Tuesday, 28 February 2012
One Step Beyond' - Ethical Volunteering to Support Fairtrade
Last chance to book a place to meet Moses Rene, Fairtrade farmer, St Lucia
- See how the Fairtrade premium changes lives
- Learn about the double jeopardy of climate change and complex EU trade rules
- Find out how ethical volunteering supports Fairtrade producers
Don't miss out on this opportunity to hear first hand from a Fairtrade farmer about how you too can help make a difference
Bonnington Lecture Theatre, Nottingham Trent University
Wednesday 29th February
12.30 - 2.00pm
For more information on this event follow the link: http://www.ivj.org.uk/brochures/ntu_fairtrade.pdf
To find out more about the IVJ placements in Africa, the Caribbean and Bangladesh follow the link below
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Saturday 25 February 2012
For immediate use
Ed Miliband: This week the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords must join with Labour to hole David Cameron's health plans below the water line
Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition, writing in tomorrow's Sunday Mirror ahead of votes on the Health and Social Care Bill in the House of Lords this week, said:
Before the election, David Cameron promised the country he was a different type of Tory.
The NHS was central to that promise.
But he didn't tell you at the election that within months of coming to power, he would order the biggest ever top-down reorganisation of the NHS.
He didn't tell you that he would divert billions of pounds to his bureaucratic shake-up and away from patient care.
He didn't tell you that he would bring in new rules which say up to 49% of the beds in an NHS hospital could be set aside for private patients.
But this is what he is doing.
He didn't tell you because he wanted to con people into thinking the NHS was safe in his hands.
The reality is on his watch, the NHS is getting worse.
The bad old days of long queues for some operations, lon ger waiting times in A&E and fewer nurses are coming back.
The number of NHS nurses has now fallen by 3,500 since the general election. By the time of the next election there will be 6,000 fewer nurses.
The billions spent on David Cameron's unwanted reorganisation could save these jobs.
His plans will distract staff who will have to cope with huge organisational change and they will put profits before patients and bring in creeping privatisation.
That is why we are fighting against Cameron's plans.
Those plans can still be defeated.
But this week is the time for everybody to stand up and be counted.
This week the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords must join with Labour to hole David Cameron's health plans below the water line.
The House of Lords has the chance to puncture the arrogance of an out-of-touch Prime Minister who thinks he knows better than patients, nurses and doctors and persuade him to drop this bill.
If they do not the betrayal by the Lib Dems in allowing this bill through will be bigger than the row over university tuition fees.
They will betray not only the people who rely on today’s NHS but also generations to come.
It will strike at the heart of Britain's proudest institution.
The choice is not reform or no reform. But what kind of reform and whether it makes our NHS better or worse.
Go to any hospital just now and you will hear the opposition from doctors and nurses about this bill, their worry about how much harder it will make their jobs.
I think they're right.
Even members of his own cabinet are telling David Cameron to think again.
He cannot just plough on.
Labour will fight to stop him and finish off this bill.
Thursday, 23 February 2012
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Tuesday 21 February 2012
For immediate use
Balancing the books to deliver fairness and prosperity - Rachel Reeves MP
-CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY-
Rachel Reeves MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, in a speech today to the IPPR, said:Let me start by thanking IPPR for giving me this opportunity to speak today. In the 1990s, the IPPR was a driving force behind the development of a new economic agenda that married economic efficiency with social justice.And today again we are fortunate to have people like Nick, Tony, Graeme and Will helping develop policy for the new economic era.The work of the IPPR and others is showing that it’s the centre left that is best placed to answer the big challenges of the twenty-first century:- the challenges of financial regulation and building a stronger economy, bringing to Britain new industries and new jobs- the challenge of reforming public services and the welfare state to better serve families and communities– the challenge of finding new ways to offer people security and opportunity amid accelerating economic and social change.But a challenge that is just as important and pressing, facing governments around the world, is the challenge of managing our public finances.And as Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have said, it is a challenge that we cannot afford to flunk or flinch from.Compared to the issues that fire us up as politicians and campaigners, like reducing poverty and expanding economic opportunities, deficit reduction is perhaps a dry subject.But it’s precisely because we on the centre left believe that active government along with good schools, hospitals and other public services can transform lives, and make our country fairer and more prosperous, that we must ensure we pass the test of fiscal credibility.If we don’t get this right, it doesn’t matter what we say about anything else. Earning people’s trust that we will be responsible custodians of public money is the precondition for gaining the right to be heard on any other issue.Sound public finances will always be the indispensable platform for delivering better jobs, better services and a strong, growing economy.What I want to demonstrate this morning is that being trusted with the nation’s finances, and building a stronger, fairer Britain, are imperatives that are not only compatible; they are also inseparable.But first I want to say something about the current Government’s failure to get to grips with the economic and budgetary realities. Because it’s by understanding their failure that we can build a more effective response.When the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat partners took office, no one could be in any doubt about what they regarded as their central purpose.“This new coalition is founded”, Osborne said, “on an agreement to significantly accelerate the reduction in the deficit”. It was “the very first item on the first page of the Coalition agreement”.In autumn 2010, George Osborne was boasting that his tax rises and spending cuts had “put us on a path to eliminate the deficit in a period of four years”.Now you would expect me to criticise the Government for the choices it has made: – the choice to reduce the tax burden on the banking sector - at the same time as asking more from families with children.– the choice to prioritise pet projects, such as free schools, elected police commissioners, and David Cameron’s disastrous top down NHS reorganisation - even as school repairs are cancelled, police officers lose their jobs, and patients wait longer.But let’s be honest: being fair on working families, standing up to vested interests, or protecting and improving our schools and hospitals, were never going to be this Government’s strong suits.So let’s just judge them by their own standards - the goals they set themselves - the promises they made to the British people.The Chancellor might claim today’s borrowing figures show his plans are on track, but he is only on track for targets which have already been revised up by a staggering £158 billion. This is extra borrowing to pay for the costs of economic failure – slower growth and higher unemployment – rather than to support the economy through difficult times. And it’s more borrowing than was required by Alistair Darling’s more balanced plan. George Osborne has had to abandon his promise to eliminate the structural deficit by the end of this parliament, with at least two years of additional austerity beyond 2015. And last week Credit Ratings Agency Moody’s switched its outlook on the UK from “stable” to “negative”, citing concern about the impact of fiscal austerity on Britain’s growth prospects.Let me be clear: Labour has never said that said Britain’s fiscal policy should be set according to the demands of ratings agencies. We all know what a poor guide they proved to be on the banks’ creditworthiness in the run up to the crisis.And on sovereign debt they have been inconsistent – calling for faster cuts one day, then decrying the slowing growth that result the next.But this was the standard George Osborne wanted us to judge him by: – when Standard and Poor’s put the UK’s credit rating on negative outlook in the midst of the financial crisis, George Osborne said Britain’s “economic reputation” was “on the line”– and when the rating was later restored to “stable”, it was Osborne who proclaimed it “a vote of confidence in the coalition Government’s economic policies”.The point is we have a Government failing on its own terms:– they said they’d cut Government borrowing, but they’re borrowing £158 billion more than they planned– they said they’d balance the books by the end of this parliament, but they won’t. – they said they’d live or die by the verdict of the credit ratings agencies – but even now they are sounding the alarm bell.So where did it all go wrong for George Osborne?It went wrong because, as Ed Balls warned in his Bloomberg speech a year and a half ago, deficit reduction requires three pillars:spending reductions, yestax increases, yesBut if you cut spending and raise taxes too far and too fast, and don’t have people in work and businesses succeeding, you cannot get your deficit down, because your tax take falls and your benefit bill goes up.And the fact is, when this Government took office, focusing exclusively on further and faster tax rises and spending cuts, business and consumer confidence collapsed, firms postponed investments and stopped taking on workers.Britain’s growth faltered.First the Government blamed the snow. Then they blamed the Royal Wedding.Now they’re blaming the Eurozone, when in fact rising exports were the only reason why the economy didn’t fall into recession last year.It’s time the Government took responsibility for their own actions and their choice to cut spending and put up taxes too far and too fast that choked off our recovery more than a year ago. Not only are there huge social costs to this experiment:– the failing businesses– the closed libraries and children’s centres– the tragedy of another lost generation of young people out of workBut there are huge consequences for the public finances too.Just look at what happened to the OBR’s projections for the public finances over the 12 months between the chancellor’s spending review in autumn 2010 and the autumn statement in November 2011: – £17.8 billion wiped off VAT revenues– £51.2 billion off income tax revenues– £30.9 billion off corporation tax revenues – an additional £34.7 billion in unplanned spending on tax credits and social security benefits.Rising unemployment and a stagnant economy means spending is higher and tax revenues lower. So George Osborne is now on course to borrow £158 billion pounds more than he planned – a damning indictment of his failed experiment.And the costs of George Osborne’s failure go beyond even this. Because the longer we languish in low gear, the more permanent damage is done. Businesses that close, or miss opportunities to invest and grow market share, aren’t just a cost to our economy now – they’re a permanent setback to Britain’s growth and our ability to pay our way in the world, and a massive cost that future taxpayers will always be paying for.860,000 people have been out of work for more than a year now. Losing hope, motivation and skills – a huge waste in benefits today and in growth potential for the future.And as David Miliband’s commission on youth unemployment highlighted, the cost of today’s unemployment must be counted not just in immediate benefit payments, but in a long term legacy of lower life chances, that will cost our economy and the Treasury billions more for decades to come.So the course George Osborne has chosen isn’t just making it harder to deal with the deficit - it’s building up costs that will make it harder to achieve fiscal sustainability over the decades ahead.The point is not just that you need jobs and growth as well as a credible deficit reduction plan. The point is that a plan to reduce the deficit without a strategy for jobs and growth is not a credible plan at all.The reason we know the Chancellor is off course is because the Office for Budget Responsibility is telling us so.And if we look a bit closer at the rules Osborne has set, we can see that they look increasingly flimsy themselves.The two rules are:–to “achieve cyclically-adjusted current balance by the end of the rolling, five-year forecast period”– and “for public sector net debt as a percentage of GDP to be falling at a fixed date of 2015-16”.The first rule amounts to saying that the Government promises to promise to eliminate the structural deficit five years forward from any given point.But because that five year horizon moves forward with every year, the delivery on that promise can advance ever further into the future. Indeed this has happened already, with George Osborne pushing his target for deficit elimination back by two years.As the Institute of Fiscal Studies has said, “a government that continually promised to tighten in future, but never delivered on those promises, would not technically be judged to be breaking the rule”.Or as another commentator has pointed out, it is rather like someone promising to give up smoking in five years’ time – a promise which can always be kept, without ever stopping smoking, because its fulfilment is always five years in the future.So as Robert Chote, Director of the OBR has agreed, this rule does not guarantee “long-term sustainability”.The second rule gives the Chancellor a target with a fixed date, but because it is not about the level or trajectory of public debt, but only about its immediate movement, it could be met in all kinds of ways, shifting borrowing from one year to another, far from relevant or sensible for ongoing fiscal stability.The IFS, polite to the last, describes this rule as “curious”.As they point out, “if debt were to fall as a share of national income in 2015-16, but increase in every year up to then and in every year after, the supplementary target would still be satisfied.”The IFS view, then, is that the two rules in combination are insufficient “to ensure fiscal sustainability”.So, even with the Government’s borrowing plans being thrown out of the window, the Chancellor continues to meet his rules, because it’s so easy to fudge them. With the Government’s plan hurting but not working, for the rest of my time today, I will set out Labour’s alternative – not just on fairness, protecting public services, and securing growth; but crucially on how we can get our public finances on a sustainable footing.For Labour, unlike the Tories, deficit reduction is not an end in itself. But fiscal discipline is the absolute precondition for all that we want to achieve, across every other area of policy.There are three key elements to our approach that I will address: – targeted action to get the recovery back on track– tough decisions to control spending and fill the tax gap– and reform to entrench fiscal sustainability.First, on, jobs and growth.It’s because we want to see the deficit reduced that we are urging the Chancellor to adopt measures to support businesses and get people into work.Specifically:– a national insurance break for small firms taking on extra workers– a temporary tax cut for hard-pressed families – with VAT being the fairest and quickest option available– further cuts in VAT on home improvements– accelerated investment in infrastructure– and a serious programme to tackle the worsening youth jobs crisis, funded by a tax on bank bonuses.Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth is a temporary and targeted stimulus to restore confidence, strengthen investment and raise employment – to get the growth we need to bring in the tax revenues and bring down the welfare bill. Some people have asked: how can your solution to the deficit be to borrow more?My answer is: it’s George Osborne that’s borrowing more - £158 billion more than he said he would borrow.But not borrowing to give a boost to businesses and people looking for work. Instead borrowing to fill the gap left by falling tax revenues, and the rising numbers of people out of work.Borrowing to pay for the cost of his reckless gamble that has failed.When Labour left office, borrowing was coming in lower than planned, and unemployment was coming down too.Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth is not an exception or postponement of our plan to reduce the deficit – it’s an essential and integral part of it.But the reality is, even with growth back on track, Labour’s approach to deficit reduction would involve tough decisions on spending cuts and tax rises.We faced these issues in Government. Alistair Darling’s deficit reduction plan was based on decisions and commitments that allowed the recovery to take shape, but ensuring tax increases and spending cuts were fairly balanced, with, for example:- real cuts to departmental budgets, but priority public services protected- a tax on bank bonuses and a new 50p rate of tax on incomes above £150,000.Since the last election, the economy has gone into reverse because of this Government’s choices.And because we can’t know now what state the economy or the public finances will be in at the time of the next election:-we’ve been clear that we can’t make promises today about reversing cuts or tax rises- and we’ve warned that further tough choices will be needed to clear up Osborne’s mess and finish the job of deficit reduction in the next parliament.That’s why Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have written to the shadow cabinet, and asked me to work with them, on first: identifying where waste could be eliminated and substantial savings made; and second, how they would switch spending from lower to higher priority areas. Different choices within tight fiscal constraints: choices based on our values and priorities, which I believe are also the values and priorities of the British people.Labour’s willingness to take decisions based on the right priorities has already been demonstrated in the position we’ve taken on public sector pay.When workers in the private sector are facing pay restraint, a 1% average limit on annual increases is necessary to minimise public sector job losses.But we would freeze pay at the top to fund higher increases for those earning below £21,000 – meaning teaching assistants, care workers, and hospital porters would be hundreds of pounds better off under Labour.Another choice we’ve said we’d make differently is on taxation and tuition fees– while under the Conservative-led government banks are benefiting from a 5 per cent cut in corporation tax, – Labour thinks that money would be better used bringing down the cap on tuition fees, to help young people worried about the costs of going to university.These are instructive examples of the care Labour would take, and the difference Labour could make, to ensure the heaviest burden of fiscal consolidation is borne by those with the broadest shoulders, not those already struggling to make ends meet.And when resources are so constrained, we must also be absolutely ruthless in demanding maximum value for taxpayers’ money - unlike the Conservative-led Government, which seems to care so little about public services that it is shockingly casual and complacent about wasting scarce resources.We’ve uncovered extraordinary examples of questionable spending in Whitehall:- from £900 spent on cosmetics at the Ministry of Justice- to £69,000 spent on music and piano stores by the Ministry of DefenceWhile Luciana Berger, Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, has exposed £72,000 spent on away days by the Department for Energy and Climate Change; and £192,000 spent on first class train tickets by the Department for the Environment.Meanwhile my Shadow Cabinet colleague Jon Trickett has exposed the false economies of rushed redundancy programmes- with £90 million paid out to departing civil servants in just the last three months- at the same time as over £30 million is spent on temporary and agency staff to fill those gapsWe’ve seen a total failure to rein in excessive pay at the very top of the public sector- with serious questions being raised about the level of bonuses and the extent of ministerially sanctioned tax avoidance in Whitehall, quangos and other public sector bodies.And we’ve seen incredible sums ploughed into pet projects- more than £100 million spent on installing elected police commissioners – money that could have paid for 3,000 new police constables- £600 million added to the free schools budget in November – money that could pay for the extra 100,000 primary school places we so desperately need- and £1.8 billion set aside for the costs of NHS reorganisation – half of which would keep 6,000 nurses in post for three yearsAnd that is the approach we are taking across every department, every budget,– as we challenge the Government’s careless complacency – and prepare for the tough choices we would face as an incoming Labour Government.Subjecting every line of expenditure to the same tough tests:– protecting the living standards of struggling families– prioritising employment, productivity and growth– a ruthless insistence on value for money– and ensuring that, at a time when everyone is paying a tough price for the failings of a few, those who gained most in the good times cannot evade or avoid their responsibility to make a fair contribution.And all these individual decisions need to be taken within a clear fiscal framework.And so, as Ed Balls announced at the Labour Party Conference, we will be committing to new fiscal rules that will get our current budget back to balance.Labour is ready to complete the job of deficit reduction in the next parliament.I want to finish by saying something about the long term reform of our economy and how that relates to the fiscal challenge.The financial crisis raised big questions about Britain’s economic model - about inequality and irresponsibility; about stability and sustainability. And in response, Ed Miliband has kickstarted an important debate about the new economy this country needs to build. And in fact, fiscal sustainability, and the reform and rebalancing of our economy, go hand in hand.Because Britain should not be too reliant on forms of tax revenues – such as those arising from the housing market and the financial sector – that can be volatile and vulnerable to external shocks.And when we think of some of the pressures on public spending – - the money we spend on tax credits to top up low wages- the money paid in housing benefit, some of it to irresponsible landlords- the money paid to help older people manage expensive energy bills- the money spent on pension credit to make up for low saving rates and inadequate pension provision.It’s clear that a more equitable and responsible capitalism would mean less need for the state to step in to correct or repair the outcomes of an unfair or failing market.This is an exciting agenda that we have only just begun to explore. But it is clear that a fairer and more balanced economy would mean– a more reliable and resilient tax base– as well as fairer outcomes and more resilient families and communitiesso as well as delivering a stronger economy and a fairer society, a more responsible capitalism will also help us deliver long term fiscal sustainability. So in conclusion, let me reiterate and reemphasise my starting point:First, fiscal discipline is fundamental to Labour’s thinking and policy development, underpinning every proposal we make, every argument we advance– not only because our wider message will not be heard if people see us only as spenders, and not also as reformers–but also because we simply will not be able to deliver the changes we want to make in government if we do not have strong public finances.This is not a matter of matching or mimicking the Conservative-led Government. Far from it. The Government’s approach to deficit reduction has been increasingly exposed as empty without the jobs and growth that are essential to fiscal sustainability.And Labour has a distinctive approach to deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility in which our values and priorities shine through:– timely and targeted action to secure the jobs and growth we need to get the deficit falling– different choices within tight fiscal constraints, that put fairness and prosperity first– and reform of the British economy, with more reliable revenues and a redefined role for Government.The debate about deficit reduction and fiscal sustainability is a debate that we on the centre-left can and must win.Because sound public finances and a stronger, more stable economy will give us the solid foundations we need to build a fairer, better Britain.Thank you.
Thursday, 16 February 2012
Thursday, 9 February 2012
Monday, 6 February 2012
H.E Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo-The president of Equatorial Guinea charing the NEPAD summit in Addis Ababa
H.E Mbingu wa Mutharika -Malawi President
H.E Paul Kagame Rwanda President
Since 2003, Mr. Mahiga has served as the United Republic of Tanzania’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. In this capacity, he has been actively involved in various United Nations reform initiatives, including co-facilitating negotiations on establishing the Peacebuilding Commission (2005) and co-chairing intergovernmental consultations on System Wide Coherence reforms, including Delivering as One in eight pilot countries (2008). Ambassador Mahiga has been engaged in intergovernmental and informal working groups on issues of development, peace and security, human rights, and strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union.
Before joining the Tanzanian Foreign Service in 1983, Mr. Mahiga worked in the President’s Office as Acting Director General and Director of Research and Training from 1977–1983. He served in various capacities with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), including as Chief of Mission to Liberia, Coordinator and Deputy Director of the humanitarian and refugee crisis in the Great Lakes Region, and UNHCR Representative in India, Italy, Malta, the Holy See and the Republic of San Marino.
Mr. Mahiga holds a PhD in Philosophy and International Relations from the University of Toronto, Canada. He was born on 28 August 1945 and is married with three children.
The Secretary-General expresses his deep appreciation to Mr. Ould-Abdallah for his
The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is a programme of the African Union created by Africans, for Africans and implemented by Africans.
The NEPAD was adopted at the 37th session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July 2001 in Lusaka, Zambia. It is meant to develop values and monitor their implementation within the framework of the African Union.
NEPAD is a merger of the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Programme (MAP) and the OMEGA Plan. The merger was finalized on 3 July 2001. Out of the merger, NAI was born. NAI was approved by the OAU Summit Heads of State and Government on 11 July 2001. The plan was endorsed by the leaders of G8 countries on 20 July 2001. The policy framework was finalized by the Heads of State Implementation Committee (HSIC) on 23 October 2001, and NEPAD was formed.
What is NEPAD?
. NEPAD is a vision and programme of action for the redevelopment of the African Continent. . NEPAD is a plan that has been conceived and developed by African leaders. . NEPAD is a comprehensive integrated development plan that addresses key social, economic and political priorities in a coherent and balanced manner. . NEPAD is a commitment that African leaders are making to African people and to the international community, to place Africa on a path of sustainable growth. . NEPAD is a commitment African leaders are making to accelerate the integration of the African Continent into the global economy. . NEPAD is a framework for a new partnership with the rest of the world. . NEPAD is a call to the rest of the world to partner Africa in her own development on the basis of her own agenda and programme of action.
. To promote accelerated growth and sustainable development. . To eradicate widespread and severe poverty. . To halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalization process.
Sunday 5th February 2012
Embargoed until 2200Hrs Sunday 5 February 2012
Miliband tells Cameron: Save 6,000 nurses by abandoning NHS reorganisation now
Ed Miliband will today (Monday) accuse the Government of directly damaging frontline patient care with its unnecessary and unwanted top-down reorganisation of the NHS.Talking today about frontline pressure right across the NHS, he will point to new figures released by Labour that show the number of NHS nurses has now fallen by 3,500 since the general election and that indicate the total fall in nurses could be at least 6,000 by the end of this Parliament.At the same time Labour will highlight that the funds set aside to pay for the costs of the Health Bill’s reorganisation would be more than sufficient to protect all of these 6,000 nursing jobs if Parliament chose in the coming weeks to abandon the reorganisation.The Labour leader, along with Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, will be visiting s taff and patients at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Kent.It comes as Labour launches the next stage of its campaign against the Government’s Health Bill which is returning to Parliament this week.Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will say:"In tough times and with little money around the very first priority should be to protect the frontline NHS. Instead we have a government blowing a vast amount of money on a damaging top-down reorganisation at the same time as it is cutting thousands of nurses, with more than 3,000 already gone."Labour’s priority is protecting the frontline, not a pointless and damaging reorganisation of the NHS. So we are calling for the Bill to be scrapped, and for some of the money set aside to fund this reorganisation to instead be made available to the NHS to protect the thousands of nursing posts either already cut or set to be cut in the coming years."It is a clear and simpl e choice for the Government: by stopping this damaging reorganisation we can fund 6,000 nurses."In opposition David Cameron told people he could be trusted to protect the NHS. In government he has put Tory free-market ideology ahead of basic patient care."Last year, the Government set aside nearly £1.8bn to pay for the costs of Health Bill reorganisation that could only be used once the Health Bill is enacted. Labour is calling for £750m of the money being used to fund the reorganisation to be used instead to fund 6,000 nursing posts over the Spending Review period, replacing the 3,500 nurses that have already been lost, and protecting a further 2,500 posts that research suggests will be lost in the coming years.Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, will say:"In just over 18 months in government, the Coalition has taken a successful and confident NHS and turned it into an organisation that's demoralised, destabilis ed and fearful of the future. It is reckless in the extreme to plough on with this reorganisation when organisations that represent 1.2m NHS staff are lined up against it. It threatens seriously damaging the key relationships that underpin the NHS. By allowing existing NHS structures to disintegrate before new ones are in place, the Government is creating a loss of grip and focus at local level and the NHS is showing signs of increasing distress."
1. The 2011 Spring Supplementary Estimate set aside £1.785bn to fund the costs of Health Bill reorganisation, which could not be spent until the legislation had been enacted: “Part of the provision under subhead G2 in RfR1 is subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, which has passed second reading in the House of Commons. The provision sought, £1,785,000,000 will not be used for the service or for any other purpose until the enabling legislation has been enacted.” (2011, p.75)2. The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) qualified nurses (excluding midwives, health visitors and school nurses) has fallen from 281,431 in May 2010 to 277,915 in October 2011 (latest figures), a fall of 3,516 (NHS Information Centre, Monthly NHS Hospital and Community Health Service Workforce Statistics in England - October 2011). The figure refers to the change in ‘Qualified nursing, midwifery & health visiting staff’ net of changes in the numbers of midwives, health visitors and school nurses. (When midwives, health visitors and school nurses are included in the total, the overall fall in qualified nursing, midwifery & health visiting staff is 3,000 (2,968).)3. Recent research by the Royal College of Nursing suggests that many more nursing posts may already have been earmarked for cuts (Frontline First: November 2011 update, Royal College of Nursing). The RCN analysis identified 5,000 nursing posts at risk, comprising both qualified nurses and healthcare assistants. Here we assume that half (2,500) of these 5,000 posts are qualified nurses.4. According to calculations by the House of Commons Library, the average total cost of employing a nurse for three years through 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 is £124,800, including employer NICs and pension contributions (calculations based o n NHS Staff Earnings, estimates, July 2011 to September 2011). The total cost of supporting 6,000 FTE posts at £124,800 is therefore £748.8m.5. The list of professional bodies which have come out in opposition to the Health and Social Care Bill include: The Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of GPs, the Royal College of Radiologists, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.6. Labour's Policy Review is currently looking at workforce pressures among health professions, including among doctors, nurses and midwives, in addition to broader workforce planning issues.
Sunday, 5 February 2012
Ghana President John Atta Mills hosting Deputy Secretary Bill Burns during his visit to Accra. Photo courtesy of the Office of the President of Ghana
Deputy Secretary Burns meets with Ghanaian alumni of U.S.-sponsored exchange programs in Accra.
Deputy Secretary Burns meets with Ghanaian alumni of U.S.-sponsored exchange programs in Accra
UK Premiere of Justice Denied, an independent documentary featuring an interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal, on death row in 1996. 11:00-12:30 NFT2
In Prison My Whole Life, UK –USA 2007. Dir Marc Evans. 97mins. Story of Mumia Abu-Jamal, political activist.
Chair: Colin Prescod, Institute of Race Relations. Key speakers: Selma James, who edited and introduced the UK edition of Jailhouse Lawyers, Avery F Gordon, Professor of Sociology, University of California and director, Marc Evans
The film screenings and discussion centre on the life of award-winning journalist, imprisoned activist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal who in 1982 was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer in a trial widely condemned for constitutional violations as well as for racism. His death sentence was overturned in 2001 due to errors in his original sentencing hearing. However, Mumia remained on Death Row until December 2011, ten years after his sentence was voided and still continues to suffer harsh discriminatory treatment. It took a complaint by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for Mumia’s shackles to be removed during visits. Mumia records weekly radio commentaries from prison, two of his books are best sellers and his latest book: Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v USA, is just published in the UK. Mumia continues to elicit wide support and admiration from notable celebrities including writers Alice Walker, Danny Glover and Noam Chomsky and musicians such as Snoop Dogg and Moss Def.
At 11:00 the BFI Southbank will screen Justice Denied a previously unseen documentary in the UK and features the last televised interview with Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row.
At 14:00 we will screen In Prison My Whole Life, an award winning film that was nominated in 2008 for 'World Cinema - Documentary' with the award of 'Grand Jury Prize' at Sundance. Colin Prescod from the Institute of Race Relations will chair discussion after the film and introduce key speakers including director Marc Evans; Selma James, who edited and introduced the UK edition of Jailhouse Lawyers and Avery F Gordon, Professor of Sociology, University of California and.
This event is part of AFRICAN ODYSSEYS, a series of films by and about the people of Africa and its diaspora. In 2007 the BFI teamed up with cultural leaders and activists and set up a monthly programme of films that are introduced and discussed with key speakers.
The event is listed here. You can learn more about In Prison My Whole Life here.
The BFI Southbank is open to all. BFI members are entitled to a discount on all tickets. BFI Southbank Box Office tel: 020 7928 3232. You can find out where we are and what we do from our website.
Friday 3 February 2012
Speech on banking - Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party, said today in a speech at the Thomson Reuters Building:This has been a turbulent week for the British banking industry. On Sunday, Stephen Hester gave back his bonus, and on Tuesday, the forfeiture committee revoked Fred Goodwin’s knighthood. But these moments do really not change anything in themselves. This is about more than one man, one bonus, or one knighthood. These are symbols – and symptoms - of public discontent with a system that is not working as it should. For our economy. And for our society. That is why these moments do not and should not signal the end of the debate. Because, three years on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the debate is really only just beginning.We need a banking system that serves a more responsible capitalism, working for the majority of people and enabling us to pay our way in the world.Everyone can agree that the kind of tug-of-war we have seen in the past fortnight over bonuses is bad for the reputation of the banking sector. Nobody in this country - neither the banks’ most staunch defenders nor their most outspoken critics - believe that a public argument between executives, shareholders, politicians and the public is the best way for any sector to set pay. London is one of the world’s great financial centres and Britain’s banking sector is one of our most important employers. It is in all our interests to find a better way forward. But if things carry on as they are, I believe the same row over pay and bonuses will erupt again. So how do we make sure that that does not happen? We need to learn the most important lesson of the week: we cannot have a banking sector so divorced from the rest of the economy and the rest of society.We succeed or fail together.It is not about the politics of envy. It is about a culture of responsibility.We need what you might call 'one nation banking'. We need banks that serve the real economy.We need banking serving every region, every sector, every business, every family in this country. And we need banks run in a way that people believe are consistent with their values – the values of Britain. It is something I have been talking about for months: responsibility - from the benefits office to the boardroom.But to understand how we get there, we must understand how we got here. On almost any measure you choose, banking and finance is going through exceptional times. Everywhere you look, pillars of the conventional wisdom which have stood solidly for thirty-odd years are crashing to the ground. Until 2007, it was hard to imagine that: light touch financial regulation would be so thoroughly discredited; financial instruments designed to make each bank safer would make the banking system as a whole riskier; we would be facing interest rates lower than we have seen for decades without lending rising as a result; bank bonuses could be in the billions even as banks’ share price fell; all the banks in this country would be backed by an implicit government guarantee; and two of the biggest would be largely owned by the Government. We all know this has happened because something has gone deeply wrong.My party has accepted responsibility, along with governments round the world, for not doing more to prevent the crisis with regulation.We now must ask questions about the future of banking which have not been asked for a generation.The banking sector can choose either to continue down the path which led us to big bonuses, busts, and bailouts.Or it can take a different path. Today, I want to talk about that different path. Banking has to change. Throughout most of our parents and grandparents’ lives, banking was not prone to wild swings in value.It directed lending towards businesses and entrepreneurs efficiently and soberly.And the idea of a vote in the House of Commons to affect the pay of an individual banker would have been as outlandish as the idea of a vote to censure the pay of an individual doctor or lawyer. Thirty years ago, the word ‘banker’ was often used as a compliment to suggest solidity and reassurance. Since then, however, the sector morphed from something our parents and grandparents would have recognized into something else, with the rise and increasing dominance of investment banks. We can't turn back the clock. This mustn’t be about recreating a bygone era of banking. But if the rules and norms of banking have changed before, they can change again. And they must change. After the crisis and the bailout, we are left in a situation which nobody would have wanted. Where thanks to the crisis, ten per cent of this country’s tax receipts fell away between 2007 and 2008 alone.Banks have accepted they bear the burden of responsibility for helping to cause the crisis.The consequences of their reckless irresponsibility in that era are felt every time a library closes.Every time a school can’t afford a new book.And every time a policeman or policewoman is taken off the beat.Those consequences are being felt by everyone in society. The banking sector needs to understand this. People who did not cause the financial crisis are paying the price. And many feel that those who did cause the financial crisis are not. When most people see their incomes stagnate, their bills go up, their public services cut, and their jobs increasingly become insecure, pay and bonuses at banks seem to carry on as if the crisis never happened.The public services we rely on to educate our kids, look after us when we are ill, or help us afford a lawyer if we’re in trouble, cannot go back to normal any time soon. So when people see the pay of those who caused the crisis continuing to be so abnormal, they are understandably angry.This is a call for banking to recognise that continuing on its current path will lead to further isolation from society, greater public anger, more years in which each payday is a newspaper headline.This is a call on banking to recognise that it should take the path of change. To recognise that it is not isolated from the economy or society. To recognise that we succeed or fail together.We have a proud history of banking in this country.Banking has performed an invaluable service to the economy from Midland Bank's role restructuring the cotton industry in the 1930s, to Barclays' role in financing high tech start-ups in Cambridge in the seventies and eighties, And since the crisis, we have seen some welcome steps.Notably, the Independent Banking Commission’s recommendations about the ring fencing of retail and investment banking. And more recently, the way HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered have put up £2.5 billion for a business growth fund focused on British firms.But there is still a long way to go before we achieve one nation banking.Public discontent is, if anything, on the rise - as the long lasting impact of the crisis in living standards becomes clear.For all the reform of the way bonuses are paid, they remain on a scale beyond the imagination of the vast majority of the population.Although the Government has welcomed the Vickers proposals, their implementation remains a distant prospect.And most importantly, business frustration with the banks they rely on is as high as ever. Still, too often, they see the bank, not as a partner in a shared project, but as a problem to be overcome.I saw this only on Monday in Scotland when a wind turbine manufacturer complained that while he had employed 20 people in his factory it could have been 30 if only he had got the loan he needed from a leading British bank. Similar stories can be heard from thousands of other businesses around the country. Banks must not be isolated from the rest of the economy. Banks must lend to small businesses so we can get the growth and jobs we need for the future.That is how Britain will compete in the world. As things stand, that is still not happening enough. Lending was down £10.8 billion last year. There are two reasons why not enough capital currently reaches the small and medium sized enterprises in this country which are crying out for it. The first is that it’s always hardest to get credit when the economy is in a downturn, even though that’s when small and medium-sized firms need finance the most. And the second is that it is cheaper for banks to lend to big companies than small ones. Particularly when credit is already being rationed, lending to small firms is often deemed not worthwhile for banks. The market on its own does not work for small businesses. All the most successful economies around the world recognise this: from Asian capitalist states like Singapore, through active industrial states like Germany, to supposedly free market states like the USA.And they make sure that the state helps finance to reach the small and medium sized enterprises which need it. This isn't about picking winners. It is about the state getting the market moving, like our most successful competitors have been doing since the fifties.It’s no coincidence that in Britain we haven’t done as much to develop a Mittelstand like Germany.Or fast-growing young companies like Apple and Intel - both of which got growth funding from the US government’s Small Business Investment Company programme.When it comes to competing internationally, our small and medium sized companies are fighting with one hand tied behind their back. One nation banking means the private sector and the state need to work together in partnership to get the system working for small business.It means we will need a much more diverse and competitive banking system which is more rooted in our communities.And it means looking at the case for a British Investment Bank which would provide government backing for entrepreneurs when the market fails. How we achieve these goals is at the core of our business policy review. But one nation banking is not just about banks serving the economy. It also means that banks cannot be isolated from the rest of society either.They cannot expect their decisions to be immune from public debate. There will always be some who see public criticism of private decisions, like excessive bonus payments, as illegitimate. It is an argument I want to tackle head-on. I believe it is right to address these issues.Firstly, for economic reasons. The economy relies on banks to lend to small businesses. If banks show greater restraint on pay, there will be more money left over for them to lend to businesses. This is a point forcibly made by the Governor of the Bank of England.And in the aftermath of a crisis worsened by excessive leverage, if they show restraint on pay, there will be more money left over too for them to repair their balance sheets.The second reason is because banks have been taking one-way bets which have affected us all as taxpayers. Banks which were too big to fail were able to take positions in the knowledge that if they profited they could keep the gains, but if they didn’t, the taxpayer would absorb the losses. I believe in rewards for entrepreneurs and wealth creators. Exceptional rewards for exceptional performance.But even banks in this country which are not publicly owned still enjoy an implicit taxpayer guarantee whose value is estimated as at least £10 billion.That means that many of the bets they make are one-way bets, backed by an implicit taxpayer-funded safety net. Thirdly, we need change is because banks have a responsibility to society. Because at the core of one nation banking is the idea that as a country, we succeed or fail together. We are not isolated individuals, and however affluent we are, whatever the world we inhabit, we owe responsibilities to each other.So what does that mean in practice? What are the steps that banks need to take if they to reflect better the values of the British people - the values of their customers. It starts with transparency. That means that banks should publish the details of all their large bonuses. Pay packages at the top should be simpler, so that we can easily understand who is paid what, and shareholders can hold them to account more easily.We have called on the Government to implement rules we legislated for to make banks reveal how many employees are earning over one million pounds, so that shareholders can hold them to account.It is absurd for David Cameron to claim this simple effective measure is too onerous for banks and will make British banks uncompetitive. It is the very least the public has a right to expect and demand.The next priority is to improve accountability at the top.That means accountability to employees so that companies put some of their ordinary workers – maybe a teller normally at high street bank window - on the committee which sets executives’ top pay. If you can’t look a member of your own staff in the eye when you receive a huge bonus, you should not get it. We need to simplify the current rules on pay packages so that say that executives get just one salary and just one bonus.When banks are majority owned by the taxpayer, the Government must exercise some shareholder oversight on top pay. All I ask is that the Government should practice what it preaches to other shareholders and take some responsibility for the pay and bonuses of publicly-owned banks. But – after transparency and accountability – must come the recognition that executives have a responsibility to wider society. Of course, there is an international market in banking. But there is also a national imperative: that everybody, from top to bottom, reflects our values of responsibility.The kind of responsibility shown by the chairman of RBS, Sir Philip Hampton, who recognised that taking his bonus at a time when families are feeling the pinch was wrong. The kind of responsibility which others in the banking sector could learn from manufacturing in this country: when the crisis hit, managers took pay cuts to save jobs and retain talent for the long-term.Responsibility means ending the culture of excessive bonuses.This bonus culture has ultimately been corrosive. It has enriched individual bankers, but weakened the banking sector as a whole by encouraging a form of risk which crossed the line into sheer recklessness. Exceptional rewards for exceptional performance means million pound bonuses should not be handed out to people for just doing their job. It means that performance-related pay should be related to your performance. It should be earned, not expected.A reward for exceeding expectations, not meeting them.I am not talking about the couple of thousand of pounds that employees, including bank tellers, might receive.I am talking about the couple of millions of pounds which too many people seem to receive as a rule, not as an exception.The first step towards tackling this problem is recognising it.Some will argue that the best remedy is the discipline of the free market. But this argument was proven wrong the day the sector collapsed and had to be rescued by the taxpayer. Anyone who looks at recent history will find it hard to believe that the discipline of the market will prevent runaway bonuses.The answer is to change the rules and change the culture.That is what the House of Commons will debate on Tuesday. We will say that that too many are getting bonuses which are too big, too often. All companies must show responsibility, but banks have a particular responsibility because they are either directly or indirectly supported by the taxpayer. We will give MPs the chance to vote on having another bank bonus tax to get 100,000 of our young people back to work. But we will also ask MPs to vote on ending a bonus culture based on one-way bets rather than genuine reward for exceptional performance. It will not be legislation and it will not be binding. But it will be another step towards hearing the voices of millions of people up and down this country who do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay without seeking any extra reward on top, let alone one worth millions. Because the alternative to this path of one nation banking is a banking and finance sector which continues on its current path. The path which it has been on for the last decade or so. The path which leads to a gradual separation from the rest of society. We are once again at risk of becoming a country separated economically, geographically, and socially.We are once again at risk of becoming two nations in this country. That is not the kind of society in which I want to raise my children. And it is not the kind of society in which the vast majority of people in this country – including bankers - want to raise theirs.It is over 160 years since Benjamin Disraeli wrote his novel, Sybil, in which he warned of:“Two nations, between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts and feelings as if they were dwellers in different zones or inhabitants of different planets.”For the banking community and the rest of us, that is how it has felt this week.That is not good for Britain and it is not good for banks. We need a healthy and successful banking sector, creating jobs and wealth, helping the real economy and connecting to the rest of society. Responsible capitalism can only be built with a successful banking sector. I believe we can achieve this by changing the rules of the system and the culture of our banks.That is how we will have a fairer society and an economy which pays its way in the world.That is how we will create one nation banking.