In November 2017, the European Commission launched the European Pillar of Social Rights, which resulted in 25 legislative initiatives. Ahead of the EU elections this week, EURACTIV looks at what the main political parties have on offer for social Europe. EPP: Families at the core of the EU’s social policy “We want to bring this European model of our social market economy into the 21st century,” the European People’s Party claims. Although the EU recently passed a bill on work-life balance, they EPP insists on the need to facilitate greater choice for parents to balance their work and caring responsibilities, as a way to reduce the gender pay gap. The party proposes to “significantly increase” the European Fund for Transition as a way to support workers who lose their job as a consequence of digitalisation or globalisation. The EPP is the only party that dedicates a specific section to family policy, although it contends that family law should remain … [Read more...] about EU election 2019: What next for Social Europe?
National disability insurance scheme
A Labour MP has pledged to scrap Universal Credit and replace it with a new one-for-all payments system, if his party regains power. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Labour will introduce a 'Universal Basic Income' system if it wins the next election. The scheme, which has just completed a two year trial in Finland, will see the current welfare state overhauled and replaced with a single payments policy to address poverty and unemployment. It would mean an end to fit-for-work tests, an end to assessment periods, an end to means testing and more - benefit sanctions would become impossible. How could it do this? Simple - it would be paid to everyone whether they were in work or not. The plan is for a monthly, untaxed payment to give Brits the "freedom" to work, study, create new businesses and care for relatives, alongside "economic security". However, it would not replace the state pension - in many ways it would be a state pension for all, regardless of your … [Read more...] about Universal Basic Income explained
Climate emergency needs hard decisions Over the past week the Welsh Government has declared a climate emergency, the Senedd has debated and declared a climate emergency and the UK Government has followed suit. It seems we are all in agreement that we have an emergency. For those of us that have long been saying this and highlighting what needs to be done, it is not a time for celebration, justification maybe, because these declarations need real positive action as soon as possible. We know big decisions are coming and all will be watching with interest those, but we need to review current policies and ensure they are dealing with climate change. Difficult decisions will need to be made. The impressive Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, who kicked off the school strike movement last year, put it very succinctly, for her own and future generations – if your house is on fire, you wouldn’t just sit around discussing insurance or renovation. Climate change is an emergency, our … [Read more...] about Western Mail letters: Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Residents in Waverley will be heading to the polls on Thursday, May 2 to elect all 57 councillors in the borough. Waverley Borough Council is currently run by the Conservative party , with 49 councillors in the available 57 seats. The rest of the council is made up of six Farnham Residents and one Liberal Democrat representative. The Labour Party, Green Party and UKIP currently have no councillors so will be looking to get a seat on the council. SurreyLive has contacted every candidate in Waverley with the same brief - they have no more than 100 words to sell themselves. Below you will see the bios for every candidate who responded, listed under the name of the ward they hope to represent. Take a look to see what each candidate had to say. Alfold, Cranleigh Rural & Ellens Green Kevin Neil Deanus, Conservative Party There is only one candidate to be elected in this ward and it is uncontested, so there is no need for a bio. Blackheath & Wonersh Robert Ellis, … [Read more...] about Waverley election candidates explain why you should vote for them
New ward boundaries mean that every seat in every ward is up for election on Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (RBBC) in May. Currently, the Conservatives hold a commanding majority with 39 of the council's 50 seats. Residents' Associations in Nork and Tattenhams are second with a combined six councillors. Each ward will be electing three councillors, meaning that residents will be required to vote for three candidates. The new makeup of RBBC will consist of 45 councillors. Polls open at 7am on May 2 and close at 10pm, with the votes counted the next day. In addition, seats on Horley Town Council and on Salfords and Sidlow Parish Council will be contested so residents in those areas will have more choices to make. Just for fun... These were the most commonly used words in the Reigate and Banstead election bios (story continued below). Below are all the candidates who are standing for election in each ward. SurreyLive gave them 100 words (they've been cut off if they've gone … [Read more...] about Meet the Reigate & Banstead Local Election candidates