Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Posts Tagged ‘Suffolk

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer (Con): Easter Message on the ‘Bedroom Tax’.

with 15 comments


There are many rooms in my Father’s house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so. John 14.2 (New International Version).

“I am grateful to Ipswich Unemployed Action for the opportunity, on this special day, to write a guest post.

There has been much talk of the ‘Bedroom Tax’.

In reality this is a much needed structural adjustment allocation relocation of spare space subsidy measure.

As I said to the East Anglian Daily Times, on March the 20th,

The government is right to insist that local councils sort our benefits for local council taxes.

Suffolk County Council has taken the opportunity to improve the benefits it provides; I am only sad that – once again – the Borough has chosen to be political rather than imaginative about what it does.

Other councils – including Labour ones – elsewhere in the country are coming up with better solutions to helping vulnerable people.

“And on spare bedrooms – most people just do not understand why Housing Benefit is being paid for empty rooms which are desperately needed by families across Ipswich.

My Government is helping vulnerable people find new homes in the doorways of Ipswich shops all the time.

On this, the holiest time of the year, should we not think of the poor?

Beati pauperes spiritu!

Blessed are the poor! May they increase!!”

Written by Andrew Coates

March 29, 2013 at 10:39 am

Free Bus Travel for Unemployed – Where’s the Catch?

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Unemployed to be offered Free Bus Travel?

The EADT says,

Bus companies taking part in the scheme include Chambers Coaches, Anglian Buses, First, TGM and Arriva The Shires & Essex.

Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, said: “In difficult economic times, this new scheme from Greener Journeys will provide a helpful start to the new year, enabling job hunters to travel around more easily in search of employment, to job interviews with prospective employers, and to training courses which will help them find work.

“This scheme will give people looking for employment access to free bus travel for one month. This will help many of them secure their first job, or a place on a relevant training course.”

Where’s the catch ?

One here:

The Bus for Jobs scheme will provide free travel on the bus services for the month of January and job- seekers who have been unemployed for between three months and one year will be eligible.

Next one here.

The scheme will cover holders of a JobCentre Plus Travel Discount Card. Those who are eligible for the card, which is available through JobCentre Plus, include people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support and actively engaged with a Jobcentre Plus adviser in returning to employment.

The JobCentre Plus Travel Discount Card is one of those magical things you hear about but do not know anybody who actually has one.

In any case that it is only available to those on JSA and not also on the Work Programme.

If you  want to enter this  merry world, for a month’s bus travel, and find that this scheme is unlikely to help you, first see this: Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card Eligibility by Andy Woolford Here.

Still, nice free publicity for the bus companies.

Suffolk Work Programme “utter failure”.

with 21 comments

The Work Programme has been an “utter failure” in Suffolk, and that’s official.

Figures released and published in the East Anglian Daily Times (28.11.12)  show that of 2,360 people referred to the scheme in Ipswich just 60 found and kept jobs for 6 months- 2,5%.

Elsewhere in the country it’s the same picture. In Babergh (570) people), Forest Heath (480) and in Mid Suffolk (490) just twenty people in each district had employment for more than 6 months.

In St Edmundsbury 730 went on the scheme and 30 got a job, and in Suffolk Coastal out of 590 went on the Work Programme and only 20 kept in work long enough for the ‘providers’ to get their full bonus.

In Essex the figures were: Braintree, 1,360 and 80, Chelmsford, 1440 and 60, Colchester 1,900 and 60. Pride of Place goes to tendering where 2,300 were referred and just 10 kept a job.


People on the Work Programme comment that the scheme is “crazy”. They have harsh words for the providers, such as Pelcombe and SEETEC, who are not just incompetent and unpleasant but quick to “sanction” people. That is, deprive them of the right to the basic income needed to live and eat.

It looks as if these companies’ failure will mean they  face a serious financial crisis.

The price of the government’s ambitions and their own greed.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 29, 2012 at 9:26 am

Universal Jobmatch: How On Earth Can It Work?

with 203 comments

Johnny Void has an important post on Universal Jobmatch.

He writes,

Despite earlier denials from the DWP that unemployed claimants will be not forced to sign up to the new site, it now appears as if registering will be mandatory (as the above picture reveals).  Claimants will be expected to sign away their rights under the Data Protection Act and hand a vast amount of personal detail over to the DWP, who can them pass the information onto anyone they choose.  The legality of this is unsure, as is how and when sanctions might be applied – keep an eye on the internet for new developments.

Jobcentre advisors will have full access to personal accounts, meaning they can check on all activity, snoop on job applications, cover letters and CVs as well as ‘suggest’ job vacancies.  Failure to act on the DWP’s suggestions will lead to benefits being sanctioned.

Johnny covers most of the points we would wish to make about this repulsive and, equally, hare-brained, scheme dreamt up by busy-bodies, form-checkers,  and little ‘itlers.

We merely add this:

Not everybody is computer literate to any degree.

Nor do we all have access to the Web.

Nor, and this is my point, even if we are the first and could have the second, can we afford it.

We rely on public terminals. Often you can not upload stuff like CVs on them.

These are only free round here for 2 hours day (good-bye all-week surveillance).

In Suffolk this is provided by the library service – now a “private charity” (Industrial and Provident Society). It is running into a deep crisis, largely, but not completely, the result of cuts.

The Library Internet is in a shambles.

Today it was not even working till mid-day.

Because the browsers are not updated (thanks to the new ‘Society’ not wanting to fork out for this?)  it is not always possible to always use Hot Mail to apply for Jobs, nor to access many, many, other sites properly.

I was not able to comment on Johnny’s site because the system is so poor it won’t let you do this.

If the Public Internet in Suffolk is not fit for purpose it must be the same elsewhere.

How on earth are expected to use this system?

Written by Andrew Coates

November 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Aldeburgh Yacht Club: Tricks of the Dole Cheats Exposed.

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We Expose Tricks of the Aldeburgh Yacht Club Dole Cheats.

Ipswich Unemployed Action has received exclusive preview material of tomorrow’s  Channel Ipswich Unemployed Action’s Documentary on ‘Dole Cheats’.


” I say Bertie that looks a lot of wonga you’re putting on the nail.”

“Plenty from where that’s coming old Cheesewright. Emma’s just given us all a raise and that chap in SEETEC has paid us our dividends, and we’re all rolling in it.

Aunt Agatha has just booked her toodeling third holiday in the sunny side of the Caribbean.”

“But surely good ol’ David Blunkett is suffering under the strain?”

“Not at all old bean, been able to pay his bar bill at Annabel’s, at last.”


“If I make a suggestion Sir. There are mutterings. The Heralds of the Red Dawn in  Ipswich…”

“Mum’s the word Jeeves…”

Written by Andrew Coates

August 19, 2012 at 9:49 am

Food Banks, Co-op, Ipswich Christians and Ben Gummer MP.

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FIND (Families in Need) is now running Food Banks in Ipswich. 

The East of England Co-operative Society has launched collection points across a selection of its stores in the Ipswich area, to aid its support of local Ipswich charity FIND (Families in Need).
The charity, run by Maureen Reynel MBE and a group of volunteers, helps to support those in both Ipswich and the surrounding areas that fall into deprivation, and below sustainable standards of living. 
They provide food parcels containing long life foods, such as pasta and rice as well as fresh food, toiletries, cleaning equipment and baby food and nappies when required. 
You can find them, clearly marked “A Christian initiative” in all the local Co-op Shops.
Meanwhile Benedict Gummer Ipswich Tory MP is not shy of making political capital out of people’s misery. 

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer met with Maureen and her team to reiterate his support for the great work that is being carried out by FIND, supported by the East of England Co-operative Society. 

He said, “The work done by FIND is magnificent.  Many families are having an incredibly tough time at the moment: the cost of living is going up, but wages are being kept on hold or being cut.  As the fires of the Eurozone crisis continue to burn, we must do all we can to help the most needy at the level where we can really make a difference – in our own community.  
“That is why FIND is doing such a great job looking after those who suddenly find themselves in a situation where they cannot help themselves.  I congratulate the Co-op, a great local business, for supporting this great local charity.”
It’s a comment on our Welfare system that people are driven to ask for rice and pasta from religious charities.
As for Mr Gummer: perhaps instead of the ‘Euro crisis’ he might care to look at the ‘welfare Reform’ his government is carrying out that makes people rely on the good works of the Charitable.
FIND: “a Christian based registered charity that was founded in 1990 to provide emergency assistance to families or individuals affected by poverty or dispossession.”

Written by Andrew Coates

July 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

Mandatory Work Activity: How to Solve Unemployment (and the Servant Problem) Says Ben Gummer Ipswich MP.

with 9 comments

Govt Solves Unemployment.

This a Guest Post by Ben Gummer Ipswich MP, Mayor of Ipswich, Editor of the Ipswich Star and Cabinet Secretary for Ipswich.

It’s Boost, Boost for Ipswich!

More jobseekers told to do unpaid work or face possible loss of benefits

Mandatory work activity requires jobseekers to work unpaid for up to 30 hours a week or risk losing their benefits

The government will tell up to 70,000 jobseekers that they must work unpaid for four weeks or lose their benefits for three months under an expansion of the mandatory work activity programme.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) would also tighten up rules to stop jobseekers from “gaming the system” – evading mandatory placements .”

Ipswich is my home and I am grateful for this opportunity to explain the Government’s exciting proposals.

Due to the busy increase in essential Ipswich services – Charity Shops, Nail Bars, Pawn Shops, Betting Shops – there is a need to roll up shirt sleeves and get down to work!

Just outside Ipswich, say in Stowmarket, with which I have close connections! (I’m a real Suffolk boi!) there’s a great shortage in qualified service personnel to work in some of the larger establishments.

This amazing new government scheme will enable people to get some footmen, maids and gardeners on the way to working full-time!

Social services, hospitals and the much-needed ‘community servcie’ to keep our road verges cut will also benefit.

Next event: Ben in the Pub

Venue: The Emporer Inn, 293 Norwich Rd Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 4BP

Date & time: Thursday 28/06/2012 at 8:30 pm

Tell Ben how excited you are about his plans to charge £5 a pint and make you work for nothing!

Written by Andrew Coates

June 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm