PCS news digest 7 October

7 October 2011

This weekly news digest is a summary of news, campaign articles, media releases and reports from the past week

7 October

Four in 10 disabled children are living in poverty – Children Society

Four in 10 disabled children in the UK – 320,000 – are living in poverty, a new report by The Children Society has revealed.

“I am making this up,” admits Tory minister on facility time – Union News

The Union-News website reported that Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has admitted there is no official information on how much facilities time costs the civil service.

Time to pay up – Red Pepper

Red Pepper magazine featured an article on the European Commission’s decision to table legislation for a financial transaction tax


6 October

‘Reckless and provocative’ redundancy threat for benefits staff – PCS

A PCS media release called the threat of compulsory redundancy given to hundreds of benefits staff a “reckless and provocative” act.

David Cameron’s job search reforms ‘are unrealistic’ – Telegraph

The government’s welfare reform crackdown fails to take into account the cold reality that there “aren’t enough jobs” in the UK labour market to get people off benefits and back to work, according economic think tank the National Institute of Economic and Social Research as reported in the Daily Telegraph.

Blistering anger: young jobless recreate 300-mile Jarrow march in plea for work – Guardian

Guardian journalist Esther Addley joined young people on the New Jarrow March

Timothy Spall stands up for coastguards – PCS

Actor Timothy Spall has signed a petition against the planned closure of coastguard stations and urged his Twitter followers to do the same, read the article on the PCS website.


5 October

Millionaire Cameron’s economic illiteracy causes misery for millions – PCS

Commenting ahead of the prime minister’s speech to the Conservative party conference, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the economy is flatlining because the government is cutting when it should be spending and putting money in people’s pockets.

Northern Ireland health workers strike across six counties – Morning Star

The Morning Star reported that thousands of health professionals formed picket lines at medical facilities across the six counties at the start of a 24-hour strike to save jobs and services.

Job loss fears make stress the main cause of sick leave – CIPD

Worries about job losses have helped stress become the most common cause of long-term sick leave in according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

NASUWT set for pensions ballot – Morning Star

A teaching union began to ballot members for industrial action over pensions, setting up a massive confrontation with the government on 30 November, reported the Morning Star.


4 October

Osborne’s plan to charge workers for employment tribunals angers unions – Guardian

The Guardian reported that George Osborne moved to deregulate the labour market by announcing big fees to deter workers bringing employment tribunal action such as unfair dismissal and race discrimination cases.

400 health experts say reforms will cause ‘irreparable harm’ to the NHS – Telegraph

A Daily Telegraph article reported that Andrew Lansley is facing a fresh revolt over his controversial health reforms as nearly 400 experts warned that the plans would cause the NHS “irreparable harm” and called on the House of Lords to throw them out.

Campaigners name secretive tax havens – Tax Justice Network

Campaign group The Tax Justice Network has launched its 2011 Financial Secrecy Index, which ranks countries that most aggressively provide secrecy in global finance.


3 October

35,000 protesters march on Conservative party conference – Mirror

The Daily Mirror reported that about 35,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Manchester as the Conservative party conference began in the city.

Pension shake-up plans will hit poor – FT

An article in the Financial Times said that plans to raise the state pension age are set to leave a trail of low-income losers amid evidence that poor people live far shorter after retirement than their richer counterparts.


2 October

Welfare plans mean ‘big profits for big business’ – PCS

Plans by the government to further ‘open up’ the welfare state will simply mean “big profits for big business”, according to a PCS media release.

Minister tells jobseekers to look harder if they want benefits – Sunday Times

An article in the Sunday Times said that jobseekers will be compelled to spend more time trying to find work under welfare reforms to be unveiled this week (subscription required).


1 October

Thousands take part in marches against government cuts – STV

STV reported that veteran politician Tony Benn was among those involved in the People First rally in Glasgow, while 1,000 protestors took to the streets in Aberdeen.

The case against austerity – IPPR

A discussion paper by think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research puts the case against austerity.

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