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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.
  15. If you consider that claiming UC for many is a choice. And that by working a few hours you can face an MDR of up to 100%, but quite commonly in the 85-96% range under the current system, or just 65% under UC. Then many working would be better of claiming UC than current means tested benefits. Some of course would remain better off claiming current benefits whilst working. So you'd be expecting single people on short hours to volunteer for UC, or single people with high rent (and hb/lha that is withdrawn at 65% after other withdrawals/taxes and so on). Whilst disabled, lone parents, and nuclear family parents would opt instead for tax credits - the disabled perhaps volunteering for UC if single to take advantage of higher income disregards. For myself, I'd be happy to volunteer for UC and take a ZHC job, but not take a ZHC job under the current system as it wouldn't pay - unless there was enough hours, which no longer seems to be the case as employers try to employ people on as little hours as possible to reduce holiday pay, NI payments and so on.
  16. Sound, I'm glad you have decent employment. I'm broadly against public sector cuts. I don't see how austerity can benefit us. I understand some money is being wasted and there are inefficiencies, and these problems need to be tackled, but the way I see it, we should be employing everyone who wants to work. Obviously not on ridiculous money, but we should ensure there is plenty of minimum wage work - even if only to ensure that private sector employers pay minimum wage! Always in my mind is the town of Wörgl, and the 'experiment' in Free-money. In the great depression they issued their own currency, a stamp scrip, and it was very successful, allowing the town to get rid of 33% unemployment within weeks, and within a year, build homes, repave the roads, install street lighting, plant trees, extend water distribution, build a reservoir, a ski jump and bridge. People even began to pay their taxes early. The people of the town used 'money' as a tool, and massively improved their lives and their town. Unfortunately the central bank wasn't best pleased, asserted it's monopoly rights over money and banned complimentary currency, 30% unemployment returned, social unrest spread and a few years later Hitler was welcomed with open arms by many as the country's economic and political saviour. More about it here.. http://www.mindcontagion.org/worgl/worgl1.html Knowing that we can have full employment and being in the position of looking for meaningful work (both in the short and long term), I'd much rather we had a system where I could be employed doing something, rather than having to be one of the wretched poor. I am a young man from Sheffield, although I moved to Barnsley, and I am currently on benefits yet again. Although technically not at this moment in time as currently I am sanctioned - although the sanction is supposed to be lifted after being administered in error. Looking to go self employed again in the short term and teach in the long term. The biggest problem with self employment is the so called 'benefit trap', when you combine that with an erratic income and the precarious nature of work a self employed person can face you have large disincentives for people to go self employed. The benefit trap is where you face MDRs (Marginal Deduction Rates) also known as EMTRs (Effective Marginal Tax Rates) of a very high level. 100% in some cases before taking into account other work related costs. - Some people really can be worse off for working. Universal credit was supposed to solve this. NEA (formerly EA) is/was supposed to encourage and help people enter self employment, but it is denied to the long term unemployed. Working tax could be a way of supporting self employment - although I presume this will be phased out as UC is rolled out. How does this play out with UC? What about your rent (basically your HB)? When is UC introduced?, why can't you volunteer for it? How can you become self employed, when you are continually mandated to silly courses and appointments? What about health problems? And associated appointments? Caring responsibilities? I think self employment is something that can be good for a lot of people, and would be a better alternative to being on the dole or in poor quality PAYE employment, ZHCs etc. - but it isn't without it's own problems, and current uncertainty around UC, and the benefit trap that UC is supposed to be addressing remains. I'm going to be going self employed, but it might lead to a drop in my income. I can see why many would not want to go self employed and instead remain on the dole. The 'benefit trap' needs to be addressed, we need to have a system that removes perversely high MDRs/EMTRs, in my opinion no MDR/EMTR should be higher than the top rate of income tax. Even with the safety net of in work benefits, things like NEA, it is difficult for a lot of people to start businesses, and even more so when they lack any capital. Currently, what with sanctions, lower real term benefits and wages, it is harder still for the poorest. Then to top it off, the benefit trap, makes even attempting starting a business financially irrational, even if your business is profitable, for many, as even though they would make money, they would lose more than they make in benefits. (And suppose people do make some money and wish to spend on something like say, housing, capital yield & appreciation is the order of the day for people who already own housing, as capital formation is effectively outlawed for the property-less and they are forced to put money into a housing market via rent) I'll message you my address if you want to buy me the book, and once I've read it, I could donate it to my local radical library. I've popped it on my list of things to buy, but with a current income of £43.45 a week in benefits I'm struggling to pay my council tax, buy the basics and keep the lights on, let alone buy books! - Otherwise I would buy it myself. I was recently talking to a guy who has started a company that creates websites for businesses and utilises search engine optimisation techniques for businesses, he recommended the book "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, so thinking that might be something you would find interesting - and it can be downloaded for free very easily in pdf format. (I haven't read it yet, but plan to at some point.)
  17. Going cap in hand to the state isn't so bad when you contribute to it. It can be a symbiotic relationship. Pay taxes, claim social security. One doesn't contribute over an hour, day, week, month, year, decade or 30,36,40 years or however much NI it is for the full State pension. You contribute over life in different ways, and take out in different ways too. Not being able to support yourself even when receiving state help is the problem. People being denied support, or facing reduced support for long periods, is the problem. These people are then forced to use foodbanks and are made homeless. People taking precarious work getting made homeless. People unable to, or trying to find work. Instead of having a system where our fellow citizens can find work and realise an increase in living standards, we are just making the poorest poorer, and making it much harder for them to find work, actually hindering them from being able to get back in a position to contribute. Self sufficiency is practically banned as it is for the poor. Instead of allotments we have foodbanks. Instead of decent housing, people rent and share, rooms, sofas, mattresses, some are on the streets, some in the woods. Providing your own housing isn't a right, so people are crammed into what little stock we have, and it isn't able to cope with recent population & household increases. Continued misguided financial manipulation of the poorest doesn't improve their living standards, especially over the long term, and I get what you're saying about people being forced into the clutches of the state, but that needn't be a bad thing. The state can be a good thing. I think the problem we have is the state measure things by the week. the month, the quarter. And in the way, the living standards of people are completely disregarded. Guaranteed work, house construction and access to housing - can be given to people for free would be better policies for the state and it's people. Than, structural unemployment, human orientated benefit cuts and sanctions, planning restrictions, land subsidies, housing subsidies, corporation and property orientated benefit increases.
  18. The way I see it, UKIP is there to 'mop up' votes from people sick of the main three parties. UKIP are the fourth establishment party. They are full of public schoolboys, ex-tories, landlords, and so on. The amount of media coverage they get is unbelievably high. Consider their media coverage compared to TUSC for example - who are practically unheard off. The main three don't fear UKIP, they fear the likes of TUSC and they don't mention them at all so they never even enter the public conscience. There have been many cross party groups looking into why people are disillusioned with politics and politicians in general. The establishment knows full well people are looking for an alternative, so they provide that alternative in the form of UKIP, and give it coverage, make it out to be anti-establishment - and now we have a situation where there is the main 4, with the fourth party being used to mop up votes lost by the main three establishment parties. I'm not a fan of UKIP, however I would rather they take seats than the main three - as I think it would help shake things up - by showing people small parties can become big parties in a relatively short period of time . But Ideally, I would rather see normal working class people getting together, organising and providing an alternative to the main 4 establishment parties. And thankfully, they are to a degree, in TUSC. People in UKIP constantly complain they do not get coverage in the media etc. yet they get loads. Think about that, and think why they are able to get so much coverage. If they were a real threat to the establishment, to the power structures in this country. Do you really think they would get as much coverage as they do? Would you have many ex tories in their party? Landlords? Wealthy backers? Then consider TUSC - in election coverage, they often aren't even named. In the election results for the BBC they are down as OTH for Other. The people standing for TUSC are mostly normal everyday workers. You have some ex-Labour councillors who have been expelled from the Labour party for voting against cuts. Firefighters, teachers, train drivers, and so on.
  19. The rent isn't cheap. In an increasing amount of areas, social rents are now higher than in the PRS. And the PRS rents are by and large paid by government in full or partially, to ensure they remain high. I'd rather not have my housing association flat given to me for nothing. Freehold tenure isn't much better than a secure tenancy. To change a secure tenancy where rent has to be paid (often by HB entitlement - even when working), to a freehold tenancy with no rent due, but in a way where one loses entitlement to future HB, is not rational. The manipulation of housing is of such extent, entitlement to HB is preferable to being given the freehold tenancy to a home, for nothing. To give up my entitlement to HB, I'd want my flat, a 3 bed house, a car and a large cash payoff.
  20. UKIP don't want to build houses? Their policies would make it harder to build and push house prices up further still. You'd be better off voting Labour or Tory, both with their 200k houses per year promises. Or better still, vote Green or TUSC who both want to build lots of council houses, the latter in particular.
  21. A 40 year mortgage would take me to the current pension age of - 67, I could probably extend the mortgage if the pension age increased, to be certain to condemn your entire working life to debt slavery!
  22. A fixed for the term negative interest rate 70 year mortgage would be fine for me - probably coming to a bank near you soon! - share the hpi... The abstract debt slavery one now has to submit to, to secure mere dwelling space with a degree of security - more so a right to compensation if it be decided you should be moved, is quite frankly, bonkers. People used to live in homes, mostly council rented, but a lot would want to aspire to home ownership, and it was achievable. Now there are some messed up living arrangements repeated in every town and city. People who should be participating in the various sectors of the housing market are excluded and cannot access housing, the sectors themselves aren't big enough to provide basic housing to all who want it. The private sector can thus get away with providing worse than basic housing at a premium due to artificial scarcity. Illegal drugs often have problems with purity and quality, and they command a premium price relative to the cost of their production. They do not differ to housing. Housing in the UK suffers from problems of purity (actually existing) and quality (i.e. poor enough to be condemned unfit for human habitation of a family 100 years ago, now subdivided and let as a HMO), it also commands a premium price relative to it's cost of production, because it costs much more for permission to build than it does to build. Much like after the wars, there is plenty of room for a thriving black market in housing. - In periodical recession resulting from land price speculation, construction workers, should't stop building as they are currently encouraged to, they should just start building differently and without planning permission. Chronic Housing Users (CHU) suffer from all the problems chronic drug users do, and when you use housing daily, you're not much different to a Problem Drug User (PDU) requiring a daily fix. If you use housing daily it could ruin your life, your relationships, it will cause no end of financial problems, you might not be able to afford it, but somehow you will beg, borrow and steal to pay for your chronic housing use - or if you can't, it is cold turkey - you're on the streets.and will have to do without a housing 'fix'. I'm not saying the UK housing market is 'on drugs', it is drugs, so to speak, it functions just like them, it is only legal to have prescribed housing (inherit something already built). Having a decent house in this country might as well be illegal for those who do not inherit housing (prescribed housing), and punished with confinement to HMO housing - Oh wait...it practically is.
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