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 Has the UK lost the plot !!!!!!!

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PostSubject: Has the UK lost the plot !!!!!!!   Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:04 pm

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[size=150:2qlk0geh]I've put this here for discussion, I have raised 2 issues! so tell me has the uk got its priorities wrong :shocked1:or do you think this is right?

Prisoners to earn minimum wage, Prisoners should get £12,000 a year to work full-time, says Ken Clarke
[size=85:2qlk0geh]Prisoners will get a substantial pay rise in a reform of behind-bars work

Prisoners who agree to work full time will be paid the minimum wage worth up to £12,000 a year tax-free, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke will announce today.

The convicts would receive £5.80 an hour – compared with the current maximum prison wage of £9.60 a week – and be allowed to keep about £20 a week.

The idea is for the rest of the money to be shared among the inmates’ families, victim groups and the prison service to help cover bed and board.

One idea is to pay some of it into a pot to which burglars, muggers, rapists and other criminals can gain access after going straight for two years.

New prisons could be built around existing factories to give the criminals easy access to jobs in a secure section.

Their expected tasks would include repairing shoes, recycling and inputting data for big private firms such as Cisco systems.

The Justice Secretary, who has already stoked controversy by calling for fewer convicts to be imprisoned, said he no longer wanted jails to be places of ‘institutional idleness’.

Mr Clarke can expect criticism that prison is supposed to be a place of punishment, where inmates work for the bare minimum.

But he will claim that – by making prisoners work for 40 hours each week – they are more likely to be able to gain a job on the outside.

He will say: ‘Most prisoners lead a life of enforced, bored idleness, where getting out of bed is optional.

‘If we want to reduce the crimes these people will commit when they get out, whilst boosting the amount that can be provided for victim support, we need as many prisoners as possible to work hard for regular working hours.

‘We have to try to get those people who have the backbone to go straight. To handle a life without crime when they have finished their punishment.

‘So we will make it easier for prison governors to bring more private companies into their jails to create well-run businesses, employing prisoners in regular nine to five jobs.’

The Ministry of Justice plans to enact dormant legislation – the 1996 Prisons Earnings Act. It would allow prisoners to have deductions made from their wages.

At the moment they do not pay taxes.

The plans received the backing of the Howard League for Penal Reform, which argues that the coalition should go further by allowing prisoners to pay taxes to the state.

Director Frances Crook said: ‘I am so pleased we are getting somewhere at last.

Child benefit cuts for better off are fair - Cameron

David Cameron has defended plans to cut higher rate taxpayers' child benefit, saying it is fair to ask them to contribute to cutting the deficit.

He said he knew cutting the benefit for people on more than £44,000 would not make him popular - but it was the "
right thing to do"

The prime minister said he wanted to protect the poorest and neediest as the government tackled the £155bn deficit.

On Monday Chancellor George Osborne said that from 2013 the benefit would be removed from families with at least one parent earning more than about £44,000 a year.

Hours later children's minister Tim Loughton told Channel 4 News the move to cut the benefit from 1.2 million families might need revising, with possible compensating measures for those "
genuinely in need"
, and he raised the possibility thresholds could be adjusted.

But he later wrote on the social networking site Twitter that people were "
by his comments adding: "
Calm down. Of course I'm not calling for review. Yes it's tough but fair."

Ms Cooper, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said the government's policy was "
now unravelling"
adding: "
They have clearly been taken aback by the reaction of parents across the country.

George Osborne and David Cameron obviously don't understand what it means for families on middle incomes to lose thousands of pounds a year."

The child benefit threshold was aligned with the higher-rate 40% income tax threshold to avoid complex means testing but there has been criticism that the move will penalise some families where one parent stays at home to look after the children.

While families with two earners on just under £44,000 each - but collectively about £80,000 - would keep child benefit, those with one earner on more than £44,000 would lose it.

The BBC News Channel's chief political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg said many Conservative MPs were nervous about the change and a couple had suggested it could be the government's "
10p tax moment"
- a reference to Gordon Brown's decision to axe the lowest tax rate, which proved hugely unpopular.
'Makes sense'

And Conservative former shadow home secretary David Davis told the Daily Mail: "
It would be fairer to consider family income rather than that of individuals.

As it is, this does encourage wives or mothers to go out to work. It is an accidental piece of social policy."

Mr Cameron told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that while people on £44,000 were not rich - they were "
a lot better off"
than those trying to raise a family on £25,000 a year adding that the cut - estimated to save £1bn a year - "
makes sense"

In the spending round we're having to make difficult decisions. This is £1bn I don't have to take off the education budget.

I want to make sure in Britain we have real social mobility and life chances given to the poorest children in our country so they can go to the best schools and the best universities and we can have a truly mobile Britain.

That does mean in a spending round you have to ask better off people to make a contribution so you can protect the most vulnerable and help them have a better life."

He said it was "
an argument about fairness"
and pointed out Mr Osborne also planned to cap the amount of benefit people could receive - so they never got more than the average working family brought home in pay - estimated at about £26,000 a year.

That would mean benefits would be restricted to £500 a week from 2013 and would be thought to affect 50,000 households, who would lose an average of £93 a week.

The limit would not apply to people on disability living allowance, war widows' pensions and working tax credit.

Mr Cameron said 85% of people would continue to get child benefit and assessing the whole family's income would have necessitated "
an incredibly bureaucratic and expensive"
and "
system, means-testing every family in the country.

Accusing the previous Labour government of having "
bankrupted the country"
, he added: "
It is difficult. I wish I wasn't having to do this, but we have to deal with the problems in front of us."

Asked about speculation that other universal benefits - like winter fuel payments and free bus passes for pensioners - might be cut, he said: "
Obviously you have to wait for the spending review announcement but I made some pretty clear promises to pensioners in our country, and those are promises I want to keep."

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PostSubject: Re: Has the UK lost the plot !!!!!!!   Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:15 pm

Its Obvious This is just Another Cost Cutting Plan but the good news is it may well backfire &
cost the Goverment more because as usual its not been throughly thought out.
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PostSubject: Re: Has the UK lost the plot !!!!!!!   Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:25 pm

The Labour Party are vehemently opposed to the removal of the mobility component of DLA of people in residential homes-the Government -particularly the Chancellor and IDS are ignorant about the various entitlements-they do not know the basics-the Opposition are a little better-the confusion is because they lack a basic understanding-the Chancellor and IDS regularly relate misinformation about the amount of fraud,conflating ESA with DLA,the number of workless families when in fact a load do-stating Carers are not included when they are-I cannot work out if they are genuinely stupid or tapping into the ignorance of the general public as a cover for despicable cuts like this one.
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PostSubject: Re: Has the UK lost the plot !!!!!!!   Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:36 pm

There is a phrase that is currently in vogue with the government, the news media and just about everyone else you care to mention. The "
current economic climate"
covers a multitude of sins and seems to me to allow the Con-Dem alliance now in power to unleash attacks on everyone in society with the exception of those people that were the cause of deficit in the first place. One of the most startling and disturbing "
that our government has come up with is the "
of the benefit system;
it seems (if you read the Daily Mail or other members of the right-wing press) that the poorest people in society are the real cause of the massive debt we find ourselves in. People who have worked for years at skilled trades and find that they are on unemployment benefit after a "
Workforce Management Programme"
(i.e. they were made redundant) was introduced are nothing but "
work shy scroungers"
to the rich and powerful and have to be taught a lesson. Benefits will be stopped if you don't take the first minimum wage job that comes along. I can see problems for disabled workers throughout the country as a result of this policy. For many years disabled people have had a long struggle to get into work. Historically disabled people ended up in factories making soft toys (if they were lucky enough to get work) as they were not deemed to be capable of anything else. Thankfully times have changed and more and more organisations are employing disabled people in the work place. We are a valuable asset to any organisation as we are natural problem solvers and often think outside the box and can arrive at novel and innovative ideas. There are, of course, disabled people who because their impairments are so severe find that they are unable to work. Currently Disability Living Allowance (DLA) offers at least some dignity by offering benefits that help meet the extra costs that being a disabled person often entail and Incapacity Benefits allows those disabled people who are unable to work the means to live. Unfortunately the previous government, in a policy that has been even more than enthusiastically endorsed by this one, decided that there were far too many people on DLA and Incapacity Benefit.

There has been plenty of documented evidence from disabled people who have been
means tested"
for both DLA and Incapacity Benefit. It seems that the "
objective medical assessment"
that is being carried out can be somewhat draconian. I heard on BBC Radio Five recently several examples where disabled people had had benefits reduced or even removed due to a somewhat cavalier approach to the assessment. One man who has a fairly severe mobility impairment and who cannot walk without severe pain was asked "
Can you walk?"
He answered that he "
could walk a short distance but he was in severe pain. The assessor recorded that the claimant "
could walk"
. Another claimant who was in receipt of Incapacity Benefit was deemed fit for work despite needing to be hooked up to a respirator 24-hours a day. This to me seems more than just an exercise in ascertaining who receives the right benefit. It is worrying that such outrageous decisions are being made and disabled people who are genuinely entitled to benefits are being stopped them. These people are not scroungers or work-shy, they cannot work because of incapacity. I can envisage disabled people in such a position being forced into work because of a decision based upon inaccurate information and therefore endangering their health and possibly their life. If the government truly wants to enable more disabled people to be able to re-enter the workplace then it needs to ensure that businesses both large and small are aware of and compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and reasonable adjustments are made in a timely fashion. Employers need to be encouraged to employ disabled people and made aware of the benefits of employing a diverse workforce. I would like to see financial help provided by the government, in addition to the Access to Work scheme that ensured that disabled people in the workplace are given the necessary equipment and support.

As it is I am concerned that the policy is just another way of government cutting back on essential services. Poorer people in society and what the government perceives as the weaker elements (i.e. disabled and sick people) are being badly hit by this policy when they are very far from being the cause of it. These are worrying times and I fear that years of progress in obtaining equality for disabled people will be eaten away in the name of financial thriftiness. s
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PostSubject: Re: Has the UK lost the plot !!!!!!!   Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:12 pm

Agree agree agree.

But what we must all remember is the work shy. These are the people that have the bad backs etc. We know of them in the UK and here in BG as well. These are people that do NOT deserve any benefits of any kind. In fact it is these idiots that possibly have caused the others to suffer.

I am all for the genuine disabled getting every penny they are entitled to but not the work shy

One guy we know could walk run and jump, then all of a sudden he was in a wheel chair just happens it was about the same time as the assessor came round, would you also believe that this bloke was supposed to be a man of the cloth. Still he got his new car paid for by us all of course.

Another one is a lady who got a car benefit because she had bunions. Bunions indeed and has been doing so for years, plus she had a successful operation to rectify the problem, still kept the car though. Reforms are needed because some people take the p**s and it is the real genuine people that suffer as a result

Cast off all care, inhale fresh air.
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PostSubject: Re: Has the UK lost the plot !!!!!!!   Sat Jan 08, 2011 3:32 pm

I'm just shocked by the changes. I think it is unfair that money is being taken away from disabled people. I know the government says it wants to target those who need the money, but this doesn't reassure anyone at all. The government is playing with a system that is working at the moment. People are going to fall through the cracks.

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