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Self Employed Youth

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  1. Looking through the photos of the new builds, one thing stands out, the lack of green. Gardenless properties frighten me. There is nothing wrong with flats and high density living if there is access to gardens and green space. One thing we need to do more with planning is create zones. Zones of freedom, but also of protection. There is a real concern behind the NIMBY, and that is of loss of access to nature and other green amenities. Many of the new build estates we see today are without character - they have not grown organically. The playing field or football pitch, is of greater value to a town of 100 000 than it is a town of 10 000. The problem with some of the new estates is that they do not give enough open space for certain hobbies and activities. I'm sure many would be happy to live in new towns and cities, allowing for greenbelts between old and new urban areas, lessening the protests from NIMBYs, and allowing for new town/city zones to be created, at the same time, investment in localised agriculture (glasshouses, irrigation systems), green amenities (playing fields, allotments and industry/services could be made, which would benefit from and be beneficial to the new residents (and also the current nearby residents). You could have new towns centered on different sports, for example. One without roads if enough people wished it. Cycling, boat and horse riding communities spring to mind. Extend the rail and road network to serve new towns/cities, and place them a minimum of X miles away from urban areas of a similar size. Maybe have a smoking zone, a smoke free one. A drug using zone, a sober zone. Give freedom to people to build and occupy new housing, and live their lives how they want. Allow for certain protections, but do not disallow building to the degree we do today.
  2. TBWF falls down when you smash the window of a rich person or a bank. Don't smash the windows of the poor, but by all means blow up the right and left wings of the estates of those who hoard money to the detriment of everyone else and you shall create employment and wealth for the poor, paid for with hoarded wealth.
  3. 30 years ago, half of the people in my city lived in social housing, my parents generation were earning 10k, 20k, and partying in the 100s of nightclubs, getting drunk, having sex and saving money up, in THEIR council housings, breeding my generation. The Thatcher came, they still had decent homes and some could still party, but the dole queue beckoned for many, jobs in the oil industry for others. some were earning £400 a week then, and I know of nobody local earning that figure now.
  4. Ah, Sheffield, my home city. The place with a 100k waiting list for social housing but only 40k units of social housing and a turnover of just 1k units per year. Where parkhill a building once of 1000 units of social housing stands empty, draining the public's finances, after the council sold it for a quid and paid millions to evict people, and millions more to subsidise Urban Splash to stick cladding on it at a cost of £160k per flat. Parkhill property is massively overpriced for the city, and remains empty at great cost to the city in lost council tax. I emigrated to Barnsley for social housing. I live on a cul de sac of housing association homes (locally known as the posh part - where circa 80% of households are unemployed), surrounded by terraced streets with the houses built pre 1900, mostly in the PRS, many housing immigrants and some used as cannabis farms, smack/crack dens, people dealing this and that, with the odd owner occupier. Prices around £40k-£50k, yield appears to be 15% for landlords till they discover voids, the Friday night hobby of 'economics 101' - where your windows get put through, cannabis growing etc. Much better than Sheffield I might add, where you are much more likely to get burgled, stabbed or shot or a combination of the 3. The thing with Barnsley, is, the quality of life is much better than Sheffield, the people are friendlier, the cost of living lower, there are more jobs, and you don't need to use public transport to get around. It might look run down, and to some extent is, but most places are nowadays it seems.
  5. About a year after writing this I ended up visiting the foodbank again - to receive food, after having being sanctioned thrice in a row, incorrectly after a short illness. In recent months however, I have been quite fortunate, I was attacked at random in the street and hospitalised, I was subsequently moved on to sickness benefits instead of JSA, my mental health problems practically disappeared overnight and it looks like I am also entitled to some criminal injuries compensation! Praise the lord for violent crime! - and the increased likellihood of being a vicitm, today, if one is poor (compared to 30 years ago that is). It is probably the best route out of immediate poverty most who are stuck in poverty, can realistically achieve. I was even getting nutritional supplement drinks prescribed on the NHS - bonus! Going to a foodbank is a real eye opener. Whilst there are a few who abuse them, most do not. The sheer desperation and problems people face takes a drastic toll on them and ages people prematurely, many have their life cut short. The mental health problems faced by people today are surely at crisis point, it seems everyone and their dog wants to top themselves. Some resort to drugs and OD, some probably purposefully OD, others straight hang themselves. - it'll be interesting to read through the suicide stats for 2014 when the ONS releases them. Anecdotal evidence would suggest a massive increase, above and beyond the statistically significant increases of the previous decade, with suicides in 2013 being higher than in any year since 2001.
  6. Abolish housing benefit and increase benefits accordingly, or bring in a citizens income top up with the saving.
  7. If somebody died 10 days too soon, you could just leave them to rot a bit before declaring the death to avoid the tax. When tax changes go through, people avoid dying to avoid paying tax, by living longer and by their family members declaring their death later than - or even before it really occurred. Pretty soon people will be collecting the pensions of dead relatives instead of reporting them dead.
  8. This - they cannot afford to lower the rents - lower rents would result in bankruptcy. High rents and no tenants perversely keeps them afloat.
  9. I was about say similar. Destined to be here nearly. Or should that be it is of high statistical probably that I would be found on the hpc.
  10. All councils with a SHLAA have assumed builders will be making a 20%+ profit on home construction. 20%+
  11. I would like to say thanks to HPCer Venger for sending me the book, Go It Alone - The Streetwise Secrets of Self Employment. Hopefully it will be of great help to me when going self employed again in the near future. And if so, then perhaps I can do a good deed for somebody else in due course
  12. Having recently been sanctioned and had it overturned I encountered a few difficulties. I was ill and I phoned up and reported my illness, and requested a JSA 28 form. (People on JSA are entitled to two period of sickness up to 14 days in a year.) If suffering from sickness for longer one has to see a doctor and get signed off then claim ESA instead. - I expect the amount of ESA claimants has risen much more than the amount the JSA claimant count has fallen. So I was ill, I reported sickness and requested the correct form. Problem 1*, it wasn't sent out to me. *I was lucky I had access to a phone to phone up and request the form - many would be in dire straits here. I then went to the jobcentre and filled out the form, handed it in, and then was paid my social security payments. A few weeks later I was notified I was sanctioned - by letter - although I had been to the jobcentre for an appointment the person behind the counter neglected to inform me of my sanction. So I had to ask for a 'mandatory reconsideration' and apply for hardship. Hardship was awarded (this is a payment of £43.45/week before deductions). The JC+ admitted they had sanctioned me in error and would overturn the sanction. I was then informed I was sanctioned by letter a few days later. I had to ask for another mandatory reconsideration. It was agreed they had administered the sanction in error and they had forget to overturn it in error. It was agreed it would be overturned and I would get the remainder of money I was entitled to. I was then yet again informed I was sanctioned by letter about a week after. I had to ring up yet again and again it was agreed they had administered the sanction in error and hadn't overturned it in error. This time is was overturned and I got my money within 3 hours via bank account. Many people would give up trying to get their sanction overturned - and this 'sanction' wasn't even applied properly. And we didn't get anywhere near appeal stage, a tribunal etc. I know many who are being sanctioned and have been sanctioned. Most have gone 'mental'. Practically all are signed off sick, one is in jail and another is still the dole - although signed off sick - this person really wants to work, but needn't look for it if they changed benefits. One poor lass has severe mental problems and had taken on ZHC work - but had a severe mental breakdown and is now off sick and likely to be awarded PIP (worryingly she was given ZHC working with vulnerable adults), before this she was only getting her stamp paid by the dole office before being sanctioned, and they sanctioned her stamp of about £1 a week. She received no actual benefits. Another young lad who is homeless has been sanctioned and is/was of the opinion he wants to go back to jail. He has been on a mega shoplifting spree ever since and his drug use has got out of control. He has gone from being a person in drug recovery, getting by on his methadone, to being a person committing 10+ shoplifts a day and smoking some £100 a day of heroin and crack. He seems to be now of the opinion that he wants to die rather than go back to jail to recover. And is taking bigger and bigger hits in order to try and OD. The local supply seems to be of such poor quality, that he cannot OD. The sooner he is now jailed at a cost of £40k per year the better. For his own sake, that of his family, and everyone else. There is so many people out there struggling, I know one guy who gets £50 a week after deductions who then pays £20 a week of that to his ex-partner for maintenance. His daughter rung him up yesterday asking for £25 for horseriding lessons (but seemingly doesn't ask her mother on £300 a week when you tot up the ESA, DLA, CTC, CB), he broke down in tears and was considering suicide. He wants to work but can't get a job. He has worked and is prepared to move for work. He is contemplating becoming a drug counsellor - seemingly the only growing industry round here - where it seems every third house is occupied by a disabled heroin addict - most of them in the 40s and above, but there is a new generation of people turning to it - such is the desperation and low quality of life, people will look for anything to try and escape, even if only for a few hours. - Strangely, the addicts seem to be better off after a few years, as they damage themselves enough to become eligible for DLA/PIP. Personally I cannot see what benefit a sanction can bring. It makes looking for work much harder - and hinders people getting work. One's primary concern becomes food. And many will turn to crime, some will go to foodbanks and others just breakdown. The majority who I know who have been sanctioned have not returned to JSA they have gone onto the sick. Some to prison, fortunately I don't know anybody personally who has killed themselves yet, but I do notice that train delays due to suicide (primarily of young people) have become a weekly event instead of a rare-ish event that happens every couple of months - and I would hazard a guess sanctions play a part.
  13. The welfare bill would rise even if you murdered every claimaint of JSA. The biggest part of the welfare bill is pensions and they rise above inflation.
  14. Under the decent homes program to address sub standard housing that in many cases had not had a new kitchen/bathroom/heating since construction in 1950 and was supposed to have a new one every 25 years. They won't be getting new kitchens in the next year, or next decade. Interestingly an estate I lived on, that took just 2 years to build. Well it has taken nearly a deacde to do the decent homes work, and that involved demolishing many properties as it was easier to do than bring them up to standard, and of course some are yet to have decent homes work. There is also a block of 1000 flats nearby, sold for £1. millions we spent evicting people, then millions more to bail out the developers, all the housing is to be cladded and then sold privately, but nearly nobody can afford or wants to buy, so these are being sold to ha's. ~£160k per flat to clad them. A total cost of £160million, but much more considering, eviction, lost rent and council tax and so on over the decade, and even more considering the further lost rent and ctax. The reason the building privatized? - Low demand, yet I was bidding on properties there weekly, and never got a look in, due to hundreds of others bidding on the properties too, many who had higher priority, more waiting time and so on. The demand was so low, you couldn't get a look in, even with years of waiting time and a priority band. Parkhill. It cost just under £2million and 4 years to construct in the 1957-1961 period. £1950 per flat at a time when the average wage was £800. Today, 10+ years to clad and it will cost £160k + for a flat when the average wage is £26k. Without HPC, that would suggest wage inflation of some 250% is due to come very quickly.
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