Voting Tory? Then you are voting for a projected cut of £300 million to NHS Kernow

CCG budgetNo this is not scaremongering, this is just how it is so get used to it. But dont take our word for it – see for yourself. Go to:

https://nhscuts.org.uk/kernow/

The website is by Keep Our NHS Public and Outlandish, a specialist digital company. They use government data and they have been careful to fully explain where they get their information sources so the doubters and naysayers can check this for themselves. The explanation they give is technical but it is worth a read – click here to do so. Continue reading “Voting Tory? Then you are voting for a projected cut of £300 million to NHS Kernow”

The Future of the NHS under a Tory government

Prior to 2010 David Cameron repeatedly promised voters there would be “no top-down reorganisation of the NHS”

see New Statesman article 13 Nov 2013

Once in government, what followed was the biggest   reorganisation of the NHS ever – one described as disastrous by the Kings Fund. In its words “the coalition government’s changes had wasted three years, failed patients, caused financial distress and left a strategic vacuum” BBC article

In 2019 Boris Johnson has repeatedly promised voters that  “under no circumstances will we agree to any free-trade deal that puts the NHS on the table. It is not for sale.”

But the official documents  on trade talks between the UK and USA obtained by the Labour party indicate otherwise! Continue reading “The Future of the NHS under a Tory government”

Roll out of Universal Credit in your area – and increase in foodbank use

Claim: “Universal Credit is so much better than the previous claim systems. It’s the Facebook of the benefits world. It moves it to the 21st century……Universal Credit is about treating people as individuals. There is a big push on compassion. We are here to help people fallen on hard times….” 

quote from Job Centre Manager  and staff in Cornwall in a 2-page spread in The Cornishman Thursday October 17th

Fact: the Advertising Standards Authority has just banned a series of government ads extolling the virtues of universal credit. The ASA have  banned it on the grounds that it is “misleading”. See Guardian article

Continue reading “Roll out of Universal Credit in your area – and increase in foodbank use”

Open letter to Jamie Dean, Customer Service Manager, Job centre Devon and Cornwall district

Dear Jamie Dean

On Thursday October 17th, you were quoted in The Cornishman newspaper as lauding the benefits of Universal Credit. To quote you in The Cornishman:

“Universal Credit is so much better than the previous claim systems. It’s the Facebook of the benefits world. It moves it to the 21st century.”

And to support this positive assertion, the article included a profile of a Universal Job Coach and another of a Universal Credit beneficiary – both containing positive messages about the benefits of Universal Credit such as:

“Universal Credit is about treating people as individuals. There is a big push on compassion. We are here to help people fallen on hard times….” and so on. Continue reading “Open letter to Jamie Dean, Customer Service Manager, Job centre Devon and Cornwall district”

Child poverty in Cornwall

Child poverty figures for Parliamentary constituencies in Cornwall

ChildPovMapCornwall3

Local indicators of Child Poverty 2017-8.
Source: report by Loughborough University
for the Campaign group End Child Poverty

Poverty is defined as household income below 60% of median income.  The campaign group End Child Poverty claims that today’s figures show that the income of the poorest families has hardly risen since the mid-2000s.

Work is not enough to stop children being trapped in poverty

  • 70% of children in poverty come from a working household
  • Of the 4.1 million children in poverty, those in severe poverty rises to 2.8 million
  • Child poverty is projected to rise to around 5 million children by 2020[1]

[1] Figures taken from End Child Poverty using government data http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/make-child-poverty-a-priority/

Public assets sold off by Cornwall Council

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has developed an interactive map showing that between 2014 and 2018, Cornwall Council sold off   349 spaces for more than £25,608,398.

Nationally, the figure is 12,000 public spaces disposed of by councils since 2014/15 amounting to  of £9.1 billion from selling property.

These are assets that we the public once owned, some of which were donated by philanthropists with the express intention of contributing to the public good, not for private gain and certainly not for lucrative property development that only the well off can afford.

However don’t blame Cornwall Council!

As the Bureau of Investigative Journalism states:

The findings lay bare the spiralling impact of eight successive years of austerity, leaving services shut and buildings closed. Councils have been forced to take ever more desperate measures to stay in the black as their funding from central government has been cut by about 60% since 2010.

Click this link to see the map

Map

Quantitative Easing for Banks, austerity for the rest of us

The responsibility lies squarely with central government. And To those who will say that austerity was an inevitable and unavoidable consequence of the global financial crash and the need to tighten belts, they need to understand this:

Between 2011 and 2014, the Conservative government electronically created £445 billion of new money – over three times the annual NHS budget – and gave it to the banks. This was  through a programme called Quantitative Easing or QE. Note that this was in addition to the estimated £500 billion bank bail-out  package by a Labour government in 2008. The bail-out by the Labour government  was later used by the Conservatives to wrongly blame Labour for ‘mismanagement of the economy’, even though this was a global banking crisis.

The Bank of England’s £450 Billion Quantitative Easing (or QE) programme between 2011-14 focused on buying back UK government debt (which effectively cancelled the debt since the B of E is a government owned body) as well as the worthless toxic debts that private banks and other financial institutions still held. This vast sum of money was intended to kick-start the economy based on the assumption that private banks would re-invest this money in the real economy – the small businesses, manufacturing and retail sector that produce the goods and services we all need.

They didn’t. Instead they used it to invest in property, shares and complex financial products which boosted the incomes of the wealthy, inflated house prices and increased inequality.

What is important to note is that £445 Billion was electronically created. This was public money created:

  • without raising a single penny in tax
  • or borrowing from the money markets

This blew apart the myth that public money can only ever be raised through taxes or borrowed on money markets. It begs the question that if there can be a QE programme for banks, why not a QE programme for the NHS or a QE programme for local government. Both the NHS and local government would almost certainly have spent the money more wisely and for public benefit.

To conclude: cuts to welfare and steep cuts to public services have always been justified by this government on the grounds that the nations credit card was ‘maxed out’ and that growing a strong economy was the priority. Yet the harsh austerity policies imposed on the public sector is in sharp contrast to the largesse afforded to banks – the very same banks whose reckless lending crashed the economy in the first place.