Benefit delays cause hunger, say MPs, but fail to find culprits

Mon, 08/12/2014 - 13:41 -- nick

Benefit delays are one of the main reasons why people in Britain go hungry in the UK, a report has found.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Food Poverty looked at a range of factors, and says other problems include high utility bills and low incomes, also affect those seeking to feed themselves and their families.

Key among welfare issues were:

- delays and errors in the processing and payment of benefits;

- the heavy-handed issuing of benefit sanctions by Jobcentre Plus.

Osborne cuts working age benefits again, but puts £5b on bill

Thu, 04/12/2014 - 14:14 -- nick

George Osborne's Autumn Statement brought more misery for unemployed people, but actually increased the benefit bill.

The Chancellor's party is fond of talking about the entire benefit bill of £200 billion as a way of frightening voters with its sheer scale while attempting to make the link between the total and unemployment.

Of course, Jobseeker's Allowance only forms 2.7% of the bill, while pension payments are over half, so in a cost-cutting budget which of these is being chopped in the 'national interest'?

UK economic woes could see unemployment rise and wages fall again

Thu, 27/11/2014 - 14:07 -- nick

The UK's supposed economic recovery has been trumpeted endlessly by the coalition government.

It is almost as if they shout so loudly to drown out the voices of dissent, voices which were raised again yesterday as more information was released on the UK's growth figures.

At 0.7% for the last quarter, these looked pretty respectable, particularly when set against the ongoing troubles in the Eurozone.

When you dig a bit deeper though, they start to unravel.

Charities and churches call government on food bank lies

Wed, 19/11/2014 - 12:53 -- nick

Benefit problems are the most common reason for people using food banks, a new report shows.

The study by the Church of England, the Trussell Trust food bank network, Oxfam and Child Poverty Action Group, found that more than half of users were there because of delays in paying benefits, sanctions, and other related issues.

Lord Freud, the government's minister for welfare reform, has previously claimed the main reason was because the service was free, and ministers have consistently denied any link between benefits and usage.

Jobcentre staff to scare schoolkids away from benefits they can't get

Fri, 14/11/2014 - 13:13 -- nick

We're used to new benefit initiatives coming from Iain Duncan Smith.

They rarely bring good news, being variations on the same theme which casts unemployed people as morally lacking, and desperately in need of regular kicks to make them into decent citizens.

His latest brainwave is to send jobcentre staff into schools to lecture pupils on the evils of benefits, no longer a social safety net to this coalition but a marker of failure.

Of course, under this government no-one is entitled to JSA until they reach 18, but apparently that isn't enough.

BBC fails on wages even as unemployment falls

Wed, 12/11/2014 - 12:44 -- nick

Today's unemployment figures have shown a welcome fall - but wages are still going down in a race to the bottom with benefits.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the jobless rate is now at 6%, or 1.96 million, down by 115,000 compared to three months ago.

There are still 1.3 million part-time workers who want to work more hours, and self-employment - up 279,000 over the last year - continues to be used as a substitute for real work by too many.

Ultimate workfare flaw revealed - man does old job unpaid

Tue, 04/11/2014 - 13:13 -- nick

Those who have been writing on the government's love of forced labour have raised many objections to it, both moral and practical.

It takes away personal choice for unemployed people, it amounts to slavery, it denies them enough time to look for work, it is too often used as an apparent punishment.

All perfectly valid reasons to oppose it, and all demonstrative of the coalition's bottomless well of contempt for the workless.

Government misleads taxpayers on benefits again

Mon, 03/11/2014 - 13:19 -- nick

More information on the cost of public services should be a good thing - but this value depends hugely on how it is presented.

For the first time, this week PAYE payers will receive a breakdown of where their tax money goes.

The BBC shows a breakdown of the figures for someone earning £30,000 a year, and sitting right at the top is a whopping payment of £1,663 for 'Welfare'.