Sajid Javid, the Thatcherite business secretary, has gone further than Margaret Thatcher dared in cutting the supply of funds to the Labour party. In future, political levy payers will have to opt in to pay the political levy, ending the current inertia system whereby a union member has to opt out if they do not wish to pay the levy. That will reduce the size of political funds, the chief source of funding for Labour. … [Read more...] about David Cameron packs plenty into his one-party Queen’s speech
Labour party manifesto
• George Osborne states the policy of every political party when writing “by supporting the most vulnerable we can improve their lives and ease the pressures on the NHS”. Since the financial crisis in 2008, all advice agencies, such as CAB and Z2K, have been supporting the most vulnerable, whose lives are being devastated by cuts, caps, sanctions, council tax and unmanageable debt, all of which have added to the pressures on the NHS. But the DWP never takes into account the cumulative impact of its draconian policies on the health of the poorest citizens; and the NHS never calculates the extra cost of its services due to that increasing poverty. Rev Paul NicolsonLondon … [Read more...] about NHS funding: plenty of manifesto pledges, but fewer firm figures
“George Osborne’s extreme plan to double the pace of spending cuts next year means he cannot credibly claim to protect the NHS. Other countries which have tried to make cuts on this scale have ended up cutting their health services. That’s why he wasn’t able to announce any extra NHS funding in his Budget last month. And the Tories have £10bn of unfunded tax promises which they also can’t say how they will pay for and are ahead of the NHS in the queue. … [Read more...] about Conservative party pledges extra £8bn a year for NHS
New Labour has instructed us to be "intensely relaxed" about such astonishing sums. But the new super-rich prosper at our expense. Their tax breaks and dodges (sorry, tax efficiencies) cost the Exchequer, at a conservative estimate, enough money to build several hundred secondary schools or hospitals or to knock 5p off the basic rate of income tax. Their wealth distorts the London and south-east housing market to the extent that home ownership is now out of reach for millions under 40. Private equity's company takeovers load established firms with debt, creating chronic insecurity for hundreds of thousands of employees. Company pension schemes - reflecting the quaint idea that employers might have obligations to long-serving employees - are treated as intolerable liabilities. Described in a green paper as recently as 1998 as "one of the great welfare success stories", they too have melted into air, and almost all in the space of a decade. … [Read more...] about Is greed good for us?
The other surprise element of the Queen’s speech will lead to the biggest change in the collection of the political levy by trade unions since the 1927 Trade Union Act. This resulted in a fall in the number of political levy payers from 3.5 million to 2 million, and a drop in party income of 20%. Between May 2010 and December 2014, Labour received donations of £48.6m from trade unions, nearly half the £110m that the party took over that period. … [Read more...] about Wide-ranging snooper’s charter to extend powers of security services