Welfare State

OECD finds UK pensions amongst lowest in world

British state pensions are among the lowest in the world, paying out a mere 38 percent of what the recipient earned when working, according to the Organisation for Development and Cooperation (OECD).

The OECD report, Pensions at a Glance, makes a comparative study of pensions in 34 countries. Only in Chile and Mexico was the replacement income as a proportion of average earnings lower than in the UK. The figure of 38 percent compares with 90 percent in the Netherlands and 80 percent in Spain and Italy.

Junior doctors vote to strike

Some 98 percent of junior doctors voted in favour of a strike and 99 percent in favour of action just short of a full strike. Over two-thirds of the workforce (37,700 junior doctors) were balloted and 76 percent of these participated in the ballot.

590 Suicides Linked To Fit-For-Work Tests

Hundreds of suicides and thousands of prescriptions for anti-depressants are directly linked to the government’s “fit -for-work” assessments, a study by Oxford and Liverpool universities showed yesterday.

In total, it showed that the Tories’ work capability assessment policy could be associated with 590 suicides, 279,000 mental ill-health cases and 725,000 prescriptions for anti-depressants across England between 2010 and 2013.

Beyond Dystopian Visions in the Age of Neoliberal Authoritarianism

George Orwell’s nightmarish vision of a totalitarian society casts a dark shadow over the United States. As American society has moved from a welfare to a warfare state, the institutions that were once meant to further justice and limit human suffering and misfortune and protect the public from the excesses of the market have been either weakened or abolished.

100,000 British children will be homeless this Christmas

The report by homelessness charity Shelter found the number of children who will be homeless on Christmas morning has risen by more than 15,000 on last year. This is equivalent to four youngsters in every UK school.

It also found the number of children living in temporary accommodation is at the highest level since 2008, and is predicted to hit 105,251 by the end of 2015.

University Fees In Britain Doubles Prostitution

In one part of the study the owner of a massage parlour in Leeds who admitted employing large numbers of students, remarked, that in her day, people went to University in order to avoid this kind of life – whereas now they lead this kind of life in order to go to University.

Irony indeed. And one the government, the universities and banks should be utterly ashamed of.

Offshoring the Economy: Why the US is on the Road to the Third World

The scarcity of jobs and the low pay are direct consequences of jobs offshoring. Under pressure from “shareholder advocates” (Wall Street) and large retailers, US manufacturing companies moved their manufacturing abroad to countries where the rock bottom price of labor results in a rise in corporate profits, executive “performance bonuses,” and stock prices.

I’m sorry, I can’t face being a doctor any more

The junior doctor contract is supposed to be “cost neutral” but for someone who works part time, it means I will likely never see my salary improve. It means I could not have afforded to have either of my children. It means the female doctors who look up to me so much, will have to choose children or their careers.