Sunday 7 October 2012

For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath*

Rumour, and the Sunday Telegraph have it that one way that the Tories are going to save money, having ditched the Liberals idea of a Mansion Tax along with most other Liberal policies, is they will make the poor pay even more.

Yep, that's it. The bankers and the government drop the country into a stinking cesspit of debt and the government responds by cutting people's benefits to make up the deficit.

So the latest proposal is that the government will dock 10% of JSA after 6 months of unemployment and then a further 10% after a year.

Those under 25 currently receive £56.25 a week under Jobseeker’s Allowance. This rises to £71.00 a week for the over 25s and £111.45 for couples.

So, after 6 months the under 25 year old would lose £5.62, and after a year £11.24. That would mean that they would be down to £45.01 a week to live on. That doesn't go far when a loaf of ordinary white bread in Asda costs £1.20; the bus fare into the town around £2 and 6 apples £1.80.

If you add this reduction to the already proposed freeze for 2 years of all benefits, while inflation (officially at 2.5%), is in reality far far higher...gas and electricity are set to increase by around 10% for example, you are looking at complete misery at the very least and starvation, food banks and death at the worst.

You might think that people should be able to get a job within 6 months, but this depends hugely on a variety of factors like where you live, how old you are, what kind of skills or experience you have, how your health is, if you have any disability, if you are overweight or, sometimes, whether you are good looking or plain. Things are tough out there. The jobs pages in local paper which used to be worthy of a pull out supplement, now barely fill a column.

One comment on the Telegraph site impressed me. I think it is worth repeating here:

"I've got 30 years experience as a Board-level PA/Executive Assistant. Last year, I was made redundant and I have been out of work for almost exactly a year.  I have applied for literally hundreds of jobs. At the last interview I went to, I made some enquiries about the post: for a 20 hour a week job, they had over 800 applicants. 
"Then I was sent on the "Mandatory Work Placement Scheme", run by a company whose Chief Executive draws a salary of £3.5million, according to information in the public domain.   We were summoned by letter to the HQ of the company, and told that we would be starting "work" the next day - no notice, no time to organise childcare, no nothing.  In my batch of people there were 40 people; all of us were being sent to "work" in charity shops.  This is despite a) us being told in the letter that our skills and experience would be looked at and "a placement appropriate to your experience" found, b) there being white collar workers, single mums, scaffolders, IT professionals, a butcher and an ex-animator /film maker in the group.
"Three of us were sent to a small local charity shop - three of us!  to do 30 hours a week for a month.  We had been told that "since the A4E problems (a euphemism if ever I heard one), placements could not be made in commercial companies.  The shop already had its full complement of volunteer staff, so we were basically in the way.  The shop manager had to find 90 hours' worth of work for us three that month.  The existing volunteers hated us because we were taking over their roles - some of them were told not to come in for a month - so even though they were volunteers, we were putting them "out of work" for a while.
"I made some new friends, but I didn't pick up any transferrable skills to get me another job in my particular field.  And A4E made approx £350 out of the government for each of us - by phoning a charity shop and getting us a temporary "job" there.  And when things went wrong, A4E were nowhere to be found.
"And on top of working there 30 hours a week for a month, I was still expected to find the time and energy to continue looking for a proper job.  30 hours a week to receive standard JSA benefits works out at appreciably under the National Minimum Wage.
"An acquaintance of mine (retired) announced recently that she had been thinking of taking a part time volunteer post at her local charity shop to give her something to do a couple of mornings a week but was turned down because the charity shop had taken on Mandatory Work Placement people - of which there would be a constant, ever changing stream, so there were no voluntary jobs there for the foreseeable future. 
"People think that the unemployed should work for their benefits. I don't see Messrs Cameron and Osborne offering to do without their salary to help the economy." 


PS: I also enjoyed this comment from another contributor:

How about anyone found to have evaded tax for over a year gets to work in the community and get a 20% increase in their tax liability?

*Matthew 13:12


  1. And immoral too, ch

  2. tris

    the truth is the UK is becoming intolerant to those on benefit
    deserved or not.
    Cameron and co are fanning the flames of hatred and anger towards
    those unable to defend themselves.

    and the fact is they are getting
    a level of support from the people.
    they blame the unemployed and disabled for their plight.
    and the people cheer.
    they cut their mostly meager benefits and the people cheer.

    thats the way I see it going and voting snp aint gonna change it
    Cameron says another council tax freeze.
    strange that the snp and Torys agreeing together yet if that was Joanna Lamont what would the nats say.

  3. He's just carrying on from what Labour (nu Lava party) started only being more honest about it Niko.

  4. Well Niko, CH is right, Labour did this, but in fairness they, in turn, were copying Thatcher and Peter Lilly.

    They have persuaded otherwise reasonable people that everyone who is unemployed is so because they are feckless and lazy and if they only tried they could have a job. It isn't true of course, but when did the government ever let the truth get in the way of what they wanted to spin?

    Following on from Labour, they have also spun heavily against the sick. 80% of the sick and disabled could be working, they say. (Where, I ask.)

    They are just taking advantage of their disabilities, they say.

    May someone, somewhere, maybe the god they all give the impression of following so devoutly, forgive them for that, because being ill, long term, is the most awful thing, and knowing that you will never get better must be totally devastating.

    But hey, London sees them as an easy target to get money from to pay for the bankers' greed and the government's incompetence.

    So what if Atos keeps ditching them off benefit and they die? So what if they keep on getting beaten up because the government says that most of them are lazy scroungers?

    Then they will dig up hate about all these old people living till they are 98.

    Damned nuisances. Taking all that money in pensions and that could be spent on tax relief for the rich.

    Then foreigners will be in their you see where I'm going?

    Council Tax freeze...? Well, like so many other things that England has done over the years, it is copying Scotland.

    The Tories are copying the SNP... and you might think that that's bad, but...wait a minute...didn't Iain Gray go into the election on a promise to freeze the council tax?

    Didn't Glasgow council win the election on a promise to freeze the council tax.

    So doesn't Labour copy the SNP's policies too?

    Incidentally, most of the other universals in Scotland were put in place by the Labour Party and their Liberal partners.

  5. If Johann Lamont would just follow our lead Niko, maybe she would earn some respect.

  6. As a wee free (Am I allowed to say that?) I'm glad that you are all going biblical. The truth of the Bible saying "You will reap what you sow" will be apparent at the referendum vote. Better Together - you are all dooooomed!

  7. Ah, John Boy. Of course you are allowed to say that. Although Conan said you were a Wee Free Buddhist, so we probably need to get that cleared up.

    In the interests of fairness I shall be obliged to quote something from the Quran next week. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

    To be honest, being led by Alistair Darling was enough to doom them from day one.

    Btw, is it true that Wee Free Ministers are all hellfire and damnation in the pulpit?

  8. It is true - yes, I am!!

    Actually, not so much now but they used to terrify me as a kid especially one who spoke like the Scotsman in Dad's Army. I used to regard him in the same way that Taz regards Niko and, in return, the way Niko regards everyone else.

  9. Looking over the fields where Robert Burns toiled I got thinking how relevant his poems are today Probably more in touch with what is happening to us at this time than the quotes from the Bible.The second, third, second last and last verses seem particularly prophetic
    On turning over a mouse nest he was aware of the devestation he had caused to this wee thing Our nests are also in danger of being overturned and we too will suffer in the same way as the mouse

    I'm truly sorry man's dominion
    Has broken Nature's social union,
    An' justifies that ill opinion
    Which makes thee startle at me,
    thy poor earth-born companion,
    An' fellow-mortal!

    I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
    What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
    A daimen icker in a thrave
    'S a sma' request:
    I'll get a blessin wi the lave,
    And never miss't!

    But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain:
    The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
    Gang oft a-gley.
    An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain
    For promised joy.

    Still thou art blessed, compared wi' me!
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But och! I backward cast my e'e
    On prospects drear!
    An' forward, tho' I canna see,
    I guess an' fear!

  10. Fairfor.

    Thanks for that. It really is touching, at least to someone like me who feeds wild mice in the shed at the bottom of the garden, and makes sure they have water in there too so that they never have to venture out while the neighbour's cat is around.

    Before I knew that they were living there I started to clear out the shed and disturbed their nest. I felt so guilty, so I put it all back together best I could and left them food.

    Long silly story, sorry, but that poem always touches me personally. Burns obviously felt, as I do, about animals.

    And yes, today for so many people, all the built up has been ruined by greed and incompetence of our movers and shakers, particularly the banks and government.

    I heard this morning that Mr Osborne intends to make anyone under the age of 25, without a job, move back to his or her parents' homes.

    Presumably that will be the home that they were forced by their new regulations to vacate after the children left.

    What a mess they are making of our society.

    Oh I'd forgotten; in Toryland there is no such thing as society.

  11. LOL @ John...

    I have problems imagining you being frightened of very much... so they must have been terrifying. I remember seeing the odd one in British films from the old days and thinking surely no one sat there in church and took that kind of verbal assault...

    I think that Taz is getting the upper hand with Niko these days. If course he has common sense on his side...

  12. The Lamont doctrine and now wee Ruth is working as a vote Yes campaigner in Brummy we now just need the LibDems to say something stupid!

  13. Good article from Sillars there.

    As for Ruth...sheeeesh... she even starts to look like Lamont with the wrong hair dye

    I think we can pretty much guarantee that the Libs will say something silly don't you... I just hope the SNP manages to avoid the same thing.

  14. LOL LOL LOL . Classic one about Davidson.