News round-up 25/6: Report damns care home standards
Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
Less than half of hospitals and care homes comply with ‘essential’ standards on the care and welfare of people with learning difficulties; and safe-guarding them from abuse a report by the Care Quality Commission has found. According to the Daily Mail, the CQC ordered 150 inspections in the wake of the Winterbourne View scandal which revealed residents at the private hospital had been subject to beatings. In 27 institutions – almost one in five – the standards were so low that they have been referred to local councils for an inquiry to be held.
A future Conservative manifesto could include plans to cap the benefits of out of work families that have more than two children, the Financial Times reports. Prime minister David Cameron will today set out a range of further reforms to the benefits system as he outlines the strategy he believes can deliver an outright majority for the party in 2015, the paper adds.
In its analysis, the Times says Mr Cameron will argue that people should do more to earn the benefits they claim and should face the same economic choices as those in work.
The Daily Mail hails the prime minister’s plans as a “welfare revolution”, with other proposals including automatically stripping the benefits of those who have been out of work for two years.
In a front page report headlined “Return of the nasty party”, the Independent says the Conservatives would also plan to scrap housing benefit for under-25s, a move that would affect 380,000 people and save £2bn a year.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports on the varied methods being used to get people back into work, including neuro-linguistic programming by welfare to work firm A4E. The paper says the courses aim to build people’s confidence, but quotes one claimant descrbing it as “pyschobabble”.
The Daily Telegraph reports that school truants “are being visited by police, hauled out of bed and escorted to their classes” as part of a “pioneering” new scheme. It says police officers in Amesbury, Wiltshire, are calling at children’s houses when they do not turn up to school, and driving them to school in a patrol car. The scheme was developed in a partnership between police and the county council, the newspaper reports.
Reducing tax avoidance by a quarter could fund a 2p cut for all basic-rate taxpayers, according to the lead article in today’s Times. However, clamping down on the problem will be hampered by impending cuts to HMRC, which is set to lose 10,000 staff, according to the PCS union.
Senior Conservatives fear a backlash from backbench MPs after plans for an 80% elected House of Lords are presented to cabinet this week, according to the Financial Times. The paper says that government officials are worried rebel MPs will vote against the timetable for the bill, with Labour yet to decide whether to support the schedule.
However, according to the Independent, Labour has already drawn up plans to use a Commons procedural motion to “derail” the bill at the first hurdle.