Ethnic minority unemployment now twice as high as average

Thu, 09/01/2014 - 12:37 -- nick

Unemployment among Britain's ethnic minority communities has continued to rise even as overall worklessness has gone down.

This is the finding of The Guardian, which shows through a datablog how the recent falls in unemployment have not been shared equally.

Ethnic minorities have consistently been more likely to be out of work than the white UK majority since large-scale immigration began, but the fact that the gap is growing is cause for concern.

When government departments attack - universal credit in trouble again

Wed, 08/01/2014 - 13:41 -- nick

Iain Duncan Smith's failing universal credit programme faces further delays as warfare has broken out within the government leading to the breakdown of key relationships.

The scheme, which aims to replace six benefits with one online system, was being developed jointly between the Cabinet Office and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

UnemployedNet live tweeting on tonight's C4 show 'Benefits Street'

Mon, 06/01/2014 - 14:48 -- nick

Encouraged by the 'success' of Channel 5's recent car-crash programme 'On Benefits and Proud', which gave a voice to experienced Jeremy Kyle guests while pretending to illuminate Britain, Channel 4 is weighing in on the welfare debate.

'Benefits Street' claims it "reveals the reality of life on benefits" from the neighbourhood in Birmingham which has more claimants than any other, but the history of programmes in this area is shameful, so what will it really bring to the party?

More pain to come as Cameron threatens benefits again

Mon, 06/01/2014 - 13:36 -- nick

Prime Minister David Cameron has pointed to more benefit cuts ahead if the Conservative party wins the next election.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Cameron called the housing benefit bill "far too high". He continued:

"We've put a cap on housing benefit, but I still think there's more we can do to reform our benefits system."

He promised to keep the 'triple-lock' on pensions which guarantees that they will rise by inflation or above every year, but denied that this was an example of chasing the 'grey vote'.

New benefit fraud campaign targets tiny part of UK unnecessarily

Fri, 03/01/2014 - 14:21 -- nick

The government is today launching a new anti-fraud and error campaign - but in just six small areas of the UK.

The chosen few - Southwark, Blackburn, Hounslow, Blackpool, Epping Forest and Cardiff - will be targeted with billboards, newspaper adverts, Facebook adverts and letters to claimants.

These will ask claimants to report changes in their circumstances and also ask all citizens to shop those they believe are claiming benefits fraudulently.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said:

Councils filling jobs with unpaid forced labour says Boycott Workfare

Fri, 03/01/2014 - 13:16 -- nick

Councils in the UK have used more than half a million hours of forced labour, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.

Submitted by campaigning organisation Boycott Workfare, the response showed that 62% of councils which provided information had given work experience to unpaid unemployed people since June 2011.

Young unemployed suicidal and without hope, says charity

Thu, 02/01/2014 - 12:52 -- nick

Young unemployed people are under severe stress leading to many feeling suicidal, a survey has found.

Charity The Prince's Trust commissioned YouGOV to find out how those aged under-25 feel about being out of work, with more than 900,000 still not in employment, education or training.

40% of youngsters have experienced the symptoms of mental illness, while even more shockingly one in three of the long-term unemployed have thought about suicide as a way out of their plight.

Half of UK companies will hire staff next year, but wages may fall further

Tue, 17/12/2013 - 13:39 -- nick

More than half of companies in the UK plan to hire new workers next year.

This is the biggest proportion since 2008, but there is a fly in the ointment - more than half are not planning to give pay rises that will match inflation, meaning many British workers will keep getting poorer.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) surveyed businesses with Accenture and found that 51%  plan to take on new staff, suggesting that recent drops in unemployment are likely to continue.

MPs call for bedroom tax to be scrapped

Tue, 17/12/2013 - 12:59 -- nick

A committee of MPs has called for the government's hated bedroom tax to be scrapped.

The Scottish Affairs Committee, which deals in Westminster with issues north of the border, includes MPs of all parties, although Tory and Liberal Democrat members did not support the report.

Its chairman, Labour MP Ian Davidson, called the tax a "cruel burden" on the poor.

He said:

EU migrants must speak English or no benefits

Fri, 13/12/2013 - 13:28 -- nick

New immigrants to the UK are to be tested on their English language ability before they are allowed to claim out-of-work benefits, the government has announced.

The new test requires those trying to claim to answer more individually-tailored questions, provide more detailed answers and submit more evidence before they will be allowed to make a claim.

The tougher regime has been rolled out across the UK from Monday this week, and the Department for Work and Pensions provided no reasons for announcing the change days after it took place.



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