Tagged: Michael Meacher

Greens To Present Bill To Reverse Tory Health & Care Law

Caroline Lucas, the Green party’s only MP, will present a bill to parliament which aims to reverse large parts of the last government’s Health and Social Care Act 2012.

The private members bill, named the NHS Reinstatement Bill, has received cross-party support, including the backing of Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh and the SNP’s health spokesperson Philippa Whitford.

The bill would reinstate the secretary of state’s responsibility for the health of UK citizens, something the Health and Social Care Act removed.

It would also abolish bodies such as NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts and clinical commissioning groups, allowing commercial companies to provide services only if they were essential to patient welfare and the NHS could not do so itself.

A private member’s bill can be introduced by any member of parliament or peer who is not a government minister, but few of them actually pass in to law because they are given little parliamentary time.

In March this year, Lucas tabled a similar bill that had to be dropped when parliament was dissolved before the general election.

Labour MPs Cat Smith, Michael Meacher, Rob Marris, Kelvin Hopkins, John McDonnell and Roger Godsiff have supported the bill, but Lucas called for the whole Labour party and its leadership candidates to follow Corbyn in “standing up for our NHS” and backing it.

Full story :  http://northstar.boards.net/thread/159/greens-present-bill-reverse-health

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Michael Meacher calls for more anti-austerity protests

An outspoken Labour MP has called for ONE MILLION people to take to the streets in a mass protest against Tory austerity cuts.

Writing on his blog, Michael Meacher said that the ‘250,000’ strong protests which took place last weekend were a “very good start”, but added that “it needs to be followed through with ever bigger demos over the next few months”.

Mr Meacher said “you can always tell when the Establishment is worried”, because the majority of right-wing newspapers choose not to report protests against the Tories.

The right-wing media normally only report these events “if scuffles or violence takes place”, said Mr Meacher. Suggesting that they were waiting for a way to discredit and demonise those people who attended.

He added that, “if the pressure continues and grows bigger still, government takes notice and behind the scenes begins to backtrack”.

Full story :  http://northstar.boards.net/thread/117/michael-meacher-calls-austerity-protests

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Tories Trying To Prevent The Poor From ‘Breeding’, Says Labour MP

Veteran Labour MP Michael Meacher has accused the Conservatives of introducing welfare reforms designed to prevent the poor from ‘breeding’.

Writing on his blog, Mr Meacher says:

“Occasionally the mask slips and the truth becomes clear. We had already been told that the Tories planned to limit child benefit to the first two children because it would save money. Then IDS (Iain Duncan Smith) let the cat out of the bag: he said it would promote “behavioural change”. This element in the Tory DNA – that the poor are over-dependent on benefits and should have their breeding excesses curtailed – has quite a history.

“Keith Joseph made a pitch for the Tory leadership in 1974 with this appeal: “A high and rising proportion of children are being born to mothers least fitted to bring children into the world…Some are of low intelligence, most of low educational attainment….The balance of our human stock is threatened”. The message hasn’t changed in the last 40 years – control the lower orders, suppress their breeding, check their spending, moralise against their life-styles.

“The same message was driven home by Baroness Jenkin, wife of Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, who opined last month: “poor people don’t know how to cook”, and regaled us with the story that she had a large bowl of porridge which cost 4p. Astonishingly she was presenting the Church of England report on foodbanks which found that 4 million people in the UK are currently going hungry. Back to the stereotype that poverty is caused by fecklessness, not by rates of pay so low that families cannot survive on them. It may come as a shock to Lady Jenkin to discover that there are now more persons in poverty in working families than in workless families.

“This Tory prejudice again has a long history. It underpinned the Poor Law for three centuries till it was challenged by Beatrice Webb and others in 1908, and was only finally overthrown by the national insurance and income support laws of the Attlee government in the 1940s.

“Now in the Cameron government this deeply embedded Tory instinct to vilify the poor as a degenerate class which needs to be punished to kick it out of its fecklessness has come to the fore again with a vengeance.

“Unprecedented cuts in public sector pay and in benefits, combined with ‘sanctioning’ (i.e. depriving claimants of their income for weeks on end and sometimes months even for the most trivial infringements), have been constantly spun on the canard of ‘shirkers/scroungers versus strivers/hard-working families’.

“But this time Osborne may have overplayed his hand. A sceptical public, already anxious about the claim that further deep cuts will still be necessary, are gradually learning the truth about the bedroom tax (some 500,000 families liable to eviction, a third of them disabled) and the huge DWP bureaucratic delays before benefits due are paid out (over 300,000 currently being forced to wait 9 weeks before IDS’ personal independence payments are actually paid).

“This is not just about money or reducing the deficit; it’s the class prejudice oozing out of the Tory psyche as their last throw before the election.”

Source: http://www.michaelmeacher.info/

Iain Duncan Smith Starving The Poor Into Committing Crime, Says Labour MP

Veteran Labour MP Michael Meacher has launched a stinging attack against Iain Duncan Smith (IDS), accusing the Work and Pensions Secretary of denying poor people food and shelter and pushing them into stealing to survive.

Writing on his blog Mr Meacher said:

“The papers are full-on when members or ex-members of the government make a fool of themselves behaving badly when they can’t get their way – Andrew Mitchell foul-mouthing a policeman with the toxic ‘plebs’ allegedly added in because he couldn’t ride his bike through the No.10 gates, and David Mellor ranting at a black cab driver over the best route home to his £8m pad near Tower Bridge.

“But what really matters about members of the government is not their silly misbehaviour, it’s they [sic] way they’re crucifying millions of people even to the point where they’re denying them food and shelter.

“On this, with a few honourable exceptions, the media are largely silent on the grounds presumably that they don’t matter because they’re not famous.

“A million people have been sanctioned by government ministers over this last year, which means that they are deprived of all their benefit for often petty infringements (e.g. being 5 minutes late for a job interview) and hence have no money for at least 4 weeks and sometimes 3 months, forcing them to steal to survive.

If they’re caught, the penalty for stealing some meat from a supermarket might be a fine of some £200 which of course they cannot conceivably pay, or it might be 6 weeks in prison.

“IDS supervises the sanctioning (though it’s outsourced to a privatised firm doing his dirty work for him), while Grayling takes care of the imprisonment.

“This is the treadmill of impoverishment to which this government is now sentencing hundreds of thousands of people every year, a crescendo of wanton harshness out of all proportion to the treatment meted out to other miscreants.

“During and after the Napoleonic wars there were up to 200 offences for which a person could be hanged, usually for stealing to keep their family alive.

“The people of this country sitting on the juries finally got round this draconian repression imposed by the ruling class by refusing to convict. That is what juries and magistrates should do now when faced by the stark injustice of the criminal justice system.

“MPs who 5 years ago stole big ticket expenses to which they were not entitled, including many on both front benches, suffered no penalty worse than being named and shamed in the newspapers, with no more than half a dozen fall-guys, not the main offenders, sent to prison for a few weeks.

“Not a single banker has been prosecuted for presiding over the wrecking of the financial and economic system by the most brazen arrogance, recklessness and incompetence, even though it has ravaged the lives of millions of innocent people.

“None of the super-rich who have been avoiding due payment of taxes by the most artificial forms of contrivance have ever been personally brought to book and sent down.

“We are now seeing one law for the rich and another for the poor in its most vicious and nasty form.”

Source –  Welfare Weekly,  01 Dec 2014

http://www.welfareweekly.com/iain-duncan-smith-starving-poor-committing-crime-says-labour-mp/

Michael Meacher’s Speech on Benefit Sanctions

alittleecon

There was a backbench debate in the House of Commons today on the DWP’s use of benefit sanctions. The official line is that claimants are only ever sanctioned if they are not doing what is required of them to either find work or prepare for work. The strong suspicion however is that sanctions are being used primarily to get people off benefits. Labour MP Michael Meacher opened the debate with a speech in which he gave numerous examples of where claimants have been sanctioned through no fault of their own, and highlighted the impact this can have on people’s lives. Here is the text of the first part of his speech (from Hansard):

“I beg to move,

That this House notes that there have been many cases of sanctions being wrongfully applied to benefit recipients; and call on the Government to review the targeting, severity and impact of such sanctions…

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Coalition drags out the pain with promise of many more cuts

Vox Political

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The BBC has reported findings by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, showing that the Coalition government will be less than halfway through its planned spending cuts by the end of the current financial year (March 31).

The organisation said 60 per cent of the cuts were still to come.

This raises a few urgent questions. Firstly: This government was formed on the promise that it would balance the books by 2015, which presupposes that its entire plan for doing so would be in place long before then. We know that this ambitious claim was dismissed after years of failure, but part of the reason for this failure was that George Osborne stopped a recovery that was already taking place, and which would have led to economic growth of 20 per cent by now, if it had been allowed to continue (according to Michael Meacher MP). My question, therefore…

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