Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Welfare Analysis of the Budget.

This is a cross-post from Harpy (here). Louise is employed full-time in the area of welfare rights. She is one of the few people who have been campaigning against Welfare Reform for the last few years. Ipswich Unemployed Action works with her. As someone based in the East End of London she knows some of the hardest edges of the system.

Louise’s Blog also has  her own, really ace,  digital photos on it.  

I note, in passing, that our old friend David Freud was on Newsnight yesterday. Interviewed by a  very anti-the-unemployed Jeremy Paxman.

 The incredibly wealthy Paxman came out with some Daily Express type tales about people living the life of Riley on the Dole.  Normally he does not bully the weak, but you could see on the programme how nasty he can turn. For some details on the kind of lies that are being peddled see this – here.

The real human cost of this miserable & draconian Budget

22 06 2010

This emergency Budget is totally draconian and utterly austere. To think otherwise (only if you are wealthy) is a fool’s paradise. Richard Murphy highlighted:

Benefits will be cut by about 10%. Departmental spending, except in health and overseas development will be cut by 25%. At least 750,000 state sector jobs will go on that basis, in my estimation. I think 750,000 more from the private sector could join them on the unemployment register. And this budget, which according to George Osborne promised growth, did no such thing.

Sunny Hundal points to this YouGov poll where 49% of the respondents believe that the cuts are a good idea (the vox pop on tonight’s C4 News concluded that it wasn’t too bad and many expected to ‘pay’ for the crisis)… . Firstly, regarding this YouGov poll, who was precisely polled and secondly, it’s the calm before the storm…and the impact has not sunk in as yet. People will pay, and pay dearly they will. But the reality is that people will suffer, a massive 25% will be slashed from public departments. Public sector pay will be frozen for two years (translated…. a pay cut). Therefore massive unemployment, poorer population and the likelihood of a double-dip recession. To put it bluntly, we are fucked….

Another area that has been plundered is welfare, Con/Dems attack the poorest and the most powerless with their raid on the coffers of welfare.


  • the government will adopt the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the uprating of benefits and tax credits from April 2011


  • the government will introduce the use of ‘objective medical assessments’ for all DLA claimants from 2013/2014

Translated this means bullying people into the job market based on supposedly “objective medical assessment” when really it is based on ideology.

Benefits and children

  • from October 2011, lone parents whose youngest child is aged 5 or above will be eligible for jobseeker’s allowance rather than income support, and existing claimants will be transferred from income support to jobseeker’s allowance from April 2012;
  • from April 2011 the government will restrict eligibility to the sure start maternity grant for the first child (or children where the first is a multiple birth);
  • the health in pregnancy grant will be abolished from January 2011; and
  • child benefit will be frozen for three years from April 2011

Tax credits

  • from April 2011, the second income threshold for the family element of child tax credit will reduce from £50,000 to £40,000 and, from April 2012, the family element of child tax credit will be withdrawn immediately after the child element;

Benefits and children

  • from October 2011, lone parents whose youngest child is aged 5 or above will be eligible for jobseeker’s allowance rather than income support, and existing claimants will be transferred from income support to jobseeker’s allowance from April 2012;
  • from April 2011 the government will restrict eligibility to the sure start maternity grant for the first child (or children where the first is a multiple birth) ;
  • the health in pregnancy grant will be abolished from January 2011; and
  • child benefit will be frozen for three years from April 2011.

Housing costs and housing benefit

I know there are other measures regarding Housing benefit but this below is very worrying as it will cause untold misery;

  • from April 2013, housing benefit awards will be reduced to 90 per cent of the initial award after 12 months for claimants receiving jobseeker’s allowance;

This means not just that people will be finding things a bit tough but that they will not be able to pay the rent. They will be made homeless. George is putting beggars back on the street in the same way that his hero, Thatcher, did.

Unemployed people will be used to put downward pressure on wages. This the role of the employment advisers involved in the “New Deal”. The result is that the rich and their big corporations will benefit hugely at ordinary peoples’ expense. Expect more bullying in the workplace and in the Jobcentre.

We are going to be living in a very nasty and destructive society (and the CBI btw want to restrict strike action). The message people should take is organise and resist or be destroyed.

As Mark Serwotka (PCS general secretary) argues, This is one of the most regressive budgets we have seen for many years, with attacks on the low-paid, the unemployed, pensioners, the welfare state and the public sector as a whole. This is not a progressive budget to help the country recover from the worst economic crisis in living memory, it is a programme of despair for millions of people who did not cause the recession and should not be made to pay for it. We do not believe that these cuts are necessary, we do not accept the flawed analysis on which they are based, and we are committed to helping to organise joint union action and campaigning in communities to resist them.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 24, 2010 at 8:58 am

22 Responses

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  1. I am not sure they can axe the amount they spend on housing benefit – give me 2 minute to explain – this is likely open to a legal challenge.

    You cannot give someone who is unemployed enough money to pay their rent and scrape by; whereas the person is genuinely doing their utmost to seek employment; is likely fast-tracked on to the Work Programme where the scheme will fail them (otherwise its fair to say the person would sign off with a job); and then decide to reduce payments.

    It is clever that they have notified this in advance, but I doubt this does them any favours. Perhaps it allows people to forget about this by 2011.

    My understanding is you are either entitled (with different rates of entitlement for age and circumstances) or not. You cannot then dynamic adjust the payout rate.

    To some people this might mean being slightly worse off, a shame. Not much you can do though, its “just life”.

    If the person, however, loses their roof over their head due to lack of funds (although IS entitled to claim) this would violate their Human Rights and infringe the states duty to that person of housing.

    Flexible New Deal

    June 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

    • It’s cool man. Many local government buildings are built on ley lines. Babylon stand no chance.

      Hippie Rasta

      June 24, 2010 at 11:48 am

  2. And not just the unemployed.
    “The vast majority of housing benefit claimants are either pensioners, those with disabilities, people caring for a relative or hardworking people on low incomes, and only one in eight people who receive housing benefit is unemployed,” SOURCE: Shleter.

    Funny A4e Photos

    June 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    • Funny A4e Photos Like you said in a different posting the housing benefit system costs a fortune to administer. I don’t see how the government are in effect going to save any money by reducing the long term unemployeds housing benefit as any amount saved is going to be far outstripped by all the extra costs incurred from all the extra work that will be generated should these measures result in making them homeless.

      Unless its a central government con to save itself money by making cuts in its own budget that will in effect have to be sorted out by local council level so local council budgets will end up picking up the tab.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      June 24, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      • Good point, Lowerstoft’s Finest. And after all the cuts, local councils will have less staff and resources to administer housing benefit payments. And if they also have to deal with a huge increase in homelessness too!

        Between now and April 2013 you will have more people losing their jobs or working less hours as a result of cutbacks. And many of those will also be making claims for housing benefit too. Which I doubt the governement has factored into their proposed savings.

        Funny A4e Photos

        June 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm

      • Funny A4e Photos

        As far as I know The government just said Council Tax won’t go up, this comes on top of many councils having problems with much of their reserves being wiped out in the Icelandic bank crash. There is also an ongoing argument between local and central government about central governments inability to adequately calculate and resource local councils for sudden wide spread influxes of EEC workers and cost of providing unplanned for extra school places, housing and translation services, etc. that falls on local council funds to make up.

        I actually think that this is going to kick off a viscous circle as the only thing councils can do under the circumstances is to lay off workers rather than take more on which is the only way local government can cope with having more and more of national governments dutties being dumped on it

        Lowestoft's Finest

        June 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm

  3. Cheers for the cross-post Andrew, and glad you like my pix! 🙂


    June 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm

  4. Lowerstofts’ Finest: You have to wonder how they can promise CT won’t go up.

    I heard it costs approximately GBP 100 per child per week for state education in the UK. No disrespect to Poles and other EU nationals that are working and have brought their families over to the UK but I doubt many of them are paying anything like that in income tax.

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s certainly an unwelcome financial burden on local councils as they will be expected to do more and more with less and less.

    Funny A4e Photos

    June 24, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    • Thats why we need to leave Europe!

      Flexible New Deal

      June 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm

      • I don’t think it’s Europe per se. It’s the way that Labour let them come over to work here as soon as their countries joined. Other EU countries had restrictions

        Our governments (Labour and Conservative) have opted out of so many EU laws protecting workers rights that workers in the UK have the least protection and are the cheapest to hire and fire in the EU.

        Not many people realise that it was the EU that gave temporary workers the right to 4 weeks paid annual leave.

        Funny A4e Photos

        June 24, 2010 at 8:49 pm

      • We need to leave the EU – its too expensive and has too much control!

        Flexible New Deal

        June 24, 2010 at 8:58 pm

  5. Funny A4e Photos

    I’ve been thinking a bit more on the subject and have realised things could get a lot worse for local councils cash wise as the new government hasn’t said if under the present circumstances its now going to relax all the target figures that the last government brought in for councils. As things stand they were brought in before the present situation happend but if council departments fail to hit their targets they get penalised and lose more funding from central government.

    On the foreign workers front I think the cost for translation etc should be born by the local employer that brings them in as the employer is the major one benefiting at present.

    If the employer starts having to shoulder the real cost it will make it more likely that they will employ local workers instead and compared to the real cost of foreign nationals the employer will probably still find it cheaper to take on locals at higher rates.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    June 24, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    • I can see the logic of your argument about employers of foreign nationals being made to bear the cost and thus making it cheaper for them to employ locals instead. But you have to make a distinction between EU nationals and non-EU nationals. The only way UK employers could legally discriminate in favour of locals would be if the EU national applying for a job didn’t speak English.

      The picture for local cuncils looks progressively bleaker. Even without labour’s targets and yeterday’s budget my council (Edinburgh) have lost 100s of millions in a disasterous trams project. So council tax payers here will be clobbered even harder for years to come!

      Funny A4e Photos

      June 24, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      • Your right, as far as I see most of the cost relates to a big unplanned influx of non English speaking EU workers into a paticular council area.

        The trouble is the low paid factory jobs that these big influxs of workers normaly arrive for normaly don’t require any English especialy as everyone you work with will only be speaking eg. Lithuanian , but this means the council then has to hire a load of enterpreteurs at great expence for the police/ schools etc. I think the language costs should fall on the employer who brought over the workers.If the workers realy have no problems understanding English then I should imagine they won’t be costing the councils half the money.Additionaly the English speaking workers will probably be doing better paid jobs which may put a bit of money back into the area.

        But still ways need to be devised to help local workers get those jobs first as the trouble is EEC guest workers do not put anywhere near as much money back into the local economy as the local workers as succesive governments have failed to realise this but the only reason the EEC guest workers doing the minimum wage factory jobs is becouse the exchange rate mechanism favours their take home pay so they could be earning 10 times what they could back home so they are here to work but also to SAVE their money to eventualy take back with them otherwise their time here has been pointless and you have to realise though they are earning 10 times the wages if they say buy a coat here it also costs them 10 times more than it costs us so they try to avoid purchases.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        June 24, 2010 at 10:26 pm

  6. If the European Union is to blame for the Tory-Liberal Government’s Budget they must be more powerful than Dan Brown’s Illuminati.

    If the migrant workers are to blame for the budget then they must be equally as powerful.

    The problem is, as Funny Pix says, that we don’t raise our standards at work and in pay across Europe.

    Instead the British government keeps pushing to lower them.

    There is a really good novel by Upton Sinclair about the Meat processing plants in Chicago in the USA around 1906 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle

    It’s called The Jungle. The employers use differences between workers – strangely enough one character is a Lithuanian – to keep wages down and break strikes. The Jungle really is similar to the kind of thing that’s happening here now.

    I hear from people in Ipswich the employers doing the same, saying “We don’t want you, you’re English.”

    Andrew Coates

    June 25, 2010 at 8:57 am

    • Britain thinks Europe should be run for the sole benefit of the bosses, Britain itself isn’t even a country anymore it’s just run as a collection of multi national corporate interests that dictate everything.

      The nationalist card is just cr*p people who play it like UKIP are led by people who are convieniantly foreign when it suits them so they can call themselves non doms to dodge British Tax.

      I understand why big quantities of EEC workers are here doing the min wage jobs, but they are economic migrants at british workers expence, But remember they are not persicuted Assylum seekers fleeing death back home. The truth is their are a load of jobs in factories in Poland but the truth is also just like here the bosses benefit so much that the locals can’t afford to do them so they are actualy done by more skint Ukrainians or mainly central asians eg. Khazaks etc.

      But under the system the Poles have the option to come here to do the same to us, but the problem is we do not have anywhere to go that has 10 times the wages etc. Most the polish min wage workers here were not min wage workers back in Poland but teachers etc.Poland has a safety valve in Britain but where is Britain’s safety valve?

      I understand why councils should pay for translaters if they got a big influx of assylum seekers, but Bosses should pick up the bill if they bring in a large ammount of non english speaking EU factory workers into an area.

      Ukraine has a treaty of “frienship” with Turkey thanks to a small turkic speaking Tatar comunity in Crimea (most of which Stalin deported)this means that Ukraine is just about the only place in europe that allows Turkish nationals in without a load of hassle. The truth is Ukrainians hate Turks and the Bratva ruthlessly exploits any Turks who touch down in Ukraine trying to get into Europe from their. The Turks soon find themselves slaves to the mob owing huge debts to them. I do not condone this behaviour but do you seriously think that Ukrainian City’s spend their budgets translating things from Ukrainian Cyrillic into Turkish …like hell.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      June 25, 2010 at 10:08 am

      • You not heard of Dencorastan? One Gummy = 10 GBP. So if you work there at the Dencorian Minimum Wage of £5.93 Gummys an hour you’ll be trousering £59.30 GBP and hour. That’s where all the hard-working Brits are heading these days.


        June 25, 2010 at 10:34 am

  7. £59.30 GBP and hour

    At that rate they may be Brits now but they’l be Brit’s with non dom tax status tomorrow.

    Expect Ipswich to turn UKIP overnight

    Lowestoft's Finest

    June 25, 2010 at 10:44 am

  8. Absolute piffle!

    George’s outstanding and impeccable inaugural Budget delivered a raft of measures to help and encourage the unemployed back into the workplace, such as the changes to Housing Benefit which will ensure that work does indeed pay. Overall, it was a Budget borne out of a sense of fairness, responsibility and most of all decency.

    On a personal note, one was only disappointed that somehow the Chancellor managed to restrain himself from going all the way in one fell swoop. The Axe of Taking Responsibility for One’s Own Life bearing down upon the parasites that feed upon the very fabric of our society is nothing less than they deserve; there are far too many welfare scroungers in this country who have absolutely no intention of working whatsoever leeching off the efforts of hard-working tax-payers. Society as a whole can no longer afford to carry the burdensome weight of this sponging class of work-shy scum, the flotsam and jetsam who have no place amongst decent, hard-working members of our communities.

    Only the feckless, work-shy and lazy have anything to fear from this Budget and indeed this Government.

    Kind Regards

    Rt Hon Benedict Gummer MP

    House of Commons
    SW1A 0AA

    Rt Hon Benedict Gummer MP

    June 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    • Are the rumours true that if Ipswich had been awarded European City of Culture it planned to celebrate its greatest achievers buy bringing out a commemorative £5 depicting an additional Image of Nick Kershaw drawn in Biro and releasing a limited collectors first day cover stamp showing Ipswich’s own political prisoner and answer to Nelson Mandella Citizen Coates being exited early from his Dencora House confinement?

      Lowestoft's Finest

      June 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm

  9. No it’s not true Lowestoft.

    But the Ipswich Arts Festival – http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/ipswicharts/2010/ – has a Fringe.


    “A lunch-time with Andrew Coates down the Vaults”(Golden Lion).

    “A ‘Happening’. Comrade Coates will entertain down the Vaults Friday Lunchtime July the 2nd.

    The audience will buy him pints (Abbot Ale) while the raconteur tells tales of his hard life and funny stories about Benedict Gummer and his toothbrush.”

    Andrew Coates

    June 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    • And Andrew assures me any monies raised from this prestigious event will go the Fund For The Victim of A4e – namely my good self. When I am sat on beach in Spain, soaking up the sun and sangria, I will think of the good people of Ipswich who made it all possible. Cheers Andrew

      Funny A4e Photos

      June 27, 2010 at 12:25 am

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