Iain Duncan Smith still misleads as Labour opposes benefit cap

Thu, 24/09/2015 - 13:13 -- nick

Some doubt has surrounded the Labour position on the benefit cap in the first days of its new leadership.

New work and pensions spokesperson Owen Smith had previously suggested only that the party opposed the recent Tory extension of the cap from £26,000 to £20,000 (£23,000 in London), a halfway-house that satisfied neither pro-welfare state people or antis.

Unemployment rises again as women bear brunt of economic problems

Wed, 16/09/2015 - 13:08 -- nick

Unemployment went up again in the last three month as the jobs market went into a sustained reverse.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 10,000 more people were unemployed between May and July, although recent falls in the number in work were reversed, with 42,000 more employees.

As with so much of recent economic change, women are bearing the brunt of unemployment, with 23,000 more out of work even as the number of workless men fell.

'Tougher than Tories' Rachel Reeves leaves Labour front bench, but won't be missed

Mon, 14/09/2015 - 14:25 -- nick

Following Jeremy Corbyn's landslide election as new Labour leader his new shadow cabinet is taking shape, and there are many changes in both direction and personnel.

Many are due to the party's right-wingers ruling themselves out of contention rather than a Corbynite night of the long knives, and one of those who has taken their bat and ball home is shadow Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson Rachel Reeves.

National Living Wage sees threats and benefits for workless

Tue, 08/09/2015 - 14:02 -- nick

George Osborne's introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) of £7.20 per hour in July received entirely reasonable criticism.

One of our objections was the use of living wage language to describe something that wasn't, but was rather a simple raising of the minimum wage and included no calculation of the cost of living that backs up the real thing.

Quarter of unemployed offered zero hour contracts - this is why they're wrong

Thu, 20/08/2015 - 13:31 -- nick

A quarter of all unemployed people have been offered zero hour contracts.

This shock finding comes from recruitment group Glassdoor, which also showed that more than half of unemployed people turned them down, primarily because they needed guaranteed income to be able to afford to get off benefits.

In the recent noise around zero hour contracts many of the key reasons for opposing them have been forgotten.

Unemployment rises again as number in work falls

Wed, 12/08/2015 - 12:37 -- nick

There was a shock rise in the number of jobless people in the last three months, confirming that the last figures weren't the blip some people claimed.

25,000 more people were out of work, and this is the first time in two years that unemployment has risen two months in a row, suggesting the British economy has hit a real problem.

At the same time the growth in the number in work turned negative with 63,000 fewer people in the workforce, and the number of job vacancies went down by 9,000 from its recent high, ending four years of consistent growth.

Young people's benefits the collateral damage as Tories target migrants

Tue, 11/08/2015 - 13:03 -- nick

A key Tory promise in the last parliament was that they would reduce the number of migrants into the UK.

Whether you think this was a good idea or not, they missed their target by miles, and have been looking around for ways of showing the electorate that they are still tough on immigrants even as the key measure goes against them.

Seasoned Tory watchers won't be surprised to hear that their favoured mechanism for bashing those coming into the country is to refuse them benefits for a period, settling on four years as a 'reasonable' time.

IDS, the new Wilberforce, is freeing benefit slaves from the tyranny of being able to eat

Thu, 06/08/2015 - 13:26 -- nick

Iain Duncan Smith is a vital crusader against the modern moral failure that is having a tiny bit of money and being able to eat.

Without him, some of the UK's poorest people would simply stuff their faces with food, extending their lives unreasonably and defying their Department for Work and Pensions overlords by continuing to claim meagre social security payments.