Thursday 17 January 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, January 17, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

Seven in ten MPs on £65k believe they are underpaid
A majority of MPs said they deserve a 32% pay increase to £86,250. The survey by the Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) also found that more than a third of MPs believe they should keep generous final salary pensions. Unlike in other parts of the public sector, Ipsa is not proposing to introduce performance-related pay, regional pay or to take outside earnings into account. Facing accusations of hypocrisy, the Ipsa chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said his consultation was open to the public “and I would urge people to get involved in this debate.” TELEGRAPH and IPSA
(...Get involved in the debate? Isn’t that an incitement to riot? Someone call the police!)

Seventeen NHS hospitals have dangerously low numbers of nurses
The warning coincides with an imminent report on the scandal at Stafford Hospital, where up to 1,200 patients died needlessly while managers slashed their budgets and staff numbers in pursuit of NHS foundation trust status. At Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, women in labour were exposed to unnecessary risk because there were not enough staff. At Milton Keynes, patients with dementia were left unable to reach call bells, tables, drinks and warm clothing. TELEGRAPH
(...and in Whitehall ministers with blind right-wing myopia were left unable to see the storm brewing among an angry electorate who consider the NHS our most treasured institution...)

Taxpayer-owned RBS to be fined for rigging Libor market 
In 2012 banks were caught rigging Libor, affecting $300 trillion of trades worldwide, causing losses for ordinary savers and investors. The RBS fine is expected to exceed the £290m fine paid by Barclays but not the £940m fine paid by UBS. It is not clear whether bankers will lose their bonuses. BBC NEWS
(“We’re now all in a panic and have truly learnt our lesson,” said our RBS insider, barely audible above the sound of wrists being slapped...)

Major defence projects are hit by delays and £6.6bn overspend
Despite last year’s promise by the MoD that costs are under control, the National Audit Office found costs of the 16 largest projects had risen by £468m and slipped in timescale by 11 years. Overall, project costs have risen by £6.6bn. Delays to a £32m Falcon communications system for Afghanistan mean it will not now be ready until after British troops have withdrawn in 2014. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond compared improving efficiency at the MoD to "turning around a super tanker," with fuel inflation and other factors outside of the department's control responsible for three-quarters of the cost increase over the past year. BBC NEWS
(...the ‘super tanker’ of other factors being the infamously corrupt deals with the military-industrial complex and foreign governments, perhaps?..)

Tesco beef burgers found to contain 29% horse meat
Horse meat has been found in burgers on sale in British supermarkets. Tests on beef products sold in Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores uncovered low levels of the animal’s DNA. TELEGRAPH
(And that’s why I always buy my burgers from Fortnum & Masons. They're contaminated with veal, venison and sometimes lobster. Much better...)

Bank account fees 'are next PPI scandal': Millions could be entitled to compensation after mis-selling
Around a third of customers with a packaged account, which cost up to £300 a year, cannot use benefits such as travel insurance, mobile phone cover and breakdown policies that come as part of the deal. Pensioners discoved they are excluded from the travel cover, and drivers found they have simply duplicated insurance they already have. Cancer sufferers were unable to claim on insurance because the key exclusions that rule out people with health problems have not been explained. DAILY MAIL

Pension reform to net Treasury £9bn
Reform of the basic state pension will yield the Treasury an annual windfall of more than £9bn from 2017 as the government phases out reliefs to employers that were aimed at encouraging more generous private provision. FINANCIAL TIMES


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