Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Poor To Be Cleansed From London

with 67 comments

Jo, the Crossing-Sweeper (Bleak House, Dickens).

“Move on, Move on, You Can’t Stay Here.”

Welfare cuts ‘will be like the Highland Clearances’

Joe Murphy, Political Editorr

A political storm broke today after a government minister claimed that plans to cap welfare benefits would prompt an exodus of Labour voters from London.The unnamed Conservative minister was quoted as describing the policy as “the Highland Clearances” – the eviction of farmers from the Scottish highlands and islands in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Labour  said the term smacked of gerrymandering, and recalled the scandal at Westminster City Council when poorer families were moved away from marginal wards to improve the chances of Tory wins.

Chancellor George Osborne used his party conference speech to announce plans to cap the total weekly benefit claims of any household at £500. His officials said about 50,000 claimants would be affected, almost all of them in London. June’s budget revealed plans to reduce housing benefit claims, another measure that affects Londoners most.

An article in today’s Telegraph quoted anonymous ministers as saying the housing benefit cap “will force an exodus from London and other areas with high property prices”. The author commented that the benefits cap “sounds small but politically it has the potential to be devastating to Labour”.

More Here.

We will no doubt see similar results in the rest of the country.

I suppose no-one who writes these articles has the wit to mention that moving home and finding a new one is hard, if not impossible, for anyone on benefits.


Written by Andrew Coates

October 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm

67 Responses

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  1. They will just be moved out and dumped in some out of the way no hope place with no jobs where their is plenty of cheap houses for that reason the they won’t get seen and are easily forgotten about. London Boroughs and the home counties Councils has been dumping its poor and problem families/tenants on Lowestoft and Gt.Yarmouth despite no chance of jobs for years as its the cheapest opption.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm

  2. The workhouses have no space left in which to pack the starving crowds who are craving every day and night at their doors for food and shelter. All the charitable institutions have exhausted their means in trying to raise supplies of food for the famishing residents of the garrets and cellars of London lanes and alleys. The quarters of the Salvation Army in various parts of London are nightly besieged by hosts of the unemployed and the hungry for whom neither shelter nor the means of sustenance can be provided.

    Jack London

    October 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm

  3. london highlights the haves and have nots,not all areas in london are expensive particularly some parts of south east london poverty and wealth are never far,there are areas of severe poverty in the home counties too ,while councils are eager to promote new theaters they are not so keen to highlight these areas of deprivation and lack of employment opportunities,poor housing,poor education and lack of manufacturing/opportunities has meant that these areas are totally overlooked and ignored except by the police and continually run down,when people feel hopelessness it continues to become a major barrier to what would be a more expectant lifestyle,its no good the common excuse “get off your backside and earn it” when someone is trapped in poverty and isolated .


    October 9, 2010 at 2:22 am

    • Well it makes you wonder… We have truely got ourselves into the top 5 greatest cities in the World not by focusing on the important parts but by making things so expensive… if its so expensive, it must be great, right?

      Also, by largest cities… it is simple, just move boundaries. I am surprised they haven’t stuck all the home counties all the way up to Suffolk to fall under London.

      Fuck it, we are a small country, why not stick all of England as London with exceptions of the north. (you couldn’t have 100% of the countries area as just one city, right?)

      Flexible New Deal

      October 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      • Ryanair already sticks Stansted, Essex in London 🙂

        Ronni Ancona

        October 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm

  4. Westminster City Council’s housing committee agreed to sell 500 council homes to designated tenants as part of a policy called “Building stable communities”. The policy was focused on eight marginal wards where the Conservative-majority Council wished to gain votes at the 1990 local government elections.

    An investigation found Council leader Dame Shirley Porter guilty of “wilful misconduct” and “disgraceful and improper gerrymandering”

    this was one of magaret thatcher’s worst dirty tricks and has in many ways become a symbol of the behavior that has developed since that era,shirley porter the tesco airess a company no stranger to the blog,fled to israel at the time.



    October 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

  5. The Milibands’ impressive property portfolio is fascinating. But what does it really tell us?

    Skipping through the property pages of the Evening Standard on Wednesday I came across a piece about Ed Miliband and his house. It was easily the most interesting thing I’ve read about him; it held my attention for most of the tube journey. Underneath the headline “Mint it like the Milibands”, it recounted how the Labour leader had used the laws of property and inheritance to “pave his way to an impressive home in a sought-after location in north London, now believed to be worth £1.6m.”

    The story was complicated – I had to read it again when I got home – but the facts seemed secure. I recognised it as a “good story” and wondered why the Standard muffled its impact by presenting it on page 38 as a tutorial on the property ladder. In this, I was naive: the Mr Magoo of the British media. The story had made its far splashier debut a few days before in the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday, one or other of which may have had it as a scoop, to be followed up in Monday’s Telegraph and probably other papers too. As I get my news mainly from the Guardian and the BBC, it had entirely passed me by.

    Briefly, for those of you who live on the same sheltered planet as me, it goes like this. Marxist academic Ralph Miliband owned a house in Edis Street, Primrose Hill. At some point after he died in 1994, his widow and two sons signed a “deed of variation” to his will that gave Ed and David each a 20% share in the house, which meant that on their mother’s death they would pay inheritance tax only on the remaining 60%. Mrs Miliband also gave David a ground-floor flat around the corner in Chalcot Square that she’d bought for her mother in 1981. David moved in, then he and Ed bought leaseholds on the two floors above for about £100,000 a floor. David lived on the first two floors, and Ed on the third. Then jointly they bought the freehold on the whole Chalcot Square house.

    In 2004, when he was married and about to adopt the first of his two children, David decided he needed more room. The solution lay in Edis Street. He bought out the 80% owned by his mother and brother for £800,000 and his mother switched homes to David’s Chalcot Square flat. Ed’s share of the deal is thought to be at least £160,000, on which he paid capital gains tax. In 2005, he sold his Chalcot Square flat for £342,000, and the next year bought another flat in the same area for £650,000, which he sold soon after for £740,000 to move into a house a mile or so away in Dartmouth Park that had been bought by his partner, lawyer Justine Thornton. Thornton’s own rise up the ladder of north London’s expensive brick and stucco was also detailed in the reports, but the point they most anxiously made was that the house was entirely hers and that, as she and Miliband were unmarried, they could nominate two houses as their primary residences instead of the one allowed to married couples. Primary residences are exempt from capital gains tax.

    Miliband, therefore, could own a separate house and not pay capital gains when he sold it. No evidence was offered that he does have a second home posing as a first. Nonetheless, one or two hard-working reporters uncovered the history of his home ownership, and newspapers, employing loaded phrases such as “tax ruse” and “shrewd”, conveyed the impression of a ruthless moneymaker, so keen to make a buck that it was the prospect of capital gains tax rather than any more personal consideration that prevented his marrying the mother of his child. “The pair have legitimately avoided more than £135,000 in capital gains tax on the sale of three properties by being unmarried”, wrote the Sunday Times, implying, without going into the maths, that this had been deliberate policy earlier in their relationship when they kept separate flats. (Sexual partners stay unmarried for all kinds of reasons. Was capital gains tax the impediment to de Beauvoir and Sartre?)

    Despite its array of prices and dates, the story disclosed no wrongdoing. What it described was an individual example of a social fact: that the Miliband brothers are part of a class that has been lucky in all kinds of ways and clever enough in some. Lucky to have inherited property in a desirable area; lucky it became even more desirable after Jude Law and Jamie Oliver moved in; lucky to buy into a rising market; clever enough to have understood how inheritance tax works, though hardly especially clever because the personal finance pages of the papers that published the story give their readers the same advice most weeks (“How good tax planning can benefit your children”).

    As I say, I read it twice. In our profoundly money-conscious era, the voyeuristic pull of peering into the property assets of others is hard to resist: several TV series have been built on it. According to the Mail, the brothers’ mother has another house in Oxfordshire worth £750,000. The exclamation “And her a socialist too!” didn’t need by this stage to be declared – hypocrisy had already been established as the main charge against Ed, who, while warning the Labour conference that the gap between rich and poor in Britain “harms us all”, was in the Sunday Times’s verdict “as canny a player of the property market as any other ambitious middle-class homebuyer”.

    The contradiction between the public belief and private self-interest of the left-inclined middle-classes has always been a favourite coconut shy, sometimes justifiably. The Labour party has never contained many Gandhians, practising as they preached, and these days you would look a long way among people of any kind to discover a lifestyle that has genuinely renounced consumerism or the husbanding of private property. One need only examine oneself. Like Miliband, though long before him, I was lucky to buy a house in London that’s now worth … not quite as much as Miliband’s. This week the Halifax published figures that showed the biggest monthly fall in house prices since 1983. In general terms, this has to be a good thing. British homes are still crazily overvalued when weighed against average earnings and need to be made more affordable. Still, thinking of how much my own house may one day provide to my children, I didn’t rejoice.

    For all these reasons, the Guardian was probably right to ignore a story that charged Miliband with greed and hypocrisy. But, by the same standard, it may have been wrong to publish a front-page item on the dress Samantha Cameron wore for her husband’s Tory conference speech, quantifying the price (£749) as the equivalent of 36.8 first-child benefit payments. Doesn’t the paper promote clothes that are just as pricey on its fashion pages? How much do the editor’s suits cost? May we know how much anti-Tory columnist X or Y paid for her boots?

    When politicians and journalists descend from their pulpits they enter the most fragile of glass houses. All of us need to take care.



    October 9, 2010 at 9:01 am

  6. If the Labour Party big wigs payed the same people to adise them on how to run the country as they pay for advise on how to dodge tax and fiddle expences Labour would never be out of power.

    As for the thaught London Councils still need to deport people from council estates to distant Siberian Lands to stop Labour getting in on their bourough thats a total joke and just Neo-Labour wishfull properganda, people on council estates long saw the light of the middle class political system and have long since stopped bothering to vote, I doubt the few who do vote Labour anyway.

    The Truth is if a London bourough is concerned about the vote going Labour the people to try to get rid of out of the borough are the middle classes who are the only people who vote Neo-Labour and make up just about 100% of its Oxbridge over privilladged MP’s.

    The Reason the London Bouroughs want shot of Council tenants etc ais they find them undisirable and in the way of their bright new future, we have had these tenants mass deported and dumped on No Hope Lowestoft where their out of sight for years and its mainly Labour councils that deported them here. This is class war not political skulldugery.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

    • good point, chuck. I live on a working class sink estate and none of me friends and family vote. To tell you the truth, chuck, I’ve never voted 🙂 That’s just between you and me chuck, so don’t go telling tales behind the bikesheds 🙂

      Vera Duckworth

      October 9, 2010 at 10:14 am

    • Utter Rubbish Lowestoft’s Finest, I’ll have you know my great great grandfarther was part of the Hampstead Bolshevik Commune that kept the Jarrow Marchers in Hummus and performed satyrical mimes in support.If it wasn’t for my ancesters bravery Marks & Spencer would have never brought out their own range of Eco friendly Red flags.

      Hilary Trustfund Benn

      October 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    • I neva bova 2 vote eifer luv but i do wash me knickers evri twice friday.. yeah no worries lowestofts finest tracy xxxxxx

      tracey slater

      October 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm

  7. India trade deal with EU will allow thousands lol of immigrants into Britain Thousands 🙂 of Indian workers will be allowed into Britain under a new European Union trade deal that threatens to overturn the Coalition’s pledge severely to limit immigration.

    A planned “free trade agreement” with India, to be signed this December, will give skilled Indian IT workers, engineers and managers easy passage into Europe in return for European companies gaining access to India’s huge domestic market.

    The deal has split some of the most senior figures in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, and William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, argue that the EU-India agreement must go ahead because it is worth hundreds of millions of pounds to business. But David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and Theresa May, the Home Secretary, are opposed. They, and other Conservatives, have insisted that the government uphold a high-profile pledge to bring down net immigration, which is currently at 176,000 entrants a year.

    “We will bring net migration down to the tens of thousands,” said Mrs May, the Home Secretary, on Wednesday. “Our economy will remain open to the best and the brightest in the world, but it’s time to stop importing foreign labour on the cheap.”

    Cabinet talks over the deal begin next week and senior government sources have admitted that “the circle must be squared” to thrash out a government agreement that protects the country from increased immigration without damaging British industry.

    The European Commission has asked for comments by the end of October from the Cabinet and other EU governments on a negotiating position that was hammered out with the Indians over the summer.

    India has insisted on increased mobility for its skilled workers in return for reduced tariffs on European products and the lifting of some restrictions on businesses bidding for public procurement contracts.

    Under the current EU negotiating position, Indians who are skilled professionals will be able to work in any EU country under contract. The UK will be bound by any final EU agreement and British companies will be able to recruit in sectors such as information technology, management consultancy and engineering.

    Many Conservative politicians fear the trade deal will undercut the wages of British managers and make a nonsense of a promise to cap immigration from non-EU countries.

    Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, said: “I am not a big fan of the EU doing trade deals on our behalf. My personal view is that the immigration cap is non-negotiable.”

    The UK is usually on the free-trade wing of the EU and British is business is concerned that the country could instead be aligned with more protectionist countries such as France.

    David Frost, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said companies needed to have the ability to recruit skilled employees from outside Britain. “The UK must maintain its position as a member state that is an advocate of free trade, and we must surrender no ground to protectionism,” he said. “We cannot allow any proposal to improve the UK-India trade relationship to be delayed because of disagreements within Europe over the movement of highly skilled migrants.”

    One problem for the Coalition is that the deal struck between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives agrees on both a limit on immigration and on forging deeper ties with India. Damian Green, the immigration minister, has already said that new annual quotas would be flexible enough to allow more Indian businessmen and professionals to move to Britain as trade between the two countries increased.

    A Brussels study has predicted that under an EU-wide deal with India, Europe’s economy would grow by £3.9 billion a year.


    The Torygraph

    October 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

  8. “Jobs and Skills search” on jobseekers.direct.gov.uk website not working again. 😦


    October 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm

  9. Jobs and Skills search” on jobseekers.direct.gov.uk website not working again

    Was down completely last Sunday couldn’t search “All jobs” within 15 miles of my postcode as couldn’t recognise my postcode, so tried same using 15 miles of Lowestoft then couldn’t recognise “Lowestoft”.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    • I had that issue before. It couldn’t recognise “Colchester”… It said post code incorrect (its a town name not post code!)

      Flexible New Deal

      October 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      • I had that issue too…. it wouldn’t recognise “job” lol 🙂

        Ronni Ancona

        October 10, 2010 at 8:30 pm

  10. Its Bullshit anyway as whats the point of a max 15 mile search radius (other than national) as 15 miles from me doesn’t even get me to Norwich. It discriminates against coastel places as most my 15 miles radius is in the North Sea. Just as well there arn’t any jobs in Cornwall as Cornwall is a narrow peninsula sticking out with the sea on both sides a 15 mile max radius seach is going to be totaly useless.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

  11. cycle part of the way and use the train the rest. if the bike folds use the bus

    0n Your Bike

    October 10, 2010 at 10:02 am

    • Good advice, that. On your bike bike you lot! You’re nothing but a bunch of work-shy lazy scroungers!

      Norman Tebbit

      October 10, 2010 at 10:33 am

      • That advice is all very well for Comrade Tour de France Coates with his inherited genetic ability to both win a Yellow Jersey and sell strings of onions to passers by at the same time, but we practishioners of the fine art of Gypsydom are not a bycle fiendly race and have no past history of two wheeled travelling.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

  12. My problem with the 15 mile radius max search other the national is its completely at odds with the Jobseekers agrement which states 1 hour forty five max travelling time which would probably equate to from Lowestoft to Ipswich on the train a distance of around 50 miles, way over the 15 mile max radius. So you would think at they would have synced the two tegether so the max radius search would be say 50 miles or at least 30. 15 is no good to anybody all I can think is the software isn’t good enough to handle anything location specific over 15 miles. Yet they axed the far better job seekers direct site which could handle a 30 mile radius search to concentrate on this junk site.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

    • Ipswich bound trains only go every two hours!

      If you missed one…..

      Andrew Coates

      October 10, 2010 at 11:01 am

      • No problem if someone missed the train at Lowestoft station they would only get in to work at Ipswich about 4 hours late for work. They could then just tell the boss they are late becouse they got mugged which they probably would have been if they had to hang about the Lowestoft station area for two hours in the evening.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 10, 2010 at 11:25 am

  13. I was just listening to Fiona McTagget Labour MP for Slough on the radio talk about out of touch with reality, she was being interviewed on how she was won of the few labour MP’s to hold onto her seat but all she did was villanise the unemployed which she is convinced is the way Labour will get reelected. She said that the reason Labour lost the election was the public thought it was to lax on unemployed that played the system (funny I thought the bankers might get a mention)? then she went on to say people come and tell me they lost their job six months ago but when they go to the jobcentre it looks like its full of people who have never worked in their lives signing on”

    I’d have said well if thats your only competition please explain how you as a genius still haven’t got a job after six months then? Also what do you expect people who have lost their jobs to look like? wearing Armarni Suits on £65 a week or maybe ex miners should go in still coverd in coal dust wearing a helmet with a davy lamp on the front, plus I hope you wern’t alluding to the staff in that description.

    Just another good reason why unemployed people should do everything they can to destroy New Labour and not support those trecherous C*nts in any way.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    • lol When I step into my local Job Centre (Redditch) it feels like if stepped into a Village People video 🙂


      Jacqui Smith

      October 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    • Bankers? How about adding MP expenses scandal on to that as well?!

      MP Expenses Scandal

      October 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    • Anyone heard the news that Ken Clarke is busy building working prisons? What next I wonder? “Hotels for the unemployed”? – a place where you will be given food, warmth and shelter – and some work to do? And what will happen to all the accommodation that the displaced vacate – did someone mention uncontrolled immigration. Yes, the indigenous population slaving in sweatshops to provide to support an influx of foreigners. Look what has happened to ex-Commonwealth countries. This country is being deliberately destroyed. Our politicians are Traitors and Scum, this has been a long time in the planning. The rug is being pulled from under this countrry’s feet. Soon there will be NO Welfare State, NO Social Housing, NO Public Services. I’m no great fan of the Pope by his Aide was correct when he said that landing in the UK was like arriving in a Third World Hell Hole. This country is racing to Hell in a handcart!

      Crystal Ball

      October 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

      • You can catch a bus in a third world country, which is more than you can do in Lowestoft I avoid them normaly as they are some of the priciest in the country especialy as this is a deprived area as well. So the last 3 times I have attempted to catch one has been a total failure.

        Twice no bus showed up and the last time despite being at a bus stop and waving to the driver to stop in advance and him waving back in acknoledgement the quarter full bus just ploughed straight past. So thanks to these clowns I have now missed two job interviews in a row. Have got so p*ssed off with this that I put in a formal complaint with the bus service asking if my local bus stop has been decommisioned? but they haven’t botherd to respond so now going to complain to the bus ombudsman you think they would be keen to stop for £5.50 for about 6 miles return? God knows what effect the Tory quarter cut in transport funding is going to have on this state of affairs?

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 10, 2010 at 2:10 pm

      • “Anyone heard the news that Ken Clarke is busy building working prisons?”

        What made me laugh about that was the idea that they would get paid the minimum wage for working 40 hpw whilst people stuck on workfair get sweet Fanny Adams.

        Average Joe

        October 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      • Buses to that all the time around these parts, there is never anyone on them and the drivers still just race past the bus-stop. Got to wait another 2 hours and it happens again. It’s worst in the winter when they deliberately run through the puddle just to splash me all over. It’s horrible me clothes getting spattered with dirty water and me hair is left all out of place, wet and gritty. Living in a Third World country is being generous

        Belle Dingle

        October 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      • ‘Plot to rid council estates of poor’

        David Cameron’s favourite Tory town hall is being accused of planning a “social cleansing” programme of demolishing council estates.

        Hammersmith and Fulham council is plotting a Dame Shirley Porter-style programme to move out the poor and replace them with private homes and retail developments, critics claim.

        Residents hit out as secret documents, obtained by the Standard, revealed how the borough’s leader and officials worked on a radical policy to end “homes for life” and turn council housing into a safety net service for just the old and disabled.

        Under the plans, new homes will be built to attract residents with higher incomes and areas that have traditionally voted Labour will be broken up as more than 3,500 flats and houses are demolished. Council leader Stephen Greenhalgh, who also heads Mr Cameron’s Conservative Councils Innovation Unit, believes council housing is “warehousing poverty” and entrenches welfare dependency.

        Mr Greenhalgh denied he plans to ship low income residents out to other areas of London, but tenants and leaseholders fear they will be left with nowhere to go once their homes are demolished and fewer replacements built.

        Hammersmith and Fulham’s newly published Local Development Framework includes options to demolish large council estates such as those in White City, West Kensington, Hammersmith and Fulham.

        Critics say the plan is based on a radical policy paper, which Mr Greenhalgh produced in association with the Localis think tank.

        The report says council estates “deliver a risible return on assets”. It calls for council rents to be increased to market levels, a move that it estimates would raise £5billion a year nationwide in extra income that could then be spent on building new homes.

        One document shows that if rents in Hammersmith were increased to private levels, a two-bed council flat currently costing £85 a week would go up to £360 a week. To placate tenants, extra housing benefit would be paid but the aim would be to end the divide between public and private housing.

        Papers obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal how Mr Greenhalgh and town hall officers helped to draft the Localis ideas and how to handle a backlash from residents.

        One memo describes a council estate as “barracks for the poor”, while another says social housing is “not about giving somebody a £1million home for life”. A note of one meeting points out that it is “hard to get rid of people” and that “Porteresque accusations of gerrymandering or social engineering need to be faced head on”.

        It adds that “funding [is] needed for political problem of management” and warns that “political pain is a factor -can local pols accept the level of pain involved in making it happen?”

        Under current laws, Hammersmith cannot impose huge rent rises and is required to find alternative accommodation for all residents if estates are cleared. But Mr Greenhalgh hopes to relax rent controls and change legislation that gives tenants the right to a home for life.

        Andrew Slaughter, the Labour MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush who submitted the FoI request, said: “Using the language of social cleansing, and with no respect for age, vulnerability or human rights, the Tories propose to destroy communities. This is social engineering on a grand scale and it is being recommended to David Cameron as the way forward in housing.”

        Mr Greenhalgh said there would be no reduction in the number of “habitable rooms” in any redevelopment.

        “It’s ludicrous to talk about ‘social cleansing’. That’s rubbish from neanderthals in the Labour Party. Every time someone comes up with an idea on housing, they are branded as having an ulterior, nasty motive. I make no apology for having a bold vision. We are not stepping back and as and when we have specific plans, we will talk to people about it.”

        He said Localis was an independent think tank, “not an extension of the Conservative Party” and the council officers’ involvement was entirely appropriate.

        Town Hall is policy test bed for Tories

        Ever since the Tories wrested control of Hammersmith and Fulham from Labour in 2006, the authority has proved a high-profile test bed for the party’s policy team. Under Stephen Greenhalgh the council has imposed savings, delivered a three per cent cut in council tax, and boasts the only New York-style 24-hour council policing in Britain.

        He has presented his radical social housing policies to shadow housing minister Grant Shapps, Tory chairman Eric Pickles and Mayor Boris Johnson.

        The Mayor’s housing adviser Richard Blakeway sent an email to Mr Greenhalgh stating: “My big point is units not being tied to tenure… one option may be to use the next stage of the Mayor’s housing strategy and/or Tory Green Paper.”

        Mr Greenhalgh told Mr Pickles and Mr Shapps that “the Government has received no benefit from billions invested in Local Authority and Registered Social Landlord sector”.

        Dame Shirley’s Downfall

        The “homes-for-votes” scandal began in 1987 when Dame Shirley Porter, below, Tory leader of Westminster council, sold homes in eight marginal wards to private buyers in the hope that they would be more likely to vote Tory.

        Meanwhile, poorer families thought to be less likely to back them, were housed in blocks known to be riddled with asbestos in Labour wards. Two years later, Panorama accused the council of seeking to manipulate the electorate and in 1989 district auditor John Magill began an inquiry.

        He imposed a £31.6 million surcharge on Tesco heiress Dame Shirley and five former council colleagues, concluding they were guilty of “disgraceful and improper gerrymandering”. She appealed to the High Court but she and her former deputy David Weeks were branded “liars”. Two years later she was cleared by the Court of Appeal — but Mr Magill took the case to the Lords.

        In 2001 it found Dame Shirley guilty of political corruption and reimposed a £26.5 million surcharge made by the High Court against her and Mr Weeks. The deadline for Dame Shirley to pay passed, leading to another High Court battle. Finally, in 2004, she agreed to pay Westminster £12.3 million.


        London Evening Standard

        October 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm

  14. Young man, there’s no need to feel down.
    I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
    I said, young man, ’cause you’re in a new town
    There’s no need to be unhappy.

    Young man, there’s a place you can go.
    I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough.
    You can stay there, and I’m sure you will find
    Many ways to have a good time.

    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    They have everything for you men to enjoy,
    You can hang out with all the boys …

    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    You can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal,
    You can do whatever you feel …

    Young man, are you listening to me?
    I said, young man, what do you want to be?
    I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.
    But you got to know this one thing!

    No man does it all by himself.
    I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf,
    And just go there, to the y.m.c.a.
    I’m sure they can help you today.

    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    They have everything for you men to enjoy,
    You can hang out with all the boys …

    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    You can get yourself cleaned, you can have a good meal,
    You can do whatever you feel …

    Young man, I was once in your shoes.
    I said, I was down and out with the blues.
    I felt no man cared if I were alive.
    I felt the whole world was so tight …

    That’s when someone came up to me,
    And said, young man, take a walk up the street.
    There’s a place there called the y.m.c.a.
    They can start you back on your way.

    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
    It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

    They have everything for you men to enjoy,
    You can hang out with all the boys …

    Y-m-c-a … you’ll find it at the y-m-c-a.

    Young man, young man, there’s no need to feel down.
    Young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

    Y-m-c-a … you’ll find it at the y-m-c-a.

    Young man, young man, there’s no need to feel down.
    Young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

    Y-m-c-a … just go to the y-m-c-a.

    Young man, young man, are you listening to me?
    Young man, young man, what do you wanna be?

    Village People

    October 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm

  15. Dear Customer

    You have been refereed to the following OPPORTUNITY, WORK CAMP.


    No PERSONAL BELONGINGS are allowed.

    If you neglect to avail of this OPPORTUNITY your benefits and/or National Insurance Contributions will be affected.

    Fritz Todz

    for MANAGER

    Job Centre Plus

    October 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    • 40+ minimum queue depth at signing on.

      Hitler said everything was fine until the tanks rolled into Berlin 🙂

      Buy new rose tinted glasses and spend spend spend 🙂 keep buying shit:-)

      So some fall off the edge, so what :-), it’s kool 🙂 x-factor is back on 🙂 better work harder and not look round, tunnel vision will help you not feel the pain 🙂

      Disco Inferno

      October 10, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      • Thank heavens I no longer have a telly I don’t think I’ve had one for about 10 years. I’m shocked when I see a bit of someones TV the standard has just dropped through the floor since the crap of 10 years back. Its like being trapped in a room with the most borring moron you ever met. Then on the rare occurence I catch some program I was looking forward to its always total infant school level bollox presented by some dipstick celebrity and the program subject doesn’t feature. Or endless Black Adder/Faulty Towers/Little Britain repeats or some kind of act that was the reason Butlin’s went skint.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      • Sluggish TV Sales Create Huge Glut of LCD Panels

        Lower-than-expected flat-screen TV sales worldwide have created a glut in liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels that’s unlikely to dissipate anytime soon, even with the release of new products such as 3-D TVs, according to two separate reports released this week.

        Global manufacturers shipped 98.8 million LCD panels during the first half of the year, while only 76.2 million LCD sets were shipped, indicating an overage of 30%, iSuppli said in a report yesterday. Such widening inventory has caused panel makers to drop prices to near-cost level, according to iSuppli.

        The lack of demand caused LCD TV prices, which had risen in July, to fall in August. Prices are expected to keep falling this month. Last week, DisplaySearch reported that second-quarter North American TV sales fell 3% from a year earlier after increasing 1% in the first quarter, indicating that Americans remain conservative about spending.

        Those hoping that the expected influx of 3-D TV sets will be a shot in the arm for the industry may be disappointed. About two-thirds of consumers surveyed in a Nielsen poll released on Sept. 9 said they were less than likely to buy a 3-D TV within the next year, with 68% saying they’re concerned about the cost and 57% indicating that having to wear special 3-D glasses would be a turn-off.


        Daily Finance

        October 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      • Sluggish TV Sales Create Huge Glut of LCD Panels

        Should be good news price wise to consumers. I have a mate in the TV repair buisness who says most standard current LCD Panels are being designed with shorter life expectencies the idea is consumers buy into the idea of replacing them sooner like in Japan to get newer features before they hit the point when they start packing up. He says though it keeps the cost down internaly most of the soldering is very poor quality and they’re designed not to be repaired. So I should imagine the retailers are going to be a bit desperate to get shot of them before they start heading towards obsolesence.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

      • “indicating that Americans remain conservative about spending” – they are not the only ones 🙂 Is anyone spending these days – the shopping malls are like ghost towns 🙂


        October 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm

      • You’ll find that gyms are doing well, it’s becoming impossible to sign fatties up fast enough. You’ll find that in times of austerity that expensive gyms memberships are the last thing to fall by the wayside. Broadband – out! Sky subscription out! Nights out – out! Cigarettes out! Alcohol out! Fast food – out! Holidays out! Designer clothes out! Car – out! Food – out! Rent/mortgage – out! Basic necessities of life – out! Expensive rip-off gym membership that is never used – Renew! PS You can save 25% at Bannatynes Health Clubs – just say Coatesy sent you!

        Duncan Bannatyne

        October 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    • Dear Mr & Ms Jacob Cohen

      You and YOUR FAMILY have been refereed to the following OPPORTUNITY, FAMILY CAMP.


      No PERSONAL BELONGINGS are allowed.

      If you neglect to avail of this OPPORTUNITY your benefits and/or National Insurance Contributions will be affected.


      Fritz Todz

      for MANAGER



      Berlin Job Centre Plus

      October 10, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      • Fritz Todt collaborating with the Nazi A4e…. well I never 🙂 …. what a turn-up for the books 🙂

        Ronni Ancona

        October 10, 2010 at 8:26 pm

      • “Collaboating”?! – don’t you mean “working in partnership”? lol 🙂

        Henrich Himmler

        October 11, 2010 at 4:05 pm

  16. ITV is now headed by the Ex Royal Mails Finest Adam Crozzier…..I rest my case.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 10, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  17. Incapacity benefit claimants reassessed

    Incapacity benefit claimants in north-east Scotland and Burnley in Lancashire are to be the first to be reassessed ahead of UK-wide welfare reform.

    Those deemed fit enough to work, using a points-based system, will be moved to the jobseeker’s allowance.

    The reassessment was designed to end the one-size-fits-all approach to those with illness and disabilities.

    More than 2.5m people claim the benefit or its successor, employment support allowance, costing £12.5bn yearly.

    Eventually everyone claiming incapacity benefit will have to undergo a medical examination to assess their physical and mental abilities.

    It will work on a point-based system. For example, a person who cannot sit comfortably for more than 30 minutes will score seven points.

    Anyone who scores below 15 points in total will be deemed fit for work and placed on jobseeker’s allowance, which in some cases could result in a reduction in benefit of about £25 a week.


    Those judged capable of limited work will be supported back into part-time employment.

    The government has said that the high number of people on long-term sickness benefit showed the system was not working.

    Employment Minister Chris Grayling, who will launch the scheme in Burnley on Monday, said: “It’s nothing short of a scandal that so many people were simply cast aside to a lifetime on benefits, wasting their talents and potential and costing the taxpayer almost £135bn [since 2000].

    “While some of these people will be genuinely too sick to work, there will be others who through no fault of their own were told by the state that they were better off on the sick and then left behind – this stops now.”

    Terminally ill people and the most disabled will not be expected to look for work.

    Test concerns

    The pilot scheme will also affect claimants in Aberdeen, Banff, Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

    In Aberdeen more than 8,000 residents claim incapacity benefit – some 60% for five years or more.

    Mental health charity Mind has already questioned the effectiveness of the test, claiming that it does not “distinguish accurately which people can work and which people can’t.”

    Sophie Corlett, Mind’s director of external relations, said: “Over half of all benefit claimants have a mental health problem, so it should go without saying that any fitness-to-work test should thoroughly assess mental health and whether it presents a barrier to work and coping in the workplace.

    “However, many people with mental health issues have found that the impact of their condition on their ability to work is barely recognised.”

    The charity called for “vocational and health-related support to get them ready for a job again”.

    The full extent of the welfare cuts will be announced in the comprehensive spending review later this month.


    BBC News

    October 11, 2010 at 5:10 am

  18. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23717484-plot-to-rid-council-estates-of-poor.do

    Comment by London Evening Standard — October 10, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

    this is a sad reflection on what society has become today,the right wing policies exhibited by dame shirley and her homeland have appeared right in london,this time against those that are classed as in poverty.what a sad reflection on a european state that it treat its own citizens like this and highlights the complete failure of a nations demise.

    the corruption of office combined with the failures of the economic running are never better highlighted then here and the consequences.


    October 11, 2010 at 5:23 am

  19. Britain, the jobless capital of Europe where one in eight adults live in house where no one works

    Britain was last night exposed as the jobless capital of Europe, with one in eight adults living in a house where no one is in work.

    As the Government prepares a clampdown on benefits scroungers, a league table revealed that a greater proportion of people in the UK are in jobless households than in any other European country.

    And separate analysis has found that in the worst ghettos of worklessness, as many as 84 per cent are on welfare.

    The devastating reports paint a terrifying picture of the true extent of ‘ Shameless Britain’, in which millions grow up in a culture of dependency where work does not pay. The Government will this week lay out new plans to tackle this welfare dependency, by launching a crackdown on incapacity benefit scroungers.

    The shocking report by the right-wing think-tank Centre for Policy Studies revealed that 11.5 per cent of UK adults – almost one in eight – live in workless households.

    This is the highest rate in the six largest economies in the European Union, and almost twice the level in the Netherlands.

    The proportion is also higher than our closest economic competitors – Germany (9.2 per cent) and France (10.5 per cent). The report said a ten per cent drop in the number of workless households in the UK, down to the level of France, would increase the country’s GDP national output by one per cent. The CPS report found that Britain’s workless households contain 5.4million adults and 1.9million children.

    The study concluded that while many more paid jobs became available between 1992 and 2007, far more of them went to households where there was already someone working – doing little to attack worklessness.

    However, there was some improvement over Labour’s time in office – in 1998, the percentage in workless households was 12.5 per cent.
    The number of economically inactive working-age adults in the UK – more than 9million – is at the highest level since 1982 at the height of the first of Margaret Thatcher’s two recessions.

    The report calls for greater sanctions on benefits claimants for noncompliance with training and labour market programmes; reducing lowskilled immigration where possible, and ensuring that work pays.

    It also calls for measures to get people back to work to be devolved to local government because councils know more about local market conditions than Whitehall.

    Jill Kirby, director of the CPS, said: ‘This report shows that welfare reform is urgently needed, to pull down the barriers between working families and those who are entirely dependent on benefits.

    ‘Increasing work participation is important not just for the families involved, but also to strengthen the British economy and to aid recovery – a recovery in which everyone can play a part.’

    Another report, by the Spectator magazine, exposes just how embedded welfare dependency is in some parts of the country.

    They looked at the smallest statistical areas in the UK – containing around 1,000 adults in each – to find out where the worst ghettos of worklessness are.

    The worst is in the Rochdale ward of Central and Falinge, which is appropriately pronounced ‘ failinge’. Here, no fewer than 84 per cent of residents are on benefits.

    There are 134 areas of England and Wales where more than half the residents are claiming benefit, and five where more than two-thirds are in that position. The others in the top five are in Rhyl, Liverpool, Birmingham and Middlesbrough. Of the top 20 worst areas, half are in the North West, and just two are in the South East.

    In July, the Daily Mail revealed that ‘Shameless Britain’ is the European capital of unemployed single mothers. A massive 48 per cent of lone parents in the UK have no job – the second-highest rate in the industrialised world.

    The ‘Shameless Britain’ tag refers to the Channel 4 comedy set on a council estate in Stretford, Manchester.


    Daily Heil

    October 11, 2010 at 6:40 am

    • Some real unemployment statistics.

      Though these tend to cover only thsoe receiving benefits or registered with the local version of the Dole – in many countries people are simply unable to register, or/and get the local version of Incapacity Benefit, money for single parents, etc. or simply (e.g. USA, Japan) quickly get nothing at all and sleep in the streets.

      Unemployment 2005-03 2006-03 2007-03 2008-03 2009-03 2010-03[11]
      Austria 5.1 5.1 4.5 4.1 4.5 4.9
      Belgium 8.4 8.2 7.7 6.9 7.3 8.1
      Denmark 5.4 4.3 4.1 3.0 5.7 7.6
      Finland 8.5 7.9 7.0 6.3 7.4 9.0
      France 9.7 9.1 8.6 7.6 8.8 10.1
      Germany 9.8 8.7 8.6 7.4 7.6 7.3
      Greece 9.9 9.6 8.6 7.8 7.8 10.2
      Ireland 4.5 4.2 4.6 5.6 10.6 13.2
      Italy 7.8 7.7 6.1 6.6 6.9 8.8
      Luxembourg 4.3 4.8 4.9 4.4 6.1 5.6
      Netherlands 4.9 4.0 3.4 2.8 2.8 4.1
      Portugal 7.4 7.6 8.2 7.6 8.5 10.5
      Spain 9.9 8.7 8.1 9.5 17.4 19.1
      Sweden 6.3 7.2 6.6 5.8 8.0 8.7
      United Kingdom 4.6 5.0 5.5 5.2 6.6 8.7
      Bulgaria 7.5 6.1 5.9 8.7
      Cyprus 5.1 5.2 4.1 3.7 4.9 6.7
      Czech Republic 8.0 7.7 5.6 4.4 5.5 7.9
      Estonia 8.8 5.3 4.9 4.0 11.1 15.5
      Hungary 6.8 7.4 7.3 7.6 9.2 11.0
      Latvia 9.1 7.6 6.4 6.1 16.1 22.3
      Lithuania 9.2 6.4 4.6 4.3 15.1 15.8
      Malta 7.2 8.1 6.6 5.8 6.7 6.9
      Poland 18.0 16.8 10.3 7.4 7.7 9.1
      Romania 6.6 6.2 5.8 7.6
      Slovakia 16.7 15.7 11.3 9.9 10.5 14.1
      Slovenia 6.4 6.2 5.2 4.5 5.0 6.2
      European Union 8.9 8.4 7.3 6.7 8.3 9.6
      United States 5.1 4.7 4.4 5.1 8.5 9.7
      Japan 4.5 4.1 4.0 3.9 4.4

      Andrew Coates

      October 11, 2010 at 9:50 am

      • Much of these figures are pretty much nonsense are we to believe that Bulgaria and Romania have unemployment figures similar to the UK? No chance there just rigging official figures to try to get further assesion to the EU, Its a Joke if these figures are real we should be seeing French Gitanes being deported from Sofia not the other way round. I admit that national figures for unemployment arn’t the same as for national minorities within a country. To be added to these figures it must be noted that many of these countries allow there unemployed out of their country to work elsewhere in the EU unlike the UK who even cklasses attending a job interview abroad as unavailable for work.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 11, 2010 at 10:53 am

      • Absolutely, the point is though that the statistics about workless households are rubbish as well.

        They do’t even begin to cover things like the different ways single-parents are treated.

        Workless households in the UK where in other countries a single-parent will probably go back to the family home, and still be out-of-work.

        Or in many places the long-term sick – Incapacity Benefit – would not be counted as workless in the first place.

        I think in Bulgaria and Romania it’s the case that many unemployed will not be registered (won’t get benefit) and so don’t turn up in the statistics.

        The Mail’s original story is based on a study which set out to prove what they already wanted to say.

        Andrew Coates

        October 11, 2010 at 11:03 am

      • You’re dead right,In Lowestoft there arn’t any jobs but its not like there never were in its history it was ounce an economic/industrial boom town so has a big anount of cheap housing/buildings going idle they as nobody for generations has been able to afford to live in buildings that size here anymore, they end up being converted into bail hostels,shelterd housing as well as being bourght up by London housing associations becouse it is so ridiculously cheap in comparison so single mothers are mooved out here in an entire building. So this like you say skews our admittedly already terrible figures for workless households…..can you imagine it the other way round? a Lowestoft Housing assosiation being able to buy up huge houses in Kensington and Chelsea to move our people into? Poor areas get poorer and rich areas get richer.

        I am amazed at the Latvian Figures being so high, I new it was in meltdown but large amounts of Latvians gave up with the idea of ever getting a job in Latvia to the extent that Gt Yarmouth Polica had to learn Latvian as so many Latvians there bearing in mind Latvia doesn’t have a huge population, but it does havethe worst hard drug problem in the whole of the former Soviet Block which might be the reason for the figures.

        To make matters worse there Latvians ethnic Russians don’t class as Latvian citizens and face total discrimination so I doubt if they can get jobs or dole to show up in the figures instead they remain stateless which is one hell of a problem on this scale.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        October 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm

  20. the uk languishes in an abyss of failure decades of dumping people onto the scrapheap has brought great shame,the policies of poor job opportunities/non existent investment/training and a squandered workforce left to rot have left the many without hope or escape,the truth is there is no work.there is no training no investment,this is besides the collapse that has brought the taxpayer impossible burdens to manage and is continually having day to day effects’.
    the conservative government of the eighties made the bed the population and particularly the impoverished is now lying in it.


    October 11, 2010 at 10:09 am

  21. It’s the brosche-keltischeswastika

    A4e ARE Nazis - Proof

    October 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

  22. […] here to see the original: Poor To Be Cleansed From London « Ipswich Unemployed Action. Related Posts:Journalists in glass houses target Ed Miliband | Ian Jack … At some point after […]

  23. Besides the Highland Clearances there are many other historical precedents that we can draw on:

    The displacement of Native American Indians to areas such as boggy marshland which were unable to provide means of sustenance.

    Stalin and the starvation of the Ukraine.

    The marshalling of “undesirables” into ghettos by the Nazis prior to rounding up for extermination.


    October 13, 2010 at 10:22 am

  24. Spending Review 2010: Higher rents and no council house for life
    Council house tenants face having to pay more for their homes under plans to be set out as part of the Coalition’s spending review.

    In what is being described as the biggest shake-up in housing policy since the Second World War, a host of other policies designed to ensure more people receive housing on the basis of need will be unveiled.

    But the most controversial is the plan to end the current situation that means tenants effectively have a “council house for life” if they reach the top of the waiting list, even if their personal situation changes and they can afford to buy privately.

    In an attempt to end the era of heavily subsidised rents, the Coalition’s new system will lead to tenants paying as much as 80 or 90 per cent of the market rate.

    “This is still about there being affordable rent, but it needs to be more realistic. At the moment, if you get a council house you are really winning the jackpot,” said a source.

    “In terms of the rent you pay it is very, very heavily subsidised. You may pay only a third or a half of the market rate.”

    The move was driven by the need to cut the budget for social housing from £6 billion to possibly as little as £2 billion and is certain to ignite a damaging row between Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat partners.

    Mr Osborne will effectively end the system under which anyone who is awarded an indefinite “secure tenancy” is able to keep the house for life. Currently, if the tenant passes a 12-month trial, they are awarded the tenancy.

    The changes will enable ministers to get more people off the council housing waiting list.

    They say the current system is no longer viable because it does little to address the problem of the five million people – almost two million families – on waiting lists.

    Labour spent billions on social housing but the number of those waiting for council homes has almost doubled.

    Another area to be tackled is where the elderly can carry on living alone in large houses, while families wait for suitable housing to become available.

    David Cameron has already made it clear he wants a fairer system in place. He said the situation should be about “need” and not simply being given a council house “forever”.

    He said five or 10-year agreements could be the answer, after which time the tenant may have a better-paid job and not need the house.

    His comments were criticised by Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader.

    The new policy will not apply to existing council house tenants. Instead, those waiting for homes will be subject to the new “affordable flexible tenancy”.

    It will be local authorities and housing associations who implement the policy and decide on the length of the tenancies.

    However, Labour is certain to see the announcement as an opportunity to attack the Coalition for “again” failing the most vulnerable.

    Today, Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, will criticise the way the Tenants Services Authority, a quango set up by Labour but recently abolished, was allowed to use £100,000 of taxpayers’ money to lobby MPs.

    A further £90,000 was spent “developing” the authority’s “brand”.

    “Some of this stuff has left me stunned,” he said yesterday.

    “The quango that was supposed to be the champion of ordinary social tenants has paid consultants tens of thousands of pounds to muse on its public image, yet was so elusive and distant that most tenants didn’t even know it existed.”


    The Torygraph

    October 20, 2010 at 12:54 am

  25. Councils plan for exodus of poor families from London

    • Benefit cuts force officials to book up B&B accommodation
    • More than 200,000 may leave capital in ‘social cleansing’

    ‘It is tantamount to cleansing the poor out of rich areas – a brutal and shocking piece of social engineering.’

    Ministers were accused last night of deliberately driving poor people out of wealthy inner cities as London councils revealed they were preparing a mass exodus of low-income families from the capital because of coalition benefit cuts.

    Representatives of London boroughs told a meeting of MPs last week that councils have already block-booked bed and breakfasts and other private accommodation outside the capital – from Hastings, on the south coast, to Reading to the west and Luton to the north – to house those who will be priced out of the London market.

    Councils in the capital are warning that 82,000 families – more than 200,000 people – face losing their homes because private landlords, enjoying a healthy rental market buoyed by young professionals who cannot afford to buy, will not cut their rents to the level of caps imposed by ministers.

    The controversy follows comment last week by Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, who said the unemployed should “get on the bus” and look for work. Another unnamed minister said the benefit changes would usher in a phenomenon similar to the Highland Clearances in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when landlords evicted thousands of tenants from their homes in the north of Scotland.

    In a sign that housing benefit cuts are fast becoming the most sensitive political issue for the coalition, Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP for Dagenham, last night accused the government of deliberate social engineering.

    “It is an exercise in social and economic cleansing,” he said, claiming that families would be thrown into turmoil, with children having to move school and those in work having to travel long distances to their jobs. “It is tantamount to cleansing the poor out of rich areas – a brutal and shocking piece of social engineering,” Cruddas added.

    The National Housing Federation’s chief executive, David Orr, described the housing benefit cuts as “truly shocking”. He said: “Unless ministers urgently reconsider these punitive cuts, we could see more people sleeping rough than at any stage during the last 30 years.”

    The issue is fuelling tension inside the coalition. Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat deputy leader, said last night he would table amendments to change housing benefit rules. He said: “I would fully expect to be one of those putting forward proposals for changes in the housing benefit rules, particularly for London.”

    Under a clampdown on housing benefit, the chancellor, George Osborne, announced that housing benefit will be capped from April next year at £400 a week for a four-bedroom house, £340 for a three-bedroom property, £290 for two bedrooms and £250 for a one-bedroom property. In addition, from October 2011 payments will be capped at 30% of average local rents.

    At a meeting of the Commons work and pensions select committee last Wednesday, the day Osborne announced £81bn of cuts in the spending review, MPs were told by London council chiefs that the housing benefit cuts could have devastating results.

    Nigel Minto, head of sustainable communities at London Councils, who works closely with the capital’s housing directors, told the committee that since June London councils had been “procuring bed and breakfast accommodation” in outer London and beyond. The committee was told similar problems would occur in other cities with high-priced property such as Brighton and Oxford.

    Jeremy Swain, chief executive of the homelessness charity Thames Reach, said he was particularly worried about the impact on numbers sleeping rough in London. “We have reduced rough sleeping dramatically and we have a target of zero rough sleeping in London by 2012. For the first time I’m thinking that we will not achieve that,” he said.

    Karen Buck, shadow minister for work and pensions, said: “The sheer scale and extremity of the coalition proposals means almost a million households are affected across the country.”

    In today’s Observer, Labour leader Ed Miliband says last week’s spending review took Britain back to the 80s. “This was the week that took the compassion out of David Cameron’s claim to compassionate Conservatism,” he writes, accusing the Tories of displaying “arrogant ideological swagger”.

    But last night Cameron insisted the cuts were tough but fair. “Departments have to make savings. I don’t underestimate how difficult this will be. But we are doing what we are doing because it is the right thing to do – right by our economy, right for our country.”

    A DWP spokesperson said: “The current way that it [housing benefit] is administered is unfair. It’s not right that some families on benefits have been able to live in homes that most working families could not afford. However, we are absolutely committed to supporting the most vulnerable families and have tripled our discretionary housing payments to provide a safety net for those who need it.”


    The Guardian

    October 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

    • Does IBS expect workers to commute from Hastings to London – seriously!

      A rail season ticket is due to rise from £4,608 for 2010 to £5,192 for 2011! How on earth can a worker be expected to pay £100 a week for travel on minimum wage!


      Dr Beeching

      December 31, 2010 at 12:17 pm

      • Tough.

        1) Refuse to take it and lose your benefits for 3 years, or

        2) Take it, end your employment early because you cannot afford getting to work, and be unemployed without the ability to claim benefits for 3 years

        Its your choice… although, I must add, it really isn’t a choice at all.

        You really do have to discover a budget to each job you apply for. You really must discover if you are better off working than on JSA – both financially and mentally.

        Sometimes you have to avoid applying for a job regardless of the potential of securing it, if you are aware you might have hardship. If you get a job offer but decline it, lets hope JCP don’t find out, instant ban of 6 months benefit on a sliding scale.

        Work Programme

        December 31, 2010 at 12:42 pm

  26. Benefits cut, rents up: this is Britain’s housing time bomb

    At last the Tories have a final solution for the poor – send them to distant dumping grounds where there are no jobs

    Do they know what they are doing? Are they incompetent bunglers or do they mean to clear low earners out of the country’s prosperous districts? As some residents since time immemorial are driven away – with maybe a few picturesque pearly kings and queens among them – this will become a cut that brands this government. Perhaps they think nobody will notice the new ranks of rough sleepers. Or that housing benefit is too fiendishly complicated to understand. Few Conservative voters claim it, and the removals will be an invisible migration, not a mass exodus in special coaches. However, these cuts are so extreme and random as to who will be evicted that the political noise will rise to ear-splitting decibels.

    Follow these numbers carefully and see how they multiply upon one another. This month people who lost their job have had their help with mortgage interest payments cut in half. Expect more arrears and repossessions. Next year housing association and council rents will rise from their present heavily subsidised rents to 80% of the market rent for new tenants – about £100 more a week. New social housing will no longer be available to the poorest, but only to those who can pay high rents.

    People in private rented accommodation will see their benefits capped from April. From October only rents below the 30th percentile for the area will be eligible. The Department for Work and Pensions says families will pay an average £22 more a week, but evidence suggests in many places it will be far more. But that’s only part of it. In a radical change to benefit philosophy, anyone out of work for more than a year will lose another 10% from their housing benefit. This is a departure into the realms of US welfarism, influenced by the architects of American time-limited welfare who have been visiting David Cameron. Conditionality now gives way to punishment, shadow DWP secretary Douglas Alexander points out, regardless of how hard someone tries to find work that isn’t there. This arbitrary cut is the first step to an entirely new policy.

    But that’s not all. The sum paid towards the rent will fall every year, in perpetuity: it will no longer rise as average local rents rise but will be pegged to the consumer price index. If that had happened in the last decade most people would have been priced out: rents rose by 70%, but the CPI only rose 20%.

    Now add in something more sinister. Council tax benefit, worth an average £16 a week, is to be cut by 10% and then handed over to each local authority to decide how much benefit to offer: if some councils want to push poor people out, they can pay virtually nothing to their residents. But hey, that’s localism. Add up the cumulative effects and there is the biggest welfare cut ever attempted: even Margaret Thatcher was careful never to take benefits away from existing claimants. New claimants don’t know what they are missing, but old claimants – especially pensioners – make very nasty headlines indeed.

    Ministers know what will happen, since the housing minister has set aside £10m to £12m for “transition costs” – the cost of removing families and their belongings from London boroughs to places like Hastings, or Shoeburyness. London councils told the work and pensions committee that they are already block-booking bed and breakfast and cheap properties in far away places.

    London will be hardest hit, but low earners in salubrious parts of the south-west, Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester and anywhere prosperous will also see rent rises that force removals. Those in new jobs will only be able to find homes in districts that are cheap because there is no work. Children will be taken out of their schools, however close to exams they may be. Who will do the cleaning, caring and catering in expensive places once low earners are cleared away?

    Karen Buck, DWP shadow minister and MP for the poorer part of Westminster, will see many depart. The borough has 5,300 households living in private rented flats who draw housing benefit, with 6,000 children in Westminster schools. All will face huge rent rises, most will move. How will Iain Duncan Smith explain that his reforms are meant to make work pay when he is forcing people to move to cheap ghettos where there is least work? In his London constituency of Redbridge, 5,110 households in private rentals will lose heavily, 290 of them pensioners: that’s the number in just one borough. A family in a Chingford two-bedroom flat will lose £624 a year. Add in another barrier – anyone wanting to work will lose 65p in housing benefit for every pound they earn.

    What would Duncan Smith say to the caretaker Buck met? He lives in Brent, one of the third of housing benefit claimants who are in work, and he earns £12,000. But he will lose £80 a week, so he can’t afford to stay. He will look for somewhere cheaper, and distant. That means losing his job with its 7am start: Duncan Smith and his “get on your bus” will not get him there in time. Another problem – will this caretaker qualify for jobseeker’s allowance, or will the jobcentre say he made himself intentionally unemployed? And has he made himself “intentionally homeless” when he throws his family on the mercy of the council to be rehoused?

    The great house price bubble helped cause the crash: US sub-prime loans to the poorest lit the fuse. Labour failed to build enough private or social housing while waiting lists grew. House prices doubled in the golden decade but that unearned windfall for the lucky generation went untaxed. Meanwhile housing benefit claims soared as lack of cheap council housing saw councils put people into expensive private housing instead. The crash meant new claimants among the unemployed and those whose hours and pay were cut. Councils put people into private rentals for lack of cheaper social housing, and of course the number of households is growing as people live longer. The shortage will get much worse with the housing budget halved.

    Rent was always the glitch in the benefit system, and Beveridge never found a logical answer. Well, here at last is a final solution he never considered: put all poor people in distant dumping grounds where nobody wants to live because there is no work, then call them workless scroungers, lacking in aspiration for the children they have taken out of class to throw together in schools where nobody’s parents work. Might we hear a little less sophistry about fairness from David Cameron and Nick Clegg?


    The Guardian

    October 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

  27. Cathy Come Home

    The play tells the story of a young couple, Cathy (played by Carol White) and Reg (Ray Brooks). Initially their relationship flourishes and they have a child and move into a modern home. When Reg is injured and loses his well-paid job, they are evicted by bailiffs, and they face a life of poverty and unemployment, illegally squatting in empty houses and staying in shelters. Finally, Cathy has her children taken away by social services.

    Ken Loach

    October 26, 2010 at 6:22 pm

  28. Ken Loach

    October 26, 2010 at 6:22 pm

  29. Cathy Come Home

    The play tells the story of a young couple, Cathy (played by Carol White) and Reg (Ray Brooks). Initially their relationship flourishes and they have a child and move into a modern home. When Reg is injured and loses his well-paid job, they are evicted by bailiffs, and they face a life of poverty and unemployment, illegally squatting in empty houses and staying in shelters. Finally, Cathy has her children taken away by social services.


    Ken Loach

    October 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm

  30. you can really learn a lot from health clubs specially if there are doctors who are also members on the health club -,”

    Wallace Chartraw

    November 17, 2010 at 3:08 am

  31. tattoo dragon,


    July 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm

  32. and again going back to the 90′s most videos were choppy and random like that cuz editiing boards, doubt any of you ever used one, are pieces of shit and adding random nonsense was the only way to keep things interesting while working

    Vernice Stella

    October 3, 2011 at 4:50 am

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