Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Calls to End Benefit Freeze.

with 61 comments

Image result for benefit freeze damian green

Furtive Looking Damian Green Under Pressure.

Chancellor Philip Hammond facing calls from own party to review four-year benefit freeze

reports the Independent.

This excellently researched report (which readers of the ‘I’ will have noted yesterday) is very welcome:

Exclusive: It comes after The Independent revealed earlier this month the Government had underestimated the severity of its four-year freeze on working-age benefits, with the cap now set to hit claimants by almost 50 per cent more than official estimates.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is facing calls from within his own party to review the four-year freeze on working-age benefits to alleviate the pressures on those with the lowest incomes in Britain.

It comes after The Independent revealed earlier this month the Government had grossly underestimated the severity of its four-year freeze on working-age benefits, with the cap now set to hit claimants by almost 50 per cent more than official estimates.

An analysis by the House of Commons Library showed that, due to rising inflation, the measure introduced last year is now expected to reduce support for those on low incomes by £13bn over the next four years, compared with the Government’s own forecast of £9bn.

Heidi Allen, a Conservative MP on the Work and Pensions Select Committee, told The Independent the Chancellor needed to look again at the policy.

“I see it principally because of Brexit that economically things were going to get turbulent, and that’s why we pushed so hard to get some money pumped back into universal credit, which as you’ll know we got a modest improvement on the taper rate – a couple of per cent,” she said.

“I remember saying it at the time: ‘We’re not through this yet’. If inflation picks up, people are going to be in trouble and that’s where we are.”

Asked whether she thought Mr Hammond should review the policy, Ms Allen replied: “I do.”

Ms Allen said the Chancellor has to look seriously at injecting money back either into the work allowances or the taper rates in universal credit in line with where inflation is heading. One possible solution would be redirecting the finances put into the raising of the tax threshold, she added.

“Otherwise while the raising of the tax threshold was great, it’s a bit of a headline because it affects absolutely everybody,” she said.

“It’s a pretty crude and blunt instrument in terms of having a positive impact on incomes because it doesn’t focus in on those who really need it.

We observe that inflation in the prices of basics is pretty visible, visit the supermarket for a start…

This is worth noting,

Debbie Abrahams, the shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said the four-year freeze in social security payments, coupled with the increase in inflation, will “feel like a cut to families who are already struggling”.

“Millions of people who rely on tax credits, universal credit, employment and support allowance and other forms of social security will see their living standards fall even further. Many more children and disabled people will face poverty,” she added.

Ms Abrahams also said Jeremy Corbyn’s party would reverse the cuts to in-work support that “will see 2.5 million families worse off by an average of £2,100 a year”.

A Government spokesperson said: “By cutting taxes for millions of people, giving the lowest earners a pay rise with the National Living Wage, doubling free childcare for nearly 400,000 parents and freezing fuel duty, we are helping people who need it most.”


Written by Andrew Coates

April 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

61 Responses

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  1. enigma

    April 18, 2017 at 11:22 am

    • Horror….

      Andrew Coates

      April 18, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      • Many many more people will realize what it really means.


        April 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      • What it means is get in there quick before it unravels further.

        Rising inflation soaring fuel bills rising food prices no Brexit plan the security of a zero hours contract and a fleabag employment agency job market.

        The only guaranteed job hours look to be on Work Experience under the Tories.

        Life on the Torrey Canyon!


        April 18, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      • And T May want’s us to trust her, with what. zilch.


        April 19, 2017 at 10:39 am

    • On the bright side if an election does actually happen in June – and presumably the Five Year Fixed Parliament Act will have to be repealed to allow this to happen – it will happen BEFORE the constituency boundaries are redrawn in a manner even more favourable to the Conservatives. Which could mean that Corbyn led Labour won’t lose as many MPs as otherwise or the Conservatives gain more.

      Sadly the Conservatives will end up with a significantly bigger majority than they have now.

      Which means that they can do pretty much whatever they like until the next general election and I’m pretty sure that unfreezing benefits, improving Universal Credit and allocating more money to the poor will be high up on their “to do” list.

      We’re fucked basically.

      Be afraid be very afraid.


      April 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm

  2. Theresa May calls an early General Election on June 8th 2017.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 18, 2017 at 11:28 am

    • What a Brexit gamble.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      April 18, 2017 at 11:29 am

  3. Damien 666 Green gets the sack.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 18, 2017 at 11:29 am

  4. Vote for Slavery Vote Genocide Tory.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 18, 2017 at 11:30 am

  5. If The Tories lose the election brexit will be no more. Britain in the wilderness. So bully bully tactics for the Tories. Brexit & Tory suicide policy.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 18, 2017 at 11:32 am

  6. The tories only implement policies(like the benefits freeze)for an even greater evil than themselves!


    April 18, 2017 at 1:55 pm

  7. Andrew Coates

    April 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm

  8. Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbour life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

    — Carl Sagan on Carl Sagan the Pale Blue Dot, our tiny world as revealed from the Voyager spacecraft as it continued past Saturn on its mission into the depths of the cosmos.

    Seen from about 6 billion kilometers, Earth appears as a tiny dot (the blueish-white speck approximately halfway down the brown band to the right) within the darkness of deep space

    Thought for the Day

    April 18, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    • Andrew Coates

      April 18, 2017 at 4:19 pm

  9. Who is talking Labour into the General Election then? Corbyn!? Or are we to have a snap leadership election?


    April 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm

  10. The Tories are going to use the most dirty evil propaganda war on the UK`s people to get what they want in the June General Election. The despirate over confident Tories who know 75% did not vote for Brexit. A think tank that has imposed war on the hard working families on UC, which is now hitting hard since the 2015 General Election. The Claimant Commitment for all to abide by. Fear tactics are on the policy. Since MP`s are not safe either on Social Media on real life. every MP canvasing knocking on doors should have a bodyguard with them !!!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    • Lots of bodyguard jobs going down the Jobcentre !!!

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      April 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    • MP`s don`t trust G4S !!!!

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      April 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm

  11. What about the 2020 General Election? Will it still take place?

    Psep H Ology

    April 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm

  12. What about the 2020 General Election? Will it still take place?.

    Psep H Ology

    April 18, 2017 at 7:10 pm

  13. What employers need to know about changes to benefits in kind


    As people on UC is growing now, especially that it includes in work claimants, i thought i would post this for those in work.
    Basically in the past an employer could supply something like a mobile phone or car and take a certain fee from the employees wage. The effect of this means the employees wage drops in amount before tax and NIC come into play (deducted before tax/NIC).

    Now this much aggrieved this penny pinching government so they introduced new rules that came into play this year (April 6th 2017) so they can have their cake and eat it and GRAB more of your HARD EARNED MONEY AND BENEFITS (benefits meaning both employer given and work benefits like tax credits).

    Now this government will insist only those further up the employee chain receive these employer benefits but this is quite untrue and can be seen at play throughout pay ranges.


    Company needs to supply you a mobile phone to take and arrange meetings with potential clients. Now this employer may offer for a fee, the opportunity to use this phone for personal calls as well.
    Well before this fee would be deducted before tax and NIC is calculated.

    So if you earned £11’700 this year but paid a fee for the phone for £300 for that tax year, then your wages would be reduced by that amount and thus make your wage £11’400. This means what with being below the tax allowance means you don’t pay any income tax that year plus see your NIC payment reduced by £37.50 for that year. Ultimately you qualify for more UC in the form of tax credits/housing benefit.

    Under NEW rules that £300 fee isn’t removed from your wages before tax and NIC so not only do you pay income tax and the extra NIC but also see a reduction in your in work benefits.

    This is the type of party people will be voting for if they vote Tory in this election as i cant tell you enough that this government,

    “REFUSES TO MAKE WORK PAY” and this proves it.


    April 19, 2017 at 7:18 am

  14. Andrew Coates

    April 19, 2017 at 9:08 am

    • Let`s clean up Parliament !!!

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      April 19, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    • Andrew Coates

      Yet again its the comments that interest me. Obvious Tory voters try to pass the buck and blame it on Labour or should i say defer with rather weak arguments. If that wasn’t bad enough, Labour voters maintain only how its far worse under this government. Both fail to actually make debate on how to cure it.

      Everyone want to play this as political football, The only problem is, no one wants to take the ball and run with it to score a goal.


      April 19, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      • Labour under Corbyn is committed to keeping Universal Credit. And does anybody really fancy Dianne Abbott as Secretary of State for Health? Labour’s position is confused and Corbyn unappealing, for all sorts of reasons, to enough general voters to get Labour back into power. Which, in any case, might not make that much difference to people reading this blog. It’s easy to talk the talk but much harder to walk the walk as Doug points out.

        There is growth in the economy but no rebalancing, nor is the recovery export led. Everything is being kept afloat by domestic spending with people drawing down money often by running up debt, borrowing money at low rates of interest, which will come to an end if inflation starts rising and the central bank increases the cost of borrowing. The House of May is built on sand and if Brexit goes badly wrong, which looks like the most likely outcome to me – all this talk of dozens and dozens of favourable trade deals being negotiated with umpteen foreign countries quickly and easily sounds cuckoo as far as I’m concerned, especially with the USA with a president who has repeatedly stated “America first!” over and over – the nation will truly be in the deepest of shit imaginable.

        Corbyn is NOT going to be the next Prime Minister; the Tories ARE going to win.

        After that who knows what the heck will happen?


        April 20, 2017 at 7:49 am

      • If you know the Tory’s are going win how is it that you don’t know what’s going to happen next.


        April 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      • Because I know what the public are going to do based on psephology and polling but not what the Tories are going to do because they have given next to no hints as per what they intend to do. Labour IS 100% going to lose and probably lose big time. That is as sure as death, sport.


        April 21, 2017 at 6:31 am

      • Since polling began it has always predicted the result of voting intention within plus or minus 6 points. The Conservatives are polling in the late teens to low twenty points ahead of Labour, and have been for a while. Basically Corbyn and Labour are toast. The polls can be wrong but not that wrong. The Tories are miles ahead of Labour, far too far for Labour to pull ahead in the next five or six weeks and go on to win. I wish this wasn’t true but we will all have to face up to this reality and live with the result indefinitely.


        In reality Labour under Corbyn are finished.


        April 21, 2017 at 7:10 am

      • I wouldn’t so sure what way the voting will go when the public find out what the Tories intend to do with the disabled.

        Comply or Die

        April 21, 2017 at 7:55 am

      • I wouldn’t be so sure what way the voting will go when the public find out what the Tories intend to do with the disabled.

        Comply or Die

        April 21, 2017 at 7:56 am

      • May is going to pay big time for the £30 a week reduction to ESA. You can’t just take money off of disabled people and expect to get away with it!

        Comply or Die

        April 21, 2017 at 7:57 am

  15. Off topic but the school I work in is undergoing a huge expansion. After the late spring bank holiday the kitchen will be closed due to works. Meals will be prepared outside and brought in but they’ll be cold foods. My first thought was but this hot dinner is the only hot meal or probably even meal some of these get all day….


    April 19, 2017 at 9:13 am

  16. The General Election will be called off on June 8th 2017 because so many politicians will be injured or & killed knocking on peoples doors to get them to vote. 24 injured & 6 killed. People hate confidence tricksters. The MP`s never learn slavery!!! Watch out for the hammers on the doorstep !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 19, 2017 at 1:29 pm

  17. 40,000 DWP Tory deaths aka DWP Tory Assisted Suicide.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm

  18. The hung parliament will hang itself in Brexit.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm

  19. What happened to Disability Confident ? Still being used as a money laundering service for the Tories !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm

  20. Ready for Trump & May to go to war with everyone !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    April 19, 2017 at 1:36 pm

  21. Sharp rise in rejected claims for disability benefit

    Labour raises alarm over number of people being turned down for personal independence payments


    Any reference to disability or support needed is being removed from claiment commitments for unemployed disabled also by work coaches.


    April 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm

  22. How sure are the Tories footing ?

    Now if May can keep the conversation on Brexit i suspect she will win BUT if the NHS,social care,education,rising homelessness,rising suicide, discrimination against the disabled and ill and a whole other raft of topics come into play, she may not find this plain sailing.

    When you think almost half of the UK wanted to remain, its safe to say half are more interested in whats going on at home rather than abroad.


    April 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm

  23. Government blocks move to give child benefit to apprentices


    As ive mentioned a few times, parents whose children take on apprenticeships, lose their right to child benefits as opposed to sending their child to college. Now a plan to assist apprentices or should i say their parents who have to foot the living bill, one far higher than the education cost being supplied what with candidates enduring a very poor wage structure (£3.50 a hour) has been shot down by our very government.

    Whether this government likes it or not, current financial arrangements for these apprentices has to change,especially in the light of recent withdrawals of certain benefits to the age group. If government don’t have the decency to assist then its high time they receive the adult rate of NLW and tax credits.

    The theory of working experience is a great idea but not when its used to create low cost labour that benefits the companies involved more than the child looking to carve a career.


    April 20, 2017 at 7:58 am

  24. Happy Birthday AH


    April 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm

  25. Just a point: we should be trying to put our issues on the agenda for this election.

    Let’s start with an end to the Benefit freeze.


    Andrew Coates

    April 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    • I would rather see free good education for the unemployed. Not those shaky pointless ones knocking about now but meaningful ones in trades that will still require people. Trades that make good money, secure hours.
      A trade qualification that if you cant get work with an employer, you can use to start your own business.


      April 20, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      • … or work on the side. Maybe that’s why they never teach you anything remotely useful that you could make a dollar out off. Doug the Mechanic, Doug the Joiner, Doug the plaster, Doug the Driver, Doug the Carpenter, Doug the Plumber… You can make hard cash out of hard skills. The only thing you could be doing on the side is re-doing CVs. Doug the CV writer. 😀


        April 20, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      • As Cash in Hand says, CVS, application letters and interviews.

        Experts aren’t we?

        Andrew Coates

        April 21, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      • To many so called CV gurus already.

        Its amazing how every time you visit another after being sent by DWP, the new one always says its wrong and needs to be re done, does not matter it was done by another so called provider CV guru, probably one this new one originally worked at until tax payer funding dried up.

        Im waiting for the day one criticizes his own original work what with not remembering he was the one who saw you a year ago at a different provider. If you go to these training providers now days despite the new name and business, their all ex DWP staff,ingeus and A4E ex employees peddling the same crap.


        April 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    • It sure is a rigged system, the sooner this is dealt with the better.


      April 20, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    • Jeremy on is way to Wales, good luck to him.


      April 21, 2017 at 10:56 am

  26. The Guardian view on apprenticeships: an invitation for employers to cheat

    which the government believes will help fill the skills and productivity gap that dogs the British economy


    What quality are these apprenticeships? Most will have seen this on Universal Jobmach simply meaning taking on a young person on a low wage working in a warehouse.

    Terms like professional/engineer are very loosely meaning that these skills are just learned in basic to weeks.


    April 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    • Ken

      Funny you say terms like professional/engineer as i saw a job just on total jobs for a maintenance operative yet the job was for basically a cleaner with no real maintenance in sight.

      As for the term professional, anyone who believes coming from the doll queue that their position awards them the trade title of professional, deserves to be dropped on their ass. Being professional in your actions and being a professional in trade are two entirely different things.


      April 20, 2017 at 7:07 pm

  27. £1.7Million scheme to support Cumbria’s long-term unemployed to be led by Groundwork

    Groundwork will lead a partnership of 12 voluntary and community sector organisations which have come together to support 450 of the region’s hardest to reach people to enter employment.


    These schemes dont overcome the major barriers demanding employers have.Its not just the employer in many cases its the employment agency too.


    April 20, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    • Groundworks are lousy greedy poverty pimps they should be ashamed of themselves, greedy bastards.


      April 20, 2017 at 6:26 pm

  28. This benefits freeze is affecting many.Simply saying its encourages people back to work is nonsence.Its like the well trodden if your willing to do anything then you can get a job today.Talk is cheap.Crass talk can come from people who should have a wider understanding and often comes from someone in a position.

    There is major barriers out there and those people are the ones at the end of all this and have been for the past decade.People on low benefits are more likely to suffer from stress,poor diet, ill health, die younger, be criminalised though desperation by council tax/TV licence magistrates and negatively stereotyped by politicians and society as a whole.


    April 20, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    • Actually its all starting to go south as the claimants put forward hardly put heart into it as its always low pay and unsafe hours and terms. This providers are actually beginning to struggle to find willing employers hence the pickings looking pretty crap more so than usual these days.


      April 20, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    • The major barrier being the employers


      April 20, 2017 at 8:30 pm

  29. Groundwork and the other poverty pimp scum will come together to make a huge amount of money off the backs of people with barriers to work!


    April 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm

  30. 16 and 17-year-olds election to vote? come on what’s wrong, heading to lose?



    April 20, 2017 at 7:59 pm

  31. The other day I saw a job on indeed which had been posted from universal jobshite and the closing date was June 2016, WTF!


    April 20, 2017 at 8:32 pm

  32. The UK would be welcomed back by the EU if it abandoned Brexit following the general election, the European Parliament’s president has said.

    Antonio Tajani said all 27 other countries in the European Union would be in favour if a new government decided to reverse the Article 50 process following the June 8 election, the Press Association reported.

    In a sign of the difficulties Theresa May will face if she remains in power after the election, Tajani indicated that any agreement on the rights of EU citizens in the UK – and Britons on the continent – would be subject to rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).



    April 21, 2017 at 11:04 am

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