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Catch the latest from our writers by clicking on the toolbar buttons above, including The Recruiter, who gives you the information on getting work that HR departments won’t, our Jobcentre insider, who tells you about life on the frontline, and Nick, the site founder who writes on unemployment and how it affects us all. If you want to publish your own blog it will appear here, and if others are reading it you can see it below.

Only one in seven families found work under benefit cap

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 11:02 -- nick

More households that had their benefits capped reduced their claims rather than found work in the first year of the policy.

Despite the government's crowing about the success of its cap, only one in seven families found work over the first year it operated.

42,000 had their benefits cut but fewer than 6,000 escaped by getting jobs, while 7,000 reduced their claims, raising the prospect of poverty being more likely than work.

Iain Duncan Smith, who introduced the idea, has claimed that forcing people off welfare and into work is a key reason for implementing the cap.

Sanctions can now be applied if you refuse a non-job

Tue, 06/05/2014 - 11:41 -- nick

Benefits can now be removed for at least three months from those who don't apply to zero-hours jobs.

Zero hours contracts are a con from a jobseeker's perspective.

If you don't get any work for weeks (perfectly possible under this arrangement) are you actually employed or unemployed?

The government has made its decision; on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website a response to a Freedom of Information request states:

Coalition divide and conquer shows we need to look up not down

Thu, 01/05/2014 - 17:47 -- nick

A story in one of the national newspapers shows why it is so important to right the wrongs of the coalition, surely the most deceitful government in decades.

The Guardian is reporting that, encouraged by the campaigns of Osborne, Smith and Cameron, the poor are looking around them at other poverty-stricken people for the reasons behind their problems.

According to a YouGov survey in 2012, 60% of those existing on less than £10,000 a year believe there are many workshy claimants, despite the vast majority claiming benefits themselves.

UK growth won't mean more jobs or better salaries

Tue, 29/04/2014 - 12:39 -- nick

The UK's growth figures have been announced today, showing an apparently buoyant economy racing to an increase of 0.8% in output over the last three months.

This means the country is growing faster than most of its competitors, and is expected to have made up all the ground it lost after the 2008 recession by this summer.

Good news all round, you might think, and evidence that we are on track to a golden future.

Not so fast.

The news for the unemployed is still not good.

Work programme failings lead to more punishments for unemployed

Mon, 28/04/2014 - 13:11 -- nick

The government's new Help to Work scheme comes into force today, meaning more people will be punished for the failings of the Work Programme.

Its flagship back-to-work system has not been successful in its main aim, so yet again Iain Duncan Smith has decided it is the unemployed who are to blame.

Taking a leaf from the big book of criminal tariffs, his solution is to impose community service on those who are guilty of nothing more than being failed by the economy and those who are meant to help them to find jobs.

Smith has decided the best ways to 'help' them include:

DWP trumpets 'success' of claimant commitment as conditions tighten

Fri, 25/04/2014 - 13:13 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has hailed its "successful" roll-out of the new claimant commitment.

653,000 people have now been forced to sign up to the commitment, which tightens the rules for jobseekers again and provides even more possible reasons for being sanctioned.

The DWP headlined its press release 'New contract demanding more from jobseekers in place across Britain', showing the government is courting Mail and Express readers again.

IDS hails entrepreneurial 'spirit' as self-employed get poorer

Thu, 24/04/2014 - 12:11 -- nick

The Bank of England has pointed to the government's benefit cuts as a reason behind the rise in self-employment, despite evidence that this is only a recipe for poverty.

The Bank's monetary policy committee minutes from last month said:

"It was possible that some of the increase had come about in reaction to benefit caps, changes in pension entitlements and rules surrounding access to in-work benefits.”

1.6% inflation closes gap on earnings - but workless still getting poorer

Tue, 15/04/2014 - 12:19 -- nick

Inflation has fallen to 1.6% today, closing the gap on earnings - but unemployed people are still getting poorer.

The government capped yearly increases in benefits to 1%, saying it wanted to 'make work pay', not by doing anything positive on earnings, like introducing the living wage, but by making welfare less valuable.

It also stated that it was only 'fair' for claimants to see the kind of reduction in living standards that workers were seeing.

Unnecessary new benefit measures will force more crime

Tue, 08/04/2014 - 13:06 -- nick

Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that they would make demands of unemployed people before they are allowed to claim benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is at it again.

Today it announces new measures to 'protect the integrity of the benefits system' - a new raft of punishments rolled out by obsessives with little understanding of the real world.

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