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A judge has dismissed a judicial review brought by national care provider body Care England against a local authority it said had breached its Care Act duties by setting fees too low.

Care England argued that Essex council had fixed the fees it offered to providers under a new commissioning framework at a level “significantly below their costs of care”.

It said this contravened section 5 of the Care Act, which stipulates local authorities must promote an efficient and effective care market and “have regard” to ensuring its sustainability.

The issue was highlighted last month by a report from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which found care home operators had been charging self-funding residents an average of 41% more than council-funded ones in order to remain solvent.

 

Source : ‘Care Act breach’ judicial review over provider fees dismissed : Community Care

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain and the European Union struck a divorce deal on Friday that paves the way for talks on trade, easing pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May and boosting hopes of an orderly Brexit.

 

Source: Factbox – British business organisations react to Brexit talk progress : Reuters


These firms have now been named but have they been shamed.

Also have these firms had to pay any financial penalty for them not paying the National Living Wage.

Govt Newspeak

Fashion giant Primark paid nearly 10,000 staff less than the minimum wage, despite making a £735 million profit last year

I knew this vile company had to be involved

Primark and Sports Direct are among 260 firms named and shamed today for failing to pay the minimum wage.

In total, the 260 companies underpaid 16,000 workers £1.7m in back pay and have been fined £1.3m.

Business Minister Margot James said: “There is no excuse for not paying staff the wages they’re entitled to.”

Green MP and Best for Britain Champion Caroline Lucas branded the list “Brexit Britain at its worst and most exploitative.”

She added: “These figures show that bosses are continuing to exploit workers and take them for a ride. There’s a real concern that workers are set to suffer even more as the Government pursues its damaging brexit. Workers’ rights are under threat – and a…

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Disability rights campaigner Shani Dhanda has called for Chancellor Philip Hammond to be sacked over “shameful” comments blaming disabled people for the UK’s poor productivity. Hammond was speaking during Wednesday’s treasury select committee, when he was asked about the sluggish economic growth he had reported in the Autumn Budget. “It is almost certainly the case that by increasing participation in the workforce, including far higher levels of participation by marginal groups and very high levels of engagement in the workforce, for example of disabled people – something we should be extremely proud of – may have had an impact on overall productivity measurements,” said Mr Hammond.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/business/disabled-people-furious-hammond-blames-sluggish-economy/?cm_mmc=B2C--inews-newsletter-v2--SEC1-_-CP000001478&cm_mmca1=inews&cm_mmca2=EMA&cm_mmca3=W1&cm_mmca4=News&uid=61chris.sterry@gmail.com&cm_mmca5=20171207

Source: Disabled people furious after Hammond blames them for sluggish economy : i News


Germans, Danes and Belgians pay the most for their electricity in Europe, followed by households on the Iberian peninsula, according to data from Eurostat.

 In Germany and Denmark 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity costs on average €30.5, compared with prices as low as €6.60 in Serbia. One kilowatt hour is about enough to watch TV for around 3 hours or to run a washing machine for one cycle.

When the figures are adjusted to take into account different spending power across the countries, Germany retains the top spot although Portugal climbs into second place.

 

Source: Which European countries have the most expensive electricity? : euronews


The UK’s care homes are grappling with an unsustainable £1bn-a-year funding gap caused by councils not paying enough money, resulting in many homes charging residents over the odds in order to stay afloat, an official review has found.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also revealed it is taking enforcement action against a number of care homes that have been unfairly demanding large upfront fees, or charging families for weeks after the death of an elderly relative.

In its report into the £16bn care homes sector, which covers 410,000 residents and stretches across 11,300 homes, the CMA said “urgent action” was needed because the current regime was “not sustainable” without additional funding.

It suggested that people who paid for their own care were being asked to pay more than they should in order to subsidise council-funded residents.

“On average, a self-funding resident is paying over £12,000 a year more than a local authority to have a place in the same care home … This difference between self-funded and local authority prices for the same service is understandably perceived by many as unfair.”

 

Source: £1bn funding shortfall may force UK care homes to close, says watchdog


Henkel is a German MEP and former head of IBM in Europe who has just iterated what many German businesses fear but what for some reason EU leaders and British Remainers cannot bring themselves to contemplate.

If Britain were to withdraw from the EU without a trade deal, Henkel said over the weekend, the biggest loser in the medium to long-term would not be Britain – it would be Germany.

Exports of German cars to Britain have already plunged by 20 per cent – as big a plunge, Henkel noted, as during the economic crisis of 2008/09.

Source: Why the European Union NEEDS the UK much more than we need them, says ROSS CLARK


This is a continuing trend and is anyone at the DWP listening as all they do is quote the statistics re claims submitted, those approved, those declined and those successful at appeal.

Unfortunately you can use statistics to prove virtually anything that you wish to and Government departments at Ace in this, if nothing else.

What they should be looking at is the standard of those claims that are declined to be then approved on appeal, to ensure whatever needs to be learned to achieve an even greater success rate of correctly dealing with claims instead of just juggling figures.

This would not only save money, as every case going to appeal costs more then a correctly assessed original claim. Is it that they are so focused on declining claims that accuracy takes a backseat and in doing so more money is required to the assessing process than should be if the claim had originally been assessed correctly.

This, if looked at logically, is a nonsensical approach and is purely down to shortsightedness and a refusal to learn from mistakes.

Not only is it costing more money within the finality of the process, but even more importantly is the distress and harm it is causing for the respected claimants, who in the longer term are causing more resources to be required within, not only with Social Care, but also the the health services to manage the health conditions that theses assessment processes are causing the respected claimants to suffer from.

For all concerned why can they not ensure that they get it right the first time.

Maybe, as many feel, the DWP just do not care how much suffering they are responsible for.

Govt Newspeak

Bethen Thorpe, who has an incurable brain condition, has spoken out against the way the government checks claims for disability benefits after a charity revealed almost a third of people with multiple sclerosis who apply for the payment had their claims turned down between April 2013 and and April 2017. Picture: BERNARD CRANE

Bethen Thorpe, who has an incurable brain condition, has spoken out against the way the government checks claims for disability benefits after a charity revealed almost a third of people with multiple sclerosis who apply for the payment had their claims turned down between April 2013 and and April 2017.

A woman with an incurable brain disease has spoken out about the battle she faced to get disability benefit after a charity revealed almost a third of sufferers have claims denied.

Thorpe, of North Hill, Highgate, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in October 2014. She was forced to apply for disability benefit after extreme fatigue, balance issues and poor eyesight meant she had to give up a job as The Victoria pub landlady.

But the 41-year-old, whose condition means she is unable to walk long distances, had to travel to Chelmsford for an assessment after sending a 35 page…

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If we can believe this about re-nationalising, but I remember the railway, British Railways and British Rail between 1948 and 1997, this was far from successful as there were outdated and dirty trains, food not fit to eat (Railway sandwich) was the butt of jokes, trains not running on time and a total failure to invest in rail Stations, railway rolling stock, network (track, signals, etc). The UK was originally at the fore of the railways, with the pioneers of George and Robert Stephenson, Richard Trevithick, etc., but this advantage was not continued through the 1900’s has investment was managed politically.

Other countries progressed ahead and we are still playing catchup.

The infrastructure was originally also privatised, but in 2002 was effectively re-nationalised and the infrastructure is still responsible for a number of the delays experienced by the private train operators.

Will re-nationalising bring great improvements or will politics be in the way again.

But it may be better than it is at the moment, but will it be more of the same eventually.

The SKWAWKBOX

Labour’s excellent Shadow Transport Secretary, Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald, has issued a strong video statement on the government’s £2 billion bail-out of the failed East Coast rail franchise – and on the wider context of the disaster of rail privatisation and Labour’s plans to renationalise rail.

McDonald points out that the only time in its history that the East Coast line has been profitable is when Labour took it back into public ownership – and that yet again the British public is expected to pay for the failure of supposedly efficient private contractors:

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Source: Julia Hartley-Brewer: Theresa May needs to start making friends fast

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