on the cost of providing care for vulnerable adults and children, as well as housing services.

The government said it had announced a £64bn funding package for councils.

In December, the government announced the amount of funding it plans to make available to councils from April, and said it represented an average increase of 6.5% compared to the year before.

It is interesting that the Tory government said it was providing £64 billion in funding, when apparently the amount of cash it made available for councils fell from £41bn to just £26bn between 2010 and 2020.

Perhaps some of the extra cash is so-called ‘Levelling-Up’ money?

If so, Labour’s Luton North MP Sarah Owen has something to say about the way that money has been allocated:

Most of the response to the Tories’ call for cash has been ridicule – and for obvious reasons. They knew they were taking money away from local councils when they voted for austerity cuts to their funding, so they knew that services would be cut.

These responses therefore seem entirely appropriate:

Rishi Sunak is facing the possibility of another rebellion when Parliament is asked to approve a new funding deal for local councils in the near future.

It seems that these Tories have presented their government with a lose-lose situation: either set themselves up to lose the funding vote in Parliament, or set themselves up to lose the election when the amount of funding approved by Parliament turns out not to be enough.

Perhaps this is a good moment to remind you that the people of the UK can have all the public services they want. The only thing missing is the political will to provide it.

The UK is the fifth-richest economy in the world, meaning there is plenty of money available. Most of it is held by a small number of extremely rich millionaires and billionaires, many of whom would not object to paying a little more tax if it frees up money for public services.

But the Tory government – including some of the MPs now demanding more funding – is determined to cut taxes for the richest people, rather than increasing them.

This is a problem that the Tories created for us, with a plan to blame councils in the face of any backlash. Now it is backfiring onto them. Serves them right.


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Keir Starmer’s economic growth plan doesn’t allow for contingencies. Awkward…

There are two serious flaws in Keir Starmer’s plan to fund public services by growing the economy.

While you’re watching this clip, have a go at working out what they are:

Firstly, economic growth doesn’t necessarily mean more money for the Treasury.

In order to put new public money into services, a responsible government (that isn’t borrowing) will need to tax a similar amount out of us all – and a responsible Labour government would ensure that such taxation is weighted to put most of the burden onto the rich and profitable businesses.

Has Keir Starmer publicised plans for a new taxation structure for the UK? No. He has been courting businesses because he wants their donations. In turn, this means they’ll want tax breaks from him, or they’ll threaten to remove their financial support.

So it is hard to envision much extra cash making its way into the public purse under Starmer (although we would see more of it than under the Tories, who want to cut both taxes and public services to the bone).

Worse still is this: Keir Starmer has no contingency plan if the economy does not grow.

Three times, in the interview above, he was asked to explain what he would do then – and all three times, his only answer was that he believes the economy will grow.

Faith is a wonderful thing, but you can’t fuel the economy of a developed western nation on hot air and fantasy.


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Labour links up with the Tories to betray democracy and make UK a police state

Sad: once again, Labour has proved this to be true.

The Labour Party has again proved how harmful it is – and not just by supporting the Tory bid to kill democracy.

But let’s start with thatanyway. On June 13, 2023, the Conservative government ended democratic government in the UK by reversing a change in its Public Order Act that had been approved by Parliament, using secondary legislation – a ‘ministerial decree’ – that is not ratified by a vote.

It means the changes imposed on new laws during their passage through Parliament may now be pointless, because the government may simply – and unilaterally – reverse them all after they gain Royal Assent.

We might as well not bother having a Parliament any more.

The Green Party’s Baroness Jenny Jones tried to safeguard democracy by tabling a ‘fatal motion’ that would have put a stop to the ‘ministerial decree’. This was the only way to force a vote on it.

But she needed support from Labour peers to win that vote – and Labour said it would not help because that would go against some old Parliamentary convention. It’s the flimsiest excuse ever.

Instead, Labour offered up a lame ‘motion of regret’, paying lip service to the idea of opposition by saying the party does not approve but actually doing nothing at all to stop the Tories from trampling all over democracy.

The disappointment – no, the disgust – is huge, especially from one Labour Lord:

He was an exception. Most Labour peers did as Lord Coaker describes in the following video clip which triggered a particularly strong response from the CWU’s Peter Stefanovic:

Peter had campaigned to make people aware of the ‘fatal motion’, and to get us to urge the Labour peers to support it, since Baroness Jones tabled it. You can feel his bitterness and anger welling up in the following tweet and as one of the signatories, This Writer shares it:

But there’s more.

This isn’t even Labour’s only betrayal of the day.

It seems that, in another attempt to claim “fiscal responsibility” from the Tories, Labour has decided to take away support for childcare from millions of parents, making it impractical for them to go out to work for a living. It’s a blow against millions of families and crippling to the UK’s struggling economy, and Keir Starmer’s party has the nerve to claim it’s a sign of responsibility.

Thank goodness Jeremy Corbyn is settling into his new role of pointing out that Keir Starmer and his people are hateful:

Of course it’s yet another u-turn for Starmer:

How many’s that, now?

Still… Out with an old promise; in with a new one. Right?

Here’s the new promise of the day – and a spot opinion on it.

In fact, I think Labour might actually stick with this one because a Labour government wouldn’t have to pay for it.

In spite of all of the above, there is one way – just one – in which Labour can still claim to be of use to the UK population at large…

… that is by flagging up the failures of the Tory government with facts and figures.

But don’t expect a Labour government under Keir Starmer to ever do anything to improve the situation because all he has to offer are missed opportunities and broken promises.


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Reported funding cut could set back social care ‘for years to come’

Care: the head of NHS England once said he wanted change but now it seems clear it will be for the worse.

The Tory government promised to revitalise social care in the UK – but seems set to renege on that vow.

Is this the next big Tory scandal?

Ministers are poised to cut £250m from investment in the social care workforce in England, it has been reported, in a move that providers say could set back care “for years to come”.

With more than 165,000 care worker jobs vacant, and low pay driving staff to quit for better wages in retail and hospitality, care providers and councils have been clamouring for investment in recruitment and retention. Inadequate staffing levels are frequently noted as a cause of neglect and poor care by the Care Quality Commission.

However, according to the Health Service Journal (subscription), the government is poised to water down a promise it made in the December 2021 social care white paper to dedicate £500m to “investment in knowledge, skills, health and wellbeing, and recruitment policies [that] will improve social care as a long-term career choice”. This amount could be cut to £250m.

Source: Government ‘to cut £250m from social care workforce funding’ in England | Care workers | The Guardian

Tory energy minister blames Labour for his own government’s failings

Why do Tories insist on trying to mislead us on every slightest blunder they make, when we can find the facts easily anyway?

Here’s Graham Stuart, Tory Energy Minister, blaming the last Labour government – which ended in 2010 – for his own government’s lack of exertion in bringing energy bills down with insulation and heat pumps, and investment in renewables:

When asked by the Guardian if he would take responsibility on behalf of the government for sluggishness on insulation, heat pump installations and renewables investment, he refused and instead criticised the previous Labour government, which was last in office in 2010.

He said the Conservative action on energy efficiency “has been transformational since the rather dire position we inherited both on renewables and efficiency from Labour”.

And what are the facts?

The Guardian this week revealed that a third of the funding pledged by the UK government for insulation and installing heat pumps has not yet been spent, analysis has shown, despite the continuing energy bills and cost of living crises.

About £2.1bn remains unspent of the £6.6bn that was supposed to be used between 2020 and 2025 on making buildings more energy efficient and decarbonising heat. The funding is part of the £9.2bn that was promised for such spending in the Conservative general election manifesto of 2019.

The shadow climate minister, Kerry McCarthy, said: “Graham Stuart is living in a fantasy world. It was the Conservatives who crashed the market for onshore wind, costing British families £150 in higher bills. It was the Conservatives who gutted energy efficiency programmes, to the extent that installation rates are 20 times lower than under the last Conservative government. And it was Conservatives whose own net zero strategy is so poor that the UK’s own courts deemed it unlawful.

I think it’s going a bit far to say that the Tories’ failure on this has kept energy bills high, though, when the globalised energy giants like Shell and BP are charging us whatever they like because they get most of their cash abroad.

I mean, who owns the wind farms, apart from the King?

Source: UK energy minister blames Labour for soaring energy bills | Energy bills | The Guardian


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Boris Johnson earns £1m in six weeks, but taxpayer gets his bill for legal fees | The Times

Money, money, money: but Boris Johnson never seems to use any of his own – it’s always yours.

This is the story – and I should have got to it before The Times, of all places:

Boris Johnson has earned nearly a million pounds in just over six weeks – but is claiming public money for legal representation at the Partygate inquiry – and the amount seems to be limitless.

Sadly, the story is behind a paywall, so this is all I can show you –

Boris Johnson has earned nearly a million pounds in just over six weeks, it has been revealed. The former prime minister registered more than half a million po

– plus the link below.

His earnings were mentioned in a previous Vox Political piece, here.

And his public-money funding for Partygate is the subject of this article in the Graun, although it’s covered by many other media outlets if that one isn’t your cup of tea.

Entitled arseheads like Johnson really take the biscuit, don’t they?

He’s taken a million quid on the side – that’s additional to his MP salary, and has anybody actually seen him in the House of Commons lately? – but he wouldn’t dream of using any of it to fight the Partygate allegations.

He’ll happily take it from you and me instead.

That’s how they stay rich and you stay poor.

Source: Boris Johnson earns £1m in six weeks, but taxpayer gets his bill for legal fees | News | The Times

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How is £5 million in sports funding supposed to stop the youth crime epidemic?

Knife crime is rampant in the UK, much of it involving young people. How is £5 million of sports funding supposed to turn it around?

Here’s the story. Discussion below:

I was talking about this only last night, with a 19-year-old friend of mine.

He told me that stunts like this from Dominic Raab are pointless.

Young people are surrounded by a culture of knife crime, he said – in the music they hear, the social media they visit, and in the people they meet in their daily lives (including, often, family members).

In the year ending March 2022, there were around 45,000 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales (excluding Greater Manchester Police Force), according to the Office for National Statistics. This was nine per cent higher than in 2020/21 and a massive 34 per cent higher than in 2010/11.

Home Office data shows there were 261 homicides (also known as murders) (currently recorded) using a sharp instrument, including knives and broken bottles. This meant sharp instruments were used in 40 per cent of the 594 homicides that occurred in 2021/22.

Data from NHS Digital shows there were 4,171 “hospital episodes” recorded in English hospitals in 2021/22 due to assault by a sharp object. This was two per cent higher than in 2020/21 and 14 per cent higher than in 2014/15.

How is a pittance of cash spread across the UK to fund sport supposed to help turn that tide?

Not only is it not enough, it will not be interesting to many of the youngsters who may have been involved in creating the statistics quoted above.

I wonder who provided the advice on which this was based, and on what information it was based.

And I wonder who knows how much it will cost to effect real change.

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The status quo – that Liz Truss said was ‘not an option’ – funded her Tory leadership campaign

Money: Liz Truss had half a million pounds in funding for her Tory leadership campaign – almost twice the permitted amount. It came from hedge fund bosses, bankers and business leaders – the “status quo” that she warned against in her two-faced Conservative Party conference speech.

Remember this, from Liz Truss’s keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference, only yesterday?

Today we discover that, not only is it an option for her, but it was her first option when seeking funding for her campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party – and prime minister by default:

These are people who will now consider it their right to make demands of the UK’s prime minister, ensuring that she does what they tell her – because she owes them her job.

Crucially:

The prime minister, who has made a virtue of being pro-business and cutting taxes, saw a further round of donations declared on the register of MPs’ interests on Wednesday.

The second tranche of donations takes the amount she has received to more than £500,000 – way above the campaign spending limit of £300,000.

So she broke the campaign’s rules.

Doesn’t that make her candidacy invalid? Shouldn’t she be resigning right about now, rather than jetsetting around the world on a prime ministerial jolly?

Source: Liz Truss raised £500,000 for bid to be leader, register of interests reveals | Politics | The Guardian

Levelling-up funding is being used to handle the consequences of Brexit – in RICH areas

Brexit isn’t working: That’s what Kent Council has found – but to mitigate the harm, the third-richest council in the UK is trying to steal ‘Levelling-up’ funding from areas of genuine need.

Kent Council has claimed a large amount of money to deal with problems that Brexit has caused its traffic management.

But the money isn’t being requested from a ‘Brexit consequences’ fund.

The application is for ‘Levelling-up’ funds.

Kent Council is the third-richest in the United Kingdom. It shouldn’t be claiming any ‘Levelling-up’ cash.

But it is, because Tories give money to Tories – and never do anything that genuinely helps the deprived.

To see how it works, watch the clip:

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Truss would divert NHS funds to social care as hospitals stop routine Covid tests. Foolhardy?

Truss: open mouth, insert foot.

Tory leader candidate Liz Truss would divert £13 billion earmarked for the NHS to social care, to catch up on delayed Covid treatment there.

Is that a good idea? It’s certainly populist. But isn’t diverting funds away from the NHS when routine asymptomatic Covid testing is about to end – and the disease has this summer caused almost twice as many deaths as last summer – extremely foolhardy?

Nobody expects the ending of tests to last because a surge of new Covid cases is expected in the autumn. But the decision to end asymptomatic testing has alarmed health experts who have cautioned against dismantling the surveillance of Covid while cases remain high.

As it is, the chief executive of health think tank the King’s Fund has said handing the money to social care is “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

Richard Murray said it was “not a sustainable solution to the health and care crisis”.

In any case, it is unlikely that the money will actually materialise.

It is supposed to come from increased National Insurance contributions announced under Boris Johnson last year – but Truss wants to scrap the rise and find the cash from the general tax take (which is a contradiction in terms; public funding and taxation doesn’t work like that).

So as the NHS faces its worst winter crisis yet, the front-runner to be the new prime minister wants to take the imaginary money that was going to help it, and let it do its nonexistent good in social care. LUNACY!

Source: Liz Truss plan to divert NHS funds to social care is ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’

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