Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Benefits Freeze is “over” but cut of 6% stays – future halt to rises not ruled out.

with 95 comments

Working-age benefits are set to continue to their relative decline (Resolution Foundation).

Last week this news item marked Thérèse Coffey, first Parliamentary intervention in her “dream job” as Work and Pensions Secretary.

Freeze imposed in 2015 was planned to last until end of 2019-20 financial year.

The government has refused to commit to ending its freeze on benefits despite a promise to turn the page on a decade of austerity.

The work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, said she could not give a definitive answer about whether the freeze on most working-age benefits and tax credits would continue beyond its initial four-year term.

Imposed in 2015 by chancellor George Osborne, the benefit freeze was planned to last until the end of the 2019-20 financial year. However, Coffey said talks were ongoing about what the government would do next and she left the door open for a possible extension.

Answering questions from MPs on the Commons work and pensions committee, she said: “I don’t think anybody should make any assumptions by default, but we’re looking very carefully right now on what we can do on benefits going forward from 2020. I can’t give you a definitive outcome on what we will do.”

The electronic dog collar disciplinarian did not taker account of this – as the article continues,

Inflation figures published earlier on Wednesday indicated that benefits could rise by 1.7% from April if the freeze is lifted. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said inflation remained unchanged in September, with the consumer price index (CPI) holding steady at 1.7%.

The inflation reading for September is used by the government to uprate the value of benefit payments each year, as well as state pensions and business rates.

The Resolution Foundation think tank said the welfare freeze had cut the value of benefits by 6% in real terms since 2015, leaving the average poor couple with children £580 a year worse off.

It said the social security safety net was continuing to be eroded as wages and pensions rose by more than double the rate of benefits.

This is the Resolution Foundation report, well worth reading.

The benefit freeze has ended, but erosion of the social security safety net continues

The major working-age benefits will rise in cash terms in April 2020, for the first time in five years. They will increase by 1.7 per cent, based on new figures released today – assuming no change in government policy. But while the benefit freeze has now ended, its effect of significantly weakening the social security safety net has not.

Further data, also released this week, means that the state pension will rise by a higher 3.9 per cent. The difference between the two increases highlights the fact that working-age benefits will continue to be eroded in value relative to earnings and pensions. This policy approach comes despite households with children typically having lower incomes than other groups, and higher poverty risks.

They continue,

The ‘benefit freeze’ is over.

We now know that CPI inflation was 1.7 per cent in the year to September. This figure is particularly important as it determines (among other things) how far many benefits will rise next April.

Remarkably, for a range of benefits – including Child Benefit, Universal Credit, (non-disability) Tax Credits, Housing Benefit limits, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, and Employment and Support Allowance (except the support group component) – this will be the first cash increase in basic entitlements since April 2015, thanks to the benefit freeze introduced by then Chancellor George Osborne.

After adjusting for price increases, this benefit freeze has cut the real level of those benefits by 6 per cent, and in many cases that has come on top of earlier real cuts.

It is of course a good thing that the freeze is coming to an end. (Though, to be clear, the freeze was always due to come an end in April 2020 – there has not been any recent policy change.)

But, while the direction of travel is no longer downwards, working-age benefits are clearly now stingier than they were pre-freeze, or indeed pre-austerity (even putting aside any wider considerations, such as sanctions or waiting periods). In fact, the real value of basic out-of-work support in 2019-20 is – at £73 a week (£3,800 a year) – lower than it was in 1991-92, despite GDP per capita having grown by more than 50 per cent since then. Even more starkly, child benefit for a second child or beyond is worth less in 2019-20 than when it was (fully) introduced in 1979. It seems a rising tide does not always lift all boats.

….

Although the benefit freeze and departmental austerity are ending, this is not the end of working-age welfare cuts

The question of whether we could and should do more to support household incomes through working-age benefits (the answer to both is yes) seems particularly pertinent when the age of austerity has come to an end for departmental spending, and when the likely upcoming election may feature some very expensive promises on other spending and tax cuts.

But despite the end of the benefit freeze, the turning point for departments, and the abandoning of previous fiscal rules, we shouldn’t forget that some benefit cuts continue to be rolled out. As Figure 4 shows, the two-child limit in particular has some way to go, as it applies only to those born after April 2017. The slow roll-out of Universal Credit, although a positive overall, will also create many losers as it continues over the next few years.

When it comes to working-age benefits, it is clear that austerity is not yet over.

Coffey’s stout denial of poverty continues.

And here.

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

October 22, 2019 at 10:18 am

95 Responses

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  1. What a shower. The MPs are on nearly 80K p/a + expenses, the Lords get their £300 per day pocket money, and they expect us to survive on a lousy pittance of 70 quid a week, or even if it’s £75 or whatever it’s still bugger all and goes nowhere, especially also considering that many of us now have to pay some Council Tax as well out of our dole. JSA should be in the region of £90 – £100 per week.

    trev

    October 22, 2019 at 10:27 am

    • It is ridiculous. I think there is some kind of DWP statement claiming that this benefit is meant to be a standard to live on, not barely survive.

      I have tried to find the DWP claim about this (something like so much for bills and foods etc), but have not.

      Andrew Coates

      October 22, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      • This is all quite deliberate Andrew, as you know. In the government view, the lower the benefits available, the more people are likely to sign-off and find work.

        Jeff Smith

        October 22, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      • @ Jeff Smith

        They are already in work. Universal Credit isn’t about getting people off benefits. It’s about keeping people reliant on benefits, in low paid, insecure work.

        KJ

        October 22, 2019 at 11:21 pm

      • Exactly! Universal Credit is about keeping you dependent on both an employer AND the state. The worst of both worlds. What’s not to like? 😀

        Jack Boot

        October 23, 2019 at 7:12 am

      • Universal Credit is the perfect blend of fascism and communism melded into one. Universal Credit is what a welfare state would like under a ‘coalition’ of Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung.

        Egg Shell

        October 23, 2019 at 7:34 am

      • The min wage is suppose to represent the same yet now they pocket pension contributions out of it alongside tax and NI and claim because you can opt out, thats acceptable.
        £19’000 sounds great does it not. Try living on that figure after deductions and the only things you can have will be the ones you got on credit.

        I laugh at this £10.50 amount to be introduced over 5 years as its the same stunt as last time where all your addressing is last years debts amounting purely because the hourly rate was to low.
        If any havent figured it out yet, wage rises also come in arrears.

        Now im sure everyone has noticed the massive growth in warehouse work up and down the country, well this is the modern equivalent replacing retail which is dying a chronic death these days. Anything from £9.50 to 10.50 day rate you read right. Well what you will find is the difference to £8.21 is around the exact amount your going to be spending on travel to and from work ever so slightly masked.

        Nothing is ever what it seems is todays moto.

        Doug

        October 25, 2019 at 5:48 am

  2. Everything about social security is bonkers these days. For example the law states that people need a certain amount to live on as far as Universal Credit is concerned but, if people have an advance because they can manage the FIVE WEEK OR MORE WAIT to get their entitlements, the money they received during that period is clawed back from deductions of up to 40% of Universal Credit payments per month taking the amount that people affected have to live on miles below what the law says is the minimum allowed! Include Council Tax contributions that social security entitlements were NEVER designed to meet and you have a perfect shit storm which can only result in terrible grinding poverty not seen before during most of our lifetimes.

    Never has so much be f*cked up for so many by so few.

    Ingram Bright

    October 22, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    • @Jeff Smith – Exactly right Jeff, Universal Credit and all these benefit changes have just one end in mind. Getting people off benefits and into work instead. They are constantly turning the screw on benefit claimants, harassing them with phone messages. But the underlying message is get off the dole and get a job. Or else .

      Tom Sutton

      October 23, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    • The ‘amount the law says you need to live on’ bit has been dropped, at least from universal credit. With universal credit you receive a maximum i.e. a single person 25 and over can receive a maximum of £73.10 a week, or put another way ‘up to’ like those sales signs say which clearly includes the figure ‘0’.

      Val

      October 25, 2019 at 8:19 am

  3. But are we sure that the benefit freeze really coming to an end in 2020? As far as I can see we can’t be 100% sure with Brexit on the menu and the fate of the country and its citizens in the hands of a cabinet of extreme rabidly right-wing politicians led by pathological liar and fantasist in chief Boris Johnson.

    Coldwater

    October 22, 2019 at 1:11 pm

  4. In my Jobcentre today, a man being told he would get no payment on Universal Credit. I didn’t hear the details, but he held his head in his hands and just rocked backwards and forwards in the chair. Again and again for about five minutes. As if he was in shock, not saying anything. The Work Coach just looked at him, I think she was sorry for him. But there was nothing she could do…. This is the reality of Universal Credit.

    Alan Turner

    October 22, 2019 at 3:15 pm

  5. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    October 22, 2019 at 3:21 pm

  6. The Labour Party have waited all these years to finally turn against Universal Credit. If they had done something years ago to oppose it, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this situation today.

    Gregory K.

    October 22, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    • Too little too late from Labour. And now when they haven’t a snowballs chance of winning the election, they promise the moon. Too late Comrade. 2012 was the time to start opposing Universal Credit.

      I Was A Labour Voter

      October 24, 2019 at 10:50 am

  7. Everything will be WORSE after Brexit.

    Iain

    October 22, 2019 at 3:59 pm

  8. Well, by the time you take in energy price increases, Council Tax rises, etc. I’m sure that this alleged rise of £5.40 a month will really help those on benefits.

    Mike_Oxlongest

    October 22, 2019 at 6:39 pm

  9. Therese Coffey is a lazy fat unhealthy blob that is too lazy to train her dogs. Therese Coffey needs a electric shock collar. Therese Coffey has been reported to the RSPCA. So we need a new DWP Minister.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 22, 2019 at 8:37 pm

  10. Therese Coffey give up Amber Rudd was a failed DWP Minister. What chance do you stand Therese Coffey up against the RSPCA.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 22, 2019 at 8:39 pm

  11. DWP Disability Hate Crime.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 22, 2019 at 8:40 pm

  12. Even when Boris Johnson is completely wrong, he is still a better performer than Jeremy Corbyn in parliament. Johnson has burnt all his bridges, but he is still standing there triumphant. While Corbyn looks worn out and dull.

    Disappointed Labour Voter

    October 23, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    • It’s not a personality contest, it’s about Policies. Fuck the Tories. Vote Labour.

      treb

      October 23, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      • If Boris Johnson fails to deliver Brexit by the end of the month and things roll over to an extension his star could fall surprisingly quickly, same as May’s did, especially with the Brexit party still in the mix. Thing is the Tories popularity in the polls at the moment is mostly down to people getting sucked in by Johnson’s false promises to take the country out of the EU – do or die, rather be found dead in a ditch, won’t write a letter to ask for more time – and moving, not from Labour to the Tories but from the Brexit party to the Tories. The longer the delay the worse Bojo is likely to do and so if Labour are wise they won’t rush hastily into a general election but try to keep Johnson on the hook, for as long as possible, to give the public more time to see what a liar he is, how little his word is worth and watch his boasts and bullshit peter out and come to nothing.

        If the Brexit vote splits between the Tories and Brexit party Labour might be in with a chance.

        And the longer that Johnson fails to achieve Brexit the more likely this is to happen.

        At the moment however things don’t look too good for Labour.

        Titch

        October 23, 2019 at 6:10 pm

      • @Trev – Sadly in modern politics you can’t just ignore personality and presentation. as any PR man will tell you. Not in today’s multi-media world. And every time the Labour Party have tried to do so, they have lost disastrously. If Labour want to win they have got to get a strong leader who looks, and acts the part.

        Alan Turner

        October 23, 2019 at 9:19 pm

      • Even TV channels have Presentation Departments to brand the channel and give it an identity, personality and image to win viewers from the competition.

        Eve

        October 23, 2019 at 9:54 pm

  13. Coffey Electrical Shock Collars – Desk mounted control, or new Work Coach Wrist Model for extra security and speed of access. Guaranteed compliance even with difficult claimants. Safe and humane, the modern way to sanction.

    Jack R.

    October 23, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    • Therese Coffey Retweeted

      Andrew Coates

      October 23, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      • We now have 200,000 more Bi-polar people in work added to the 100,000 Suicide people now in work. After 4 months working their mental health will be cured with hard work & help from our Sector Champions.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 23, 2019 at 6:24 pm

  14. Say, as it is likely at the moment, that there is a General Election before Christmas 2019, and by some extraordinary miracle a Corbyn-led Labour Government is returned, does anyone honestly think that it will be all roses in the garden for the unemployed?

    It's Been A Good Year For The Roses

    October 23, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    • Can’t see how they could be much worse than they are right now or that food bank usage, which has risen every single year since 2010, won’t begin falling after a change of government.

      Titch

      October 23, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      • A Labour government, especially a Corbyn/McDonnell one, would bring massive inflation as they borrowed left, right and centre to pay for greedy public sector pay rises, etc. Pretty soon the dole would have the purchasing power of £jackshit. There are lots of greedy fuckers out there who see a Labour government as a ‘soft touch’. Once they have filled their boots the same greedy fuckers turn against Labour, the Tories are back in and the unemployed get their benefits frozen to pay for Labour’s largesse with the public sector etc. And so the cycle repeats…

        Mystic Meg

        October 23, 2019 at 6:27 pm

      • Labour also like high inflation because it destroys capital i.e. it reduces the value of (cash) savings. Labour don’t like anyone trying to escape the ‘trap’ either, they want you reliant on them, just like the Tories. They are all the same.

        Mystic Meg

        October 23, 2019 at 6:29 pm

      • What is worse have no Human Rights !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 23, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      • Some on loves Boris Johnson.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 23, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      • Sounds like a Tory Chat Bot. The Tories are State Sponsored Murderers.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 23, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      • And politicians, Gordon Brown was one, also like a weak pound. Brown devalued the GBP by 25% overnight. A weak pound makes exports cheaper i.e, our goods are cheaper to purchase outwith the UK, it also encourages tourism. The corollary is that it makes imports expensive and our pound is worth £jackshit if we travel abroad.

        Talking of Brown he also sold the nation’s gold to the Lord Rothschild for a rock-bottom price. He had the cheek to fill his boots with ink cartridges for his pen before leaving office. When the last Labour administration were kicked out they were becoming increasingly totalitarian. An obsession with ID cards was one manifestation of it. They had definitely ran their course and had to go. Once in office long enough
        politicians become insane. Look at what happened with Maggie Thatcher. Like nappies politicians have to be changed regularly.

        Mystic Meg

        October 23, 2019 at 6:40 pm

      • If the Tories are ‘state sponsored murderers’ why are you still alive, Stepping? When are they coming for you?

        Razor Stepping

        October 23, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      • Human Rights scares the dictators & politicians & Tory Chat Bots.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 23, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    • @Roses – Not really, no.

      Graham

      October 24, 2019 at 10:45 am

  15. General Election MPs doorstep knocking – Who you going to vote for? Where’s my hammer. Yellow Hammer, Red Hammer, where’s the lorry. Yellow Lorry, Red Lorry.

    Brexit is the UK Bill Of Rights. The UKs own Human Rights Law answerable to no one & above the law.
    Brexit will not happen because the Tories can’t hide behind UK Bill Of Rights for crimes against humanity of its disabled & people added to 200,000 DWP Deaths that did not happen.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 23, 2019 at 6:20 pm

  16. Boris Johnson needs to make one criminal act & the floodgates will open for many other crimes the Tories have in-forced on the country like scrapping legal aid is illegal, the Appeal System which you need to be vetted to appeal is illegal. Disability Hate Crimes Tories.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 23, 2019 at 6:28 pm

  17. I support Boris 100%!

    Tory Chat Bot

    October 23, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    • Crimes Against Humanity.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 23, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    • Even Satan has fans, devotees and worshippers.

      https://www.churchofsatan.com/

      Kinky

      October 24, 2019 at 5:23 pm

      • I tried to sell my soul to Santa and he the bugger wasn’t buying!

        Brain Jones

        October 25, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    • How many children has Boris Johnson actually fathered? Wikipedia says between four and six. Does anyone know? Does he even know? At least with Boris in 10 Downing Street the Tories won’t be able to spout the usual line about stable marriages and family values! So even an oversexed adulterous lying b@stard like Johnson has some utility so it seems.

      Pope Joan

      October 24, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      • Can’t see BoJo running a ‘Back to Basics’ campaign like former fellow Tory PM John Major did – until he was caught shagging Edwina Curry behind his wife’s back 😀

        Val

        October 25, 2019 at 8:23 am

  18. I malfunction Tory Chat Bots. It’s raining.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 23, 2019 at 7:57 pm

  19. I am £35 per week worst off being on UC compared to being on job seeekers, I was claiming PIP whilst I was on job seekers. I still get PIP being on UC

    I lost the element of the add on because I am not class as disabled enough.

    We have tried talking to CAB and been told we are not the only ones who have had issues with money lost due to the switch.

    myfinalusername

    October 23, 2019 at 8:35 pm

  20. ‘ Fewer people are now claiming unemployment benefits in Swindon than before the roll-out of Universal Credit, new figures reveal.
    Department for Work and Pensions statistics show 3,618 people in Swindon claimed out-of-work benefits in August.
    This was up 5 per cent from last year, but still 25 per cent fewer than in 2014, the earliest available data after the introduction of Universal Credit.’ Swindon Advertiser

    The real effect of the new hostile system…people give up claiming because they can’t stand it any more on Universal Credit.

    Frank Turner

    October 24, 2019 at 10:43 am

  21. They laughed when he cut his hair – but they are not laughing now !

    Johnsons Barber

    October 24, 2019 at 10:56 am

  22. ‘Greased Piglet’. Good to see Cameron being able to talk openly about pigs, without any sense of shame.
    I’m fond of a bacon sandwich myself.

    Farmer John

    October 24, 2019 at 11:00 am

  23. Violet

    October 24, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    • @Violet – That turned me on ! Is that a tattoo of Thatcher ?

      Streaky

      October 24, 2019 at 5:21 pm

      • Yes it is thatcher the snatcher 😀

        Violet

        October 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm

  24. DWP Bedroom Tax dealt defeat in European Court of Human Rights
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-dwp-bedroom-tax-dealt-20714008

    superted

    October 24, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    • ‘Panic Room’ 😀 sounds like the title of a film 😀 Why would she even consider taking in a lodger if she was so traumatized? And wouldn’t have been easier to convert the spare bedroom into a ‘prayer room’ to dodge the ‘bedroom tax’ 😉 But at the end of the day, she is playing the ‘rape’ card for all that it is worth. The DWP can see that too. And why doesn’t she get a job and pay her rent like everyone else?

      Ubaidal

      October 24, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      • Ubaidal I’m guessing you’ve never been the victim of rape or sexual harassment. So why don’t you just zip it and take it from someone who has been sexually harassed it ain’t NICE? ?

        katrehman

        October 24, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      • I would have blanked Ubaidal’s comment but you have answered the idiot better than I could.

        Andrew Coates

        October 24, 2019 at 4:37 pm

      • Why are right-wing Brexiteers such astonishingly unattractive numbskulls? Answers on a post card please.

        Pig Sticker

        October 24, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      • Anybody who speaks about rape so blithely and unpleasantly isn’t worth the candle. Everybody move on.

        Robyn

        October 24, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    • Right at the end:

      “The DWP has a three-month window to launch an appeal to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR if it chooses to.

      A DWP spokesman said: “We are carefully considering the judgement.””

      Ubaidal

      October 24, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      • If someone does not put their name as a spokesman it is not worth the paper it is written on, null & void. So DWP who is your spokesperson because we don’t want a man.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 24, 2019 at 3:31 pm

      • Thank you Mr Coates!!

        katrehman

        October 24, 2019 at 7:57 pm

      • A ‘spokesperson’ just means a PR (public relations) agency. The DWP probably use the same PR agency, Fishburn Hedges, as ‘TV licensing’ 😀

        Brandy

        October 25, 2019 at 8:32 am

  25. We have to go aboard for lawyers to get Justice in the UK.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 24, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    • Tories Crimes Against Humanity of its own people.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 24, 2019 at 3:35 pm

  26. Two more PIP reviews could mean DWP has had to fix 10 benefit blunders in two years

    John Pring DNS – 24th Oct 2019

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has had to carry out what appear to be as many as nine or even 10 costly trawls through the records of disabled people unfairly deprived of benefits in just two years.

    DWP quietly slipped out its latest admissions last week in response to a legal ruling that found the department had made serious errors in relation to claims for personal independence payment (PIP).

    The announcements were spotted by the Benefits and Work website.

    Because of the refusal of DWP’s press office to answer questions about the latest reviews, it is not clear how many there have been in total, but it appears that there have now been at least nine, or even 10, with as many as eight related to PIP.

    In addition to the two revealed last week, there appear to have been as many as eight other reviews launched by DWP during 2018 and 2019 as a result of court and tribunal rulings.

    The two latest reviews follow an upper tribunal ruling on 28 November 2016 which found that DWP had been wrongly deciding some PIP claims.

    But DWP continued to make errors in the assessment process after that ruling.

    Read More
    Disability News Service

    [Links not posting]

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 24, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    • This followed a court ruling in December 2017 – in the case of a claimant referred to as MH – which found that new rules introduced that year by DWP were unlawful, “blatantly discriminatory” and breached the UN disability convention.

      DWP’s press office was asked late on Tuesday afternoon to answer a series of questions about the reviews, some of which were merely seeking clarity, but it has refused to answer any of them.

      Shortly before noon today (Thursday), DWP produced the following statement: “There are a variety of reasons why a review is undertaken, including legal judgments that are the result of new judicial interpretations of the benefit.

      “We are dedicated to ensuring everyone receives the benefits they are entitled to.”

      —————————————————————————————————————–

      DWP Press Office “We are dedicated to ensuring everyone receives the benefits they are entitled to.”

      But only if you take us to court.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 24, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      • They’ve got some nerve in Caxton House. Why is their usual response total denial. Tax-payer funded legal battles. And as much bullshit and delaying tactics as they think they can get away with ?

        Jeff Smith

        October 24, 2019 at 5:29 pm

  27. If they treated the unemployed the same as the House Of Lords, then every time you went to sign-on you would be given £310. No questions asked. And you and your Work Coach could then enjoy a glass of vintage Port together.

    Edward Jenkins

    October 24, 2019 at 5:41 pm

  28. Delicious cakes covered with red, white and blue icing, and a crisp nutty centre. Six Brexit Fancies

    Mr. Kipling

    October 24, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    • Those fancies are very, very small, much smaller than Boris and the Leave campaign said they were going to be, and getting smaller all the while, Mr Kipling.

      Mrs Rudyard

      October 24, 2019 at 7:10 pm

      • Never mind my darling. If you cut those fancies into quarter size pieces you’ll have twenty-four tooth fillers to put on a plate which, if you lay them out cannily, will look more substantial than they did before you dissected them and rationed them out parsimoniously. With Brexit as with Brexiteers less is more or so they would have you believe.

        Gunga Din

        October 24, 2019 at 7:18 pm

      • Indeed! That is the way we do things in the Rees-Mogg household 😉

        Jacob Rees-Mogg

        October 25, 2019 at 8:34 am

  29. General Election date 12th December 2019. Don’t worry there will be Polling Stations in all supermarkets.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 24, 2019 at 7:48 pm

  30. Psssst! Unless the EU refuse to grant the UK an extension of it EU membership the United Kingdom won’t be leaving the EU at the end of the month despite Boris Johnson’s bull and bluster about rather dying in a ditch rather than see this happen and that we would be leaving, do or die, no ifs or buts, deal or no deal by Halloween. Like his marriage vows his rash promises as per the EU turned out to be lies. This is the thing about Johnson, it’s a continual tirade of lies, lies and more lies. What I don’t get is why he fetishised October 31st anyway. Only a really dumb f*cker would have painted themselves into a corner like that voluntarily. It will be interesting to see, after this conspicuous failure to deliver, how long the most inveterate liar and biggest sack of sh1t in British politics will remain Prime Minister. Multitudes will now begin drifting from the Tories back to Farage’s Brexit party after Johnson falling on his face. Such incompetence above and beyond the call of idiocy is something to behold!

    Gorgeous Georgina M.

    October 25, 2019 at 11:16 am

  31. Ministers are being urged to take action after it emerged benefit claimants were turning to sex work as a means to survive due to the roll-out of universal credit (UC)

    A DWP spokesperson said: “We take all evidence presented to the committee very seriously and are extremely concerned to hear of these experiences. We are determined to ensure that no one finds themselves in this position and are committed to providing a safety net for the most vulnerable in society.

    “Improvements have been made to Universal Credit such as extending advances, removing waiting days, and introducing housing benefit run on, and we are carefully considering the report’s recommendations.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/survival-sex-universal-credit-women-dwp-work-and-pensions-frank-field-a9170616.html

    the long wait

    October 25, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    • Universal credit: MPs call for action on women driven to ‘survival sex’

      Evidence that women are being driven to sex work because of problems with universal credit must lead to government action, MPs have said.

      A number of women told the work and pensions committee they turned to sex work because their benefits payments did not cover their basic needs.

      The committee said the government had previously been “dismissive” of the issue but had now changed its position.

      The government said it was taking the evidence “very seriously”.

      The committee has been investigating a potential link between universal credit and “survival sex” – when people, overwhelmingly but not exclusively women, turn to sex work to meet their basic needs, including food, shelter and clean clothes.

      Universal credit merges six benefits into one payment and was designed to simplify the benefits system and help people move into work.

      However, the committee has heard evidence that problems with the new system, including a five-week wait for the first payment, are forcing some women to rely on sex work.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50170297

      Andrew Coates

      October 25, 2019 at 5:17 pm

  32. Poorest people in Gloucester face having to pay council tax for first time as Labour slam proposals
    https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/poorest-people-gloucester-face-having-3465807

    superted

    October 25, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    • Claimant Notice – Gloucester Jobcentre Special Investigation Division
      An investigation has now been opened into the claimant known as @superted,regarding actively seeking employment.

      Gloucester SID

      October 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      • i only apply for 70 jobs a week good luck with that one pmsl 😉

        superted

        October 25, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      • ted

        Do you get many interviews?

        I apply for about 18-22 jobs a week and my coach wants to know why I don’t get many interviews or job offers. I either get no reply to my applications or I get a generic reply acknowledging receipt or replies saying we can’t offer every one an interview because of the high volume of applications they receive, etc.

        jj joop

        October 25, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      • nope not had 1 interview in years now does not matter what type of jobs i apply for just get the same as you problem is now there is nowhere left that i have not applied b4.

        superted

        October 25, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    • Victorian values old chap. Victorian values. We Tories pine for the days of empire and when brothels abounded in the nation’s capital and women, grown and underage, sold their virtue on the streets in order not to starve. Thanks to our enlightened policies legions of girls and women are now beginning to return to the oldest profession in ever increasing numbers in order to survive and feed their children – a nod to Iain Duncan Smith and the government’s innovative Universal Credit as the principle driver of these behavioural changes amongst certain inferior strata of society – signal the imminent return of the good old days of enterprise and whoredom and if we can now fire up the buccaneering spirit amongst pimps and employers, well, we’ll be quids in as a nation and if Britannia no longer rules the waves at least she’ll rule the British half of the English channel and stop those smelly garlic eating European Johnnies from stealing all our fish.

      God save the Queen!

      Major Alwyne Compton Farquharson Mrs., Retired

      October 25, 2019 at 3:59 pm

  33. Personally, I’m leaving the EU on 31st October. Johnson and his mates can do as they like. And so are loads of people on my council estate. We’ve had enough.

    Harry Carter

    October 25, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    • Enough of what? It’s the Conservatives that have been shafting you for the last eleven years not the EU!

      Bare Grills

      October 25, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    • So am I Harry, I’m leaving the EU as well. Me, the wife, our two kids, and our dog. Lot of people in our street are thinking about it now.

      Darren H.

      October 25, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      • Quo vadis?

        Tusk

        October 25, 2019 at 6:29 pm

  34. https://news.sky.com/story/selling-sex-for-5-is-the-only-way-i-can-survive-after-universal-credit-chaos-11844413

    It is outrageous sweet heart but some of us dont have a second home country to run back to.

    “I worked for years in Birmingham on the streets from 2012. It was very hard and harsh”.

    EU citizens coming to the UK for work with low or no skills is not a good decision as it plays into the hands of employers to help drive down the wage rate and hours. As the moto goes “less rare, less value”.

    Doug

    October 26, 2019 at 7:46 am

    • “less rare, less value” – even Marx knew this. He talked about if the Proletariat were left to their own devices they would quickly multiply and dilute the value of their own Labour. But even if the Proletariat are more ‘restrained’ it doesn’t make any difference in a global economy (something Marx didn’t foresee) since there is, it seems, an infinite supply of cheap labour globally.. If you want to maintain your rarity (and value) you have to utilise ‘protectionism’: a middle-class example is Medical School where the intake of students is limited; a working-class class example is the railway industry where there is always a ‘shortage’ of train drivers. You won’t catch the Jobcentre sending you off to learn to drive a train any time soon. What both these occupations share in common is that they command a very high salary. Limiting the supply to control the demand means an upwards pressure on wages. Of course the opposite occurs when you flood the market with cheap labour. Obviously it is easier to flood the market at the lower skill end. We are always told that opening the market to a flood of cheap labour builds an ‘international movement of the working-class’ – stop laughing at the back. It does nothing of the sort. In reality it just means that the low-skilled, working classes are competing within an ever larger pool of ever cheaper labour, competing for a few scraps thrown from the toffs’ table.. The irony is that those who shed crocodile tears for those struggling at the bottom of the labour market are the most vocal and vehement supporters of these policies free market polices.

      It also increases the pressure on the housing market pushing up prices for those struggling to keep or find a roof over their heads. The only beneficiaries are the rentier class who collect the ever increasing rents and all the while enjoy seeing their property portfolios soar in value. They like the boss class who can’t get enough of cheap labour are the true beneficiaries of these free market polices.

      The jarring contraction though is it is those who purport to on the side of those struggling to survive who are the most vocal proponents of these boss/rentier class enriching polices. You really do have to wonder whose side some people really are on. Whose interests do they really represent because in spite of their crocodile tears it sure isn’t those struggling at the bottom of the economic totem pole for sure.

      Engels

      October 26, 2019 at 9:52 am

  35. https://news.sky.com/story/asda-refuses-to-remove-sack-threat-for-thousands-of-staff-over-compulsory-contracts-11845215

    Here is precisely what happens when government and WELFARE REFORM support the needs of employers over employees.

    Now do you see how government knew all along prior to their welfare reform (that dates back to the early 2000s) how the business model was going to change and that unless they changed how benefits worked that they could have never met the needs of business for whom they actually bat for.
    Can you also not see (this included Blairs party) that they needed to influence EU citizens to come here to work so as to drive down staff shortage, the rise of the hourly rate and hours.

    Doug

    October 26, 2019 at 8:57 am

    • Blair and the EU are the main proponents of the drive to the bottom of wages and conditions. But let’s that now get in the way of our EU flag-waving 😀

      J C Barnier

      October 26, 2019 at 9:58 am

    • True. The idea behind much of modern “welfare reform” is not to get people out of poverty by getting them into decent well rewarded work (which is how Universal Credit was sold by politicians to the public) but to get something out of the “non-productive” by making them “productive” in some way or other even if it doesn’t really help many of them concretely or raise their standard of living as promised.

      Trying to squeeze blood out of a stone in other words.

      Jim

      October 26, 2019 at 10:03 am


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