UK Vol.95 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.24)

Here are articles on Brexit.

Statement by the European Council (Art. 50) on the UK notification (w Video & PDFs; 29/03/2017)

Now that Article 50 has been triggered, reality will start to bite (31/03/2017) | @ConUnit_UCL

The white paper on Brexit: a wish list disguised as a strategy (02/02/2017) | Dan Roberts @guardian

What the Brexit white paper says (and doesn’t say) about trade (02/03/2017) | Maria Garcia @ConversationEDU

Article 50 triggered – but is a Brexit deal really possible in two years? (29/03/2017) | @RGWhitman @ConversationUK

The Great Repeal Bill could prove costly | Professor Robert Lee, Head of @bhamlaw

How rupture with mainland Europe caused Britain to falter for hundreds of years (28/03/2017) | Stephen Church @ConversationUK

Brexit – The UK’s greatest transformation project (04/10/2016) | Ross Dawson

Carmakers eye more UK suppliers to handle hard Brexit (10/03/2017) | @CPitas @ReutersUK

Despite Brexit fears more companies have been set up in Cornwall in 2016 than in previous years (06/02/2017) | @Oli_Vergnault @CornwallLive

Theresa May’s meeting with Angela Merkel at EU summit is cancelled (03/02/2017) | Peter Walker & Daniel Boffey @guardian

Pound plunges amid fears over Brexit delays (09/06/2017) | @jilltreanor @guardian

Brexit with Dr Serena Kelly (w Voice; 18/01/2017) – Summer Days with Jesse Mulligan @radionz

Brexit and the People of Wales: What Do We Know? What Could We Know? (29/03/3017) | Professor Roger Scully @cardiffuni

SNP offers to abandon independence referendum if Theresa May lets Scotland stay in the European single market (14/03/2017) | Charlotte England

Scotland heads towards a second independence referendum (14/03/2017) | @craigmcangus @ConversationUK

NORTHERN IRELAND: POST-BREXIT (29/03/2017) | @QueensUBelfast

Brexit may hinder local Government co-operation – UCC centre director says Northern Ireland could move away from various EU directives (08/03/2017) | Barry Roche @IrishTimes

Brexit Insights: Lords INTERVIEW with Lord Jonathan Hill and Minister Eoghan Murphy | @matheson


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.19

Here are tweets which include free papers, reports/articles (citing others), and videos.

https://twitter.com/Wolgadeutscher/status/841658527814975490


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.18

Here are tweets which include reports/articles (citing others) and videos.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.14

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs which include free papers, reports/articles (citing others), and a video.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.13

Here are @wsi_usa’s RTs which include free papers, reports/articles (citing others), a video and a voice.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.12

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs which include free papers, reports/articles (citing others), and a video.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.11

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs which include free papers and reports (citing others).


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.10

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs which include free papers and reports (citing others).


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.9

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs which include free papers, reports (citing others), a podcast and an interview.


Canada Vol.35 (New Brunswick, Canada Day #Canada150)

#Canada150 #CanadaDay  Canada 150: History of a nation | @StJohnsTelegram     Canada 150 | Department of History, University of Toronto     Make the most of your @canada150th !     Canada 150 interactive military history map    Canada 150 and some tougher history for Edmonton (06/29/2017) | @tamarasolty @theyardsyeg    We are what we ate: Canada’s history in cuisines (03/15/2017) | @Ian_Mosby @globeandmail    Canadian Independence Day | @HISTORY    Canada: Day 1 – In Their Own Words Oral History Videos | @Pier21    History of Canada Day (10/24/2009) | Pat Williams @canadaconnect    Here’s what’s going on in New Brunswick on Canada Day | @Report24CA      July 1, 1867 | @CBC     …at noon, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada were proclaimed the Dominion of Canada, with John A. Macdonald its first prime minister.   Now, the area of Upper Canada was called Ontario and Lower Canada was called Quebec.  …

New Brunswick

cf.  The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan (PDF; 09/2016) | @Gov_NB    INSURECONOMY – an economic impact and future growth study of New Brunswick’s high-value insurance sector (PDF; 02/2012) | @INSURECONOMY @ConfBoardofCda,@jupia    Canada and New Brunswick invest in infrastructure at the University of New Brunswick    New Brunswick faces improving economic outlook in 2016 (01/01/2016) | @mchardie @CBCNB    New Brunswick’s Debt and Deficit – A Historical Look (PDF; 05/2014) | David Murrell & Shaun Fantauzzo @AIMS_CA    Discover unlimited opportunities in New Brunswick | @ONBCanada    New Brunswick | @OilGasCanada    About New Brunswick | @canadavisa_com    Forest Industry (PDF; 12/2003) | @APECatlantic    House Hunting in … New Brunswick, Canada (08/17/2016) | Lisa Prevost @nytimes   Map, Satellite Image    THE COST OF SMOKING IN NEW BRUNSWICK & THE ECONOMICS OF TOBACCO CONTROL (PDF; 04/2003) | @gpiatlantic    Maps & Air Photos | @cityofsaintjohn    @CityofMoncton    @CityFredGov   Economic Highlights | @IgniteFredNB    University-Industry Partnerships: Advancing Knowledge and Energy Security (09/11/2015) | @UNB @WorldEnergyTV


UK Vol.90 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.19: 2017 General Election – Scottish National Party Manifesto)

Here is STRONGER FOR SCOTLAND – SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY MANIFESTO 2017 (PDF) in June. Excerpts are on our own.

STRONGER FOR SCOTLAND p.4
Holding the UK government to account on powers
Opposing Tory austerity
Fighting to end the Rape Clause
Pension justice for women born in the 1950s
Legislation on ending violence against women
Fighting against the cruel and punitive sanction regime
Leading opposition to the bombing of Syria
Clear, consistent and unified opposition to Trident
Fighting for a fairer immigration policy
Demanding action on tax evasion
Fair compensation for veterans

BUILDING A BETTER SCOTLAND p.5
High quality health care
Prescription charges abolished, ensuring there’s no tax on ill health
Free, high quality childcare increased
Investing in a good education for all
Cheaper Council Tax bills
Free personal care for older people
The highest house building rate in the UK
Fair pay
More police officers and less crime
No Bedroom Tax

OUR KEY PLEDGES pp.6-8
An end to austerity
Fair tax … In the current financial year, we have frozen the basic rate of income tax to help low and middle earners…
Protecting the NHS We are already committed to increasing the budget of NHS Scotland by £2 billion by the end of the current Scottish Parliament. …
Improving education …the new National Improvement Framework, the Scottish Attainment Challenge and the £120 million Pupil Equity Fund…
Tackling poverty and inequality … According to the Resolution Foundation…
Fair pensions … We will vote to protect the Triple Lock, ensuring that pensions continue to rise by inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent…
A focus on jobs, growth and productivity …to support job creation, we will propose a doubling of the Employment Allowance – the National Insurance discount that businesses receive when they increase employment. To boost productivity, we will also support extension of the Annual Investment Allowance, which encourages firms to invest in plant and machinery. …
More powers for the Scottish Parliament
Making work fair and tackling low pay
Protecting Scotland’s place in the Single Market … Leaving the Single Market could cost 80,000 jobs in Scotland. …
Scotland’s choice
Modernising UK democracy
Scrap Trident

PROTECTING OUR PUBLIC SERVICES pp.15-20
Ending austerity and investing in public services
• We will propose to achieve a current budget balance by the end of the next Parliament in 2021/22 with net borrowing being used only for investment from that year onwards.
• Under our plans, the UK’s net borrowing requirement will fall to 2.3 per cent of GDP – the thirty-year, long-term average for net borrowing prior to the financial crisis. It will reach this level in 2020/21 and remain there in 2021/22.
• These steps will see debt falling as a percentage of GDP from 2019/20, meeting the current target on public sector net debt.

Over the 10-year period from 2010-11 and 2019-20, the Tories will have cut Scottish Government day-to-day spending by £2.9 billion in real terms.
Fair and balanced personal taxation
…we support an increase in the Additional Rate from 45p to 50p across the UK as a whole from 2018/19. …
… SNP MPs will back a freeze on National Insurance contributions and Value Added Tax. We will back the continuation of VAT-exemption on essential items like children’s clothes, and will hold the UK government to a commitment to remove VAT from sanitary products. Until VAT is removed from sanitary products, SNP MPs will call for Scotland’s population share of the Tampon Tax Fund to be transferred to the Scottish Government. …
Protecting our health service
… The SNP Scottish Government is already committed to an increase in the NHS revenue budget of £500 million more than inflation by the end of the current term of the Scottish Parliament. That means the budget will increase by £2 billion in total.
Latest statistics show that overall health spending in Scotland is around 7 per cent per head higher than in England. If the UK government were to match Scotland, England’s Health investment would increase by over £11 billion above inflation by the end of this Parliament. …
… To meet the challenge of an ageing population an additional £1.7 billion will be invested in Scotland’s health and social care partnerships over this term of the Scottish Parliament. …

… We are increasing the number of health visitors, introducing the Baby Box for every new-born child, and delivering the Childsmile programme to improve oral health. We are also developing and implementing the Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Strategy. …
Scotland is the first of the UK nations to approve the provision of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by the NHS to prevent HIV. We will support efforts to have PrEP made available on the NHS in the rest of the UK too.
Victims of contaminated blood products deserve answers. In 2008 the SNP Scottish Government established the Penrose Public Inquiry…

• We are investing record amounts in health – over £13 billion in 2017, £3.6 billion more than when we took office. And health spending per head in Scotland is higher than in England – to the tune of £152 per person.
• In 2011 the SNP abolished prescription charges. In England patients are forced to pay £8.60 per item.
• The number of nurses, doctors and dentists working in Scotland’s NHS has increased. Staffing is at record high levels, up more than 12,200 under the SNP. Per head of population, Scotland has the most GPs of any UK country and there are now almost 50 per cent more qualified nurses and midwives working in our NHS Scotland than in England.
• Scotland’s core A&E services are the best performing in the UK – and have been for 2 years.
• Most recent figures show that 90 per cent of NHS Scotland patients rated their care and treatment as good or excellent.
• Nurses in Scotland are better paid than anywhere else in the UK. A nurse in Scotland, at Band 5, is paid up to £309 more than their English counterparts. And, unlike in the NHS in England, we are supporting the lowest paid workers in our NHS by delivering the real Living Wage. As a result the starting salary of NHS support staff in Scotland is over £1,100 higher than in England.

Protecting our education sector
• … Under the SNP the availability of free early years education and childcare has increased from 12.5 hours in 2007 to 16 hours a week for all three and four year olds and it has also been extended to two year olds from low income households. By 2021 we will increase the provision to 30 hours.
• In government we are investing £50 million to ensure all staff working in private nurseries delivering our childcare pledge are paid the real Living Wage.
• We have extended free school meals to all children in Primary 1 to 3 in Scotland, ensuring they get a healthy and nutritious meal every day, improving their concentration, helping them to achieve better results, and saving families around £380 per child per year.
• Free tuition has been maintained, saving students in Scotland up to £27,000 compared to the cost of studying in England.
• We have been reforming vocational education and increasing the number of Modern Apprenticeships, hitting new records every year on the road to our target of 30,000 new starts by the end of this parliament.
• We have expanded the Education Maintenance Allowance – now scrapped for new students south of the border – to support even more school pupils and college students from low income families.

Supporting our emergency services
Public Sector Pay
Better rail services
… Since the SNP took office, we have invested £7.7 billion to maintain and upgrade tracks, stations and trains in Scotland. …
…fifty-four per cent of ScotRail delays are caused by issues connected to Network Rail. …
Connecting Scotland to HS2 must be a priority, with construction beginning in Scotland as well as England, and a high speed connection between Glasgow, Edinburgh and the north of England as part of any high-speed rail network
SNP MPs will engage the UK government in discussions on the feasibility of improving cross-border rail links, including linking Carlisle to the Borders Railway.

Championing public service broadcasting and a thriving press
…we welcome the creation of a new BBC Scotland TV channel and its associated investment. …
We welcome the proposals for the relocation of Channel 4 outwith London…

AN OPEN, MODERN ECONOMY pp.21-28
Supporting business We will support the targeted reduction in National Insurance to bring down the costs employers face when taking on new workers by the doubling of the Employment Allowance – the National Insurance discount businesses receive when they increase employment – from £3,000 per business per year to £6,000 per business per year, phased in over the Parliament.
Productivity remains a major challenge in the UK economy. We will, therefore, support the Institute of Directors’ calls for the further extension of the Annual Investment Allowance, which encourages firms to invest in plant and machinery, from the current £200,000 per year to £1 million per year.

… Most of the taxes and regulations that impact on small businesses are, however, the responsibility of Westminster. Despite setting up an Office of Tax Simplification, the UK government has ignored the vast majority of its recommendations with just 16 of its 60 ‘big picture’ recommendations and less than half of its other formal recommendations so far adopted. …
Building a better Scotland: our investment in infrastructure
… In 2017-18 alone almost £6.4 billion of infrastructure projects will be under construction in Scotland.
• We are delivering the £1.4 billion Queensferry Crossing.
• We are transforming Scotland’s road network. We are upgrading Scotland’s motorways, with improvements to the M8, M73 and M74 network. Work to dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness is well underway, and dualling of the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen is in preparation too.
• Over £5 billion has been invested in Scotland’s health infrastructure since 2007 and nearly £500 million of new hospitals and healthcare facilities are due to open in Scotland in 2017-18.
• £742 million is being invested in improvements to the Edinburgh to Glasgow railway line, including widespread electrification of the network between the two cities and to Stirling and Dunblane. And the £170 million Aberdeen-Inverness rail upgrade, which is now under construction, will see shorter journey times between the two cities, as well as new stations at Dalcross and Kintore.
• Over the current term of the Scottish Parliament, we are investing over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 new affordable homes, at least 35,000 of which will be for social rent.
• In government we have made energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority, and we will support it with more than £500 million of public funding over four years.
• We have invested £400 million to deliver superfast broadband to 95 per cent of properties across Scotland by the end of 2017, and we are on track to deliver this target. We will now go further, ensuring that 100 per cent of premises across Scotland have access to super-fast broadband by 2021.

Protecting our place in the European Single Market
The European Single Market represents in excess of 500 million consumers – eight times the size of the UK’s market. …wages face a £2,000 per head cut and our economy faces a hit of up to £11 billion a year by 2030. …the rest of the UK exports over £50 billion a year to Scotland, making Scotland the top destination in Europe for exports from the rest of the UK, and England’s second biggest market after the United States of America. …
Safeguarding the success of our world-class food and drink sector
Scotland’s food and drink is a global success story, worth £14.4 billion. The EU – Scotland’s biggest overseas regional food and drink export market…
…Scotch Whisky, Arbroath smokies and Stornoway black pudding. …
… Around 8,000 EU nationals have come to live in Scotland and work in our food and drink sector. Every year up to 15,000 seasonal migrant workers also help harvest our world class soft fruit and vegetables. …
…the Food for Life catering award…
…Scotland’s GM-free status and commitment. …

Tourism and hospitality
… The Tourism Industry Council expects that there will need to be a 200 per cent increase in Border Force resources to deal with post-Brexit EU passengers. …
Connecting Scotland to the world
… In the last Parliament, SNP MPs secured a UK government consultation on a new Independent Aviation Noise Authority. …
Standing up for Scotland’s oil and gas sector
… Despite raising £330 billion in tax revenues for the UK Treasury, Westminster has repeatedly failed…
Standing up for Scotland’s oil and gas sector
… Despite raising £330 billion in tax revenues for the UK Treasury, Westminster has repeatedly failed to provide adequate support for the industry and the families which depend upon it. …
… SNP support has already led to major investment at Dales Voe in Shetland. …
Building on initiatives such as the Scottish Government’s Decommissioning Challenge Fund…
The Oil and Gas Institute at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen has estimated that leaving the EU is likely to cost the North Sea oil and gas supply chain £200 million a year in tariffs and export taxes. …

Investing in our cities and regions
SNP MPs will campaign for a UK government funding commitment for an Ayrshire Growth Deal, a Tay City Deal, a Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Deal, an Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal, and a Deal for the Islands of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.
…Aberdeen and Inverness.
…the South of Scotland.

In total the SNP Government has pledged more than £1 billion but the UK has failed to match this. Their investment in the Aberdeen Region fell short by a mammoth £254 million and in the Inverness Region Deal by £82 million.
An immigration policy that works for Scotland
… The UK government recently introduced a Skills Immigration Charge – a charge for employers, including the public sector, of £1,000 per non-EEA worker per year. This fee will lead to skills shortages, harm our economy and remove funding from frontline public services. We oppose this policy…
SNP MPs will continue to press the UK government to limit immigration detention to 28 days. No other European country has indefinite detention. We continue to oppose the detention of children and vulnerable people, including pregnant women and people with mental illnesses. …

Reforming the banking sector
The SNP will support a long overdue and comprehensive investigation into LIBOR rigging. …
To ensure that taxpayers get their money back, the SNP will press for the public interest to be fully protected in any future disposal of RBS shares, including decisions on how any windfall revenues should be used.
SNP MPs will press the UK government to compel the banking industry and LINK members to sign up to the Universal Cash Deposit Transaction…

SCOTLAND’S FUTURE pp.29-31
Scotland’s choice
Scotland’s place in Europe
… Before asking people to vote in an independence referendum, we will set out the process by which our membership of the EU will be secured in the circumstances that prevail at that time – such as whether or not Scotland has already left the EU as part of the UK.
We will continue, in all circumstances, to demand the scrapping or fundamental reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and support Scottish control of Scottish fisheries, as we have done for many years.
We will also oppose any attempt by the UK government to treat the fishing industry as a bargaining chip. …
To be taken out, not just of the EU, but also of the Single Market, poses a real and present danger to Scottish jobs – to our farmers and fisherman, our universities, our food and drink businesses and to almost every sector of our economy. …

Protecting fundamental rights
… We will also seek a cast-iron guarantee from the UK government that they will seek the consent of the Scottish Parliament under the Sewel Convention to the terms of the Brexit Bill.
The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is enshrined in the Scotland Act 1998…

Strengthening the Scottish Parliament
… SNP MPs will seek additional powers. …
• powers that will be repatriated from Brussels to the UK that currently sit within the competences of the Scottish Parliament, like agriculture, fisheries and environmental protection;
• powers to be repatriated in reserved areas, such as employment law, which protect fundamental rights currently enjoyed by the people of Scotland;
• new powers, beyond those being repatriated, including, but not limited to immigration; powers to conclude international agreements in areas of the Scottish Parliament’s responsibility…

MAKING WESTMINSTER FAIRER pp.31-38
Social security powers
…decisions over 85 per cent of UK welfare spending in Scotland will continue to be made in Westminster.
Only with full powers over social security will the Scottish Parliament be able to stop obscenities like the Rape Clause, the Family Cap, cuts to people with disabilities, and the Tory assault on the poor. …

Tackling child poverty
The SNP Scottish Government has introduced a new Child Poverty Bill, following the Tory government’s decision to scrap income-based child poverty targets in the last Parliament. The new Bill introduces new Scotland-wide targets to eradicate child poverty. …
…establish a Poverty and Inequality Commission…

Protecting women and girls from gender-based violence
Dr Eilidh Whiteford…
Protecting disabled people from Tory cuts
… Under the Tories, from April this year, disabled and ill people assessed as not fit for work have lost out on £29 per week from their Employment and Support Allowance. SNP MPS will support reversal of this cut.
The current Work Capability Assessment is failing. SNP MPs will call for this to be halted, and a new system to be put in place which treats everyone with fairness and respect…

Protecting family budgets
The SNP strongly opposes the cap that restricts Child Tax Credits to the first two children and the removal of the family element of Universal Credit. …
Protecting people on low incomes
…we will support the annual uprating of all benefits by at least CPI inflation.
The SNP Scottish Government will abolish the Bedroom Tax in Scotland completely…
The roll out of Universal Credit, which has been introduced in the Highlands and East Lothian first, has caused rent arrears, household debt and left families to rely on food banks. …
The Income Tax Personal Allowance is set to increase, boosting the amount of money people can earn before they pay Income Tax. At the same time, the Tories have reduced the work allowance leading to a significant reduction in the support provided by Universal Credit. This acts as a disincentive to working more hours or taking up employment. …
As Home Secretary Theresa May scrapped the socioeconomic duty contained in the Equality Act requiring public bodies to evaluate the impact of their policies to reduce inequality. …
The Tory government has introduced new charges for parents seeking support from a former partner through the Child Maintenance Service. The SNP will demand an end to this tax on child support. …

Protecting vulnerable young people
Support for people who have lost loved ones
Making work fair
…establishing a Fair Work Commission…
…task the Low Pay Commission…
…abolishing fees for Employment Tribunals.
The SNP will press the UK government to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, and ensure that workers have appropriate rights and protections, including holiday and sick pay. This will help casual and agency workers as well as those now part of the growing gig economy. To tackle maternity and pregnancy discrimination, we back the Women and Equalities Committee’s recommendation to strengthen the law to protect women from discriminatory redundancies and practices.

Championing equality in work
Halt Jobcentre closures
Promoting fair work through procurement
Fairness in retirement
… SNP MPs will oppose plans to increase the State Pension Age beyond 66. We will support the establishment of an Independent Savings and Pension Commission, to ensure pensions and savings policies are fit for purpose. The remit of the Commission should include consideration of the specific demographic needs of different parts of the UK in relation to State Pension Age.
The Triple Lock on the State Pension protects the income of pensioners, many of whom rely on their pension as their only source of income. Age UK has described the Triple Lock as a “vital tool in the fight against pensioner poverty.” …
…extend auto-enrolment, so that more low paid, and self-employed, workers can benefit from regular pension savings.
We believe that saving for a pension is the best route to a stable retirement. The SNP will seek to ensure that regular, simple, and affordable saving schemes are offered to provide for a secure income in retirement. …Tory gimmicks like the Lifetime ISA…

Protecting the most vulnerable in society from Tory cuts
By 2021, the total cumulative loss to people in Scotland as a result of Tory welfare cuts will be over £2 billion per year.
Since 2013, the Scottish Government has spent over £100 million a year to protect people from the worst aspects of Tory welfare cuts. …

How we are using new powers
Diverse but equal
A better deal for consumers
… Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) penalises those who pay more for their insurance. This includes groups such as young drivers and communities in flood risk areas. …
… The problem of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals is linked to the proliferation of betting shops in some communities…
SNP MPs will press the UK government to:
• put in place an energy price cap on standard variable tariffs, ensuring a fair deal for customers and energy suppliers; …
• immediately implement the Competition and Markets Authority’s recommendations on metering to reduce costs for households;
• put in place a requirement for energy companies to prioritise the roll-out of smart meters to those households at risk of fuel poverty; …
• …the Cold Weather Payment.
The loss of local post offices threatens the economic well-being of rural communities all over Scotland. …

STANDING UP FOR RURAL AND REMOTE COMMUNITIES pp.38-40
An end to the UK government’s great rural robbery
Fighting off the Tory power and money grab
Before the EU Referendum, the UK government promised to match current EU funding, which is worth half a billion pounds every year to Scotland’s rural and remote communities, “without a shadow of a doubt”. Now they refuse to provide any guarantees over funding beyond Brexit, and want a UK wide funding mechanism. With a 16 per cent share of current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding, there is no doubt that Scotland would lose out. …
A better deal for our fishing industry
…the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)…
And in the SNP Scottish Government’s paper on ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe’, our proposals would have meant we would be able to leave the CFP while all of the UK could continue to benefit from the EU Single Market.
The Tories failed our fishing industry in the 1970s, dismissing the livelihoods of our coastal communities as ‘expendable’. Under the CFP, the UK government has regularly traded away our interests and put those of fishing communities elsewhere in the UK ahead of those in Scotland. …
… We will also seek guarantees for permanent residence from the UK government for the 3,000 EU nationals working in fish processing.

Improving rural connectivity
At Westminster the SNP successfully secured a UK government commitment to a Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband of 10Mbps. In the next parliamentary term SNP MPs will call for the USO to cover up to 30Mbps with an appropriate update mechanism to ensure that rural areas are not left behind. …
What the SNP has achieved for rural Scotland
• We are investing in digital connectivity, with £400 million to deliver superfast broadband to 95 per cent of properties across Scotland by the end of 2017 and we will reach 100 per cent by 2021. …
• We are building new homes and refurbishing existing properties through the £25 million Rural Housing Fund, and delivering 100 affordable homes in island communities through a dedicated £5 million fund. …
• We have invested over £100 million in fishing projects, infrastructure and businesses, creating and safeguarding over 8,000 jobs.
• We have invested a record £1 billion in vessels, ports and ferry services since 2007. …
• Residents of Caithness and north-west Sutherland, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on air fares.
• We have awarded over £100 million grants to food and drink businesses…

Ending unfair delivery charges

MODERNISING UK DEMOCRACY p.41
Making Westminster work for the people
Making Westminster more democratic
… The SNP supports the Single Transferable Vote, a system that makes sure every vote and every part of the country counts.
… We support the recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation to get the ‘missing millions’ onto the electoral register. …

A fair and level playing field in our elections
…under the Representation of the People Act 1983. We will also support the Electoral Commission’s call to make higher sanctioning powers available to them, increasing the maximum penalty from £20,000 to £1,500,000.
Lobbying and charities
… We will push for those parts of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014…

DEFENCE, SECURITY AND GLOBAL PEACE-KEEPING pp.42-43
Scrapping Trident
… The Tory Chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Crispin Blunt, has calculated the total cost of the next generation of Trident at £179 billion over its lifetime. CND estimate the cost may even be as high as £205 billion. …
Investing in conventional defence
SNP MPs will hold the UK government to its promise on building the new Type-26 Frigates in Scotland. …
Fighting international crime and terrorism
International co-operation is essential to keep Scotland and the rest of the UK safe from the threats of organised crime, cybercrime and terrorism. SNP MPs will call for continued co-operation on detecting, disrupting and detaining criminals across borders through Europol. We will seek assurances that our law enforcement agencies will continue to have the same level of access to Europol as they currently enjoy.
We will oppose any moves that would seek to use security co-operation as as a bargaining chip in Brexit or trade negotiations with our European friends and neighbours.

Supporting our veterans
…War Disablement Pension…
Getting a better deal for the taxpayer
The UK government’s own report says that the Royal Navy’s fleet is being depleted because of a “vicious cycle” of poor planning and cost overruns that is wasting taxpayer money and undermining the viability of the shipbuilding industry. …
Arms exports
Our place in the world
…UN Security Council Resolution 1325…

PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE pp.44-45
Standing up for Scotland’s renewables industry
… SNP MPs will work to protect Scotland’s place in Europe’s energy markets and funding programmes – ensuring continued funding and cooperation with the EU for Scotland’s renewable energy sector. The European Union is set to establish a €320 million investment fund to support wave and tidal power, in which Scotland is a world leader. …
Carbon Capture and Storage
We want Scotland to be a leader in the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, which has the potential to create thousands of jobs in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and beyond, while fighting climate change.
Scotland’s oil and gas sector remains uniquely well placed to develop CCS on an industrial scale – despite the UK government reneging on its commitment to a £1 billion project set to benefit Peterhead Power Station. …

Transmission charges
The UK’s punitive transmission charging regime forces renewable and conventional energy generators in Scotland to pay huge fees to connect to the electricity grid, while power stations in the south of England receive subsidies.
This unfair system contributed to the early closure of the power stations at Longannet in Fife and Cockenzie in East Lothian, with the loss of hundreds of local jobs, and must be overhauled. …

Nuclear power
…the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in the south of England, which will cost at least £18 billion to build and will result in huge costs for taxpayers and consumers. We are opposed to these plans, which have already come close to collapse. …
Working with our neighbours to fight climate change
Scotland has already exceeded a world-leading target to reduce emissions by 42 per cent by 2020. …
Animal welfare
We will oppose any relaxation of the laws on fox-hunting.
Protecting Scotland’s environment and tackling climate change
• Scotland has exceeded its target to produce 50 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2015…
• With the support of the SNP Scottish Government, the low carbon and renewables sector in Scotland supported 58,500 jobs in 2015…
• Scotland’s household recycling rate was 44.2 per cent in 2015…

A COMPASSIONATE COUNTRY pp.46-47
International development
Ethical trade
… The SNP Scottish Government has committed to “always consider the human rights implications of its engagement with countries and business” and to ensure that “investment agreements should only be signed where appropriate due diligence, including on the human rights record of companies involved, has been undertaken.” …
Championing LGBTI rights globally
Meeting our humanitarian and moral obligations
… The decision to close the Dubs Scheme for unaccompanied children – putting them at risk of exploitation – is shameful. …
SNP MPs will urge the UK government to take action on the recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees including implementing a National Refugee Integration Strategy…


UK Vol.87 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.16: 2017 General Election – Conservative Party Manifesto)

Here is FORWARD TOGETHER: THE CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO (issuu or PDF) in May 2017. Excerpts are on our own.

FOREWORD pp.4-5
…build a Great Meritocracy…

FIVE GIANT CHALLENGES pp.6-10
Strong and stable leadership
… Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, we have seen confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations. …
Five giant challenges
1. The need for a strong economy.
2. Brexit and a changing world.
3. Enduring social divisions.
4. An ageing society.
5. Fast-changing technology.
Governing from the mainstream
… Rather than pursue an agenda based on a supposed centre ground defined and established by elites in Westminster, we will govern in the interests of the mainstream of the British public. We will get on with the job and take Britain out of the European Union. …
…there will be no ideological crusades. …
We will govern in the interests of ordinary, working families
We believe in the good that government can do
… If we want to overcome Britain’s enduring social divisions, we will need to give people real opportunity and make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy. That will require government to take on long-ignored problems like Britain’s lack of training and technical education, as well as long-lasting injustices…
Our principles
… Because Conservatism is not and never has been the philosophy described by caricaturists. We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality. We see rigid dogma and ideology not just as needless but dangerous.
True Conservatism means a commitment to country and community; a belief not just in society but in the good that government can do; a respect for the local and national institutions that bind us together…
A vision of a stronger Britain and a prosperous future

1. A STRONG ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE pp.11-27
p.12 Summary
p.13 A strong economy is the basis for everything we want to achieve as a nation.
pp.13-16 THE FOUNDATIONS OF A STRONG ECONOMY
Sound money and responsible public finances are the essential foundations of national economic success.
Keeping taxes as low as possible
Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised democracy but politicians should never forget that taxes are levied on businesses that employ people, and individuals who work hard and face tough decisions about how they spend their money. …
By 2020, we will, as promised, increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000. We will continue to ensure that local residents can veto high increases in Council Tax via a referendum. And we will not increase the level of Value Added Tax.
Corporation Tax is due to fall to seventeen per cent by 2020 – the lowest rate of any developed economy – and we will stick to that plan, because it will help to bring huge investment and many thousands of jobs to the UK. …
Increasing trade
…we want to negotiate a new deep and special partnership with the EU, which will allow free trade between the UK and the EU’s member states. As part of the agreement we strike, we want to make sure that there are as few barriers to trade and investment as possible. Leaving the European Union also means we will be free to strike our own trade agreements with countries outside the EU.
We will ensure immediate stability by lodging new UK schedules with the World Trade Organization, in alignment with EU schedules to which we are bound whilst still a member of the European Union. …
We will create a network of Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners to head nine new regional overseas posts. These commissioners will lead export promotion, investment and trade policy overseas. We will reconvene the Board of Trade with a membership specifically charged with ensuring that we increase exports from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England, and that trade policy is directly influenced by every part of our United Kingdom. …
Effective regulation
…we will continue to regulate more efficiently, saving £9 billion through the Red Tape Challenge and the One-In-Two-Out Rule.
… We will therefore examine ways in which the regulation of utilities and transport infrastructure can be improved to deliver a better deal for customers and sharper incentives for investment efficiency.

pp.16-18 NEW RULES FOR A CHANGING ECONOMY
Conservatives believe that if you value something, you must be prepared to reform it in order to conserve it.
Guaranteeing a decent wage
…now receive a minimum of £7.50 an hour. A new Conservative government will continue to increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings…
Rights and protections in the ‘gig’ economy
…the government commissioned Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, to review the changing labour market. We await his final report but a new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected.
Stopping tax evasion
… We will improve HMRC’s capabilities to stamp down on smuggling, including by improving our policing of the border as we leave the European Union. We will also take further measures to reduce online fraud in Value Added Tax.
Protecting private pensions
… A Conservative government will act to tighten the rules against such abuse, and increase the punishment for those caught mismanaging pension schemes. We will build on existing powers to give pension schemes and the Pensions Regulator the right to scrutinise, clear with conditions or in extreme cases stop mergers, takeovers or large financial commitments that threaten the solvency of the scheme. …
Reforming rules on takeovers and mergers
… We shall also take action to protect our critical national infrastructure. We will ensure that foreign ownership of companies controlling important infrastructure does not undermine British security or essential services. We have already strengthened ministerial scrutiny and control in respect of civil nuclear power and will take a similarly robust approach across a limited range of other sectors, such as telecoms, defence and energy.
Fair corporate pay
… Senior corporate pay has risen far faster than corporate performance, and the gap between those paid most and those paid least has grown from 47:1 in 1998 to 128:1 in 2015.
The next Conservative government will legislate to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders and listed companies will have to publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay. …
Better corporate governance
… To ensure employees’ interests are represented at board level, we will change the law to ensure that listed companies will be required either to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal employee advisory council or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director. …

pp.18-24 A MODERN INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY
Our modern industrial strategy is designed to deliver a stronger economy that works for everyone – where wealth and opportunity are spread across every community in the United Kingdom, not just the most prosperous places in London and the south east.
… We will spend more on research and development, to turn brilliant discoveries into practical products and transform the world’s industries – such as the batteries that will power a new generation of clean, efficient, electric vehicles. … We will build on the success of world-beating sectors such as car and aero manufacturing, financial services, life sciences, digital technology and our creative industries… We will deliver the infrastructure – the road, rail, airports and broadband – that businesses need.
Increasing innovation
University investment funds
National Productivity Investment Fund
…a new £23 billion… This will include £740 million of digital infrastructure investment, the largest investment in railways since Victorian times, £1.1 billion to improve local transport and £250 million in skills by the end of 2020. …will take total spending on housing, economic infrastructure and R&D to £170 billion during the next parliament.
Future Britain funds
…backing British infrastructure and the British economy. We anticipate early funds being created out of revenues from shale gas extraction, dormant assets, and the receipts of sale of some public assets. …
The skills we need
… We will therefore ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the government about how the visa system can become better aligned with our modern industrial strategy. …
…we will double the Immigration Skills Charge levied on companies employing migrant workers, to £2,000 a year by the end of the parliament, using the revenue generated to invest in higher level skills training for workers in the UK.
Backing small businesses
The Conservative Party is the party of enterprise and of the entrepreneur. …
…we will ensure that 33 per cent of central government purchasing will come from SMEs by the end of the parliament. …
…we will use our buying power to ensure that big contractors comply with the Prompt Payment Code both on government contracts and in their work with others. …
Supporting industries to succeed
Our modern industrial strategy is not about ‘planning’ the economy. …
…advanced manufacturing, such as aero and automotive engineering…
Other industries, like the oil and gas sector, are transforming. The North Sea has provided more than £300 billion in tax revenue to the UK economy and supports thousands of highly-skilled jobs across Britain. …
… Life sciences, for example, employs 175,000 people and many of the world’s top medicines have been developed in the UK. We will continue to support research into the diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers and other diseases, including Genomics England’s work in decoding 100,000 genomes. …
Competitive and affordable energy costs
… Our ambition is that the UK should have the lowest energy costs in Europe, both for households and businesses. So as we upgrade our energy infrastructure…
A diverse energy mix
…while we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England, we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.
Natural gas from shale
We will set up a new Shale Environmental Regulator, which will assume the relevant functions of the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This will provide clear governance and accountability, become a source of expertise, and allow decisions to be made fairly but swiftly.
Finally, we will change the proposed Shale Wealth Fund so a greater percentage of the tax revenues from shale gas directly benefit the communities that host the extraction sites. …
Investing in transport
We are working through one of the largest-ever investment programmes in our roads and railways, putting some £40 billion into transport improvements…
…our programme of strategic national investments, including High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport…
… We want almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 – and will invest £600 million by 2020 to help achieve it. …

pp.24-27 STRONGER COMMUNITIES FROM A STRONGER ECONOMY
Prosperous towns and cities across Britain
… We will hold a Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, to celebrate amazing achievements in innovation, the arts and engineering. We will support a UK city in making a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. And in this 70th Anniversary Year of the Edinburgh Festival we will support the development of the new Edinburgh Concert Hall, reaffirming Edinburgh as the UK’s leading festival city and a cultural beacon around the globe.
Our countryside communities
… We will help Natural England to expand their provision of technical expertise to farmers to deliver environmental improvements on a landscape scale, from enriching soil fertility to planting hedgerows and building dry stone walls. …
We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare. We will implement our proposed reforms on pet sales and licensing and will make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory. …
…decide the future of the Hunting Act.
…a comprehensive 25 Year Environment Plan…
Our coastal communities
… To provide complete legal certainty to our neighbours and clarity during our negotiations with the European Union, we will withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention…

2. A STRONG AND UNITED NATION IN A CHANGING WORLD pp.29-45
p.30 Summary
p.31 The United Kingdom is embarking upon another era in our centuries-old story.
pp.31-35 OUR PRECIOUS UNION
We are a United Kingdom, one nation made of four – the most successful political union in modern history.
England
Scotland
…the 2012 and 2016 Scotland Acts…
… The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union but some would disrupt our attempts to get the best deal for Scotland and the United Kingdom with calls for a divisive referendum that the people of Scotland do not want. We have been very clear that now is not the time for another referendum on independence. In order for a referendum to be fair, legal and decisive, it cannot take place until the Brexit process has played out and it should not take place unless there is public consent for it to happen. This is a time to pull together, not apart. …
… Building on the City and Growth deals we have signed across Scotland, we will bring forward a Borderlands Growth Deal, including all councils on both sides of the border, to help secure prosperity in southern Scotland. We will protect the interests of Scottish farmers and fishermen…
Wales
…The 2017 Wales Act…
… We will build on the Cardiff Capital region and Swansea Bay City region deals, and bring forward a North Wales Growth Deal… …such as linking economic development between Cardiff, Newport and Bristol. …
…S4C…the Welsh language…
Northern Ireland
…the 1998 Belfast Agreement…
A Conservative government will continue to work for the full implementation of the 2014 Stormont House and 2015 Fresh Start Agreements. This includes new bodies for addressing the legacy of the past in fair, balanced and proportionate ways which do not unfairly focus on former members of the Armed Forces and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. …
Shared institutions of Union
United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund

pp.35-37 LEAVING THE EUROPEAN UNION
… In her Lancaster House Speech, the prime minister laid out the twelve principles she intends to follow in seeking a new deep and special partnership with the European Union. We have explained our approach in the White Paper on the United Kingdom’s Exit from, and a new relationship with, the European Union, during the passage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act, in the prime minister’s letter to the president of the European Council invoking Article 50, and in the Great Repeal Bill White Paper.
Repatriating EU law to the United Kingdom
…the rights of workers and protections given to consumers and the environment by EU law will continue to be available in UK law at the point at which we leave the EU. … Once EU law has been converted into domestic law, parliament will be able to pass legislation to amend, repeal or improve any piece of EU law it chooses, as will the devolved legislatures, where they have the power to do so.
… We will not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law. We will not repeal or replace the Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway but we will consider our human rights legal framework when the process of leaving the EU concludes. We will remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament.

pp.37-41 GLOBAL BRITAIN
… We will continue to champion British values around the globe: freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. …
British leadership in international institutions
Global partnerships and alliances
…our proposed deep and special partnership with the European Union… …our existing special relationship with the United States… …our close links with our Commonwealth allies…
A global champion of free trade
Promoting British culture around the world
Leading the world in development
…we will maintain the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on assistance to developing nations and international emergencies.
Reforming asylum
… Wherever possible, the government will offer asylum and refuge to people in parts of the world affected by conflict and oppression, rather than to those who have made it to Britain. We will work to reduce asylum claims made in Britain and, as we do so, increase the number of people we help in the most troubled regions. We will continue to work with other countries in Europe, and the United Nations, to review the international legal definitions of asylum and refugee status. …
Protecting the global environment
…the Paris Agreement. We were the first country to introduce a Climate Change Act, which Conservatives helped to frame, and we are halfway towards meeting our 2050 goal of reducing emissions by eighty per cent from 1990 levels.
… We will work with our Overseas Territory governments to create a Blue Belt of marine protection in their precious waters, establishing the largest marine sanctuaries anywhere in the world.
Modern slavery
… As home secretary, Theresa May brought forward the Modern Slavery Act, the first of its kind in Europe, appointed the world’s first anti-slavery commissioner and set up the Modern Slavery Taskforce to bring together the heads of MI5, MI6 and the National Crime Agency to coordinate our response to criminal gangs operating across the world. …

pp.41-42 STRONG DEFENCE IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD
… We will retain the Trident continuous-at-sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our security.
We have the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second largest in NATO. We will continue to meet the NATO commitment to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence and we will increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation in every year of the new parliament.
The finest servicemen and women
… Under a Conservative government, British troops will in future be subject to the Law of Armed Conflict, which includes the Geneva Convention and UK Service Law, not the European Court of Human Rights. We will strengthen legal services regulation and restrict legal aid for unscrupulous law firms that issue vexatious legal claims against the armed forces. …
The best equipment for our armed forces
We plan to invest £178 billion in new military equipment over the next decade, creating high-skilled jobs across the whole country. For the first time in a generation the Royal Navy is growing. …
…HMS Queen Elizabeth…HMS Prince of Wales… Alongside our new Type 45 destroyers, we will build eight Type 26 anti-submarine frigates… We shall also deliver five Offshore Patrol Vessels.
For the Army we will deliver AJAX armoured vehicles, Apache attack helicopters, new drones, new missile and bomb systems, and better equipment for the Special Forces. The Royal Air Force will receive, with the Fleet Air Arm, the Lightning II strike fighter, as well as new Maritime Patrol Aircraft. …
Supporting our veterans
…the Armed Forces Covenant. …a one year holiday on Employer National Insurance Contributions… …a Veterans Board in the Cabinet Office.

pp.42-45 THE HOME OF DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW
…collective faith in our democratic institutions and our justice system has declined in the past two decades. …
A flourishing and secure democracy
… We will continue with the current boundary review, enshrining the principle of equal seats, while reducing the number of MPs to 600, similar to other Western democratic chambers. We will retain the first past the post system of voting for parliamentary elections and extend this system to police and crime commissioner and mayoral elections. We will retain the current franchise to vote in parliamentary elections at eighteen. We will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. …
Celebrating public service
… We will continue to fund schemes to get graduates from Britain’s leading universities to serve in schools, police forces, prisons, and social care and mental health organisations. These programmes are now some of the UK’s largest graduate employers, taking the brightest and best from our universities and using their talents to tackle entrenched social problems. …
Reforming the justice system
Standing up for victims
…the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme…
Strengthening the police and security services
… We will create a national infrastructure police force, bringing together the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence Police and the British Transport Police to improve the protection of critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites, railways and the strategic road network. We will strengthen Britain’s response to white collar crime by incorporating the Serious Fraud Office into the National Crime Agency… …the National Cyber Security Centre…
Punishment and reform
… The £15 billion annual cost to society of reoffending shows we have so much more to do to make the penal system work better. …
We will invest over £1 billion to modernise the prison estate, replacing the most dilapidated prisons and creating 10,000 modern prison places. …

3. THE WORLD’S GREAT MERITOCRACY pp.47-60
p.48 Summary
pp.49-54 A COUNTRY FOUNDED ON MERIT
The greatest injustice in Britain today is that your life is still largely determined not by your efforts and talents but by where you come from, who your parents are and what schools you attend. This is wrong. …
More good school places
… There are still 1 million children in primary and secondary schools rated by Ofsted as ’requires improvement’ or ’inadequate’. If schools across the Midlands and north of England had the same average standards as those in the south, nearly 200,000 more children would be attending good schools. …
… We will replace the unfair and ineffective inclusivity rules that prevent the establishment of new Roman Catholic schools, instead requiring new faith schools to prove that parents of other faiths and none would be prepared to send their children to that school. We will work with the Independent Schools Council to ensure that at least 100 leading independent schools become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools in the state system…
A knowledge-rich curriculum
… To maintain progress as children go through secondary school, we will improve schools’ accountability at key stage 3. We will expect 75 per cent of pupils to have been entered for the EBacc combination of GCSEs by the end of the next parliament, with 90 per cent of pupils studying this combination of academic GCSEs by 2025. …
Supporting teachers
… We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022, representing more than a real terms increase for every year of the parliament. We will continue to protect the Pupil Premium to support those who need it. …
World-class technical education
… We have already introduced high quality apprenticeships that can reach to degree level and beyond for the 200,000 young people who choose to enter full-time vocational study after their GCSEs each year. …
We will start by replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science. We will increase the number of teaching hours by fifty per cent to an average of 900 hours per year and make sure that each student does a three-month work placement as part of their course. …
… We will deliver our commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships for young people by 2020 and in doing so we will drive up the quality of apprenticeships to ensure they deliver the skills employers need. …
Career learning
More people in work
…we will offer a holiday on their employers’ National Insurance Contributions for a full year. …

pp.54-55 A COUNTRY THAT COMES TOGETHER
Controlling immigration
…with annual net migration standing at 273,000, immigration to Britain is still too high. …
Integrating divided communities
…help women in particular into the workplace, and teach more people to speak English. …
Defeating extremism
a Commission for Countering Extremism

pp.55-58 CONFRONTING BURNING INJUSTICES
To make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy…we must look beyond divisions in educational opportunity.
The gender pay gap
… We will require companies with more than 250 employees to publish more data on the pay gap between men and women. …
The race gap
The mental health gap
…since 2010 we have increased spending on mental health each year to a record £11.4 billion in 2016/17, with a further investment of £1 billion by 20/21…
The disability gap
…the landmark Disability Discrimination Act of 1995. …
Preventing domestic violence
Reducing homelessness
…full implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act. Our aim will be to halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament and eliminate it altogether by 2027. …

pp.59-60 CUTTING THE COST OF LIVING
Fair markets for consumers
… As Conservatives, we believe in markets as the best means to bring about prosperity and innovation, but we should act firmly and fast when a market works against the interests of consumers. Since 2010, we have capped the cost of credit for expensive payday lenders and will shortly ban letting agent fees. …
… We will strengthen the powers of consumer enforcement bodies to order fines against companies breaking consumer law and deliver redress for wronged parties. … We will strengthen the hand of online consumers. …
… A Conservative government will reform and modernise the home-buying process so it is more efficient and less costly. We will crack down on unfair practices in leasehold, such as escalating ground rents. We will also improve protections for those who rent… We will make billing for telecoms customers fairer and easier to understand… We will reduce insurance costs for ordinary motorists by cracking down on exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims. …
Fair energy markets
… First, we will ensure that smart meters will be offered to every household and business by the end of 2020…
… We will introduce a safeguard tariff cap that will extend the price protection…
… We will improve the energy efficiency of existing homes, especially for the least well off, by committing to upgrading all fuel poor homes to EPC Band C by 2030. …
Fair debt
…a “Breathing Space” scheme…

4. A RESTORED CONTRACT BETWEEN THE GENERATIONS pp.61-73
p.62 Summary
pp.63-64 DEALING WITH THE DEFICIT
… Conservatives believe in balancing the books and paying down debts – because it is wrong to pass to future generations a bill you cannot or will not pay yourself. …

pp.64-66 AN AGEING SOCIETY
Guaranteed annual increases in the state pension
A decade ago, pensions were in crisis and poverty blighted the retirement of many older people. It was wrong and it has been a Conservative government that has helped to put it right. By introducing the Pensions Triple Lock and the new State Pension, we have lifted the incomes of millions of older people, reducing pensioner poverty to historically low levels. …2020, and when it expires we will introduce a new Double Lock, meaning that pensions will rise in line with the earnings that pay for them, or in line with inflation – whichever is highest. …
… We will promote long-term savings and pensions products, including the Lifetime ISA, to encourage and incentivise more people to make provision for long-term needs, including a house purchase and retirement.
A long-term plan for elderly care
… We have already taken immediate action, putting £2 billion into the social care system and allowing councils to raise more money for care themselves from Council Tax. …
Under the current system, care costs deplete an individual’s assets, including in some cases the family home, down to £23,250 or even less.
First, we will align the future basis for means-testing for domiciliary care with that for residential care, so that people are looked after in the place that is best for them. This will mean that the value of the family home will be taken into account along with other assets and income, whether care is provided at home, or in a residential or nursing care home.
Second, to ensure this is fair, we will introduce a single capital floor, set at £100,000, more than four times the current means test threshold. This will ensure that, no matter how large the cost of care turns out to be, people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets, including value in the family home.
Third, we will extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care to those receiving care at home, so no-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.
the Dilnot Report
…our forthcoming green paper will also address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care and reduce variation in practice. This will ensure the care system works better with the NHS to reduce unnecessary and unhealthy hospital stays and delayed transfers of care, and provide better quality assurance within the care sector. …
…we will meanstest Winter Fuel Payments, focusing assistance on the least well-off pensioners, who are most at risk of fuel poverty. …

pp.66-70 OUR NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
The money and people the NHS needs
First, we will increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years…
Second… Last year we announced an increase in the number of students in medical training of 1,500 a year…
Third, we will ensure that the NHS has the buildings and technology it needs to deliver care properly and efficiently. …
Fourth…we will recover the cost of medical treatment from people not resident in the UK. … And we will increase the Immigration Health Surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students…
Fifth, we will implement the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review to make sure that patients get new drugs and treatments faster…
Holding NHS leaders to account
…NHS England… …the Five Year Forward View. … We will also back the implementation of the plan at a local level, through the Sustainability and Transformation Plans…
…in time for the start of the 2018 financial year, we will make non-legislative changes to remove barriers to the integration of care.
We will introduce a new GP contract to help develop wider primary care services. …
We will also help the million and more NHS clinicians and support staff develop the skills they need…
Exceptional standards of care, wherever, whenever
…we will make clinical outcomes more transparent so that clinicians and frontline staff can learn more easily from the best units and practices, and where there is clear evidence of poor patient outcomes, we will take rapid corrective action. …
…we will give patients, via digital means or over the phone, the ability to book appointments, contact the 111 service, order repeat prescriptions, and access and update aspects of their care records, as well as control how their personal data is used. …
…waiting times data for A&Es… …our National Diabetes Prevention Programme…
… Already 17 million people can get routine weekend or evening appointments at either their own GP surgery or one nearby, and this will expand to the whole population by 2019. …
We will retain the 95 per cent A&E target and the 18-week elective care standard…
… We will extend the scope of the CQC to cover the health-related services commissioned by local authorities. …
In cancer services, we will deliver the new promise to give patients a definitive diagnosis within 28 days by 2020…

pp.70-72 HOMES FOR ALL
… We will meet our 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022. We will deliver the reforms proposed in our Housing White Paper to free up more land for new homes in the right places…
…maintaining the existing strong protections on designated land like the Green Belt, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. …government building 160,000 houses on its own land. …
We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing. …
…sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants… We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing. …
…we will continue our £2.5 billion flood defence programme that will put in place protection for 300,000 existing homes by 2021.

pp.72-73 CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
High-quality childcare
…a Conservative government will introduce, this year, thirty hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds for working parents who find it difficult to manage the costs of childcare… …we will immediately institute a capital fund to help primary schools develop nurseries where they currently do not have the facilities to provide one…
Children’s and young people’s health
… We are seeing progress: smoking rates are now lower than France or Germany, drinking rates have fallen below the European average and teenage pregnancies are at record lows. …
… Half of all mental health conditions become established in people before the age of fourteen. … A Conservative
government will publish a green paper on young people’s mental health before the end of this year. …
Protecting vulnerable children and families
… Placing a child under the oversight of social services and taking a child into care are amongst the most serious duties the state may discharge. We will demand all local authorities be commissioners of the highest-quality family support and child protection services, removing these responsibilities from the weakest councils and placing them in trust. We will ensure that councils provide consistency of care and cannot relocate vulnerable children far from their home when it is not in their best interests to do so. We will review support for Children in Need to understand why their outcomes are so poor and what more support they might require, in and out of school.
Finally, we shall explore ways to improve the family justice system. The family courts need to do more to support families, valuing the roles of mothers and fathers, while ensuring parents face up to their responsibilities.

5. PROSPERITY AND SECURITY IN A DIGITAL AGE pp.75-83
p.76 Summary
p.77 … These new technologies provide us with new and faster ways to communicate, learn, travel, have fun and do business. They accelerate the pace of change – ushering in new norms in the space of years rather than decades; challenging our laws and regulations to keep pace.
pp.77-80 A DIGITAL CHARTER
The best place for digital business
…our world-leading Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme… …open new offices of the British Business Bank in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newport… When we leave the European Union, we will fund the British Business Bank with the repatriated funds from the European Investment Fund.
… By the end of this year, 19 out of 20 premises will have access to superfast broadband and our Universal Service Obligation will ensure that by 2020 every home and every business in Britain has access to high speed broadband. … We will introduce a full fibre connection voucher for companies across the country by 2018 and by 2022 we will have major fibre spines in over a hundred towns and cities, with ten million premises connected to full fibre…
… By 2022 we will extend mobile coverage further to 95 per cent geographic coverage of the UK. By the same date, all major roads and main line trains will enjoy full and uninterrupted mobile phone signal, alongside guaranteed WiFi internet service on all such trains. …
The safest place to be online
… We will put a responsibility on industry not to direct users – even unintentionally – to hate speech, pornography, or other sources of harm. …
… To create a sound ethical framework for how data is used, we will institute an expert Data Use and Ethics Commission…
…we will bring forward a new data protection law…to ensure the very best standards for the safe, flexible and dynamic use of data and enshrining our global leadership…the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care on a statutory footing…
We will continue with our £1.9 billion investment in cyber security and build on the successful establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre…
A free media
…the Leveson Inquiry… We will repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014…

pp.80-82 DIGITAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICES
… We will therefore create a new presumption of digital government services by default and an expectation that all government services are fully accessible online, with assisted digital support available for all public sector websites. …local issues and public transport…roadworks, planning applications and bus routes… …’schools maps’…
…central and local government will be required to release information regularly and in an open format, and data will be aggregated and anonymised where it is important to do so. We will incubate more digital services within government and introduce digital transformation fellowships…
…we shall roll out Verify, so that people can identify themselves on all government online services by 2020, using their own secure data that is not held by government. … …the ’Once-Only’ principle in central government services by 2022 and wider public services by 2025. …
Digital infrastructure
… We are leading the world in preparing for autonomous vehicles and will press ahead with our plans to use digital technology to improve our railways… Smart grids will make the most efficient use of our electricity infrastructure and electric vehicles, and we will use technology to manage our airspace better to reduce noise pollution and improve capacity. …
Digital land
…the property development industry… …we will combine the relevant parts of HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, the Valuation Office Agency, the Hydrographic Office and Geological Survey to create a comprehensive geospatial data body within government…

pp.82-83 A FRAMEWORK FOR DATA AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree. …
An international settlement
…a framework for data ethics…

CONCLUSION p.84


UK Vol.86 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.15: 2017 General Election – Labour Party Manifesto)

Here is THE LABOUR PARTY MANIFESTO 2017 in May 2017. Excerpts are on our own.

FOREWORD
… Every election is a choice. What makes this election different is that the choice is starker than ever before. …
Britain is the fifth richest country in the world. But that means little when many people don’t share in that wealth. Many feel the system is rigged against them. …
Britain needs to negotiate a Brexit deal that puts our economy and living standards first. That won’t be achieved by empty slogans and posturing. We cannot put at risk our links with our largest trading partner. Instead we need a jobs-first Brexit that allows us to upgrade our economy for the 21st century.
Labour will invest in the cutting-edge jobs and industries of the future that can improve everybody’s lives. Which is why this manifesto outlines a fully costed programme to upgrade our economy. …
…this election is about what sort of country we want to be after Brexit. …
So let’s build a fairer Britain where no one is held back. A country where everybody is able to get on in life, to have security at work and at home, to be decently paid for the work they do, and to live their lives with the dignity they deserve. …

CREATING AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL
CREATING AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL
… Labour understands that the creation of wealth is a collective endeavour between workers, entrepreneurs, investors and government. Each contributes and each must share fairly in the rewards.
… Britain is the only major developed economy where earnings have fallen even as growth has returned after the financial crisis. Most working people in Britain today are earning less, after inflation, than they did ten years ago. …
… Our National Transformation Fund will deliver the investment that every part of Britain needs to meet its potential, overcoming years of neglect. …
…our Fiscal Credibility Rule…
A FAIR TAXATION SYSTEM
…our Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme…
But we will not ask ordinary households to pay more. A Labour government will guarantee no rises in income tax for those earning below £80,000 a year, and no increases in personal National Insurance Contributions or the rate of VAT. …
BALANCING THE BOOKS
… Our Fiscal Credibility Rule is based on the simple principle that government should not be borrowing for day-to-day spending, but that future growth depends on investment. …
…a strengthened and truly independent Office for Budget Responsibility… the Kerslake Review of the Treasury.
INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT
… We will take advantage of near- record low interest rates to create a National Transformation Fund that will invest £250 billion over ten years in upgrading our economy. …
A Labour government will complete the HS2 high-speed rail line from London through Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, and then into Scotland, consulting with (and, where necessary, compensating) communities. We will link HS2 with other rail investments, such as Crossrail of the North (tying together our great northern cities) and on to the Durham Freight Centre. We will build a new Brighton Main Line for the South East.
In London, to ensure our capital continues to prosper, we will build Crossrail 2.
To harness the economic potential of new technologies and science, we will complete the Science Vale transport arc, from Oxford to Cambridge through Milton Keynes.
… We will improve 4G coverage and invest to ensure all urban areas, as well as major roads and railways, have uninterrupted 5G coverage. On day one we will instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to report on how to roll out ‘ultrafast’ (300Mbps) across the UK within the next decade.
UPGRADING OUR ECONOMY: LABOUR’S INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY
… The first missions set by a Labour government will be to:
1. ensure that 60 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030
2. create an innovation nation with the highest proportion of high- skilled jobs in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development by 2030. We will meet the OECD target of 3 per cent of GDP spent on research and development by 2030.
In order to create a fertile ground for businesses to achieve these missions Labour will take action across the areas we know are necessary for business and industry to grow:
• Skills – by creating a National Education Service for England.
• Infrastructure – by investing £250 billion over the next ten years.
• UK supply chains – by targeting government support where there are gaps.
• Trade – by negotiating a new deal with Europe that puts jobs and the economy first.
• Procurement – by requiring the best standards on government contracts.
• Research and development – by committing extra research investment.
• Energy costs and security – by capping costs and investing in new publicly owned energy provision.
…the highly successful Automotive Council… …a Digital Ambassador…
TRANSFORMING OUR FINANCIAL SYSTEM
… Following the successful example of Germany and the Nordic countries, we will establish a National Investment Bank that will bring in private capital finance to deliver £250 billion of lending power.
… We will take a new approach to the publicly-owned RBS, and launch a consultation on breaking up the bank to create new local public banks that are better matched to their customers’ needs. And we will extend existing Stamp Duty Reserve Tax to cover a wider range of assets, ensuring that the public gets a fairer share of financial system profits. …
A NEW DEAL FOR BUSINESS
… Labour will amend the takeover regime to ensure that businesses identified as being ‘systemically important’ have a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners when a company is taken over. Labour will also legislate to reduce pay inequality by introducing an Excessive Pay Levy on companies with staff on very high pay.
… In order to provide the support many small businesses need, a Labour government will:
• Mandate the new National Investment Bank, and regional development banks in every region, to identify where other lenders fail to meet the needs of SMEs and prioritise lending to improve the funding gap.
• Introduce a package of reforms to business rates – including switching from RPI to CPI indexation, exempting new investment in plant and machinery from valuations…
• Scrap quarterly reporting for businesses with a turnover of under £85,000.
• Developing a version of the Australian system of binding arbitration and fines for persistent late-payers for the private and public sectors.
WIDENING OWNERSHIP OF OUR ECONOMY
…water bills have increased 40 per cent since privatisation, and our private energy providers overcharged customers by £2 billion in 2015. …Royal Mail has increased stamp and parcel charges, and failed to meet its customer service obligations, while its owners trade shares at significant profit.
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
… One in ten households are in fuel poverty, yet the Competition Markets Authority found customers are overcharged an enormous £2 billion every year.
… Homeowners will be offered interest- free loans to improve their property. For renters, Labour will improve on existing Landlord Energy Efficiency regulations and re-establish the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance to encourage the uptake of efficiency measures.
… We will support further nuclear projects and protect nuclear workers’ jobs and pensions. There are considerable opportunities for nuclear power and decommissioning both internationally and domestically.

NEGOTIATING BREXIT
NEGOTIATING BREXIT
We will end Theresa May’s reckless approach to Brexit, and seek to unite the country around a Brexit deal that works for every community in Britain.
We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union – which are essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. Labour will always put jobs and the economy first.
A Labour government will immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens who have chosen to make their lives in EU countries. …
It is shameful that the Prime Minister rejected repeated attempts by Labour to resolve this issue before Article 50 was triggered. …
Labour recognises that leaving the EU with ‘no deal’ is the worst possible deal for Britain and that it would do damage to our economy and trade. …
…Horizon 2020… …Euratom and the European Medicines Agency… …the Erasmus scheme…
The EU has had a huge impact in securing workplace protections and environmental safeguards. But we all know that for many Brexiteers in the Tory Party, this was why they wanted to Leave – to tear up regulations and weaken hard-fought rights and protections.
… Eurojust and Europol… …European Arrest Warrants…
… In particular Labour will ensure there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and that there is no change in the status or sovereignty of Gibraltar. …
IMMIGRATION
…the Forced Marriage Unit…
… Our National Education Service…
For areas where immigration has placed a strain on public services we will reinstate the Migrant Impact Fund and boost it with a contributory element from the investments required for High Net Worth Individual Visas. …
INTERNATIONAL TRADE
… Labour will set out our priorities in an International Trade White Paper to lead a national debate on the future of Britain’s trade policy. …
The EU accounts for 44 per cent of our current exports and will continue to be a priority trading partner.
… We will develop an export incentive scheme for SMEs based on international best practice, and we will ring-fence Tradeshow Access Programme grants to help SMEs reach new customers around the world.
…we will actively support international negotiations towards an Environmental Goods Agreement at the WTO. …

TOWARDS A NATIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE
TOWARDS A NATIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE
…Labour will create a unified National Education Service (NES)…
SKILLS
…English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. …
HIGHER EDUCATION

A FAIR DEAL AT WORK
A FAIR DEAL AT WORK
RIGHTS AT WORK
SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS

SOCIAL SECURITY
SOCIAL SECURITY DIGNITY FOR PENSIONERS
… As the Conservatives abandon their commitments to older people, Labour will guarantee the state pension ‘triple lock’ throughout the next Parliament. It will rise by at least 2.5 per cent a year or be increased to keep pace with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher.
… The pension age is due to rise to 66 by the end of 2020. Labour rejects the Conservatives’ proposal to increase the state pension age even further. …
DIGNITY FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT WORK

SECURE HOMES FOR ALL
SECURE HOMES FOR ALL
… Labour will establish a new Department for Housing to focus on tackling the crisis… We will overhaul the Homes and Communities Agency to be Labour’s housing delivery body, and give councils new powers to build the homes local communities need.
…our National Transformation Fund…
HOME OWNERSHIP
… We will guarantee Help to Buy funding until 2027 to give long-term certainty to both first-time buyers and the housebuilding industry. …
PRIVATE RENTERS
… We will also empower tenants to call time on bad landlords by giving renters new consumer rights. Renters are spending £9.6 billion a year on homes that the government classes as ‘non-decent’. Around a quarter of this is paid by housing benefit. A Labour government would introduce new legal minimum standards to ensure properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ and empower tenants to take action if their rented homes are sub-standard. …
COUNCIL AND SOCIAL TENANTS
HOMELESSNESS
…starting by making available 4,000 additional homes reserved for people with a history of rough sleeping. …

HEALTHCARE FOR ALL
NHS
… We will guarantee that patients can be seen in A&E within four hours. By properly resourcing the NHS, Labour will stop the routine breach of safe levels of bed occupancy, and we will end mixed-sex wards. We will deliver the Cancer Strategy for England in full by 2020, helping 2.5 million people living with cancer. And, by properly resourcing ambulance services, we will end the scandal of slowing ambulance-response times. …
… We will increase funding to GP services to ensure patients can access the care they need. And we will halt pharmacy cuts and review provision to ensure all patients have access to pharmacy services, particularly in deprived or remote communities.
…PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)…
Public health
… Labour will implement the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, commonly known as the ‘sugar tax’.
…a Tobacco Control Plan…
NHS Staff
NHS Funding
…we will introduce a new Office for Budget Responsibility for Health to oversee health spending and scrutinise how it is spent.
Labour will halt and review the NHS ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’, which are looking at closing health services across England, and ask local people to participate in the redrawing of plans with a focus on patient need rather than available finances. We will create a new quality, safety and excellence regulator – to be called ‘NHS Excellence’. …
TOWARDS A NATIONAL CARE SERVICE
…one in ten people reaching the age of 65 have faced lifetime care costs of over £100,000…
… Around 1.2 million older people have care needs that are going unmet. …
…Labour will lay the foundations of a National Care Service for England.
… We will increase the social care budgets by a further £8 billion over the lifetime of the next Parliament, including an additional £1 billion for the first year. This will be enough for providers to pay a real living wage without cutting the quality of care they provide. It will allow implementation of the principles of the Ethical Care Charter, already adopted in 28 council areas, ending 15-minute care visits…
MENTAL HEALTH
…the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)…

SAFER COMMUNITIES
POLICE AND CRIME
… We will establish a National Refuge Fund and…
Security and counter-terrorism
BORDER SECURITY
FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES
JUSTICE
PRISONS AND PROBATION SERVICE

LEADING RICHER LIVES
LOCAL COMMUNITIES
… Labour will end the closure of Crown Post Office branches, which play a major role in serving their communities. We will also set up a commission to establish a Post Bank, owned by the Post Office and providing a full range of banking services in every community. …
Labour will support tourism at the heart of government. The tourism industry represents 9.6 per cent of UK employment, 4.9 per cent of export and 9 per cent of GDP, but its importance is too often forgotten. …
The Conservatives have failed to provide a clear, ambitious or sustainable vision for the future of the farming, food and fishing industries.
We will expand the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to ensure suppliers and consumers get a fair deal. …
TRANSPORT
… We will introduce a Public Ownership of the Railways Bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways. …
A Labour government will complete the HS2 high-speed rail line from London through Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester… (see the above INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT of CREATING AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL)
We will continue to upgrade our highways and improve roadworks at known bottlenecks. The A1 North, the Severn Bridge and the A30 provide essential connections and require our urgent consideration. We will work with the Welsh Government to scrap the tolls on the Severn Bridge. …
ENVIRONMENT
ANIMAL WELFARE
CULTURE FOR ALL
We will introduce a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age and invest in creative clusters across the country, based on a similar model to enterprise zones. Administered by the Arts Council, the fund will be available over a five-year period. It will be among the biggest arts infrastructure funds ever, transforming the country’s cultural landscape. …
We recognise the serious concern about the ‘value gap’ between producers of creative content and the digital services that profit from its use, and we will work with all sides to review the way that innovators and artists are rewarded for their work in the digital age.
MEDIA
… Labour will hold a national review local media and into the ownership of national media to ensure plurality.
To protect democracy and media freedom, we will take steps to ensure that Ofcom is better able to safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership…
SPORT
… Labour will ensure the Premier League delivers on its promise to invest 5 per cent of its television rights income into the grassroots game to help the next generation of players and coaches…

EXTENDING DEMOCRACY
EXTENDING DEMOCRACY
… We will reduce the voting age to 16. At 16, you are eligible to pay tax, get married or even join the army. You deserve a vote. …
ENGLAND
… Labour will create a role for a Minister for England, who will sit under the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government…
SCOTLAND
… We will establish a Scottish Investment Bank, with £20 billion of funds available to local projects and…
WALES
… We will build on the Development Bank of Wales using more than £10 billion from Labour’s new National Investment Bank. …
NORTHERN IRELAND
…the Good Friday Agreement…

A MORE EQUAL SOCIETY
WOMEN
… Unlawful maternity and pregnancy discrimination is now more common in Britain’s workplaces than ever before, with 54,000 pregnant women and new mothers forced out of their jobs in 2015. …
LGBT EQUALITY
A Labour government will reform the Gender Recognition Act and the Equality Act 2010…
DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
… Black and Asian workers still suffer a massive pay gap. By introducing equal pay audit requirements on large employers, Labour will close this pay gap. …
…the Parker Review recommendations…
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
… Currently 4.2 million People with disabilities live in poverty in Britain, and the disability employment gap remains stubbornly high. …

A GLOBAL BRITAIN
A GLOBAL BRITAIN
Unlike the Conservatives, Labour believes Britain’s foreign policy should be guided by the values of peace, universal rights and international law. Today, these values are being tested. As we leave the European Union, keeping Britain global is one of our country’s most urgent tasks. …
DIPLOMACY
… Labour is strongly committed to reducing human suffering caused by war. We will publish a strategy for protecting civilians in conflict, setting out detailed plans for work on conflict prevention and resolution, post- conflict peacebuilding, and justice for the victims of war crimes. Labour has created a Minister for Peace and Disarmament to lead this work.
…we also acknowledge its shortcomings, particularly in light of repeated abuses of the veto power by some permanent members of the UN Security Council. We will work with our international partners to build support for UN reform and make its institutions more effective and responsive. …
DEFENCE
… Cyber security will form an integral part of our defence and security strategy and we will introduce a cyber-security charter for companies working with the Ministry of Defence.
… The scrapping of Nimrod, HMS Ark Royal and the Harrier jump-jets have weakened our defences and cost British taxpayers millions.
Labour’s commitment to spending at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence will guarantee that our Armed Forces have the necessary capabilities…
… Labour will publish a Defence Industrial Strategy White Paper, including a National Shipbuilding Strategy to secure a long-term future for the industry, workers and UK defence.
…the Forces Help to Buy scheme…
…the Armed Forces Covenant…
…a Homes Fit for Heroes programme…
DEVELOPMENT
…the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…
… Africa’s economies alone lose more than £46 billion annually through corruption and tax evasion – more than 10 times what they receive in aid. …
… We would reinstate the Civil Society Challenge Fund to support trade unions, women’s associations and other civil society organisations which are the most effective forces in winning human rights and workers’ rights.
… We will establish a Centre for Universal Health Coverage, providing global partnerships, support and encouragement to countries that want UHC…

Additional Resources
LABOUR’S FISCAL CREDIBILITY RULE (PDF)
ALTERNATIVE MODELS OF OWNERSHIP (PDF)


Wisconsin Vol.2 (economy, OTD, Memorial Day & …)

#MemorialDay  Memorial Day 2017   @SDaysOfficial     @DeptVetAffairs   The Surprising History of Memorial Day (5/27/2016) | @Dreamsofmymoms    10 historical facts about Memorial Day (5/22/2015) | @AllisonSylte @USATODAY   Memorial Day (5/24/2009) | @BitzOfFitz ‏@TIME   Memorial Day | @HISTORY    The Real History of Memorial Day | @HistoryNet    History of Memorial Day (5/24/2017) | @RedoubtN    The Story of Memorial Day | @WisHistory

Wisconsin

(broken links…)

cf. Wisconsin Vol.1     Here are the facts on Wisconsin’s economy (5/11/2015) | Marc V. Levine (@UWM) @journalsentinel    U.S. and Wisconsin Economic Outlook 2015 (PDF; 2/4/2015) | Richard Mattoon @ChicagoFed    Understanding the Wisconsin Economy | Noah Williams @UWMadison     CONTRIBUTION OF AGRICULTURE TO THE WISCONSIN ECONOMY (PDF; 2014) | Steven Deller @UW_AAE    Energizing Wisconsin’s Economy (PDF; 2015) | @BioForward   The Impact of Construction on the Wisconsin Economy (PDF; 2011) | C3 Statistical Solutions Inc     THE WISCONSIN GOLF ECONOMY (PDF; 8/2010) | @TheNGCOA     The Economic Contribution of Hospitals to Wisconsin (PDF; 6/2011) | Steven C. Deller @UW_AAE     The Economic Impact of Tourism in Wisconsin (PDF; 4/2013) | @OxfordEconomics     Wisconsin Economic Scorecard (PDF; 5/2012) | Center for Urban Initiatives & Research @UWM     Wisconsin Players in Key Positions for 2017 (PDF; 1/2017) | @wisbank     How Wisconsin’s Economy Benefits from International Trade & Investment (PDF; 1/2015) | @BizRoundtable     WISCONSIN MANUFACTURING IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY: ITS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE (PDF; 10/2000) | Donald A. Nichols @UWMadison

Wisconsin


Canada Vol.33 (Québec Vol.2)

cf. Canada Vol.3 (Québec)     THE QUÉBEC ECONOMIC PLAN (PDF; 3/2017) | @FinancesQuebec       Too Much Tax Kills (9/26/2013) | Michel Kelly-Gagnon @ Montreal Economic Institute @HuffPostCanada      Quebec’s Economic Future: A Hard Road Ahead (9/6/2012) | @HodgsonGlen @confboardofcda      Quebec’s economy through the lens of GDP: Gains outweigh losses (PDF; 4-5/2015) | @DesjardinsGroup      When it comes to the economy, Quebec has earned top bragging rights in Canada (w Videos & Voice; 4/10/2017) | @ealini @globalnews        Lack of transfer plan could doom small Quebec business (3/15/2017) | @business @mtlgazette        A More Equitable Economy Exists Right Next Door – In Quebec, co-ops and non-profit businesses account for 8-10 percent of GDP (3/22/2017) | @JayWalljasper @AlterNet        Montreal flood-zone map for hard-hit Pierrefonds is decades out of date (5/12/2017) | @jbernstien & @robroc @CBC        @TourismQuebec        History of Quebec | ProvinceQuebec     Québec-France Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of professional Qualifications (3/17/2017) | @MRIF_Quebec

2017floodEasternCanada


France Vol.3 (2017 French Presidential Elections)

Here are a part of articles on the 2017 French presidential elections.

Speech by M. Emmanuel Macron, President-elect: “Let’s love France” (w Video; 7/5/2017) | @FranceintheUK

How is the President of the French Republic elected? | @FranceAustralia
France localFrPrEl9

Emmanuel Macron is elected as the next president of France (7/5/2017) | @TheEconomist
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Macron Decisively Defeats Le Pen in French Presidential Race (w Video; 7/5/2017) | ALISSA J. RUBIN @nytimes
How France Voted (5/7/2017) | GREGOR AISCH, MATTHEW BLOCH, K.K. REBECCA LAI & BENOÎT MORENNE @nytimes
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Emmanuel Macron wins presidency as France rejects far-right (w Video; 7/5/2017) | James Masters & Kara Fox @CNN

Macron victory in France sends euro to 6-month high (5/8/2017) | Mark Thompson @CNNMoney

Macron Vows to Heal France’s Divisions After Victory Over Le Pen (8/5/2017) | @HeleneFouquet @JohnFollain @gviscusi @MarkJDeen @business
FiveMaps That Show Why Macron Beat Le Pen (8/5/2017) | @andretartar, @cedricsam & Samuel Dodge @business
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How the Election Split France (4/23/2017) | @nytimes
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RESULTS: Full breakdown of how France voted in the first round (23/4/2017) | @TheLocalFrance
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Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next French President (w PDF; 4/2017) | Thomas GOMART, (ed.) , Marc HECKER, (ed.) , Alain ANTIL, Marie-Claire AOUN, Christophe BERTOSSI, Corentin BRUSTLEIN, Alice EKMAN, Sébastien JEAN, Tatiana KASTOUEVA-JEAN, Barbara KUNZ, Frédéric MONLOUIS-FÉLICITÉ, Laurence NARDON, Françoise NICOLAS, Julien NOCETTI, Céline PAJON, Michel PÉBEREAU, Vivien PERTUSOT, Dorothée SCHMID, John SEAMAN, Hans STARK, Matthieu TARDIS @IFRI_
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All in play as France prepares to tear up political playbook (4/20/2017) | PEPE ESCOBAR @asiatimesonline
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cf.

paperliFrancePresElec


Australia Vol.13 (Victoria)

cf. TOURISM INDUSTRY RESOURCES | @DEDJTR   Financial data sets | @TreasuryVic   The Australian Economy and Financial Markets – Chart Pack (PDF; April 2017) | @RBAInfo

Cf. #AnzacDay   The Anzac Centenary | @Anzac100Vic   Gallipoli Oaks Project | @VicGovtNews   Gallipoli: Six tales of valour and a missing Victoria Cross | @BBC   Gallipoli | @AWMemorial   Gallipoli and the Anzacs

ANZAC Day in New Zealand | @timeanddate   The Gallipoli campaign: Page 1 – Introduction | New Zealand History   Far more NZ troops at Gallipoli than first thought | @radionz

https://twitter.com/RyanKellyMusic/status/856652094144741376


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.5

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs which include free papers, reports, podcasts, video, et al.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.4

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs from late December to mid November 2016 which include free papers, reports, podcasts, video, et al.


UK Vol.81 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.14 – Theresa May calls for a General Election to be held on June 8th)

Here are articles on UK PM May’s seeking a snap general election. Excerpts are on our own.

Tories can win 100-seat majority, analysis from poll of polls suggests (w Videos & Maps; 18/4/2017) | @benrileysmith @Telegraph
… @WhatScotsThink @UniStrathclyde …
… Labour marginal seats in the West Midlands, on the edge of Northern cities and in London suburbs are believed to be the most likely to fall to the Tories. …

We need an election now to deliver Brexit as rebels are trying to subvert will of the people ‘every step of the way’, Theresa May says in exclusive chat with The Sun – The Prime Minister also laid down the gauntlet to her own rebel Tory MPs to sign up to her Brexit plans, or ship out (w Videos; 18/4/2017) | @tnewtondunn @SunPolitics
…there is very clear potential for voting against the legislation to implement the leaving of the EU, and against the final deal – trying to stop us every step of the way.”
She added: “It became clearer that the next stages of the process – the Great Repeal Bill – would become more difficult.
…not waiting for constituency boundary changes to be enacted in October 2018, which would have given the Tories an extra 20 seats. …
The PM also rejected SNP boss Nicola Sturgeon’s claim that an election victory in Scotland for her party would count as a fresh mandate to hold another Scottish independence referendum. …

The key questions posed by Theresa May’s call for a snap election (w Videos;19/4/2017) | @APLhack @SkyNews
Firstly, it is important to remember the Prime Minister has not called an election, but has signalled her intention to hold one.
Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act…
…able to call an election before then if it is backed by two-thirds of MPs or if there is a no confidence vote in the Government. …

PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY’S EARLY ELECTION CALL AND THE FIXED-TERM PARLIAMENTS ACT (18/4/2017) | Petra Schleiter @OxPolBlog
… The Prime Minister is seeking a vote in Parliament tomorrow. …
First, it will lift the threat of possible by-elections that could be triggered by the ongoing police investigation into allegations that the Conservative Party systematically over-spent in the 2015 election and far exceeded legal restrictions on election expenses in more than 10 seats. …
In Northern Ireland, the election compounds the political turmoil, …the subsequent inability of the unionist and nationalist parties to come to a new agreement. …

Good for the Conservatives, bad for the country: Four reasons why a snap election is a bad idea (18/4/2017) | @adefty (@unilincoln) @LSEpoliticsblog
…simply not necessary
…will not alter the reality of the referendum result
…unlikely to change the fundamental divisions across the UK and may accelerate the break-up of the Union
…distraction from the Brexit negotiations

Theresa May seeks House of Commons backing for early general election (w Video; 19/4/2017) | @itvnews
… Overnight Mrs May spoke to US President Donald Trump who “wished the British people the best of luck in their electoral process”, the White House said. …
… @PlymUni’s Professor Colin Rallings (in the video)…

Election 2017: No TV debates this time (18/4/2017) | @GaryGibbonBlog @Channel4News
… Theresa May is not a huge fan of these sorts of encounters and her team think they open up risks that don’t need to be taken. So the 2017 general election will make the 2015 one look like “access all areas” as far as the Tories are concerned. …

Jeremy Corbyn blasts chicken Theresa May for refusing to take part in general election TV debates – Labour’s leader branded the PM’s behaviour “strange” and the Lib Dems said her “attempt to dodge scrutiny shows how she holds the public in contempt” (18/4/2017) | @benglaze & @mikeysmith @MirrorPolitics
… They believed the victory in Cumbria opened the door to a raft of seats the party would never have previously targeted.
Tory high command believes central and western areas of the North are now seen as particularly vulnerable for Labour. …

Theresa May ‘rules out taking part in TV debates’ ahead of snap election (18/4/2017) | SEAN MORRISON @standardnews
… A BBC spokesman said that it was too early to say whether the broadcaster would seek to stage a debate ahead of the election on June 8.

Labour MPs announce they are standing down as Theresa May calls for a snap general election – Tom Blenkinsop says he cannot ‘in good faith’ run for re-election while Jeremy Corbyn is leader while Alan Johnson decides to retire now rather than wait for 2022 (w Video; 18/4/2017) | @cjmortimer @Independent
… Middlesbrough, in North Yorkshire, is considered part of the traditional Labour heartland but voted for Brexit in the referendum last year. …

‘Crush the saboteurs’: British newspapers react to general election – The Daily Mail has an air of menace and the Sun and Telegraph trumpet Tory triumph, while the Times and Guardian see bid for political strength (19/4/2017) | @janemartinson @guardian

General Election: May pledges to ‘strengthen UK’s negotiating hand’ as Brexit talks loom – THERESA May claims a Conservative victory in June’s General Election will give Britain “the best possible negotiating position” as she hopes for national “stability” while negotiating Brexit. (19/4/2017) | WILL KIRBY @Daily_Express
… She said: “If we’re negotiating at a point that is quite close to a general election, I think the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us. …

Pound shoots higher but FTSE 100 dives 2.5%, as Theresa May calls for snap General Election (18/4/2017) | Mark Shapland @DailyMailUK
… Sterling had dropped 0.3 per cent this morning on news of a surprise announcement by the Prime Minister, falling to $1.251, but as she gave her speech it recovered and then shot up to trade higher at $1.276.
In contrast with the pound, the FTSE 100 stock market index, which was already trading down this morning, did not bounce back. At the close it was down 181 points, or 2.5 per cent, at 7,147.5. …

Theresa May calls snap election in bid to strengthen hand in Brexit talks – Sterling climbs on expectation of bigger Tory majority and ‘softer’ EU exit (18/4/2017) | @GeorgeWParker @henrymance @PickardJE @FT
…privately some fear they could be exposed to a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrats, who are promising a second referendum on any final Brexit deal. …


South Carolina Vol.2

cf. Adults in South Carolina – Religious composition of adults in South Carolina | @pewresearch    Breaking the Baha’i code: An in-depth report on South Carolina’s second most common religion (2/12/2016) | @MandyNoell @wmbfnews    The Easter Miracle at Temple Beth El in Camden, South Carolina (7/25/2016) | Bill Fitzpatrick @SavingPlaces         Boeing machinists in South Carolina reject unionization (2/16/2017) | @CBSNews,@AP    Charleston Harbor deepening project to expand industry’s window to world market (1/29/2017) | @David_Wren_ @postandcourier


South Dakota Vol.1

cf. Midwest manufacturers growing, led by South Dakota and Minnesota (4/3/2017) | @cathy_roberts @StarTribune   Applied Engineering Upgrades Yankton, South Dakota, Manufacturing Plant (3/16/2017) | @AreaDevelopment (@SDGOED @yankton_ecodev)


Africa Vol.6 (South Africa)

cf. An economy for the 99% | @Nina_Kirsten @KPMG_SA   UK and South Africa Relations post Brexit (w Video; 3/13/2017) | @MatterConcern (@SABCNewsOnline interview with the outgoing British High Commissioner to South Africa)

SouthAfrica_WorldSolutions


UK Vol.80 (Scotland Vol.20 – Eastern Vol.2)

Edinburgh

Falkirk

Fife (links cannot be found)

cf. UK Vol.17 (Scotland – Clackmannanshire)

US tech firm Xilinx to invest in Edinburgh research base (4/2/2017) | @BBC    Avengers cast and crew assemble in Edinburgh as filming begins on epic Holyrood blockbuster (4/2/2017) | GRAEME DONOHOE @Daily_Record

Falkirk Information | Scottish Accommodation Index

@welcometofife


Canada Vol.31 (Nunavut Vol.1)

Nunavut Entered Confederation: 1999 (April 1) | @LibraryArchives        The Road to Nunavut: A Chronological History

cf.


UK Vol.79 (England Vol.5 – West Midlands Vol.2)

Staffordshire

Warwickshire

West Midlands

cf.


US Policy Changes Vol.64 (Employment/Economy Vol.8 – Middle class, Income, Inequality…)

Here is an article on middle class, income, inequality, et al. Excerpt is on our own.

The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans: Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them. (May 2016) | Neal Gabler @SUNY @TheAtlantic
…“monitor the financial and economic status of American consumers.”…49 percent of part-time workers would prefer to work more hours at their current wage; 29 percent of Americans expect to earn a higher income in the coming year; 43 percent of homeowners who have owned their home for at least a year believe its value has increased. … The Fed asked respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The answer: 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all. …
…“financial impotence,”… “You are more likely to hear from your buddy that he is on Viagra than that he has credit-card problems,” says @DrBradKlontz @CreightonBiz… “Much more likely.” America is a country, as Donald Trump has reminded us, of winners and losers, alphas and weaklings. To struggle financially is a source of shame, a daily humiliation—even a form of social suicide. Silence is the only protection.
…economists… had unemployment statistics and income differentials and data on net worth, but none of these captured what was happening in households trying to make a go of it week to week, paycheck to paycheck, expense to expense. David Johnson @umisr, says, “People studied savings and debt. But this concept that people aren’t making ends meet or the idea that if there was a shock, they wouldn’t have the money to pay, that’s definitely a new area of research”—one that’s taken off since the Great Recession. …economists have long theorized that people smooth their consumption over their lifetime, offsetting bad years with good ones—borrowing in the bad, saving in the good. But recent research indicates that when people get some money — a bonus, a tax refund, a small inheritance — they are, in fact, more likely to spend it than to save it. … So if you really want to know why there is such deep economic discontent in America today, even when many indicators say the country is heading in the right direction, ask a member of that 47 percent.
…financial fragility, financial insecurity, financial distress… …the evidence strongly indicates that either a sizable minority or a slim majority of Americans are on thin ice financially. … A 2014 @Bankrate survey… only 38 percent of Americans would cover a $1,000 emergency-room visit or $500 car repair with money they’d saved. Two reports @pewtrusts… that 55 percent of households didn’t have enough liquid savings to replace a month’s worth of lost income, and that of the 56 percent of people who said they’d worried about their finances in the previous year, 71 percent were concerned about having enough money to cover everyday expenses. …@A_Lusardi @GWtweets, Peter Tufano @OxfordSBS, and Daniel Schneider @UCBerkeley asked individuals whether they could “come up with” $2,000 within 30 days for an unanticipated expense. …slightly more than one-quarter could not, and another 19 percent could do so only if they pawned possessions or took out payday loans. The conclusion: Nearly half of American adults are “financially fragile” and “living very close to the financial edge.” Yet another analysis…Jacob Hacker @Yale measured the number of households that had lost a quarter or more of their “available income” in a given year—income minus medical expenses and interest on debt—and found that in each year from 2001 to 2012, at least one in five had suffered such a loss and couldn’t compensate by digging into savings.
…Edward Wolff @NYUCAS…: There isn’t much net worth to draw on. Median net worth has declined steeply in the past generation—down 85.3 percent from 1983 to 2013 for the bottom income quintile, down 63.5 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and down 25.8 percent for the third, or middle, quintile. …@RussellSageFdn, the inflation-adjusted net worth of the typical household, one at the median point of wealth distribution, was $87,992 in 2003. By 2013, it had declined to $54,500, a 38 percent drop. And…the decline for the lower quintiles began long before the recession—as early as the mid-1980s…
…in 2013, prime-working-age families in the bottom two income quintiles had no net worth at all and thus nothing to spend. A family in the middle quintile, with an average income of roughly $50,000, could continue its spending for … six days. Even in the second-highest quintile, a family could maintain its normal consumption for only 5.3 months. Granted, those numbers do not include home equity. …“it’s much harder now to get a second mortgage or a home-equity loan or to refinance.” So remove that home equity, which in any case plummeted during the Great Recession…
…nearly one-quarter of households making $100,000 to $150,000 a year claim not to be able to raise $2,000 in a month. … According to an analysis of Federal Reserve and TransUnion data by the personal-finance site ValuePenguin, credit-card debt stood at about $5,700 per household in 2015. … About 38 percent of households carried some debt, according to the analysis, and among those, the average was more than $15,000. …
… William R. Emmons, an assistant vice president and economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, traces the surge to a 1978 Supreme Court decision, Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis v. First of Omaha Service Corp. The Court ruled that state usury laws, which put limits on credit-card interest, did not apply to nationally chartered banks doing business in those states. That effectively let big national banks issue credit cards everywhere at whatever interest rates they wanted to charge, and it gave the banks a huge incentive to target vulnerable consumers just the way, Emmons believes, vulnerable homeowners were targeted by subprime-mortgage lenders years later. …
… As Bruce McClary, the vice president of communications for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, says, “During the initial phase of the Great Recession, there was a spike in credit use because people were using credit in place of emergency savings. … The personal savings rate peaked at 13.3 percent in 1971 before falling to 2.6 percent in 2005. As of last year, the figure stood at 5.1 percent, and according to McClary, nearly 30 percent of American adults don’t save any of their income for retirement. …
… Annamaria Lusardi and her colleagues found that, in general, the more sophisticated a country’s credit and financial markets, the worse the problem of financial insecurity for its citizens. …as the financial world has grown more complex, our knowledge of finances has not kept pace. …65 percent of Americans ages 25 to 65 were financial illiterates.
… Though household incomes rose dramatically from 1967 to 2014 for the top quintile, and more dramatically still for the top 5 percent, incomes in the bottom three quintiles rose much more gradually: only 23.2 percent for the middle quintile, 13.1 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and 17.8 percent for the bottom quintile. … The peak years for income in the bottom three quintiles were 1999 and 2000; incomes have declined overall since then—down 6.9 percent for the middle quintile, 10.8 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and 17.1 percent for the lowest quintile. …
In a 2010 report titled “Middle Class in America,” the U.S. Commerce Department defined that class less by its position on the economic scale than by its aspirations: homeownership, a car for each adult, health security, a college education for each child, retirement security, and a family vacation each year. … A 2014 analysis by USA Today concluded that the American dream, defined by factors that generally corresponded to the Commerce Department’s middle-class benchmarks, would require an income of just more than $130,000 a year for an average family of four. Median family income in 2014 was roughly half that.
… In a survey of American finances published last year by Pew, 60 percent of respondents said they had suffered some sort of “economic shock” in the past 12 months—a drop in income, a hospital visit, the loss of a spouse, a major repair. More than half struggled to make ends meet after their most expensive economic emergency. Even 34 percent of the respondents who made more than $100,000 a year said they felt strain as a result of an economic shock. …
… The American Psychological Association… The 2014 survey—in which 54 percent of Americans said they had just enough or not enough money each month to meet their expenses—found money to be the country’s No. 1 stressor. Seventy-two percent of adults reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time, and nearly a quarter rated their stress “extreme.” … Thirty-two percent of the survey respondents said they couldn’t afford to live a healthy lifestyle, and 21 percent said they were so financially strapped that they had forgone a doctor’s visit, or considered doing so…
… “Financial insecurity is associated with depression, anxiety, and a loss of personal control that leads to marital difficulties,” says Brad Klontz, the financial psychologist. …
… A 2014 New York Times poll found that only 64 percent of Americans said they believed in the American dream—the lowest figure in nearly two decades. … As the Harvard economist Benjamin M. Friedman wrote in his 2005 book, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, “Merely being rich is no bar to a society’s retreat into rigidity and intolerance once enough of its citizens lose the sense that they are getting ahead.”
… In a 2014 Pew survey revealing that 55 percent of Americans spend as much as they make each month, or more, nearly the exact same percentage say they have favorable financial circumstances, which may just mean some of them are too frightened to admit they don’t. …
…A pre-recession survey by the Consumer Federation of America and the Financial Planning Association found that 21 percent of Americans felt the “most practical” way for them to get several hundred thousand dollars was to win the lottery…


Ireland Vol.23 (Munster Vol.1 – Clare, Limerick)

#StPatricksDay #HappyStPatricksDay #HappyStPatricksDay2017 #SPD2017 #HappyStPattysDay #Paddysday #Guinness

Ireland Munster

Clare

Limerick


Maine Vol.5

Today in History – March 15 : The Pine Tree State | @librarycongress    THIS DAY IN HISTORY : 1820 – Maine enters the Union | @HISTORY


Arkansas Vol.1