Month: July 2019 Page 1 of 13

The work and pensions secretary has refused to say

first_imgThe work and pensions secretary has refused to say what he will do to help the hundreds of thousands of disabled people and other benefit claimants left in rent arrears and other debt by the botched introduction of universal credit.Campaigners have been warning David Gauke that the rollout of universal credit is leaving hundreds of thousands in debt, and forcing people – many of them disabled – to borrow from loan sharks, pawnbrokers and payday loan companies.This week, Gauke told the Conservative party conference in Manchester (pictured) that he would not pause the “accelerated” next stage of the rollout of universal credit, despite widespread concerns over the length of time claimants are having to wait for their first payment.Even without delays, claimants do not receive their first payment for six weeks, but many others are having to wait two or even three months.DWP’s own statistics show that nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of successful new claimants of universal credit – which is gradually replacing six working-age benefits – do not receive their first payment in full and on time.Instead of pausing the next stage of the rollout – which began yesterday (Wednesday), as prime minister Theresa May was preparing to deliver her “nightmare” conference speech – Gauke said he would “refresh” guidance given to Department for Work and Pensions staff.He said this would ensure that all claimants who need to apply for an advance payment – a loan that is usually paid back from universal credit payments over just six months – will be offered the chance of doing so when they start their claim.He said that these advances would be paid within five working days, and on the same day for “those in immediate need”.But he added: “Universal credit is working, so I can confirm that the rollout will continue, and to the planned timetable.“We’re not going to rush things – it is more important to get this right than to do this quickly. And this won’t be completed until 2022.”Stephen Lloyd, the disabled MP who shadows Gauke for the Liberal Democrats, said ministers “continue to bury their heads in the sand over the shocking impact the rollout of universal credit is having on thousands of people’s lives”.He said: “The whole point of the piloted implementation was to learn lessons and make the necessary changes, but ministers are determined to press ahead despite the consequences.“This is despite clear evidence from numerous respected organisations of the destitution families are experiencing because of universal credit, including statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions itself.”Frank Field, the under-fire chair of the Commons work and pensions select committee, said Gauke’s decision to press on with the accelerated rollout of universal credit would lead to “a near inevitable Christmas crisis”.He said that calls for a pause had been “fuelled by the unanimous and damning evidence we have collected from councils, housing associations, landlords and claimants across the UK.“Offering advance payments up front is, of course, a welcome and overdue development.“But short term discretionary loans can only be a sticking plaster on a policy that has many fundamental flaws, flaws that go far beyond the statutory full six-week delay in receiving the first payment.”Gauke also spoke about universal credit at a Centre for Social Justice fringe event, and insisted that the rollout was “not a big jump into the unknown” and that by January next year only 10 per cent of relevant claimants would have been signed up to the new benefit.He said that evidence showed that universal credit “does get more people into work” and that “if we can make sure people are aware of how the system operates, I believe it is going to be hugely transformative”.He also claimed that universal credit would prove to be “one of the great achievements of this government”.Questioned at the fringe meeting, he admitted that advance payments usually had to be repaid within just six months, and within nine months in “exceptional circumstances”.But he admitted: “I think we will want to continue to look at this.”After the fringe meeting, Gauke’s special adviser promised to respond to a DNS question on whether he was concerned about the increasing debts being faced by people who were not receiving their first payment on time, many of whom will be disabled people already living in poverty, and what action he was planning to take.She had failed to provide a response from Gauke by midday today (Thursday).But disabled researcher Stef Benstead, a member of the Spartacus online network, said that “refreshing the guidance” would not solve the problem.She said that waiting at least six weeks for the first payment was far too long and that claimants “have not got the capacity to wait in arrears”.She said: “They shouldn’t think it is a bad thing to be generous to people, to support people.”The subject of the fringe event Gauke had spoken at had been “the future of welfare reform”, but Benstead said that rather than concentrating on benefits she had wanted to hear about “the whole of welfare reform, which includes education, housing, health, jobs and social security.“If they want to talk about the future of welfare, they should be talking about how they are going to provide enough houses, enough jobs – decent and well-enough paid – enough healthcare and education.“That is what I want to hear them talking about and not just, ‘This is how we are going to give, or not give, poor people money.’“There is a lot more to welfare than giving or not giving poor people money.”last_img read more

TICKETS are on sale for this Sundays Challenge Cu

first_imgTICKETS are on sale for this Sunday’s Challenge Cup Fifth Round tie against Featherstone Rovers.Daryl Powell brings his well drilled side to the Stobart Stadium for a 3pm kick-off, looking to cause a big upset.Adult tickets are priced £15, concessions £9, and juniors £3 with a family ticket £25 for two adults and two children.All prices are for both advanced and matchday sales.Junior Season Ticket holders can gain entry by exchanging their voucher for a ticket.You can buy by calling into the town centre store, calling 01744 455050 or by logging on to the Saints SuperstoreCome and join Royce Simmons and his team on the road to Wembley.last_img

Victims identified in North Topsail double homicide

first_img According to a report from North Topsail Beach Police, McKinsey Britton, 28, called police around 1:15 a.m. on New Year’s Day to report he had shot two people in his home.Officers arrived and found the man and woman inside, dead of apparent gunshot wounds.Britton was taken into custody.Related Article: Duo arrested after naked teenager found near highwayThe investigation is still ongoing. McKinsey Britton (Photo: Vinelink) NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WCTI/WWAY) — The man charged with two counts of murder after two people were found dead in his home on New Year’s Day is set to make his first appearance in Onslow County court this afternoon.North Topsail Beach Police on the scene of a double homicide on January 1, 2018 (Photo: Sarah Johnson/WWAY)The victims have been identified as the suspect’s mother, Connie Britton, 56, of Surf City, and Dowell Gray, 71.- Advertisement – last_img read more

DermOne closing several offices in the Cape Fear

first_img DermOne offices in Southport, Jacksonville, Burgaw, and Clinton will also close.Medical records will be available via the patient portal until Friday.After Friday, medical records will be transferred to Crane Dermatology Associates.Related Article: Dressbarn to close all 650 storesThe notice includes a list of other dermatologist offices for patients to consider, including Crane Dermatology.The notice does not say why the practice is closing these locations. DermOne WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — DermOne of North Carolina, a dermatology practice group, will close six offices in North Carolina as of Friday.According to a letter sent to patients, DermOne offices will close both Wilmington locations, which are on Medical Center Drive and Rock Spring Road. However, vein care services will still be provided at the Rock Spring Road location, according to the notice.- Advertisement – last_img read more

TRAFFIC ALERT Tractor trailer hits pole causes midday backup on Market Street

first_img Be sure to download the Waze App and join the WWAY Operation Gridlock team to help you beat traffic.Click here for real-time traffic updates from Waze WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington drivers beware: Market Street past Military Cutoff Road into Ogden may have some delays as you get ready to leave work.WWAY has learned a tractor-trailer was turning onto Market Street near Bayshore Dr. and clipped a power line. The accident happened a little after 2 p.m. It’s causing backups all the way down to Military Cutoff Rd., according to the Waze App.- Advertisement – last_img

New Hanover County issues Hurricane Florence after action report

first_img New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet says the mission of the after action report is to better prepare for natural disasters, so that we can act preventatively, rather than reactively.Coudriet says there is one area in particular that they need to work on: communication.“Everything rises and falls with our ability to communicate inside and outside. We could not communicate enough, so we’re going to over-communicate expectations in what people need to do to be prepared for that,” said Coudriet.Coudriet adds that one of the reasons New Hanover County was not as prepared as it could have been, was because it had been about 20 years, since Hurricane Floyd, that a storm hit that hard.Related Article: Family of patient who drowned in SC transport van speaks outAnother area to focus on is managing limited supplies during the early stages of the recovery process.“Wilmington, New Hanover County was an island unto itself, so three or four days into the event, as the supply system was starting to grow thin, we had a difficult time getting resupplied. So we’re going to ensure that maybe… it’s appropriate to say over-resource the amount of commodities,” said Coudriet.Pender county is scheduled to evaluate its storm response Thursday and Friday. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County says overall, its response to Hurricane Florence was a success, but there are some areas staff needs to work on.The county’s report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of how the county dealt with September’s hurricane, and the aftermath that continues even now.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Wrightsville Beach employee suspended after crashing town truck

first_img Owens said Lovato was a town sewer and water employee.The crash happened at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday in the 300 block of North Lumina Avenue, Owens said. Lovato, driving a Town of Wrightsville Beach truck, allegedly crashed into a parked Volvo and the front of a home.Owens said the Volvo was totaled and the front steps to the home were destroyed. The town vehicle also sustained damage.Related Article: Evergreen man accused of stealing from scene of deadly fireRead more here. Crash on April 10, 2019 in Wrightsville Beach. (Photo: Lumina News) WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (StarNews) — A Wrightsville Beach town employee has been suspended after an alleged DWI crash that damaged a town vehicle.Joshua Lovato, 42, is charged with DWI, careless and reckless driving, injury to property and possession of narcotics, according to Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Nicaraguan faithful defend their bishop from ambush

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Bishop Rolando Alvarez Lagos who was saved by his people from an ambushBishop Rolando Alvarez Lagos who was saved by his people from an ambush A group of faithful in the Diocese of Matagalpa in Nicaragua came out to defend their bishop from a possible attack by a heavily armed group.Bishop Rolando José Alvarez Lagos himself recounted that a group of farmers came out and stopped him on the road leading to the village of Terrabona, where he was heading.  They warned him that some armed people were lurking hiding trees on the edge of the road, probably intending to target him.A large group of faithful then accompanied him to the place where the paramilitaries were hiding.  The armed group fled on seeing the crowd.Armed people in the streetsAccording to Vatican News, Bishop Alvarez thanked the faithful for accompanying him ‘with their clean hands and humanity’ and confirmed that he had seen people heavily armed with ammunition.  A video also proved what the bishop narrated.The Bishop of Matagalpa expressed serious concern that civilians were going about with weapons like that of the military and asked the army to make an investigation into their ranks.Bishop Alvarez received the solidarity, among others, of Card. Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano, Archbishop of Managua and President of the Nicaraguan Bishops’ Conference, who in a brief note expressed his  “fraternal closeness and solidarity” to his brother bishop.Card. Brenes condemned such situations in the country and appealed to the authorities to take the necessary measures and carry out investigations into these very serious events and the presence of armed persons.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

10 Office Technologies Making Their Way Out

first_imgAdvertisement Here’s a question you may not hear at all in 2017: “Did you get my fax?”survey has it that more than 7,000 global professionals about which tools and trends will disappear from offices in the next five years and which will become even more common.Nearly three quarters of those surveyed said they expected fax machines to disappear, making it the second most likely office technology to go extinct behind tape recorders.Other once common office tools like the Rolodex, desk phones and even desktop computers ranked high on the list of items likely to become obsolete in the workplace. – Advertisement – Meanwhile, more than half of professionals surveyed (55%) believe that tablets will become increasingly common in the office, the most of any technology on the list. Laptops also ranked high, with 34% of those surveyed predicting it would become more common.The survey is just the latest example that workplaces are gradually abandoning analog technologies for digital. Those in the workforce will need to adapt to these changes or else risk having technological skills that are obsolete as well.While it’s unlikely many workers will mourn the loss of the fax machine, some may be more nostalgic for other vanishing fixtures of office life like the Rolodex or business cards (which ranked 12th on the list.)Here are the top 10 office tools and trends that professionals think will vanish in the next five years: 1. Tape recorders (79 percent)2. Fax machines (71 percent)3. The Rolodex (58 percent)4. Standard working hours (57 percent)5. Desk phones (35 percent)6. Desktop computers (34 percent)7. Formal business attire like suits, ties, pantyhose, etc. (27 percent)8. The corner office for managers/executives (21 percent)9. Cubicles (19 percent)10. USB thumb drives (17 percent)Source: Mashablelast_img read more

Live stream Funeral service for Nelson Mandela

first_imgAdvertisement Live stream of the Nelson Memorial Service. FNB Stadium, Soweto.Source: eNCA Livelast_img

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