The Impact Of Welfare Changes

Scottish Health & Welfare Staff in Lanarkshire to be Trained to Spot Health Impacts of Benefits Changes

Both North and South Lanarkshire councils are taking the lead in dealing with the changes. Janice Scouller, health improvement lead for the North West Unit, who is overseeing the welfare reform work in NHS Lanarkshire, said: “The welfare benefits system is undergoing the most significant reform since its establishment. “It is resulting in unprecedented numbers of individuals having their benefit entitlement reviewed, which is resulting in many being financially worse off.

The changes will disproportionately affect vulnerable individuals, many of whom suffer ill health and disability and who rely on benefits as their main source of financial income. We know from previous experience that this will impact on health services as poverty associated illnesses, such as stress, increase. “We not only want staff to be aware of this but to also look out for the signs of deteriorating health in patients.” It is estimated the welfare changes will result in:

disabled people in Scotland losing over £1 billion in benefit payments

100,000 claimants losing entitlement to sickness benefit

50,000 losing entitlement to disability payments

83,000 disabled households affected by the ‘bedroom tax’.

Janice continued: “Patients are also likely to turn to some of our staff for advice and support and we want staff to signpost people to the correct place.
“GPs and other health care professionals may also be asked to give support in the appeals process of some claimants whose benefit has changed. “All this will have an impact on the NHS and we want to prepare staff for this.

The brutal treatment of those least able to cope and in need of help and understanding must surely sway any still, “undecided” Scot to vote, “yes” in the referendum. Scotland is better than this.

http://www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk/publications/Documents/Pulse-January-February-2014.pdf

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Civil Service – Taking Responsibility

The minister responsible for civil service reform, Francis Maude, does not understand leadership, the former head of the service has told the BBC. Lord Butler of Brockwell said what he called, “backstairs sniping” showed contempt for the civil service. Mr Maude recently said Whitehall should take more responsibility for errors. A spokesman for Mr Maude said the civil service was full of brilliant people but held back by a hierarchical system and rigid culture.

Dumped On

In a recent newspaper interview Mr Maude suggested civil servants should, “speak truth to power” more often. His sentiments have met with a frosty response from the man who was for a decade cabinet secretary and head of the civil service. Lord Butler told BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster, “I agree with that, but people are not encouraged to speak truth to power when in the same breath in the same interview they are told that they will be dumped on when things go wrong. “I’m sorry to say, I really think that Mr Maude and some of his colleagues don’t understand leadership.” He continued, “My view is that the relationship between ministers and the civil service works best when they work together in a mutually supportive relationship, with loyalty on both sides.
“And backstairs sniping, whichever side it comes from, shows that something is wrong and there’s been too much of that backstairs sniping.” Lord Butler, who served under prime ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair, said there was that sort of criticism of civil servants in the media, “almost every single day”.

Sweeping under carpet

BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins said there were clear tensions in Whitehall about both changes to the civil service, and controversies in which the most senior civil servants in government departments – permanent secretaries – had been publicly criticized. Mr Maude’s spokesman said, “The civil service has brilliant people but somehow ends up being less than the sum of its parts because of a hierarchical system and a rigid culture. “It’s not right to patronize people by pretending that everything is perfect in the best of all possible worlds. “Good leadership is not about sweeping problems under the carpet. Francis and the leadership of the civil service have highlighted issues which need to be addressed. The same issues are raised in a survey of 200,000 civil servants. “We owe it to the taxpayer, users of public services and civil servants themselves to address these issues in an honest and truthful way. That’s just what we are doing”. “What Francis said was that, “everybody has to take responsibility for what they were part of” – that’s axiomatic and the alternative is no responsibility and no accountability.”

The Elderly & Benefits

Francis Maude-Cabinet Office Minister Tells Elderly to Go on-Line or Lose Your Benefits

1. The elderly will soon have to have to go on online or risk losing access to key government services.
2. Refuseniks, who do not want to use computers will be able to apply for a one-off lesson to help them get on to the internet.
3. In future the Government will only make services available over the internet, in the same way an airline sells tickets.
4. Ministers are migrating dozens of public services onto the internet, including the carers’ allowance, (used by 3.2million carers a year), the small claims service, and Lasting Powers of Attorney, (which allow families to take control of a loved one’s financial affairs).

The comments were greeted with dismay by groups representing the estimated five million pensioners in their 80s and 90s who have never been on the internet.

Mr Maude was unveiling figures to an audience of civil servants at the Treasury showing the billions saved by the Government by moving Government services online. Asked by the Telegraph if all Government services would be online at some stage, he said: “Our point is that everything that can be delivered online, should be delivered online and only online.” He added: “There are some things that are physical and can’t be online. The key point is that like airlines, airlines do everything that is not physical, is not about actually flying the aeroplanes online, which is better for them and better for the passenger.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/10889563/Go-on-the-internet-or-lose-access-to-government-services-Francis-Maude-tells-pensioners.html#disqus_thread

1. Dot Gibson, general secretary of the, “National Pensioners’ Convention”, said: “The move towards largely digital only services could pose a huge problem for millions of older people. Over five million of today’s pensioners have never been online, and this is particularly true for those who are at the upper end of the pensioner age group, in their 80s or 90s. “It’s also a problem for poorer pensioners who may not be able to afford a computer and the other equipment needed. Fundamentally there’s an information gap that the government are creating. “Just because someone uses the computer now, doesn’t mean they will want to when they are 85. The idea that we all have to be digital citizens or else we end up as second-class citizens is wrong.”

2. Lisa Harris, Saga’s communications manager, said: “It is somewhat disingenuous to assume that everybody wants to be online. Recent research shows that the vast majority of those that are not online have made a conscious choice not to be. “To say that all ‘old’ people should be online and all they need is a little mollycoddling is somewhat patronising. “Government needs ensure that people have proper protection online, such as ensuring banks and financial institutions treat those who make genuine mistakes fairly, but also provide help and advice for those that want it. “It is essential that people are able to deal with public services in a way that suits them. The digital tide is certainly turning, but Government need to ensure we can all ride the technology wave and not leave some left to drown unaided because they don’t choose to ‘conform’.”

The Bedroom Tax

Bedroom Tax

Under the Con/Dems and/or Labour Government (if elected), people in social housing will receive a cut in housing benefit where they are deemed to have spare bedrooms. Take careful note all you council and Housing association tenants.

Ed Miliband, The Labour leader claimed financial help for disabled people hit by the so-called bedroom tax was outweighed by cuts in other benefits they receive.

David Cameron Con/Dem Prime Minister said the figures put forward by Miliband to support his claim were “completely wrong” and said the coalition government was exempting a range of vulnerable groups from paying the bedroom tax.

There is a way out of this madness vote, “Yes” in the referendum. Take Scotland back. Let us decided for ourselves what our policies are to be.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9912660/PMQs-David-Cameron-and-Ed-Miliband-clash-over-bedroom-tax.html

New Labour – Multiculturalism – Uncontrolled Immigration – Secretly Orchestrated by Blair and Brown

 

 

 

 

 

New Labour – (Tony Blair & Gordon Brown) Architects of Destruction

There was a huge increase in migrants in the time Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were in office, though Labour persistently denied any politically motivated left wing agenda radically altering the make-up of British society.

The populist word was “multiculturalism” completion of which would change the country forever  “rubbing the rights nose in diversity,” according to Andrew Neather, (former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.)

The cynical  abuse of the nation was later admitted by Labour politicians to be the means of significantly increasing the Labour Party voter base.

The assumption being that most immigrants would naturally  give their support to Labour.

Adding to the numbers, illegal immigration, over the same period exceeded 1.5million.

The bulk of the illegal immigrants remaining in the UK operate in the “black economy” (annual turnover £300billion).

 

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Brexit

The blame for  the success of “Brexit” in the recent referendum can be wholly attributed to the abusive policies of New Labour .

Records indicate that EU immigration primarily added migrants who, possessed the skills needed to help build the economy and were keen to assist in the process of multiculturalism.

It is sad that this hard working group are bundled in the minds of the electorate into a group called  “immigrants”.

 

 

 

 

Multiculturalism – The Labour Party – Uncontrolled ImmigrationA trip down memory lane just to jog the grey matter.

Secret papers suggest that the Labour Party threw open the doors to mass migration in a deliberate policy to change the social make-up of the UK.

A draft report from the Cabinet Office showed that ministers wanted to ‘maximise the contribution’ of migrants to their ‘social objectives’.

The number of foreigners allowed in the UK increased by as much as 50 per cent in the wake of the report, written in 2000.

Melting pot: Labour’s diversity drive is exposed in secret papers Labour has always justified immigration on economic grounds and denied it was using it to foster multiculturalism.

But suspicions of a secret agenda rose when Andrew Neather, former government adviser and speech writer for Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, said:

“the aim of Labour’s immigration strategy is to rub the rights’ nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date”.

 

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Neather also said Labour’s relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to:

“open up the UK to mass migration” but ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss the move publicly for fear it would alienate the core working class vote.

As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.”

Critics said the revelations showed a “conspiracy” within Government to impose mass immigration for “cynical” political reasons.

Some 2.3 million migrants were added to the population since then, according to Whitehall estimates quietly slipped out on a good day to release bad news..

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migration Watch think tank, said:

“Now at least the truth is out, and it’s dynamite. Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock up but also a conspiracy. They were right. This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage.”

The chairmen of the cross-party Group for Balanced Migration, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, said:

“We welcome this statement by an ex-adviser, which the whole country knows to be true. “It is the first beam of truth that has officially been shone on the immigration issue in Britain.”

A Home Office spokesman said:

“Our new flexible points based system gives us greater control on those coming to work or study from outside Europe, ensuring that only those that Britain need can come.

Britain’s borders are stronger than ever before and we are rolling out ID cards to foreign nationals, we have introduced civil penalties for those employing illegal workers and from the end of next year our electronic border system will monitor 95 per cent of journeys in and out of the UK. The British people can be confident that immigration is under control.    (This was a big big lie.)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

 

 

 

 

 

A Decade Later – Multiculturalism Fails – 4 Million Immigrants – White Minority Areas Expanding

Demos, the Left-wing think-tank, said its analysis of Census data for England and Wales showed ethnic minorities are concentrating in particular areas and white people are moving out.

The findings echo a phenomenon first seen in the mid-20th century United States – where it was dubbed “white flight” – which saw racially-mixed urban areas become predominantly black as affluent whites moved to the suburbs.

The research is significant because Demos, which was once closely linked with the previous Labour government which increased immigration to record levels, suggested ethnic minorities are becoming more isolated in British life rather than becoming more integrated in a “multi-cultural” Britain.

It found 4.6 million ethnic minority Britons – about 45 per cent of the country’s black and Asian population – are now living in areas where whites are in a minority.

Ten years ago just 1 million black and Asian people, or 25 per cent of the country’s then total ethnic minority population, lived in such communities, said Demos.

Ed Miliband acknowledged that the last government made mistakes presiding over the most rapid expansion of our foreign-born population in history.

He conceded that wages were being depressed by the influx of immigrant labour and that British workers had found it more difficult to get a job as a result. Up to now, this has always been denied by the ministers responsible.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10037764/Ethnic-majority-areas-growing-says-report.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/9912907/Labour-has-only-hollow-words-on-immigration.html

 

 

 

 

he 21st Century Nuclear Arsenal – A Report by the American Security Project

The 21st Century Nuclear Arsenal – A Report by the American Security Project

The policy of the United States is clear. The, “Nuclear Weapons Umbrella” maintained by the USA, serves not only to deter attack on the USA, but also to protect their allies’ security. The deterrent covers NATO, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Australia.

Rethinking and Reshaping the American Nuclear Deterrent and its Forces for the 21st Century

1. Nuclear weapons have been a bulwark of the U.S. national security strategy for nearly seven decades. The thinking surrounding the employment of these weapons is nearly as old. The international system has changed greatly since that time, and consequently, America’s nuclear strategy must change to adapt to this new system or risk fading into ineffectiveness and irrelevancy.

2. Massive arsenals of politically unusable weapons simply no longer fit the deterrent needs of the United States — and the size of the U.S. arsenal is an irrelevant factor in deterring proliferation. Therefore, U.S. national security is better served by diverting resources toward strategies, weapons, and equipment that are designed to address the challenges it faces today.

3. To move toward a new effective strategy, the U.S. should develop a three-tiered strategy for deterrence; reduce in size it’s nuclear arsenal; reanalyze and better coordinate its counter-proliferation efforts; and ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Lawmakers and the media should address these issues with the breadth and seriousness they deserve.

Summary; Major change is beyond the talking stage. The USA nuclear arsenal is to be much reduced. The cost of maintaining it is prohibitive. Nuclear weapons require a nations available finance to be diverted away from conventional forces, (witness the massive reductions in the UK armed forces in the last year or so). The USA will increase their conventional forces, finance being diverted away from nuclear weapons that will never be used.

http://www.americansecurityproject.org/the-21st-century-nuclear-arsenal/

First Report of the Deep Cuts Commission – Reducing Nuclear Weapons

First Report of the Deep Cuts Commission – Preparing for Deep Cuts: Options for Enhancing Euro-Atlantic and International Security – April 2014

http://www.deepcuts.org/files/pdf/First_Report_of_the_Deep_Cuts_Commission_English.pdf

1. Four years ago, the United States and the Russian Federation concluded the New START Treaty. Even after New START, however, both nations will still possess nuclear arsenals that far exceed reasonable deterrence requirements. Both continue to rely on nuclear weapons employment strategies that are based on traditional Cold War planning assumptions, with hundreds of nuclear arms assigned to targets in each other’s territory and available for prompt launch.

2. Achieving further nuclear reductions could enhance national, Euro-Atlantic, and international security to the benefit of all states. This first report
by the trilateral German-Russian-U.S. Deep Cuts Commission examines a number of obstacles impeding progress and it offers practical options that would enable the key parties to make headway. While the current environment does not promise an early breakthrough on further nuclear reductions, this report recommends that all sides should pursue a more energetic dialogue and explore a range of options to overcome and resolve key obstacles.

3. Even before Washington and Moscow agree to begin formal negotiations on a New START follow-on agreement, measures can be taken to achieve further strategic reductions within the current treaty framework. One option is for the United States to accelerate the pace of planned reductions so that nuclear force levels reach or fall below the New START limits ahead of the 2018 implementation deadline for the Treaty.

4. This measure could be accomplished through executive action by the U.S. President. Russia is already below two of the three numerical limits in the Treaty. The United States could also commit itself to continue reducing below New START limits toward the levels of Russian forces, which would be consistent with the results of the Nuclear Posture Review conducted by the Obama administration. Such reductions could improve the political landscape.

The Role of the USA & Russia

1. Russia and the United States should initiate talks on a New START follow-on agreement mandating additional significant and stabilizing cuts — for example, establishing limits of 500 deployed strategic delivery vehicles and 1,000 deployed strategic warheads for each side.

2. In order to enhance prospects for achieving a follow-on agreement, the United States should accelerate New START-mandated reductions ahead of the 2018 implementation deadline; the United States and Russia could consider further independent, reciprocal force reductions below New START ceilings.

3. Russia and the United States should reinvigorate bilateral strategic stability talks with the goal of pursuing confidence-building initiatives that help to address concerns relating to missile defense, tactical nuclear weapons, conventional precision-guided weapons, and outer space weapons. They should at the same time engage other nuclear-weapon states and encourage them to improve transparency and eventually to freeze or reduce their arsenals, using any useful precedents from the U.S.-Russian experience.

The Role of Germany

1. Germany has a role in addressing European security issues. It is a responsible NATO ally and participates in the alliance’s nuclear sharing arrangement. Through these arrangements, Berlin is involved in discussions on the future of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe and the planned deployment of missile defense systems by NATO.

2. Germany is a reliable long-term cooperation partner of Russia and its second largest trading partner. Germany is also a champion of cooperative arms control in Europe.

3. The future of the OSCE and the CFE Treaty are important vertices of German foreign and security policy. Berlin has always been interested in a cooperative U.S.-Russian relationship. The benefits of cooperation have helped Germany, together with its allies and partners, to shape a peaceful Europe.

4. Germany has emerged as a vocal proponent of international disarmament. Under the frame-work of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative—a group of 12 middle powers—Berlin advances policies and concepts for multilateral nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Addressing Tactical Nuclear Weapons

1. The United States and Russia should reconfirm their mutual commitment to the 1991 and 1992 PNIs, undertaking confidence-building measures such as exchanging data on the total number of nuclear warheads destroyed over the past twenty years, and conducting site visits to former but now empty storage facilities.

2. The United States and Russia should resume the U.S.-Russian dialogue of nuclear experts in order to develop non-intrusive measures to provide for verifiable and irreversible elimination of nuclear weapons. Germany should take the lead within NATO to formulate a coherent NATO policy on the role
of TNWs in Europe and terms for their withdrawal.

3. The CAI provides for a system of air-space monitoring between Norway and Russia, Poland and Russia, and between Turkey and Russia and concurrently connects (through data transmission) two coordination centers (one in Warsaw and one in Moscow) with data collection units. The CAI’s mandate and facilities could be expanded to include the BMD function as well.

4. In addition, the parties Russia and the United States should intensify efforts to make their BMD capabilities more transparent, considering the options of data exchanges on certain technical criteria and joint annual exercises on the tactical and theater BMD level. NATO should make more explicit the connection between Iran’s nuclear and missile threats and the pace and scope of NATO’s EPAA deployments.

5. NATO and Russia should initiate discussions about long-term options for a joint NATO-Russian BMD study center and/or a center for NATO-Russian surveillance and monitoring of missile threats and space objects, possibly building on the NATO-Russia Cooperative Air-space Initiative