Discussion of the UK Government
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#356169
Hancock's currently getting pulled apart by Jonathan Portes. Take a look.

https://twitter.com/jdportes" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#356177
From the DT.
ohforheavensake • 22 minutes ago

Something interesting happening on Twitter- Jonathan Portes has pointed out to both Matthew Hancock (who wrote an article in the Times) and the Tory Treasury feed that they're misusing the statistics, and that there's not much evidence of the above inflation rise the PM mentions (they're using the ASHE figures, which don't measure household incomes and don't track the incomes of the self-employed).

As happened with your own Daniel Hannan, Portes has told them they're being misleading, & he's furnished proof: and they've both gone very quiet.
#356239
Brilliant. Within a matter of hours this has completely fallen to bits.
Dharshini David ‏@DharshiniSky 5m
Gov cost of living analysis incomplete -only inc taxes on incomes (& pay/inflation), ignores impact of other taxes, benefit changes etc
Were it true that living standards are rising for most people, the Tories would have a significantly better story to tell on the economy. Unfortunately for them, it's not. The data used by Hancock takes no account of the large benefit cuts introduced by the coalition, such as the real-terms cut in child benefit, the uprating of benefits in line with CPI inflation rather than RPI, and the cuts to tax credits (other major cuts such as the bedroom tax, the benefit cap, and the 10 per cent cut in council tax support were introduced after April 2013). The IFS has consistently shown that almost all families are worse off (see table below) once all tax and benefit changes are taken into account. The Tories also appear to have forgotten the five million low paid workers who don't earn enough to benefit from the increase in the personal allowance.

In an attempt to present austerity as progressive, Hancock notes that his figures of choice show that disposable income did not rise for the top 10 per cent. But this was before the government cut the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p in April 2013, handing an average tax cut of £107,500 to the UK's 8,000 income millionaires. The irony is that the one month since 2010 when average earnings rose faster than prices was April 2013 (which the figures used by the Tories conveniently include), when high earners collected the bonuses they deferred in order to benefit from the reduction in the top rate.
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/20 ... nse-stilts" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
#356284
I've now heard Hancock interviewed three times today and he has just churned out the same statement in each interview. The statement has clearly been carefully crafted so he can't actually be accused of blatantly lying even though he is seriously distorting the truth.
#361412
Ha, ha. From the free school for profit flops.

http://engelska.se/en/posts/internation ... ng-further" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In the UK we had our first open house last week and our UK Manager, Ms King, and our new principal Ms Sherry Zand, impressed as a very enthusiastic group of English parents heard how Internationella Engelska Skolan intends to transform the community.

The evening was rounded off by an inspiring speech of determination and straight-shooting from the irrepressible Barbara Bergström.

Local Suffolk member of Parliament, Mr Matthew Hancock, went so far as to inform the audience that they had not only landed the best schools organisation in Europe, but the best in the world. Thank you Mr Hancock.
#362343
Another day, another bit of bullshit exposed.

http://feweek.co.uk/2014/03/06/skills-m ... fications/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock (pictured) has been accused of “leading Parliament up the garden path” with claims to be cutting spending on qualifications that were never even eligible for public funding.

He told the House of Commons on Wednesday that more than 5,000 qualifications, including “balloon artistry and instructing pole fitness will no longer” be paid for by taxpayers.

But, having learned of the qualifications’ learning aim reference numbers (see below) from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), FE Week found the two examples had never been listed for government money anyway, and so could not have had any publicly-funded adult enrolments
Not that this would be particularly heinous if true. FE is about allowing people to pursue interests as well as get jobs.
#364484
He's back.

http://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/news/opi ... -1-5951651" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The good news is that we’re headed in the right direction. We have created 1.5 million new apprenticeships since 2010. In West Suffolk alone we’ve seen 2,860 people start an apprenticeship since the election. Research shows each apprentice boosted the bottom lines of their employer by an average of £2,000
But what about the apprentice?
We’ve come a long way. When I was growing up, in the 1980s and 1990s apprenticeships had dropped to a record low. By the 2000s it was widely assumed that university was the only route into a good job.

Now those low numbers are history, and the attitude is being turned on its head. Through an apprenticeship, you can now become an engineer, a lawyer, an accountant
We used to call those "training contracts" in accountancy- ACCA and CIMA didn't need a degree. People got paid a proper wage while they did them and all.
Someone leaving school should be able to look at their future safe in the knowledge that whether they start an apprenticeship or go to university, either option will give them a fantastic start to their career
Apprenticeships on this scale are completely unproven.
Ultimately, I want it to become the norm that if you don’t go to university you go down the apprentice route instead.
Why? Utterly baffling.
#364486
Apprenticeships were killed by Margaret Thatcher's 'restructuring' of industry to make it fitter, leaner, more competitive.
Later the NVQ took the responsibility for training into public ownership, in order to enhance shareholder value and place the cost on general taxation.

So utterly dishonest it takes the breath away.
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