New Hotels added daily AccesstoLondon.co.uk   

Lords Reform Set To Be Cancelled Next Week

Lords Reform Set To Be Cancelled Next Week

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2012
  • By:
  • Comments: 0

The Prime Minister is expected to shelve Lords reform

Tory supporters of the Prime Minister don’t support the change in the House of Lords

But the Government is now said to be preparing to shelve the plans, which would slash the number of members in the House of Lords

If these plans go ahead. The House of Lords will be 80% elected.
The Lib Dems are already  preparing to retaliate , they have already warned they could block boundary changes that could hand the Tories an extra 20 seats at the next election.

It has been stated by a spokesman Lib Dem spokesman made clear there would be “consequences” for a failure to see through the constitutional change, which the party has insisted is part of the coalition agreement.

“Our position is pretty well established on what would happen if they failed to deliver. A deal is a deal,” the spokesman said. He also dismissed the possibility that the junior coalition partner would accept the U-turn if they are given other concessions on energy or party finance as “for the birds

Last month  the Government was forced to drop a timetable motion for the Bill, which would have restricted Parliamentary debate, because of dissent in the Tory ranks.

The vote still went ahead because of Labour support but 91 Tories still voted against the motion.
Mr Cameron is now thought to have insufficient time to draft the new reform Bill before September

However, Lords reform is at pressing issue for all parties involved. As especially for  Mr Clegg because he has already lost a referendum on another key constitutional policy – changing the voting system to AV.

Senior figures in the coalition  are now working on a new agreement to cover policies for the next two years.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said: “Nick Clegg marched his MPs through the voting lobbies in support of the harsh and unfair policies of this Tory-led Government in anticipation of receiving Lords reform in return.

“But now Nick Clegg may end up with nothing, ruthlessly exposing his naivety. Millions of people struggling through the tough economic times will question his political priorities.”

Electoral Reform Society chief executive Katie Ghose said: “This reform is vital for Britain to hold its head up as a modern democracy but it is being sabotaged by MPs who think it will work against their own interests.

“The second chamber makes laws about life in Britain, it should belong to the British public and not be a play-thing for politicians to use in their squabbling with each other.”

Tags: , ,
Kofi Annan Steps Down As UN Envoy To Syria

Kofi Annan Steps Down As UN Envoy To Syria

  • Posted: Aug 02, 2012
  • By:
  • Comments: 0

Kofi Annan is quitting as UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria, as the civil war in the country spirals further out of control.

Kofi Annan Steps Down As UN Envoy To Syria

Kofi Annan Steps Down As UN Envoy To Syria

UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has quit his post, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says.

Mr Ban announced the resignation of Mr Annan, who was named to the post on February 23.

The UN leader stated Mr Annan deserved “our profound admiration”.

Mr Annan’s resignation, which is effective as of August 31, as the civil war in Syria spirals further out of control.

Syrian rebels bombarded a military air base in the northern city of Aleppo using a tank captured from government troops.

It has been reported dozens of people were killed in a raid near the capital Damascus.

The first indications the rebels are starting to extend the heavy weapons is the aleppo report that they managed to capture in the past weeks from the Syrian army.

Later, a nearby village was removed by government forces out of that same airbase.

The report, however, represents an escalation in the battles between the two sides.

Up to this point, rebel forces have suffered because of a huge disparity in armaments with Syria’s well-armed military.

The United Nations earlier confirmed that rebels battling president Bashar al Assad’s regime now have heavy armour.

There was no indication that Thursday’s attack on the airbase was effective in any way, but we must bear in mind that the Syrian army has a lot more tanks and armoured vehicles than the rebels.

Tags: , , ,
The shirking Classes Just 1 in 14 incapacity claimants is unfit to work

The shirking Classes Just 1 in 14 incapacity claimants is unfit to work

  • Posted: Jul 31, 2012
  • By:
  • Comments: 0

The shirking classes: Just 1 in 14 incapacity claimants is unfit to work and 39 per cent are actually fit  for employment.

Getting tough: A survey found the that 39 per cent of people who claimed incapacity benefits were actually fit to work, while a further 17 per cent could get a job with the right support.

More than one in three dropped out in the application process and only one in 14 was too sick to undertake any employment.

 Around 1.3million tests were made between October 2008 and last November – with 88,700 people found completely unfit to work.

However, MPs  and pensions select committee yesterday claimed the tests were flawed.

They found that large numbers of seriously unwell claimants had been wrongly refused support and that large numbers of appeals had proved successful.

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb stated the support was available to help people get into jobs, while David Cameron said the Government was producing a system that ‘really put people through their paces’.

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb

During a visit to Wales, the Prime Minister said

 ‘For too long in this country we have left people on welfare for year after year when those people, with help and with assistance, could work.”

‘And so we’re producing a much better system where we really put people through their paces and say that if you can work, you should work.

‘We’ll be there to help you with the training and the skills but what we are finding, and the figures show today, is that only one in four of the people who apply for the new benefit are actually found to be unable to work. The rest are able to work and we’re going to help them to get jobs. That will be good for them, good for their families and good for our economy.’

 Joseph Doherty.

Benefits authorities captured footage of Joseph Doherty working on on a construction

FALSE CLAIMS

 Last week Joseph Doherty claimed £70,000 in benefits for back pain, despite spending around 10 years working on a construction site.

Doherty, who stated he was so disabled he could not wash or dress himself, was cached claiming a considerable amount from benefits.

They filmed him as he turned up to work at a construction firm in Manchester where he was working as site manager, earning £22,000 a year.

The 60-year-old was given a suspended prison term and a community punishment order with £500 costs.

Labour piloted the work capability assessment scheme in 2008 to check whether sickness claimants could hold down a job – and it has since been rolled out across the country for all new claimants.

Almost all existing claimants of Incapacity Benefit will also be assessed for the ESA by March 2014.

That will see Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Income Support paid on the grounds of illness or disability phased out.

Claimants found to be sick are put into three groups: Those who need permanent support; those who might be able to work with some months of help; and those fit to work.

People in the latter category are told to resubmit a benefits application – but this time for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

‘However, there are those who are well enough to work but see being on the sick as an easy option.’

Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb said: ‘These figures show that many people are able to work with the right help. We have strengthened the support now available, tailoring it to individual needs so they can overcome whatever barriers they face.’

This graph shows the results from 1.3m tests over a two year period
ATOS Healthcare tests 11,000 claimants a week to see whether they deserve handouts

But Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said: ‘People found fit for work have not been cheating the system. Rather, in most cases, they have engaged with the system with genuine intentions and been turned down for benefits – often wrongly as appeals figures show.’

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber added: ‘The new incapacity benefit assessment is a much tougher test than previously and is designed to save the government money by excluding more people. It is therefore unsurprising that more disabled people have been declared fit for work.’

After almost ten years of Labour rule the number of people receiving sickness handouts for more than five years rose 20-fold.

In May 1997, 68,000 claimants had been in receipt of incapacity benefit for five years or more. By May 2006, the figure had soared to almost 1.5million.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics also showed that between 1997 and 2010 the number of households in which no one has worked rose from 184,000 to 352,000.

 

Tags: , ,
Gauke Cash For Tradesmen Is ‘Morally Wrong’

Gauke Cash For Tradesmen Is ‘Morally Wrong’

  • Posted: Jul 24, 2012
  • By:
  • Comments: 0

The Government strives to cut tax loopholes, Treasury minister David Gauke slams the “cash-in-hand” culture.

The public appears split over whether tradesmen should be paid cash-in-hand.

Paying tradesmen cash-in-hand is “morally wrong” because it can help workers avoid tax, a Treasury minister hasdeclared.

Exchequer Secretary David

 Exchequer Secretary David Gauke made the claim after giving a speech outlining new Government plans to crack down on aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

He warned that the persons who pay workers such as cleaners or gardeners in cash could be taking money out of the UK economy.

“Getting a discount with your plumber by paying cash in hand is something that is a big cost to the Revenue and means others have to pay more in tax,” Mr Gauke said.

“I think it is morally wrong. It is illegal for the plumber but it is pretty implicit in those circumstances that there is a reason why there is a discount for cash. That is a large part of the hidden economy.”

 The Government insisted to focus on reforming the tax system.


Tradesmen fail to pay VAT by not declaring payments, Gauke says

 Robert Oxley from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, told Sky News: “I think ministers need to spend a little more time looking at our tax system than on lecturing people on how they pay their bills.

“Yes, paying something in cash to get a discount and evade tax and is wrong but at a time when many people can… employ clever accountants to find loopholes and avoid tax at the top and the benefits system at the other end is quite easy to take advantage of… the squeezed middle are wondering about the legitimacy of our tax system.”

Tariq Dag Khan, stated: “David Gauke’s comments that it is morally wrong to pay tradesmen in cash do little to help tradesmen who are struggling in a difficult economic climate.

“The Government should be providing guidance for alternatives to cash payments for tradesmen, rather than pointing the finger at an industry that is essential to the UK’s economic recovery.”

At the moment there is no law against paying someone in cash  but it can be a way for traders to avoid declaring all their income or paying VAT.

The Government loses about £2bn each year to the black economy as tradesmen fail to pay VAT or income tax by not declaring payments.

Mr Gauke’s comments, in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, came as HM Revenue and Customs wants to encourage workmen to pay their fair share of taxes.

The minister had earlier announced that tax advisers who use avoidance schemes which push the law to its limits will be named and shamed in a crackdown to help recoup £5bn for the public purse.

The Government released a consultation paper about the plans, which follow a wave of disclosures about the financial loopholes used by the rich people.

Those customers will then be formally warned how much they could owe if the scheme fails to stand up to legal scrutiny.

Comedian Jimmy Carr last month admitted to making a “terrible error of judgment” when it emerged he used a complex scheme to reduce his ta

Tags: ,
Lords Reform: PM Calls For Tory Support

Lords Reform: PM Calls For Tory Support

David Cameron calls on Conservative MPs to back the reform of the House of Lords as a draft Bill is published.

David Cameron has insisted it is time to “make progress” on reform of the House of Lords as a Tory revolt over the controversial legislation starts to bubble.

A draft Bill to create a mostly elected second chamber was published on Wednesday after Nick Clegg declared that MPs have to “just get on with it and got on with it”.

Mr Cameron backed his Deputy Prime Minister, declaring at PMQs (Prim Minister Questions) that progress had to be made on reforming the second chamber despite substantial opposition in his own party.

Mr Clegg wants to refurm the House of Lords and make a high priority for the Coalition, claiming there are more pressing issues such as the economy

It has been discussed at Prim Minister question a 100 times before and its now time to move on and make progress.

There are always going to be opponents of Lords reform in every party but there is a majority in this House of lords and in the country that is a good reform.

“If those who support Lords reform don’t get out there and back it, it won’t happen. That is the crucial point.”

Earlier Mr Clegg stated on Sky News: “There are many more important things in life than House of Lords reform, but we’ve been talking about it as a country for 100 years and all the political parties said at the last general election that they wanted to get this done.

“There’s a very simple principle at stake which I think most people would agree with, which is that people who make the laws of the land should be elected by the people who have to obey the laws of the land.

Houses of parliament

he Bill proposes slashing the number of peers to 450

“It’s as simple as that and I think we should just now get on with it. I hope people won’t tie themselves up in knots in Westminster. Just get on with this – it’s something the country expects us to do, and we should do it.”

The draft Bill, which is the last remnant of Lib Dem constitutional reform plans and is being driven by Mr Clegg, would create an 80% elected Lords and slash membership from 800 to 450.

If this become law, it will remove the hereditary peers from the Lords introduce elected members in groups of 120 at the next three general elections

The process would be complete by 2025 and elected members would serve for a single 15-year term.

In a concession to critics, ministers have scrapped plans for a salary of about £60,000 for members of the new Upper House.

They would instead be paid £300 every day they attend up to a maximum of £45,000-a-year, which would be taxed unlike the current attendance allowance.

The Bill was formally introduced to Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. A date for the opening debate and a crunch vote on the timetable for its progress will be announced on Thursday. They are due to be held before MPs go on holiday on July 17.

Labour wants to join with Conservative rebels to vote down the motion setting out its passage through Parliament, with the Opposition demanding more days for the debate.

Defeat on the timetable would throw the legislation into chaos and could allow opponents of the Bill to delay its progress for months if not years.

The Government insists that all MPs will have have to support the Lord’s reform and anybody who refuse will have to resign or be sacked.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “It is a Government bill. It will be whipped appropriately and if necessary we will use the Parliament Act.”

Tory ministerial aide Conor Burns has quoted that he is prepared to sacrifice his job to vote against the timetable that has been laid out.

“This is a major constitutional change… If we are going to have this debate, we need to have it at length and in full and we should have it in committee on the floor of the House of Commons and we should take as much time as is necessary to do that.

“If I lose my job for something that was a mainstream view within the Conservative Party in the last parliament, which serving Cabinet ministers held as their view, so be it.”

Conservative MP Jesse Norman, who is campaigning against the reforms, has stated that she will vote against it and the Government’s timetable.

Tags: , , ,

PM: We Must End ‘Culture Of Entitlement’

David Cameron is concerned about the welfare system that is causing deep social divisions.

David Cameron has outlined moves toward slashing benefits for families and young people – warning that the welfare system is causing deep social divisions.

The Prime Minister has laid out plans to take away housing benefit from the under-25s, making them to live with their parents.

He has also suggested limiting the time that a particular person would be receiving unemployment benefit, and also gave handouts to those who have large numbers of children.

To his core supporters, Mr Cameron’s has now decided to crackdown on unemployment to make sure people do not do better out of work than in it.

David Cameron is concerned that the Government will not ensure the economy generates employment.

The Prime Minister said: “We have, in some ways, created a welfare gap in this country – between those living long-term in the welfare system and those outside it.

Prime Minister David Cameron meets workers at an Asda Distribution Centre in Dartford, Kent ahead of making a speech about welfare reform. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday June 25, 2012. See PA story POLITICS Welfare. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Prime Minister David Cameron meets workers at an Asda

“Those who are unemployeds and out of work grow up with a series of expectations – you can have a home of your own, the state will support you whatever decisions you make, you will always be able to take out no matter what you put in.

“This has sent out some incredibly damaging signals. That it pays not to work. That you are owed something for nothing.

“It gave us millions of working-age people sitting at home on benefits even before the recession hit. It created a culture of entitlement.

“And it has led to huge resentment amongst those who pay into the system, because they feel that what they’re having to work hard for, others are getting without having to put in the effort.”

At this stage, Mr Cameron is not talking about Government policy, only the potential direction of unemployment.

But it is clear that he would like to see people having to make more effort to find jobs, otherwise they losing their entitlement.

Controversially, he wishess the removal of housing benefit for most under-25s.

“I want to stress that a lot of these young people will genuinely need a roof over their head, like those leaving foster care, or those with a terrible, destructive home life – and we must always be there for them,” his pitch went on.

“But there are many who will have a parental home and somewhere to stay – they just want more independence.

“The point is this: the system we inherited encourages them to grab that independence, rather than earn it. So we have to ask, ‘Up to what age should we expect people to be living at home?'”

The plans are very much Tory aspirations and not a coalition view

David Cameron has outlined moves toward slashing benefits for families and young people – warning that the welfare system is causing deep social divisions.

“Those within it grow up with a series of expectations – you can have a home of your own, the state will support you whatever decisions you make, you will always be able to take out no matter what you put in.

“This has sent out some incredibly damaging signals. That it pays not to work. That you are owed something for nothing.

“It gave us millions of working-age people sitting at home on benefits even before the recession hit. It created a culture of entitlement.

“And it has led to huge resentment amongst those who pay into the system, because they feel that what they’re having to work hard for, others are getting without having to put in the effort.”

The plans are very much Tory aspirations and not a coalition view
It is a radical decision, and one that cuts little ice with either the Labour opposition, or with campaigners for the homeless.

Shelter maintains that, as around half of under-25s on housing benefit have children, the changes envisaged would generate serious and widespread hardship.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “This is a hazy and half-baked plan when we need a serious back-to-work programme for young families.

“Many young families with their first foot on the career ladder will be knocked off if help with their rent is taken away.

“And young families that want to work won’t be able to move where the jobs are.”

It is also clear to the Conservative leadership that the ideas mooted will find little favour with its coalition partners – though that would appear to be part of the plan.

Most commentators believe it is designed to deflect attention from the party’s internal difficulties that started with the rows over the Budget and are now focused on the Government’s plans for Lords reforms – plans that Liberal Democrats love as much as many Tories hate.

In the longer term, the Prime Minister’s pitch seems part of a strategy for the next election – staking out distinctive Tory territory.

His hope, naturally, is for his party to win outright.

The fear is that swathes of vulnerable people could turn out to be the losers

Tags: , , ,