Tag Archives: loss

Now the Covid crisis is being used to lever working disabled people out of their jobs

It seems people with disabilities have no safety net when threatened with losing their job because of measures they’re told to take, just to protect themselves from Covid-19.

Was there an underlying prejudice against people with disabilities all along, or did the Tories put it on the national agenda?

Until 2010, This Writer thought the UK was moving in the right direction, discarding discrimination against ethnic minorities and people with physical impediments.

But racism and disablism have skyrocketed since the Tories came back into office and I don’t know whether they have instigated it or merely allowed bigots across the UK to express what they felt all along.

Covid-19 seems to have brought this ugliness into its own.

The latest outrage is the revelation that a quarter of working people with disabilities are likely to lose their job – because of safety measures they have been told to take, to avoid infection.

This rises to 37 per cent of those who said their disability had a large impact on their day-to-day life.

And half of those shielding because of extreme vulnerability to the coronavirus risk redundancy.

It seems employers see people with disabilities as an easy cut to make – especially in an atmosphere where unfair dismissals are more likely to go unremarked.

And people with disabilities going onto benefits face an uphill struggle getting benefits – even if they’re not claiming sickness/disability benefits.

The five-week wait for Universal Credit is bad enough for able-bodied people, remember.

The Tory government isn’t particularly bothered. Anyone can seek an employment tribunal against unfair dismissal.

But how long is that going to take? And what will they do in the meantime?

Source: Parents, carers and disabled people in UK ‘twice as likely to lose job’ | World news | The Guardian

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More than 600,000 jobs lost – so 45 fat cats can increase their wealth by £25 billion?

Loadsamoney: and Boris Johnson has been spaffing it up the wall on furlough schemes so his big business pals can make a killing from Covid-19, it seems.

Covid-19 has had remarkably divergent effects on people, depending on their status in our society.

At the bottom, more than 600,000 people have lost their jobs:

The number of paid employees in the UK fell by 449,000 between March and April 2020 and early estimates suggest that a further 163,000 people lost their jobs in April.

It is believed that this number would have been much higher if not for the Government’s furlough scheme, and other support measures introduced to help businesses.

But with this scheme due to be wound down from August, it is feared that the UK could yet see a second spike in job losses and a subsequent rise in unemployment.

The data also shows a significant drop in median pay and recent wage growth has been reversed. Early estimates for May suggest that median monthly pay fell by 1.8% to £1,778 and the rate of growth in median pay became negative in April, falling to minus 0.75%.

So more people are unemployed and those who have kept their jobs have endured a drop in pay.

Meanwhile, at the top:

Britain’s billionaires have seen their fortunes soar by £25bn during the coronavirus lockdown – while some are criticised for using millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash to pay wages of the staff in their companies.

New analysis shows 45 of the richest in the UK have seen their Covid-19 pandemic wealth snowballing by 20%.

Analysis shows the collective wealth of Britain’s richest since five days before the coronavirus lockdown at the end of March has risen from £121.57bn to £146.61bn.

It comes as Britain’s economy shrank by a record 20.4% in April as the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown triggered an economic crash three times greater than the 2008 financial crisis.

It seems the secret of their success is to have multiple business interests – and to take advantage of the government’s furlough scheme to get taxpayers to subsidise their payrolls.

The biggest winner, according to a study of Forbes data tracking billionaire wealth, is James Ratcliffe. He’s founder, chairman and majority owner of chemical giant Ineos, with wide North Sea energy interests.

Mr Ratcliffe’s net worth has risen from £8.75bn to £13.83bn. He has taken advantage of the government scheme to furlough almost 800 members of staff from his luxury hotel groups Home Grown and Lime Wood.

Under the scheme the State covers up to 80 per cent of the salaries of staff if companies keep them on the payroll. The payments are capped at £2,500 a month for each employee.

So he continues coining it from his energy firm, with lower outgoings because public money is funding his hotel staff.

Was this the intention?

It’s a valid question.

We were told the furlough scheme was to protect businesses and jobs, and that they would go to the wall without it.

But we see that the people behind the biggest businesses – who are therefore taking the most advantage of the furlough scheme – are raking in astronomical amounts of money.

Meanwhile the rest of us go without, and the national Treasury is emptied, meaning the poorest of us (again) will be told to pay more for the services the richest of us have received.

It’s wrong.

Nobody should be profiting from a pandemic that has killed nearly 70,000 people.

Perhaps Marcus Rashford should start campaigning for a windfall tax on the UK’s super-rich?

Source: Over 600,000 jobs lost to COVID-19 as Labour calls for an urgent ‘Back To Work’ budget – Welfare Weekly

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Coronavirus: ‘Deluge’ of benefit claimants are about to learn what it’s like to deal with the DWP

This is going to be ugly.

According to The Independent, the Department for Work and Pensions is bracing itself for a ‘deluge’ of benefit claims as businesses lay off workers in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Yes – people are losing their jobs, it seems, despite assurances from the government that it will pay up to 80 per cent of employees’ wages.

It seems senior DWP officials have been told they will be sent to cover “frontline roles” to shore up services and deal with people who have lost their jobs.

So it seems to me that people who might have been told to think benefit claimants were “spongers” and “scroungers” are about to find out how it feels to be treated as that kind of person, when they’re not.

Mrs Mike reckons the DWP might tone down its treatment of benefit claimants, in the light of the current crisis.

But I don’t think that’s possible.

You see, if anybody claiming as a result of coronavirus gets preferential treatment, then that will constitute discrimination against everybody who has claimed in normal times.

It also seems that most of the new claimants are going to be steered onto Universal Credit, which means the five-week wait for the first payment, the loan if they run out of money, the grinding poverty as they spend months being forced to pay it back.

So we live in interesting times.

Either the DWP goes easy – and faces loss after loss at tribunal over discrimination… or it carries on as normal – and Mr and Mrs General Public find out what’s really been going on in our Job Centres for the last 10 years.

Or have I missed something?

Source: DWP officials sent to ‘front line’ as government prepares for flood in benefit claims – Welfare Weekly

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UK faces biggest health threat in decades after losing TEN THOUSAND NURSES because of Brexit

Boris Johnson really is the exact opposite of a genius, isn’t he?

He campaigned hard for Brexit, no matter what the consequences.

And now we see the consequences.

As the UK braces itself for the full force of a coronavirus crisis that Johnson appears to be doing nothing to prevent, we discover that the National Health Service has lost 10,000 nurses because of Brexit.

That’s the number of nurses the nation is understood to have lost because EU citizens have been discouraged from coming to the UK as a result of the Brexit decision.

And we were already dozens of thousands of nurses below-strength.

So we’re even more poorly-equipped to handle this crisis – as a result of Boris Johnson’s inverse genius – than we previously thought.

All of which shows that he’s the exact opposite of a leader as well.

But then, we can all see that perfectly clearly.

After all, where is he?

Source: NHS missing 10,000 nurses since Brexit as Europeans avoid moving to the UK – Mirror Online

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Mothercare closes after nearly 60 years, with thousands of job losses

Another iconic British shopping brand has ended, 59 years after it was founded.

All Mothercare shops in the UK will be closed by the end of today (January 12). Apparently Mothercare International still trades profitably.

The loss means yet another gap in the market, although some Mothercare products will continue to be sold by Boots.

Is this the start of the new post-Brexit Golden Age that Boris Johnson has been bleating about?

Who will fill the gap?

Some US-based (or also foreign) online firm, I would expect. That is the way retail is going, after all.

And the Tory government, that has consistently failed to support UK brands, has nothing to say. Isn’t that typical?

Isn’t it their way to sell UK assets to foreign countries and organisations, and let foreign firms take all our money – while stirring up jingoism against foreigners?

Collapsed retailer Mothercare will disappear from the high street on Sunday after nearly six decades in business.

The health, beauty and baby product chain will see all 79 of its stores closed by Sunday, with 2,500 jobs lost across the country.

After 59 years in the business, Mothercare went into administration last year after struggling to compete with online shopping.

Source: Mothercare shuts up shop after nearly 60 years in business | The Independent

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Johnson’s Brexit would leave us worse-off than May’s – but that’s ignoring the main point

Brexiteer: Boris Johnson. Behind him is Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, who seems determined to help him achieve Brexit, by refusing to support a Jeremy Corbyn-led interim government.

Research by academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe shows that Boris Johnson’s current model of Brexit will leave us worse-off than Theresa May’s.

National income would drop by the equivalent of £2,000 per person – 6.4 per cent less than if we stayed in the EU – under Mr Johnson’s offer, the think tank has claimed.

This is a worse outcome than Theresa May’s proposals (remember them?) – that would leave us all only £1,500 worse-off.

A “no deal” Brexit would be worse than both – taking £2,500 from all our incomes.

Am I the only person in the UK who can see the connection between all three proposals – that they all leave us worse-off than staying in the EU?

Why the blazes are we going ahead with this farce?

It is clearly acknowledged that leaving the European Union will damage all of us financially.

(Sure, there are plenty of people who claim this is nonsense but their evidenceless comments lack one important element: authority.)

Boris Johnson is enormously rich, so he can easily bear a loss of £2,500, I’m sure. Some of us are not in such a privileged position.

In fact, most of us would be defined as “impecunious” – having little or no money – by the likes of BoJob.

We can’t endure such a loss to our household finances; not on top of the cuts to wage and/or benefits that have already been inflicted on us by the Conservatives.

One can understand why Tories like Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage want to take that money away from us. They need to rob us of any financial independence so we’ll accept whatever servitude they push onto us.

Why do ordinary people want to be worse-off. Do they have some kind of death wish?

Source: Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan would leave everyone in the UK £2,000 worse off, study finds | The Independent

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Labour vows to help women affected by pension age changes after court lets them down

The Labour Party it will do what it can to compensate the so-called ‘WASPI’ protesters – Women Against State Pension Inequality – after the High Court ruled that the government had not discriminated against them on grounds of age and/or sex.

The government has implemented changes to the pension age for women, in order to equalise it with that for men, in a move that affected nearly four million women who were born in the 1950s – some became homeless as a result and many became suicidal.

They said not enough was done to publicise the changes and to ensure that those affected would be ready.

The UN committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has said the rise in the pension age has added to “poverty, homelessness and financial hardship among the affected women”.

“The 1950s women helped build Britain and were let down by the government’s pension changes. They will understandably be very disappointed by today’s finding,” said shadow pensions minister Jack Dromey.

“Labour has already made commitments to support women affected, including by extending Pension Credit to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable women. We will consult further with the 1950s women affected as to what future support we can put in place once in government to help ensure that all these women have security and dignity in older age.”

Michael Mansfield QC, representing the women affected, added: “They have pushed women who were already disadvantaged into the lowest class you can imagine.

“They’re on the brink of survival, and I’m not overstating that. This group – especially the percentage of the group affected born in 1953 onwards – are increasingly having taken away from them four to six years’ worth of state pension. We’re dealing with very serious sums: £37,000 to £47,000. I think any citizen would be concerned by that withdrawal.”

In a summary of the court’s decision, Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple said their hands were tied: “The court was saddened by the stories contained in the claimants’ evidence. But the court’s role was limited. There was no basis for concluding that the policy choices reflected in the legislation were not open to government. In any event they were approved by Parliament.

“The wider issues raised by the claimants about whether the choices were right or wrong or good or bad were not for the court. They were for members of the public and their elected representatives.”

In fact, it seems the only person happy about the verdict was Boris Johnsons spokesperson, who crowed that it has “always been our view” the changes made were “entirely lawful and did not discriminate on any grounds”.

“Government decided in 1995 it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality,” the spokesperson said. “Today the court recognised the extensive communications that the Department for Work and Pensions made to publicise these changes over many years.”

Did it?

It seems clear that there’s only one way these pensioners are going to get compensation for this decision – made by a Tory government in 1995 and implemented by a Tory government in 2010:

Elect a Labour government.

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Nutty Nigel Farage wants a say in Brexit after LOSING a by-election. Phew, what a loony!

All mouth: Nigel Farage.

Just a quick reminder:

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party won 29 seats in the EU Parliament election after falsely claiming that they would use those seats to get Brexit done. In fact, the European Parliament won’t have any further say in the matter.

In any case, look at Mr Farage’s voting record: “Absent”, “absent”, “absent”. People who voted for the Brexit Party elected MEPs who won’t even turn up.

Yesterday, at the Peterborough by-election, Mr Farage’s candidate lost.

So why has he just delivered a letter to Downing Street, demanding a place in any new Brexit negotiating team?

He simply hasn’t earned the right, he certainly doesn’t have any experience, and it is a sign of insanity that he is claiming he should.

Perhaps he’s getting desperate to find a way of delivering our National Health Service to his friend Donald Trump? We must not let that happen.

As for his general approach, he is a trash-talking chief of a party with no policies. Has he even published a manifesto for those EU elections?

There can be only one conclusion:

He is a modern-day example of the Emperor’s new clothes. He is all mouth and no trousers.

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Mercer’s threat may be toothless, but it demonstrates May’s loss of control

Show of defiance: Johnny Mercer reckons he can exploit Theresa May’s weakness to demand action on a single issue. What if large numbers of Conservatives follow suit?

There’s not really much point in withdrawing support from the government over everything but Brexit when Brexit is all that’s left on the agenda.

Still, Johnny Mercer’s decision to make a stand – no matter how weak – on the prosecution of British servicemen over historical allegations demonstrates very clearly Theresa May’s loss of authority.

She has no Parliamentary majority now; her alliance with the DUP has been used up and it will cost another vast amount of public money to renew it, if she even thinks that would be worthwhile.

Some Conservative MPs have quit to join Change UK and one is facing the loss of his seat after being convicted of expenses fraud.

Now Mr Mercer has made a show of resistance.

Will others – who may be in a position to do more damage – do the same?

Conservative MP Johnny Mercer says he has withdrawn his support for the government over the historical prosecution of British servicemen.

A former Army officer, Mr Mercer called on Theresa May in a letter to end the “macabre spectacle of elderly veterans being dragged back to Northern Ireland” to face possible prosecution.

In his letter to the prime minister, the Plymouth Moor View MP said he found investigations into historic allegations surrounding ex-services personnel “personally offensive”

He said he was not to prepared to vote for Government legislation – except on Brexit – until the Government took “clear and concrete steps” to end the “abhorrent process”.

Source: Johnny Mercer: Tory MP withdraws support for government over historical prosecution of servicemen | The Independent

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What do the Brexit cheerleaders have to say about Jaguar Land Rover job losses now?

Road to ruin: A Land Rover Discovery. Last time I used this shot I said it was presumably on its way to Slovakia, leaving a blasted wasteland where its Midlands manufacturing base once stood. It would be nice to think that was a pessimistic opinion – but the outlook is not good.

I seem to recall some Vox Political readers saying this wouldn’t happen.

“How many times are we going to get empty threats from rabid remainers?” asked resident Brexiteer Barry Davies.

Chris Cooke Snr proclaimed: “We’ve had over 45 years of our industries being wrecked by EU rule. Some may cut and run after Brexit – but I seriously doubt it. On balance a UK free to trade across world markets would rebuild our industries.”

Oh really?

Here‘s the BBC:

“Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed it is cutting 4,500 jobs, with the substantial majority coming from its 40,000 strong UK workforce.

“The firm has … complained about uncertainty caused by Brexit.

“The firm, which is owned by Indian conglomerate Tata, made a £90m pre-tax loss in the three months to September 30, a major reversal from the £385m profit of the previous year.”

In fairness, we’re told most of the redundancies will be in office roles as the company wants to simplify its management structure.

But the cuts come on top of last year’s 1,500 job losses, meaning 6,000 will go in total – so far.

What next?

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