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Smoke And Mirrors ? A Government Speciality !

Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:08 am
by Chris From The Gulag
A report from today's Guardian that dovetails into several other news stories / articles in this section. ... 09#p356500

Falling unemployment is great for the economy? Try telling cleaners like Irene ... an article by Stefan Baskerville.

The latest employment figures may look healthy. But they mask stories of hardship, fear and exploitation in an insecure, unregulated jobs market color]

Worth reading if only to see the parrellels with other articles ... the real impact felt at grass root level and the Government's response ... through their Ministry of Propaganda spokesperson ?

Numerous comments , one in particluar stands out :

There is something inherently wrong with a society in which people can be working full time but still need benefits..

One does not need 1,000 words or a degree to say exactly the same ?

Smoke and .... mirrors ... the British way.

Re: Smoke And Mirrors ? A Government Speciality !

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:50 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Another article on a recent Government announcement which , when first tested , falls at the very first fence.

Grenfell Tower .... ... y-grenfell

Ministers 'refusing to pay for fire safety measures' after Grenfell.

Councils accuse government of washing its hands of problem after earlier promising that money would be no object.

Councils have said the government is failing to release funds to improve the fire safety of dozens of tower blocks following the Grenfell Tower disaster despite promising that a lack of financial resources should not stand in the way of essential works.

Ministers have said building owners are responsible for funding safety measures, but town hall leaders complain that they are “washing their hands of their responsibilities” and are being “dismissive”, four months after the blaze at the Kensington tower block, which claimed about 80 lives.

The government has said it will consider help “where works are essential”, but has so far resisted bids for support to retrofit sprinklers in towers despite the London fire brigade (LFB) saying this must happen.

The Conservative-run Westminster council is understood to be the latest town hall to have had a request for financial assistance pushed back by ministers. It is removing cladding from six high-rise towers and wants to install sprinklers across other tall council blocks at an estimated cost of £20m.

The housing minister, Alok Sharma, has already declined Nottingham city council’s request for help to install sprinklers inside flats and communal areas in 13 towers at a cost of £6.2m. Sharma told the council: “The fire safety measures you outline are additional rather than essential.”

He has told the London borough of Croydon, which wants to spend £10m on retrofitting sprinklers to 25 tall residential blocks: “It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that people are safe.”

Wandsworth wants to spend up to £30m on sprinklers in 100 towers but has been told: “Support will not include general improvement and enhancements to buildings.” All the councils said they had been advised to carry out works by their local fire brigades.

The tension over who should foot the fire safety bill follows a pledge in July by the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, that any lack of financial resources would not prevent necessary works going ahead. However, the government appears determined not to fund or allow additional borrowing for any improvements that go beyond essential safety works. The necessity of sprinklers is proving a key faultline.
Adam Hug, leader of the Labour opposition at Westminster city council, said he had seen correspondence with the government detailing the council’s request for financial aid or better flexibility on borrowing.

“Both were being asked for,” he said. “They were told: only in exceptional circumstances. Yet again it will be council tenants and people who desperately need new homes who are left to pay the price of this Tory government washing their hands of their responsibilities.

Punch and Judy show ?

As children , we found those amusing.

As adults , the political version is NOT ... for some , as we have all seen , maybe the difference between living and dying ?

Re: Smoke And Mirrors ? A Government Speciality !

Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:45 am
by Chris From The Gulag
Another issue worthy of being included under this thread.

The Government's " Arbeit Macht Frei " ... " Work sets you free " ... philosophy : ... 08826.html

Cost of childcare for young children has risen more than four times faster than wages since 2008, shows research.

Most working parents with one-year-olds get no state help with childcare costs

I will ignore that older generation's usual retort ... " If you can't afford 'em , don't have 'em " ... not in line with modern day thinking , and practice ?

In those days , wages / costs were such that only one parent needed to be the " Breadwinner " ... today , a couple on minimum wage , both working 35 / 36 hour weeks , would still qualify for certain benefits.

That , in itself , speaks volumes for how times have changed ... for the worst ?

Times have changed , and old ideas have to change with them ... they are no longer relevant ... and that includes some of my , grandad !

The cost of childcare for young children has risen more than four times faster than wages since 2008, research shows.

New analysis published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) reveals that in England the average wages of those with a one-year-old child rose by 12 per cent in cash terms between 2008 and 2016, while their childcare costs shot up by 48 per cent in the same period.

In some parts of the UK the cost of childcare has risen by even more, increasing 7.4 times more quickly than pay in London, seven times more quickly in the East Midlands and 4.8 times more in West Midlands.

While the Government provides some support for childcare for children aged two and older, most working parents with one-year-olds do not get any state help with childcare costs.

With around 950,000 working parents across the UK with a child aged one, the TUC warns that these rising costs have huge implications for family budgets, as parents are spending an increasing portion of their pay on childcare.

The analysis shows that a single parent working full-time with a one-year-old in nursery for 21 hours a week spent more than a fifth (21 per cent) of their wages on childcare in 2016, up from around a sixth (17 per cent) in 2008.

Meanwhile, households with one parent working full-time and one parent working part-time with a one-year-old in nursery for 21 hours a week spent a seventh (14 per cent) of their salary on childcare in 2016, up from around a 10th (11 per cent) in 2008.

Pressure is even greater on parents working full-time, especially single parents, with a single mum or dad with a young child in nursery for 40 hours a week needing to spend two-fifths (40 per cent) of their pay on childcare.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said that “eye-watering” childcare bills and comparatively slow wage rises meant mothers had to make a choice between having a family or a career, and urged for subsidised and affordable childcare.

“The cost of childcare is spiralling but wages aren’t keeping pace. Parents are spending more and more of their salaries on childcare, and the picture is even worse for single parents,” she said.

“Nearly a million working parents with one-year-old kids have eye-watering childcare bills. There is a real gap in childcare support for one-year-olds until government assistance kicks in at age two.

“Parents need subsidised, affordable childcare from as soon as maternity leave finishes to enable them to continue working, and so mums don’t continue to have to make that choice between having a family and a career.”

It comes after the Government was accused of failing to fund their own pledge to provide 30-hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds, with ministers having admitted “teething problems” with implementing the policy.

Some nurseries have claimed the funding allocated for the plan does not cover the true cost of providing the extra hours.

Ellen Broomé, chief executive at the Family and Childcare Trust, meanwhile said: “Childcare is as vital as the rails and roads to making our country run: it boosts children’s outcomes, supports parents to work and provides our economy with a reliable workforce.

“For too many parents, however, high childcare costs mean that it does not pay to work. Low-income families claiming Universal Credit typically take home just £1.96 per hour after childcare costs have been paid, and some get even less than this. We must make sure every parent is better off working after childcare costs.”

To address this increasing pressure on working families, the TUC is calling for universal free childcare from the end of maternity leave, which it argues would help single parents and families stay in work and progress their careers after having children.

It is also urging for more government funding for local authorities to provide nurseries and child care, and a greater role for employers in funding childcare - either through direct subsidy to employees or the provision of on-site childcare facilities.

Responding to the findings, children and families minister Robert Goodwill said: “Helping families access affordable childcare is at the heart of this government’s agenda, which is why we are investing a record £6bn every year by 2020 in childcare.

“As well as providing tax-free childcare to around 2 million households to help pay for childcare costs, we have doubled the free childcare available to working parents of three and four years olds to 30 hours a week, saving them thousands a year and helping them get back into work.

"Indeed, an independent evaluation of the early delivery of 30 hours free childcare found that 84 per cent of parents reported improved family finances as a result of the free childcare.”

Yet another conundrum for many with young families.

Do the " Right " thing ... and run into another trap ???