Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th

A detailed audit of last month's Budget has shown that women will shoulder nearly three-quarters of the burden of cuts and tax increases.

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A detailed audit of last month’s Budget has shown that women will shoulder nearly three-quarters of the burden of cuts and tax increases. An independent analysis carried out by the House of Commons library describes the Budget as the “worst for women since the creation of the welfare state”, showing that more than 70 per cent of the revenue raised from direct tax and benefit changes will come from female taxpayers: of the nearly £8 billion net revenue to be raised by the financial year 2014-15, nearly £6bn will be from women and just over £2bn from men.

Shadow welfare secretary Yvette Cooper, who commissioned the study, told The Guardian: “Women are bearing nearly three-quarters of the Tory-Liberal plans, while men are bearing just a quarter. This is despite the fact that women’s income and wealth is still considerably lower than men’s. Even more significant, this doesn’t include the impact of public spending cuts. As women make up more of the public sector workforce they will be more heavily hit by the public sector pay freeze and the projected 600,000 net public sector job losses.” She added: “David Cameron promised the most family-friendly government ever. Yet they have just launched the fiercest attack on family support in the history of the welfare state… Women are more affected by the cuts in things like housing benefit, cuts in upratings to the additional pension, public sector pensions or attendance allowances, and they benefit less than men from the increases in the income tax allowances. Even putting children aside, they are hitting women hardest.” The figures do not include the impact of the abolition of the child trust fund, the rise in VAT and the cutting of the health in pregnancy grant and the Sure Start maternity grant.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski has conceded defeat to Bronislaw Komorowski in the Polish presidential elections. Kaczynski, whose twin brother Lech’s death in a plane crash in August April triggered the poll, said: “I congratulate the winner. I congratulate Bronislaw Komorowski.” He told his supporters “there will be other elections to fight” and that “we have to mobilise” for them, reports the Telegraph. Komorowski, meanwhile, told his supporters late last night: “This is a victory for Polish democracy… The ballots are being counted. We’re opening a small bottle of champagne today, and we’ll open a big one tomorrow.” The Independent reports that official results from the state electoral commission show that, with 95 per cent of polling stations reporting in, Komorowski won 52.63 per cent and Kaczynski 47.37 per cent. Prime minister Donald Tusk said: “If this result is confirmed, this will be one of the happiest days of my life.” The Indy adds: “Mr Komorowski, the scion of an aristocratic family, has a traditional Catholic background but he favours a greater separation of church and state and stressed the need to look to the future and modernise Poland, the largest of the ex-communist countries to join the European Union in recent years. Poland’s president has many ceremonial duties, but he can also veto laws, and as commander in chief has influence on foreign military operations.”

The Guardian reports that ‘climategate’ was a “game-changer” in science reporting, prompting scientists to become “more upfront, open and explicit about their uncertainties”. On Wednesday, the Muir Russell report into the conduct of scientists from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit will be published, with senior climate scientists saying their world has been “dramatically changed” by the affair. Mick Hume, professor of climate change at the UEA, says: “The release of the emails was a turning point, a game-changer… The community has been brought up short by the row over their science. Already there is a new tone. Researchers are more upfront, open and explicit about their uncertainties, for instance.” Bob Watson, former chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agrees: “It is clear that the scientific community will have to respond by being more open and transparent in allowing access to raw data in order that their scientific findings can be checked.” The report adds: “The veteran Oxford science philosopher Jerome Ravetz says the role of the blogosphere in revealing the important issues buried in the emails means it will assume an increasing role in scientific discourse. ‘The radical implications of the blogosphere need to be better understood.’ [Judith] Curry [of the Georgia Institute of Technology] too applauds the rise of the ‘citizen scientist’ triggered by climategate, and urges scientists to embrace them.”

The Telegraph reports that Conservative ministers are plotting to curb union strike powers “to avoid a second winter of discontent”. It says: “Ministers have held secret meetings to block nationwide strikes this autumn as departments enforce spending cuts of up to 40 per cent and the loss of up to a million public sector jobs… Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, held a meeting with Boris Johnson 10 days ago to discuss the need for new rules on industrial action supported by only a small proportion of the workforce. The Mayor of London was sounded out and asked for advice because of his experience in dealing with unions during two years in office, including the RMT rail union’s strikes affecting the London Underground last year.” A Tory source told the Telegraph the Cabinet is “feeling inclined to be very bullish and aggressive” about confronting any strikes. The reports adds that the government is “under pressure from senior business figures to change the rules to allow striking workers to be replaced with agency employees” and that unions “could also be made legally liable for the consequences of strikes”.

And the Financial Times reports General David Petraeus’s warning Sunday that the coalition was facing a “critical moment” in Afghanistan. Gen Petraeus was speaking at a change-of-command ceremony at the Kabul headquarters of Isaf, the Nato-led force in Afghanistan as he assumed command of the 130,000-strong force. He said: “We are in this to win… We have arrived at a critical moment.” He added: “As you and our Afghan partners on the ground get into tough situations, we must employ all assets to ensure your safety, keeping in mind, again, the importance of avoiding civilian casualties.” Former presidential candidate John McCain, however, said that having a “date certain” for starting to withdraw troops from Afghanistan “sounds an uncertain trumpet”. McCain told ABC News from Kabul: “I’m all for dates of withdrawal, but that’s after the strategy succeeds, not before. That’s a dramatic difference… I know enough about warfare… I know enough about what strategy and tactics are about. If you tell the enemy that you’re leaving on a date certain, unequivocally, then that enemy will wait until you leave.”

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23 Responses to “Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th”

  1. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd Politics Summary: http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ – Women to be hit worst by cuts

  2. Katharine S Russell

    RT @leftfootfwd: Politics Summary: http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ – Women to be hit worst by cuts

  3. winston k moss

    RT @leftfootfwd: Politics Summary: http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ – Women to be hit worst by cuts

  4. Hitchin England

    Politics Summary: http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ – Women to be hit worst by cuts via @leftfootfwd

  5. Thomas Byrne

    Would you Care to link to the audit? There doesn’t appear to be anything on the Parliament site.

  6. Samuel Tarry

    RT @leftfootfwd: Politics Summary: http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ – Women to be hit worst by cuts

  7. Ben Folley

    RT @SamTarry: RT @leftfootfwd: Politics Summary: http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ – Women to be hit worst by cuts

  8. Janet Veitch

    RT @leftfootfwd: Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ

  9. Jacquie Martin

    Typical Torygraph headline. Union membership is nothing like what it was in 1978 so that’s not going to be repeated. But the concept of discontent is going to be very real. And this is only just starting.

    For new rules they will have to make new laws as it’s these that govern strike action.

    For small proportion read: majority. These ConDems really don’t like democratic principles – they’ve already discussed changing the simple majority when talking of the vote of no confidence in a government and didn’t get a good response. Presumably they think it will get a better showing when they discuss it in relation to the unions. Once the principle is established…

    I feel very bullish and aggressive about confronting the cuts, or rather the people making them. I guess a lot of other people do too. How long before bloodshed on the streets? Why this government thinks everyone is going to sit back and meekly accept all this because they say it’s good for us, is beyond me.

    It’s like being under military rule.

  10. Seema Malhotra

    RT @SamTarry: RT @leftfootfwd: Politics Summary: http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ – Women to be hit worst by cuts

  11. Jenny Bunker

    RT @leftfootfwd: Politics Summary: http://bit.ly/9WmvVQ – Women to be hit worst by cuts

  12. Denise Taylor

    Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward: A detailed audit of last month's Budget has shown that wom… http://bit.ly/cm7n7E

  13. Mr. Sensible

    There’s been a lot of coverage of the cuts over the weekend, and I will cover it in a moment.

    But there are a couple of other things I would like to comment on first.

    Shamik, the coverage today of ‘Climategate’ is interesting; I believe that on Friday Michael Mann was cleared of allegations of science fraud placed by climate skeptics:

    Elsewhere, I see that the David Kelly controversy still rumbles on, and in the Independent yesterday they had 1 of his relatives who seems sure he was not murdered:

    And, in the Guardian today I see there’s an interview with a web expert who thinks the Times’s paywall won’t work:

    Also, I see from the BBC news today that the RAC foundation reckon that some sort of road pricing scheme is inevitable:

    But I have a problem with what they’re saying about it. The thing is, we have a serious congestion problem. There are 2 ways we can try and solve it; we can keep widening roads, which has been shown to be ineffective, or we can invest in our public transport network. To that end, I agree with Philip Hammond that we should be cancelling some of the road projects lined up, but we should invest the money saved, and money raised from additional road pricing to improve our public transport network, thus providing an alternative to the car that is affordable for passengers and that is at the same time reliable. London has I believe managed to make it work with congestion charging, and I think other places could do likewise.

    And so, turning to the cuts.

    I see they’ve been talking about this on the Stephen Nolan show the last 2 nights, and some people used words like “emotive” and “ideology” in criticizing people who were opposed to the cuts. I don’t know if that’s ironic or something, since the coalition seems to have used a reasonable amount of emotive language to hype up the deficit, when in actual fact the cuts are about ideology, nothing else.

    Who on Earth do the Tories think they’re trying to kid by saying that all this can be achieved by “efficiency savings?” Whether it is 25% or 40%, this is going to mean cuts to frontline services. After all, for example, a proposal for a new hospital has been canceled. That is an NHS frontline service scrapped.

    And on the news last night Daniel Hannan failed to explain why giving a corporation tax cut to the banks was a good idea. They aren’t ‘wealth creators’ as he put it; they are the ones who got us in to this mess, had to be bailed out and are about to get off scot free, since any tax they pay from this bank levy will be canceled out by the tax cut. If there’s money around to cut Corporation Tax, National Insurance, freeze Council Tax ETC then clearly there must be money for our public services.

    And we all now know that cuts to Building schools for the Future aren’t to cut the deficit; they’re to prop up Michael Gove’s new academies and Free Schools. If there’s money for that, there’s money for BSF.

    What’s more, I see they’re also talking about public sector pensions. Just why should it be a race to the bottom? They talk about best practice in the private sector ETC, but in actual fact the wealth of the UK’s top earners since 2008 has apparently gone up.

    What’s more, on Friday the Guardian reported that our armed forces were to be hit by the 2-year pay freeze:

    So much for appreciating the work our soldiers do.

    There’s a lot of talk going around that development should not be spared. I disagree; in amongst all this I think we can still afford to give aid to those people who need it. These cuts are entirely avoidable if the coalition scrapped it’s tax cuts and scrapped the Free schools.

    I found LFF’s analysis of what happened when Japan did something like this very interesting.

    And I notice that apart from Dr Even Harris and Lord Ashdown, the Liberal Democrats seem to have remained almost silent. The fact is, they opposed cuts before the election, they’re propping them up after the election. They opposed ‘Cameron’s VAT bombshell’ before the election, but are detonating it after the election. They are the ones who have to apologize to their own voters.

    We have a Tory chancellor who is ‘fixing the finances to fit the budget’, and a Lib Dem Chief Secretary who has bought his job at the expense of hundreds of thousands of others.


    Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward: A detailed audit of last month's Budget has shown that wom… http://bit.ly/9FDs5t


    Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward: A detailed audit of last month's Budget has shown that wom… http://bit.ly/9FDs5t

  16. Simon

    Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/9tqAbo

  17. Nolan Sylvia

    Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward: A detailed audit of last month's Budget has shown that wom… http://bit.ly/9FDs5t

  18. Kurt

    Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/dcyRY5

  19. Marcel Duda

    <b>Politics</b> Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward http://goo.gl/fb/qrCaB

  20. Jacquie Martin

    Mr Sensible

    Agree with your comments regarding the cuts, especially the decision to stop the BSF project which would help all state schools in favour of free schools which will, in effect, help very few schools.

    Tories have short termist policies. They don’t care about the future and investment. They care about here and now and themselves. Which is why they’re whingeing on about the deficit – which Labour wouldn’t have needed to run up if the Tories hadn’t run the country into the ground. But they could have raised taxes to offset it, IMO. I think they slipped up there.

    The Tories are idealogically opposed to raising taxes, at least on wealth and so those more able to pay. The LibDems will be in the history books for this little bit of power which cost them everything, including their principles and ultimately their party.

    I comfort myself in the knowledge that neither party had the mandate to do this and they will pay. Unfortunately after we’ve paid more.

  21. Casey Vanderpool

    Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/c6Ame4

  22. nicole brown

    Politics Summary: Monday, July 5th | Left Foot Forward: As women make up more of the public sector workforce they … http://bit.ly/cm7n7E

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