Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Impact of Benefit Cuts Leaves Mothers £13bn worse off.

with 56 comments

Osborne Smirks at Thought of more Welfare Cuts. 

As the Budget on the 16th of March gets nearer here are some things to think about.

In February we saw this:

Government freeze on tax credits and jobseekers’ allowance could cost families 12% of their benefits, says report.

A report by the Children’s Society, published on Tuesday, says families could lose up to 12% from the real value of their benefits over the next four years as a result of government plans to freeze child tax credits, working tax credits and jobseekers’ allowance from April.

Guardian. 23rd of February.

Note: this was introduced last year:

A freeze in working age benefits for four years (including tax credits and Local Housing Allowance, and excluding maternity pay and disability benefits – PIP, DLA and ESA Support Group).

These are some of the changes that will hit people here from April 2016 (more details here).

  • The level of earnings at which a household’s Universal Credit award starts to be withdrawn for every extra pound earned (Income threshold reduction) will be reduced from £6,420 to £3,850. SeeSummer Budget 2015 page
  • Universal Credit work allowances will be reduced to £4,764 for those without housing costs, £2,304 for those with housing costs, and removed altogether for non-disabled claimants without children. See SI 2015/1649 and Summer Budget 2015 page.
  • The amount by which a tax credit claimant’s income can increase in-year compared to their previous year’s income before their award is adjusted (the income rise disregard) will be reduced to £2,500. See Spending Review 2015 page

From April 2017.

  • New ESA claimants who are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group will receive the same rate of benefit as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, alongside additional support to help them take steps back to work. See Summer Budget 2015 page
  • Those aged 18 to 21 who are on Universal Credit (UC) will have to apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship, gain work-based skills, or go on a work placement 6 months after the start of their claim. Apart from certain exceptions (those considered vulnerable) they will not be allowed to claim Housing Benefit/UC housing costs element. See Summer Budget 2015 page

Now the results are being analysed:

Benefit cuts ‘will leave mothers £13bn worse off over course of current Parliament’. Independent March the 6th 2016.

Mothers will be £13bn worse off under the current Government as a result of policies announced over the past year, according to a new analysis.

Labour described the figures – produced by the House of Commons Library – as a “disgrace”, saying mothers played a key role in society but had been hit with a “stonking great bill”.

The research looked at the effects on women with dependent children of a number of changes announced by Chancellor George Osborne, since last year’s general election.

It found that cuts to universal credit, the four-year freeze on child benefit and other welfare payments, reductions in housing benefit and other policies outweighed increases to the personal income tax allowance and extra money for childcare.

The overall impact meant mothers will be £13bn worse off over the course of the current parliament, from last year until 2020. The Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who commissioned the research, said: “These figures are a disgrace. On Mother’s Day, the whole country celebrates just how much mums do to hold families together, communities together and even hold our economy together too.

“Yet what thanks do mums get from George Osborne and David Cameron? Only a stonking great £13bn bill.”

Last month the Children’s Society urged the Government to reconsider the benefits freeze if ministers were “genuinely concerned about child poverty”.

The charity calculated that a 23-year-old single mother, who works as a primary school teacher and rents her home, would be more than £2,800 a year worse off as a result of the changes. And a nurse and her partner, living in a rented house in London with three children, would be £5,100 a year worse off.

In a report, the society found that seven million children in low-income families would be affected by the four-year benefits freeze, while others would be pushed into poverty as a result.

A spokeswoman for the Treasury did not respond to a request for comment.

Responding to the Children’s Society report last month, the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We are bringing welfare spending under control, while – crucially – helping people into work, and through universal credit helping them to earn more.”

Still it’s not all bad news: Pensions: George Osborne drops plans to cut tax relief

And the big winners of this non-announcement will be wealthy people. At the moment not only do they earn more, they also get a proportionately bigger tax top-up from the government when they save for their retirement.

If the chancellor had scrapped the tax relief entirely on pensions savings and created instead a new pensions Isa, that would have cost the better off (40p and 45p taxpayers) billions of pounds collectively.


Written by Andrew Coates

March 6, 2016 at 11:30 am

56 Responses

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  1. Heading to total self sufficiency, most people will have to work for the food they need to survive and the roof over their head.


    March 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    • enigma

      sadly I predict that DWP will at some point if they get their way – reduce payments to claimants by the estimated value of food bank food people get.

      They are that nasty, they are that stupid – just heaping on the pressure until the system collaspses or things explode.

      I see that Minsters are putting off the imposition of the increase in rent for those on 30K, and are now making it a more reasonable Taper – how long before the taper becomes a vertical wall?

      And as someone pointed out on the Guardian, if its okay for council tenants why not the rest of “Rich” society?


      March 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      • First we must recognize the fund for helping claimants attend interviews has already been shortened with many a claimant told DWP wont fund the travel costs to attend an interview thats around an hour to hour halves distance away. They have also cut back funding interview clothes, often directing claimants towards charity shops meaning we are less than stellar in the eyes of potential employers who openly spot when such clothes are worn.

        Yes we could reduce to food vouchers but we then couldn’t expect claimants to actually find work dew to cost.

        In my area computer/internet access is dwindling what with many a provider either closed up shop dew to funding or refusing to allow the non claiming and non referred public use. All the remaining COMPUTERS are always taken up leading one to spend most of everyday waiting upto an hour and in some cases more for use. To make matters worse practically all don’t have printers so as to allow claimants to print out evidence as required by DWP who always often boo hoo hand written declarations of.

        This cut would prove government did indeed fail in its pledge to make work pay when you consider claimants wouldn’t be in a position to find it in the first place.


        March 7, 2016 at 8:29 am

  2. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    March 6, 2016 at 2:59 pm

  3. OT: The Future of Politics? Using Trump/USA as a example perhaps…

    Just came across the following article from Huffington Post about the rise of Trump and what follows.
    Not Good.


    It is both illuminating and frightening, in a political and societal sense.
    “Trump embodies the the classic authoritarianism leadership style: simple, powerful and punitive.”

    That last reminds me strongly of George Useless a Sh*t Smith.


    March 6, 2016 at 4:57 pm

  4. Government to review £500m-worth of Atos contracts after IT failure.

    Cabinet Office to examine Whitehall contracts worth £10m in move suggesting lack of confidence in outsourcing company.



    March 6, 2016 at 8:34 pm

  5. The JSA four year freeze not applicable to ESA then!? WTF!


    March 7, 2016 at 11:49 am

    • Wonder what DPAC and Co. will have to say about that? The silence is deafening!


      March 7, 2016 at 11:50 am

  6. MAXIMUS have their own problems what with coming under more criticism than ATOS ever did.


    When a professional tasked with making the process better calls it, “not fit for purpose” i think that speaks volumes, sadly DWP in their wayward denial style refuse to accept the truth, either that or this was their plan all along ?


    March 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    • We all saw a certain Maximus business script aired on yahoo dated last year where they openly admitted to their board and investors that they struggled to recruit qualified professionals for the job at hand, hell even now the advert is still circulating multiple jobsites. It also contained evidence that they knew their raising the stakes against UK government would net them hundreds of millions of the taxpayers money way above what was a fair price when paid to ATOS.


      March 7, 2016 at 1:02 pm

  7. Why we’re opposed to “Jobs on prescription”


    It appears not even the NHS are none to pleased by DWPs efforts to invade their practices let alone attempts to make doctors promote work as some sort of cure, “yeh right, like to see that work on a person with schizophrenia”.


    March 7, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    • Common sense, something obviously lacking in the DWP for how long?

      Andrew Coates

      March 7, 2016 at 4:57 pm

  8. Macs not bullet proof to cybercrime


    Cybercrime is so bad now globally let alone the UK that one USA police department actually piad the ransom.


    Anyone who understands electronic systems will tell you security is a myth, that best attempts will never conquer inspiring minds who recognize the fundamental pitfalls of such systems.


    March 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    • I too don’t think any system is secure no matter what anyone say’s.


      March 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm

  9. enigma

    March 7, 2016 at 2:42 pm

  10. Working for life – never to retire.

    A major overhaul of the state pension system that comes into effect on 6 April will mean thousands of people who do not have enough national insurance contributions to their name will get nothing. The government has pledged that the new deal for pensioners will be fairer and simpler – yet many are in for a very unpleasant shock.

    Among those set to lose out are 50,000 women and 20,000 men in their 50s and 60s, according to figures today from charity Age UK. Because they have fewer than 10 years’ of contributions they won’t receive a penny in state pension when they retire. Under the current system people are entitled to some state pension even if they have only paid national insurance contributions for a few years.



    March 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm

  11. Get weaving now!

    Andrew Coates

    March 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    • Work Roach Salary : National £22,200 -£25,230; Outer London £23,505 – £28,060 for sitting on your arse all day is not to be sniffed at 😉


      March 7, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      • + BONUS!! 😀


        March 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    • I’m actually reading through the spec for the job, lies and bad english abounds throughout:

      Typical role includes:
      • Offering quality, dynamic, flexible, advice and support to underpin claimants’ personalised commitment to job search actions, and support them to develop the skills and activities they need to look for and obtain work in a digital environment.

      What Support other than hot air might that be?

      •Supporting customers increasing their wages by supporting their employment opportunities from their job offers into career opportunities.

      Er, how if there are no more hours in the day? We can see where this is heading for those on UC [the english is awful – tacit indication will force anyone on UC to get more hours/jobs]…

      •Build positive relationships with claimants that encourage, motivate and build trust through recognition, praise and reinforcing of positive behaviours and completion of tasks, encouraging the achievements of further more stretching goals and achievements

      Yes, until they’re stretched to breaking point & beyond

      •Ability to confidently use Digital services, navigate and coach others to use digital job search methods i.e. job search websites, email, uploading documents, social media

      Use UJM or sanctioned, use UJM or santioned….

      •To promote the benefits of claimants planning their own Work Search or Work Preparation Activities

      See directly above

      •To be accountable for the level, frequency and intensity of contact they have with each claimant by managing their own diary

      So they tell the Work Roaches what to do to the claimant… Interesting

      Typical duties will include:
      •To make every contact count by coaching claimants to take responsibility for getting themselves into work, sustaining work and developing their career.

      All aimed at working UC’ers, you can just see it now:
      So you’re a porter? How do you plan to advance your career as a porter?
      So you’re a dinner lady? ….

      •Identify conditionality doubts; take appropriate and timely action, keeping the claimant fully informed throughout

      Yes from my experience, this ALWAYS always never happens….

      To be successful you will need to demonstrate effective communication skills across a wide range of diverse customers, along with the ability to understand complex information and give explanations to the customer.

      DWP Managers explain/be truthful to cliamants? Since when?


      March 7, 2016 at 7:49 pm

  12. Thousands of campaigners are preparing to march on Jobcentres in more than 70 towns and cities across the UK, in protest against the Government’s ‘grotesquely cruel’ benefit sanctions regime.

    The national “day of action”, organised by members of the Unite union, will also see the delivery of a petition signed by thousands of people to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP



    March 7, 2016 at 7:03 pm

  13. ken

    March 7, 2016 at 7:57 pm

  14. Andrew Coates

    March 8, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    • • You will be given advance notice of your personal schedule (between the hours of 8.00am – 8.00pm and 9.00am – 5.00pm on a Saturday) and will have some flexibility over this.

      & Sundays.


      March 8, 2016 at 12:32 pm

  15. As I am on one of these ‘courses’ I was wondering if I should add this feather to my cap – recently received – that is, to my CV:

    Andrew Coates

    March 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm

  16. The phantom benefit cheat is the perfect patsy for austerity.

    It’s in the government’s interests to keep promoting the very myths that keep the benefit fraud hotline ringing – and distract us from real social problems.



    March 8, 2016 at 12:41 pm

  17. From 31 August of this year, a “named person” will be appointed to monitor the welfare of every child in Scotland.

    Opponents of the scheme are attempting to have it quashed by the law courts, arguing that the legislation amounts to a “Big Brother” scheme that will undermine parents, breach a family’s right to privacy and divert resources away from children who are genuinely vulnerable.



    March 8, 2016 at 2:33 pm

  18. This country stinks,was talking to a an ex serviceman who signed on with who served in the Falklands and Northern Ireland who’s thrown his medals in the bin,bullied into signing off now on his wife’s benefits who has problems with a PIP claim.

    Not so Great Britain!


    March 8, 2016 at 3:57 pm

  19. Peers have backed down in their battle with MPs over cuts to disabled people’s benefits after ministers invoked special powers to push them through.

    The government was twice defeated in the House of Lords over a £30 a week cut to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for certain claimants.

    But it is set to go ahead after peers deferred to the elected Commons.

    Ministers claimed “financial privilege” to assert the Commons’ right to have the final say on budgetary measures.

    Ministers argue the changes will encourage people to get into work, but this is strongly disputed by opponents.



    March 8, 2016 at 7:26 pm

  20. Easy way to avoid DWP’s 45p-a-minute Universal Credit hotline accused of being a ‘well-kept secret’



    March 9, 2016 at 2:24 am

  21. Serial offender says he uses prison to ‘de-stress’ and claims a jail term fast tracks his access to benefits.


    It was said a whiles back here that a person would be better off in jail than circumnavigating the benefits system and low an behold, we have an example.


    March 9, 2016 at 7:51 am

    • This guy is UNEMPLOYABLE – he wouldn’t even get a SIA license or a taxi badge!


      March 9, 2016 at 8:54 am

      • But he’s eating and gets a roof over his head, unlike many who don’t have either.


        March 9, 2016 at 9:22 am

      • Well, if prison is so good why don’t all the unemployed slice their respective work roach’s head off? 25 year minimum stretch guaranteed. A guaranteed roof over you head and food in your belly for 25 years minimum 🙂 Thought not!

        Cell Block

        March 9, 2016 at 10:53 am

      • Stunned sheriff grants thug his wish after serial offender sends him a letter pleading for a jail term

        “the Sheriff said: “It’s very unusual for someone to ask to be remanded in custody” because you would have to be off your head 😀

        Cell Block

        March 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

    • A sad state of affairs, what people have to resort to doing to survive.


      March 9, 2016 at 9:29 am

    • Why slit someones throat cell block, this guys approach of small crime is the logical way to do it in between buying lottery tickets.

      Your argument cell block is rather dumb to say the least and lets not forget you failed to acknowledge that this con/ex con doesn’t mention all the reported violence, rape and the likes you and your kind bang on about,in fact compared to his survival, he obviously sees it as nothing which is hardly surprising when you consider more violence, rape and the likes occurs outside of prisons everyday anyway.

      Its also a well known fact alot of ex cons repeat offend because life’s easier inside than out.


      March 9, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      • Prison life is easier in a way because you don’t have to make any decisions. But the problem is that we need to make decisions – positive decisions – otherwise our brain atrophies. No matter what rot you spew, prison life is BAD for you. The maximum a human being can endure before they are permanently and irreversibly damaged is 12 years. have those who so vociferously advocate the prison ‘lifestyle’, doug, enigma, Andrew Coates ever actually been to prison? Thought not!

        Prisoner Cell Block H

        March 9, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      • “when you consider more violence, rape and the likes occurs outside of prisons everyday anyway.

        Its also a well known fact alot of ex cons repeat offend because life’s easier inside than out.” – what a load of old tommyrot!

        Prisoner Cell Block H

        March 9, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      • No one said going to prison is the best thing to do.


        March 9, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      • You already said prisoner cell block H, “Prison life is easier in a way because you don’t have to make any decisions”, yet then say what a load of old tommyrot to the fact of the notion that life’s easier on the inside than out so lays prominent in the memories of the cons when coping with todays society on the old.

        As for whos been to prison, the guy that sparked off this whole debate here a we while ago did, he outlined perfectly what its like. But you see they didn’t rap it up as a horror movie but as I took it more about living on a council estate.


        March 10, 2016 at 9:46 am

  22. SI 2016/232 – The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2016

    Released 2 March 2016

    The Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 amend the Universal Credit (Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/1230) and the modification by SI 2014/1230, reg. 12(4) of TCA 2002, s. 29(4), which provides alternative means of recovery of an overpayment of tax credit by way of deduction from universal credit. The amendments extend the alternative means of recovery to deductions from benefit (including universal credit), deductions from earnings or through court action. The regulations come into force on 1 April 2016.

    If UC wasnt already financially chipped away enough, now DWP can debt collect straight from your benefits.


    March 9, 2016 at 8:22 am

    • Of course, they had to make easier for themselves.


      March 9, 2016 at 9:05 am

  23. Just over 800,000 people on zero-hours contract for main job

    Date: 9 March 2016 Theme: Labour market

    Some 801,000 people said they were on a contract that guaranteed no minimum hours (or ‘zero hours’ contract) in their main job, according to latest ONS figures. This is 2.5% of the employed UK workforce, up from 2.3% in the same period of 2014.



    March 9, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    • IDS said they should be called flexible contracts for people, that only 2% of the workforce have them,that their for people who need that work-life balance.


      Flexible contract, flexible for one party of said contract maybe, just carers no way, 2.5 and growing and as for work life balance, try laying that on a work coach ?


      March 9, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      • That is exactly the issue at stake in the big demonstrations in France today.

        France unions and youths protest against labour reforms.

        France is braced for a day of protest and disruption as unions and young people join forces to show their opposition to proposed labour reforms.

        Youth organisations and unions are demonstrating on the same day as a rail strike over a wage dispute.

        The proposed law would remove some of the protection workers enjoy against being laid off, in a bid to encourage businesses to hire more people.

        But many on the left see it as a betrayal of their values.

        In pushing the reform, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has united a formidable array of leftist forces against him, says the BBC’s Hugh Schofield.

        That includes not just the unions but much of his own Socialist party – plus the students, who are leading Wednesday’s protests.

        The rail strike has already created disruption in Paris, with only one in three trains running and long queues of traffic, said reports.

        Sit-ins and street marches are planned later in the day across the country – though heavy rain in the capital and elsewhere threatened to deter some protesters.

        The reforms would:

        Lower existing high barriers to laying off staff
        Allow some employees to work more – far more – than the current working week, which is capped at 35 hours
        Give firms greater powers to cut working hours and reduce pay

        The most visible proponents of the bill – Mr Valls and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron – have urged backing for the proposals, pointing out that they would bring France into line with practice in the rest of Europe.

        “The terrible thing would be the status quo,” Mr Valls has said.


        Andrew Coates

        March 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      • & the rest of the world.


        March 9, 2016 at 2:42 pm

  24. dorsetiww

    March 12, 2016 at 6:41 pm

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