The care bill receives its second reading in the Commons next Monday. It’s an important bill that aims to bring up to date the legal framework underpinning the care system. While it needs improvement, it’s a real opportunity to address our care crisis. It is therefore disappointing that the government is using it as a vehicle to change the law after Jeremy Hunt‘s embarrassing legal failure over cuts to A&E and maternity services at Lewisham hospital. Instead of admitting defeat, ministers passed a Lords amendment to the care bill – now clause 118. It’s an attempt to sneak through a fundamental shift in the way decisions are made about hospital closures, giving new powers to special administrators to make changes to services without the inconvenience of the kind of local scrutiny and democracy that saved Lewisham. Strong cross-party opposition to this clause is building in parliament. My early day motion exposes and opposes this stealthy attempt to change the law to allow the closure of successful services that communities want and need. I hope MPs will sign it before clause 118 comes to the Commons.
Another missed opportunity to restructure the economy and deliver a sustainable future
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Autumn Statement was dominated by short-term political considerations and a failure yet again to either address the underlying, structural problems which weaken the health of the British economy or move us to a low-carbon, affordable energy future, says the Green Party. Nothing has been done to prepare for the economic storm on the horizon.
In the Autumn Statement, Osborne insisted that “Britain’s economic plan is working” and that the Coalition Government is overseeing a “responsible recovery.”;
In response to the Autumn Statement, Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader for England and Wales, said:
“Mr Osborne was so keen to claim that this was an Autumn Statement for the long term, yet on this issue, as others, he is clearly a man who protests too much. Continue reading