Who is to blame over Universal Credits

David Cameron and Iain Duncan SmithSurely not, am I the only person to think that Iain Duncan Smith is one of the weakest link in the coalition over his pet project (universal credit) which has the support of David Cameron a midst the worst welfare shakeup.

There is a number of concerns we the taxpayers would like to have our two cents worth in this matter such as if Joe Blog made a hush of things he or she would be in the firing line for their incompetence and our hard earnt money which pays our taxes will be used to write off the sum of £425 million due to mismanagement of DWP department under the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith.

Yet it has been alleged DWP Secretary tried to do some arm twisting for a senior civil servant to take the blame for his mismanage project.

Iain Duncan Smith just don’t get it when taxpayers says that he should come to their community to live for 52 weeks and live on benefits to get a gripe on how a rundown council estate has to put up with like unemployment, life of crime, and prosecution just to make ends meet.

Checkout this youtube and make up your own mind:

People lacks trust with politicians over many sandals over the years they are more likely to trust the press and media in some cases. There is some fears that there is a conspiracy theory and they rather look out for themselves or follow the Star Wars religion instead which is a shame.

How easy it is for some politicians to say there is plenty of jobs out there but when people seeks question where are the jobs at the Job Centre Plus they are informed by their advisors that they face a sanction on their benefits on the grounds that they are not looking hard enough to gain employment.

Granted taxpayers wants to witness fruits of their labor by seeing a reduction of welfare reform but it does not help if some people don’t want to help themselves to retrain to gain new skills to help them off benefits.

1101810216_400wereLet’s not forget the 1980s under Thatcherism where she made it possible for people sit on their bums to get their dole which she closed down the manufacturing companies, coal mining, broke the trade unions, sold off our public utilities, public transport, and rail.

The Sunday Mirror published a table of 340 MPs claiming energy expenses for their second home.

Most of us ordinary voters view this two ways. We understand those MPs not living within commuting distance of London may need accommodation and a reasonable energy bill could be expected.

Or you may think that all MPs should fund second homes from their own pocket. Full stop.

But after having viewed the top 10 claimants, and then the bottom 10 of the 340, it became clear immediately there is a huge disparity in claims – between Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi‘s obscene £5,800 and Labour’s Nic Dakin‘s £19.54.

As elected members of Parliament the huge amounts over £1,000, in my view, need challenging, explaining and reforming immediately.

Zahawi is a millionaire with a £5 million first home. Why on Earth is the energy bill for his second home coming to almost £6,000?

I always presumed – perhaps naively – an MP’s second home would be a modest one-bedroom flat.

After all, this accommodation is purely for business purposes Monday to Thursday for an MP to conduct their affairs in London and not have to commute back to their constituency.

So my question to Zahawi is what type of accommodation are we funding to warrant a £5.8k energy bill?

Not a one-bed flat, that’s for sure. This amount is a hefty £2,000 more than what a person who becomes unemployed gets to live on in an entire year.

Meanwhile, a Facebook post from my local foodbank revealed problems with an increasing amount of food parcels. Many people are telling them they have no means to cook or heat food and are asking for any food that does not need cooking.

header-logoffkjmsdfjnvk,fhnuwjkfuilnsdjhfnlknsklIndeed the foodbank has asked anyone who has a spare camping stove to please donate it, so people at least have the means to heat food from tins.

Emergency supplies have seen parcels made up of ready-made sandwiches and a thermos flask of soup.

The foodbank is worried as the number of people unable to afford to turn on an energy supply is escalating rapidly.

People not being able to cook food means the foodbank has to find other solutions.

It goes against the foodbank’s ethos of a “hand up, not a hand out,” which is troubling the volunteers.

It means having to provide consistent support. People are becoming more reliant on the foodbank, rather only using it for a short time when their benefits are stopped for whatever reason, before getting back on their feet within a few weeks.

So while foodbanks struggle to cope with these dire and desperate energy problems we see blatant robber barons, millionaires who could afford to heat a whole street if they had to, then claim an amount of money to heat their second home which is more than what many people live on in a year.

It is obscene, abhorrent and morally bankrupt and it’s obvious that the system needs reform right now.

The BBC is currently broadcasting a series called Britain on the Fiddle. Well, start at the top.

Look no further than a Tory MP’s £5,800 expense claim for energy,while thousands of others are unable to heat their homes or cook their food.

As to reform? MPs living within commuting distance of London do not need a second home at all.

Give them a small allowance to conduct business in their own home.

For those living further away – and I have every admiration for the MPs from the north making the tortuous journey down to London every week – a one-bedroom flat is sufficient or perhaps modest hotel expenses could be looked at. You would be saving money on MPs like David Amess who has two London homes yet thought he had the moral high ground in claiming £8,000 in hotel expenses, according to the Mirror.

MPs will be crawling around us next year, desperate for our votes.

Challenge your MP if they are on the list of the big sinners claiming £1,000 or more in energy expenses.

Ask your MP how big their second home is. Tell them of your situation, whether you are disabled, unemployed, elderly or working poor, and explain how you are struggling. Tell they why excessive claims for second home expenses are plain wrong.

Austerity can’t continue, weighing down on the backs of the poor.

It’s time to challenge MPs on every cost-of-living expense for their second home. Do not let it drop.

Name and shame those who are clearly rubbing the noses of their constituents and voters in the mud.

An ordinary MP earns £66k, let alone those who are ministers. The rest of us have to fund our own overpriced energy costs, so why don’t they?

And while Cameron and Clegg’s children look forward to numerous foreign holidays and enriched learning in schools with small classes and oodles of extra-curricular activities, our children in state secondaries will lag further behind. The betrayal of our children will be Cameron and Clegg’s worst legacy.

Here is another example I recently read which makes more sense to the many and not the few via Labourlist which I dare any conservative think tank to challenge see article below:

The facts are stark. Young people have it much harder than their parents did. Over one million 16-24 year-olds are out of work and in no form of education or training; nearly two-thirds of these have never had a job. The situation for young Londoners is even worse: one-in-four young Londoners are unemployed, compared to one-in-five of their English peers.

Our back-to-work infrastructure is clunky, inflexible and unable to respond to the real needs of young people. It is time to start again, by ending job centres for the under-25s.

With half of young people reporting that job centre services do not understand their personal circumstances, we have to accept that the experiment of merging benefits processing and preparation for work has been a failure, and it has failed the young the worst. It is time for us to separate the necessary work of processing benefits from the much more difficult task of preparing and guiding young people into work – and helping them to stay there.

imagesThis is work that Jobcentre Plus advisers are currently untrained to carry out. They are currently rewarded for achieving ‘job outcomes’, not long term careers. They are pushed to see too many claimants – each adviser manages on average 135 clients, making it impossible for them to provide the tailored one-to-one support that young people need. And they are told to focus on sanctions, not on supporting young people into work for the first time, and on supporting them to stay in work when the going gets tough. The result – that we look at a young person, and see not a potential contributor to the society and economy, but a potential benefit scrounger.

We have to accept that young people will not lead the same lives as their parents. To succeed, they will need to be flexible and to see change as exciting, not scary. This flexibility is the very thing that job centres cannot provide.

A new approach would take the theory of the government’s Work Programme and actually apply it. The Work Programme promises flexibility, allowing talented niche organisations to develop their work with unemployed people. It promises local solutions to local problems, with tailored solutions to the situation in different areas. And it promises results – giving skills and long-term support to the long-term unemployed

The reality is different. The payment system requires contractors to have deep pockets to pay up-front costs, pushing smaller, more flexible organisations out of the programme. As a result, the same large organisations have ended up running the Work Programme throughout the country, producing national solutions to local problems. They have prioritised people who are nearest to employment and the results have been clear – in some areas, less than 5% of young people who signed up to the programme got a job at the end of it.

Our young people deserve better than the national job centres and Work Programme can offer. Rather than forcing young people to perform short course after short course, churning in and out of low-paid, low-skill jobs, the arts, sports and the creative and digital industries should entice young people into activities which develop their work skills without them even knowing it.

There should be no barriers to any organisation with a track record of getting young people into employment from joining the work of rebuilding our nation’s young potential. Local authorities should coordinate the activity on the ground and should be held to account for their results – unlike the secrecy which surrounds Work Programme outcomes. Programmes for young people should be designed by young people, coordinated by teams which understand the needs of young people in their area. This would be a system that we could be proud of – and it would be a system which would work.

Unemployment has local causes, and requires local solutions, which a one-size-fits-all national programme can never provide. We need to separate benefits processing from our approach to getting young people into work for life. This system needs fixing now if our young people are not to be the first into the recession and the last out. If we duck this challenge, when historians come to assess our generation’s politicians, youth unemployment will be our biggest mark of shame.



2 responses to “Who is to blame over Universal Credits

  1. Purely in response to your report of a plea for camping stoves:

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