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How many rivers do we all have to cross each time during our life time each morning many people gets out of bed to read in the press or watch television seeing low and middle income individuals being penalized by this dreaded coalition over a number of reforms which affects our living standards like providing for our families such as increase in our mortgage, rent, coupled by gas, electric, petrol, hitting the ceiling and long queues outside the food banks.
I’m sure by April 2014 will see local government will have no choice but to pass on increase in our Council Tax followed by deeper cuts in our local services that we all have come to enjoyed over the years all because this coalition wants to go further than Thatcher did ever achieved between the 1979s to 1980s.
Some will continue that this is scaremongering tactics well I Kid you not. Look around in your own community you may noticed the decrease of rubbish collections, road sweepers, park, highways maintenance, nursery care, leisure centres and elderly and adult care all because the councils had cut backs on agency staff or most of the councils had to tender out their services to outsourcing companies which they are not providing value for money to councils across UK and to add insult to injury the coalition are in denial that it is currently happening on their watch.
I recently read an article in regards to a think tank viz Centre for Social Justice according to a so called think tank the much more needs to be done to help eliminate debt problem for the poorest families.
The average household has alleged debts of £ 54,000 including mortgage almost twice the level of a decade ago.
It alleges the poorest 10% of households have average debts that are more than four times their income. Those households need affordable credit and free debt advice.
Whilst most many agree with the sentiment that debt needs curbing I would strongly suggest that the coalition take a walk down their council estates to get a reality check and try live on benefits for 52 weeks with no other hidden income to live on.
There is many social factors as to why people goes into debts which sadly not many will acknowledge which includes gambling, peer pressure, children going hungry, rent and council tax arrears, worst still sanctions on their benefits and alcohol decency just to name a few.
Somehow there is a untold story of gambling in all communities have seen an increase in gambling there has been some howling stories which the government will need to address as this is not going away soon it’s a mine field about to explode very soon as this has been a issue which successful governments of both previous and present have fail to address. This is where legal and illegal loan sharks prey on people who are being disadvantaged.
Then the government gives a good talk on austerity and continue to play their sell by date record of blaming Labour. Er excuse me all this problem(s) is under the coalition watch they fail to address properly.
The Bank of England policymakers alleges UK is in sustained recovery and does not face major inflation risks. Minutes from the Monetary Policy Committee‘s November meeting showed the nine members all voted to leave interest rates 0.5%.
Intriguingly why are many people not surprised by this so called committee signalled that it was in no rush to raise interest rates and might not do so immediately even after unemployment had fallen to 7%. Yet just last week the bank said unemployment could fall faster than predicted.
Now we have a dreaded situation of low and middle incomes fighting each other to get on the property ladder which is out of reach to both incomes as there is very little evidence of banks’ lending to purchase affordable housing as the coalition has failed in real terms of encouraging the construction sector to build more affordable housing. Instead we see some multinational companies purchasing accommodations to rent and buy at out if reach prices to make a profit when the market shows any signs of prosperity. As everybody will acknowledges that the coalition is using another political gimmick by using Thatcherism to reinvent themselves with the right to buy scheme as nothing more than a sweeter.
Benefit spending is constantly in the news but how much do we really know about where the benefits money goes in the UK?
What it shows is that the Department for Welfare and Pensions is the biggest spending department in the UK – spending £166.98bn in 2011-12, which is Of that huge sum, £159bn was spent on benefits – an increase of 1.1% on the previous year. That is 23% of all public spending.
Ask people where that money goes and the assumptions might be on unemployment or incapacity benefit. In fact, 47% of UK benefit spending goes on state pensions of £74.22bn a year, more than the £48.2bn the UK spends on servicing its debt.
It’s followed by housing benefit of £16.94bn (+5.2%) and Disability living allowance of £12.57bn (+3.3%). Jobseekers’ allowance is actually one of the smaller benefits – £4.91bn in 2011-12, an increase of 7.6% on the previous year.
And that’s just the benefits that the DWP distributes. HM Revenue & Customs is responsible for tax credits and crucially child benefit, which has just been cut. That was worth £12.22bn in 2011-12.
The cuts reflect changing public attitudes on benefits, as shown by the British Social Attitudes Survey. The charts below show how the British public is much less likely to think benefits should be increased than they did a few years ago – especially for those who are unemployed.
I’m very happy that Labour has rejected calls for it to axe most benefits for the under-25s and link others to training if it wins the next general election.
The party has distanced itself from a think tank’s call for out-of-work benefits for 18-24 year olds to be replaced by a single “youth allowance” to stop a “drift into inactivity”.
The Conservatives have said they are considering cutting youth benefits.
In the past, Ed Miliband has suggested that future Labour government would remove benefits from under 25s who have been unemployed for more a year and refuse to sign up to state-backed work training schemes.
The Institute for Public Policy Research, which has close links to Labour, has gone further by saying the majority of young people should no longer be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment Support Allowance and Income Support at all.
Instead, it says they should be paid a single youth allowance at the similar rate to JSA – currently £56.80 a week – while they gain new skills and seek work. The financial support would be conditional of them being in “purposeful” training or “intensive” job hunting.
The latest official figures show there are 1.09 million people between the ages of 16 and 24 not in work, education or training.
The number of so-called Neets is much higher in the UK than other European countries, the IPPR argues, as too many young people fail to make “early connections” to the workplace.
It says the £8.5bn spent on benefits for the under-25s is a significant burden on the taxpayer and risks consigning people to a prolonged period of worklessness – with more than half of people claiming ESA having done so for more than a year.
The UK, it argues, should follow the lead of Netherlands and the Denmark – where Neet rates are half of those in the UK – by “closing off routes” to out-of-work benefits and encouraging young people to complete their education before entering the workplace and prioritising vocational training and apprenticeships.
While, under its plan, young people would be guaranteed access to further education or vocational training and given help to find work or an apprenticeship – there would be “no option” for people to refuse and still receive benefits.
“It is impossible to reduce the number of 126-24 year olds who are Neet to zero and a return to sustained economic growth is a precondition for the headline rate of youth unemployment to fall,” said the report’s author Graeme Cooke.
“However, unlike previous reforms, our new proposals directly address the well-known weaknesses in this country by ensuring that young people can complete their initial education and gain workplace experience while not drifting into inactivity.”
It’s alleged Labour has been flirting with ways to reduce the welfare bill for the under-25s and making benefits more conditional on being in training or searching for work.
But the party distanced itself from the IPPR report – which also calls for a shake-up of the government’s work programme and for child benefit to be stopped at the end of the school year after a child turns 18.
“This is not and will not be our policy,” Ms Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, tweeted during an online discussion.
“It is not our plan. It is totally not my position,” she added.
In a statement, the party said it was committed to its current policy of a jobs guarantee for those out of work for more than two years, backed up by benefit sanctions. This could be extended in time to those out of work for more than a year.
“Ed Miliband has talked about making the welfare system work for young people, with a compulsory jobs guarantee, to sustainably bring down the social security bill,” a party spokesperson said.
“Compare that with David Cameron’s simplistic attempts to take benefits from all young people, which would harm the severely disabled, which were drawn up on back of a fag packet to try and please Tory conference.”
Mr Cameron told Tory activists last month that he wanted a review of policies for 16 to 25-year-olds and promised to “nag and push and guide” young people away from a life on the dole.