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Issue:- 24June 2010


FOUR men where arrested on suspicion of stealing from cars after a police patrol stopped a taxi in Formby Village, in the early hours of Thursday, 17 June 2010. Officers from the Force's Roads Policing Unit stopped the private hire cab on the Formby by-pass shortly after 4am. Inside were four men who were in possession of a variety of items, including a guitar, two Sat Nav systems and a disabled parking permit. The men, who were all passengers in the taxi and were aged 15, 16, 17 and 21 could not explain why they had the property and were arrested on suspicion of theft from a motor vehicle. They were taken to Southport police station where they are currently in custody awaiting interview by detectives. Enquiries are on-going to trace the owners of the suspected stolen property. Neighbourhood inspector, Jim Atherton said:- "This was excellent police work by the traffic officers patrolling in Formby in the early hours. They carried out a routine stop check on the taxi and when the passengers inside could not explain why they had this unusual collection of goods on them, they were arrested and are now in police custody. The arrests show that police are on patrol in this area and will stop and search anyone or any vehicle that arouses their suspicion, and take strong action if they believe a crime has been committed. We are now doing what we can to reunite these goods with their rightful owners, who I'm sure will be anxious to have them back." Anyone with information about this incident can call Sefton police on:- 0151 709 6010 or Crimestoppers anonymously on:- 0800 555 111.

Usdaw says Budget fails fairness test

RESPONDING to the Chancellor's Budget Statement, John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary said:- "While we need to study the small print of the budget in further detail, this looks like a budget that has failed the fairness test and is going to hit our members and their families hard. Despite attempts to dress the budget in progressive clothes, the increase in VAT, the freezing of child benefit and the abolition and restrictions being applied to a range of other benefits will far outweigh any gains low paid workers might make from the increase in personal tax allowance. The Coalition Government said all sections of society would share some of the pain but there was little mention of pain for the very rich other than adjustments to the rate of capital gains tax. The increase in VAT is not just a huge tax hike for low paid workers but a tax hike that everyone, pensioners, the unemployed and even children will pay. Usdaw also remains seriously concerned that the depth and speed of the cuts, coupled with the rise in VAT could be a double whammy for the high street, reducing consumer confidence and spending. Increasing unemployment and shrinking incomes does not strike Usdaw as a progressive way to tackle the deficit or to maintain the UK's fragile economic recovery."


UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, has accused the Government of declaring war on public services and public service workers with the most draconian budget in decades. He said:- “This budget signals that the battle for Britain’s public services has begun with the Government declaring war. Public sector workers will be shocked and angry that they are the innocent victims of job cuts and pay freezes. Freezing public sector pay when inflation is running at 5.1% and VAT is going up, will mean a real cut in living standards for millions of ordinary workers and their families - already struggling to pay rising bills. Nurses, social workers, midwives, paramedics, police community support officers, housing and environmental officers who provide vital public services, are amongst those who will be hit hardest by the two year pay freeze. And for local government workers this comes on top of this year’s freeze. A 25% cut in departmental public spending will decimate our public services. The budget will do nothing to restore confidence or kick-start the recovery, but will push local economies into the ground, raising the spectre of breadline Britain. They haven’t even bothered to consider any other option but slash and burn. What of the bankers who caused the recession and the super-rich who evade tax? They must be breathing a sigh of relief that they got away so lightly. The bank tax levy is a poor substitute for a serious ‘Robin Hood” tax on financial transactions. It is a missed opportunity to raise £30bn which would have made a significant dent in the country’s deficit. Throwing tens of thousands of public sector workers on the dole will cost the country billions in lost tax revenue as well as piling billions onto the benefits bill. The Chancellor dreams of a private sector recovery but how can that be on the back of brutal cuts to public services workers. Local businesses, shops, hairdressers, restaurants will go to the wall as spending dries up. No amount of fiscal stimulus will do any good if they have no customers. Vital services that the poor, the sick and the vulnerable rely on, are in the firing line. There is no compassion in this coalition. Freezing council tax is a useless gesture saving people pennies but cutting tens of millions from council budgets, threatening jobs, losing services and undermining the local economy. Raising VAT affects the poor the most as they spend a higher proportion of their meagre incomes on goods and services. Meanwhile major utility companies spend money sponsoring sporting events whilst attacking pay and conditions – that cannot be fair.”

Adding 500,000 public service workers to the dole between now and 2015 – which the CIPD says would be the likely effect of Osborne’s spending plans – will cost around £10 billion in lost tax and increased benefit payments. This would almost entirely cancel out the reduction in the pay bill, as well as dealing a massive blow to local economies and communities.

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