The title of what Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday, ‘Job Support Scheme’, flatters to deceive. The key thing to be aware of is that employers are being asked to pay one-third of the topping up of a worker’s wage who has been moved from full-time to part-time hours, which many of them are not going […]

Sunak’s ‘Job Support Scheme’ is a deception



Are you a ‘Kurzarbeit’ or a ‘chômage partiel’ person? UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak will make an important statement to the House of Commons this afternoon about what will replace the furlough scheme at the end of October, with debate rife about whether German or French models will be preferred, or something completely different altogether.  The Kurzarbeit […]

Beyond furlough


social housing

Shelter Scotland have released a report calling for an increase in the amount of social housing promised by the Scottish Government – to the equivalent of an additional house built every day for the next five years.

Scotland Needs 37,100 Social Homes to Meet Demand


Exactly six months today since full lockdown, Scotland is back in a mini-lockdown again. This time, only other people’s homes are off-limits. As in England, pubs will shut at 10pm. There are good reasons to be sceptical that these measures will be sufficient to contain the spread of covid-19. They appear suspiciously like applying maximum […]

Six months since lockdown, is ‘Test and Protect’ ready?



“We’re taking one step forward, five steps back,” Devi Sridhar, professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh and on the Scottish Government’s covid-19 advisory group, wrote yesterday, in summing up her exasperation about the covid-19 situation in the UK. She’s not wrong.  Lockdown was a big social sacrifice, one where the vulnerable suffered […]

‘One step forward, five steps back’


“Remember that the stock market value of oil and gas firms is based on their oil and gas reserves. They are worth what the stock market thinks these can be sold for. So for them, these reserves must be part of the solution to climate change; this is why they place dirty, fossil fuel-based hydrogen at the heart of their plan.”

Iain Black: Beware green Trojan horses




Another year, another banking scandal. They’re like clock-work these days. This time, it’s the FinCEN files: a leak of 2,657 documents from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury that deals with money laundering. The files total $2 trillion worth of transactions, and contain 2,121 ‘SARs’, Suspicious Activity Reports which […]

The FinCEN files: What you need to know