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  • #76
    Originally posted by Graham76man
    If the Tories get in they will take about 12 Billion out of the welfare budget and give it to the rich presumably :evil:
    What frustrates me most about this is that Cameron hasn't been clear about where this money will come from. And therefore, we're left with scaremongering. I fear his complacency on this will be his biggest downfall.

    Welfare covers a vast amount of areas, there is money that can be saved. I just hope the Conservatives get it right, if they end up in government.

    Originally posted by Graham76man
    I was watching that Channel Four drama about the collation being formed 5 years ago. The hope from that was that we would get rid of the election system that can give massive majorities from a party with less than 50% of the total vote.
    FPTP isn't a perfect voting system but it's certainly better than the US system. I think if we went on the popular vote alone in the UK, then we'd be prone to fads such as the BNP and UKIP.

    Comment


    • #77
      Wow. The Tories are now trying to discredit Nicola Sturgeon by printing lies about her (and David and Ed are buying into it when they ought to be staying silent).
      Bit of a strange "coincidence" that Tory paper The Telegraph does this right after she surges in public opinion after the ITV debate.

      Found this article about benefit sanctions published recently - an official report has been made and it's uncomfortable reading.

      I am not sure how we reached the point where we need an inquiry to establish that stopping a person’s benefits to the level that they can’t feed themselves or their children may be wrong. But here we are, it seems. The recent MPs’ inquiry into the coalition’s benefits sanction system released its findings on Tuesday – a catalogue of cruelty with footnotes to add details of the claimants who have been starved.

      The report is damning. As it should be. We have watched a system develop in which it is normal for ordinary men and women to be thrown by their own government into financial and psychological crisis. The scale is staggering. More than 1 million jobseekers had their unemployment benefits stopped last year – and, as the report states, the government has failed to prove this is not “purely punitive”.

      Who exactly are we punishing? A disabled, single mother described to the committee the day she was sanctioned for missing an appointment because a flare-up of her hip condition meant she was physically unable to walk or drive. Despite explaining this to The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), she was told she’d receive no money for four weeks. The sanction remained in place for almost three months.


      None of this occurred by magic. The examples the report lists are not anomalies or accidents of a flawed system with good intentions. They are the human consequences of this government’s active decision to bring in “tougher” measures. Measures such as significantly increasing the amount of money they were able to take from sanctioned disabled and chronically ill people. And quadrupling how long they could stop the benefits of a jobseeker making a mild error (in 2012, the minimum sanction was increased to four weeks, rather than one). The DWP did not even bother to “first [test] their likely impacts on claimants”, the report notes.

      Still, ministers do not have to look far. Food bank queues are hard to miss.

      Forcing the unemployed to beg charities for handouts is “motivational”, apparently. Even for the 23-year-old pregnant woman who, MPs heard, walked two miles to a food bank after her benefits were stopped. She was receiving employment and support allowance for mental health problems following the stillborn birth of her first baby eight months earlier. She had missed one work-focused interview because on that day she had found it too difficult to leave her flat.

      That is enough, apparently, to leave a mentally ill, pregnant woman without food.

      Emergency hardship payments are meant to pick up some of the pieces of sanctions – a sort of sub-net when the safety net has been cut. Except the rub is that claimants of jobseeker’s allowance are not allowed one until the 15th day of being sanctioned. So they are left to feed themselves with nothing for two weeks.

      This is not being done to the middle classes with savings in the bank. Or those with power who are used to navigating a complex system. It is being done to the people who are already struggling – where a hardship fund exists but the application process is designed to be too difficult for vulnerable people to understand. Or, as the report states, making it so “the people potentially most in need of the hardship system were the least likely to be able to access it”.

      One clinically depressed man had his benefits sanctioned when he didn’t attend an assessment for work capability because he didn’t have the bus fare to get there. His older sister told the committee that her brother found it “impossible to cope with normal life” and “couldn’t open the mail”. He was given no benefits for 16 months.

      That the DWP is investigating 49 deaths of people in this system – including those “where suicide is associated with DWP activity” – seems almost predictable against that backdrop. The government was not able to provide details to the committee of anything it had done to alter how the DWP responds to claimants dying – or even to confirm how many of the dead had been subject to a benefit sanction.

      The MPs’ call that an “independent review of benefit sanctions is urgently needed” seems almost polite for what is going on here. People are literally starving and their crime is that they dare to be poor and unemployed.

      It is no surprise that the report concludes there is limited evidence that benefit sanctions actually help people find work. A jobseeker system that has sanctions at its centre is founded on the lie that the unemployed are too lazy to look for work unless they are threatened. The DWP acts as if it is training disobedient dogs.

      Stopping the money people need in order to eat is not the purpose of government. The benefit sanctions regime should be scrapped – but let’s not stop there. The culture that created them needs shredding to pieces.
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... ent-review

      I'm sure Dispatches mentioned 64 suicides as a result of sanctions.
      Still want to vote Conservative/Labour (no difference as they are both the same on this)?

      [youtube:11tdessl]pLFIxt2cK_0[/youtube:11tdessl]
      ^That's what jobseekers are made to feel like every time they visit the "job"centre. It is not our fault the system doesn't work. Raise the minimum / living wage, stop zero hours / exploitation, treat us like adults not illiterate children. Stop giving bankers bonuses, sort out tax evaders like Amazon.
      Tony's Charts ft Hits / Albums (4th April 20) - Spray, Elephant Tree, Dua Lipa, Sazzie, Venus, Lizzy Farrall, Julien-K

      Comment


      • #78
        I personally find another term with the conservatives in government nauseating.

        I don't like ed milliband he is a bumbling fool, it should've been his brother who won leadership of labour- they would be in a much better trustworthy place right now.

        I'll be voting SNP.

        Wayne I find your "dogged down by the Scottish agenda" comment extremely disrespectful. Scotland are constantly governed by Westminster and a government we haven't voted for.


        I think it'll be interesting to see what will happen with the party leaders after this election. Who will step down and who will replace them etc...
        CALL ME CALICE, CALL ME COLD. YOU'RE ITALIC, I'M IN BOLD.

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Hype
          Wayne I find your "dogged down by the Scottish agenda" comment extremely disrespectful. Scotland are constantly governed by Westminster and a government we haven't voted for.
          As a Scottish man/woman, I would expect nothing less. And as you'll see from that post, I also said I'd like to see more devolution of powers - regardless of who wins this election.

          You've just stated that you'll be voting for SNP - and that's because SNP will do most for you, as a Scottish man/woman. Does nothing for me personally.

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Blondini
            Wow. The Tories are now trying to discredit Nicola Sturgeon by printing lies about her (and David and Ed are buying into it when they ought to be staying silent).
            Bit of a strange "coincidence" that Tory paper The Telegraph does this right after she surges in public opinion after the ITV debate.

            ^That's what jobseekers are made to feel like every time they visit the "job"centre. It is not our fault the system doesn't work. Raise the minimum / living wage, stop zero hours / exploitation, treat us like adults not illiterate children. Stop giving bankers bonuses, sort out tax evaders like Amazon.
            Yeah very strange coincidence.

            The jobseekers bit is spot on. Having experienced it myself. Sometimes I would see women talk to grown men as if they were nothing which is disgusting. Their job isn't to help people find jobs but cut as many peoples benefits as they can. People are just stats and sadly 64 suicides is just 64 less people to pay.

            I was on a 'get into work' course a while ago and we weren't allowed to use the toilets in the jobcentre we had to use the ones in the shopping centre across the road.
            Too Much Music
            Too Much Music @Facebook
            Too Much Music @Twitter
            Scotland Social League

            Comment


            • #81
              It's awful to say this but the people who work at the Department of Work and Pensions must be terrible individuals if they have to carry out such extreme rules. I know from my own time of dealing with them most of them are beyond hope. I remember seeing jokes (around 1999) taking the piss out of claimants clearly on display in the offices they worked in.
              I always thought that the people who worked on the Social Security were attracted to work there because of that name. Or should I say the initials part - S.S. As going to see them one was like being interviewed by a member of the S.S.

              Personally I now avoid any contact with them and even though I could claim a lot more money under my own present circumstances, I wouldn't for the reason that facing that sort of person is like banging your head against a brick wall. They know that the people who come to see them are genuine and looking for work, but they are not interested in the truth.
              In the past when Wham sang "make a claim sign your name that's all you have to do" the staff could ignore the boss and the governments efforts to fiddle the dole figures, by stopping people's money who were looking for work. Simply by accepting the person who told them the "sob stories" - which was one of the jokes in the office back in 1999 - and instead concentrating on getting those "Wham" people off the dole. But the computerised system took it out of the hands of the "claimant advisors" and from what I've read and heard made them interested only in targets - or they finish up being in the other chair!

              Welfare covers a vast amount of areas, there is money that can be saved. I just hope the Conservatives get it right
              Wayne there isn't money to be saved. It's going to be redirected to paying for rich idol people to spend money on. Perhaps even put in your pocket
              If you think there is money to be saved you should have a word with some of the patients at Darnall Doctors Sheffield, who currently are waiting weeks to see a doctor there. Of course it's a multicultural area and the part-time doctors don't need to have the money to employ interpreter's to listen to complainants about how long it takes to get even a telephone interview with a doctor there. Especially as they have paid out for such people out of the money intended to treat patients. I found out this today by just moving along the dial from stations playing the top 40 and saying that around £2 million pounds this week alone was made by selling Now 90. I wonder Wayne what that doctors could do with just the tax alone from that?
              Education for anyone aged 12 to 16 has made a mess of the world!

              Comment


              • #82
                Many JCP staff are sick of being told to give sanctions, and meeting targets that DWP always insists don't exist. I'm "lucky" in that i have never had any trouble with them but others aren't. You still get this feeling of unease all the time though - that you're constantly being judged when they should in fact be helping you - they now have "Job Coaches" but they're just glorified advisors with no real difference to their old roles. They can't offer real help because there's nothing there to offer.

                RE: Food banks.

                Tony's Charts ft Hits / Albums (4th April 20) - Spray, Elephant Tree, Dua Lipa, Sazzie, Venus, Lizzy Farrall, Julien-K

                Comment


                • #83
                  I've been away for the weekend so I'm just catching up on this thread.

                  I think Nicola Sturgeon won the leaders' debate by far and if I lived in Scotland, the SNP would have my vote.

                  Unfortunately, I don't and that leaves me with very little choice. I would never vote for UKIP or the Conservatives. I think the right is always the wrong way to go when it comes to politics. Voting for them would go against everything I stand for.

                  Farage should be ashamed of his HIV comments.

                  Labour doesn't strike me as a secure choice and I wouldn't like them to get a majority vote at all. It would be very interesting to see a Labour/SNP coalition. Nicola would certainly wear the trousers in that government because Miliband is weak, weak, weak.

                  The Lib Dems are a waste of space on the ballot paper this time. The votes they get probably won't be enough to hold the coalition card again. Even if they did get enough, it's most likely they'd go with Labour and that would be worse than Labour alone.

                  That leaves me with the Greens who I do agree with on many/most things. I'll be voting for them and I do think their candidate for my constituency is the best choice. Their manifesto reads as a party who know they don't have a chance of winning the election, but I do think they could do very well in a coalition if they stood their ground (unlike the Lib Dems). It's a shame Natalie Bennett is leading them at the moment. Someone who was better at debates and interviews would've been a great gift for them during this election. Natalie is lucky Leanne Wood was part of the leaders' debate so she didn't come across as the weakest link.

                  I'm looking forward to the "challengers" debate on the BBC even though it's being presented by the insufferable David Dimbleby.

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Blondini
                    ^That's what jobseekers are made to feel like every time they visit the "job"centre. It is not our fault the system doesn't work. Raise the minimum / living wage, stop zero hours / exploitation, treat us like adults not illiterate children. Stop giving bankers bonuses, sort out tax evaders like Amazon.
                    Bankers' bonuses: I work in the City so I have some insight into this matter...

                    Here’s what happened in banks when the EU came with a random rule stating that bonuses should be max 200% of the fixed salaries

                    - Everyone got huge bumps in the fixed salary: say someone was on 100K fixed (“base”) and 300k bonus. Now the same person would be on 200k fixed and 200k bonus. The total impact on the income tax paid to the state: none (same money paid to the employee). The total impact on the bonus tax take: 33% lower. Overall taxman loses

                    - Other people resigned and started working under consultancy agreements (where work was of such nature). Impact on income tax: slightly negative, as tax rates for self-employed are a bit lower. Impact on bonus tax: down 100%. Overall the taxman loses

                    - Many not very qualified jobs and entire teams were moved to places like Mumbai, Poland or somewhere in the US that is not NY or LA (ie Salt Lake City). I recently ran some projects where all the low-level work was done in Mumbai (and I had 2 calls a day with the guys), while just the Managing Director and I were based in London. Impact on income and bonus tax: down 100%. Overall the taxman loses.

                    Do you still want to cut bankers’ bonuses?

                    I’ll elaborate on the impact that an increase in the min wage / ban on zero hr contracts would have on the total employment numbers tomorrow – am just about to wrap up a delicious long Easter weekend break in Tokyo with another cup of sake
                    Let's have a second referendum

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Bankers will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
                      Even Jesus Christ had it in for you guys

                      Is that why you are a dog Marius? Dog eat Dog world?
                      Education for anyone aged 12 to 16 has made a mess of the world!

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Revolution.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Graham76man
                          Bankers will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
                          Even Jesus Christ had it in for you guys

                          Is that why you are a dog Marius? Dog eat Dog world?
                          I'll be anxiously waiting for the revolution. If it is going to be started by the hugely entrepreneurial and determined people on benefits and by Milliband, I may just have to wait a bit more
                          Let's have a second referendum

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Marius
                            Originally posted by Graham76man
                            Bankers will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
                            Even Jesus Christ had it in for you guys

                            Is that why you are a dog Marius? Dog eat Dog world?
                            I'll be anxiously waiting for the revolution. If it is going to be started by the hugely entrepreneurial and determined people on benefits and by Milliband, I may just have to wait a bit more
                            Actually many former millionaires were either on benefits or in trouble with the law. For example Richard Branston was caught fiddling the tax system, when he was sending out records for people to buy when they should have been export only. If it wasn't for the fact the taxman prefers money then sending people to jail, Richard would have gone to jail. And his story is not alone, Jade Goody made a fortune, from having entrepreneurial skills, which were not recognised at the time. And Pete Waterman was caught stealing locomotive nameplates from British Railways and sent to work at British Railways as a punishment.

                            But I think you won't see any revolution in the UK, with the kind of people that are in the UK and the views they have currently. For some changing the chart day to Friday is radical. You have only to listen to James Masterton on his site to see that he thinks that were ALL stuck in the past, when it comes to change. And that's just about the Friday change I dread to think what he thinks about the rest of society. My worry is that there are too many of his type around. :(
                            Education for anyone aged 12 to 16 has made a mess of the world!

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              I'm still not sure who I will be voting for. In certain aspects I am more right wing and in other aspects I am left wing. I guess most people are like that, it's just which way you sway most.
                              It would probably make most sense for me to vote Lib Dems, but I was in the thick of the student thing when I last voted (i mean I didn't pay the £9k fee) but I voted because Nick Clegg sold that party to me but now I don't trust them.

                              Whilst as I said there are some policies I agree with the Tories more, I do find it funny how a party that isn't voted for by Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, London, Birmingham, Manchester and most of our major cities can win the general election. It's all the rural constituencies like the one my parents live in that keep David Cameron and his party doing well.

                              Controversial to my fellow English folks, but if I lived in Scotland I would vote SNP.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by UKMusicLova
                                I do find it funny how a party that isn't voted for by Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, London, Birmingham, Manchester and most of our major cities can win the general election. It's all the rural constituencies like the one my parents live in that keep David Cameron and his party doing well.

                                Controversial to my fellow English folks, but if I lived in Scotland I would vote SNP.
                                I like that he'll never win a general election outright.

                                I would vote for the SNP too.

                                Comment


                                • #91
                                  I think the poll is pretty indicative of what a popular vote would be - Conservatives with a slight lead over Labour; SNP will do well but obviously not that well as nobody in England can vote for them. Greens will do well out of frustration and UKIP will underperform.

                                  I think it's interesting that Blair is wanting to take on Cameron over an EU referendum.

                                  Comment


                                  • #92
                                    Originally posted by Graham76man
                                    Actually many former millionaires were either on benefits or in trouble with the law. For example Richard Branston was caught fiddling the tax system, when he was sending out records for people to buy when they should have been export only. If it wasn't for the fact the taxman prefers money then sending people to jail, Richard would have gone to jail. And his story is not alone, Jade Goody made a fortune, from having entrepreneurial skills, which were not recognised at the time. And Pete Waterman was caught stealing locomotive nameplates from British Railways and sent to work at British Railways as a punishment.
                                    Well, it makes sense for the taxman to do that: if Branson went to jail, they'd have lost so much more later tax income. It is exactly the basis of the logic not to send tax avoiders to jail, while people who submit false benefit claims are sent: the total amount of tax that HMRC would take from a "banker" in all his lifetime would be significantly lower if he was sentenced (and hence automatically barred from working in the City again). As much as the Guardian & co hate it, the taxman makes some cold hard calculations and acts consequently.

                                    Btw, I have nothing against people on benefits - if benefits are available to them according the law, they should claim them. The problem lies with the way some of these benefits are structured (including criteria to qualify) but that is the government's problem.

                                    As for Waterman, perhaps he should have been jailed, who knows how much better the charts of 1986-1990 would have looked
                                    Let's have a second referendum

                                    Comment


                                    • #93
                                      Marius speaking a lot of sense.
                                      You can never have enough luxury lemon drizzle cake

                                      Comment


                                      • #94
                                        I think the poll is pretty spot on.
                                        Too Much Music
                                        Too Much Music @Facebook
                                        Too Much Music @Twitter
                                        Scotland Social League

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                                        • #95
                                          Originally posted by oasisbobo
                                          I think the poll is pretty spot on.
                                          How can it be there are no Lib Dems votes I know they might not be popular, but they will still get a great deal of seats in the house from areas that will always vote for them. The poll only shows that the conservatives will be the biggest party and the rest of the country voted against them. Exactly what happened last time, but since they didn't get a majority we had a hung parliament.
                                          Education for anyone aged 12 to 16 has made a mess of the world!

                                          Comment


                                          • #96
                                            Originally posted by Graham76man
                                            Originally posted by oasisbobo
                                            I think the poll is pretty spot on.
                                            How can it be there are no Lib Dems votes I know they might not be popular, but they will still get a great deal of seats in the house from areas that will always vote for them. The poll only shows that the conservatives will be the biggest party and the rest of the country voted against them. Exactly what happened last time, but since they didn't get a majority we had a hung parliament.
                                            I think if you ask 20 or so random people one or two are bound to vote UKIP or the Lib Dems. You could share the three Scottish voters between those parties and that would represent the English votes.
                                            Too Much Music
                                            Too Much Music @Facebook
                                            Too Much Music @Twitter
                                            Scotland Social League

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                                            • #97
                                              OK maybe i don't know about how finance works, but Labour's rhetoric about "nom-doms" today is a step in the right direction.

                                              Check out this hilarious boyband parody by the Greens (it's on TV tomorrow, i think). You can download it from here free
                                              [youtube:12sh19se]PPgS7p40ERg[/youtube:12sh19se]

                                              I swear, if Stockton North has no Green candidate - it is listed as "nominations" on their site - i will be livid. Forced to watch the "revolution" from the sidelines. I use quotation marks cause i fear Graham is right. The public won't vote for change, they never do. They did in 1997 and look what eventually happened. Or we'll get another crappy compromised coalition.
                                              I voted Green in recent local elections, before that i was Liberal for years. They're everywhere else in the North East bar a few places.
                                              Tony's Charts ft Hits / Albums (4th April 20) - Spray, Elephant Tree, Dua Lipa, Sazzie, Venus, Lizzy Farrall, Julien-K

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                                              • #98
                                                This is a helpful site. It shows the policies for each party without revealing which belong to which on all the important areas.

                                                My results were
                                                40% Conservative
                                                40% Labour
                                                10% Green
                                                10% Lib Dem

                                                Which was pretty helpful considering I was thinking between Conservative and UKip and it appears I didn't actually choose any of UKIP's policies. At this point I feel that I will probably vote Conservative.
                                                1 Sigma|2 Jack Wins |3 The Killersl |4 Victoria|5 Destiny |

                                                Comment


                                                • #99
                                                  One policy that seems ludicrous is that Labour have offered to raise minimum wage from around £6.50p/h to £8p/h while UKIP said it would be £10p/h by 2020. As someone who has managed smaller businesses, I know that they can not afford to pay this, it was lead to peoples hours being cut or even losing their jobs altogether. It won't suddenly mean everyone is a bit better off, prices will rise, businesses will close. Seems so foolish.
                                                  1 Sigma|2 Jack Wins |3 The Killersl |4 Victoria|5 Destiny |

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                                                  • Originally posted by SholasBoy
                                                    One policy that seems ludicrous is that Labour have offered to raise minimum wage from around £6.50p/h to £8p/h while UKIP said it would be £10p/h by 2020. As someone who has managed smaller businesses, I know that they can not afford to pay this, it was lead to peoples hours being cut or even losing their jobs altogether. It won't suddenly mean everyone is a bit better off, prices will rise, businesses will close. Seems so foolish.
                                                    The conservatives were going to raise the minimum wage anyway. They probably will too at some point. They don't care about smaller businesses, only the one's that pay for the Torry party.
                                                    Many small business will suffer when they build the High Speed Rail links. When that goes into City areas they will cause absolute chaos with the road system. I know this because when they built Supertram in Sheffield, shops and the like got little or no compensation from having the roads closed, traffic diverted etc. Having seen plans for HSR the entire Attercliffe Corridor will be disrupted for ages. Especially around Meadowhall. They won't like that, with the internet already taking trade from the high street shops. And these rail projects are all over the Country!
                                                    Also the money for this will come at great expense to us all, with these projects being often built with cash from the taxpayers at much greater cost using the private finance thing. That's where for example a door that should cost about £90 actually costs £300.
                                                    Education for anyone aged 12 to 16 has made a mess of the world!

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