Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Sanctions: Appeal From Our Hackney Friends.

with 180 comments

Dear all We’re looking for cases of people’s benefits being sanctioned by the Jobcentre to make a judicial review challenging the targets for sanctioning set by the DWP (see their reply to our freedom of information request below). Members of Hackney Unemployed Workers who have been sanctioned are putting their cases forward but we need as many as possible to have a better chance of winning the case, which we think would be a good practical victory. If anyone knows someone who has been sanctioned and wouldn’t mind their cases being part of this please mail us at hackneyunemployedworkers@gmail.com. Cheers Terry and Richard Hackney Unemployed Workers London Coalition Against Poverty.

More info on Sanctions here.

Hackney Web Site Here.


Written by Andrew Coates

September 3, 2010 at 10:54 am

180 Responses

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  1. Any more specifics?

    Hope the cheeky ***** stick a link to our site from theirs! hehe

    Flexible New Deal

    September 3, 2010 at 11:18 am

    • Well spotted.

      Every serious campaigner on unemployment should link to the world-famous Ipswich Unemployed Action site.

      Hey baby, I really mean that!

      Andrew Coates

      September 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

      • Can’t see a link on the A4e site… Hmmm…

        Emmas Knickers

        September 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm

  2. Hello
    I think I may have spotted something. A4E With the ‘bars’ That make up the A 4 E, you have a broken harken cross or swastika.
    Anybody else seen it ?


    September 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    • What do you mean?

      Flexible New Deal

      September 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    • Reed in Partnership – initials = ?

      A4e 0800 456 666, can you spot the Mark of the Beast = ?

      Working Links logo, what do you see = ?

      Puzzle Ring

      September 3, 2010 at 1:30 pm

      • Still not sure what he means about “bars”…

        The number is a lil obvious, but thats very Bushish (think president)

        As for working links… looking at the logo… I see a logo :S

        Flexible New Deal

        September 3, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      • working links… ?… looks like 3 interlocking rings… but if I look closer I can see 3 interlocking sixes… well hidden… but they are in there… do I win?

        Fanny Mae

        September 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      • Yes, Working Links = 666 = The Number of the Beast. Who’d have thunk 🙂

        Number of the Beast

        September 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm

      • Wasn’t the Chief Executive of Working Links William Something exposed as a relative of that devil-worshipping geezer Alastair Something. You only have to take one look at Emma Harrison and it’s all too obvious what she gets up to in Thornbridge Hall with her “mates”.

        Philimena Jupitus

        September 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      • You should all watch the Tome Cruise film Eyes Wide Shut, that should give an inkling. It’s all symbolism right in front of your faces, folks. These people are sick and twisted.

        Philimena Jupitus

        September 7, 2010 at 7:07 pm

      • Good on Puzzle Ring for spotting that


        They’re having a laugh.

        Philimena Jupitus

        September 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    • Wrong number… 0800 345 666, in case anyone is trying to get through lol

      Puzzle Ring

      September 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    • Puzzle Ring

      September 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm

  3. http://www.workinglinks.co.uk/

    “Bee logo” = ?


    Puzzle Ring

    September 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    • like a worker bee… ?

      Fanny Mae

      September 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    • Where is abu and his comments on this matter


      September 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

  4. it would be interesting to know how many are from outside ipswich area,given that all issues are nationwide it doesn’t matter where someone is.


    September 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    • Hi Ken,
      I agree with you on this matter. Just how many are from outside Ipswich. It seems we have become quite popular or unpopular depending on peoples views. But I do note that we have had posts from Scotland and Ulster/Northern Ireland. I also recall a few months ago a post from our American friends and a lady called Missdisplaced. She informed us of the sanctions and benefits rules there and asked about ours here. Maybe it would be nice for people to leave a note on where they are when making a post. That way we will know where our friends are. What do others think


      September 3, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    • But would that not help the DWP/Providers in identifying posters, well the ones that are claiming benefits, if any 🙂


      September 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm

      • i agree too,there is a great deal of solidarity especially when unemployment is concerned and its effects on people and wider society.


        September 3, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      • Too Right Ken, If you treat people on the level doleys will often turn out to be the best people you ever meet and will do anything for you.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 3, 2010 at 8:10 pm

  5. Are Hackney going to take up the Shaun Young case? that poor sod seems to be a contender for the title of Unfairly Recieved Sanctions King…last time I heard anything he had already accumulated something like 9 unfare sanctions in an incredibly short amount of time.

    Honour amoungst Dolies, rally round and stick up for our Comrade.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    • Well, I launched “Unfair Sanctions” and no one at that point really seemed bothered about a test case.

      I was advised by someone really qualified in such industry that I had NO CHANCE in defeating the system.

      It is true. If sanctions are deemed unlawful then there will probably be a £1.5 billion backdated benefit bill AT LEAST! The ConDem(n) Government is making cuts even for small expenditure such as the odd few million here and there.

      Courts are corrupt too you see. It doesn’t matter if something is unlawful – judges look at that “is it in the best interest”… obviously not. Can anyone remember the unfair bank charges?

      As it was the recession… no chance. If it wasn’t the ruling probably would have been different.

      So I wish them luck into a judical review on the extent of sanctions and if successful it will be the case of tweaking the specifics slightly. As for Shaun Young, me and thousands of others… no chance of seeing the money.

      DWP may at its discretion pay out to a few but that is wrong should it be lawful legislation (i.e. not deemed unlawful) and right at the time just to give out taxpayers’ money…

      It is like giving compensation to prisoners for human right violation of being locked up. Other than the person sanctioned didn’t commit a crime, of course.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      • Flexi, I think it comes down to being lucky enough to find a sympathetic lawyer. I thought the same as you till on placement I came across someone who is a carer for his dying mother, it turned out he had been mucked about umpteen times by the DWP but with the help of his lawyer sucessfully taken them to court and won on several occasions recieving both his sanctioned money and compensation.(though obviously not ridiculously huge sums).

        This was a real eye opener to me as I didn’t know this was possible, I did post a query on this site (I think around the start of July?)

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    • Lowerstoft’s Finest: I’ve sent a message to Lifinthemix on Youtube telling them about the Hackney request. So hopefully Sean Young will be informed about it.

      Funny A4e Photos

      September 3, 2010 at 7:21 pm

      • Good on you Funny A4e Photos for sticking together when it counts,and sticking up for people when their down.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 3, 2010 at 7:57 pm

  6. Could be that a ‘benefit sanction’ is classed as a ‘civil penlenty fine’. IE failiure to do or complete is non compliance therefore ‘civil recovery’ of benefit is made

    Could Be

    September 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

  7. Anyone else think this vacancy is suspect (hotmail account, etc)?


    Vacancy from
    Job No:BDC/140436
    Wage £6.00 PER HOUR
    Date posted 03 September 2010
    Pension details No details held

    Long term customer service operator required. Applicants must have good people skills. Full training will be given. No qualifications or job history required for the role. Must be keen to learn and have good IT skills. You should be able to work in a team and individually. Information will be entered into a computer which automatically dispatches the . information. You will be required to solve any problems or queries from drivers and customers. Wage is negotiable with experience and depending on how quickly you adapt. No telephone applications or enquiries. If you contact Lidget Cars by telephone you will not be considered for this position.

    How to apply
    You can apply for this job by sending a CV/written application to Manager at Lidget Cars, lidgetcars@hotmail.com.

    Lidget Cars

    Paranoid Pete

    September 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

    • I would avoid all jobs via free and anonymous email accounts.

      Only apply to businesses with their own website and domain name. They work out at approx £4 for a .co.uk (.info can be as low as 50p) hosting can either be free or on a shared host costing approx £5 a month.

      The employer will be paying more in NI contributions for a single person than this.

      Could be genuine opportunity but unless they market their business properly… its their problem not yours. A quick google search says the business probably exists as a taxi firm… but there is nothing stopping me picking any random business to use in a scam.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm

  8. Good Afternoon Mr Flexible New Deal. And Good Afternoon Mr Paranoid Pete.
    I don’t know how old you guys are, I am 53. I can remember the 1970’s through to about 1995 when JCP used the old card on the wall system. Some of those vacancies then [that looked too good to be true] were then infact what were called test vacancies. They were put on the boards in the hope that they could ‘test those looking for work’ to see if they would apply. At reviews which were then at 6-12-18-24 weeks you were shown the cards and asked if you were interested. Sanctions followed if you did not apply for at least one ‘test’ at interview. By the way at 24 weeks you went on the Job Training Scheme or then it became Employment training [Restart]. I know because when I was sent on the JTS as a filing clerk I was sent to THE JOB CENTRE as my in work placement

    Philip Brown

    September 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm

  9. Just Googled This Company. Ir’s A Mini Cab Firm. Account Touts For Customers. They Have Your Name And Number Etc

    Don't Do It

    September 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm

  10. Just heard rumour of redundancies at RIP in Ipswich. Don’t know which PA’s though

    zephraine cochrane

    September 6, 2010 at 8:17 am

    • redundancies or death?

      Flexible New Deal

      September 6, 2010 at 9:24 am

    • Fantastic. Although I have had no problems with Reed, as of yet.. (at least 16weeks, me thinx)

      Maybe it is just YOU!


      September 7, 2010 at 1:51 pm

      • Or maybe it’s YOU that is Reed. Do you think we are fucking stupid? Well, do you?


        September 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

  11. redundancies or death?

    The only way to get rid of these un dead blood suckers is to call in Dr Van Helsing armed with a cross some Garlic and a wooden steak.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 6, 2010 at 10:38 am

    • What a most unfortunate circumstance 🙂 May I extend my condolences 🙂

      Dr Death

      September 6, 2010 at 10:44 am

    • anyone ever spot a mirror in a provider office?… thought not.

      rice cake

      September 6, 2010 at 11:16 am

    • lol and whatever you do – DONT’T OPEN THE CURTAINS!! lol


      September 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

  12. When you walk through a storm
    Hold your chin up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark.
    At the end of a storm
    Is a golden sky
    And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

    Walk on, through the wind,
    Walk on, through the rain,
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
    Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
    And you’ll never Work Again,
    You’ll never Work Again.

    Positive Mental Outlook

    September 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

  13. Remember NEVER feed them after midnight and NEVER let them get wet
    (-.-) lol

    zephraine conchrane

    September 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

  14. This news is enough to give a laughing dog a seizure.

    Barbara Woodhouse

    September 6, 2010 at 5:12 pm

  15. ON THIS DAY IN 2009: 5 jobseekers on the new Deal at A4e Beijing were slighly injured when a giant portrait of the Great Leader fell off the wall in reception!

    Funny A4e Photos

    September 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

  16. 0800 345 666 is the Number of the Beast.

    Devil's Spawn

    September 7, 2010 at 12:09 am

  17. What would happen if and when the redundancies at providers hit home hard. Can you just imagine the seanario of a PA at a provider, Having been made redaundant and having been signing on for a period of time. Being put on stage 4 or what ever it will become and being sent to a provider?. LOL and even more if it were his old employer!

    It Could Happen Here {I Hope}

    September 7, 2010 at 8:23 am

    • :-)It’s the stuff that dreams are made of:-)
      :-)It’s the slow and steady fire
      It’s the stuff that dreams are made of:-)
      :-)It’s your heart and soul’s desire:-)
      :-)It’s the stuff that dreams are made of:-)

      Carly Simon

      September 7, 2010 at 10:05 am

  18. Another Thought. We go on placement and find one of our ‘fellow victims’ is an ex PA

    Beautiful Dreamer

    September 7, 2010 at 10:10 am

    11.30am – 2pm Mon 13 Sept, A4e, 34 Earl Grey St, nr Tollcross Edinburgh

    Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty are organising a demonstration against compulsory work for benefits – this is an attack on the unemployed and workers alike. Flexible New Deal provider A4e are denying unemployed people forced to attend their premises the right to be accompanied to interviews. They have even called the police to try and stop us accompanying claimants – but we won’t be intimidated!
    We say


    Funny A4e Photos

    September 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    • I really respect the cause.

      They could instead do something very irresponsible such as set the place alight, vandalise the cars of staff members or hit the employees around the head with a baseball bat!

      Instead they have a demo 🙂 All good.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      • Wvery little bit helps, see below:


        We have been giving solidarity to unemployed people forced to attend A4e and other private companies under the Flexible New Deal. We have successfully forced the DWP to agree to repay benefits to a claimant sanctioned after A4e reported him to the DWP.

        After we complained, the Jobcentreplus District Managers office sent a written apology to this claimant. They admitted they had broken their own rules by cutting his benefits without giving him the chance to put his side of the story. We suspect they have wrongly cut the benefits of many people on the word of A4e or other providers without the claimant being able to put their case. If this has happened to you do get in touch with us to reclaim your benefits.

        We have also successfully stopped two other attempts by A4e to get the same claimant’s benefits cut. These last two episodes arose after A4e refused to hold appointments with the claimant, as an ECAP rep was accompanying him.

        And we have stopped New Deal provider JHP’s attempt to get the DWP to cut the benefits of a claimant attending their York Place office.

        Now New Deal provider Ingeus, who sub-contract to JHP, have agreed to recognise the right of unemployed people to be accompanied to interviews at Ingeus, and we are pressing them to force JHP to recognise this right too.

        Funny A4e Photos

        September 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      • Tesco are cunts. Went down there today for B&J promo… From a small freezer was only a few tubs (pre-offer they occupy quite a big part of that department)…

        Jumped some employee… asked whether they had any in stock. He replied something like “We are out of stock, getting an delivery tonight” (i.e. come back tomorrow [, and pay full price you sucker])

        Surprise, Surprise… they had no price labels on the freezer cabinet (why? because they are going to stick the price back up!)

        Around the back… loads of B&J ice cream pending I bet.

        Tonight, the original label/new full price label goes on… and funny enough someone stick the stock out.

        Big banner advert outside the store near copdock roundabout advertising the promotion. You get in the store… there were 2 tubs of the cherry one and another of the caramel chew. 3! It is a supermarket…

        Funny enough, delivery are typically scheduled… B&J they stock pre promotion, so not clearance stock, popular brand they are going to have lots of it. Not an end of line neither.

        Went down there last week, same day, they were everywhere… almost all varieties. Didn’t look like they were moving.

        Cheeky… “every little helps” yeah… all these crafty acts of trading makes you severe profits!

        Flexible New Deal

        September 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm

      • What Tesco are in effect doing is selling a large consignment of heavily discounted stock at the full price. And to honour the terms of the agreement they mount a large scale in your face promotion with only 3 tubs “in stock”. This also has the added bonus of luring suckers into the store. You can bet there is a helluva lot of that tasty stuff “out back”, that some “volunteers” will have the onerous task of shifting. Every little does indeed help… Tesco’s obscene profits.

        Retail Insider

        September 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    • Flexi Too Right on Tesco, They pull every scam in the book. If I regulaly buy an item there I actualy dread seeing it on offer becouse it sure as hell indicates that you will be stuck paying at least double the original pre offer price by the end of the year.

      They also stealthly jack up the price of the related to offer items that you use more to more than cover the price of the offer item their baked beans offer a few years back saw them jack up the price of all bread at the same point.Then by the end of that year the price of their baked beans was at least double its pre offer price.

      Likewise after their bananna wars price cuts the present price seemed to rapidly esculate back to easy double the original pre offer price.

      I’ve also recently noticed that some of their recent promotions like buy 3 for £1.50 arn’t exactly a bargain either as the items concerned cost 50p individualy anyway, so what Tesco are doing is flogging you two more of the item at the same price for everyone you buy.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 8, 2010 at 9:37 am

      • Too right, Lowestoft’s Finest, an “offer” always heralds a massive price hike…. when I see the price of my fav beans on “offer” it panics me into buying as much as I can store… they have massive fancy computer systems that control everything so they know to jack up the price of bread when beans are on offer. Another game they play is “two step forwards, one step back”. These cunts are robbing us blind.

        Tesco: Saving you more everyday lol

        Smart Shopper

        September 8, 2010 at 10:08 am

      • same thing happened with tesco spaghetti… was 15p a can… went on *offer* for a coupla days… now it 31p!!!!!!!!!! a can.


        September 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

      • Whilst we are on the subject another thing to watch Tesco on is if they only have a paticular size of a paticular brand on offer, though it will be cheaper than their normal price for it, this is often only becouse the manufacturers are for a limited period also doing the next size down of the item (eg coffee or washing powder etc) at it’s normal price (so their will be no sign saying on offer in front like the size up Tesco are proudly advertising on offer) but with 50 % free, so if you buy two of these at 50% free at normal price they actualy work out far better value than the bigger flagged up on offer size.

        If you see an offer on just one paticular size it is best to ask yourself why? and start looking to see what Tesco are trying to distract your attention from, I guarantee the answer won’t be stacked next to the prodly displayed “on offer size item” so you can do an easy comparison but instead probably right on the end on the corner the isle where it doesn’t get noticed.

        I would say that the average punter falls for this scam and even if you don’t it takes a load of maths and walking about backwards and forwards comparing everything before you buy. Which is something an awefull lot of people couldn’t mathematicly do or mums with a load of screaming toddlers would be in the position of doing.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

      • It’s like stuff in them basket things… you just assume that whatever is in it is cheaper and grab one 🙂 same with stuff on the end of isles… you just grab it… plus its kinda hard to miss what’s on the end of isles.

        Smart Price

        September 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

  20. on a visit to the job centre complete with the fortnightly job search record even though its daily filled it had to be picked at not to one persons liking,on referral to a job vacancy i dutifully telephoned and applied also explaining my condition,and was snuffed at by a employee of this company disability friendly i cont think so.

    this sums up perfectly the government’s attitudes’ the message would be get real.



    September 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm

  21. Now have a hearing aid. Have been classed as PWD. As I have hearing ‘issuses’ I am PWD {?}

    Mr Suffolk

    September 8, 2010 at 11:06 am

    • Arn’t they meant to anounce details in October? but I should imagine depending on just how much of a full on Nazi Fest they make it will account for how long it will take to bring in on the ground after that.

      Though in their heart of hearts I think they would love to go for the full Neo-Labour 24-7 Nuremberg Rally style of workfare I don’t think they have a chance becouse they have no where near the money needed to squander for that option.

      Also they are scared to spend the money as they are trying to disassosiate themselves from the failed grandiose money wasting scemes that signified 13 years of Neo-Labour, eg. New Deal, Iraq, Afghanistan, ID Cards and umpteen inter govermental computer systems like the neo-labour flagship computer tax system….which just failed.

      At least the Coalition government intend to find their own ways of being crap.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 8, 2010 at 11:41 am

    • PWD = Person With Disability


      A disability isn’t limited to the stereotypical “in a wheelchair because cant walk”.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm

      • that does not seem to let it stand in their way,i attended an interview and was brushed off very quickly with health problems’.

        as for a4e and the person who had his benefits stopped without his account,this action is disgraceful,being picked on because of someones attitude and thinking is totally unacceptable.it would be interesting to hear the reasons,probably untrue/made up and concocted by an nasty individual,as whats has been reported a4e have recruited people guilty of assault and in one case a sacked ambulance member.
        no doubt there are other dark secrets behind the badge too.


        September 8, 2010 at 7:40 pm

  22. Has anybody heard when the Work Programme is due to start.
    It seems to have gone from the media and JCP know nothing as per normal


    September 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

  23. Ok, these are two personal experiences I have had regarding benefits.

    Now, yes I am grateful to live in a country with a welfare system, and I do not take that for granted.

    But these two experiences have caused me to question the government’s commitment to helping the least fortunate in our society.

    And to be clear, one of these happened earlier in the year under the Labour government, so I am not bashing the Tories.

    Situation 1

    I have a friend who used to work for a “training provider”, he is currently unemployed and we both sign on at the same jobcentre. He is on friendly terms with some of the jobcentre staff through his contacts with them when working for the training provider.

    He has recently been put on “weekly signing” and we were in the jobcentre and talking to one of the staff and my friend question the benefits of “weekly signing”. The JC staff member said that there was no significant benefit to the unemployed person, given the state of the jobs market right now, but the benefit to the government was that some people would rather sign off than have to sign weekly.

    It was a cost cutting measure.

    Situation 2

    I have just competed a work placement through a training provider as part of Flexible New Deal (FND). While on the work placement I officially get removed from unemployment figures and my benefit changes from JSA to “Training Provision” (the money is the same, its just called something different to allow the government to massage the figures). However, there is still a nominal payment of 10p JSA to keep my claim active so I can use the “Rapid Reclaim” system to go back on to JSA when the work placement has finished.

    Except, it doesn’t work like that in reality. The Jobcentre sat on paperwork for two weeks that means that although I am back on JSA my weekly allowance is now £0.00 and no one seems to know how to change that.

    I called the BDC and they said I need to make a new claim from scratch; they did not even know the forms I signed with my training provider at the end of the work placement substituted for a JSA3 (new claim form) – I had to insist the person I was talking to talk to her manager to clarify the situation – her manager confirmed that I was correct.

    Last year I went through the same rigmarole when coming off another training course, that time it took over 7 weeks to sort it out and I had to start an official complaints process to get any movement, and I ended up losing just under 1 week’s money because of it. Of the 20 or so people I knew from the training course all of us except 2 had to go through the same process.

    Are these, apparent, incompetencies just a way to avoid paying out. If I had gone down the route of starting a new claim I would have lost 3-4 days money, again.

    Three or four days money, for each of 18 people, once every intake (12 weeks) at every training provider in the country – how much money does that save a year?

    All these calls to simplify the benefits system are, in my opinion, a smoke screen. It is the complexity of the system that allows the government to give so many people the run around and prevent that from claiming/receiving the benefits to which according to the same government they are legally entitled.


    September 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

    • When I completed my work placement on Flexible New Deal I went through a hell of a rigmorale to simply get my claim processed again.

      They did not inform me that I would be signing on again at the same time as I used to.

      It was entirely chance, and an instinct, that told me that I would have to.

      As for the forms etc the worst aspect was a sudden Council Tax Bill of over £800.

      Andrew Coates

      September 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  24. I did the FND work month placement and never experianced a break in my claim afterwards it just carried on regardless which was a big relief as both the jobcentre and my training provider insisted it shouldn’t make any difference as their was no change in my circumstances as long as I didn’t get some kind of paid placement.

    Saying that I think the problems afterwards might be down to what training provider you get as I know some people who were with TNG and YMCA on unpaid placements yet got exactly the same problems as you, so I wonder if TNG and YMCA arn’t processing the forms properly?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    • so I wonder if TNG and YMCA arn’t processing the forms properly?

      It wouldn’t surprise me. TNG and YMCA Training are seriously mediocre on a good day.

      Nope, not a mistake… or misunderstanding on my half. You just don’t want them on an average or bad day… a nightmare!

      Flexible New Deal

      September 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm

  25. Has anyone on this site expreianced having to repay a tax credits overpayment when they started work again?

    How is it done? do they still pay you tax credits but deduct a certain standard amount per week like with crisis loans? or do they divide the figure per week to be payed back over one year like the present tax mistake over payments? or is it case of just not getting any tax credits till they have recouped the sum owing ?

    I’m trying to figure the way they do it so I can cost min wage jobs as could make them a complete no go for me if they involve much travel costs and no tax credits.

    (wouldn’t be in this mess orinaly if we had a decent minimum wage instead of useless tax credits).

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm

  26. From here: http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/Warning-on-bizarre-behaviour-of.6517719.jp

    Warning on bizarre behaviour of jobseekers

    Published Date: 08 September 2010

    Jobseekers were ruining their chances of getting work by acting strangely during interviews, ranging from falling asleep, asking for a cigarette – or keeping a crash helmet on, according to a new report today.

    Some candidates talked about their love life, scratched the top of their legs or answered mobile phone calls midway through being questioned about a job, it was revealed.

    A survey of 100 business leaders by jobs website CareerBuilder.co.uk found a long list of bizarre behaviour, or mistakes such as criticising previous employers or dressing inappropriately.

    “Job interviews are high-stress, high-pressure situations and it’s important to practice responses,” said Tony Roy of CareerBuilder.

    Paranoid Pete

    September 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    • Thanks for the contribution… nothing personal… but as for the survey of just 100 “business leaders”… we all understand the criticising past employers and being incorrectly dressed. It can be deliberate, of course but more of the case of being naive.

      It is a major no-no to slag off your previous employer, however, there is a distinction between showing your ex-employer in a bad light (example: “Yeah, they were crap, poor working conditions and minimum wage. It seriously sucked.” ) and criticism (example: “I would like to work for %new company% because of the great training and progression opportunities you have available. I enjoyed my previous job but weren’t given new responsibilities or allowed to progress my career.”) Reading the second example, someone could have left out the last sentence to have a better effect; however, I personally wouldn’t exclude someone from a job opportunity because they added that.

      Dressing up badly…. not good. But inappropriately dressed? Yes, going to a McD job interview (low end position) wearing a suit is incorrectly dressed (unless management) however I would put it down as “trying to hard” (the person is really keen for the job) rather than disrespect and only giving points for effort.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      • lol working links sent me for a job in a meat packing factory once wearing a suit, i was the only one wearing a bloody suit lol everyone else looked liked they had just rolled out of bed after a night on the town, i felt like a right idiot. fuck working links. never got the job lol


        September 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      • Well, I would suggest that unless its a management (excluding supervisors) position or sales etc. to wear shirt, tie and trousers… only wear a suit for the big jobs.

        I would extend further to say avoid a suit for waged jobs, saving the suit just for jobs with a salary and bonuses.

        Flexible New Deal

        September 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      • “Job interviews are high-stress, high-pressure situations and it’s important to practice responses,” said Tony Roy of CareerBuilder.”

        well atos dont seem to think so,attempting to send the sick and the disabled and those that cannot cope day to day into situations like this.

        shame the article doesn’t highlight the discrimination shown to those that are disabled by these companies’.


        September 9, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    • Acting strange during a job interview is highly recommended if you have decided you don’t want the job.

      Perhaps the hours,wage or both are not as good as you were led to believe.

      I’ve known a few people to adopt that tactic. If the interviewer asks what about your last job just say something like ‘I got sacked for bad timekeeping and taking time off’.

      Funny A4e Photos

      September 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm

      • If they think you’re not trying, you’re in trouble.

        But try too hard.

        And you might get the fucking job.

        It’s a tightrope, Spud, a fucking tightrope.” From the movie Trainspotting

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 8, 2010 at 5:42 pm

      • Well… I have been to interviews myself where I have lost all interest in the position due to significant details being different…

        For example: One interview I went to was promoted as maternity cover… actually the job happened to be about setting up a new database system… (6 month post) all good and well… but I didn’t have the opportunity to prepare for that.

        I was clued up to the eye balls as a General Admin job (as personal spec and job description)… so when she sort of explained the post half way through which was solely down to setting up the database and providing support; everything I have said about telephonistic role, first point of contact etc. weren’t important as happened to be not anything to do with the job.

        Example: I have been sent by “providers” before to jobs which then happen not to be a real job. One case it was 8 hours a week with potential fulltime overtime – I obviously want some job security of full time contractually. Another case was similar, full-time but a weekly rolling contract. One actually ended up being a “voluntary” position with “possible” job at end of it.

        I can even remember a “job interview” (more of informal chat in a very small office) to some job advert in the paper (the high wage ones). After a chat to an office almost identical to TNG’s in Wolsey House (the same place it was at) … I found out it was a telesales job and the room was laid out like a classroom… (the desks etc.) and to each table waa two phones with several people sitting side by side next top each other shouting down the phones to someone… It wasn’t for me… when the bloke made me fill in an application form (wtf? after an interview?) I just made up the details on it and rushed it…

        Flexible New Deal

        September 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm

  27. lol it was for a production operative… stuck on the production line pig sticking, bolt gunning or whatever… it was working links after all lol


    September 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm

  28. Was it just me?

    I heard the news re: David Cameron’s Dad. At first I thought/hoped that the man himself (David Cameron) died. But sadly, that isn’t the case.

    Flexible New Deal

    September 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    • The Death of David Cameron would have indeed been a most unfortunate circumstance 🙂 I would have been among the first to offer my condolences 🙂 One looks forward to welcoming this infernal vagabond to Eternal Hell & Damnation 🙂

      Dr Death

      September 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    • You inconsiderate nasty BASTARD the man has just lost his father. What if it were your father how would you feel. I hope the authorities find out who and where you are [It can’t be that hard] and subject you to sanctions. It’s nothing more than you deserve. It’s diabolical that you have the gaul to even think things like that

      James Middlesex

      September 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

    • I refer you to my comments to that BASTARD Dr Death. I also pass those comments to you

      James Middlesex

      September 9, 2010 at 8:25 am

    • Hey James Middlesex, bigmouth. If you wanna come around this manor you betta learn some manners and show some respect.


      September 10, 2010 at 11:25 am

  29. job centre plus are the worst at vacancy descriptions,plenty of these are misdescribed ,there are details on their systems but they will only tell you what they are told too when the customer starts asking for more information.

    acting strange at interviews through the job centre as there is a high chance that you will be classed as spoiling your application,the wages on these jobs is utterly atrocious at todays prices and is not a living wage.the job centre is best avoided at that end of the market as the companies are all to often very poor,badly run,bullying problems staff turnover at high rates,low wages and atrocious working conditions and tend to close.


    September 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    • well said 🙂

      Flexible New Deal

      September 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    • spot on, ken 🙂

      Angelina Jolie

      September 8, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    • Too Right Ken,

      As I said before I’m now convinced that many of these misdiscribed jobs that turn into something lesser and different at actual interview eg part time, less money etc are just a deliberate ploy by the employer to get people to turn up often to the middle of nowhere to attend a job interview for in reality they would never have attended if they’d of known the true details, as then there is always a chance that more applicants might take the lesser job than if they had advertised the true details and got no applicants.

      There is a deffinate pattern to this, who ever you speak to on enquiring on the phone always confirms everything in the advert just to get you to attend,then when you turn up you are told either all those vacancies (that never existed) are filled but we have some positions for…,Its the jobcentres fault they have taken the details down wrong we will be having a stern word with them and the person you spoke to was only a junior and didn’t know we only have vaccancies for….or sometimes they have the cheek to make out that you are a con artist and have enhanced the job details beyond any recognition….We are so used to this in Lowestoft (a place with practicly no jobs that you can grasp how bad the real job must be if they have to pull these stunts to fill it)That we actualy bring a print out of the job details to the interview this at least confirms exactly who in the room is the con artist if they start making allegations.

      If all this is accidental how come I’ve yet to meet anyone who turned up and was told no the details are all wrong the hourly rate is way higher, double time on the weekend etc.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

      • Surely this type of deception is fraud to an extent?

        Getting downhearted after building yourself up for an interview you have spent so long to prepare for just to be told different specifics… is getting you there under false pretences giving you great expense to attend and get ready for it.

        I have on ONE occassion gone to an interview where the employer were genuine and stated that there had been a change due to funding that the hours are slightly different… Of course, they should have said sooner but atleast they admitted to it rather than just change the specifics.

        Of course in this capitalistic world… this is perfectly legal and fine to do.

        I have a job going to cut my grass, 30 hours a week, £16 an hour … then I tell you its once every 3 months at £6 a time! Only difference is you could spot that one a mile off!

        Flexible New Deal

        September 9, 2010 at 11:04 am

  30. employment agencies are to watched and approached with caution ,it has to be said if the job even existed at all it suspicious when the same job is kept running and running and window displays dont change,someone attends all their personal details are taken and at the end they turn around and say if there is anything we will let you know.

    there is not enough checks on these agencies’.


    September 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    • But Ken: Don’t be silly… agencies are brilliant. They falsely inflate the number of jobs that actually exist.

      This helps Jobcentre Plus alot! Along with the “work shy wasters” etc.

      JCP claims that for most large towns there are 3000-4000 jobs advertised a month.

      Direct Gov shows maximum of 5 pages with 20 results per page for “all” jobs in a town – I have tried Ipswich, Colchester and Felixstowe under this “conspiracy”… Felixstowe for example, typically shows results elsewhere (even London, midlands, cardiff, “nationwide” etc.)

      Jobpoints also do this. If at Ipswich JCP I choose the last week… (lets assume a 1/4 of monthly jobs although it don’t necessary mean one week will have the same as others) within a few pages I am offered jobs further away (East of England, nationwide etc.)

      If these thousands jobs per town do exist then WHY… let me repeat, WHY… does Jobcentre Plus not promote them all?

      Factors that must be included are when jobs exceed their sub limit (thus become hidden from system after Employment Officers, NDPA’s, and those on the phone submit jobseekers to jobs) and jobs that not so regularly become closed earlier for one reason or another.

      But seeing statistics, 1 in 8 jobs reach their limit (jobseekers who search multiple times a week are likely to spot the jobs before closed) and 5 in 8 jobs are below half the limit of sub rate.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      • the job centre has a duty to protect their customers,including from exploitation. they dont. a blame them attitude or some distant call centre that isnt doing its job,adverts that are misleading/vacancies that dont exist and are advertised through the job centre are entirely unacceptable. this is all very downmarket instead they continually insist on treating people like lackeys’ when they are lacking.


        September 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm

  31. Chancellor gets Tough on Benefits.

    BBC Radio 4, PM

    “The country can no longer afford the “lifestyle” choice of 5 million on out-of-work benefits, to do so risks economic catastrophe, Osborne is going to cut a lot further that announced in the Budget, further cuts to be announced on the 20th October, people have chosen benefit cuts, unemployed to be given greater “incentives” i.e cuts”

    Breaking News

    September 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    • It is a big statement to make implying all benefit claimants do it as a lifestyle choice.

      Assuming it is an official quote, it is slanderous in nature and the only reason I wouldn’t personally sue this twat is because with the won damages… what would I do with the money?

      Can’t divide it between millions of people!

      London: £5, Ipswich: 1p etc.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

  32. Osborne is no longer going to allow that “lifestyle choice”, “the biggest drain on welfare benefits is pensions, should Ken Clarke be given a free bus pass”, Osborne waffles about “commitments”

    Breaking News

    September 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm

  33. “Time limited” benefits are “off the table”

    Breaking News

    September 9, 2010 at 4:12 pm

  34. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11250639

    The government is planning to reduce the annual welfare bill by a further £4bn, Chancellor George Osborne has told the BBC.

    He will give details of the savings, which follow an £11bn cut made in June, in October’s spending review.

    The Treasury says the targets for the reductions are still being discussed.

    But Mr Osborne told BBC political editor Nick Robinson that those making a “lifestyle choice to just sit on out-of-work benefits” would be affected.

    He described the welfare budget as “completely out of control”.

    The combined £4bn and £11bn cuts represent about 6% of total spending in the area.
    ‘Difficult decisions’

    The BBC understands that discussions are continuing in Whitehall about whether it is possible to limit pensioner benefits – such as the winter fuel allowance, bus pass and free TV licence – without breaking Prime Minister David Cameron’s election promise that he would preserve them.

    The BBC understands that discussions are continuing in Whitehall about whether it is possible to limit pensioner benefits – such as the winter fuel allowance, bus pass and free TV licence – without breaking Prime Minister David Cameron’s election promise that he would preserve them.
    The Conservatives have described as “lies” Labour’s warnings that those benefits would be scrapped.

    The Treasury is currently holding meetings with individual ministers ahead of the October’s spending review, likely to be the toughest in a generation.

    Most government departments have been told to prepare packages of cuts worth between 25% and 40%.

    Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said there were “difficult decisions” ahead, but the savings would begin in April 2011 and be “spread evenly” over the next four years – equivalent to an annual 6% budget reduction.

    For Labour, shadow business secretary Pat McFadden accused the coalition of taking a “gamble with growth and jobs” and said cuts would “hit the poorest areas hardest”.

    BBC-commissioned research suggests industrial areas in the North East and Midlands are least resilient to such changes.

    Middlesbrough is ranked as the most vulnerable to cuts, followed by Mansfield in Nottinghamshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

    Breaking News

    September 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    • curious timing this announcement… it’s almost as if george has taken exception to certain remarks posted on this blog regarding his colleague the rt hon david cameron mp, at least george has a sense of humour lol


      September 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm

  35. The same old shit…

    £4bn in cuts… thats approx the annual figure of what “errors” by DWP cost the taxpayer. If they improve the system, they could recoup that without affecting anyones benefits.

    This is why these plans will never work… they will try and make savings but the “errors” is likely to increase… say up to £6bn a year… thus the benefit shake up is pointless… as soon as they make it harder for people to claim they leave the backdoor further open for money to roll out.

    Of course, welfare is too much… but you cannot look at it and decide TARGETS to reduce the figure which just sticks more people into POVERTY.

    This is a knock on effect of passing the buck. Sooner or later billions over 5 or so years will have to be spent on reducing the homelessness problems caused by this change.

    You have to CREATE JOBS and SCRAP EMPLOYMENT SCHEMES. Until this has been sorted then the welfare problem isn’t going away.

    Flexible New Deal

    September 9, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    • By employment schemes I mean the sham “employment courses” such as New Deal, Flexible New Deal and Work Programme.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm

  36. I think it’s another case of anouncing a head line, which when it comes down to it can’t be done.

    For a start at present somebody not seeking work gets their benefit stopped anyway so if the government knows how much it can save by targeting these alledged individuals it must also know how many there are and who they are to calculate the figure for the alledged saving.

    Lets face it this claim is a complete sham as if those alledged individuals really existed rather than being able to choose this presently as a lifestyle the reality is they would have already had their benefit stopped long ago so there is in reality not the money to be saved anymore bu doing this.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    • There are few people who have lifestyle choices…. (it is not a myth although is rare, apart from a few areas) but its the choice the state gives if they allow the person to claim.

      No longer are those people who unemployment runs in the family being “benefit fraudsters” but just scroungers and scum. It has somewhat become legally acceptable to the DWP, although – this type of people are seen as scroungers. or put it another way, a person who claims for everything they are entitled to… but wait they aren’t entitled to it…

      Fuck benefit fraud, seriously… most fraud is occurring at the DWP. If the employees are allowing these people to claim knowing they do not seek work etc. then they are FRAUDSTERS themselves… with taxpayers’ money!

      Hayley Taylor, fairy jobmother (?) episode 2, some dinosaur received clearance by DWP to go onto the programme and be filmed. This woman clearly on camera stated she would not work for NMW. Therefore she isn’t ACTIVELY seeking employment and is therefore NOT entitled to claim.

      Her benefit should be stopped with immediate effect. No sure thing. If I can recall, the daughter got a job, the son went boxing and she got counselling… still receiving benefit (not sure if she is now as I say this). DWP have seen the footage before it made TV screens but no action was taken because it was an educational documentary on the benefit system to give everyone else a bad name.

      This is CORRUPTION. Why should “high profile” cases (i.e. many hundreds of thousands are aware of it) such as hers be allowed but someone else be tipped off for the same and be sanctioned or lose their benefits?

      This is just a SINGLE example. I wouldn’t be surprised if the system isn’t rigged anyway…

      Sanctioned benefit money get transferred to fight the war (for bombs etc.) rather than be left unspent to the treasury. After all, if the welfare drains is really so much as current, think how bad it would be if sanctions didn’t exist!

      Just New Deal alone was responsible for 85,000 sanctions a year (https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/new-deal-sanctions-exposed/). We couldn’t obtain the savings of such and we weren’t told whether it was 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 26 weeks. So expect a mixture of such. So 680,000 (sanctions) x £50 (rough estimate of both rates and benefit up rating) x 4 weeks (middle option) = £136,000,000. 2 week sanction for the bottom line would be half that figure (£68,000,000). Remember this is just New Dealers on JSA benefit. More benefit sanctions are awarded outside employment programme. This is all pre-FND (where providers can sanction) and also pre- sanctions for being late.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    • “…if those alledged individuals really existed rather than being able to choose this presently as a lifestyle the reality is they would have already had their benefit stopped long ago”

      Perhaps the coalition is considering putting a time-limit on JSA claims?

      Paranoid Pete

      September 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      • Not new, there already is a limit on JSA pretty much.

        JSA Contribution is 6 months.

        JSA claims terminate after New Deal.


        As for time-limits in general, I don’t think EU allows it. This is why they are planning 3 year benefit sanctions as this is a way around it. Claim 6 months, get 3 year sanction…

        Restricting to say 2 years is a tricky position for the Government. I would be surprised if they got away with it.

        Flexible New Deal

        September 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm

  37. Soon we will be told that it is no longer an allowable “lifestyle choice” to have say two kidneys, two eyes or perhaps even two working testicles.

    No job?
    Full working set of vital organs?
    No JSA for you.

    Visceral capital will soon have to be declared.



    September 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    • Good point Lucy. You don’t have two (working) testicles though?

      Flexible New Deal

      September 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      • but she’d like a pair tho 🙂


        September 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm

  38. Not even one non-working one Flexi!
    I apologise for the accidental sexism, I should have added “ovaries” to the list for balance.


    September 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    • hehe, It would be strange if you had working testicles but no way of delivering the sperm – unless you are a baby making machine not requiring a man!

      You joke about it but something similar is likely to be around the corner, especially as discussion regarding allowing people to sell organs. “Do you have two kidneys?” “Yes”; “Do you have two lungs?”, “Yes”. “Well, I am sorry, people with those organs might want to sell them, so your capital allowance is now capped to £5000 and any amount over £1000 is subject to reduced benefits. As you have saved £2,800 from your previous job to undertake a course to improve your employment prospects – you can claim £30 JSA a week.”

      Flexible New Deal

      September 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      • Hermaphrodites wouldn’t even get through the doors of the Jobcentre. Far too much capital onboard.


        September 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    • but “pair of ovaries” don’t have the same ring to it 🙂


      September 9, 2010 at 6:20 pm

  39. “lifestyle choice to just sit on out-of-work benefits”

    this is complete rubbish,1980s talk.peoples lives on benefits have been made oppressive by this government,wasn’t john gummer that was saying the security net as a hammock conservative party conference talk.

    they are continually using this austerity as an excuse to target those on benefits to justify an all conservative onslaught attack on those who are on benefits’.


    September 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    • Sorry… to dump an digital timebomb on this article… most taxpayers are dumb scum.

      They (whom got the vote, ok those who aren’t taxpayers in the same sense can vote if registered) voted in these idiots.

      Most are too stupid to realise that the economy, employment and business is linked. Thus, if your town centre is almost abandoned of shops, its likely that there are no jobs going for shops that are closed down.

      If business parks are having people laid off work as businesses hit the wall… that means more unemployed people and less available jobs.

      Many people cannot grasp that even before the economical crisis, there weren’t anywhere near enough jobs for the number of people unemployed.

      So many people are going through a shit time. They first thought their job was secure forever. Had to deal with losing that. Then chose to sign on to ensure they have atleast some income, and most are extremely shocked at the way the system is and how crap people are treated.

      I see some people with the following attitude “*cough* Excuse me, I have been paying tax for 30 years for you to be in that job, and was paying your wages up until 2 months ago… some respect please!”

      Some people found it hard that it doesn’t matter how long you have been paying in, down the Jobcentre it doesn’t mean jack. Everyone is a number. No one is even treated as a human being.

      But it stays the same. When these people get a job again, most will move on forget the bad time they had, and treat it like they never claimed benefits. Everyone else who does it just scroungers.

      It shows a lot about people though. When you go to the Jobcentre do you assume all these people do not want to work or do you take everyone on individual merits and understand their struggle from some of your own experiences too?!

      At jobpoints… jobs from last 2 weeks… about 60 local jobs… shortly narrowed down to about 18 jobs in my chosen areas of work which are rather vast. Getting past the silly hours (14 hours a MONTH) and qualifications I don’t have; this is narrowed down to 6, with only one new job I not seen before. So this week, at JCP only one job I can apply for… thats pretty damn poor.

      Elsewhere in the week from my own searches, several more opportunities exist. 9 in total (including one from jobcentre) – excluding 3 of them because they look to be scams and never heard of the company let alone know where they are. That is 6 left, 4 being employment agencies where I am not even sure the job exist (OK, I know it doesn’t, just seem to want my identity stolen or details sold to marketing firm…)

      Leaves one application form to be done online and post a CV and covering letter to another employer.

      OK, I have been active with my search but it wasn’t really worth the time and effort just to print off a CV, spend 30 minutes on a good covering letter, stick it into envelope with stamp, a 5 minute walk to postbox… and of course 40 minutes with the online application form which seems to want to know too much!

      I could do all that in an evening without difficulty. I check up for new jobs… more wasted search time but it will be until next week where more “leads” come up and thats before I shortlist the potential possibilities from the scams, poor hours and jobs which require too many qualifications than whats really needed to do the job.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm

  40. It’s this and all the previous “Posh boy” governments who decided that we have no other option apart from living on benefits, not our choice.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm

  41. i always remember one years ago where a guy on new deal previously worked there from and was sacked and was sent for the same job i wore a cap and well remember sitting there and this snot was standing at a counter thinking take that cap off at which point i did you could see the phew at that point i put it back on again.
    to be fair the manager didn’t seem to be as i was told but appearances can be deceptive and problems can start when you begin,word of mouth is one of the biggest put offs of all.


    September 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm

  42. “lifestyle choice” – this is people’s bread and butter we are talking about – not soft furnishing ffs!


    September 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    • …soft furnishings which may include a pair of curtains which you can keep closed with the explicit intention of annoying the working neighbours.

      Did anyone notice the twinkle in George Osbourne’s eye in the interview where he was talking about “the house across the road with the curtains still closed at 7:30am”

      I swear he was getting turned on by that image.


      September 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      • Is he going to bring in a curtains hotline, for snitchs to get the unemployed back to work?

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 10, 2010 at 7:10 am

  43. One will simply have to have a word with ones pata to enrole one in the Bullingdon Club followed by a directership of the old family firm…..one realy is a silly arse for not realising earlier.

    Toodle Pip

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm

  44. its the banks, and the economy thats got out of control,deregulation has lead to irresponsibility and recklessness on a scale unimaginable ,while regulations and standards have been discarded resulting in uncontrollable unsustainable conditions which has continued to fester into a gigantic boil that has now poured,those that have fallen victims of this are subjected to the most regulation though with unfair low levels of benefits’ continual harassment and targeted as a figure of hate.


    September 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm

  45. Here’s a link to the BBC’s “Resilience Map” 😀


    Paranoid Pete

    September 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    • Not looking too good… although there are darker areas than Ipswich.

      The map seemed very speculative to me, I went through most of the different options – although there were changes – most were exactly the same darkness (the colour of which changed depending on the type of map).

      Flexible New Deal

      September 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

  46. the country is getting worse and worse.


    expecting the general population to foot the bill for this,even worse people on benefits,the divisions created in the last thirty years are continuing to grow unrestrained and at a continuing pace.


    September 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm

  47. Surely then the solution to the welfare-budget-deficit-debt-economic-meltdown-emma-harrison-is-a-cunt-global-catastrophe is for the unemployed to get up at 7:30, open the curtains and go back to bed again… 🙂 lol Just leave them open you stupid Cunt, save you getting up at 7:30. Thanks Cunt, or was that Penis.

    SHAMELESS ADVERTISEMENT: For more great comedy tune-in to the NEW series of the NOW SHOW on BBC Radio 4 COMING SOON… or whenever
    we can be bothered to get up and open the curtains… 🙂

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this improvised comedy sketch are solely the views of Cunt & Penis and NOT the BBC Comedy Unit 🙂
    ; Emma Harrison’s knickers may go up as well as down; you may not get the value of the JSA you paid in for.

    Cunt & Penis

    September 10, 2010 at 10:00 am

    • lol no need to get out of bed to open the curtains – we sell a range of Automatic Curtain Openers. All come with a fully-programmable electronic 24/7 timers. Fool the neighbours every time! Pop in store to make your selection. Ikea.


      September 10, 2010 at 11:55 am

      • we sell a range of Automatic Curtain Openers….

        Do You mean Butlers?

        R.t. Hon. Benedict Gummer MP

        September 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm

  48. Typical comment from the small minded low lifes that use this site. I do hope next month a twice weekly sigining at random times is introduced. I also hope they re-introduce compulsory RESTART programmes just so you know what it’s like to get up earl and go to work. I do hope they find out who are the main posters and then take them and this site down. Don’t worry it WILL HAPPEN

    • Is that the Administrators as in RiP is in Administration, or a few odd-bods who are unable to stick enough effort into getting more participants on to Flexible New Deal?

      Flexible New Deal

      September 10, 2010 at 11:15 am

    • Hey buddies. Low lifes aint welcome around this manor. Beat it!


      September 10, 2010 at 11:22 am

    • So RiP Admin, just what organs have you got to sell when you inevitably get sacked/made redundant?

      Shrivelled testes/ovaries from embittered sedentary people aren’t going to fetch much on the open market.


      September 10, 2010 at 11:25 am

    • One other thing Admin RIP, just what are you doing posting to this blog at 10:55am? Are you skiving off from your job? using your employer’s facilities for personal use? Or, perhaps you have just been sacked for your incompetence at getting people real jobs? Or did you have your hand in the petty cash box?

      I wonder why you are so angry?


      September 10, 2010 at 12:16 pm

  49. The comments made about unemployed people being lazy work shy people unable to open curtains at 7.30am.

    It is wrong to assume that anyway… retired people might not have their curtains so early (although I know many do get up very early in the morning), the person could even be employed but on A/L.

    As for me I have got up early my entire life. Started off when I was a baby, could be any time really – even multiple times a night. Then 7.30am to get ready for school when I was a kid. Then when I left school, I get up at 6.30pm daily… and that is still the case today. No discrimination between the period I had a job and when I am unemployed. Get up the same time… no job, but I still have a life to live… if thats possible on such money.

    Flexible New Deal

    September 10, 2010 at 11:27 am

    • spot on flex. one of my neighbours used to wait until her hubby went to work to open her curtains… that was the signal for her lover to opo in for a shag… so how does that… to a casual observer this guy would have been on the dole… but he was out grafting himself into an early grave whilst his wife was shagging every Tom & Dick… so how does this fit in with Osborne’s daft theory.

      frank field

      September 10, 2010 at 11:33 am

      • is that david blunkett you’re talking about frank….. ?

        davie jones

        September 10, 2010 at 11:36 am

      • wot about peeps that work nite shift. wen i was on nite shift i used to sleep with the curtains closed during the day. wots georgy porgy boy been smoking?


        September 10, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    • Too Right Flexi, If someones been working night shifts (not that Osbourne ever has or knows anybody who knows anybody who ever has) 7.30 is normaly about the time they are closing their curtains to go to bed.

      It would be interesting to know from what experiance is he speaking? And how many people across the road from Osbournes Palatial Villa are on the dole with their curtains closed….I bet theirs hardly anybody in that toffs postcode on the dole to have their curtains closed…(apart fromthe idle rich who arn’t on the dole anyway).

      I demand names and adresses under the freedom of information act!!! and whilst I’m waxing Bolshevik what the hell does Georgie Boy know about the unemployds lifestyle descisions anyway when the only descision that Toff has ever had to make in his life was between having a boat or a plane for a birthday present…not both

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 10, 2010 at 1:28 pm

  50. From here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11261739

    Up to 40,000 front-line police jobs ‘at risk’

    As many as 40,000 front-line police jobs will be at risk across England and Wales if the government’s 25% cuts go ahead, the Police Federation has said.

    The body, which represents English and Welsh police officers, said such a staffing reduction would make policing as it is now “unsustainable”.

    The Police Federation said it was inevitable crime would go up.

    Its warning came after one force, the Hampshire Constabulary, said it planned to cut 20% of its workforce.

    Paranoid Pete

    September 10, 2010 at 11:29 am

    • So when the starving unemployed are forced to shoplift, who is going to arrest them? And where does the money come from to put them in prison?


      September 10, 2010 at 11:32 am

    • Too much police staff really.

      We all feel that we are going to be murdered etc. with these cuts but seriously do you feel that there is enough officers at current?

      Government doesn’t understand efficiency!

      Get rid of all these pointless PCSO’s etc. who although don’t get paid as much as REAL police – absolutely have no powers – its like a good citizen with a high vis on but costing taxpayers’ millions!

      If I see a crime, I will report it via 999… I wont charge for it. Millions of the public would do the same. Why are we paying for people to basically do the same thing but wear clearly visible uniform? The only difference is there are more of us than them.

      As for where I am, police just drive around in cars… not exactly bobby on the beat! I am not a crime magnet but when I do see crimes happening, either I not seen a police car in the area all day or it has either been past 5 minutes ago or 2 minutes after the crime!

      As for the last time I saw a police officer walk on the beat near me… must have been around the time of the “Suffolk Murders”.

      As for town centre… about 4 walk together (2 are pretend police lol). If they want to fight crime, spread apart… after all they all have radios for assistance! Not to mention the central police station isn’t too far away neither.

      Ignore the Fed! Crime is already out of control. When crime goes down by figures, it is just because no one bothers reporting it anymore.

      Even when I see “police” around I see crime happening… it is these people who impersonate the police! Right under the noses of the real police…

      I cannot judge the figures anyway, as police jobs isn’t just cuntstables but other staff including administrative staff working at the HQ.

      Probably 1 in 3 jobs aren’t really needed but unless they can cut the paperwork it wont be solved this way.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      • Remember as well as uniformed Police, there is plain-clothed, CID and undercover, it’s not just the high-visibility one’s that you see – they are just for show to “reassure” the public lol

        Police don’t PREVENT crime – that’s the job of CCTV lol Police just pop round to take a statement after the fact – really just souped-up pre-cognition officers.

        Police NEVER put themselves in ANY danger – that is POLICY and it’s why you you witness a violent crime like a stabbing it’ll be AT LEAST an hour before the Police turn up to take a statement.

        Talking of things souped-up, have you checked out the cars the local constabulary are driving these days? Mercedes, BMW, Bentley, Aston Martin, all top-spec and high-performance. Not like the Buicks and shit our American cousins have to put up with. The UK is the best place to be a cop if you enjoy driving luxury cars. Over and out!

        PC Plod

        September 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm

      • Just to add, in all honest most if not all of the functions of the Police could be “civilianised”, it’s already happening, witness the sexy girl at the charge bar the other day. I wonder if that is the way that the Government’s thinking is heading. Got a “serious crime” to solve. Catch you later lol vroom, vroom…

        PC Plod

        September 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      • Just to labour the point, uniformed officer are the aviation equivalent of pilots: planes can fly themselves. Modern policing has a lot in common with aviation: it’s all done by computer. Computer analysis the data, and by the magic of fuzzy logic tell us whose door to kick in. Andrew Coates, Ipswich, suspected Marxist, I’m on my way… vroom, vroom…

        PC Plod

        September 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      • What’s this “suspected”

        Convicted and charged I’d say!

        Andrew Coates

        September 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      • Ah, a confesssion Mr Coates. In that case, you’re nicked! You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

        PC Plod

        September 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    • Oh yeah, when is the strike?

      Is there any chance of RIOT police MURDERING a politician this time instead of an innocent bystander?

      (You might see the irony but it wasn’t a joke, I am curious…)

      Flexible New Deal

      September 10, 2010 at 1:39 pm

  51. Proposal expected to be enacted into legislation in due course…

    Participants will have their benefits withdrawn if they refuse to work 19.5 hours per week, receiving £12 in total for their work, in addition to benefits.

    There are currently 455,000 people on the live register in the Republic of Ireland, which has an official unemployment rate of around 14.0 per cent.

    So what’s the bloody point? Surely the state has failed to deliver a sustainable economy, so now it’s attempting to blame the unemployed?

    News Wire

    September 10, 2010 at 3:05 pm

  52. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0901/1224277975155.html

    Unions to oppose work-for-dole plan

    THE IRISH Congress of Trade Unions has said it will oppose Government proposals to make thousands of unemployed people engage in social employment in the community if they are to retain existing benefits.

    In a letter to the Minister for Social Protection the general secretary of congress, David Begg said it was particularly concerned at reports that unemployed workers would be under threat of losing their social welfare if they do not participate in the new scheme.

    On Sunday, the Department of Social Protection revealed plans for a pilot scheme which would initially see around 10,000 people who are unemployed offered social employment on a range of projects such as the provision of childcare, working with sports clubs and on environmental initiatives such as improving forest and mountain pathways.

    They would be paid about €210 for a 19.5-hour week. However, under the Minister’s plans, those who refused to take up this work will lose their welfare payments .

    On Sunday, congress president Jack O’Connor had said that it was not opposed in principle to the scheme, although he raised a number of concerns. Congress sources said yesterday that its position on the Government scheme had been set out following a meeting of senior figures on Monday.

    The new congress letter to the Minister emphasises and expands on Mr O’Connor’s concerns, particularly in relation to any compulsory element of new scheme.

    Mr Begg’s letter states: “Trade unions will vigorously oppose mandatory participation and ‘workfare’ schemes that are more about punishing unemployed than helping them.”

    Mr Begg said congress supported the dual aims of creating employment opportunities for unemployed people while at the same time providing much-needed community, social, cultural and environmental services.

    He said the acceptance by congress of the need for a work guarantee scheme should not be seen as agreeing to “park the unemployed” until the economy picks up.

    “This scheme only reinforces the need for job creation. Nor should the scheme be used to down play cutbacks or make up for dwindling funds for local and community work. It must not be used to replace jobs nor to create a pervasive climate of fear.”

    Mr Begg said congress wanted an urgent meeting with the Minister on the planned scheme. He said it wanted a number of safeguards to be included.

    Congress argued that as part of any new work opportunity scheme, it was essential that participants had to be recognised as employees and that all employment rights such as sick leave, holidays, health and safety and rights to trade union membership must apply. Congress also urged that participation in the schemes must be “genuinely voluntary”.

    It said refusal to participate should not result in any negative impact on social welfare or secondary benefits, and that there were a number of reasons why participation should be voluntary.

    It said that people would take advantage of genuine opportunities offered and it was likely that more people would want to participate than there were places on offer.

    News Wire

    September 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    • Greek Rioters chant “This is not Ireland we do not sacrifice to the Rich”.

      Ireland 0 Greece 2

      This is what happens when you roll over to your government. Celtic Tiger? capitalist Lap Dog more like, fighting Irish??? is it true they have no word for testicles in the Irish Language?

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    • Or “ovaries”, let’s not get sexist, Lowestoft’s Finest.

      Lucy's Ovariea

      September 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    • *GLARES @ naughty ovaries*

      OI!! YOU TWO! Get back in my tummy NOW. No one gave you permission to gallavanting about on blogs did they?



      September 11, 2010 at 11:39 am

    • Eyes up Lucy’s Ovaries

      We hook up we should and together go gallavanting blogs. We could get up to all sorts of errurs gramatikal and speling misteaks.

      Lowestoft's Finest Testicles

      September 12, 2010 at 11:28 am

      • Don’t encourage ’em Lowe’ they’re a right pair of deviants. 😉


        September 14, 2010 at 11:08 am

  53. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/letters/2010/0831/1224277908411.html

    Madam, – Why is there so little opposition to such bizarre and backward measures as those being introduced by the Department of Social Protection to force people to work for their welfare payment (Home news, August 30th)? Have people not heard of what this has led to in the US?

    These measures have distorted the jobs market, leading potential employers to choose the free labour “workfare employee” over giving someone a proper paid job – thus removing job opportunities from the labour market. One would also have to question the job commitment of anyone who is forced to work to avoid hunger or become homeless – not exactly an enlightened approach to motivation. People need to recall the arguments and justifications of the workhouses in Irish history and they might be a bit more disturbed by our 21st-century “social protection” measures. – Yours, etc,


    Mourne View,

    Skerries, Co Dublin.

    Madam, – As a social care student in DIT, I have spent close to €5,000 on my degree (plus extras). I have spent countless hours studying subjects such as sociology, social policy, psychology and principles of professional practice and engaged in placement work too. And for what? For someone completely unqualified to do the job I will have spent three years qualifying for, for less than half the money, it seems.

    Does this make me angry? Of course! However, that is the part I can live with. What I cannot stand the injustice that is about to be done to our country’s most vulnerable people, yet again. The Kennedy report in 1970 may have specifically been looking at residential care, but its findings and recommendations need to be applied across the board. Proper staff training is a must. On-the-job training is not good enough.

    The Ryan report details how people were plucked from the dole queue to fill positions in a variety of social care positions. This led to an extremely poor quality of care for people who deserved better.

    Are we really going to ignore all of this? How many more reports and investigations do there need to be before we learn? Minister for Social Protection, Éamon Ó Cuív may think that social care is Mickey Mouse work but I can assure you that it is not. I wonder what would happen if he sent random jobseekers into hospitals to do some “on-the-job” medical training . . . Not on my granny, I say. – Yours, etc,


    Glasnevin Hill,

    Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

    Madam, – So the Government is consideringforcing some dole recipients to work for their welfare. Why stop there? We have an ever-growing prison population and on an almost daily basis we hear we are running out of space to incarcerate offenders. Let’s get our able-bodied criminals out to work and instead of us forking out to put them up in swanky prison cells, let’s get them paying back society by doing physical labour in quarries and the like.

    There are plenty of much-needed infrastructure projects in my native west that our criminals could begin the hard graft on. One hundred prisoners could take the place of one digger, thereby helping to cut our carbon emissions. And what’s more, they could be self-sufficient – fence them into an enclosure and let them grow their own food. We could even give them some animals to rear. Surely the Greens would love this idea? It’s a win-win situation for both the environment and society. Much better than coming down on law-abiding commercial vehicle users, don’t you think? – Yours, etc,


    Cadogan Street, Belfast.

    Irish Times

    September 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm

  54. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,703802-4,00.html

    Germany’s Disappointing Reunification
    How the East Was Lost

    By Alexander Neubacher and Michael Sauga

    Part 4: Paid to Do Pretend Work

    “I can say to the Germans in East Germany that no one will be worse off than before, and many will be better off.”

    (Helmut Kohl, July 1, 1990)

    A light breeze is blowing on this sunny June morning in the forests south of Berlin. Knut Sprenger is standing in front of a trail map near the town of Luckenwalde in Brandenburg, preparing for his workday under a publicly funded employment program.

    “We’ll take the Holbeck circular route today,” he says. “We haven’t been there in a while.”

    Sprenger works for “Fläming Walk,” a 450-kilometer (280-mile) network of hiking trails named after the Fläming region. The participating towns like to tout it as the “biggest Nordic walking park at the gates of Berlin and Potsdam.” Sprenger, who is in his mid-50s and deeply tanned, monitors hiking paths, replaces damaged path markers and accompanies groups of hikers. “I spend a lot of time in the great outdoors,” he says, “and I always have a destination in mind.”

    A Tradition of Concealment

    Not everyone in eastern Germany is as satisfied with his or her job. Two decades after reunification, the labor market is the clearest indicator of the ongoing gap between the two Germanys. The unemployment rate in the eastern states is still almost twice as high as it is in the west, and the east has more temporary and seasonal workers.

    According to a study by the Institute for Employment Research, “central indicators for the job market suggest more of a tendency toward stagnation than catching up.”

    Back in the former East Germany, it was common to conceal the true scope of unemployment behind a large number of unproductive jobs. This tradition was seamlessly extended into the post-reunification era.

    The government came up with a series of publicly funded employment programs in the years after the fall of the Wall. But there was always an underlying contradiction. On the one hand, the jobs created under these programs were designed to resemble normal jobs as closely as possible, so that participants would be able to eventually return to the regular working world. On the other hand, this parallel labor market could not compete with the real job market.

    It was not a success, as Germany’s Federal Audit Office concluded two years ago in a devastating assessment of one such program involving so-called “one euro jobs.” Under the scheme, the long-term unemployed could work a certain number of hours a week in, for example, old people’s homes, schools or parks. In return, they received compensation of €1 an hour or more on top of their regular welfare payments. But, according to the report, the government-funded ersatz jobs were displacing many regular jobs and even decreased the chances of participants finding real work.

    For the majority of long-term unemployed people, the one-euro jobs did not “provide any measurable advantages” in terms of finding work, the auditors concluded. Hundreds of thousands of East Germans were “branded as second-class workers,” says Esther Schröder, a former SPD member of the Brandenburg state parliament.

    Making Sundials for the State

    Knut Sprenger is familiar with the experience. When Sprenger, a bricklayer by trade, was no longer able to work in construction because of a slipped disc, the job placement office helped him embark on what he describes as a “career in government-funded job programs.” He went from one temporary job to the next, but the positions were either pointless or lacked job security.

    At first, he received a one-euro job as a janitor in a center for the disabled. Even though his new employers praised him as the “man with the golden hands,” Sprenger was unable to keep the job, because one-euro jobs are usually only temporary.

    Then the employment office placed him in a so-called “qualification” program, in which he and other unemployed workers were supposed to build sundials. They were only permitted to use sandpaper and files as tools, and the results of their work disappeared into the basement of the company running the program.

    The work making sundials was not supposed to resemble an ordinary job in the trades. Sprenger began to question the purpose of the project. “When I finish work in the evening, I have to be able to see what I’ve accomplished,” he says.

    Hopes of a Job

    Now he hopes that he’ll at least be able to keep his job with Fläming Walk, but the chances aren’t good. The federal government program that provides the funding for his current position expires in two years.

    By now it’s early in the afternoon and Sprenger is back at his starting point. In a few moments, he’ll report to his boss that he found no significant damage, except for a downed tree that had fallen on another tree behind a small grove. “If it comes loose,” says Sprenger, “it could be really dangerous.”


    September 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm

  55. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/11/george-osborne-slash-sickness-benefits

    George Osborne’s secret plan to slash sickness benefits

    Chancellor plans to slash welfare bill by £2.5bn for people who are disabled or too ill to work

    Secret plans to slash the welfare bill by £2.5bn for people who are disabled or too ill to work are being up drawn up by the chancellor, George Osborne, documents leaked to the Observer reveal.

    Details of the plan, spelled out in a confidential letter from Osborne to Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, sparked a furious row as Labour accused the coalition government of targeting “the most vulnerable people in the country” with “shocking, arbitrary cuts”.

    The letter, written by Osborne on 19 June to Duncan Smith and circulated to David Cameron and Nick Clegg, will fuel mounting concerns that the government’s assault on spending – and particularly Osborne’s determination to slash the cost of welfare – will hit those on the lowest incomes the hardest.

    Despite official insistence that no decisions have yet been made on where the axe will fall, Osborne stated in the letter – written three days before his emergency budget – that agreement had already been reached to impose deep cuts on the budget for employment and support allowance (ESA) – the successor to incapacity benefit. ESA is paid to those judged unable to work because of illness or disability.

    Osborne told Duncan Smith: “Given the pressure on overall public spending in the coming period, we will need to continue developing further options to reform the benefits as part of the spending review process in order to deliver further savings, greater simplicity and stronger work incentives.

    “Reform to the employment support allowance is a particular priority and I am pleased that you, the prime minister and I have agreed to press ahead with reforms to the ESA as part of the spending review that will deliver net savings of at least £2.5bn by 2014-15.”

    In a further extraordinary development, sources within Duncan Smith’s department turned their fire on the Treasury, insisting nothing had been decided and suggesting Osborne’s department may have leaked the letter to bounce them into accepting the plan.

    With under six weeks to go before Osborne’s comprehensive spending review, senior ministers are growing increasingly sensitive to charges of unfairness. Last week, Nick Clegg sought to dispel anxieties by pointing out that the cuts would not fall at once, but over five years. And, in an article for the Observer, Cameron insists that the government’s commitment to devolve power from Whitehall to the people is driven at least in part by the quest for greater “fairness”.

    “There’s the efficiency argument – that in huge hierarchies, money gets spent on bureaucracy instead of the frontline. There’s the fairness argument – that centralised national blueprints can entrench unfairness because they don’t allow for local solutions to major social problems. And there’s the political argument – that centralisation creates a great distance in our democracy between the government and the governed,” the prime minister argues.

    A spokesperson from the Department for Work and Pensions said Duncan Smith, who is battling with the Treasury over potentially costly plans to improve incentives to get people off welfare and into work, would agree to nothing that would hit the vulnerable. “We are looking at a range of options for welfare reform and any decisions will be made in the context of the spending review. Our reforms will ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are protected.”

    The leak provides an explosive backdrop to the political conference season, which opens tomorrow with the start of the Trades Union Congress in Manchester. The TUC will unveil a report on Monday claiming to show that the Conservatives have betrayed their election promise to introduce cuts fairly and protect public services, as the unions prepare a co-ordinated response to the measures.

    Government insiders admitted that limits to the time that people could spend on ESA were being considered, as were plans to means test recipients. But they insisted nothing would be done that would affect those who were judged as having no potential future chance of getting into work.

    Jim Knight, the shadow employment minister, said: “The budget was already going to hit most ESA claimants hard; according to government figures, by over £900 if they are also on housing benefit. Now we see the Tories and Lib Dems are conspiring to take thousands of pounds from the most vulnerable.

    “This exposes George Osborne’s rhetoric about living on benefits as a ‘lifestyle choice’, as being a smokescreen to hide vicious cuts on the poorest. It also shows that Iain Duncan Smith will cave in to the Treasury rather than deliver the sensible long-term reforms he talks about.”

    The Guardian

    September 11, 2010 at 11:15 pm

  56. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/pay-down-4pc-but-worse-is-to-come-say-employers-2333765.html

    Pay down 4pc but worse is to come, say employers

    EMPLOYERS last night warned of further drops in workers’ income as official figures revealed that pay was down by almost 4pc in the space of a year.

    Average weekly earnings fell by 3.8pc from the first quarter last year to the same period this year. This was due to a drop in average hourly pay and number of hours worked, according to the Central Statistics Office.

    The weekly earnings of the lowest paid workers in the economy — clerical, sales and service staff — fell by 5.9pc in the year to the first quarter of 2010.

    Only in two out of 13 sectors did average weekly earnings rise.

    Topping the table were weekly earnings of €1,013.59 in the financial, insurance and real estate sector — up 1pc on the previous year.

    Meanwhile, employees in professional, scientific and technical jobs earned an average €856.30 a week, up 3.1pc.

    Trade union Mandate said the latest earnings figures showed that workers on lower incomes were being squeezed the hardest by the recession.

    “Ironically, while the incomes of the lowest paid workers are falling lower than others within the economy, the pressure they are experiencing from rising prices is the greatest,” John Douglas, union general secretary said.

    Average weekly earnings for such staff were now less than €470 per week and worked out at around €24,000 per year, he added.

    Employers’ group ISME said the latest figures came as no surprise and warned that unless there was an economic upturn the trend would continue.

    Smaller companies were finding the current environment extremely difficult and had been forced to reduce labour costs and cut staff numbers and hours of employment, ISME’s Jim Curran said.

    The latest figures show that average weekly earnings were €682.91 in the first quarter of the year, a drop of more than €26 on the €709.55 weekly figure a year earlier. Across the economic sectors there were falls in average weekly pay in 11 of the 13 sectors covered.

    The largest decreases were in education, with average weekly earnings of €809.24 (-9.1pc), and transport and storage with €680.15 (-7.3pc).


    Earnings of clerical, sale and service employees fell by almost 6pc compared to a much lower drop for managers, professionals and associated professionals (3.9pc) and production, transport, craft and other manual workers (3.5pc).

    The figures also showed that weekly earnings in the public sector fell further (5.5pc) than in the private sector (2.8pc).

    According to the CSO, the figures reflect the decreases in public sector pay rates announced in the December Budget. However, earnings in the public sector were calculated before the pension levy was introduced in March 2009.

    The latest figures follow news that soaring mortgage repayments rates have driven up the cost of living for the first time in nearly two years.

    And they come as artists prepare to take to the streets next week in protest over the collapse in their income.

    Artists will take their protest to the Department of Arts, Tourism and Culture on Thursday to highlight their plight.

    “It’s hard to make a living as an artist in the best of times,” said Des Courtney, group secretary of Irish Actors Equity. “But the recession and cuts in the arts are making things near to impossible for many artists.”

    Independent Ireland

    September 12, 2010 at 1:06 am

    • I appreciate this is for Ireland and not the UK, however, really… most employers do not have a leg to stand on when being skint flints on employee wages.

      Yes, welfare system is in a mess because of what happened… recovery in that respect hasn’t been complete with many unemployed still and struggling to recover back to how they were before the CC.

      Businesses are making profits (yes not all, but even when there is a boom, the story of life for businesses… some be growing, others hitting the wall) there isn’t excuses.

      Retail are refusing to employ staff. ASDA, the Range etc. are guilty of not recruiting staff in vacant positions but getting existing staff to do between one and a half and 3 peoples work.

      Would love to know the UK stats for this! Anyone have a link?

      Flexible New Deal

      September 12, 2010 at 8:52 am

      • The UK is notorious for under-staffing. For example, I recently stayed at an hotel in France – nothing luxurious – where EACH diner was waited on by 6 WAITER/ESSES. I say waited on, but they were really standing around doing nothing. I compare and contrast this with my experience of the UK where I regularly witness the ONE waiter/ess doing the work of SIX waiter/ess running around at 100mph/160kph with plates spinning on their looking like a circus performer on speed. Wake up UK, you are being played for frogs legs.

        Freddy Frog

        September 12, 2010 at 10:09 am

      • Cheese. lol

        Flexible New Deal

        September 12, 2010 at 10:44 am

  57. …plates spinning on their heads…

    Freddy Frog

    September 12, 2010 at 10:10 am

  58. I was in the new Aldi near me the other week and couldn’t believe the noise coming off the checkout belt it was like a loud constant droning fog horn that instantly did my head in just standing there let alone having to work next to it.

    I thought the belt must be on the way out judging by the racket so I said to the checkout opperative “I couldn’t put up with having to work next to that is the belt OK”? They repplied its designed to make all that noise when anybody puts anything on it as we have to stack shelves as well its meant to let us know someone needs serving.

    What a piss take, the store had about 10 checkouts it wasn’t tiny like a Tesco Metro so the checkout opperaters have to be the shelf stackers as well if you were stuck on the till on a busy day the racket would fry your brains, and no doubt you get health and safety warnings for not clearing everything away safely when you have to momenterily leave your shelf stacking to serve someone, and lectures for taking to long to come over and serve someone when you are tying to momenterily leave the stacking safe.

    Either way if something happens its bound to be your fault, all for crap money, best swerved.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    • Lidl/Aldi is full of processed muck. It’s impossible to consume a nutritionally balanced diet from that store. It may be OK for a hard-up/budget conscious student to live on 7p noodles for a short time, but it the long term it is going to take it’s toll health-wise. Eating is not about filling a hole in your stomach with cheap and tasty crap, it’s about obtaining balanced nutrition to satisfy your body’s needs. And proper nutrition does not come cheap. In a way, stores like Lidl only increase the gap between the rich and the poor. Look around Lidl, how many “healthy-looking” customer do you see? I am a firm believer that the cause of many, if not all disease is malnourishment. And the way that Lidl push crap like soft-drinks is nothing short of scandalous: The first thing they do on entering the store is invite their “customer” to fill their trolley – why no baskets? – with teeth-rotting, sugary, carbohydrate-laden, fattening fizzy water. And why are Lidl still selling products with hydrogenated vegetable oil (artery-clogging trans-fat?).

      Gillian McKeith

      September 12, 2010 at 2:03 pm

      • I agree, I only went in to Aldi for a look round but as they treat their staff like that I won’t be giving them my custom.

        I thought their fruit and veg though the same price was way better than Tesco fruit and veg quality(not hard to achieve), but still nothing like market fruit and veg quality or value, but exactly as you said if Aldi was the only shop you could get to and you had do do your weekly shop there you are going to be in a pretty bad state of health pretty quickly as everything else seemed to just be family packs of Hoola Hoops or Jammy dodgers or umpteen litre bottles of Coke in other words crap thats ok ounce in a while but not every week, god help anyone who’s diabetic …in fact thats probably how they ended up diabetic .

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      • Gillian I take it you are not a meat-eater.

        Their German saussages, Polish salami, and Italian Parma Ham are excellent, and at a price the unemployed can afford.

        Andrew Coates

        September 13, 2010 at 10:14 am

      • Did you know the Aldi founder is the richest man in Germany?!

        Perhaps people should gang together and sue him? lol

        Well, it is either starve or eat shit for many people these days. Poverty is so bad in this country – we see poverty as starving homeless people – when in fact is extend much further than that including being income deprived.

        Take London for example… 51% fall under that definition, although it is the Capital of England and the UK, and the world financial capital etc. and of course capital of the World … (you can see where this is going?!) One of the richest countries in the world. (I will not move on to other areas)

        Talking of supermarkets, I think the aldi/lidl combo is typically ganged up as of it being foreign which somewhat racist in nature, however it is true what you say, I would also add ASDA to the list… erm, some Tesco value too for sure. Both being British supermarkets although Walmart took over ASDA some years back.

        This is what totally pisses me off. We all hear about eating healthy and don’t smoke, drink etc. but forcing people* to go to these places and buy cheap unhealthy food is violation of Human Rights.

        (* low JSA benefits, low wages of this country with no regulation etc.)

        Forget fruit, veg and sandwiches from healthy eating definition for a moment. We can all choose to add that to our diets from time to time, but eating all these foods like cheap ready meals containing your daily allowance of salt, sausages containing something like 8% pork (I agree there should be different types of sausages with different pork amounts depending on size of your pocket, but under 50%? fuck off!)

        This is what the Government seems to forget. It won’t do you much better to eat 5 fruit and veg a day if you are consuming 3 times the RDA of fat, sugar and salt.

        Healthy eating is about a balanced diet.

        Am I the only one here who will put their hands up and say I do not eat 5 different fruit and veg a day?! This doesn’t concern me that much. When I gain employment I will introduce them again, probably taken 2 years off my life, but I lost 3 months by simply signing on right?!

        It is not about being a fat bastard and eating unhealthy by stuffing a lot of fatty food. You will find it difficult not to see those food labels on food these days. How many of them have pathetic portions on them?! We have a quick glimpse while we shop and think “that’s not too bad” then you realise you need a calculator to find out how bad it is.

        Again, all supermarkets are guilty of unhealthy food, and in all honesty, salt is cheap but isn’t it cheaper to use less? It is like, we couldn’t give a fuck, we ordered lots of salt in by the ton and as we aren’t personally eating them we will randomly throw in salt.

        Then Pot Noodles… they sorted the salt out and they taste crap! Why can I not choose to have close to zero salt in-take, but have a pot noodle and have a balanced diet?!

        I am curious though. Comparing long term unemployed people to those with a NMW job (or slightly over)… how much more chance they are of dying from cancers and heart disease etc. and how much quicker on average will they die? Then compare against those who aren’t rich but are earning rather well. In the 21st Century you would think we would have a good standard of average food… rather than good food, middle range and completely crappy food.

        As for Aldi/Lidl… I know what you mean. I have been in there a few times myself to buy a few things. The food though I wouldn’t touch, for non-food items they sometimes have good a bargain to be had.

        Flexible New Deal

        September 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

      • Food as a Weapon my Dear Chappie/Chapesses, does anyone really think that the Lidl CEO actually eats any of that salt/fat*/sugar laden crap? Don’t be silly, of course not. If you want to kill off a section of society one way would be feeding them nutritionally-bereft crap. (No need to go the whole Stalin-esque way). Good quality food is a resource and everyone should have equal access to it.

        * there is fat and fat – mono-unsaturated fat as found in nuts in seeds is actually quite good for you. The reason why (some) people are so fat is excess carbohydrate consumption.

        Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

        September 13, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      • I have an allotment which provides me with loads of heathy food, and enough (eg courgettes) to give away to friends.

        Ipswich has a lot of allotment sites, but unfortunately they’re getting filled up. There’s plenty of types who read about them in the Sunday Papers and want to live the Good Life. Plus the local Liberal-Tory Junta keeps raising the rent.

        But at the moment I have so many veggies I am drowning in them!

        Andrew Coates

        September 13, 2010 at 12:08 pm

      • “then you realise you need a calculator” – but you do need a calculator or some sort of software. Food labels are quite deceptive, but if you were to meticulously add it all up…

        Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

        September 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      • The reason that so many processed foods are so high in salt is… taste. Without all the added salt they would taste awful/even worse. If you want to make something tasty out of cheap ingredients add generous amounts of fat, sugar and salt.

        Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

        September 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      • Are you saying it is a plan of the Nazis? That Jews use budget supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl?

        Perhaps they went underground and that they are still pulling strings in Germany. Perhaps, just perhaps the thousand year empire survived… (in diluted form)

        Flexible New Deal

        September 13, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      • It’s a little known fact that “cash-and-carry” burgers/sausages /hot-dogs – the type that is sold in “fast-food” outlets, “burger-vans” is of the lowest quality, sub-supermarket value/basic.

        Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

        September 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      • Lidl is well dodgy.. I bought a jar of pasta sauce out of there once… tasted, well.. chemical. My local used to sell vitamin pills.. kind of centrum clone… haven’t seen em for months.. maybe Lidl customers don’t want to splash out on that kinda stuff. Oh, and one of me mate had her scalp burned with Lidl shampoo… she got a full refund lol

        ronnie biggs

        September 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      • I’s Sainsbury’s Basics are a lot viler.


        Ever tried their Basics tomato soup, their Basics Baked Beans, and, worst of all, their Basics Pizza?

        Mind you a vegetarian could eat their Basics sausages without any fear.

        Andrew Coates

        September 13, 2010 at 12:54 pm

  59. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/libby_purves/article5167734.ece

    Controversial but interesting article about 1930s unemployment.

    There is nothing mean about a means test

    We should not let the petty cruelties and errors of the 1930s cloud our debate today about how to reform the welfare state

    Forget dinosaurs and Roman orgies. If a Time Machine were invented tomorrow, we should just whirl back 80 years and bang a lot of official heads together. Their errors haunt us still: in the realm of emotional politics Britain is still paying a heavy price for misjudgments and cruelties in the years between the wars. OK, the Establishment was in shock, grieving for the war dead and wobblingly insecure about the loss of Edwardian certainties and reliable valets. But that is no excuse. Get back there, roll up the sleeves, give them a shake.

    The damage done in the 1930s rings down the decades. It prevents sensible husbanding of public resources, muzzles plain speaking and ruined the Labour Party with years of sentimental infighting. Seventy years on, two words are still sabotaging the social security system: Means Test. If those two words convey nothing, try them out on your granny and stand well back. If you have no 1930s working-class adults handy, here is a brief summary.

    In 1918 postwar relief for unemployed ex-soldiers and civilians was a comparatively generous “non-contributory donation”. It seemed that the degrading days of the Poor Law were over, and the nation was at last properly respectful of its workers and former cannon fodder. But through the 1920s conditions of unemployment benefit got narrower. Then in 1930 the Depression threw government into a fiscal panic, and the poor got the sharp end with the Family Means Test.

    You had to prove just how poor you were, in intimate domestic detail. It imposed form-filling, impertinent questions, and regular, shamingly visible, visits from investigators licensed to peer into your cooking-pots, rule that one chair per person was enough, and order you to sell your spare blankets. John Craig, an apprentice fitter, recalled: “You got so much off the labour exchange, but they kept control, and following you about would come to your house. Mother had a lovely big organ in the house. The inspector says ‘Well, you don’t get any more money for four weeks until you sell that organ’. And my father belted him down the stairs.” It broke up families into homelessness: adult children lost all benefits if anybody in the house earned 31 shillings a week, so they had to move out.

    From 1934, 190,000 unemployed men were made to attend “training camps” simply because there were no jobs. One contemporary interviewee asked: “How could anyone expect an unemployed man to do physical jerks on 15s a week, or play ping pong, while his wife was sitting at home before a half-empty grate with only margarine to eat?” This humiliation visited on a formerly proud working class by the means test led to the Jarrow March: which demanded, let me remind you, not handouts but work.

    The memory of that mass humiliation has hung over politics ever since, colouring everything. There is a parallel with the way that the memory of callous mine-owners – shredding incriminating paperwork after disasters such as Gresford – stopped subsequent Labour governments from daring to stand up to less reasonable miners’ demands. Well, the miners were finally (and brutally) defeated. But thanks to the flatfooted regime of the 1930s, means testing remains anathema.

    It leads to countless illogicalities, from free bus passes for elderly millionaires to child benefit for yummy-mummies wearing Prada. I dare not compute how many billions of public money has been wasted in paying the latter handout to women who absolutely do not need it: those in affluent families or highly paid jobs. In Australia child benefit is sensibly linked to the income tax system. In Britain any such suggestion is met with fury, usually from left-liberal women columnists earning four times the national average salary. They cite the horror of means testing as if terrified that the investigator might be round any minute to confiscate the baby’s spare bibs.

    The same squeamishness torpedoes sensible reforms like imposing modest “hotel charges” on richer hospital patients. That would have improved our dangerously appalling hospital food for everyone, and pumped millions into the NHS. But no: overboiled cabbage must be free at the point of delivery, with no evil means testing. The shame of the 1930s has crippled and blinded social security policymakers for seven decades, and the resulting financial anxiety as the system roars out of control has, paradoxically, made it less humane and more inflexible for those who really need it. Ask any brave chemotherapy patient who tries to do a bit of freelance work on the good days without losing a whole month’s maintenance.

    Why bring out this rant right now? Because the Government has floated the idea that council tenancies should not be secure for life. People in social housing would have fixed-term contracts, with regular reviews, so that when their incomes rise they could either buy some equity or pay more rent, thus freeing money for more social housing. At the moment, public tenants can usually stay put, at low protected rents, however rich they get. Frank Dobson became an MP and a Cabinet minister without losing his council flat, and Lee Jasper, Ken Livingstone’s aide, was reported to be living in social housing while earning £117,000 a year. Others took advantage of the right-to-buy scheme, then promptly moved in with a partner and sold the spare flat at a big profit on a booming market.

    Meanwhile people in real need, earning little or nothing, spend years on waiting lists or compel desperate councils to waste public money on high private rents. But when government and the Chartered Institute of Housing cautiously talk about reviewing council tenancies or treating subsidised housing as a stepping-stone for some, there is an outcry. It’s means testing! Aaaagh! One paper wailed that it would “penalise those who try to better their circumstances”. But nobody is suggesting a disproportionate charge: and the system always “penalises” everybody who earns a bit more. It’s called income tax.

    A visiting Martian, unaware of the poisoned historical hinterland, would assume that rational sharing of a scarce resource was perfectly sensible. Even a proper Marxist, surveying the four million people on the waiting lists and the affluent Jaspers and Dobsons blocking the way, would murmur: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” But a liberal Briton, haunted by the officials who peered into the cooking-pots of the miserable 1930s, can only wail and emote. Bring on that Time Machine. Take a big stick with you.


    September 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    • What a bunch of BULLSHIT!

      “… Oh lets invent a time machine and bang a few heads together of people from the past …”

      (not a quote from the above essay/story)

      Why not simply write a Bill and change the law. It is so much simpler and trust me, more effective, you wouldn’t know that if you changed the events of history back then, that someone in say the 1960 wouldn’t go and change it so everything would be the same – or worse.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 13, 2010 at 10:50 am

  60. I agree I have no problems with means testing its the way forward not this ridiculous across the board benefits brought in by King Arse Head Gordon Brown himself “So middle class families could buy nice things for themselves and their children and go on more holidays”.

    Cheers Gordon so min wage workers go without basic things to pay for luxury items for middle class families who are already rolling in it in comparative terms, the difference being one of the two social groups in question votes Neo Labour and makes up about 100% of it’s MP’s, I wonder which one?

    If you give the same amount of benefit to people who are rich as to the poorest you are wasting money as the gap remains at at least the same level, in fact you are doing the poorest the bigger disservice becouse you could have used some of the money wasted on the richs benefits to realy tackle poverty amoungst the poor, also as the rich don’t need the money they can invest it making the gap bigger as the poor who are up against it on all fronts need to spend the benefits immediatly to survive let alone having surplass money to invest.

    Across the board benefits also drives up the benefit bill and gives the Right wing (eg. Neo-Labour, Tories) the excuse to say we can’t keep paying this figure, then as we are seeing use it as a smokescreen to attack its tradidional enemies like the disabled and unemployed by attacking their benefits but leaving the unnessesary benefits for its supporters alone eg bus passes and fuel payements for the richest.

    I think the Tories are using the same tactics as Neo Labour before them which saw Brown leave bus passes and winter fuel payments alone but attack people on incapacity “to drive down the benefits bill” by chucking them on JSA.

    Pretty soon the only people recieving benefits will be the Rich.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 13, 2010 at 9:33 am

    • Do you not think it is ironic how the Governments figures on benefit fraud is 10 times the actual amount they discover after all the MP talks, newspaper stories, TV programmes and the benefit fraud adverts?

      Then by their own mistake (although they wont admit it) they lose £2 billion via the PAYE tax system and in such times they are demanding payment within 3 months (£2000+ underpayment) and 12 months for under that. This is a BIG amount on top of tax and NI that has to be paid anyway, without forgetting what if these people are now on JSA?

      Means testing seems a great concept but it wont work. I have absolutely no faith or confidence in the Government….

      For example, Child Benefit… to means test it will cause so much lost money in “errors” it would exceed the current bill.

      Until they can get their act together they need to stop over complicating the benefit system.

      There needs to be a single Act per benefit type. A set of Regulations to go with it. A schedule of understanding (in statute)… thus not requiring “case law” to define terminology in context.

      (and not in JCP “guidelines” as thats unlawful, as its their determined “rules” not set by law and without the powers to do so)

      Then, if changes are required, set an Order to do so, but after 5 years review the system, then prepare new Act and Regs and REPEAL the old ones.

      For example Jobseekers Act 1995 is a bit old now… it should be replaced. I also think they rely too much on Regulations. The requirement of how to be ASE should be in the main Act not secondary legislation for example.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 13, 2010 at 10:44 am

    • Good point, Lowestoft’s Finest. In my (very) humble opinion the “benefits” system has/is being subverted, whereby benefits for those in real and actual need are being withdrawn, and the low-paid are increasingly finding themselves being worked to the bone to fund “benefits” for the rich. There is more rot in the Daily Express today about “housing benefits”. No mention of the fact that the vast bulk of housing benefits are going straight to the pockets of the rich or being used to pay of Buy-To-Let mortgages.

      When an outrageous situation whereby JSA and benefits for the sick and disabled are being attacked whilst free bus passes and the outrageous “Winter Fuel Allowance” is left untouched. How much of this obscene benefit is used to fund winter ski-ing holidays and invest further in the stock market. The poor are being forced into a position to benefit the rich.

      Felicity Robotham-Smythe

      September 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

      • Well, I don’t see the illogic with the system – if things were “morally correct” there would not be a rich and poor of such magnitude.

        If the rich had their “benefits” withdraw (tax breaks, etc.) and people who needed benefits really got them (and without tax), we would live in a society where everyone had between £20,000 and £100,000 (most in the middle) with a few people having £1,000,000.

        As much as I would LOVE to change the UK for the better; we have long suffered under capitalism and poor rule whereas it would be impossible for a new economic system to replace neo-capitalism.

        Flexible New Deal

        September 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm

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