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The Tories have pushed public debt past £2 TRILLION after they promised to eliminate it

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“Spaffed up the wall”: Boris Johnson’s phrase – inappropriately applied to public money used to investigate child abuse – may now be more correctly applied to his own government’s use of all public funds..

Remember when the national debt was just £950 billion and the Tories slithered into office with a claim that they would eliminate it?

What happened?

George Osborne – remember him? – promised that he would eliminate the national deficit (regular borrowing by the government) by 2015, and would then reduce the debt.

He never did. And now he’s nowhere to be found.

And the national debt is now more than double what it was in 2010.

The Tories will say it’s because of the cost of the Covid-19 crisis – which they have increased exponentially by involving inept private health companies that have failed to carry out a single task adequately.

They may say it’s due to the cost of Brexit – which Boris Johnson pushed on us with a campaign of lies back in 2016 and which has cost us more in four years than we paid in more than 40 as an EU member state.

And they will certainly try to blame the Labour government of 1997-2010 and the international financial crisis that happened during that period, which had nothing to do with Labour policies.

They’ll also say a Labour government would have made matters worse, even though they have squandered more money in the last 10 years than was ever spent by every Labour administration the UK has ever had.

And don’t forget that Labour has reduced the national debt when in office, which is more than the Tories have done in our collective lifetime.

The BBC article is full of Tory apologists saying there was nothing they could do, but it simply isn’t true.

The Conservative Party has, in the words of Boris Johnson “spaffed up the wall” all the public money it could get its hands on, and then borrowed more than a trillion pounds more.

And ministers will say that you have to pay it back.

Source: UK government spending on virus measures pushes debt to £2 trillion – BBC News

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Will glue company come unstuck over ‘two weeks without pay’ offer to Universal Credit claimants?


Why is the Tory government allowing this?

A glue company called Bond It has advertised jobs via Universal Credit work coaches – which may sound great in these recession-ridden times.

There’s only one catch:

The firm is asking UC claimants to do the work without pay for two weeks.

Not only that, but the job does not appear on Bond It’s own site, nor is its two-week unpaid “trial” mentioned on any other site that advertises jobs.

As Ben Claimant points out below, it is specifically for Universal Credit claimants.

And your Tory government supports this behaviour.

Your Tory government considers anybody on Universal Credit to be available to companies to work for nothing –

That’s slave labour, by the way!

– simply because they have to claim a so-called benefit that pushes them into poverty as a condition of claiming (that’s the intention of the five-week wait before payments begin), that punishes them if they are paid at irregular times of the month for the work they do, and that punishes them if they are unable to secure better-paid work.

Strangely, Labour has managed to actually ask the government what’s going on…

… although it is doubtful anything will come of this.

The story in the New Statesman article refers to a person who was already claiming UC, so is familiar with its injustices already.

But millions of people have signed on as a consequence of Covid-19.

I hope they get job offers like this.

It will show many of them what they’ve been supporting all these years.

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An INCOMPETENT government released the London Bridge terrorist to kill again: a TORY government

How tasteless of the Tories to try to blame Labour for a tragedy that they caused.

People have died and both Home Secretary Priti Patel and prime minister Boris Johnson have tried to turn the atrocity into a political football.

For clarity: convicted terrorist Usman Khan murdered two people on London Bridge last Friday (November 29).

Both Mr Johnson (see the link below) and Ms Patel have tried to blame the fact that he was free and able to commit these murders on an early release policy which they say was imposed by a Labour government.

Both Mr Johnson and Ms Patel were telling an untruth.

Khan had been jailed under Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) – a policy imposed by Labour, but abolished by a Conservative Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, in 2012.

It is because the Conservatives abolished IPP that Khan was able to appeal against his sentence – successfully. It was reduced to 16 years, meaning he was released on licence in December 2018.

Labour had nothing to do with it.

If you read the article (link below), you’ll see that Mr Johnson changed tack – to claim that his government could not be responsible because he has only been prime minister for 120 days. What drivel.

The UK has been under continuous Conservative rule since 2010. The same Conservative government that repealed IPP is now being run by Mr Johnson. The only differences – of cabinet members and prime minister – are cosmetic.

So don’t let Boris Johnson and his Tory cronies make a fool of you.

His government was responsible for Usman Khan’s release and as leader, he should take responsibility for it.

The fact that he is desperately trying to slither out of it is more proof of his unsuitability to govern.

Make sure he doesn’t get the chance to cause any more harm. Vote Labour on December 12.

Source: Boris Johnson blames Labour for release of London Bridge killer | UK news | The Guardian

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More than HALF A MILLION CHILDREN have been harmed by cruel Tory benefit cap

 

The Conservatives will be celebrating today after it was revealed that they have harmed nearly 600,000 children with their two-child cap on benefits for parents.

The stated aim of the cap on child benefit is to stop people having large families whilst on benefits.

But this is a fallacy. Most of the people hit by the cap are in working families.

And it is in fact harmful to the UK and its economy. The number of children born here is lower now than in the past, making it economically difficult to sustain the ageing population; there needs to be a large working-age population generating the economic activity needed to pay for services.

One solution has been to attract immigrants – but Brexit and the racism that it has engendered have made the UK extremely unattractive to foreign talent.

Then there’s the “rape” clause, which requires women to tell strangers that their children were born from controlling or coercive relationships, filling out a four-page form and reliving the trauma.

And there can be no doubt that this has contributed to the increase in child poverty under Conservative rule. Currently more than one-third of children in the UK are in poverty.

So the harm meted out to the children of the poor – and some parents – is revealed as what we always knew it would be: Cruelty for cruelty’s sake.

Nearly 600,000 children have seen their family’s finances slashed by the Tories’ “nasty” two-child cap on benefits.

The damning figures – from the first two years of the cap alone – sparked fresh calls from MPs, charities and more than 100 academic experts to axe the “cruel” austerity cut.

And they smashed claims the cap would force benefit claimants to make the same choices as working families – as it emerged 59% of victims have a job.

This distressing information has come at the beginning of Boris Johnson’s period as the new Conservative prime minister.

What do you think BoJob intends to do about it, apart from rejoice?

Source: DWP two-child benefits limit hits 500,000 children in cruel Tory crackdown – Mirror Online

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In total, Universal Credit two-child limit will put nearly HALF A MILLION children into poverty

Around 450,000 children will be pushed into poverty because of the two-child limit on child allowances in Universal Credit and tax credits.

That’s the prediction from the Child Poverty Action Group about the cruel policy that has pushed 150,000 children into poverty so far – and will impoverish twice as many more by the time the rollout of UC is complete.

Already, 43 per cent of children in families with three or more live below the poverty line, in a country where the overall child poverty rate is 30 per cent. That in itself is a scandal in the fifth-richest nation in the world.

Two-thirds of families hit by the policy will be working, and CPAG says a single parent with three children working 16 hours per week on the fake ‘National Living Wage’ of £8.21 per hour would have to more than double their hours to 37 per week to compensate for the effect of the two-child limit.

Of course, that’s a full-time working week, which means childcare may be necessary – meaning our hypothetical single parent would probably have to hold down two jobs, just to make ends meet; there’s no guarantee they would be able to get free care.

They would be worked into the ground, and probably would hardly even see their own children.

CPAG also says the policy breaches the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and unlawfully discriminates against children, because it treats them as unworthy of individual consideration for entitlement to subsistence benefits – in fact it automatically disqualifies them.

That is the intention behind the two-child limit on Universal Credit, of course: Harm.

The intention is quite clearly to penalise people for having more than two children – never mind the circumstances. In short, it is a eugenics experiment; a “nudge” project – an attempt to restrict the population at large by making it too expensive for people on a low income to have children.

The rich will be able to continue having as many youngsters as they want, of course.

So the comment by a DWP spokesperson – that “the two child policy ensures fairness between claimants and taxpayers who support themselves solely through work” – is a lie.

Doubly so, in fact, because it does not acknowledge the fact that the number of people supporting themselves solely through work is diminishing – because of the fakeness of that misnamed “National Living Wage” mentioned above. It isn’t a living wage; anybody receiving it must top up their income with benefits or go into debt.

This means the claim that the government is tackling child poverty and helping families with the cost of living is also a lie.

As the number of people – especially young people – in poverty increases, one has to question how many people will continue believing this nonsense.


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It seems Brexit will be delayed, no matter what May says – but for how long?

It seems the UK is likely to remain in the European Union beyond March 29 – no matter what Theresa May says.

If so, it means she’ll have told us yet another falsehood on Sunday when she said she still expected the UK to leave the EU on March 29.

But there are conflicting stories about the date to which Brexit may be extended, depending on whose plan we all end up following.

The Torygraph adds two months to the calendar, with a scheme concocted by the Tories:

“Downing Street officials have drawn up a series of options in a bid to avoid resignations by ministers determined to support a backbench bid to take no deal off the table this week.

“The Prime Minister said she will delay a meaningful vote on her deal by up to two weeks until March 12, just 17 days before the UK is due to leave the European Union.

“The Telegraph understands that the plans drawn up by Downing Street officials, which were circulated at the weekend, include making a formal request to Brussels to delay Brexit if she cannot secure a deal by then.”

But the delay could last up to two years, according to an EU strategy reported in The Guardian:

“Brexit could be delayed until 2021 under plans being explored by the EU’s most senior officials, at a time of growing exasperation over Theresa May’s handling of the talks, the Guardian can reveal.

“A lengthy extension of the negotiating period is gaining traction as the EU’s default position should the Commons continue to reject May’s deal, and a request emerge.

“Replacing the 21-month transition period with extra time as a member state would allow the UK and the EU to develop their plans for the future relationship with the aim of making the contentious Irish backstop redundant.

“Brussels is determined to avoid offering a short extension only to have to revisit the issue in the summer when the government again fails to win round parliament.”

Which do you think we’ll get?

If you opted for the EU version, I’d have to agree with you – based on Mrs May’s utter failure to gain any concessions at all.
Her performance can best be summed up in the subtitles on this clip:

Recently, This Site and others have taken to calling the prime minister “Groundhog May” because of her inability to get anything done.

It seems we are destined to endure a total of five years (at least) of “Groundhog May”. If her government’s oppressive policies don’t kill us, we’ll probably all die of boredom and frustration before Brexit happens.


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Why should doctors resign because of the #NHSCrisis caused by Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt?

Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt are the Tory fools who have created the crisis in the English NHS. Tell them they are to blame. Tell them they should resign now.

The more I think about the unreasonable comments and demands made by Theresa May and her health secretary Jeremy Hunt, the less acceptable they seem.

We are told senior GPs could resign in huge numbers because Mrs May has irrationally chosen to scapegoat them for the humanitarian crisis sweeping the National Health Service in England. But why should they?

Surely we can all see where responsibility really lies?

The Conservatives aren’t responsible for the NHS in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and those countries aren’t experiencing any crisis – except possibly where their services are reliant on facilities based in England.

The Conservatives are responsible for the NHS in England, and it is in England that the crisis has occurred.

Therefore Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt are responsible for causing the current crisis; so Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt should resign.

Why are high-profile politicians and medical leaders not already demanding their heads on a plate?

Theresa May seems keen to blame anybody but herself – she tried to pin the crisis on the elderly before claiming that A&E departments are buckling because she thinks GPs are lazy.

Enough is enough.

Whenever Mrs May, Mr Hunt or any other Tory (with the exception of Dr Sarah Wollaston, who has spoken up for the NHS, thereby proving she is in the wrong political party altogether) tries to run down the NHS, its doctors, nurses, specialists, workers or users, let’s just tell them:

“No. You are to blame. Resign.”

It’s a simple message, and easy to repeat.

Put it out there a few times and even our Tory-loving mass media might get the hang of it.

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Tory lies and the #NHSCrisis: Health service ISN’T getting more cash than it wanted

“Let’s not rewrite history,” said NHS England chief Simon Stevens – but Theresa May has tried to do exactly that.

She knows perfectly well that he said the NHS in England would need between £8 billion and £21 billion in order to sustain the service up to 2020.

Her claim that, by giving the service £10 billion over six years, she is providing more than was requested is a lie.

That’s £8.4 billion over five years – the absolute lowest end of the scale presented by Mr Stevens.

It takes no account of cuts to social care, closed walk-in centres, closed pharmacies, limited availability of GP appointments – all caused by Tory mismanagement.

More money than the NHS requested would be at least £22 billion.

And the fact is that Tory cuts to the English health service will amount to nearly £40 billion – including the extra £8.4 billion – by 2020.

Theresa May is a liar and should resign because her lies are threatening people’s lives. Jeremy Hunt is a liar and should resign for the same reason.

The claim: The NHS is being given more money than it asked for.

Reality Check verdict: The amount that the NHS in England is being given over this Parliament is at the bottom end of the range that it asked for. It doesn’t take into account the knock-on effects of shortfalls in other areas such as social care.

“We asked the NHS to work out what it needed over the next five years in terms of… the funding it would need,” Prime Minister Theresa May told Sky News on Sunday.

“We gave them more funding then they required.”

But NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens denied this on Wednesday.

Mr Stevens has made clear that when he mentioned the £8bn figure, that was the minimum amount needed just to plug the funding gap.

But this figure is not enough to keep pace with rising demand, improve services or accommodate plans for seven-day services.

Speaking to NHS leaders last June, he said: “Let’s not rewrite history.

“In the Forward View, we actually said that the National Health Service would need between £8bn and £21bn by 2020 in order to sustain and improve.”

Source: Reality Check: Is the NHS getting more than it wanted? – BBC News

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The #NHSCrisis is only encouraging private firms to bite larger chunks from the health service

[Image: Martin Shovel.]

Even as the UK erupts in protest at the government’s neglect of the NHS, the Tory privatisation plan is working, it seems.

The crisis has created a perception that the public health service is unable to cope. Private firms can capitalise on this – and don’t forget that more private contracts are being offered up for NHS work, every day. Here’s the latest:

It’s for an ‘integrated urgent care service’ (whatever that may be), offered by Kernow CCG (in Cornwall?) and is worth nearly £50 million.

It should be remembered that private healthcare will not offer treatment for the most complicated, long-term conditions; the people who need it most. Instead, they take contracts that draw funding away from their treatment.

And the ‘crisis’ narrative gains momentum – but it lacks one major element.

The only reason there is a humanitarian crisis in the NHS is underfunding by the Conservative Party in government. They will have inflicted nearly £40 billion of cuts by 2020, and have already passed on around £20 billion of funding to private companies, much of which will be transferred to shareholders’ bank accounts as profit, rather than having anything to do with treatment of illness.

The bureaucratic cost of private involvement alone is astronomical.

Yet Theresa May tried to blame the crisis on the increase of elderly patients, in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

In fact, decades of ward closures have led to the bed crisis. Bed-to-population ratios are worse than in some eastern European countries. Funding of the NHS, in total, is well below the EU average. But Mrs May keeps rattling on about a “strong economy” being the answer. Didn’t Philip Hammond say our economy is the strongest in the developed world, during his Autumn Statement last year? Yes, he did.

The only way the NHS can receive proper funding is the removal of private sector involvement from the National Health Service and the redirection of the funds this frees, back into healthcare.

That must be the first priority of any campaign to save the NHS.

The way to achieve it is simple: Destroy the Tory narrative.

The aging population isn’t blocking up A&E – Tory underfunding and bed closures did that.

Why isn’t the NHS properly funded, considering the Tories say we have the healthiest economy in the developed world?

If the Tories didn’t want A&E departments flooded with non-urgent patients, why did they close walk-in centres and pharmacies?

There must be no let-up, no relief for Conservative pro-privatisation mouthpieces. They must be challenged at every opportunity.

Their answers must always be challenged. If they fail to provide adequate answers, the question should be put again.

Challenge the narrative. Undermine their confidence.

Win back your health service.

 

 

 

#NHSCrisis: Theresa May wants to cover it up – but she is digging her own political grave

Simon Stevens holds up a copy of the Daily Mail at a public accounts committee meeting focusing on the crisis in the health service [Image: Parliament TV].


The crisis in the English National Health Service is deepening while Tories, led by Theresa May, quibble over the amount of money it is getting.

Mrs May told Sky News on Sunday that, “when the government had asked the NHS what it needed for the next five years, it had been given ‘more funding’ than ‘required’.”

But Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, denied this point-blank in evidence to the Commons Public Accounts Committee yesterday (Wednesday).

Ministers had said NHS England had requested £8bn and been allocated £10bn. But Mr Stevens told MPs that was to cover six years rather than the five-year plan he had put forward.

“I don’t think that’s the same as saying we are getting more than we asked for over five years.”

He also held up a copy of a Daily Mail report showing that health spending in England is much lower than in other European countries.

In any case, as This Site has pointed out – £10 billion won’t cancel out the £20 billion of cuts inflicted over the last few years – or the £22 billion consigned to private healthcare firms that Conservatives have invited to raid the NHS for lucrative contracts, and the bureaucracy associated with it. Mr Stevens described cuts to capital expenditure as “robbing Paul to pay Paul”.

In many cases, the companies gaining from NHS contracts – which turn public money into profits for their shareholders – had financial links to Conservative politicians. It doesn’t take a lot of detective work to understand that the introduction of private companies into the NHS was about enriching these Conservatives rather than improving health outcomes.

Former Conservative Health Secretary Steven Dorrell has supported Mr Stevens’ comments, and said the government “should be addressing the evidence about what is happening on the ground rather than engaging in a rather high-profile discussion about, frankly, what sound to the public like telephone numbers of public expenditure”.

In other words, the NHS needs action, not pointless arguments.

Meanwhile, more than 20 hospitals in England have had to declare a black alert this week after becoming so overcrowded that they could no longer guarantee patient safety and provide their full range of normal services.

A black alert is defined as as a “serious incident”. It means the system is under severe pressure and is unable to deliver certain actions and comprehensive emergency care.

At least 23 hospital trusts have declared they cannot cope since Monday. Theresa May described this, at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, as “extra pressures on the NHS”. Do you think that is a fair description?

Labour MP Toby Perkins – whose father reportedly died in his arms after being mistakenly sent home during the last major NHS crisis in July last year – might take a different view.

Remember the NHS crisis last July? Nor do I. Apparently everybody was too busy to notice, as they were being whipped up against junior doctors, who were threatening industrial action over the danger to patients posed by a new contract introduced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt’s contract, which he later forced on junior doctors in spite of their concerns, demanded more work from them in conditions that were less safe. And here we are.

Do we believe Mrs May, who has lied about more money going into the NHS? Or Mr Hunt, who forced an unsafe contract on junior doctors that has almost certainly contributed to the current crisis?

Or do we believe junior doctor Rachel Clarke, who has made it absolutely clear that she believes the Conservatives are covering up the crisis and putting savings before safety.

She writes: “First-hand testimony from frontline doctors backs up the scale of the crisis, depicting almost unimaginable conditions of squalor and indignity up and down the country. “It’s an absolute war zone” said one junior doctor, “completely out of control” said another.

“Hunt’s denial of frontline reality has left doctors like me feeling utterly terrified for our patients. Two deaths on trolleys are two too many.

“Just how many more are required before the Government acts?”

I asked much the same question, days ago, after it was revealed the Red Cross had stepped in and called this a “humanitarian crisis”.

Dr Clarke writes: “Hunt condemned the ‘times when it might feel easier to conceal mistakes, to deny that things have gone wrong and to slide into postures of institutional defensiveness’, vowing instead to foster ‘a climate of openness, where staff are supported to do the right thing and where we put people first at all times.'”

Yet we know Theresa May had demanded that NHS trusts should not reveal the extent of the current crisis to the press and public.

“So why, at this time of crisis for NHS patients, has the Government spin machine cranked into overdrive, denying the seriousness of doctors’ concerns and promising the public that all is well? That is the precise opposite of what the nation was promised,” writes Dr Clarke.

“Everyone who works in the NHS has a duty of candour, and no Health Secretary should be exempt from that. If Hunt really cares about patients, then when frontline staff are clamouring to warn of crisis conditions that we know are costing lives, he owes it to patients to listen.”

Well, here’s a possibility: Perhaps Mrs May and Mr Hunt are holding on because they know their job is nearly finished. With NHS trusts facing a 21 per cent increase in tax next April – thanks to Tory changes – and the healthcare it provides in crisis – thanks to Tory changes – perhaps they think they only have to wait a while before being able to claim the NHS has had its day and it is time for an expensive private insurance system to take over – meaning more profit for them.

Theresa May set up a blind trust arrangement when she became prime minister, allowing her to hold on to shareholdings or other investments without disclosing what they are to the public. Does she have shares in private health? It is in the public interest to know, but she has refused to surrender the facts. Why?

“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” That was the mantra when Mrs May – the same Mrs May – was pushing her Snooper’s Charter through Parliament against the will of the public. She is clearly afraid of divulging the details of her shareholdings. What does she have to hide?

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson certainly thinks the current issue brings the sustainability of the NHS into question.

He said a regular meeting of NHS chiefs discussed “at what point does public confidence in the NHS model of care, delivered free at the point of use based on clinical need not the ability to pay, come into question” – and the conclusion was that “What we are doing at the moment is not sustainable.”

One has to question this man’s attitude. Rather than fight for the NHS, he is ready to give it up – exactly as Mrs May and Mr Hunt must want.

But the people of the United Kingdom aren’t having it.

The NHS is our most precious possession – one that we know Conservatives hate and want to end. That is why we must fight them for it – all the way to the ballot box.

Theresa May and her cabinet cronies will stop at nothing to win this battle. They don’t care if your friends or relatives die on hospital trolleys after waiting unendurable times for treatment.

They don’t care that we know the NHS is only failing because they have deliberately crippled it.

They don’t care that three-quarters of the UK’s population didn’t vote for them and even most of those who did are supporters of the NHS.

They want their private system. They want their massive profits. They want to ruin your health forever, because you’ll never be able to afford their prices.

You cannot afford to lose the fight for the National Health Service.

What are you going to do?

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