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Boris Johnson promises thousands of houses for first-time buyers with 30% discount

Some good news…

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Boris Johnson has vowed ‘radical reforms’ to the country and has set aside £12bn – first announced in the budget – for funding for new homes. 

This morning the prime minister vowed to get the country back on track with a new deal which will see a programme of building and investment. 

Boris announced ‘the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War’.

Alongside this programme, he has confirmed that the government will set aside £12 billion for the funding of new homes. This will support 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next eight years.

Included in that, is a new pilot of ‘First Homes’ that will provide a 30% discount to first time buyers.

The properties will be the exact same as others, but just sold to local first-time buyers who have been struggling to buy a home in the current market for 30% less.

The discount is said to be passed on to future buyers when First Homes are resold, to give more people the opportunity to get on the property ladder. 

The final design of the First Homes scheme is yet to be confirmed.

The PM said today: “We will build fantastic new homes on brownfields sites and other areas, with better transport and other infrastructure, that could be suitable and right for development.

“We will address that intergenerational injustice and help young people get people the housing ladder the way their parents and grandparents could.

“We will build better, we will build greener, and faster.”

In revealing the plan to help Britain ‘get back on its feet’, he said: “It is time not just for a new deal, but a fair deal for the British people.

“This government is determined to use this crisis finally to tackle this country’s unresolved challenges of the last three decades.

“We will build the homes, fix the NHS, solve social care, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity, productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK. To unite, and level up.

“To that end, we will build, build, build. Build back better, build back greener, build back faster.”

He added: “This is a programme for jobs, jobs, jobs – because it’s by building, building, building… that we will get the jobs this nation needs.”

Boris Johnson has vowed to not return to the years of ‘what people call austerity’. He says: “the world has moved on since 2008”.

“We are preparing now – slowly, cautiously – to come out of hibernation. We cannot continue simply to be prisoners of this crisis”, he said.

The prime minister has warned of the rocky economic time ahead that will see job losses. 

Currently, 2.8 million people are unemployed in the UK and it’s predicted this number could rise by a further one million during the impending economic downturn. 

“We know in our hearts that the furloughing cannot go on forever,” he said.

“We also know that jobs people had in January are not coming back, at least not in that form,” the prime minister said. However, he refused to address how many jobs might be lost overall.

“I remain absolutely certain we need to make sure we keep the tax burden in so far as we possibly can is reasonable and we continue to be a competitive market economy,” he said.

“You know where my instincts are and what I would like to do, they are of course to cut taxes where ever you possibly can.

“The difficulty is we have a generational challenge now. We have to take our country forward.”

He also stressed that Britain needs to remain competitive as it leaves the EU stating: “You need to make sure as we leave the EU, the fiscal environment has to be as competitive as it possibly can be.

“I want brilliant British ideas being translated into brilliant British companies.”

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Teen stops young girl being taken by stranger claiming to be ‘dad’s friend’ as she walked home from school

Emma’s quick thinking saved the school girl from being taken by a stranger

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A teenage girl has been praised for her quick thinking as she prevented a child being taken from a stranger.

Fifteen year old Emma Carlile was walking home from school through Wallasey Village in Wirral, Merseyside, when she noticed a man approaching a school girl and telling her that he was her ‘dad’s mate.’

Emma noticed that the girl, who is believed to be around eleven years old, looked alarmed, so decided to intervene.

Emma’s dad, Rik, told the Liverpool Echo: “She said she was walking along and she saw a ‘creepy looking man’ approach a young girl and put his arm around her, which she thought looked odd.

Emma Carlile / Facebook

“She noticed when the man approached her she looked a bit startled and then she heard the man say, ‘I’m your dad’s friend, don’t you remember me? I’ve been to your house before’.”

Rik continued: “The girl was saying ‘no, I don’t remember’ but he kept going on saying, ‘I’m your dad’s friend, I’ve met you before.’ At one point, the girl tried to get her phone out and the man said, ‘no you don’t need to ring anyone, you know who I am, I’m your dad’s mate.’”

Emma followed them around a corner and, as they approached a crossing, shouted the first name that came into her head. 

She said: “Hey Bethany! Dad will be home tonight from police training.”

The girl apparently looked at her and looked startled but relieved at the same time. As soon as Emma spoke, the man quickly walked away down towards Wallasey Village train station.

Rept0n1x / Wikimedia Commons

Rik said that Emma walked with the girl until she was home safely and informed her parents about what had just happened. 

Rik shared his daughter’s encounter on Facebook to warn people with children walking home alone from school. He wrote: “WARNING! My 15 year old daughter was walking home from Weatherhead today through Wallasey village and witnessed an older man walk up to a girl with a Harry Potter backpack and a green coat.

“The man put his arm around her claiming he was her “dads friend,” My daughter recognised that the girl looked alarmed and didn’t know the man and followed them from by the co-op to the crossing by the petrol station.

“Please make your children aware if they walk home alone.”

Emma described the man as being around 6ft tall with short grey hair and stubble. He was of large build wearing a green t-shirt and black trousers.

If you have any information, you can contact Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 or, alternatively, you can get in touch online here.

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Leaked documents reveal which Covid restrictions may remain after July 19th

We might have to wear our face masks for a little bit longer…

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Number 10 / Flickr & Kristoffer Trolle / Flickr

Leaked documents are claiming that the current social distancing rules and restrictions will be staying in place after the revised ‘freedom day’ on July 19th.

The memo, obtained by Politico, listed a number of restrictions that the government plans to keep in place for the foreseeable future.

According to the leaked documents, face masks may have to remain mandatory in certain settings for the long term, employers and employees will be told to decide amongst themselves as to whether they want to return to the office or work from home.

As well as that, it says some form of border control and quarantine will be needed for a significant period of time to prevent new variants entering the country.

Number 10 / Flickr

The memo also states that plastic screens – such as those currently used in hairdressers and restaurants – may actually spread Covid rather than prevent it.

Ministers are also considering bringing in new rules for businesses to keep workplaces better ventilated, the documents claim. 

Cabinet office sources have since stressed that the document was one of several including multiple options – with nothing signed off by ministers yet or anywhere near being announced.

This comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back the highly anticipated ‘freedom day’, June 21st, by just short of a month to July 19th. 

Johnson said this was a result of the new Delta variant, which makes up for 90% of new cases across the country: “I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.

“I am confident we won’t need more than four weeks – it’s unmistakably clear that the vaccines are working – but now is the time to ease off the accelerator.

“We have the chance to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.”

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Covid vaccine to be mandatory for care home workers

Thoughts?

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Gov.uk & Asian Development Bank / Flickr

The Covid-19 vaccine is to become mandatory for all care home staff members across the country, new reports detailed last night. 

It is believed that care staff will be given sixteen weeks to receive the jab or will face the possibilities of either being moved to a different posting or losing their jobs entirely.

The Guardian reported that the new plans are expected to be announced in the next couple of days.

Province of British Columbia / Flickr

It is expected that ministers will also be pushing ahead with compulsory vaccination for most of the 1.5 million people working in social care across the country, despite employer and staff organisations warning that it could result in workers quitting rather than getting vaccinated.

The reports also claim that the government is keen to make it mandatory for the 1.38 million people who are employed by the NHS in England to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – proposals that have already been criticised by groups representing doctors, nurses and other staff.

Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine will not be affected.

Gov.uk

The government has been widely criticised for its lack of support of care homes at the start of the pandemic; residents were heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 and significant numbers, including many people with dementia, died as a result.

An investigation by Amnesty International late last year found that a series of ‘shockingly irresponsible’ Government decisions put tens of thousands of older people’s lives at risk and led to multiple violations of care home residents’ human rights.

As a result, between March 2nd and June 12th this year, 28,186 ‘excess deaths’ were recorded in care homes across England, with over 18,500 care home residents confirmed to have died with Covid-19 during this period.

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