PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 24 Apr 2018, 05:20

See THIS report in the Guardian on the news that the use of food banks run by the Trussel Trust has risen 13% since Universal Credit was brought in. They are handing out more and more three day emergency packs of food. Why isn't this a big news story? Probably for the same reason that whilst wealthy Chinese have no problem getting permission to stay in the UK people like the Windrush children and many other commonwealth citizens are threatened with deportation, the latter are poor and of no account.
There is a lot of talk about anti-Semitism, we need the same amount of attention directed towards the neglect of the poor, it is just as discriminatory as racism and causes more damage.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 27 Apr 2018, 04:18

See THIS BBC report on the latest crime figures. Can anyone doubt the effect of reducing police budgets as a factor? The Tories will respond by saying how much money they are injecting but make no mention of the reduction in police funding, numbers and operational capacity under austerity. They crow about borrowing being reduced but this is the hidden cost.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 10 May 2018, 05:41

See THIS report on Chris Grayling's promise to digitise the signalling on all our railways. He says that it is the equivalent of ditching steam.... That went well didn't it! By not opting for electrification but sticking to diesels they condemned us to falling behind the rest of Europe's railways. Now they say they can fix this with digitisation.... Why does this not fire me with optimism? Look at the cut backs to electrification, quietly dropped on many lines after extensive promises and the schemes that are progressing in the South are running late and way above budget. Then there is the fact that it is Grayling who is promising this..... I shall believe it when I see it.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 11 May 2018, 03:39

I saw part of the BBC programme on ambulances last night and the situation is quite dreadful in terms of waiting times at hospitals. All those assets sat parked up! Trouble is that it is becoming the norm, the people in the programme were not talking about eliminating waiting tomes but reducing them. This situation is becoming 'normal'.
The government announce they are making £50million available to grammar schools to enable them to expand. This has provoked outrage from the government, the head teachers, the unions and teachers themselves. It is disgraceful that the government is continuing to promote grammar schools by other means when they were forced to drop legislation after May's failed General Election. This at a time when parents in many schools are being asked to give donations to fund normal school expenses like text books.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 17 May 2018, 05:36

Anyone who has been following the rising crime figures and falling prosecution rates will be aware of the fact that the overall cut of 35% in police funding is taking effect. Add to this the diversion of resources into other matters as crime becomes more complicated and we learn that some forces are setting up response lines where personnel untrained in police matters assess 999 calls against a check list on screens and inform complainants whether they can expect a response or not. This is becoming the norm as there is a chronic shortage of trained detectives.
One of the key responsibilities of governance is to maintain law and order and support the victims. This is now no longer being observed. Look at other public services as well and you will find the same picture. This is the reality of austerity and public service cuts and is utterly shameful. How much further can they go?
Part of the answer to that question my be HERE, get used to the idea, it is coming....... and when it happens private security forces on gated communities will agitate for the same rights.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 17 May 2018, 08:45

All made worse by the fact that we can expect more gated communities and therefore more private security forces. It's not only driven by people being made fearful for their safety; there's another driver and it relates to the troubles over freehold properties being hit with service charges. We've seen how even buying a freehold house can now lead to unexpected charges for services. The developers have caught onto this way of not only making more money but keeping a continuing flow of cash from each property. Making a development into a gated community has the immediate advantage that the developer can apply charges for maintaining the security and then can add on charges for other services too. A Cunning Wheeze! Of course it's always likely that the developer will then sell on the whole package to another company, which then sells it on again...until it ends up owned by someone in Russia or China.

By the way, I knew that our local water company, Wessex Water, has been owned for some years by YTL, a Malaysian company. But I hadn't known that previous to that it had been owned by that well-known US shady outfit Enron which was done for fraud, hence the sale to YTL.

And here's another bit of Private Eye type news (but this time from The Times)...we all know of Zoopla, the successful British property market company, and it's now to be sold to an American company. A Times correspondent noted how when GKN was to be sold to Melrose, the Daily Mail made a big fuss about selling off a great British company but it has said nothing similar about Zoopla. Why? Could it be because the Mail's owner, DMGT, owns 30% of Zoopla and stands to make £600 million out of the sale? :smile:

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 18 May 2018, 03:20

You are quite right Tiz. Life gets more complicated these days, there are always wheels within wheels and hidden linkages. Some of the ones that are flagged up in PE are quite astonishing, even our sainted Theresa isn't immune, go and have a dig! I know I'm a dinosaur living in a fools paradise but life was simpler 50 years ago......
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 30 May 2018, 05:31

See THIS for one of many reports about the dire service HMRC are offering. All part of the general deterioration in government services due to cuts leading to under-staffing. Anyone who has dealt with them knows that response times are glacial.... Remember our saga with them over Janet's will? We are not alone......
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 04 Jun 2018, 05:40

Amber Rudd told us that cuts in police numbers had nothing to do with rising crime. See THIS report of what Sir Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Manchester said yesterday on Today. It apples equally to intelligence about gangs and knife crime. Question is, who do you think is nearest to the truth?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 06 Jun 2018, 05:14

See THIS report about motor scooter crime in London. Once again Cressida Dick says it is falling but overall the evidence is that it is much worse than five years ago. Once again, who do you believe?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by plaques » 06 Jun 2018, 06:52

Are we playing with numbers here?
Crassida Dick. Quote- "When I came in April 2017, moped crime had been going up," she told the Home Affairs Select Committee, "but for the last several months we have seen a 50% reduction."
Is this a 50% reduction on the total number or 50% of the rate of increase ie: was 200 a month increase now only 100 a month increase. I only asked.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tripps » 06 Jun 2018, 18:06

plaques wrote:
06 Jun 2018, 06:52
Are we playing with numbers here?
My thought exactly. She actually did some helpful hand movements to go with the numbers indicating which way was up, and which way was down. Unless the interviewer is Andrew Neil - they're on fairly safe ground quoting numbers - it's almost a mark of pride for even quite well educated people to claim ignorance of maths. :smile:

They are told now not to 'get into' arithmetic. What's eight times nine?
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 07 Jun 2018, 02:55

I noted the same thing but she couldn't avoid the important number, the massive increase over the last five years allied to the general increase in violent crime. Add to that the fact that the police themselves are saying that staffing numbers are affecting the figures.....
As you know I put a lot of faith in any report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation based on their record over the last 130 years. See THIS Telegraph report that details this as well as their own poll on food banks. These figures are a disgrace and highlight the fact that the benefit system is failing the poor. The government response is to say that the best way to fight poverty is to work. Fat lot of good that will do!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 07 Jun 2018, 11:25

plaques wrote:
06 Jun 2018, 06:52
Is this a 50% reduction on the total number or 50% of the rate of increase?
Another way in which numbers mislead is when we are not told whether the statistic applies to the UK; or to England; or to England and Wales; or to England, Wales and Scotland. :confused:

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 08 Jun 2018, 03:19

The other common trick is to quote national averages and not the figures for local hot spots that are much worse. Charles Webster again!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 15 Jun 2018, 06:21

See THIS Guardian report on the savaging of the new Universal Credit by the National Audit Office. They say that it is not working to help claimants as promised but is in fact associated with reports of debt, evictions and increased use of food banks where it is rolled out. The government's response is that it will improve and get more people into work, in other words save public money. It is becoming increasingly obvious that even if the concept is good, the execution is terrible and is causing increased distress and deprivation amongst the poorest people. Good to tell where government priorities lie......
Later at 08:00. I have been listening to Alok Sharma (Alok Sharma was appointed Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions on 9 January 2018.) defending Universal credit and he dodged every direct question. Even on his figures 20% of claimants are suffering. At no point was any sympathy expressed for those who have undoubtedly suffered during the chaotic roll out of this policy.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 20 Jun 2018, 05:48

See THIS Times report of the handing of the fire fighting contract to Capita. This despite the firm having the highest risk rating. It would appear that they have learned nothing from the Carillion affair.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 20 Jun 2018, 08:42

The Times page only gives a paragraph or so then demands a subscription, but here's a Guardian page that gives the full story: LINK We get the impression that the MoD didn't take a final look to check the current risk rating of Capita before it made the award. On the other hand the Guardian article says:
Unite condemned the decision to award the contract to Capita. Jim Kennedy, the union’s national officer for MoD workers, said: “It is absolutely scandalous that even though the MoD’s own financial check found that awarding a contract to Capita was extremely risky, ministers thought it appropriate to award this contract. “The government has clearly learnt nothing from the Carillion fiasco. There needs to be an urgent investigation into how and why this contract was let to Capita.”
which suggests the MoD knew about the bad rating when it made the award. Perhaps the choice of supplier of services should have been left to the union instead?

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 21 Jun 2018, 02:32

I think it's the old Bevanite argument about controlling the strategic heights of the economy on a slightly smaller scale. Little discussed but I think a scandal in the making is the outsourcing of decommissioning and clean up of old nuclear installations. Private eYE HAS BEEN MAKING SOME INTERESTING COMMENTS ABOUT THIS OF LATE AND THEY ARE USUALLY ON THE RIGHT TRACK. (bugger caps lock!)
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 21 Jun 2018, 09:36

Have you been listening to the Radio 4 programmes on The Long March of Corbyn's Labour?

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 22 Jun 2018, 03:45

Yes I have Tiz and I think it's a very balanced assessment. No politician is perfect and Corbyn and his allies are no different in that respect than the others but I find his directness very refreshing, there is less of this quality in the Tories!
I suspect there is a cat fight going on at the moment for resources as the dire effects of austerity strike home and the current climb-down over the NHS has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons. Phil is going to throw cold water on the protagonists with 'steady as she goes' and perversely (In terms of my metaphor) this will stoke the fires!
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 22 Jun 2018, 08:43

I'd be more willing to give Corbyn a chance if he'd come out of the allotment foliage and engage in some interviews so that we could better assess his abilities.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 25 Jun 2018, 05:54

Notable how sparse the news is about the promise of funding for the NHS. Hunt has kicked the whole thing into touch by asking for consultations on possible savings. How long will this take? Does this mean no money until these matters are agreed? Add the problems of other ministers clamouring for funding, for instance defence....
See THIS report on Gavin Williamson threatening to 'bring Theresa May down' if he doesn't get his way.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 27 Jun 2018, 05:51

See THIS BBC report on the ditching of the proposed women's community prisons. I think this comes under the heading of a public service cut, no doubt triggered by the coming drain on resources as the NHS funding crisis is addressed.
I'm glad this has happened, far too many women gaoled for non-violent crimes when they need help more than punishment.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 03 Jul 2018, 05:44

Not often there's a bright spot in any service THIS cut but caught my attention this morning. It's heralded as 'extra spending' but in fact could be a saving to the NHS.
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