Sep 022014


LORD Livingston’s pathetic defence of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) answers none of the concerns raised by its critics.

The Tory trade minister rejects calls for Britain to exclude the NHS — or any other public service — from the free-trade deal. 

Why? Because it “won’t be affected.”

If TTIP goes ahead, “the NHS will look like it does today,” the minister opines.

He presumably means starved of funds, its workers denied a decent wage, more and more key services outsourced to incompetent private-sector operators?

That’s what we’re afraid of — the permanent imposition of this government’s warped ideology on our health service with all future governments unable to do anything about it.

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Sep 022014

Dominic Grieve

An Attorney General who does his job by giving his cabinet colleagues sound advice, whether they like it or not, may be a nuisance. But at least he does it in private. The problem with sacking him, as David Cameron is rapidly discovering, is that he then tends to give unpalatable advice in public.

So yesterday, Dominic Grieve, who lost his job after pointing out the perils of withdrawing from the European Court of Human Rights, went further than other doubters in questioning the PM’s latest wheeze of stopping British jihadists from returning to Britain.

“Not only does it offend principles of international law,” suggested Grieve with lethal courtesy, “it actually would offend basic principles of our own common law as well.” Like the good lawyer he is, he suggested that “the best course must be to bring these individuals to justice,” and that “we have actually been quite successful in doing just that”. Continue reading »

Sep 022014

But Trade Minister Ian Livingston claimed it was “not necessary” to exempt the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement 

NHS operation-1

No danger: Tories won’t protect the NHS from sharks

The NHS will be at the mercy of predatory US healthcare firms if a controversial trade deal with Washington goes through, a top Tory admitted.

Trade Minister Ian Livingston claimed it was “not necessary” to exempt the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement, known as TTIP.

But health campaigners fear the free trade pact will open up the NHS to profit-hungry American firms.

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Aug 312014
  Money is clawed back from Britain’s poor under new powers, even though cash was paid out after tax office miscalculations
The debt owed to government after more than a decade of overpaying tax credits to some of Britain’s poorest citizens has now reached more than £5.6bn. The startling figure comes as the tax office takes increasingly aggressive steps to claw back money that is often overpaid because of its own errors.

It plans to seize money from around 3,000 people’s bank accounts a year for overpaid tax credits, according to figures released by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), in response to a Freedom of Information request by the campaign group False Economy.

Since tax credits go to those on lower incomes, and mistakes may not be discovered for a year or more, when an overpayment happens without the recipient realising, it can often be impossible for them to find the money to repay. Continue reading »

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