Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Deeper Cuts, then Housing Benefit Cuts Delayed: Government Goes Gaga.

with 5 comments

Are these two reports signs of a government going gaga?


Around 100,000 public sector workers could see their jobs saved following the Treasury’s shift away from Whitehall spending reductions to deeper cuts in welfare payments, the government’s new spending watchdog is expected to reveal tomorrow.



The government is expected to make a vital concession in its cuts to housing benefit this week by delaying the cuts for existing private sector claimants.

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith will lay out secondary legislation for a number of the cuts announced in the emergency Budget and comprehensive spending review this week, but is expected to delay caps to the amount of  local housing allowance existing claimants can receive until January 2012.


Now you either have deeper cuts, or you don’t. If you delay Housing Benefit cuts – to let us worry long and nice – then you don’t save money.

Just thought we’d point this out.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 29, 2010 at 9:55 am

5 Responses

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  1. Do NOT relax…

    Nick Clegg is trying to pass the Fixed-Term Parliaments Bill 2010-11 which means we will be doomed to 2015!

    This revokes and changes laws up to over 300 years old!

    If this receives Royal Assent, The Queen will lose the power to dissolve Parliament resulting in fixed 5 year elections (variable by 2 months, but not for the first 2015 one which will be written into the Act if passed).

    This means even the PM couldn’t ask The Queen to dissolve Parliament on his request.

    This Bill will ensure David Cameron’s, George Osborne’s and Nick Clegg’s job security. The only way for Parliament to be dissolved is for the ConDem MPs to launch votes of no confidence along with Labour. This is unlikely to happen.

    So, do not think you have time to rest for the cuts… the majority are delayed until after this Bill (which isn’t widely known about) is made law (or so they assume it will be).

    I am not waiting just under 5 years to make a change of Government, watching them destroy our communities, we need to take action!

    Work Programme

    November 29, 2010 at 10:21 am

  2. […] Work Programme & Flexible New Deal: Ipswich Unemployed Action Deeper Cuts, then Housing Benefit Cuts Delayed: Government Goes Gaga. […]

  3. Help the unemployed: abolish the minimum wage

    It’s not often that I have quite unreserved praise for a government policy, but Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms are a rarity. Graduating welfare payments to ease people on benefits into work, withdrawing them from people who turn down jobs and simplifying the system are all good measures which will reap dividends in the years to come.

    It is regrettable that the government has decided to increase the Department of Work and Pensions’ budget to pay for these measures, when the money could have come from the already-bloated welfare budget, but this is a relatively minor point. The reforms are timely and much-needed, and have been implemented almost exactly as conceived.

    The government can go further to help the unemployed, however. As Eamonn Butler argued last night on Jeff Randall Live, the minimum wage should be abolished immediately to allow the private sector to create jobs for the currently-unemployed. Currently, this prices the unskilled and inexperienced out of the market – if their labour is worth less than the minimum wage of £5.93/hour, no employer can hire them without losing money.

    This doesn’t affect most workers, whose experience makes them more valuable than this, but it creates an artificial barrier to entry for the long-term unemployed who lack these skills. All economics students learn that a price floor will create an oversupply because supply exceeds demand. The same goes for the price of labour – supply of labour will exceed demand (ie, jobs), creating unemployment.

    As Ludwig von Mises said, “Unemployment in the unhampered market is always voluntary” – in a free market, unemployed people will price themselves down to what they are worth to get a job. If you prevent them from doing this through the minimum wage, you’ll condemn them to involuntary unemployment. Duncan Smith has done a lot to help the unemployed get back into work, but unless he removes the biggest government barrier to employment, all of it might be for nothing.


    Adam Smith Institute

    November 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    • Abolishing the NMW wont help the unemployed. Really. If there is curently disputes whether people can afford to come off benefits now, people being exploited for £2 an hour isn’t going to help them either.

      You are f**king with the figures of how to get more people into jobs. This has never been the fundamental problem. The problem is bringing people out of poverty – whether by welfare benefits or via a job.

      Food, housing and bills are major outgoings not luxuries that can be avoided.

      I like the concept of the “free market”. I am currently unemployed myself, however, I value my efforts (from my skill set) at £10 per hour. How will this help me?

      No, I wont be chosen. The person who under-values themselves at just £3 an hour is likely to get the job. NMW is there for a reason. Capitalism wins under this scenario. You cannot moan at vodafone tax evasion if all big business can pay people as low as £1 an hour whilst paying their tax.

      Work Programme

      November 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm

  4. National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts – An insider perspective on the leftist dead end

    With angry street protests spilling over into riots and occupations across the country, various groups are jostling for position as the self-appointed leadership of the movement. After the NUS made itself irrelevant in the wake of the Millbank Riot, the National Convention Against Fees And Cuts (NCAFC) took pole position.

    Given the state of things at the moment, it might come as a shock to learn that self-styled NUS alternative the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) decided to delay 5 December, which was to be a day of united action for students and workers, to the 11th. Leaving aside the question of what gives them the authority to change the weekend of action– after they’d already assumed cooperation from other groups to begin with– it is always clear that when leftists delay action, what they are actually doing is restraining a movement and attempting to stifle it. This movement has been gaining momentum for weeks, and it seems that the NCAFC is now seeking to control it.

    The NCAFC is a perfect example of what is wrong with leftism and why it can never, ever lead a movement or do anything except destroy it. Leftists, whether they are members of dogmatic parties or not, do not have anyone’s best interests at heart except their own. They are the NUS without the authority. They are liberals with a veneer of revolutionary glamour. In the end, they will always turn back to traditional authority figures, be they Labour or NUS or their own appointed ones. The real movement does not come from above but from the students and other people out on the street.

    I’ve never believed in vanguardism. The idea that the proletariat need bourgeois intellectuals to lead them from ignorance into the revolution is so ridiculously self-aggrandising that only the most deluded bourgeois would-be revolutionaries actually believe it. Unfortunately this viewpoint seems to have taken hold. The NCAFC is finally showing itself for what I refused to believe it was: a venue for Leninists to insinuate their greasy ideology of power and domination into the genuine anger that so many people feel right now, to corrupt a movement of the people and turn it to their own ends. There is nothing revolutionary about this. It is the behaviour, through and through, of politicians and bureaucrats.

    But let us rewind. Let’s go back almost a year, to the inception of this group at the Convention Against Fees and Cuts, which I attended in February of 2009. Let’s go back to the time I spent as a key part of the group– and what made me leave it behind. The story is pretty typical: unfocused student outrage that the UK wants to imitate the debt-ridden and deeply unequal American higher education system. I found an outlet for this outrage in leftist politics, then abandoned leftism when it became clear that leftists are far more interested in jockeying for prominence and recruiting for sectarian parties than in changing the world.

    I can say with no small amount of embarrassment that I was a liberal when I came to university– Sussex University, whose reputation for student activism is a little more radical than it actually deserves. What pushed me further to the left at Sussex (and ultimately the ‘ultraleft’) wasn’t interminable meetings dominated by power-hungry leftists under orders from a home office. It wasn’t the dogmatic Leninist propaganda. It was watching my fellow students beaten and abused by police– brought there by a false hostage situation– for trying to defend their education. Nothing brought home the facts like those batons did, and no proselytising leftist prompted me to action like those snarling police dogs. This is a feeling that I’m sure students all over the UK are newly familiar with, after the brutal policing that took place on the last day of action.

    I linked up with the NCAFC in the hope that I could help build a nationwide movement that wasn’t dominated by petty party front groups like Another Education is Possible or the Education Activist Network. I liked the fact that the NCAFC was composed of independent activists as well as full-time party stooge, and for a while I thought that we could overcome the self-interest of professional revolutionaries to build a real student-led movement.

    I spent months spent trying to coax a lumbering, sluggish machine into action. I helped set up the anticuts.com website, and I puzzled over the apparent tension between Workers Power and AWL. It seems AWL lived in constant fear that WP were going to try to seize control of the NCAFC. I heard from countless people that NCAFC was just a front for AWL, and I denied it. After all, I was an independent activist in the NCAFC, and I certainly didn’t consider myself a part of either group.

    Not that they didn’t try. Over the course of my months with NCAFC, a Workers Power hack did his best to get me to join. I needed the structure of a revolutionary organisation, you see, not having the power on my own to make a difference. I had to be told what to do by a ‘revolutionary’ party instead of thinking for myself. This sort of disempowering, insidious nonsense is exactly why leftists can’t be trusted with the movement, and it’s unfortunate that it took me so long to see it.

    In the months since, I’ve realised that the only reason these so-called revolutionaries were there was to maintain control over the NCAFC and the wider movement. I watched them attend occupations specifically to promote their party agenda and position themselves as would-be gurus. Being the self-appointed vanguard, clearly they were the only ones with the experience and ability to tell students how to feel and what to do.

    My break with the NCAFC came just a few months after I got involved. The group’s national meeting had already been scheduled on the day that the Gaza flotilla demo was called in June of 2009. Despite calls to move the meeting or delay it to later in the day, the meeting went on as scheduled, dealing with a massive backlog of administrative details. At the end of four long hours, with me chairing, Workers Power attempted to force through a motion to call for an academic boycott of Israel. Those familiar with the groups in question will not be surprised that AWL took issue with this motion (as did I and several other independent activists), and there was perhaps 20 minutes of hostile discussion.

    The resulting row was cut short when the group agreed that the end of a four-hour meeting was not the time or place for such a controversial discussion. When I commented that I felt the practicalities of running the group were more important than leftist grandstanding, the aforementioned member of Workers Power told me I needed to ‘get my priorities straight.’ Indeed. I quit NCAFC the next day. I had had my fill of leftist ‘priorities.’ I didn’t bear the NCAFC much ill will; I just thought they were incapable of leading a sing-a-long, much less a movement. I didn’t hold their patronising attitude or bourgeois arrogance against them. Until now.

    Now I find this group of posturing vanguardists thinks they have the right to throttle a movement that’s quickly gaining power. True to form, they’ve backtracked on their calls to action and tried to force the anger we’re all feeling into a neat, leftist-controlled box. Their behaviour reminds me a great deal of another group of bureaucrats feigning interest in student issues for the sake of a little power: the NUS. It’s painfully ironic then that the NCAFC has tried so hard to paint itself as a better alternative to Aaron Porter’s collection of shameless careerist politicians, given NCAFC’s recent attempt to squash the legitimate anger of students and channel it to the group’s own ends.

    The only difference between the NUS and the NCAFC is that the NUS has the veneer of respectable authority, as evidenced by its squeamish attempts to distance itself from the occupation of Tory party HQ– a position that Aaron Porter is now backtracking on. It makes the perfect foil for NCAFC’s posturing as the ‘radical’ wing of the movement. But now the NCAFC have tipped their hand. By trying to rein in student anger and delaying action, they will smother the spark that has been lighting this country up from Brighton to Aberdeen. With this ridiculous decision– made by people I used to consider friends and genuinely concerned activists– they have shown that they are not the radical wing of anything.

    So it is no surprise that a member of the NCAFC tried to argue with me that Aaron Porter of ‘despicable idiots’ fame is now allegedly on-side. He’s apologised, he’s very sorry, so can he please lead the movement again? It is beyond satire that the same people howling at the Lib Dems over their tuition fee lies actually give any credence to Aaron Porter’s turn around. Only leftists could condemn one group of spineless liars and welcome another back into the fold in the same breath.

    I didn’t realise how prophetic it was when I said not to trust leftist politicos– less than 24 hours before the NCAFC attempted to turn a day of action that they co-opted into a day of leftist dogma and rhetoric. The NCAFC will try to sanitise this movement just as the NUS have. They are not to be trusted any more than a political party, because the pillars of the NCAFC are political parties. Experience has taught me that you cannot work with leftists, because they are always working against you. There is always another agenda, there is always a party pulling the strings. If the anti-cuts movement, student and otherwise, is to succeed, we must shake off the attempts of leftists to control us and make us more palatable to their ‘revolutionary’ sensibilities. We do not need them. All we need is our own conviction, our own action, our own power to change the world.



    November 29, 2010 at 11:02 pm

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