Labour’s Stephen Timms MP is backing a campaign by the mental health charity Rethink to make the controversial Work Capability Assessment fairer and more accurate for those with mental health problems.
The Work Capability Assessment was first introduced by a Labour government in 2008 and the contract to carry out the assessments on sick and disabled benefit claimants was awarded to the private health firm Atos Healthcare. Labour were to review both the WCA and the contract with Atos Healthcare in 2010 once its 2 year period expired, but defeat in the 2010 general election led to the Tory led coalition extending the contract and,.. according to some commentators, toughening the WCA.
Rethink are campaigning for improvements to the process which determines a person’s capability and readiness to return to work after evidence emerged that those with mental health issues, which have a negative effect on their ability to work…
View original post 438 more words
The UK’s private energy companies will be playing a very dangerous game if they think they can call Ed Miliband’s bluff on price-freezing.
According to The Guardian, Mr Miliband’s announcement that energy prices will be frozen for 20 months under a Labour government has sparked a chorus of protest from the affected firms.
In the first skirmish in the new political battle over the cost of living in the UK, Mr Miliband wants to “reset” what he sees as a “failing” energy market in which customers had paid £3.9 billion more than necessary since 2010. The measure would save families an average of £120 and businesses £1,800.
Energy firms say it would lead to blackouts similar to those seen in California. They say it will stall investment in new power stations.
Energy UK, which represents the largely foreign-owned energy firms, said: “It will… freeze the money to build new power…
View original post 612 more words
In recent years we have discussed the need to rebuild public trust in the energy market many times. I think we all agree on the importance of that objective if we are to build a market that both delivers for consumers and underpins the investment in future clean energy capacity that we all want to see.
Our intention is to now reset the market that has consistently failed to secure the confidence of the public or the investment Britain needs. Doing that requires two steps. First, it means legislating to build competition and transparency into the market, with a trusted regulator standing behind the system.
Second, it means ensuring that in the time it takes to put a new system in place, up to the start of 2017, we ensure the prices paid by consumers do not rise.
A fairer market for consumers must be matched by a better deal…
View original post 268 more words