This is Theresa May’s excuse for saying unemployment is at an all-time low

The only reason Theresa May was able to say unemployment was at its lowest since the mid-1970s, as she did in Prime Minister’s Questions today (September 13) is this:

The Department for Work and Pensions has been forcing jobseekers to take work on zero-hours contracts, meaning they may be employed for only three hours a week but would still be off the benefit books.

This means the government is pushing vulnerable people into debt, with the attendant problems of stress and ill-health that come with them – storing up problems for the future, in fact.

It is small-minded and short-sighted. One can only assume that Mrs May thinks a Labour government will have to handle these problems when the public finally loses any and all patience with her party’s absolute and utter inability to run a country properly.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has admitted that it is using the controversial benefits sanctions regime to force unemployed and low-paid workers into insure and exploitative zero-hours jobs.

Zero hours contracts notoriously offer no guarantee of hours and lack many of the employment rights enjoyed by people in full-time and part-time employment.

The shocking revelation was exposed following a written parliamentary question at Westminster, to which the DWP Minister for Employment Damian Hinds MP admitted: “If there is no good reason that a Universal Credit claimant cannot take a zero-hours contract job they may be sanctioned for not doing so.”

Universal Credit is replacing a number of existing social security benefits and tax credits with one single monthly payment, and has faced strong criticism from opposition parties and charities alike.

The flagship new benefit is gradually being rolled out across the UK, despite growing concerns that deep-rooted flaws in the system may push low income families into debt and closer to eviction.

Yesterday, the charity Citizens Advice warned that plans to accelerate the roll-out of Universal Credit are “a disaster waiting to happen“, explaining that is likely to push low income households into a financial crisis.

Source: DWP using benefit sanctions to force claimants into zero hours jobs, Tory minister admits


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6 thoughts on “This is Theresa May’s excuse for saying unemployment is at an all-time low

  1. Jim

    Zero hours contracts aren’t the only problem here. The Job Centres push people to go the self-employed route too. Hence why that number has gone up quite a bit in the past few years. And in a way, going self employed can be worse then having a zero hour contract. In the long run anyway. You end up working very long hours but can only afford to pay yourself £3-5 an hour. I’d put these people in the unemployment figures too as they’re not self sufficient. They still get a form of JSA for the first 6 months after signing off.
    For the true unemployment figure, you need to add in the part-time workers who want/need full-time work, zero hours contracts, sanctioned people, the ones who just sign off and aren’t in the system any more and them sort of self employed peoples.
    Likely will be higher than 10%.

    And you could go a step further. Include anyone working but has to claim housing benefit and/or working tax credits. Not sure what percentage that would come to.

  2. It's Me

    Don’t forget the self-employed beggars on the street. I don’t even have an income of any sort, or no job and yet I, according to government statistics, am employed. Even though I am dissatisfied in my life and crave work, when I go to look there is none to be had.

    1. wildthing666

      One begger here was pulling in about a thousand pounds a week. He drove a new Merc and came here and changed into his begging clothes after parking up for the day he lost everything after he was arrested and they took all his savings as procedes of crime.

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