All The Bad News That Has Been Buried By Brexit

Here’s all the news you’ve missed because the Government are so busy banging on about Brexit

All The Bad News That Has Been Buried By Brexit

by Vicky Spratt |
Published on

Can there ever be such a thing as too much news? Recent weeks have certainly put this to the test. We live in a time where we have access to more information than ever and yet, in the aftermath of Brexit the news we’re reading or watching on TV is actually pretty limited. Certain topics trend, others sink in a digital quagmire of content…lost forever.

While everyone’s been banging on about Brexit rather a lot of other important stuff has gone down. We bring you our top five bad news stories which have all but evaporated into the ether while the Labour party was turning in on itself and the Tories got busy sacking pretty much all of their ministers.

There’s no doubt that as months, make that years, of Brexit negotiations unfold we’ll be doing this a hell of a lot more.

1. Student Loans WTF

Student-Loan

This afternoon the retrospective rise in the cost of student loans will be debated in parliament. This follows a petition which opposed the changes got 130,000 signatures.

In 2010, when fees were raised to a maximum of £9,000 a year, the government said thatfrom April 2017 the repayment threshold of £21,000 would go up every year in line with rises in average graduate earnings.

However, last October George Osborne reneged on this and said that the threshold would be frozen at £21,000 until 2021 at the earliest.

Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert and former head of an independent taskforce looking into student finance, criticised this move as unjust. He says that no other loan provider would be able to change their terms like this.

The retrospective changes mean that graduates earning over £21,000 could end up paying more back, relatively, over the term of their loan.

2. The Millennial Pay Gap FFS

It’s official: millennials may be the first generation ever to earn less than their parents. A study, released today, has found that there is a growing ‘intergenerational divide’. However, this is hardly news.

As politicians continue to concern themselves with infighting and withdrawing our country from Europe this growing gap between young and old has been widening in terms of earnings and housing: the sort of stability that other generations took for granted.

The Resolution Foundation’s report has found that millennials (those of us aged between 18 and 35) have had it harder than our Generation X parents.

Just last week our new Prime Minister spoke of a growing gulf between the ‘more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation’. Whether she does anything about it remains to be seen…

3. Bad News For Climate Change?

Shortly after becoming Prime Minister Theresa May got rid of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The issues it once covered will now fall under the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Green Party have said that this is a ‘worrying’ move, while others say it ‘makes sense’ to include the issue of climate change within another department.

As with everything right now, nobody really seems to be sure what it means.

4. Uncertainty For The NHS

Politicians never ever want to touch the NHS. Those who do are often reviled, they become scape goats for everything that’s wrong with…well…everything. See Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

So, if you were ever going to announce an inquiry into changing the way that the NHS functions then what would be a better time than right now? Everybody’s distracted with Brexit so you can fly under the radar.

Open Democracy reports that the government have proposed to launch an inquiry which will look into ‘whether the NHS should be paid for in the future through user charges and insurance, not through tax.’

One of the founding principles of our National Health Service is that it is free at the point of use, so such a change could be considered to go against everything our welfare state stands for.

The minister behind this is the new Under Secretary of State for NHS Productivity, Lord David Prior who chaired a House of Lords debate on the ‘sustainability’ of the NHS off the back of which the inquiry was launched.

This isn’t the first time that the subject has been raised, however. Last year Jeremy Hunt raised his doubts about whether the NHS could realistically remain an entirely taxpayer-funded service in the long term.

5. UK Austerity Policies Were Actually A Breach Of Human Rights

David Cameron and George Osborne exited government last week saying that they were proud of their record on the economy. However, just a week before a report, published by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights confirmed that the austerity measures they had presided over were a ‘breach’ of their obligations to human rights.

The report’s committee said they were ‘seriously concerned’ about the impact that austerity had had on already disadvantaged or marginalised groups in society. The found that changes and cuts to benefits had disproportionately affected ‘women, children, persons with disabilities, low-income families….’

Like this? You might also be interested in:

How The Housing Bill Left Young People Behind

We're Living In A New Class System And It's Depressing As Hell

Young People Are More Worried About Growing Up Than Ever

Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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