Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is in a political chess game. Let us not pretend. He enjoys a considerable amount of sympathy among the conservative party, even among his parliamentary colleagues. They do not express their views openly for political correctness.

Struggling family doctors plead for emergency budget increase

Family doctors are struggling, and have asked to receive an extra £2.5 billion of the NHS budget. The current plans are that GPs will receive £12bn of the budget, but the Royal College of General Practitioners (RGCP) want this increased to £14.5bn. It has been suggested this could be taken from some of the extra £20bn health funding promised by Theresa May. This cash injection would help the surgeries cope with the demands they are facing, such as rising numbers of long-term illnesses and a shortage of family doctors. If the NHS England does not agree to this, the RGCP warns that the care of patients and the waiting times for consultations will suffer.

 

 

 

 


Tory Austerity, Councils and Children

The tory-run Northamptonshire county council is facing a financial crisis, as it cannot balance its budget nor set a legal budget for near year.  This is partly due to chronic financial mismanagement, frozen rates of council tax, and a plan for outsourcing of almost all services. Now the council needs £70 million over the next few months to balance its books. Consequently, services for vulnerable children and adults will no longer be protected and will be reduced to the bare minimum. Local and non-core services will also be shrunk or closed. This is in addition to services that have already been slashed, such as buses and libraries, which have instigated court challenges. Behavioural change within the local communities will need to be encouraged to create resilience in places where the council can no longer help. 

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Oil-rich Nigeria outstrips India as country with most people living in poverty

The Brookings Institution, an American think tank has announced that Nigeria had stepped in front of India when it comes to levels of poverty after affirming that by the next 12 years “9 out of 10 of the world’s poorest people will live in Africa”. Poverty has been a major political issue in Africa, having closed links with security and stability. According to the African Development Bank, in February 2018 80% of Nigerians lived on less than two dollars per day. Furthermore because of the combination of population growth, conflict, economic and social problems, and bad governance this is a pressing problem for Nigeria who is an oil-rich country but all this wealth goes to the pockets of the sellers.


Teachers on charity - A Victorian charity awarding grants to homeless and hungry professionals

Low earners are falling behind, they need their disposable income to rise by nearly a third to meet the rising prices of transport, childcare and energy costs

According to JRF reports, today in England, a single person needs to earn 18.400£ a year to reach minimum income standard which is a measure of income people need in order to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living in the UK (17,900£ last year) . A dual-earner couple with 2 children needs 20,000£ each.  A lone parent with pre-school child: 28,450£ (+2.500£ than last year) . Finally, a it is estimated that a lone parent working full time on minimum wage is 3.640£ short.


Highest number ever of NHS child mental health cases

New figures reveal that the NHS is handling more child and young person mental health cases than ever. This is for problems such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Experts consider this crisis to stem from increased pressures at school, body image issues, troubled family backgrounds and greater influences of social media. Although it is encouraging that more cases are being identified, the NHS is heavily overstretched with a workforce that is too small. This results in families waiting months for assessment and only one in four under-18’s receiving treatment. However, the NHS has plans for increasing that figure by 35%, and Theresa May recently committed to improving access to child mental health support as well, such as by increasing the role of schools. Hopefully, these plans will lead to long-term investment and improvement.  

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Refugees - "You can lose friends, money, home; only knowledge lasts" 

Harriet Swains writes her paper on how British universities are starting to give access to higher education courses to refugees and asylum-seekers in England. Education being one of the most powerful tool to build resilience and help victims of persecution to prosper in their host countries, universities such as Warwick or Nottingham have started offering scholarships to refugees not eligible for student loans for financial support. Brexit is the next challenge this project has to face as it leaves the future of European funding unsure. 


Poor communities losing GPs while wealthy areas gain, new figures reveal

In the last year, poorest communities have been losing GPs for the profit of more wealthy families, exposing the inequality gap in healthcare. It has been decades now that we can witness a massive gap in how people are being treated with very few GPs available for poorer families whereas they tend to be the one who need access to healthcare the most. The waiting times are longer whereas people living in poor areas tend to have more serious conditions to care for. Even though GPs part of the Targeted Enhanced Recruitment are now receiving 20,000 pounds for starting to work in places where they are the most needed this is only a short-term solution to a long-term problem.


Brexit could wreck the green agenda - UN

The British government has been warned by the United Nations that their environment policies are at risk if they decide to go through with a Hard Brexit and to weaken the directives taken for the protection of the environment. Recent proposals have been dismissed on the grounds of being not effective enough and lacking genuine commitment to the cause. Britain has been answering to the European Court of Justice so far but after Brexit the system of enforcement for that environmental procedures. Only last week, the UK was held accountable for not tackling incredibly high and illegal levels of pollution. The executive director for the UN environment programme pressed the British government to work hands in hands with Europe to stay a leader in green issues and to avoid hindering the global pact on the environment being discussed at the moment by leaders of the world.