Firms must be forced to raise low pay, says key ally of David Cameron - Sat, 04 Jul 2015
Ex-Downing Street aide Rohan Silva puts forward radical plan to make the living wage a requirement
George Osborne will come under new pressure to tackle the scourge of low pay, as a former senior adviser to David Cameron calls for all employers to be forced to pay the living wage as a way to combat poverty and boost the economy.
Before his first all-Tory budget on Wednesday, in which he will spell out how to cut Ł12bn from the social security bill, the chancellor is expected to sweeten the pill by offering help to low earners through the tax system, and by pressuring or incentivising employers to pay higher wages. But writing in the Observer, Rohan Silva, who worked with Cameron at No 10 from 2010-13, says the time has come to tell all employers to pay the living wage â an hourly rate well above the minimum wage. Continue reading...
How charisma of Kids Company leader failed to stop rows and funding standoffs - Sat, 04 Jul 2015
Forced exit of Camila Batmanghelidjh ends an era when charity enjoyed fame but courted controversy
For the childrenâs charities waiting for their government funding allocations, the news came as a bolt from the blue: their grants were going to be delayed.
They had filed their applications in October 2013, expecting to learn what they would receive from the Department for Education by the end of December. Instead it was not until March 2014 that they discovered the size of their grants. Continue reading...
Transgender victims have few places to turn as LGBT domestic violence climbs - Sat, 04 Jul 2015
With surveys pointing to a growing problem, transgender and other LGBT Americans struggle to find understanding through traditional support services
As a transgender man, Allan says he had nowhere to go when his relationship became violent and a partner would beat him up and force him to have sex with men for money.
âThere were times when the violence got too much for me and I thought I was living in a bad dream. I lost my job, car, home and had no money,â said 49-year-old Allan. Continue reading...
Camila Batmanghelidjh: government trying to discredit me - Fri, 03 Jul 2015
Departing Kids Company boss complains that Whitehall sources are talking down charity at a time when its funding situation has not been resolved
The childrenâs charity boss Camila Batmanghelidjh has accused the government of briefing against her Kids Company after it emerged that she had been asked to step down in order to secure Ł3m in funding for the high-profile organisation.
The charity said Batmanghelidjh was prepared to step down to take on a new âadvocacy, fundraising and clinical roleâ in order to secure the funding from the Cabinet Office that is necessary to keep it afloat. Continue reading...
The Kids Company story shows why a charity shouldnât be about one person - Fri, 03 Jul 2015
Reports surrounding chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh show the problems charities can have when founders are at the helm
Related: Camila Batmanghelidjh to leave Kids Company, citing politicians 'ugly games'
Charity founders can be charismatic and pioneering leaders. They are passionate about the cause, committed to the organisation and often motivated by a particular life experience that gives them an acute awareness of the needs the charity is set up to meet. Founders can also bring bags of personality to an organisation and can be a great asset â infectious to others and attractive to funders. Continue reading...
Kids Company row highlights dilemma of charities at the sharp end of austerity - Fri, 03 Jul 2015
The likes of Camila Batmanghelidjhâs organisation are in a bind: dependent on government funding but determined to speak out about effect of cuts
For years, Kids Company has scooped up and looked after thousands of vulnerable children who have been failed by the state. With heavy cuts to local authority budgets, and increased pressure on childrenâs mental health services, more and more children have been turning to Camila Batmanghelidjhâs organisation for help.
Whatever the cause of the row between the government and the former figurehead of the Conservativesâ now-buried âbig societyâ initiative, the result will probably be reduced funding for Kids Company and less help available to children who need it. The development comes at the end of a particularly bleak week for people working with disadvantaged and low-income families. Continue reading...
No charges for missed GP appointments, says Cameron - Fri, 03 Jul 2015
Prime minister dismisses Jeremy Hunt suggestion that patients may face charges to encourage greater responsibility for use of NHS resources
Downing Street has dismissed a suggestion by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, that patients who miss NHS appointments could be charged to ensure they take greater responsibility for the use of limited resources.
A spokeswoman for David Cameron said there was âno intentionâ to charge people if they missed appointments, after Hunt said he was interested in the idea in principle even though it could be difficult to enforce. Continue reading...
'I welcomed Cameron into my home, but his talk on British Muslims saddens me' - Fri, 03 Jul 2015
Abdullah Rehman says prime ministerâs change of tone towards Muslim communities risks making people feel alienated and stigmatised
When Amina, 16, tells her friends that the prime minister once spent the night in her parentâs spare room, they donât believe her. Few people will remember that David Cameron stayed in the sparsely furnished, modest room in Birmingham from which Aminaâs brother Fehzan, 18, has just stumbled out half-asleep.
Back in 2007, when Cameron was 16 months into his role as the Conservative leader and intent on detoxifying his partyâs brand, he was the unlikely house guest of Abdullah and Shahida Rehman, a neighbourhood warden and dinner lady. The politician had been keen to see how community action had transformed a former red light district into a now thriving neighbourhood, and was said to be so impressed that Balsall Heath was called the inspiration for the âbig societyâ. Continue reading...