Every politician, well, almost, would like to provide lots of support services. Very, very few would deny you an extended course of psychotherapy to really get to the route of your depression. Almost nobody would suggest that we should give armed forces substandard equipment. But. It all costs money and that's where arguments arise. If we want to do something new, we need to pay for it somehow. That can be cuts, or tax rises or something else. The Conservative government are really keen on the new National Citizen Service. They've pledged £1.2 billion for it. An odd coincidence, then, that the other two major laws being debated this week will raise money. A similar amount, in fact. Balancing the books. Nearly.
Elsewhere on Planet Simple Politics, we've launched a new series of videos. They're called 'From The Horse's Mouth' and they see us meeting up with politicians to hear about specific topics. There's a taste below from when we spoke to Lord Norton about Article 50. The others are available on our YouTube channel, here.
Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Bill
This would let the government intervene in non-generic medicine prices, as it currently can only intervene in branded ones. It closes up a loophole investigated by The Times, which pointed out that some drugs bought by the NHS have gone up 1000% in price. The pharma industry won’t be very happy, but expect broad support for this from across parties.
Following the recent Anti-Corruption Summit in London, the government is taking action to tackle money laundering, corruption, tax evasion, and the financing of criminal activities, such as terrorism.
They'll do this by increasing public and private sector cooperation and bringing in a criminal offence for companies who fail to stop their staff facilitating tax evasion.
This Bill will be a huge boost to the National Citizenship Service (NCS), which will receive £1.2 billion in funding and require all secondary schools, including academies, private schools and sixth-form colleges, and local authorities to promote participation in the programme.We'll also see the annual reports on how the the NCS has been promoted to young people and their parents.
We met constitution expert Lord Norton of Louth this week - so we thought it would be rude not to ask him about Parliament & Article 50. Here's what he said.
Are you a teacher? Are any of your friends teachers?
We do loads of stuff for / with schools. We can really help with Citizenship / Politics / British Values etc in the new school year. Some free services, some paid for (but, I think, very good value).
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.