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Labour's attempts to block clause 119 of the care bill, which would give ministers greater power to close down hospitals, is "irresponsible scaremongering of the worst kind".
A Conservative Party spokesman said:
– A Conservative Party spokesman
These claims from Andy Burnham are irresponsible scaremongering of the worst kind - changes to the special administrator regime will simply ensure that patients get safe care, and these powers have only ever been used in extremis twice since 2009, when Labour introduced them in the first place.
This Government is determined to turn round failing hospitals, unlike the Opposition, which didn't confront the sort of under performance and failure we tragically saw at Mid Staffs.
College students light candles in China to pray for passengers aboard missing Boeing 777 jet http://t.co/DwJsS6GTKt
Almost three quarters of local authorities (71%) required all working-age claimants to pay at least the minimum contribution towards their council tax bill, according to the Public Accounts Committee.
They also found:
- There were only 133 authorities which provided exemptions only for pensioners and war pensioners, whom the Government insisted must be protected.
- Some 19 local authorities, representing 225,000 working-age claimants in England, increased the "taper rate" at which support is reduced as income rises from 20% under the old system - some 14 of them increasing it to 25% and four to 30%.
- Taper rate increases combined with the loss of housing benefit and increase to income tax and national insurance, would mean claimants taking on additional work they would lose 93p of every £1 they yearend on a 25% rate of 97p on a 30% rate
Libyan government forces have seized a tanker that had loaded crude at a port under the control of rebels who plan to sell oil independently of the Tripoli government.
The North Korea-flagged shipped was being escorted to western Libya, a spokesman for the state-owned National Oil Corp Mohammed El-Harari told Reuters, confirming Libyan media reports.
Another Libyan official, Abdelwahab al-Qaim told Reuters: "The ship has been seized by government forces. There are no damages to the ship."
A rebel spokesman had earlier denied they had lost control of the ship.
Some of the trusts Labour believe would be put "at risk" by clause 119 of the care bill are:
- United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
- Barts Health NHS Trust
- Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
- East Cheshire NHS Trust
- Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
- University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust
- University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
- Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
- Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The outlook for jobs has been given an unexpected boost by the floods as extra staff are taken on to deal with damage caused by the atrocious weather, according to a new report.
Employment firm Manpower said demand for builders and other tradesmen and women had increased, boosting the industry by an estimated £250 million.
Energy firms have also had to recruit more engineers in the past few weeks to help restore power to thousands of homes, as well as more customer service workers to handle compensation claims.
Labour has accused the Government of neglecting the NHS' first responsibility to clinical care and instead, having a financial focus when making changes to hospitals.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:
– Andy Burnham
Jeremy Hunt wants to ride roughshod over local communities and have carte blanche to break up the NHS without anyone else having a say.
With more and more hospitals in financial difficulty, this move could hit every community in the land and leave them voiceless in the face of changes to their services.
Labour is clear: changes to hospitals should be driven by clinical, not financial, reasons with local people involved every step of the way.
That is why we believe these plans are dangerous and wrong. It is time for Parliament to stop an arrogant Secretary of State from overstepping the mark.
Colorado made roughly $2 million (£1.2 million) in taxes on marijuana in January, state revenue officials reported in the world's first accounting of the recreational pot business.
Colorado legalised pot in 2012, but commercial sale did not begin until January. Washington state sales begin in coming months.
The tax total reported by the state Department of Revenue indicates $14.02 million (£8.4 million) of recreational pot was sold from 59 businesses. The state collected roughly $2.01 million in taxes.
Russia says it is drafting counter-proposals to a US plan for a negotiated solution to the Ukraine crisis, claiming that Russian-leaning parts of the country have been plunged into lawlessness.
In a televised briefing with president Vladimir Putin, Russia's foreign minister said proposals made by the US are "not suitable" because they take "the situation created by the coup as a starting point", referring to the removal of Ukraine's pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych.
Mr Lavrov said US Secretary of State John Kerry delayed a visit to Moscow to discuss the situation, and Russia had decided to prepare new proposals of its own, though he did not say what they were.