Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Trussell Trust Christians Feed the Poor. Bless.

with 24 comments

Hat-tip to Kate,

The Trussell Trust are coming to the aid of us them there poor folks.

Looking at the list of food they will give you (from here)

Milk (UHT or powdered)
Sugar (500g)
Fruit juice (carton)
Pasta sauces
Sponge pudding (tinned)
Tomatoes (tinned)
Rice pudding (tinned)
Tea Bags/instant coffee
Instant mash potato
Tinned meat/fish
Tinned fruit
Biscuits or snack bars.

Bless you kind ladies and sirs.

We ‘umble folk likes our sponge pudding.


Written by Andrew Coates

January 13, 2011 at 10:54 am

24 Responses

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  1. Maybe we are wrong to assume.

    This is the full extensive list. I am sure this will be rationed to a few items on a first come first served basis.

    As you can see for each line there are multiple selection (i.e. tea/coffee, meat/fish, biscuits/snack bars)

    It could be an anonymous hamper system where you are allocated one regardless if you can eat it or not.

    Work Programme

    January 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  2. Today we look at inflation in Russia and how it’s affecting the minimum consumer basket. What food items have gotten the most expensive and how do Russians adapt to increasing inflation rates in the country?


    The Voice of Russia

    January 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm

  3. Does compulsory work experience cut long-term unemployment?

    The UK government wants to force the unemployed into work experience or stop their benefits – a system already used in Australia

    Carolyn Hall had been unemployed for almost 15 years when she began a Work for the Dole (WfD) placement at a primary school in Tenterfield in New South Wales, Australia. “I wanted to work in a school and I saw Work for the Dole as a really positive opportunity to get back into the workforce. I was sick of not having a job,” she says.

    As well as working at the school as a teacher’s aide, the mother of three began studying for a recognised teacher’s aide qualification. At the end of her six-month placement, back in 2005, the school offered Hall a job, and she has now been employed there for five years.

    For Hall, then, Australia’s controversial WfD programme was a resounding success. Stories like hers are perhaps behind the British government’s desire to introduce a similar system here. The forthcoming welfare reform bill will include a new Mandatory Work Activity scheme, which will allow Jobcentre Plus advisers to refer jobseekers to unpaid community-based placements, which will last one month and involve working for 30 hours a week. Jobseekers who refuse to take part face having their benefits cut for 13 weeks.

    WfD was introduced in Australia in 1997 by John Howard’s government, the idea being that those supported by the state would give something back to taxpayers and work towards improving their employability.

    Initially, the scheme was compulsory for those aged between 18 and 24 who had been unemployed for over six months. Participants received extra fortnightly payments of $20.80 (£13.30) to help with transport costs, and were eligible for training credits at the end of the project. Over the next decade, the government gradually widened the scheme to include more unemployed people and the upper age limit for compulsory participation was increased to 49.

    Those who were referred to WfD placements but failed to show up risked having their benefits cut for eight weeks. An implicit aim was to push people who were not motivated to find employment to do so by threatening them with having to work for free or losing their benefits. Those who successfully completed a placement but failed to find work afterwards could also find themselves back on another WfD project after a six-month break.

    By 2007, according to a report by the Australian National Audit Office, more than 560,000 people had taken part in over 33,000 WfD activities. When the scheme started, Australia’s unemployment rate stood at 8.7%. Today, it is just 5.2%.

    But it is not clear how much of this improvement can be directly linked to WfD. At its introduction, the scheme was criticised by opposing political parties and many community organisations, who argued that it was a punitive measure that did not even attempt to increase employment prospects. “We didn’t have a problem with compulsion, but the government has an obligation to offer assistance that is actually helpful and not just put people through meaningless programmes. That was always our objection,” says Peter Davidson, senior policy officer at the Australian Council of Social Services.

    Jobseekers who ended up on the scheme tended to find themselves working on group projects that benefited local communities, such as restoring railways or maintaining parks and beaches. While most of the studies into the scheme, and even the community groups that opposed it, agreed that the threat of participation had a clear effect in inspiring people to increase their job search efforts, some employer services providers, which operate a similar service to Jobcentre Plus, said the programme had the opposite effect. They complained that they often lost contact with jobseekers and that many stopped looking for a job while they were on placements.

    Davidson argues that a wage subsidy scheme, in which jobseekers take up a job but the government continues to pay their benefits, meaning employers only make up the difference between benefits and the minimum wage, would have been of more use. He says these allow the unskilled to gain more useful work experience than unpaid work. “There is a significant cost involved with the [WfD] programmes which is actually little different to referring people to a wage subsidy scheme that provides them with a real job that pays them proper wages,” he says.

    “What the unemployed need to get is a foot in the door and some mainstream experience. Employers aren’t taking them on because they look at their résumé and see there is a two- or three-year gap, and the fact that part of that is filled with a community work scheme doesn’t help.”

    Even a report commissioned by the Australian government on the pilot scheme found evidence that WfD created perverse incentives. The 2003 study, undertaken by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, found that those who took part in WfD projects were 11% less likely to have left benefits after 12 months than those who had not taken part.

    But Ann Nevile, senior lecturer in social policy at the Australian National University, published independent research in 2003 that concluded around 10% of participants got a job as a result of the scheme who would not otherwise have done so. “Ten per cent doesn’t sound all that good, but in international terms – especially for young people – it is amazingly good,” she says.

    Louisa Pennell, a 33-year-old teacher from Melbourne, is among those for whom WfD provided useful work experience. She was referred to the scheme in 2000 while studying part-time and receiving unemployment benefits. “I had to do it but I did get a choice about the type of work I wanted to do. I chose admin work at a childcare centre in the Vietnamese community in Richmond, Melbourne. I found it a reasonable experience and was able to use the director as a work reference, which was good.”

    Nevile’s research found that the programme was less suitable for older people. “It gave people real work experience, particularly young people who might never have had a job before. That was less useful for the older people who perhaps had 20 years of experience behind them and then became unemployed,” she says.

    Gaining knowledge

    Nevile says that WfD was most successful for participants when they felt they were gaining knowledge. “There were some projects where people were not learning anything, such as cleaning up a gravesite. So they weren’t happy, they weren’t learning anything and couldn’t see that this was a pathway [to meaningful jobs]. Then there were projects working in community radio or construction, where people could see that it was moving them forward.”

    The scheme has changed significantly since the Australian Labor government returned to power in 2007. WfD no longer exists as a standalone programme, and jobseekers do not have to take part until they have been receiving benefits for 12 months. At that point, they are also provided with a range of alternatives, such as part-time work or training. Anecdotal evidence suggests employment services providers are increasingly encouraging clients to choose one of these other options, in part owing to budget cuts and in part because many favour the training options now allowed by the government’s more flexible approach.

    Martin Keil, a special employment programmes manager at MTC Work Services, a not-for-profit organisation contracted by the Australian government to provide services to the unemployed, says if the UK government is thinking about introducing a compulsory work element, it needs to ensure that there is something in it for jobseekers. “You have to build stuff in to make it of value to the person doing it,” he says. “If they were sweeping the streets they’d have to get some kind of maintenance qualification or be working for the council with some kind of possibility of employment. If they are just sweeping the streets without any chance of anything in it for them, it’s unlikely to help.”

    So far, this does not seem to be the case, says Stephen Overell, associate director at UK employment thinktank the Work Foundation. “There is minimal evidence that it offers the skills or experiences that employers value. For these reasons it is doubtful that it actually helps people find work. Obviously, it is of least value when unemployment is quite high and when labour markets are weak, which is the situation we are in right now,” he says.

    The type of placements will also be problematic. “The scheme proposed for the UK lasts only a month and will be the kind of routine activities undertaken by those serving community sentences,” says Paul Gregg, professor of economics at Bristol University’s centre for market and public organisation. “It will have very little anticipatory threat effect to encourage job seeking; participants are likely to reduce efforts to find a job, because they are working 30 hours a week for the month; and placements will not offer useful skills. As such, the scheme’s effects will be effectively zero for jobseekers, though some litter will get picked up.”

    Citizens Advice is worried the scheme will be too draconian. Katie Lane, welfare benefit policy officer at the charity, says that an element of the coalition’s proposal “makes the scheme sound like punishment, even though claimants [of benefits] have not been found guilty of anything other than being unable to find work.” She is particularly concerned about people with disabilities or health problems, who may find it difficult to comply with the terms of the scheme and risk significant financial hardship.

    “A 13-week sanction for the first instance of non-compliance and 26 weeks for the second ‘transgression’ is very punitive,” she says.

    Positive help

    Others feel there will be insufficient motive for those running the scheme to find participants permanent work. “The impact of the Australian Work for the Dole programme was limited because providers were given no resources or incentive to help participants get jobs. It is likely that the compulsory work experience programme to be introduced by the [UK] coalition will be no better than these make-work schemes unless the programme is focused on getting people into employment,” says Dan Finn, professor of social inclusion at the University of Portsmouth.

    There is no doubt the introduction of a compulsory work scheme in Britain is likely to be contentious, as it was in Australia, but Keil says, over time, attitudes change. “When it was new 10 years ago, people were pretty reluctant and it was difficult on the frontline. Now people know from day one it is on the horizon and there is a level of acceptance around it.”


    In response to your comment that unemployed british people do not want to work jobs they consider beneath them.

    Has it occurred to you that maybe said brits cannot live on the sort of wages paid to immigrants? Or the fact that maybe employers would rather have immigrants working for them as its somewhat cheaper than paying the minimum wage?

    The fact these immigrants can manage 2 or 3 jobs should give you a clue as to the realities of the jobs market, but you would rather generalise that all unemployed brits are workshy, and expect to be given £65 a week jsa.

    I have worked from being 15 ( now 50) I have juggled 3 part time jobs whilst bringing up 2 children alone. Why? Because i would rather pay my own rent/council tax ect.. And like many people in my situation paid Tax and NI contributions.

    Now I am reduced to having to sit and listen to some snotty nosed kid at my local A4E tell me I have to go on a mandatory 4 week training 20 miles from my home, doing god knows what and the £22 weekly travel expenses will have to come out of my jsa.

    And should I refuse then I will be sanctioned. There is no room for compromise, no willing to hear your point of view, theres is only the Borg like mantra of resistance is futile.”


    The Guardian

    January 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    • I love how workfare is “justified” by extreme examples of unemployment.

      I fully realise how difficult it is being unemployed and getting a job, but seriously, I personally think there is a moral duty of signing off after 5 years non-stop claim of unemployment benefit i.e. 5 years from your last job.

      Work Programme

      January 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    • The comment also quoted is spot on.

      I have personally analysed the Labour Market System and there are so many part time jobs, and those part time jobs are unsustainable with silly hours.

      OK, 18 hours a week is nice… but 18 hours with say 3 employers consisting of 8, 6 and 4 hours a week each – that is luckily not to clash… is shit. The transport costs alone is enough to wipe out your money.

      Work Programme

      January 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    • “I personally think there is a moral duty of signing off after 5 years non-stop claim of unemployment benefit i.e. 5 years from your last job.” – you being serious, Work Programme or have you been tokin the reefer? What you gonna do personally if you are still claiming at the end of the next fortnight? 🙂

      Alice in Wonderland

      January 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      • Answer: Keep applying for jobs. I have just over 4 years left until I reach 5 years. Hoping to sign off by 2 weeks time!

        Work Programme

        January 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      • lol Work Programme, do you think that there are more people deserving of lecturing to about “moral duty”, for instance Emma Harrison, expense-fiddling MPs, bankers. And are we seriously meant to believe that if you are in the unfortunate circumstance of still being a “welfare recipient” in 5 years times that you will just do your “moral duty” and go and die in the gutter – I don’t think so! And for someone as learned as yourself I am sure that you have heard of “cognitive dissonance” whereby by you can hold to opposing views at the same time. In your case your want to be treated fairly and humanely (while you are unemployed and (only until such time as you are no longer unemployed)) but at the same time harbour the most draconian attitude towards the self same unemployed. I really, really hope that you are never in charge of welfare policy for the Government. I would really hate to be unemployed under a Work Programme Government. And personally I couldn’t care less how long someone is unemployed for – I can quite happy to continue to pay you your £65 a week taxpayer’s money for a long as you feel a need.


        January 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      • Is this the same “Work Programme” by any chance?

        “Social Security Appeal Tribunal: No money!
        Where the fuck is my money?!”


        January 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm

      • Yes, I had signed off last year to undertake a temporary job which exceed 16 hours therefore resetting the 5 year “non-stop” claim.

        Well, I was talking about the past – with the ConDem changes the 5 year “moral duty” is likely to be easier reached. By then most people would have received a 3 year sanction.

        I am glad you like my views.

        Work Programme

        January 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      • I personally think that the unemployed should be shot after 5 minutes.

        Andrew Coates

        January 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    • As someone who has been on more pointless mandatory work placements over the past 3 years then I care to remember, the mock outrage from the media over the introduction of this ‘new’ scheme seems a bit bizarre to me.

      Average Joe

      January 14, 2011 at 10:06 am

      • Something to do with the coalition Government. The Conservatives, and the once highly respected overnight Lib Dem leader who U-turned on everything…

        Although Labour got really bad including the FND delegated sanctions and the planned Work for Your Benefit scheme there was no uproar as Labour likes to do thing gradually, the Conservatives don’t…

        Besides the middle-class and upper class labour politicians are stereotyped to help the working classes, we all know the Conservatives are looking out for the middle classes and higher.

        Work Programme

        January 14, 2011 at 11:23 am

      • Joe, And did they lead anywhere?

        The last one did, Spring last year, was at a local Mental Hospital.

        My sister reckons it might be good training for a future stay of residence.

        Andrew Coates

        January 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm

  4. […] Work Programme I am disgusted at the proposed regime of the Conservative Government. This however, is far worse for these disabled people, and if any genuine disabled person who survives all these cuts, he or she and all others should be […]

  5. “Joe, And did they lead anywhere?”

    I worked at the local library once and they had a job come up there just before my placement was due to finish.

    I put in for it for it, but apparently I didn’t have the right qualifications even though it was exactly the same job that I had been successfully doing for free for two months. 🙂

    Average Joe

    January 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    • Yeah, not surprised, very rare to get a job out of it. The placements are there for a reason – not a work trial.

      Work Programme

      January 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      • I think they are a scandal in themselves.

        I do not know a single person (and believe me I know a hell of a lot of people in Ipswich and elsewhere) who’s got a job out them,

        Andrew Coates

        January 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      • I can second that.

        I will shortly be doing a new post about the planned actions for 24th Jan 2011.

        Work Programme

        January 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm

  6. the shaw trust are pushing 16 hours as the way to go saying it triggers other things.

    the figures dont add up and basically i couldn’t afford to live.

    they are saying “enjoy the freedom a job brings” but all i can envisage is more illness with worry how to manage resulting in doctors appointments’.

    they are not interested in 15.5 hours as its not enough to get you out the door.

    this is very unfair.and most will have to live off these handouts if they lose their benefits.

    what happened to make work pay?.

    sustainable employment?.

    recession to recovery?.

    not from where i am,this does not seem to be happening.


    January 22, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    • “enjoy the freedom a job brings” – you sure you heard that right, Ken? lol

      Arbeit Macht Free

      January 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    • Ken, working 16 hours a week (for low pay) is not the way to go. It’s the worst of both worlds – you’d tied to a job and struggling financially. Don’t do it!


      January 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

  7. well if you half the wage, doubling the hours isn’t going to help!

    But it isn’t that linear, the weekly income be the same but transport is more etc.

    Work Programme

    January 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm

  8. its worse then that at minimum wage

    council tax relief drops off rapidly

    loss of free prescriptions many use these.

    loss of free dental treatment

    loss of fuel relief (not that its great).

    they have pushing this for a while as without doubt because of the wages these are very hard to fill but growing in “vacancy” numbers’.

    it could equally be the attitude well their not going to find anyone else.

    these shaw trust courses run for six month and the usual voluntary work is mentioned,someone is in effect handed over.they are not keen on people on medicines however given the treatment its not surprising many have been prescribed these at the gp’s.depression is very common with hard core unemployment and a government selling unworkable solutions isn’t helping when its plain for all to see.if things are on the up why the red cross parcels in all but name.a uk first.


    January 23, 2011 at 3:38 pm

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