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Economy

Lords Legacy: Cameron’s Appointments Generates £13m Bill For Taxpayers

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Special Address: David Cameron

The 189 appointments to the House of Lords, as chosen by David Cameron, have already cost the taxpayer more than £13m since he became Prime Minister – before the 16 new appointments have even claimed expenses.

According to new research by the Electoral Reform Society, the total cost of Cameron’s appointments to the upper chamber comes in at a staggering £13.03m in expenses and allowances [1] – working out at £27,768 per peer, per year.

Based on the average amount claimed in expenses and allowances by Cameron’s appointees since he became PM, David Cameron’s ‘resignation list’ of 16 peers will cost the taxpayer £444,288 per year, for many years to come.

Last year – 2015 alone – the total cost of Cameron appointees was £3.04m, with the average peer claiming £24,088.

The figures for each party are as follows:

· The average Tory Peer appointed under Cameron cost £23,946 per year (total cost over May 2010-Feb 2016: £5.32m)
· The average Labour Peer appointed under Cameron cost £26,025 per year (Total: £1.80m)
· The average Liberal Democrat Peer appointed under Cameron cost £38,296 per year (Total: £4.21m)
· The average cross-bench Peer appointed under Cameron cost £25,878 per year (Total: £1.58m)

40 of the peers appointed by Cameron were former MPs – each of whom claim £39,058 per year compared to £25,823 for those who aren’t ex-MPs.

In the first two months of 2016 alone – the latest data we have available – Cameron appointees claimed £840,424. This is a rise of around £123,261 from the £717,163 claimed by peers in the first two months of 2015. This is likely because of the Lords getting even larger – suggesting that this year may be even more expensive than the last.

Will Brett, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Reform Society, said:

We know now the true financial cost of Cameron’s appointments to the House of Lords, which comes in at a whopping £13m since he became Prime Minister.

“David Cameron has left the taxpayer with a huge bill for many years to come. For a Prime Minister concerned with cutting the cost of politics, it’s a sorry legacy.

“Of course, while we can predict the financial cost of these latest appointments, the huge democratic cost of enlarging an already bloated chamber is harder to measure.

“In a modern democracy, the only fair way to appoint lawmakers is to elect them. We now have a new government with a fresh perspective – let’s get to work on addressing the national embarrassment that is the House of Lords. Let’s grasp the nettle once and for all and introduce an elected upper house.

“Just 10% of the public think that the House of Lords should remain an entirely unelected chamber [3]. It’s time to do what the people want. It’s time to clean house.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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