Nic Dakin MP

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The Social Mobility Foundation is a charity that supports high-achieving Year 12 students to access top universities and competitive professions. They run a range of programmes to help ambitious, motivated students develop academically and professionally and extend their networks.

Their Aspiring Professionals Programme (APP) is free and includes the following:

- Mentoring by a professional via email

- Tailored skills sessions and career workshops

- University application support and guidance

- Internships with top employers

The programme looks like a great opportunity and applications for 2018 are now open. I would encourage young people to look further using the links below and definitely consider applying. The deadline this year is 9am, Monday 11th December.

http://www.socialmobility.org.uk/application/

The Social Mobility Foundation

The Social Mobility Foundation is a charity that supports high-achieving Year 12 students to access top universities and competitive professions. They run a range of programmes to help ambitious, motivated...

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I have signed the following joint letter with cross party MP's about the roll out of Universal Credit:

 

Rt Hon David Gauke MP

Secretary of State

Department of Work & Pensions

 

Dear Secretary of State

 

Please delay the planned huge expansion of Universal Credit.

 

We write to ask you to please urgently reconsider the planned huge expansion of the roll-out of Universal Credit next month.

Universal Credit has been rolled out to 57 areas so far this year and has around 500,000 household recipients. As you know, the planned expansion from October is to 55 further areas per month – set to flood the system with almost as many applicants again, every single month.

 

In light of the mounting evidence of the problems caused by long delays in benefit payments - long-term debt, rent arrears and evictions, and the resulting impact on family relationships, anxiety and depression - we urge you to proceed with continued caution with Universal Credit so as not to endanger the millions of people due to be affected in the next few months.

 

Last week the DWP Select Committee heard about the current problems with the system and the information released by DWP showed that on the basis of roll-out to only 5 new areas per month:

 

1. Only 77% of claims are currently processed and paid within 6 weeks. The 6 week delay causes considerable hardship, but further delays cause real long-term damage to family finances, with long-term debt, bank problems, and direct debit payment of bills no longer available. The huge influx of new claimants will cause hundreds of thousands more families to suffer such problems.

 

2. Many claimants are unaware of hardship payments and by the time they claim it is too late to prevent debt problems.

 

3. Only around 40% of users successfully log into the Gov.UK ‘Verify’ system to make an online claim. New Universal Credit applicants in the roll-out are from more vulnerable groups, less likely to have IT or be able to use the complicated system.

 

4. The ‘Helpline’ cannot be contacted. We are told that phone waits are down to 3 minutes, but that is because after 3 minutes the caller receives an automated message to look online and is then cut off.

 

5. The Landlord Portal is only at the bare minimum of functionality. It needs to be fully functioning and rolled out to all Councils and large-scale housing providers so they can assist with applicant queries and are aware when claimants have not received their UC payment so we do not see unnecessary evictions.

 

Please would you ensure that these problems are fully fixed and that the Universal Credit application process is working well for the current small number of applicants before the Full Service is rolled out to so many more as it will otherwise create deep-rooted hardship for families and long-term problems for millions of families that will be far more difficult and costly to resolve.

Universal Credit open letter

I have signed the following joint letter with cross party MP's about the roll out of Universal Credit:   Rt Hon David Gauke MP Secretary of State Department of Work...

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After weeks of speculation regarding the Government lifting the public sector pay cap, this week’s announcement demonstrates that it is business as usual. The derisory increase in prison officer pay announced this morning goes nowhere close to meeting the rise in inflation, which rose to 2.9% in figures released this week.

Despite Tory rhetoric about proposals to lift the public sector pay cap, it is clear that no such move is intended.

Rather than announcing a raise for undervalued and underpaid staff, the Government has announced further cuts in pay for police and prison staff. To make matters worse the funding for these derisory increases will come from existing budgets, which means further cuts to frontline staff.

Labour will end the public sector pay cap – because our public sector workers deserve a fair wage.

For seven years public sector workers have seen deep cuts to their pay. It is a disgrace that one in five NHS staff are forced to take a second job simply to get by.

How can it be that, in the fifth richest nation on earth, public sector workers in Scunthorpe are forced to rely on emergency foodbanks?

With public sector pay falling faster than private pay and with another increase in the rate of inflation, Labour will scrap the 1% pay cap for all public sector workers.

On the same day we see inflation rise to 2.9% we get this derisory attempt by the Tories to pretend they are lifting the public sector pay cap, when in reality they are still going ahead with a pay cut in real terms for prison and police officers. And to add further insult to injury, the Government are paying for this minimal change by further cuts to their already strained budgets.

Only Labour is prepared to ensure that our dedicated public sector workers are truly recognised for what they do for their communities by ending the public sector pay cap for all public sector workers.

Together we can ensure that our public sector workers get the pay and the respect that they deserve. 

Scrap the public sector pay cap

  After weeks of speculation regarding the Government lifting the public sector pay cap, this week’s announcement demonstrates that it is business as usual. The derisory increase in prison officer...


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