Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Poor to Blame for Using Food Banks – Michael Gove.

with 24 comments

The Daily Mail reports,

Families become so poor they are forced to turn to food banks because of their own ‘decisions’, Michael Gove has claimed.

The Education Secretary argued that people who find themselves unable to buy essentials, including food and school uniforms have themselves to blame for being unable ‘to manage their finances’.

Amongst the many comments is this:

Gove was also accused of hypocrisy, as campaigners pointed to his own inability to manage his finances during the expenses scandal.

In 2009, Gove was forced to pay back £7,000 he had claimed to pay for luxury furnishings including a £750 Loire table.

Gove’s chaotic living arrangements also came under attack from another unlikely source. His wife Sarah Vine wrote in her first column for the Daily Mail today that having her husband “hanging around the house all summer” had been a “total nightmare”.

More details (Wikipedia),

Michael Gove claimed £7,000 for furnishing a London property before reportedly ‘flipping’ his designated second home, a property for which he claimed around £13,000 to cover stamp duty. Gove also claimed for a cot mattress, despite children’s items being banned under the Commons rule. Gove said he would repay the claim for the cot mattress, but maintained that his other claims were “below the acceptable threshold costs for furniture” and that moving house was necessary “to effectively discharge my parliamentary duties”. While he was moving between homes, on one occasion he stayed at the Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa following a constituency engagement, charging the taxpayer more than £500 per night’s stay.

Gove’s second home was not in his constituency, but in Elstead, in the South West Surrey constituency. Gove subsequently sold the house and now has no base in or near his constituency.

Somebody who can get £500 paid for a night’s stay in a hotel may not notice this, but food prices have risen enormously.

The cost of basics like pasta, bread and potatoes has gone up faster than people like him imagine.

More widely there is this (28th June):

Living costs have risen 25% in the past five years and placed an “unprecedented” financial burden on the poor, a report has found.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said rising childcare and energy costs, coupled with stagnating wages and benefit cuts, widened the poverty gap.

Benefits have not increased by 25% in the last five years.



Written by Andrew Coates

September 11, 2013 at 9:33 am

24 Responses

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  1. Out of all the vile scum that make up the conservative party Gove is my most hated, such a horrible, vile human being.

    Leon J Williams

    September 11, 2013 at 9:48 am

  2. Gove is by no means alone, “Conservatives have savaged the “loopy Brazilian leftie” UN official who has condemned the government’s so-called bedroom tax for breaching human rights.

    Tory chairman Grant Shapps said he had written to UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon demanding an apology and explanation for “disgraceful” comments by Raquel Rolnik.

    He insisted the UN investigator had not been invited to Britain by ministers, and was biased. “She has clearly come over with an agenda,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

    “It is completely wrong and an abuse of the process for somebody to come over, to fail to meet with government ministers, to fail to meet with the department responsible, to produce a press release two weeks after coming, even though the report is not due out until next spring, and even to fail to refer to the policy properly throughout the report.

    “That is why I am writing to the secretary general today to ask for an apology and an investigation as to how this came about.”


    Andrew Coates

    September 11, 2013 at 11:32 am

    • “Raquel Rolnik is an architect and urban planner with over 30 years experience in planning and urban land management. She is Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. At the 7th session of the Human Rights Council she was appointed second United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing.”


      “Special Rapporteurs often conduct fact-finding missions to countries to investigate allegations of human rights violations. They can only visit countries that have agreed to invite them.”


      “Grant Shapps has a complex history of playing with identity in ways beneficial to his own economic and political goals.”


      Poor. Old. Tired. Horse

      September 11, 2013 at 1:06 pm

  3. I didn’t realise just how wretched this little fop is.

    Won’t make that mistake again.

    ghost whistler

    September 11, 2013 at 11:51 am

  4. Should we really expect anything less from this elitist, Tory arsehole?


    September 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm

  5. They say the poor, the “great unwashed” are always with us. Unfortunately so are the rich. The don’t do as I do what I say. It beggars belief. Anymore than the minimum wage was purely tokenism and has barely moved since 2004. If we committed a fraud like he did we would be nailed to the floor. So no change there then. In defamation cases the truth is the clearest defence


    September 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    • Very true Windmill.

      If we were caught up like that we’d be without benefits, full stop.

      I wonder if he knows things like the price of bread (which has crept up and up).

      Or how pasta seems to have gone up in Sainsbury’s from under 50 pence for a normal size packet to 95 pence.

      Or has spent a while looking around to find the cheapest food on offer.

      Andrew Coates

      September 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    • And let’s not JSA is pegged at a 1% for the next three! (3!) years; it’s not like food and utilities, the bread-and-butter of a jobseeker’s shopping basket and let’s face it JSA is set to barely cover these basic expenses are rising at only 1% a year! A 1% increase in JSA is effectively a REDUCTION!

      Skint Jobseeker

      September 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      • * lets not forget 🙂

        Skint Jobseeker

        September 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

  6. I agree with the above comments. Other parts of society get statutory protection. But it is acceptable apparently to slag off the poor. We are all wasters after all NOT. That reminds me I must go out and get some super strength lager or similar and watch the Jeremy Kyle Show and see our lives reflected back. Because that is how we all live according to the Daily Mail and the Tory Party. The only real inbreds are the Tory party and the Royals. Bless.

    Sorry if I have offended.


    September 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm

  7. its all back to the 1980’s,conservatives unable to walk the streets,norman tebbit types are many,ready to knife working people.the country in turmoil and the laughing stock of the world.

    ian duncan smith being described as disingenuous brings more bad headlines relating to these food banks,its never going to get any better with the hire and fire culture here.few winners at the top and the general population losers’.


    September 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm

  8. sainsburys/learndirect

    dear employer


    did you know that buy hiring a work programme client,your businesses may be entitled to receive a wage incentive from the government through the youth contract?

    what is the new youth contract from the government?

    the youth contract gives you support to create new,sustainable jobs for young people.
    it enables you to bring fresh talent in to your organisation and build your workforces skills base.
    it is a new incentive that offers employers a wage incentive of up to £2.275 for each 18-24 year old from the work programme who is employed with you for at least 26 weeks.

    how the youth contract works

    the employee (aged between 18 and 24 when starting work) will need to be paid national minimum wage.
    £2275 is the full time wage incentive for 30 hours or more per week.
    a part time wage incentive of £1.137.50 is availble for 16-29 hours per week.
    payments are made at the end of the 26-week period, but if you are a small company of less than 50 employees then an early claim can be made after 8 weeks for a payment of £700 (equivalent to an 8 weeks wage incentive).

    the benefits of employing an 18-24 year old

    with fewer university places and the current economic climate,more and more young,bright,articulate and highly motivated people are not in employment, education or training
    these young hopefuls bring fresh perspective, energy and adaptability to growing businesses.
    having relevant training from learn direct means they are job-ready,and we will provide in-work support for up to two years after recruitment.

    how can we help you

    for employers looking to take advantage of the new youth contract, we provide:

    fee free recruitment, provide employers with a large pool of job ready clients
    pre-employment training to prepare clients for the workplace,including specific training for sectors such as hospitality, construction customer service and retail.
    pre-screening management, taking the hassle, time and risk out of recruiting. we also offer our offices to support employers to recruit in bulk if needed.

    in-work support,training and liaison to ensure both employer and employee are happy.
    a point of contact for understanding and accessing the wide range of employer support initiatives available.

    we’ve enclosed all the documentation and guidance notes youll need to enable you to make a claim.

    if you have any questions, please dont hesitate to get in touch.

    casc advisor

    the person this letter is about was sacked last week after his 26 weeks were up stacking shelf’s and a new 1 starts Monday.

    letter was taken from the store managers desk and photo copied 🙂

    super ted

    September 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    • Oh please, oh please super ted, tell me you can get or have a copy of this letter as I must have a scanned photo copy as it would be so damning towards DWP claims.

      Please tell me you have, please, I beg you.


      September 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      • super ted

        September 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      • Thanks super ted but I was really hoping for addresses to be you know what if you catch my drift without mentioning it by word/s. I should have asked so first of all sorry but what did this boy/man get sacked for and did he keep that letter also as I take it that he never did nothing to justify such a thing.

        Ive long suspected this is the practice but until now haven’t had any proof, well not until you posted your above post.
        Oh well it was worth asking and regardless if you know this person say I feel his pain and im sorry those w*nk*rs screwed him over.

        Thanks super ted, much appreciated sir.


        September 13, 2013 at 4:03 pm


    As if the treadmill of the 35 hours jobsearch rule is not bad enough, Universal Jobmatch is now advertising “jobs” which turn out to be invitations for people to take part in clinical trials.

    Not surprisingly, one person is concerned that sanctions might follow for refusing to apply!

    Details here:



    September 12, 2013 at 8:28 am

  10. More madness.

    The 90 minute travelling time to a workplace is controversial enough, but now the Policy Exchange Think Tank is recommending the unemployed should be made to travel for 90 minutes just to sign on at a Jobcentre.

    Apparently, this “Commute to Sign” policy will “boost their confidence of commuting”.

    Report here:



    September 12, 2013 at 9:15 am

    • Thanks Tobanem I am just about the Blog on this!

      Andrew Coates

      September 12, 2013 at 10:18 am

    • Quick Poll
      Should people have to commute to receive the dole?






      September 12, 2013 at 10:23 am

  11. Way overdue, it’s time for a vote of ‘No Confidence’ regarding the Coalition Government – GET THEM OUT NOW!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    September 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    • Its funny you say that Obi Wan as ive tried to get that added to the voting sheet since our last election as the general election wasn’t carried out democratically after the votes were counted.

      Now im sure people will argue to the contrary but did the liberals re consult all their voters as regards who to back ?

      Had NO CONFIDENCE been a part of the process I strongly suspect this is what most voters would have chosen not to mention possibly getting voters who don’t normally vote, voting.

      So you have my support 110% Obi Wan.


      September 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm

  12. I must say all your posts (everyone that posted) on this very posted subject are excellent, outstanding but more importantly oh so true.

    Its been an honour and a pleasure to read each and everyone of them.

    Witty, concise, politically cutting, need I say anymore other than have I inadvertently bumped into a journalists convention.

    If you guys put a news mag or paper, put me down for a subscription will you as no paper I have ever read has kept me riveted like this. Seriously guys, your pure class, keep it coming.


    September 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

  13. gaia :
    Thanks super ted but I was really hoping for addresses to be you know what if you catch my drift without mentioning it by word/s. I should have asked so first of all sorry but what did
    this boy/man get sacked for and did he keep that letter also as I take it that he never did nothing to justify such a thing.
    Ive long suspected this is the practice but until now haven’t had any proof, well not until you posted your above post.
    Oh well it was worth asking and regardless if you know this person say I feel his pain and im sorry those w*nk*rs screwed him over.
    Thanks super ted, much appreciated sir.

    the letter was sent to the store not to the person in the letter and the other paper work was for them to claim the 2275 for his 26 weeks at the store and has been sent back to the work programme now, he had a review after 3 months but was let go after the 26 weeks as they dont get any more cash from the government after that but the person does not know of this letter or that the store was being paid for him to work there nor do the other staff working there know that they were getting thousands for him from the government for working there for 26 weeks.

    super ted

    September 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm

  14. forgot to say he was told it was work experience and he did nothing rong just sent back to the wp for a replacement to take his place on monday next week.

    the store has a few of theses ppl there atm and there not giving any off them a job at the end of there 26 weeks just sent back to the wp for replacements to keep the cash rolling in and free staff.

    also as it is a small store they got the 700 quid early claim after 8 weeks aswell

    super ted

    September 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

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