Tag Archives: unemployment

Interest rate rise will hit your wallet hard and cause a deep economic recession

The Bank of England: its interest rate rise will hit you hard in the wallet.

The Bank of England has increased interest rates by a huge (for these times) 0.5 per cent in an apparently inexplicable move that won’t do anything to stop the current enormous increases in the cost of living.

What can possibly have possessed the Monetary Policy Committee at Threadneedle Street to do this monstrous thing?

The bank’s own forecasters are predicting that inflation will remain above 10 per cent until at least October 2023, putting huge pressures on ordinary people.

The bank is already predicting that the UK will fall into recession this year, and the interest rate rise will prolong it – so that, in three years’ time (after the next general election, take note), unemployment is expected to stand at six per cent of the workforce – and rising.

Energy prices – the main cause of the cost-of-living crisis – are expected to fall back during this period, although the predictions don’t take this into account. The hike in interest rates will not reduce the cost-of-living crisis in any way.

And the ultimate result, as Professor Simon Wren-Lewis points out in his latest Mainly Macro article, will be to reduce inflation to a point far lower than the Bank of England’s two-per-cent mandate permits. Who benefits from that?

Professor Wren-Lewis adds that it is possible the bank expects a new Tory prime minister – whoever that may be – to introduce support for people on low incomes in a bid to stop the excessive inflation and recession.

But there is no indication from either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak that they will do that; tax cuts promised by Truss will go to rich people and/or corporations.

And, as Professor Wren-Lewis points out,

Excessive monetary tightening based on a guess of fiscal loosening is a dangerous game to play.

Sadly for most of us, the danger applies only to the poor, working people who actually keep the economy moving.

Source: mainly macro: Why does the Bank of England appear to be ignoring its mandate?

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With more job vacancies than seekers: if employers can’t pay, TAKE YOURSELF AWAY!

What you’re worth: with more jobs available than workers, you’re doing employers a favour if you decide to work for them. MAKE SURE THEY PAY YOU PROPERLY FOR IT.

Official figures are telling us there are more job vacancies than people looking for work – for the first time since records began.

So why aren’t employers paying enough for their staff to survive?

This Writer remembers a moment, back when I was looking for my first newspaper job. I called up for an interview and the guy on the phone asked me if I could make the following Monday (or whenever).

“Oh,” said I. “I’ve got another interview then. How about another time?”

“Too bad!” said he, and rang off – because so many people were looking for work then that employers could afford to treat people like dirt.

(I got the other job, though – and it was better-paid.)

Now the tables are turned. Jobseekers can afford to treat poor-paying bosses like dirt for a change.

So, work out how much you need to earn in order to live comfortably, and when you go to that job interview, make sure they pay it to you.

Because if they can’t (or, more probably, won’t), then they’ll have to do without your expertise.

And their company will probably collapse due to the lack of it…

… like the newspaper whose editor couldn’t be bothered to give me a mutually-convenient interview!

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Raab refuses to accept the facts of unemployment

Tories aren’t working: Labour’s poster referred to the parties the Conservatives under Boris Johnson held while the rest of us were in lockdown but may be equally applied to their failure to address – or even acknowledge – increased unemployment.

Boris Johnson has been misleading us about employment figures.

The facts came out when Labour’s Stephen Timms revealed during (Deputy) Prime Minister’s Questions that Sir David Norgrove of the UK Statistics Authority wrote to Johnson, three weeks ago, saying the prime minister is wrong to say employment is up.

But Dominic Raab wasn’t paying any attention. He contradicted Timms’s claim and ran out the hoary old line about unemployment being higher after Labour governments leave office than when they start.

Pathetic – and misleading. We need a correction of the record.

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25 jobseekers for every job on Tory government’s own website

Do the Tories really intend to penalise people for failing to get work – according to Universal Credit rules – when there are so few jobs available?

Thanks to Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, and their government’s inability to manage Covid-19 properly, there are now 2.3 million UK citizens claiming Universal Credit.

Sanctions have been reimposed so they must follow the rules and go after the jobs that are available – no matter how unsuitable, or indeed distant.

The situation is absurd – as the Frank Zola blog pointed out while revealing that current figures on the government’s own jobsite mean 25 people are available for every job.

That’s not taking into account regional issues – the jobs are unlikely to be in the same places as all the people available for them.

What a ridiculous situation. And to think only last December people trusted the Tories.

Source: Absurd as 2.3 million Universal Credit claimants required to chase “90,939 Jobs” on DWP Jobsite (findajob.dwp.gov.uk) | Frank Zola

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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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Skyrocketing number of people seeking temp work is due to Tory failures on Covid-19

The UK is in a Depression-era unemployment crisis, with thousands of people chasing even temporary job vacancies – because Boris Johnson and his band of Tory buffoons botched their response to Covid-19.

Johnson wanted to keep the UK open for business so he limited his lockdown and flat-out refused to quarantine the country, making the UK a magnet for the virus and causing nearly 70,000 unnecessary deaths.

As a result, the UK’s economy has taken a hammering – and will continue to do so, because he has failed to eradicate the disease.

He still thinks his mate Cummings’s dimwitted “herd immunity” idea is a good one, despite all the evidence that it is homicidal stupidity.

Meanwhile, other nations that took the wiser path are open for business again and steaming ahead. Look at New Zealand.

Johnson will try to blame anybody but himself.

But we must all be aware of the facts.

Note, though, that he is still far more popular than Keir Starmer, who forced the Labour Party into subservience to all the idiocy that Johnson announced, as if it was an intelligent plan.

This is what happens when you allow selfish neoliberal nitwits to become your political leaders: they send you into a swamp and then tell you what a great job they’re doing while the alligators rip you to pieces.

Source: Covid-19 job losses sees record numbers in UK seeking temporary work | Business | The Guardian

Covid-19: Two-thirds of poorest workers have lost jobs or been furloughed

Some political stories are very straightforward, and don’t need any explanation or debate. This appears to be one of them:

Nearly two thirds of the poorest workers have been furloughed, lost their job or had their hours or pay reduced during the pandemic, new research suggests.

Analysis from the Social Metrics Commission found 65% of workers deemed in “deep poverty” – living on less than half of what they need to stay above the poverty line – have suffered a negative hit to their livelihoods.

This compares to 35% of employed adults living more than 20% above the poverty line prior to the crisis.

The report warned that many people living in poverty could see their situation worsen, while those close to the poverty line risk falling below it due to changes to their employment prospects.

It comes as big firms cut 4,500 jobs in the first two working days of August as the Government’s furlough scheme begins to wind down.

A fifth of employees in deep poverty before coronavirus said they had since lost their jobs, compared to 7% of adults more than 20% above the poverty line.

More than a third (36%) of people at least 50% below the poverty line had been affected, compared to 22% of those more than 20% above the poverty line.

Workers from black, Asian and minority ethnic background were more affected than white people, with 10% of BAME workers hit compared to 8% of their white peers.

More than half (56%) of 18-to-24-year-olds working prior to the pandemic have experienced some kind of negative impact on their employment, compared to roughly a third of 25-to-54-year-olds previously working.

Younger people were also more than twice as likely to say they had been lonely during the pandemic than those over the age of 65.

These outcomes are not caused by Covid-19.

They have been caused by Tories. Remember that.

Source: Two thirds of poorest workers have lost jobs or been furloughed during coronavirus – Mirror Online

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Promises on disability and social security show Labour has listened

The Labour Party has paid attention to the people and published a manifesto that promises to end many of the injustices that the Conservative government (with the Liberal Democrats between 2010 and 2015) introduced.

This Writer feels duty-bound to tell you that reading the chapter on Social Security was an uplifting experience on many levels, as so many of the subjects This Site has highlighted have been tackled.

Labour will scrap the Department for Work and Pensions. This Site said the DWP had become so badly damaged by the culture of persecution instilled in it by Tory ministers from Iain Duncan Smith onwards that the only option was to dissolve it and start again. It will be replaced with a new Department of Social Security.

Labour will scrap Universal Credit. Since it began to be developed, This Site has highlighted the fact that UC was a hugely-expensive disaster – a position that was proved when it was implemented; instead of providing a convenient all-in-one safety net for people facing hard times, it has instead deliberately pushed them into poverty. It will be replaced with a new system, to be developed carefully, intending to end poverty by guaranteeing a reasonable standard of living.

While this new system is being prepared, Labour will introduce interim measures to end the cruelty imposed by the Conservatives (and Liberal Democrats), all of which address complaints raised by This Site and others:

Labour will end the so-called “digital barrier” that obstructs people who have trouble coping with computers and the internet from claiming benefits. It will offer telephone, face-to-face and outreach support.

Labour will end the five-week wait for Universal Credit payments.

Labour will reintroduce fortnightly payments, to help people manage their money.

Labour will end the Tory sanction regime.

Labour will scrap the benefit cap.

Labour will end the two-child limit on benefits and scrap the so-called ‘rape clause’, which it describes (as I do) as “immoral and outrageous”.

Labour will pay the child element of benefits to the primary carer, to ensure that women are no longer forced to stay in abusive relationships by the system.

The changes won’t just extend to Universal Credit, though.

Labour will end the Bedroom Tax and increase the Local Housing Allowance to protect people against the threat of eviction.

And the party will reform the benefit system to end its punishment of people with long-term illnesses and disabilities:

Labour will end the “dehumanising” Work Capability Assessments and PIP Assessments.

Labour will stop benefit assessments being contracted-out to private companies and ensure that all benefit assessments are carried out by DSS employees in future.

Labour will increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 a week for people in the Work-Related Activity Group, reversing the Tory cut.

Labour will raise the basic rate of support for children with disabilities to the same level as Child Tax Credits.

Labour will give extra support to severely disabled people without a formal carer, so they can meet the extra costs they face.

Labour will increase Carers’ Allowance to the level of Jobseekers’ Allowance. This is the only measure that This Writer thinks is inadequate. Having been a carer, I know that CA is a pittance, but an increase of a few pounds a week is unlikely to help much. More harmful is the fact that, if a carer earns more than a set amount (around £120 a week), the entire allowance is cancelled. It would be better to introduce a taper, so that the amount of CA is reduced according to the amount a person earns.

And Labour  will help disabled people who want to work by bringing back specialist employment advisors, introducing a government-backed Reasonable Adjustments Passport scheme to help people move between jobs more easily, and reviewing support for disabled people at work, including the Access to Work scheme.

These are all terrific policies.

They make Labour the obvious choice for voters who are currently claiming unemployment, sickness or disability benefits.

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As the election campaign focuses on the economy, let’s remember what the Tories have done to it

Sajid Javid: He’s saying the Tories are better for the economy – but their plan has always been to ruin it for working people.

The Conservatives and Labour are promoting their economic plans today (November 7), with the Tories heavily attacking Labour plans.

But let’s remind ourselves about what the Tories have done.

Back in 2016 This Site pointed out that every Conservative government from Margaret Thatcher onwards has deliberately worked to de-industrialise the UK and increase unemployment and poverty.

Here’s a reminder of those findings:

 The Impact of Thatcherism on Health and Well-Being in Britain, published by Durham University, stated that Margaret Thatcher, along with other leading Tory neoliberals of the 1970s like Keith Joseph and Nicholas Ridley, decided that they needed to end full employment.

The paper states: “In the years between 1975 and 1979, those around Thatcher—in particular, Keith Joseph and Nicholas Ridley—developed detailed proposals for government. Their view was that defeat of the movement that had forced Heath’s U-turn [from neoliberalism to Keynesianism – it prompted the famous statement, “The lady’s not for turning”] would require, not simply the disengagement of the state from industry, but the substantial destruction of Britain’s remaining industrial base.

“The full employment that had been sustained across most of the post-war period was seen, together with the broader security offered by the welfare state, to be at the root of an unprecedented self-confidence among working-class communities.

“In particular, large-scale manufacturing and extraction industries, generally strongly unionized and often linked to the large-scale provision of social housing at subsidized rents by local government, were seen to underpin a working-class solidarity that gave this confidence a potent political expression.”

So they killed those industries, ended full employment and parked millions of people on incapacity (now sickness and/or disability benefits).

This is why Mrs Thatcher was so desperate to break the miners.

I continued by saying that the Conservative government…

is now deliberately cutting off access to benefit payments – in order to render working-class people destitute.

They knew the result would be a high budget deficit; this was to be used as an excuse for the cuts that would plunge working-class people into poverty.

Make no mistake: This was a deliberate, pre-meditated plan, and anybody who voted ‘Conservative’ between 1979 and 2015 has actively supported it, whether they were aware of it or not.

Source: Proven: The Thatcher project aimed to kill industry and create unemployment. It succeeded | Vox Political

The Tories’ big ‘unemployment rate’ lie – SHOT DOWN AGAIN

Once again, the Tories adopt the tactics of Goebbels. Once again, they fail.

The Nazi propaganda minister famously said: “The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

Well, Philip Hammond, Amber Rudd and the rest of the Tories look ridiculous for spreading this lie again.

But they don’t care because they know that their puppies in the mainstream press will repeat it and that will be enough to convince a large number of people that it is factually accurate.

And what is that lie, you ask?

That people are better-off if they have a job.

Here’s Philip Hammond:

Amber Rudd – who still hasn’t resigned as Work and Pensions Minister yet, but it’s only a matter of time – published an attack tweet against the Labour Party on the basis of these figures – and was shot down hard:

The facts are damning, aren’t they?

Dave Ward, below, posted a poll asking whether the government figures were worth your attention:

Last time I checked, only four per cent of the thousands of respondents thought the jobs trumpeted by the Tories were worth having.

The Tory “jobs revolution” continues to break records – in exploitation.


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Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook