Tag Archives: profit

The people want a windfall tax on big firms’ pandemic profits. Why is Keir Starmer getting in the way?

Keir Starmer: yet another own goal.

I bet certain commentators will be doing their best to muddy this issue so let’s make it clear:

There are moves to increase Corporation Tax, forcing companies to pay more when they could be investing that money in (for example) employment of people who desperately need a regular paycheque. This is a bad idea.

There are also moves to levy a windfall tax on firms and individuals who have profited from the Covid-19 pandemic – such as Amazon and all those Tory cronies who won huge Covid-related contracts. This is a good idea and is supported by 70 per cent of the population, according to a Survation poll.

Keir Starmer and his Zombie Labour party oppose any increase in taxation for businesses.

There will be voters who are shocked that anybody claiming to be a Labour Party representative should plead against taxing corporations, and while there are good reasons for leaving Corporation Tax low at the moment, although it is likely that firms will need further incentives to keep them on the straight and narrow, there is no reason at all to back away from a windfall tax.

This decision is spitting in the faces of the voters – at a time when Starmer desperately needs to get them on-side.

Labour is falling increasingly further behind, at a time when – we were told – the party should be at least 20 points ahead of anybody else, having dumped Jeremy Corbyn.

Is it time his supporters’ club admitted that this wasn’t true and Starmer is a non-starter?

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GP surgeries are being privatised by the Tories. Do you really want your healthcare dictated by profit?


Doctors’ surgeries across the UK are being bought up and run for profit by private firms – including at least one from the United States.

American health insurance giant Centene has just taken over 49 NHS GP practices. In the last few years, they have bought NHS surgeries in Nottingham, Basingstoke, Milton Keynes, and Leeds. Yours could be next.

Centene appears to be a “bad actor” too – described by the Daily Mail as “profit greedy”.

In 2018, the company took control of a group of surgeries in Essex, including the historic Osler House surgery, founded in 1955. Soon after, Osler House was closed, leaving thousands of residents without a GP within 40 minutes’ drive from their house.

Healthcare provision doesn’t matter to them, you see. Their only concern is their profit.

In the US, Centene has been sued by thousands of people who bought insurance from them. Court papers showed that those people had “difficulty finding — in many cases cannot find — medical providers”.

Campaigning group We Own It said: “Your own local GP surgery or the local GP surgery your friends and family depend on may not be affected today. But if this takeover goes ahead, your GP surgery is not safe.

“Our local Clinical Commissioning Groups – the bodies that make local healthcare decisions in every area – can stop this.”

The group is urging you to sign a petition calling for an end to Boris Johnson’s privatisation of GP services, and for you to urge your family, friends and colleagues to sign it too. Will you?

The petition is here.

The choice is yours.

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#FreeSchoolMeals scandal: ‘£30’ shopping basket provides just ‘£5’ of food because the Tories outsourced provision

Let’s not beat around the bush: your lovable Conservative government led by cuddly Boris Johnson deliberately starved schoolchildren by outsourcing free school meals to a very expensive company – because it was part of the so-called ‘chumocracy’.

The government had promised to provide £30 to feed children for periods lasting 10 days.

But rather than giving vouchers to parents so they could buy the food themselves, or even tasking local authorities to do it, the Department for Education outsourced the job to private, profit-making firms.

One of these firms is called Chartwells. It seems it won the contract as part of the so-called ‘chumocracy’ – it is part of the food service giant Compass Group whose former chairman, Paul Walsh, was once a member of David Cameron’s business advisory group.

Instead of putting all £30 into food hampers for hungry children, it seems Chartwells provided just £5.22 worth of food and kept the remaining £24.78 as profit.

Food parcels have been brought in to replace £30 vouchers given to parents to spend in supermarkets as schools close for remote learning. But one mum valued the contents of her parcel at no more than £5.22, if bought from Asda.

She was given two jacket potatoes, a can of beans, eight single cheese slices, a loaf of bread, two carrots, three apples, two Soreen Malt Lunchbox Loaves, three Frubes, some pasta and one tomato.

Chartwells has protested that it followed Department for Education guidelines – which throws the blame back towards the Tories – but has also admitted that details of the contents of its hampers do not conform with its own specifications.

Whichever way you slice it, someone has been creaming cash from this scheme and allowing children to starve – and the only reason they’ve managed it is because of the Tory obsession with privatisation.

It is a ridiculous state of affairs. Everybody in the Tory government, from Johnson down, knows that giving a contract to a private company means it will keep some of the cash for itself.

So a claim to be providing £30 to feed children is a lie. They were always providing £30 to their friends in food companies.

Sadly, many of the parents whose children are now being forced to starve on pennies-worth of food per day actually voted for this treatment in December 2019.

The question has to be asked: why weren’t vouchers provided to parents?

Was it because another Tory – Ben Bradley – put out a false claim that they would squander the money on “crack dens” and “brothels”, even though the vouchers that existed at the time specifically prohibited their use for such purposes?

It only takes a piece of fake news like this from one influential source to influence large numbers of people into believing the lie, and I wonder whether this was what enabled the Tory government to starve children in the way it has.

Think of it this way: Isn’t it odd that many people get outraged at the (faked) possibility of someone spending a fraction of a food voucher on alcohol (more likely than Bradley’s choices but still impossible) – but don’t bat an eyelid when private firms take 80 per cent of food vouchers for their own profits?

Perhaps the most pertinent comment on this whole shabby affair is the following:

Sadly, it would have been necessary for millions of people to have voted a different way in 2019 for that to have happened. And something stopped them:

Source: Free school meals firm with Tory links shamed over £30 shopping basket | Metro News

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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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Newly-elected Tory MP runs food bank app that charges charities £180 when they use it 

Miriam Cates: Profiting from poverty.

This is the great new nation that 14 million people voted for.

What a travesty.

Newly-elected Tory MP Miriam Cates makes her money running an app that ostensibly helps food banks.

Each local food bank must register individually – at a cost of £180 each.

I think we can conclude that this Tory won’t be doing anything to end the poverty crisis that her fellow MPs have created!

Source: Foodbank app run by newly elected Tory MP charges charities to use it | The Independent

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Inquiry demanded into claims Boris Johnson backers will profit from ‘no deal’ – and it can’t come soon enough

The sign says ‘leader’: but is there somebody in the shadows, telling him what to do in their interest, rather than that of the UK as a whole?

The Labour Party has demanded an independent “conflict of interest” inquiry into Boris Johnson, over claims that the prime minister’s backers will profit hugely from a “no deal” Brexit.

John McDonnell, shadow chancellor, has written to the UK’s most senior civil servant, Cabinet Office secretary Mark Sedwill, calling for an investigation into alleged collusion with currency speculators.

The demand is based on comments by Mr Johnson’s sister Rachel and claims by former chancellor – now an Independent MP – Philip Hammond that speculators were investing in “short” positions – betting on the pound plummeting and inflation rocketing – after a “no deal” Brexit.

It has been reported that they could make more than £8 billion – while the rest of us suffer.

In his letter to Sir Mark, the shadow chancellor said there had been widespread reports of increases in short positions taken against sterling in the lead-up to a possible no-deal Brexit.

Mr Johnson and the Conservative party had received “a significant sum” in donations from no-deal backers, a number of who are involved in hedge funds, he said. Meanwhile, the PM has made it clear he is ready to go ahead with a no-deal outcome to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

“These three facts have caused concern that the prime minister may have a conflict of interest,” wrote Mr McDonnell. “Donors to the Conservative party and/or the prime minister could stand to gain from a no-deal Brexit – even if only through cushioning losses by adopting short positions. The prime minister could reasonably be seen as having an interest in securing a no-deal Brexit to financially benefit his donors.”

He added: “It is becoming increasingly apparent from public comment that the prime minister is bringing into doubt whether he is upholding the highest standards, thereby further undermining public confidence and trust in him and his government… It is important for public confidence and trust in the House of Commons that any real or apparent conflict of interest is investigated.”

“The prime minister could reasonably be seen as having an interest in securing a no-deal Brexit to financially benefit his donors.”

No UK public servant can serve two masters in such a way, and for a prime minister the good of the nation must come before any personal benefit to that person, their friends or supporters.

The Jennifer Arcuri scandal has already placed significant doubt on Mr Johnson’s loyalties. The British public consider him entirely capable of putting the interests of himself and his financiers before those of the nation.

And in the meantime the Brexit deadline clock is ticking down to October 31.

Mr Sedwill must agree to this inquiry, and it must be carried out with haste. Everybody needs to know the facts before it is too late.

Source: Brexit: Labour demands inquiry into ex-chancellor’s claims Boris Johnson backers set to profit from no-deal | The Independent

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Did you know that the Tories are seducing English GPs into an American-style health system – RIGHT NOW?

I’ve only just found out about this and it is scandalous.

The Conservative government is pushing a new “GP contract” on local medical practices in England, demanding that your family doctor should sign up to the creation of “Primary Care Networks” based on a US-style model of “integrated care”.

The traditional doctor/patient relationship will end.

You will lose the right to see your GP.

Continuity of care will end.

Your GP may think they are signing up for something better, as doctors are being promised more money and more nursing staff, but…

The money is to make up for cuts to hospital care.

You will be forced to see less skilled staff.

This means your medical records will be shared widely, breaching patient confidentiality.

Patient care will suffer, meaning you will be more likely to suffer preventable harm under the new system.

And, eventually, the new system means the Tories will be able to sell your healthcare to private companies who don’t even need to be health specialists.

For the full, nightmarish scenario, see this video clip:

Is this what you want?

A diminished, profit-driven model of health care in which your well-being is of no consequence compared to the ability of a multi-national conglomerate to make money from your illness?

If you don’t, there’s still something you can do about it.

Download the leaflet and editable letter from this site, adapt the letter according to your own circumstances, and send both to your GP.

Do it before it is too late.

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Opposition to Labour’s plan for business is a real shot in the foot for the UK’s economy

Inspirational: John McDonnell announced a great policy to involve the British workforce in wealth-creation – and employers vowed to do everything in their power to prevent it. You can see who has our best interests at heart.

You’ve got to hand it to Britain’s business leaders – they really know how to de-motivate the workforce and undermine the economy.

Labour’s John McDonnell announced a policy that would hand workers an interest in their employers’ success – and an average dividence of £500 a year – and what did the bosses do? They announced that they would do everything in their power to sabotage such a plan.

How savage. How selfish. How sickening. I heard it on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme just after 6am, as I was taking Mrs Mike and her mother to Stoke University Hospital for an operation and I nearly threw up my breakfast in disgust. Fortunately for residents of – and travellers on – the A53, I was able to hold myself in check.

Here’s Mr McDonnell explaining the new policy:

And what did business bosses have to say about that? The Financial Times provides us with a few answers:

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, said Labour’s “diktat on employee share ownership will only encourage investors to pack their bags and will harm those who can least afford it. If investment falls, so does productivity and pay.”

Stephen Martin, director-general of the Institute of Directors, argued that the policy could cause wide-reaching damage to the UK economy. “To effectively force companies to transfer 10 per cent of company ownership from existing shareholders to employees is far too draconian,” he said. “It could have a negative effect on business investment and business formation in the UK, and undermine the functioning of UK capital markets.”

Draconian, did he say? Isn’t it more draconian to force poor wage settlements on employees in order to take an ever-larger, undeserved, share of profits? Isn’t it more draconian to deny the people who actually create those profits even the smallest say in how their company should be run? I think it is.

On the Today programme, some pundit claimed the policy would be a bonanza for employment lawyers who would be hired to find ways to prevent firms from having to pay workers a single bean.

That is the attitude of business leaders in Conservative Britain: “Never mind you, Jack – I’m all right!”

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Philip May had a financial interest in bombing Syria – claim

Suspicion: Did Theresa May use the air strikes on Syria to deliver a huge profit to her husband Philip?

Opponents of the Conservative government have spent years looking for a conflict of interest between Theresa May and her husband Philip’s work. It seems we may have found one at last.

Consider this:

“Philip May [husband of UK prime minister Theresa] now works as an investment relationship manager for the Capital Group. [His job] has opened the powerful couple up to suggestions of conflicted interests.

“The Syrian air strikes are a perfect example of how companies can profit from acts of war. It is clear that Philip May has an influence on the final decisions which the UK Prime Minister takes, so is it appropriate for him to work for a company which has now profited from UK military action?

“Currently, Capital Group owns around 10.39 percent of Lockheed Martin [the American global aerospace, defence, security, and advanced technologies company]. So, while UK Prime Minister Theresa May supports Trump and Macron’s military action in Syria, she is also helping her husband’s investment firm to make a killing.

“The Syria air strikes that took place on 14th April, 2018 saw the debut of a new type of cruise missile developed by the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

“The JASSM was produced at a Lockheed Martin plant in Troy, Alabama, and has a low radar cross-section that makes it difficult to detect. The air-launched cruise missile is designed to penetrate as far as 200 miles into enemy territory. The extended version, which destroyed the Barzah Research and Development Center located in the greater Damascus area, can fly more than 500 miles.

“With each JASSM costing over a million dollars, Lockheed Martin will make a tidy profit. Their investors, including Capital Group, will make a fortune, in part due to of one of their employees partners launching legally questionable air strikes, without the permission of the UK Parliament.”

What do you think?


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In the crap-ita: Government contractor responsible for benefit assessments is in deep financial doo-doo

Capita runs London’s congestion charge scheme [Image: Reuters].

Of course we shouldn’t gloat about financial troubles that will affect thousands of people’s jobs.

But Capita is responsible for assessing the fitness for work of thousands upon thousands of benefit claimants, with targets (hidden by the government) to knock a huge proportion of people off the books, so maybe we can be forgiven in this instance.

At mandatory reconsideration, we know that the Tory government set an 80 per cent target for refusal of benefits.

That means thousands of innocent people have suffered for no reason – many of them to their deaths. If the current situation means the assessors who inflicted that suffering get to experience some of it, who can call that anything other than poetic justice?

The company has announced plans to add £700 million to its bank balance. Is this to make up for the now-axed dividend scheme that gave £500 million to shareholders?

What were company execs thinking, when they devised that scheme in the first place? That the government’s magic money tree would keep producing the cash they were funnelling to their rich shareholders?

And was Capita carrying out the same wheeze as Carillion – under-bidding for new government contracts and using the money it received to pay for the old ones?

And what about the firm’s pension fund?

Here‘s Frank Field, chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions committee:

“Another day, another outsourcing firm with massive debt, a huge pension deficit, a KPMG audit and the Big Four popping up at every turn in the company’s chequered history.

“Sadly, Capita goes on the growing list of firms we are investigating to see if their conduct has endangered current and future pensioners’ rights.”

So: First Carillion collapsed. Now both Interserve (remember them?) and Capita are in trouble.

Who’s next? And what will happen to public services while the Tories dither over this crisis?

More than £1bn was wiped off the stock market value of the government contractor Capita on Wednesday, sparking fears of job losses.

Capita, whose major contracts range from collecting the BBC licence fee to electronic tagging of prisoners, saw its share price nearly halve in a day following a grim financial update that reignited concerns over the outsourcing industry and the stability of public services.

Capita’s shares plunged 47.5%, cutting its stock market value by £1.1bn, after new chief executive Jonathan Lewis stunned markets by admitting the company’s finances were in a dire state and announcing drastic measures to repair them.

Lewis, appointed in October last year, downgraded Capita’s profit forecasts and announced plans to raise £700m to shore up its balance sheet. He also axed a dividend that had been worth more than £500m to investors over the past three years.

A cost-cutting programme is expected to result in job losses among Capita’s 67,000 employees, 50,000 of whom are in the UK, while parts of the business will be sold to raise cash.

Source: Capita: almost £1bn wiped off value of UK government contractor | Business | The Guardian


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