Jeremy Corbyn’s call to scrap tuition fees and to introduce maintenance allowances is a welcome development in the fight for free education. Although there is a way to go before these reforms are won, the Labour Party’s proposal to invest an extra £25 billion into education in England offered a clear alternative to the long-term programme of cuts and corporatisation.
Fresh health cuts totalling £70 million across Northern Ireland have been announced. This is the result of years when the Executive failed to ensure healthcare funding met increased demand, an estimated six percent annual reduction in budgets.
Royal Mail was privatised in 2013. The initial public offering went for a paltry £1.98 billion for the country’s postal services. This was a bung to the financial speculators by Vince Cable, the then Business Secretary in the Tory-Lib Dem government. On the first day of trading, share prices jumped 38%, making a tidy sum for the financial speculators.
On Wednesday 23rd August, for the first time since it was established in 2005, the Regulations and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) intervened to close a privately-owned and managed nursing home, the Ashbrooke Nursing Home, operating on the edge of Enniskillen.
Unfortunately, the Labour Party in Northern Ireland hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in early August, with six members of its Executive Committee suddenly resigning their positions, allegedly because of other left groups – People Before Profit (PBP) and the Socialist Party – organising within the party.