Tag Archives: government

Pension POLL: Do you trust the Government to protect state pensions for the next 40 years?

Pension POLL: Do you trust the Government to protect state pensions for the next 40 years?

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has lost the trust of the British public when it comes to pensions, new data has found. Express.co.uk wants to know whether you think the state pension will be protected by the Government over the next 40 years. Vote in our poll and comment on this article.Pension POLL: Do you trust the Government to protect state pensions for the next 40 years?

Read more here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Government to scrap free NHS prescriptions for over 60s – Three things you MUST do now

Government to scrap free NHS prescriptions for over 60s - Three things you MUST do now

FREE NHS PRESCRIPTIONS for the over 60s may be scrapped, with people forced to pay £9.35 per item instead. This would be a huge financial blow for older people with health problems, who will pay for prescriptions until they reach the State Pension age of 66. Some may still avoid the charge though. Here’s how.Government to scrap free NHS prescriptions for over 60s - Three things you MUST do now

Read more here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

No refunds for passengers with ‘illegal’ Covid flights as Government scraps plans

No refunds for passengers with ‘illegal’ Covid flights as Government scraps plans

GOVERNMENT ministers have reportedly scrapped plans to force airlines to give refunds to passengers who had booked ‘illegal’ Covid flights. Airlines will not have to provide refunds to customers with tickets for flights that became ‘illegal’ under Covid restrictions.No refunds for passengers with ‘illegal’ Covid flights as Government scraps plans

Read more here Daily Express :: Travel News Feed

Andy Murray sends message to UK Government over Emma Raducanu – ‘Not really good enough’

Andy Murray sends message to UK Government over Emma Raducanu - 'Not really good enough'

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, said her success should help fuel a concerted effort to make British tennis become less exclusive. 

He added: “One of the images that tennis has had over the years has just been that it’s not accessible enough, I think. 

“If your image is that – that it’s a rich person’s sport and it’s too expensive to play – I’m sure that that potentially puts people off, maybe parents as well getting their kids into it.”

Murray’s calls for greater accessibility were echoed by the Lawn Tennis Association in the wake of Raducanu’s monumental victory.

LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd is hoping to refurbish public park courts that are deteriorating around the UK. 

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Read more here Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Andy Murray sends message to UK Government over Emma Raducanu – ‘Not really good enough’

Emma Raducanu reacts to messages from the royal family

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Tennis icon

Andy Murray

has called for more investment in the sport at grassroots level after

Emma Raducanu

’s historic US Open win – and said the state of British tennis is not good enough. Raducanu made history at Flushing Meadows, becoming the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title in just her second appearance at such a tournament, doing so without dropping a set.

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The 18-year-old is also the first British woman to win a major singles title since Virigina Wade at Wimbledon in 1977.

Before Raducanu’s triumph, Murray was the last Briton to win a Grand Slam when he was triumphant at Wimbledon in 2016, so he understands the weight of her achievement.

The 34-year-old believes the UK should have more tennis champions however.

He called on the government and other bodies to seize the opportunity that Raducanu’s spectacular success has created given the rise in interest back in Britain.


JUST IN:

Emma Raducanu returns to training as she eyes next tournament

Andy Murray sends message to UK Government over Emma Raducanu - 'Not really good enough'


Andy Murray called on British tennis to improve and add to his and Emma Raducanu’s victories

(Image: GETTY)

“On the men’s side, it was 77 years’ wait for someone to win a Grand Slam and women’s, it’s been 44 years,” said Murray.

“For a country that hosts the biggest tennis tournament in the world and certainly not lacking in money, that’s not really good enough.

“Now should be an opportunity to try to make sure it’s not another huge wait. They need to try to take the opportunity.”

Raducanu is reportedly in line for a CBE from the Queen while she is the favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year.

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Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, said her success should help fuel a concerted effort to make British tennis become less exclusive.

He added: “One of the images that tennis has had over the years has just been that it’s not accessible enough, I think.

“If your image is that – that it’s a rich person’s sport and it’s too expensive to play – I’m sure that that potentially puts people off, maybe parents as well getting their kids into it.”

Murray’s calls for greater accessibility were echoed by the Lawn Tennis Association in the wake of Raducanu’s monumental victory.

LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd is hoping to refurbish public park courts that are deteriorating around the UK.

Andy Murray sends message to UK Government over Emma Raducanu - 'Not really good enough'


Andy Murray was eliminated in the first round at the US Open by Stefanos Tsitsipas

(Image: GETTY)

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Lloyd claimed 40 per cent of such courts are in ‘poor or unplayable condition’.

“Our vision for the LTA is to open up tennis and to do that we need to ensure that the public facilities available for anyone to play are on there,” Lloyd told the BBC.

“We have invested £8.5million into local authorities to start the journey of putting them back into long-term sustainable use.

“But we’re also very keen to work with Government to ensure we can finish that job and we think that’s about another £15-20million worth of funding that could see 1,800 tennis courts in parks come back into use.”

Murray is in action on Tuesday against France’s Ugo Humbert in the round of 32 at the Moselle Open.

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Read more here Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Government: The data attack on the Norwegian parliament’s email system was carried out from China

Government: The data attack on the Norwegian parliament’s email system was carried out from China

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) called in China’s ambassador to a meeting in relation to the data attack on the Norwegian parliament’s (Storting) email systems that took place in March.

“This is a serious incident that affected our most important democratic institution. 

“After a thorough review of our intelligence information, it is our assessment that the very serious data breach against the Storting was carried out from China,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide stated in a press release.

“Several of our allies, the EU and Microsoft, have also confirmed this. Chinese authorities must prevent such attacks from taking place. We expect China to take the matter very seriously so that similar incidents do not happen again,” Søreide warned.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

Do you have a news tip for Norway Today? We want to hear it. Get in touch at [email protected]

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News

Prince Charles ‘will only wear a mask when government advice tells him he must’

Prince Charles has no plans to wear a mask unless the government rules insist he does, a royal source has reportedly said.

The Prince of Wales is likely to throw his face mask away for a fundraising event at Exeter Cathedral on Sunday, in tune with the government’s Freedom Day.

Similarly, this is the first event on his agenda that has been announced to the public in advance for several months, with the aim to avoid crowds during the pandemic.

A Daily Mail royal insider said: “This will be the first time in 18 months that we are seeing a return to normality. We’ll be looking forwards, not backwards.

“This is the first time the prince has been to a location inside and won’t be wearing a mask because it’s a large area where people will be social distancing and it will be the first day of the new rules.

“When the rules state that a mask should be worn, then the Prince will wear one but not otherwise.”



The prince is reportedly only going to wear a mask when the government's rules dictate that he must
The prince is reportedly only going to wear a mask when the government’s rules dictate that he must

The Duchess of Cornwall is also thought to be glad about Freedom Day.

At a visit to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, she told a student she “can’t wait to get rid of this (mask).”

The government has made July 19 the day when social distancing rules and mask wearing will no longer be required..

While initially put forward as a complete new start with the country having to learn to live with Covid, the government appears to have since taken a more cautious tone and reinforced it will impose a new lockdown if the third wave demands it.

Concern is growing over the rising infection rate, especially the Delta variant, with Covid cases having risen by 71 percent since last Saturday.

It comes also as the Health Secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for Covid on Saturday having had his two jabs.

The government is now trying to work out who has been in close contact with him and it could lead to several leading figures having to self-isolate.

On Friday Javid was seen leaving Downing Street which could even include the Boris Johnson in the list of those needing to isolate.

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This post originally posted here United Kingdom News

News: UKHospitality welcomes government plan to restart sector

News: UKHospitality welcomes government plan to restart sector

A new strategy designed to ensure pubs, bars and restaurants in England can begin to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic has been released by the government.

Under the plans, it will be easier for venues on the high street to offer al fresco dining and serve more customers outside, with pavement licenses being extended and made permanent.

Takeaway pints will also continue for another 12 months, as the temporary permissions for off-property-sales of alcohol are extended in England and Wales.

Recovery measures will also boost business and consumer confidence and help the sector return to profitability, business minister, Paul Scully, said.

This includes working with the government-owned British Business Bank and directly with lenders to support access to finance for hospitality firms so they can invest in their businesses.

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The government is setting out ways to help the sector improve its resilience, including by making hospitality a career option of choice, boosting creativity, and developing a greener sector.

Scully said: “The pandemic has meant we’ve had to stay apart, and this has had a big impact on the hospitality industry, which exists to bring people together.

“We’ve been working with hospitality businesses throughout the pandemic to understand what support they need to not only reopen, but change and improve how they do things to meet changing consumer demands and protect jobs and livelihoods.

“We want young people to see the hospitality sector as a go-to option for long-term careers, and that’s why we will explore new options for vocational training and help further boost the creativity and environmental friendliness of the sector through the first-ever government strategy for the hospitality industry.”

Measures also include exploring options for vocational skills and training that support careers in the sector, including apprenticeships, bootcamps and other qualifications like a T-Level, and working with the sector to raise the profile of careers in hospitality.

This comes as the £150 million Community Ownership Fund, giving people across the UK the chance to run local pubs at risk of closure as community-owned businesses.

UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “The pandemic has devastated the hospitality sector and businesses are desperate to bounce back strongly and return to profitable trading.

“That’s why the launch of this new Hospitality Strategy is so important – it offers a strong platform to deliver the supportive regulatory and trading environment we need to recover, rebuild resilience and thrive.

“Building and training our workforce is a top priority if hospitality is to quickly revive and drive a national recovery, so it’s incredibly positive that a key part of this strategy is focused on addressing the current recruitment challenges and raising the profile of long-term sector careers.”

A government plan for the wider tourism sector received a more muted response earlier.

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This post originally posted here Breaking Travel News

Foreign aid cuts by Boris Johnson’s Tory Government is shameful, writes Michael Settle

Foreign aid cuts by Boris Johnson's Tory Government is shameful, writes Michael Settle

LITTLE England, not Great Britain.

This was the conclusion of that notorious Leftie, John Major, following the UK Government’s controversial move this week – backed by a 35 Commons majority – to cut taxpayer generosity to the world’s poorest.

In fact, Sir John was joined by all the members of the ex-Prime Ministers’ Club – David Cameron, Theresa May, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair – who have bemoaned the decision taken by their successor in Downing St.

Boris Johnson explained that, given how the country was spending £407 billion on battling the pandemic, “wrenching decisions” had to be taken; some things had to give and one was the size of the aid budget.

“Every pound we spend on aid has to be borrowed and, in fact, represents not our money but money that we’re taking from future generations,” the PM declared.

READ MORE: Controversial foreign aid cut to stay after Tory rebellion falls short

Indeed, in November when the cut was first announced, he had the clear backing of the public, who, 66% to 18% of those who expressed a view, supported cutting the overseas aid budget. 

When the row initially broke, Mr Johnson suggested the cut of a third – £4.4bn, leaving the annual aid budget at £10bn – could well be a one-off and the 0.7% level of Gross National Income[GNI] would be reinstated in 2022; it’s now 0.5%. He dismissed criticism of his decision as “Leftie propaganda”.

Opponents of the cut increasingly demanded a Commons vote because, with 50 Tory rebels onboard, they were confident of victory and reinstating the 0.7% level next year.

Intriguingly, the PM remained tight-lipped on a vote. But things were stirring behind the scenes at Westminster. 

Government whips began an Operation Fear exercise, focusing on the most fiscally conservative of the Tory rebels. Given Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s commitment to a spending splurge to get the country through the pandemic, the risk of future tax rises was raised.

Fiscally conservative minds were duly focused; raising taxes ahead of a general election is not good for electoral business; disgruntled Tory voters could stay at home; seats could be lost. Consequently, the Conservative rebel ranks broke; 14 sided with their leader. 

Mr Sunak spoke, disingenuously, of a “compromise” being offered. 

That the Government, naturally, was committed to returning to the 0.7% aid level but only when economic circumstances allowed ie if the Office for Budget Responsibility believed the UK was not borrowing to finance day-to-day spending and underlying debt was falling.

It has been pointed out such conditions have only been met once in 20 years, meaning a return to 0.7% will not happen in this Parliament and, in fact, the cut has been baked into Government policy for the foreseeable future.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson’s long-awaited explanation of ‘levelling up’ branded gibberish

No doubt, Messrs Sunak and Johnson regard the Commons aid cut vote a nifty strategic triumph because, with public spending cuts in the pipeline, a fiscal reality has also been baked in; Tory MPs opposed to such cuts will have to consider the prospect of higher taxes given the eye-watering levels of borrowing the Government is already committed to. 

To put it another way, the Chancellor has effectively acquired a Commons majority for public spending cuts ahead.  

Despite the £4.4bn reduction in overseas aid, Britain remains a generous donor; £10bn, 0.5% of GNI remains proportionately much more than most countries such as, according to official figures for pre-pandemic 2019, America[0.16%], China[0.36%], Russia[0.03%], Japan[0.29%], Canada[0.27%], France[0.44%] and Italy[0.24%]. 

But it is less than Germany[0.6%], Norway[1.02%], Sweden[0.99%], Luxembourg[1.05%], India[0.65%] and Turkey[1.15%].

Understandably, campaigners were outraged by the UK cut.

The anti-poverty One Campaign said: “The real losers of this vote are the three million children who will no longer be able to go to school, the half a million children who will die from preventable diseases and the three million women and children who will go hungry.

“This is also a retreat from British values and sends a sorry message about the type of country the UK wants to be.”

In his response, Sir Keir Starmer pointed out how cutting aid – the only G7 country to do so – would reduce Britain’s soft-power influence and create a vacuum, which would be filled by China and Russia. 

“Development aid,” the Labour leader argued, “reduces conflict, disease and people fleeing from their homes. It is a false economy to pretend this is some sort of cut that doesn’t have consequences.”

Indeed, the Government has been warned it could harm the drive to tackle climate change. 

Alok Sharma, the Cabinet member who leads on matters COP26, was said to have privately told Mr Johnson he was unhappy with the aid cut. But he voted for it anyway.

The International Centre for Climate Change and Development said: “Rishi Sunak has cut him[Sharma] off at the legs. He will not have any credibility when speaking about finance as his own Chancellor isn’t delivering what he is asking other countries to deliver.”

First-time rebel Mrs May also pointed out, apart from everything else, maintaining overseas aid had been a manifesto pledge. “We made a promise to the poorest people in the world; the Government has broken that promise.”

Mr Cameron branded Boris’s decision a “grave mistake” as so-called Global Britain’s help was, at this time of international crisis, “needed more than ever”.

Sir John insisted the Government should be “ashamed” of its decision, noting: “We can afford a ‘national yacht’ no-one either wants or needs whilst cutting help to some of the most miserable and destitute people in the world. This is not a Conservatism I recognise. It is the stamp of Little England, not Great Britain.”

The decision to cut overseas aid is, as the ex-PMs’ club has pointed out, shameful, shameless and short-sighted. Quite a combination but one Boris pulled off with his usual political aplomb.

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News