Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Miliband and Welfare Reform.

Ed Miliband on Welfare Reform:

This is one of the hardest issues for our party because all of us know in our communities people who are in genuine need and who worry about the impact of new medical tests, or changes to rules on them.

At the same time, let’s be honest, we also know there are those for whom the benefits system has become a trap.

That is not in their interests or the interests of us a society and we are right when we say it must be challenged.

Reforming our benefits system is not about stereotyping everybody out of work, it’s about transforming their lives.

Real help matched with real responsibility.

That is why on welfare, I will look closely at whatever the government comes forward with: not arbitrary cuts to benefits but a genuine plan to make sure that those in need are protected and that those who can work have the help they need to ensure they do so.

Work is a central part of life. But it is not all that matters.

We all care about making a living, but we don’t just care about that.


More Here.

What does this mean?

One indication could show us.

There are rumours that our old friend James Purnell – the man who began the whole miserable process of ‘welfare reform’ – may seek a post in the Shadow Cabinet. In the same role?

We shall be watching developments like ‘awks.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 29, 2010 at 9:11 am

34 Responses

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  1. What will Miliband do faced with the Europe-wide protests happening today about cuts and austerity:

    Thousands of people from across the EU are expected to march in Brussels to protest against sweeping austerity measures by many national governments.

    The European Trade Union Confederation says its protest could be one of the biggest in Belgium’s capital for years.

    The union says EU workers could become the biggest victims of a financial crisis set off by bankers and traders.

    A general strike has begun in Spain and protests are planned in Greece, Poland, Italy, Latvia, Ireland and Serbia.


    Andrew Coates

    September 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

  2. “transforming their lives” – Emma Harrison, anyone?

    Bettie Boo

    September 29, 2010 at 10:59 am

  3. What will Miliband do faced with the Europe-wide protests?=Nothing!!! To prove to Nouveau Riche Labour and the only Britain that matters (Tidy Britain) that he is not as alledged in the pocket of those evil red union chappies.

    I actualy synicly suspect that the whole Red Ed tag was actualy spun by Labour to give Ed the opportunity to prove at the start of his role that by his blatant in action come the day of reckoning he is firmly on the true blue pimms drinking side of the barricades and against the Bolshie worker Rabble.

    Lowestofts Finest

    September 29, 2010 at 11:01 am

  4. Well done to our Spanish brothers and sisters. Strike the capitalist pig where it hurts – their pockets. When are we going to see the week-willed Brits taking a stand?

    Clodoveo Evarado

    September 29, 2010 at 11:21 am

  5. Mr Coates
    Re- http://www.ipswichunemployedaction.co.uk

    Mr Coates, It has come to the attention of ourselves and other providers, that on Wednesday 29 September 2010. You and others were outside the Northgate Street of the County Library collecting a petition against County Council cutbacks. If you projected as much energy into this as you should in your job search, you could be in employment now. Please be aware that other providers have commented on this activity

    Martin Maher

    September 29, 2010 at 11:25 am

  6. How do they know that Comrade Coates wasn’t in fact safeguarding his future employment prospects of becoming a paid librarian, and getting off the dole as opposed to being a future forced workfare librarian recieving dole?

    Lowestofts Finest

    September 29, 2010 at 11:38 am

    • Well done, Comrade Coates! My congratulations! Down with you Martin Maher and all that work for reed in partnership and all the other welfare to work slave traders. One day you will be dragged from your offices and hanged in the market square! You will become of the most terrible fate! Your sins will find you out. You are all mortal and will pay for your evil doing! I curse you all!

      Clodoveo Evarado

      September 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

    • I sent over 150 spec letters in fifteen minutes in the Library this morning.

      I hope to be soon in full-time employment.

      Mind you they were all to the FARC in Columbia offering my services as a ‘Mule’ in exchange for a few tanks in preparation for the day when we take the Corn Hill, move onto Reed’s HQ before rolling down to Endeavour House.


      Andrew Coates

      September 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      • If you can secure the appropriate crisis loan I can certainly get you some former Red Army tanks….if you are in luck they might still have the red flags all. On the downside Comrade Coates resplendant beneath a tzarist tricolour and double headed eagle might not go down to well in the international revelutionary world.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    • lol at you lot. We work tirelessly to help you, and all you want to do is roll into our offices in tanks, drag us out and then hang us in the market square.

  7. Martin Maher – you collaborate with the Devil! Enjoy your time in Hell!

    Clodoveo Evarado

    September 29, 2010 at 11:47 am

  8. How long before Dave Miliband strides back onto the political stage following predictable calls of the New Labour Sychophants of “Only Dave Milibands “expertese” can save us now”?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm

  9. Not about Ipswich I know, but still relevant 🙂

    London housing crisis: housing benefit, employment and pensioners

    Further interesting figures have emerged from the Department of Work and Pensions about the capital’s recipients of Local Housing Allowance – that’s the housing benefit paid to people who rent from private landlords. These show that as of May this year 59,270 households to which LHA is paid contained at least one person who is employed. That was out of a total of 178,780 recipient households altogether – almost exactly one third.

    Obtained by Karen Buck MP, they should give cause for reflection to all those who’ve been led to assume that practically everyone on housing benefit is a workshy scrounger. They might also ponder the fact that at least 6,500 recipient households are occupied by pensioners. These are further indications that London’s ludicrously high rents are a very big part of the housing benefit problem. Yet the Coalition has offered no proposals for reducing those – just the living standards of the hard-up and the old.



    September 29, 2010 at 12:15 pm

  10. They also need to facter in to those figures households occupied by seriously ill people being cared for full time by a family member…..and thus presently saving the NHS a fortune that it would have otherwise had to shell out on residential accomodation and full time proffesional carers wages.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm

  11. Remember folks, most “landlords” are tax evading Buy-To-Let scum. So, can I encourage all those who are letting from private landlords to shop them to HMRC…you can do it anonymously whilst still living in the property or just after you leave, all you need to do is to get the landlords name and address from your contract and call the HMRC tax evasion hotline on 0800 788 887. “


    September 29, 2010 at 12:42 pm

  12. Just to be clear ALL “landlords” are tax evading scum. Not just the Buy-To-Let ones.

    HMRC tax evasion hotline on 0800 788 887

    Tax Scrounger Hotline

    September 29, 2010 at 12:44 pm

  13. Hit em first before they report you for “benefit fraud”

    Tax Scrounger Hotline

    September 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm

  14. We liase with the Land Registry and the Valuation Office


    September 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    • Nice try, Landlord! That’s a good idea and what the H.M.R.C SHOULD be doing, kind of like the DWP cross references records with benefit claimants. In fact, I’m going to write to George Osborne to suggest cross-referencing data with the Land Registry and the Valuation Office. Recovering this Tax should go a long way to cutting the deficit. Or would you prefer there to be less, hospitals, schools, doctors and nurses?

      All renters would be well advised to notify H.M.R.C. on leaving a property for whatever reason, that they have been paying rent to Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms x of £y per month just so that the H.M.R.C. can make a note of it.

      And indeed, you may well be doing the landlord a favour. He/she, no doubt, is not a deliberate evader of tax 🙂 and it may be that you help to prevent him/her from getting in trouble in case s/he accidentally forgets to declare his/her profit. 🙂

      HMRC tax evasion hotline: 0800 788 887

      Say No to Tax Evasion

      September 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm

      • haha, it doesn’t happen.

        DWP/local councils have allowed silly numbers of people living at one address. Say 16 people at a studio flat or 30 in a 3 bedroom house.

        Of course, this is fraud… people using the ID of those who have left the country and stating they live in a property when not even in the same country.

        I assume HMRC works in a similar fashion.

        Flexible New Deal

        September 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm

      • Well I had a visit from the DWP once to check up on me.

        I hear they are pretty heavy on stuff like this round here.

        Andrew Coates

        September 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      • You’re dead right Flaxi, its a lot worse in coastal towns with a high shoot through population and large former guest houses converted into “no questions asked” DSS welcome houses of multiple occupation.

        I had a mate who was actualy the only person in a house converted into mulltipe flats say six, but despite this he regulaly got a sack load of mail deliverd to his building all concernimg people he had never heard off, on opening some addressed to his flat that looked worryingly official it was usely from someone like Hull Probation Service or a warning from Leicester drug treatment service to someone who had broke their drug testing order by regulaly not showing up for testing, or normaly a load of court sumonses. There was no way that all that amount of people would have been able to fit in the building let alone live in it at the same time. We thought people must be using it as a false address.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        September 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm

      • Well, the DWP have two types of people: the “Fraud Team” and Customer Compliance.

        The former is where they have some evidence on you whether substantial or not and the latter is if they get an allegation or want to harass you without any real evidence to suspect anything.

        Either group could be called “Performance Management” or something similar.

        Flexible New Deal

        September 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm

  15. Have you ever tried contacting the land registry? What a complete waste of time they never know who owns the land. It turns out that more land is unregisterd in the UK then registerd. I’d like to know what they do all day apart from tell people they have no record of who owns the land?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    September 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

  16. Tax evasion, my gold-plated arse in parsley. Why are you not publicising the FECKLESS, LAZY, WELFARE SCROUNGER HOTLINE you Commie bastards?

    Duke of Westminster

    September 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

  17. Government vow to fight ‘benefit tourism’ move

    The Government today vowed to fight the European Commission over efforts by Brussels to lift British social security restrictions designed to curb “benefit tourism”.

    Current social security rules limit benefit claims for immigrants to those who can prove they have a good prospect of finding work and have a long-term commitment to the UK. Migrants considered not to be “economically active” are turned down.

    But now the Commission says the so-called “right to reside” rules break EU laws.

    A Government spokesman insisted today that the current arrangements are “right for the UK” and prevent “unsustainable burdens being placed on our social security system”.

    However, the Commission’s next step is likely to be formal infringement proceedings against the UK which could end in the European Court of Justice.

    A ruling against the Government could force changes in the “Habitual Residency Test”, introduced more than 25 years ago but tightened further in 2004, when EU expansion extended access rights to citizens of eight poor central European countries.

    Government officials say that, without the current restrictions, the Treasury’s annual benefits bill could soar by as much as £2.5 billion in payouts such as the jobseeker’s allowance, currently only available to those who have previously worked for at least a year in the UK, and income support.

    The Government spokesman said: “We are in discussions with the Commission as, in our view, the current rules are within the law and are right for the UK, and changing them now would not be in our interest.

    “Our rules fully support the freedom of workers within the EU, whilst making sure that there are reasonable restrictions on access to social security for those who have never worked in the UK.

    “This prevents unsustainable burdens being placed on our social security system. We will argue our case and work towards a favourable outcome.”

    The Commission stepped in after a complaint from an unnamed individual, and, after an initial inquiry, replied in a letter from the Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, saying that it is up to each EU country to set the terms of national social security and assistance schemes, including conditions surrounding the handing out of benefits.

    But the letter, seen by the Daily Mail, goes on: “However, when making use of this competence, member states have to comply with the fundamental principles of EU law, such as the right to equal treatment on the basis of nationality.”

    The letter says that after examining the “right to reside” test, “it is not compatible with different legal provisions of EU law”.

    The row centres on the Commission’s bid to co-ordinate national social security systems in the EU.

    The UK system is considered one of the most generous, making the country attractive for migrants from the poorer central European member states – including those with no intention of working but hoping to live off benefits.

    The Commission is now conducting a more detailed study of the measures against benefit tourism with a formal warning to the Government expected in the next few months.


    The Independent

    September 29, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    • Why fight the EU? Just leave…

      It really defines what a good leader is.

      Let the EU bully you into this shit – try good relations with individual states, hold on to the EU but try to change certain parts – it doesn’t work. Pulling out or atleast formally giving the assumption of that, will upset the EU.

      If the Government could commission a report stating their intention of considering leaving the EU… this will change the tables. At the moment we are stuck with EU and getting forced to implement laws etc. without any say really… but as soon as you stand up the bully that is the EU, it all comes into perspective.

      Firstly… If I recall correctly we pay in the forth most into Europe which is approx 15% total (?). If the UK withdrew from the EU, it would be up to Germany, Italy and France to find the rest of the money or smaller states would have income restricted. Secondly, the EU has a larger economy than the US. I can’t help thinking that as being in the G8, if the UK withdraw from the EU, the obvious side effect would be dire.

      So, I think if one of the top 5 countries walked out of the EU… especially in the state of the economy (improved much now though) the EU would begin to fail.

      Instead we are left with idiots in charge. Example: Brown, our former PM. He resigned to try and get the Lib Dems on side… what an idiot. Surely, the best thing would have been is to hand over the PM role to Clegghead after a year… or more to the point, say you will but decide not to once you have what you got.

      Nope the joke was on him, as Clegg and Cameron was already in bed together, so he just humiliated himself and concluded how crap of a PM he was.

      Flexible New Deal

      September 29, 2010 at 11:28 pm

      • Lord Mandelson is on a JSA thanks to the EU! and he can turn down jobs and it won’t effect his benefit

        Lord Mandelson is still being paid more than £8,000 a month by the EU despite leaving his job in Brussels two years ago, it was revealed today.
        The peer, who quit as European trade commissioner in 2008 to return to the Cabinet, has a ‘transitional allowance’ of £103,465-a-year funded by the taxpayer.
        He receives £8,622-a-month because he is entitled to half the salary he received while in the plum EU job which was handed to him by Tony Blair.
        Lord Mandelson, the former Business Secretary, will be able to claim the allowance until October 2011 – three years after he came back to UK politics.

        A Brussels spokesman told the Telegraph: ‘The aim of this system is to ease their return to the labour market, to maintain their independence after their time as commissioner. We want to help them so they don’t have to jump on every job offer on the way.’


        The eu is the biggest gravy train about!


        September 30, 2010 at 1:13 am

  18. An open door to benefit tourists: EU warns Britain it can’t stop thousands more migrants claiming welfare handouts

    Benefits tourists are set to get the green light to come to Britain and immediately claim handouts totalling £2.5billion a year.

    According to documents leaked to the Mail, ministers have been warned that restrictions on claims by immigrants are against the law and must be scrapped.

    The European Commission’s ruling threatens to open the door to tens of thousands who are currently deterred from coming to Britain.

    At the moment, a ‘habitual residency test’ is used to establish whether migrants from the EU are eligible for benefits.

    To qualify for jobseeker’s allowance, employment support allowance, pension credit and income support, they must demonstrate that they either have worked or have a good opportunity to get a job.

    But after receiving a complaint that the rules infringed the human rights of EU citizens, the Commission began to examine them.

    In a letter seen by the Mail, it warns that the restrictions are ‘not compatible’ with EU law.

    It says: ‘EU law leaves it to member states to determine the details of their social security schemes and social assistance schemes, including the conditions on awarding benefits.

    ‘However, when making use of this competence, member states have to comply with the fundamental principles of EU law, such as the right to equal treatment on the basis of nationality. Having examined the “right to reside” test… it is not compatible with different legal provisions of EU law.’

    The letter, written to the individual who made the complaint and copied to the British government, is dated last December, but Whitehall sources claim ministers in the outgoing Labour government failed to argue against the proposals.

    Britain had toughened up its rules in 2004 when the EU was expanding its borders. The restrictions assess the eligibility of those from the EU and from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

    But the Commission has begun legal proceedings against Britain to get restrictions on welfare claims by incomers scrapped.

    If successful, the Government would be required to remove its deterrents to benefit tourism, including the right-to-reside test and an additional qualification for those claiming jobseeker’s allowance, that they must have worked for 12 months or more.

    Officials warn the bill could be between £1.3billion and £2.5billion a year – hampering plans to rein in welfare spending.

    However, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is understood to be determined to fight the move through the courts if necessary.

    The Whitehall source warned: ‘This has the potential to open the doors of the benefits system to anyone coming here from the entire European economic area, who may have no intention of working or even looking for work but simply wants to claim benefits.

    ‘We already have enough of a problem managing people who want to come here. But this would open up a whole new wave of benefit tourism.’

    Last year, 46,957 non-UK nationals took the habitual residence test. Of those, 24,604 passed and 22,353 failed. For the test, they are interviewed and asked about why they have come to the UK, how long they intend to stay and their employment arrangements.

    ‘Fundamentally this is designed to ensure people aren’t coming to the UK to be benefit tourists,’ added the source.

    The Department for Work and Pensions said: ‘We are in discussions with the Commission as, in our view, the current rules are within the law and are right for the UK, and changing them now would not be in our interest.

    Our rules fully support the freedom of workers within the EU, whilst making sure that there are reasonable restrictions on access to social security for those who have never worked in the UK.

    ‘This prevents unsustainable burdens being placed on our social security system. We will argue our case and work towards a favourable outcome.’

    The case is specifically between Britain and the Commission, but other countries which impose restrictions on access to welfare for migrants – Denmark, France and Ireland – are likely to be affected too.

    Britain’s test was introduced in 1993, but tightened in 2004 after concerns that residents of new member would move to the previous 15 member states to benefit from their generous social welfare systems.

    Former Labour minister Margaret Hodge has argued restrictions should be toughened further to address voters’ concerns.


    Daily Heil

    September 29, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    • Another sleight of hand attempt to bring down our welfare system – is – is this the Governments plan? Just like Liebour before it.


      September 29, 2010 at 7:57 pm

  19. Flexible New Deal

    September 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

  20. Comrade Coates, Where the hell are you going to get the tanks from apart from gloriously capitalist arms dealers?


    October 1, 2010 at 7:40 pm

  21. “Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is understood to be determined to fight the move through the courts if necessary”

    always the same,jack straw was another one talking tough “through the courts” and no more was ever heard.basically when this happens there’s nothing they can do about it.

    what happened the “better work ethic”,from whats been quoted by people undercutting wages is more appropriate.

    the eu would do very well to look into the treatment handed down to the unemployed/sick/disabled and their rights’ here, dressed up as sham assessments/training/”help” and the “facilities” for the unemployed funded through the european social fund and those individuals such as lord freud and the “woeful” new deal who is still carrying on regardless.


    October 1, 2010 at 10:48 pm

  22. agreement reached on benefit overhaul.



    October 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

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