CategoriesUK News

Tax cuts funded on backs of poor ‘morally indefensible’, say campaigners

Government could seek to reduce welfare benefits spending in wake of recent mini-budget

Poverty campaigners have said it would be “morally indefensible” for ministers to fund tax cuts for the richest on the backs of the poor, amid speculation that ministers may reduce welfare benefits in the wake of last week’s ill-received fiscal statement.

Friday’s mini-budget announced billions of tax cuts benefiting high earners, but the subsequent market fallout plunged the UK’s finances into near crisis. The government is expected to have to make tens of billions of pounds of public spending cuts later this year to try to put the UK’s finances on a sound footing.

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CategoriesUK News

NHS 111 failures led to early Covid deaths, investigation finds

Inquiry says phone service misjudged levels of illness and failed to advise some to seek urgent help

Multiple failures by the NHS 111 telephone advice service early in the pandemic left Covid patients struggling to get care and led directly to some people dying, an investigation has found.

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) looked into the help that NHS 111 gave people with Covid in the weeks before and after the UK entered its first lockdown on 23 March 2020.

The CRS algorithm did not allow for the assessment of any life-threatening illness a caller had – such as obesity, cancer or lung disease – to establish whether they should undergo a clinical assessment.

When many callers reached the core 111 service, there was no way to divert them as intended to the CRS, which was operationally independent of 111.

Although patients who had Covid-19 symptoms as well as underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, were meant to be assessed when they spoke to the core 111 service, some were not.

The number of extra calls to 111 in March 2020 meant that only half were answered.

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CategoriesUK News

Harry Dunn crash: Anne Sacoolas appears by video link before UK court

Case of US citizen accused of causing death of teenager by dangerous driving sent to Old Bailey

Anne Sacoolas, the US citizen accused of causing the death of the British teenager Harry Dunn by dangerous driving, has appeared before a UK court by video link, where a magistrate granted her unconditional bail.

Her appearance, sitting beside one of her lawyers, marks the end of a three-year wait by Dunn’s family for criminal proceedings to begin. They listened from the public gallery at Westminster magistrates court as the case was sent to the Old Bailey.

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CategoriesUK News

Treasury watchdog to ask Kwarteng to hand over growth forecasts

Tory chair Mel Stride says watchdog needs to hear how chancellor will boost growth and one option might be via immigration

Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget: key points at a glance

Kwasi Kwarteng will be called before parliament’s Treasury watchdog and asked to hand over independent growth forecasts, as its chairman said there is “not a very broad path” out of the current economic situation.

Mel Stride, a Conservative MP and chair of the Treasury committee, said Kwarteng was “very, very unlikely to reverse” the £45bn of unfunded permanent tax cuts he announced last Friday, even though that is an option. The alternative, he said, was to act quickly to “demonstrate to the markets that growth is realistic”. The third option would be deep cuts to public spending, but that would be difficult given the current pressure of inflation, Stride said.

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CategoriesTech NewsUK News

Molly Russell inquest: social media ‘almost impossible’ to keep track of, says teacher

Headteacher describes ‘terrible shock’ at north London school after 14-year-old killed herself in 2017

The headteacher of Molly Russell’s secondary school has told an inquest into the teenager’s death it is “almost impossible” to keep track of the risks posed to pupils by social media.

North London coroner’s court heard of the “complete and terrible shock” at Molly’s school after the 14-year-old killed herself in November 2017. Molly, from Harrow in north-west London, killed herself after viewing extensive amounts of online content related to suicide, depression, self-harm and anxiety.

In the UK, the youth suicide charity Papyrus can be contacted on 0800 068 4141 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org, and in the UK and Ireland Samaritans can be contacted on freephone 116 123, or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 800-273-8255 or chat for support. You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis text line counsellor. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at befrienders.org

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