Articles tagged with austerity
Long term unemployment: four people in their own words. And why the word “vulnerable” needs to go
“One of the reasons I’m posting these transcripts is that in the last week especially, we’ve not heard enough from people who’ve actually experienced long-term unemployment.” Kate Belgrave shares four stories from people who have been unemployed for several years.
“I could also obviously deny I am a Police Officer or tell people who doubt me that they’re correct but then that would mean I would struggle to engage or contribute freely with Police related discussions or debates and it would soon become apparent that I was lying, so for now, I remain anonymous.” Snapper explains why he blogs and tweets incognito.
Frontline Friday 13th September 2013: Our favourite frontline blogs this week
Here’s our list of ten frontline blogs we’ve particularly liked from the week of 2nd September 2013 – from welfare reform and the real Chris Grayling to outsourcing of public services and teaching in schools.
Despite all the propaganda, Britain remains liberal and collectivist
“One lesson for Labour might be that it needs to be more bold and speak above the heads of the media and more directly to people, to enable it to connect with the more liberal and collectivist attitudes that, despite all the propaganda, still dominate amongst the public.” Steve Hilditch argues that Britain remains a liberal and collectivist society.
Protests and government extremism
“So interesting that the Taxpayers’ Alliance got a free, media-wide pass yesterday to bitch again about people on benefits…” Kate Belgrave disputes the idea that disability rights campaigners are extremist.
Labour need to re-define what it means to be “Working Class”. And quick
“By living under the shadows of 80s past, of militant and strikes, we have become terrified of identifying with anyone at all. It’s ludicrous. We speak for the worker. ALL of the workers.” Sue Marsh challenges the Labour Party to stand up for ordinary working people.
“What a shame it is that the welfare system is not designed to facilitate those people who want to work, even if only part time, but instead makes it impossible for them to work.” The Masked AMHP tells the story of a couple who typify the unintended consequences of recent welfare changes.
“Over a million jobs in Britain are only affordable because housing benefit is claimed or put another way without housing benefit employers in the UK would struggle to fill 1 million jobs.” Joe Halewood of SPeye looks at the recent dramatic rise in the number of working families who are now claiming housing benefit.
“The self-reliance rhetoric from the current government might be the hardest to swallow yet, considering that so many key figures in the austerity onslaught wouldn’t know self-reliance if it smacked them in the face.” Scriptonite Daily explains how something’s trickling down - but it’s not wealth.
I’m not sure I buy into binaries. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who think there are only two kinds of people in the world, and those who don’t. Here’s a binary for you: either there is an unprecedented crisis which can only be solved by austerity politics, or there isn’t. I don’t know which of […]
“[C]an the Work Programme work for all user groups? The short answer is: no, two years after launch, it is clearly failing the most disadvantaged jobseekers.” Richard Johnson explains why the Work Programme isn’t working - and why its failure holds important lessons for other areas of welfare reform.
“So its May 2013 and we’ve entered the brave new world of welfare reform with the roll out of the first Universal Credit pilot, localisation of Council Tax benefits (handing a 10% reduction in funding to authorities), the Bedroom Tax (sorry, Shared Accommodation Rate) cutting an average of £728 a year for over 600,000 people […]
Our Party is not where it needs to be now to win a General Election in 2015 (http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/05/local-elections-labour-isnt-where-it-needs-be-win). Opposition to austerity is being drawn around Farage (our very own Poujade -http://m.guardian.co.uk/news/2003/aug/28/guardianobituaries1), and around the poisonous nostalgia of the populist right. UKIP is clearly an “English” manifestation of the anti-political feeling expressed elsewhere is support for […]
Winston Churchill’s already ubiquitous face will soon fit neatly into our wallets as the Bank of England unveiled its brand new £5 note set to come into circulation in 2016. The new design, which will replace one featuring Victorian prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, depicts the wartime leader against a backdrop of the Houses of Parliament with […]
“There is almost blanket acceptance of the ‘need’ for austerity and the tough ‘operating environment’ that this creates, not least in social policy areas such as poverty and low-pay, where policy solutions have to ‘fiscally credible’. However, the figures …suggest that the economic reality might not be all it seems.” Stephen Crossley challenges the widespread consensus for cuts.
Much of the debate this week following the death of Margaret Thatcher has been about how we are still living with her legacy. However true, this also neglects how politics is changing - and how our politicians need to stop living in the past.
“Instead of cutting the cost of welfare by cutting the demand for it, the Chancellor may have found a different solution to runaway [social security spending] …a fundamental change in the way governments manage their finances was tucked away in the Budget.” Richard Johnson examines the implications of a decision that could have far-reaching consequences.
“The extent of the impact of welfare reform scares the shit out of me. That so many people are being attacked on so many fronts, that legal aid is gone, that the help and support once available to claimants, inadequate to begin with, is being cut to shreds…” Social worker Ramona highlights the reality of so-called ‘welfare dependency’.
“If you are paying by results, spending less than you thought you would should not be cause for celebration. The implications of under-spending are far-reaching.” Jane Mansour argues that any ‘savings’ made by PbR initiatives such as the Work Programme in fact represent a direct cut for the people they are supposed to help, and could increase the welfare budget in the long-run.
The latest proposal for ‘food stamps’ has aroused a good deal of anger. It’s a policy that is divisive, depressing and hideous in many ways – Suzanne Moore’s article in the Guardian is one of the many excellent pieces written about it. She hits at the heart of the problem: ‘Repeat after me: austerity removes autonomy’. That’s particularly […]