Focus on couples with children and first-time buyers in tax plans

By Mithran Samuel, Maria Ahmed, Caroline Lovell, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

Focus on couples with children and first-time buyers in tax plans

The Institute for Public Policy Research has warned that Conservative plans to cut taxes on wealth, such as inheritance tax and stamp duty, risked increasing the gap between rich and poor.

The warning came as the party prepared to lay out its taxation plans at its annual conference in Blackpool today, ahead of a possible snap election.

Among other measures due to be proposed are plans to increase the amount of working tax credit received by couples with children on benefits from £3,430 to £5,385 a year.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 1 October 2007 page 4

Funding call for equality body

The new Commission for Equality and Human Rights, set up today as the single watchdog on tackling discrimination, will be a “toothless tiger” without more funding, Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union has warned.

Source:- The Independent Monday 1 October 2007 page 17

15 women’s jails to be shut, with offenders offered detox and help

Fifteen women’s jails in England and Wales would close and be replaced with small custodial units in the biggest prison shake-up under consideration by the Ministry of Justice.

Source:- The Times, Monday 1 October 2007, page 4
Ageism still endemic despite legislation

Ageism is still “endemic” in the workplace a year after the introduction of legislation aimed at stamping it out, according to findings published today.

Source:- The Times, Monday 1 October 2007, page 4
Elderly bankrupts soar on easy credit

Older people are more than twice as likely to go bankrupt as they were five years ago.

Source:- Daily Mirror, Monday 1 October 2007, page 22

You old slapper – care home boss is dominatrix next door

A care home manager is facing the sack after her bosses, HomeZone, discovered she was running a sex dungeon in her spare time. 

Calling herself Miss Whiplash, Julie Windsor is now facing a full investigation at Richardson Court in Burntwood, Staffs.

Source: – The Sun, Monday October 1 2007, page 18

Scottish news

Able-bodied drivers abusing parking bays for disabled

Drivers wrongly use parking bays meant for disabled people because they know they are unlikely to be punished, according to research.

Other able-bodied drivers use the distinctive bays either because it is raining or because it is handy for a cash machine.

The report, published by the Scottish Government, calls for greater enforcement measures to ensure bays are used only by drivers with a blue badge confirming their disability.

Source:- The Herald, Monday 1 October

‘Lottery’ of care for dying patients revealed

Terminally-ill patients are experiencing a lottery in care with wide variations across Scotland in home support in their final months.

Some health boards offer patients an average of 140 hours with specially trained nurses, while those in other parts of the country receive only an average of 40 hours.

Research has shown that 75% of the public would choose to die at home, but only 23% of people are able to fulfil this aim.

Source:- The Herald, Monday 1 October

Mother in ‘buried baby’ case is jailed over abuse

A Scottish mother who abused her children for almost two decades has been sentenced to 27 months in a Florida jail for failing to accept help for a mental health problem.
Tracy McHugh, who moved from Scotland to the United States 20 years ago, was convicted in May of subjecting one daughter to hundreds of unnecessary hospital tests and procedures, and ordered to undergo mental-health counselling.

The body of another of her children was discovered ten years ago, buried in a blanket in the garden of a house McHugh once lived in. Forensic experts could not establish a cause of death and McHugh was not charged.

Source:- The Scotsman, Monday 1 October

Welsh news

Mothers are spared jail in benefits frauds

Two women who carried out more than £40,000 in benefits fraud have been spared prison.

Wendy Sainsbury, 36, a mother of three, received a suspended jail sentence at Cardiff Crown Court after admitting incorrectly claiming £22,600.

In a separate case, heard upstairs on the same day, mother Andrea Howells, 45, admitted incorrectly claiming £21, 000. She also received a suspended jail sentence.

Source:- South Wales Echo Saturday, 29 September 2007

<A href="" http: tm_headline='number-in-jails-hits-new-record%26method=full%26objectid='19868986%26siteid=50082-name_page.html"''Number in jails hits new record

The number of prisoners in Wales and England has reached its highest ever.

There are 81,135 people being held in jail, leaving the system with just 780 empty places.

Last month Wales on Sunday revealed that there were only 20 prison places left in Wales.

Source:- Wales on Sunday 30 September 2007

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