Tag Archives: worker

#LevellingUp or #ToryCorruption ? Serco-employed test and trace managers take £1.5m per year

Not the NHS: Boris Johnson privatised the Covid-19 test and trace system, believing it would be a great advert for privatisation. Instead, it has become a millstone around his neck – so he refers to it constantly as “NHS test and trace” in the hope that people will blame the nationalised health service that has nothing to do with it.

The Serco Test and Trace scandal gets worse and worse; it has just been revealed that some employees receive £7,360 per day to pretend to find people with Covid-19 and trace their contacts.

That’s the equivalent of £1.5 million a year. These are people from companies with strong connections to the Conservative government, that won their contracts via an emergency system which avoids the normal tendering process.

And it has already been established that most contact tracing personnel spend their time playing computer games because they are not being given work to do.

City AM says,

Sky, citing leaked documents, reported that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has paid BCG around £10m. That was for a team of 40 consultants to work for four months on test and trace.

BCG’s “day rates” for public sector work – which determine the cost of its service – range from £2,400 to £7,360 for its most senior employees.

The report said BCG is giving the government a 10 to 15 per cent discount. Although this would still equate to day rates equivalent to around £1.5m a year.

BCG declined to comment.

Sky also said that 165 more consultants had been hired to work on test and trace. They include 84 from Deloitte, 31 from EY and 50 from KPMG.

So much for Boris Johnson’s claim that he was “levelling up” the UK. Tory friends are being paid millions in public money while those who desperately need it are being starved.

While ministerial salaries are being frozen, all MPs are getting a pay rise of £3,300 per year – equivalent to around two-thirds of the current annual rate of Universal Credit for an adult aged over 25.

The lowest MP salary will be £85,291 per year. Compare that with nurses on £24,000. Who does the more important job?

What about care workers, who receive an excruciatingly-low £18,553 per year. Who does the more important job?

The Durham-based family of Boris Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings have been excused from paying £30,000 in backdated council tax on houses they built without planning permission 18 years ago – while child poverty in the Durham North constituency has rocketed by nine per cent – to total one-third of all children living there – in the last four years… after housing costs were taken into account,

The social media are seething with discontent:

I think the following three tweets put the current situation in a nutshell, using the current northern lockdown as an example of Tory corruption at its worst. First, let’s set the scene:

Now we can go into details with this excellent speech by Labour MP Dan Carden:

Lastly, let’s remember that there was an alternative – but people were steered away from it by liars in the mainstream media who shilled for the corrupt Tories instead. Now what, do you think, encouraged them to do that?

Source: Government paying test and trace consultants equivalent of £1.5m salary : CityAM

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Do you believe this ‘four-day working week to create half a million jobs’ bunkum?

Commuters: to many of them, the idea of a four-day working week may seem highly attractive – but not on these ‘castle in the air’ terms.

Someone’s trying to lead us up the garden path:

The public sector should switch to a four-day week to create 500,000 jobs and help ease a predicted spike in unemployment following the coronavirus outbreak, according to a report.

The Autonomy think tank said “the time has come” for a shorter working week as the end of the government’s furlough scheme in October is expected to cause an unemployment crisis.

Research by the thinktank suggests public sector workers could move to a 32-hour week without any loss in wages at a cost of up to £9bn a year.

This figure, according to Autonomy, represents 6 per cent of the public sector salary bill and costs the same amount as the furlough employment scheme brought in to save jobs during the peak of the pandemic.

Who says any government is going to give public sector workers a cut in their working hours while keeping their wages the same (that’s a massive real-terms raise) – especially a Tory government? They imposed a public sector pay freeze for years!

And the claim that it would cost up to £9 billion a year – the same as Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme – is just more evidence that it wouldn’t work. Sunak is scrapping the furlough scheme on grounds that it is too expensive to continue indefinitely.

Not realistic.

Source: Four-day working week in public sector could create 500,000 jobs, says thinktank report | The Independent | Independent

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Lower than sewage: liar Johnson is still making poorest NHS workers pay ‘immigrant surcharge’

Cleaning up: people who can least afford it are being charged for NHS treatment, despite being the ones who keep hospital beds clean and equipment available.

Could there be a better demonstration of what a detestable liar Boris Johnson is?

He said his government would end a £624 “surcharge” it demanded from immigrant NHS workers for their own healthcare treatment. He lied.

In fact, the charge has continued to be applied – to the poorest workers; those least able to afford it.

The fee is still levied on staff who take a different job within six months – lower-paid cleaners, porters and carers, especially those on the zero-hours contracts the Tories have been keen to force into the workplace.

Perhaps most damning of all is the fact that ministers have had to cheek to suggest that these staff – who are on the lowest pay possible – need an “incentive” to continue working.

Typical Tory thinking – Johnson reckons everybody is as lazy as he is!

In fact, people on low incomes – especially those on zero-hours contracts – already have an incentive to work. It’s called “survival”.

Apart from a tiny minority for whom a zero-hours contract works because it fits into their own lifestyle – people who already have enough money to live on – nobody would take up such a job if it wasn’t the best they could get.

Zero-hours jobs offer no sick pay or holiday pay; and the wages are the lowest employers can get away with offering.

And, of course, they are designed to facilitate termination on short notice.

So we see a situation in which Boris Johnson claimed he was ending an unfair charge on people who have worked tirelessly to save us all from Covid-19…

… when instead he was continuing to inflict it on the people who most deserved to have it lifted.

Remember when Nye Bevan said Tories were lower than vermin?

If he were around today, no doubt he would admit that he overpraised them.

I feel sure he would agree with me that Johnson is lower than sewage.

Source: Boris Johnson accused of ‘cynical broken promise’ as some foreign NHS and care staff still pay surcharge | The Independent

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Coronavirus deaths: ‘sorry’ is the hardest word for Hancock

Matt Hancock: he couldn’t even follow his own government advice against spreading the coronavirus and now he is refusing to apologise for failures in containing it.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is refusing to take responsibility for his mistakes – even after being confronted with the evidence.

When Intisar ​Chowdhury, the son of a consultant who died earlier this month, asked the health secretary live on LBC radio whether he regretted not taking his father’s warnings over vital medical kit seriously enough, Hancock repeatedly avoided making an apology.

He said he was saddened by the death of Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, who had warned Boris Johnson about the lack of protective gear for frontline NHS workers, and asked him to secure equipment “urgently” in a social media post.

Pressed to acknowledge that there have been mistakes in handling the virus, especially to Mr Chowdhury (junior) and other families that have lost loved ones as a result of this virus and probably as a result of the government not handling it seriously enough, he evaded.

He said: “I think that it is very important that we’re constantly learning about how to do these things better and I think listening to the voices on the front line is a very, very important part of how we improve.

“Of course this a very complicated logistical effort but I don’t want to play down the enormous efforts of many thousands of people who are working every hour that there is trying to solve the problem.”

Yesterday (April 28) Hancock refused to apologise to relatives of elderly residents who have died of coronavirus in care homes, after figures showed 5,000 such deaths in England alone.

He said during the daily Downing Street briefing that it was “unreasonable” to ask if he would apologise to the families of those who have died.

“Making sure that care homes have the support they need has been absolutely at front of mind right from the start,” he said.

“We’ve been testing in care homes right from the start and right through the crisis.”

If that were true, then why did it take the government until yesterday to provide daily tallies of deaths in care homes, alongside the statistics on hospital fatalities, rather than releasing them on a weekly basis, 10 or 11 days after the event?

If testing was taking place from the start, then the figures would have been available immediately.

It seems that – like the whole Tory government – Mr Hancock is simply trying to avoid responsibility for mistakes, omissions and policies that have caused thousands of needless death. Perhaps he fears the inquiry that must take place after the crisis is over.

Source: Coronavirus: Matt Hancock repeatedly refuses to accept PPE failures after being confronted by dead doctor’s son | The Independent

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Legal challenge threat to Tory government over death of NHS workers due to PPE shortage

PPE: The UK’s is on the bottom right. Now you know why it has been so diabolically awful.

As usual the Tories are ducking and covering, trotting out their usual excuse that there’s no proof of “any causal link” between the lack of PPE and the deaths of NHS staff.

It’s the excuse they use whenever anyone suggests that one of the disabled people they’ve persecuted to death might have died because of the way the Tory government treats them and it doesn’t stand up when they use it that way either.

The answer is obvious. Just turn around and say: “Okay – what do you think is the most likely reason: contact with NHS patients who have the coronavirus while wearing an apron and no face protection every single minute of their working lives, or accidentally standing 1.99m away from the nearest person on the way to and from that job?

Matt Hancock’s PPE (these days… I expect).

My personal opinion? We should throw Matt Hancock and all the other excuse-mongers into one of their own Covid-riddled prisons now, and throw away the keys.

The bereaved families of healthcare professionals are asking why their loved ones were sent to the medical front line without the personal protective equipment they need to protect themselves from COVID-19.

We would not expect a fire fighter to die because they were not provided with fire retardant clothing. In the same way, the death of a nurse because they had only a pinny, gloves and a paper mask is arbitrary and almost certainly unacceptable to the public.

The government’s … own influenza pandemic strategy states specifically, “the government has in place stockpiles of face masks and respirators for health and social care workers”.

The Department of Health rejected the government’s own specialist advisory body’s advice in 2017 to stockpile eye protection, reasoning: “The cost of the PPE component of the pandemic stockpile would increase four to six-fold with a very limited likelihood of cost benefits.”

Authorities have an obligation to take preventive operational measures to protect lives; this includes the lives of NHS workers so far as it doesn’t impose an “impossible or disproportionate burden” on the authorities.

Coroners’ inquests may become an important forum for determining whether the government has adequately safeguarded the lives of its health workers during this pandemic. A coroner can look at a death from COVID-19 in circumstances where the death was unexpected and there are allegations of culpable human failure.

Bereaved families may also be able to bring claims in the civil courts, under the Human Rights Act 1998, for breach of a loved one’s right to life – a group action on this would not be surprising.

Source: Coronavirus: could government face legal questions over the death of NHS workers during PPE shortage?

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Hancock: care workers can’t have ‘Real Living Wage’ – but let’s remember he offered them a nice badge

Up your…: last week, Matt Hancock offered carers… a badge. This is what they said he could do with it.

Right after offering carers a badge instead of genuine government investment, Matt Hancock has denied them the real living wage.

Let’s clarify, quickly: the real living wage is a wage that covers real living expenses, and is currently set at £10.75 in London and £9.30 in the rest of the UK for anybody aged 18 and older.

Hancock came out with the mealy-mouthed excuse that carers are already paid the National Living Wage, which is only £8.21 – and applicable only to people aged over 25. It doesn’t cover the cost of living, meaning its description as a “living wage” is false.

And let’s remember that MP’s have been given an extra £10,000 – above their already-enormous salaries – to help them work at home, which is something carers do all the time.

What a charmer.

Hancock was responding to SNP health spokesperson Dr Philippa Whitford who pointed out that carers in Scotland are already paid the real living wage and asked when the Tory government would do the same for those in England.

She also asked him to reverse a 20 per cent cut in public health funding imposed by the Tories in 2015 – but that didn’t even get a response.

It seems the only hand Hancock has for carers is when he’s clapping for them on his doorstep – if he ever bothers.

Source: Matt Hancock refuses to commit to paying care workers the ‘Real Living Wage’ – Welfare Weekly

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‘You Clap For Me Now’ poem highlights hypocrisy of coronavirus response

Ventilator: the people treating us with these machines are likely to be of foreign ancestry, who aren’t wearing the right Personal Protective Equipment thanks to the plans of our Tory government.

I don’t feel comfortable with all these efforts to get us on our doorstep applauding the work of NHS staff – mostly of foreign descent – who have been treating the coronavirus. Some of them have been dying of it too.

My concern is that it is hypocritical for us – as a nation – to applaud the same people we were – as a country – trying to push beyond our borders for the last decade (almost) since the Tories came into office and started ‘othering’ them, and certainly for the last (nearly) four years since the EU referendum.

It is certainly hypocritical of our Tory government, that has failed to provide enough PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to keep them safe from the disease.

That is why I think the poem You Clap For Me Now that has appeared online is timely. So too is the comment by ex-Tory chairperson Sayeeda Warsi that accompanies it in this tweet:

And if you think I’m making too much of this, consider this. The Twitter profile Tory Fibs has been keeping track of NHS deaths related to coronavirus. It tends to support what I’m saying:

Point made?

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Coronavirus blame game: when Hancock isn’t blaming NHS staff, he’s telling the public we’re taking face masks away from them!

No sooner had I finished publishing my article showing how Matt Hancock has blamed NHS workers for under-using PPE than this came down the wire:

The Government has urged members of the public to refrain from wearing clinical face masks so supplies are available for NHS and care workers who need them most.

While it is true that face masks protect other people from diseases the wearer may have, rather than vice versa, those who wear them are entirely within their rights to do so.

They may have perfectly good, alternative reasons, but Hancock is setting them up for criticism – if not outright abuse – with his ill-considered words.

And of course he is wrong to criticise NHS staff.

They know how to use their equipment better than he does.

It’s all part of the blame game, though.

Hancock is trying to deflect blame away from the government that didn’t buy enough of this equipment, despite knowing that a viral pandemic was on the way.

And who do you think is the minister responsible? Easy: HE IS.

Source: Public wearing face masks creates shortages for NHS workers, Health Secretary warns | The Independent

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Coronavirus: Tories don’t know number of NHS deaths but are BLAMING the health workers they are working into the grave

Hancock: he doesn’t know how many people have died of coronavirus but is happy to encourage the spread of the disease by failing to follow his own rules.

Matt Hancock and his team should resign in disgrace, if only that wouldn’t upset the government’s handling of coronavirus – what little there is!

At the latest press conference, Hancock was asked if he knew how many NHS staff have died of the coronavirus. To his everlasting shame, he didn’t:

The refusal to provide figures is based on a lie – it won’t affect or upset anybody to provide numbers.

In any case, we know the number now. It’s 31:

And this number includes 10 doctors – all of whom are from Black And Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

Isn’t it a little odd that they should all be from minorities?

Here’s The Guardian:

Dr Fayez Ayache had retired as a Suffolk GP but had been working part-time in North Clacton, Essex, until three weeks ago. He had also volunteered to help refugees from his native Syria. He died on Wednesday after being diagnosed with pneumonia and Covid-19.

Interesting to note that he received a tribute from the president of the Syrian British Medical Society.

Here are the others:

Like Ayache, all the other nine doctors to have been named as victims of coronavirus have been from BAME backgrounds. They are:

  • Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, a consultant urologist at Homerton hospital in Hackney, east London, who had pleaded with the prime minister for more PPE.
  • Sami Shousha, a British-Egyptian doctor who specialised in histopathology, and had worked for more than 40 years at Charing Cross hospital in west London.
  • Dr Edmond Adedeji, an A&E doctor at the Great Western hospital in Swindon.
  • Syed Haider, a British Pakistani retired GP, who had worked at the Valence medical centre in Dagenham, east London.
  • Anton Sebastianpillai, a consultant geriatrician who trained in Sri Lanka and died in Kingston hospital, south-west London, just over two weeks after completing his last shift there.
  • Dr Alfa Saadu, a retired medical director born in Nigeria, who had been volunteering at his local hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire.
  • Amged el-Hawrani, an ear, nose and throat consultant of Sudanese descent who was working at Burton hospital near Derby.
  • Adil El Tayar, a surgeon from Sudan, who died after volunteering in A&E departments in the Midlands.
  • Habib Zaidi, 76, a GP with Pakistani origins, who died after showing “textbook symptoms” of the virus.

It seems clear that the NHS is being held together by professionals from outside the UK. Didn’t this country leave the EU in order to close our borders to such people?

The blank stupidity of the Tories seems to know no bounds. And 17 million people voted for Brexit – many of whom were probably among the 14 million who voted for Boris Johnson in December last year – so it seems stupidity is a worse contagion than the coronavirus in the modern UK.

Worse than all though, though – the crowning disgrace – is this:

Hancock has tried to blame the high number of deaths on NHS staff.

Watch:

What a piece of filth – supported by the gutter-rag Tory press, of course:

Would you like to know the real reason NHS workers – and so many patients – are dying?

You won’t like it.

It’s apparently because Tories like Hancock are insisting that staff who have caught the coronavirus must return to work before they have recovered:

I’m waiting for proof of this but I don’t think it’s going to be controversial.

The message is clear.

Rich, privileged, secure Hancock is blaming his failures on cash-poor, unwell NHS staff who have been told to get back to work too soon or lose their jobs, and that is the reason people are losing their lives.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Coronavirus: more courageous health workers die fighting the virus


I promised to keep a running record of coronavirus-related deaths.

Today (April 8), the UK government recorded its highest daily death total yet – 938 fatalities. If the Office for National Statistics is right, that means the actual total is more like 1,670.

Among the recent deaths are:

Anton Sebastianpillai

Alice Kit Tak Ong

Dr Paul Matawele

And midwife Lynsay Coventry.

No doubt there will be more tomorrow.

Please keep sending details to me.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
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1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

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If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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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