Consequences of cuts 2010-2018

I wanted to find data on the consequences of Conservative cuts since 2010, in the hope that I might remember some of them to use in discussion with Conservative-leaning friends. A pdf version is available here. The UK has experienced the worst economic recovery on record, even worse than that after the Great Depression. The … Continue reading Consequences of cuts 2010-2018


Not another job miracle: the mirage of full employment

Another quarter-year, another labour market release. Cue the DWP praising itself for record numbers of people in work, and record rates of people in work, and eight other employment records. The UK must be nearing full employment, with rages rising and working conditions improving. To the many people looking for any work, more work and … Continue reading Not another job miracle: the mirage of full employment

Government vs Reality – the big society

Dear government, Let’s stop talking about what you think happens in theory and start talking about what is happening in reality. In reality, people are being told they can’t claim JSA after you have told them they can’t claim ESA. In reality, other countries are looking at your handling of social security and using it … Continue reading Government vs Reality – the big society

Ministers don’t get it. Policy should be based on reality, not on misinformation

Ah Bah.   I am sick of hearing about what politicians think, or about what they think the public thinks, or about what the public thinks. I’m not interested in what people think. I’m interested in what they know and what evidence that knowledge is based on. I don’t want a minister who thinks it … Continue reading Ministers don’t get it. Policy should be based on reality, not on misinformation

The Contributory Principle

There is a debate continuing around the social security system on whether those who have paid in more should get back more when they need it. The inverse of this is that those who haven’t paid national contributions get nothing – including those who have not had the opportunity to pay anything. This is where … Continue reading The Contributory Principle

Conflicting Policies

Just as nature takes millions of years to regain diversity after a mass extinction, so neighbourhoods take years, even decades, to build up informal support networks broken by forced removal. Just as DLA is the means that allows people to work, so informal support is what allows people to work. The government isn’t even identifying … Continue reading Conflicting Policies

Something for nothing cultures

I’m getting sick of this ‘something for nothing’ attitude that MPs seem to have regarding social security. They complain about giving Jobseeker’s Allowance to people who haven’t spent many years in employment, and forget that to have spent many years in employment one also has to have lived many years since leaving education. They forget … Continue reading Something for nothing cultures

Beveridge Principles

When Sir William Beveridge wrote his report on social insurance he identified five giant evils: squalor, ignorance,  want, idleness and disease. Squalor, disease and want were all inter-linked. Squalor meant circumstances where disease was rife and often untreated. Want was both created by and a sustainer of disease: want was at times a result of … Continue reading Beveridge Principles

A week of poverty statistics

It seems to be a week of poverty. Median income is below its level in 2009-10. Work isn’t a route out of poverty. Being in full-time work should mean not being in poverty. Yet the majority of those in poverty are in work. This is not relative poverty but absolute poverty - “severe deprivation of … Continue reading A week of poverty statistics