Ignoring truth to slash disabled people’s benefits
Many people across Europe have recoiled from harsh austerity policies, which are badly affecting the poorest in society as well as ordinary families. But the UK government is determined to take the cuts even further. Half a million people will lose disability living allowance, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has proudly announced.
Teachers in England are witnessing increasing numbers of pupils coming into school "hungry", "dirty" and "struggling to concentrate" since the economic crisis began, according to a Prince’s Trust and Times Educational Supplement survey. Interviews with over 500 secondary school teachers painted a bleak picture.
‘Ex-gay’ movement advertisements which were to have appeared on the sides of London buses have been blocked by the Mayor of London, to the relief of many. Mayor Boris Johnson is chair of Transport for London. However Mike Davidson of the Core Issues Trust, which placed the ads with backing from Anglican Mainstream, accused him of “censorship”.
Many poor people will not get their due tax credits
From 6 April 2012, some poor UK households may lose tax credits due to them because of inadequate communication by the government. Numerous low-income families already face drastic tax credit and welfare benefits cuts. But even some of those still entitled to child or working tax credit may not receive this.
Scandal has erupted over an offer to dine with the UK Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and influence policy, in return for money. Conservative Party co-treasurer Peter Cruddas was filmed promising undercover journalists access to the top reaches of government, in return for donations of up to £250,000. The reporters, from the Sunday Times, had posed as overseas wealth fund managers.
In May 2009, Sri Lanka’s civil war came to an end. On 14 March 2012, Channel 4 broadcast Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, a follow-up to an earlier documentary. This focused on the last few months of the armed conflict, when large numbers of civilians were killed or injured.
West Midlands and Surrey police authorities have invited private companies to bid to carry out a range of policing activities, the Guardian reported. This may be extended to other parts of the country.
Plans to make even seriously ill or disabled people work without pay, or risk having their benefits cut, have met with wide criticism. There will be no time limits on such work placements, to be introduced when the Welfare Reform Bill has been passed by the UK Parliament.
In February 2012, the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that B&B owners acted unlawfully when they turned away a gay couple. Some have claimed that this is putting protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation above religious rights. But this is a false distinction.