The civil servant who leads the governments work

first_imgThe civil servant who leads the government’s work and health unit has sparked fresh concerns that the new disability employment strategy could be heavily influenced by the discredited “biopsychosocial” (BPS) model of disability.Tabitha Jay told a meeting of the all-party parliamentary group for disability (APPGD) yesterday (Wednesday) that the social model of disability underpinned the strategy, which has an aim of seeing one million more disabled people in work over the next 10 years.But she also appeared to suggest that the BPS model was “running in parallel” to the social model within the strategy.The BPS model places blame for being unemployed on the individual disabled person and their supposed negative attitudes towards working, whereas the social model explains that it is the barriers in society – and not people’s impairments – which disabled people.Jay was only speaking at the event because the minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, had withdrawn at short notice after originally promising to answer questions about the strategy.Ellen Clifford, campaigns and policy manager for Inclusion London, had asked the civil servants about the disparity between the government’s claims that it believed in the social model and the new strategy, which appeared to be underpinned by the BPS model.Clifford (pictured, right, at another event) told Jay and Karen Jochelson, who heads the Office for Disability Issues, that the question of which model underpinned the strategy was “fundamental to its impact and effectiveness”.She pointed out that the UK government had told the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities in July that it “embraces the social model of disability”, while the former minister for disabled people, Penny Mordaunt, had assured her that the strategy would be consistent with the social model.But Clifford said the strategy, published in November after Newton’s appointment, was in practice underpinned by the BPS model, which was “very dangerous and very harmful” and accounts for “a lot of the damaging impact” of the work capability assessment and other welfare reforms.She said: “That fundamental underpinning is what is at the heart of a lot of things that haven’t been working with welfare reform, and it’s also unethical.”Clifford said these concerns had been picked up by many psychologists, highlighting government reforms such as efforts to integrate health and work, and placing therapists in job centres.The disabled crossbench peer the Countess of Mar agreed with Clifford’s concerns and said that people with ME were being “forced to take exercise regimes which are making them sicker, defeating the objective of getting them back to work”.Responding to Clifford’s question, Jay claimed that the social model “is the government’s model of disability”.But she added: “The one million target is about both people with disabilities and people with health conditions, some of which may be very temporary.“There are all kinds of different people within the one million and some of them might benefit from a health approach, so there are different things running in parallel.”Karen Jochelson, who heads the Office for Disability Issues, added: “We do think the social model underlies a range of government policy.“Any good policy-maker needs to think of a range of factors that may affect the potential users of services or policies, so that would incline one to think about the social model.”Clifford said after the meeting that the comments appeared to show that Jay did not understand the social model.She said: “What we have been told is that the social model doesn’t apply to people with long-term health conditions.”She said she was concerned that Esther McVey, the newly-appointed work and pensions secretary, had previously highlighted her support for the principles of the BPS model when she was employment minister.In a foreword to a 2013 discussion document on the government’s disability and health employment strategy, McVey wrote: “A person’s belief about what they can do can be as important as other factors, including their health condition, in determining how likely they are to find a job.”Jay told Disability News Service after the meeting: “Access to relevant health services at the right time can be a barrier for disabled people in employment, I think. That is our position.“We are committed to the social model. The whole philosophy of the government’s approach is the social model.”But when asked whether the government was also committed to the BPS model, she said that that question would need to be answered by the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) press office.DWP’s press office had not clarified that point by noon today (Thursday).Campaigners and researchers have pointed out that the BPS model underpins employment and support allowance (ESA) and the work capability assessment, and has played a significant role in the tightening of eligibility criteria for ESA and other disability benefits by the coalition and Tory governments.Research published last year, led by Professor Tom Shakespeare and Professor Nicholas Watson, argued that the BPS model was riddled with inconsistencies, misleading statements and “unevidenced” claims.The BPS model was developed by Dr Gordon Waddell, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, who was DWP’s chief medical officer from 1995 to 2005.Key to the BPS model, said Shakespeare and Watson, is the idea that “it is the negative attitudes of many ESA recipients that prevent them from working, rather than their impairment or health condition”, essentially branding many benefit claimants “scroungers”.This allows supporters of BPS – including a string of New Labour and Tory government ministers – to draw a distinction “between ‘real’ incapacity benefit claimants, with long-term and incurable health conditions, and ‘fake’ benefit claimants, with short-term illness”, with the model responsible for a “barely concealed” element of “victim-blaming”.last_img read more

Labour plans to install solar panels on nearly two

first_imgLabour plans to install solar panels on nearly two million homes as part of an effort to reduce energy bills, Jeremy Corbyn and Rebecca Long-Bailey will announce on Thursday.During a visit to Yorkshire, the Labour leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will set out further details of the party’s ‘green industrial revolution’ aim.One goal is fit solar panels on one and three quarter million homes, which would save households an estimated average of £117 a year on bills – addressing fuel poverty while promoting an environmentally healthy and sustainable solution.Social housing and low-income households make up one million of the homes that would benefit from the scheme. The other 750,000 homes would have solar panels installed “through a programme of interest free loans, grants and changes to regulations”.As well as creating 16,900 jobs and saving 7.1 million tonnes of CO2 according to Labour, the policy forms part of the broader idea that the party would ensure a ‘just transition’ from the current economy to a low-carbon economy.This type of ‘transition’ would ensure that the burden of change is not placed disproportionately on less wealthy people, who may find it more difficult to adapt, but will be socially just, and even reap financial rewards.Unveiling the new policy, Jeremy Corbyn said: “In this country, too often people are made to feel like the cost of saving the planet falls on them. Too many think of green measures as just another way for companies or the government to get money out of them, while the rich fly about in private jets and heat their empty mansions.“Labour’s approach is different. Our green industrial revolution will benefit working class people with cheaper energy bills, more rewarding well-paid jobs, and new industries to revive the parts of our country that have been held back for far too long.“By focusing on low income households we will reduce fuel poverty and increase support for renewable energy. Social justice and climate justice as one. Environmental destruction and inequality not only can, but must be tackled at the same time.”Labour for a Green New Deal, a recently set-up campaign group on the left of the party, welcomed the policy announcement. The ‘green industrial revolution’ planned by Labour “doesn’t need to happen in a way which makes life more difficult for people”, co-founder Chris Saltmarsh commented.Labour will also reveal on Thursday that it would bring the national grid into public ownership in a bid to tackle climate change while making heat and electricity a “human right”.Rebecca Long-Bailey is expected to explain that the move will allow profits from the grid to fund further green infrastructure rather than be “pocketed” by shareholders of network companies.The frontbencher said: “It’s an insult and an injustice to our people and our planet for companies operating the grid to rip customers off, line the pockets of the rich and not invest properly in renewable energy.“Only by taking the grid into public ownership can we decarbonise the economy at the pace needed to secure the planet for our children and grandchildren while ending the rip off, creating good jobs in local communities and making heating and electricity a human right.”The solar panel and publicly-owned national grid policies will add to other Labour plans focussed on the environment, including the development of offshore wind, the introduction of a new Clean Air Act and a tree-planting programme.Tags:Jeremy Corbyn /Rebecca Long-Bailey /Labour for a Green New Deal /Green industrial revolution /last_img read more

KEIRON Cunningham says his side are excited to fac

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham says his side are excited to face Salford this Thursday evening.Saints travel to the AJ Bell Stadium with the two teams separated by just two points on the Betfred Super League table.Salford have played a game more but come into the clash following good wins over Castleford and Widnes.“They are certainly going well and are in good form,” Cunningham said. “They are a well drilled side who are playing a little bit different to last year. Watto (Ian Watson) and Glees (Martin Gleeson) are doing a good job with them, they are playing with confidence and enjoying what they are doing.“I always thought they would do well this year. Speaking to Glees you could see it was coming. They have a good conditioner, good coaches and players who want to play together. They will be a good test for us.“We’ve put in two poor first half performances against two really willing sides (Leigh and Wakefield) and didn’t get the results we should have. But over the last three weeks I have been happy with the effort and application of the boys.“Victories make a big difference to the atmosphere at the club and getting the points from a tough away trip to Catalans and from a dogged Warrington is just deserts for the players’ hard work.“We played well against Hull too and deserved more but the players can see where they are heading. Their tough work in the last month is paying off. They are doing it with a smile on their faces, they are united and want to work hard for each other.”He continued: “You’re expected to win here and there is no let up. We’re excited to go this Thursday and face a tough Salford side.”Saints could welcome back Jonny Lomax this Thursday after he came through a tough session on Monday.Matty Smith also showed no ill-effects of his first game back last Friday.“Matty came through ok,” KC added. “He was a bit tired towards the end but got through fine. He was happy with his contribution on Friday and is excited and pleased about going back to one of his former clubs.“Jonny isn’t far off. He got through training with us on Monday and we’re hopeful he will be with us.”Tickets for Thursday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.Free coach travel is available for all those who have bought a ticket for the match from the club.last_img read more

First Team Match St Helens Women

first_img<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Mark Percival and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook missed out on the win over Hull FC after picking up injuries in the derby win, whilst Luke Thompson left the field mid-way through the first half with an ankle injury.And Holbrook has revealed that all three players will be out for a sustained period.“Percy and Louie will be about for around the six week mark and Thomo [Thompson] we are not sure yet. He is getting some scans this afternoon so we are not sure yet, but it will obviously be at least a couple of weeks and we will see what comes back. It is an ankle injury where he will have his foot in a boot for a few weeks and we will know a bit more later on, but those boys will be out for at least a few weeks.”Tommy Makinson also departed the field on Easter Monday and Holbrook revealed he picked up a back-spasm and is a doubt for the clash with Catalans on Sunday.“He has a back spasm and it tightened up at half-time [against Hull] so I am not sure on Sunday yet, continued Holbrook.“We have got to look at a number of players ahead of Sunday. I said at the start of the season, I won’t rest people for no reason, but we have a reason to look at a few players closely this week. We have played two games in extreme hot conditions so I will work with our medical and performance team to pick a side for Sunday.“Having said that the young lads who came in for Monday’s game were tremendous and whoever we have on Sunday will be good enough.”Theo Fages was forced off injured in the win over Hull KR a few weeks back and was named in the squad for the Good Friday clash with Wigan, but did not recover in time for the derby win.And Holbrook gave an update on the Frenchman who he hopes will feature.“Hopefully Theo is right to go Sunday. He obviously wasn’t right to play the last couple of games, but hopefully we can get him back in the mix for Sunday.”Holbrook also paid credit to Matty Lees, Adam Swift as well as debutant Joe Batchelor and young Jack Welsby after impressive performances against Hull on Monday before looking ahead to the threat of Catalans on Sunday.“We were disappointed we didn’t win over there [in France], but we didn’t play poorly. It was just our kick defence that let us down. There wasn’t much in the game in tough conditions but we would like to beat them this Sunday. They are definitely a top five side and they just struggle with consistency, but they are coming off a few good wins and they are capable of playing well on their day so it is up to us to play better on Sunday.”Holbrook concluded by issuing a rallying call to Saints fans to come down and support all three teams as the Saints Academy, Women’s team and First team are all in action.“We don’t get to play many Sunday games so the fact we have our Academy side, Women’s and First team all playing, it’s the perfect day for families and kids and there is no better place to come than the Totally Wicked Stadium to support our team. We are in your town and you don’t have to travel to come and watch us play so come down on Sunday and enjoy a good afternoon!”last_img read more

Wilmington National Cemetery prepares to honor fallen

first_img “I’m proud to be apart of a project like this,” Brown said. “There’s a lot of our fallen heroes and our veterans are here in this cemetery and we like to take care, give them a nice final resting place. Like I said, it’s a real honor to be apart of something like this.”Saturday, children from across the Port City will place small flags in front of each grave. Brown said they plan to place more than 5,500 flags.The Wilmington National Cemetery will also hold a Memorial Day ceremony 11 a.m. on Monday. Wilmington National Cemetery prepares for Memorial Day (Photo: Kirsten Gutierrez/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington National Cemetery is getting its grounds ready to honor those who lost their lives serving our country.The flags lining the cemetery were put up Friday in preparation for services come Monday. The grounds foreman, Kit Brown, has worked at the cemetery on and off for 11 years and said this time of year is very special to him and the community.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Woman gets at least 18 years in prison for 2016 murder

first_imgMugshot of Samari TysheaVereen (Photo: CCSO) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County woman pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder for the death of Albert Grainger in 2016.Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says Samari Tyshea Vereen was sentenced to at least 18 years in prison.- Advertisement – The charges stem from a robbery in Tabor City during on September 2, 2016. Grainger’s wife, Debra Grainger, found her husband dead in the road shortly after he visited the CresCom Bank in Tabor City.William Jerome Dixon, a co-defendant, has previously pleaded guilty to second degree murder while other co-defendants are still awaiting trial.Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says Debra Grainger gave an emotional and moving account of the loss and trauma that this murder has had on her, her children and grandchildren in the courtroom.last_img read more

Was that ballot fraud in North Carolina US House race

first_imgBy EMERY P. DALESIO and GARY D. ROBERTSON, Associated PressRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The country’s last vacant congressional seat will stay that way for months after North Carolina’s election board, hearing evidence of ballot fraud and testimony that the Republican ignored warning signs, ordered a new election.- Advertisement – GOP candidate Mark Harris gave up his fight Thursday to be declared winner of November’s 9th congressional district race, saying serious public doubts about the contest’s fairness revealed in testimony this week warrant a new election.Harris had struggled during testimony at a special state elections board hearing to explain why he was being truthful in saying publicly since Election Day he’d never been warned about a North Carolina’s felon’s vote-getting efforts despite repeated data-based red flags from his son dating to mid-2016.WAS THIS AN EXAMPLE OF BALLOT FRAUD?North Carolina’s elections director said this week that a local political operative in a rural corner of the 9th district conducted an illegal and well-funded ballot-harvesting operation during the 2018 election cycle while working for Harris. Leslie McCrae Dowless’ workers in Bladen County testified that they were directed to forge signatures, collect blank or incomplete ballots voters handed over, and even fill in votes for local candidates who hadn’t earned them.Related Article: New documents released in state investigation of alleged voter fraud surrounding Bladen CountyWERE CRIMES COMMITTED?It’s a felony under North Carolina law for anyone other than a guardian or close family member to handle a mail-in ballot because it poses the risk that they could be altered or discarded. The means ballot-harvesting — efforts to collect completed ballots — are illegal.A similar ballot-collection effort by Dowless and others was investigated by the state elections board after the 2016 elections. The findings were shared with federal prosecutors, who took no action. The district attorney in the state’s capital city continues to weigh charges over the 2016 ballot fraud case.WHEN ARE ELECTIONS?The election board will establish dates for new elections, starting with the filing deadlines for primary elections. A state law approved in December — after the absentee voting irregularities surfaced — requires that both party primaries and a general election be held. State and federal deadlines and ballot requirements mean the general election may not occur until late summer or early fall.WHO WILL RUN?McCready is certainly running for the seat again and has been assembling a new campaign staff. His campaign finance report showed McCready raised $487,000 during the final five weeks of 2018, an amount which should stave off other well-known Democratic competitors. His campaign sent out a campaign funding plea late Thursday, citing the new election. Harris didn’t say Thursday whether he’d run in the new election, and state Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said it was too early to say what Harris’ political future would be. Several other Republicans are likely to enter the race for the GOP-leaning 9th District. The most recent 9th District incumbent, Republican Robert Pittenger, declined to comment Thursday but said in December he wouldn’t run if a new election were held.WHO WILL WIN?The demographic and partisan data favor a Republican in the 9th District, which a Republican has held for more than 50 years. McCready enjoyed a large fundraising advantage over Harris and a national Democratic wave last fall for an extremely close race.It’s unclear if any GOP nominee would be punished at the polls for Dowless’ alleged misdeeds and apparent inability of Harris or Republican Party leaders to stop him, said Thomas Mills, a Democratic consultant and ex-congressional candidate: “I don’t know if people will pay a price for it.” Veteran Republican consultant Carter Wrenn said he doesn’t know what to think: “About all that you can say for sure is that it’s a mess.”last_img read more

Italys warring coalition parties warn of government collapse

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> FILE PHOTO: 5 Star leader and Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio presents his EU election program in Rome, Italy, May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: 5 Star leader and Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio presents his EU election program in Rome, Italy, May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/File Photo The leaders of Italy’s coalition partners the League and 5-Star Movement warned on Thursday the government could collapse following mutual recriminations over the election of the next European Commission president.While the League voted against the mainstream German candidate Ursula von der Leyen for the powerful EU post, the 5-Star backed her this week in the European Parliament, with its support proving decisive in guaranteeing her promotion.Read: Von der Leyen cracks EU parliament nut, national leaders will prove tougherDeputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, who heads 5-Star, said the League position risked isolating Italy, while League leader Matteo Salvini accused his partner of betraying ordinary voters after promising to bring change to Europe.In an interview with Corriere della Sera, Salvini said he was tired of facing resistance from 5-Star in other areas, including granting Italy’s regions greater autonomy.Read: Italy’s Salvini says elections still possible after summer breakAsked if this meant the government would fall, he replied: “That’s up to 5-Star. Either we get things done, or we don’t.”Di Maio hit back, saying the government could not carry on in a climate of distrust and constant threats. “If the League wants to topple the government, then it must say so clearly”, he said in a video posted on Facebook.Italian political commentators have long speculated that the window for a government collapse would close on July 20, because after that date any new election would be pushed too deep into the autumn to enable the 2020 budget to be approved — key legislation around which the political calendar is built.Italy has never held an election in the autumn or winter.However, Salvini said there were no such restrictions.“I don’t believe in windows and I don’t believe that we only have two or three days,” he told Corriere.CALM MARKETSSalvini is facing significant pressure from within his party to pull the plug on the government which took office last June after an inconclusive national election, with League officials accusing 5-Star of repeatedly thwarting their policy agenda.“Game Over. Don’t they understand,” foreign affairs ministry undersecretary and senior League politician Guglielmo Picchi wrote on Twitter.Past turmoil in the government has immediately fed through to financial markets, with investors nervous that political instability could further damage Italy’s fragile state accounts.However, there was little sign of anxiety on Thursday, with Italy’s bellwether 10-year bond yields hitting their lowest level in almost three years on Thursday, squeezing the gap on top-rated German bond yields to its tightest in over a year.Hostility between the League and 5-Star intensified following European parliamentary elections in May when the League jumped above 5-Star to become the largest party in Italy. Support for it is now approaching almost 40 percent.But Salvini has also come under pressure in recent days over allegations his party sought illegal funding from Russia to fund its successful EU election campaign — a charge he has denied.5-Star has called on Salvini to address parliament on the accusations, but in a sign that Di Maio wants peace with Salvini, he said on Thursday he did not believe the League had received any illicit cash from Moscow.“If I had the slightest suspicion that the League had taken money from Russia, I would not be in government with them”, he said.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

Ethio Telecom to retain monopoly

first_imgAdvertisement Ethio Telecom (formerly Ethiopia Telecom Corporation) will remain as the monopoly provider in all of the country’s telecoms sectors for the time being. This was revealed by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.Speaking at the National Business Forum in Addis Ababa yesterday, Mr Hailemariam noted that the state-owned operator would not face competition in order to ensure it helps the government generate funds for a railway project.[related-posts] – Advertisement – The Prime Minister was said to have claimed that if  the telecoms sectors were to be liberalised the state would be lose the ETB6 billion (USD316 million) per year that it currently gets from Ethio Telecom.With this revenue being used to finance the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway project, Mr Hailemariam noted: ‘You may think that the government can get money from taxation, but there is no way that we can generate this much from taxation … Therefore, the sector remains with us [the government] for the years to come.’Source: Telegeographylast_img read more

Messenger Now Available for Windows 10 Mobile

first_imgImage Credit: neurogadget Advertisement Yesterday, Facebook-owned Messenger Inc. announced on its Facebook Page, it had launched it’s Messenger app for Windows 10 mobile and comes with all one’s favorite Messenger features including; stickers, group conversations, GIFs and more, as well as your favorite Windows features like live tiles.On 28th April this year, the company [Facebook] launched its Windows 10 Desktop Apps; Facebook and Messenger. Messenger came with a native desktop notifications that make your experience richer and more complete. One is also able to see when they’ve messages waiting for them with a Live Tile.Facebook Windows 10 desktop applications1 of 3 Instagram on windows 10 mobile. Image Credit: Facebook Inc. Messenger on windows 10. Image Credit: Facebook Inc. Facebook on windows 10. Image Credit: Facebook Inc.The messenger app will be rolling out globally and available in the Windows mobile App Store soon. Plus, Facebook-photo-sharing app, Instagram is also available on mobile.last_img read more