Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

A Budget for the Top 10% Wealthy, as 3/4 of Welfare Cuts Remain.

with 57 comments

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One Man’s Advice has been Heeded.

Tory Budgets are odd things.

There’s a standard pattern

A Chancellor of the Exchequer stands up and grins like a Cheshire cat, meaning that you can be sure that only fellow tubby cats are going to be happy with the announcements.

In this case the likes of Sir Philip Green(CBI  and British Chamber of Commerce) and the Sir Arthur Daley (President, Federation of Small Businesses) are lapping it up.

Phil Fleming, spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses, described it as “a brilliant Budget”.

He said: “It was the most enjoyable Budget speech I have ever listened to in my life.

“He shut up the Opposition, considering what he had to juggle with. It is a brilliant Budget.”

Schools, we are told, are going to get cash for ‘little extras’.

Much needed it is said, for the post-Brexit teaching programme on the reintroduction of farthings, groats, and measurements such as Els, Furlongs, and terms for the reform of local government, Wapentakes and Hides.

Meanwhile…..

On Universal Credit in  the ‘I’ reporter Serina Sandhu reports,

The rollout of Universal Credit is being delayed once more, with a new target date of December 2023 for all claimants to be transferred to the Government’s flagship new benefit. The announcement came as Chancellor Philip Hammond provided an additional £6.6 billion over the next six years to smooth the introduction of UC, which replaces a range of welfare payments. Mr Hammond revealed the Treasury would be giving £1bn over five years to the Department for Work and Pensions to help ease the transition to the controversial benefits system. He also said he was increasing the work allowance – the amount claimants can earn before Universal Credit begins to be withdrawn – by £1,000 a year, at a cost of £1.7bn annually.

Mr Hammond defended the much-blighted system, which has led to some claimants being hundreds of pounds a month worse off than on legacy benefits. Others have fallen into rent arrears caused by delays to their first payment. “The switch to Universal Credit is a long overdue and necessary reform,” he said. “It replaces the broken system left by the last Labour government, a system… that trapped millions on out of work benefits. Universal Credit is here to stay.” Welfare damage Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: “The announcement doesn’t begin to repair damage caused by yearly welfare payment freezes, welfare reform act [and] austerity. This is no budget for strivers, grafters [and] carers.” Labour said: “[It] is inadequate. The document confirms that the work allowance change only reverses around half of the previous Tory cuts from 2015.”

The Resolution Foundation says,

Squeeze continues for low and middle income families despite Chancellor’s £55bn giveaway Budget

Almost half of Budget 2018 income tax cuts are set to go to the top ten per cent of households

The Chancellor set out a significant easing of austerity in a £55bn giveaway Budget yesterday that set out major increases in public service spending, tax cuts and a reversal of cuts to the generosity of Universal Credit. But the squeeze is set to continue for low and middle income families, the Resolution Foundation said today (Tuesday) in its overnight analysis of the Budget, How To Spend It.

Faced with a total fiscal windfall of £73.8bn from the Office for Budget Responsibility over the forecast period, the Chancellor chose to use 75 per cent of it in a £55bn giveaway Budget. But while yesterday’s Budget represents a significant shift in overall direction of public spending, it does not spell the end of the squeeze – either for unprotected public services, or over ten million working age families in receipt of benefits.

Key findings from How To Spend It include:

The squeeze continues for low and middle income families

  • The analysis shows that over three quarters of the £12bn of welfare cuts announced after the 2015 election remain government policy, despite the welcome £1.7bn boost to Work Allowances in Universal Credit.
  • Half of the welfare cuts that hit family budgets are yet to be rolled out – including a £1.5bn benefit freeze next April that will see a couple with children in the bottom half of the income distribution losing £200.

Better news for the ‘more than just managing’

  • 84 per cent of the income tax cuts announced yesterday will go to the top half of the income distribution next year, rising to 89 per cent by the end of the parliament (2022-23) when almost half (45 per cent) will go to the top ten per cent of households alone.
  • The richest tenth of households are set to gain 14 times as much in cash terms next year from the income tax and benefits giveaways in the Budget as the poorest tenth of households (£410 vs £30).
  • The overall package of tax and benefit changes announced since 2015 will deliver an average gain of £390 for the richest fifth of households in 2023-24, compared to an average loss of £400 for the poorest fifth of households.

Cuts to public services are eased, but not ended

  • Overall day-to-day departmental spending per capita is now set to rise by 4 per cent between this year and 2022-23, rather than fall by 4 per cent as previously planned.
  • However, the promises of extra spending on the NHS, defence and international aid mean that unprotected departments will continue to see cuts in every year from 2020-21. Their per capita real-terms budgets are set to be 3 per cent lower in 2023-24 than 2019-20.
  • If allocated equally this would mean day-to-day spending cuts of 48, 52 and 77 per cent between 2009-10 and 2023-24 for the departments of Justice, Business and Transport respectively.

The economic backdrop to Budget 2018

  • Despite the slight upgrade in the OBR growth forecasts, GDP per capita is set to grow by 4.9 per cent between 2018 and 2023, compared with an IMF forecast of 5.5 per cent across the rest of the G7.
  • Real average earnings are not set to return to their pre-crisis peak until the end of 2024 – representing an unprecedented 17-year pay downturn.

Torsten Bell, Director of the Resolution Foundation, said:

“The Chancellor was able to navigate the near impossible task in his Budget of easing austerity, seeing debt fall and avoiding big tax rises, thanks to a £74bn fiscal windfall. He chose to spend the vast majority of this on the NHS, income tax cuts and a welcome boost to Universal Credit.

“But while yesterday’s Budget represented a seismic shift in the government’s approach to the public finances, it spelt an easing rather than an end to austerity – particularly for low and middle income families.

The Chancellor made a very welcome £1.7bn commitment to Universal Credit, but has left intact three quarters of the benefit cuts announced following the 2015 general election. Meanwhile income tax cuts announced yesterday will overwhelmingly benefit richer households, with almost half of the long term gains going to the top ten per cent of households. On public services the NHS saw a big spending boost ­– but unprotected departments still have further cuts penciled in.

“This Budget was much easier for Philip Hammond than many expected. But there will be tougher choices for Chancellors in the years ahead. Brexit must be delivered smoothly, public spending will remain tight, and forecasts may not always be so rosy.

“Looking further ahead, living standards growth is set to be sluggish and the tax rises to meet pressures in the 2020s from our ageing society will still be needed – as and when there’s a government with the majority to deliver them. Austerity has been eased, but there are still tough times ahead.”

The Mirror gives Labour’s response:

John McDonnell: Philip Hammond gave a broken promise budget, failing to end austerity

By choosing to cut rather than invest, Tories have failed to fix the weaknesses of the economy, says the Shadow Chancellor

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57 Responses

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  1. Hammond to “double the dole”… “and then some”. Hammond: “For far too long the unemployed have borne the brunt of austerity. I intend to redress this inherently unfair state of affairs with immediate effect.”

    Budget News Extra

    October 30, 2018 at 10:11 am

  2. It was Chris Grayling who first used the term “flagship” to describe the now sunk ‘Work Programme’.

    Davy Jones' Locker

    October 30, 2018 at 10:17 am

  3. More like a General Election Budget. It will also get voted down by the DUP. The Budget has no meaning same as Brexit has no meaning & won’t happen. £100 Billion spent on the bogus budget what utter rubbish.

    General Election in Nov 2018 to stop the DUP are the Tories high risk gamble.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 30, 2018 at 10:47 am

    • Considering what happened last time I doubt that the very unpopular Mrs May would risk it.

      Jim

      October 31, 2018 at 8:17 am

  4. Andrew Coates

    October 30, 2018 at 10:49 am

  5. Universal credit’s ill effects on the poor and vulnerable haven’t been changed because the design of the benefit hasn’t been changed and most of the money he allocated provisionally to UC will go to the working poor who benefit from the work allowance. (Of course even what he has announced may or may not actually happen and isn’t a sure thing.) What Hammond has done won’t reduce the escalating number of people going to food banks, or reduce the number of people going into debt and/or rent arrears, or being evicted because they cannot manage AT ALL any more – all of these things will continue to rise exponentially until UC is redesigned from the ground up. Hammond’s sticking plaster will NOT stop attacks on UC, not least from his own MPs.

    The benefit freeze and further targeted cuts of the social security budget will proceed as planned.

    I don’t know from whom austerity has ended but it sure a f*ck isn’t the sick, disabled, needy or the poor.

    Percy S.

    October 30, 2018 at 11:21 am

  6. Andrew Coates

    October 30, 2018 at 12:10 pm

  7. Hmmmm. ..little extras for schools. I work in one in a very deprived area. Way more than usual SEN kids and kids on free skl meals. Last academic year our head had to introduce a paper ration…in a school! This year was announced its lifted but soon parents might be asked to donate loo rolls…! I kid you not. I’m just a humble cleaner but now we have less to clean with and I swear it’s being watered down…..

    katrehman

    October 30, 2018 at 2:28 pm

  8. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    October 30, 2018 at 3:13 pm

  9. “When one goes to fight monsters, one had best take care not to become the monster oneself”.

    – Friedrich Nietzsche

    Friedrich Nietzsche

    October 30, 2018 at 3:56 pm

  10. He chose to spend the vast majority of this on the NHS, income tax cuts and a welcome boost to Universal Credit.

    The catastrophe of Iain Duncan Smith’s universal credit is laid out on the mortuary slab by the National Audit Office, the public spending watchdog. At phenomenal cost to the taxpayer, David Cameron and George Osborne backed this pointless upheaval that has inflicted untold suffering on claimants and yet achieves nothing measurable, says the national auditor’s autopsy report. It’s a breathtaking read.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/15/universal-credit-colossal-catastrophe-national-audit-office

    We were told there was no unemployed!

    Boosted poverty,damaged mental health made no difference to employment barriers faced by many the growth between the haves and have nots continues to widen,a dismal labour market where one months work could be considered fortunate let alone paid monthly,hate crime up,homeless on the streets growing.

    Hate crime towards the disabled community seems to know no bounds and is on the increase according to research by the charity United Response.

    https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/30/hate-crimes-disabled-people-dismissed-exist-terrifying-8085037/

    Totally unacceptable.

    ken

    October 30, 2018 at 3:58 pm

  11. Not one mention about disabled people, perhaps the Tories think they have all killed themselves because they sure ain’t got jobs. Universal Credit cures disability or should I say work cures disability. Scrap UC which is going to cost the Tories well over £100 Billion in the Denial Factory. STATE SPONSORED MURDERS ON THE DISABLED earn £ Billions off if. The Tories still can’t get out of the ATOS contract & are paying £ Billion bonuses to ATOS out of the tax payers money. Terrorist DUP UFV holding the Tories for ransom. Everybody is holding the Tories for ransom including the UN Human Rights of disabled people. No brexit no Tory escape for Human Rights Breaches. All these lies cost money & lives for propaganda in genocide of disabled people. Animals are treated better than the disabled in the UK. Of course I have made all that up as some political fart. Disabled Human rights is not a political issue but a Human Rights Issue not controlled by politics.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 30, 2018 at 5:28 pm

  12. Jackie Doyle Price the Suicide Prevention Minister has stopped all suicides & have cured them & they have all got jobs now. Well done Jackie Doyle Price for being the medical guru. I didn’t know there were so many suicide jobs going. Perhaps Jackie there is no need for a Suicide Prevention Minister now. Also should the cv for the mention Jackie Doyle Price cured the suicide risks by killing people before the commit suicide with sanctions.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 30, 2018 at 7:51 pm

  13. I have reported myself to the DWP for disability benefit fraud & they don’t want to know. So the DWP are open to fraud & fail to act when it is reported. Why I ask myself !!! Am I that important & dangerous to the DWP. It seems so. How much failure within the DWP of failing to act on anything apart from suicide threats that don’t work either. The DWP hands are tied because they do not want the truth to come out. Why do the DWP not want the truth to come out about benefit fraud & commit suicide. Swings & roundabouts on £800,000 disability benefit fraud.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 31, 2018 at 7:33 am

  14. Hammond is not spending real money but money that may (or may not) turn up based on the OBR’s forecast. It’s a “something will turn up” Wilkins Micawber budget which could just as easily fail as succeed. The give-away to the richest people in the UK, while continuing to freeze and cut support to the poor is disgraceful and yet Labour are going to vote for it in parliament which I think is very odd. I would have imagined that Labour would take the opportunity to frustrate a Sheriff of Nottingham budget which takes money from the poor and gives money to the rich but there you go.

    Jim

    October 31, 2018 at 8:24 am

    • The benefits freeze is the all-but-forgotten but most brutal of the benefits cuts. In our case it means literally frozen. Last winter we were sat huddled in blankets with icicles dangling from our nostrils. We have had to put utensils and the likes on bits of string because if we drop anything from our frozen hands our backs are unable to bend down to pick them up. Honestly, we don’t know if we will survive another frozen winter. Good luck to all you other intrepid explorers of the benefit freeze wilderness!

      The Scotts of the Antartic

      October 31, 2018 at 8:48 am

      • The benefits freeze has got more penguins into jobs 😀

        The Penguin Family

        October 31, 2018 at 10:00 am

    • You never hear anything about the ‘benefits freeze’, it seems to have been lost in the annals of history.

      Historian

      October 31, 2018 at 10:05 am

  15. Andrew Coates

    October 31, 2018 at 11:59 am

  16. Eton groomed tory thug attacked for his despicable treatment of the poor.

    Violet

    October 31, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    • That tory tw@t and his cohorts at the slander machine have done a lot of damage where benefit claimants are concerned.

      petunia

      October 31, 2018 at 1:50 pm

  17. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/508457/response/1257540/attach/html/2/IR%20416%20FOI%203442%20Reply.pdf.html

    While the Welfare Reform Act 2012 gives the Secretary of State powers to make
    undertaking work experience a work-related requirement, current DWP policy is that
    work experience should be entirely voluntary as per K5121. We recognise that
    subsequent guidance in paragraph K5123 does not make this difference between legal
    powers and government policy clear. We are looking again at Chapter K5 to ensure it
    accurately reflects DWP policy

    superted

    October 31, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    • I saw that FoI reply as well. But you can bet that coachy will tell you that work experience is a mandatory provision, etc. Just don’t sign the provider’s paperwork and they’re screwed. And out the door you’ll go.

      jj joop

      November 1, 2018 at 9:07 am

      • even was it was so called mandatory it was not as no sig no contract no money and cannot process ur personnel data.

        and it has taken them 4 months to come out with that answer they just cant admit they fooked if no one signs providers contracts.

        superted

        November 1, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    • Superted

      Not so sure about that as do remember DWP changed the process which makes me suspect they, not the provider act as data processor for funding which if true means the provider will receive funding. The only remaining issue is things like insurance,etc and again while i can only suspect, do believe an implied consent method will be used.
      Sorry i cant give concrete specifics at this juncture but because of available time, still needing more data, still sifting through tons of data, makes this impossible to clarify. Its not just a simple case of one set of second and third party, there is the definition of the relationship between contractors to consider also.

      With that said though although you and or others may not agree, i dont see the harm in work experience providing it runs along the correct lines. According to regulation it should not be more than 16 hours a week with a non profit business currently. If with a profit business it should not last longer than 8 weeks however as i dont have the data to hand dont know in this particular instance, how many hours a week.
      There are things i dont know as yet like how many times this can happen meaning a claimant could be shifted from one work experience to another which if the case would be another string of issues.

      Although i am no fan of IDS, i did support the idea of doing away with this hand money, you find work culture and seeing the proactive approach of using a persons skillsets and placing them within the an area of the council or where young, providing tasters in any department at the claimants choice of interest which would also work well for adults looking for a new path. Sadly the civil services unions came out swinging and it was abandoned. A local council does many things and interacts with many contractors so the opportunity couldn’t present itself better than the current format of disconnected work experience where the only guarantee is an interview with no actual certainty of a job.
      I wish to point out however my plan does differ from IDS original one where i can guarantee public service existing staff job security by disconnecting how the two groups come together. I also would like to see the min wage hour rate used but capped at 25 hours a week so time is afforded for work search. Basically if a claimant only claims lets say JSA, that would be divided by the min wage meaning in that case the claimant would only be required to participate for around 10 hours a week. If claiming JSA and housing benefit of say £100, would do 22 hours a week and so forth. The claimants while doing this wouldn’t be subject to micro management targets but these could be used to assess the viability of the claimant in that given trade. All work given isn’t critical to infrastructure or operation meaning a claimant acts as a wingman to an already existing public service worker. (this isn’t the full context of what i designed but fits perfectly with this matter you speak of).
      I believe this can work and has untold benefits for all.

      (if anyone has points to raise which isn’t the simple case of shooting it down with no clarification, please do make them as it would be good to hear from more claimants as that is who im making it about rather than the DWP approach of making a claimant cheap labour with no end product but for themselves and the government.

      doug

      November 3, 2018 at 9:43 am

      • i have never been to a 3rd party provider were i was not required to sign there contracts/paper work even when i went to a group meeting with the National Careers Service at the end they wanted sig for the register and a email address. i refused.

        and it was the same when i last had my cv looked at buy them in the jcp and wanted a sig tho i refused and then they tried a sanction but never got nowhere with it and was dropped.

        it has worked for the last ten years and proved i can kick there ass if they try it on so no reason not to keep on doing it.

        and tbh i have done it all b4 and it is a complete waste of time as it is not paid work so references are useless same as the Micky mouse training schemes that at the end get a useless bit of paper saying that you attended.

        the only benefit is the providers profit margin and there not going to get a penny out of me anymore.

        and if i need to i have the ultimate weapon power of attorney as my mom has this for her brother and it renders the dwp useless as they cant do anything to him as its in her name.;)

        superted

        November 3, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      • Superted

        Work experience is about gaining practical experience and working theory about a trade, it not about acting as a reference. DWP can waffle all they like about it being a reference but the truth is it is seen as the equivalent of a personal reason from a friend or family which is worth squat diddly to an employer, always has done. Now volunteering can but it cant be some feckless charity/co gooder business model or business completely unrelated to the specific trade your are actually applying for which is not going to happen often unless your an intern pursuing a qualification in the field at the same time.

        This is why i want to remove providers from the equation all together and have the councils and there contractors embrace them along with the NHS,fire service and later on the large businesses like the train services,etc. None of this just go here and do this meaningless crap that benefits us and not the claimant but instead a diverse pallet from which either fits the claimants skillset or allows a plethora of choice that your actually interested in.

        As for the paperwork thing at providers i know you haven’t been spending time reading the GDPR as the direction is for businesses and such to adapting to other ways of getting the same information but under a different guise. Local councils and government have already adopt new techniques and i did say way back when, the only way to get round consent was to change the law so so they did just that.

        Now everyone may not have it tight drum yet but they will tinker and tinker to perfect it. You already witnessed how government change the relationship of their contractors to a second party so why is it you think that isn’t going to happen across the board because it is happening.

        The picture is way bigger than mere claimants getting out of work programmes, personal data IS CURRENCY and the whole GDPR was geared to work in government and businesses favor.

        The public are being systematically robbed of their rights and consent for personal data is already on the block with only 20% left to do to total remove the right altogether. Its not a case of if, its firmly a when will it be complete.

        doug

        November 3, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      • All these provider courses/work experience I have been on did nothing and it all ended jobless and no reference within a short time.They simply don’t work.Al it did was create an easy come easy go environment where voluntering charity shops could simply let people go if they didn’t like someone knowing that they couls be easly replaced.

        On one occasion I was told by the shop they wanted to give someone else a try only to be told by the Jobcentre that they didn’t have the people to offer in work support,that should no have happened.I would never volunteer again for anything.They knew fullwell at the Jobcentre by the reaction was simply try elsewhere.I learn’t my lesson the hard way by “doing the right thing”.

        Superted has completly the right attitude in dealing with this backfiring practice.

        ken

        November 3, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      • Ken

        This is why i want it taken away from providers all together (put them out of business) as its clearly open to abuse.
        We cant have this stick you anywhere attitude just to make money, just to get you off the books and oh god do both provider and DWP need to stop with this transferable skill nonsense.
        I dont want to see a claimant pushed into charity shops and poundstores, i want meaningful experience backed up with a min of level 3&4 qualifications if the person does not hold them in that trade already otherwise its pointless.
        Its also no good pushing people into agencies/trades fast trading over to using machines like warehouses, retail stores. None of this CSCS labourer crap, teach and qualify them in a proper trade in construction that if they cant get work with a firm, they can do work for themselves, self employed.

        This government (for the record i reckon it would have still happened if ed miliband got in or any other new labour MP) has been nothing but shortermist when we need to invest in the unemployed because the UK ship is sinking like it or not as we are a poxy little island, not an empire so we need to upskill all people and school leavers now before its to late.

        doug

        November 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      • doug b4 the collage courses fess were put up i could just afford to pay for a it computing course but as it was full time was told id loose the benefits id need to pay for it so no way i could better my self with a decent nvq to add to my cv.

        what i got instead was dumped down the local a4e office to do endless job search 12 hrs over 2 days for 6 months and buy the end just had to show my face sign the register and just go back home as could do my own job search on my own pc anyway.

        the only thing it was for is to get the numbers down as i was classed in training so not classed as unemployed.

        as is i have never been sent on anything that i could put on a cv as a skill that would be of use in a job other than stacking shelves in pound land or picking up rubbish down a dual carriage way on the work force programme.

        superted

        November 3, 2018 at 5:42 pm

      • Superted

        I know this, i was once on the work programme to, once pushed to attend a skills conditonality course.
        I was smack dab in the middle of doing a qualification when this government removed concessions that allowed the unemployed and poorly paid to attend college for free. I needed one more year so i could get my 160 UCAS points and qualify for a degree although i had a plan of getting an advanced apprenticeship (these pay a really good wage while the company sponsors you to gain the degree to go with the trade while you work).
        Now those very same level 2 and 3 qualifications aren’t recognized by the industry anymore, they are worthless and this government is totally responsible for it and all the money wasted.
        So you know you didnt have to take a fulltime course, you could take the part time one as i too got the if its more than 16 hours you have to sign of threat, even made me sign a contract. Now if you were to do such a course, you would have to take out a 24plus advanced learners loan while DWP still expect you to give it up if any old job comes in meaning you can now add a debt you owe for a qualification and trade you never got. This tells you they dont want you bettering yourself so you never have to sign on again as who would take an education loan with that risk involved.

        My idea would embrace a claimant wanting to better themselves as that’s the road forward.

        doug

        November 3, 2018 at 5:56 pm

      • My idea would embrace a claimant wanting to better themselves as that’s the road forward.

        problem is the dwp want the complete opposite just seems all they want is you off benefits and dont give a crap if you have a job or not.

        i think you have better training options in prison lol.

        superted

        November 3, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      • Superted

        Im off now as you know but that prison thing is a case of all that glitters is not gold but that’s another story for another time and forum. Be safe, take care.

        doug

        November 3, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      • You won’t get Rolf Harris teaching you how to paint. Not for free anyway, on the outside, I’m telling you.

        The Prisoner

        November 3, 2018 at 6:46 pm

  18. The benefits ‘freeze’ is robbing our poorest families. Where’s the outrage?

    Next year, more than 10.4m UK households – more than one in three – will be left on average £150 poorer than they are today. Worse still, this loss will be concentrated on families already struggling, or even failing, to get by: those at or below the UK’s poverty line.

    If you feel as though you’ve missed this headline, that would be no surprise: the news has barely attracted coverage, let alone reached the front pages, despite affecting some 26 million people.

    What’s more, this year won’t be the first time those families have had money snatched from them: it is the fifth in a row. The reason isn’t a new tax, or unemployment, or universal credit. It’s the benefits freeze – perhaps the most important UK story that the media and politics persistently ignores.

    Usually, each year, anyone receiving a working-age benefit – which includes working and child tax credits, which prop up low wages for households that need it – gets an increase in line with whatever the level of inflation is each September.

    This week, September’s inflation was announced at 2.4%, meaning that, on average, everything is 2.4% more expensive than it was a year ago. If the rate continues about that level, in the coming year you’ll need 2.4% more money just to afford to buy the same things. An increase to benefits in line with that amount would be what you would need just to stand still.

    Ever since 2015-16, the Conservative government has instead “frozen” these benefits – a false term, given that in reality each year these families are seeing their incomes cut. For next year, the well-respected Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) estimates the average hit to income at £150.

    But the cumulative effect of five years ends up much higher, at something in the region of £700 to £800, taken from families who were hardly finding it easy to get by in 2015. Even for those in work, the relatively fortunate ones, wages are yet to return to their pre-financial crash levels, meaning the government has imposed a devastating double whammy on the people least able to cope with it.

    This does save the government a fairly significant amount of money. The IFS estimates the freeze next year will save about £1.6bn, instead of allowing benefits to rise in line with inflation.

    Keeping that freeze year after year – as the Conservatives have done – compounds these savings, meaning the measure has now probably reduced government spending by about £8bn a year. Given the Conservatives’ relentless rhetoric about the need to improve Britain’s balance sheet, some might conclude that this was a tough but necessary step.

    It is not. It has been a sustained and deliberate reverse Robin Hood operation, a calculated raid on the poor to allow the government to give cash away elsewhere.

    Ever since entering government, the Conservatives have made a series of cuts to corporation tax, reducing government revenues by between £12bn and £16bn a year – far more than the money saved by the benefits freeze.

    The government did not need to take this money from low- and middle-income families. It made a choice, and has all but escaped condemnation for doing so. What amounts to a large-scale robbery has received hardly a fraction of the scrutiny universal credit has (rightly) garnered.

    Part of this failure does lie at the door of the media. Few in that sector come from backgrounds where these cuts are likely to bite, meaning the issue – despite affecting 26 million men, women, and children in the UK – feels distant and technical to many UK newsrooms.

    It’s also the result of deliberate and sustained demonisation of benefits and the people who live off them – leading to the bizarre situation where it’s easy to cut benefits, but virtually impossible to tax fuel properly, even as we struggle with climate change and deadly air pollution.

    But while the bulk of the political blame for this situation lies with the Conservative party that instituted the policy – which shows up the “compassionate Conservatism” branding as a hollow lie – these families have also been dismally failed by the Labour party too.

    Labour’s popular 2017 manifesto noticed the effects of the Conservative’s corporation tax cuts, and reversed them – as well as proposing various other tax hikes on the UK’s richest citizens. It then proceeded to offer to spend that money on a range of programmes, such as scrapping tuition fees, which would primarily benefit only slightly less rich families.

    At no point did it offer to reverse the benefit freeze and offset its effects. It didn’t even contain the bare minimum: a promise to at least end the freeze and increase benefits to – or, better, above – the level of inflation.

    Somehow the party of the workers forgot perhaps the most serious financial blight on millions of working families (and those looking for work) – and it has yet to make helping those families its stated policy.

    In the UK’s ridiculous current politics, trying to enact a measure that would help 10 million families would be a tough political sell. But right now, no one is even trying to make it. As a result, 10 million families are being made poorer every year, and virtually no one in politics or the media has their corner. That urgently needs to change.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/19/benefits-cuts-poorest-politics-media-cuts

    The Guardian

    November 1, 2018 at 8:22 am

    • Since the Dawn of Wo/man all benefits have risen in-line with September inflation index (because it tends to be lowest). Now the dialogue has shifted to the point that it is ‘unconscionable’, ‘unthinkable’ and ‘political suicide’ to even suggest ‘unfreezing’ ‘working-age’ benefits, never mind ‘uprating’ them. How did we get to this stage. It just seems to be accepted now. What is the future for ‘working age’ benefits? Have they been consigned permanently to the freezer. To be left to wither and die as they become worthless.

      Deep Freeze

      November 1, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    • whoknew

      November 1, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      • Labour are being mealy-mouthed over this just as when the promised to end the PUNITIVE sanctions regime. Punitive sanctions, not the sanctions regime. Labour have no intentions of scrapping sanctions. It was Labour that brought in the (punitive) sanctions regime in the first place. Sanctions are Labour’s ‘baby’.

        What McDonnell has said that Labour’s measures and programmes (workfare?) will “effectively” end the benefits freeze. Like is the same guff McVey spouts about claimants becoming better off through universal credit as it ‘effectively’ “‘helps’ them into work”.

        And in any case are Labour expecting to be in power before the current benefit freeze is due to end in 2020. Come 2020 will the benefit freeze be heralded a “success” and quietly continued or will working-age benefits rise by a token, below inflation 1%. The best that would happen is that they would
        resume being uprated with inflation. What should happen of course is that they are ‘readjusted’ to bring them into line. Claimants should also receive a refund of their stolen monies; a ‘windfall’. It is not going to happen though.

        whocares

        November 1, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    • There was reams of coverage over the so-called ‘rape clause’. How many households has that affected though? Think it might be two or three. Compare that figure with the benefit freeze that we know has impoverished 26,000,000 households many with children. Why is no politician condemning the benefits freeze as “disgusting”? Not emotive enough? No political capital/votes to be gained? No room for ‘virtue signalling’? No photo opportunities?

      whocares

      November 1, 2018 at 12:51 pm

  19. Just been watching ‘Can’t Pay, We’ll f***** well take it away’ on Channel 5. The baliffs were after an elderly gent for £2,700 over a fight his dog got into. He came out with “I am an OAP you know. I haven’t got £2 to my name never mind £2,000. I am not paying. It is not going to happen. I only live in a nice house because I bought it for £7,000 thirty-odd years ago.” And we are thinking: “Poor pensioner. Typical foodbank customer. Probably exists on sweet tea and ‘value’ ginger nuts. Bloody evil Tories. Must remember to donate to the Pensioners Welfare Fund.” While we were thinking all this the bailiffs were having a root around and found TWO bank statements. One with a balance of £22,000 and another with a balance of £34,000. Goodness what they would have found in the biscuit tin if they had continued. Anyway, they confronted him at that point. He still held out and when he was threatened with the debt being “escalated to the next stage” he quickly buckled and paid by card. A case of someone pleading poverty when they are rolling in it. He can’t be the only one, surely?

    Gugglebox

    November 1, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    • Heck no! There are badduns in all walks of life. I mean look how many kiddie fiddlers there are/were that were ordained ministers, priest and vicars! And how many bent MPs and policemen there are/were! Ecky Thump. This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself, This Britain has turned into a newborn Sodom and Gomorrah I’m telling you!

      Val

      November 1, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    • £54,000 knicker! That’s a helluva lot of sweet tea and ‘value’ ginger nuts!

      Hackney

      November 1, 2018 at 4:51 pm

  20. If anyone is quick you can watch it on +1

    Gugglebox

    November 1, 2018 at 12:24 pm

  21. Labour says it would end the welfare freeze.

    Labour says it would end the freeze in working-age benefits if it wins the next general election.

    The policy was not included in the party’s last manifesto, but at Prime Minister’s Questions, Jeremy Corbyn said he “would have ended the benefit freeze” if he had won the election.

    Labour later said it would increase benefits in line with inflation.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-46050691

    Andrew Coates

    November 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    • Crikey! The next election might not happen until 5 May 2022! Surely the Tories will have to have ended the benefit freeze by then or people on benefits will ALL be facing grinding poverty and destitution.

      Val

      November 1, 2018 at 6:13 pm

  22. In the meantime:

    Andrew Coates

    November 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    • Disability Confident is a Disability Hate Crime as well as fencing £ Billions money laundering. Same as Esther McVey putting her name to it. Empower the fraud to curing disability to I Am Confident being cured.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      November 1, 2018 at 6:31 pm

  23. Atos threatens to call police after claimant questions PIP assessor’s mental health training

    DNS – 1st Nov 2018

    Staff working for a discredited benefit assessments contractor threatened to call the police after a claimant asked about the mental health qualifications of the nurse who was assessing his eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP).

    Atos has now launched an investigation into what happened at the assessment centre in Leeds, which saw the nurse abandon Kris Weston’s assessment after just a couple of minutes.

    She did not realise that Weston, a composer and trained sound engineer, had been recording the assessment.

    Read More:
    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/atos-threatens-to-call-police-after-claimant-questions-pip-assessors-mental-health-training/

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    November 1, 2018 at 6:33 pm

  24. Dodgy Dave David Cameron is coming back to the Tory cabinet. Perhaps IDS can now be Tory leader again. Bringing back all the failures to add to the Tory failures like Brexit & UC. It is not about politics it is about causing chaos. The more chaos the better to show up the Tory party for Human Rights Breaches which there are a lot of in Universal Credit. The Tories are so simple in thinking I vote or care about voting or who gets in. He must be a labour person. Maybe I am maybe I’m not. Human Rights & Equality is a must. CHOAS.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    November 2, 2018 at 8:37 am

  25. Driver, 54, who is going blind served eviction notice after DWP lose his sick note, suspend his benefits and deem him ‘fit to work’

    Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/people/man-faces-eviction-from-his-home-after-dwp-lose-his-sick-note-and-suspend-his-housing-benefit/

    superted

    November 2, 2018 at 5:46 pm

  26. That is atrocious the DWP are evil b*stards a blind person shouldn’t have to face eviction because of their fooking cock ups.

    Violet

    November 2, 2018 at 7:23 pm


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