Lewisham Labour calls on Government to “Scrap the cap”

Lewisham Labour Councillors have passed a Lewisham Council motion that calls for an immediate end to the public sector pay cap.

The motion highlights the fact that in terms of inflation and other economic factors real terms wages have fallen over 21% since 2010 and things will only get worse. This is without even taking into account the drastic austerity based ideological cuts which are already having significant impact on these already stretched public services.

Lewisham Labour backs the claims from the NJC and supported by a multitude of Public Sector Unions including: Unison, GMB and Unite.

Councillor Paul Bell who spoke in favour of the motion said:

“Our staff are our greatest asset. Paying a fair wage for their tremendous hard work and dedication is not simply a good thing to do, it is the morally right thing to do.”

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Financial Wellbeing of Staff

In July 2016 a YouGov Shelter report found that more than one in three (37%) of UK households were teetering on the brink of homelessness, unable to pay more than a month’s rent or mortgage if they lost their income. 

Between 2008 and 2014 cost of living went up 28% whilst salary grew by just 9%. 

The Bank Workers Charity has produced a new report that highlights how £120bn of productivity is lost per year because of it and the actions employers can take to reduce the financial cost and negative impacts on our staff.


Full report:

‪http://thewellbeingpulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Employee-financial-wellbeing-Time-to-do-more.pdf

WASPI Campaign: for Women’s Pension Equality for those born in the 1950s


As a ‘younger’ man, a member of the Labour Party, and a Local Councillor: I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with #Lewisham’s WASPI (Women Against State Pension Age Inequality) @WASPI_Campaign campaigning for Women’s Pension Justice for those born in the 1950s
Women born on or after 6th April 1951 have been unfairly affected by the changes to State Pension Age in 1995, and 2011. Many have been pushed into financial hardship and shockingly most were not informed of the changes until two years before retirement, making financial planning for retirement near impossible.
If you’d like to support the campaign you can take action too:
http://www.waspi.co.uk/action

#FairIsFair #PensionEquality

The government’s unfair retrospective changes to student loans


The Chancellor George Osborne announced during the Autumn Statement to retrospectively increase your student loan repayments by £306/yr until a students debt is repaid, he also decided future student nurses & other NHS Bursary supported students will no longer get a bursary, instead they will have to take loans instead. On top of this, Maintenance Grants for the poorest students may also be stopped.
Currently, students in England who started university from 2012 will pay 9% of everything earned above £21,000 a year (or £1,750/month pre-tax salary) once they graduate.In 2010, the Government promised that from April 2017 this repayment threshold would be upped each year in line with average earnings. This meant graduates would have been spared having to repay more of their income towards their student loans, and fewer would have had to start repaying them in the first place.

It has now backtracked on the promise given to students, effectively hiking costs retrospectively. A move that, according to the Government, will mean more than two million graduates will end up paying £306 more each year by 2020-21 if they earn over £21,000.

The current government plans to scrap maintenance grants for full-time Higher Education students in England and replace them with more loans instead.

FACT: Maintenance Grants support thousands of students from the lowest income households every year, and the Government’s plan will saddle poorer students with yet more debt.

If the government gets its way and maintenance grants are replaced with loans, the impact will be detrimental to hundreds of thousands of the poorest students studying in England for years to come.

What are maintenance grants and what are the proposed changes?

Maintenance grants are given to students from lower income households to help with their living costs.

The maximum grant is £3,387 per year for students whose household income is less than £25k.

NUS understands that currently, approximately 500,000 students rely on maintenance grants

The government proposals would stop all grants to new students from September 2016, forcing poorer students to take on further debt to fund their studies.

Student Nurses & NHS Bursaries

The Government’s decision to replace nursing students’, midwives, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, podiatrists, radiographers, dietetics, ODP’s and other students on NHS supported bursaries with loans is extremely disappointing.

Those who made this decision simply don’t understand that NHS funded courses are not like other degrees.

They don’t understand that 50% of course time is dedicated to unpaid clinical practice, caring for real people and their families. They haven’t grasped that the academic year is longer, which means there are fewer opportunities to earn money between terms.

From September 2017, any student applying for a nursing degree will have to take out a loan to cover their tuition fees.

UNISON has calculated that a student graduating in 2020 could leave with debts over £50,000, yet be starting in the workplace on a salary under £23,000.

Living Standards and Wages crash under Tory Government

Osbourne says that the Torys saved the economy, but the average person is £1,500 worse off now than in 2010

Osbourne says that the Torys saved the economy, but the average person is £1,500 worse off now than in 2010

under the first 37 of 38 months under Camerson real Wages have fallen

under the first 37 of 38 months under Camerson real Wages have fallen

Since 2010, the rise in wages has been outstripped by the rise in rent

Since 2010, the rise in wages has been outstripped by the rise in rent

The rise in the cost of Heating our homes has been significantly higher than wages

The rise in the cost of Heating our homes has been significantly higher than wages

Catford Dog Track to be developed by Barratt Homes?

Catford Greyhound Stadium succumbed to the bulldozers after closing nearly a decade ago but the derelict south London site will soon play host to almost 600 homes.

Barratt Developments is in pole position to lead the £50 million redevelopment, creating nearly 1200 jobs and 589 flats and houses, according to Construction News. Reports the Evening Standard

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