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The next WGPlus newsletter will be published on 27/28 June 2011.

IFSThe better off can cut back on expensive luxuries, but for the poor that is often not an option - New research undertaken at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and funded by Consumer Focus reveals:
* Poorer households have experienced higher inflation on average than richer households over the past decade
* The poorest 20% of households faced an average annual inflation rate of 4.3% between 2008 & 2010, whilst the richest fifth experienced a rate of just 2.7% a year over the same period.
* Pensioners (& in particular those dependant on state benefits) experienced higher rates of inflation than non-pensioners
* Price increases in gas, electricity & food have hit poorer households harder on average
Press release ~ Full IFS press release ~ The spending patterns and inflation experience of low-income households over the past decade ~ iea: Scrap UK’s poverty targets ~ A New Understanding of poverty (click on pdf links for free download) ~ Least well-off in society better identified by low spending than low income ~ Poorer families forced to pay more for heating and services ~ Recovery risks leaving ordinary workers behind ~ TUC comment ~ AUK: Half of older people living on breadline ~ IFS: Biggest 3 year fall in houshold incomes since early 1990s ~ IFS: Housholds spend 40% of winter fuel payment on fuel. But poor pensioners still cut back on food in cold weather ~ Getting what we deserve? Attitudes to pay, reward and desert ~ Severe Child Poverty: Nationally and locally ~ Save the Children: UK child poverty ~ Poorer families forced to pay more for heating and services ~ Evidence of a 'Big Society attitude' with young people opting to protect elderly from brunt of cuts ~ JRF: A minimum income standard for Britain: what people think ~ The material resources and well-being of older people ~ IFS: The inflation experience of older households ~ Outrage at high pensioner inflation ~ iea: Sharing the burden - how the older generation should suffer its share of the cuts

HOThe problem is that they are just the ‘tip of an iceberg’ - Some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees, who are now building new lives in the UK, last week met immigration minister, Damian Green, and spoke to him about their experiences, ahead of Refugee Week.  Mr Green travelled to a project in Sheffield to learn more about the lives of the more than 3,300 people safely settled across the country through the Gateway Protection Programme (GPP), since it began in 2002.

The programme is run by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in partnership with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  It brings up to 750 particularly vulnerable refugees to the UK every year from refugee camps & urban areas around the world.  Mr Green met refugees including Esther Freeman, a Liberian who had been living in a refugee camp in Guinea for 20 years until, in 2004, she came to Sheffield as part of the first intake of Gateway refugees.

Refugee Week, which this year runs from 20 – 26 June 2011, is a UK-wide programme of events celebrating the contribution of refugees to the UK.
Press release ~ UKBA: Gateway Protection Programme (GPP) ~ Refugee Council: Gateway Protection Programme (GPP) ~ Evaluation of the Gateway Protection Programme ~ UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) ~ Northern Refugee Centre ~ Refugee Week ~ Refugee Action ~ Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees (ICAR) ~ Understanding the decision making of asylum seekers ~ BRC: Refugee Services ~ University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre ~ Scottish Refugee Council ~ One World Refugee Guide ~ Amnesty International: Refugees and Asylum ~ Refugees Awareness Project ~ Residence rights for refugees and people under international protection

JRFThey may not ‘listen’ to your advice, but they often copy your bad habits - A major survey of early teen drinking patterns in England finds that drinking escalates to a worrying extent during these years.  

The research, conducted by Ipsos MORI for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, also finds that family & friends have a strong influence on teenagers’ drinking patterns, and are stronger influences than some other factors – such as individual well-being, celebrity figures and the media.

Parents have a particularly strong impact on their children’s behaviour with alcohol.  The odds of a teenager getting drunk multiple times is twice as great if they have seen their parents drunk, even if only a few times, as those teenagers who have never seen their parents drunk.  Ease of access to alcohol was also an important influencing factor on current drinking and drunkenness.
Press release ~ JRF: Major survey of early teen drinking patterns in England (see also links to ‘Related content’) ~ Other related documents (may be some duplication) ~ Drinkaware ~ KCL: Successful interventions lead to reductions in teenage drinking ~ Youth Alcohol Action Plan (YAAP) ~ DH: Alcohol Misuse  ~ 'Safe, Sensible, Social - next steps for the National Alcohol Strategy' ~ Turning Point ~ Institute of Alcohol Studies ~ Patient UK: Alcohol abuse help services ~ Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and alcohol industry ~ National Organisation on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome ~ FAS Aware UK ~ Home Office – Alcohol & Drugs ~ The law and being drunk ~ Alcoholics Anonymous GB ~ The practical guide for preventing and dealing with alcohol related problems ~ Know Your Limits ~ Directgov: Young people and alcohol ~ Choose your Friday night ~ Addaction ~ Alcohol Information Scotland ~ Youth Alcohol Commission

HMT:  Should members of the government lead by example with their own pension scheme? - Speech by The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, The Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP to the IPPR on 17 June 2011, regarding proposed changes to public sector pensions.
Press release ~ FDA reacts with fury to Treasury statement on public sector pensions ~ TUC response ~ PCS comment ~ Click HERE and scroll down forPSPC:  Will this be ‘it’, or will they continue to ‘move the goalpost’ every couple of years? ~ Related DWP PR ~ Research exploring the effect of uprating by CPI on occupational pension schemes

WAGWill the watchdog just ‘bark’ or will it also ‘bite’ hospitals that fail to care? - The Welsh Government will ask the NHS watchdog to undertake targeted spot-checks to ensure dignity in care is at the top of health boards' priorities, Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced. 

The move is in response to concerns raised by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales in a report published earlier this year.  “Dignified Care?” examined whether older people in NHS hospitals in Wales receive care in a dignified and respectful way.

Although the report commended examples of good practice across the NHS, it identified a number of failings and made a number of recommendations to ensure improvement.  The Minister pointed to a number of activities already underway to bring about improvements in care, such as the Free to Lead, Free to Care programme which empowers hospital ward sisters &charge nurses to manage their wards.
Press release ~ Older People’s Commissioner for Wales: Dignified Care? ~ The Lottery of Dignified Care ~ Click HERE and scroll down for: Newswire – NHSConfed:  There is no point in medically ‘saving’ them if their basic care is then neglected
Public Sector Solutions: Tackling Fraud in Local Government - The National Fraud Authority estimates there is £2.1bn of fraud in local government. This fraud reduces your ability to deliver essential services to those that need it most. Do you know the scale of the problem in your authority, or how to combat it?
Click here to find out how to uncover the scale of fraud in your authority.

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