I do despair sometimes at those who comment or write stories in national newspapers – and I do despair a lot at dear Polly Toynbee.
I am sure she really does understand what she is asking – I am just as sure she doesn’t understand of whom she asks it.
As in the 1980s recession, another generation is at risk of being washed up, never being connected to working life, watching children growing up as lost as them.
True – but Tony Blair said he was going to change that. By the way, so does Dave Cameron!
This week’s unemployment figures made a bizarre backdrop for the third reading of the welfare reform bill, designed in good times with essentially good intent
Head – wall – BANG!
Insiders in Jobcentre Plus offices tell of the pressure from a surge in new claimants. A manager of a Jobcentre Plus in Essex tells me, “forget personalisation”, echoing others who have contacted me. Claimants just get the next adviser on the taxi-rank. First interviews are cut from 40 minutes to 30 minutes, and the “better-off calculations” have been dropped because they are taking too long: new claimants know they’ll be better off working. The fortnightly signing-on review has been cut from 10 minutes to seven minutes – and other areas report as little as five minutes.
That means nothing has changed other than the amount of middle-class claimants!
[…] new claimants’ shock at hearing the dole is just £60.50. “They are totally incredulous,”
“They ask, ‘how can I live on that?'” This punishing workhouse rate must be raised before there are bread riots.
Where was that voice of disdain for the last 30 years? Nay – 45 years? Except from those of us who ARE Social Democrats?
Chris Humphries, chief executive of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, urges the government to kick-start job creation programmes, with good apprenticeships attached. Scores of capital projects have been stopped halfway through for lack of funds – refurbishing schools and FE colleges. Get going now, Humphries says, on a huge programme to green public buildings – saving future energy bills with insulation and solar power, and saving necessary skills and urgently needed apprenticeships. Maintenance uses seven times more labour than new building, with low material costs.
There is many things in Polly’s piece that agree with – and I do sigh with great indignation that the UK government, a supposed left-wing one, one of the working men and women and of social justice and liberty, that they do nothing in this the worst time of despair.
They could – and it will cost a lot of money, but following Thatchers plan of leaving those who are unemployed to become unemployable is not an option – yet Gordon Brown and his government are doing just that.
So much needs to be done and now is the time to do it – unless you are a Tory government – see Dave Cameron. And, of course, the current UK Tory government.