All posts filed under: Welfare

Would an A&E visiting fee be a ‘clear departure from the traditional NHS vision’

1/3 of GPs BACK £10 CHARGE OF A&E A poll carried out by Press Association for Doctors.net.uk with more than 800 family doctors found that 32% were in favour of the charge seeing it as the most cost effective way of cutting down on the people who could have gone to their GP or a pharmacist. One doctor argued: ‘If patients had to pay a £5 charge to attend A&E – that could be refunded for appropriate attendances – they would be more inclined to take their coughs to the pharmacist where they belong.’ Recent overcrowd and increased demand  of A&E have prompted some doctors to back the charge of either 10 or 5 pound to significantly reduce the number of  unnecessary visits where people are in no need of urgent medical attention. If the condition of a patient is shown to need attention then their money would be refunded to them. Around 30% to 40% of all visits to A&E could have been seen elsewhere because illnesses were minor or not urgent believed by A&E specialists.   …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 13th-19th January 2014

Parliament Roundup – 13/01/14-19/01/14   Labour Speech This week, Labour leader Ed Miliband and his shadow ministers will make speeches for the electorate in order to announce Labour’s upcoming plans. The speeches are designed to broaden the debate away from spending and the deficit. Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds made a speech on Tuesday reemphasising on Labour’s plans to build more than 200,000 homes a year by the end of the next Parliament in 2020 by stressing that we need to increase social housing. However, this might prove tricky for Labour as they will have to allow more borrowing in order to reach this ambitious goal. This goal in particular might be seen as Ed Miliband’s way of proving that Labour is not just about short term goals such as his established energy price freeze. Euro sceptics unsatisfied   95 of Conservative backbenchers have recently signed a vote for the law to be changed for the House of Commons to veto new EU regulations. There has been much recent disagreement with this vote and William …

The Coalition Welfare Reforms Explained

Coalition Welfare reforms Job Seekers Allowance (JSA): The Department for Work and Pensions have set up schemes aimed at getting unemployed people back to work, it has caused much controversy Critics have dubbed the programmes as “Workfare”, likening them to unpaid labour, or forcing people to work for their benefits. To get people back to work by either Work Experience (November 2011, 34,200 people had started a Work Experience placement), Sector-based work academies, Mandatory Work Activity, Community Activity Programme and the Work Programme. JSA has been cut to at least £56.80 a week, varying on an individual’s situation. Universal Credit: A new in- and out-of-work credit, which integrates six of the main out-of-work benefits. The aim is to increase incentives to work for the unemployed and to encourage longer hours for those working part-time. “The main differences between Universal Credit and the current welfare system are: Universal Credit will be available to people who are in work and on a low income, as well as to those who are out of work most people will …

Weekly Parliament Roundup:4th-11th December 2013

Parliament Roundup: 4/12/13-11/12/13 MPs to receive 11% pay rise: Click for a video explanation IPSA(Independent Parliament Standards Authority) have recently proposed to provide MPs with a pay rise of 11% which will increase their salary to £74,000. They have stated that there will be changes to the pension scheme which will save tax payer 2.5 billion pounds if the rise is to take place. Even though this might be seen as a great thing for the MPs, lots of them are scared to state publicly that they think it is a good idea. The main issue with this proposal is that it might be the wrong time to make such high rises in MP’s salaries when other public sectors are facing difficult freezes. However, of this proposal is to go ahead, it will take legislation in 2015 to stop this from occurring. The public might not like the sound of the proposal at first because many might feel that the MPs don’t deserve such a high pay rise as they have failed to improve costs …

Weekly Parliament Roundup: 6th-13th November 2013

Weekly Parliament review – 6th -13th November 2013 Commonwealth Summit Prime Minister David Cameron will still attend the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka despite India and Canada boycotting the event. There have been calls for the PM to boycott the event, especially from Labour members who proposed that they would strongly support the Prime Minister if reversed his decision to attend. On the other hand, Foreign Secretary William Hague stated that if the Prime Minister decided not to attend the summit, it would damage the commonwealth without making any positive change in Sri Lanka. The summit will concern the country’s Human Rights records and Cameron has pledged to put ‘serious questions’ to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda  Rajapaksa  about his regime’s widely condemned Human Rights records and allegations of war crimes against the Tamil minority. Concerns over rise in personal debt in the UK The Conservative member of the Treasury Select Committee Mark Garnier has raised concerns over the level of personal debt in the UK. He recently stated on The World This Weekend on …

Labours welfare policies

It has become an unspoken known that the 2015 general election would rely purely on which party had the strongest economic policy. However, Labour at its party conference in Brighton has tried to turn the tables and turn the clamour for power into a debate on childcare and living standards. De ja vu perhaps? Reminiscent of Blair’s plans to eliminate poverty and introduce a system of tax credits? Lest we forget measures such as the minimum wage, sure start and the new deal. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has announced that Labour will offer parents of primary school children guaranteed access to childcare from 8am to 6pm. As part of proving Labours commitment to those struggling with falling living standards, Miliband also gave a firm commitment that a future Labour government would abolish the controversial bedroom tax. Latest evidence of a growing economic divide came as figures showed that UK living standards had dropped to their lowest in a decade after average real incomes fell a further 3% last year. The IFS has said the …

Pensions explained

Context: -People are living longer, increased government spending on pensions is seen as untenable for the future considering the current economic climate. The coalition argue that they will save £3.5bn a year for every year that the retirement age is raised. -1 in 5 retiring in 2013 will be living below the poverty line. Coalition: -The coalition has introduced a new flat rate of £144 a week meaning thousands more will qualify including 85,000 women for the first time, overall 400,000 more people will be made eligible. Many support these changes including Age UK who see the simplification of the system as a merit. It is expected that money saved from cutting means testing and bureaucracy could be as much as £6bn. -The coalition has phased out the default retirement age which is seen to help ageism as people aren’t expected to just retire at 65 but the British Chambers of Commerce, said such a policy would damage “businesses’ ability to manage their workforce” -The state pension age for men is now due to rise …

Education overview

Overview and analysis of the Coalitions education policy. 1. Academies More than 1 in 4 of England’s state school students attend an academy school now. There are now 2886 academies compared to just 203 before the Academies Act 2010. Academies give individual schools more power by bypassing the LEA. The coalition argues this gives more funding direct to the schools (up to 10% on top of their budgets) and gives individual schools the ability to direct themselves in a way that is best for them. Labour says by encompassing all schools, not only failing schools the Coalition is benefiting more privileged societies and missing the point of an academy. Pressure groups like the anti-acadamies alliance see it as back door privatisation. 2. Free Schools There are 149 free school across the country. 1 in 5 of the free schools has opened in an area where there are already unfilled school places, yet 9 in 10 of those free schools are over subscribed. The coalition saw it as a way to create more local competition and …

Health competition and privatisation

Following the Health and Social Care Act 2012, introducing the biggest overhaul of the National Health Service since its creation, the issue of privatisation resurfaced.  Over 100 private firms were to be paid by the NHS to treat patients, as a result of the coalition’s first major expansion of the private sector’s role in the health service. Thus, figures published by the Department of Health figures confirm that 105 healthcare firms have been granted “any qualified provider” (AQP) status, allowing them to provide fundamental NHS services. These treatments include physiotherapy, dermatology, hearing aids, MRI scanning and psychological therapy; all previously well recognised aspects of NHS provision. However it is both the pace and scale of the private sector’s new infiltration into the NHS that has led senior doctors to voice qualms that the health service is being “atomised” and that it will force existing NHS services to close. Private companies, some of which already earn up to £200m a year each from NHS-funded work, say AQP is a major opportunity to increase their role in the health …

Government attempts at reducing poverty in the UK

The conservative party traditionally considers the poor as a natural aspect of the economy. They believe high benefits are a disincentive to hard work for the poor that develop a culture of dependency on the state and the rich who are taxed highly on their incomes. The labour party however believe there are too many people stuck in the poverty trap. They therefore oppose particularly low wages and are willing to intervene in order to prevent them. Additionally, unlike the conservative party, new labour think benefits can be used as a carrot and not a stick in order to incentivise work. The somewhat ‘pro-poverty’ ideological stance of the conservative party under Thatcher meant that they wanted a social security system that was a mere very low safety. They therefore reformed the system in order to make benefits much harder to obtain -having a very little, if not non-existent effect on the reduction of poverty within the UK. New Labour however, when they came to power in 1997 pledged to challenge child and pensioner poverty through …

Sunday Politics video: Andrew Lansley interview on NHS reforms in England

Andrew Lansley today was challenged on whether health changes in England would see improvements in care, reduced waiting times and no further major NHS reforms. The health secretary said the controversy getting the Health and Social Care Bill through Parliament had not damaged his career, and he claimed the NHS was better funded than under Labour.