Pressure is mounting on the government to ‘do the right thing’ and keep the Universal Credit uplift

Calls have increased to keep the uplift in Universal Credit, amid predictions of a downturn in living standards during 2021. According to new research by the Resolution Foundation, removing the uplift could push thousands of households into poverty as the UK continues to deal with the economic effects of coronavirus (Covid-19). Karl Handscomb, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: The living standards outlook for 2021 looks bleak at present – but the Government can directly improve it. Deciding if the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit should be extended will determine whether millions of households are able to enjoy any sort of living standards recovery next…

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Michael Gove holds talks as pressure grows to scrap easing of coronavirus rules at Christmas

Urgent talks are taking place between the leaders of the devolved administrations and Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove as calls mount to scrap plans for an easing of coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions over Christmas.However, Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford described the four nations approach to the festive period as a “hard-won agreement” and said he will “not lightly put it aside”.OppositionThe move comes as Labour leader Keir Starmer demanded an urgent review into the easing of rules after leading medical journals warned that a lessening of restrictions would “cost many lives”.The planned five-day “Christmas window” would allow three households to mingle between December 23-27. Drakeford told the Welsh Parliament:…

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Pressure mounts on government to sack NHS Test and Trace chief

The government is resisting pressure to sack the head of NHS Test and Trace. It comes amid deepening concern from ministers and MPs that the system is failing to stem the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). “Untenable” Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis insisted that baroness Dido Harding was doing “a very good job”. This is after one Conservative MP called for her to be replaced by a senior military commander. However, Labour warned that Harding’s position was “untenable”, after it emerged that ministers were considering cutting the time people have to self-isolate if they’ve been in contact with someone who has the disease. They were considering the change because…

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Pressure is building on hospitals as coronavirus cases soar

Pressure is building on NHS hospitals, with a steep rise in the number of people needing urgent treatment for coronavirus (Covid 19), senior government advisers have said.England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said that while cases are rising fastest in the North of England, it is of “concern” that they are “heating up” in more parts of the country compared with a week ago.(PA Graphics) Speaking at a press briefing ahead of an announcement on further restrictions from prime minister Boris Johnson, Van-Tam said other regions are now following the North West of England pattern where the virus moved through the age bands, having started spiking…

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