Coalition benefit cuts mean 'unacceptable' poverty is increasing, says Oxfam

Tue, 22/04/2014 - 13:29 -- nick

The coalition's benefit cuts have pushed 1.75 million more people into even deeper poverty, according to a new report.

The study, by Oxfam and NPI, shows that the drop in the value of benefits, increased by less than inflation, and direct cuts to housing benefit and council tax benefit have meant some of the UK's poorest citizens have got worse off under the current government.

This group has seen a cut in their overall incomes and struggle to afford life's basics including food and energy.

Wolverhampton Council to axe 2,000 jobs as austerity bites

Tue, 18/02/2014 - 12:30 -- nick

Wolverhampton City Council is to cut 2,000 jobs, it has revealed.

The number represents one in every five people it employs, but the local authority says it has to make this tough decision due to the coalition's cut to its grant.

Although local government can raise money directly through council tax, the central grant from Westminster forms the majority of its income.

Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for resources, said: "We have lost a huge proportion of the main source of our income, which is the grant from the government. That's why we have to make these job cuts.

More than half of government cuts still to come

Wed, 05/02/2014 - 13:22 -- nick

More than half of the government's austerity cuts are still ahead, according to a shock new report.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a respected thinktank, says that 60% of planned cuts in public funding are still to come, putting ontold strain on public services.

This follows a decision by Chancellor George Osborne to extend austerity to 2019, which includes the announcement of £12 billion cuts to benefits in addition to the billions detailed before.

Coalition chops support for those affected by housing benefit cuts

Thu, 30/01/2014 - 17:14 -- nick

The government has announced a reduction in the support available for those affected by its housing benefit cuts.

This follows on from reductions in previous years and is likely to mean more hardship for unemployed people.

In the year 2013-14, the coalition made £180 million available to councils through the Discretionary Housing Fund, which replaced the far bigger Social Fund.

Welfare reform causing widespread suffering, says report

Tue, 24/09/2013 - 12:54 -- nick

Four out of five benefit-claiming households are in debt, according to a new report, and nearly nine out of ten fear welfare changes will affect their health.

These are the shocking findings of a new study, Real Life Reform, carried out by Northern Housing Consortium, which follows people affected by benefit changes up to 2015.

Despite the government's denials that welfare now provides a poverty-level income, the report shows that two-thirds of people have less than £10 left each week after paying for food and basic bills.

Food bank use soars, but don't blame our cuts - minister

Wed, 03/07/2013 - 18:49 -- nick

The use of food banks has soared since the government came to power, but Minister for Work and Pensions Lord David Freud has rejected a link with the government's benefit cuts.

Speaking in the House of Lords yesterday Lord Freud said it was hard to make a "causal link" between the two.

Despite evidence that more and more people are being driven to use the facilities due to over-zealous sanctioning - removing benefits for often-small violations of benefit rules - and below-inflation benefit rises, the Minister said:

The Queen's Speech promises more cuts for the unemployed

Wed, 08/05/2013 - 13:25 -- nick

Today's Queen's Speech promises more cuts for the unemployed and other claimants, including new immigrants to the UK who will have access to benefits restricted.

There was better news in the new National Insurance Contributions Bill, which cuts NI contributions paid by small businesses when they employ someone, potentially boosting the number of jobs available, and in plans to improve the availability of childcare for working people.

Big rise in UK unemployment - up 70,000 in three months

Wed, 17/04/2013 - 14:23 -- nick

Unemployment in the UK rose by 70,000 to 2.56 million in the three months to the end of February, latest figures have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed that, after a long period of rising employment, 2,000 fewer people were in work than in the previous three months.

There was better news in the number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance; this was down by 7,000 to 1.53 million.

The proportion of unemployed people is now 7.9%, up 0.2%.

ILO warns eurozone risks losing 4.5 million more jobs

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 12:20 -- nick
The eurozone could lose 4.5 million more jobs in the next four years unless the region shifts away from austerity, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned. That rise would take unemployment in the 17-nation bloc to 22 million. The ILO said a concerted policy shift away from austerity towards job creation was needed.


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