Telegraph pays Boris Johnson £275,000 a year for 10 hours work per month

“Boris Johnson was re-employed by the Daily Telegraph on a salary of £275,000 a year for his weekly column, it has been revealed.

The Conservative MP and potential leadership candidate had to give up his newspaper job when he became foreign secretary in 2016, forfeiting the substantial second income.

However, the parliamentary register of members’ interests shows he was immediately rehired on the same rate after resigning this summer, with no attempt made by the Daily Telegraph – which has experienced years of job cuts and falling profits – to push down his salary.

The former foreign secretary said he spends 10 hours a month writing his 1,100 word column, equivalent to a pay rate of £2,291/hour – or around £4.80 a word.”

Very stupid Tory Minister says councils are not getting cuts just more flexible ways to earn income!!”

Owl says: As John Crace (Guardian) puts it – top Tories these days seem to be fighting over their only brain cell!

“Treasury minister Liz Truss has been branded “innumerate or inept” after falsely claiming that local councils are not facing cuts.

Philip Hammond’s deputy insisted the government was simply giving town halls more “flexibility” to raise money themselves, rather than slashing their funds.

“We are not making cuts to local authorities,” Ms Truss told BBC Newsnight.

In fact, the Local Government Association highlighted this week that funding will be reduced by 36 per cent next year, the largest annual deduction in almost a decade.

And the organisation’s Conservative leader has warned that more councils will go bust unless ministers “address the funding crisis”.

Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s local government spokesman, condemned Ms Truss’s comments, saying: “This shows she’s either totally innumerate or completely inept.

“Councils of all political persuasions are edging towards the financial cliff edge, and it’s a Tory Council, Northamptonshire, that’s the first to go bump on their watch, with others not far behind. …”

New Health Secretary says no more community hospitals will be closed because they are vital to NHS!

Owl says: he makes no mention of what will happen to those already closed and up for sale. This also raises major inequality-of-care issues for the eastern side of East Devon (where all community beds have been cut) and western East Devon where the only community beds are in Sidmouth and Exmouth.

“The Health Secretary has promised to end the closure of community hospitals to ensure patients can be treated near their homes.

Matt Hancock said it was time to end the era of moving medical departments to large regional hospitals while smaller ones were closed.

He wants more patients to be cared for locally, particularly for routine procedures such as scans, physiotherapy and treatment for minor injuries.

Set up 150 years ago as cottage hospitals with just a few beds, Britain now has around 500 community hospitals that provide a broad range of services for local patients, including end-of-life care, rehabilitation for the elderly, scans, X-rays and minor injury units.

But NHS cuts mean dozens are facing closure across the country, including in Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Cumbria, Leicestershire, Devon and Dorset.

Local health officials have been told to make savings and improve care, and many argue that patients can be treated more safely and cheaply in larger hospitals, even if they have further to travel.

But Mr Hancock believes that although patients should be prepared to go further afield for major operations such as heart bypass surgery, other procedures should be offered closer to home. …”

“Poorest to be worst hit by a cashless society, warns Which?”

Lyme Regis hit the headlines last week when it became yet another bank-less town. In East Devon we already have Ottery St Mary and Budleigh Salterton without banks, with surely others to follow.

“Lower-income households and older generations will be hardest hit by bank branch and ATM closures that threaten their vital access to cash, as these groups use cash more frequently than average, new research from Which? reveals.

More than three quarters (78%) of consumers in the two lowest income households groups rely on cash, using it at least two or three times a week. This group are less likely than average to use a credit or debit card – in fact, just over a quarter (26%) never use card payments.

Cash usage is high among over-65s – the group perhaps most at risk of social exclusion when bank branches and ATMs disappear – with four in five (80%) reliant on cash, using it at least two to three times a week.

The findings come amid concerns that consumers’ access to cash is under threat, due to a severe reduction in bank branches on Britain’s high streets and changes to the funding model of ATMs that is seeing 250 disappear every month.” – Which?