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Anger as MPs get £3,500 pay rise while rest of country suffers Covid cuts and job losses

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The Commons’ chiefs are going ahead with plans to spike MPs’ salaries by nearly £3,500. 

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has ignored calls to freeze politicians’ pay, as the nation suffers the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, MPs’ wages will be linked to the average rise in public sector staff as planned and the increase will exceed inflation.

IPSA said the pay rise will be based on October’s public sector year-on-year three-month growth (4.1%). 

MPs will receive a £3,360 top up on their £81,932 a year salary. 

Policy analyst at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Jeremy Hutton said: “IPSA must be tin-eared if it really thinks a pay rise for MPs should be considered this year.

“Public finances are in a parlous state, furlough is coming to an end and unemployment is rising.

“A pay rise in parliament would be an insult to hardworking taxpayers who’ve had a very tough year.”

Richard Lloyd, the IPSA’s interim chairman said: “Given the huge economic uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, we don’t think it’s right to depart from this approach.”

The news comes after a recent landmark report which highlighted that UK income is the ninth most unequal of the 40 most developed countries in the globe.

1% of the UK’s top earners (around 310,000 individual people) account for more than a third of income tax paid to the government. In the 1980s, the top 1% received around 6% of the total income in the UK, this number is now 17%. 

695,000 people have left company payrolls since March according to the Office for National Statistics, making it the sharpest increase in a quarterly rise since 2009, following the 2008 financial crisis. 

More than a third of the UK’s employers have plans to make staff redundant over the next three months. 37% of more than 2,000 managers surveyed by YouGov said they will make staff redundant by the end of the year, following the end of the furlough scheme on October 31st.

Rishi Sunak has recently come under fire for supporting ‘only viable jobs’ and explaining that everyone, from ‘all walks of life’, has to ‘adapt and adjust to the new reality’.

Anneliese Dodds, the shadow chancellor, said: “These are viable businesses that just need support to cope with the restrictions the government has imposed on them.”

Explaining that Sunak is ‘pulling up the drawbridge at the worst possible time’. 

She added: “This wasn’t by accident – it was by design. This sink or swim mentality is a throwback to the worst days of Thatcher, and just like in the 1980s, people on the lowest incomes will pay the highest price.”

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Greater Manchester Nightingale Hospital open again due to high levels of coronavirus

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The Nightingale Hospital for the North West will open later this week and house non-Covid patients.

The temporary facility to treat patients with Covid-19 opened originally in April but has been closed in summer. 

However, later this week it is set to reopen for non-Covid patients.

It is set to reopen as figures show the number of coronavirus patients being treated in the North West is now approaching the level it was in the first surge of the virus.

A spokesperson said: “The NHS Nightingale Hospital North West will accept patients from today to provide care for those who do not have Covid-19, but do need further support before they are able to go home, such as therapy and social care assessments.”

As of October 26th, North West hospitals had 2,407 patients with coronavirus, the highest number of cases since April 23rd.

Dr Jane Eddleston, medical director of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Nightingale will not be used as a critical care facility and neither was it in the first phase. It will be used as a facility for patients to have additional rehabilitation.”

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Sacha Lord says 10pm curfew will be reviewed next month

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David Dixon/Geograph & SachaLord/Twitter

Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, has said the government will review the 10pm curfew in November. 

All hospitality venues must shut their doors at 10pm under current laws, however, Sacha Lord and other industry members have been campaigning the curfew.

Since September 24th, when the curfew was put in place, the #CancelTheCurfew movement has been backed by a number of industry professionals.

The Parklife founder, Lord, filed a pre-action letter last night which claimed there was no scientific justification of the Tier 3 regulations and the limits on pubs and bars operating hours. 

Lord has tweeted that the government ‘are reviewing the UK 10pm curfew’ in November.

He wrote: “In November, the Government are reviewing the UK 10pm curfew.

“It doesn’t work for the public or operators.

“Overloaded transport, crowded takeaways, supermarkets etc.

“It’s doing far more harm than good. Operators are running safe and secure COVID19 venues.

“Cancel the Curfew”

Lord confirmed they had a formal response from the government regarding the judicial review where he said ‘we consider it insufficient’.

He added “I cannot go into detail, but I can say that we have considered it and it is insufficient. I have instructed my lawyers to commence legal proceedings.”

Lord is now backing the OneGM campaign, which sees different sectors of the industry coming together to show support for businesses and people in Greater Manchester. 

It is unclear yet when Greater Manchester will be removed from Tier 3 restrictions.

 

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Dr Hilary backs calls for tier 3 restrictions across all of England by Christmas

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Dr Hilary has responded on GMB this morning to reports that the whole of England should be in tier 3 by Christmas. 

It comes following some reports that all of England could be placed under the strictest coronavirus restrictions by mid-December. 

The UK deaths hit their highest level in five months on Tuesday, when 367 new fatalities linked to coronavirus and nearly 23,000 more cases were recorded.

The Sun explained that SAGE member, Professor Sir Mark Walport said it is ‘not unrealistic’ to think that 25,000 people could be in hospital with Covid-19 by the end of November.

With total Covid related deaths reaching 61,000 across the nation, there are predictions that figures will be higher than the Spring peak come December.

Members of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Body (Sage) are reportedly warning that virus rates all over the country will soar past the levels seen in areas in the North already.

A government source also told The Sun ‘the latest Sage numbers are utterly bleak.’

According to the Daily Telegraph, ‘Downing Street is working on the assumption that the second wave of COVID-19 will be more deadly than the first.’

From next week parts of Nottinghamshire and Warrington will be placed into Tier Three.

This means that more than eight million people in England, predominantly in the North, will be under the most stringent Covid-19 restrictions by the end of the week.

The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, told Sky News: “The prime minister has been very clear, as we all are, that we want people to celebrate Christmas in a way that is as close to normal as possible.

“But it is too early to be able to say exactly what the situation will become Christmas, and exactly what different parts of the country will or will not be able to do.

“Obviously checking the spread of this virus is paramount, but alongside that we want people to live their lives as close to normal as possible, including at Christmas which is an incredibly important time for families.”

Dr Hilary Jones spoke on Good Morning Britain this morning explaining that a vaccine ‘won’t stop a rise in infections’.

Jones said: “Just look at the figures, the hospital admissions are increasing, doubling every two weeks. In a month from now, we’ll be worse than we were in the first wave.”

He said: “We can’t rely on a vaccine, we hope it will save people from dying but it won’t stop infections, not the early vaccine anyway.”

Adding that: “I think we still need to rely on the basic principles which is hands, face, space and if we all do that and we’re realistic and don’t say Christmas is an exception.

“If we make Christmas an exception, then every celebration will be an exception. A birthday, a Friday night, a promotion…” 

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