Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Archive for the ‘Suffolk’ Category

Thousands of New Work Coaches Being Recruited.

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Suffolk Coastal: Therese Coffey MP appointed Beer Parliamentarian of the Year after visiting all 118 pubs in her constituency | East Anglian Daily Times

Thérèse Anne Coffey Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

People begging in the streets have began to reappear in Ipswich.

There is at least one outside Sainsbury’s in Upper Brook Street every day.

But …

Jobcentre to recruit 170 ‘work coaches’ amid Covid-19 crisis

East Anglian Daily Times. 19th of November.

Jobcentres across East Anglia are to recruit 170 “work coaches” to help people find work during the coronavirus crisis.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – led by Suffolk Coastal MP, Dr Therese Coffey – is now recruiting thousands more work coaches in Jobcentres across the UK to help give people the skills they need to find new work.

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The 170 work coaches being recruited across East Anglia will also provide “expert mentoring” through people’s job search, with the DWP telling applicants: “Your tailored coaching can make a huge difference to their ability to find, stay in and progress in a job.”

The department, which has also brought in the Kickstart scheme to help young people and the JETS programme to give expert help to those out of work for three months, added: “More expert work coaches means more personal, tailored support for jobseekers who are looking to get going with a new career or to move on from a struggling sector.”

Dr Coffey added: “Work coaches deliver invaluable local employment advice, opportunities to develop skills for new sectors and vital new job support schemes su”tach as Kickstart and JETS, which we have put in place to give everyone the chance to succeed and will help drive East Anglia’s economic recovery.”

It hard to think of more irritating expression than Work Coach, but “tailored support” comes close.

Meanwhile:

Written by Andrew Coates

November 20, 2020 at 10:20 am

Food Bank Britain Faces Bleak Winter.

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Food banks report huge surge in demand for food parcels amid Covid pandemic

This is no surprise.

Most things like this you can see if you care to look, right bang in your area (obviously not in IDS’s manor).

As this Blog has mentioned there is a queue of people outside the Seventh Day Adventist Church in  this area waiting for food on a Sunday.

This is outside of the main local Food Bank network. FIND foodbank

It is just a lot more visible to anybody in the centre of the town.

Trussell Trust reports that it has already helped more than a million people affected by the Covid pandemic.

More than a million food parcels have been handed out families and individuals in crisis since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, according to new figures from the UK’s largest food bank network.

The Trussell Trust, who operate more than 1,200 food bank centres, says it has helped to support over 1.2 million households who have been negatively affected by the economic fallout, caused by the outbreak.

It includes 470,000 food parcels given to parents to feed their children, a 52% rise on last year, and is equivalent to 2,600 food parcels for children being given out every day since the start of the pandemic.

There is also an article by James Bloodworth which is really really worth reading:

Why the poor eat poorly

The Government has U-turned on free school meals. But moralising about people’s diets won’t help

BY 

 

When I was researching a book on low-wage Britain, I stumbled across an article in the Daily Mail about a woman who managed to survive on £1 a day. “Frugal Kath Kelly, 51, ate at free buffets, shopped at church jumble sales and scrounged leftovers from grocery stores and restaurants,” ran the story. “She even collected a staggering £117 in loose change dropped in the street.”

The story was written in admiring tones — Kath Kelly was presented as a sagacious and resourceful example to the poor. The underlying message was that the lower orders were feckless and stupid. Instead of sourcing and preparing healthy ingredients, they chose to plonk themselves in front of a television set and inhale pot noodles and multipacks of crisps.

 

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For those on low wages or benefits, poverty is the thief of time. Being poor invariably consists of countless hours spent waiting around for public transport, bosses, landlords or public sector bureaucrats. And that’s before one adds up the additional time it takes to care for a family. Even if it can be done relatively cheaply, preparing a healthy meal invariably takes longer than putting a pizza in the oven.

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We no longer dictate the food those on unemployment benefits must consume (though the argument that we ought to is a frequent saloon-bar trope). But a peculiar moral tone to our conversations about food persists. This is not confined to one political tribe. Nowadays liberals too are often heard laying down pious strictures as to what the poor should eat and drink. Sugar taxes have been introduced and junk food advertising is set to be banned before the 9pm watershed. Newspapers such as The Guardian have called for the government to go even further in terms of regulating what people eat.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

November 12, 2020 at 11:03 am

Paying the Rent and Universal Credit.

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“Uplifted” SoS for Work and Pensions. 

This story has just appeared on the Guardian site – a paper that should be recommended for not taking its eye of the ball on the issue of Universal Credit.

When first asked to extend free school meals over the holidays, the British government pointed to its “uplift” to universal credit of £20 per week. The media dutifully mentioned the “uplift”, but when did it become impermissible to say simply “raise” or “increase”?

…….

It was the American writer Nathaniel Parker Willis, friend of Edgar Allan Poe, who first used “uplift” as a compound noun in 1845, in a poem describing the baby prophet Nathan’s presentation to King David: “His brow / Had the inspired up-lift of the king’s.” In the following decade geologists described how land could be subject to “uplift” over time. Not until the mid-20th century was it adopted in business to mean (at first) an increase in prices, and therefore profits – as in the fees charged to the government by Serco.

Perhaps the government hopes that by causing everyone to refer to an “uplift” in universal credit, they will seed the idea that their policies are uplifting in the happy-making sense (from the late 19th century). Meanwhile scientists have been keeping a close eye in recent years on “uplifts” in Yellowstone Park, caused by fresh magma deep in the supervolcano. A new mega-eruption would surely be very 2020.

I suppose Yankee Doodle Dandies are now running our benefits system.

This below shows what life is really like for the ‘uplifted’ claimants.

It  is a very high percentage.

Families hit by Covid-19 face debt as universal credit doesn’t cover housing costs

The rents alone in London are beyond belief to start with.

Here is some more news:

Written by Andrew Coates

November 4, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Universal Credit – Threat to Self-Employed Claimants.

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DWP has its finger on the Pulse.

A couple of days this was published;

Universal Credit ‘loans’ trap new claimants in debt and leave them unable to afford repayments, say MPs.

An influential group of MPs has called on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to introduce new Universal Credit “starter payments”, to ensure that new claimants can support themselves while waiting for an initial payment.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee (WPSC), a cross-party group of MPs charged with scrutinising government welfare policy and recommending improvements, says the mandatory five-week-wait for a Universal Credit payment can leave many people unable to afford food and pay vital household bills.

The Committee’s new report, titled ‘Universal Credit: the wait for a first payment‘, finds that the current system of ‘advance payments’, that allow new claimants to borrow up to a full month’s worth of Universal Credit.

Today this is the news:

Self-employed people could lose hundreds of pounds per month if a little-known ‘Minimum Income Floor’ resumes as planned on November 13

A major change to Universal Credit on November 13 is set to cost self-employed people hundreds of pounds a month unless the DWP decides to delay it.

A little-known policy called the Minimum Income Floor (MIF), which limits how much the self-employed can get in benefits, was suspended for eight months due to Covid-19.

But that suspension is due to end on November 13, according to current laws.

Unless that date is extended, the MIF will take force again from that date – deducting some strivers’ benefits just as swathes of England are plunged into new lockdowns.

Ministers today told the House of Commons they are still reviewing whether or not to delay the November 13 date.

But they refused to rule out sticking to the date – despite the nation entering a second wave.

There’s also this:

Always at the cutting edge of social issues Coffey has herself been re-tweeting on subjects that concern us all, visiting the Golden Key and The Plough and Sail for a good lunch:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

October 21, 2020 at 10:40 am

Thérèse Coffey plans to help millions back to work.

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DWP MInister Thérèse Coffey on her “Dream Job” and Universal Credit. | Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Coffey: Workers Experienced in Customer Care Can Retrain for New Jobs.

The DWP Minister Thérèse Coffey has stirred up controversy for her latest helpful suggestions.

The Mirror reports,

The government’s welfare chief has prompted fury by suggesting sacked cabin crew can retrain as carers.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey claimed thousands of airline staff made redundant after planes were grounded and international travel ground to a halt in the coronavirus crisis should switch careers.

She told The Spectator: “I want to encourage them to perhaps go into teaching or go to college and to be the people who train the next lot of people who are going to do those jobs.”

She added: “How do we help draw out of them the transferable skills that they have, and that could be working in social care?

“It may not be their dream job for the rest of their lives.

“But it may well be very useful: They get more money coming in than if they’re on benefits and it can also provide something really valuable and rewarding.”

Yet Thérèse Coffey has defenders, well, at least one: the person who wrote the article that’s got people hot under the collar..

How Thérèse Coffey plans to help millions back to work

The Work and Pensions Secretary on unemployment, reshuffles and turning cabin crew into nurses

Writing for the popular Alternative View column, Davidus Toricus Spartacus, in the Spectator Katie Ball, née Bollocks (creator of  the podcast, Women with Balls, note, this is not made up) begins by noting, “Many things have gone wrong for the government over the past few months, but the welfare system has (so far) held up. “

My main task has been making sure that DWP runs effectively. Being in the news would probably be a sign that it wasn’t,’ she says over lunch in The Spectator’s boardroom. ‘I’m a great believer in the DWP being boringly brilliant — or brilliantly boring.’ After just 13 months in the job, she has already lasted longer than her last five predecessors.

We hope a ‘good lunch’ – the MP is much-loved in Suffolk Coastal for her support for local hostelries, sacrificing many hours visiting pubs, inns and ale-houses to support their work for the community – and this good feed put her in more than usual good spirits.

She thinks the social care industry could benefit from workers experienced in customer care such as air hostesses. ‘How do we help draw out of them the transferable skills that they have and that could be working in social care? It may not be their dream job for the rest of their lives. But it may well be very useful: they get more money coming in than if they’re on benefits and it can also provide something really valuable and rewarding so there are those sorts of things where we are going to try and help people think through what it is they can do, even if it is only for the next two to three years.’

She also supports Boris Johnson’s enthusiasm for air hostesses to become nurses. ‘I’m sure other cabin crew as well who are male could make equally good nurses. It’s just whether or not people want that as a complete lifestyle change.

Reflecting on issues that concern us, the well-being of her soul, she said,

As a practising Catholic who has missed mass on a Sunday only six times in her life, Coffey is more relaxed than most politicians when it comes to discussing faith. One of the upsides of lockdown, she says, was online church services: ‘We just basically did a tour of the UK. I’ve become quite fond of St George’s in Taunton, the St Gerard Majella in Bristol — very nice priest there. Northampton Cathedral is pretty good. A church crawl is a bit different to a pub crawl, isn’t it?’

We take this fine distinction on the word of a seasoned  veteran of many a tavern and rustic taproom.

Therese Coffey MP appointed Beer Parliamentarian of the Year after visiting all 118 pubs in her constituency

Will she ever be booted out?

She is the second-longest serving Tory work and pensions secretary, but would need to last until the next election to take first place from Iain Duncan Smith. There’s a rumour she confronted the Prime Minister a few months ago at cabinet about reshuffle reports in the press — he told her she wouldn’t be moved anytime soon. When I mention it, she blushes and won’t get into the details of what was discussed, but she does say rumours of hirings and firings are unhelpful, especially in a department where the lifespan of a Secretary of State is measured in weeks and months.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 9, 2020 at 3:13 pm