Tag Archives: income

Hardship for one in three people by May as Tory plans to impoverish us grind onwards

Small change: ironically, that’s probably how the Tories think of the 21.7 million people they’ve tipped into poverty.

One in three people will be living in hardship by May, according to a report by the New Economics Foundation.

This means 21.7 million people will still not have a decent standard of living even though the £20 per week Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit uplift has been extended.

Here’s Charlotte Hughes:

The report goes on to say that 12.9 million of the people in financial difficulty will be receiving less than 75% of the Minimum Income Standard which is defined as being £19,200 for a single person and £37,400 for a family of four.

Despite the furlough scheme, unemployment has continued to rise over the last year. According to the latest government data it shows that unemployment has increased by 1.3% points higher than the previous year. It also also shows the largest annual decrease in employment since the aftermath of the financial crisis. This being half a million fewer people employed than there was last year. Redundancy rates have also risen from 8.4 per thousand on the year, to 12.3 per thousand employees.

This leaves millions of people that are now dependant upon our social security system to support incomes, help with housing costs and to feed people.

At the time of writing the latest government data reveals there are 5.9 million people on universal credit with 3 million receiving housing benefit, 2.5 million receiving personal independence payment, 1.9 million receiving employment support allowance, 1.4 million receiving disability living allowance, and 0.3 million receiving jobseeker’s allowance.

We know that the UC/WTC uplift will continue until September but after that, claimants face a “cliff-edge” situation that could tip a further 1.1 million people into poverty.

But, you know what?

None of them will be members of the Tory government or doners to the Conservative Party, so they don’t matter. Do they?

Source: 21.7 million people will be living in hardship by May despite the Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit £20 uplift. ‹ The poor side of life ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

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Are the Tories trying to stop poor people having a say in public services because they stopped the low-paid from paying tax?

Some of us saw this coming.

If you’ve seen the video clip in which Richard Murphy explains how money works, you’ll know that people who pay tax are more likely to vote – they feel they have more of an interest in it.

(Of course, tax is about returning money the government has created, in order to avoid catastrophic inflation – and not about giving the government the money it needs in order to provide public services, but let’s not complicate matters by going into that.)

But the Tories have spent the last 11 years raising the earnings threshold at which people pay tax, claiming this as a sign of their generosity.

Oh really? Watch the video and consider the comment by Paul Sweeney.

It seems to This Writer that, through no fault of their own, attempts are being made to deny more than 20 million people the right to say which services the government funds. Presumably the next step is to say, if you don’t pay tax, you don’t get to vote.

We’re on a very slippery slope, here.

And a hypocritical one.

You’ll notice that nobody is saying you shouldn’t have a say if you don’t pay all the tax for which you should be liable – for example, because you engage in tax avoidance.

So super-rich tax avoiders will be able to vote/help decide which public services are funded or whether they get funded at all – despite the fact that most of them don’t need the most expensive of those services. Logically, they’ll say those are the ones to get the axe.

Meanwhile, the super-poor – who are now prevented from paying tax, either because they are on benefits or their wages have been pushed into the dirt by Tory employers – may be denied that right.

It should not even be a subject for discussion.

The qualification for voting – and therefore for helping decide how public money is spent – is UK citizenship because we all live here and we are all affected by the decisions the government makes.

Oh, and of course Income Tax is not the only tax that people pay.

So to rule people out of the process because they have been priced out of paying just one of the UK’s many taxes would be unfair in the extreme – and Emma Barnett was talking out of her rear end.

What a shame that’s such a good description of our current Tory government.

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As Johnson plans a new national lockdown, Universal Basic Income is back on the agenda

Money: Three million people went without because Rishi Sunak refused to try a Universal Basic Income pilot scheme in May. More than a milliion children will go hungry over Christmas because Sunak wants them to starve; will he force starvation onto millions of adults as well?

Rishi Sunak is facing renewed demands to pilot a Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme in the UK, after it was revealed his boss Boris Johnson is considering another national lockdown to try to halt the march of Covid-19 across the UK.

Johnson – and Sunak – rejected those demands back in April, and millions of people fell through the gaping holes in their support packages for people who were financially disadvantaged by the lockdown.

The Financial Times reported that more than three million people went hungry back then – as This Site pointed out in this article.

Meanwhile, Spain launched its own version of UBI in July, amid much discussion in the UK media. Those right-wing sources have been very quiet about it ever since, which suggests that it has been a success and they don’t want you to know.

The letter from the Cross-Party Parliamentary and Local Government Working Group on UBI has been signed by 520 elected representatives.

It says: “Millions of people have fallen through the cracks of the government’s support packages.

“The pandemic has left countless families facing poverty and extreme hardship.

“Many civil society leaders believe that Universal Credit, which has itself been linked to high mortality rates, is ill-equipped to support people through the financial insecurity arising from the recession we are about to enter.

“Economic shocks from financial, social and environmental crises are likely to continue for decades to come.

“Now is the time to act.

“The creation of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) – a regular and unconditional cash payment to every individual in the UK – could be the solution.

“A UBI would build resilience into our society and our communities, while providing the stimulus we need to rebuild our economy.”

I like this bit, which uses the Tories’ own slogans to make its point [I’ve bolded them up for clarity]: “It would level up towns and cities across the UK, allowing us to build back better.”

“With unemployment set to increase amid a shrinking job market, we urge you not to underestimate the wider costs to society of rising poverty and joblessness. These include the ripple effect of increased mental and physical health expenditure, as well as higher policing costs exacerbated by poverty. These will far exceed the costs of putting in place a Universal Basic Income.”

Back in April, the Tory excuse for avoiding UBI was that it discourages people from seeking work, but This Site revealed at the time that this is nonsense; it means people don’t have to take jobs for employers who undervalue the work they do.

Perhaps the Tories are more concerned that, having squeezed the economy so hard over the last 10 years in order to take money from working people and give it to their exploiters employers, there may not be enough to pay those who are willing to work the amount they demand, if others take the option of subsisting on the absolute minimum instead.

That’s their quandary; they have made it for themselves.

Sunak and Johnson have already caused a public relations disaster for their government and the Conservative Party by demanding that poor children be forced into starvation over the Christmas school holidays.

The choice before them now is between starving huge numbers of the population at large and causing a slight financial inconvenience to employers who happen to be Tory doners.

I don’t think they’ll make the right decision. Do you?

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Is #BorisJohnson thinking of another #lockdown so people can die – alone and uncounted – at home? Will #KeirStarmer support this?

Johnson v Starmer: in Prime Minister’s Questions they make a show of opposing each other but when it comes to depriving people of vitally-needed funds, it seems they are equally homicidal.

It seems Boris Johnson is considering a new tightening of restrictions on the public, in an effort to turn back what he has now acknowledged as a second wave of Covid-19. But is there an ulterior motive?

The first national lockdown he imposed, back in March, meant many people died alone at home – unnoticed by the authorities who were struggling to cope with hospital admissions or by neighbours, friends and relatives who were under what amounted to house arrest.

Here’s one such example:

Notice that this death was not due to Covid-19 infection. It was due to denial of Universal Credit. The lockdown meant this person was unable to seek or secure any help at all.

Remember that Universal Credit sanctions were suspended after the lockdown started, but there was no amnesty for those who were already under sanction.

How many more deaths were there? I don’t know, but to demonstrate that this wasn’t an isolated incident, here’s another:

Ms Farrell added the following:

Yes – Johnson does have blood on his hands, and will have more to wash off if he imposes any further lockdowns without checks on vulnerable people, including those who are being denied benefits.

But that blood should be shared with all those who rejected the idea of a Universal Basic Income for everybody, at least during the lockdown.

This would have ensured that nobody fell through the cracks in provision – as the examples above show obviously occurred.

Labour leader Keir Starmer was among those who opposed the establishment of a UBI – and may therefore have to join Johnson in the virtual washroom, soaping the blood off himself.

A friend of This Site made the point in a tweet responding to his attempt to publicise his virtual conference, Labour Connected:

He’ll do neither. His inactions so far indicate that this Red Tory leader wants vulnerable people to die, just as much as Johnson does.

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Leaked report warns of Covid-Brexit “horror show” – remember THIS IS WHAT BORIS JOHNSON WANTS

Two-fingered salute: the UK might fall into lawlessness and chaos because of Boris Johnson but he doesn’t care, as long as he gets what he wants.

A Cabinet Office “reasonable worst-case” report on the effects of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit combining with another wave of Covid-19 has laid out exactly what Boris Johnson wanted for the UK when he became PM.

Johnson, you’ll remember, did not want any trade deals with the European Union after the UK leaves that bloc.

It was widely believed that this is because the hedge fund managers who supported his bid to be Tory leader have bet heavily on the UK going into recession, with many big-name firms going out of business. The claim was that they could make £8 billion out of it.

Of course, none of these multi-billionaires care a fig about the rest of us. If the country falls into chaos they’ll be off to their holiday homes in the sun, with their cash safely stowed in a tax haven.

Meanwhile, back in Blighty, you will be left to deal with food, fuel and power shortages, illness and deaths caused by flood, flu and Covid-19, and incursions into the country from outside such as EU boats coming into our fishing waters.

And, as may reasonably be expected from his government’s failures so far on Covid-19 – the school reopening furore, school meals, exam results, care home deaths, PPE procurement, face mask procurement, test and trace, contract nepotism… the list goes on and on – on flooding (remember that?) and on any other subject you care to mention, the Johnson government has not planned any response to this at all.

The article goes on to state:

  • One in 20 Town Halls could go bust in a second Covid wave, sparking social care chaos.
  • The economic impact of the virus and Brexit could cause public disorder, shortages and price hikes.
  • Troops may have to be drafted on to the streets to help the police in the worst-case scenario — 1,500 are already on stand by.
  • Social distancing measures and masks will have to continue until 2021 regardless.
  • Supplies of food and fuel are all under threat this Christmas if Dover becomes blocked.

The planners warned that “pandemic influenza, severe flooding, a Covid second wave and an unruly exit from the EU transition period could cause a systemic economic crisis with major impact on ­disposable incomes, unemployment, business activity, international trade and market stability.”

It could be combined with likely “coordinated industrial action” as well as shortages risking public disorder and a mental health crisis that will hit the poorest hardest.

Nobody in a Tory government is going to worry about a mental health crisis that harms poor people, of course.

And the attitude by leading Tories to this frankly terrifying report seems to be that if they ignore it, it will go away.

Michael Gove is quoted as babbling: “We got Brexit done with a great deal in January.

“A brighter future awaits as we forge our own path.”

A government spokesperson did add that this was a “reasonable worst case” scenario.

But on the Johnson ministry’s record so far, it is stretching the facts to breaking point to suggest that the government is “ensuring we are ready for all eventualities”.

That simply is not going to happen. On the evidence of the last 12 months, it would be irresponsible to believe anything Johnson, his ministers or his spokespeople say about it.

But there’s one more matter to remember:

If this disaster happens, then there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, other than to prepare as well as you can (because the Tories simply won’t).

I anticipate another stockpiling splurge, worse than the rush for toilet roll in March, at the very least.

Obviously the worst-case will be social unrest and violence – and I’m not ruling that out, either.

Whatever happens, if we end up with no deal and any of the feared outcomes are triggered, you must remember (because he’ll lie about it):

It is what Boris Johnson wanted all along.

Source: Leaked document reveals Cabinet’s emergency plans for perfect storm of No Deal Brexit and coronavirus second wave

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Spain approves Universal Basic Income – and it’s more than UK sick and disabled get

Universal Basic Income: the Spaniards are getting it (in Euros, obviously) – why can’t people in the UK have it?

Only a few weeks ago, Tories were delighting in claiming that no other nation had adopted a Universal Basic Income scheme in response to calls for the UK to adopt it during the Covid-19 crisis.

Now they can’t say that any more.

And the amount being provided to Spanish citizens will be more than people on the normal rate of Universal Credit, on Employment and Support Allowance, or on the lowest rate of Personal Independence Payment (if I recall correctly) – around £95 per week.

If anyone is wondering how we reached a point where Spain supports its people better than the UK, just remember we’ve had more than 40 years of right-wing governments and they have laid us low.

Spain’s cabinet has approved the creation of a national minimum income, according to a government spokesperson.

Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias told a news conference on Friday the creation of a minimum income worth €462 (£416.92) a month will target some 850,000 households or 2.5 million people.

The government would pay the monthly stipend and top up existing revenue for people earning less so that they receive at least that minimum amount every month, he said.

Source: Spain approves national minimum income scheme | The Independent

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Call for Budget boost to tackle poverty and boost incomes is naive political optimism

Money: Boris Johnson is rolling in it but his policies have starved the UK of the cash that is the lifeblood of the economy.

Give the SNP its due: at least the Scottish nationalists are keeping Tory impoverishment of the public in the national conversation.

On the eve of the Budget 2020 statement, they are calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to boost the incomes of the poorest people.

But it’s never going to happen.

Not under a Tory government, anyway.

Tories like keeping people poor.

They planned a strategy to make us all poor, back in the 1970s – and have been following it faithfully ever since. Did you think the attack on trade unions and the dismantling of our industry was a mistake?

Think again.

We already know the call to abolish the Bedroom Tax will fall on deaf ears; the Tories just announced that they’re not lifting it from people who have suffered discrimination because of it, so they certainly won’t help anyone else.

We know that calls to halt Universal Credit until “fundamental flaws” are fixed – like the five-week wait for initial payments that push people deep into debt – won’t attract attention. Therese Coffey said last week that the five-week wait will remain.

And we know the Tories won’t boost support for pensioners; their contempt for the WASPI women is well-demonstrated.

Instead, we’re likely to see Mr Sunak announcing measures that appear to be generous without actually helping the majority of the people.

He’ll try to boost business – so very rich businesspeople will profit more.

And he’ll probably make good on some of the empty promises that Boris Johnson has already made – the extra NHS funding that the Tories say is the biggest boost in history, but isn’t; the doubling of flood defence funding that they were forced to announce out of embarrassment.

So don’t expect change of any value to you at all.

Just be ready to attack the Tories for their habitual cruelty.

Source: Budget 2020: Tories must reverse benefit cuts to tackle poverty and boost incomes – Welfare Weekly

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Johnson’s Brexit would leave us worse-off than May’s – but that’s ignoring the main point

Brexiteer: Boris Johnson. Behind him is Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, who seems determined to help him achieve Brexit, by refusing to support a Jeremy Corbyn-led interim government.

Research by academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe shows that Boris Johnson’s current model of Brexit will leave us worse-off than Theresa May’s.

National income would drop by the equivalent of £2,000 per person – 6.4 per cent less than if we stayed in the EU – under Mr Johnson’s offer, the think tank has claimed.

This is a worse outcome than Theresa May’s proposals (remember them?) – that would leave us all only £1,500 worse-off.

A “no deal” Brexit would be worse than both – taking £2,500 from all our incomes.

Am I the only person in the UK who can see the connection between all three proposals – that they all leave us worse-off than staying in the EU?

Why the blazes are we going ahead with this farce?

It is clearly acknowledged that leaving the European Union will damage all of us financially.

(Sure, there are plenty of people who claim this is nonsense but their evidenceless comments lack one important element: authority.)

Boris Johnson is enormously rich, so he can easily bear a loss of £2,500, I’m sure. Some of us are not in such a privileged position.

In fact, most of us would be defined as “impecunious” – having little or no money – by the likes of BoJob.

We can’t endure such a loss to our household finances; not on top of the cuts to wage and/or benefits that have already been inflicted on us by the Conservatives.

One can understand why Tories like Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage want to take that money away from us. They need to rob us of any financial independence so we’ll accept whatever servitude they push onto us.

Why do ordinary people want to be worse-off. Do they have some kind of death wish?

Source: Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan would leave everyone in the UK £2,000 worse off, study finds | The Independent

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Johnson’s Brexit policy means UK will be MUCH better-off under LABOUR

Valueless: Oscar Wilde said a cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Boris Johnson doesn’t even know the price of anything. Perhaps that is why he is spaffing your money up the wall like a fool.

Listen to this:

John McDonnell was referring to a report by the respected Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), stating that the UK will be £110 billion better-off under a Labour government than with Tory rule, by 2022.

The IFS stated that the outlook for the public finances has “worsened dramatically” since the spring and will deteriorate further if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal.

There can be few clearer statements that Boris Johnson’s leadership is a threat to the United Kingdom and everyone in it.

The report stated that the government’s current spending plans, including a £13.4 billion increase to meet Mr Johnson’s promises on police and schools (but not – notice – the NHS) mean the budget deficit was likely to be £52.3bn in 2020-21, more than double the £21bn forecast by the OBR in March.

But Mr Johnson also promised huge tax giveaways for the rich in his leadership campaign including cuts to Income Tax and National Insurance. If he goes ahead with these, he will harm the national finances even more brutally.

No doubt Mr Johnson – and his chancellor Sajid Javid – will come out with some mealy-mouthed excuse to pacify us all. It will probably involve another claim that the Conservatives are the “party of financial responsibility” and “Labour will bankrupt the country”. But it’s a funny thing – if they think Labour’s fiscal plans are so harmful, why has IFS director Paul Johnson claimed that their own current ideas are almost identical to Labour’s from 2017?

Most tellingly, of course, we know that Boris Johnson is a liar.

You cannot trust him when he says he’ll fund the police. You cannot trust him when he says he’ll fund schools. You cannot trust him when he says he’ll fund our NHS. You cannot trust him when he says he’ll cut tax. And you absolutely cannot trust him when he says the UK will be better-off after his Brexit.

He thinks you’ll vote for him in an election likely to happen before Christmas. Just remember this:

If you vote for a liar, you will only get broken promises.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Tory crocodile tears: MP who wept at Universal Credit stories helped block publication of reports on its effect

Remember this?

I have already poured doubt on Heidi Allen’s sincerity; her record is against her.

Now it has emerged that she voted against a move to clarify what the Conservative government understood Universal Credit would do, before it was put into operation.

Labour had tabled a motion in Parliament for a “humble Address” to the Queen, directing that any briefing papers or analysis provided to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since 8 January 2018 on the impact of the roll-out of universal credit on recipients’ and household income and on benefits debts be presented to MPs.

That motion was defeated by a margin of 20 votes – 279 for; 299 against.

Ms Allen voted against it.

So much for her claim that “By God, we’ll work together and make it better.”

Her actions speak for themselves; she likes Universal Credit just the way it is.

Source: Tory MP who CRIED at Universal Credit horror stories votes to BLOCK Universal Credit Impact Assessment publication | Evolve Politics

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