Thursday 12 September 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, September 12, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

Poor forced to use food banks? They've only got themselves to blame for making bad decisions, says Michael Gove
The Education Secretary argued that people who find themselves unable to buy essentials, including food and school uniforms have themselves to blame for being unable ‘to manage their finances’. More than half a million people across Britain have turned to food banks to stave off hunger, according to charities. Cuts to benefits, frozen or falling wages and rising living costs have been blamed in part for some people struggling to make ends meet. DAILY MAIL

British Social Attitudes Report finds softening attitudes to benefits
The annual British Social Attitudes Report found 51% said benefits were too high in 2012, down from 62% in 2011. According to the NatCen Social Research survey, sympathy for those without jobs has increased, and support for benefit cuts has fallen. In February last year the Welfare Secretary Iain Duncan Smith strongly condemned those who appear to have manipulated the system to gain as many benefits as possible. But the survey suggests that British people no longer have as much sympathy with this view. The proportion of people found to be supportive of extra spending on benefits rose to 34% in 2012, compared with 28% in 2011. BBC NEWS

Vince Cable criticises Osborne's controversial Help To Buy scheme that boosts mortgages with taxpayer money
The Help to Buy mortgage scheme has proved controversial since the moment the plans were unveiled in Chancellor George Osborne's March budget. The list of critics is long, growing and varied, ranging from the Institute of Directors to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development. Now Business Secretary Vince Cable has contributed the most damaging criticsm so far. He called for a rethink. "We should certainly think about how it should come into effect, indeed whether it should come into effect, in the light of changing market conditions. We don't want a new housing bubble". TELEGRAPH

UK unemployment rate falls from 7.8% to 7.7% in the last 3 months, but youth unemployment rises
Despite the improving picture, there was also evidence in the detail of the figures that conditions in the labour market remain tough for many. Average pay rose at an annual rate of just 1%, or 1.1% including bonuses – well below the 2.8% rate of inflation – suggesting that living standards are still being squeezed. The ONS also highlighted the fact that much of the increase in employment – almost all of it, for women – has been in part-time work, in many cases taken up by employees who would prefer a full-time job if they could find one. Young people are also failing to feel the benefit of the upturn, with youth unemployment 9,000 higher in May to July than three months earlier, at 960,000. GUARDIAN

Zero-hours contracts: as many as 5.5m Britons 'are on deals offering little guaranteed work'
A survey of 5,000 members of Unite, Britain's biggest union representing more than 1 million people, found that 22% of workers employed by private businesses had deals that offered little or no guarantee of work and pay. Across the entire UK workforce, the figures suggest millions could be employed on zero-hours contracts, which often provide no holiday or sick pay but can leave employees having to ask permission before seeking additional work elsewhere. GUARDIAN

Ed Miliband to pledge crackdown on zero-hour contracts
Hundreds of thousands of workers are on the contracts which allow employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work. Under Labour's proposals, zero-hour contracts requiring people to work exclusively for one business without the guarantee of adequate hours in return would be outlawed. Mr Miliband acknowledges that more flexible working has been one of the keys of keeping people in work despite the recession, saying: "We need flexibility. But we must stop flexibility being used as the excuse for exploitation". The government has previously said it will decide this month whether to hold a formal consultation on possible changes to employment laws covering the contracts. BBC NEWS

Households will be £1,300 worse off in 2018 than they were at the start of the banking crisis in 2009
A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), commissioned by supermarket chain Asda, explains this is because inflation will continue to go up at a faster rate than pay. Overall, the typical household will spend £3,900 a year more on essential items such as food, petrol, rent and utility bills in five years' time than they did in 2009. The report reveals the squeeze will be toughest on single parent families and the younger generation, with disposable income for the under 30s forecast to continue to fall until 2018. TELEGRAPH

Dossier exposes the dirty tricks insurers are using to cut your pension
Giant insurers are routinely flouting new rules designed to protect customers who saved for their pensions from being left tens of thousands of pounds poorer. Some of the best-known insurance firms are luring thousands into spending their retirement years in poverty by offering unsuitable deals and baffling them with jargon. Many of the ploys are in contravention of guidelines that came into force in March, designed to help retirees get the best deal on annuities. DAILY MAIL

How banks deprive baffled savers of £10bn a year by slashing advertised interest rates
Many savers do not realise their savings rate has been cut or fail to switch, and so lose out on hundreds of pounds a year. Figures from campaigners Save Our Savers estimate £400bn is languishing in accounts that pay less than 1% interest. It could mean savers are missing out on around £10bn extra interest a year. DAILY MAIL


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