NHS Trust paid agency nurse £1500 to cover one shift as bosses accused of ‘slapping staff in face’ : Daily Mirror.

Figures released from a Freedom of Information request show NHS Lanarkshire forked out £1565 to an agency for a day worker in 2015-16.

Shona Robison

Health Secretary Shona Robison says the overall bill for agency nurses has dropped 11 per cent in the past decade (Photo: Daily Record)

A health board has admitted paying more than £1500 for an agency nurse to cover a single hospital shift.

Figures released from a Freedom of Information request show NHS Lanarkshire forked out £1565 to an agency for a day worker in 2015-16.

Meanwhile, NHS Lothian said the largest amount they had paid for a single shift in the last three years was £1528, in 2014-15.

NHS Tayside shelled out £1251 in 2015-16, and NHS Ayrshire and Arran estimate the highest single payment they had made from 2013-14 to 2015-16 was between £1300 and £1600.

Agency nurses are being paid up to almost £1600 a shift in some hospitals

Using agency and bank staff cost Scots health boards £158million in 2015-16 (Photo: Getty)

Tory health spokesman Donald Cameron said the figures, obtained by the party, were a “slap in the face” to NHS staff nurses, The Daily Record reports.

He added: “Health boards pay through the nose when an adequately resourced rota could have done the job at a fraction of the price.”

Using agency and bank staff cost Scottish health boards £158million in 2015-16.

But Health Secretary Shona Robison said the overall bill for agency nurses and midwives was more than 11 per cent lower than 10 years ago.

She added: “Bank and agency staff are an important part of our staffing arrangements to allow heath boards to cope with peaks in demand.

“Boards only use bank and agency staff when they have to and the vast majority are the board’s own nursing agency staff.

“We want to reduce agency use as much as possible and we have launched a new initiative, in partnership with NHS National Services Scotland, to drive down the cost and use of temporary agency staff.

“Figures show 99.6 per cent of all care is delivered by NHS staff.”

Link : Daily Mirror.

Rogue landlords ‘pocket BILLIONS of taxpayers’ cash’ for sub-standard homes : Daily Mirror.

Private landlords letting sub-standard homes trouser £2.3billion in housing benefit annually, according to an analysis by Labour.

An array of To Let signs adorn properties to rent

Rogue landlords are pockting billions of taxpayers’ cash (Photo: Getty)



Rogue landlords are pocketing billions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash every year, research reveals.

Private landlords letting sub-standard homes trouser £2.3billion in housing benefit annually, according to an analysis by Labour.

That amounts to a pound in every £10 spent on the handout.

The figures, from the official English Housing Survey, show the scale of public subsidy for private landlords whose properties are classed as being of a “non-decent” standard.

The rating means houses contain a serious hazard or have fallen into a poor state of repair.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said: “ Labour wants to see more good landlords renting out good quality homes.

“But with one in four families with children now renting privately, the scandal of sub-standard rented homes can’t go on any longer.”

The figures are highest in London where rent costs outstrip the rest of the country.

John Healey says Labour wants good quality homes (Photo: Manchester Evening News)

More than £850million a year is funnelled to landlords letting out sub-standard homes, the party said.

In the rest of the South East it is almost £350million.

Within ministers expected to publish their plans for housing within days, Mr Healey added: “Labour wants to see more good landlords renting out good quality homes.

“But with one in four families with children now renting privately, the scandal of sub-standard rented homes can’t go on any longer – not least because too often the taxpayer pays for these properties through housing benefit.

“Ministers must use the opportunity of the promised white paper on housing to get to grips with the problem.

“A Labour government would act decisively to raise standards for private renters so that no-one has to live in sub-standard, dangerous housing, including by giving local councils new powers to sort out bad landlords in their areas.”

Link : Daily Mirror.

THAT’S GONE TO POT Council slammed for giving personal injury lawyer firm £300,000 to buy perks for staff including a pool table as boss buys his SIXTH Lamborghini : Sun.

A COUNCIL was blasted yesterday for secretly giving a firm of personal injury lawyers £300,000 to buy perks for its staff, including a pool table.

The company’s Lamborghini-driving boss clinched the grant after threatening to quit town and take his 263 employees with him.

The council has been slammed for giving the company perks

News Group Newspapers Ltd
The council has been slammed for giving the company perks

The firm said at the time the cash was needed to refurbish an old newspaper building it had bought as its HQ.

The revamp, after skint Bolton council paid up, saw a splurge on chill-out zones for staff, fancy TVs in every room and swish fitted kitchens.

The firm — Asons Solicitors — then enraged councillors by brazenly posting Twitter snaps of pampered employees playing computer games and pool.

Tory David Greenhalgh raged: “Why should a private company receive a grant from Bolton Council to refurbish their new offices?”

Roger Hayes, leader of the council’s Lib Dems, said amid cuts to lollipop ladies and children’s centres: “There are far more urgent priorities given the present situation of the council’s budget.”

The perks come amid cuts to children’s centres

The perks come amid cuts to children’s centres

The council, which faces having to make £43million of cuts this year, granted the firm the cash under “emergency powers”. It banned the press and public from the meeting.

Last night the firm’s chief executive Imran Akram, 40, refused requests to comment.

He has been pictured cosying up to Jeremy Corbyn and has a passion for flash motors.

A Twitter post showing his latest Lamborghini boasts how it is his sixth in four years.

The Sun can reveal accounts for his firm show it is embroiled in a row with the Revenue over £300,000 unpaid tax, though there is no evidence it is linked to the refurb.

Akram is a fan of flash cars

Akram is a fan of flash cars.

Read More : The Sun.

‘SWEATSHOP’ BRITAIN Workers in UK making clothes for River Island and New Look ‘paid £3-an-hour to compete with Bangladesh’ : Sun.

Channel 4’s Dispatches claims factories supplying major high street brands paid workers below the minimum wage.

TOP fashion chains have been selling clothes made in low-pay British sweatshops, an investigation has claimed.

An undercover reporter for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme was paid as little as £3-an-hour in Leicester factories used by high-street giants River Island and New Look.

Using secret cameras, the reporter captured one textile boss revealing that he’s in direct competition with Bangladesh to meet the orders.

“We don’t get paid much for our clothes, and we need to compete with China and Bangladesh”, Belal, the undercover reporter is told.

“They can get it cheap there. How will they get it made cheaper here?

“If we pay everyone £10 or £6 then we will make a loss.”

The programme also shows Belal working in another factory to produce yellow jumpers for New Look – where the man who hires him doesn’t even check that he is legally allowed to work in the UK.

He is told by another worker that the pay is £3-an-hour – despite there being a poster on the wall about the national minimum wage rates.

His pay is later confirmed at £3.50 per hour, less than half the legal minimum.

Later, Belal is paid £3.25 per hour to package a BooHoo jacket and mark up zips on dresses for Missguided in a factory where workers openly smoke cigarettes and pile rubbish in front of the fire exits.

Health and Safety expert Professor Richard Booth said: “What people don’t appreciate is that fires happen very very rapidly.”

“It was an absolute disgrace… he was walking around dropping ash in the main area where all the fabrics were being retained.”

Read More : The Sun.

£556m boost for Northern Powerhouse under Theresa May’s industrial strategy : i NEWS.

The Government has launched a new industrial strategy. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Government has launched a new industrial strategy. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The Government has announced details of a £556m boost for the Northern Powerhouse as part of its industrial strategy, which will be used to support businesses and create jobs and growth.

The cash, first announced in the Autumn Statement, will be split between the region’s 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships – bodies that were set up in 2011 to help determine local economic priorities.

Greater Manchester will receive the lion’s share with an award of £130m, followed by the Liverpool City Region with £72m.

Theresa May said: “The modern industrial strategy will back Britain for the long term: creating the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and backing them to invest in the long-term future of our country.”

Lancashire will receive £69.8m under the strategy. The Leeds City Region £67.5m and the North East £49.7m.

It comes on top of £2.9bn of Growth Deal funding already awarded to the region’s LEPs.

Key projects set to receive support include the Goole Intermodal Terminal in Yorkshire, which will bring the town’s rail, sea, motorway and inland waterway links onto one site.

Funds will be used to build the International Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sunderland and South Tyneside to help create an estimated 5,200 jobs.
The Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund is set to receive £10m to drive growth in life science companies, and cash will also be spent on extra flood defences in West Yorkshire.
Funds will also be used to support a new conference centre at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, where Conservative Norman Tebbit famously gave his “Get on your bike” speech in 1981 and which was visited by Bill Clinton during Labour’s party conference in 2002.

Read more : i NEWS.

UK covering up failed nuclear missile test: Report : PRESS TV.

HMS Vengeance returning to HM Naval Base Clyde (UK navy file photo)

HMS Vengeance returning to HM Naval Base Clyde (UK navy file photo)

The government of British Prime Minister Theresa May has been accused of hiding a “disastrous” test firing of a Trident nuclear missile, according to a report.

The Trident II D5 missile was fired from a British submarine in June of last year near the coast of the US state of Florida, The Sunday Times reported.

However, Britain’s first test of a nuclear weapon in four years went awry as the missile veered off in the wrong direction towards the American mainland, the paper added.

May, who was Home Secretary at the time of the test, decided to keep members of the Parliament in dark about the issue when she became the new premier.

The new PM at the time had made no mention of the test failure in her first major speech in July, where she tried to persuade the MPs to authorize a 40 billion pound plan for producing new Trident submarines.

On Sunday, when BBC asked May four times whether she knew about the test before she made that speech, the prime minister simply dodged the questions and did not give a direct answer.

“I have absolute faith in our Trident missiles. When I made that speech in the House of Commons what we were talking about was whether or not we should renew our Trident, whether or not we should have Trident missiles,” she said.

“There are tests that take place all the time, regularly for our nuclear deterrent,” she added.

Meanwhile, the prime minister’s office and Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in a joint statement that the Royal Navy’s test was carried out by the HMS Vengeance nuclear submarine, as part of an operation to certify the submarine and its crew.

The statement did not confirm or reject the failure, arguing, “We do not provide further details on submarine operations for obvious national security reasons.”

According to the Times, the UK has only tested five submarine-launched Tridents this century, mainly because the US-made weapons cost £17 million apiece.

The misfire has drawn criticism from the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has called for a discussion.

“People on both sides of the argument on Trident would have expected that to be reported to parliament and the fact that Theresa May didn’t is extremely worrying and I think questions have to be asked about that,” John McDonnell, the opposition leader’s financial spokesman, told BBC.

Link : PRESS TV.

Callous ministers confirm tax credit rape proof clause : Morning Star.

WOMEN who have a third child as a result of rape will have to prove it to a third party in order to keep tax credit income, the government has confirmed.

The government said the women will have to report a rape to health and social care workers or to a charity.

Labour shadow women and equalities secretary Sarah Champion criticised the Tories for “sneakily publishing the damaging policy” on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

She said: “The government are yet again demonstrating a profound lack of understanding of the nature of sexual abuse and coercive relationships.

“Labour reiterates our long-standing calls for the government to conduct a full gender impact assessment of their policies without further delay.”

The proposal to limit tax credits to the first two children was announced by then chancellor George Osborne in 2015.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs said they recognised the handling of the exceptions is “extremely sensitive” but that it is “important to have an exception in place to support claimants in these circumstances.”

Third or subsequent children conceived in controlling and coercive relationships will also be exempt, but not if the woman is still living with a partner who could financially benefit.

End Violence Against Women coalition co-director Rachel Krys said: “Assurances of confidentiality and sensitivity ring hollow in the week the DWP was shown to have committed a serious data breach, putting the life of a domestic violence survivor at risk.

“This whole policy [of not exempting women still living with their perpetrator] betrays a lack of understanding about sexual and domestic abuse.”

Link : Morning Star.