Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Clegg Cheers Cuts.

with 129 comments

Nick Clegg today issued a staunch defence of radical benefit cuts as he geared up for potential clashes with Liberal Democrat activists at the party’s annual conference.

The deputy prime minister said welfare should not be there “to compensate the poor for their predicament” but act as “an engine of mobility”.

Billions of pounds are to be slashed from the welfare budget by the chancellor, George Osborne, when he unveils the results of his drastic public spending review next month.

From Here. More on the Liberal Democrats Here.

So now we know that the poor are to receive no compensation for being poor.

Perhaps we shouldn’t get anything at all, unless we take it ourselves.

It would be interesting to know exactly how reducing the amount of money you have will make you more ‘mobile’.

Perhaps we should ask Clegg to take a pay cut and see if he gets a better job.

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Written by Andrew Coates

September 16, 2010 at 10:06 am

129 Responses

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  1. I thought Clegghead was the person who with a few minor minor values went against the Conservative “values” in the Commons suich as declaring the war illegal.

    I guess this doesn’t apply. He probably hasn’t ever met a person on benefits.

    Flexible New Deal

    September 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    • He does have some previous form in this area, wasn’t he the first one to stand up and call for the need to make ‘savage cuts’?

      Average Joe

      September 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm

  2. Clegg Cheers Cuts.????

    Have you by chance missed an “N” out of the word “Cuts”?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm

  3. The Condemns are paving the way for a massive mobile slave labour force.

    This has been a long time in the planning: Those on benefits will have to do all the worst jobs for their £65 a week benefit. The minimum wage workers currently doing those jobs will be sacked and re-employed on Workfare, doing the same job but for £65 a week.

    Welcome to Workhouse Britain!

    Fritz Todz

    September 16, 2010 at 5:01 pm

  4. You are going to find less and less jobs being available, increasing “unemployment”. This is going to work it’s way up the “food-chain”; it’s just that the foaming-at-the-mouth middle-class Daily Heil readers can’t see it. Just like Blaiown before him Clegameron is in the the agenda, he has a job to to, which he will be handsomely rewarded for. But don’t worry, there will be plenty of “work” available – with the Todz Organisation! Seig Heil and Arbeit Macht Frei to you!

    Fritz Todz

    September 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm

  5. NO TO ATTACKS ON CLAIMANTS AND WORKERS – DEMONSTRATE AT A4e

    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
    NO
    – TO COMPULSORY WORK FOR BENEFITS
    – TO BENEFITS SANCTIONS
    – TO CASUALISATION AND ATTACKS ON WORKERS’ RIGHTS
    – TO CUTS IN BENEFITS AND SERVICES
    – TO A4e DENYING THE RIGHT TO BE ACCOMPANIED AT INTERVIEWS

    After a certain time signing on unemployed people are forced to attend private companies like Wise Group, A4e, Ingeus and JHP under the so-called Flexible New Deal. This is supposed to help the unemployed. But it is rare to find unemployed people who praise the provision at these companies. Rather, people complain of a total lack of any useful courses, training or facilities and denounce the totally disrespectful way unemployed people are treated by these companies.

    The New Deal is not only an attack on the unemployed, it is an attack on workers in jobs. If employers can get new dealers forced to work for nothing then this undermines wages and conditions for all workers. If the government get their way the current 4 week compulsory work placements will become much longer. We all have to organise to stop workfare.

    Wise Group/A4e at Earl Grey Street are refusing to permit claimants to be accompanied to interviews there. The bullies have called the police to evict claimants and accompanying ECAP members from their offices and are reporting claimants to the DWP to try and get their benefits cut.

    Another private company, JHP, are doing the same thing – trying to bully claimants onto slave labour work placements, trying to deny claimants representation by ECAP, and raising benefits doubts against claimants. This despite the fact that ECAP accompany claimants to appointments at the Jobcentre, at the Council, at benefits medical exams, etc.. Advocacy / representation/accompaniment is a basic human right recognised in most areas of society – except by petty dictators at A4, JHP and co.

    We are continuing to accompany claimants to interviews at A4e and JHP – we are not intimidated by bullies like A4e boss Dorothy Hewat or JHP’s Andrew Aitken calling the police.

    BENEFITS VICTORIES

    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.

    This all goes to show that if we stick together and support each other we can successfully stand up for our rights.

    THE RICH ARE TO BLAME

    As we all know the greed of the rich and the chaotic nature of their profits system has resulted in a financial crisis. They want us to pay for this through massive cuts, including huge cuts in benefits, eg they are going to cut Housing Benefit by 10% for people who have been unemployed for a year, and they are trying to force people off disability benefits. Recently Paul Reekie, an Edinburgh writer, committed suicide after his Incapacity Benefit and Housing Benefits were both cut off.

    We can’t let them get away with this! Let’s get together to take some real action to stop these injustices! Don’t let the rich and their lying media divide us, don’t believe the propaganda against immigrants, against benefits claimants – whether we are in a job, on the dole, an immigrant worker, a long-time Edinburgh resident… our real enemy is the rich, the politicians and the whole exploiting capitalist system.

    Come along to this demonstration, contact Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty. Isolated we can be bullied but together we can turn the tables !

    ECAP

    September 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

  6. “engine of mobility”, let me paraphrase that for you lot of bone-idle, lazy, no-good, welfare scroungers – on yer bike 🙂

    Norman Tebbit

    September 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    • “Mobility” can go down as well as up.

      Disclaimer

      September 17, 2010 at 10:50 am

  7. Hitler – MASSIVE FORCED LABOUR FORCE

    Stalin – MASSIVE FORCED LABOUR FORCE

    Mussolini – MASSIVE FORCED LABOUR FORCE

    Franco – MASSIVE FORCED LABOUR FORCE

    Clegg – (angling for a) MASSIVE FORCED LABOUR FORCE

    Anyone see a pattern developing? It’s history repeating itself all over again. This Government (and the previous Government(s) is complicit in ENGINEERING this situation.

    The day that you are FORCED to MOVE to a CAMP to work is the day that you wake in a a TOTALITARIAN NAZI STATE, you may not even realise it at the time, but that is the way the history books will write it.

    Joseph Goebbels

    September 17, 2010 at 8:35 am

    • Vot nonsense! You are all Nazis because you do not believe in God!

      Benedict666

      September 17, 2010 at 9:13 am

      • The pope is a Nazi? He doesn’t want Africans to wear condoms so they all die of AIDS.

        Of course, they personally (not the Africans) don’t need a condom for boys as they cannot get pregnant.

        Flexible New Deal

        September 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      • Bless you, my child 🙂 Life is but a trial, my child 🙂

        Pope Benedict XVI

        September 17, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      • Memo: All Cardinals

        If you receive any reports of Child Abuse, contact my Private Office directly and I will deal with it Personally.

        Pope Benedict XVI

        September 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    • Ve need to scrap completely ze Velfare State and instead use ze wonderful Catholic charities. Seig heil!

      Benedict666

      September 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      • I couldn’t agree more with you, Benny. The “welfare State”, which treats people as passive recipients of benefits, has to be replaced by a “welfare society”, in which people engage as active citizens in promoting their own welfare, and the welfare of others, with support from the broader community.

        Nick Clegg

        September 17, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      • Yeah, and it will be all “bend over and take it up the arse or you won’t receive your food parcel”.

        SamCam

        September 17, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      • Bring on ze trampolines!

        Benedict666

        September 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      • Ven I was in ze Hitler Youth, ve used to play a game called “Hide Ze Sausage”… 😛

        Benedict666

        September 17, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      • Religion is Bullshit

        George Carlin

        September 18, 2010 at 7:37 am

      • “All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few”

        – Napoleon Bonaparte.

        Napoleon Bonaparte

        September 18, 2010 at 7:45 am

      • “It has served us well, this myth of Christ”.

        Pope Leo X

        Pope Leo X

        September 18, 2010 at 7:46 am

  8. I refer to to the following WORK TRIAL OPPORTUNITY.

    If you fail to take up this OPPORTUNITY your JSA and/or National Insurance Credits will be affected.

    F Todz

    for MANAGER

    Job Centre Plus

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f2d_1284588370

    Stairway to Heaven – Climbing a 1786 ft Tower

    Job Centre Plus

    September 17, 2010 at 10:00 am

    • Talking seriously, at one point in an interview a couple of weeks back some type wanted me to do a work trial as a cleaner!

      Andrew Coates

      September 17, 2010 at 10:24 am

      • Shortly after Comrade Coates anounces his cleaning conection I notice on AOL news that this happens.

        http://news.aol.co.uk/main-news/story/five-men-held-over-pope-plot/1278499?icid=main|uk-ws-bb|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fnews.aol.co.uk%2Fmain-news%2Fstory%2Ffive-men-held-over-pope-plot%2F1278499

        J'Accuse

        September 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      • They have my full backing. People harm and kill innocent people all the time and it is treated as “just life”. The case of being the head of some large paedophile ring I think is significant.

        As for the accused being arrested by counter terrorism officers. Why? To murder or to assassinate someone isn’t terrorism by any definition.

        I assume it was an excuse to dispatch armed officers to make a big deal out of it instead of dispatching two cars of normal police. Waste of taxpayers money.

        Of course I wish the pope and all catholics a safe journey but it is little to expect someone to try this when the thousands of kids were abused by the church which doesn’t seem too bothered by it all.

        Flexible New Deal

        September 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    • Wow 🙂 such brave guys :-)… and all so that we can watch x factor 🙂

      Vikki

      September 17, 2010 at 10:37 am

  9. This is what Clegg & Co have in mind when they talk about “mobility”.

    Tents in the Forest

    Russia Today

    September 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm

  10. This is what Clegg & Co have in mind when they talk about “mobility”.

    Tents in the Forest

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGRkC4YM62k

    Russia Today

    September 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm

  11. Nick Clegg: Our welfare system is broken

    http://nickclegg.com/nccom_news_details.aspx?title=Nick_Clegg:_Our_welfare_system_is_broken&pPK=f40f7dfd-863f-4302-839d-307d886698ee

    Thu, 16 Sep 2010

    One of my predecessors as party leader, Jo Grimond, argued 30 years ago that a centralised, bureaucratic “welfare State”, treating people as passive recipients of benefits, had to be replaced by a “welfare society”, in which people engaged as active citizens in promoting their own welfare, and the welfare of others. This vision is long overdue.

    Our welfare system is broken — and everyone knows it. The people trapped on benefits year after year with little hope of moving on know it. The frontline staff struggling to administer no fewer than 30 benefits know it. And the taxpayers funding a welfare system that encourages dependency know it, too.

    These problems did not emerge overnight. They are the legacy of years of neglect and political cowardice. Labour came to power in 1997 promising to “cut the bills of social failure”, to ensure that benefits offered “a hand up, not a hand out”, and “to make work pay”. These were the right aspirations. But Labour failed to meet them.

    Far from cutting the costs of social failure, the bills have simply mounted up — even in time of economic plenty. In May 1997, the benefits bill in today’s money was £63 billion. By the time Labour left office the cost of welfare was £87 billion — an increase, in real terms, of 40 per cent.

    Instead of turning the system from a “safety net” into a “trampoline”, as Labour promised, people have been stuck on benefits year-in, year-out. One and a half million people have been receiving out-of-work benefits for at least nine out of the past ten years. Almost two million children are growing up in households where no one is in work.

    Labour presided over a shambolic tax credit system that left too many people receiving paltry rewards for making the brave leap into work. More than half a million people face an effective tax rate of more than 90 pence in the pound, as benefits are withdrawn and tax kicks in.

    While there have been cries of pain about the effect on work incentives of the new 50p tax rate, there has for too long been an unforgivable silence on the rates paid at the other end of the income scale.

    Labour failed to act even when there was money in the bank. If we want taxpayers to continue to pay for welfare in these straitened times, we must ensure that the system is providing fairness and opportunity. Welfare needs to become an engine of mobility, changing people’s lives for the better, rather than a giant cheque written by the State to compensate the poor for their predicament.

    Welfare reform is not easy and bringing a semblance of sanity to the system inevitably creates losers as well as winners. But the Coalition Government will succeed where Labour failed. In this tough fiscal climate, cuts to the welfare budget are unavoidable. But at the same time, we will be simplifying the current Byzantine benefits system and providing real incentives for people to move off benefits and into work. We are not willing to simply cut back a failed welfare system — it needs root and branch reform.

    The welfare reforms that will be brought forward by a Conservative Cabinet Minister in our Coalition Government are profoundly liberal in intent and effect and underpinned by three liberal beliefs.

    First, the liberal notion of fairness implies social mobility. A fair society is not one in which money is simply transferred by the central State from one group to another. It is a society in which people are able to make a better life for themselves, with support from government and the broader community. This does not mean rolling back the State. It means reshaping the State to give people more power and better prospects.

    Second, liberals believe that people should be in charge of their own lives. Independence is a central liberal value. Dependency of any kind offends against this unwavering liberal commitment to self-reliance: and welfare dependency is no exception. Making work pay has been a liberal imperative for decades, and the increase in the income tax threshold announced in the Budget — the first step towards a reformed tax system — complements our plans for welfare.

    Third, the liberal attitude to the distribution of power is in stark contrast to the present model of welfare — based entirely on centralised, top-down solutions.

    Our welfare reforms will put more power into the hands of benefit recipients and local communities.

    One of my predecessors as party leader, Jo Grimond, argued 30 years ago that a centralised, bureaucratic “welfare State”, treating people as passive recipients of benefits, had to be replaced by a “welfare society”, in which people engaged as active citizens in promoting their own welfare, and the welfare of others.

    This vision is long overdue.

    Nick Clegg

    September 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    • Sorry the first paragraph turned me off. I skipped the rest of the article. I then, another 2 times, attempted to read it again in its entirety this time, but again didn’t get past the first paragraph.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

  12. PS Thank you to Ipswich Unemployed Action for your comments regarding my remarks.

    Many thanks

    Nick

    Nick Clegg

    September 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

  13. http://www.lifeinthemixtalk.com/?p=17042

    More undercover recording, this time with a Housing Association

    Life in the Mix

    Life in the Mix

    September 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

  14. “to compensate the poor for their predicament” its time to dispose of this arrogant idiot,where has been living.compensating the poor,who created this situation and that other “0ne” Mervyn king.is it the disables’ fault?.
    these comments underline this coalition is unfit to govern,it has done nothing but sound rhetoric towards those who are either unable been a victim of this complete disaster and expects the tax payer to “pick up the tab”,typical uk politics blame everyone but themselves.

    unregulated conditions that are not monitored for and legislated to protect reckless risk taking has completely failed,people cannot afford it,it has destructed society totally,the uk is to consumed with home ownership,this has left many with houses that they can neither afford and are not worth the price paid.
    Mervyn king might well look like hes going to start laughing he and his bank are co contributors to this.

    engine for mobility where is this going to come form,everyone’s been affected by this and it shows no sign of any positive outlook.

    there is no foundation for growth this is why the uk is languishing with tourist economies such as greece and spain.this is a complete shambles.

    ken

    September 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    • When are we removing these idiots from power? What I would say is I hope it wont be an assassination attempt for their sakes.

      I say we demand a General Election for early next year.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    • How’s this for cheek. I got JHP Training to reimburse the bus fares I incurred attending a protest at A4e Edinburgh earlier in the day- Monday 13 Sept.

      Gerry Attric

      September 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

  15. the country has lost the quality.

    ken

    September 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm

  16. Please Keep The Insults and insinutations to a fare medium. Some of you are getting out of hand.

    webmaster

    September 18, 2010 at 7:59 am

  17. Hi Guys,
    This site is amazing. Am raising this here since New Deal site is down now.
    Yesterday JobCentre New Deal Personal Adviser tried to switch me from Gateway to Work course(I’ve just completed 8th week) to mandatory full-time IAP with effect from two weeks’ time. I saw thru this one right away. Then he said he’d made a mistake and tried to get me to agree to four weeks’ time. No way! I’m entitled to 13 weeks on the 1 day a week Gateway course before they put me on anything else. He tried to get me to sign blank pre-entry forms at one point.
    Apparently my case is now going to a Case Conference with the JobCentre manager who’ll decide.
    I’d be interested to know: Do I have to agree to anything before the 13 weeks are up? E.g, do I have to agree to a date after the 13 weeks if they give it to me after 12 weeks? Or can I refuse everything, e.g even refusing to accept appointment letter if they try to hand it to me before the 13 weeks are up?
    Other cunning plans for someone in my position might include going on holiday at a judicious time or perhaps having a temporary change of permanent address( thereby avoiding a sanction).
    Many thanks for all help!
    In unity is strength!

    Martin Black

    September 18, 2010 at 10:38 pm

  18. We don’t have too long now. only about 5 weeks and then you will find out whats in store for you [ouch it will hurt]

    Stavros

    September 19, 2010 at 9:51 am

  19. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/nick-clegg/8012643/Liberal-Democrat-Conference-tax-cheats-to-face-lie-detector-test-in-1bn-clawback.html

    Liberal Democrat Conference: tax cheats to face lie detector test in £1bn clawback

    Middle-class professionals could be subjected to lie detector tests as part of moves against tax evasion announced at the Liberal Democrat Conference.

    Debt collection agencies will work with HM Revenue and Customs to investigate the records of 150,000 people earning more than £150,000 a year — the threshold for the 50 per cent income tax rate.

    It comes after a pilot amnesty, aimed at the medical profession, led to one doctor handing over £1 million in unpaid taxes, and a dentist owning up to a £300,000 bill. Similar campaigns will be aimed at other high-earning professionals, such as those in the law, architecture and elite sports.

    After HMRC’s tax collection fiasco, ministers will commission private debt collection companies to claw back £1 billion in unpaid taxes.

    Companies such as Capita have pioneered the use of lie detector tests to identify potential fraudsters for the Department for Work and Pensions.

    Sources at HMRC suggested that “voice recognition analysis”, which alerts investigators when a caller claiming benefits sounds nervous, could be used to identify those seeking to mislead tax inspectors.

    Savers with offshore accounts will also be targeted, with a dedicated team aimed at catching those hiding money in foreign banks.

    Legally, private companies lack the power Government agents have to take severe enforcement measures, such as raiding properties.

    But sources said pilot schemes showed that even with the limited powers to write and telephone suspects they were far more efficient and effective at clawing back money than HMRC staff.

    Companies proved particularly successful at forcing tax avoiders to pay small sums.

    The £900 million drive against tax avoidance, evasion and fraud was announced on the first full day of the Liberal Democrat Conference.

    It is seen as a sop to delegates who have called for higher earners to bear more of the pain of the recession.

    During a question-and-answer session, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and party leader, was accused by one activist of allowing the poor to bear the brunt of the forthcoming programme of spending cuts.

    In his keynote speech to the conference today, Mr Clegg will try to soothe delegates’ nerves by highlighting the plans on tax evasion, making much of the impact on higher earners.

    He will say: “People who avoid and evade paying their taxes will no longer get away with it. We will be tough on welfare cheats. But unlike Labour, we’ll be tough on tax cheats too.”

    HMRC estimates that the annual number of prosecutions will rise fivefold, bringing in £7 billion a year.

    In his conference speech, Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “There are some people who seem to believe that not paying their fair share of tax is a lifestyle choice that is socially acceptable. It is not.

    “Decisions we make in the spending review will ensure the taxman has the resources to be ruthless with those often wealthy people and businesses who think they can treat paying tax as an optional extra.”

    Officials calculate that at present £7 billion is lost each year through tax avoidance.

    The Torygraph

    September 20, 2010 at 11:08 am

  20. In his conference speech, Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “There are some people who seem to believe that not paying their fair share of tax is a lifestyle choice that is socially acceptable. It is not.

    The Torygraph

    September 20, 2010 at 11:09 am

  21. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11244825

    “If David Cameron fed his people even only with corn bread we wouldn’t complain,” she says angrily.

    “But he’s made us die, lose our homes, suffer.

    Tales of starvation and death in North Korea

    In North Korea an extremely rare conference of the country’s Workers’ Party is to take place next week. The last time there was such a meeting was 30 years ago.

    It’s believed this meeting may be laying the foundations for a transfer of power from Kim Jong-il to his son Kim Jong-un, so preserving the Kim family’s grip on North Korea.

    Getting independent news from North Korea is extremely rare but China correspondent Damian Grammaticas has travelled to the border to meet North Koreans who have recently escaped.

    Standing on a bridge that links their country to North Korea, Chinese tourists pose for photographs, laughing and jovial. In the distance you can make out dilapidated North Korean buildings. Everything looks crumbling and quiet, there’s almost no sign of life.

    One tourist, jokingly, takes a step over a white line painted on the ground, which marks the end of Chinese territory. He’s shooed back by guards to more laughter.

    North Korea may be an oddity, peered at from outside. But what’s happening inside the secretive, isolated state is no light-hearted matter.

    Near the border we met some of those who had recently escaped from North Korea. All told us that hunger and starvation are returning to their country.

    “Recently people started dying. If there’s no food people starve, ” says a woman who we’ll call Choi Young-hee.

    “You see lots near the train stations. People without homes, they go there to sleep. Many of them die.”

    Mrs Choi is a grandmother in her 70s. A couple of months ago she paid smugglers to carry her across the heavily-guarded river that separates North Korea from China.

    Her daughter also tried to cross, was caught and is now serving a three-year sentence in a North Korean political prison.

    Mrs Choi says food shortages mean well-off families in North Korea are getting two meals a day, everyone else makes do with just one.

    “We don’t ask to wear good clothes, to dance or play. We only want full stomachs. But every day we wake up and our first thought is ‘How are we going to get some food for breakfast?’ Then ‘How are we going to get something for dinner?’,” she says.

    “Living like that makes people go crazy. Just brush against someone in the street and they will start fighting you. In their hearts everyone knows we live like dogs. But no-one can say it out loud.”

    tourists who come to gawp through telescopes at North Korea. There are military caps, postcards from inside North Korea, pictures of its despotic leader Kim Jong-il.

    With conditions inside North Korea so desperate, many are willing to risk the border crossing in search of work and food. Lee So-ra, a 51-year-old mother crossed at the end of last month. She told us she saw people dying of hunger just a few weeks ago.

    “Right before I came to China I saw a person, sitting outside a public toilet. I said ‘Don’t sit here go to the entrance of the market, maybe someone passing by will give you a candy or bread.’

    “They said they didn’t have enough energy. Two days later they died, right there. There are many people like that, so weak they starve to death,” says Mrs Lee.

    On the Chinese side of the border we drove along a muddy track winding along the river. Inside North Korea, Kim Jong-il is believed to be grooming his youngest son Kim Jong-un to take over to ensure power stays in the hands of the Kim dynasty.

    From a viewpoint overlooking a North Korean city you can see tired, old factories belching smoke, but no electric lights and almost no traffic on the roads.

    Disastrous economic policies have crippled the North’s economy. Mrs Lee says she hopes the regime comes to an end.

    She fears more hardships if Kim’s son, who’s thought to be 27 years old, takes over.

    “Everybody is worried about it. We worry about how someone so young, will be able to be our leader, running the country, because he doesn’t have the capability, he’s a person without experience or skills.”

    It is impossible for people to voice such doubts openly inside North Korea. If you do your entire family can be imprisoned.

    A third woman, Kim Soon-young, who’d crossed to China recently, told us that ordinary North Koreans have been told nothing about Kim’s son, even though he may soon be their leader.

    “We don’t know anything about him. I never even saw a picture of him until I came here to China,” Mrs Kim tells me.

    “We don’t know what he looks like or what he’s done. All I knew was that he is a three-star general and a new propaganda song came out about him.”

    Mrs Kim says the song is about the new general who will take North Korea on its next steps and care for its people.

    But coming to China has, she says, opened her eyes to the way North Koreans are kept isolated, impoverished, starved of information and food, and so controlled by the Kim dynasty.

    “Before I was thankful for everything, but after coming here to China I’m in shock. Our leaders live so well, if they just gave up a little of their wealth the people wouldn’t worry about food,” says Mrs Kim.

    “But they only want to maintain their hold on power. They don’t care about the sufferings of ordinary North Koreans. That’s what I’ve realised.”

    Such open, angry criticism of the Kim regime is something you would not have heard a few years ago.

    Choi Young-hee is bitterly resentful about the prospect of Kim Jong-un taking power.

    “If we say anything about him being too young, we’ll be arrested straight away. It makes me angry. I want to shout out loud.

    “My daughter is going to die in prison. I want at least to scream and then die. But I can’t because of my other children and relatives.”

    If Kim Jong-un takes over from Kim Jong-il, the inexperienced, untested young man, who has no political legitimacy other than his birth, will be at the helm of a nation with nuclear weapons and a raft of difficult problems.

    North Korea has almost no real economy, widespread hunger, an increasingly desperate, alienated population, and tense relations with South Korea and America.

    So Mrs Choi probably speaks for many, inside and outside her country, when she says she worries about North Korea’s future.

    “If Kim Jong-il fed his people even only with corn bread we wouldn’t complain,” she says angrily.

    “But he’s made us die, lose our homes, suffer. If his son now takes power I think it’s dangerous, you wonder what will happen to North Korea. But inside my country I can’t say a word.”

    BBC News

    September 22, 2010 at 7:47 am

  22. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11383803

    Unpaid tax of £1.5bn ‘could be written off’

    Up to £1.5bn of unpaid tax is likely to be written off by HM Revenue and Customs, insiders have told the BBC.

    Staff said the vast majority would not be pursued because the cases involved were over two years old and open to legal challenge from taxpayers.

    There is a backlog of 7.5m cases of tax underpayment or overpayment – the latter estimated at £3bn which will be reimbursed – dating back to 2007-8.

    An HMRC spokesman said no decision had been made on underpayment cases.

    The details come just weeks after it emerged a further six million people had been wrongly taxed in the past two years, with 1.4m people who underpaid set to received an unexpected tax bill.

    The latest cases to emerge, which are part of a huge backlog of open cases dating back to 2007/8, are not on the HMRC’s new computer system and will have to be dealt with manually.

    Front-line staff at HMRC have told The Report on Radio 4 that only those cases that verge on fraud will be pursued.

    Cases where money is owed to taxpayers by the Exchequer will still be processed.
    Continue reading the main story

    Start Quote

    If we had the chance to sort it out three years ago we could have recovered the money”
    HMRC staff member

    One staff member told the BBC: “For each underpayment there are thousands of pounds owed. Underpayments are very frustrating.

    “If we had the chance to sort it out three years ago we could have recovered the money. It is now likely to be written off if it’s over two years – we’re not looking at underpayments beyond two years.”

    The staff member added: “Our directors are telling people that [those who owe tax] will appeal and fight it and this will generate more work.”

    Another staff member who has worked on open cases said that in their experience the under-payment of tax was never pursued.

    “These people who have underpaid earn 30,40,50k a year and got benefits such as a company car and we’re not told about them until after the tax has been paid.”

    The staff member added: “The cases cannot be dealt with by the new computer as they have to be done manually – what did we do with the cases older than two years? We wrote them off.”

    The delay in handling these open cases is due to a combination of a historic backlog, which once reached 30m, the additional work created by problems with the new computer system and a shrinking number of staff.

    HMRC has cut 20,000 jobs since 2006 and aims to shed a further 5,000 by next year.

    An HMRC spokesman said: “We have said to staff if you find an overpayment to pay it back – we are prioritising vulnerable groups, old age pensioners, low-income groups – the priority is to repay these groups.

    “But while we are reviewing the cases of underpayment, no decision has been made on on these cases.”

    He added: “It’s a provisional period, where staff have been asked to review underpayments. If they find someone who has underpaid then that is set aside for a future decision.

    “We are going to be looking at at how best to deal with these. We are going to look at the specifics of each case and apply a normal criteria in due course.

    “Those who have underpaid, they will be part of the overall decision-making process – no decision yet on what to do with them. But they are being identified.”

    BBC News

    September 23, 2010 at 4:17 am

    • It’s a disgrace… I am sooo angry…

      Chris Moyles

      September 23, 2010 at 8:30 am

    • I find it funny actually.

      Want to make cuts but they are still doing the “right thing” of writing off £1.5bn at a blink of an eye and paying out overpayments of tax.

      Benefit fraud cost taxpayers £143.7 million last year. It is well short of the £1.5bn alleged amount they claim is stolen each year.

      So… lets get this into perspective. A stupid mistake where no one is accepting responsibility, just in this HMRC case alone, has cost 5 times the amount of benefit fraud to the taxpayer each year. Add the overpayment reimbursements etc. and this figure accelerates.

      Now add DWP “error”.. the alleged £1.5 billion benefit fraud figure jumps to around £5 billion. So say, £3.5 billion due to “official error”…

      So welfare is attacked accusing everyone of claiming illegally.. where fraud is at £150m a year (a lot of money). We are looking at approx £4.5 billion a year (at least) wasted here on incompetent civil servants.

      Benefit Fraud has to be seen as a big waste of taxpayers money. Everytime someone steals the money, its money that could be better spent elsewhere.

      The bigger concern for taxpayers’ is civil servants are responsible for 30 times more lost money (in this HMRC and DWP error figures) per year than dishonest thieves.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

  23. no time.. too long ago.. new computer.. not enough staff.. funny how the dwp don’t seem to face the same hurdles when it comes to applying sanctions.. even more odd when you consider that the hmrc and the dwp are really the one department.. maybe the dwp should loan hmrc the sanction team..

    Doris

    September 23, 2010 at 7:18 am

    • Actually, perhaps they should merge. JCP are great at unlawfully “taxing” benefits (sanctions).

      Should be the erm.. DBT (Department for Benefits and Taxes)

      Flexible New Deal

      September 23, 2010 at 8:50 am

      • lol they haven’t paid me for 2 MONTHS. I am sooo angry.

        Chris Moyles

        September 23, 2010 at 9:07 am

      • Hey Chris! You sure you are 36, you look so much older 🙂 Maybe you are working out too much :-), you should be thinking about spending less time down the gym 🙂

        Angela Cakes

        September 23, 2010 at 9:56 am

      • Listen tosser. You know nothing about my life. Last night I slept on someone’s sofa. I’m very, very angry.

        Chris Moyles

        September 23, 2010 at 10:27 am

  24. have to be done manually lol at that one.. what a joke..

    Doris

    September 23, 2010 at 7:22 am

  25. It’s a disgrace… I am sooo angry…

    Chris Moyles

    September 23, 2010 at 8:29 am

  26. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314543/Bonos-ONE-foundation-giving-tiny-percentage-funds-charity.html

    Bono’s ONE foundation under fire for giving little over 1% of funds to charity

    Bono’s anti-poverty foundation ONE is under pressure to explain its finances after it was revealed that only a small percentage of money it raises reaches the needy.

    The non-profit organisation set up by the U2 frontman received almost £9.6million in donations in 2008 but handed out only £118,000 to good causes (1.2 per cent).

    The figures published by the New York Post also show that £5.1million went towards paying salaries.

    While the organisation’s gameplan has never been direct handouts on the ground, many who admire the Irish rock legend may be surprised by the figures.

    Bono was playing Brussels last night with U2 as the world’s leaders – so many of whom he speaks to directly – were meeting at the UN assembly in New York to assess the progress, or lack of, in reaching the Millennium goals they set.

    The Post revealed it had received a number of gifts from ONE in the run-up to the event, such as leather notebooks, bags of coffee and water bottles.

    In the UK, the organisation has laid on a series of high-profile, celebrity-supported events since it launched in 2002 to fight poverty in Africa and Aids worldwide.

    In 2009, the group campaigned to have enshrined in British law a commitment to development assistance abroad.

    ONE spokesman Oliver Buston has now defended the way the organisation is run, insisting the money is used for promoting its campaign and raising awareness rather than being given straight to those who need help.

    He said: ‘We don’t provide programmes on the ground. We’re an advocacy and campaigning organisation.’

    Another spokesman in New York today dismissed the notion of lavish salaries being paid to its 120 members of staff and said the organisation was highly efficient in its raising of awareness.

    ONE said it took no money from the public and that most of its funding came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Daily Heil

    September 24, 2010 at 4:46 am

    • 1% maybe thats why he called it One? funnily enough I can remember the jobcentre going through a fase of calling itself “One” a few years back as well. =maybe becouse you only get 1% of the money you need from them as well?

      Thinking about it I actualy even prefer the Jobcentre to Bono. He should go home and try standing up to corporate capitalism on the streets, after I disclosed there was no word for Testicles in the Irish language, I can now disclose there is none for back bone either.

      Unlike the Irish as the saying goes “The Greeks have a word for it”.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 24, 2010 at 8:19 am

      • that was back in the days when they had droves of *middle managers* and *professional* signing on.. so they had a revamp.. painted the battleship grey walls pink and replaced UB40 signing cards with the One Card. happy days indeed.

        Yorkie Bar

        September 24, 2010 at 10:42 am

      • Agh, the One Card 🙂 And while we’re reminiscing, anyone remember the “Executive Job Club”, the only difference was 1st class instead of 2nd class stamps, might have been some white instead of brown envelopes too, and UNLIMITED FREE tea, coffee and water. Those were the days 🙂

        Wispa Bar

        September 24, 2010 at 11:10 am

      • The posters in the Job Centre said The One Card – the ONLY card you’ll ever need 🙂

        Wispa Bar

        September 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

    • Why is everyone surprised. it is Bono, U2, it isn’t about making a difference but a LIFESTYLE.

      Charity events an excuse for a posh all celebrity party etc.

      He is an absolute twat! me, unknown – no fan base or household name could do far better than the 1% he achieved. Why? Because I would actually have a passion of achieving the goals and NOT doing it to for his OWN benefit of a PR public image activity – which, if this is promoted widespread, could have well backfired.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

  27. You say you want
    Diamonds on a ring of gold
    You say you want
    Your story to remain untold

    But all the promises we make
    From the cradle to the grave
    When all I want is you

    You say you’ll give me
    A highway with no one on it
    Treasure just to look upon it
    All the riches in the night

    You say you’ll give me
    Eyes in a moon of blindness
    A river in a time of dryness
    A harbour in the tempest
    But all the promises we make
    From the cradle to the grave
    When all I want is you

    You say you want
    Your love to work out right
    To last with me through the night

    You say you want
    Diamonds on a ring of gold
    Your story to remain untold
    Your love not to grow cold

    All the promises we break
    From the cradle to the grave
    When all I want is you

    You…all I want is…
    You…all I want is…
    You…all I want is…
    You…

    U2

    September 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

  28. Leaked list suggests 180 quangos to be abolished

    Proposals to abolish 180 quangos and merge a further 124 have been seen by the BBC’s Politics Show.

    The Renewables Advisory Board and Museum, Libraries and Archives Council are among taxpayer-funded bodies proposed for abolition.

    The list, dated 26 August, includes groups linked to all major government departments.

    The Cabinet Office has ordered a leak inquiry and says it regrets any “uncertainty” for employees.

    The list of public bodies up for abolition, mergers or other reforms was included in a letter from Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude to other ministers.

    It includes the previously announced abolition of the Health Protection Agency, UK Film Council, Audit Commission and Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority but also puts a question mark over the future of dozens of less well-known bodies.

    The list suggests 180 quangos will be abolished and 124 merged. A further 338 will be retained, although 56 of them will be subject to “substantial reform”. The future of another 100 bodies is yet to be agreed, according to the letter.

    The largest numbers of quangos facing the axe are those linked to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice.

    Quangos, or “non departmental public bodies”, have repeatedly drawn politicians’ fire over the years back to former Conservative deputy PM Michael Heseltine’s pledge for a “bonfire of the quangos”. Last year both Labour and the Conservatives pledged to review the bodies with the aim of saving money.

    Among those listed as facing abolition are the Olympic Park Legacy Company, responsible for planning what happens to the Olympic site after the 2012 Games, the Advisory Committee on Organic Standards and Cycling England – whose functions will be transferred elsewhere.

    Postcom and Ofcom could be merged while the School Food Trust would have its status changed to an independent charity and Ofsted and the Food Standards Agency would be kept but subject to “substantial reform”.

    The future of the Student Loans Company, tourism groups Visit England and Visit Britain, the UK Atomic Energy Agency, Central Office of Information, the Carbon Trust and the Environment Agency are yet to be decided, according to the document.

    The Daily Telegraph has published a different, undated list of 177 quangos to be axed.

    A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office would not comment on the leaks but said the government had “made it clear that it is committed to radically increasing accountability and improving efficiency”.

    She added: “The cabinet secretary has this morning asked for an immediate investigation into the leak of a government document on Public Bodies reform. We deeply regret any extra uncertainty for employees that this irresponsible leak has caused”.

    Construction workers’ union Ucatt warned that privatising the Construction and Skills Training Board would be a “disaster” for apprenticeship training and the trade union Prospect said its members would be “very concerned for their jobs”.

    In a statement, it said: “Our members do valuable work and in many cases save the state a great deal of money. If it is true that over 200 bodies are about to be merged or axed without any consultation with the public or employee representatives, then we would urge the government to think again.”

    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles told the BBC he did not know how accurate the list was.
    Continue reading the main story

    Start Quote

    A lot of the ones that see to be facing the axe actually have the job of holding the government to account”
    John Denham
    Shadow Communities Secretary
    Send us your comments
    Q&A: What is a quango?

    He said: “We are certainly looking towards removing a number of unaccountable quangos and reducing their costs but we haven’t come to a firm view with regard to the numbers. But we will be making an announcement reasonably soon.”

    But there have been questions about how much money would be saved. Crossbench peer Baroness Deech, a former head of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which looks set to have its functions transferred to other regulators, told the BBC the HFEA dealt with “very important ethical and medical matters”.

    “It only costs £5m and it’s not taxpayers’ money. Most of that £5m comes from the patients. Now if you redistribute the functions, you’re not going to save anything.”

    And Dan Lewis, chief executive of the Economic Policy Centre, said the plans did not go far enough as half of those listed for abolition were just advisory bodies which “cost virtually nothing” to run.

    “What they are, are seven or eight people who meet in Whitehall five or six times a year and they pay the chairman £200 or £300 a time.”

    Shadow Communities Secretary John Denham said the list appeared to show a lot of bodies facing abolition “actually have the job of holding the government to account… on behalf of the public”.

    He said: “If you’ve got a government coming along saying: ‘Let’s silence all the independent voices, let’s silence the people who speak up about equaliites … they are really saying: ‘We will be able to do whatever we like and there won’t be anyone able to shine a spotlight on what we are up to’.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11405096

    BBC News

    September 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm

  29. Quango’s the people who speak up about equaliites …

    Hey Shadow Communities Secretary John Denham I can remember a time when the speaking up about equaliites was the whole point of the Labour Party. Instead now they have more important things to do like appealing to Tidy Britain.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm

  30. As you may know by now. Suffolk C[o]unty Council is going to axe jobs and out source the axed jobs. What we want to know is. How many of these jobs will be taken by wekfare to work clients

    Very Worried

    September 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    • Its having a knock on effect already, as last week I applied for a job via a local recruitment agency I had never heard of before, anyway got a letter back saying sorry but on asking elsewhere about the unknown recruitment agency it turns out it is my local councils now ex recruitment team, recruiting for now ex local council jobs. Nowhere on any of the forms was any of this even hinted at. And though the jobs stated they were in Lowestoft the contact address was in Norwich. I would be very supprised if the same thing isn’t going on in Ipswich.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 24, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    • Suffolk “Clownty” Council

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

  31. The Queen received a £2million bail-out from taxpayers, secret papers revealed yesterday.
    The cash was paid from the sale of land at Kensington Palace Gardens.
    The Queen also received a £1million rates rebate on palaces, papers obtained under freedom of information law showed. But she had to give up the right to manage the Royal Household’s finances under a deal agreed with the last government in 2006.
    A memo was drawn up detailing how the Queen could spend the £38.2million she gets annually from the public purse.
    It was found that outstanding bills had gone from £938,000 to £2,773,000 in less than 12 months. Labour MP Paul Flynn, a member of the Commons public spending watchdog, said yesterday: “Someone appears to have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect the Royal Family from public scrutiny.
    “The Royal Family is part of the dependency culture in the same way as Mr Cameron spoke about people living in a council house for life.”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/09/24/the-queen-received -a-2million-bail-out-from-taxpayers-115875-22583917/

    Royal Watch

    September 24, 2010 at 9:14 pm

  32. The Queen’s heating bill request refused due to public backlash fears

    The Queen’s heating bill request has been refused by government officials in Whitehall over fears of a public relations backlash.

    A royal aide is reported to have asked the government if the Queen was eligible for a grant under the £60m energy-saving fund made available in 2004.

    The aide was informed that the Queen would not be receiving a grant, as they were intended for ‘low income families’ and any donation could result in ‘adverse publicity’, according to the Independent.

    Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on the allegations.

    The request was revealed after an investigation by the Independent using the Freedom of Information Act. The deputy treasurer to the Queen stated that the £1m-a-year bill for gas and electricity had become ‘untenable’.

    Officials replied stating that the handouts were designed for schools, councils and housing associations, and a Royal handout may cause ‘adverse press coverage’.

    The August 2004 e-mail stated: ‘I think this is where the Community Energy Funding is directed and ties in with most allocations going to community heating schemes run by local authorities, housing associations, universities etc.

    ‘I also feel a bit uneasy about the probable adverse press coverage if the Palace were given a grant at the expense of say a hospital. Sorry this doesn’t sound more positive.’

    http://www.metro.co.uk/news/841950-the-queens-heating-bill-request-refused-due-to-public-backlash-fears

    Scrounger Watch

    September 24, 2010 at 9:17 pm

  33. Carpenter who paid for 5,000 leaflets to find a job loses benefits…because he was ‘not actively looking for work’

    After two months claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and no sign of work on the horizon, Adam Pay decided to do something about it.

    The carpenter, who had been made redundant, printed and distributed 5,000 leaflets around his neighbourhood advertising his handyman skills.

    He also placed adverts in four local papers, all at his own cost.

    But when he reported to his local jobcentre he was told his £65.45-a-week benefits would be stopped because he had not been ‘actively looking for work’.

    Staff told the father of two that trying to generate customers for his own handyman business did not count as searching for a job.

    If he had told them untruthfully that he had only searched the internet, checked local papers and made phone calls to look for work, the money would have continued to be paid into his account.

    Mr Pay, 38, from Gillingham, Kent, said: ‘I told staff at the job centre I’d been spending six hours a day distributing the flyers and they wanted to know if I had done anything else. I thought they were having a laugh. It didn’t seem to count for anything at all in their eyes. I’m just trying to do the right thing. I have a family to look after.

    ‘The building industry isn’t good at the moment so it seemed the logical step to try to find my own work.’

    Mr Pay’s case has now been passed to a senior official who will decide whether his claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance can be reactivated.

    He worked at his last firm for two-and-a-half years on a salary of £22,000 but was laid off in July when the company lost an NHS contract due to public spending cuts.
    Since then he has been rejected for a job as a Tesco delivery driver and as a maintenance man at a private mental hospital.

    When he was told he needed a qualification to apply for sub-contracting work he signed up to the exam and passed on Tuesday. His wife, Louise, 37, a psychiatric nurse, is currently receiving £120-a-week maternity pay while she cares for their eight-month-old son Ben.

    The couple also have a daughter, Scarlett, three, and are using their savings to cover the mortgage on their three-bedroom home.

    Mr Pay spent £90 on printing 5,000 leaflets advertising his handyman skills, and another £220 for five weeks of advertisements in four local papers.

    He and his wife then spent 30 hours in the past week distributing the flyers throughout Gillingham.

    When Mr Pay visited the job centre in Basildon, Essex, on Thursday he was given the bombshell news that he could no longer claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.

    Claimants are told to keep a diary to ‘prove’ they have been looking for work which must be presented for their fortnightly visits.

    Mr Pay’s plight emerged after official figures revealed 1.5 million Britons had never done a day’s work in their lives, with whole communities dependent on welfare.

    He said: ‘It’s ridiculous. I’m going a step further than just looking for a job by trying to establish my own company and make my own work.’

    His wife said: ‘Adam was applying for everything he could find. He came home from the job centre very upset. We are both exhausted. We thought they would be impressed that we had taken the initiative.

    ‘I agree with having a system to support those who can’t work through no fault of their own or when they’re hit by hard times. It’s a great thing about this country.

    ‘But it makes me angry as a taxpayer to be supporting a tickbox mentality with a system that can be scammed. The whole set-up is ludicrous. It seems as if they are telling us not to go out and look for a job.

    ‘We would have been better off doing nothing and just putting on the form that we had checked the internet and the papers every day.

    ‘We are staying hopeful that there is the need for a handyman in the local area and that something will come of our hard work.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314991/Carpenter-paid-5-000-leaflets-job-loses-benefits–actively-looking-work.html

    Daily Heil

    September 25, 2010 at 7:06 am

    • Sounds fair enough. Distributing leaflets printed to help find employment (whether self-employment or otherwise) is a step to Actively Seeking Employment.

      The issue is, he had not done anything else in the week to hit the legal requirement of 3 steps (which alone is a joke, very easy target to reach if you are actually job-seeking!) in the JS Regs…

      I admire him taking the effort of being proactive in seeking work via an entrepreneurial avenue… however; he didn’t keep to the basic avenues to look for work. How difficult is it to buy a newspaper to look for jobs? How difficult to go online briefly or even arrive at the Jobcentre 10 minutes early and check the job points? Still enough time to post leaflets!

      I am siding with JCP on this one. 1 in 3 businesses fail in the start up years. Economic times are not too great (although certain businesses can capitalise on that). I am not sure about competition in the area but this is an issue. This route alone doesn’t expose such a person to the best chance of employment.

      Of course, it is more “fun”, going “fishing” (running your own small business), dropping the “bait” (the leaflets) and waiting for the “fish” (potential customers) to “bite” (contact you) with a view of “taking the fish home” (getting money) than applying for hundreds of jobs and being rejected.

      Taxpayers should not be paying jobseekers allowance to someone whom is not job-seeking but solely trying to monopolise on a small private enterprise to his own gain whilst using taxpayers’ money (designed to be conditional on someone’s willingness to apply to employers for a job) to pay for the promotion of doing so.

      If he had done so, whilst looking for work in addition (besides his handyman business could have been done as a second income job – or vice versa) then it would have been allowed. This man might seem innocent by his logic and the fact he has a family (not meeting the stereotypes) but he is indeed a “benefit fraudster” by having the intention to get benefit by not meeting the conditions.

      You are told, along with your Jobseekers Agreement (JSAg), your requirement to seek work. He had agreed targets (because otherwise without a JSAg in effect he can’t claim) of what he would do to seek work. He then decided he was too great to continue what he had agreed and so something else. Again, I like his initial thought process of trying something new to avoid long-term unemployment, however, you cannot just decide to refuse to do the multiple steps per week and just post out leaflets. Somewhere he must have clocked on, that replacing so many steps, with just delivering leaflets (one step) was a bit shady. The law is the law; it applies to everyone, including him.

      Also, did the leaflet distribution (for him) exceed 16 hours per week? Was he flooded with custom? Since when does getting leaflets printed and distributed cost so much time that he couldn’t look in a job paper (pop by the newsagents), the job points (when signing on) or online? He wasn’t required to even apply for a job – just had to look!

      If he spent over 16 hours per week (article says 30 between them) delivering flyers, it could be deemed “remunerative work” and “unpaid work” (work without payment with a view of payment intended i.e. if the flyers generated converted leads). This gets complicated because in that benefit week (if) he was leafleting for over 16 hours: if he generated enough custom for the next week that he signed off, he wouldn’t be entitled to the benefit for the week he was posting flyers because the 16 hours could be seen as “unpaid work” (“paid work” meaning work paid during the period, “unpaid work” means work done which will be paid at a later date, “voluntary” meaning without payment full stop). Well done DWP!! 

      Flexible New Deal

      September 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

      • I have to say I agree with Flexi and the DWP on this one, I see this sort of thing a lot while signing normaly some person who had their own failed buisness gets up the noses of the staff with his “I am a buisnessmen,I know best, what do you civil servants know? why don’t you go persecute the dole scroungers? atitude”. Which to be honest seems to be the stand this individual is taking while chosing to ingnore the fact that by not complying with his own jobseekers agrement which he himself only drew up 2 months ago in the eyes of the law by his actions (or lack of) he is himself officialy “a dole scrounger not looking for work”.

        I think normaly if he hadn’t chosen to wind up the DWP the wrong way they would have let him off with a warning if this is his first offence, I don’t see why if he had any buiness sense in the first place he didn’t clear it with the DWP before he laid out that kind of money as this could easily been avoided. Just seems he wanted a confrontation over it, maybe he thought he could get more custom and sympathy from the public by causing a scene with the DWP and becoming a “hard working martyr” in the publics eyes?

        Lowestoft Finest

        September 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      • Well said Lowestoft’s Finest. I know his type, I see them all the time in the job centre… like you say some middle class twit whose business has just gone bust. He is trying to make out dwp to be a monster from hell, but he must have really wound them up. I agree that he has set out to have a confrontation, maybe drum up some business. Then he goes on about people scamming the check box system, who the hell does he think he is – idiot! To be honest, I really can’t stand his type.

        Simone

        September 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      • Simone

        Clearly you as well have experianced the sheer unerdulterated joy that comes from having to sign on at the same box imediatly after one of these idiots and so experianced a warm greeting by purple faced jobcentre staff with smoke coming out of their ears.

        Lowestoft Finest

        September 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm

      • Lowestoft Finest

        Yes I have actually 🙂 I really feel sorry for the job centre staff having to deal with these cretins. After they stride of out of the job centre with that middle class entitled lol walk of theirs I have to calm the poor unfortunate staff member down afterwards 🙂 We have a laugh and a joke about it whilst I tick the check boxes 🙂

        Simone

        September 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      • Yes, it always makes me smile, one of these martyrs lol marching out of the job centre with their tail between their legs and smoke billowing from their ears 🙂

        Simone

        September 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      • “After they stride of out of the job centre with that middle class entitled lol walk of theirs =
        Goose Step”?

        “I have to calm the poor unfortunate staff member down afterwards, We have a laugh and a joke about it whilst I tick the check boxes” ,

        You’re a lot braver then I am my method for coping with the situation, is to abstain from any of my usual whimsical banter and to be carefull not to make any sudden moves….probly should keep my hands in the air above my head as well.

        Lowestoft Finest

        September 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      • Goose step – yes that’s the word 🙂
        A lot quicker than writing marching with a entitled middle class walk 🙂

        If you are that worried Lowestoft’s Finest, you should wait until the job centre staff have been fed before you sign on then 🙂

        Simone

        September 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

      • Jobcentre staff are more like wasps then bees in the respect that when someone has been stupid enough to upset their nest unlike bees they don’t simply give up after one sting, but instead like wasps they swarm into a frenzy to attack anybody else unfortunate enough to be in that vacinity that day.

        Lowestoft Finest

        September 25, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    • As much as it pains me to say it, I’m with the DWP on this one too, and who said that IUA was impartial 🙂

      How difficult is it NOT to comply with the Actively Seeking Work requirements of the JSAg? As FND says arriving 10 minutes early at the JC to check the Job points would go along way to satisfying this requirement. And checking the newspapers and searching the internet for jobs is just basic bread and butter stuff for any bona fide Job seeker. By failing to do satisfy this most basic of requirement this character is behaving like a complete and utter pillock.

      Some of his remarks give the impression that he has a bee on the bonnet about “welfare scroungers”, a position that he will no doubt re-assume if and when he is fortunate to find himself back in employment.

      His behaviour, however, demonstrates that he is unable to cope with the actually reality of being on JSA, the despair and despondency that comes with countless failed job applications, so as FND points outs he opts for the childish “fun” option whilst at the same time trying to paint himself as some sort of martyr. Such a selfless act indeed, spamming leaflets through letterboxes in the fond hope of coining in a few pound on the side.

      I know that the DWP don’t always “get in right”, they are only human after all :-), but on this occasion they did.

      Davina Bowie

      September 25, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    • Yeah, it’s clowns like this that give us genuine jobseekers a bad name 🙂

      Simone

      September 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      • Exactly… you know what would be sweet?

        If they reinstated his benefit and someone called him for some handywork which exceeds the amount of his benefit.

        Then a week later contacting the National Benefit Fraud Hotline to report it with the DWP finding out that the person was signing on during that week without declaring any work whatsoever! 😀

        Flexible New Deal

        September 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    • I must add I missed the line where he admitted to spending 6 hours a day giving out the leaflets.

      This makes him NOT “Available for Work” as this activity exceeded 16 hours a week.

      It makes me smile that IUA users are not anti-DWP goers but still take individual cases for their own merits.

      The article was misleading regarding “reactivating” his benefits. I would assume that he means an appeal to money of said week and/or a sanction decision.

      If he made a new claim, he should be able to reclaim should he actually look for work.

      I am also glad it wasn’t just me who noticed his type. Just go running to the Daily Mail after being upset an confronting the DWp and losing. What a prick… so he had a £22,000 job for 2 years… he is still unemployed and will get the same crap treatment.

      Having figures on people who have never worked doesn’t come into this. There isn’t a priority list of people ranging from a week away from retirement (assuming worked all their life) all the way down to pretty much a school leaver at 18 (who has never worked).

      Ironically, although he has a family and everything, give it a year or maybe a year and a half of unemployment… he will commit suicide.

      Sounds the type – so much self-belief until he gives up realising the truth whereas he can’t live with himself any longer. I hope that doesn’t happen for his family sake.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm

  34. Queen tried to use state poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace

    Ministers were asked if money earmarked for schools, hospitals and low-income families could be used to meet soaring fuel bills

    The Queen asked ministers for a poverty handout to help heat her palaces but was rebuffed because they feared it would be a public relations disaster, documents disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.

    Royal aides were told that the £60m worth of energy-saving grants were aimed at families on low incomes and if the money was given to Buckingham Palace instead of housing associations or hospitals it could lead to “adverse publicity” for the Queen and the Government.

    Aides complained to ministers in 2004 that the Queen’s gas and electricity bills, which had increased by 50 per cent that year, stood at more than £1m a year and had become “untenable”.

    The Royal Household also complained that the £15m government grant to maintain the Queen’s palaces was inadequate.

    In search of more money-saving schemes, the Queen’s deputy treasurer wrote to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to ask whether the Royal Household would be eligible for a grant to replace four combined heat and power (CHP) units at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

    He asked: “Community Energy can fund up to 40 per cent of the capital costs of implementing a community heating scheme… Since we are already grant-in-aid funded [the Queen receives £15m a year for the upkeep of her palaces] we would like to know whether the Household [would] be able to benefit from these grants. I look forward to your comments.”

    Under this scheme administered by the Environment department, schools, hospitals, councils and housing associations have been awarded £60m for heating programmes which benefit people on low incomes.

    Taxpayers already contribute £38m to pay for the Royal Family. Yet some of the buildings which would have benefited from the energy grant were occupied by minor royals living in grace and favour accommodation on the royal estates. Surprisingly the Government offered no resistance to the proposed application and cleared the way for the Queen to take advantage of the handout.

    But by August 2004 the documents show that Whitehall officials had changed their minds and poured cold water on the whole idea. In an email sent to the Palace it was diplomatically explained that the funds were aimed at people on “low incomes”.

    The official wrote: “I think this is where the Community Energy Funding is directed and ties in with most allocations going to community heating schemes run by local authorities, housing associations, universities etc. I also feel a bit uneasy about the probable adverse press coverage if the Palace were given a grant at the expense of say a hospital. Sorry this doesn’t sound more positive.”

    The Palace had more joy when it sought permission to find a more affordable contractor to supply the Queen with her gas and oil. Documents show that the Royal Household’s gas bill had risen from £319,000 in 2002 to £526,000 in 2006. Electricity had increased by an even bigger margin, jumping from £249,000 to £513,000 over the same period.

    In an email to the DCMS, palace officials wrote in September 2005: “As mentioned [in our telephone conversation today], the commercial market position for utilities has become untenable with price rises of over 50 per cent when we went out to tender last year … The position is that all our contracts for gas and electricity will mature on 30 September 2006. I do not want to go out to tender next year and find the prices have risen significantly again but, given the recent position of energy markets, I suspect that they will.”

    In its proposal the Palace suggested a move towards a wholesale contract under a single tender with Inenco which also serves the gas and electricity needs of the Prison Service and Channel 4.

    But ministers were concerned that by using a single tender, rather than going to the open market place, the Palace might be in breach of EU contracting rules which govern deals worth more than £306,753. The issue centred on whether the Royal Household was a “public sector contracting authority” for the purpose of the EU regulations.

    Preliminary advice from the Treasury was that the Royal Household was a public body but the Palace argued that it wasn’t.

    The Whitehall memo concludes: “If they [the Royal Household] are convinced of their view, and since we have no definitive advice to the contrary, then they can proceed.”

    The switch was finally approved by DCMS officials who noted that the new contract will “undercut” traditional fuel companies by 6-8 per cent. If they had thought of it two years earlier, they could have saved £144,000.

    Last year thermal imaging technology, used to identify and measure energy waste, showed heat pouring through the closed curtained windows, the roof and cracks in the walls. A team of energy surveyors labelled the Palace “shocking and appalling”, the biggest “central heating radiator” in the capital and gave it a score of 0 out of 10. St James’s Palace was in 12th place in the survey of 170 buildings with a score of only five out of 10.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/queen-tried-to-use-state-poverty-fund-to-heat-buckingham-palace-2088179.html

    Srounger Watch

    September 25, 2010 at 8:25 am

    • Get some cheaper Eastern European Royals in to replace your current German ones, they are much cheaper and are used to far colder climates, so no need for any heating. On the down side the palaces could prove to hot for them so prepare to have a king who sits about in his pants at state functions.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      September 25, 2010 at 10:16 am

    • We are not amused! Off with Lowestoft’s Finest’s testicles!

      Elizabeth R II

      September 25, 2010 at 10:35 am

  35. Crtisism of the Monarchy could be seen as TREASON

    Defenders Of The Realm

    September 25, 2010 at 9:14 am

  36. “We are not aroused”.

    King Fake Viagra

    September 25, 2010 at 10:56 am

  37. Spending cuts may need to pass a Lib Dem ‘middle-class audit’

    Coalition policies could undergo a ‘middle class’ audit to ensure they are not hurting hard-working families.

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s attempt to become a champion of ordinary households comes despite fears the government will axe universal entitlements such as child benefit and winter fuel allowance for the better-off.

    The move will be seen as a sign Mr Clegg is cementing his Whitehall power grab.

    The Lib Dem leader already effectively has a veto over the domestic agenda as he is the chairman of the Home Affairs Cabinet Committee.

    Any middle class taskforce to scrutinise proposed policy is likely to be based on an existing American model.

    Last night Mr Clegg was due to swap ideas at the White House with U.S. vice president Joe Biden, who has an army of experts deciding whether policies ‘would harm or hurt the middle classes’.

    Government sources said Mr Clegg was keen to keep in touch with the impact of economic policy on voters and make sure policies met the ‘middle class test’.

    Under reforms pioneered by Harriet Harman, Labour had planned to force all public bodies to promote equality for women and minorities in their activities.

    The coalition is currently considering whether this should now be implemented.

    Ahead of his White House meeting Mr Clegg said: ‘I’m quite keen to look at some of the work he (Biden) has done for President Obama on Middle America and issues of social mobility, which I’m pushing hard within the Government, to see if there are things we can learn.

    ‘I think the whole debate about how we make a tax system reward work and reward social mobility, deal with disadvantage, these are things which he has grappled with domestically.’

    Mr Clegg’s latest pledge is designed to ensure he gets credit for sparing families from the worst excesses of upcoming cuts.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314742/Spending-cuts-need-pass-Lib-Dem-middle-class-audit.html

    Daily Heil

    September 25, 2010 at 11:45 am

    • Looks like exploitation of the unemployed and harassment of the sick and disabled is of the table then. I can’t imagine workfare passing this “middle-class audit” 🙂

      Lady Gaga

      September 25, 2010 at 11:54 am

  38. I suspect the Middle-Class audit is a front to avoid spending the money needed on IDS’s potential welfare reforms, Clegg has been well and truly bought by the Tories and has already fallen victim to the Westminster effect becoming increasingly isolated from even anything his own party says.

    Good riddence to Harriet Harmen and any policy she dreams up, as in reality its bound to only benefit minorities and women who actualy were in the same class has her at private school. She didn’t exactly come to the aid of the lowly “sister” on the parlimentry standards authority when she was sworn at and bullied by the adenoidaly challenged Dennis McShane. Anyway Neo Labour only said the other day they arn’t about minorities or equality thats the job of Quangos.

    Lowestoft Finest

    September 25, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  39. “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    T Jefferson

    September 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  40. Irish deficit jumps after new bank bail-out

    The Irish Central Bank has said it will need to increase the amount of support to the country’s banking sector.

    It said supporting Anglo Irish Bank would cost from 29.3bn euros to a “stress scenario” bail-out of up to 34bn euros ($46.4bn; £29.2bn).

    The cost would push the Irish Republic’s fiscal deficit to 32% of gross domestic product (GDP)

    The finance minister, Brian Lenihan, says it is “manageable”. Without the bank support, the deficit would be 12%.

    Including the cost of its bank support, the UK’s deficit is more than 10% of GDP for this year.

    Last month, the cost of the bail-out of Anglo Irish was estimated at between 22-25bn euros.

    The Irish Republic says its latest announcement represents the final costs of repairing the country’s banking system. It hopes this will reassure worried investors.

    The BBC’s business editor, Robert Peston, said the equivalent of about a third of the Irish economy had gone into supporting the banks:

    “If you added together all the capital provided to Ireland’s banks by various arms of the state, taxpayer support to those banks in the form of capital injections is around 30% of GDP.”

    He said that would compare with around 6% of GDP in the UK for the equity injected into Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Northern Rock.

    In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Lenihan said the support was vital as Anglo Irish was too big to fail.

    “The bank had grown to half the size of our annual national wealth, so clearly the failure of a bank on that scale would do huge damage to the local economy here in Ireland,” he said.

    The central bank also said it would also increase support to Allied Irish Bank, which would need 3bn euros before the end of the year.

    The Irish Republic is viewed as one of the weakest economies in the eurozone, despite it taking tough action to regain control of its economy.

    The extra support for the banking system has led Mr Lenihan to say he will cut another 3bn euros from spending in the budget later this year, a move designed to help shrink the deficit to 3% of GDP by 2014 to keep within eurozone rules.

    The latest news was welcomed by some market analysts.

    Padhraic Garvey, rate strategist at ING, said: “I think the market needs to know and here it is.

    “It’s a pretty astonishing deficit number. It’s dominated of course by accounting practices because the Irish state is taking the pain upfront and funding it slowly over 10 years.”

    This week, mounting concern over the Irish economy sent its cost of borrowing on the open markets to a record level.

    The latest GDP figures showed the Irish economy contracted by 1.2% for the second quarter. Greece’s GDP dropped by 1.5% in the same period.

    In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Lenihan stressed that the country’s financial health was better than other peripheral eurozone economies, saying it had borrowing already lined up to service debts and cover public services until the middle of 2011.

    “We are not obliged to go to the markets. We are not under a clear and present constraint,” he told the paper.

    Mr Lenihan said the country would cancel its bond auctions in October and November and would not return to the bond markets until early in 2011.

    The Irish government has previously rejected speculation that it could have difficulty raising funds and might have to seek help from a huge EU rescue fund set up after the Greek debt crisis earlier this year.

    The interest rate on Irish government debt due to be repaid within 10 years reached a record 6.791% on Wednesday.

    The cost of borrowing fell slightly following the latest government announcement.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11441473

    BBC News

    September 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    • Oi, the luck ‘o the O’rish 🙂

      Patricia O'Donagal

      September 30, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      • I wonder what the real score now is with Irish reunification? as I always heard that even during better financial times the Irish Republic wern’t as keen as the Republicans in the North becouse they feared that they would inherit the troubles and the cost would bank rupt their economy.

        The way the Republic has now gone their is no way they can now afford the cost of Northern Ireland. Strange how nobody is mentioning this.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 1, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    • This is a deliberately orchestrated situation to destroy countries from within,… to make us all slaves. Wake up, people!

      Finbar Saundars II

      September 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

  41. Bonfire of the benefits to save £9billion: Duncan Smith wins his battle with the Treasury over ‘universal credit’

    Millions of people on benefits will have their claims scrapped and replaced by a single ‘universal credit’ in a move which could save up to £9billion each year, it was reported last night.

    The deal, secured by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith after months of debate with Chancellor George Osborne, will see housing benefit, income support, incapacity benefit and other payments axed.

    The system will also guarantee that anyone working will be better off than those on the dole.

    Those who claim will be able to keep more of their benefits when they get a job or increase the hours they work.

    The Chancellor fought the plans because he said they would cost too much to enforce at a time when Whitehall faces the most severe cuts for more than a generation. But The Times last night reported that Mr Duncan Smith has won the battle.

    He will be allowed to claim up front ‘a large chunk’ of the expected £9billion of savings which he predicts can be made every year from lower administration costs and reduced fraud.

    Once the system is launched, it will be much more difficult to defraud because all details will be held on one system.

    Currently it is relatively easy to claim benefits while working because they are administered by different systems.

    And couples can pretend they are entitled to more benefits by saying they live apart.

    It has yet to be decided whether child benefit be shelved. The decision is not expected until the Treasury reveals the full details of the £83billion worth of cuts in the spending review on October 20.

    Means testing for child benefit, taxation or scrapping it for older children are all being considered as alternatives.

    The plans are expected to be announced at the Conservative Party conference next week.

    Mr Duncan Smith’s plans were backed overwhelmingly in a public consultation on 21st-century welfare.

    He argued that a complete reworking of the system was required to offer an incentive to work for those caught in the benefits trap.

    Under the current system, people can be left worse if they choose to lose their benefits and instead take a job.

    The plans will cover only benefits for those of working age, and will not include pensions.

    Officials are still discussing how quickly the benefit should be withdrawn when someone on the dole finds work.

    A withdrawal rate of between 60 and 65 per cent is being debated, according to sources.

    That would mean that people will be able to keep between 60 and 65 per cent of their benefits for each extra pound that they earn once they go back to work.
    Critics of the current system argue that there is presently little incentive to return to work.

    Some 1.7 million people lose more than 70 per cent of their benefits for every pound earned and 130,000 lose 90 per cent.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the move, which comes into play in three years, ‘could be one of the most important changes brought about by this Government’.

    Means testing for child benefit, taxation or scrapping it for older children are all being considered as alternatives.

    The plans are expected to be announced at the Conservative Party conference next week.

    Mr Duncan Smith’s plans were backed overwhelmingly in a public consultation on 21st-century welfare.

    He argued that a complete reworking of the system was required to offer an incentive to work for those caught in the benefits trap.

    Under the current system, people can be left worse if they choose to lose their benefits and instead take a job.

    The plans will cover only benefits for those of working age, and will not include pensions.

    Officials are still discussing how quickly the benefit should be withdrawn when someone on the dole finds work.

    A withdrawal rate of between 60 and 65 per cent is being debated, according to sources.

    That would mean that people will be able to keep between 60 and 65 per cent of their benefits for each extra pound that they earn once they go back to work.
    Critics of the current system argue that there is presently little incentive to return to work.

    Some 1.7 million people lose more than 70 per cent of their benefits for every pound earned and 130,000 lose 90 per cent.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the move, which comes into play in three years, ‘could be one of the most important changes brought about by this Government’.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1316724/Bonfire-benefits-save-9bn-Duncan-Smith-wins-battle-Treasury.html

    Daily Heil

    October 1, 2010 at 8:47 am

    • 3 years time? I doubt the ConDem(n) Government will still be in power by then (if they keep having such silly plans)!

      Actually, I am rather stupid and can’t get my ahead around this universal credit system.

      I am a JSA claimant, however, do not claim other benefits… does this mean I will be entitled to more money when the other benefits are scrapped too or will the single type of benefit will vary in rate depending on the person and their circumstances?

      If that is the case where there would be literally probably hundred different rates of payment (instead of say just a few for each benefit type) we are loosing more money…. not to fraud, but official error!!

      Flexible New Deal

      October 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

      • Pathways to Nowhere.

        Private Eye this week has got hold of the Ofstead report on Pathways to Nowhere.

        All our old friends fail, miserably (Reed, A4E, and rest of the barrel of monkeys).

        There’s a report here: http://watchinga4e.blogspot.com/

        But the full article is not on the Web.

        Nor the report – as far as I can tell.

        Andrew Coates

        October 1, 2010 at 10:06 am

    • “A withdrawal rate of between 60 and 65 per cent” and “people will be able to keep between 60 and 65 per cent of their benefits” So which one is it or is the Daily Heil being deliberately misleading?

      A similar thing happens at present with Housing Benefit whereby 65 pence is withdrawn for every extra pound earned.

      So extending this to JSA: £65.45 + (£65.45/0.65) = a “taper-off” point of £166.14. So, at £166.14 all of the “kept” money will be “withdrawn”.

      Penelope Cruz

      October 1, 2010 at 10:04 am

      • It is nonsense and confusing.

        Government wants to prevent people being unemployed – I mean receiving benefits… forcing them to be better off in work by sanctions, making people less entitled to claim etc.

        So how does paying people in this new system while they are working, going to help?

        It seems like they will be paying people on top of wages. I do not think that is right. Think of it like a bribe to go and work. The problem is everyone (almost) wants to work, and not being better off doesn’t stop everyone from working.

        Flexible New Deal

        October 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      • These figures would barely encourage part-time work let alone full-time work. So unless a very short working week is IBS’s intent let’s give IBS the benefit of the doubt 🙂

        Assuming that IBS means that workers/claimants will retain 60/65% of their JSA (withdrawal rate of 40/35%)

        60(40) = 65.45 + (65.45/0.40) = a “taper-off” point of £229.08.

        and

        65(35) = 65.45 + (65.45/0.35) = £252.45.

        As an example, take someone working 35 hours a week on the increased by 10 pence today minimum wage of £5.93

        @ 60(40)((5.93 x 35= £207.55) – 64.45) x 0.40 = £56.84

        @ 65(35)((5.93 x 35= £207.55) – 64.45) x 0.40 = £49.74

        So, the under this “system” the more you earned, the more you kept
        up to the cut-off point where the full JSA of £65.45 would be “kept”.

        This doesn’t make sense though since it’s always been a case of, as with Tax Credits that the more you earn the less you receive up until the cut-off point.

        It really confuses the issue when in one breath IBS speaks of keeping more of JSA, then in the next breath talks about withdrawal rates.

        Penelope Cruz

        October 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm

      • I really think that the best “system” is to be earning enough be well clear of being dependent on these “top-ups”. Look how many people are having to re-pay tax credits.

        Penelope Cruz

        October 1, 2010 at 4:14 pm

      • Or maybe at £166.41 the full JSA is kept. So, someone working for a minimum of (166.41/5.93) = 28 hours would retain their full JSA. As Lowestoft’s Finest says would that not 28 hours the maximum working week. Whatever way you look at it, this “proposal” of IBS makes no sense at all – talk about hare-brained, back of a cigarette packets ideas. Anyone know what IBS is talking about? 🙂

        Penelope Cruz

        October 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      • A withdrawal rate of between 60 and 65 per cent is being debated, according to sources….

        the daily heil says….

        That would mean that people will be able to keep between 60 and 65 per cent of their benefits for each extra pound that they earn once they go back to work…. it goes on 2 say,,,

        lol if u withdraw 60 n 65 how can u keep 60 n 65??????,,,, shows how dim the daily heil reader is,,,, like ids is lolz

        Sharon Stone

        October 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      • According to the Times report:
        “Whitehall sources said that a withdrawal rate of between 60 and 65 per cent is now being debated.”
        So does that mean IDS’s scheme will cut the effective marginal rate down to 60-65%?

        Unfortunately not. As explained in this summer’s consultation paper from the DWP, a 65% withdrawal rate means that for every £1 of extra net income you earn for yourself, you lose 65 pence from your universal credit. But assuming you are earning more than the annual personal tax allowance (currently £6475), in order to generate an extra £1 of net income, you will have to earn a gross £1.47 (from which will be deducted 20% income tax, and a further 12% National Insurance).

        So under the Universal Credit as apparently agreed, many of the working poor will get to keep just 35 pence out of the extra £1.47 they’ve earned – an effective marginal tax rate of 79.9%. Which is hardly any improvement at all on the current situation.

        Smash Workfare

        October 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      • Thanks for that analysis Smashy.

        Not all of us are hardy enough to work out these details.

        Maybe Nicey will come along and contradict you.

        Andrew Coates

        October 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm

      • …a 65% withdrawal rate means that for every £1 of extra net income you earn for yourself, you lose 65 pence from your universal credit…

        Smash Workfare

        October 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      • ??!!

        35 hours on MINIMUM wage is £180.21 NET … right?

        £180.21 – £65.45 = £114.76 over.

        I lose £114.76 x 65pence…. ? right? = £74.59!!!! but thats more than £65.45 JSA!!!!

        I wouldn’t get anyfing working 35 hours on min wage… ??

        Wot about tax credits??

        Am we expected to survive wifout tax credits n stuff

        WTF?!

        October 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      • Right I work 20 hours on min wage

        £117.65 NET

        I lose £33.93…. I get to keep £32.52 universal credit…… ??

        117.65+31.52=149.17…. right

        ……

        I work 10 hours a week at min wage

        I get £59.30 NET

        I lose NUFFINK

        I get to keep £65.45

        I take home £124.75…. right????

        sum1 from the guvment shud cum on n xplain this!!!!!!

        WTF?!

        October 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      • wot about tax credit? i depend on tax credits 2 make ends meat. david camiron said he wos **comited* 2 tax credit..hows this fit in wif this new paln wif unuversil benifits.?

        Sami

        October 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm

      • Tax Credits are a type of benefit – it would be scrapped under this new proposed system.

        Flexible New Deal

        October 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

  42. “The system will also guarantee that anyone working will be better off than those on the dole”.

    Labour said exactly the same thing years ago, but as per usual were talking Jenk. If you ever went to see an adviser to tot up figures for a potential job the assesment criteria was a joke, for a start on the old new deal you were given £15 expences a week but the criteria didn’t take into account weekly in work expences, or prescriptions, dental treatment, or the fact that if you were a casual worker you wouldn’t get paid for bank holidays or holidays. Then to put the icing on the cake after ignoring all this and much more they would tell you you should take a job 40 miles away becouse “you will be nearly £10 a week better off”.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 1, 2010 at 10:22 am

    • 40 miles away 🙂 nearly £10 a week better off 🙂 Wow 🙂 that’s a lot of money 🙂 You get the job LF? 🙂

      Simple Samantha

      October 1, 2010 at 10:28 am

  43. “a “taper-off” point of £166.14. So, at £166.14 all of the “kept” money will be “withdrawn””.

    Then they’re going to hit real problems in the work place if they implement this law becouse nobody will do aditional hours when the company is realy busy, as at present nobody recieving family credit wuill work them becouse the additional earnings come straight off their guaranteed regardless of hours credit, so they are doing additional hours “for the state”, meaning nobody on family credit is prepared to work them the strain falls on workers not recieving family credit, additionaly people on family credit on a guaranteed income regardless are infamous for not turning up and pulling sickies as they know they will recieve a guaranteed amount of family credit money regardless.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 1, 2010 at 10:33 am

  44. Global unemployment to trigger further social unrest, UN agency forecasts

    International Labour Organisation (ILO) notes that social unrest has already been reported in at least 25 countries

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned of growing social unrest because it fears global employment will not now recover until 2015.

    This is two years later than its earlier estimate that the labour market would rebound to pre-crisis levels by 2013. About 22 million new jobs are needed – 14 million in rich countries and 8 million in developing nations.

    The United Nations work agency today warned of a long “labour market recession” and noted that social unrest related to the crisis had already been reported in at least 25 countries, including some recovering emerging economies.

    Crisis-hit Spain faced its first general strike in eight years this week as unions protested against the government’s austerity measures and labour reforms. The strike on Wednesday coincided with protests in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia and Lithuania, as well as demonstrations in Brussels by tens of thousands of workers from across Europe as part of a European day of action against public spending cuts.

    “Fairness must be the compass guiding us out of the crisis,” said ILO director general Juan Somavia. “People can understand and accept difficult choices, if they perceive that all share in the burden of pain. Governments should not have to choose between the demands of financial markets and the needs of their citizens. Financial and social stability must come together. Otherwise, not only the global economy but also social cohesion will be at risk.”

    Withdrawing fiscal stimulus too early

    Raymond Torres, lead author of the ILO’s annual World of Work report, published today, warned governments against withdrawing fiscal stimulus measures while the economic recovery was still weak.

    Torres said there were two main reasons for the bleaker outlook facing many countries: “The first is that fiscal stimulus measures that were critical in averting a deeper crisis and helped jump-start the economy are now being withdrawn in countries where recovery, if any, is still too weak,” he said. “The second, and more fundamental factor is that the root causes of the crisis have not been properly tackled.”

    The ILO said the global economy had started growing again, with encouraging signs of employment recovery, especially in some emerging economies in Asia and Latin America. But it added: “Despite these significant gains … new clouds have emerged on the employment horizon and the prospects have worsened significantly in many countries.”

    Since the crisis started in 2007, some 30-35 million jobs have been lost worldwide. The ILO forecasts that global unemployment will hit 213 million this year, a rate of 6.5%. For the United States, the number of jobs still needed to regain pre-crisis levels is 6.9 million.

    Many countries that experienced employment growth at the end of 2009 are now seeing the jobs recovery weaken. Even among people with jobs, satisfaction at work has deteriorated significantly.

    “The longer the labour market recession, the greater the difficulties for jobseekers to obtain new employment,” the ILO report said. “In the 35 countries for which data exists, nearly 40% of jobseekers have been without work for more than one year and therefore run significant risks of demoralisation, loss of self-esteem and mental health problems. Importantly, young people are disproportionately hit by unemployment.”

    The ILO recommends three policies for a jobs-led recovery:

    • Active labour market policies including work-sharing that target vulnerable groups such as young people, and training.

    • A closer link between wages and productivity gains in surplus countries to boost demand and job creation.

    • Financial sector reform to ensure savings are channelled to productive investment and the creation of more stable jobs.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/oct/01/job-market-recession-social-unrest-ilo

    The Guardian

    October 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm

  45. Police offered right to strike
    Police would be given the right to strike for the first time in 90 years in return for sacrificing their lucrative overtime payments and bonuses, under a Home Office proposal.

    Theresa May, the Home Secretary, announced that “radical” steps were needed to overhaul outdated policing practices and said that “nothing will be off-limits” in the pay review.

    In the face of severe public spending cuts, ministers and police chiefs believe that front-line jobs can be saved by slashing hundreds of millions of pounds worth of overtime bills, performance-related bonuses and “Spanish practices” within the service.

    The terms of reference for the pay review, the most comprehensive for 30 years, disclose that it will specifically consider the right to strike.

    Along with the Armed Forces, the police are the only public workers banned in law from taking industrial action. Many officers believe they are entitled to the considerable perks available to them because they have forfeited the right to strike.

    Within hours of the official pay review website going live, some officers had already called for greater rights if pay and conditions were reduced.

    But the prospect of police being given strike powers was criticised as a move that would “destroy public support at a stroke”.

    Mrs May’s announcement signals the beginning of what is expected to be a gruelling series of negotiations as the Government, police leaders and rank-and-file representatives attempt to thrash out an agreement.

    To lead the review the Home Office has appointed Tom Winsor, the outspoken former rail regulator who clashed with the Labour government over the nationalisation of Railtrack.

    Mrs May said: “We need radical solutions to improve policing. Nothing will be off-limits in this review.

    “By bringing modern management practices to the police, this review will help ensure chief constables can deliver the front-line services people want, while providing the value for money that is so vital in the tough economic times we face.”

    In August, The Daily Telegraph disclosed that officers were being paid five types of bonuses totalling more than £150 million a year for what officers admitted was “just doing their job”.

    Police chiefs submitted a secret document to the Home Office two months ago suggesting overtime rates could drop from twice the regular pay – known as “double bubble” among officers – to time-and-a-half for working on public holidays. Chief officers are also frustrated by the requirement that rank and file officers be given three months’ notice of their shifts, with any changes made at short notice raising the prospect of overtime payments. Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, and Sir Hugh Orde, the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, have publicly condemned the bonus system. Sir Denis O’Connor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, has also said that the rules on shift patterns were designed for “a different era of policing” and did not allow sufficient flexibility.

    The review will also assess police pensions. According to the latest figures, the average retirement age of police is 51, with the cost of pensions – £2 billion in 2008-09 – the equivalent to a fifth of the total cost of police forces in England and Wales. The most controversial element of the review will be the issue of industrial rights.

    On the review website one, officer named only as James, said: “If the terms and conditions which appertain to police officers are to be changed then we need full industrial rights including the right to strike.”

    However Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley, last night condemned the suggestion as a “non-starter”.

    “I am a great supporter of the police, but officers themselves will admit some of the overtime and other conditions are unjustified and I do not understand why using resources more wisely should give them a right to strike.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8038086/Police-offered-right-to-strike.html

    The Torygraph

    October 1, 2010 at 11:34 pm

  46. “A la mierda los Cerdos ” !!!!!

    Presidente Correa, Ecuador

    October 2, 2010 at 12:48 am

  47. Hi Guys,
    I thought I’d update the community on my conflict vis-a-vis my New Deal Jobcentre Adviser.
    You might recall he tried to get me to agree to start my IAP after having done only 11 weeks Gateway to Work instead of 13.
    He tried again yesterday, attempting to get me to agree to start IAP on 11.10.10. I refused again.He refused to give me another time to sign on in two weeks’ time (15.10.10). He said that I could contact the job centre on that date to get an appointment but that no payment could be made without referral to a decision maker. Housing benefit would stop as well.
    He said my case would be discussed at a case conference later that day (yesterday) but that he was sure nothing would change.
    Surprise! Surprise! I opened my post this morning to receive a letter from the Job Centre manager, “You have been referred to the following opportunity: Local Entry-Finding and getting jobs.”
    I havn’t heard of this scheme before. They want me to ring up Debenhams with a view to an immediate start.
    The attached advert from Debenhams says wages are between £4.92 and £5.95 an hour, hours are part-time. The Job Centre don’t say what will happen if I don’t go.
    Has anybody heard of this “Local Entry-Finding and getting jobs” before?
    I think what has happened is that Job Centre realised I would call their bluff by not going on IAP on the date they wanted and might be able to show good cause to a decision-maker.
    Maybe they’ve found me a job to get themselves out of stuck?
    Does anyone know any different?

    Many thanks for any help.

    Martin Black

    October 2, 2010 at 12:56 pm

  48. I am still waiting for them to replace the Jobseekers Direct online (direct gov) search with something better.

    I had volunteered but they wont allow me access to the job database – they say for security and commercial reasons that they do not give access to any person or business.

    It appears that certain job search sites manage to pick up Jobcentre Plus jobs, so they must have access.

    Flexible New Deal

    October 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    • lol found this shite on an external site, if anyone want to get on their bike lol

      EMPLOYMENT CONSULTANT EZ/EC/HR

      Vacancy from

      Job No:

      GLA/122288
      Wage

      £15,600 TO £23,500 PER ANNUM
      Hours

      37.5 HOUR WEEK
      Location

      GLASGOW, LANARKSHIRE G1
      Duration

      Permanent
      Date posted

      24 September 2010
      Closing date

      22 October 2010
      Pension details

      Pension available
      Description

      The successful applicant will be an excellent relationship manager & communicator, with experience of working in a results driven environment. With an appetite to succeed you should be motivated to deliver a professional & supportive service to employers & clients. Ideally applicants should be familiar with some of the issues & challenges faced by the long. term unemployed. In this challenging & rewarding role you will deal with a diverse caseload of clients. The applicant should be able to assess the employability of the client in order to progress them into sustainable employment. To achieve this effectively, you should have the ability to develop & manage relations with local employers, understanding & matching their needs with the expectations of your clients. As a large volume of travel is involved with this position use of a car is essential. Quote EZ/EC/HR
      How to apply

      You can apply for this job by sending a CV/written application to Recruitment Perm at Wise Group, 72 Charlotte Street, Glasgow, G1 5DW or to humanresources@thewisegroup.co.uk.

      £15,600

      Ipswich Don

      October 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm

  49. Banks set to demand fresh bail-out in 2011, warns think-tank

    04 October 2010

    Banks borrowing requirement set to double next year to £25 billion a month to plug funding gap.

    Despite at least £1.2 trillion of taxpayers’ money being put at risk to bail out the banking system, many of the major high street banks may well be asking for another hand-out from the public purse in 2011, according to new research from independent think-tank nef (the new economics foundation).

    These figures raise the question of whether the Government is aware of the problem, and if so, whether the scale of planned cuts to public services is being influenced by the likelihood of another bail-out.

    A new report, Where did our money go?, published Monday 4 October 2010, uses Bank of England data to investigate what happened to the bail-out money, two years on from the credit crunch that sent shockwaves through the banking system and just ahead of the second anniversary of the biggest single bail-out in UK history on 8 October 2008. The report finds that:
    There is a shocking lack of information in the public domain about where the money has gone, how it has been used and what has been the ‘quid pro quo’ for the support.
    Interest rates are higher than before the crisis for firms and households, including on mortgages, despite the Bank of England cutting interest rates to historic lows.
    Lending to households and firms has stagnated despite the bail-outs.

    “The financial crisis resulted in a massive socialisation of losses after decades of private gain,” said Tony Greenham, Head of the Finance and Business programme at nef and co-author of the report.

    “The public have already paid for the failure of the banks twice, first by bailing them out, and then by suffering a programme of drastic cuts to public services to appease the financial markets. We need urgent reform of the banking system to ensure that bailed-out banks are not allowed to repeat their failures. The Government should ensure that banks use public money in a way that is socially useful and which prepares Britain for the Great Transition to a low carbon economy.”

    As nef’s report shows, the roots of the banking crisis lie in the political crisis of weak and ineffective regulation. The fact that we are on the cusp of a second banking failure just as a range of government commissions and enquiries are underway mean that not only must the reviews directly address fundamental reform of the banks, but that action will be required ahead of the outcome of the enquiries.

    nef is calling for a comprehensive package of reform, including:
    The separation of retail banking from speculative trading, and the curbing of socially unproductive financial activities.
    Breaking up the big banks, reducing them to a size where the failure of one would not jeopardise the whole economy.
    The transformation of the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland into a Royal Bank of Sustainability which must redirect its investment away from fossil fuels and towards building green infrastructure.
    The introduction of a Community Reinvestment Act which would bring much needed transparency to banks’ lending and ensure they invest in all communities from which they take deposits.

    nef believes that an effective banking system is one that can channel resources into financially sound investment that creates social value without causing environmental degradation.

    “The worst of the banks were once compared to ‘vampire squids’ wrapped around the face of humanity, sucking money out of the economy to reward a few reckless speculators. Now we desperately need a finance system that is fit for the purpose of serving a productive economy, and meeting urgent environmental and social challenges,” said Andrew Simms, nef Policy Director and co-author of the report.

    “Altogether, Britain faces a Great Transition that is necessary, desirable and possible but will not happen without re-wiring our banking system. Yet, for all the talk of learning lessons, the banks have been left largely untouched. They appear no more transparent or accountable, and scant new regulation has been implemented to prevent a repeat of the crisis.”

    The former Chancellor, Alastair Darling, conceded in September this year that the so-called ‘Super Tax’ on bankers’ bonuses had failed to change the behaviour of the industry in giving excessive, unjustified rewards to executives. And, new international rules on how much capital a bank must hold compared to its liabilities sets the threshold actually lower than that already held by many banks and is also unlikely to change the industry’s behaviour.

    nef is urging policy-makers not shy away from radical reform. In the current climate, the greatest risk is not to act.

    http://www.neweconomics.org/sites/neweconomics.org/files/Where_did_our_money_go_0.pdf

    New Economics Foundation

    October 4, 2010 at 4:44 am

    • Always the same, take a minor equity stake in the bank… allow them to buy it back later.

      Why not completely take over these problem banks? Problem solved. All what is required is a new Bill being written and passed into an Act.

      Declare it an emergency (i.e. instead of stretching it out being lazy, actually do the work the taxpayers’ pay them for…) implement it within 1-2 months.

      Flexible New Deal

      October 4, 2010 at 8:23 am

      • Who exactly runs this cuntry – the Guvmnet or Banksta? Maybe JFK was right when he said that thw world is run by secret societies and bankstas? The answer is obvious! Alastair Darling when he announced the banksta crisis to the commons – what a phoney – as if he didn’t see it coming. Is this going to become a habit then, shovelling huge sums of hard-working tax payers cash by way of these banksta cunts?

        Banksta Shyster

        October 4, 2010 at 8:44 am

      • Some secret societies are great.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati

        Sponsers of Ipswich Unemployed Action, Bob Crow and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

        Andrew Coates

        October 4, 2010 at 11:01 am

  50. Just pass a fucking Law and take the banks of these cunts and tell them to FUCK OFF!! That’s what the PEOPLE want – are you LISTENING Georgie Porgie?

    Banksta Shyster

    October 4, 2010 at 8:46 am

  51. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are
    added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve four
    emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service?
    Kudos!


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