Tuesday, August 11News For London


Court of Appeal rules: Government’s bedroom tax “discriminatory”

Court of Appeal rules: Government’s bedroom tax “discriminatory”

DontUse, News, Politics
A victim of domestic violence and the grandparents of a severely disabled teenager have won a Court of Appeal challenge over the lawfulness of the spare room subsidy. The court heard that one plaintiff (only identified as ‘A’) was a victim of serious domestic violence.  As a result of this, she had turned her spare room into a panic room. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) had ruled that 'A' was to lose £11.65 a week from her benefits. Her lawyers successfully argued she would have to leave facilities designed for her safety and wellbeing. The second set of plaintiffs, Mr. and Mrs. Rutherford, give 24-hour care to their severely disabled grandson. They argued that they needed a spare room for overnight care and storing specialist equipment. The court found the policy

Corbyn clashes with Cameron over Google tax deal

Data Journalism, DontUse, Politics
Photo by Danny Marten using google.com Following talks with government ministers, Google agreed to pay HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) a sum of £130m; a sum that has been criticised as being far too low. Tax Campaigner and blogger Richard Murphy was quoted as saying: “It would be entirely reasonable to expect a corporate tax rate of at least £200 million should have been due in 2014.” However, Google has agreed to pay HMRC £130 million for the previous ten years; they may be paying as little as 5% corporation tax (tax on profit) rather than the 20% insisted on by UK law.   The Prime Minister hit back angrily, saying: “Tell Jeff that under this government, his taxes are going down and Google’s taxes are going up.” He continued: “Under Labour, Google were taxed at 0%
Breaking: UCL students refuse to pay extortionate hall rents

Breaking: UCL students refuse to pay extortionate hall rents

DontUse, Politics
Over 150 students at University College London (UCL) are refusing to pay student hall rent in protest of “soaring” accommodation prices.  The striking UCL students risk eviction but say university halls have become unaffordable. Protestors are demanding a 40% rent cut so that UCL no longer profit from student housing. According to UCL Cut the Rent (CTR) students are on indefinite rent strike, "collectively withholding" more than £250,000 after management failed to respond to their written correspondence over accommodation costs. https://twitter.com/rentcutUCL/status/691667103900917760 Protesters claim the average rent for a person at UCL has gone up by more than 50% since 2009, making even the cheapest rooms more expensive than student loan payments. According to the fees listed, on

Breaking: Former London MP Cecil Parkinson dies: Age 84

DontUse, Politics
Lord Parkinson, who served as Member of Parliament for Hertfordshire, Enfield and Hertsmere has died from Cancer aged 84. https://twitter.com/NeilClark66/status/691639038424563712 Lord Parkinson was considered as one of Margaret Thatcher’s closest supporters. Under Mrs Thatcher he served in cabinet in numerous roles, including Secretary of State for Transport and the Department of Trade and Industry. However it was his antics away from parliament that derailed his political career, as he was involved in one of the biggest political sex scandals of the 1980s. In 1983, it emerged that Parkinson had been engaged in an affair with his secretary Sara Keays,   resulting in the birth of his daughter, Flora. Miss Keays claimed that Parkinson has reneged on a promise to leave his wife d

Read Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation letter

DontUse, Politics
Read the full resignation letter from Iain Duncan Smith to The Prime Minister 18th March 2016 Dear Prime Minister, I am incredibly proud of the welfare reforms that the government has delivered over the last five years. Those reforms have helped to generate record rates of employment and in particular a substantial reduction in workless households. As you know, the advancement of social justice was my driving reason for becoming part of your ministerial team and I continue to be grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve. You have appointed good colleagues to my department who I have enjoyed working with. It has been a particular privilege to work with with excellent civil servants and the outstanding Lord Freud and other ministers including my present team, throu

Shake-up of local healthcare as Brent Council tries to cut costs

News, Politics, ReportingWeek2
The leaders of Brent Council have approved wide ranging changes to healthcare as part of a package to save £18.8m over the next three years. The measures were approved by the Labour controlled council yesterday at Brent Civic Centre. The local Conservative opposition described the cuts as: "premature, and not in the right areas." The council's cost cutting measures include: closures of elderly day care centres, restructuring physical rehabilitation services, and a pan-London project to streamline access to sexual health services. When combined with previously approved cost-cutting proposals of £28.3m, this means the council will save £47.1m over the next three years. Labour councillors at the meeting were unanimous in condemning the Conservative government at Westminster for

The Death of the Tax Return: blessed relief or nagging pain?

Business, News, Politics, ReportingWeek2
Image Courtesy of Phillip   Today HM Revenue and Customs bought in a new system to help self-employed taxpayers work out how much tax they owe, but opinion is divided over the change. The Personal tax account is an entirely online system that will allow self assed tax payers to manage their payments more regularly online. Tax expert Guy Bridger believes the changes are long overdue and that the old system was “a big panic for people who are self-employed”. He said:  “It’s going to make people’s lives easier. Yes it’s going to be more regular clicking on buttons hitting keypads and calculating things but it’s not rocket science to do these things. If it can be somewhat automated in the sense that it’s all more manageable and things can be assessed more easily then yes it ju

Labour MP Jess Phillips’s interview about the Labour Party

Media, Politics, ReportingWeek2
“I would knife Jeremy Corbyn in the front” Labour MP Jess Phillips to the Guardian columnist Owen Wilson in an interview. This sentence is in all media this Monday. If the Birmingham MP criticized the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, it is not the only point of her interview.   The Birmingham MP was indeed asked about her opinion on her party and its leader and answered honestly that she did not believe Labour could success in general elections were to happen now. When asked if she would change leader she answers “I would do anything that I felt was going to make the Labour Party to win the next elections”. She is still very clear about the fact that she would support him and do her best to make him electable.   As a Birmingham MP, she considers people in her district are c

Labour MPs at war

Politics, ReportingWeek2
Questions have been asked about the state of the Parliamentary Labour Party following weekend reports that one senior MP is trying to have another sacked. MPs were talking on Friday night about the growing spat between the two with one anonymous MP saying “Diane Abbott is behind trying to oust Chief Whip Rosie Winterton” and that it was the “talk of the tea room.” Rumours intensified over the weekend forcing Corbynites supporting Dianne Abbot to deny the allegation, stating: “Diane has never wanted to be a whip. She is very happy in her international development role.” The Daily Mail, who ran the story on Saturday, gained a quote from an insider in Rosie Winterton’s camp: “This criticism of Rosie bears all the hallmarks of Diane.” Today both Winterton and Abbott were unavailabl

Saudi Arabian females say that the votes are ‘not such a big deal’

Politics, Uncategorized
Saudi females have voted and run for office for the first time in History during Saturday’s municipal elections. The step for a more democratic country was widely covered and praised throughout worldwide media. The Telegraph reported that the election ‘marked an important step forward’. According to BBC’s report, a total of 978 women registered as candidates, alongside 5,938 men. And Officials have said about 130,000 women had registered to vote in Saturday's poll, compared with 1.35 million men. In order to understand what this change means for those living in the country, I spoke to Saudi women.     But what do Saudi females feel about this move? A Saudi female artist who didn’t want to be named shared her views on the votes:  “I didn’t participate in