Tories hand private firms £95 BILLION in public service contracts : Welfare Weekly


A year on from Carillion’s collapse GMB, Britain’s general union, has revealed the total value of outsourcing contracts let by the public sector rocketed by 53% in the past year.

In 2017/18 the lifetime value of public sector contracts awarded to private companies rose to £95 billion, up from £62 billion the year before.

Capita was one of the biggest winners of public outsourcing, receiving contracts worth almost £1.4 billion in 2017/18 – despite issuing a profit warning in the same year.

The private firm, who were given responsibility to carry out disability assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), have been criticised by MPs over the accuracy of reports sent to the Department for Work and Pensions.

 

Source: Tories hand private firms £95 BILLION in public service contracts : Welfare Weekly

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William Barr to Dems: ‘Ludicrous’ to say my Mueller memo was a bid for AG job : NBC News


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr, said Tuesday that the idea that a memo he wrote last year criticizing the Mueller investigation was a veiled job application is “ludicrous.”

Shortly after Barr’s confirmation hearings got underway Tuesday, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. told Barr that some have said that the memo was intended to draw the president’s attention to his potential as a possible attorney general.

“That’s ludicrous,” Barr responded. “If I wanted the job and was going after the job, there are many more direct ways of me bringing myself to the president’s attention than writing an 18-page legal memorandum.”

Barr faced a barrage of related queries about — and criticism of — his views on Mueller’s Russia probe from the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday as proceedings began, including a memo he sent to the Justice Department last year in which he criticized Mueller’s investigation.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee — including at least three potential 2020 presidential contenders — had been expected to zero in on that memo.

 

Source: William Barr to Dems: ‘Ludicrous’ to say my Mueller memo was a bid for AG job : NBC News

Federal judge rules against census citizenship question | TheHill


A federal judge in Manhattan ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census was unlawful.

In his ruling, Judge Jesse Furman, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, blocked the administration from adding the question the Census questionnaire.

Furman, an Obama appointee, said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Rossviolated a statute that requires him, in circumstances like those here, to collect data through the acquisition and use of “administrative records” instead of through “direct inquiries” on a survey such as the census.

But Furman said he was unable to find that Ross’s decision to add the question was a pretext for impermissible discrimination as the challengers had argued.

 

Source: Federal judge rules against census citizenship question | TheHill

Unpaid carer ‘surviving on a can of sweetcorn a day’ after benefits axed


A family carer claims he’s been forced to survive on a can of tuna and sweetcorn a day after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stopped his benefits, despite being the sole carer for his disabled parents.

John McDermott, 47, spends 18 hours a day providing unpaid care for his disabled father and mentally unwell mother, and was left feeling like a “nervous wreck” after the DWP stopped his Carers Allowance payments.

His father, Patrick, suffers from severe incontinence and dementia, while his mother, Katherine, has Schizophrenia. Both are 77 years-of-age and are entirely dependent on the unpaid care given by their son John.

Mr McDermott says he has been forced to survive on just £93 a week for a shocking 6 months, which is money provided via a direct care arrangement involving his sister.

Source: Unpaid carer ‘surviving on a can of sweetcorn a day’ after benefits axed

Severely disabled 64-year old man found starving to death – while billionaires get tax cuts


Yet again another welfare atrocity, this time ESA, but it could have been UC, PIP, etc.

One situation of this nature is one too many, but there are much more than one and it goes on and on.

This, the UK, is supposed to be an affluent country, so how can situations such as these occur.

In many instances it is down to Government policy or policies and you would think that a reasonable Government would respond to everyone of these situations.

The Government do say they care, but how can they, for these situations would not then continue to occur.

They feel punishments, sorry sanctions, will lead to people overcoming any detrimental situations by encouraging the people to obtain employment after an assessment process.

But it is clear to everyone, except the Government that these assessments are not fit for purpose.

But are they, for what purpose is it the Government are intending these rules, regulations and sanctions to bring forth. Is it to benefit the claimants or to make it that benefit claimants can not cope and thereby lead them to suffer horrendously and in many instances suffer to lead to death.

Is death the ultimate end that this Government is wishing for, well the stories that keep occurring certainly lead people to assume this.

So is that the correct assumption, I hope not but according to the evidence it does appear so.

Pride's Purge

These photographs and this status was posted on Facebook by a law adviser on Christmas Eve:

Please spare a thought for this 64 year old severely disabled client of mine? Please share this post to see if we can garner a response from the Tories although, I doubt we will. 
My client was thrown off ESA by ATOS 18 months ago. Since then, he has been expected to sign on. Obviously, he’s been sanctioned and forced to go hungry. so much so he weighs 6 stone. On Friday, not surprisingly he was at death’s door with pneumonia. Fortunately, I was able to get him into hospital.Evidently, his left lung was full of fluid with his right not much better, he’s now on the mend.
He has been unable to heat or look after his home properly because his health has deteriorated which I suggest is obvious from the photographs…

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I’m going to have to leave my job as an NHS nurse – I just can’t take it anymore


Many employment areas of the UK are underfunded for pay, while a few areas are not underfunded and are overpaid, perhaps MPs could be included in this, but the ‘Captains of industry’ more so.

It is said you have to pay the rate for the job to obtain the right calibre of people, which is mainly quoted re ‘Captains of Industry’, is that correct, do Captains of Industry even respect their high pay.

Whether they do or not is important, but not as important as the phrase ‘you have to pay the rate for the job to obtain the right calibre of people’ for is this not true in many, if not all professions and that is certainly so with nursing.

So lets not use a phrase just for the top 1%, but for all in employment, especially nursing.

If the country can not afford it, then it can not for ‘Captains of Industry’.

Lets bring equality into employment.

Govt Newspeak

I have held a child’s airways open when they couldn’t breathe, and I’ve sat with them and talked about their fears of dying. I have watched children die and held their parents’ hands through it. The 1 per cent pay rise doesn’t even cover the cost of the car parking charges we have to pay

Image result for images of nhs nurses

I’m a paediatric nurse, and I have been a part of a team where many times we resuscitated a child about to die and managed to save them. I have held a child’s airway open and given them breaths when they were suddenly unable to breathe themselves. I have spotted crucial signs of deterioration and helped prevent further decline and I have sat with children talking about their fear of dying.

I have watched children die and I have held their parents’ hands through it.

We do not get a moment of reflection afterwards; I…

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The decimation of the welfare state


A truly worrying situation and one that could be happening within the UK. The DWP situation with Benefit claims and while the appeal process is reversing many of the wrongful dismissed cases, will this always be so. Not if we implement the American system as we appear to be doing.

It is very worrying and this should be noticed by the DWP, but will it be, I fear not.

Govt Newspeak

It’s sickening that the British welfare state is being gradually demolished by successive governments, to be eventually replaced with private healthcare insurance [1] and what’s even more galling is: they [some members of the UK govt] went to the USA to find out how to decimate our welfare state and NHS, encouraged by American corporate funders. Mo Stewart has written extensively about this in her book Cash not Care.

Amber Rudd has the absolute nerve to say Universal Credit has not always been compassionate whilst her dept have overseen the demolition of the welfare state causing misery not seen seen Victorian times [2] and I have added hundreds of  DWP atrocities like the one of Alan Chrisman [below] which have contributed to many suicides [3] 

Since 2010

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Anger as disabled woman ordered out of Castle Bingo


What a complete lack of understanding by Castle Bingo and they should be made to consider ‘reasonable adjustments’.

Say this was not an adult, but a baby or young child would Castle Bingo have requested the baby or young child to leave.

If the answer be, Yes, then Castle Bingo need to consider if they should continue to be in business.

If the answer be No, then they are guilty of discrimination and again they need to consider whether they should be in business.

Govt Newspeak

Anger as mentally disabled woman ordered out of Castle Bingo in Nantgarw
Katie Clarke from Caerphilly was ordered to leave Castle Bingo in Nantgarw

A woman from Caerphilly with a mental disability was “made to look stupid” and ordered to leave Castle Bingo in Nantgarw.

Katie Clarke, 34, was at the bingo hall with her family on Boxing Day when she was evicted for not having a membership card.

However, Katie, who regularly visits the hall, was “screamed and shouted at” for 25 minutes by a member of staff, which left her “shaking like a leaf” and having a panic attack.

Katie Clarke and her family have been regular customers at Castle Bingo

Katie’s sister, Aurial Clarke, who was with her when the incident happened, told Caerphilly Observer: “We’ve been going there for well over two years and it’s the first time anything like this has happened. “They told us we…

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This Republican-friendly poll shows nothing nice for Donald Trump as his shutdown enters week three | Salon.com


In the wake of the partial government shutdown, which is now lurching into a third week, Republican President Donald Trump’s approval rating stands at 45 percent — his lowest score since Sept. 12 — and 53 percent disapprove, according to Rasmussen Reports, whose polls traditionally favor the GOP.

Additionally, a recent Gallup poll revealed that the share of Americans wanting to emigrate from the U.S. jumped to 16 percent throughout Trump’s time in the Oval Office. The results are striking considering the partial government shutdown is being fought over a border wall to keep people out of the U.S.

The number of people who wanted to leave the country stayed at 10 percent through the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. For Americans who wanted to move, Canada was the top destination.

As of this writing, the government shutdown is on its 20th day. It is the second-longest shutdown in U.S. history and appears positioned to make history on Jan. 12, as negotiations to reopen the nine federal agencies, which have been shut down since Dec. 22, continue to stall. Trump and congressional Democrats continue to spar over funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, with Trump threatening to declare a national emergency to fund the wall if Democrats do not budge on their position.

The longest government shutdown on record lasted from Dec. 5, 1995 to Jan. 6, 1995 when House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican, and President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, faced off over taxes.

On Wednesday, Trump abruptly walked out of a closed-door meeting with congressional Democrats in the White House Situation Room, blasting the latest round of negotiations as a “waste of time” after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would not fund his border wall — even if he ended the government shutdown.

 

Source: This Republican-friendly poll shows nothing nice for Donald Trump as his shutdown enters week three | Salon.com

Care cuts failing older people in England


Much is wrong with the UKs system of caring and the main factor is that it is seriously underfunded. A main reason for this is the continued Government of austerity, which is bleeding Local Authorities dry of resources.

All Local Authorities need, immediately, sufficient funding to cover all of their Social Care provision, thereby providing service care providers sufficient income to pay their care workers a remuneration in accordance with the responsibilities that these care workers should be undertaking.

For caring is not only for cleansing people during the day and night, providing meals, etc but to help the person they are caring for to lead their lives how they wish. This means in addition to basic functions such as dressing, washing and meal preparation, but also emotional support, catering for social inclusion, working to the pace of the person they are caring for and not rushing them to met their next call.

The time allotted for a care call should be focused on the needs of the person and not the length of time the money is providing for. Calls of 15 mins, even calls of 1 hour may not be sufficient as all the caring requirements and responsibilities need to be catered for in every call.

These areas need to be assessed when a Needs Assessment is undertaken and it is the needs that need to be assessed, not the funding allowed that these needs have to be fitted into. The needs have to be fully funded, for to not to means that each and every care package is failing the needs of the person requiring care. They are human beings and not objects and what may be sufficient on one call for that person may not be sufficient when the next call for that person is due. Why when some one is requiring care should their feelings and their choice not be respected.

This, of course all needs funding and this funding should be the priority and not austerity.

Govt Newspeak

Care cuts failing older people in England, says human rights group
Vulnerable people could be denied help to live dignified life, says Human Rights Watch

An elderly woman holding a cup and saucer
 ‘Many older people desperately need these services,’ said a co-author of the report. 

Vulnerable older people in England are at risk of being denied their human rights because of failures in the way the government allocates care resources since budget cuts, Human Rights Watch has said.

After a 13-month inquiry, the global campaign group has concluded that people are facing physical, financial and psychological hardship and are at risk of being denied adequate help to live independent, dignified lives.

It accuses the government of a lack of oversight of a system which is largely devolved to town halls and voices concern about a 140% increase in adult social care complaints since 2010 following a cut of almost 50% in central government funding for councils.

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