Tagged: Andy Burnham

Some NE Labour support for Jeremy Corbyn

Labour’s Easington representative, Grahame Morris, and Blyth Valley’s Ronnie Campbell, were backing Andy Burnham in the Labour leadership race, but this week ditched him in favour of Jeremy Corbyn.

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, who is one of the last in the region to reveal her nomination, has also announced her support for Mr Corbyn.

The leadership race has so far seen Andy Burnham take the pole position with 53 nominations from MPs, with Yvette Cooper on 46, Liz Kendall on 37, Mary Creagh on seven, and Jeremy Corbyn on 13.

Mr Corbyn, 66, has a track record of rebellion against the Labour party, regularly defying the whip. In January he was among a number of MPs who wrote an open letter to Ed Miliband calling on the party to oppose further austerity.

Ronnie Campbell, who has represented Blyth Valley for Labour since 1987, said: “I’m making a point and Grahame is doing the same and the point is that there are still socialists.

Full story :  http://northstar.boards.net/thread/91/ne-labour-support-jeremy-corbyn

bannerfans_15660331

Harriet Harman joins Labour’s claimant hate campaign

Harriet Harman, the acting leader of the Labour party has joined a number of the leadership candidates in what is fast becoming a competition to see who can most blatantly encourage hatred of claimants. Harman complained that Labour was seen as supporting “people on benefits” but not those who “work hard.”

Last week, in Labour leadership hopefuls queued up to kick claimants – even in speech to tax avoidance auditors we reported that a number of Labour leadership candidates, including Andy Burnham and Caroline Flint had sought to distance themselves from any appearance of support for people on benefits.

Burnham talked about some people believing Labour wants ‘to be soft on people who want something for nothing’, whilst Flint said Labour ought to start attacking benefits scroungers as much as bankers and should give people choosing to live off benefits a “kick up the backside”.

The attempts to denigrate people claiming benefits appear to based on the idea that Labour lost the election because it wasn’t tough enough on claimants.

Now, in an interview in today’s Independent, Harriet Harman has joined in the attacks. The paper explained that:

“Ms Harman believes a common problem all over Britain was that voters felt the party “doesn’t talk about me”. Labour was seen as supporting “people on benefits” but not those who “work hard.” She said: “It doesn’t matter how many leaflets you deliver if the message is not right.””

Full article : http://northstar.boards.net/thread/36/labour-leadership-hopefuls-queue-claimants?page=1&scrollTo=80

bannerfans_15660331

Labour leadership hopefuls queue to kick claimants – even in speech to tax avoidance auditors

MPs hoping to be the Labour party’s next leader or deputy leader are lining up to kick claimants as they seek to blame anyone but themselves for the disastrous election result. In one case the attack on claimants was made from the offices of accountants who narrowly escaped prosecution for involvement in tax dodging.

Leadership front-runner Andy Burnham supports the Conservative’s plans to lower the level of the household benefits cap, plunging more families into poverty, According to the Independent Burnham argued that people see Labour as being “soft on people who want something for nothing”.

In a speech to Ernst and Young, the accountancy firm which paid out £82 million in 2013 to avoid criminal charges in the US for aiding tax dodgers, Burnham argued:

“I was talking about an impression on the doorstep and there is that feeling, some people say, that Labour want to be soft on people who want something for nothing. We’ve got to be honest about that. That is a feeling that’s out there, that was still being replayed at this election.”

Read rest of the article at:

http://northstar.boards.net/thread/36/labour-leadership-hopefuls-queue-claimants

Oh God – David Miliband 12/1 to be next Labour leader

A bookmaker has made former South Shields MP David Miliband 12/1 to succeed his brother Ed as leader of the Labour Party.

According to Unibet, the 49-year-old, who narrowly lost to his brother in a leadership contest in 2010, could make a spectacular return.

He rose to prominence as the head of Tony Blair’s policy unit from 1997 to 2001, when he was elected MP for South Shields.

In April 2013 he resigned from Parliament in order to become president and chief executive officer of the International Rescue Committee in New York.

> In other words, he left his constituents to their fate in order to chase the yankee dollar to the tune of £300,000 a year.

 The bye-election he triggered opened South Shields to the possibility of a UKIP MP – in the end, they took 24.2% of the vote and finished second.
I suspect Other Miliband didn’t give a shit – he was probably house-hunting in New York.

Now, with Labour reeling from its heaviest election defeat in years, the bookies are giving odds on a stunning return.

Unibet’s odds are:

BREAKING: Chuka Umunna 9/4

Andy Burnham 2/1

Yvette Cooper 3/1

Dan Jarvis 8/1

Liz Kendall 16/1

David Miliband 12/1

Source –  Hartlepool Mail, 09 May 2015

Far More NHS Contracts Going To Private Firms Than Ministers Admit, Figures Show

Profit-driven firms have been winning far more NHS contracts than ministers admit and privatisation has increased significantly under the coalition government, the latest evidence shows.

Two new sets of figures, detailing who is being awarded contracts to provide NHS clinical services, both challenge the government’s claim that only 6% of the service’s budget goes to private firms.

Contracts monitored by the NHS Support Federation campaign group show that private firms won £3.54bn of £9.628bn worth of deals awarded in England last year – a win rate of 36.8%.

And responses from GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to a Labour freedom of information request reveal that private firms have been winning 40% of contracts CCGs have put out to tender, worth a total of £2.3bn, only slightly fewer than the 41% awarded to NHS bodies.

Labour also claim that NHS patients have had to endure longer waits for treatment as NHS hospitals have increasingly maximised their income from private patients, the number of which has gone up by as much as 58% since 2010. The NHS will end up as “a two-tier service”, with those paying privately being prioritised over other patients, unless action is taken to reverse the trend, the party claims.

Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said the figures it had collated “demolish [David] Cameron’s claim that there’s only been a modest increase in privatisation on his watch. The truth is there has been a sharp increase and the public has never been asked whether they want the NHS to go in this direction.”

Labour will on Saturday try to again use health to its advantage in the election campaign by pledging to reinstate the 2% limit of total income that NHS hospitals can earn by treating patients privately.

Ministers claim that the proportion of the NHS’s £100bn-plus budget going to private firms has risen from 4% under the previous Labour government to 6% during the coalition’s time in office.

This month, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, accused Labour of trying to “scare people about privatisation that isn’t happening”.

But Labour’s research found that of 5,071 contracts awarded by CCGs 2,098 (41%) went to NHS bodies and 2,024 (40%) went to private healthcare firms, such as Care UK. The GP-led groups took control of £69.2bn of NHS funding in 2013.

David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt have not been honest with working people about the scale and pace of privatisation on their watch. They’ve tried to play it down but these figures show they simply cannot be trusted with the NHS,” said Burnham. “It is shocking to see private companies winning just as many contracts as the NHS, and some with links to the Tory Party too.”

In 2009-10, Labour’s last year in power, 129 NHS foundation trust hospitals earned £224m in total from private patient income (PPI). By 2013-14 that had grown to 142 trusts sharing £389m between them.

The coalition lifted the cap on how much trusts could earn from PPI from 2% to 49% as part of its unpopular shakeup of the English NHS under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

The £3.5bn worth of contracts won by private firms is five times the £681m the NHS Support Federation identified the year before. It also represents a huge increase on the £205m of contracts awarded in 2010-11, the coalition’s first year.

Of 13 contracts awarded last year that were worth at least £100m, six went to private firms, another five to private consortiums and just two to NHS providers bidding on their own. For example, Virgin Care got a £280m deal to coordinate care for long-term illness and care of elderly people in East Staffordshire.

The public need clear sight of what’s happening to the NHS ahead of 7 May. The government cannot go on denying NHS privatisation. If we stay on the same path the NHS will become dominated by big business and there is a real danger that it will not survive,” said Paul Evans, director of the NHS Support Federation, which is funded by individuals, charities and unions.

“This is proof positive of a steep escalation in the private sector’s hold over the NHS. The mammoth NHS reforms opened up the NHS to the market and business. There is no current limit on how far their involvement can go,” he added.

The Tories rejected Labour’s claims about growing privatisation and dismissed returning the private patient cap to 2%.

A spokesman said: “This is a gimmick from Labour. Official figures show that outsourcing accounts for just 6p in each NHS pound, and private patient income is actually falling as a proportion of hospital budgets.

“By fixating on privatisation that independent experts and [NHS England boss] Simon Stevens say is a myth, Labour betray patients because the real debate should be good care against poor and on their watch, terrible events at Mid Staffs went ignored for four years.”

Source – The Guardian, 24 April 2015

Jarrow Crusade-style march to campaign for the NHS

A crusade aimed at evoking memories of the famous Jarrow March arrives in the town next weekend.

The People’s March for the NHS is a campaign dedicated to preserving the founding principles of the NHS and ensuring its staff are afforded the treatment they deserve.

The march – which deliberately echoes the Jarrow Crusade for jobs in 1936 – has already called in at Tredgar in Wales and Bristol.

On Saturday, March 28, marchers will gather in Jarrow.

 The protesters will meet up with members of South Tyneside Public Service Alliance (PSA) at Jarrow Town Hall – where the original 200 marchers set off almost 79 years earlier.

The alliance has organised an event to highlight a last-ditch plan to save the under-threat Jarrow Walk-In Centre from closure.

Merv Butler, chairman of the Alliance, called on the public to turn out at 11am to hear a host of speeches from, among others, Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.

He said: “It is vitally important that we prevent the closure of the facility. The event will focus on the need to keep it open and we want as many people there as possible to show their support.”

It seems clear that the outcome of the General Election will determine the centre’s fate. Labour has pledged to keep it open if elected.

The Conservatives are putting the decision in the hands of an independent adjudicator.

Mr Butler, branch secretary of Unison South Tyneside, added: “Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has given his party’s assurance that it will be saved.”

Source – Shields Gazette, 21 Mar 2015

Care worker QUITS because she only had 15 minutes to spend with frail pensioners

The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

Reposted from Mirror on line

… and this is it isn’t it; the reality of tory cuts from social care putting further strain on the NHS which is already suffering from… yes you’ve guessed it, tory cuts.

Anyway the tories don’t care about that because most of them are millionaires so they can pay for private health care in their dotage and you can all go and play on the motorway as far as they are concerned. 

Ex Manchester caregiver Gillian Demet
Quit: Ex Manchester caregiver Gillian Demet

A home-care worker today reveals she quit her job because she was only allowed to spend 15 MINUTES a time with frail pensioners.

Whistleblower Gillian Demet says she was left with no choice but to resign from Sevacare who provide more than 4,000 care workers nationwide.

Miss Demet, 62, said the cruel rule was putting patients’ lives at risk. “Where is the love, compassion and care that…

View original post 1,101 more words

NHS spending on private ambulances has soared in the North East

NHS spending on private ambulances has soared in the North East, new figures have revealed.

The North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s spending on private ambulance services has more than quadruped between the financial years 2011/12 and 2013/14, figures from Freedom of Information Requests show.

In 2011/12 the amount spent was £639,820, but this rose a staggering 353% to £2,898,275 in 2013/14.

However, other ambulance services maintained lowest levels of spending across the period while one even reduced its reliance on private vehicles.

Over the same period, average ambulance response times – the period between a logged call and the vehicle’s arrival – increased by 51 seconds in the North East.

A spokesperson for the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said:

While it’s true that average ambulance response times have increased over the last three years, so too has the volume of calls being dealt with by our contact centre.

“Despite this marked increase in activity, the North East Ambulance Service remains one of the best performing in the country for reaching those patients most in need.

“To put it in perspective, our average response time to an emergency in 2011 was 5 minutes 11 seconds. In 2014, it is six minutes. Both of which are well within the national target of eight minutes.

“Organisations such as Red Cross and St John have been used to a greater extent over the last year, again as a consequence of demand.

“There is also a national shortage of paramedics due to the longer three-year-period it now takes to complete the required degree. NEAS hopes to have an extra 140 paramedics by 2016.”

Official NHS figures show that across the country even ambulances for the most serious cases are taking over a minute longer to reach patients than three years ago.

NHS ambulance services across England are now spending close to double the figure on private ambulances when compared to 2012, with parts of the country seeing a 10-fold rise.

Andy Burnham, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary said:

“These figures show just how quickly the NHS is changing under David Cameron. Blue-light ambulance services have traditionally been considered part of the public core of the NHS. It is clear that no part of the NHS is now immune to privatisation.

“When people dial 999, most would expect an NHS ambulance crew to turn up. People have never been asked whether they think blue-light ambulance services should be run by private companies. Before this practice goes any further, there should be a proper public debate about it.

“NHS paramedics have raised concerns over whether private crews have sufficient training, competence and are fully equipped. The Government needs to provide urgent answers to these questions and provide assurances that this practice is not compromising patient safety.”

Source –  Newcastle Journal,  21 Oct 2014

New ‘Jarrow March’ reaches London

The People's March for the NHS

A group of north east mothers and other campaigners who staged a modern-day ‘Jarrow March’ to protest at the privatisation of health services arrived in London at the weekend.

The People’s March, which followed in the footsteps of the famous 1936 Jarrow Crusade, began in mid-August.

After leaving Jarrow, the protest took in more than 20 towns and cities, with union activists and other supporters joining the six women from Darlington.

Organisers said 5,000 people took part in the last leg from Red Lion Square in Holborn to Trafalgar Square, where they were addressed by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.

Speaking ahead of the rally, Mr Burnham said the “Darlo mums” symbolise the concern felt by millions across the UK for the future of the NHS.

He said:

“Surely even the great Nye Bevan couldn’t have imagined a group with more faith and fight for his NHS than these Darlington mums.

“In them, David Cameron has more than met his match and their fighting spirit will give hope to people everywhere that the NHS can be rescued from the damage caused by his Government.”

A Department of Health spokesman said:

“Use of the private sector in the NHS represents only six per cent of the total NHS budget – an increase of just 1% since May 2010.

“Charities, social enterprises and other healthcare providers continue to play an important role for the NHS, as they have done for many years – however, it is now local doctors and nurses who make decisions about who is best placed to provide care for their patients.”

Source –  Shields Gazette,  08 Sept 2014

Queen’s Speech: David Cameron Has Failed Britain

By Jenny Howarth

Her Majesty the Queen has delivered the final speech at the opening of parliament before next year’s general election.   A speech that Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg described as ‘bold’.

In a joint statement issued alongside the Queen’s speech, the prime minister and his deputy said: [The coalition was] “still taking bold steps” [to] “take Britain forward to a brighter future”, adding:

 “We may be two parties, with two different philosophies but we understand one thing, countries rise when their people rise. So this Queen’s Speech is unashamedly pro-work, pro-business and pro-aspiration.”

Among the measures announced in the speech were:

  • A bill implementing reforms to annuities announced in March’s Budget. In future, people will not be required to buy an annuity with their pension savings and will be able to draw their retirement income in one go if they choose
  • A separate bill to allow employees to pay into collective pension funds shared with other workers, a move it is hoped will cut costs and encourage saving
  • A new state-funded childcare subsidy worth up to £2,000 a year, replacing the existing employer-funded scheme
  • A Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism bill offering extra legal protection for people being sued for negligence or breach of duty if they acted heroically or in the public interest
  • Curbs on “excessive redundancy payments” for highly-paid public servants
  • Tougher penalties for employers who fail to pay the minimum wage and a crackdown on the abuse of zero hours contracts
  • Plans for a 5p charge for plastic bags in England as announced at last year’s Lib Dem conference
  • Reforms to speed up infrastructure projects, including new freedoms for the Highways Agency and allowing fracking firms to run shale gas pipelines on private land without getting prior permission
  • New criminal sentences for those assisting organised crime syndicates, tougher sentence for cyber criminals and tougher powers to seize the assets of crime bosses – and making the possession of written paedophilia a criminal offence
  • A modern-day slavery bill with tougher penalties for human trafficking
  • Help for pub landlords including a statutory code and a body to adjudicate disputes
  • Giving voters the power to trigger by-elections where MPs have committed serious wrong-doing

With polls showing a Labour Party average lead of 6.6%, the speech, written for the Queen by her government highlights how out of touch and removed from reality the coalition government is. With Labour sources for the BBC saying it was “staggering” that the NHS and immigration were not mentioned in the Queen’s Speech.

You would assume that David Cameron would have ensured that this final speech would have contained elements to woo voters. But sadly, it has failed, just as Cameron and his coalition government has failed the people of Britain and here is why:

National Health Service (NHS)

This week in a letter to The Guardian, top health officials including Rob Webster, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents hospitals, and the chairs or chief executives of acute hospital trusts in London, Nottingham, Teeside, Kent, Sheffield, Oxford and elsewhere, warned that the NHS “is at the most challenged time of its existence.”

In a separate article, Rob Webster, speaking to The Telegraph, warned, that if “significant changes” were not made and the “decline” was to continue that:

  • Hospital patients would be forced to pay for their meals, bed and even for patient transport.
  • Swathes of the country would be left without a GP, because family doctors refuse to work in areas where they cannot keep up with demand.
  • Accident & Emergency departments would be increasingly shutting their doors without warning, because they are unable to cope.
  • Hospitals would go bust overnight because bills cannot be paid.
  • There would be Longer waits for surgery, and increasing numbers of cancelled operations.

With the NHS so critical, it is something that should have been addressed in today’s speech but it would appear that Cameron and his Health Secretary are more determined than ever to place the NHS in private hands.

Welfare

Work and Pension Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s (IDS) welfare reforms have been an unmitigated disaster.

His flagship Universal Credit Scheme has been beset with problems, with The Guardian reporting in May this year that The Major Projects Authority (MPA) – responsible for grading its implementation – has said that it has undergone so many fundamental changes that it is “reset” (gone back to drawing board).

In addition, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures, also released in May showed that over half a million ESA claimants are still waiting for the results of their assessment.

Then there is the hated Spare-room subsidy (bedroom tax).   In a survey of 183 housing associations (HA), conducted by IPSOS Mori on behalf of the National Housing Federation in February this year, it was found that:

  • One in seven of those hit by the bedroom tax has now had a notice of seeking possession issued to them.
  • 66% of HA residents hit by the bedroom tax are in rent arrears
  • More than a third (38%) reported to be in debt because they were unable to pay the bedroom tax

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation said:

“If these notices of seeking possession turn into evictions it will be the direct responsibility of those who introduced a measure which is economically incoherent, socially divisive, disruptive of family life and causing real damage to real people. It really can’t be allowed to go on.”

The failure to address welfare reform in today’s speech would indicate that if the Conservatives were to win next year’s election then it is likely it will go on, inflicting more misery to more families.

 It is clear, that Cameron is not listening.   The recent local and European elections proved that the people of Britain are not happy.   Ed Miliband, picked up on this by saying ahead of today’s speech:

“The local and European elections show the depths of discontent with the direction of our country which people increasingly feel does not work for them.

“We need action, we need answers, we need a programme for government equal to the scale of the challenge our country faces.

“We would have a Queen’s Speech with legislation which would make work pay, reform our banks, freeze energy bills and build homes again in Britain.

“A Queen’s Speech which signals a new direction for Britain, not one which offers more of the same.”

So what would be in Labour’s first Queen’s speech if they were to win next year?

Mark Ferguson, writing for Labour List, has put together what he thinks would be in it, based on Labours plans so far:

Banking bill

A first year priority, that would mean breaking up banks to create competition in the banking sector – and reforms intended to boost lending and support small businesses.

Make Work Pay bill

Mark Ferguson acknowledges that this one still needs some detail adding to it, which he believes we should get in the months ahead. In short, this bill would see Labour legislating for a higher minimum wage (maybe even a statutory living wage?) and legislating on zero-hours contracts.

Housing bill

Currently Labour is talking about building 200,000 homes a year by 2020. For Mark Ferguson, that’s a little slow, believing that Labour should be aiming to build a million homes over the next parliament with the expectation for Miliband to upgrade Labour’s offer on housing before the election.

However, it is already pretty substantial, and this bill would act on land banks, legislate for new garden cities, crack down on fees for private sector tenants and provide more stable and secure long-term rents for those in the private rented sector.

Community bill

Nicknamed, the “taking back the high street” bill. This would give communities a say on payday lenders and betting shops on their high streets – thus reducing their volume and growth.

Immigration bill

Angela Eagle has stated that Labour would legislate on immigration. Such a bill would seek to stop workers being undercut and ban recruitment agencies from only recruiting from overseas.

A new Scotland bill 

This would  enshrine the recommendations of Scottish Labour’s Devolution Commission, introducing a form of “Devo-Max” – obviously this is in the event of a No vote in this year’s referendum.

Consumers’ bill

Or perhaps more accurately, the energy prices bill. Labour’s big energy price freeze pledge would be enacted in the first Queen’s Speech

Outlawing discrimination against armed forces bill

This would put discrimination against members of the armed forces on the same footing as other forms of discrimination.

Mark Ferguson, goes onto state the other priorities for Labour in the first year of the next parliament that don’t necessarily need primary legislation, but which would be mentioned in the Queen’s Speech. These include:

  • The jobs guarantee,
  • The return of the 50p Tax rate
  • The abolition of the Bedroom Tax.

Unlike Cameron and his Conservative Party, it is evident, although some may disagree, that Ed Miliband has thought through what the people of Britain need.

> More likely the thinks its the sort of thing people might vote for at this moment in time. Unfortunately, an increasing number of people believe that should Labour win the next election, it’d actually just be a case of neo-liberal policies as usual.

And In case you’re wondering where the NHS fits in, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham has said today that it would be a “joyous moment, when next year, Her Majesty the Queen says: “My Government will repeal the Health & Social Care Act 2012″. Assuming of course that there will be a Labour victory.

With 336 days to go to the general election, the stakes have never been higher.   David Cameron has to start listening to the people of Britain, has to axe the bedroom tax, has to curb welfare reform and stop privatizing the NHS.   Failure to do so will mean he will be out of a job – not only as prime minister but also as leader of the Conservatives.

Source – Welfare News Service, 04 June 2014

http://welfarenewsservice.com/david-cameron-has-failed-britain/