Council tax ‘must soar to plug hole in public pensions’

Council tax ‘must soar to plug hole in public pensions’
Council tax bills will have to rocket to plug the government’s black hole in public sector pensions, the head of the Audit Commission warned yesterday.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 12 August 2006, page 10

Reid pushes for ban on next wave of EU workers
Plans to deny Romanians and Bulgarians full rights to work in the UK are being considered by John Reid. Both countries join the EU in January and the potential influx of workers is causing divisions in cabinet.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 12 August  2006, page 8

How ‘toxic’ diet breeds obesity
Children in the west are principally becoming obese obesity because their diets play havoc with their hormones, according to a new study by US scientists.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 12 August  2006, page 13

Gambling habit will ‘scar’ Britain
Britain will become a nation of gamblers over the next 20 years, a report warns.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday 12 August 2006, page 13

Contingency fund helps NHS head for surplus
The National Health Service in England is heading for a small financial surplus this year but only after including a £350m contingency fund, according to the latest returns from health bodies.
Source:- Financial Times, Saturday 12 August 2006, page 4

Jail doesn’t work, say crime victims
Almost two-thirds of crime victims do not believe imprisonment reduces non-violent crime and most back measures to tackle the causes of crime, a report out today says.
Smart Justice, a campaign group promoting community-based punishments that produced the report, says it shows the public does not endorse home secretary John Reid’s proposals to increase prison places by 8,000.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 13 August 2006, page 10

Care homes to face spot checks
Care providers will face performance ratings under proposals launched today by the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
They will be rated from one (poor) to four (excellent) in a bid to help service users, families and councils choose the best care.
Source:- The Times, Monday 14 August 2006, page 12

TUC warns on plans to raise retirement age
Raising the state pension age, as the government plans to do, will not enable older people to work and will result in them claiming benefits, the Trades Union Congress has said.
In a report out today, the TUC said there were over 1m people aged 50 to 65 and unable to find work, and said employers had to be more willing to hire older staff if the government’s plan to raise the state pension age to 68 were to work.
Source:- The Financial Times Monday 14 August 2006 page 3

£40,000 shortfall threatens study of childhood obesity and diabetes
A unique 12-year study into the links between childhood obesity and diabetes is in jeopardy because the department of health is declining to provide funding.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 14 August 2006, page 8

New court makes decisions on living wills in secret
Judges sitting in the new Court of Protection, set up under the Mental Capacity Act, will be able to make decisions on living wills in secret.
Source:- Daily Mail, Monday 14 August 2006, page 6

Thinktank claims extra NHS billions largely wasted
The extra billions invested in the NHS have been largely wasted, an independent thinktank claims today, resulting in far less improvement in services than might have been expected.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 14 August 2006, page 6

Migrants’ millions from benefit scam
Thousands of East European migrants living in Britain have been claiming child benefit even though their children don’t live in the UK due to a legal loophole it has emerged.
The migrants are able to make the claims due to EU rules stating that foreign parents who live and work here but are from EU countries can leave their kids at home but still get the benefit.
Source:- The Sun, Monday, August 14 2006

Scottish news

Mixed response to the ASBO roadshow

More than 800 cases of antisocial behaviour have been reported as a result of a roadshow to publicise the powers and resources available to tackle such problems.
A total of 6,500 people visited the Scottish executive-funded roadshow which toured the country for three weeks last month, offering advice and answering queries from the public.
Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 12 August 2006

Top policeman says red tape delays Asbos
Scotland’s top police officer has urged ministers to go back to the drawing board on antisocial behaviour orders.
Ian Latimer, the new president of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, said many Asbos took months between the original complaint and the order being granted.
He said the Scottish executive needed to streamline the system to make Asbos quicker and easier to grant.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday, 13 August 2006

Plan to house sex offenders among general public
Sex offenders should be dispersed into mainstream housing monitored there, according to new proposals from the Scottish executive.
The draft strategy for the estimated 3000-plus sex offenders in Scotland rules out the creation of specialist segregated units. It also says that councils will be compelled to find suitable housing, away from schools and parks.
The proposal rejects notifying parents when predatory adults move into their neighbourhood.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 14 August 2006

Welsh news

‘Punish truants, not the parents’
A mother has called for truant teenagers to be punished for not attending school rather than their parents.
Hilda Millin was fined £200 by magistrates last week after her 15-year-old daughter regularly failed to attend school.
Millin claims that she did everything she could to try to get her daughter to go to school in Swansea, including calling social services, but she was unable to make her.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 14August 2006




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