Wednesday News Review

More than 50,000 NHS jobs could be axed

False Economy – the cuts campaign website that formally launches today (Wednesday) – reveals that more than 50,000 NHS staff posts are set for the axe, destroying government claims that the NHS is in safe hands. David Cameron then famously claimed before the election that he would “cut the deficit, not the NHS”. However less than 10 months into the coalition government, the reality couldn’t be more different, with NHS cuts across the country. The national total is already twice the previous estimate of 27,000 job cuts, published by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) last November. False Economy’s figures have been collated for the most part from NHS trusts themselves under the Freedom of Information Act but also include figures sourced by the RCN Frontline First campaign, as well as press reports and foundation trusts’ annual plans published by the national regulator Monitor. – Liberal Conspiracy

In response to a series of Freedom of Information requests, officials confirmed that 53,150 posts are due to be lost across 155 hospital trusts, 126 primary care trusts, 23 ambulance trusts and 54 mental health trusts in England, as well as 15 Scottish trusts, nine Welsh trusts and six trusts in Northern Ireland. Nearly every trust in the country admitted that they planned to shed staff over the next four years, with some losing up to one in five employees, according to the study. More than a dozen hospitals failed to respond to the requests, meaning the true level of job losses could be substantially higher. The requests were submitted by the TUC as part of its False Economy campaign against public spending cuts, which is launched today. – the Telegraph

More than 50,000 NHS jobs face being axed, including doctors, nurses and dentists, because of Government spending cuts, “destroying” claims about the funding of the health service, according to a new report. A study by False Economy, an anti-cuts campaign group, found that health trusts across the country were cutting staff or warning of job losses. The report detailed a series of cuts at trusts including East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust; Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust; Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. False Economy said the total number of confirmed, planned and potential NHS staff cuts across the country was more than 53,000, adding that more NHS trusts were expected to announce staff cuts over the next four months, including all Wales’ health boards. – PA

1.6 million children living in severe poverty

Ministers should draw up an emergency plan to tackle extreme levels of poverty as new research showed that more than one in four children live in penury in some major UK cities. The figures, compiled by Save the Children, show that 1.6 million youngsters live in severe poverty, which the charity condemned as a “national scandal”. With unemployment rising and a radical shake up of the welfare system seeing £18bn wiped from benefits, the charity fears the number of children living without the basics will rise unless action is taken. The government’s survey defines severe poverty as a household with half the average income – for a family of four this would be pay of less than £12,500 – and also suffering from material deprivation. For example, they might not be able to pay for repairs to appliances or afford insurance. – the Guardian

In some areas, one in four children lives in a home which brings in less than £12,500 a year and goes without things most of their peers take for granted, such as having friends round for tea. Save The Children said it was a ‘national scandal’ that so many were suffering and warned the situation would only deteriorate as unemployment rises and the welfare system is reined back. ‘Children are going to sleep at night in homes with no heating, without eating a proper meal,’ said Sally Copley, the charity’s head of policy. ‘At the moment these children are hidden from official view and their plight unrecognised. If these children are to have a future, we must acknowledge their desperate need and urgently target government help towards them.’- Metro


With just ten weeks and one day left before the country votes in the referendum a new survey of members of the YouGov polling panel found that YES has dropped to 34% with NO edging up to 41%. The firm used what has been its standard question which when put last produced a 37-37 response. So with this week’s two polls both showing a move to NO it looks as though those opposed to change have got the initiative. The question is whether they can sustain it? The key group are Labour supporters and NO has recruited many of the party’s star names from the past in order to reach this audience. Ed Miliband is campaigning for YES. The normal way of expressing voting intention polling numbers is to strip out the won’t votes/wont say/don’t knows and quote the percentages of those expressing a firm view. For the sake of consistency I’m going to do the re-percentage calculation myself in order that all AV surveys are described in the same manner. So last night’s 34-41 becomes 45-55 – a healthy NO lead. – Political Betting

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