Tag Archives: new deal

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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Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at the TUC New Deal rally

This is just a representative image. If you want to see how Mr Corbyn appeared at the rally, watch the video.

He said all the right things – didn’t he?

Let’s have your opinions.

The sound on the following video is really good until around 10 minutes in – then it drops out, but can still be heard (just about). See how you get on with it.

https://twitter.com/Jezza4_PM/status/995313119252697088


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VIDEO: Thousands (upon thousands) converge on London to demand a new deal for workers

The TUC march gets underway.

Trade unionists and workers from across the UK have converged on London in their thousands to demand a “new deal” for working people.

The TUC (Trade Union Congress) says real wages are still lower than before the crash in 2008; three million workers are stuck on zero hour contracts, in agency work and in low paid self-employment; hard-working public servants haven’t had a proper pay rise for eight years; our NHS is at breaking point; and years of cuts have led to poverty, homelessness and despair for too many.

This Writer agrees with every word.

And so, it seems, do the masses.

News coverage hasn’t been that wonderful, though. As I write this, the BBC News channel is broadcasting something called Royal Wedding Singalong so you can see what the priorities are there!

But there has been some coverage. Here’s Sky News:

Not sure about the link between Brexit and racism that the anchor was discussing? It has to do with an intervention by the UN’s special rapporteur on racism. See:

Back at the march, the BBC has broadcast a few interviews:

The participants certainly know how to make some noise – here’s the PCS Samba Band:

https://twitter.com/StuartBonar/status/995271242604273666

Here’s the GMB’s Paul Maloney on the reasons for the march:

And the TUC itself put out video information on the reasons for the march earlier:

The Conservative government is apparently trying to tell us we’ve never had it so good. Wages are up by £2,000 (a year?), according to people like Iain Duncan Smith. Unfortunately, experts are telling us real-terms wages won’t reach parity with 2008 levels until 2025.

The Tories are also telling us employment is at its highest in 40 years – a meaningless statistic if the amount those people are paid is negligible – and it is.

Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies appeared on BBC News to say that wages are stagnant because productivity is stagnant – we aren’t producing enough to be paid more. Until this changes, the situation is unlikely to improve.

That’s as may be, but executive pay has skyrocketed under corrupt Conservative rule while workers’ pay has stagnated.

Perhaps people might feel less inclined to take part in huge marches against austerity if of these greedy fatcats stopped taking all the cash.


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The work programme – a £527 million failure

The government’s flagship work programme stood revealed as an abject failure today, when the Department for Work and Pensions admitted only around three per cent of jobseekers have found “sustainable” work.

Of the 878,000 people who joined the programme, only 31,000 found a job for six months or more.

The figures mean as many unemployed people are finding sustainable jobs on their own – and are staying in employment six months after joining the work programme – than if the scheme had never existed.

There was “no direct evidence of movement into sustained employment”.

Ministers have, of course, refused to accept that the scheme is a failure – despite it reaching only three-fifths of its 5.5 per cent target (3.53 per cent) – and are claiming it is taking longer than expected to succeed. The next set of figures will be better, they claim. They said it was “early days”.

We should bear in mind that three top officials on the work programme resigned recently, before the results were released. Oh, and the figures aren’t for a year but for 14 months, from June 2011 to July 2012. Cooking the books?

Under the scheme – replacing the New Deal, Employment Zones and Pathways to Work – approved providers in England, Scotland and Wales – mostly private companies – try to find work for claimants on a payment-by-results basis. In practice they get paid per referral, with more cash coming to them for providing ‘work-related activities’.

According to Vox readers, the contract is outsourced to our good friend SERCO, which is then supposed to pass money on to six different agencies. There is a question mark hanging over whether that has actually happened.

Providers can earn between £3,700 and £13,700 per person helped into work, depending how hard it is to give support to an individual, with an initial payment of between £400 and £600.

Again, Vox readers have helped with the details: “The few hours spent on ‘work related activities’ cost the taxpayer another £200 per person.

“What did we do on this ‘course’? We drew graphs with our barriers to employment. No one was allowed to mention lack of jobs and no training. We also played silly games: the one in which everyone had to say three things about themselves and everyone had to guess the lie. We all drew a pig. If it’s facing forward you are a straightforward person. The ‘ teacher ‘ told us that this all came from some American psychologist. It looked more like one of those quizzes in Cosmopolitan.”

So we can see that, with hundreds of thousands of people being put on the work programme but only 31,000 actually finding sustainable work, the big winners are, as this site suggested previously, the private companies contracted to provide the service at up to £600 per referral plus £200 for the ‘activities’ themselves. And if the rumours are correct, even these firms are losing out because SERCO hasn’t released the cash.

It may interest you to know that 878,000 (the number of people referred to the scheme) multiplied by £600 (the minimum amount we can say was given to private companies for them) is a whopping £526,800,000!

This site reported previously that the number of people being referred to the work programme has dropped dramatically, with total monthly referrals in July fewer than 49,000 – less than half of the 100,000 who were put on the controversial scheme in July 2011.

The number of long-term Jobseekers’ Allowance claimants had risen by 188,000 during the same period.

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