Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron

The New Wave of Covid-19 Claimants and the Old Wave of Universal Credit Problems.

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The New Wave of Claimants.

A few days ago this was the news (BBC),

The UK unemployment rate has risen to its highest level for two years, official figures show.

The unemployment rate grew to 4.1% in the three months to July, compared with 3.9% previously.

Young people were particularly hard hit, with those aged 16 to 24 suffering the biggest drop in employment compared with other age groups.

The below sheds some light on who the new claimants are,

Who are the new COVID-19 cohort of benefit claimants?

University of Salford Manchester.

Since March 2020, we have witnessed the fastest increase in the number of people claiming working-age social security benefits in the UK since records began. The incorporation of a new group of benefit claimants into the social security system has presented its own procedural and administrative challenges for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Some commentators have lauded the government’s response to the crisis amidst a surge in new claims. Beyond the sheer volume of claimants, recent developments present a fresh set of priorities for those working in benefit, income and employment support. These priorities stem from the considerable challenges facing the UK labour market with sizeable portions of the economy having to adapt to a ‘new normal’ of altered hours and working practices alongside shifting demand and capacity. Additionally, these priorities stem from a large new group of claimants who face their own unique challenges in accessing adequate social assistance and appropriate employment support during the course of the pandemic.

This is a summary:

The new cohort of COVID-19 benefit claimants are more likely to be:

  • younger: almost half (46%) of new benefit claimants are aged between 18-39 years old, compared to 37% of existing claimants.
  • BAME: 8% of new claimants are from BAME backgrounds compared to 6% of existing claimants. New BAME claimants have been disproportionately impacted by job loss and/or a reduction in their hours.
  • men: 49% of new benefit claimants are male compared to 43% of existing benefit claimants.
  • not experiencing a disability: only 38% of new benefit claimants experience some kind of health condition or disability compared to 67% of existing claimants.
  • from a higher ‘social grade’: more than a quarter (26%) of new claimants are from social grade AB compared to 15% of existing claimants.
  • university graduates: almost a third (32%) of new claimants had a University Diploma or above, compared to 26% of existing claimants. In part this is driven by the younger age profile of new claimants who are more likely to be university graduates. However, this is also evident when focusing exclusively on those aged 18-39. Amongst this age group, 41% of new claimants hold a university diploma or above, compared to 28% of existing claimants.
  • owner occupiers: 29% of new benefit claimants were owner occupiers compared to 25% of existing claimants. In addition, only 13% of new claimants were social renters compared to a 33% of existing claimants.

Anybody looking for stories about Universal Credit on the Net will notice that papers, particularly the right-wing loony bin type, are full of clickbait stuff.

They are trying to appeal to the above people who must be looking around for some way to lessen the impact of being on the dole.

Universal Credit: Are you eligible for SDP payments of over £400 a month? Check now (Express)

Universal Credit claimants could receive an additional payment of £812 – rules explained (Express)

This stuff reminds me of the junk-mail you get in your In-Box from Dogsville USA, “New Benefit for Veterans!”.

Our contributors by contrast noticed this a couple of days back.

The House:

Scrap Universal Credit and replace it with a system that offers a safety net for all

Labour has long been calling for changes to social security to avoid entrenching people into a cycle of poverty they cannot escape. We have been clear that the Government must adopt five urgent social security measures to provide immediate support to people affected by the coronavirus crisis:

  • Convert Universal Credit advances into grants instead of loans, ending the five-week wait.
  • Remove the £16,000 savings limit which disqualifies individuals from accessing Universal Credit.
  • Suspend the benefit cap.
  • Abolish the two-child limit in Universal Credit and Tax Credits.
  • Uprate legacy benefits to match the increase in Universal Credit, providing an immediate increase in Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment Support Allowance.

In the meantime people are struck with the existing system.

This means that a lot of people, a real lot, are having to adjust to things like this:

1.6 million households hit by £60 cut to benefits in just one month

Welfare Weekly,

Well this chap is helping out:

Our Boss is spreading joy and light in a different way:

I watched Sky Arts yesterday.

It is about as entertaining as being stuck on Orford Ness in mid-winter drizzle.

I was not impressed….

 

Written by Andrew Coates

September 19, 2020 at 9:21 am

Cameron’s Plans Mean Poverty Assaults More People.

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David Cameron has vowed to devote much of his time in office to “an all-out assault on poverty”, in his speech to the Conservative Party conference.

The prime minister, who will stand down before the next election, said he wanted to tackle “deep social problems” and boost social mobility.

He also announced “dramatic” planning reforms to increase home ownership.

Reports the BBC. 

David Cameron’s assault on poverty doesn’t extend to the homeless.

13,850 households were accepted as homeless between April and June of this year.

Ryan Maynes.

It should be no surprise to anyone that the escalating issue of homelessness was barely mentioned during four days of rhetoric and self-congratulation at the Conservative party conference.

With the Tories having overseen the most savage cuts to the poorest in society in a generation, it was inevitable that homelessness would indeed be on the rise in Britain, and off the agenda of the Conservative Conference 2015.

….

The number of people sleeping rough in Britain has risen 55 per cent since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, with London seeing the highest increase.

….

Factor in the cuts to housing benefits for 18 to 21-year-olds, and the lack of a plan to tackle this crisis, and it may be a foregone conclusion that this increase is going to continue. Many more people will be sleeping rough in the capital and elsewhere over the course of this parliament.

Homelessness is clearly not high on the Conservative party’s agenda, and their attacks on welfare and housing have only confirmed this. Yesterday David Cameron promised an, ‘all out assault on poverty’, but his track record so far suggests that homelessness does not come under this remit.

Instead, Cameron launched his proposal to build 200,000 new starter homes, intended to ease the housing crisis. While this will help – insofar as there will be more homes in the country – it will have no impact on those in poverty.

The homelessness charity Shelter has suggested that only those households earning over £50,000, or £70,000 in London, will stand a chance of buying these houses. And of those on the new living wage in poorer areas? Only 2 per cent will find these new homes affordable.

Walking around Ipswich many people are struck by the number of people begging, saying they are homeless.

It is the same in many cities and towns, though I doubt if it’s the case in Cameron’s Constituency, Witney, Oxfordshire:

Tory conference: Cameron’s ‘assault on poverty’ pledge belied by new figures.

David Cameron’s promise during his address to the Conservative party conference that “an all-out assault on poverty” would be at the centre of his second term is undermined by a report that reveals planned welfare cuts will lead to an increase of 200,000 working households living in poverty by 2020.

The findings, published on Thursday by the Resolution Foundation, appear to contradict the prime minister’s vow to devote the second five years of his premiership to creating a “Greater Britain” marked by social reform, real equality and less racial discrimination.

In a speech that was clearly designed to respond to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader, Cameron sought to position his party as the dominant force on the centre ground of politics. The prime minister argued the best way to tackle the deep roots of poverty lay in getting people into better paid work.

The Conservatives, Cameron said, must live up to their great traditions of social reform and be the right party “for those who work hard, want to get on and want more money at the end of the month”. Insisting Britain was on the brink of something special, he claimed “hope is returning and we are moving into the light”, allowing the Conservatives to be seen as the “party of the fair chance, the party of the equal shot”.

But the new research by the Resolution Foundation – now chaired by former Conservative minister David Willetts – suggests the government’s welfare cuts introduced in the budget in a bid to cut the deficit will drive at least 200,000 working households into poverty under a definition that the government is abolishing.

These are the key points:

A further 200,000 children (predominantly from working households) will fall into poverty in 2016 simply as a result of the tax and benefit measures announced at the summer budget, including the increases in the national minimum wage.

The total number of working households in poverty will have reached 2 million in 2020.

The summer budget measures will lead to income falls of more than 4% in the bottom fifth of earners, contrasting with income rises of 4% for the top third.

The number of children in poverty in working and non-working households is estimated to reach up to 3.9 million by 2020. This is 1.2 million higher than the 2016-17 baseline and 600,000 higher than was projected for 2020 prior to the budget.

As the writer indicates:

Cameron made no direct mention of George Osborne’s controversial plans to cut tax credits, which will mean a loss of £1,000 for 3 million of the lowest-paid workers.

As for Iain Duncan Smith’s plans to get the disabled into work this is in the news today……

Too fat to work’ man has ‘collapsed with mini-stroke’ weeks after starting first job in four years.

Mirror. 

A man who claimed he was ‘too fat to work’ has collapsed just weeks after starting his first job in years, it has been claimed

Stephen Beer, who has high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, has suffered a mini stroke and is in hospital, according to The Sun.

Wife Michelle, 43, said he was “not well, but improving”.

 

Accept help to lose weight, or lose your benefits. Official.

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https://i1.wp.com/i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03390/obesity_3390705b.jpg

Dole to Tell you to Cut down on Visits to Chippie.

Cameron: Accept help to lose weight, or lose your benefits

Posts Conservative Home, apparently the Home of Conservatism.

‘Obese people who refuse medical treatment to help them lose weight could have their benefits cut, the Prime Minister will announce today. David Cameron will launch a review to work out the cost to taxpayers and the economy of ‘preventable’ conditions such as obesity and drug and alcohol addiction. He has asked a government health adviser to examine plans to force people with health problems to undertake treatment when claiming benefits.’ – Daily Mail

  • This is about protecting taxpayers – The Sun Says (you have to pay to read this)
  • Britain is the fat man of Europe – The Times Leader (you have to pay to read this as well).

The Telegraph registers some of the changes about to be introduced.

‘Fat taxes’ and benefit cuts

David Cameron is expected to announce shortly that overweight people could have benefits worth around £100 a week reduced or ended altogether if they refuse to lose weight.

This has led to speculation that extra taxes could be levied on overweight working people too. Another option on the table is to tax food to make unhealthy items more expensive and to subsidise healthy food.

Experts have previously said that “fat taxes” would have to increase the price of unhealthy food and drinks by as much as 20pc in order to cut consumption by enough to reduce obesity and other diet-related diseases. For a family spending £100 a week on food, £50 of which is spent on “unhealthy food”, this would add £520 a year, or £10 a week, to their shopping bill.

But, standing up for differently weighted people (for reasons which coast near the bleedin’ obvious), they state,

Fat taxes? Overweight people already pay more

Obesity is a growing financial burden for Britain. But being overweight could also affect your personal finances.

We can all guess the kind of person who talks about “personal finances” without screwing their lips together, hard.

The Guardian takes a different angle on these latest proposals to tell people how to live their lives:

Obese people and drug users who refuse treatment could have benefits cut

David Cameron launches review by Dame Carol Black of welfare for those with drug, alcohol or obesity problems.

So it’s not just those visits to Iceland for a stack of cheap burgers and a tub of ice-cream (breakfast), it’s our two litres of White Cider (lunch), and a spliff of skunk (tea) that they’re after.

The lives of those who like a drink, a bag of chips and some blow, are to be reformed.

One wonders what kind of record of our eating, drinking, and ingesting habits we’ll have to present to Coachey when we sign on,

This comment seems appropriate, “A Newfangled Nanny State? U.K. Government to Force Fat People to Lose Weight by .

Except that I, like just about everybody here, has never had a nanny and am not clear what they do.

As Government makes young people work for greedy employers for next to nothing, areas in which PWPS claimants can be referred to Community Work Placements (CWP).

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Hat-tip J.J.Loop.

The government hasn’t waited before outlining its scheme to make young people work for greedy employers and ‘charities’  for nothing.

 Unemployed in Tyne and Wear report today,

Thousands could lose benefits in Government plan to end youth unemployment

Thousands of unemployed young people across the North East could be stripped of benefits under tough plans in the Government’s Queen’s Speech.

David Cameron insisted the crackdown was designed to end youth unemployment, as he set out his plans in the House of Commons.

But Labour MPs said the plans effectively meant young people would be forced to work for as little as less than £2 an hour – payment far below the minimum wage.

But the background is the same for all of us ne’er do wells.

They will extend these schemes to us all.

 

They are beginning to outline their plans.

From here.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

In your response to the following FoI request:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m…

you provide a document entitled “SR13 HtW Implementation Memo 026
CWP contingency 2014 12 05.pdf ” which details which areas can
mandate PWPS claimants whose return date from the WP was pre 28
April 2014 to attend a CWP.

Please provide all the information you hold which details actual or
proposed plans for further expansion of this to other areas
including which areas will be affected and when.

Also provide any information you hold which clarifies exactly which
part of the SR13 conditionality enforces the sending of PWPS
claimants who returned from the WP before 28 April 2014 to CWPs.

Yours faithfully,

Stephanie Herne.

This is clearly workfare – work for your pittance of a dole.

More here:

1. Post Work Programme Support (PWPS) applies to those claiming JSA at the point their Work Programme participation ends.
2. For such claimants, a nominated contact in each District Office will receive a LMS MIS report 10 working days before the due completion date and,following locally agreed protocols, ensure:

Written by Andrew Coates

May 30, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Two Million a Year to Have to Use Foodbanks if Tories Win.

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The Tory Future: An Endless Queue for Charity Food Banks.

Planned £12bn Tory welfare cuts will lead to two million a year using food banks, says study.

The number of people using food banks will double to more than two million a year under the Conservatives’ plans for £12bn of welfare cuts, an academic study by Oxford University suggests.

The research was seized on by Labour as evidence that David Cameron’s welfare cuts will have far-reaching consequences for family budgets, including eating into in-work benefits, if the Conservatives get back into power next week. On the Question Time leaders’ debate on Thursday, Mr Cameron said he did not want or had no plans to cut child benefit further – but Labour claims this does not mean he has ruled it out. The Prime Minister, asked about child benefit cuts on BBC Breakfast yesterday, again refused to rule it out.

Labour’s spokesperson on work and pensions, Rachel Reeves, told The Independent on Sunday that the Oxford University study was extremely worrying for families on low incomes, and claimed that Mr Cameron’s failure to rule out child benefit cuts suggested that they were on the table.

Last month, the Trussell Trust, the charity that provides parcels to food banks, revealed that visits had risen to over one million a year for the first time.

This is the ‘Big Society’ Cameron Promises.

Oxford academic Dr Rachel Loopstra’s research paper, entitled Austerity, Sanctions and the Rise of Food Banks in the UK, examined the relationship between benefit cuts and food bank demand. The study shows that food parcel distribution per head of population will rise by 0.16 percentage points for every 1 per cent annual cut in benefit spending.

This is the future: living on charity handouts from the Lord and Lady Bountifuls of the land.

Even in school: Schools feeding and clothing pupils, say heads

Head teachers are warning that schools are having to act like “mini-welfare states” in having to provide food, spare uniform and even to wash clothes and provide showers for some pupils.

The National Association of Head Teachers says such welfare support is costing £43.5m from school budgets.

Heads’ leader Russell Hobby said it was a “hidden national scandal”.

A Conservative spokesman said “the number of children living in poverty has fallen by 300,000”.

The warning from members of the NAHT, as they gather for their annual conference in Liverpool, is that schools are having to step in with welfare support for pupils, either because of poverty or dysfunctional families.

The union’s report, based on responses from more than 2,000 head teachers in England, found examples of schools supplying food, clothes, PE kit, headlice treatment, transport costs and equipment for lessons.

There were schools which now had facilities for washing clothes and providing showers for pupils.

We want rights not charity!

Vote to the Tory and Liberal Rabble Out!