Every day i see people struggling to live, people working for the council having there wages savagely cut. While others in senior position thrive.Houses repossessed, limited social housing. teenage pregnancy is an epidemic.Burglaries rife, Kids with no facilities, waste, old age pensioners attacked in there own homes. One area in Swinton north residents claim to be a no go area. Only today i have been told the company who repair our roads where running over budget in November!.Things are going wrong and the people of this city deserve change not party spin and bluster.
The Campaign for a Labour fourth term is up and running, I think they will need more than spin to get out of this one, even the tory spin doctors could not get them out . The country is spent Gordan the labour run cities are crumbling under foot. But we still fight wars for the Americans. Fascist are picking up votes and LABOUR are killing civil rights and personal freedoms. Perhaps some voters should read Michael Moore s books to look into the future with LABOUR. Tony did the best thing the word Rat and ship come to mind.
Neil Hill, 57, fought a long campaign for hundreds of council tenants who face rent rises after their homes were passed to a housing trust.
He took the case to court where it was thrown out on a technicality with costs awarded against him. He told a friend it was a ‘whitewash’.
Within an hour he received a demand to cover legal fees from Treasury solicitors acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – the Salford MP Hazel Blears.
In his email response he wrote: “By the time you receive this I will be dead, having committed suicide. I hope you feel very proud of yourselves.
“Before you send another poor old person a bill for £3,000 please think of the consequences.
“Perhaps you’d like to explain to my family why I can no longer cope and what your position was in ending my life. I was Malcolm Neil Hill.”
Although the email was sent last Saturday – April 18 – Treasury solicitors did not alert Greater Manchester Police until Tuesday, April 21.
Mr Hill was discovered hanged in his Irlam flat after officers forced their way in.
He sent the message two days after losing the court case in which he has been using human rights legislation to prevent himself – and hundreds of others – being slapped with a rent rise of almost £5 a week.
City West Housing Trust, which owned his flat, announced rent increases well above those of the council and other housing organisations in Salford.
Last month, he obtained an injunction against City West and Ms Blears in an attempt to halt the rise.
The action was brought against Ms Blears too as she gave consent in October 2008 for the transfer of thousands of homes from Salford council to City West.
Last month, Mr Hill, a former truck driver, said after obtaining the injunction: “I am not against a reasonable rise such as £2 or £3 but these figures from City West are appalling.
“It may be all right if you are on benefits, but if you are like me – on a company pension which takes you just over the benefits limit – it will mean having to find £25 a month.
“That is outrageous and monstrously unfair, and an infringement of my human rights. I’m going to fight it all the way.”
Last month the leader of Salford council, John Merry, said he was ‘extremely disappointed’ at the City West rent rises.
Mr Hill’s case was heard at Salford County Court on Thursday last week. It was struck out on a technicality .
A barrister acting on behalf of Ms Blears’ department successfully argued that her name should be removed from any action as she did not have a contractual relationship with Mr Hill relating to the rent.
The letter sent to Mr Hill from a Treasury solicitor demands payment of £2,947.
His brother, Terry, said: “Neil has been a thorn in City West’s side for some time. But he was campaigning for many tenants, not just himself.
“I spoke to him on the day of the court case. He said that within 30 minutes of it ending he had received a hand delivered demand for £3,000.
“He lost the case on a technicality. I had been with him at court on two previous occasions. A judge had commended Neil on the way he had conducted his case.
“At every turn he was coming up against the government. They were doing everything in their power to stop him winning.
“He had explored all avenues in this country and was preparing to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
“Neil was sound of mind and very astute. I am appalled at the actions of the Treasury solicitors. He had a good case. I think he could have won it – but they didn’t want him to prevail.”
In another email sent to a friend on the day he sent the message to the Treasury, Neil wrote: “The judged kicked out on a technicality – that my paperwork was flawed. City West did not submit an application for costs so I don’t think they were awarded any.
“She (Treasury solicitor) was awarded costs of £3,000 against me and the case was dismissed as being without merit but I didn’t get the chance to argue my case. I have protested to the judge that I am being denied justice and he just held his hands up. This is a whitewash!”
Niece Suzanne Hill said: “Neil was such a strong and determined person. It is unbelievable for him to be pushed like this to take his own life. He must have been absolutely gutted when he received the bill.”
Terry said: “He was not only campaigning against the government regarding rent increases. He was campaigning against a policy which prevents people who have private pensions receiving a large part of benefits they are entitled to.
“Neil was due £80 a week in benefits due to his disability but received only £14. That campaign, if he had won, would have benefited 230,000 people nationally.”
Mr Hill lived on his own and had moved into his flat in 2003, spending about £12,000 improving the property.
He suffered from heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure and was forced to give up his job as a tanker driver because his health prevented him from getting his HGV licence.
In a statement City West said: “Naturally we are extremely saddened to hear the news of Mr Hill’s passing away. Our thoughts are with Mr Hill’s family at this most difficult of times.”
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “We are shocked to hear about Mr Hill’s tragic death. Our thoughts are with his family. As his death will be the subject of a full investigation at a coroner’s inquest it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this stage.”
10p tax – Round 2
By Frank Field MP
The 10p injustice returns to practical politics this week with Wednesday’s Budget. This long drawn out and wretched saga, acts like a cautionary tale of the Government’s loss of direction.
The story is well known. In his last Budget Gordon Brown announced a 2p reduction in the standard rate of tax to be paid for, substantially, by the abolition of the 10p starting rate. While most people gained, there was a very significant number of lower paid workers who lost out.
The Government, at first, thought it could bluff its way ut of the crisis. Parliamentary questions were simply not answered and then, after threats of raising the issue with the Speaker, replied to at the very last possible moment, i.e. minutes before I was due to move an amendment calling on the Government to progress over the next 12 months a full compensation package. No such package was forthcoming.
The Government has been less than frank in another respect. The Labour Party champions individual taxation believing that it strengthens the position of women in households. The Government has refused to present information on the number of individual losers from the 10p rate’s abolition: it only gives the number of households made worse off by its move.
This statistical sleight of hand minimises the number of losers. Most of those who lost out from this tax change were women for the very simple reason that they are, generally speaking, on lower earnings.
Many of the losers live in households where, again generally speaking, male workers gained from the reduction of 2p in the standard rate. If the total household income showed a plus, the Government excludes it from its official data on those households who lost out – where one member, usually the woman, lost out.
A diary highlighting the main events in the 10p saga is appended. Under pressure the Government brought forward a compensation package that was so cack-handedly constructed that, despite spending £2.7 billion, 1.1 million households and 6 million individuals were still left worse off.
Given the amount the Government was spending on the rescue package I did not believe it expedient to proceed with a blocking motion to the Budget. I also doubted whether I would carry enough Labour MPs with me to take the Government to the wire. I also believed the reassurances Government ministers gave that they would do all in their power, later, to compensate fully the losers.
Some Labour MPs were critical of my tactics and they have been proved to be right. The promise that this issue would be dealt with as fully as the Government could in the November 2008 Pre Budget Report proved bogus. So today, 32 Labour MPs have signed an Early Day Motion Greg Pope and I have tabled calling for action in Wednesday’s budget. The EDM’s wording is:
That this House records with real disappointment that up to 3.8 million individual taxpayers are still worse off as a result of the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate; registers that the two measures the Government have since announced do not yet compensate them fully; and calls on the House to secure justice for this group of low tax paying workers at the next Budget.
Aneurin Bevan once remarked that the language of socialism was priorities. I want to believe that Wednesday’s Budget will show such a great ranking of priorities that ensures justice for all the 10p tax losers. What went wrong?
The Budget – A view from the benches
April 23, 2009 by Frank Field MP
The Budget – A view from the benches
At a few minutes to one o’clock today the country’s fate passed from the Chancellor and was cast on the waters of the money markets. Public borrowing will be £175bn this year and £173bn the following year.
From the very start of the crisis the Government has consistently underrated its severity. Even so, Britain will proportionately be borrowing more than any other G8 country.
Are the funds out there to meet the colossal requirements of G8 countries? Where do we rate in the international league tables as to whom colossal sums should be lent?
In these very early stages the Government is finding the gilts market sticky when it comes to issuing its endless new tranches of debt. What happens if the gilt market proves itself even more difficult in coming up with the funds for the gilt floatations? At some stage, maybe soon, gilts will be sold at lower prices, thereby pushing up long-term interest rates and damaging the recovery.
Even worse is the outlook if significant increases in the long term rate of interest still do not attract the necessary loans to balance this year’s books. That could lead to a run on sterling.
If the Government has to revise soon its borrowing requirement for this year it would be well advised to accompany that statement with the announcement of either an increase in taxes or real cuts in public expenditure.
Panic in the money markets will lead to a much more deadly confrontation than the one seen of depositors peacefully lining up outside Northern Rock to lift their savings. Investors in gilts will act much more ruthlessly.
I was reading the local advertiser today and one letter caught my eye from a BNP supporter.
He made comments over the leader of my group Cllr Owen, he said Cllr Owen suggest people who voted BNP are racists. Can i ask the gentleman who wrote the letter a question. Why when i was first elected did the BNP candidate have body guards, I am a liberal Democrat hated by most labour activist, but i never fear meeting with them they have views that i don’t always agree with but i can freely state my case,and they listen. They have at present more members so they always win, . they were voted in by the people of this city and i respect that. It’s a right to speak freely within this country,and if you are a national party fighting for the rights of the people do so. I visited one of your sites, you use pictures of Jesus on political posters. inflame people with shocking views on colour, why. If their is a problem on immigration look at it sensibly offer a policy. If you identify immigration as a problem why do you use race why not across all types? Why use stories of Black and Asian immigrants getting houses instead of whites? Your views come across as rascist. I wish to see the best for this country i don’t see colour in people i see people, my doctor is Asian ,the nurses and doctors who helped my children where black, They are people,if you have issues that need raising use them,you see i am strongly nationalistic i believe in this country also but i cannot except a person is any different than me because of his skin tones. In the thirties the people of Germany fell for Adolf Hitler he was a mass murderer who persecuted people because of religion, or they were homosexual or communist etc.I hope i will never see that develop within this country where a party can win by using race.If you fight elections fight on the right issues i personly will continue to fight you and your views for as long as i am able to do so.