After a 12-day tour of the UK, a report from UN envoy Philip Alston has said the UK government’s policy of austerity has inflicted “great misery” on the public.
Alston is what’s known as a “rapporteur,” an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to objectively examine how a country is performing on a certain issue.
During a press release on Friday, Alston said the UK was in potential breach of four UN human rights agreements: women, children, people with disabilities, and economic and social rights.
Source: UN Says Solution to UK Austerity is to Make Poverty Illegal : Global Citizen
This is all correct, but this is why charities exist, for no matter what the state provides, there will always be a need to provide more. The State is central based, while many of these charities are locally based. Or in some respects they are more to the ground than Central Government and in many instances local public bodies.
The major difference now, due to austerity, is that the need for charities is even more so as austerity is greatly increasing poverty and destitution to an even greater number of families and to families further up the scale of wealth. This means that families who previously would not need this help are now requiring it.
Not only should austerity cease immediately, but there is urgent need for funding taken away to be brought back also immediately.
Without any delay the massive cuts to local authority budgets and in some respects health need to be guided to social care in all areas and in deprived areas.health.
Otherwise in the near future, if not the immediate, social care will cease to exist and health will only be available to those who can afford it.
This is all good that the UN envoy is listening and including it in the forthcoming report, but what guarantee is there that our Government will listen and then react accordingly.
When you are a member of an organisation there should be penalties when members disregard recommendation, etc.
Is there, in fact any country or organisation that really listens and then acts accordingly to any part of the UN, where is its teeth.
Labour has clarified its position over a contentious Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) policy. But when you check it, it really doesn’t go far enough; potentially leaving millions of people worse off than they should be.
The DWP: freezing all over
In April 2016, the government brought in the benefits freeze. This meant the DWP would not increase the amount paid for some working age benefits until April 2020. It followed a cap on increases at 1% from April 2013. The benefits affected are:
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
- Child Benefit.
- Housing Benefit.
- Tax credits.
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work-Related Activity Group.
- Universal Credit (not disability elements).
The government said the freeze would save it £3.9bn a year. But now, Labour has moved on the policy.
Labour making moves
As Mirror journalist Dan Bloom tweeted, Labour’s position on the benefits freeze was unclear:
Source: Labour’s new DWP pledge is only a half measure | The Canary
The anguish of austerity cuts may have come late to the leafier Conservative-run councils of England but there is no doubt it has arrived. Reflecting on the eye-watering spending cuts stricken county halls must push through this year and next, the Kent county council leader Paul Carter declared to a Tory conference fringe meeting last week that “no Conservative came into local government to do this”. The room, packed with councillors, exploded into applause, accompanied by booming cries of “hear, hear”.
The meeting pulsed with anger, bewilderment, despair, possibly even regret that the austerity chickens have come home to roost in Tory England. Most councillors there would have accepted town hall belt-tightening eight years ago as a necessary obligation at a time of national economic crisis. Few, I suspect, assumed then that their civic duty almost a decade later would be to shut cherished services and strap local government on to the life-support ventilator.
Source: Even Tory councils are now calling on ministers to ease the pain of cuts | Patrick Butler | Society | The Guardian
I have been saying this for some time, that it is Government policy to kill, the poor, the sick, the elderly and the disabled as that is a sure fire way of reducing the benefits bill. If claimants die then that is less claimants.
I call it Governmental Euthanasia,
Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty has vividly described “pulverism” – the idea that councils should use financial crises not merely to make savings but to smash up and reshape the public sector – and claims it has gone nationwide.
No it hasn’t, at least not in my experience of working in all kinds of councils around the country over the past decade.
Most councils, far from being ideological about smashing up the public sector, have been trying their best to mitigate the impact of the ideology and policies of austerity that successive governments have put in place since the coalition introduced the first round of cuts in 2010.
Source: Don’t blame councils for the harm done by government ideology | Joanne Fry | Society | The Guardian
In his first major speech since taking post last week, the Health and Social Care Secretary this morning announced a half a billion pound package to rollout innovative tech aimed at improving care for patients and supporting staff.
Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “Because we are one NHS, our health system is uniquely placed to become the most advanced health system in the world – one where technology addresses the user need – making care better for patients, but just as importantly making life easier for staff.
“For too long, decisions on health and care have seemed to involve a trade-off – improving patient outcomes at the expense of placing ever more pressure on staff, while reducing the demands on staff has been seen to have an impact on patient care.
“Technology and data innovation offers an opportunity to move past this binary approach.”
As part of the plan the Government will invest £412 million into new technology at hospitals which will improve efficiency, enhance patient safety and help more patients access health services at home.
The Health and Social Care Secretary also set out plans to support the NHS workforce. He said:
“The nation’s health is determined by the health of the health and care workforce.
“So it is heart-breaking to see how undervalued you often feel.
Source: Health and Social Care Secretary announces half a billion rollout to improve patient care | Care Industry News
In recent weeks media outlets in the US have been fretting over what would ordinarily be considered good news – the roaring American economy, which has brought low unemployment and, in some places, a labour shortage. Owners and managers have complained about their problems in finding people to fill low-wage positions. “Nobody wants to do manual labour any more,” as one trade association grandee told the Baltimore Sun, and so the manual labour simply goes undone.
Company bosses talk about the things they have done to fix the situation: the ads they’ve published; the guest-worker visas for which they’ve applied; how they are going into schools to encourage kids to learn construction skills or to drive trucks. The Wall Street Journal reports on the amazing perks that plumbing companies are now offering new hires: quiet rooms, jetski trips, pottery classes, free breakfast, free beer.
But nothing seems to work. Blame for the labour shortage is sprayed all over the US map: opioids are said to be the problem. And welfare, and inadequate parking spaces, and a falling birthrate, and mass incarceration, and – above all – the Trump administration’s immigration policies. But no one really knows for sure.
Source: It’s not wage rises that are a problem for the economy – it’s the lack of them | Thomas Frank | Opinion | The Guardian