Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Universal Credit Raises Demand for Help, While Tories Cut, and Will Continue to Cut, Advice Funding.

with 89 comments

Universal credit

System that Tories Will Continue Doubles Demand for Advice and Help.

One of the ways the Tories have been running down this country is through cutting back on the money available for essential local services.

Citizens Advice (CAB)  is the last port of call for many people.

With Universal Credit, on-line only, you see libraries being used as, unfunded, a a source of help for people who need to apply through the net.

But anybody with more needs usually goes to the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, other advice services having been run by local government and other cuts in funding over the years.

A couple of years ago the Guardian published this,

More people are turning to Citizens Advice but there are fewer and fewer places I can refer them to and crisis grants from local authorities are disappearing

This year we saw this in Suffolk, a last minute rescue after the rural bigwigs who run Suffolk County Council cut the CAB funding.

Citizens Advice services in Suffolk thrown lifeline after Clinical Commissioning Groups step up to fill funding gap

Citizens Advice services in Suffolk have been thrown a lifeline after two clinical commissioning groups stepped up to pay the £187,000 that was due to be cut from their funding this year.

Suffolk County Council has proposed the 50 per cent cut to Citizens Advice funding in 2019/20, with a view to cutting it completely next year.

But the joint agreement between the county council, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and NHS West Suffolk CCG means that funding to the service for the coming year will total £374,000 – the same as last year.

The cuts are part of Suffolk County Council’s plans to save more than £11 million, with the 2019/20 budget due to be discussed at a full meeting on Thursday.

October saw this,

Colchester Citizens Advice centre has funds cut

AN advice centre says it is business as usual despite council funding cuts.

There are fears Citizens Advice Colchester could be forced to reduce services after cuts in Colchester Council’s Voluntary Welfare Grant funding.

The council announced its grant to the advice bureau year will be £25,000 – half of which has already been received.

Since then trustees have met to discuss future arrangements with volunteers.

However, Jo Blyth, operations manager at Citizens Advice Colchester, said nothing is changing yet.

This is happening across the country.


Today the BBC reports that the need for CABs continues to grow.

Advice issued on universal credit more than doubled in Scotland in the last year, according to new data.

Citizens Advice Scotland gave guidance 40,000 times in 2018/19, its state of the nation report shows.

It comes as the charity demands the next government helps with the cost of living, especially for low-income households.

Chief executive Derek Mitchell said people were also struggling with debt, social security and energy.

The report also showed the charity gave more than 100,000 pieces of advice issued in relation to debt.

Meanwhile our one time boss is having a merry time:

Written by Andrew Coates

December 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm

89 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Who would be a Librarian today ? At my local library, and thank God we still have one, the librarians are constantly being called away from their usual tasks, to help people with Universal Credit.
    Would you know if a Romanian lorry driver can use his licence to drive a British lorry ? (A question overheard recently ). And then there are the people whose first language is not English. But all this is typical of the uncaring nature of the system. It’s Social Darwinism. Either you can get by on your own, or you are stuffed.

    Jeff Smith

    December 3, 2019 at 1:33 pm

  2. I hope people remember that voting for Boris is like turkeys voting for Christmas.

    Frank H.

    December 3, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    • There’s an awful lot of idiots out there. The issues raised by this blog clearly and very obviously demonstrate why we need to get the bastards out, and if anyone cannot understand that then there must be something wrong with them.


      December 3, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      • I seriously think, and I bet lots of others do, that it’s things like this, people being driven to their wits’ end and having to go to special advice centres to deal with what should be a normal benefit, that really should make people vote the Tories’ out.

        Andrew Coates

        December 3, 2019 at 5:57 pm

      • Yes and many other things, two year long PIP battles, homeless people freezing to death, the sheer numbers of people begging in all our town centres all over the country, a million+ people needing to use foodbanks, rising crime…etc. Society is falling apart at the seams.


        December 3, 2019 at 6:17 pm

  3. On the second day of Christmas
    Corbyn gave to me
    One security interview
    One Trump meeting
    And a reluctant Jewish apology

    Passing Poet

    December 3, 2019 at 3:39 pm

  4. Labour are not going to get into power this time around but if Brexit goes as badly under the Tories as many say, Corbyn steps down sooner rather than later and is replaced by somebody more acceptable, with much less baggage, heaps more charm and charisma and twice or thrice the intellect the party could be on the brink of election, in four or five years time, assuming the next parliament actually manages to last that long.

    If Keir Starmer could be persuaded to step up to the plate and pick a better shadow cabinet Labour could be on the road to political power. Jeremy Corbyn is never ever going to become PM and, in fact, will go to his grave never have played a role in government ever. Corbyn should resign as soon as the results of the coming general election have been announced. Unfortunately, like Smeagol the Gollum in Lord of the Rings I don’t think that Jezza has it in him to do the unselfish and the noble thing and give up his Precious for the sake of the people that the Labour party was created to serve.

    Only eleven days to wait to see how this mess unravels.

    Green Fingers

    December 3, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    • Vote Labour.


      December 3, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    • @ Green Fingers

      It might not have occurred to you but you don’t actually have to like Jeremy Corbyn to vote for him (or to vote Labour):



      December 3, 2019 at 6:40 pm

      • This is what they said about Tony Blair. That people would hold his wrists and ankles and stop him from doing anything bad but in reality the cabinet and party failed to hold him back and the result was Iraq. A Prime Minister pick the people who form the government that runs the country from humble Parliamentary Private Secretaries right up to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and is enormously powerful, so much so as to be unstoppable in many cases. I don’t trust Corbyn for a cartload of reasons, mostly connected with his very left-wing and peculiar past, and too many people feel the same way as me to give Labour a miss until Corbyn bows out.

        This IS why Labour are going to lose seats in the next general election rather than win it.

        Hopefully when the next general election after that comes around the party will have cleansed itself of losers and be in pole position to win the race to get the keys to 10 and 11 Downing Street in 2004. It’s not going to happen this Christmas sadly.

        Green Fingers

        December 3, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      • Oh well, I have to disagree, Left wing is a big plus as far as I’m concerned, and I have no idea what you mean by “dubious past”. Jeremy Corbyn is a man of integrity, thoughtful, calm and measured, who believes in equality and creating a fair & just society along Socialist principles. I can’t fault him for any of that, he’s probably one of the most honest people in British Politics today. But, if that’s not good enough for you, you can vote according to your own conscience.


        December 3, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      • For 2004 in my post above please read 2024. Apologies for the typo.

        Green Fingers

        December 3, 2019 at 8:04 pm

      • Indeed, Greenfingers Labour are so untrustworthy that they cannot be trusted not do something ‘bad’ to the unemployed. If you are unemployed you don’t want a government in power who will do something ‘bad’ to the unemployed. What would lie in store for the unemployed under a Corbyn government. And that is all that should really concern the unemployed and this blog.


        December 4, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      • Don’t talk out of your arse. Look what the Tories have done to the unemployed FFS. I despair. I think people should have to pass an IQ test before being allowed to vote. Muppet.


        December 4, 2019 at 2:22 pm

  5. The safety net has turned into holding onto a rope with one hand over a cliff.The people with least life skills and to manage the demands’ are going to be the most effected and overwhelmed.The issue was milked for polictical purposes then thrown like the people caught up into the waste.


    December 3, 2019 at 7:22 pm

  6. Andrew Coates

    December 4, 2019 at 10:22 am

  7. I’ve just been reading Natalie Bloomer’s article prior to seeing your comment. It is a sad state of affairs, outrageous that this should be happening in such a wealthy country in the 21st Century. But it’s the distribution of wealth that is the problem, greatly exacerbated by Tory policies of course, and obviously why we need a Socialist government. The foodbank featured in the article is a fairly small affair by the sounds of it, compared to the one in my town that is a bigger operation, what they give out in a month we give out per week (and then some). That’s the scale of the problem, all over the country, and it’s got to change. Vote Labour.


    December 4, 2019 at 10:46 am

    • There is also this in the ‘I’

      Universal Credit: DWP sanctions cost claimants £80 million last year.

      Exclusive: Labour said the ‘government’s cruel Universal Credit sanctions regime was heartless’
      Universal Credit claimants who were judged to have breached the requirements for accessing the benefit received sanctions worth up to nearly £79.5m last year, i can reveal.

      The penalties, which have been criticised for being punitive and unfair, represented 1.6 per cent of all Universal Credit payments in 2018, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

      “In addition to all the other cuts the government has made, this is another £79.5m being taken out of the pockets of the poor,” said Frank Field, who was chair of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee before Parliament dissolved for the election.”


      Andrew Coates

      December 4, 2019 at 11:45 am

      • It was a black day for the unemployed when Duncan Smith came up with his scheme for Universal Credit.
        This astonishing amount of sanctions at £79.5 Million Pounds !
        More than anything,it shows what UC has always really been about.
        Forget the Catholic, Biblical moral guidance of IDS. It has always been about punishing people on benefits. With the DWP doing its best to force claimants into zero-hours and part-time work.

        Jeff Smith

        December 4, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    • @ You are right there Trev mate ! I know some people don’t like Corbyn much but thats not the point.
      Point is to get those Tory bastards out . Some bloke going on at the pub the other night about how he could never vote for Corbyn. And I said so you’d rather have the Tories then and that Eton ponce ?
      He didn’t have any answer to that. Made him think though.

      Harry Carter

      December 4, 2019 at 1:22 pm

      • Made him think? I doubt if some of them are capable of thinking, if some of the comments on here are anything to go by.


        December 4, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    • The main obstacle are people like you.


      December 4, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    • @trev – Some serious criticism of Jeremy Corbyn here. Is this all true ?

      Confused Voter

      December 4, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      • Right wing propaganda. They are not honest enough to just come out with it and say that the real reason they don’t support Corbyn and won’t Labour is because they are not Socialists, hence they resort to character assassination and smears against the most honest man in British Politics, a man who stands up for the underdog, a man who represents the downtrodden poor and the Working Class. Get the Tories out, vote Labour.


        December 4, 2019 at 4:14 pm

  8. Get the Tory bastards out . And get the Labour bastards in.

    Trebor M

    December 4, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    • You’ll need to get Jezza out of the way before any of that can happen.


      December 4, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      • @Naomi – It’s too late now ! Either Corbyn wins or he loses, only time can tell. #Progress

        True Labour

        December 4, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    • So I take it you’re a climate change denier. Why not, there’s every other type of idiot represented on here.


      December 4, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      • I have deleted the more rabid right wing comments.

        I notice that – odd as it seems – this Blog has got over 300 hits from the USA today….

        Fake news mongers.

        Andrew Coates

        December 4, 2019 at 5:29 pm

  9. Anyway, enough of all this Political bickering, here’s something to put you all in the mood for Christmas:


    December 4, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    • @Oh Jesus Christ ! It’s like Big Brother all over again. Can you honestly see Comrade Corbyn as PM ??

      I Was A Labour Voter

      December 4, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      • I certainly hope so Comrade! Vote Labour.


        December 4, 2019 at 6:16 pm

  10. They would do much better to keep JC off the media as much as possible. Then a quick dash to the polls, and fingers crossed for a Labour victory !!

    John Taylor

    December 4, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    • It was Boris Johnson who was kept off the media and who went into hiding during the Conservative leadership contest if you remember, and he who has backed out of the Andrew Neil interview AND failed to show up at a climate debate!


      December 4, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      • @trev – Yeah but Trev, Boris is still well ahead in the polls. The fact that he ducked the Andrew Neil interview, which Boris knew would be a potential disaster, shows just how devious he is.
        It’s Corbyn who is the underdog in this election, and has to prove himself.

        Frank Harper

        December 4, 2019 at 6:44 pm

      • I wouldn’t put too much store in the polls, they have been wrong before, and more in depth analysis of trends reveals that whilst Tory support is in a rate of decline, support for Labour is increasing on a daily basis.


        December 4, 2019 at 6:55 pm

  11. Not only are the Tories cutting vital funding for things like Advice, they are plotting to sell our NHS to America. Vote Labour to save the NHS.



    December 4, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    • Documentary: The Great NHS Heist



      December 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm

      • @trev – Pity they didn’t just put this up on youtube for free. You have to pay to see this.
        Same with the Ken Loach film Sorry We Missed You.

        Peter B.

        December 5, 2019 at 10:32 pm

      • I know, haven’t seen it myself yet, hopefully someone will upload it or people will start sharing it. Sounds very interesting. Should be prime viewing on BBC or Channel 4.


        December 6, 2019 at 8:40 am

  12. The reality of Tory Britain: Breadline Kids



    December 4, 2019 at 7:36 pm

  13. I have never voted. The system is rigged anyway.


    December 5, 2019 at 3:05 am

    • Well that’s your choice, but be aware that non-action also has an effect. Other people sometimes choose to make a protest vote, or deliberately spoil their ballot paper, but when faced with an enemy as brutal as the Tories I don’t think we have that luxury.


      December 5, 2019 at 8:12 am

  14. On the third day of Christmas
    Corbyn gave to me
    One Queen’s speech
    One Jewish report
    70 Labour Whistleblowers
    And a desperate Labour Party

    Passing Poet

    December 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    • Who the fuck does watch the Queen’s speech?


      December 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm

      • My husband and I always watch the Queen’s Speech, but then we are not socialists !
        And we do not wish to take over the railways.

        Cynthia Barton-Smythe

        December 5, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      • @trev – Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party ?


        December 5, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      • Nope, why?


        December 5, 2019 at 4:39 pm

  15. Have you noticed how criticism sticks like glue to Jeremy Corbyn ?
    But with Boris Johnson it’s like water off a duck’s back.

    Alan Turner

    December 5, 2019 at 12:43 pm

  16. Boris Johnson is planning to end Democracy in the UK and install a Dictatorship!



    December 5, 2019 at 2:32 pm

  17. If I was a conspiracy theorist I’d think there was some sort of plot against Jeremy Corbyn. At this crucial time for Labour, with the election days away, 70 Labour members decide to back-stab him !!
    And once again the Jewish question is being asked. This is another gift to the Tories.

    Dave Moreton

    December 5, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    • But there is no “Jewish question”, just Rightwingers and a heavily biased media, and a conservative Establishment terrified of a Socialist government.


      December 5, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      • @ trev – The party needs to do more on the whole Jewish issue, and it needs to be seen to be doing more.


        December 5, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      • But they are doing something, and it’s got nothing to do with Jeremy Corbyn, such complaints are dealt with by the party independently of the leadership, and more to the point there is NO “Jewish issue” anyway! It’s all a pack of lies by Rightwingers attempting to undermine Corbyn, which is why so many Leftwing Jews support him and the Labour party.


        December 5, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      • @ Trev – But what people are saying is that Corbyn should take a stronger, more visible lead on the whole Jewish question. Isn’t that what leaders do ?

        Tom Sutton

        December 5, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      • What “Jewish question”?


        December 5, 2019 at 4:41 pm

  18. Charlotte Hughes’ reports of life for Benefits claimants in Ashton Under Lyne are a clear demonstration of why we need to get the Tories OUT!



    December 5, 2019 at 2:40 pm

  19. *it used to be millionaires that Corbyn ranted on about until it was pointed out to him that he himself was in fact a millionaire, not to mention his multi-millionaire wife 25 years his junior.

    T Watson

    December 5, 2019 at 5:03 pm

  20. “members of a certain religion”?

    Your comment is utter drivel. I cannot adequately respond to meaningless nonsense.


    December 5, 2019 at 5:08 pm

  21. I think it would be better if Corbyn didn’t stand around near controversial monuments. Like Robin Hood for example. This kind of thing goes straight into the Daily Mail.

    Friar Tuck

    December 5, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    • Yeah but who reads the Daily Mail apart from Rightwing Reactionaries / Tories? But in any case, you could do a lot worse than Robin Hood, he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, a man after my own heart.


      December 5, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      • Imagine you are a middle-class voter. Comfortably off, no particular interest in politics. Then you read something like ‘ you could do a lot worse than Robin Hood, he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, a man after my own heart.’ Does this tempt you to vote Labour ? I don’t think so.

        Paul S.

        December 5, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      • The legendary Robin Hood is a popular folk hero, why do you think they make so many films about him and name Airports after him? If you think that standing up for the poor is something to be ashamed of then you need to take a good look at yourself.


        December 5, 2019 at 6:05 pm

      • But I do think if Jeremy Corbyn loses the election, he must immediately resign.

        Tom Sutton

        December 5, 2019 at 5:47 pm

      • Well thanks for your opinion. What do you think Boris Johnson should do if he loses the election?


        December 5, 2019 at 6:07 pm

  22. Cassette Boy Vs Boris Johnson


    December 5, 2019 at 5:29 pm

  23. @ Surely David Icke means actual alien Reptilians ? This has got nothing to do with the Jews. It would be more to the point if people kept to the plain facts of the matter. That Alien Reptilian creatures are among us. That they are highly intelligent, and have long interfered in human affairs.

    Gerald T.

    December 5, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    • That’s exactly what David Icke said when he was accused of antisemitism; “When I say 9ft Reptilians I MEAN 9ft Reptilians!”. Trouble was he was attracting actual antisemites and wierdo White Supremacists to his lectures who had misheard an imaginary ‘dog whistle’.


      December 5, 2019 at 6:14 pm

  24. And what about Jo Swinson , who thought she was going to be Prime Minister ?

    Malcolm Jardine

    December 5, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    • I know which way I’m going to vote, and that’s for Labour. And so is Sarah.
      You may remember us from the DWP adverts about being sanctioned.
      Well we got married since then, even though we don’t exist.
      But as always, it’s the thought that counts.

      Zac & Sarah

      December 5, 2019 at 5:53 pm

  25. Andrew Coates

    December 5, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    • We also now have Boris Johnson admitting that it is wrong that people have to rely on foodbanks, finally after years of Tory denials. On the plus side he has confirmed to me that the NHS is up for sale by referring to that ‘notion’ as a “UFO idea”. Well many of us have witnessed UFOs and are quite certain that the Government are covering up the issue, so I take that as proof of the NHS sale.


      December 5, 2019 at 6:24 pm

      • Begin transmission…

        Greetings Earthlings
        How could your Government possibly reveal our existence to the Joe & Josephine Public? It would result in War of the Worlds style mass hysteria and panic. All religions would be exposed for the sham that they are.
        Even our own Pan Galactic Administrative Council won’t admit to the presence of life, although certainly not intelligent on Planet Earth. Many of us have come into contact with, observed and experimented with the human life form so we are sure of your existence. Seeing with many eyes is believing as you Earthlings would say.

        ☌⍜⍜⎅⏚⊬⟒ (goodbye)

        End transmission

        Anunnaki from the Andromeda Galaxy

        December 5, 2019 at 6:45 pm

      • @trev- have you really witnessed a UFO ? Lucky You ! I never have.


        December 5, 2019 at 10:26 pm

      • @ trev – You might find this hard to believe, but there are a lot of people who even now don’t believe in UFOs. Even with all the sightings there have been, Roswell, Area 51 you name it. Their minds are so closed to reality that they can’t see the wood for the trees.

        James G.

        December 5, 2019 at 10:36 pm

      • “the wood for the trees” – that would be the Rendlesham forest incident!

        In my case it’s not merely that I choose to ‘believe’ in the existence of UFOs, I KNOW they exist as I saw one in 2011 and two more in 2013, all three were very different from each other but definitely not things that could be explained by any conventional means, regardless of what anyone else says or thinks, I know what I saw!


        December 6, 2019 at 8:34 am

  26. This time next week those of us who are going to vote will be doing so. I don’t think Labour is going to win or have much chance of ending up with the most MPs and be able to act as a minority government for a while with help from smaller parliamentary parties but we will see what we will see. The numbers suggest that the Conservatives are on course to win with a majority of some dozens. On the bright side it’s difficult to see how they could get away with penalising the poorest in society, as they did under Osborne, while trying to fool people into believing that a post-Brexit Britain is booming but who knows? The country could still crash out of the EU in a year when Boris’ transitional deal comes to and end and suffer huge economic woes which could take us back to an even worse version of austerity inflicted only on the poor. Oh, well. There you go. It’s too late to do much of anything about it now, the die is cast and we will all have to do our best to survive for long enough to fight another day.


    December 5, 2019 at 6:12 pm

  27. I would like to personally thank Jeremy Corbyn for going above and beyond the call of duty in respect to getting me returned as Prime Minister, with a mandate from the people, for the duration of next parliament. He is probably the only Labour leader who could have achieved this feat and will be remembered forever by me and the party that I lead with gratitude and fondness. Couldn’t have done it without you, mate! Season’s greetings to you and yours.

    Boris Johnson

    December 6, 2019 at 7:21 am

    • It ain’t over til the clinically obese person sings….


      December 6, 2019 at 8:42 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: