Tag Archives: half

This puts the seal on Hancock’s coronavirus testing lie

Matt Hancock: doesn’t he look smug? Most liars do, when they think they’ll get away with it.

Has Matt Hancock not resigned yet? No?

Shame. He should have gone, just for wasting up to 40,000 coronavirus testing kits by posting them out – sometimes multiple kits to the same homes – with no return address.

Recipients were told to bin them.

This is at a time when people are dying of this disease.

So to the commenter on This Site who wrote: “I have heard, but cannot corroborate, that some tests have arrived with no return envelope nor address. When people have contacted the help centre they have been advised to toss them in the bin and another would be sent out. If they are counting tests sent out then that would count as two tests”…

I can respond with this:

I hope that’s enough corroboration for everybody.

Worse still, if you wanted even more proof that the Tories rigged the system so they could parade a lie before us… it seems the number of tests carried out on May 1 – even under the new system – almost halved:

122,000 claimed one day; 63,000 the next.

Thousands of test kits posted out with no return address, with several sent to the same homes.

And Matt Hancock is still Health and Social Care Secretary.

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Coronavirus: half a year before normality resumes – because of Tory stupidity

Johnson: This stupid ass caught coronavirus because he failed to follow his own social distancing advice (once he got round to giving it). Now he’s got the nerve to tell us he may tighten restrictions – but he’ll never admit that he has been at fault.

They’ll never admit it but if it does take half a year or more before people in the UK are allowed to resume their normal lives, it’s because of the stupidity of our Conservative government.

And if the lockdown lasts as long – or almost – that will be because of Tory stupidity too.

Boris Johnson’s letter saying the situation will worsen before it gets better is nothing more than we should all expect.

England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jenny Harries, said the number of deaths is likely to worsen over the next one or two weeks – because it will take that long before the effects of social distancing begin to be felt.

And Johnson has warned that stricter measures could be put in place if necessary. This makes perfect sense, if deaths continue to rise.

But the reason deaths may continue rising is the government’s failure to impress upon the population the fact that the measures already in place are important.

In his letter, Johnson says, “From the start, we have sought to put in the right measures at the right time.” This is contemptible nonsense.

Before coronavirus arrived in the UK, the Tories had ensured that none of the plans necessary to protect the public against a contagion of this kind were up to date.

And they had dismantled the specialist team in the Department of Health, that would have dealt with the pandemic, nine years ago.

Medical journal The Lancet warned the government to get its act together on January 24.

But Johnson dithered for a further seven weeks, issuing contradictory statements and advice that left members of the public confused.

Is it any wonder, then, that when he ordered us all to stay home and observe social distancing rules, many people have ignored him completely – including himself?

The prime minister himself caught the disease because he failed to follow his own advice.

The news websites are full of reports of street parties being broken up by police, who are empowered to issue fines starting at £60 but rising to £960 for repeat offenders.

This Writer has been told of barbecues in Shrewsbury, and even health professionals have been caught flouting the rules.

This brings us to another point: remember Jenny Harries, who said the number of deaths is likely to worsen? She must take part of the blame for that.

The Lancet (again) has called on her to apologise for claiming that the NHS had “a perfectly adequate supply of PPE [Personal Protective Equipment, worn by medical staff while treating coronavirus patients to prevent them from contracting it or passing on to others]”.

It didn’t – and I note that two doctors are reported to have died in this report alone.

The government failed to join a European Union scheme to provide much-needed ventilators – by misdirecting the email, it seems – and there are concerns over the choices of supplier made by Johnson and his cronies.

Put it all together and you can see that more people will die because of the Tories; there is a lack of equipment to fight the virus because of the Tories; and if it takes longer for life to return to normal – they’ll be responsible for that too.

Source: Coronavirus: Strict measures could last ‘significant period’ – BBC News

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Tories have thrown half a billion pounds away on their admittedly-failed probation privatisation

‘Failing’ Grayling: Charged with reforming the Probation Service in 2014, he ended up ruining it.

Conservatives really don’t understand the way money works in a modern economy, do they? All they can do is throw it at rich privateers and hope they can carry out public functions.

Well, as Chris Grayling’s pathetic privatisation of probation services has proved, they can’t.

This Site reported on the fiasco in January. I wrote:

If you take money to do a job and don’t actually do it, you’re in breach of contract.

Sure, and part of the disaster was caused by HMG. The idea was to give 21 companies £3.7 billion until 2022 to handle and help prisoners serving 12 months or more who are at low risk of self-harm.

But it seems people like Messrs Heaton and Spurr had overestimated the number of low risk ex-offenders leaving prison and underestimated the number of high risk ex-offenders who are still being helped by the publicly run probation service

It means the private companies were dealing with fewer people, so they’d get less money – £1.6 billion less. This put them in financial difficulty.

It also transpires that these companies were also complete and utter failures at the job – so bad, according to inspectors, that they may as well not exist.

So why has the Tory government agreed to spend £342 million keeping them in business and in-contract?

The state should be demanding its money back from these privateers. They’re in breach of contract.

Now, a mere six months later, the Tories are throwing another £170 million at the same companies – to buy itself out of its contracts.

That brings the total spent on keeping duff companies in business up to £500 million – half a billion pounds.

Yet Tories are happy to let other businesses go to the wall. Is it because those firms’ bosses don’t wear the Old School Tie, or don’t belong to the right familes – or what?

According to Sky News:

Agreements with 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) to manage low-risk offenders will now end in 2020, two years earlier than planned.

CRCs were part of a major part-privatisation programme for England and Wales introduced in 2014 by former justice secretary Chris Grayling.

Under the reorganisation, the publicly run National Probation Service (NPS) dealt with the most high-risk offenders, while the supervision of low and medium-risk offenders was farmed out to privately run CRCs, who secured contracts worth almost £4bn over seven years.

Many of the CRCs were struggling to manage their caseloads with the resources available, with whistleblowers warning the public were being put increasingly at risk.

The reforms also came under attack last month by the House of Commons justice committee, who stated the probation service was in a “mess” after the reorganisation failed to meet its aims.

The current 21 CRCs will be slimmed down to 11 that are closely aligned with NPS regions. Ten will remain private, with the one in Wales merged with the NPS.

The £170m cost includes £110m the CRCs owe the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in fines for failing to meet performance targets.

They will be allowed to keep the cash to reinvest in services to keep them going for the last two years of their contracts.

The MoJ will also pay £22m in both years for “through the gate” services helping offenders immediately after they are released from prison.

Mr Gauke admitted the amount of work available for CRCs “has been lower than anticipated and that has had an impact in terms of their income and the services they are able to provide”.

That actually saved taxpayers £300m because the MoJ budgeted to pay firms £2.5bn by 2020 and had only paid out £2.2bn.

Mr Grayling has recently been dubbed “failing Grayling” by critics as he battles with major rail disruption in his current job as transport secretary.

That last line is included for its wild inaccuracy – This Site was calling him “failing” Grayling at least five years ago, as you can see by visiting this article.

Now, I was going to comment on this nightmare, but I find that Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon has already said it all for me:

“This announcement is further evidence that the Conservatives’ decision to outsource whole swathes of probation to the private sector has created an unprecedented crisis in the system. This ideological experiment has been a costly failure, just as Labour warned it would be.

This decision to throw more good money after bad and the government’s re-commitment to a privately-run probation service shows that the Conservatives have run out of all ideas on how to fix their broken system. Delaying this announcement until parliament closed for the summer is a tacit admission by the Government that its probation policies can’t withstand the slightest scrutiny.

With a Labour government there will be no more bailouts for failing private probation companies. Labour is fully committed to returning the probation system to the public sector. The Tories should do likewise and create a probation system that prioritises keeping the public safe rather than boosting the profits of private companies.”

It will never happen under the Conservatives. Privatisation is their religion – and they don’t care how many people they harm while paying tribute to their false god.

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Osborne rebuked over EU surcharge reduction claim

It’s official – George Osborne lied when he said he had halved the £1.7 billion EU budget surcharge, and his claim that he had achieved a “real result for Britain” was nonsense.

This is how George Osborne probably looked after the fire in his pants caused by his incessant lying about the EU’s £1.7bn bill burned away the rest of his suit. Note that his briefcase is still empty of policies and all he has to offer us is the carrot of false promises [Image: Kaya Mar www.kayamarart.com].

This is how George Osborne probably looked after the fire in his pants caused by his incessant lying about the EU’s £1.7bn bill burned away the rest of his suit. Note that his briefcase is still empty of policies and all he has to offer us is the carrot of false promises [Image: Kaya Mar www.kayamarart.com].

Even more stinging must be the fact that this rebuke comes from a fellow Conservative – Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the House of Commons Treasury Committee.

“The suggestion that the £1.7 billion bill demanded by the European Union was halved is not supported by published information,” he said in a report by the committee.

“The terms of the UK’s rebate calculation are set out in EU law. It should, therefore, have been clear that the rebate would apply.”

The Treasury Committee’s report confirms what Vox Political stated the day after Osborne made his ill-advised claim.

Its report did, however, recognise the government’s “achievement” in extending the payment period and avoiding interest charges – although this was managed in conjunction with every other EU member state that found itself facing the prospect of extra payments, and was not an achievement of the UK government alone.

What does Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition have to say about this? At the time, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls told us, “David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to take the British people for fools.”

Has Labour’s attitude softened? No.

“This damning cross-party report exposes George Osborne’s claim to have halved the EU budget surcharge to be totally untrue,” said Chris Leslie, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

“He must now apologise to taxpayers for making this completely false claim.

“Too many times this Chancellor has desperately tried to use smoke and mirrors to fool the British people. He has been caught out again and his credibility is further undermined.

“People will now treat the false claims he makes in the coming weeks with the contempt they deserve.”

And that is the problem for our part-time Chancellor.

He has undermined his own credibility and that of his party.

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Osborne has NOT halved the EU’s £1.7bn bill

This is how George Osborne probably looked after the fire in his pants caused by his incessant lying about the EU's £1.7bn bill burned away the rest of his suit. Note that his briefcase is still empty of policies and all he has to offer us is the carrot of false promises.

This is how George Osborne probably looked after the fire in his pants caused by his incessant lying about the EU’s £1.7bn bill burned away the rest of his suit. Note that his briefcase is still empty of policies and all he has to offer us is the carrot of false promises [Image: Kaya Mar www.kayamarart.com].

Another Tory lie busted – and in a matter of hours.

George Osborne turned up on TV today, buoyed up by a cloud of his own smugness, announcing that thanks to his amazing Chancellorial skills, the UK will have to pay only half of the £1.7bn budget surcharge demanded by the European Union.

What he didn’t say – at least, not in as many words – was that this was because the EU would be applying a previously-agreed rebate to the charge. It isn’t that the UK will be paying less; simply that the EU won’t be giving back the money that we were due.

It’s as Jacek Dominik, EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget, said on October 27: “Let me point out in this respect that the UK will benefit from the UK rebate for the additional payments in 2014. This will be budgeted in May 2015 when the UK rebate is recalculated.”

Bloomberg News carried a more accurate account than Osborne offered the BBC, stating that “EU finance ministers agreed in principle today to stretch out Britain’s payment of a 2.1 billion-euro ($2.6 billion) bill until September 2015, while leaving the U.K.’s overall contributions to the EU untouched.”

This story made it clear that “Britain failed to win a cut in an extra budget payment demanded by the European Union, complicating Prime Minister David Cameron’s efforts to fend off an anti-EU movement at home.

“The U.K. will pay the whole amount without any penalties attached or interest rates,” Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan told reporters after the Brussels meeting. “The installments will be paid over a period of time.”

Now let’s go to Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. Does he think Osborne did a good job? “David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to take the British people for fools.”

Apparently not. “Ministers have failed to get a better deal for the British taxpayer. Not a single penny has been saved for the taxpayer compared to two weeks ago when David Cameron was blustering in Brussels.

“By counting the rebate Britain was due anyway they are desperately trying to claim that the backdated bill for £1.7 billion has somehow been halved. But nobody will fall for this smoke and mirrors. The rebate was never in doubt and in fact was confirmed by the EU Budget Commissioner last month.

“The fact is the Treasury knew about this issue for weeks and weeks, but the Chancellor was asleep on the job. And David Cameron and George Osborne have totally failed to make the alliances we need in Europe to get a better deal for the British taxpayer.”

So the UK is still paying full whack – albeit amortised over a period of time – and George Osborne is a miserable liar.

Vox Political is delighted to have that cleared up.

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Has Osborne halved the EU’s £1.7bn bill?

George Osborne: It seems he can save money when he wants to.

George Osborne: It seems he can save money when he wants to.

The UK will only have to pay half of the £1.7bn budget surcharge demanded by the European Union, according to George Osborne.

The EU itself has yet to make an announcement at the time of writing.

Osborne’s words came after a four-hour meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels, in which he said it had also been agreed that the UK would pay the money in two interest-free instalments, totalling £850 million, before September 2015.

It seems the Treasury wants to claim it has cut the 2.1bn Euro top-up charge in half by ensuring the UK’s rebate applies to the payment.

But even the BBC’s Tory-supporting Political Editor, ‘Tricky’ Nick Robinson, said the deal would be scrutinised.

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