Glasgow hit hard by benefit cuts

By Lesley Roy, News Reporter

GLASGOW’S economy will be the worst affected in Scotland by the recent raft of welfare reforms, according to a recent report.

It’s expected that the Scottish economy as a whole will lose almost £1.6bn a year with austerity measures will hit the poorest in society the hardest, and those on incapacity benefit suffering the biggest financial losses.

According to the report from Sheffield Hallam University, the cuts equate on average to around £480 a year for every adult of working age, with that increasing to £650 in the Glasgow area.

Glasgow people protesting against the bedroom tax - one of the many welfare reforms set to affect hundreds of Glaswegians

Glasgow people protesting against the bedroom tax – one of the many welfare reforms set to affect hundreds of Glaswegians

The prosperity gap is expected to widen further as a consequence, with towns in Scotland and Northern England expected to be hit five times harder than the Tory heartlands in the Southern counties.

However the government insists these cuts are necessary in order to make the welfare reform bill sustainable and reduce the country’s deficit.

The report stated: “The financial losses arising from the reforms will hit the most deprived parts of Scotland hardest.

“Glasgow in particular, but also a number of other older industrial areas, will feel the impact most.

“The loss of benefit income, which is often large, will have knock-on consequences for local spending and thus for local employment, which will in turn add a further twist to the downward spiral.”

Although the cuts and review of incapacity benefit are meant to help people back in to work, some charities think the government is targeting those most in need.

Richard Hamer, director of external affairs at Capability Scotland said: “These worrying projections, from the respected Sheffield Hallam researchers, reinforce what many disabled people and disability organisations have been fearing.

“The UK Government’s welfare reform programme is not about stemming an increase in benefit recipients as they say.

“Instead, this programme is about cutting ruthlessly the benefits that many disabled people rely on to attend work, gain an education or to simply to live. It really is about hitting the easiest target hardest, and that is simply unacceptable from any modern government.”

Glasgow City Council is expecting to bear the brunt of the controversial decisions made at Westminster and thinks people from all backgrounds across the city will be affected in some way.

Councillor Matt Kerr, the council’s Executive Member for Social Care, said: “When you look at all of changes together, it is clear that welfare reform will have devastating and far reaching consequences for Glasgow.

“The most vulnerable will undoubtedly feel the brunt of the changes to the welfare system, but school children, working families, pensioners and local businesses will all suffer as well.

“The council will also be caught in the upheaval and we fully anticipate that we will face far greater demand on our support services despite having fewer funds to help us bridge the gaps that appear.

“Rent arrears with registered social landlords are also predicted to become a big issue and could have huge knock-on effects as housing associations struggle to fund their building and refurbishment programmes.”

He added:” It is hard to think of a corner of Glasgow that will escape the impact of the changes to the welfare system.

“Our own analysis of these reforms had already shown that the effects will be felt far beyond those who receive benefits directly and this latest report emphatically reinforces that conclusion.”

 

 

 

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Organ donations reach record high in Scotland

ORGAN: Donations at all-time high

ORGAN: Donations at all-time high

by Lesley Roy, News Reporter

Organ transplants are at an all-time high in Scotland, and the government have hailed the record as a “landmark achievement”.

NHS figures showed said 356 transplants were conducted in Scottish hospitals in 2012, both from living and dead donors.

The statistics also showed the number of donations from people who died rose to 94 last year, a 74% increase from 54 donations five years ago.

Donor register numbers have also increased with two million Scots now signed up. This is 41.1% of the total population, the highest level anywhere in the UK.

Campaigns such as ‘Respect My Dying Wish’ encourage Scots to talk to their loved ones about organ donation and make their last wishes known.

Professor Kevin Rooney, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, is one of the clinicians leading the campaign.

He said: “We set out to encourage Scots – in particular young Scots – to talk about the taboo subject of death and organ donation and ultimately the gift of life.

He wants families to address the subject directly, to help save the lives of those Scots who unfortunately die waiting for an organ.

He added: “While there has been a successful national focus on driving up the numbers of people who carry a donor card, in recent months we have become aware that one of the biggest obstacles to successful transplants is actually due to relatives refusing to allow organs or tissue to be taken for transplant.

“All too often, families are so distraught that they will not give permission even though the deceased had agreed to be a donor.

“Just one of those willing donors who had their wish overruled could have given us the opportunity to help up to nine of the hundreds of people currently on Scotland’s transplant list.”

Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson said: “I am very aware that organ donation can only occur as a result of tragic circumstances, but I also know that many donor families gain comfort from the fact that their loved one went on to save several lives.

“Reaching this increase is a landmark achievement; however we must not forget the fact that around 600 Scots are still waiting for a transplant and we can and must do more to help them.

“We will continue to work with NHS Blood and Transplant and the other UK countries to build on our achievements and the excellent progress which has been made to date”.

Horse Painkiller in Asda Corned Beef

Asda

Asda in hot water after horse painkillers find in corned beef.
photo taken from http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk
photo by Tony Mould

Asda is recalling all corned beef from its Smart Price Range after it was discovered to contain traces of a drug used to treat horses.

The Food Standards Agency found “very low levels” of the pain killer phenylbutazone within the store’s budget range of canned meat.

It’s the first time since the horsemeat scandal that the drug, commonly known as ‘bute’ has been found in a meat product in the UK.

Animals treated with the painkiller are not allowed to enter the food chain as the drug can pose a risk to human health but experts say that the risk to humans who have eaten this particular product is low.

Professor of pharmacology at Galsgow Caledonian University Dr Jane Nally said we don’t need to worry about a health scare: “The amount that’s turning up in these corned beef tins is probably not sufficient to produce and damage in humans, so there’s probably really no health scare to be concerned about.”

Asda tested their merchandise as part of an industry-wide initiative when it was found to contain positive traces over 1% of horse DNA with further tests showing it contained four parts per billion of bute.

The supermarket had already withdrawn the product from its shelves on March 8 but is not recalling any of the 340g tins that customers still have, urging them not to eat it.

When asked about the possible affects the drug might have on humans chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “In patients who have been taking phenylbutazone as a medicine there can be serious side effects, but these are rare. It is extremely unlikely that anyone who has eaten horse meat containing bute will experience one of these side effects.”

SmartPrice_Logo

Along with recalling the Smart Price range Asda have also taken precautionary measures in recalling 340 g tins of their Chosen By You Corned Beef.

In a statement on their website the store said: “We have taken an extremely cautious approach since the very beginning and have carried out more than 700 tests, moving swiftly to remove any products from our shelves whenever we’ve had the smallest concerns.

“Our commitment to you is to continue to test our products regularly and update you with the very latest news as soon as we can.”

 

We spoke to people on the streets of Glasgow this morning to hear what they had to say about this revelation – listen here to find out what they had to say.

Ryan Mania welcomed home.

800px-2011_Grand_National

With the Scottish Grand national just round the corner hopes are high that Scotland’s top jockey Ryan Mania can recover in time to take part.

The Grand National winner was released from hospital yesterday after injuring his back and neck in a fall at Hexham at the weekend, just 24 hours after 66/1 Auroras Encore sealed horse racing’s most illustrious prize.

Mania attended a homecoming parade in his home town of Galashiels last night where hundreds of people came out to catch of glimpse of the local hero.

Deputy news editor for the Racing Post, Mark Story, says the unlikely success of the young jockey is an exciting story:

The Caledonian Chronicle has learned Mania will need to be cleared to ride by the BHA’s Chief Medical Adviser, Dr. Michael Turner.

It could be that Ryan will require further scans before he can be cleared to ride in Scotland biggest racing race coming up next weekend.

Bookmakers Paddy Power have priced Auroras Encore at 12/1 to win the Scottish Grand National, slashing prices following the weekend’s shock result.

Scotland’s Housing ‘Broadly stable’

Signs that Scotland’s housing sector is “broadly stable” is the early signs of recovery according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Ten per cent of the surveyors questioned said they expected house prices to rise rather than fall over the next few months.

Mark Hordern, GSPC Chief Executive said: “There are now signs of more activity in the market. More properties are selling now than at the same time last time.

“That’s pretty good, one of the reasons for that is that it seems to us buyers have become more committed , but the other half of that equation is that sellers have also had to reduce their prices so although sales have gone up, that’s partly been at the expense of selling prices and actually selling prices have gone down by about five percent over the last year.”

Body found at ERI could have lay there for two days

By Sean Lafferty

It is believed the body of a man found in bushes at Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary on Sunday lay there for two days.

CCTV footage shows the man alighting from a Lothian’s Bus on Friday evening and police are treating the death as suspicious.

eri

A member of staff found the body off Old Dalkeith Road and officers are trying to trace the man’s family.

Detective Chief Inspector David McLaren said: “Our investigations are continuing to focus on how the man sustained these injuries, and we are working to establish what happened after the group of men got off the bus.

“We know there were a number of people coming and going around the area of the hospital on Friday night, so we are appealing for anyone who might have been heading to or from work at the ERI about 10pm on Friday night to get in touch with us if they happen to remember seeing this group of men.”