UK Unemployed

Coalition Finds New Way to Bash Claimants - Immediate Sanctions

Nick Stephenson | Posted 08.04.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

Those who believed the government had exhausted its supply of welfare-demonising policies were in for a cruel shock as the Tories reached down the back of the sofa and pulled out another billy club.

Tories Back Full Employment - But Have No Idea How to Get There

Nick Stephenson | Posted 01.04.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

This devotion to support for the rich rather than the poor, and the decision to prioritise their interests at the expense of those lower down, is unlikely to bring the jobs he desires the in-work prosperity so needed by the majority.

Universal Jobmatch Farce Shows Coalition Doesn't Understand the Real Cost of Cuts

Nick Stephenson | Posted 19.03.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

The government is planning to end its Universal Jobmatch contract early with the scheme descending into farce. Signing up to the site is a condition of receiving Jobseeker's Allowance for most unemployed people, who have been forced to use it under threat of losing their benefits...

68,000 Wrongly Sanctioned Shows the Benefit System Is Broken

Nick Stephenson | Posted 04.03.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

Those who want to suggest solutions to the sanctions issue - one of the biggest facing unemployed people in the UK - need to acknowledge that the system that implements it is broken and delivers far more misery and poverty than justice.

'Pick Fruit Or Lose Your Benefits' Minister Says

The Huffington Post UK | Asa Bennett | Posted 26.02.2014 | UK Politics

Unemployed Britons should have to pick fruit on farms or be stripped of their benefits, farming minister George Eustice has suggested. The Tory min...

Claimants to Be Locked Out of Appeals as Government Denies Access to Justice

Nick Stephenson | Posted 24.02.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

A secret internal document from the Department for Work and Pensions shows that the coalition is planning to charge claimants for appealing against benefit sanctions.

IDS Dismisses Scrutiny as MPs Give Him a Mauling on Universal Credit

Nick Stephenson | Posted 06.04.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

Iain Duncan Smith appeared in front of the work and pensions committee of MPs yesterday, but decided against illuminating them - and us - about his work. His Universal Credit scheme, widely recognised to be failing due in great part to his poor management and lack of financial acumen, was the main item on the agenda.

Fake Self-Employment Replaces Real Jobs in Sick UK Economy

Nick Stephenson | Posted 05.04.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

More than half of the new 'jobs' created in the UK economy since 2008 have been in self-employment, and the income they attract has taken a sharp dive.

Jobless Forgotten in Coverage of Interest Rates as Unemployment Falls

Nick Stephenson | Posted 24.03.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

Unemployment has shown a big fall in the last three months and now stands at 7.1% of the working population. But coverage of the issue has focused on the likely result of this fall on interest rates. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has said he will not raise interest rates, which have been stuck at 0.5% since 2009, until unemployment drops to 7%.

UnemployedNet's 2014 Resolutions for a Better New Year

Nick Stephenson | Posted 11.03.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

Well we've made it. The turkey has finished its traditional journey from shop to roast to sandwich to curry to bin and 2014 is well and truly with us. Those of us interested in political and social issues, particularly unemployment, are glad to see the back of last year...

2013 in Unemployment - Media and Government Combine to Kick the Workless

Nick Stephenson | Posted 19.02.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

The one apparent bright spot, the fall in unemployment, came with more caveats than the average party election manifesto. More are working part-time only because they can't find full-time work while those earning less than premiership footballers have lost hundreds more pounds this year as wages still haven't kept pace with inflation.

Young Bear Brunt as Chancellor Plays Politics With Autumn Statement

Nick Stephenson | Posted 05.02.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

Demoralised by a lack of work, the young are further demotivated by the lack of opportunity they face and the knowledge that they are part of a million-strong army of kids chasing the few openings there are with little real work experience.

Labour Threatens Young People With Benefit Withdrawal - But Is This Hot Air?

Nick Stephenson | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

This morning's papers were full of headlines trumpeting a plan to end benefits for the under-25s, a bizarre and infantilising idea when dealing with the needs of adults. The claims were denied by Reeves... If the denial is true it is welcome.

DWP - Too Political, Not Independent Enough?

Nick Stephenson | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

The separation between government and civil service is a vital one. Governments come and go, but the civil service is permanent, and only works when it stands apart and acts as a bulwark against the worst excesses of politicians. So a press release that found on the Department of Work and Pensions website on Monday tips over an invisible but vital line of trust.

45% Rise in Sanction Referrals Leaves More Jobseekers at Risk

Nick Stephenson | Posted 07.11.2013 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

A big rise in the number of referrals for sanctions by jobcentres and other advisors means more jobseekers are at risk of destitution and stress...

Shocking Jobseeker's Story - Are Blank Agreements a New Way to Increase Sanctions?

Nick Stephenson | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

The story below was sent to UnemployedNet by a jobseeker who was unhappy with the service she received from her local jobcentre. She was made to sign a blank jobseeker's agreement in a session with others who were also made to do the same thing.

The Children of Iain Duncan Smith's Sanctions Are Cold and Suffering

Nick Stephenson | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

Among the UK's three million poor children, itself a shameful number in a wealthy society, more than half said their home was too cold last winter, three-quarters said they often worried about money, and a quarter said their house had damp or mould.

On Benefits and Proud - Misleading, Dishonest, Misdirecting?

Nick Stephenson | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

There was a brief moment in On Benefits & Proud which showed Heather's two dogs, a tiny Chihuahua and another ten times its size. The big one appeared to be happily co-existing with the small one and looking after it. It was not hard to imagine the show's producers, and Channel 5 itself, being disappointed at the care shown for the weak.

Three-Quarters Support Benefit Cap - But the Reasons Are All Too Clear

Nick Stephenson | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

Those who read newspapers or listen to politicians are fed the same diet of anti-claimant rhetoric which bears little resemblance to the grinding reality of life on the dole, which provides only poverty-level income and vulnerability. So here are seven truths about benefits and joblessness to help balance the debate...

This Continual Hounding of the Unemployed Reveals that Britain Is Governed by a Gang of Rich Sociopaths

John Wight | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
John Wight

With each passing week it becomes more apparent that in 2013 the nation is being governed by a gang of rich, privileged, and completely out of touch sociopaths, whose conception of society sits somewhere between Edwardian and Victorian times...

Taxpayers' Alliance Shows No Understanding of Unemployment - Or Economics

Nick Stephenson | Posted 09.11.2013 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

The Alliance, despite its name, doesn't represent the views of taxpayers. It is a right-wing ideas factory which, seeing the lacklustre effect on unemployment figures of toughening benefit conditions and reducing benefits, can only think that more of the same is required.

Who Deserves Benefits More, Pensioners Or Unemployed?

PA | Posted 09.09.2013 | UK

Pensioners are more deserving of taxpayers' money than unemployed people, according to a new survey of youngsters in the UK. Young people are three...

Have Your Say on Government's Welfare-to-Work Programmes

Nick Stephenson | Posted 02.10.2013 | UK Politics
Nick Stephenson

The government has launched a consultation on its welfare-to-work programmes, and UnemployedNet is responding on behalf of workless people. We want your opinions to help us tell the government why and how their schemes, including the Work Programme, Work Choice, work experience schemes and others, need changing.

An Open Letter to Mark Serwotka and the PCS

John Wight | Posted 23.05.2013 | UK Politics
John Wight

I am sure you of all people do not need to be reminded that people claiming JSA or any other benefit to which they are entitled are not criminals, that jobcentre staff and benefits advisors are not their parole officers, and that the nation's benefits system was brought into being after a hard fought struggle by previous generations of trade unionists and working class men and women in this country to ensure a minimum of protection and justice for working people in periods of economic turbulence, ill health or any other crisis which might occur in their lives.

Ukip Champions the Working Class

Paul Nuttall | Posted 05.05.2013 | UK Politics
Paul Nuttall

Ukip opposes any kind of aspiration-killing policy, such as Labour's oft repeated dream of punitive taxation, because it does not drive people to want to better themselves, thus killing social mobility and innovation. Ukip wants people from all backgrounds to have the chance to be more socially mobile.