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5 October 2011

Fast news

Health Bill rubbished

Health professionals have weighed in against the government's destructive Health and Social Care Bill, which will spell the beginning of the end of the NHS as a national, publicly owned and run body.

Around 400 health experts have signed a letter which says "the Health and Social Care Bill will erode the NHS's ethical and cooperative foundations and that it will not deliver efficiency, quality, fairness or choice."

In a scathing criticism of the government's NHS Bill the letter further states: "It ushers in a significantly heightened degree of commercialisation and marketisation that will fragment patient care; aggravate risks to individual patient safety; erode medical ethics and trust within the health system; widen health inequalities; waste much money on attempts to regulate and manage competition; and undermine the ability of the health system to respond effectively and efficiently to communicable disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies."

Food handouts grow

As dark clouds gather over the UK's faltering economy chancellor George Osborne glibly remarked to Tory Party conference delegates that "together, we will ride out the storm." But not for the tens of thousands of families who are so desperately poor that they are dependent on charitable food donations to survive.

According to the charity FareShare, which redirects food trade surpluses to those in need, it has seen the largest annual increase in the number of charities asking for handouts to feed 35,000 people a day - up from 29,000 a day last year.

Alarmingly, FareShare reports that 65% of the charities it surveyed are having to slash food budgets to survive due to government cuts.

Paying the Tory piper

As if anyone was in any doubt, then the latest funding figures of the Tory Party from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism show that more than half of the Tory party's donations (a total of 12.2 million) came from finance capital in the last 12 months.

Of this amount, 27% (3.3 million) was donated by hedge funds, financiers and private equity firms - with 50 City donors giving 50,000 each.

And does this largesse buy influence? You bet! The government is committed to reduce corporation tax to 23% by April 2014 and exempting UK resident companies from corporation tax on all profits for their foreign branches.

Their morals and ours

What do workers think of their bosses? The answers are mostly unprintable! However, Management Today reports that in a survey of 2,500 employees, half believe their employer puts financial goals above ethical considerations. And less than a third of chief executives of organisations with more than 1,000 workers are thought to put ethics at the heart of business decisions, according to their employees.

So 'money grubbing gits who couldn't give a monkey's about their workers' isn't just our opinion of capitalists.