Tag Archives: money

Cummings wasted around a quarter of a MILLION pounds this year. Why did we pay him ANYTHING?

Nothing but a burden on public finances: Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson.

What a waste of public money Dominic Cummings turned out to be.

Not only did he take a pay rise of around £50,000 – on top of the £95,000+ he was already getting as Boris Johnson’s chief advisor – while he was flouting Covid-19 lockdown restrictions with junkets to Barnard Castle (for example), but…

He also indirectly caused £200,000 to be wasted after an advisor to then-Chancellor Sajid Javid was escorted out of Downing Street in the wake of a confrontation with him.

Documents … show that the prime minister overruled the advice of the civil service’s chief executive, John Manzoni, in March that the government should seek a settlement with Sonia Khan, a former adviser to the then chancellor, Sajid Javid.

Johnson refused to listen to the advice, which meant that the case continued until November, driving up legal costs. Khan was eventually paid between £50,000 and £100,000 in November, days after Cummings announced he would be standing down from Downing Street at the end of this year. Legal sources estimate that the total costs including Khan’s payoff could be nearly £200,000.

That’s a loss of a quarter of a million pounds, due to the incompetence and hubris of just one man – and there are hundreds of people in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government.

Of course, Cummings won’t have paid a penny of those legal costs, just as Boris Johnson didn’t pay a penny of the extra salary he gave to the soon-to-be-former advisor. We did.

And we have absolutely nothing to show for it. Worse than nothing, in fact – because Cummings’s advice has been alleged to have caused a lot of harm to the population, especially at the start of the Covid crisis.

I know what the diehard Tories will say: “It could have been worse. We could have had a Labour government.” It’s their usual mantra.

But we don’t have a Labour government. This waste and damage was caused by Conservatives.

And if they want their criticisms of the Opposition to have any meaning, they should set a higher standard.

Source: Johnson ‘wasted public money’ over adviser sacked by Dominic Cummings | Dominic Cummings | The Guardian

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What has happened to the missing £50 BILLION in UK banknotes?

Where has all the money gone? With £50 million missing, someone would need a pretty big sofa to have it all stashed down the back.

MPs are getting their knickers in a knot after around three-quarters of all the UK banknotes in existence dropped out of circulation.

The House of Commons’ public accounts committee has said the cash – £50 billion of it – might be supporting the so-called “shadow economy”.

It could also be overseas or tucked away in homes, unreported.

This Writer thinks there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation. For example, does anybody remember, when the crisis flared up, we were told that we could be unwittingly transmitting the virus via money, which passes unwashed through many pairs of hands as it is exchanged for goods and services?

Also, people no longer trust the banks and have been stockpiling cash to cope with the Covid crisis – and ahead of the financial disaster that we call Brexit.

Remember that banks provide information on your savings to the government, and this can affect the value of benefit claims.

At a time when huge numbers of people are trying to claim state support to get through this short-term pandemic, doesn’t it make financial sense to keep as much as possible in reserve, in the form of physical notes?

I’m not saying it’s an attitude that is particularly helpful to governments – but it has become abundantly clear since March that Boris Johnson’s wishes are not the same as ours.

Personally, I don’t have anything stashed away. As This Site has been able to keep operating in spite of the pandemic, I have not had reason to. Most of my transactions are carried out via card.

But I know I’m among the lucky ones. Millions of people have lost income – or lost their jobs altogether – only to find that they do not qualify for the support schemes offered by Johnson.

What are they supposed to do – lie down and die?

Most people have a bit more life in them than that.

They’ll do what they have to, in order to survive.

If that means stashing away some cash in the belief that the legendary “rainy day” has come, then that’s what they’ll do.

If it means resorting to this “shadow economy”, they’ll do that as well – and Johnson will have been the one who pushed them to it.

Of course, some of us have been having fun with it:

Source: Call for probe into ‘missing’ £50bn of UK cash – BBC News

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Tories announce lavish new support scheme for businesses – after snubbing Manchester with a pittance

Stung: Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new support package for English areas under Tier 2 Covid-19 restrictions in a move that seems time to snub Greater Manchester.

The north-west English area had been under Tier 2 restrictions until earlier this week, when Sunak’s government forced it into Tier 3 with a financial support package that has been vilified as punitive and unfair.

Now the BBC is reporting:

Rishi Sunak announced big changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) – set to replace furlough in November.

Businesses in tier two areas, particularly in the hospitality sector, had complained that they would be better off if they were under tier three restrictions.

Sunak delivered his announcement in the House of Commons:

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was unimpressed – and even that usually-staunch supporter of the Tories, the BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg, had to agree that he made a fair point:

Burnham expanded on this in a TV interview:

Anthony Browne, the Tory MP appearing on the day’s edition of the BBC’s Politics Live, tried to justify the timing of the announcement:

If it takes time to evolve a policy change like that which Sunak announced in Parliament, then that means it would certainly have been under discussion when the talks with Burnham were taking place.

So it also follows that the Conservatives holding those discussions – like Robert Jenrick, who spewed such a lot of nonsense about it earlier in the week – deliberately failed to mention it to Burnham.

Why?

The only reason that I can see would be to corruptly engineer a financial disadvantage for the Labour-voting people of Greater Manchester.

Once again, it seems, the Conservatives are using the Covid-19 crisis for their own selfish political gain.

How utterly despicable.

I am glad to see that the £2,100 per month grant is retrospective and may be backdated to August 2.

I hope hospitality businesses in Greater Manchester use it to take as much as they can from Sunak and his twisted government.

Source: New government Covid scheme to pay up to half of wages – BBC News

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#SpaffingTories: they’re giving even more money to their toff friends

Spaffer: Boris Johnson has thrown so much money at private consultants and contractors that the UK’s financial situation is in peril.

Conservatives. They’re rubbish at running a country but really good at stealing public money and handing it to posh people.

Only days ago, we learned that they’ve wasted more than £3 billion on the Covid crisis so far. That’s money Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak will want you to pay back, by the way. They won’t.

https://twitter.com/RussInCheshire/status/1310615498023936003

Now we see that, far from learning any lessons, they’re funnelling even more cash to the upper classes:

The responses to this announcement tell their own story:

Your money.

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#PoorBoris – UK citizens give what sympathy they can to PM ‘complaining about money’

Don’t cry, Mr Johnson: we all know it’s hard for you to feed yourself, your paramour and four of your six kids on a £150,000+ income, with your accommodation supported by the state. But we’re not sure you or anyone you know should be in charge of the nation’s economy if you can’t. It was Tories like you who said the economy was like a household budget, after all.

If you behave more like a performing monkey than a prime minister, you get what you deserve when you complain.

It seems the UK’s performing monkey – Boris Johnson – is complaining, as his fans in The Times explain:

The headline defies reason! Overburdened, underpaid and ‘misery on his face’!

Overburdened? This is the prime minister who has spent more time on holiday then any of his recent forerunners – possibly than all of them put together, if you average it out for a single year.

Underpaid? Let’s see how that plays out for our £150,000-a-year public servant in some of the comments from those he is supposed to serve:

 

Well…

Here‘s Phil Harrison: “This piece is jaw-droppingly offensive. a) He earns five times the national median wage at a time when millions are losing jobs. b) He’s already minted. c) He only looks after 4 of his 6 kids?! YOU WHAT?? Does he want a medal? He should be in court.”

Indeed. Johnson probably claims Child Benefit for the other two…

Indeed. If Johnson had not wanted to support his children, one wonders how he came to have so many. Lost In The Shire has a thought about that: “I sometimes imagine his supporters think he slipped and accidentally impregnated a host of women and so that’s why he doesn’t need to pay to support or acknowledge all of his own children.”

Still, there’s a lot of good advice for him, such as this, from WeeHalfPint: “If we all clap, that should help him put food on the table, yeah?”

Queen Neferure has more practical help for him: “Hi @BorisJohnson I’m sorry to hear you are struggling on £150k. I get ESA, which for the over 25s is less than £4k per year. If you need any help with budgeting, do not hesitate to contact me or contact your local jobcentre, @CitizensAdvice or @StepChange for help.”

How about this?

Alternatively, perhaps he could try taking advice from a fellow right-winger, as suggested here:

Sara Anzani adds: “He should try living on £5.65 a day, like he and the rest of his government expect asylum seekers to.”

Of course, Johnson isn’t struggling to pay the bills on his own; he has a partner. These Novel Thoughts was prompted to make the following suggestion with this in mind: “Is Carrie working? If so, surely that’s another salary coming in. If not, why do they need a nanny? And given the fact that Johnson only works about a day a week, can’t he do some cleaning?”

As for the misery on his face. Well, The Times stated that being a performing monkey prime minister was his life’s ambition.

Perhaps he has discovered the truism that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.

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‘No deal’ Brexit looking more likely as UK negotiator rattles his sabre at the EU

If the UK government is not “scared” of leaving the EU without a trade deal, then it is because the interests of UK government ministers will not be harmed.

Reading between the lines of the BBC’s story, perhaps they expect the taxpayer to fund any businesses in which they have an interest?

The downside is that UK negotiator David Frost is saying your Tory government couldn’t care less if your business crashes to dust as a result of high tariffs that will be imposed by the EU nations in January.

Both sides want a deal agreed next month in order to have it signed off by politicians on both sides of the Channel by the end of the transition period on 31 December.

Differences remain on issues such as fishing and the level of taxpayer support the UK will be able to provide for businesses, also referred to as state aid rules.

The EU has said it wants full access for its boats to fish in UK waters in return for giving the UK fishing industry full access to EU markets.

On state aid, the EU has expressed concern that it could give business in the UK an unfair advantage over their European competitors and Mr Barnier has previously said the EU will require “robust” guarantees in this area if it is to agree a deal.

This Writer would be inclined to suggest that the EU should keep its nose out of the UK’s businesses if we could be sure that taxpayer funding for our firms could be administered in a reasonable way – but that’s not what we’re seeing.

Look at the Covid-19 crisis: the Tories have deliberately manipulated government procurement mechanisms to give whomping great wodges of public money to private companies run by their friends. That’s not reasonable!

On balance, the EU’s insistence on interfering in the way UK businesses are run is not acceptable, though. Does Michel Barnier really think a little state aid is going to make much difference for a single country dealing with the world’s largest trading bloc?

If This Writer was running a large concern, though, I would be worried.

Whatever happens, it seems UK businesses will end up paying large tariffs to sell into the EU, while receiving no support from their own government. Am I right?

Source: Brexit: Negotiator David Frost says UK not scared of walking away – BBC News

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Tory corruption: they gave their mate £150 million of OUR money – for USELESS face masks 

Liz Truss: it seems she corruptly slipped her buddy £150 million – for useless PPE.

The worst part of this is it isn’t even the only example of Tories using the Covid-19 crisis to line their mates’ pockets rather than help.

It seems your Tory government – voted into power against last December with a massive majority because the UK electorate thought its MPs were the most trustworthy – has been handing your cash to its mates again.

The Tories spent £150 million of your money on 50 million face masks for the NHS – that can’t be used.

Three months after they were bought, the government said the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough.

Amazingly, the government still reckons its safety standards process is “robust”.

But the question is whether this process was even used, because the masks were bought by the President of the Board of Trade, Liz Truss, after she was approached for the contract by one of her long-standing friends and advisors, Andrew Mills.

Oh, and apparently it was sourced through a tax haven so this guy can keep all the money.

It seems clear that the process by which these useless masks were sourced was utterly corrupt – just a way to hand a huge amount of money to a friend of a Tory minister.

Here are just a few examples of the huge outcry online:

I want you particularly to bear this next comment in mind…

… when Boris Johnson finds Truss and Mills completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

And remember – the Tories were voted into power because they presented themselves as the most trustworthy.

More fool the voter who believed it.

Source: Coronavirus: Safety concerns halt use of 50 million NHS masks – BBC News

READ NEXT:

https://twitter.com/MidWalesMike/status/1292084834161037312

 

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Coronavirus: ‘Not a penny’ for Wales from Johnson’s ‘new deal’ – BBC News

Boris Johnson’s special message for Wales.

“Not a single penny” of new investment will come to Wales as a result of Boris Johnson’s post-coronavirus recovery plan, the Welsh Government has said.

Mr Johnson promised a £5bn infrastructure “new deal” for England and to work with the Welsh Government to “get spades in the ground”.

Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said all four UK nations should “work together”.

Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said it was not “a new deal but no deal” with no extra cash for Wales.

This Writer said it was “no deal” – didn’t I? Vox Political – right again!

Source: Coronavirus: ‘Not a penny’ for Wales from Johnson’s ‘new deal’ – BBC News

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The Tory squeeze is on: one in four adults are struggling to buy food in Covid-19 pandemic

A few coppers and some silver coins: all the Tories think you’re worth.

The Tories are using the Covid-19 crisis to force more of the UK’s struggling population into poverty, it seems, with increasing reliance on food banks as disposable incomes plummet:

One in four adults in the UK have struggled to access food they can afford during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving them susceptible to hunger and potential malnutrition, a new report warns.

Research by Feeding Britain and Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab indicates a far broader group of households, in addition to the poorest, are now struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table, often following a loss of earnings or problems with the benefits system.

The findings, based on a survey with 1,004 responses, shows nearly 25 per cent of adults looking after children have eaten less during the pandemic so they can feed them, while half have tried to cope by buying less expensive food they would not ordinarily choose to buy – a figure that rises to nine in 10 among adults who live in the poorest households.

Even strategies commonly used during lockdown – such as buying less expensive food, borrowing food, using food banks and restricting the food eaten – have not enabled adults to become food secure and live free of hunger and potential malnutrition, the report says.

It comes after figures published earlier this month revealed demand for food banks is greater than ever – with The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest network of food banks, handing out 89 per cent more food parcels in April compared with the same month last year, while the Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) recorded a 175 per cent increase over the same period.

This is not an accident.

Other countries’ governments have been able to support their people through the crisis – most of them much poorer than the UK.

So this is a conscious choice by your Conservative masters; they are using Covid-19 to put you firmly in your place.

It seems they think that place is in debt – and this should come as no surprise. People who have to work long, hard hours trying to pay off debts that (no doubt) are increasing in spite of those efforts have no time or energy left to question the corrupt antics of their political leaders.

Think about that when you open your bank statement and find it is red.

Source: ‘Uphill struggle’: One in four adults struggling to afford food during coronavirus pandemic, study finds | The Independent

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The Tories have used the Coronavirus crisis to attack disabled women

Actor Rory Kinnear’s disabled sister Karina died of Covid-19 recently: writing about it, he tried not to criticise the government too harshly. Would many other women with disabilities agree with that choice?

How miserable, how underhanded can a country’s government be in attacking its most vulnerable citizens?

This Writer would suggest that the UK’s Conservative government is writing the book on how to betray the people who need state help the most.

Women have been disproportionately attacked by Tory cuts since they first slithered back into office in 2010, along with people who have disabilities. It doesn’t take genius to work out that women with disabilities are doubly endangered by a Conservative government.

But now we have the evidence, courtesy of gender equality charities the Fawcett Society and Women’s Budget Group. It shows that:

  • Six in 10 disabled women are struggling to buy necessities from the shop during lockdown. A third have run out of money altogether.
  • A fifth of disabled women said they had lost support from the government during lockdown, while almost half reported having lost help from other people.
  • Six in 10 disabled women are fearful of not being able to access medicine.
  • 38 per cent of disabled women who have children said they were finding it difficult to ensure their children have food to eat during the coronavirus emergency.
  • Disabled women were found to be suffering from social isolation and loneliness more than others — with a quarter saying they had not ventured out of the house once in the last week, in comparison to 17 per cent of all those polled.

But it seems worse is to come with the easing of lockdown, including problems with face coverings – who should wear them, the impossibility of lip-reading – to wider isolation, more cuts and restricted access to services.

And you know what the government spokesperson will do, if challenged? They’ll shrug.

Source: Disabled women in ‘very bleak’ situation as almost a third running out of money in lockdown, study finds | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook