Alan Johnson 3 March 2019 7:20 AM 3 March 2019 7:20 AM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp The BBC is grappling with a dilemma forced upon it by George Osborne when he was chancellor. From 2020 the Corporation will be forced to fund the full £745 million cost of providing a free TV licence to households where one resident is over 75. One of the most significant achievements of the Blair government was its success in tackling pensioner poverty. When Labour took office in 1997 there were more than two and a half million pensioners living in abject poverty. By 2004, the Institute for Fiscal Studies was reporting that for the first time in recorded history, being old was no longer associated with being poor. This transformation was largely due to the introduction of Pension Credit, which brings pensioner income up to an adequate level. This was supplemented by the winter fuel allowance, free eye tests and the free TV licence. But what was … [Read more...] about Don’t blame the BBC for scrapping free TV licences for over 75s
Institute for fiscal studies
Children in England are facing their own hostile environment, with government policy undermining their right to a fair start in life and support for families systematically dismantled since 2010. First 1,000 days of life, published this week by the Commons health and social care committee, exposes the extent of the damage – and the impact it has had. The MPs’ report lays bare the desperate need for coordinated support for infants and their families. Under New Labour, resources were poured in to supporting children’s early years. Benefits were increased, children’s services were expanded, child poverty was targeted, the Healthy Child Programme was introduced and Sure Start centres were established across the country. But since the economic crash in 2008 and change of government in 2010, public spending on children has fallen and child poverty has increased, as evidence from the children’s commissioner for England and the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows. … [Read more...] about A fair start for every child in England? Not under this punitive government
A RECORD tax haul from squeezed Brits put the Treasury £15billion into the black in January – it emerged. Official figures revealed income from Self-Assessment and Capital Gains hit an all-time high in the month. It means borrowing in the first ten months of the 2018-2019 financial year fell to £21.2billion — the lowest for 17 years. Experts said it was a huge boost for the Chancellor ahead of his upcoming Spring statement given the uncertainty over Brexit. But they warned Philip Hammond would still likely to have to cut growth forecasts in the update next month. Thomas Pope, research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: “Even in spite of today’s good news, there could be tricky fiscal arithmetic for the Chancellor.” BENEFITS REFUND DWP officials admit 30k more Brits owed extra cash due to benefits error ExclusiveWHERE CREDIT'S DUE 4m set for £3k Universal Credit boost - but others plunged into poverty LET HER BACK Diane … [Read more...] about Record tax haul amid Brexit uncertainty put Treasury £15bn in the black in January in huge boost for Chancellor
The shipping company that was awarded a lucrative government contract to operate a ferry service across despite not having any ships has had its £13.8million contract ripped up. Seaborne Freight was contracted to run a service between Ramsgate and Ostland but ran into problems immediately, reports Perspecs. As well as Seaborne being a new company that had never operated a shipping service before and had no vessels chartered, the port at Ramsgate was too small for most ships to dock at and the company's terms and conditions had been lifted from a takeaway website. When Irish company Arklow Shipping abandoned the deal, Seaborne were left without any ships to charter and had no way of fulfilling the contract. Transport secretary Chris Grayling has faced calls to resign after wasting time on an endeavour he was told time and again would not succeed, reports Sky News. The government is now in "advanced talks" with other shipping companies. The Claim Labour MPs are calling for the … [Read more...] about Should transport secretary be axed for Seaborne Freight fiasco?
Press play to listen to this article By JACK BLANCHARD PRESENTED BY Send tips here | Subscribe for free | Listen to Playbook and view in your browser Good Monday morning. DRIVING THE DAY TEZZA/JEZZA LOVE-IN: Theresa May is preparing for fresh talks with Jeremy Corbyn this week after offering a highly conciliatory response to his Brexit demands. The PM sent a surprisingly warm (by her standards) three-page letter to the Labour leader last night specifying areas for further negotiations between the government and the opposition, and adding that the two sides should meet again “as soon as possible.” Read it in full here. There’s no suggestion May is actually accepting Labour’s terms, with the PM clear she does not back Corbyn’s call for full customs union membership, nor the automatic adoption of future EU rules and regs. But her receptive tone has still unsettled Tory Brexiteers, who fear she could yet get a softer Brexit through the Commons on the back of … [Read more...] about POLITICO London Playbook, presented by BP: Tezza/Jezza love-in — Third time lucky for Barnier? — Boris watch