Sunday, January 23, 2011

Save England's Forests from Privatisation!

From The Sunday Telegraph:

In a letter published in The Sunday Telegraph and signed by almost 100 dignitaries, the Coalition sale is branded as “unconscionable” and “ill-conceived”.

The signatories to the letter, organised by a new campaign group, Save England’s Forests, include Dr Rowan Williams; Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate; Dame Judi Dench, the Oscar-winning actress; and Bill Bryson, the author and president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The Government has already announced its intention to sell off 15 per cent of all land owned by the Forestry Commission in the course of this parliament in the hope of raising as much as £100 million.

A consultation launched this week by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will put forward plans to sell off the remaining 85 per cent. A clause has been inserted in a new Public Bodies Bill that will give the Environment Secretary permission to transfer ownership of all the land.

CPO comment: It’s good that more and more people are waking up to the fact that we have the most extreme neo-liberal government in our history- a government that won’t rest until every last remaining public asset is privatised.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Medical profession warn of the privatisation threat to NHS

The Daily Mail reports:

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's GPs Committee, warned there was 'chaos developing around the country' ahead of the reforms to the NHS.

He said: 'We were told before the election that there would be no further reorganisations of the NHS and yet we are just about to embark on one of the biggest reorganisations in 60 years.

'We're already seeing Primary Care Trusts imploding and GP groups are having to step up to the mark to fill the gap that is being left behind just to keep the NHS running.

'This is chaos developing around the country. It's a great concern because the primary plank of the reforms is to increase competition and improve the opportunities for large multinational companies to take a stake in running and providing services within the NHS. That's not good for patients.'

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More than one in three Post Offices could close if the Royal Mail is privatised

The Daily Mail reports:

More than one in three post offices could be closed under Government privatisation plans for the Royal Mail, it is feared.

The official customer body, Consumer Focus, believes that the country may be left with only a skeleton post office network.

It says safeguards are needed to ensure key parts of the Post Office role, such as the collection of parcels, are not hived off to supermarkets or other retailers.
Andy Burrows, postal services expert at Consumer Focus, said: ‘It’s entirely conceivable, though it seems an odd thing to suggest, that several years down the line you could have a post office network where you cannot undertake mail transactions

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year:Commuters hit as rail season tickets soar by up to 13%

The Daily Mail reports:

Rail passengers returning to work tomorrow have been hit in the wallet with inflation-busting increases of up to 13 per cent for their annual season ticket.

The cost of a yearly ticket rose by an average of 6.2 per cent, nearly double the consumer price inflation rate of 3.3 per cent and almost three times the typical pay rise of 2.2 per cent.

But on certain lines increases reached 12.8 per cent, leaving travel on some commuter routes costing more than £5,000 a year – a fifth of the average salary of £25,000.