Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Out of Work Face Sharply Declining Living Standards as Tories Punish Unemployed.

with 31 comments


Single Unemployed to only Get 35% of what they Need by 2020.

Jobseekers ‘face dip in living standards’ reports the BBC.

Before beginning this we note that the JSA benefit, with Employment and Support Allowance, some types of Housing Benefit, and Child Benefit is now frozen for four years.

This means that everybody on the main benefits for the out of work will suffer a declining living standard: the biggest cut in their incomes comes from the need to pay a percentage of Council Tax (the amount varies across the country), sharply rising public transport fares, the hikes in energy costs by the private monopolies, and the slow accumulation of debts that arise from having to pay for essentials (clothes to start with, household goods) that are not covered by  the miserly levels of benefits.

Today sees the publication of this report: Will the 2015 Summer Budget improve living standards in 2020?

“Donald Hirsch from Loughborough University, uses JRF’s Minimum Income Standard (MIS) to track how the living standards of low-income households will change by 2020. The report is based on what the public say is necessary for a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.”

Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

One thing stands out to Ipswich Unemployed Action: it is acknowledged that the future looks even bleaker for the single unemployed:

A single person who claims out-of work benefits will get 35 per cent of what they need in 2020. This will mean they are £118 short per week, compared to £107 short in 2010 (41%) and £110 short (40%) today

That is without taking into account the impact of sanctions which affects hundreds of thousands of people (900,000 in 2014).

The BBC presents the report:

Out-of-work couples with children face “a decade of sharply declining living standards” owing to changes made to benefits, anti-poverty campaigners say.

A jobless couple with two children will be £221 short of what would be needed for an acceptable standard of living every week by 2020, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

Pensioners, in contrast, will have £15 more a week than the minimum level.

The calculations are based on JRF’s estimate of an acceptable income level.

Research for the Foundation suggested that families with two parents in full-time employment, workers without children, and pensioners would typically become better off over the next five years owing to the changes made in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget in July.

Lone parents and families with more than two children would see their living standards stagnate or fall, it claimed.

Major Budget announcements including the introduction of a National Living Wage and cuts to benefits such as tax credits would affect people’s finances over the coming years, it said.

“The summer Budget has transformed the relationship between pay, benefits and work incentives. The National Living Wage is a game changer for some on low incomes as the new, higher rate will make work pay for more people,” said Julia Unwin, the JRF’s chief executive.

“But the wage rise comes hand in hand with changes to in and out of work benefits. Families will only be able to make ends meet if they have two parents in full-time work, but those who are able to find extra work will face a difficult juggling act as they try and make longer hours fit around family life.

“Lone parents, even those working full time, and people who are searching for work face a decade of sharply declining living standards.”

Immediately after the Budget, the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that 13 million UK families would lose £260 a year on average owing to the Budget’s tax and benefits changes.

The Guardian’s angle on the same story begins with the latter,

Single parents on low incomes face declining living standards over the next five years even if they work full time, as benefits cuts announced in the budget more than offset the introduction of George Osborne’s “national living wage”, according to new research.


Separate TUC research, also published on Monday, underlines the fact that despite the minimum wage rise, the biggest winners from the budget package will be the richest 10% of households, who it finds will be £780 a year better off by 2020, as a result of changes including inheritance tax cuts.

The TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “We need a recovery that works for everyone, not just those at the top. But by cutting support for low paid families, despite a growing economy, the government is shutting them out of the recovery. And worse than that, it’s also giving rich households a tax break by taking support away from the low paid.”

More of the Guardian story here.


Written by Andrew Coates

September 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm

31 Responses

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  1. Thousands of more food banks in the next few years – families and single parents will be a lot worse off – trying to tell those on benefits, low pay, all who can’t afford kids, not to have any. it’s just part of pushing all to self sufficiency.


    September 7, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    • And suicides which there will be many more.


      September 7, 2015 at 8:40 pm

  2. CAMPAIGNERS have revealed details of the dossier of complaints which led to the UN launching an investigation into allegations of “grave and systematic violations” of disabled people’s human rights in the UK.

    Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), a grassroots campaign group, has published a list of more than 40 issues which it submitted as evidence to the UN that “attacks are being carried out in every area” of disabled people’s lives by the UK government.



    September 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm

  3. Ok this is a very long post, but this time-line will show you how and why Jobcentre and Work Programme (Ingeus) has left me with a mental scar that won’t heal, due to staff non-function and management /staff corruption to try and hide it all by staff at Jobcentre and Ingeus

    Day 1 at Ingeus (work programme) 02/12/2011 Nothing happens and advisor misses his other appointments.

    March 2012 and first signs of staff being in no fit state to advise or function at their posts; after first appointment with next advisor he fails to put me (and others) back into system, so no Ingeus activity of any kind until 10/09/2012, following Ealing jobcentre’s intervention.

    For around four weeks from 10/09/2012 intensive workshops and CV making (should have been completed many months earlier). “Go through the yellow pages cold calling all companies, until a vacancy is found” we are told, and to make sure that is all we do, the computers those who were “re-entered into programme” have to use, are adjusted to stop clients uploading CV’s to job applications!!! (surely that’s fraud for a Work Programme?).

    Next advisor October/November 2012, and all details of my skills, CV, email address are lost (previous advisors fault?). This new advisor was unfit to function, she finds a weird CV that has strange work history and looks nothing like a CV (product of the pre-March 2012 period by an unfit to function advisor). I email her the correct one, but she is incapable of removing the previous one from the Ingeus-Works portal. So both will now go to any vacancies I apply to from that site. I’m warned by others that she has a drug problem, and it shows, her substance is different to the others who just got stoned, hers was obviously a chemical type, she wasn’t buzzing, she was tripping on duty. She is useless and more or less non-existent as an advisor.

    Jump forward to Valentines day 2013, job-station computers for 11-15 February only available in mornings, due to afternoon workshop activity, posters had been telling everyone. But on 14/02/2013 @ 09:30hrs and we are all turned away from the computers, they claim there are morning workshops. My previous advisor forgets he’s not been my advisor for three months and tries to stop me from complaining. I say I want to see my own advisor, she’d been put right down the far end of the office, as far away from clients as she can be, with another advisor. She was so spaced out that it was clear no-one would get any sense from her that day, same for the other sat with her. From here on things get really bad.

    Following under the influence “personal attention” from said female advisor (causing some clients to think it was me supplying her with her drugs), and the local Ingeus manager repeatingly claiming she “could not discuss the matter”, plus emails to Ingeus going unanswered, the local Jobcentre steps in and, gives me permission to “stay away from her (advisor) as she is trouble/dangerous” (she’d just ceased to be my advisor). That was like a safety valve had been lifted, I could now make it clear I was not noticing her (I was becoming scared by now over what would happen next, and the pressure of all this on me was starting to become obvious to others).

    This talking openly by me and others about drug use on duty by the staff causes a panic at Ingeus Ealing. They send some of us to Brent (Wembley) Ingeus. But would not risk a fresh Wembley advisor asking “what has happened so far?” So we get another drug using advisor (the one sat with the previous advisor on 14/02/2013). And we have to carry on as if Ealing client too.

    I instantly refuse him and ask for another Advisor.

    An appointment (April 2013) between me, Ingeus manager (Ealing), and Ealing JCP was made to discuss the move to Wembley, but the Ingeus manager (Ealing) failed to show (if she did show, it’d have been discussed and gone on JCP record that Ingeus Ealing has a serious drug problem with it’s staff). This advisor sent to Wembley with us Ealing clients soon showed his drug habit to all. To me it was speaking like a child on the phone, emails with weird non-existent dates for appointments, text appointments sent hours after the appointment time, etc.

    Phone calls to clients from Wembley (now it is June/July 2013) tell us our advisor will not be in as “he has his serious habit problem” to deal with first, while the operations manager for Ingeus West London denies the drug use to JCP (also July 2013). Sanctions start to take effect.

    I show the “under the Influence” emails, appointments, and mention the “not denied by Wembley Ingeus” drug issues leading to them, to my Jobcentre advisor.

    Here the advisors bottle went, she knew Ingeus management were trying to cover up the substance abuse issue. She also knew if she’d intervene, she could halt my JSA suspension, but did not have the bottle to do so. Even JCP Glasgow stepped in to investigate why advisor would not help in any form.

    Ingeus’ reaction to me showing the “under the influence” emails etc to JCP Glasgow was to give me a “Fake advisor”. This leads to my appointments showing “did not attend” (but also stopped the emails and texts). I could prove to JCP Glasgow my attendance, due to having to sign in and receive a proof of attendance ticket at the security desk at Wembley Ingeus, before reaching the Ingeus office.

    One final appointment at Ingeus was on 11/12/2013, this was the BIG ONE! A Mandatory one called a “DNA caseload” (Did Not Attend caseload). Here I get to discuss all of the above and it will have to go on record. As you can probably guess, they fail to hold the meeting. I’m there 10 minutes early, others with appointments for this woman get seen. The kid on the front desk not really knowing how to deal with the situation of an advisor with a Mandatory appointment not wanting to hold it.

    That mandatory appointment if held would of provided me with the evidence to overturn the JSA Sanction that ran from 23rd June 2013 to 17 December 2013. Again Ealing Jobcentre lost it’s bottle and would not take them to task over not holding such a crucial and mandatory appointment.

    So Six months without JSA and all due to the Jobcentre and work programme’s inability to do it’s job. Note I’m 53 years old, not a youngster who doesn’t have any history.

    I Hate Ingeus

    September 8, 2015 at 10:11 am

    • Ingus, we hope you have support with these problems.

      Have you tried UNITE Community in London: they are very hot on these issues.


      They have helped people in Ipswich, and I’ve met their London community organisers.

      It’s a way of making sure you have people to support you.

      Andrew Coates

      September 8, 2015 at 11:12 am

      • Seen on BBC Home Pages Today. A Woman with amnesia who needs a daily diary to function normally. Also because of a head injury thinks it is still October 15 2014 has been deemed fit for work and has had ALL benefits stopped. It’s also mentioned under the local BBC news for the Greater Manchester Area


        September 9, 2015 at 5:23 am

    • Hi Mate – A sad state of affairs I must say.

      Things to do.

      Call Civil Legal Advice NOW on 0345 345 4 345 – you will qualify for free legal advice.

      Seek advice immediately from : jobseekersanctionadvice.com

      Call your local council Councillor & arrange to meet to explain situation

      Call your local MP & arrange to meet to explain situation

      Think of going to papers if you think appropriate – I would mention this to DWP in writing – copy in the building manger and get proof sent letter

      DO EVERYTHING VIA LETTER – no disputes then, have a witness/record

      If no action by DWP it becomes Abuse in a Public Office, Gross Misconduct in not actioning a Crime, Conspiracy by DWP officers, Continuing Harassment [Court Papers £25 – see http://www.thesanctionedjobseeker.co.uk/guide-to-stopping-harassment-from-the-dwp/%5D

      Suspect that Ingenous if you can prove the above have committed fraud, Conspiracy as well you need to speak to some one about this. And demand compensation.

      Check http://www.Refuted.org.uk for background on what DWP/Contractors can and cannot do and to see where DWP/Provider bugged up in your case.

      Request ALL paperwork on yourself held by both organizations – Go through with fine tooth comb for juicy bits.

      Put in writing to DWP a Order that any further contact outside of ordinary signing is to be sent to you via Text to Mobile, follow up Phone call to same, and letter which you will pick up from them. It will stop the Phantom Meetings.

      Good luck


      September 8, 2015 at 11:14 am

  4. OT: DWP Alert – here’s a Brilliant Idea for the Unemployed?

    You could not make this up I tell you:

    “Hospital work experience on sale for £500”

    How long before this is introduced to a Office near you?


    September 8, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    • Again targeting those still at school, in this case because many people don’t like the idea of being a carer, hospitals too, – so get the young interested – cheaper labour, leading to yet more lay offs,

      Making people pay for the experience, what’s next?

      I think it won’t be too long until this is rolled out everywhere.


      September 8, 2015 at 9:11 pm

  5. I’m afraid I don’t like this “My First Computor” layout.

    Another Fine Mess

    September 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm

  6. Thought I had landed on the BBC site for a moment there…. 😀

    Propa Ganda

    September 8, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    • Threw me a bit too,thought i clicked on another site


      September 8, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      • I like to think that it’s a rival that’s beaten the BBC.

        Andrew Coates

        September 9, 2015 at 10:38 am

      • On reflection – our all powerful Central Committee orders – this is better “Big Brother” theme no less……

        Andrew Coates

        September 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

  7. Iain Duncan Smith has been criticised for referring to people without disabilities as “normal”, in contrast to the disabled.

    The Work and Pensions Secretary appeared to suggest that people with disabilities were abnormal in a discussion about employment rates with other MPs.

    SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford described the turn of phrase as a “shocking insight” into Mr Duncan Smith’s mentality.


    The new layout, I first assumed there was a problem 🙂 it’s cleaner.


    September 8, 2015 at 9:55 pm

  8. These comments are inciting.What it does show is underlying everyday attitudes disabled people face for being in a situation that isn’t their fault.

    With attitudes like his,its no wonder disabled people are struggling to find work.


    September 8, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    • I hope no one gags him… More Grist for the UN investigator…


      September 9, 2015 at 3:54 am



    September 9, 2015 at 7:31 am

  10. Well, well, well. IDS is to return to the scene of his 2002 “Epiphany” in Easterhouse – a housing scheme in Glasgow with high unemployment.

    Wonder if he’ll escape a lynching?



    September 9, 2015 at 8:52 am



      September 9, 2015 at 9:01 am

      • Yes, reality must not be seen so it must be kept hidden, in their eyes.


        September 9, 2015 at 10:20 am

  11. OT – More than 50 magistrates are understood to have resigned from the bench in recent weeks amid an extraordinary judicial revolt against new court charges which critics claim encourage innocent people to plead guilty.

    Pressure to reform the criminal courts charge, which was introduced earlier this year, has increased as more cases emerge of impoverished people being forced to pay hundreds of pounds for minor offences – in addition to any fines.



    September 9, 2015 at 11:08 am

  12. Enigma, the comments are most illuminating:

    “And when, inevitably, these poor people are jailed for non-payment of the fines, do you also propose we bill them for the £40,000 a year costs of keeping them in jail? Which they also cannot afford?

    We are reintroducing debtors’ prisons via the back door. And people in prison cannot work so can never get out of debt, as Charles Dickens so memorably explained.”


    If you want equality it must be equality in everything. Other wise I could claim that as I earn more I should have more votes than a scrounger.


    Innocent as long as proven wealthy!!in Cameron’s Britain.


    Those who believe that this is right and proper should make sure that they are never even charged with any misdemeanour, especially really innocent.
    I wonder if you can insure against it.

    I really like the last one… It’s the question ALL should be asking themselves from now on, grandpa/ma, father/mother, sister/brother, friend, uncle… As the Lotto says “It could be You!”


    September 9, 2015 at 11:32 am

    • Yes just like those who thought their jobs were safe amongst other things which is happening to many. “it won’t happen to me”


      September 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    • Absolutely.

      The Marshalsea is being reborn.

      “The Marshalsea (1373–1842) was a notorious prison in Southwark, Surrey (now London), just south of the River Thames. It housed a variety of prisoners over the centuries, including men accused of crimes at sea and political figures charged with sedition, but it became known, in particular, for its incarceration of the poorest of London’s debtors.[1] Over half the population of England’s prisons in the 18th century were in jail because of debt.[2]

      Run privately for profit, as were all English prisons until the 19th century, the Marshalsea looked like an Oxbridge college and functioned as an extortion racket.[3] Debtors in the 18th century who could afford the prison fees had access to a bar, shop and restaurant, and retained the crucial privilege of being allowed out during the day, which gave them a chance to earn money for their creditors. Everyone else was crammed into one of nine small rooms with dozens of others, possibly for years for the most modest of debts, which increased as unpaid prison fees accumulated.[4] The poorest faced starvation and, if they crossed the jailers, torture with skullcaps and thumbscrews. A parliamentary committee reported in 1729 that 300 inmates had starved to death within a three-month period, and that eight to ten were dying every 24 hours in the warmer weather.”


      I’m surprised the present government haven’t already thought of making prisoner’s pay for ‘extras’, like proper food, television and so on.

      Andrew Coates

      September 9, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      • An interesting read, yes how long will it be until we see similar things happening in prisons. it is something which can happen again, unlike those who have said just after WW2, “the misery of concentration camps won’t ever happen again”


        September 9, 2015 at 5:06 pm

  13. Already well known by many of course.

    The Conservatives’ argument that spending cuts need to be made to reduce government debt is a “smokescreen” for their real mission to shrink the size of the state, the former head of the civil service has said.

    Lord Turnbull, who also served as permanent secretary at the Treasury and principal private secretary to Margaret Thatcher, accused George Osborne at a meeting in Parliament of not being straight with the public over cuts.



    September 9, 2015 at 12:55 pm

  14. Yet another attack on the unions with a new law.

    New law promises £20,000 fines for striking unions that break strict Twitter rules.

    Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, described the plans as ‘draconian’ and the ‘biggest attack on trade unions for 30 years’



    September 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

  15. There is more here also.

    The government has put forward its most sinister plan yet for workers rights



    September 10, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    • Absolutely unbelievable – the more you look at it the worse it gets.

      Andrew Coates

      September 10, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      • A bit more control, but then this is a lot more than just a bit. so no complaining about anything, do as your told, get on with it and basically carry on living in misery. because that is what is happening to us all. the majority that is.


        September 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm

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