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10 facts about Migrants to the UK that the Daily Mail hopes you never discover

Most recent data show
  1. Just 2.7% of Unemployment Benefit Claimants [JSA] are EU Migrants
  2. 99% of National Insurance Numbers issued to foreigners are for workers not the jobless
  3. EU Migrants from Poland & A8 Countries contribute a net £16bn+ benefit per year to the UK economy [2009 data]
  4. Just 38,000 EU Migrants claim JSA at a cost of £140m to the taxpayer
  5. NHS ‘Tourism’ from overseas visitors using the NHS costs 0.1% of the NHS Budget
  6. EU Immigrants from Poland and other A8 countries pay 39% more in taxes than they get back in state expenditure on them
  7. A UK born person of working age is 150%+ more likely to be receiving benefits than a foreign born person resident in the UK
  8. 93% of foreign born persons of working age in the UK do not receive benefits
  9. EU Migrants from Poland and other A8 countries are 60% less likely to live in Social Housing than UK citizens.
  10. In 2011, 67% of Poles & other EU (A8) nationals who attempt to claim benefits in the UK were refused

The Conservatives are privatising the profits and nationalising the risk…Save UK Rail by@grahamemorris

The North East has a long and proud connection to the railways. In 1825, George Stephenson’s engine – locomotion, became the world’s first steam locomotive to carry passengers, and the public railway was born. In the years following thousands of miles of rail track were laid connecting every part of the UK, as the industrial revolution became driven by steam.

The railways today remain an essential part of our national infrastructure and their success or failure inevitably has an impact on the strength of our economy. However, too many people have been priced out of rail, and those with no option but to commute by rail face excessive year on year fare rises, overcrowding and little sign of improvement despite billions of pounds in subsidies provided to the train operators. According to the report Rebuilding Rail, the cost of a privatised railway has been £1.2 billion a year more, than had it remained in public ownership.

The Northern Rail franchises (North Rail and Transpennine Express), serving a population of around 15 million people, are the latest to be put up for tender under the flawed franchise process. However, prior to the bids, the Government conducted a consultation on how the service should be run. They set out various expectations, including the introduction of Driver Only Operation, whereby there will be no guards or conductors, undermining rail safety, “more modern ticket retailing”, a coded message for ticket office closure and staff redundancies, and an increase to fares, to help pay for better services, despite Government plans to remove existing provisions.

I have previously accused the Conservative Government of taking an ideological approach to railways as they reject any suggestion to return this vital service back into public ownership. However, recent research shows that UK rail services are under state-ownership, they just happen to be the French, German and Dutch states.

Following the decision to award the Scotrail franchise to Dutch state-owned firm Abellio, research has shown that 20 of the UK’s 27 private rail services are owned by foreign state-owned or backed railways. The UK suffers from some of the highest rail prices in Europe, with profits taken out of our railways subsidising lower fares and better services for European commuters.

It is time for Parliament to act, and we require an urgent inquiry into our railways and the dominance of foreign state owned companies providing these services. The Labour Party have promised to take action calling for a UK state owned rail company allowing them to bid for rail franchises. Currently, Directly Operated Railways, the UK publicly owned company which took over the East Coast Mainline when National Express abandoned their contract, have been banned from bidding for the franchise as the Government seeking to privatise the line. However, failed operators, who let the public down and failed to honour their contact are not excluded from the process.

My preferred option would be to return our rail network into public ownership as the franchises expire.  I believe Directly Operated Railways can deliver a better service and value for the taxpayer as they have shown on the East Coast Mainline.

As with health, and energy, the railways are too important to fail due to the catastrophic effect failure would have on the public and our economy. No matter how much or how often private companies fail in any of these sectors, the Government will always bail them out, as we have seen twice on the East Coast Mainline. This is an example of the Government privatising the profits, and nationalising the risk.

As the home of the railways, I want a government who will strengthen services in the north not undermine them. The franchise process fails the nation, but the Government’s rail strategy fails our region.  The importance of the railways as a driver for national growth is such that David Cameron is willing to commit at least £50 billion to High Speed Rail. However, the North East is not included, with high the speed line ending at Leeds. In fact, a consultation document by HS2 and Network Rail suggests by 2033 journey times from Durham to London would be just 11 minutes faster; we are likely to lose direct services to London, and we can expect slower times to major Scottish cities, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow as direct trains are replaced with stopping services.

On this basis, I cannot support HS2, which will be a waste of taxpayers money, fail to improve rail services in the North East, and are likely to contribute to exacerbating the economic imbalance between the North and the South.

The priorities should be to improve our connectivity to major lines and rail services, and we continue to work towards a new rail stop at Horden, Seaview. I would like the Government to get behind these plans, which are a tiny fraction of the cost of HS2, but would see our communities connected to neighbouring cities, and the UK rail network, helping us to create new economic activity and opportunities for our former mining communities.

We need a national plan for rail to make it accessible and affordable to everyone. A service which is run in the public interest, and does not subsidise commuters in Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. We need a rail service which supports efforts to rebalance the UK economy and does not exacerbate the economic divide.

“Andy Burnham writes to Cameron on his failure to answer questions on NHS” by @LabourPress

Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Health Secretary, in a letter to the Prime Minister sent this afternoon, said:

22 October, 2014

Dear Prime Minister,

At Prime Minister’s Questions today Ed Miliband raised the serious issue of the English NHS and its increasingly precarious position after four years of this Conservative Government. Asked five questions about the English NHS, you failed to answer.

You were asked the following questions:

  • Why 16 leading health organisations representing doctors, nurses and patients are warning that health and social care services in England are “at breaking point”. You had no answer to their warnings about what’s happening to the NHS on your watch.
  • You were asked to confirm that in England we have the highest waiting lists for six years, the highest number of people waiting more than four hours in A&E for 10 years, the cancer treatment target missed for the first time ever and millions of people can’t get to see their GP. You had nothing to say on these facts which concern people across England.
  • You were asked about your top-down reorganisation of the NHS, which has wasted £3 billion. You didn’t say whether you agree with a Cabinet colleague that it was a huge mistake.
  • You were asked about the warnings of the Conservative chair of the Health Select Committee about your funding plans and charging in the NHS. You had no answer to her views.
  • You were asked to support the NHS by funding one-week cancer testing with a levy on the tobacco companies and you wouldn’t explain why you refuse to do so.

These are serious issues which are of great concern to the public. On all of them you provided no answers. Instead you attempted to run away from your record on the NHS by launching another attack on the NHS in Wales.

The country and the NHS deserve better. Rather than indulging in smears and diversionary tactics you would be better advised to spend your time addressing the fact that NHS which is at breaking point under your Government.

As you yourself said in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum, “the millions of voices of England must also be heard.” If these words are to mean anything at all then you must immediately address the issues you were asked about today.

Until you focus on saving rather than smearing the NHS, the public will be understandably confronted with the sad truth that all this Government offers is five more years of crisis in the health service.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Burnham MP

Shadow Health Secretary

“100 failings in Education & Training by this Tory Government” by @LabourEoin

Funding Cuts

  1. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, in real terms, education has suffered its largest funding cut since the 1950s (evidence) (evidence)
  2. The £2.5 billion Pupil Premium did not come from additional monies as promised but actually came from within the existing education budget (evidence)
  3. Government Funding for Universities was cut by almost half (evidence & evidence)
  4. The funding for school meals was halved in 2010-11 (evidence)
  5. In 2010-11, the funding for Children & Families was cut by £800m (exactly the same amount that was earmarked for academisation) (evidence)
  6. A Public Accounts Committee report concluded that Michael Gove had no grasp of “value for money” when it came to building schools (evidence)
  7. UK Education Spending as a percentage of GDP has now fallen behind the USA (evidence & evidence)
  8. 77% of Primary Schools said their income fell between 2011/12 and 2012/13 (evidence)

Student Support

  1. Gove scrapped EMA despite evidence it increased participation in Education (post 16) (evidence)
  2. Tuition Fees Tripled to £9,000 (evidence)
  3. Youth Unemployment is up by 5% (evidence)
  4. Number of pupils staying on in education (aged 16-18) has fallen for the first time since 2001 (evidence)
  5. In June 2010, Gove axed Labour’s plan to extend Free School Meals to half a million more children a decision justified by Gove in this letter (evidence)
  6. A FoI query by False Economy exposed that the government are considering retrospectively raising the interest rates on old student loans (evidence)

Free Schools

  1. Cost of establishing Free Schools has more than doubled to £6,600,000 (evidence)
  2. Free Schools perform worse than other schools in Ofsted Inspections (evidence & evidence)
  3. There is no automatic right to Trade Union recognition in Free Schools (evidence)
  4. 8% of Free Schools inspected are deemed to be failing (page 9)
  5. Michael Gove spent £1.1 billion on Free Schools at a time when every major Education spending category was cut (evidence & evidence)
  6. The Average Free School has just 471 School Places which is an inefficient use of taxpayers’ money at a time of restraint (evidence)
  7. Free Schools are projected to cost at least £600 million more than was originally planned (page 8)
  8. 13% of Free Schools are opening in a place where there is no need for them (Labour argue the figure is 51%) (evidence & evidence)
  9. There are concerns about the Financial Management at 8% of Free Schools inspected (evidence)
  10. A quarter of Free School places were unfilled (page 10)
  11. Only 27% of voters support Michael Gove’s Free School policy, yet he continues to ignore the wishes of the majority (evidence)
  12. Michael Gove has handed a Free School over to a profit-making Swedish firm to run (evidence)
  13. Free Schools are taking lower numbers of poorer pupils (pupils on Free School Meals). Many argue this is de facto selection (evidence)
  14. A sample of 30 Free Schools opened in September 2013 showed an average number of just 96 pupils per school (evidence)
  15. Michael Gove wasted £440,000 on Free Schools that didn’t even open [wave 1] (evidence)

Academies

  1. Government leaked document admits spending on Forced Academies is an inappropriate use of money & ideologically driven (evidence)
  2. Michael Gove overspent on Academies by £1bn & cut the funding of state school pupils to pay for it says National Audit Office (evidence)
  3. Three Academy Chain networks hand 180+ average pay packets of £88,000 and 7 staff are paid more than the Prime Minister (herehere & here)
  4. The government has admitted that on at least three occasions it has forced schools against their will to convert to academy status (evidence)
  5. Michael Gove’s Department stand accused of bribing schools with payments outside their funding allocation to convert to academy status (evidence & evidence)
  6. The Academy programme cost £8 billion in just two years at the same time 13% cuts to the Education Budget (real terms) were announced (evidence)
  7. Poor planning in the transfer of school places from LEA run schools & academy schools costs the taxpayer £350 million. A slower transition would have saved cash (evidence)
  8. The government wasted £114 million on Consultants to plan and implement their Free School/Academy reforms (evidence & evidence)
  9. Taxpayers foot the bills for the extravagant expenses clocked dup by so-called charities running academy chains (evidence)
  10. Academy Head teachers have been earning income from their own private consultancy firms carrying out work in the schools for which they are head (evidence)
  11. Pupil per spend in Academy Schools is in many cases considerably higher than Council Run Comprehensives (evidence & evidence)

School Closures

  1. 471 Schools (net) have been axed by Michael Gove shows the ONS (evidence & evidence)
  2. Michael Gove admits he scrapped the Building Schools for Future Programme that was set to renovate or build 715 schools (evidence & evidence)
  3. Since the Olympics, Michael Gove has oversaw the sale of 1 school playing field every 2 weeks, and now more than 50 fields have been sold (evidence & evidence)
  4. The privatisation of educational services has begun. In Staffordshire, alone, £2 billion of education services including support for disabled children, was handed to a profit making firm (evidence)
  5. The new school improvements programme is nearly £6 billion short of what is required and is only improving 169 schools  (evidence)

School Places

  1. Number of Children in Class Sizes of more than 30 has doubled in a year and nearly trebled since 2010 (evidence & evidence)
  2. 29% of local authorities are under-funded and are unable to fund as many school places as they need says the National Audit Office (evidence)
  3. UK’s teacher to pupil ratio has risen for 2 years running under the Tories and is now comfortably the worst the EU (evidence)
  4. Michael Gove is failing to deliver the extra 240,000 school places required by 2015 (evidence)
  5. Applicants to UCAS to attend UK Universities decreased for two years running, they are up this year (evidence & evidence)
  6. There are more than 2000 classrooms in England that have more pupils in them than 4 of the Free Schools that opened in September have on their entire roll call (evidence) & evidence)

Childcare

  1. Childcare costs are up 30% under the Tories and grow 5 times faster than wages
  2. There are 581 fewer Sure Start Centres under Michael Gove (evidence & evidence)
  3. The government, by their own admission, deleted evidence of Sure Start closures from their own website (evidence)
  4. Government funding for Sure Start was axed by 20% in 2012-13 (evidence)
  5. Gove’s Department attempted to lower the quality of staffing in nurseries by increasing the child to carer ratio after report showed the idea had failed French children (evidence & evidence)
  6. There are now 2,423 fewer childminders than there were in 2009 (evidence)
  7. Changes to Child Tax Credits amounted to £1bn in raw figures but even more in real terms (evidence)
  8. 92 Sure Start Centres have been privatised (evidence)
  9. There is a 38,000 shortage of Free Nursery Places for 2-year-olds on the government’s flagship scheme (evidence & evidence)

Teaching Staff

  1. Michael Gove imposed a 1% wage freeze on teachers despite allowing the pay of bosses to soar (evidence)
  2. Gove has scrapped requirement for schools to seek a teacher with qualified teaching status before they decide to fill the gap with an unqualified teacher (evidence, evidence)
  3. The government have scrapped Teachers’ Final Salary Pension Schemes are new regulations amount to a real terms cut of 3% on salaries (evidence)
  4. There are 6,063 fewer teachers under Cameron. The total number of teachers has fallen every single year of a Tory government (evidence)
  5. The average salary of a Primary School Teacher has fallen by £400 in 2 years (in raw terms). In real terms the picture is much worse again (evidence)
  6. Gove is introducing performance related pay that could eventually slow teacher’s wages by £10,000 a year (evidence)
  7. Secret Talks are underway between the Treasury and Department of Education to consider phasing out 230,000 teaching assistants in a bid to save £4 billion. (evidence)
  8. In the last academic year, 5,950 trainee teacher places were unfilled as a crisis in teacher recruitment takes hold (evidence & evidence)

Pupil Performance

  1. Michael Gove & his officials were judged to be misusing Education Statistics to ‘talk down’ pupil achievement (evidence & evidence)
  2. 10% decline in pupils achieving A/A* in GCE English since 2010 says Joint Council for Qualifications (evidence)
  3. ONS data released on 15 October 2013 shows that school truancy figures were on the rise (evidence)
  4. 2012 recorded the first fall in Pupil Performances in the history of GCSEs (evidence)
  5. 2013 recorded the largest ever fall in GCSE performance (evidence)
  6. A Level grade results have fallen 2 years running (evidence)
  7. On 7 February 2013, Gove abandoned his E-Bacc Plans and his idea to scrap Exam Boards admitting that they were errors (evidence)
  8. Michael Gove, despite rhetoric, has actually increased testing especially for young children (evidence, evidence)
  9. Gove’s new National Curriculum (here) was rushed and made many mistakes based on ideology not evidence. Introducing complicated mathematics too early in a child’s life is one such example (evidence), and the History Curriculum faced last minute revisions because it excluded prominent figures such as Mary Seacole (evidence & evidence)
  10. Gove removed funding from Connexions Careers Advice Service but then attacked what he called the “Careers Lobby” in front of the Education Select Committee (evidence & evidence)
  11. 4 in 5 schools are failing to provide adequate career’s advice to pupils at KS3 & KS4 (evidence
  12. More than half of schools are duty in their requirement to provide good religious education says Ofsted (evidence)
  13. There has been a 40% drop in the number of students getting literacy tuition under Cameron (evidence)
  14. Tories axed pupils’ right to one to one tuition and buried a report that may have shown the benefits of such tuition (evidence)

Apprenticeships

  1. The number of apprenticeships lasting 6 months or less grew to 19% in 2011 (evidence)
  2. The percentage of apprentices achieving level 1, 2 or 3 passes all fell in the year 2011/12 (evidence & evidence)
  3. The number of under-19 year olds starting apprenticeships has fallen 2 years running (page 8) and are down 12% (evidence)

Child Poverty

  1. Child Benefit was scrapped for middle class households (evidence)
  2. Benefits were frozen to 1% for 3 years putting 200,000 more children into child poverty (evidence)
  3. Child Poverty is up 300,000 under Michael Gove (evidence)
  4. As 1 in 7 children go to school hungry, Michael Gove responded by saying Food Bank users only have themselves to blame (evidence & evidence)

Child Obesity

  1. Michael Gove Constituency Association accepted funding from Fast Food Businessmen (evidence)
  2. 1 year before the Olympics, Michael Gove scrapped the £160m Schools Sports Partnership (evidence)
  3. Hospital Admission for children where the primary or secondary diagnosis is obesity is up 16% since 2010 (Table 7.5 evidence)
  4. Free Swimming for under 16s was scrapped in a £40m cost savings exercise (evidence)

Transparency

  1. Michael Gove’s Department lost a Freedom of Information complaint and were ordered by the Information Commissioner to release emails sent from personal accounts discussing DFE business (evidence & evidence)
  2. Michael Gove’s Department was placed under Special Monitoring for its refusal to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (evidence)
  3. A Tory Donor was enobled and appointed Education Minister (evidence)

Education Ethos

  1. Gove’s drive to inject a military ethos into schools is a policy founded on rhetoric and machismo and ignores the nuance of pedagogy (evidence & evidence)
  2. As students sat GCSE exams in June 2012, Michael Gove took to a Conference Stage to devalue their efforts by pronouncing that exams had been “dumbed down” (evidence)
  3. Michael Gove had a “Gove [King James] Bible” sent to every school in England and in doing so alienated Christians of different faiths such as Catholics  as well as non-Christians evidence)
  4. Michael Gove’s Department has faced allegations of bullying that have not satisfactorily resolved themselves (evidence)

Our NHS is at threat warns @lucianaberger

Privatisation is the biggest threat to our National Health Service.

All the talk at the Tory Party conference of protecting the NHS is worth nothing. The Tories have spent the last four years breaking up the NHS in an unwanted top-down, £3 billion re-organisation. This has led to longer waiting times and crucial treatment targets being missed.

The Tory re-organisation has also forced through competition and procurement rules that are dividing the NHS into competing units, rather than bringing together physical health, mental health and social care to provide seamless support and treatment for the whole person.

The piecemeal break up of our NHS is seriously threatening its future.

That is why I am backing my colleague Clive Efford’s move to bring forward a Private Members Bill on November 21 to reverse the Tory dismantling of the NHS.

You can show your support to by signing a petition to government by clicking here

If the Tories and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners vote down the Bill, a future Labour government will act to save the NHS and repeal the Tory legislation that has introduced creeping privatisation to the tune of billions of pounds.

We’ll ensure that the Secretary of State for Health has a duty to guarantee a national service free at the point of use. We’ll remove enforced competition. We’ll ensure private patients aren’t put before NHS patients; and we’ll tackle conflicts of interest.

We will make sure the NHS is focused not on competition but on collaboration, so that the system is properly integrated to work in the interests of patients and we’ll stop the NHS wasting money on competition lawyers instead of patient care.