‘Selling off NHS for profit’: Tories’ and Liberal Democrats’ links with private healthcare firms revealed (71 MPs total)

PM David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt are among 64 Tory MPs  in a study by Unite – Lib Dems Nick Clegg and Vince Cable are also on the list


‘Dossier of shame’: Clegg, Cameron, Hague, Hunt, Duncan Smith and Lansley named

One in five Coalition MPs have links with private firms who could profit from the Government’s NHS reforms, a damning dossier will reveal on Tuesday. Prime Minister David Cameron, former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and hissuccessor Jeremy Hunt are among 64 Tory MPs named in a study by the Unite union. Deputy PM Nick Clegg and Business Secretary Vince Cable are among seven Liberal Democrats on the list. All 71 MPs named in the dossier voted in favour of the Government’s controversial Health and Social Care Act in 2012, which opened up the NHS to more private firms.It comes ahead of Friday’s crunch vote on Labour frontbencher Clive Efford’s Private Members’ Bill, when MPs will decide whether to scrap key sections of the Act. Unite general secretary Len McCluskey raged: “This dossier of disgrace exposes the corruption at the heart of our Government’s sinister health reforms.”

Len McCluskey at the Daily Mirror Real Britain Fringeh

Anger: Unite leader Len McCluskey

He added: “The Government’s real plan is the complete and irreversible privatisation of our NHS.”
Many of the MPs named in the document have directly received donations from business leaders or firms with links to the private health industry. There is no suggestion any of the politicians or donors acted illegally. The Conservative Party stressed tonight that all donations are reported to the Electoral Commission in line with electoral law. But critics said the dossier shines a bright light on the close ties between members of the ­Coalition and the private health industry.

Click here for a full list of MPs with links to private healthcare firms

Mr McCluskey said: “The sheer scale of the conflict of interest is staggering. “But it is the subsequent betrayal and privatisation of our NHS, driven by the monstrous Health and Social Care Act, that has made this a genuine scandal for our democracy.” The dossier shows Mr Lansley, the chief architect of the Coalition’s NHS reforms, accepted a £21,000 donation in November 2009 from John Nash, the former chairman of Care UK.

PA Andrew Lansley
Former Health Secretary Lansley received £21k from ex – chairman of Care UK

Two other Tory MPs received donations from Mr Nash’s wife Caroline. Mr Hunt, who took over as Health Secretary when Mr Lansley was sacked in September 2012, received more than £20,000 from hedge fund baron Andrew Law, a major investor in health care firms. Other Cabinet Ministers to have received donations include Leader of the Commons William Hague, who accepted £20,000 from MMC Ventures, the part-owner of The Practice plc which runs 60 GP surgeries. And Culture ­Secretary Sajid Javid received £11,000 from Moundsley Healthcare Ltd.The Prime Minister is named in the dossier after handing a life peerage to nursing and care home tycoon Dolar Popat, who has given the Tories more than £200,000 in donations.

Tory Dolar: PM Cameron, gave peerage to care home tycoon who donated £200k+

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has share options in hygiene tech firm Byotrol, which sells products to the NHS. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is named because his former firm Castlemead is a health care and nursing home developer. Andy Burnham, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said of the Tories: “They were bankrolled by private health in Opposition as they drew up secret plans to put market forces at the heart of the NHS. “And once in Government, MPs and peers with links to private health voted it through without a mandate from the public.” For the Lib Dems, the dossier says party leader Mr Clegg received a £5,000 donation to his constituency office from Alpha Medical Consultancy. And Vince Cable was given £2,000 by Chartwell Care Services, which is owned by Chartwell Health & Care plc.

Getty Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg accompanied by shadow chancellor Vince Cable
Donations: Clegg’s (left) office received £5k while Cable was given £2k

Tonight a Conservative spokesman hit back, and said: “Here in the ­Conservative Party, donations don’t buy our leader, our candidates or our ­policies. If only the same could be said of Unite and the Labour Party.
“The most important thing with NHS care is that it is high quality and free at the point of delivery.”
A Lib Dem spokesman said his party had “stopped Conservative privatisation plans and reversed Labour’s special favours to private health companies”. He added: “We have already committed to spending at least £1billion extra on health and care in each year of the next Parliament.”

Some MPs’ health connections

  • George Osborne, Chancellor: Received donation through Conservative Campaign HQ from Julian Schild whose family made £184m in 2006 by selling hospital bed-makers Huntleigh Technology
  • Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary: Former director of Attendo AB, a Swedish private health company
  • Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary: Beneficiary of a trust which owns controlling interest in nursing home developer Castlemead Ltd
  • David Davis, former Shadow Home Secretary: Received £4,250 for a speaking engagement for health insurance company Aviva
  • Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary: Received £5,000 from iIPGL Ltd, which purchased health care company Cyprotex
  • John Redwood, former Cabinet Minister: Advised the private equity company which runs Pharmacy2u
  • Vince Cable, Business Secretary: Received a donation of £2,000 from Chartwell Care Services, which is 100% owned by Chartwell Health & Care PLC

Coalition Government drops plans to criminalise offshore tax evasion

HM Revenue  & Customs omits a measure from the Finance Bill that would have made failure to declare offshore income a criminal offence.

 More misery for ORDINARY taxpayers

Government drops plans to criminalise offshore tax evasion HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) plan to make undeclared taxable offshore income a criminal offence has suffered a blow as it has been omitted from draft legislation.

The draft Financial Bill, published earlier this week, extended the scope of civil penalties for tax evasion but there was no reference to making failure to declare taxable offshore income and gains a criminal offence.
This has caused tax experts to believe the government has put the proposal on the ‘back burner’, according to the Financial Times.
In August HMRC said it was looking to make tax evasion a criminal offence. Currently not declaring taxable offshore income and gains is a civil offence.

Ray McCann, partner at Pinsent Masons told the Financial Times: ‘I think that the proposal is now likely to quietly disappear. There is no substance to it.’

Instead the government is considering other measures, including enhancing financial incentives for those who provide information on offenders and extend the existing offshore penalty regime to inheritance tax and domestic offences.

Living Wage – Road to Hell, Paved with (aparantly) Good Intentions.

Living wage – a factual calculation of an indicative figure for an annual income requried by a person based on their family situation (single, part of a couple, with out kids, with 1 kid, 2, 3…) to have the minimum ‘acceptible’ quality of life.
You can argue over what the minumum acceptible quality of life is (from absolutely nothing, to palaces and riches) – or about whether certain family situations should be ‘permitted’, or how detailed/general the different groups should be, and even where the ‘wage’ should come from (who pays it) but the principle of a ‘Living Wage’ is fact, not opinion.
Having said that, Living Wage is oriented to ‘earnings’ – so excludes in-work benefits etc – I’d rather see a ‘Living Income’ so the division between benefits and earnings is more transparent. I would especailly like this as in-work benefits are often related to income – so vary one and the other vairies too.
The Living Wage Foundation are the good/bad guys here… they are a charity that have claimed the ‘Living Wage’ mantle – they calculate a figure and then get grants from government to promote it and income from employers who want their acreditiation.
The Living Wage Foundation calculation arrives at two figures – one for London and one for the rest of the UK.
To arrive at the figure, figures are calculated for various different family situations (which obviously vary hugely – in 2014 from £5.70 for a member of a couple, £8.30 for a single, through a whole range up to £21.10 for a single parent with three chidlren) these indivdiual figures are weighted and averaged (in 2014 to £9.20) and then it is adjusted so acredited employers aren’t asked for to pay too much of an increase – in 2014 the adjusted figure was £7.95 (a reduction of £1.35).
As you can see the final published ‘Living Wage’ is insufficient for every class of family member except a member of a childless couple. However despite this, the ‘acredition’ will give employers  a solid excuse to pay this low figure, and indeed to boast about it.
So really they are just selling indulgnces like the medieval roman catholic church.

Former Lib Dem councillor “acting like a predatory paedophile”

A Lib Dem ex-councillor has been given a 2 year suspended sentence for child sex offences.

Bob Thompson was described as “acting like a predatory paedophile” by the judge who said he couldn’t give him a sex offender treatment programme because he refused to accept that he had done anything wrong. He gave him a two year prison sentence suspended for two years because of his ill health.

We already know that Thompson likes them young after marrying a Gambian woman half his age in 2008. He met his wife Fatou when he was 52 and she was 26 and living in a hut with her young daughter. He converted to Islam and married her within a week and then spent a year getting her a visa.

Thompson will be electronically tagged for a year and has been given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.