Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Low Wage, High Welfare, Ipswich, Low Wage, ‘Low’ Welfare.

with 40 comments

Almost half of the UK’s biggest cities have low-wage, high-welfare economies, according to a healthcheck on urban Britain that underscores the challenges for the government’s benefit-cutting agenda.

George Osborne used his first budget of the Conservative government last summer to advocate a “higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare country”. But a report published on Monday warns that his vision will take several parliaments to create, given current shortfalls in education, a housing crisis and inefficient jobs programmes.

The Centre for Cities study also highlights a stark north-south divide between conurbations and urges the chancellor to deliver on promises to rebalance Britain’s economy with projects like the “northern powerhouse”.

The independent thinktank’s annual Cities Outlook, covering the UK’s 63 largest cities, classifies 29 as having low-wage, high-welfare economies. Nine of the worst performing city economies on the wages and welfare measure are in the north of England and Midlands, including Hull, Blackburn and Telford.

Guardian. 25th of January.

You will

Weekly pay in Norwich and Ipswich was among the lowest of 62 cities and large towns studied by the think-tank Centre for Cities.

Its 2016 outlook came in the wake of a vow by chancellor George Osborne to build a higher wage, low-welfare economy last year.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre of Cities said that while both Norwich and Ipswich had seen strong jobs growth in recent years, and had also had lower than average welfare spending, average wages had decreased significantly since 2010, so the challenge for both cities is to strengthen their local economies.

Weekly pay in Norwich and Ipswich was among the lowest of 62 cities and large towns studied by the think-tank Centre for Cities.

Its 2016 outlook came in the wake of a vow by chancellor George Osborne to build a higher wage, low-welfare economy last year.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre of Cities said that while both Norwich and Ipswich had seen strong jobs growth in recent years, and had also had lower than average welfare spending, average wages had decreased significantly since 2010, so the challenge for both cities is to strengthen their local economies.

Eastern Daily Press. 26th of January.

notice that Ipswich is a Low Wage, Low Welfare area.

This means that poverty is rife, and despite the “low welfare” label one can guarantee that many of the people on low wages round here are receive benefits of one kind of another.

In June 2015 this appeared,

Public health report shows there are worrying levels of poverty and deprivation in Ipswich

That is the verdict of a new report which has revealed Ipswich is lagging behind the national average when it comes to child poverty, GCSE achievement, deprivation and violent crimes.

Public Health England yesterday released a health profile of all local authority areas in the country, providing a snapshot of the health of those areas.

Ipswich’s performance was labelled as “varied” when compared to the national average, with Suffolk as a whole being described as “generally better” than the average.

According to the data, 5,500 children are living in poverty in Ipswich and 250 Year 6 pupils have been classified as obese. Life expectancy at birth for both men and women is similar to the average, at 79.2 years and 83.3 years respectively.

In fact anybody walking round the streets here can see this every day.

For this reason this is important to us (Daily Mirror 25th January):

Tory plot to scrap child poverty targets dealt whopping defeat in the House of Lords

Iain Duncan Smith has been dealt a whopping defeat in the House of Lords over his plot to scrap child poverty targets.

Campaigners were celebrating tonight as peers voted 290 to 198 to force the Work and Pensions Secretary to keep the measures.

Mr Duncan Smith announced plans last summer to drop the official figures , which count the proportion of children in homes with less than 60% of median average income.

Instead the Tories wanted to define poverty by measuring the number of workless households and children’s performance at school.

But after Labour and a bishop teamed up for tonight’s vote, he will now be forced to file annual reports using the traditional measure to the Houses of Parliament.

It is another crushing defeat for the government in the Lords just weeks after peers’ opposition forced George Osborne to drop his plan to cut tax credits.


Written by Andrew Coates

January 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

40 Responses

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  1. HIGHER HIGHER! LOWER LOWER! FREEZE! You get nothing for a pair… NOT IN THIS GAME! It could still be a good night if you play your cards right! Don’t touch the pack… we’ll be right back! 😀 😀

    Brucie's Bonus

    January 26, 2016 at 11:37 am

  2. What do points make? PRIZES! 😀 😀

    Brucie's Bonus

    January 26, 2016 at 11:46 am

  3. I believe the Tories are set to appeal the poverty measure verdict ?

    The above report is quite interesting especially as i seem to remember Osborne stating a while ago now that government would invest heavily in job creation in the north by attracting business opportunities, a stark contrast to the current climate it would appear not to mention demonstrates Osborne is going to have to consider the midlands to now.


    January 26, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    • Tories will appeal as they always do.


      January 26, 2016 at 12:30 pm

  4. Tens of thousands of tenants in sheltered housing, including frail older residents, domestic violence victims and people with mental illness may become homeless as a result of benefit cuts, landlords have said.

    Government plans to cap housing benefit for social rented properties from April will put an estimated 82,000 specialist homes under threat of closure, leaving an estimated 50,000 vulnerable tenants who are unable to work without support.

    May? “will”.



    January 26, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    • This is too terrible for words.

      Andrew Coates

      January 26, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      • It is that.


        January 27, 2016 at 10:10 am

  5. More possible misery for students.

    Thousands of students could be squeezed out of further education if plans for college closures and mergers go ahead, warns the National Union of Students.

    A series of area reviews across England this year will decide how the sector will be restructured.

    The government says it wants “fewer, often larger, more resilient and efficient providers”.

    But the NUS says merged colleges will mean more travel and expense for students, forcing many out.



    January 27, 2016 at 6:31 am

  6. ‘Bedroom tax’: Government loses Court of Appeal cases



    January 27, 2016 at 10:28 am

  7. ‘Bedroom tax’: Government loses Court of Appeal cases.- Gov will appeal. of course.

    The so-called bedroom tax has been declared discriminatory by Court of Appeal judges, following a legal challenge by a domestic violence victim and the family of a disabled teenager.

    They had argued that the spare room subsidy – which reduced housing benefit for social housing tenants with a “spare” bedroom – was discriminatory.

    The Court of Appeal decision followed a hearing in November.



    January 27, 2016 at 10:31 am

  8. Cameron is now saying say “All the things that got us into this mess in the first place” over welfare,of course he has to blame someone of something!

    Its been known for a long time.



    January 27, 2016 at 1:48 pm

  9. “Britain’s most senior psychiatrists today warn Iain Duncan Smith’s cruel benefit cuts are having a disastrous impact on people with mental health problems.

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists accused the Tory Work and Pensions Secretary of “unjust and ineffective” use of “threats and sanctions” against people who cannot work due to their poor mental health.

    It comes as the House of Lords prepares for a crunch vote this afternoon on IDS’s plan to slash disabled benefits by £30-a-week, making them the same as jobseekers’ allowance.



    January 27, 2016 at 3:25 pm

  10. In-work progression advice trial evaluation.

    This qualitative research gathers insights into how best to help people getting ‘in-work’ benefits to progress in the labour market.

    This research assesses a trial of 3 different letters and, in some cases, follow up text messages sent to people receiving tax credits. The letters and text messages explained the advice and support that the National Careers Service provides to help people ‘get on in work’ and gave contact details.

    We will use the research to help inform the support people who are in work and getting Universal Credit will need to progress in the labour market.



    January 27, 2016 at 7:34 pm

  11. Lords overturn “catastrophic” government plan to cut sickness benefit payments.

    “The government has been defeated in the Lords over plans to cut the benefits of people with illness and disabilities.

    Ministers want to cut Employment Support Allowance by £30 a week to spur some new claimants to return to work.

    But Labour, Lib Dem and independent peers joined forces to block the move, arguing it would make it harder for those affected to pay for the support that might allow them to find work.

    The government may try to overturn it at a later date in the Commons.



    January 27, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    • Ministers lost the vote on an amendment to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill by 283 votes to 198, a majority of 85. But still voted for the main body of The Welfare Reform and Work Bill which brings in a heap load of shit for other working and non-working recipients. That is WHY Labour LOST the GE2015 election. May Labour die off in the political wilderness – fucking bastards! Fuck you Corbyn and your shitty party!

      Fuck Labour

      January 27, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      • According to this “Jeremy Corbyn, voted against the bill along with 48 of his Labour colleagues who also defied the Labour whip”

        Fact Checker

        January 28, 2016 at 11:21 am


    Maximus are now BRIBING junior doctors with the promise of massive £90,000 salaries for the position of “Functional Assessors” – which means conducting fit-for-work tests on vulnerable benefit claimants.



    January 28, 2016 at 10:46 am

    • Tobanem

      Good luck to Maxi-arse with that. DHS staff all heard about what they did to the first set of Medical staff they took on. Leaving the DHS to go to them and then getting stitched up by being sacked left a lot of bad feeling. I suppose there will be the desperate, Money Grabbing ones. By being Money grabbing you know exactly what you are getting – money = no morals in Max-arse’s case.


      January 28, 2016 at 2:15 pm

  13. All:

    A reply to a Freedom Of Information request.

    Signing Provider Documentation


    jj joop

    January 28, 2016 at 11:59 am

    • You can still be made to “participate” purely as a “punishment” but the ‘provider’ won’t get paid as they still have to ‘prove’ to the DWP that you have ‘started’ to claim payment* One of the stipulations is that you have signed the provider’s Health & Safety documentation. Jobseekers could easily mislead into thinking “well, I will have to sign that at least, it’s ‘elf and safety” after all. Provider “health and safety” exist purely as a get-out clause for the provider in case of an injury or death; they can point to the fact that you acknowledged that you were “trained in how to operate dangerous machinery”. In any case the Health and Safety at Work Act still applies regardless. Another thing is time-sheets; these are probably for the purposes of the placement provider claiming their share of the bounty. Another trick of the ‘providers’ is emblazon all their ‘documents’ with the “DWP logo” and the word “MANDATORY” as if that will frighten and trick jobseekers into filling out/signing them.

      DO NOT Sign ANY Provider 'Documents'

      January 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    • DO NOT Sign/Fill in ANY Provider ‘Documents’

      DO NOT Sign/Fill in ANY Provider 'Documents'

      January 28, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    • * see the ‘provider’ guidance

      DO NOT Sign/Fill in ANY Provider 'Documents'

      January 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    • “It is not a mandatory requirement for claimants to fill in or sign any provider
      forms or documents when participating in a provider led mandatory activity or

      Because it is not mandatory, there is no recorded data held detailing any
      action DWP or a provider can take against those who have declined to sign
      said forms or documents.

      Participants are required to do all they reasonably can to give themselves the
      best chance of finding work. Should a participant decline to sign the provider’s
      forms, this does not mean that they do not have to participate in the
      programme. The referral letter given to a participant by Jobcentre Plus details
      the potential consequences for failing to participate as required.

      If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the
      reference number above.”

      What can be clearer – jobseekers don’t have to lay a finger on any of the providers ‘documents’ and no action i.e. sanction can follow. The ‘provider’ is over a barrel basically, not the jobseeker. The ‘provider’ could (possibly) leave the jobseeker on a placement and thus taking up an increasingly hard to source ‘placement’ because of this “willing to participate” clause for which they will not get paid. Or they could (more likely) send the jobseeker back to the jobcentre and ask for more victims to be sent until they find one who will sign/fill in their documents. All jobseekers should reference and bookmark these links to thwart any sanction attempts by some ‘decision maker’ pretending to be ignorant of the law.

      Open Water

      January 28, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      • lol at Learn Direct for emblazoning “DWP – Department for Work and Pensions” on their ‘documents’

        Learn Direct ‘documents’

        Open Water

        January 28, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      • Surely has to be criminal misrepresentation going on there because they ARE NOT DWP – Department for Work and Pension ‘documents’

        Open Water

        January 28, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      • Criminal misrepresentation with intent to deceive and defraud!

        Open Water

        January 28, 2016 at 7:06 pm

  14. “A major restructuring of the criminal legal aid system in England and Wales has been scrapped, Justice Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed.



    January 28, 2016 at 7:36 pm

  15. Off topic but things are about to get worse for kids in my school and all over our town. Our council has up to now not demanded any council tax from those on benefits, now it will and only disabled and pensioners will be exempt. There will be a severe hardship fund (don’t laugh)! Not good.


    January 28, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    • And as usual is is those on HIGHER benefits, the disabled and pensioners who are exempt whilst those on LOWER benefits i.e. jobseekers are left to shoulder the burden and be ground further into poverty. What is ‘fair’ about that? Let the council whistle!

      Stuff the Council Tax

      January 28, 2016 at 10:23 pm

  16. OT or On Topic depending on your point of view! : Twisted Benefits

    No surprise for most I expect but over at ‘unemploymentmovement’ someone has confirmed that those working at DWP for less than 35 hours is himself getting calls every couple of weeks asking him what he’s doing to look for extra work as claiming tax credits!


    January 29, 2016 at 10:52 am

    • Basically everyone who is receiving some form of benefit.


      January 29, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    • I know people in a terrible position because of this hours rule and the proof needed of job-seeking.

      It’s as if you never get away from the bullies.

      Andrew Coates

      January 29, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      • Yes, there’s no getting away from it if you need to claim benefits, this food bank is getting very busy, it’s my last day though at the food bank because I’ll soon be employed, but I will continue to help as many people as I can.


        January 29, 2016 at 1:18 pm

  17. 20/20 hindsight

    When your unemployed you can be sanctioned if you do not take up a reasonable offer of work yet when you do and still require in work benefit assistance and working less than 35 hours weekly or earning i imagine £6.70 an hour being around £234.50, your once again effectively punished.


    Also if you do sanction someone who’s in work, what exactly can you take without directly effecting the job their already in let alone any chance of expanding hours or gaining more pay ?

    You cant touch child tax credit as then your making an innocent person a victim of another’s actions that their powerless to change.

    If you take from housing you can only run up so much debt before the landlord seeks a court order to have you removed. Homeless people don’t get offered work and if you have a child then this child would have to go in care and cost the tax payer infinitely more.

    So you can see this in work benefit conditionality is nothing more than an exercise in the practice of with holding welfare funds in a desperate attempt to come up with this 12Bn welfare saving.


    January 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm

  18. I Posted this over at JV’s yesterday – something to know and warn people about:

    There is another flamethrower they will be weilding…

    Extra earnings before you have to claim if unable to find ‘work’. If you earn over a certain amount in the weeks/months [I’ve forgotton how long – it was in the information I posted last year -] and then have to claim you’ll be told to ‘eff off for six months.

    So for self-employed:

    – not earning enough. Get extra income. No, not possible? Sanction
    – on a zero hours contract? just got back pay? [this will be a killer one if DWP time it right and with access to your accounts on a weekly basis I can see it fast becoming their favourite ploy] as you got over the odds last time you got paid, ‘eff off for six months.
    – [see above] trading not seen as viable. Ooops. Benefits cut off – and as you got over the odds last time you got paid, ‘eff off for six months.
    – Dragon’s Den style assessment of your business by DWP [yes the same department with world beating business skills exemplified by the spending of public money, look at A4e et al]
    – if a child minder and being harassed by dodgy firm hired by HMRC based in Ireland for just that purpose [the TV program a while back about this firm was most illuminating] – unable to get extra income, declared non viable BY DWP [not HMRC I would note]. SO told nothing payable for 6 months AND have to pay back on top of that.

    Forgot that HB will be cut off at same time.


    January 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm

  19. The Government has been accused writing a “blank cheque” to lawyers to mount legal defences of its so-called “bedroom tax” policy.


    Local councils must be sh**ing themselves over this and the potential of more adverse publicity.


    January 29, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    • A blank cheque of ‘Tax Payers’ money.

      IDS wasting your hard earned taxes on more stupidity!

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      January 30, 2016 at 10:57 am

  20. If you read the Guidance you will see that someone who is sent on CWP and returns after 6 months (the first bunch will be showing up around now or soon) they will potentially be placed on “Mandatory intervention Regime” for at least 26 weeks. after which if you sweet talk your work coach they might put such a claimant back on “Job centre Offer” (i.e Fortnightly signing only).

    What MIR is in practice seems to vary some people get made to attend the Job centre every week days some have even been asked to go in on Saturdays.
    If someone fails to sign the documents and gets a sanction doubt then the claim will be marked as “Failure to participate” and the MIR is likely to run for the remainder of the claim.

    So even though refusal to sign provider docs will eventually not be seen as failure to participate (even if that is after a Mandatory reconsideration) the system in your Jobcentre will treat someone the same if they simply do not show up as they would if they fail to sign – the reason being as they would say “you have to be on something (i.e. CWP) after the work programme” and if you don’t do the CWP for whatever reason then it’s time to trot out the MIR.
    What is particularly disgusting is the worst MIR might be for some is weekly signing or the odd force interview attendance – where as others are in front of the Jobcentre every weekday.

    My research seems to suggest they will also ask for print outs and as much additional info as the claimant will put up with them asking for too on M.I.R.
    So if you don’t sign docs be prepared to make a lot of extra trips to the Jobcentre.

    ALTERNATIVE : Is to try to limit the possible placements the provider can offer using pre-existing health conditions, & or a lack of access to transport as an excuse if they only wanted you once a week say for a supervised Jobsearch, you could try negotiating with them to say what you will or will not sign (after all al they want is to get paid). it might be better to sit in a room for a few hours once a week for some people than it is to go to the Jobcentre every single day and endless printouts and forced extra admin.

  21. IN ADDITION : A claimant refered to CWP could also fin out where they want to send you and then contact the placement right away and remove you willingness to share data from the other end – noting that you are not refusing to participate just refusing to share or process data with third parties.

    That way you don’t do the 6 months 5 days a week placements.

    WARNING : some people have been force to attend the provider premises every day that they are not on a placement until they have one. but others like some Seetec branches are only open a few days a weeks so can’t do that.

    I just mention this to say that there are other options besides ‘not-signing’ and you might even try to talk the provider into sending you back to the Jobcentre as unsuitable for health or transport or placement availability reasons – but be warned they almost never accept this as far as I have been able to discover so far in my research.

    Also be aware that the Provider is responsible for your childcare costs so if you tell them up front if you have them and ask them do they want to pay that they might be super happy to bump you back to JCP to avoid paying them likewise if you have to travel by an expensive means.

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