Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Welfare Reform – ‘Big Work Programme’ – to Include Workfare.

with 138 comments

The Sunday Times (which does not allow free information access) reports today on Ian Duncan Smith’s plans for Welfare Reforms. (More general outline from the BBC)

One area is of specific interest.

Unemployed to “be forced into a US-style ‘workfare’ programme to make them employable.”

Amongst the details of how benefits will continue (in a hyper-complicated way posters here have explained) when you are in work this will mean:

No  money if a you refuse a job (nothing new at all then – this is already the rule).

“”In an American ‘workfare’ style system, private companies will be paid to ‘do whatever it takes’ to make individuals employable and find them posts. As well as skills training, this could involved teaching them how to dress smartly, sending staff to force them out of the bed in the morning and offering them counselling or confidence-boosting sessions.”

The ace-reporters on the Sunday Times note that benefits are already conditional and can be withdrawn from those who “persistently refuse to work”. What is new is that this is apparently which is news to us at Ipswich Unemployed Action) “this is almost impossible to enforce, when individuals can justifiably claim that there are financially better off out of work”.

Humm.

In an inside page ‘report’ it is stated that people failing to get a job through this plan will mean US-style obligations to do “actual work in socially beneficial projects, such as in parks and administration, as a teacher’s aid or construction work.”

For Dole Wages? No doubt a wizard plan to help, say, with Suffolk County Council’s cuts and outsourcing: replace fully paid staff on the County with workfare claimants.

Ex-Workers’ revolutionary Party member and Big Issue founder, John Bird*, is cited,  expressing his support for this “tough love”. Though many wonder if selling the Big Issue is the way to “increase social mobility” – apart from this own move ever upwards.

Labour were also planning a Work for Benefits Programme.  

The only truly new part of this part of the overall reform scheme is the plan to send private company employees round to our houses to wake us up in the morning.

 

* John Bird MBE is available for corporate functions and after-dinner speakingHere.

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 3, 2010 at 10:51 am

138 Responses

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  1. What’s with this policy of making important announcements behind a paywall ?

    Ruprick Murdick

    October 3, 2010 at 11:02 am

    • Well I didn’t pay – I quoted the Library’s copy.

      Which is probably why they want get rid of free libraries as well.

      Andrew Coates

      October 3, 2010 at 11:15 am

      • Exactly, free libraries are for the chop, chop. All part of the “Shit Society” (TM) What we gonna do then – stand in the shop reading the papers?

        Ruprick Murdick

        October 3, 2010 at 11:25 am

      • Where will you go for your ‘free’ internet access then.

        HMRC

        October 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      • Thank god I’ve got my on computer and internet access, I can’t imagine living without it, I’m alarmed when I encounter people with no knoledge of computers in this day and age let alone posess one.Alarmingly their are many people working in high up managerial positions at Birds Eye in Lowestoft who still have no knoledge of PC’s what so ever.

        If you don’t have access to a PC or computer skills in this day and age everyday life must be impossible you are so far out of things you will be the most disenfrachised minority. I think people were put off by all the californian Geek Speak that went with computers along with the techno hype but I just tell people computers are just a tool like a saw and like tools the more you use one the easiest it gets.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

  2. I wont be answering my door 2 thugs thumping on it 1st thing in the morn. I don’t want 2 be raped n murdered in my own home.

    Fiona A

    October 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

  3. It’s hillarious that the government that prides itself on derregulation and small government is itself going Neo-Labour busy body britain crazy and trying to micro manage everybodies lives.

    While all the time failing to realise that every stupid amendment or bill draughted ties up civil servants who could actualy be more usefull elsewhere and actualy costs more money, and more people will be needed to check up that the new rules and all the new red tape that goes with them are being obeyed.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm

  4. What a load of rubbish that the unemployed lie in bed all day, anyone doing that would soon be riddled with bed sores. Personally speaking I am up at 6am every morning, no different from when I was working. You can take your threatening and intimidating fucking baliffs and shove them up your arse IBS. Come near my door and the dogs will have you. Beware of the dogs! You have been warned!

    Pete

    October 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm

  5. The problem is politicians of any political colour can’t stop passing draconian legislation without bothering to find out if the legislation is already in place or bothering to find out what the existing rules are.

    Politicians love to look tough on something (especialy as they run away from the Bnkers/City/super Rich) so that means the unemployed are practiclythe only safe targets.

    Its a pointer to the state of the country that after having the best private education money can buy, then going down to an Oxbridge Univercity these twats are still so inept and arragant that they think they no best to the extent they can pass laws with no knoledge on the subject or even bothering to do any research on it.The problem is not the unemplyed its not them that got us in this state its the uselessness and arrogance of our ruling class that are incapperble of first waying up the facts to then take the right descision.Its weapons of Mass destruction every week.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm

  6. I see another daft misleading article today in the Screws of the World. Something about Life being a Ball on Benefits for a 22 yo single mum. As usual it says that she gets £160 a week of taxpayers cash. In the same style of Digby Chubby Cheeks Jones it omits to say that this will include her rent and council tax. It’s more likely that she *pockets* around £100 a week for herself and her kid.

    I am really suspicious of these type of articles, especially with one with a young female pole dancing in her knickers. Where do they get these people from? Are they real? Journalists? Actors? Models? Surely someone on benefits would know the agenda of these trashy rags. It also mentions that she bought an £150 Karen Millen handbag. Was that with the bounty the SoW paid her? It makes no mention of whether she was paid for the article or not. Surely the Job Centre Fraud Squad should be investigating these people.

    Mrs Bean

    October 3, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    • lol of course these people are real..
      you think we make fake news lol check out next weeks paper for exclusive pics of roll royce driving, rolex wearing lowestoft’s finest posing in a thong and talking about how he lords it up on benefits.

      SoW

      October 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm

      • It’s all true I’m on JSA Gold, and get 2 grand a month, plus I live in a 20 bedroom mansion (one each for each of my top model girlfiends)all located on the select Lowestoft Riviera.

        Im posing in the special “one for the ladiez””My God its realy true what they say about Gypsy Men” pop up 3D “Draw round that any colour it in edition”….All I have to say is after this hits the shelves I expect to recieve hate mail from Donkeyz.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 3, 2010 at 2:21 pm

      • A lot of my work shy benefit scrounging neighbours are on JSA Gold – kicks in after a year cos most people will have left JSA before a year, so they muddle by on £65.45 for a year unaware of what the REAL scroungers like Lowestoft’s Finest are receiving. What really pisses me off is JSA Platinum which is another couple of grand a month of taxpayers cash that is thrown at scroungers who have been claiming for 10 years receive. I suspect that Lowestoft’s Finest like all the other posters on this site is being economical with truth and is receiving JSA Platinum. If you want to know more about this scandal there is an article in the News of the World.

        Pissed Off Taxpayer

        October 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm

      • I applied for JSA Plantinum but they told me I was currently inelligable becouse I didn’t posess a dog on a string.

        I have of course since filled in an application for a £2000 dog on a string grant, as well as an additional application for the £750 to cover the purchase of the nescessary piece of string.(money for old rope).

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 3, 2010 at 4:52 pm

      • Wow, that after dinner speaker site is like a roll call of greedy bastards. £10K for making a quick speech ffs. These cunts wouldn’t wipe their own arse for nothing. Is the Andrew Coates listed under Motivational Speakers the same Andrew Coates of Ipswich Unemployed Action?

        Duncan Bannatyne

        October 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  7. Mrs Bean you have a good point about being suspicious these articles, admittedly some of these people might be genuinly stupid and hoping to either recieve a load of job offers or cash help from the public or it become the “face of fick” and get a career out of it Jade Goodie style.

    If we discard the above people then we have to try to believe that these individuals have gone to the paper to blow there own cushy lifestyle to become hate figures in the eyes of the public, and get the DSS on their back for money that will mean they can’t sign on and have to pay for exactly the same things out of their own pocket….If their real what’s the point?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 3, 2010 at 2:10 pm

  8. Teaching is one profession lol that is heading towards Workfare. if you look at the times education forum, under “unemployed and supply teachers”, you will get some sort of an idea of the scale of over-training and unemployment there is in education.”Use your head, Teach!!!” as an anecdote, under 50 of those who trained found places to work and a further amount of those were on temp contracts. 39,000 qualified last year, whilst only 19,000 retired. The irony is that out of work teachers have now had the avenue of supply teaching cut off by heads hiring UNQUALIFIED STAFF. So to all you smug public sector employees, make my day, go on strike. I am ready to accept less pay and be happy, I am willing to accept worse conditions, I won’t moan, I’ll be as good as any of you for less cost. There are lots of us out here scraping for our next tenner.

    People in schools with jobs, those who oversee them, those who represent them have no idea. If the govt do a Maggie, there are plenty of willing workers to fill their idle shoes. I am ready to do your job tomorrow.

    Unemployed Teecher

    October 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    • My sister qualified back in 2002ish and never got a teaching post. Did supply for a couple of years but could never get a permanent primary-age post. In the end you sort of time out and its so long you can’t get back in post. What a waste of time.

      King Dai

      October 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    • I wouldn’t worry about it. The Condemns intend to “de-regulate” public sector pay anyway. i.e. (teachers) pay scales will be scrapped and individual organisations (schools) will advertise jobs and set their own salaries. Expect salaries to fall through the floor!

      Mistress Kearting

      October 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm

  9. The lack of places is probably doing aspiring teachers a big favour in the long run,As .”Use your head, Teach!!!” didn’t exactly point out the truth about the amount of Teachers who go completely nuts, comit suicide or drop dead before retirement which seems ridiculously high compared to similar proffesions, along with zero job satisfaction.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    • too true, a blessing in disguise. I remember one of my teachers who used to burst into tears in the middle of class, she was always off sick. one day we found out that she had hanged herself 🙂

      Benny

      October 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm

  10. The College teaching thing has had it as well, Labour axed all the funding for adult learning so nobody who wanted to educate themselves in something that interested them and actualy wanted to be there could afford the course fees any more. The money was realocated into basic skills teaching instead. Unless Teachers want to become Basic Skills teachers then forget it.People can no longer afford to do evening classes since course fees spiraled I had a mate doing an evening class at Lowestoft College in setting up IT systems but thanks to the funding being axed his course fees alone had already trebled by the second term, so he told them to stuff it on top of everything else his teacher hardly ever botherd turning up.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm

  11. The latest from the BBC’s Nick Robinson:

    Ponder just for a moment David Cameron’s promise this morning – a massive programme of welfare reform which produces a system which is simple, traps nobody in poverty, rewards virtue and punishes idleness and in which nobody – that’s right, nobody – loses. Oh, yes, and it’ll save money too. Wow. Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

    The answer is that they did. Merging the tax and benefit systems was very voguish in the 70s but politicians decided that whilst the end goal sounded magnificent actually reaching it would prove tricky and costly.

    Here’s just one example of what I mean. The new scheme is to be introduced over a decade – starting with new claimants, I assume. Surely admin costs will increase as benefit officers have to manage the old and the new systems at the same time. Ah, I hear you say, improved computers will sort that out. Like the ones that led to the passport fiasco or the child support agency debacle or the tax credits mess?

    My point is not to deride the promise or the objective. Few could oppose the idea. There’s even talk of the party formerly known as New Labour supporting it. However, as someone once said, the devil’s in the detail.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2010/10/too_good_to_be.html

    Checkm8

    October 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm

  12. Wow, that after dinner speaker site is like a roll call of greedy bastards. £10K for making a quick speech ffs. These cunts wouldn’t wipe their own arse for nothing. Is the Andrew Coates listed under Motivational Speakers the same Andrew Coates of Ipswich Unemployed Action?

    Duncan Bannatyne

    October 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  13. “sending staff to force them out of the bed in the morning”

    what rubbish,perhaps this is what they perceive to mean “training”,the only way is quality manufacturing,pride in home produced goods,real skills training for real skills jobs’ that pay,not employ an outfit that lives in its own world and feeds off peoples misfortunes’ and economic conditions created by failure.then cannot deal with its own failures through its “targets”.

    its a scandal this government has seeked to deflect attention from failure by attacking those affected and a victim of it,conditions the conservatives have created and laid the foundations of for future generations.what they attempted to do with homes’ for votes’ its time to use and and boost the unsavory tactics of failure on the unfortunate.

    as for john bird he can choke on his dinner and do everyone a great favour.

    ken

    October 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    • How do you force someone out of bed in the morning?

      If someone did that to me (and they are unlikely to be able as I dont get up late) they could be killed. Not murder as I wouldnt be fully awake at the time.

      Flexible New Deal

      October 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      • Could be that you have to give the “enforcement officers” your door keys. Then they wouldn’t even need to bother with a cursory knock, you’d just find a group of burly bouncers dragging you out of bed and putting you in a neck hold until you died.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1313952/Security-man-killed-shoplifter-Guard-choked-death-35-perfume.html

        What happened to this bouncer bastard, it’s just dropped off the radar.

        Paranoid Pete

        October 3, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      • People who come up with these daft ideas don’t live in the real world or are far detached from reality. Sending thugs, cos that is all these cunts will be – think bailiff, bouncer – round to peoples home first thing in the morning when they are not thinking straight is bound to end in trouble.

        Paranoid Pete

        October 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm

  14. What a wonderful job our leaders are doing with the advances in technology everybody should be retiring at 40, but instead retirement ages are rising, we should celebrate every lost job, but people still fear it.
    when are people going to wakeup!

    Georgie

    October 3, 2010 at 7:17 pm

  15. unfortunately many have unofficially retired at forty and some a lot younger,known as the “generation on the scrapheap” this has led to enormous deprivation.

    these companies brought in at substantial expense to find jobs that are simply not there is compete stupidity,”make people employable” is a coded term for bullying. they have made vast sums and delivered nothing,hardly surprising when jobs are being lost right left and centre,hire and fire has failed everyone.

    standards are non existent all this totals to a “couldn’t care less” attitude the conservatives have laid at society’s door,looking to the financial sector has brought ruin to peoples lives’ and has proven a failure.attitudes also of being someone they are not has also taken its toll and led to reckless destruction,cheapening money talk telling to spend when people cannot,at the same time cutting back the government are not spending.

    duncan smith with his “ideas” have just been that delivered nothing and not likely too,paying private companies vast sums is a fool’s game,they want full payments upfront not on results.not surprising in twenty years time they will be highly likely stating publically that the plans were always unworkable,indeed emma harrison has spoken of trying to find jobs in a recession already,they are not turning down taxpayers cash though today.

    ken

    October 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

  16. The BBC has learned that current benefits claimants wont be moved onto the new system until after the next election .

    Earwig

    October 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm

  17. David Cameron indicates universal benefits face curbs
    benefit, could be curbed to help fund a major shake-up of the welfare system, David Cameron has indicated.

    The Government will set out the details of its plans in a white paper this autumn with a Bill enacting the reforms introduced to parliament next spring, probably becoming law in late 2011 or early 2012. A new IT system needed for the universal benefit would then be set up by the end of 2013.

    “Then, under current plans, the long term unemployed and new claimants would be the first to move from their existing benefits to the new universal benefit. But most other claimants would not follow them until after the election in 2015.”

    The prime minister wants to wrap all existing out-of-work benefits into a single payment that encourages work.

    Speaking as the Tory conference got under way in Birmingham, he said the plan would get substantial numbers of people off benefit and into work.

    Labour accused the government of planning a massive assault on families.

    But Mr Cameron told the BBC the coalition’s planned welfare reforms were “refreshingly radical” and would mean people would always be better off in work.

    Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said the welfare reforms would cost more upfront, but the changes would be phased in, with other welfare savings made to cover the cost.

    He declined to confirm or deny reports that these cuts would include ending some universal benefits such as child benefit paid for those over the age of 16.

    He said: “On the one hand we have got to ask, are there some areas of universal benefits that are no longer affordable?

    “But on the other hand let us look at the issue of dependency where we have trapped people in poverty through the extent of welfare that they have.”

    At the moment, parents are paid £20.30 a week child benefit for the eldest child and £13.40 for subsequent children, with payments continuing until the age of 19 for those in full-time education.

    The BBC understands that most welfare claimants would not be transferred on to the new universal benefit system until after the next election – meaning the extra costs would not have such a big impact on the forthcoming spending review.

    The Government will set out the details of its plans in a white paper this autumn with a Bill enacting the reforms introduced to parliament next spring, probably becoming law in late 2011 or early 2012. A new IT system needed for the universal benefit would then be set up by the end of 2013.

    Then, under current plans, the long term unemployed and new claimants would be the first to move from their existing benefits to the new universal benefit. But most other claimants would not follow them until after the election in 2015.

    A government source said: “Spreading this over two parliaments makes this much more affordable within the spending review. It is considerably less expensive because we’ve backloaded it. The first people to migrate (over to the new benefit) will be the long term out of work. They are the people who want help most. Then, later, we will look at the rest.”

    Mr Cameron told the Andrew Marr Show that in the longer term single welfare payments system would save “huge amounts of money” because there would be less error, fraud and waste.

    He added that “because it’s always worth people going into work, you will actually reduce benefits”.

    Welfare reform has been seen as key to plans to cut the UK’s deficit, but has been the source of reported tension between the Treasury and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

    Mr Cameron said the proposed changes, to bring welfare benefits for the unemployed and low-paid together under a new “universal credit” system, were the most far-reaching for more than 60 years.

    The prime minister also sought to calm fears about planned spending cuts, to be announced in two weeks time, urging people to put them in “perspective”.

    He also trailed plans to spend £60m on better cancer screening tests.

    The new bowel cancer screening programme could save an estimated 3,000 lives a year, the Department of Health said.

    Shadow work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper, for Labour, accused the government of “planning a massive assault on families”.

    “Cutting child benefit for 16-year-olds will hit hard-working parents who badly want their children to stay on at school.

    “This is an attack on aspiration and on overstretched families who want their teenagers to do well.

    “The government is already cutting £3bn from tax credits and support for children.

    “Introducing means-testing for child benefit as well would put many low and middle-income families off claiming the support they badly need

    As Conservatives gathered for their first conference since winning power, in coalition with the Lib Dems, anti-cuts protesters marched through Birmingham city centre.

    Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, promised a wave of strike action across the country in response to the government’s spending plans.

    He urged the thousands of protesters gathered outside the conference to start planning for industrial action now.

    “Strikes are inevitable. We are stronger if we get together. Striking together will not just happen on its own.”

    He told the crowd of activists, trade unionists, students and others that if they “stand together” they could “turn the tide” against the cuts.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11462986

    BBC News

    October 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm

  18. Why do politicians do that?

    Lets assign a change and let another Government sort it? silly.

    Flexible New Deal

    October 3, 2010 at 8:58 pm

  19. Boris Johnson and CBI call for tougher laws on strikes

    The Mayor of London and the CBI have called for changes to the law governing strikes to make it harder for workers to take industrial action.

    Boris Johnson wants the government to introduce legislation preventing action unless at least 50% of union members in a workplace take part in a ballot.

    Meanwhile, the employers’ body wants a minimum of 40% of union members balloted to be in favour of a strike.

    The mayor’s call coincides with a 24-hour strike on London Underground.

    As the law stands, industrial action can take place even if only 1% of those polled respond – as long as there is a majority in favour.

    The calls come as union leaders are urging mass action against the government’s planned spending cuts.

    Mr Johnson insists a law is needed to stop union leaders calling what he describes as capricious strikes on a minority turnout.

    The CBI is concerned about what it sees as the re-emergence of unofficial wildcat strikes, sparked by use of social networking sites.

    In a new report, Keeping The Wheels Turning: Modernising The Legal Framework of Industrial Relations, the CBI outlined further measures it says would modernise employment relations legislation.

    These also include allowing firms to recruit agency staff to cover for striking workers – at present they can hire temporary staff but cannot go through an agency to do this.

    CBI deputy director-general John Cridland said: “The CBI believes the law needs updating to reflect the fact that 85% of private sector employees are not members of a union, and that most employers now negotiate directly with staff or their representatives to bring about changes in the workplace.

    “While workers have the legal right to withdraw their labour, employers have a responsibility to run their businesses.

    “The public increasingly expects it to be business as usual, even during a strike, so firms must be allowed to hire temps directly from an agency to provide emergency cover for striking workers.”

    The CBI also called for the notice period for industrial action to increase from seven to 14 days after the ballot takes place to give businesses more time to prepare for strikes

    The TUC condemned Mr Johnson’s idea, and warned it would be a betrayal of the government’s claim to want better relations with the unions.

    TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The UK has some of the toughest legal restrictions on the right to strike in the advanced world. Already the courts regularly strike down democratic ballots that clearly show majority support for action.”

    This year the High Court prevented a strike by BA workers, ruling that the Unite union had failed to make enough effort to inform its members about 11 spoilt ballot papers that resulted from its poll of 12,000 members.

    Mr Barber added that the decision to strike was not one taken lightly: “Strikes are always a last resort as union members lose their pay.”

    Ministers say there are no immediate plans for new strike laws.

    However, they have kept open the option of fresh legislation to curb industrial action if there is a wave of public sector strikes this winter in protest at the cuts.

    BBC chief political correspondent Norman Smith says that according to cabinet sources the idea of a 50% threshold is one that has been discussed and is an option.

    But there is concern that such a move would be opposed by the Liberal Democrats and risks straining the coalition.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11461588

    BBC News

    October 4, 2010 at 5:20 am

    • How can it ever be illegal for a worker to withdraw their labour? What next? Jail for Workfarers who down tools?

      Digby Jones Arse

      October 4, 2010 at 8:58 am

  20. Some amusing comments from high earners who are to have their child benefit scrapped:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/04/child-benefit-scrapped-high-earners#start-of-comments

    Checkm8

    October 4, 2010 at 8:31 am

    • lol at least the Government has got something right. These are the same bastards that would scrap all benefits (expect middle class ones) with batting a manicured eyelid – let them eat Madeira cake! And fuck off!

      Whining Middle Class Cunt

      October 4, 2010 at 8:52 am

  21. Has it not occured to you, the country CANNOT strikes. They damage the economy and confidence in investments and opportunites. It is a pity that strikes cannot be outlawed [at present] as crimes against the economy.

    Bill The Banker

  22. sorry I left out the word[s] afford and SCROUNGERS

  23. there has been more then enough crimes against the economy in the past thirty years,poverty levels amongst the highest in europe,benefit levels amongst the lowest,skills lost/core industries sold off cheap abroad,discontent among the population high also.

    the fact is when its gone its gone,this has led to the continual attacks on the weakest in society,like a bully it knows that the individual on state benefits is easy prey and wont fight back.there are bullying helplines for every incidence,but however there is no bullying helpline for those that are government bullied and they are not hell to account.

    ken

    October 4, 2010 at 7:40 pm

  24. those place on government programs for the unemployed have often found themselves “volunteering” with those that have committed criminal offenses they to “volunteering” behind the badge.

    the two now seem to be inseparably linked such as those long term unemployed by being made to work (forced) a forty hour week,wonder if they will be sanctioned if they refuse?.

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/Criminals-To-Work-A-40-Hour-Week-While-In-Jail-Justice-Secretary-Ken-Clarke-Announces-To-Tories/Article/201010115751680?lpos=Politics_Top_Stories_Header_1&lid=ARTICLE_15751680_Criminals_To_Work_A_40-Hour_Week_While_In_Jail%2C_Justice_Secretary_Ken_Clarke_Announces_To_Tories

    ken

    October 5, 2010 at 12:32 am

    • Well said, ken. There aren’t many job vacancies, and what there is is invariably part-time and temporary.

      We have a second rate government and a third rate economy. There never will be enough jobs to go round. So all this talk about stopping benefits for jobseekers who refuse to take a job is just playing to the gallery of Daily Mail readers.

      The reality, I suspect, is that we will never see a reduction in the millions of claimants on benefits. In fact, I predict a increase over the coming years

      Tefal Don

      October 5, 2010 at 8:41 am

      • Ken, if we end up in Prison at least we’ll get the minimum wage:

        BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says it is understood discussions have already begun with a large number of private companies about increasing the number of job opportunities in prisons.

        Ministers are also considering building a large-scale “working prison” on the site of a factory, possibly a recycling plant.

        Mr Clarke’s aim is for inmates in publicly-run prisons to work a 40-hour week, for which they would be paid the minimum wage, with part of their earnings going to victims.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11470289

        Andrew Coates

        October 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

      • Big-name companies to help colleges train workers

        As the White House stages a first-of-its-kind community college summit Tuesday, the Obama administration is proposing that stronger partnerships between two-year public colleges and big-name U.S. employers such as McDonald’s and The Gap will help better match workers with jobs during the economic recovery and beyond.

        Community college officials welcomed the new initiative, “Skills for America’s Future.”

        But it’s unclear whether the project will help meet Obama’s education goals. Community colleges are short of cash, jammed with laid-off workers and students who in better times would attend four-year schools and spending heavily on remedial education for students ill-prepared for college.

        For years, community colleges have worked with local employers to identify employment needs and train for them. But most efforts have stayed local, or been limited to pilot programs.

        “These employers are well known and very important employers and this is being done at a national level,” said Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. “It’s not at the local, local level where people don’t see it every much.”

        Rosalie Safier considers herself the beneficiary of a public-private work force development partnership that worked.

        Her family’s business, National Van Equipment of Long Island City, N.Y., started in 1922 and mostly manufactures blankets for the moving industry using textile remnants, including stuffing made of old blue jeans.

        In a pilot program for small businesses at LaGuardia Community College supported with money from investment bank Goldman Sachs, Safier said she learned the art of negotiation in an accounting class, mastered Microsoft Excel, met regularly with counselors and fellow business owners and presented a growth plan before graduating.

        As a result, Safier said she expanded her distribution area and diversified her product line to include custom quilted covers and sound-absorption blankets that muffle things like loud band practices. She said the company has added five employees to grow to 23 employees and has experienced big sales growth.

        “At a lot of small businesses, you wear a lot of different hats,” she said. “Each of us, even ones with two or three employees, feel like CEOs.”

        Community colleges “do need investments in their capacity,” said Dina Habib Powell, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. What is equally needed, she said, “is those relationships with the private sector, those connections.”

        Tuesday’s community college summit is considered a consolation prize for community colleges, which had been slated to receive $10 billion in federal money for job training, building projects and initiatives to graduate more students.

        But by the time an overhaul of the federal student loan program had made its way through Congress, all that remained for community colleges was $2 billion over four years for job training.

        Obama has set a goal of 5 million more community college graduates and certificate-holders by 2020, part of broader push for the U.S. to again lead the world in number of college graduates.

        The White House on Monday described “Skills for America’s Future” as an industry-led initiative to “dramatically improve” work force training partnerships with community colleges, paid for mostly by the participating companies.

        The Gap Inc., for example, said it would expand community college partnerships in seven metro areas, including in-store job shadowing, interview and leadership training, and scholarships. The San Francisco-based company said it expects to hire up to 1,200 community college students in 2011, or five percent of its annual hiring.

        Other participating employers are Accenture, McDonald’s, United Technologies and P.G.&E.

        Maureen Conway, executive director of the economic opportunities program at the Aspen Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit that will run the program, said navigating the system for matching training to jobs can be difficult for both students and small employers, and some larger companies have not worked with colleges.

        “What’s wrong is, students come in and are falling through the cracks a bit and it’s not always clear what the right path is,” she said. “Courses aren’t always clearly connected to what’s going on in the local labor market.”

        George Boggs, outgoing president of the American Association of Community Colleges, said Monday he welcomes the attention, but warned that colleges are under pressure on many fronts.

        “It’s a very difficult time for them and hard to focus on things such as reaching out to local business and industry,” Boggs said.

        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101005/ap_on_re_us/us_jobs_community_colleges

        Yahoo News

        October 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      • Fiddling with the benefits ( even though they are horrendously complicated ) will do nothing to change things . The fact is that Capitalism requires a large pool of unemployed to work in the way it wants to . In the days of full employment , when workers could change jobs easily and ask a decent wage , the benefit claimants were usually in between jobs, ill or just coming onto the jobs scene . The scroungers were very visible in those days . However with the advent of government endorsed greed and a war on the workers unemployment rose rapidly . This means that the employers have the upper hand and can drive down wages and hours worked to suit themselves – no regard to the divisive social impact of their short sighted profit based attitude . So , in continuance of the mill owners ethic which still pervades the tory party , unemployment will be kept high ( keeping wages down ) and at the same time benefits will be cut . There is going to be a great need in Dave’s ‘Big Society ‘ for all the volunteers it can get – to man the soup kitchens and hand out blankets to those on the park benches ( unless they haven’t been privatised by then ) .

        Jabby

        October 5, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    • I don’t think they’ll be any sensible discussion until we change how we view the entire concept of lazyness. What does it actually mean? As far as I understand it, I’m totally lazy myself, assuming lazyness means emotional inability to work. I’m a self employed electronic designer, and can manage, with some distress, about 10 hours of work a week, from home, on top of barely being able to cope with household chores, paperwork etc, plus a sports activity one evening a week. I don’t claim any benefits partially cause I’m too lazy to fill in the forms, partly cause I probably don’t think I deserve them and partly because I have savings (partly because I’m too lazy to go out and spend money, and partly because I’m too scared to not have the financial security savings give). Council tax is my biggest expense.

      You could diagnose me as suffering from long term chronic depression, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, general anxiety disorder, delayed phase sleep disorder, and some might even suspect aspergers syndrome. But the thing is none of that is massively acute, and what’s the point of medicalising it? If there are days I feel too rough to get out of bed, it’s not like it causes anyone any problems compared to say a schizophrenic or an attention seeking self harming depressive. I’ve tried seeing Doctors in the past, but at the end of the day they conclude I’m not that bad and characterise me as lazy, which isn’t all that unreasonable and what can they do for me anyway, other than giving me drugs that make things worse long term. But day to day I really really struggle. A normal amount of work that someone else might find natural I just inevitably find impossible. It sounds pathetic but that’s the reality, I’m definitely not normal and at the age I am I’ve lived long enough to know my own limitations.

      To say I’m workphobic would also be accurate, which again is a term of derision.

      I think people need to realise that people’s capacity for work varies, and that the lazy need acceptance just as much as someone with a moderate physical disability. You wouldn’t expect everyone to be fit enough to run marathons everyday, so why expect everyone to be able to hold down a 40 hour job? What does society expect me to do, ruin my health with valium and anti-psychotic medication year after year so that I can cope with the arbitrary responsibility of a 9-5 job? Is the country really going to be stronger long term from waging a war on the lazy? Stigma is not going to help me be more functional.

      Arny

      October 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm

  25. Thing that we’re all forgetting about this universal benefit is that it is time-limited. Kind of like tax credits and roll on benefits, gives you a boost, makes you feel like you’ve won the lottery. Then as the roll on benefits stop, your universal credit reduces/have to re-pay tax credits, you wake up and realise that you’ve been Condemned into working for a pittance. What we need to do is stand our ground for a decent wage that can deliver a proper standard of living. Look at Tesco’s 12.5 profit rise, time we all got our share of the pie.

    Bing Bing

    October 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm

  26. Cameron:

    “Fairness means giving people what they deserve – and what people deserve depends on how they behave.”

    “Taking more money from the man who goes out to work long hours each day so the family next door can go on living a life on benefits without working – is that fair?”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/06/david-cameron-fairness-people-deserve

    Checkm8

    October 6, 2010 at 8:39 am

  27. Taking more money from the man who goes out to work long hours on the min wage each day so the family on £900 a week job can be paid child benefit they don’t need is that fair?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

    • CHILD benefit, Lowestoft’s Finest NOT family on £900 A WEEK BENEFIT. Let me ask you this: Paying a minimum wage worker a wage so the he can waste it on cigarettes, hookers and cheap alcohol while the child of a family on £900 a week goes without the basic necessities of life like a decent private education, is this fair?

      Call me a Cunt

      October 6, 2010 at 9:25 am

  28. Cigarettes, hookers and cheap alcohol, Arn’t they already coverd by MP’s expenses?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 6, 2010 at 9:36 am

    • It’s all about fairness, Lowestoft’s Finest – giving people what they jolly well deserve !

      Call me a Cunt

      October 6, 2010 at 9:40 am

  29. Britain
    Storm brews as fat cats bag £7bn

    Shameless bankers have provoked fury by lining their pockets with £7 billion bonuses this year despite the dismal economic outlook.

    Latest figures from think tank the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) confirmed on Tuesday that the recession is over for the bankers responsible for causing it.

    This year’s bonuses are only marginally lower than last year’s £7.3bn.

    The revelation comes just weeks before Chancellor George Osborne is expected to rub salt in the wound by revealing the biggest public spending cuts in living memory in his spending review on October 20.

    Labour MP for Islington North Jeremy Corbyn described the bonuses as “deeply unfair” at a time when Mr Osborne is trying to slash £11bn from the welfare budget.

    He said: “As the Chancellor announces £1bn in savings from child benefit claimants on a higher tax bracket he is apparently quite content that the banks have given themselves £7bn in bonuses alone.

    “If Mr Osborne was serious about everyone ‘being in this together’ he would not allow this to happen.”

    TUC general secretary Brendan Barber also warned that the recession could happen all over again if bankers are allowed to revert back to their old ways with no changes made or lessons learned.

    He said: “There are many in the City still earning huge bonuses which raise concerns that the same old high-risk practices are at work.

    “With City firms seemingly back to business as usual, more clearly needs to be done if we are to avoid a repeat of the 2008 crash.”

    But CEBR economist Benjamin Williamson said that the introduction of a new tax rate of 50 per cent on earnings over £150,000 will mean the taxman would take home more of this year’s bonus pot.

    He said: “Our research shows that the public coffers stand to gain considerably more from City bonuses than City workers themselves.

    “A whopping £7bn bonus payout will be easier to stomach if the lion’s share goes to the nation.”

    The tax will leave City workers taking home around £3.2bn with the government taking the rest.

    Yet the research forecast total cash bonuses close to the £10bn mark in years to come as the financial sector recovers and the number of City workers increases.

    Worryingly, the CEBR noted that there was a steep rise in bonus payments in the years leading up to the financial crisis, a trend that appears to be happening all over again.

    In 2002 the reward pot was just over £3bn but this rocketed to £11.5bn in 2007, its figures revealed.

    Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted that people would be “angry” about the latest City bonus figures.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/96085

    Morning Star

    October 6, 2010 at 9:44 am

    • It’s almost like someone wants rioting… 🙂

      Ship Builder

      October 6, 2010 at 9:47 am

    • Why do people bother?

      Does no one really understand how the World works?

      You could be homeless in severe poverty… you could be geographically joined by hundreds of thousands of others. This does NOT mean there is no money.

      Your group may not have money but others do. Also, Banking isn’t limited to the retail banking sector. There is investment banks etc. too

      Who would work for £20,000 when dealing with hundreds of millions? I wouldn’t. To a similar concept, it is the value of the person… hence why footballers get paid thousands a week to kick a ball around!! It is because of sponsorship, ticket sales, merchandise, TV rights etc. generated by their actions. Of course us people are worth much more than what we get paid but I guess we have to live with it.

      Even when they do shit, it is deemed a market issue and not an individual issue (i.e. those who damage the market). The bonus is an incentive to keep these “skilled” people as they are more likely to be needed to make more profits for the banks… If you allow them to leave your bank, you are going to find it extremely difficult to become profitable again.

      So.. the incentive is basically a “bribe” in certain respects to avoid the bank hitting the wall and to ensure staff do not quit their jobs.

      (If you lost all your bankers, you would be in trouble!)

      I am not angry at the City re: bonus figures. It is capitalism, thats how things work. No different to council leaders being paid £200,000 a year other than the taxpayer is paying the bill of the latter – which make it our business.

      Did everyone forget the MP expenses scandal?

      Did people forget about the poor state of affairs which meant we were borrowing more and more money getting into debt?

      Did people forget how serving the state as an MP etc. isn’t an honour but at a price of the State to what they all deem themselves to be worth?

      Flexible New Deal

      October 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    • Hey mate

      It’s unfair to criticise footballers mate. Footballers are paid on how much money they make for the club, gate receipts, merchandise etc.

      Kick a ball around for 90 minutes lol I’m up at 6am every morning running up and down the stairs of the stadium. If you can kick a ball about for 90 minutes better than me mate, you are welcome to try, and I’d be out a job mate 🙂 I’m at the top of my game mate.

      David Beckham

      October 6, 2010 at 1:39 pm

  30. U.K. Food Prices Climb at Fastest Pace in 15 Months, Retailing Group Says

    U.K. food-price inflation accelerated to its fastest pace in 15 months in September because of higher crop and energy costs, the British Retail Consortium said.

    Food prices rose an annual 4 percent, up from 3.8 percent the previous month and the most since June 2009, the BRC said in an e-mailed statement today in London, citing a survey by Nielsen. Overall shop prices rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier, the most in five months.

    The BRC said “sharp rises” in wheat, corn and oil costs since early August have forced bread, dairy and meat producers to raise prices. Wheat has soared about 35 percent since June 29, while oil has climbed about 60 percent in the past 18 months. The biggest government budget squeeze since World War II may limit price gains as consumers curb spending, the BRC said.

    “Past increases in commodity prices are now putting pressure on overall shop prices, but the worst of this may have passed,” BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said in the statement. “Weak demand, poor consumer confidence and strong competition between retailers are likely to hold back shop-price inflation for the rest of the year.”

    The BRC’s measure of shop-price inflation was also boosted by the first acceleration in non-food price gains in five months as clothing and footwear manufacturers passed on higher cotton costs. Annual non-food inflation quickened to 0.7 percent in September from 0.5 percent in August, the group said.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-05/u-k-food-prices-climb-at-fastest-pace-in-15-months-brc-says.html

    Bloomberg

    October 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

    • Well… that’s me JSA increase gone… and the rest lol

      Patsy

      October 6, 2010 at 10:02 am

    • I guess the BRC wants its members to get a tax break from the Government?

      Retail is easy. Unlike when you produce a product which requires much more money upfront etc. all retailers do is create a deal with the manufacturer, get the products distributed into the store, stick a huge markup (typically) on them, sell the items (or stick offers on that which not sell well or as an incentive, just cut margins slightly) and in 30-60 days time pay the manufacturer for the product or (in some cases, for non-food) return the product back.

      What? Did you think supermarkets buy the products and then stick 5-20p mark up on them? Of course not. Markup is usually high. They do not pay for items until sold/by term.

      Flexible New Deal

      October 6, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    • I can confirm that. I am lucky to receive payment from Tesco after 180 days … if at all. The supermarkets are a disgrace! And those 2-for-1 bog-off. The producer/manufacturer bears the cost of these NOT the supermarket. No wonder they make such huge profits whilst my farm is going under.

      Farmer Jones

      October 6, 2010 at 2:00 pm

  31. A lot of the cost rises are down to hedge funds now speculating on the food markets as they are seen as a safe bet due to the worlds growing population, the growing affluance of China and the collapse of the banking industry.

    Did you notice Tesco just anounced another huge proffit, so clearly they are neither taking the rise in costs themselves for the consumer, or feeling the pinch when buying from suppliers. Welcome to Rip off Britain

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    • Hedge funds?! – don’t be silly! It’s all down to welfare scroungers – is that fair?

      Call me a Cunt

      October 6, 2010 at 10:16 am

  32. Warren Buffett says in future Wall Street chiefs should go broke – and their wives

    Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, has hit out at pay practices on Wall Street, attacking the lack of reform despite two years passing since the financial crisis struck.

    “People have a propensity to gamble, and it gets made easier and easier for them,” Mr Buffett told a conference in Washington DC yesterday. “One of the problems we still have is we have unbalanced incentives for managers of huge financial institutions.”

    In future, chief executives of banks who need government assistance should “go broke”, said Mr Buffett. Their wives “should go broke, too”, he added.

    The prospect of another round of bank bonuses is likely to inflame public opinion in the US, where the broader economic recovery is flagging.

    Banks have been forced to split off some of their riskier trading activities because of the Dodd-Frank law – the financial reform act signed into law in the summer – but critics say it does little to remove the incentives to pursue short-term profits.

    Mr Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, is a major investor in American banks, with a stake in Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo.

    The 80-year old billionaire, who runs the company out of Omaha, Nebraska, with his long-term colleague Charlie Munger, said “Wall Street does a lot of good things and then it has this casino. It’s like a church that’s running raffles on the weekend.”

    As in Britain, banks are keen to counter an impression that they are failing to do enough for the recovery. Goldman Sachs, for example, last week began an advertising campaign designed to show its role in helping create jobs.

    Despite the difference in the fortunes of those on Wall Street and many Americans in other industries, analysts have said that banks may decide to cut jobs in coming months as trading revenues decline. Meredith Whitney, for example, has forecast that up to 80,000 finance jobs could go over the next 18 months.

    Mr Buffett also told Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women conference that investors are “making a mistake” if they chase a rally in bonds. The price of US two-year government bonds has raced to a record high this week as investors see little to spark a more robust recovery.

    “It’s quite clear that stocks are cheaper than bonds,” Mr Buffett said. “I can’t imagine anyone having bonds in their portfolio when they can own equities.”

    The Torygraph

    October 6, 2010 at 10:10 am

    • Is this the same clown who is worth some (almost) £30 Billion? That in 2009 he was the second richest in the World and now is about third?

      Isn’t it obvious that he doesn’t want anyone else gaining riches and competing against him in investments?

      Actually the guy isn’t your typical image of a very rich billionnaire, seems very down to earth, many will agree that he has a point… but I can’t see him having a neutral view point as he is in a similar market to that of banks and in the next 5 years is likely to fall lower down the “success” table with more Indians etc. going the billionnaire list.

      Of course, he is great at what we does and can make a recovery, however, the fear of widespread competition is of a major worry.

      Flexible New Deal

      October 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm

  33. In Nazi work/death camps prisoners wore colour-coded badges.

    Red was for Communists, Social Democrats, anarchists, and other “enemies of the state”; green was for German criminals; blue was for foreign forced laborers; brown was for Gypsies; pink was for homosexuals; purple was for Jehovah’s Witnesses and black was for asocials, a catch-all term for vagrants, bums, prostitutes, hobos, perverts, alcoholics who were living on the streets, or anyone who didn’t have a permanent address. The “work-shy,” or those who were arrested because they refused to work, wore a black badge.

    Before 1942, Gypsy men wore a black triangle; they were arrested and imprisoned for being asocial because they didn’t have a permanent address, or for being “work-shy” because they were not employed. Every male citizen in Nazi Germany, who was capable of working, was required to take a job and they were not allowed to quit their job without permission. Gypsy women were arrested under the asocial category if they were prostitutes.

    In 1942, Gypsy families were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz where they were kept separately in a “family camp.” After the Gypsy camp was closed, some of the prisoners were sent to Buchenwald; others were murdered in the gas chamber.

    Dachau

    October 6, 2010 at 10:38 am

    • were not allowed to quit their job without permission – no going on strike then 🙂

      Boris Johnson

      October 6, 2010 at 11:15 am

    • Bloody time that those pesky striking tube worker were rounded up and shipped off to a a work/death camp – nothing less than they deserve – bloody commies! And the work shy can go with them – bloody scroungers the lot of them!

      Boris Johnson

      October 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

    • blue badge for scarface
      red badge for andrew coates
      brown badge for lowestofts finest
      black badge for flexible new deal
      pink badge for funny a4e photos lol

      Abu Ghraib

      October 6, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      • Orange badge right to park in disabled parking spaces

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    • An over keen interest in black triangles has led many a Gypsy man to an early grave. Talk about the hangman’s noose.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      October 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm

  34. “family camp.” = run by A4e?

    Dachau

    October 6, 2010 at 10:41 am

  35. green badge for scarface lol

    Abu Ghraib

    October 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

  36. Cameron/Kitchener:
    “Your Country Needs You”

    Somme, Marne, Ypres, Passchendaele, etc. etc.

    Checkm8

    October 6, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    • Here is a jolly good idea … ?

      n August 1914, at the start of the First World War, Admiral Charles Fitzgerald founded the Order of the White Feather with support from the prominent author Mrs Humphrey Ward. The organisation aimed to coerce men to enlist in the British Army by persuading women to present them with a white feather if they were not wearing a uniform.[1]

      The campaign was very effective, and spread throughout several other nations in the Empire, so much so that it started to cause problems for the government when public servants came under pressure to enlist. This prompted the Home Secretary, Reginald McKenna, to issue employees in state industries with lapel badges reading ‘King and Country’ to indicate that they too were serving the war effort. Likewise, the Silver War Badge, given to service personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness, was first issued in September 1916 to prevent veterans from being challenged for not wearing uniform.

      Roland Gwynne, later mayor of Eastbourne (1929-1931) and lover of serial killer John Bodkin Adams, received a feather from a relative. This prompted him to enlist, and he subsequently received the Distinguished Service Order for bravery.[2] The writer Compton Mackenzie, then a serving soldier, complained about the activities of the Order of the White Feather. He argued that these “idiotic young women were using white feathers to get rid of boyfriends of whom they were tired”. The pacifist Fenner Brockway claimed that he received so many white feathers he had enough to make a fan.

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

      Mrs Humphrey Ward

      October 6, 2010 at 3:06 pm

      • I don’t see where white feathers come into it? Woudn’t brown trousers be more appropriate?

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 6, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  37. lol at the BBC and “this comment is awaiting moderation” Censorship or what?

    Nick Robinson

    October 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm

  38. What’s the point of having comment if you are going to “moderate” them. Better to not bother, fuck the BBC!

    Nick Robinson

    October 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

  39. I was shocked and dismayed to note that Royal Mail are still recruiting over Christmas… this is an ideal time for a spot of Minimum Work Related Activity. I fully expect them to strike a deal with a provider or two when they are privatised 🙂

    Adam Crozier

    October 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    • Shouldn’t you currently now be more concerned with your new job of ruining ITV?

      Lowestoft's Finest

      October 6, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  40. Had a interview with my Reed Advisor the other day. Seems that reports are true Reed are well and truely in the sh*t with the DWP after the recent report. All of a sudden Reed clients have now all been given a literacy/numeracy test and have now got to hand in a copy of their last advisor appointment action plan, seems Reed are being checked up on. There is also an argument kicking off between Reed and the DWP over past paperwork supplied for Reed clients on past month’s work placements. The DWP refusing to retrospectivly accept it so the work placements will be null and void with the DWP so those clients through no fault of their own may be forced to go out again on another month’s placement becouse of the paperwork mistake. I think it could be worse if someone did their months placement a few months back then volunterily extended it for another month only to find that now the whole thing is void due to paperwork discepencies from that point so they have to do a months placement all over again

    Like F*ck We Will, they F8cked up not us.

    FND Zlec

    October 6, 2010 at 4:01 pm

  41. “have now got to hand in a copy of their last advisor appointment action plan” each time they sign on at the Jobcentre

    FND Zlec

    October 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    • this is bad man…… means u got the jc on ur back as well as em reed cunts..

      FND Plec

      October 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm

  42. Yes, Labour failed to regulate the City properly. But they didn’t force those banks to take massive risks with other people’s money.

    Yes, Labour tried to boss people around and undermined responsibility. But they weren’t the ones smashing up our town centres on a Friday night or sitting on their sofas waiting for their benefits.

    Too many people thought: “I’ve paid my taxes, the state will look after everything.”

    But citizenship isn’t a transaction in which you put your taxes in and get your services out. It’s a relationship – you’re part of something bigger than you, and it matters what you think and feel and do.

    Call me a Cunt

    October 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm

  43. But you can’t measure fairness just by how much money we spend on welfare, as though the poor are products with a price tag, the more we spend on them the more we value them.

    For too long, we have measured success in tackling poverty by the size of the cheque we give people.

    The other part of the equation is who gives that help, through their taxes. Taking more money from the man who goes out to work long hours each day so the family next door can go on living a life on benefits without working – is that fair?

    Fairness means giving people what they deserve – and what people deserve depends on how they behave.

    If you really cannot work, we’ll look after you. But if you can work, but refuse to work, we will not let you live off the hard work of others.

    Call me a Cunt

    October 6, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    • Whats your point?

      Moral fairness has no basis in law or society in that respect. Tax isn’t a kind contribution (donation) made by a taxpayer but a required payment with an alternative option being in prison if failure to pay.

      Flexible New Deal

      October 6, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    • This is bullshit. One of the first thing that we learn at school is that life isn’t fair ™. So cut the high and mighty moralising bullshit. If like was fair you’d be pushing up daisies.

      Pete

      October 6, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    • And taxation and benefits are legal matters, nowt to do with fairness. Just like the courts are concerned with justice but with the application of law. I know free speech and all but why is this cunt allowed to post on here.

      Pete

      October 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    • aren’t concerned

      Pete

      October 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    • But citizenship isn’t a transaction in which you put your taxes in and get your services out. – that is like seriously weird. What is this Cunt saying – that we pay taxes for fuck all. Pay your taxes – lose your job – piss off! Pay your taxes, fall ill – fuck off! You just want us to write a check to your banksta chums then? What a Cunt.

      Pete

      October 6, 2010 at 8:02 pm

  44. I’m interested about all these alledged families that haven’t done a days work for 3-4 generations where are they? how come I live in what is acknoledged to be one of the UK’s unemplyment blackspots and deprived area yet I genuinly haven’t met anybody who hasn’t worked for generations…how come the Tories and Middle class labour have met loads of these people yet they themselves have still managed to know them despite living in posh areas. Unless these constantly multi generational unemployed families refferd to are the idle rich where are they? We wan’t names and addresses becouse I think they are talking Jenk eg. weapons of mass destrcuction, someone knows someone who knows someone who said….

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm

  45. Unemployed man forced to attend ‘Back To Work’ seminar instead of real job interview to avoid losing benefits

    After losing his job, David Sharp was delighted to have a second interview for a sales post and was confident about winning the role.

    But he claims he had to pull out of the interview thanks to bizarre rules that meant he could not miss a ‘Back To Work’ class on the same day.

    Job centre staff warned Mr Sharp, 33, from Huyton, Merseyside, that if he missed the seminar he would lose his benefit money.

    Faced with the possibility of having neither a new job nor his dole money, the former bingo caller was forced to cancel his interview.

    Mr Sharp said: ‘I had only been signing on for a few weeks when I got in the running for a business and marketing role in town.

    ‘I did well, but the second interview was at the same time as a course at the Huyton job centre.

    ‘I rang the national 0845 telephone number and was given an ultimatum. Either I attended the course or my benefits would be cancelled.

    ‘I tried to change the interview and they said ‘no’. I then offered to show documented proof of my interview to the job centre, but that was no good.’

    Mr Sharp was made redundant during the summer after leaving Buckingham Bingo, in Huyton, where he worked as caller for 12 years.

    But after just over a month, Mr Sharp had obtained the interview for a new job himself and had impressed enough to get a call back.

    He added: ‘I went on the course and it was pretty mundane, about how to get in touch with employers all stuff I had already done to get the interview.

    ‘I am disappointed with Job Centre Plus. They should have been doing a lot more to help me.

    ‘They stopped me getting a job to put me on a ‘Back To Work’ course. It was very counterproductive and now I am still unemployed.’

    A spokesman for the Department for work and pensions said Mr Sharp had not spoken directly to the Job Centre Plus in Huyton.

    But they could not rule out the 33-year-old was given incorrect advice over the phone.

    The spokesman said: ‘The benefits of and need to attend a Back To Work scheme is explained to a customer at the outset of a claim.

    ‘While the scheme is mandatory, we do of course have the flexibility to change the date of attendance if required.

    ‘For example, if a customer informed us they had a job interview, there would be no problem in re-arranging a place for a future date.

    ‘When a customer uses our … number, they would be asked to specify which Jobcentre Plus they deal with and who they wish to speak to.

    ‘If a customer rang and asked to re-arrange attendance on a scheme, it would be normal practice to note this on records.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1318165/Job-hunter-forced-attend-Back-work-seminar-instead-interview-avoid-losing-benefits.html

    Daily Heil

    October 6, 2010 at 5:55 pm

  46. Coats off for Britain says the working man,
    Screwing little screws non-stop, Trying to boost the nation with a dash of perspiration,
    Though we’ll never climb the ladder to the top.
    Now the country is in crisis so don’t strike for higher pay,
    We must all make sacrifices and work harder every day,
    We’ve got to pull our belts in; it’s the same for rich and poor, Today the cupboard’s empty,
    But tomorrow they’ll be plenty, It’s the same old song,
    We’ve heard it all a million times before,
    In peace and war.

    (From “Coats Off For Britain” by Leon Rosselson and Roy Bailey)

    Peasant

    October 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    • We will all be so much better off after we have rolled up our shirt-sleeves, buckled down to hard work and pulled our country out of this crisis. The rich must play their part – we are all in this together.

      Call me a Cunt

      October 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm

  47. courts aren’t concerned

    Pete

    October 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm

  48. Have heard a rumour that the unemployed who in future apply for crisis loans and emergency payments and budgeting loans, will in future be required to provide receipts and proof of what has been purchased. Too many of you have been using these as a cashpoint

    Bill The Banker

    October 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

    • Funny that. Unlike a “cashpoint” (ATM) which is money you own (apart from overdrafts) a Crisis Loan is a loan. This means it needs to be paid back.

      Flexible New Deal

      October 7, 2010 at 9:31 am

  49. There will be no more flat screen tvs and ipads on the tax payer

    Bill The Banker

    October 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

    • Whats an ipad? lol

      More to the point a “flat screen TV” is actually an CRT (the large ones with a tube in) TV which unlike traditional CRT screens with an curved screen… it is actually flat.

      TFT and Plasma are known as “flat panel” etc.

      They aren’t the same thing.

      Flexible New Deal

      October 7, 2010 at 9:34 am

      • Most “flat-screen” TVs weren’t really flat at all, they all had a slight curvature and roundish corners. With one exception the Sony Trinitron – these had a heavier tube and instead of a shadowmask Sony used a grille, the “visible support wires” needed to support the grille being a by-product of this.

        Sony Inc

        October 7, 2010 at 10:24 am

      • Of all TV designs up to the present the Sony Trinitron produced the best picture. These TVs knock spots of a “modern day” plamsa or LCD.

        Sony Inc

        October 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

    • ipad 🙂 oo-er… is it your time of the month, Bill 🙂

      ronni

      October 7, 2010 at 10:46 am

      • Ipad Isn’t that what Pirates Wheir?

        Long John Silver

        October 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

  50. No,No,No Comrade Coates you can stop with your product placement Christmas list. As my little helpers the Dencora House Elfs have told me just how bad you’ve been over the past year so your getting nothing for Christmas apart from being sat in the corner facing the wall with your hands on your head.

    Product Placement Santa

    October 7, 2010 at 10:50 am

    • Product Placement Santa.
      This is NOT ‘Comrade’ Coates. It is BILL THE BANKER. And if you have seen page two of today’s Daily Star {The national one}. Public money is NOT too be used for boob jobs and face lifts. [Sorry Scarface you lose on both accounts].

      Bill The Banker

      October 7, 2010 at 11:09 am

    • Ipswich Unemployed Action does not allow Product Placement whatsover:

      You can read more about our policy here:

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/NEC-MultiSync-LCD8205-display-widescreen/dp/B001VGGGLE/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1286449814&sr=1-1/Affiliate ID = ANDREWCOATES

      Comrade Coates

      October 7, 2010 at 11:11 am

      • £39,443.43 what makes me laugh is they add an aditional + £1.99 shipping charge

        God bless Amazon UK

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      • Don’t forget to add your £4.99 HDMI cable to your basket 🙂

        Ben & Jerry

        October 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm

      • What on earth is this?

        Proporta Elephant Camouflage Kit – £1,175,000.00

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Proporta-Elephant-Camouflage-Kit-NEW/dp/B003XDZNK8/ref=pd_sim_sbs_ce_2

        Product Description
        Learn from the mammoth mistakes of your past and don’t let a lack of subtlety be your downfall. The Proporta Elephant Camouflage Kit uses our patented Clear Blue Sky Disappearing Technology to help you literally vanish into thin air, evading dangerous predators, tourists and boring guests at tea and bun parties. Monsoon-tested waterproof blue and white paint (also available in jungle green)* Includes masking tape (40 metres) Ideal for eavesdropping on rhinos * Don’t be tempted by rival products which use cheaper, water-based paint and can be fatal in crouching-tiger-heavy-rain scenarios. Buy now and get a currant bun absolutely free! Extinction Avoidance – from Proporta “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana.

        Amazon

        October 8, 2010 at 12:58 am

      • Proporta Elephant Camouflage Kit – £1,175,000.00 Or
        Russian Standard Vodka £18.97?

        Only a total durak would pay £1,175,000.00 to make themselves disapear from boring people at tea and bun parties when they could instead pay just £18.97 for a bottle of Russian Standard Vodka and have the boring people at the party renderd instantly invisable to them after just a few swigs.

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

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 8, 2010 at 8:52 am

      • Vodka has a few unfortuante side effects.

        I bumped into a mate of mine a couple of days ago and he told that the night before he’d been at the stuff, which they’d poured pure into beer mugs.

        He’d fallen face down in the flat.

        The blood was still visible on his cheeks.

        Still, like all us unemployed, he has his Plasma TV, SKY subscription, Playstation, Yacht, (http://www.blavish.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/Yacht.jpg), Chelsea Tractor and Pheasant Shoot to keep him occupied while he recovers.

        Andrew Coates

        October 8, 2010 at 10:58 am

    • Working Links made me do this for 6 months…. sit on a hard plastic kiddies stool with no back in a bare room all day half past 8 until half past 5 facing the wall with me hands on my head…. every so often some1 would come past n have a look through the blinds…. no cigarette break, toilet break, no food, no water, just stuck in a room all day. I think they called it the cauldron. Was like something out of Guantameno Bay. Heard that working link do this a lot. Same goes for the other providers.

      Ex Working Links Victim

      October 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      • I can confirm this: all Working Links “facilities” have what the manual describes as “resource rooms” or as the staff jokingly call “cauldrons”. You won’t find any “resources” in these rooms bar a odd plastic stool. These are where the the “roasters” are placed, those who refuse to conform, follow orders/directions. A decision to place a “customer” in a cauldron/resource room is taken by a Personal Adviser in conjunction with a “line manager”. The time to “break someone down” varies between “customers” but we have found that all “customers” will eventually break down. Working Links have found that using psychological techniques to break down a “customer” is far more time-consuming than the preferred “physical” methods which are fraught with potential legal implications, and I will readily admit that many staff do on many occasions “cross the line”. By using an array of “techniques” Working Links aim to break down all “customers” that they process; if a “customer” is not “broken” when they begin the “programme” they shortly will be. Working Links literature states that “A “broken” customer is the only customer that we are able to “work with”” – I know a bizarre play on words and a most peculiar notion. I hope that this explains and clarifies things. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Yours Elaine

        Ex - Working Links employee

        October 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

      • @ Elaine

        Could you explain the “preferred physical methods” that Working Links use, please?

        Peasant

        October 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      • I was thinking of writing a Survival Manual for the Work Programme…

        Do you think it will be needed?

        Flexible New Deal

        October 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

      • Flexy: Yes.

        Andrew Coates

        October 8, 2010 at 11:00 am

      • Survival Manual for the Work Programme

        Prepare to bunker down for a long time.

        Buy beans, guns, ammo and gold.

        PROTECT YOURSELF!

        Tin Foil Hat

        October 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

      • This Work Programme is Nazi Germany/Soviet Russia all over again. This is the way this is going to pan out. Public services are about to be decimated, soon there won’t be any public services. Public service workers starting with Local Authorities are going to soon be the next of mass redundancies, they will enter “The Work Programme”, they will undertake a “skills assessment” which will identify any “suitable opportunities” within the “Work Programme”, they shouldn’t be surprised to find themselves doing their old job under slave labour conditions and for a pittance. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

        Historian

        October 8, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      • I’d expect the unemployed to be mostly adsorbed by the private sector as a slave labour force; those currently in the public sector will find their roles being “re-invented”. After all ,we are all in this together. Big Society and all that.

        Historian

        October 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm

      • they don’t call these places detention centres for nothing then 🙂

        benny

        October 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      • “Vodka has a few unfortuante side effects.” Must have been nasty Polish bed wetters Vodka. Russian Standard Vodka on the other hand is brain food, it also cured my back ache, it’s like Deep Heat from the inside. With miracles like this if it was a Catholic the pope would have made it a saint by now.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      • What suggestions for the Work Programme survival guide? 😛

        Flexible New Deal

        October 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm

  51. Remember that Comrade Coates will receive commission on every sale made through this site 🙂

    Ben & Jerry

    October 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    • I hope any commission gained is declared to us for vat purposes and also to the DWP for reasons of benefit/earnings deductions. We now take this to be declaration of earnings and await Mr Coates earnings statments

      HMRC

      October 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      • Don’t you people realise how Globaly mobile Britain’s Hyper Rich Elite are? any more of your red tape and Ipswich’s own Financial Red Baron Comrade Coates will be upping and off to “No Questions Asked” Switzerland.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm

  52. From a cut job, to a cut benefit, to where?

    The government should think deeply about these welfare cuts, and those who will bear the brunt of them

    News that some benefits are to be capped, as well as possibly amalgamated into one payment called a universal credit, filled me with alarm. It strikes me as odd, in this climate of severe cuts, that the Treasury is willing to gamble on an expensive new welfare system that has no real substance – where are the jobs that are allegedly out there, and what happens if you can’t find one?

    Iain Duncan Smith has said: “For the most vulnerable I say: we will protect you.” Well, I hope so. But politicians have no idea at all what it’s like to live on benefits. Let’s just take a look at the facts of what it’s really like to live on jobseeker’s allowance in London.

    I have a close friend who last August lost her council job working as a nursery nurse in a creche serving an adults’ college. The creche was closed because of cutbacks, and with next to no savings, she is now trying to live on job seeker’s allowance. She says she feels ashamed having to sign on every fortnight and always hopes no one sees her going into the jobcentre. She also finds it oppressive when she goes because some of the staff can be bullying and there are often raised voices in the “interview” rooms.

    She gave me a breakdown of her weekly finances for the purpose of this article:

    • JSA – £65.45

    • Rent – £28 (after housing benefit of £115.25)

    This leaves her with £37.45 a week. She sets aside money for her bills each week.

    • £7 for electricity

    • £1.30 for gas

    • £7 for phone, television and broadband

    All of which amounts to £15.30 per week. She is left with £22.15 for the week, out of which she has to buy food and other necessities. That works out at just over £3 a day to live on – and that sum would be lower if you’re under 25.

    My friend does her best to live within her means and not break into her bill money – she goes to the local fruit and vegetable market, which is just over half an hour’s walk away. She times it so that she arrives just before closing time and if she’s quick enough she can elbow out competition and grab bargains such as strawberries, tomatoes or even avocados at knockdown prices. There’s also a good butcher’s shop there, which always has a queue outside and sometimes she’ll buy end cuts for stews and pies. At the fish stall she can buy a small mackerel for “next to nothing”.

    But my friend is constantly worried about being able to pay her bills. She has had no success yet at finding another job and as she is close to the official retirement age, she feels that her age might go against her. Most of all, she fears being out of work for over a year and having to deal with a further cut in income. This is because, under new budget proposals, those unfortunate enough to be on JSA for a year or over would receive a 10% cut to their housing benefit.

    I did some calculations to work out how much she would have left to live on, if she ever found herself in that unfortunate position, and this is how it works out:

    A 10% reduction in housing benefit would mean it would go down from £115.25 to £103.73. Weekly rent payable would hence rise from £28 to £39.52. Deduct £39.52 rent from £65.45 JSA and you are left with just £25.93 for the week with which to cover bills, food and other necessities. Get rid of phone, television and broadband at £7 per week and, if gas and electricity bills don’t go up, monthly bills will be reduced to £8.30. That will leave £17.63 a week for food and other necessities – little more than £2 a day. My friend and thousands like her could very well be made homeless.

    In comparison with its European counterparts, Britain’s level of benefit has always been painfully low. In a table of comparisons of EU countries and their provision of unemployment benefit, Britain was at the bottom at €368.20 per month (£314.99), Luxembourg was at the top with €2,210 per month (£1,890.63).

    The government should think deeply about these drastic welfare cuts, and those who will bear the brunt of them. Is it worth risking the destruction of the fabric of civilised society and risk a new era of social unrest? After all, when people have lost everything, what have they got to lose?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/07/benefit-cut

    Peasant

    October 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    • What pisses me off the most is how ever thrifty you are and how ever much you save the whole lot gets wiped out with the usual rip off rise in winter fuel tarrifs along with billionaire Blair & Browns ridiculous feed in tarrif idea in which the poorest with no options get to subsidise rich Eco wankers who can afford to put solar panels on their mansions and second third and fourth homes.

      Lowestoft's Finest

      October 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

  53. If The Apprentice is capitalism, bring on the revolution

    The sight of big business wannabes battling it out with their sausages is enough to turn me into a fully fledged Bolshevik

    In the west we seemed to have left the age of revolutions behind. We may have excesses of wealth that would make Louis XVI blush, and levels of inherited privilege that would have Oliver Cromwell reaching for his blunderbuss – but no one’s expecting David Cameron to be defenestrated (and I mean that literally for once) anytime soon. It would take a better historian than me to explain exactly why, though I could make a few guesses.

    In any case, in the absence of revolutionary spirit, I’ve occasionally wondered what past agitators would have made of 21st-century culture. How would the Jacobins have dealt with someone like Paris Hilton, for example, the Marie-Antoinette of our age? (I think we know how.) What would Marx and Engels have made of The X Factor? Is celebrity the new opium of the people? And so on.

    One thing I’m certain of. Had television existed in tsarist Russia, it would have been very, very unwise for the regime to have let something like last night’s episode of The Apprentice go out. If there were ever a programme designed to show the intrinsic nastiness of capitalism, this was it. Within minutes of the opening titles, I was convinced of the need for collective ownership. I think it was when Shibby Robati – a surgeon for crissakes, you know, someone who heals people – said “My first word wasn’t Mummy, it was money”. Moments later Stuart Baggs, a shouty 21-year-old “Telecoms entrepreneur”, was holding forth: “I’m like King Midas. Everything I touch turns to sold.” In the words of one political journalist who was following proceedings on Twitter: “barf”.

    I had expected this series – the “Austerity Apprentice” if you like – to be a bit lower-key. A nod to the times, and to the latest crisis of capitalism. Alan Sugar is, after all, a Labour-appointed peer. But no, this was the most unpleasant shower yet, a collection of bankers, property developers and mortgage brokers scrabbling to succeed at each others’ expense, made more desperately back-stabbing, not more empathetic, by hard times. Lord of the Flies has nothing on Lord Sugar’s little helpers.

    The teams were divided by gender and given a task: make and sell sausages with meat from Smithfield, the old London market. The men, led by Dan Harris, a study in how not to manage people, decided to get one over on their customers – use the minimum legal amount of actual animal, bulked up with rusks, and lead on the fact that these tubes of nutritionless mush are “locally sourced”. The women took consumer capitalism’s other path, spending more on ingredients, but going for a big mark-up on the basis of it being a “gourmet” product.

    There was much talk of “closing deals” and sales strategy, despite the fact that they were selling sausages, not bonds. But the principle is the same, I suppose, and just as ugly. It had me longing for a planned economy, and would’ve had the Bolsheviks, well, up in arms.

    I’m aware, of course, that The Apprentice is a kind of pantomime. The editing and the script are designed to set up heroes and villains (they’re obviously going big on the villains this series). I can’t imagine there was anyone watching who warmed to Dan or admired Stuart’s chutzpah. Perhaps the target audience isn’t aspiring businesspeople after all, but bleeding heart liberals like myself, who will watch through fingers, but watch nevertheless. That’s as may be. Bleeding-heart liberal or not, I’ve never felt so much like a Bolshevik in my life.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/07/the-apprentice-capitalism-revolution

    Peasant

    October 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    • Do people really watch that shit?

      I can stretch as far as Dragons Den…. but even that is fixed. (pick the worst that applied so they fall apart in the den. Most of the big successful acts never applied, the BBC contacted them…)

      Flexible New Deal

      October 8, 2010 at 10:26 am

  54. From a cut job, to a cut benefit, to where?

    The government should think deeply about these welfare cuts, and those who will bear the brunt of them

    News that some benefits are to be capped, as well as possibly amalgamated into one payment called a universal credit, filled me with alarm. It strikes me as odd, in this climate of severe cuts, that the Treasury is willing to gamble on an expensive new welfare system that has no real substance – where are the jobs that are allegedly out there, and what happens if you can’t find one?

    Iain Duncan Smith has said: “For the most vulnerable I say: we will protect you.” Well, I hope so. But politicians have no idea at all what it’s like to live on benefits. Let’s just take a look at the facts of what it’s really like to live on jobseeker’s allowance in London.

    I have a close friend who last August lost her council job working as a nursery nurse in a creche serving an adults’ college. The creche was closed because of cutbacks, and with next to no savings, she is now trying to live on job seeker’s allowance. She says she feels ashamed having to sign on every fortnight and always hopes no one sees her going into the jobcentre. She also finds it oppressive when she goes because some of the staff can be bullying and there are often raised voices in the “interview” rooms.

    She gave me a breakdown of her weekly finances for the purpose of this article:

    • JSA – £65.45

    • Rent – £28 (after housing benefit of £115.25)

    This leaves her with £37.45 a week. She sets aside money for her bills each week.

    • £7 for electricity

    • £1.30 for gas

    • £7 for phone, television and broadband

    All of which amounts to £15.30 per week. She is left with £22.15 for the week, out of which she has to buy food and other necessities. That works out at just over £3 a day to live on – and that sum would be lower if you’re under 25.

    My friend does her best to live within her means and not break into her bill money – she goes to the local fruit and vegetable market, which is just over half an hour’s walk away. She times it so that she arrives just before closing time and if she’s quick enough she can elbow out competition and grab bargains such as strawberries, tomatoes or even avocados at knockdown prices. There’s also a good butcher’s shop there, which always has a queue outside and sometimes she’ll buy end cuts for stews and pies. At the fish stall she can buy a small mackerel for “next to nothing”.

    But my friend is constantly worried about being able to pay her bills. She has had no success yet at finding another job and as she is close to the official retirement age, she feels that her age might go against her. Most of all, she fears being out of work for over a year and having to deal with a further cut in income. This is because, under new budget proposals, those unfortunate enough to be on JSA for a year or over would receive a 10% cut to their housing benefit.

    I did some calculations to work out how much she would have left to live on, if she ever found herself in that unfortunate position, and this is how it works out:

    A 10% reduction in housing benefit would mean it would go down from £115.25 to £103.73. Weekly rent payable would hence rise from £28 to £39.52. Deduct £39.52 rent from £65.45 JSA and you are left with just £25.93 for the week with which to cover bills, food and other necessities. Get rid of phone, television and broadband at £7 per week and, if gas and electricity bills don’t go up, monthly bills will be reduced to £8.30. That will leave £17.63 a week for food and other necessities – little more than £2 a day. My friend and thousands like her could very well be made homeless.

    In comparison with its European counterparts, Britain’s level of benefit has always been painfully low. In a table of comparisons of EU countries and their provision of unemployment benefit, Britain was at the bottom at €368.20 per month (£314.99), Luxembourg was at the top with €2,210 per month (£1,890.63).

    The government should think deeply about these drastic welfare cuts, and those who will bear the brunt of them. Is it worth risking the destruction of the fabric of civilised society and risk a new era of social unrest? After all, when people have lost everything, what have they got to lose?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/07/benefit-cut

    The Guardian

    October 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    • I think the figures for British unemployed are a lot worse than you think, becouse you have to realise that different EU countries have completely different criteria for unemployment. take for example France which I believes pays more money then the UK but on top I believe you can do quite a lot of work each week and still class as unemployed? so that extra money on top, which I think makes sense as you don’t lose touch with the employer and its you who’s going to be first to get employed with them when things pick up, it probably also cuts down the need to work on the side, or spend millions on stupid failed scemes in which crooks who have bunged Blunkett get to make off with large quantities tax payers money for pretending to put the unemployed back to work.

      EU wise it is probably worth wondering what the Greek Unemplyed earn on the side in Greeces parralel Black economy without interfierance from the official state.Which isn’t an opption for British unemployed

      Lowestoft's Finest

      October 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm

  55. Food is a political issue

    Rising UK food prices mean poor families need the know-how to be able to feed themselves adequately on a tight budget

    Although I was born in the West Indies, I was brought up on the back-to-back streets of Bradford in the 1950s and consider myself a Yorkshire lass. We were the only black family but we firmly belonged to our street and our community.

    I can remember being hungry as a child – “breakfast” didn’t mean much to me. But at infant school we would have our morning milk. You knew when it was “milk time” because you could hear the crate rattling with its load of tiny bottles. It would be so creamy, you could see the top layer of yellow above the milky white. We’d push our straws through the silver caps and suck.

    Once I was so hungry that I stole a little girl’s biscuits. She went crying to my teacher, who looked at me and said: “No, Bernadine would never do a thing like that!” I never stole any more biscuits after that and managed to maintain my good reputation. We weren’t the poorest family on our street – there was a family up the row whose kids sometimes ran around barefoot. I’d stare in horror as they gleefully ate Mother’s Pride bread filled with white sugar. Even then I had a concept of “junk food”.

    At home, my parents would be in the tiny kitchen above the coal cellar, fashioning out concoctions of flour, chopped onions, bits of fish, anything they could get their hands on. My father would roll them out and fry them in a skillet; he called them “Johnny cakes”, naming them after my little brother who would devour them wholeheartedly. And though I was often hungry, I was always certain that my belly was going to be filled at some point, even if it was only cornmeal porridge, thickened with milk and sweetened with honey. Fortunately, I never had to suffer extreme hunger.

    It is quite shocking to think that today in the UK many families are experiencing hunger and have to choose between paying their bills or eating: “broadband or food”. Even worse, there are families who have no choice but to go without food – according to a recent report by a Welsh charity, a family with small children went without food for more than 24 hours.

    And yet, there is definitely a social stigma today in the UK about being poor. Poor people are made to feel like “scroungers” and appear to be the butt of every government cut, which seems to succeed in kicking the most vulnerable the hardest. Even the Equality and Human Rights Commission believes that the government may have acted illegally by not taking into account exactly how its cuts are going to affect the poorest members of society.

    Many poor people today in the UK would be too ashamed to admit that they often have to skip meals. Sadly, things are set to get worse for them because of rising food prices due to what I refer to as the “global grain crunch”. Food prices went up 0.7% last month, according to the Office for National Statistics, and are due to rise even higher. Basic ingredients such as eggs, milk, cheese, fish, lentils, rice and pulses have also been hit sharply, with an increase of up to 58% over the last three years. It is estimated that over a billion people worldwide will go hungry because of natural disasters that have destroyed vital grain crops this year. This shortage of food will have a knock-on effect globally, and means that the UK is set to experience further rises in food prices.

    What does that mean for those at the very bottom in the UK? Obviously, they will find it increasingly hard to feed themselves adequately, not only because of a lack of finances, but also because of a lack of real know-how. A few grassroots organisations are trying to impart such knowledge, but their efforts remain largely unrecognised – or worse, are seen as inaccessible. Without knowledge on how to eat well on a strict budget, many will be forced to go hungry or will be overfed but undernourished. Research shows that there are direct links between poverty and obesity – those on small incomes who are both cash and time poor tend to be more obese due to their reliance on cheap, processed foods.

    Food is a political issue, and an immensely serious one that connects us all. Now, more than ever, people need to know how to feed themselves on a tiny budget. At least then they will be able to fend off hunger as best they know how.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/05/food-prices-poverty-budget-political

    The Guardian

    October 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm

  56. As I said before if you visit the Harbour ward area of Lowestoft (admittedly not much reason too as its convieniantly tucked away)The people there are stunted through generational malnutrition its horrendous I’ve never seen this anywhere else in the UK. Its like seeing the underclass from the victorian slums, the mums are often smaller than their junior school kids. The parents faces often still have infantile features as well and remind me of those people in pre NHS days who cought some disease that caused them to stop growing at about 10.

    Its ridiculous that people are like this in this country at this day and age, I am not talking small I’m talking physicly stunted which looks totaly different, to make matters worse Harbour Ward borders on Normanston which is comparativly posh and you can walk a couple of roads and people are literaly feet taller. I can’t see how after years of NHS etc you can see still this sort of thing on such a scale so prominantly in one area. Where I live theres worse housing worse crime and many people thiner and smaller than they would be if they came from a posher area but their is none of this stuntedness like is the norm in harbour ward which is like going back in time and people look like those British soldiers from WWI British Army Bantum regiments who were made up of rejects to small to get in the normal WWI British army who were physicly tiny by todays standards anyway.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    • kids down our street being fed on mothers pride n gravy. a lot of kids these days you can see their legs buckling.

      Vera Duckworth

      October 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm

  57. Twer ut bloody long way upat hill wi t mouse int mi Hovis.

    Reet Thar Noz

    October 8, 2010 at 3:03 pm

  58. Sorry “Reet Thar Noz” I only understand English.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm


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