Honeyball’s Easter Round-up

Labour Party

Good Friday wasn’t the one many ordinary families in the UK had hoped for as major tax and benefit changes came into force following the coalition governments announcements last month. Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the treasury said ‘it was one of the most ruthless assaults on the finances of low and middle income families ever seen’, and this seems to sum it up rather well.

In fact the plans mean that ordinary families will be, on average, £500 a year worse off.

Embarrassingly the government claimed that some 24m tax payers would be £5.50 a week better off, but this was swiftly challenged by the Institute of Fiscal Studies who claimed a more modest figure of just 81p.

The Guardian covered the issue in a big piece on Good Friday, which it labelled ‘Bleak Friday.’ You can read the analysis here.

By Sunday the Observer’s front page story revealed that Osborne’s tax on giving will have a devastating impact on the culture of giving not to mention David Cameron’s notion of the big society.

The move has forced a powerful group of aid groups and charities to form an alliance and revolt against the changes.

The worrying point for charities is that this legislation will have unintended consequences of discouraging important and much needed donations by philanthropists.

A number of charities have already reported that some of their big donors have already been in touch to say they are considering whether or not to give donations this year precisely because of the new implications. You can read the story in full here.

More than two-thirds of teachers have experienced or witnessed workplace bullying in the past 12 months the teacher’s union the NASUWT has found. One in five victims quit their job as a result, according to a poll published by the union. The survey revealed that 67% witnessed or were subject to bullying, harassment and abuse from colleagues.

The grim findings of the poll were published ahead of the union’s annual conference, where delegates have angrily hit back at what they describe as a “denigration” of the profession and the education system under the coalition government.

The union vowed to ramp up industrial action, including strikes in the autumn over a range of grievances spanning pay, pensions and workload after passing a motion denouncing “scurrilous attacks, abuse, intimidation and lies” and accusing the government of a “vicious assault” on the profession.
You can read the full story here.