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NATIONAL NEWS

28/07/2011

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Pensions Contributions Hike Is A Tax On NHS Staff, BMA Says



Commenting on today’s announcement from the Treasury on public sector pensions, and specific proposals for increased contributions for NHS staff in 2012-13, Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the British Medical Association (BMA), said: 

“This isn’t about making the NHS pension sustainable in the long term – it already is. This is simply a tax on public sector workers. The NHS scheme is already affordable, yet the government is asking doctors to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds more for a worse deal on retirement. 

The NHS pension is currently delivering a massive surplus to the Treasury. It underwent major reform only three years ago, which saw doctors’ contributions increase significantly. As the Public Accounts Committee recently pointed out, the scheme’s costs are already set to continue to decrease well into the future.

 Moreover, we thoroughly disapprove of the way the government is conducting this exercise, which is no way to treat dedicated public sector workers, or to achieve sensible agreement. We would encourage all NHS staff to respond to this consultation.”

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Wakefield Haulier Jailed For Dover Drug Smuggling

A haulier from Wakefield, West Yorkshire has been sentenced to 11 years in prison at the Central Criminal Court in London after being found guilty of drug smuggling. The drugs seized had an estimated street value of £1.1 million and comprised approximately 3000 tablets and 19 kg of MDMA, and 43 kg of amphetamine powder. The court heard that a lorry belonging to Daljit Singh Jandu was stopped by HM Revenue & Customs officers at Dover's Eastern Docks on 16 February 2007. Officers searched the vehicle and its load of personal effects and found the drugs hidden in brown cardboard boxes and a woven laundry bag. An investigation was launched and Jandu was arrested on 26 February 2007. Following a retrial the 45-year-old was found guilty by a jury and was sentenced this week.



Appeal Launched Following Armed Robberies

Finchley Flying Squad officers have released CCTV images of a man wanted for three armed robberies in North West London. On Monday 13 June at 8.45am at William Hill Bookmakers in Harrow the suspect entered premises and approached the counter brandishing a black handgun. He demanded cash from the safe and till. The victim handed over a quantity of money at which point the suspect made off on foot towards Hindes Road, Harrow. On Tuesday 28 June around 10.20am at Ladbrokes in Kenton Lane, Harrow the suspect entered the premises and approached the counter brandishing a black handgun. He demanded cash and escaped on foot once the cash was handed over. At 8.40am on Monday 11 July, at Ladbrokes in Greenford, a member of staff at the venue was preparing to open the premises for business and was behind the counter when the suspect entered walked up to the counter and demanded cash whilst threatening the staff member with a black handgun. The victim handed over a quantity of cash. The suspect in all these offences is described as a black man, aged approximately 20-28 years old and 5' 10" tall. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers.

(BMcN)

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Other UK News In Brief - Pensions Contributions Hike Is A Tax On NHS Staff, BMA Says

 Commenting on today’s announcement from the Treasury on public sector pensions, and specific proposals for increased contributions for NHS staff in 20