Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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Chancellor Calls for Labour Backing for Welfare ‘Reform’ and Making Young Parents look for Work.

with 89 comments

Osborne with his children, who attend expensive Private School, St Pauls, in London.

Welfare Weekly reports.

George Osborne has urged progressive MPs in the Labour party to back his welfare changes in a critical Commons vote on Monday night, saying they should recognise that the proposals not only chime with the public but build on mainstream Labour thinking.

Writing in the Guardian, the chancellor calls on Labour to stop blaming the public for its defeat and recognise that welfare requires public consent.

Labour has plunged into a deep, week-long split over how to respond to Osborne’s welfare plans, with at least three of the leadership candidates, including Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper, rejecting the interim Labour leader Harriet Harman’s plea for the party to abstain and back a lower welfare cap. Harman also said Labour should not oppose the restriction of tax credits to a claimant’s first two children.

She said the party needed to recognise that the electorate had sent Labour a message on welfare and it had to show it was listening. But she has now been forced into a partial retreat, and the party has instead tabled an amendment rejecting the bill. Some Labour MPs still believe the new compromise does not go far enough and will vote against the bill on Monday, not just support a dissenting amendment.

Osborne sprung a surprise in the budget by proposing cuts to the level of tax credits, but balanced these in part by a rise in the minimum wage to more than £9 an hour by 2020 for those over 25. Osborne argues that the responsibility for ensuring decent living standards should be rebalanced from the state handing out subsidies towards employers providing decent wages.

He writes: “Three in four people – and a majority of Labour voters – think that Britain spends too much on welfare. For our social contract to work, we need to retain the consent of the taxpayer, not just the welfare recipient. For those that can work, I believe it is better to earn a higher income from your work than receive a higher income from welfare.

“I thought British politics had taken a step forward when Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman indicated that she would support at least some of our reforms. She recognised that oppositions only advance when they stop blaming the public for their defeat and recognise that some of the arguments made by political opponents should be listened to – just as a previous Conservative opposition realised 15 years ago when it accepted the case for a minimum wage.

“Depressingly, the Labour leader has been forced to retreat from her sensible position after Len McCluskey accused her of ‘running up the white flag’ and leadership candidates Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper joined Jeremy Corbyn in undermining her. With the vote coming on Monday, I urge moderate Labour MPs not to make the same mistake as in the last parliament, when they refused to support each and every welfare reform we proposed. I say: vote with us.”

This is another key feature of the “reforms” (Daily Telegraph).

Single mothers will be forced to seek work for their benefits

Single parents on benefits will be forced to look for work when their youngest child reaches the age of three, or face losing their state hand-outs, under new welfare laws.

At present, parents – including lone mothers and fathers – are entitled to receive benefits without conditions being attached until their children start school aged five.

However, welfare reforms to be debated in Parliament for the first time on Monday, will lower this age limit, meaning claimants whose youngest child is three or older will be required to look for work as a condition of continuing to receive the payments.

The move is expected to save £55 million from the welfare bill between 2017 and 2020 as parents lose their benefits or move into jobs.

The new rules will also mean that parents claiming benefits will have to “prepare for work” when their youngest child turns two, before actively seeking employment a year later.

Ministers have decided that the reform is fair because it will coincide with a major expansion in free childcare, designed to make it easier for parents to go to work.

From September 2017, all three and four year-olds in England will be entitled to up to 30 hours per week of free day-care.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, believes this will make sure that work pays for parents, who have faced high childcare costs that have deterred many from returning to their jobs after having children in the past.

We wonder if the Telegraph’s journalists – who  live on ‘hand outs’ from the rich, that is their owners the Barclay Brothers live in tax-exile at a Castle on the island of Brecqhou – have thought through the proposed ‘free child care’ arrangements.

They cover 30 hours a week.

Not 40.

This involve taking children to and from the nursery.

Not all parents, and not all children, will be so simply ‘fitted into’ these compulsory regime.

It’s hard enough already being a single mother.

Most importantly, will there be jobs for all those young parents?

Or will they have to spend 35 hours a week ‘job-seeking’?

How will this be monitored?

Will they get sanctioned if they have to take time for an ill child?

Indeed if they get sanctioned (there are so many reasons for this to happen….) who will feed and clothe the children.

Or will they have to go on more fruitless ‘schemes’ run by those reliant on ‘hand outs’ from the state: the Welfare-to-Work Industry.

And risk more sanctions?


Wikipedia tells us of Osborne’s own personal life:

Osborne married The HonFrances Victoria Howell (b. 18 February 1969), author and elder daughter of the Conservative politician and Government Minister Lord Howell of Guildford, on 4 April 1998.[5] The couple have two children, Luke Benedict, born at Westminster on 15 June 2001, and Liberty Kate, born at Westminster, London, on 27 June 2003.[2] He has an estimated personal fortune of around £4 million, as the beneficiary of a trust fund that owns a 15 per cent stake in Osborne & Little, the wallpaper-and-fabrics company co-founded by his father, Sir Peter Osborne, Bt.

Just the man to order single parents reliant on benefits about!


Written by Andrew Coates

July 20, 2015 at 11:42 am

89 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    July 20, 2015 at 11:47 am

  2. Prisoners to get free education.

    Its seems these days crime really does pay as now convicts are to be offered free education on top of free food, shelter, heat and light


    You just know your getting shafted when the worst of society gets better treated.


    July 20, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    • Not so bad in prisons, these days.


      July 20, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      • Just thought I would let all know, I have no experience of being in prison so know little about it, “not so bad in prisons” – comparing it with what we know is happening to many people who are not in prison and have never been.


        July 20, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    • Sorry, cannot agree – facts concerning Prisoners. 1/4 to 1/2 [no one has carried out a correct assessment – why highlight a big big problem – and this reflects education in the UK as a whole] cannot read or write. So Employment proscpects are very low. So come out of prison with a record, and likelyhood of gaining employment is?

      free education – really? Three years back the prison service was struggling to give free education – number of prisons ABLE to provide it had dropped by a third in the previous four years.

      Biggest Problems? Ringfenced funding – Governers always pinching it for oh essential repairs of say the roof etc. Getting Teachers. And the best one ? No Rooms/space for teaching. Anyone remember the directive a few years back for all efforts to create extra spaces for prisoners? I wonder what impact that had….


      July 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    • Very correct Gazza, but you should know you cant teach a tory anything by now.

      It was only the other day they announced they would teach the convicts the value of a hard days work, which had me laughing at the time as there aren’t that many working prisons.
      They in there news release showed pictures of Coldingley prison which had me in creases as I was there in 94 so know first hand how only the best and useful prisoners get the opportunity to go there. I only got a place because they knew I was an engineer so wanted me to help run the metal workshop. There’s next to NO working prisons and in truth even if you did have them, I doubt you could convince most cons to work if you can call it work as no sooner are you there and there dragging you off again, meaning you do maybe 4 hours if that a day.

      If you already getting food, shelter, heat and light and someone’s sending in money, what incentive is there to work for a measly at the time 8 to 12 pound a week wage.

      I think when it comes to justice that you just need to treat the Tories like little infants as bless them, there so naïve about the criminal fraternity.

      Who knows if they can rig a few more elections, the Tories might work out that capitalism is the true crime as it is this be you a petty thief or banker that creates the condition for why these people do what they do in the first place.

      Incase anyone says it, yes its still capitalism when done in a communistic system and why that doesn’t work as it should.


      July 20, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    • Fuck off with that shite, gaia. Being stuck in a fucking prison is about as low as you can sink. You are completey fucked when you leave these shit-holes and try and make it on the ‘outside’. Anybody encouraging anyone to get sent down is a complete and utter c!”£$

      Prisoner Cell Block H

      July 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      • Plus they are trying to ban smoking in prisons: a petty and miserable rule backed by an unholy alliance of ‘liberals’, health nutters, telling people how to live for their own good, and disciplinarians.

        Andrew Coates

        July 20, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      • Actually whats shite Prisoner Cell Block H which by the way was itself a poor and inaccurate representation of Australian prison life for women, is that the public know next to nothing about prison period.

        This feeling you cite of low is because they got caught, I mean its not like they didn’t have a choice prior to breaking the law now is it. Yes I know some people are inside for smoking a bit of pot or copyright infringement but that is so like harsh sentences doled out after the riots, a mere way to incite enough fear in a certain class of people to prevent them from doing it again.

        Lets not mix words here, prison isn’t for every one as isn’t the army, both institutional which if you know much about institutionalisation will know certain people respond better to it than others.

        Im sorry if it breaks your own sensibility but prison for me wasn’t a harsh experience at all. Yes I saw violence but I also saw laughter, drinking hooch, smoking pot, even mobile phones, all things that are meant to be banned yet here we are still hearing such luxuries exist. Hell I even had a roaring tobacco business going.

        No offence to those that found prison unpleasant which is what its meant to do but when you’ve grown up in one of the roughest places in Great Britain, its a cake walk that turns into ice cream and jelly when you see how other foreign prisons run.


        July 20, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      • “let’s be clear, prison isn’t for everyone”… that’s a lot funnier than even you realise, gaia 😀

        Earth Maiden

        July 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

      • RFLMAO 😀

        Earth Maiden

        July 21, 2015 at 8:52 am

      • “Your actions whether your aware of it or not are deflective tactics used to try and gazump the real point/s I was making.” Jeez, not this old chestnut, gaia!

        Earth Maiden

        July 21, 2015 at 8:56 am

      • Meanwhile all those who have committed suicide while in prison……….


        July 21, 2015 at 11:08 am

      • Really earth maiden, is that the best you can do.

        I would have thought you would have had something real and valid to say yet here we are again straying away from the original message.

        So are you saying the government never said its looking to educate prisoners, that they didn’t also claim to want to teach prisoners the meaning of a hard days work. Maybe you have direct proof there’s loads of working prisons that supply a seven hours a day working week for our around 85’000 prisoners or maybe proof that cons don’t make there own hooch, don’t have drugs brought in and don’t have or have been caught with mobile phones.

        Maybe you dispute the 2014 death in custody figures where suicides and natural causes top being murdered by a staggering amount. Maybe you want to demonstrate a coverup by prisons or how cons that got caught doing what there doing to end up where they did, have perfected the art of making murder look like an accident, suicide and natural causes.


        Perhaps you could prove prisoners don’t get food, shelter and heat and light without condition and how that works with the human rights act and how that differs to the seriousness that is unemployment that has seen since 2010, around 2.3 million benefit claimants sanctioned and thus go without food, shelter, heat and light.


        Maybe, just maybe you want to demonstrate how the majority in prison are innocent and didn’t have the choice to not break the law in the first place and so not end up in the place they state is the lowest point in there life. Maybe you have evidence that murder and physical attacks don’t happen outside of prisons all over the UK every day and thus make prison murder or assault pale in comparison.

        What exactly is your point earth maiden if we assume its not another lame line of prison is tough, its scary ?


        July 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    • Oh as for not getting work because your an ex convict, that’s not strictly true and im living proof of that. Cons are always quick to play this card and while it does hold some water, it doesn’t hold as much water as these people giving into defeat before they have been defeated.

      Even today most jobs don’t require enhanced checks so begs the question how the employer would know besides breaking the law themselves as police are prohibited from giving out that information unless the employer falls into a certain category.


      This aside, employers are not stupid and often you will find they have skeletons of there own ranging from a bit of time, too many trips to a police cell when young and even a criminal record no matter how old.

      Look if you know your an ex con, you know its easier for employers to ignore certain people by asking certain questions, questions that ex cons need to learn to circumnavigate as believe it or not, an awful lot of employers still now don’t check even illegally if someone says no. Yes its fraudulent but you wont find a judge that will prosecute you for it and why if the ex con ever does get found out, all that happens is the employer lets them go.

      At the end of the day life isn’t fair but that’s not the reserve of only those who’ve been inside so I say to you like I say to others, welcome to the club as believe it or not, having a criminal record isn’t the only things that see’s a person not get employed.


      July 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      • Lastly prisoner cell block H, I don’t believe in the posts above I uttered anything about peoples state of mind or made encouragement. Your actions whether your aware of it or not are deflective tactics used to try and gazump the real point/s I was making.

        This lets bring up the lows and harshness of prisons doesn’t work on me, I already own the t shirt and would imagine any thoughtful reader would see straight through your act as lets face it, your not the first to try that here and most certainly not the last. Im still here, where are they, why haven’t they joined you in song.

        and no them turning up tonight or tomorrow especially on a site that can have the same person with multiple email accounts put them all in just wont wash.

        For all we know here Prisoner Cell Block H, your a plant.


        July 20, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      • “Your actions whether your aware of it or not are deflective tactics used to try and gazump the real point/s I was making.” Jeez, not this old chestnut, gaia!!

        Earth Maiden

        July 21, 2015 at 8:57 am

  3. Many more food banks will be set up and of course many more people in need of food, we know the single parents will be sanctioned – how much do they know.


    July 20, 2015 at 1:10 pm

  4. Yvette Cooper and Andy Burham have said there saying NO to the latest round of welfare reform while Jeremy Corbyn is expected although as yet to be confirmed, will be doing likewise.

    Elsewhere research from shelter has surfaced demonstrating that the new housing cap will prevent families from living in large parts of the south.If Its true, its so shocking that im going to break my rule of not linking to a newspaper article.



    July 20, 2015 at 3:15 pm

  5. More cold water on governments and publics notion that benefit fraud is only the reserve of the unemployed.


    With every passing day you just cant make this stuff up as literally the working be they themselves or supported by a partner are getting busted in court like water flowing from a spilt glass.

    It appears its so rife that even the pensioners are in on it.



    I amazes me considering how our press always state they have there finger on the pulse that it has to come to a nobody like me to expose this shameful truth that it is our working public whom seem happiest to commit fraud while lambasting the poor like a good tory.


    July 20, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    • More and more employed people will end up doing the very same, there will always be those who try.


      July 20, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      • I agree enigma, but it would be nice for them to own there own misgivings than continuing to practice further fraud by allowing the unemployed to carry the can.


        July 20, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      • Sick Note Skivers Exposed
        Date and time of broadcast:
        15 Jul 2015 20:00
        Channel / station:
        Channel 5
        Misuse of term Skivers for convicted Fraudsters



        July 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      • Its funny but when I put all the words together that our government use to describe unemployed characters I come up with,

        A feckless scrounging, skiving, extremist with a mental illness cross of Narcissistic personality disorder with Clinical depression.

        Wow, is it any wonder employers don’t want to hire us if there swallowing all that tosh.


        July 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm

  6. Dissent/activism isn’t just a mental illness, its extremism to, according to the police.


    (Shown as, as yet netpol don’t seem to have done a piece on it, well I couldn’t find it anyway)


    (There’s a good story on netpol on how the police tried to instigate a pay to protest scheme).

    Hmmm, put this with a change in strike laws, rewriting the humans right act and anyone might think this government is trying to stifle freedom of speech and the right to protest, surely not ?


    July 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    • I seen an article a while ago about campaigners who may have to pay to protest, to stop all protesters of course, or at least try. lets face it, they don’t want anyone protesting about anything and don’t like the idea of freedom of speech, what they want is obedience and compliance. but will they get it.


      July 20, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      • Hmmm, obedience and compliance.

        Which countries have we heard of and know that practices this ?

        I could go on but we both know I even you have a whole load of ammunition to shoot down the pros of an obedient and compliant society.


        July 20, 2015 at 7:35 pm

  7. Police forces must reform to survive cuts, says new chief (BBC post)

    Knowing our government, I would imagine there be replaced with the Stasi run by our own KGB ?


    July 20, 2015 at 7:23 pm

  8. MPs have backed government plans for £12bn in welfare cuts amid a Labour revolt over its leadership’s call for its MPs not to oppose the changes.

    The Commons backed the Welfare Reform and Work Bill at Second Reading by 308 to 124 votes.

    But 48 Labour MPs defied orders to abstain and instead voted against the bill, which includes plans to limit child tax credit to two children.

    Of 53 Labour MPs first elected to Parliament in May, 18 opposed the bill.

    Those who rebelled included leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and London mayoral candidates Sadiq Khan and David Lammy.


    Benefit cuts to hit huge number of children, government figures show

    Study identifies more than 330,000 youngsters who will lose out in policy that will take £300m out of pockets of affected families in first full year



    July 21, 2015 at 12:30 am

    • Yet another gov figure, not to be relied apon.


      July 21, 2015 at 8:56 am


    It was said on here long ago that Labour had 80% of the Tory social security cuts lined up.

    Now Labour has demonstrated they are not the official opposition party by shamefully supporting Tory benefit reforms.

    Mhairi Black MP got it right when she said “New Labour is Not Labour” – the best expression I have ever heard to sum it all up!

    The “Not Labour” Party deserves extinction. Remember what happened in Scotland at this year’s General Election!


    July 21, 2015 at 9:06 am

    • How long before the Unions drop Labour as being unrepresentative to their members wishes/hopes and form the Union Party?


      July 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm

  10. Government cuts may push housing and healthcare services further apart.

    An increasingly strained relationship with government has left social housing landlords considering withdrawing from work with other public services.

    The relationship between the social housing sector and government has now deteriorated to such an extent that many providers are wondering whether they should withdraw completely from working with other public agencies. Perhaps, they think, in the current anti-social housing and anti-welfare climate it’s better to keep as far from government as possible.



    July 21, 2015 at 9:44 am

    • Nice article demonstrating the knock on effects of welfare reform where it costs more than it saves what with effectively passing the cost to other departments and multiplying them.

      Nice find enigma


      July 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      • Yes, always thinking that they will save money.


        July 21, 2015 at 12:57 pm

  11. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    July 21, 2015 at 11:05 am

  12. The fact that labour now has seats in the poorest areas it isnt surprising there was a revolt.

    This government was elected with a mandate to implement further savings from the £220bn welfare budget. For a start, we will reduce the benefit cap and have made clear that we believe we need to make significant savings from other working-age benefits.


    Whats not being mentioned is those who didnt vote for them or this where is their plight?.None of it creates one job,helps those least chance of finding work ,turns areas decimated into sudden boom areas full of opportunities.Instead its reinforcing divided britian and fueling more poverty/deprivation,instead of serving everyone the Tories are serving self interest.


    July 21, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    • Wow ken, that linked news article is a whole load of indescribable nothing, no wonder you had to put down sound facts afterwards.

      Maybe its just me but it seems the Tories idea of making work pay is proving harder than they thought. Like you say its very hard not to notice the ever growing discord around austerity and stagnant wages so does beg the question of who exactly this majority is that wants reform as prescribed by the Tories.

      I think we all agree its great these jobs vacancies are out there but surely we should all agree that after 5 years that these job types and claimants are not matching in required skills and experience that cant be patched over with useless short and ineffectual non trade related courses.

      As lovely and fluffy as help the community is, its placements simply don’t prepare in any modicum a claimant for the world of work besides turning in on time. I mean there’s no lengthy courses or experience on trade specific health and safety issues and concerns. No real marketing of the individual besides tired transferable skill philosophy, more buzz words and the odds of the more you put in, the more you get out.

      What about lessons in employment rules and regulations instead of how establishments including government avoid them or the real value of why we all work which is fair money remuneration instead of how a business and again government can ignore and get around them all.

      Its true, think about it, all claimants come away with if there paying attention is how to act legally fraudulent if they were to start a business, how to avoid all regulations pertaining to a business and how to avoid paying taxes while paying staff next to nothing with the near same or less in employment rights.

      As for the divide and conquer part, I quite agree.



      July 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      • Three words to always watch for: “reform“, “community” and “savings“.

        A new word to watch out for “progressive” (see Osborne above).

        When you hear them: run for the hills (actually not that easy to do in East Anglia…….) .

        Andrew Coates

        July 21, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      • Its interesting how you just put it Andrew Coates as when I think of a single community, then surround it with words like reform and savings, I just keep coming back to the same conclusion which is there’s an issue and money is scarce.

        Its as though and its just my opinion, that the Tories are trying to paper over the cracks of the reality that for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction, that there saying lets not dwell on the fact the banks and wealthy ripped the planet off so much so that it changed peoples lives globally, lets just pay for there mistakes and move on.

        It all just seems to come of like those police who shot and killed Jean Charles de Menezes, that its regrettable that the police got it so wrong but the fight on terror is just to important to worry about the single life of an innocent, an innocent may I add that is one of 64.5 million UK citizens that the task force was setup to effectively protect against acts of extremism.


        July 21, 2015 at 4:13 pm

  13. Draw up 40% cuts plans, George Osborne tells Whitehall departments.



    July 21, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      • Yet more cuts, privatisation and having us all pay for meds and a lot more besides.

        The £20bn of cuts over the next four years will be revealed in a government-wide spending review to be published on November 25, Mr Osborne announced today. He said it would “finish the job” of clearing the nation’s deficit.

        more services privatised, new charges for the public and more welfare cuts.

        The Treasury report hinted that more user charges could be introduced for state-run services.

        “The Government will continue to consider further sensible welfare reforms that strengthen work incentives and make the welfare system fairer and more affordable,”


        July 21, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    • If George Osborne has to get departments to be speculative up to the tune of 40%, either he isn’t that certain of the UKs future or this is the Tory venture to stealth rush privatisation. It could even mean both which makes the prospective future even more bleek.

      This proposed 40% is over double what the treasury loses in yearly tax revenue. Can you now guess whos still being made to pay again for the banks and riches greed back in 2007/2008.

      It also probably explains the Tory backtrack on the living wage as how else are they to get there money back from large businesses and make money trickle down. Put it this way, if it fails monumentally we can all expect another round of QE as I cant see the public stomaching a tax hike on the wages there currently receiving.

      (That’s a perspective opinion, not a fact)


      July 22, 2015 at 11:20 am

  14. OT- Robotic surgery.

    A study into the safety of surgical robots has linked the machines’ use to at least 144 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries over a 14-year period in the US.

    The events included broken instruments falling into patients’ bodies, electrical sparks causing tissue burns and system errors making surgery take longer than planned.



    July 21, 2015 at 7:19 pm

  15. George Osborne is considering historic plans to merge Income Tax with National Insurance



    July 21, 2015 at 8:23 pm

  16. Water cannons in the future.

    Theresa May recently announced her decision not to allow police to use them and said 67 faults had been identified with the way they operated.


    “In the event of future disorder the police are free to reapply for a licence, and in the interim officers will continue to maintain and train on the vehicles.”



    July 21, 2015 at 9:06 pm

  17. Quote: “he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t see, he was in a terrible state” – victim of work capability assessment judged fit to work who died two weeks later from pneumonia and diabetes.

    Perhaps even more disturbing is the bizarre quote from the perennial DWP spokesman: “It’s wrong to suggest a casual link between the death of an individual and their benefit claim”.

    Some “casual” link! Regulars on here will know by this time that that case is by no means isolated – and still the Government delays publications of the true death figures.



    July 22, 2015 at 8:22 am

    • It truly beggars belief how on earth this man could have ever been found capable of work.

      According to the article, this all happened in a month and to think being hospitalised with pneumonia isn’t a good enough reason.

      Well if that wasn’t the marker then he’s sad death was. DWP back when had already admitted the work capability test needed work yet it appears despite there intervention that the system is still failing one to many claimants in being correctly assessed.

      What puzzles me is if a doctor diagnoses someone to ill or incapacitated to work, how can someone who’s had the exact same training come up with a different result ?

      If we put aside the fact he could barely see, barely walk, how on gods green earth was he going to work a physical day with pneumonia ?

      Knowing he was in hospital, how did they assume he would be in any sort of position to continue looking for work and attending interviews ?

      On a slightly different note, the Samaritans wrote back in Feb of this year, “suicide is an inequality affecting people in the most deprived areas from the most disadvantaged backgrounds”.

      This being the case, how can we say welfare reform doesn’t have a role to play in the suicide rate ?

      It amazes me how government is driving a pledge to prevent suicide yet with the same breath catalyses the situation with targeted austerity which without doubt, effects the disadvantaged the most.

      Is this going to be some drop you down, pick you up then drop you back down again game here.

      What I mean is, if they sanction someone and the person declares suicidal feelings, what then, we house them in a secure unit at a cost way way above what taxpayers are paying in terms of this persons benefits ?

      Where’s the logic in punishing someone if the resultant punishment cost far outweighs the reward from trying to see being punitive as a good method to as they quote and I laugh, a means to support people back into work.


      July 22, 2015 at 10:45 am


    The following are three recent letters from a newspaper in Scotland. It shows how easily some people are blinded by Tory propaganda.

    Letter 1):

    George Osborne’s budget is not intended to “take from the poor and give to the rich.”
    For one thing “the poor” have little worth taking – by definition. For another, the top 1% of UK earners now pay 27% of all income tax collected.
    Mr Osborne aims to get people off benefits and into work; intends to let low-paid workers keep more of what they earn; and wants wages to rise via employers instead of via tax credits. These goals are all intended to benefit the poor – as well as the rest of us.
    Ditto more jobs, more businesses, low interest rates, low inflation, debt and deficit reduction, and the fastest growing economy in the G7.

    Letter 2):

    [The writer of letter 1] believes the budget is intended to get people into jobs and not to take from the poor and give to the rich.
    Can he explain the financial and emotional uncertainty surrounding zero-hours contracts (no regular wage here), dubious self-employment, part-time work, workfare, soaring benefit sanctions, and foodbanks, and that great paradox of the “working poor” who have to claim benefits in order to survive?
    He also says “the poor have little worth taking.” He’s clearly forgotten the extra £12 Billion in Welfare cuts and changes to tax credits which will leave many families worse off.
    Meanwhile, demoralised Jobcentre staff are about to go on strike over Universal Credit – which is years behind schedule, plagued by IT snags and millions over budget.

    Letter 3):

    [The writer of letter 2] challenges me [the writer of letter 1] to provide a number of explanations and I am happy to do so. Zero-hours contracts are what we used to call ‘flexible working’ and, along with self-employment and part-time work, are ideal for millions of people. Foodbanks are a brilliant charitable innovation designed to help people in a financial mess (as food, unlike money, cannot be misspent). Benefits sanctions exist to pressure the uncooperative unemployed (a minority of the jobless) into work. Workfare was introduced to provide work experience at little cost to the taxpayer. George Osborne’s budget aims to help the “working poor” via the increased personal allowance and the introduction of a National Living Wage, instead of via the tax credits we all pay for. And the long-overdue Universal Credit is intended to be simpler and more efficient than our current benefits system.

    No reply has been published to challenge the die-hard Tory!


    July 22, 2015 at 8:57 am

    • Either the writer of letters 1 and 3 above is very young or very old. Can anyone be so cloistered as to write such myopic drivel?

      Perhaps it’s a Tory troll being deliberately provocative.


      July 22, 2015 at 1:33 pm

  19. NAO fraud and error warning on universal credit changes


    Well it appears DWP are still missing targets,

    this time the watchdog says DWP and HMRC overpaid benefits and tax credit claimants by £4.6bn in 2013-14, and underpaid claimants by £1.6n.

    According to the article and in reference to my post the other day on who mostly commits benefit fraud, the NAO outlined claimants not declaring whom they live with (partners who work and contribute towards a couples living) is costing the taxpayer 823 million between 2013 to 2014.

    To give some perspective if we divide that between the 791’000 jobseekers, that’s an extra 20 pounds a week per claimant (1040 pounds per annum).

    The NAO also says both departments need to strengthen how they monitor performance as there will be significant levels of fraud and error after the introduction of Universal Credit. DWP currently estimates that around £5.8bn of overpayments will still be at risk in 2020.

    HMRC have a real time system which the NAO suggest DWP make better use of. I mention this as this very system would prove beyond all reasonable doubt, how many of the unemployed who did cease getting benefits, be it signing off, benefit withdrawal or sanctions ACTUALLY got PAID WORK as the Tories have claimed countless times.

    (Remember IDS and McVey saying many people sanctioned had found work as a result or that the benefit cap got many into work).


    July 22, 2015 at 9:45 am

    • gaia,

      remember I mention about a HMRC near real time system that was crap?
      This is the same system that UC was designed to interface with – day be day realtime – only it don’t work!
      Nor from what the IT head at HMRC said will it work for years [this was last year].
      Why doesn’t it work now you might ask – infrastructure, different IT systems at employers end, database problems, inaccurate data at both the employer/HMRC end.
      For DWP, take those problems andmix in same probs but a really really crap database [see UC for a clue].
      Can’t work – won’t work.


      July 22, 2015 at 9:50 am

      • Its alright Gazza I am aware and do remember your poignant article. Im rubbing salt in tory technophobic wounds.

        They keep claiming there introducing state of the art I.T systems but have an amazing bad track record for it yet consistently boast how excellent they are, how there revolutionise the public sector that’s strangely and secretly being privatised left right and centre.

        It just amazes me how the Tories have already introduced reform and austerity before they even have a working model that would substantiate there claim we will all be better off.


        July 22, 2015 at 11:02 am

  20. OT: Windows 10 IT Warning

    To all those contemplating upgrading to Windows 10. Don’t.

    Why? MS has openly talked of WHEN they will be introducing subscriptionn charges per Week/month on their Products. In effect, you no longer own the installed operating system, you rent it. No payment, no operating system. Its that simple. When will this take place? No one has a clue except MS.

    There are however bigger problems – especially if you purchase a MS WinPhone but we’ll get to that.

    Next up is updates. The Bane of MS. Automatic updates will be turned ON by default – there is no off button for a update that say freezes your OS – nor any ability to revert to a earlier setting from what I understand. So you will conceivably be left with simply, a brick.

    Subscriptions again. Now there are some parts of the OS that we all like and use a lot. What can go wrong? Well how about MS deciding that it wishes to Embrace, Extend, Exctinguish that feature….. But hey, you can subscribe to our new improved version available in our App store.

    Finally, the WinPhone. Purchase your phone. Use your phone. Hows the data downloading for updates going in the unseen background? Say the update fails at 20/30/87%. It starts again [again it appears you have no way of stopping the download, as MS says you need it and thats that]. So it starts again. Andd again. and… you get the idea. So what was a 20Meg update [in actuality its close on 40Megs for that individual download as there’a check on the data integrity during the said download] balloons to whatever it eventually becomes.

    Welcome to the Brave new Windows 10.
    Yours for free – but it’ll still cost you.


    July 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    • I too have been reading about win 10, I won’t touch it, I will stick with win 7.


      July 22, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    • Gazza:

      All the more reason to throw Windows out of the window and go over to Linux. I did this just over three years ago and have no regrets. I am only sorry I didn’t do it years ago.

      jj joop

      July 22, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      • Went over to Linuz Mint 3 years ago myself – never going back – and I am taking a hard line with family/freinds who want my help with Windows problems. “I no longer support those Operating sytems – here, try Linux Mint, does everything windows does, is free to upgrade twice a year”


        July 22, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      • jj joop and Gazza

        Is it stress free to install and run Linux or Ubuntu alongside Windows 8.1?

        Do peripherals still work, eg printers – or do you have endless exasperation over new and suitable drivers etc?

        By the way, wait until “gaia” reads all this! We’ll get blizzards of advice then!


        July 22, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      • Thanks for the info about Linux Mint Gazza, I will try that on a spare desktop, before installing on my main pc.

        Yes Tobanem, ms can keep win 8 and 10.


        July 22, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      • For anyone else who’s had enough of windows!



        July 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      • Here you go tobanem as regards dual booting with both windows and Linux.


        There’s a bit more to do than dual booting 2 windows OSs but its not really any harder to complete.

        If you do run into any snags, give us a shout.


        July 22, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    • I was with others chatting about this on steam a while back as we all thought it was to good to be true that it was free. From what I gather security updates will still be free but service packs will be chargeable.

      We also chatted about how the new OS will handle old software and even though we are all still testing tons of it have so far found it doesn’t respond well to it at all. To make matters worse DX12 is still a big topic as regards windows 8.

      I reckon although steam wont say anything regarding microsoft, that one of the reasons there using Linux in there steam boxes is because of possible further charges down the road.

      Another hotly debated question also is, will it be cloud based.


      July 22, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      • Even better in my view is the fact all Non-Corporate [who get a get out of update card, but not home users or SMBs] is the fact they will now all be unpaid beta uses.

        Here try our new look and feel Win10, nope you cannot have start menu back [just an example, but you never know], don’t like the brand new Strip taking up half the screen? Sorry that is todays Hot “New” Feature, there will be announcements about other Hot new features coming to your desktop to make your Windows consumption [I kid you not thats in some of the sales brouchers at Corp level – but I’ll get to that] experience even better and more exciting than ever before along with ease of use. Sorry there is no reversion possible to this UI change. Enjoy.

        “Consumption” – well the Corps are being told due to the scheduling of Security Updates, if you don’t update after 8 months, your box becomes unsupported – time to buy a new licence. Enjoy.

        Don’t you just feel the love from this new improved Windows 10!


        July 23, 2015 at 3:46 am

      • The problem is like with say games, is the cost is becoming to much for the consumer to bare so draws away a percentage of the audience.

        You see in games software called DLCs which usually is where they strip out some of the content from the original game or leave it out altogether to charge at a later late if the player wants it.

        That way the developer gets to keep the main games price low as if they didn’t games would be retailing about now at around 70 to 80 pounds a pop.

        Microsoft who are taping into this are taking it to a whole new level and thus making it more a tollgate.


        July 23, 2015 at 10:17 am

  21. Lower Benefit Caps ‘Will Exclude Poor Families From Large Parts Of England’



    July 22, 2015 at 3:49 pm

  22. Hey Gazza, don’t mean to be a party pooper but I posted that very article 2 days ago.

    I was so shocked I even broke my rule to never use news links anymore what with being unable to secure a more direct source as I felt it to important not to.

    Hey Gazza, have you come across a government reply besides “The benefit cap provides a clear incentive for people to move into work and ensures we have a welfare system that is fair for those who need it and those who pay for it.” yet as its unlike the Tories not to rush out slugging how there wrong and the Tories are right.


    July 22, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    • Gaia, Gazza may have copy and pasted the same link you posted which we know is above – because Ken obviously didn’t see your posting of it.


      July 22, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      • Not bothered about that enigma as im sure you agree its well worth reprinting.

        I only wonder now if anyone has managed to locate a government reply that refutes it as I cant find none which is strange considering its the tories we are talking about.


        July 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    • gaia,

      aplogies for appearing to claim it as my own find.



      July 23, 2015 at 3:47 am

      • gaia,

        there will be no reply. What can they say? Its true? Its not true? If true its going to upset a lot of people who voted for them thinking they’ll be quids in. If its not true they’ll look stupid [stop laughing there…] but when has that ever mattered?

        Remember “We’re all in it together” Slogan?


        July 23, 2015 at 3:50 am

      • Thanks for the reply Gazza, I see im not alone in seeing no tory reply.

        I have to wonder about this what with no one trying to put a foot on private renting prices. I know its only a graph but boy does it look like social cleansing or what.


        July 23, 2015 at 9:23 am

  23. Politicians learn power of using nudge technique

    Is claimed to be saving the government hundreds of millions of pounds, changing the way officials communicate with taxpayers and consumers.

    It is a technique pioneered by The Behavioural Insights Team, which is part-funded by the government.

    So-called ‘nudging’ uses psychology to work out the best way to help job centres, tax collectors, health officials and others improve the way they deliver public services.



    July 23, 2015 at 5:28 am

    • So has nudging’ led to a increase of Top rate tax payers suddenly owning up to tax dodging? hhhhhhhmmmm – methinks not.

      So much for that bit of twaddle working, Next!


      July 23, 2015 at 6:39 am

    • Funny post there enigma.

      While it maybe easy to make a wealthy high earner feel guilt to a degree, the same wouldn’t work on someone who has very little.

      This is what I was trying to say before about the effectiveness of certain cognitive psychology findings but was shot down by lucy. You’ve already seen how politicians say something and the people take it one way while its meant the other so its not like we don’t see it in action anyway.

      The trick is subtlety as people are often more suggestive if they think they came to the conclusion themselves rather than was told it hence the nudge phrase. Its age old couch practices.

      Darren Brown who openly admits it at the beginning of his shows uses such technics in his repertoire and we have all seen what he can do.

      This doesn’t give credence to the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour studies as a whole but it does prove its not all hog wash.


      July 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

    • I thought they’d forgotten that craze – I read this a few years ago (from the library I’m quick to point out, I would not pay money for this drivel):
      R. Thaler and C. Sunstein. (2008). Nudge. Penguin Books.

      This is apparently their major breakthrough:

      “One of Nudges’ most frequently cited examples is the etching of the image of a housefly into the men’s room urinals at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, which is intended to ‘improve the aim’.”

      The geniuses that award contracts to “Start Smiling Again!” must love that one…..


      Andrew Coates

      July 23, 2015 at 10:49 am

  24. Meanwhile, here is yet another data breach – this time over “contactless” card transactions:


    Should be right up your street “gaia”!


    July 23, 2015 at 8:31 am

    • I don’t believe I ever mentioned it on here but that was hacked day one.

      Basically a card is a loop node and all that contactless means is your not swiping it in the original method. Cards, phone sims, there all the same so its just a matter of unencrypting the traffic layers.


      July 23, 2015 at 10:11 am



    Was it me who asked on here recently, how many accidents are out there waiting to happen – especially in old run-down rusty and dusty premises with scant regard to health and safety?


    July 23, 2015 at 9:18 am

    • It will be interesting to see what officials say on what the accelerant catalyst was in this case.


      July 23, 2015 at 10:26 am

  26. gaia

    July 23, 2015 at 10:26 am

    • That would be good news, if all goes through.


      July 23, 2015 at 3:02 pm

  27. Take past performance into account when commissioning employment programmes



    July 23, 2015 at 10:27 am

  28. gaia

    July 23, 2015 at 10:29 am

    • Good info to keep handy.


      July 23, 2015 at 3:06 pm

  29. Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog.

    Mark Catlin

    July 24, 2015 at 2:34 am

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