Disabled campaigners have criticised the chancello

first_imgDisabled campaigners have criticised the chancellor’s failure to provide any money in the budget to solve the social care funding crisis, despite a warning from the UN.Although Philip Hammond announced some extra funding for the NHS, there was no mention of social care in his budget speech, or in the main budget report.It came only days after the government left disabled campaigners “completely frustrated” by admitting that it will side-line the needs of working-age disabled people from next summer’s social care green paper (see separate story).In August, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities warned that the UK was “going backwards” on independent living, and called on the government to draw up a “comprehensive plan” to address the problem.Despite that call, there was not a single mention of disabled people, disability, independent living or social care in the chancellor’s 7,700-word speech to MPs yesterday (Wednesday), repeating his failure to mention disabled people or disability in his 6,700-word budget speech in March.The chancellor (pictured delivering the budget speech) did announce an extra £335 million for the NHS in England this winter, £1.6 billion in 2018-19, and another £900 million in 2019-20 – still far short of the extra £4 billion-a-year health leaders say it needs – as well as overall increases of £2 billion for the Scottish government, and £1.2 billion more for the Welsh government, but he allocated nothing to social care in England.In March, the chancellor allocated just £2.4 billion in extra money for social care over the next three years, a sum described by disabled campaigners at the time as “meaningless” when set against the scale of the funding crisis.A survey of social workers in England by Community Care magazine and the Care and Support Alliance, published in September, found that more than two-thirds felt they were expected to cut people’s care packages because of local authority funding pressures, while more than a quarter were not confident that the reduced care packages they had to oversee were “fair and safe”.Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday, in his speech responding to the budget, that by March next year more than £6 billion will have been cut from social care budgets since 2010.Linda Burnip, co founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “As expected, the Tories have completely ignored yet again the human disaster they have allowed to develop in relation to social care and have failed to address in any way the ever increasing lack of funding to support disabled people’s human rights to live independently in the community with adequate levels of support.”Disability Rights UK said: “There will be deep disappointment amongst disabled people that there was no mention of social care in the budget.“The crisis in services looks set to continue unabated.”The Local Government Association said it was “a completely false economy to put money into the NHS while not addressing the funding crisis in adult social care” and “sends a message that if you need social care, you should go to hospital”.The disability charity Sense warned the government that it “cannot save the NHS if it delays dealing with social care”.And another disability charity, the MS Society, said the failure to provide more money for social care was “even more alarming” than the refusal to meet the NHS funding gap, and “provides nothing to prevent the current crisis from worsening”.The budget report did include one disability-specific spending announcement, with an extra £42 million for the disabled facilities grant – which provides funding to make disabled people’s homes more accessible – increasing the total budget for this year (2017-18) to £473 million, although this was not mentioned in Hammond’s speech.There was also relief that the government finally agreed to introduce measures to soften the impact of the botched rollout of universal credit (UC), which is gradually replacing six working-age benefits.Campaigners have been warning that the rollout is leaving hundreds of thousands in debt, and forcing people – many of them disabled – to borrow from loan sharks, pawnbrokers and payday loan companies, while many have been left in rent arrears and facing eviction.Hammond announced a package of improvements to UC that will cost £1.5 billion over the next five years (£300 million in 2018-19), including removing the seven-day waiting period for new claimants so that entitlement starts on the day of the claim.Claimants will also be able to secure an advance, equal to a full month’s UC payment, within five days of making a claim, and will be allowed to make online applications for advances.They will also be allowed to pay back the advance payment over 12 months, instead of the current six, while claimants moving from housing benefit to UC will receive an extra two weeks of their housing benefit award to ease the transition.The Treasury told Disability News Service that the changes will cause a further three-month delay to the rollout of universal credit, so it will now reach all jobcentres – although not all claimants – by December 2018 rather than September 2018.Further details were due to be announced today (Thursday) by work and pensions secretary David Gauke.Citizens Advice Scotland welcomed the “significant” changes, and said they would “make a real difference to those claimants who are currently experiencing hardship”, but warned that there were “other problems with universal credit which we believe still need to be addressed”.last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… Campaigners are warning the Labour party to rethink its support for a radical new benefit system because of risks that its introduction would further isolate and impoverish disabled people.In a new report, UBI: Solution or Illusion? The Implications of Universal Basic Income for Disabled People in Britain, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) says support for universal basic income (UBI) has been growing steadily among those both on the left and the right of politics.Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell has expressed some support for UBI and has suggested that the party’s next general election manifesto is likely to include a commitment to a UBI pilot.The Scottish government is also providing funding for possible pilot schemes to be run by four local authorities.UBI is a regular cash payment made to every citizen regardless of their income, paid without any requirement to be in a paid job or looking for work.Many see it as a solution to the UK’s flawed and much-criticised social security safety net, which has seen years of cuts to support and an increasingly-harsh sanctions and conditionality regime.DPAC says this interest in UBI has intensified with the introduction of universal credit.Supporters of UBI also see it as the answer to the “stigmatisation of social security, the scapegoating of benefit claimants and associated hostility towards disabled people”, says DPAC in its report.But the DPAC report warns that too little attention has been paid to the implications of UBI for disabled people.The report warns that it is likely that housing benefit and disability benefits would remain outside a UBI system.This would mean the need for continuing disability assessments, and the risk that the high cost of running a UBI system would mean further cuts to benefits and services relied on by disabled people, such as social care support.DPAC’s Ellen Clifford, author of the new report, said: “While we would be in favour of tax rises to fund welfare provision – particularly corporation tax and a progressive rise in the higher rate of income tax – the use of this for a UBI rather than more traditional forms of disability and unemployment support would mean much of the benefit flowing back to employers rather than those in most need.”Two other grassroots organisations of disabled people, Black Triangle and WinVisible, have this week added their voices to the concerns raised by DPAC about UBI.Clifford’s report concludes that implementing UBI “risks detracting attention and resources from the urgent task required to overhaul the disability benefits system and make it fit for purpose”.It adds: “Given the history of disabled people’s exclusion and the marginalisation of our issues it is reasonable for disabled people to fear that attention and resources dedicated to the task of implementing a UBI will be at the expense of affecting the level of change needed to ensure disabled people receive adequate support.”There are also concerns, says the report, that a more flexible employment market ushered in by UBI, with greater job insecurity and the likelihood of poorer working conditions and lower wages for lower-paid workers, would further disadvantage disabled workers.They also say that right-wing versions of UBI are seen as a way of saving money by avoiding spending on a decent living wage and social protection.And the report says that pushing for UBI risks deferring demands for full reasonable adjustments at work for disabled workers, and “full and unconditional support” for those unable to work, while “ending up with a system that is more of a helping hand for employers than for disabled people”.The report says DPAC’s concerns are born out by the results of pilot UBI schemes that have been run across the world, including one in Finland that has just ended, but has not yet been assessed officially, which critics say has forced unemployed workers into bad jobs while undermining unions, wage equality, and the welfare state.And it says concerns have been raised about the proposed pilot schemes in Scotland, including the cost and potential negative impacts on disabled people, including likely cuts to other social protection schemes.But the report does say that a pilot scheme in India proved successful, with disabled people benefiting more than others, but mainly because “many of those benefiting had received no previous support at all”, which was “very different to what would happen with the introduction of a UBI in Britain to replace existing social security payments”.Clifford said it was worrying how marginalised disabled people had been in the debate around the introduction of UBI.She said DPAC’s message to Labour was to include disabled people in the debate and to consider how they would be affected by the introduction of UBI.Clifford said it was important to have the debate about UBI as there was growing support for the idea that universal credit would have to be scrapped, and that UBI could be the system to replace it.She said: “We have seen with universal credit and personalisation how what can sound like progressive ideas can end up badly for disabled people in practice.“We remember how the personalisation pilots actually went very well.“It isn’t always possible for pilots to capture the full implications of policy roll outs so we are concerned that Labour’s proposed pilots will not on their own be enough to avoid a future situation where UBI is fully rolled out and ends up widening rather than reducing inequality.”The report could surprise some of DPAC’s critics, who often assume that the grassroots group will support the left-wing policies of the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn and McDonnell.But DPAC has repeatedly made it clear that it is not aligned to any political party and that its loyalties lie instead with those fighting for disabled people’s “full human rights and equality”, and against government austerity measures “which target the poor while leaving the wealthy unscathed”.John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said existing experiments with UBI appeared to “have been driven by a right wing agenda that undermines workers’ rights”.He said: “On the face of it, UBI seems to be progressive but the devil is in the detail.”He said Black Triangle echoed DPAC’s call for the immediate focus to be on “removing conditionality and sanctions and the hostile environment for disabled people”, replacing the UK government’s disability assessment regime, and co-producing with disabled people a social security system that “will again be fit for purpose”.Claire Glasman, from WinVisible, which supports and campaigns for disabled women, said the problem with UBI was that it was not based on need and – like universal credit – did not recognise the importance of unwaged caring work.She said: “We are very worried that it is going to be a way of cutting benefits based on need: the needs of disabled people, the needs of mothers and children, the needs of bereaved people, which specific benefits exist to cover.”last_img read more

Moon Rocks Megabytes and Fruit Flies Space By the Numbers

first_imgIf you fill out the first name, last name, or agree to terms fields, you will NOT be added to the newsletter list. Leave them blank to get signed up. Never Miss a StorySign up for Texas Monthly’s State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this delivered to your inbox daily. Subscribe This Week in Texas(Weekly)The best stories from Texas Monthly Hope you enjoyed your free ride. To get back in the saddle, subscribe! The State of Texas(Daily)A daily digest of Texas news, plus the latest from Texas Monthly Sign UpI agree to the terms and conditions. Enter your email address First Name Already a subscriber? Login or link your subscription. Editor’s Desk(Monthly)A message from the editors at Texas Monthly Subscribe now, or to get 10 days of free access, sign up with your email. Cancel anytime. 0.5Percent of the U.S. federal budget that currently goes to NASA.17Days the Apollo 11 astronauts were required to spend in medical quarantine after splashing back down to Earth.2Number of times the Apollo 12 mission’s Saturn V spacecraft was struck by lightning just after it was launched, on November 14, 1969.NASA340Record for the most consecutive days a NASA astronaut—specifically, Scott Kelly—has spent in space.665Record for the most cumulative days a NASA astronaut—specifically, Peggy A. Whitson—has spent in space.6Number of U.S. flags that have been planted on the moon.41Time span, in months, during which all of the manned lunar landings took place (July 1969 through December 1972).4.76Speed of the International Space Station, in miles per second.133Number of successful U.S. space shuttle missions.NASA0.078Amount of memory, in megabytes, installed in the computer used by Apollo 11 mission astronauts. (The iPhone X has a minimum of 64,000 MB.)236Number of people who have visited the space station.6Number of Apollo missions that landed on the moon.100Number of tampons NASA offered astronaut Sally Ride for her weeklong trip on the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.20,000,000A federal court’s high-end estimate of the worth, in dollars, of the moon rock and Martian meteorite samples that three interns stole from the Johnson Space Center in the summer of 2002. After the theft, one of the interns placed the rocks on his bed and had “sex on the moon” with one of his fellow thieves.1947Year the first animals—specifically, fruit flies—were sent by the U.S. into space.12Number of people who have walked on the moon.0Number of people who have walked on the moon more than once.92Percent of men who walked on the moon who were once Boy Scouts (eleven of the twelve).842Weight, in pounds, of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand, and dust the six lunar landing missions brought back to Earth.12Number of pairs of moon boots that were left on the moon to compensate for the weight of those 842 pounds of lunar samples.355Number of people who have ridden on space shuttles.This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Space, By the Numbers.” Subscribe today. Sign up for free access Why am I seeing this? You’ve read your last free article Last Namelast_img read more

Community still rallying to raise money for fire victims

first_img So far the Pleasure Island Disaster Relief Fund has raised nearly $5,000. The organization’s goal is $50,000.Tuesday, The Lazy Pirate and the Carolina Beach Bar Club are hosting a dinner. All proceeds will be donated to the victims.If you would like to donate, click here. CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — It has been one week since the deadly fire at Inland Harbor condominiums in Carolina Beach. It is a tragedy the community is continuing to rally behind.From hotels offering a free place to stay, to restaurants offering free food, and the Pleasure Island Disaster Relief Fund raising money for the fire victims, the Carolina Beach community has been doing all they can to help get those affected back on their feet.- Advertisement – last_img

Hemp stakeholders react to top Senators potential legalization bill

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Four years after the seed was planted, now the industrial hemp industry could grow to a nationwide business if a top U.S. Senator can plow his proposed bill through congress.U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell wants to see industrial hemp legal across the nation. He plans to introduce legislation to legalize hemp as an agricultural product.  Growing hemp without a federal permit has long been banned due to its classification as a controlled substance related to marijuana.- Advertisement – Hemp production and pilot programs around states has been common practice since Sen. McConnell and Congress passed the 2014 Farm Bill granting the programs.Hemp does not have the full effects as marijuana. Locally, growers and sellers hope to see McConnell’s bill make it to harvest.“Last time that I saw a number, it was 56,000 different products that hemp could replace as of today,” said Joe Ameri with Hempleton Investment Group which operates The Hemp Farmacy across coastal, southern and southeastern N.C.Related Article: Hemp crops not insured, farmers lose everythingFrom farm to fragrance or harvest to honey, The Hemp Farmacy and it’s partners have seen growth. The state of Kentucky has seen the same success. That’s why Sen. McConnell is moving forward to fully legalize the crop.“This bill will finally legalize hemp, legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances,” said McConnell Monday.“It’s huge I mean that’s what we want,” said Ameri. “We want this just like I said to be another agricultural product.”Ameri works with farmers, geneticists, and the retail arena. The crop contains less of the “high” affect compound THC than it’s cousin marijuana. McConnell’s bill has a clear opposition.“The DEA still says, ‘we don’t like this, it looks like marijuana, it smells like marijuana, tastes like marijuana, to us it’s marijuana’,” said Ameri.Cannabis of any kind sits as a schedule one drug to the Drug Enforcement Administration.Ameri is certain taking it off that list would plow the way for a new nationwide industry.“It frees up the states from having any liability. Right now any state that is doing anything more than hemp federally in the wrong.”The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 is expected to hit the U.S. Senate floor next week.last_img read more

LOFT opening another Wilmington location

first_img With the new location, LOFT’s current Independence Mall location will close at the end of the year or early 2020, a store manager confirmed Tuesday.LOFT is the lower-priced, casual companion store to Ann Taylor, and offers women clothing options that work for every day and appeals to everyone, according to a release from Mayfaire. It is owned by Ascena Retail Group, Inc., which also owns Justice, Lane Bryant and Ann Taylor.“We are very excited to welcome LOFT to our group of Ascena retailers at Mayfaire Town Center,” Kurt Bohlmann, General Manager of Mayfaire, said in the release. “We know shoppers will love their stylish selections. We look forward to seeing everyone at the grand opening on May 18 at 10 a.m.!”Related Article: $200,000 win instantly boosts retirement fund of New Hanover County manCustomers will receive $25 off their full-price purchase of $75 or more on opening day, in-store only. This offer excludes Lou & Grey and is not combinable with any other offers. LOFT will open its second Wilmington location on May 18, 2019. (Photo: Mayfaire) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/StarNews) — Mayfaire is getting a new retail tenant and it will be a familiar name for local shoppers.LOFT will open its second Wilmington location 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18 in the former 5,500-square-foot Eddie Bauer space at the heart of the popular shopping center off Military Cutoff Road.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Electoral Commission announces names of the 6 elected MEPs

first_imgIn the early hours of this morning, the Election Commission announced the official results of the election of Members of the European Parliament held on the 25th May 2019.As had been predicted late yesterday evening, there are four elected candidates for the Partit Laburista and two for the Partit Nazzjonalista. According to the Commission, the candidate who received the most votes is Miriam Dalli (PL), followed by Roberta Metsola (PN). Alfred Sant (PL) is in third place, followed by David Casa (PN), while Alex Agius Saliba (PL) is in fifth place, followed by Josianne Cutajar (PL).Among the six Maltese MEPs, there are two new faces – Alex Agius Saliba and Josianne Cutajar. Francis Zammit Dimech (PN) was not elected this time and Marlene Mizzi (PL) chose not to contest this year’s election.There are still no official final figures regarding exactly how many votes each candidate received (both elected and non-elected). However, the unofficial results issued late yesterday evening by PL agents state that Miriam Dalli obtained about 51,000 votes, Alfred Sant – 21 300, Alex Agius Saliba – 15,000 and Josianne Cutajar – 12,900. Meanwhile PN agents stated that Roberta Metsola obtained 31,000 votes and David Casa – 16,500.The quota in order to be elected is that of 37,000 votes.What are the new MEPs saying?The candidate who received the most votes, Miriam Dalli, thanked all those who gave their votes to her and announced that it received a total of 63,438 votes. She said she could not find the words to express her gratitude and claimed that her responsibility was now even greater. She promised to continue to strive to represent the people in the best possible way.Roberta Metsola said that she was honoured to have been re-elected to serve as an MEP. She said she had been elected with a total of 38,206 votes and thanked all those who had decided to trust her with the job.Alfred Sant also showed his gratitude on social media.David Casa said that to hold the trust of the people, as he was elected to Parliament for the fourth consecutive election, was ‘incredible’. He said he is truly honoured to again be selected for this role and pledged to be the voice of the people in the European Parliament.Alex Agius Saliba said that had been elected as the third MEP on behalf of the PL with a total of 35 823 votes. He thanked everyone for their support.Josianne Cutajar thanked everyone who supported her and said that she is deeply honoured. SharePrint WhatsAppcenter_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

President Kagame wins ANOTHER ICT Award – this time from Star Times

first_imgAdvertisement Last week, StarTimes Group awards President Paul Kagame for his visionary leadership and commitment towards meeting the set objectives of Vision 2020 in promoting ICT and communications. The Minister of Youth and ICT received the award on behalf of the President.Read story on PC Tech RwandaRelated articles across the webPresident Paul Kagame wins ITU awardPresident of Rwanda Paul Kagame, President Park Geun-hye of Republic of Korea and entrepreneur Carlos Slim receive World Telecommunication and Information Society Award Broadband and ICTs for post-2015 Sustainable Development agendaBig dreams for Rwanda’s ICT sectorlast_img

LTE roaming footprint grows 70 In 2014 with operators in 75 countries

first_imgAdvertisement BICS, a global provider of wholesale carrier services, has today announced a rapid increase in the number of operators deploying LTE roaming during the last year, with services now available in 75 countries. Operators using BICS’ IP exchange (IPX) platform can offer customers access to LTE roaming sessions with over 150 operators, through either direct connections or peering agreements.Following pioneering launches in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa during 2013, last year saw widespread adoption in countries across the globe, including: Russia, South Africa, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Poland and Rwanda. Carriers launching the service are able to offer their customers, and visitors roaming onto their network, access to the highest quality data services – driving revenues and increasing the quality of experience for end users.There are now over 330 commercially launched LTE networks across 112 countries[1]. With such widespread domestic access to high data speeds, subscribers now expect to be able to access similar speeds wherever they are in the world. In order to offer these services, operators must arrange a whole new set of commercial agreements and technical interconnections to support this all-new IP signalling infrastructure, built on IPX, to replace the SS7 signalling network. – Advertisement – BICS’ market leading IPX platform, including LTE signalling, allows service providers to exchange any IP traffic bilaterally with any IPX destination, through one single interconnection with an end-to-end management of quality. This removes the need to engage in separate agreements with the hundreds of operators around the world and allows for the swift deployment of LTE roaming services.“The growth in the number of networks offering LTE roaming services last year was astounding,” said Mikaël Schachne, VP Mobile Data Business, BICS. “We can now expect carriers to begin utilising the whole spectrum of services enabled by IPX, including deploying next generation voice services and value added packages for subscribers, to further enhance services for their own customers and incoming roamers.”last_img read more