Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn were both accused of failing to present ‘credible’ economic plans
The Tories have been slammed over their handling of the 2015 negotiations with the BBC that ultimately led to the abolition of universal free TV licences for over-75s.
A new report published today by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee accuses the government of seeking to “bounce” the BBC into accepting a deal that exposed it to “administering welfare benefits”.
It says the BBC has found itself in the ridiculous position of being the administrator of welfare benefits that should “only ever be implemented by the Government”.
However, the report also says that the BBC cannot be absolved of responsibility for their part in the “flawed” negotiations, and highlights the lack of transparency at senior levels of the corporation.
In particular, BBC Director-General Tony Hall is singled out for his poor handling of the negotiations, particularly in failing to seek the formal agreement of the Executive Board before recommending the deal to the BBC Trust.
The report concludes that the 2015 negotiations were “flawed” on both sides and criticises the decision to hold the meetings “behind closed doors”. It also highlights that licence fee payers were not given the opportunity of a consultation.
The cross-party group of MPs calls on the government and BBC to work together to find a way of restoring free TV licenses for all over 75s who don’t receive pension credit.
Source: MPs call for the restoration of free tv licences for all over-75’s : Welfare Weekly
Even for the sceptical, the suddenness and speed with which the academy schools project has fallen from public grace is remarkable. After years of uncritical acceptance of official claims that academies, and free schools, offer a near cast-iron guarantee of a better-quality education, particularly for poorer pupils, there is now widespread recognition of the drear reality: inadequate multi-academy trusts failing thousands of pupils, parents increasingly shut out of their children’s education, and academy executive heads creaming off excessive salaries – in some cases almost three times higher than the prime minister – from a system perilously squeezed of funds.
Crisis can be an overworked term in politics, and our schools are good examples of public institutions, subject to years of poor political decisions, that continue to do remarkable work. But along with the academy mess, we can add the following to the current charge sheet of what should be (along with the NHS) our finest public service: pressing problems with recruitment and retention of teachers; rocketing stress among young children and teenagers subject to stringent testing and tougher public exams; and the ongoing funding crisis.
Today’s demo started rather hurriedly and to be honest I didn’t know if I was coming or going. This feeling was amplified because it was cold, rainy and my daughter was a bit fed up. understandable of course. But she soon settled down into our usual routine and all was well.
We are seeing a lot of new faces due to Stalybridge Jobcentre shutting. They don’t know us and what we are doing, and we don’t know them or their situations either. So we have to start from scratch, which at times isn’t easy. But it’s a whole lot harder for them.
I started a conversation with a man who had been previously attending Stalybridge Jobcentre for his appointments. The first thing that he said to me was that he couldn’t believe how rude the front desk staff are at Ashton Jobcentre, and how rude some of the advisors are also…
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The bus industry is facing fresh legal action over its failure to ensure disabled people have access to the designated wheelchair spaces on buses, six months after a Supreme Court judgment that campaigners hoped would finally settle the issue.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in January that wheelchair-users have a right to priority access over the wheelchair space on a bus, and that a driver must do more than just ask a non-disabled passenger to move if they are occupying the space and it is needed by someone using a wheelchair.
But accessible transport campaigners said this week that, although there had been an initial improvement following the judgment, standards “were starting to slip again”.
London’s user-led accessible transport charity, Transport for All (TfA), met last week to mark six months since the Supreme Court judgment.
The meeting heard from one wheelchair-user
Activists ‘horrified’ by universal credit rules forcing sick claimants into work activity
“Very dangerous” rules are forcing severely-ill people applying for the government’s new universal credit to look for jobs and take part in training, even though their GPs have said they are not fit for work, “horrified” disabled activists have warned.
The rules – which have never been announced or publicised by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – apply to new universal credit claimants who are waiting for an assessment of their “fitness for work”.
And they mean they could have their benefits sanctioned for up to three months if they fail to follow strict instructions from a job coach with no medical training.
They are forced to take part in work-related activity, such as a work-focused interviews and “work preparation”, which could mean training or employment programmes.
They could also face sanctions if they fail to show they have searched for a job for up to 35 hours a week, and have not made themselves available for paid work.
Potential sanctions will continue to hang over their heads until their fitness for work is eventually tested through the notorious work capability assessment (WCA), which could take months.
Dr Stephen Carty, medical adviser to the Scottish grassroots campaign group Black Triangle (BT), who
Inside the world’s most ruthless – and successful – political party
Source: Why the Tories keep winning
Here’s progress: the British left seems, finally, to be letting go of the delusion that Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is doing OK with the electorate. John Mc
A SEVERELY disabled young man who is unable to talk, read or write and needs round-the-clock care has been targeted yet again by the Department of Work and Pensions.
DWP continue to cause undue stress on disabled people and their families