Tag: House of Parliment

HS2 Routing  to disrupt people’s lives, remove housing adding to the continue lack of housing and cost an estimated £56bn. No project ever comes in on budget lets watch this price enhance to £100bn + by the end.

HS2 Routing to disrupt people’s lives, remove housing adding to the continue lack of housing and cost an estimated £56bn. No project ever comes in on budget lets watch this price enhance to £100bn + by the end.

UK Government again just going ahead with ludicrous plans, which is going to cost and cause further turmoil to our struggling economy.

Chris Grayling (UK Transport Secretary) said:

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“Britain’s new railway line will bring huge economic benefits across the country and help ensure this government delivers on its promise to spread wealth beyond London and the south-east,”

This comment just shows this cabinet minister is either delusional or taking some form of medication that is making him hallucinate. The government promised to spread the wealth in the 1980’s with the introduction of the “trickle-down economics” system. Today the only individuals to have benefited from the government incentives are corporate organisations, wealthy individuals and minority of politicians.

Majority of the people of the UK have not had a pay increase over the last decade and are living on similar wages that they were on a decade ago. However, this time the true value of the pound is not the same, as it is weaker and the cost of living has increased dramatically.

While the politicians have had large increments in their wages since 1996, last-one in 2015 which was at least 11% raise in pay, as highlighted in previous blog.

The people who provide services of security, save life, educate our children, ensure the country is run correctly and fight illegal wars on behalf of the politicians get pay caps / freezes below the rate of inflation and cuts to services, which effect their lives, enhancing their workload and hours. Although the government continue to give false promises of raising or removing the pay restrictions in times of need as they did recently for the emergency services, but was found to be just false hopes or blowing wind up the people’s backside.

It is a known fact that construction projects on this scale never finish within the estimated budget and always far more, the projected estimate could be easily above £100bn.

Further statement made from the Cabinet Minister:

“We will now press ahead with building the line, while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect.”

It is great to now they will continue to ensure the affected communities get appropriate support and treated with fairness, compassion and respect. While to date, they have not been treated as the statement implies, this has come to some as a shock. UK has a housing shortage, it is in turmoil with regards housing people and this railway route will pass through areas with proposed and new housing developments. However the railway route has taken president over the housing and the developments will be stopped and new housing or housing obstructing the route demolished.

This is not benefiting anyone other than the minority class and minority of politicians on the receiving end of back-handers. The vote held in 2016, when the construction estimate was £30bn was a majority thought it was not absurd

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Same wording in the statement above “while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect” was said with regards housing the people displaced by the horrific fire and aftermath of the tower inspections. Unfortunately, these people are still fighting to be housed and feel they have been forgotten, this government are using words but finding it hard to take physical action, as they do not care about the people that are effected by their plans.

Residents of the Shimmer housing estate in Mexborough have disputed that only 16 houses will be demolished by the new line. Karen Schofield, whose family farm is also on the proposed route, told the BBC that the government’s decision was

“Unthinkable”. “It’s the worst possible news that anybody wants to hear, that you’re going to lose your family home, which my husband and his brothers… they bought, what, 40-odd years ago,”

“There’s horses, there’s stables, we’ve provided employment for local communities… and it’s ok HS2 saying they’re going to compensate like-for-like… we’ve invited them to come down here and have a look what we’ve built up over the years.”

Although the government has setup a compensation scheme that will offer homeowners the “un-blighted” value of their home plus 10%. This will not be enough for persons to buy in the same areas. There should be no statutory compulsory purchase schemes, the residents of their homes, which are their castles should have not have been put in this predicament and the government should be re-routing or upgrading existing lines if they feel they need too.

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Minority of the Members of Parliament have spoken out, Labour representative for Doncaster North Ed Miliband has spoken out and said putting the line through his constituency was “wrong and perverse”.

“It flies in the face of evidence, logic, and above all, the economic needs of South Yorkshire, the government and HS2 should be ashamed about the way they have gone about this decision. Their arguments do not add up, the consultation was a sham, and the residents have been ignored,”

While Philippa Oldham, Head of Transport and Manufacturing for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, states openly that the overall HS2 plan would be of benefit to the country. By freeing up the capacity on the East Coast Mainline, West Coast Mainline, through the HS2 route we’ll be able to shift some of our freight network onto the rail network from the road network.

Does she not think the rail network that we have in place today could be modernised to take freight from our road network, we do not utilise the railway and transport links we have in place today. Being realistic the majority of the freight received today is transported on the roads, however the number of good vehicle licences continue to fall. With HGV traffic is now below its 2007 pre-recession level. It is a known fact that the Logistic sector is suffering from skills shortages, which effects the efficiency of the business and operations. Another concern with shifting freight from roads to rail is cost, considering the price of using the rail infrastructure today and potential increase.

In addition if this is to benefit the people of the UK, what about West of England, Scotland and Wales, should the lines not be directed towards these parts of the country as they will probably lose out economically?

One of the strongest arguments against HS2 is the opportunity cost. Spend £56bn on HS2 and that’s £56bn gone from other projects. The UK is heavily in debt, public finances are stretched so spending is carefully prioritised and cuts to emergency and public services. But the government has failed to

Although the government will insist that the “High speed rail is the right answer for Britain.” it may be in the future when the country has not got major deficits in its revenue. In 2017, we cannot afford to keep our basic services in operational condition and continue to rob one sector to pay another sector, this is a money pit that will swallow up finances best used elsewhere.

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Theresa May, must have magic money tree or gene in a lamp, the UK need to stop this pantomime and come to reality. Money is not available for these fantasies project, especially when we have future costs that will affect our budget. Nobody knows the true pricing of leaving the EU or replacing all the cladding on the Tower Blocks across the UK to date, let alone any other surprises we have around the corner

This HS2 project should be put to the public vote, as it affects our future in the UK and not everyone is backing it, the government have a agenda and has tried to sneaky this project under the radar, as MP’s were not informed of the go-ahead formally and there was no discussion.

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The best part here is Chris Grayling is another Member of Parliament that has taken advantage of his position in the past and claimed tax payer’s monies (see link below) for his gains. How can we trust these people to work in the interest of the voters, when they are only interested in enhancing their wealth?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5305242/Chris-Grayling-claimed-for-London-flat-despite-nearby-constituency-home-MPs-expenses.html

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Austerity / capitalism causation of trickle-down economics introduced by world leaders over three decades ago and still being enforced today.

Austerity / capitalism causation of trickle-down economics introduced by world leaders over three decades ago and still being enforced today.

Today in 2017, the UK and the USA have similar economy, which splits the population by favoring the high net-worth individuals. While it deprives everyone else not lucky enough to sit in the high net-worth part of the population and makes them poorer.

The economy scale has tipped in the favor of austerity and capitalism.

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Unfortunately, in the UK this system that lead to the austerity and divide between the population is due to the Members of Parliament continually supporting the system that benefits the high net-worth part of the population and deprives the rest.

This system was introduced in the 1980’s by the relevant leaders, Margaret Thatcher (UK) & Ronald Regan (USA), the system was known as the “Trickle-down Economics System”.

The main foundation of the system was to Trickle-down, which can be (very loosely) characterised as the idea that reducing the tax burden on the high net-worth and wealthy individuals, in the end, is good for everyone.

They felt that the wealthy person’s taxes being reduced will increase their disposable income. This will then enable the wealthy person to spend the extra income on a new mansion, or luxury goods, or lavish holidays. Which in-turn will benefit the estate agent, the luxury manufacturer, tourist resorts and service providers profits increase, this increasing their disposable income and continue the trickle down processes. The profits will also enable the people to invest the profits, expanding their capacity, creating new jobs in the process. That additional investment boosts income and employment. This then will grow the economy, bringing in more tax revenues (more, indeed, than were forgone through the initial tax cut). The size of the state is reduced, the freedom of the population grows and general prosperity is enlarged.

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Although this system / model sounds good, it is fact that it does not work and the only individuals who benefit is the wealthy. As they make the profit and continue to purchase expanding their wealth, the wealthy individuals are owners of the product ranges, estate agents and brands etc. that they initially make their purchases. So the money they spend just keeps going around in circles increasing the wealth dived.

Two well-known former government purse holders from the US & UK have commented on the system and agreed that is failed the majority of the country’s population.  Larry Summers (US Treasury Secretary) and Ed Balls (UK Shadow Chancellor) have stated openly and in reports

“That tax cuts for the rich do not inexorably result in more economic activity, but create a growing income gap between those at the top and those at the bottom. The rich tend to save more of their disposable income and growth slows down.”

An academic and popular economic writer from Cambridge University – Ha-Joon Chang,  states “The trickle-down argument crucially depends on the assumption that, when given a bigger slice of national output, the rich will use it to increase investments”, he has written. He describes this as “an assumption that has not been borne out by reality”, and goes on: “Once you realise that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are: a simple upward redistribution of income, rather than a way to make all of us richer.”

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Individuals who have worked in high-level positions within the government or who have become experts on the subject. Believe that higher wages for ordinary workers, higher rates of tax on the super-rich and corporations, as well as a co-ordinate international closure of tax loopholes, with the money used to finance more public infrastructure investment.

This trickle down system was introduced over three decades ago, it was not subscribed to by the population and no open discussion or review of the system has been undertaken to establish the areas of failings. Main reason for this is the individuals who introduced the system (Members of Parliament) are actually benefiting from the system, they do not want change as it will affect their wealth.

There is no record of any serious free-market thinker ever outlining that cutting tax rates on high earners is good because it encourages the rich to spend,” argues Ryan Bourne of the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank. “Free-marketers don’t believe in low taxes because of their effect on spending. They believe in low taxes because they provide a strong incentive to earn more income in the first place.”

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Only in the last week Philip Hammond (UK MP & Chancellor of Exchequer) spoke out in cabinet meeting that he felt that Public workers are overpaid. This just strengthens the notion that the only system that is of any interest is the one that protects and enhances his wealth. When considering he and a majority of the MP’s representing the UK Population benefits greatly from the “Trickle-down System”. Philip Hammond, who has an estimated wealth of £8.2 million in 2014. He has previously been caught-out for avoiding tax’s http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/millionaire-tory-philip-hammonds-200-3231876 .

In early 2017, Philip Hammond was challenged by an opposition leader to publicly publish his tax return, but he refused. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-publishes-tax-return-chancellor-philip-hammond_uk_58bc41b7e4b0b998941837c6

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show he has “no intention” of making public his documents since “my tax affairs are all perfectly regular and up to date”. This just shows that the person to set the UK Budget and control the purse, cannot be open and transparent with his earnings or income. Which are most probably ten to twenty times more than any public worker and only shows his real intentions to enhance his wealth and support the minority of the population. MP’s serve the UK Population and should be accountable to the people, then why are they not showing their annual earnings by issuing the tax return publicly.

Income inequality has reached excessive levels and is now effecting the majority of the UK Population and growth in the public services and economy. Rather than stimulating spending by the wealthy it is doing the opposite, which in-turn is forcing much of the population to enhance their levels of debit.

Remember, majority of the Members of Parliament, who represent the UK People are receiving financial rewards of more than £100k year with salaries and expenses etc. Probably a majority have been fortunate to have generated a wealth through their careers in the government sector and do not feel the effects of austerity or capitalism.

Legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion is costing the UK billions a year and effecting the public services and population. Estimated cost in 2014 estimated at

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UK GOVERNMENT BLASÉ ATTITUDE TOWARDS SAFETY COULD DRAMATICALLY COST FINANCIALLY AND ADDS CHAOS TO AN ALREADY SOCIAL HOUSING CRISES

UK GOVERNMENT BLASÉ ATTITUDE TOWARDS SAFETY COULD DRAMATICALLY COST FINANCIALLY AND ADDS CHAOS TO AN ALREADY SOCIAL HOUSING CRISES

26th June 2017, the UK Social housing is in turmoil, as tenants of four tower blocks are told to leave their homes with no contingency plan for re-housing. The occupancy of a further estimated sixty tower blocks is questionable and some may have to leave their homes due to the tower blocks being inhabitable due to poor standard of safety.

The main area of concern is regards the cladding found on the external part of the building, which is found to be combustible due to the polyethylene core sandwich layer. After the government instructed all tower block owners to submit sections of their cladding for testing in laboratories, majority of the tests have failed the testing regime.

Cladding caused a fire to spread and engulf a tower block in the last fortnight, which was horrific and one of the most tragic fire incidents in a long time. The occupants had raised their concerns and complained on many occasions of the lack of safety management in the common areas. However, there complaint were ignored until it was too late.

Following this horrific fire at Grenfell Tower on the 14th June, all social housing similar were told by the government to undergo inspections of the external cladding and internal common areas.

Unfortunately, over sixty towers across twenty five regions have now been found to fail the fire tests and inspections. On top of this decision the UK Government on the 25th June 2017  requested the hospitals across the UK covered with similar cladding to be inspected.

On the 23rd June Camden Town Council in London, actually evacuated four tower blocks containing approximately three thousand people in eight hundred occupied flats. The evacuation was done as they failed the cladding and fire safety inspections and the risk was to high for families to occupy the residential tower blocks and that maintenance would start immediately to bring them back to an acceptable standard within two – four weeks.

The first block was evacuated early Friday evening and continued through to early hours of the morning, this was done by people knocking on the flats and telling tenants they had to pack somethings and leave.

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Camden Town Council took these steps as they felt there was no alternate due to the risk of fire being very high as advised by the experts. The decision was taken following the tower blocks being inspected by the Local Fire Brigade and fire experts earlier in the day, who found the building to be lacking or in a poor standard with regards Fire Safety. It was felt in an event of a fire that the building could not be evacuated completely and there was a risk of a similar fire occurring that had occurred on the 12th June at Grenfell Tower.

Today, we have families refusing to move out of the Camden Town Council tower blocks. While other families have been housed in temporary accommodation, which consist of hotels, blow up camp beds in their local sport centre, other temporary flats or moved in with their families.

The families that refuse to leave maybe moved through legal proceedings, which is saddening to say the least. Although all the families have been told that the maintenance may take up to four weeks, being realistic this project could take up to eight to twelve weeks.

The worse part here is the UK has already got a housing crises, following the horrific fire in Grenfell Tower the people of that tower block have not been re-housed or really been taken care of to date.

At this moment in time there seems to be no firm direction from the government and they just continue knee jerking and re-active measures following a major incident.

Unfortunately, there were indications prior to this horrific fire. The residents raised concerns to the lack of safety standards and were just ignored.

There was a fire in 2009 in Lakanal House, Camberwell, London. Inquest to the fire incident found the cladding panels were non-fire retardant and the landlord did not undertake any fire safety checks / inspections. Following a ten-week inquest by a corner a report was issued with recommendations towards standards of cladding to be used in the construction or re-development of buildings, fire services visit high-rise blocks to learn their layout and landlords consider fitting them with sprinkler systems.

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In addition to the recommendations in the report, it also suggested residents should also get better fire safety information. This report was submitted to government, house of parliament with recommendations but no actions taken.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of speculation on the lack of fire safety legislation. However, this is not the problem with regards these drop in fire standards. It is blatant that there has been a lack of enforcement of the safety legislation and management. If the basic elements of the legislation were undertaken i.e. risk assessments, management plans, inspections, audits, training and communication etc. then the steps taken today may have never had to be taken and the incident may have not occurred as relevant control measures would have been installed to mitigate the risk or likelihood of the horrific fire.

Main contributing factors here is negligence, the saddening part is that there is no individual or organisation to blame. Everyone from the owners, developers, architect, CDM Coordinator, facility management through to Government have played their part. At one time or another they have been negligent and have contributed to these catalogue of failures leading up to these incidents, there has been a cumulative of failures.

Although there has been comments of potential charging individuals or organisations following a complete investigation of the original incident under Corporate Manslaughter Regulations. Being realistic and based on fact, this may not happen, as these failings cannot pinpointed to one individual / organisation, as there is not just one area of failing here, as there are many underlying causes and contributing factors.

What has become evident through the actions taken following the incident to prevent a re-occurrence by other Landlords of Tower Blocks with similar build in the UK.  Is that they are all failing to meet the legal requirement regards UK Legislation and Standards. This incident could have occurred in any one of these tower blocks, anywhere at anytime under the same circumstances and would have been just as horrific, as they failed the inspections and testing regime.

Question has to be asked today, is the local governments and owners of these tower blocks ready for future civil action from the residents. As the Landlord’s Legal responsibilities have not been undertaken, what duty of care has been given to the tenants of these tower blocks.

The tenancy agreement is a contract between the tenant and landlord. It sets out certain rights and responsibilities under the contracts. Question, has your landlord contrived section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 – which means that the landlord is responsible for keeping in repair:

  • The structure and exterior of your home, for example, the walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors
  • Basins, sinks, baths, toilets and their pipework
  • Water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water yanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires fitted electric fires and fitted heaters.
  • For tenancies that began on or after 15th January 1989, these repair and responsibilities extend to the common parts of the building for example. Entrance halls, stairs and lifts.

Landlords have legal responsibilities outside of these tenancy agreement as they have obligations from other areas of Law, which is they have blatantly not complied with by the actions they are taking following the incident.

The next few months will be interesting to see the direction the UK LAW Firms head, especially the “No Win, No Fee” as these tenants have potential claims for negligence or private nuisance direct with their Landlords.

Unfortunately, based on experience there are three areas that are seen as a drain on monies within businesses and organisations throughout the United Kingdom and across the globe, these are:

  • Health & Safety
  • Quality
  • Security

Although they are seen as a drain on the budget and time, when an incident occurs what transpires in the incident investigation. Is that there was a failing concerning one of those three elements, as either corners were cut or they were not enforced or managed. On occasions the three elements may be contributing factors for the Incident.

The saddening part is the attitude that majority of people and organisations have is similar. They see health, safety, security and quality requirements as a burden on their time and just a treat it as a paperwork or tick box exercise. That is until something goes wrong, as proven again.

More upsetting is the way people following an incident and the way their actually change in attitude and they start deflecting responsibilities and finger pointing.

This behaviour can be contributed by the attitude of the UK Government has had regards health, safety and security over the recent years. Through the actions they have taken to remove legislation and cuts in our emergency services and enforcing sector for health and safety (HSE Inspectorate). They have stated openly in the House of Commons that Health & Safety is a burden on businesses financially.

This attitude has unfortunately disseminate across the people and organisations of the UK population and is going to be costly for the government and the UK Tax payer. Let’s hope that these lessons are learned and actions are taken to prevent any re-occurrence in the future, which could be in other areas of industry or sectors.

Fire safety is taken for granted and people’s attitude is, that it will never happen, this needs to change, today ask yourself a few questions:

  • When was the last time you tested your fire alarm / equipment at home, have you took the battery out of the alarm because it keeps going off
  • Does everybody know how to get out of the building in event of a fire, do your kids know the way out of the house in event of fire, if you are enable to help
  • Why do you not take notice of a fire alarm going off and wait for someone else to take action or tell you to move

We can all think back at one of these questions and remember a time that we have sat back and ignored the safety aspect or done something we should have not. Second item was an eye opener that a lot of people do not even think of educating their family members.

Remember, other sectors have had incidents that could have been horrific i.e. food safety over time has had problems and IT Security in NHS. All could have major consequences and occur to failing of management or lack enforcement of legislation.