gjhfgjhhWe're losing war on Benefit cheats

Wednesday, 5 July, 2006

THE Government's longawaited benefit revolution was last night branded a "deeply flawed damp squib".

Ministers boasted their plans would get one million people on long-term sick and disablement benefit into work over 10 years and save taxpayers GBP 7billion a year.

But critics said the package wouldn't deliver the goods, and offered nothing to those now on incapacity benefit because the new rules will be imposed only on people who start claiming from 2008.

gjhfgjhhMPs blast 'failed' welfare reform

Wednesday, 5 July, 2006

THE Government's longawaited benefit revolution was last night branded a flop.

Ministers boasted they would get a million people on long-term sick and disability benefit into work over 10 years and save the taxpayer GBP 7billion a year.

But critics said the package offered nothing to those now on Incapacity Benefit because the new rules will be imposed only on people who start claiming from 2008.

gjhfgjhhLabours' 'sham' on benefits

Friday, 30 June, 2006

LABOUR'S vow to move one million people off Incapacity Benefit within ten years is a sham, say Tories.

The Government said welfare reforms would slash the number of claimants from 2.7million today to 1.7million by 2016.

But ministers were accused yesterday of fiddling the figures after it emerged there will be 350 , 000 fewer claimants by then even if nothing is done.

That means Labour will have to move only 650,000 off the benefit to hit the target.

gjhfgjhhGrey power alive and kicking in Suffolk

Tuesday, 27 June, 2006

PENSIONERS are said to be the group of the population most likely to vote in elections, but in Suffolk grey power is taking on a whole new meaning.

But September four of the county's seven MPs will be eligible for free transport on buses - although I wouldn't count on seeing Sir Michael Lord, John Gummer, Tim Yeo or Richard Spring on the Number 13 to Tesco!

Sir Michael and Mr Gummer are already pensioners at 67 and 66 respectively, Mr Yeo is 61 and Mr Spring hits the 60 mark at the end of the summer.

gjhfgjhhBeds to go as hospital cuts worsen

Friday, 16 June, 2006

West Suffolk Hospital is to close its existing gynaecology and orthopaedic wards as part of cutbacks to save money and streamline services.

The current 21 beds in F10 will close and gynaecological services will move to a new seven-bed unit on F12, which is currently unused.

The orthopaedic ward on F4, which had 33 beds, will now operate with just 21 beds. These measures are expected to save £600,000 a year.

The hospital is currently battling to save £2.45 million but it will need to find a further £1.27 million to break even.

gjhfgjhhBlair to water down welfare policy reform;

Sunday, 11 June, 2006

TONY BLAIR is set for a climbdown on plans for "radical" welfare reforms because of fears of a backlash from left-wing Labour MPs.

The Prime Minister has ordered his Welfare and Pensions Secretary, John Hutton, to water down the long-awaited reforms to Incapacity Benefit (IB) set to be published this month.

MPs had been promised a radical shake-up of the welfare system in a bid to get one million of the 2.7m claimants back into work and save taxpayers billions of pounds every year.

gjhfgjhhBlair U-turn over welfare reforms

Sunday, 11 June, 2006

TONY BLAIR is set to back down on his plans for "radical" welfare reforms because of fears of a backlash from Left-wing Labour MPs.

The Prime Minister has ordered his Welfare and Pensions Secretary John Hutton to water down the long-awaited reforms to Incapacity Benefit set to be published this month.

MPs were promised a radical shake-up of the system in a bid to get one million of the 2.7 million claimants back to work and save taxpayers billions of pounds every year.

gjhfgjhhNI numbers for thousands of illegal immigrants

Friday, 2 June, 2006

THOUSANDS of illegal immigrants have been issued with National Insurance numbers, after officials were instructed to ignore misgivings about their legal status to work in Britain.

The revelation that Jobcentre staff had for six years been told they had a duty to issue NI numbers - even if they suspected documents were forged - has triggered a fresh crisis of confidence in the government's handling of immigration and welfare.

Ministers were forced last night to announce an overhaul of the laws governing NI to toughen up the issuing process.

gjhfgjhhThousands face paying back money

Thursday, 1 June, 2006

A SUFFOLK MP today blamed 'government incompetence' for thousands of families in Suffolk being ordered to pay back millions of pounds of overpaid tax credits.

Figures released by the Treasury have shown that in Suffolk 21,800 families have been overpaid, and ordered by the Inland Revenue and Customs to repay, £17.2m.

Families in Ipswich are among the worst affected with 4,400 families having been overpaid.

gjhfgjhhRevealed: Scottish unemployment almost three times the official figure

Sunday, 28 May, 2006

THE true figure for unemployment in Scotland is 250,000 - almost three times the official number - according to a groundbreaking report.

Research conducted by one of Britain's leading authorities on the welfare state claims there are 160,000 "hidden unemployed" in Scotland, many of them forced on to sickness benefits through lack of work.