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George Osborne is expected to announce proposals for a significant reduction in benefit payments after 2015 in his speech today. The plans for £10bn of additional cuts to the welfare system are reported to include the withdrawal of housing benefit for young people with the Chancellor questioning why those who have not worked should qualify for the benefit.
Doctors and government health officials should set limits, as they do for alcohol, on the amount of time children spend watching screens – and under-threes should be kept away from the television altogether, according to a paper in an influential medical journal published on Tuesday.
A review of the evidence in the Archives Of Disease in Childhood says children's obsession with TV, computers and screen games is causing developmental damage as well as long-term physical harm. Doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which co-owns the journal with the British Medical Journal group, say they are concerned. Guidelines in the US, Canada and Australia already urge limits on children's screen time, but there are none yet in Britain.
Young people who skip healthy eating to binge on junk food are setting up a stroke crisis. Rising numbers of Britons in middle age and younger are being hit by the killer brain attacks as the national obsession with junk food fuels obesity rates, sending diabetes and cholesterol soaring. This in turn is making people far more vulnerable to suffering a stroke which is triggered by a blocked artery in the brain.
Fathers will be able to take time off work and claim state benefits throughout the majority of the first year of their baby’s life if the mother returns to employment. This will allow the main household earner, if the mother, to return to work after just a fortnight.
The Daily Telegraph can disclose that the introduction of the joint allowance will be delayed until October 2015, following a Cabinet disagreement over the impact of the scheme on hard-pressed businesses.
Worse-for-wear 16 to 24-year-olds – criticised for clogging up A&E on Saturday nights – are costing the NHS £63.8million a year. But that’s nothing to the £825.6million cost of alcohol-related inpatient admissions for 55 to 74-year-olds, according to Alcohol Concern.
‘Older people are ending up in hospital with conditions such as strokes, cancers and liver disease,’ said the charity’s chief executive Eric Appleby. ‘We’re not trying to demonise older people or suggest they are drinking more. It’s showing what can happen to people who have got the habit of drinking over time.’
The findings come from the Alcohol Harm Map, which breaks down alcohol-related health costs by region and local authority area.
A study of 10,000 teenagers has found the home environment is three times more important than the school, when it comes to 18-year-olds' test results. Researchers found that pupils at weaker schools, who came from homes where parents were closely involved in their children’s education, performed better in tests than children at better schools who had apathetic parents.
However, they said the quality of a school still mattered - particularly at secondary stage when children were more liable to be influenced by relationships outside the home. The team, from North Carolina State University in the US, studied the relative importance of what they termed “family social capital” with that of “school social capital”.