July 2019

The Department for Work and Pensions DWP has ref

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has refused to confirm reports that it plans to force more sick and disabled people into work through its imminent shake-up of employment support.In an interview with the Daily Mail, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith referred to the “sickness benefit culture” and issued new hints about the content of a white paper, expected in the next few months, which will set out his plans to reform employment support for disabled people.The newspaper suggested that Duncan Smith (pictured) wanted people currently claiming employment and support allowance (ESA) – the out-of-work disability benefit – to face a new test that would find out “what they are able to do”.They would then be “found work for around ten hours a week, or whatever is possible”, while “those who repeatedly refuse could have their support cut”, although “inevitably some claimants will still be judged unable to work at all”, according to the Mail.It also reports that GPs will be told to “refer the long-term sick to back-to-work programmes”.Duncan Smith is “particularly keen to target those signed off work with conditions related to their mental health”, the Mail added.Duncan Smith is reported to have told the Mail: “The sickness benefit culture in this country is in dire need of reform… I want those who remain trapped and isolated on welfare to move from dependence to independence.”Duncan Smith had already said in a speech last August that he believed there was a “fundamental flaw” at the heart of the ESA system, and that its much-criticised eligibility test, the work capability assessment, was at odds with universal credit, the government’s new, simplified, working-age benefit system.Disabled activists warned then that they did not believe the government had any intention of designing a new system that empowered disabled people, rather than subjecting them to blame and punishment.They said they feared and suspected that Duncan Smith’s reforms would be aimed instead at cutting support even further.The reaction from some activists this week suggests that those fears were justified and that he is planning to introduce a new form of workfare for disabled people previously considered “not fit for work”.Disabled campaigner and blogger Mx Sumpter, who tweets at @latentexistence, said Duncan Smith’s plans would “turn ESA into JSA [the mainstream out-of-work benefit]”.Sumpter added: “Where are all these employers that IDS thinks will hire sick and disabled people for 10 hours a week? He means workfare. Tell me how this is different from the Workhouse.”But when asked to confirm the accuracy of the Daily Mail article, and the comments attributed to Duncan Smith, a DWP spokeswoman said: “The work and pensions secretary of state outlined his intention to reform the WCA in a speech last year.“Further details will be set out when we publish the white paper.”She then added lengthy briefing notes containing details of government policies on the WCA and ESA, employment, the government’s Disability Confident scheme, and its target to halve the disability employment gap.She was asked again to confirm the accuracy of the Daily Mail article and Duncan Smith’s comments, but by noon today (21 January), had failed to do so.last_img read more

Speaker Bercow has ruled that the government canno

first_imgSpeaker Bercow has ruled that the government cannot bring its Brexit deal back to the Commons for a third meaningful vote unless the deal is substantially different.Making an unplanned announcement this afternoon, Bercow said: “If the government wishes to bring forward a new proposition that is neither the same nor substantially the same as that disposed of by the House on 12th March, this would be entirely in order.”He went on to confirm that the government “cannot legitimately” put forward “the same proposition” to the Commons, citing Erskine May – the parliamentary rulebook that forms part of the UK’s uncodified constitution – in his explanation.“A motion or an amendment which is the same, in substance, as a question which has been decided during a session may not be brought forward again during that same session,” Erskine May reads. “Whether the second motion is substantively the same as the first is a matter for the chair.”Following the defeat of Theresa May’s deal at the second meaningful vote, it was widely expected that she would bring it back to a third – ‘MV3’ – on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. But Downing Street said earlier today that it would only be put to another vote once talks with the DUP had concluded (and, presumably, progress had been made).Asked by Labour backbencher Hilary Benn whether changes to the deal would have to entail an agreement with the EU, or whether a new agreement with another political party would suffice, Bercow suggested in response that a shift of opinion “wouldn’t itself constitute change of the offer”.The plan, according to No10 and to the Article 50 extension passed by MPs last week, was for May to ask the EU for a long delay to Brexit unless her deal was passed before 20th March. As it seems unlikely that the Prime Minister will be able to secure substantial changes to her deal before the EU summit later in the week, it is highly probable that such a request will be made.Tags:John Bercow /Brexit /last_img read more

first_imgNATHAN Brown praised his side’s “super effort” in the derby win over Wigan on Friday but bemoaned the officiating.Saints won 16-12 to extend their lead at the top of the table but were on the wrong end of a lopsided penalty count.And whilst it didn’t sour the win, it did leave Brown seeking answers.“I thought it was a super effort from the guys to play such a good team but I thought the officiating of the game was horrible,” he said. “I thought Phil Bentham had an absolute shocking performance.“Waney (Shaun Wane) has been whinging for the last two months and we cop it up the backside today. We never ring Jon Sharp, we don’t complain after any game, and then you get a performance like that because other coaches are putting the referees under pressure.“He is a good referee is Phil and I’m not saying we didn’t deserve the penalties against us, but I can assure you I will be able to find another 1,000 where he could have penalised Wigan. I find it sad because we sit there, never complain, never whinge, but as is the case in the NRL the more you whinge the better you get the calls.“It doesn’t sour the win at all but it is disappointing. It was a sensational game and I’m sure both sets of fans know their players have given everything. I’m sure both coaches will look at the game and think we could have done this a little bit better or that a little bit better. Everyone scrapped and fought for everything.“But you just want a fair go and we didn’t get a fair go tonight.”He continued: “Wigan threw a lot at us. They are very structured and you do know what is coming, but it keeps on coming. They have Matty Bowen, Lockers (Sean O’Loughlin) and Matty Smith and the young kids who have come in to replace Blake Green and Mickey Mac (McIlorum). They are fortunate with the depth of their squad not only across the board but in key positions too. Sam Powell and George Williams are good players.“Their forwards are physical players and I thought all of our pack did well. Ben Flower has been sensational for Wigan and Greg Richards was carrying the ball at him hard, Flower was hitting him hard, and Greg was trying his best to compete with him.“Luke Thompson physically matched up with Wigan and went toe to toe with them. Physically, they won the battle in the Good Friday game and we certainly didn’t lose it in this one. It was a good tough game of footy.”Brown says the key now for Saints is to back up this performance over the next month – starting with the trip to Hull KR next Sunday.“It was a wonderful night,” he added. “Our fans were terrific and Wigan’s made the occasion great as well. There is a lot of happiness about us but it is a long race this one. Two bad performances and you could be fifth. We need to have a good month.”Saints will monitor scrum half Luke Walsh who came off in the first half with a back injury.Ticket details for Saints next matches are here.last_img read more

Two surveys indicate a PL majority preference amongst voters

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Two public opinion polls published by the local Sunday papers gave rather similar results just a week the European Parliament (EP) and the Local Councils elections.Though presented in different styles, both The Sunday Times and It-Torċa show that Partit Laburista (PL) will be dominating the elections.According to The Sunday Times, the PL still has a healthy advantage over Partit Nazzjonalista (PN), however such an advantage seems to have decreased in the past months. According to a research undertaken by MISCO, 55% of the voters will be casting their vote in favour of the PL, whilst 40% will be giving their preference to the PN. In March 2019, as similar research gave the PL 59% and the PN 37% of the votes.Such figures will allow the PL to gain 4 seats at the European Parliament which are projected to go to Miriam Dalli, Alfred Sant, Alex Agius Saliba and Josianne Cutajar. There are also indications that the Roberta Metsola who is a PN candidate will keeps her seat at the European Parliament whilst David Casa and Frank Psaila will have to battle it out for the remaining seat.In the survey made by It-Torċa, PL will come out victor with a 19.6% advantage, which projects an increment of 5% over the total votes from the previous election.In the 2014 EP elections, the PL won 53% of the votes whilst the PN managed to attract 40% of the total valid votes cast.The PL is expected to keep an advantage of 8.2% from the previous election. It-Torċa is predicting that 56.9% of the electorate will vote Pl whilst 37.3% will vote PN.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more