Alex Salmond believes last month’s speech by Johann Lamont was a game-changer. In it, the Labour leader in Scotland argued that many of the universal benefits currently enjoyed by Scots are not affordable in the long-term. Attacking what she called the “something for nothing” culture, she said:
I believe our resources must go to those in greatest need.
But if the devil’s greatest trick was to convince the world he didn’t exist, Salmond’s most cynical trick was to make people believe that more was free, when the poorest are paying for the tax breaks for the rich.
She picked on four things she believed should be scrapped: the council tax freeze, free personal care for the elderly, free prescriptions and free university education. Read more
The UK building industry could face compensation claims running to hundreds of millions after a legal battle was launched by workers who say they were in effect barred from construction sites by a blacklist – as we reported here on Friday.
The list allegedly stretched to more than 3,000 named individuals with personal information gathered over more than 15 years.
On Saturday, Tom Watson urged the Information Commission to contact all 3,200 names on the list. Mr Watson, best known for his campaign against phone-hacking, said the Met Police had led the way in pro-actively approaching victims of data scandals. He said he sympathised with the ICO given its budget constraints but said it was incumbent upon them to act.
Now Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary – and rising star of the Labour party – has written directly to the Information Commission: here is his letter.
Dear Mr Graham,
Blacklisting – The Consulting Association
I am writing further to the evidence given last week by your officers to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee regarding the blacklisting of individuals by The Consulting Association (“CA”) and related enforcement action taken by the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”).
As further evidence of blacklisting in the construction sector emerges, we already know that thousands of people have been affected, livelihoods have been destroyed, reputations unfairly tarnished and families torn apart by consequent financial stress. Employees were blacklisted merely for