Launch of controversial child database delayed
The launch of a controversial new government database containing details of every child in the country is to be delayed for technical reasons, it was revealed today.
ContactPoint, a £224m computer system carrying personal information about all under-18s, was due to come online in April this year. It will now be delayed until January next year, children’s minister Kevin Brennan said today.
House price plunge fuels recession fear
Fears of recession this winter intensified yesterday after the CBI reported the weakest high street activity in 25 years, the Nationwide building society said house prices were falling at £150 a day and a Bank of England policymaker warned of two million unemployed by Christmas.
Elderly face paying billions more for home help
Elderly people and their families face paying billions more for personal care services like cooking and cleaning, MPs say today.
Because government spending on personal care for the elderly is growing more slowly than the number of people needing help, a £6 billion “funding gap” will emerge, the MPs say.
More than 1 million people use council care services in order go on living independent lives, paying fees that can vary widely between council areas. Ministers are reviewing the care system and have promised a green paper next year.
In a report published today, the work and pensions select committee say that without major reform of the current unpopular system of means-tested care services, the old and their families will end up shouldering even more of the burden.
North-South divide under Labour ‘is the widest for 60 years’
The North-South divide has widened to a 60-year high under Labour, according to a study.
The wealth gap between the South East and the rest of Britain is greater than at any other time since the Second World War, say researchers at Cambridge University.
The hard-hitting report also warns that Labour’s economic policy has contributed to the turmoil in the housing market in recent months.