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It interests me that a lot of entrenched political positions on welfare, govt. spending etc. seem to compare the proposed policy with some kind of absolute ideal, rather than with the current settlement. I have an acquaintance, very lefty and liberal, who nonetheless won't even start discussing Citizens Income because "it's wrong to pay people to not work". When you point out that that already happens they just look at you and say "yes it's wrong".

It's very complex and subtle I suppose... of course nationalised industries are inefficient, but that's life. Are they less inefficient than other options? Do they have other hidden benefits or downsides?

This reminds me of the closure of the re-employ factories. May the political zealots and ideologues who thought this was "freeing them to compete in the labour markets" rot in hell for it.

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Certain industries should never have been privatised in my opinion. the factors that have to be taken into account apart from money is security and the service provided.

Unfortunately certain governments always use the money side of things while dismissing other concerns, the royal mail is an example of this.

It used to make money as a company, there was no pension black hole. That is until the company was allowed to stop paying in to the scheme for several years and then Gordon Brown also got his sticky fingers on the cash.

Anyone who thinks a private company is going to provide a universal service for the price of a stamp is in for a very rude awakening.

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Certain industries should never have been privatised in my opinion. the factors that have to be taken into account apart from money is security and the service provided.

Unfortunately certain governments always use the money side of things while dismissing other concerns, the royal mail is an example of this.

It used to make money as a company, there was no pension black hole. That is until the company was allowed to stop paying in to the scheme for several years and then Gordon Brown also got his sticky fingers on the cash.

Anyone who thinks a private company is going to provide a universal service for the price of a stamp is in for a very rude awakening.

They may, of course, be forced to provide a universal service by legislation / the way the sell-off is structure. If so, expect the price of a stamp to rocket.

And if you're not in when your parcel is delivered, expect a two to three hour round trip to go and fetch it from the depot, which will only be open during office hours, so most of you will have to take time off work as well. (Unless you've got charitable neighbours who happen to be in at that time, or you don't mind the parcel being left on the doorstep / thrown over the back wall / stuffed in the garden.)

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There should have been strategic investments in the shipyards along the lines you mention above, and other industries too, in order to make them, no force them, to be competitive as we left the 20th century.

The problem is it isn't the yards that were uncompetetive, it was the workers or more precisely the unions.

No amount of investment is going to help if the labour force is still in the 1970s.

I think I read a story on here some while ago about a yard that was bought by a US company. A senior manager came over and told them what changes were going to be made, that night some of the workers followed him back to his hotel and left him in no doubt as to who was really running the company.

The manager went back to the US, said we want nothing more to do with these people and the yard shut shortly afterwards.

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The problem is it isn't the yards that were uncompetetive, it was the workers or more precisely the unions.

No amount of investment is going to help if the labour force is still in the 1970s.

I think I read a story on here some while ago about a yard that was bought by a US company. A senior manager came over and told them what changes were going to be made, that night some of the workers followed him back to his hotel and left him in no doubt as to who was really running the company.

The manager went back to the US, said we want nothing more to do with these people and the yard shut shortly afterwards.

Yes the Unions were a bunch of f*ck wits who in the end screwed over their own members by their stupidity. But their power was largely smashed over 25 years ago, The feckless workers and their know nothing Union leaders can not be used as an excuse for the failure of British industrial strategy for ever. It is just a huge cop out by politicians in this country to keep hailing back to events that are now receding into history to justify the failures of today. British management has pretty much got the low paid, de unionised, cowed and obedient workforce that they yearned for the 1970s yet they still can not make British industry competitive. What more do they f*cking need. Gulags .

Edited by stormymonday_2011
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In amongst all this Philpott stuff today I came across an interesting stat - only 4% of households on JSA have more than 2 children - I found that pretty surprising.

In total there seems to be 2.8 million children in households on out of work benefits - and I think there's about 4.8 million such households - so taking into account all the singletons, maybe it's right.

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The problem is it isn't the yards that were uncompetetive, it was the workers or more precisely the unions.

No amount of investment is going to help if the labour force is still in the 1970s.

I think I read a story on here some while ago about a yard that was bought by a US company. A senior manager came over and told them what changes were going to be made, that night some of the workers followed him back to his hotel and left him in no doubt as to who was really running the company.

The manager went back to the US, said we want nothing more to do with these people and the yard shut shortly afterwards.

In the early 70s I worked with a chipie who had worked in a shipyard in Scotland. He told be that in order to fit a flight of steps in a ship he had to call on members of three unions. To fit said steps involved boring a hole and putting in a bolt. It required members of three unions. Says it all.

In the 1980s I was chatting to an old guy in a town near the border with NI. He told me that a builder in Derry had asked him to do some work on a site in Derry. He went there and started work. By lunchtime he had done quite a bit more work than a couple of Derry men who were working there. So at lunchtime they told him 'Hi mucker, that's not the way we work here.' Same attitude really as the unions in the shipyard.

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In the early 70s I worked with a chipie who had worked in a shipyard in Scotland. He told be that in order to fit a flight of steps in a ship he had to call on members of three unions. To fit said steps involved boring a hole and putting in a bolt. It required members of three unions. Says it all.

In the 1980s I was chatting to an old guy in a town near the border with NI. He told me that a builder in Derry had asked him to do some work on a site in Derry. He went there and started work. By lunchtime he had done quite a bit more work than a couple of Derry men who were working there. So at lunchtime they told him 'Hi mucker, that's not the way we work here.' Same attitude really as the unions in the shipyard.

Know your place. Don't rock the boat.

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Frank Field as ever nails why UC will fail,,the fact people getting £300 a week on benefits wont go to work in a hell hole for £320 a week,.Its buried in a Guardian article.Frank must be sick of trying to explain to government after government what needs to be done,

Field said: "Universal credit is down to one pilot area because it ain't working. I thought they could do all the pilot areas because the numbers are going to be so tiny you could fiddle it by doing the calculations manually. But it can't even do that so where are we with it.

"Universal credit brilliantly deals with the graphs – are you better off or not. But it fails dismally to deal with real people in that a growing number of people do not think just being better off by a few quid is worth working for and want a multiple of their benefit levels

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/29/bedroom-tax-worthy-stalin-poverty-tsar

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"Universal credit brilliantly deals with the graphs – are you better off or not. But it fails dismally to deal with real people in that a growing number of people do not think just being better off by a few quid is worth working for and want a multiple of their benefit levels

How can this be? I thought there were two main points to UC...

Firsty to make work pay - seems to be failing on this point.

Secondly to bring together all the various benefits to make fraud harder, and caps easier to implement - seems to be failing on this point.

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Frank Field as ever nails why UC will fail,,the fact people getting £300 a week on benefits wont go to work in a hell hole for £320 a week

Good point. Would they go to work for £320 a week if they were instead getting £120 a week on benefits?

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Good point. Would they go to work for £320 a week if they were instead getting £120 a week on benefits?

Yes they would.

The key is to stop benefits going too far up the income scale.The only way at the lower end is a citizens income.Limit the child part to two children (or even better a single family element so one child) and lower rents.The problem here is most social housing is there to provide massive wage bills and pensions for the staff,not to house people.

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How can this be? I thought there were two main points to UC...

Firsty to make work pay - seems to be failing on this point.

Secondly to bring together all the various benefits to make fraud harder, and caps easier to implement - seems to be failing on this point.

It makes work pay from 3 hours a week up to 11,then it doesnt.Unless after travel costs etc making work pay is around 60p an hour.

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There really is no way out of this mess for us. We sold of all our industry, removed any need to work, and we have no natural resources. The rest of the world owes us no favours and infact would probably enjoy watching us fall from grace.

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In amongst all this Philpott stuff today I came across an interesting stat - only 4% of households on JSA have more than 2 children - I found that pretty surprising.

Not surprising, JSA isn't really the benefit of choice for career welfare claimants.

16 hours a week min wage work to qualify for £££ of tax credits on top of housing benefit and myriad other allowances seems to have been the preferred route for the last few years. If you couldn't find even that then incapacity benefit seemed to be easy enough to claim instead.

My guess is that the 4% are genuine workers who are between jobs; the rest don't show up in the JSA figures at all.

Edit: the 96% will be unemployed men who are separated from their partners thanks to the benefit system.

What might be more informative is the proportion of housing benefit claimants with more than 2 children.

Edited by Goat
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Not surprising, JSA isn't really the benefit of choice for career welfare claimants.

16 hours a week min wage work to qualify for £££ of tax credits on top of housing benefit and myriad other allowances seems to have been the preferred route for the last few years. If you couldn't find even that then incapacity benefit seemed to be easy enough to claim instead.

My guess is that the 4% are genuine workers who are between jobs; the rest don't show up in the JSA figures at all.

Correct.16 hours part time work is the way now for tax credits.Like you say incapacity was the other one but thats much harder now with the WCA and ATOS.

Carers is also another one.Many people get down as caring for their partner or parent,someone elses parent.Thats well used as well but its a bit less so the 16 hours is the main route now.

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Not surprising, JSA isn't really the benefit of choice for career welfare claimants.

16 hours a week min wage work to qualify for £££ of tax credits on top of housing benefit and myriad other allowances seems to have been the preferred route for the last few years. If you couldn't find even that then incapacity benefit seemed to be easy enough to claim instead.

My guess is that the 4% are genuine workers who are between jobs; the rest don't show up in the JSA figures at all.

Edit: the 96% will be unemployed men who are separated from their partners thanks to the benefit system.

What might be more informative is the proportion of housing benefit claimants with more than 2 children.

I thought there might be a reason why the JSA figures are not representative - and presumably that is why they were chosen!

There doesn't seem to be a breakdown for HB that gives this info

Anyway, the most useful figure is probably the one for Tax Credits which covers in work and out of work Tax Credits - so basically, part time workers plus those out of work claiming as lone parents, carers, unemployed and sick:

So, there's 4.1 million household with kids, claiming some sort of benefits or Tax Credits

1.8 million have 1 child

1.5 million have 2 children

600K have 3 children

200K have 4 children

80K have 5 or more children

I've no idea what to make of these - does it sound about normal?

EDIT - purely for the not working families who claim benefits it's

Total 1.46 million families with kids

660K have 1

460K have 2

220K have 3

86K have 4

42K have 5 or more

My link

Edited by oldsport
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So, there's 4.1 million household with kids, claiming some sort of benefits or Tax Credits

1.8 million have 1 child

1.5 million have 2 children

600K have 3 children

200K have 4 children

80K have 5 or more children

I've no idea what to make of these - does it sound about normal?

EDIT - purely for the not working families who claim benefits it's

Total 1.46 million families with kids

660K have 1

460K have 2

220K have 3

86K have 4

42K have 5 or more

The problem with tax credits is that they go so far up the income scale that it's hard to draw conclusions from the data.

The following is also useful: Families and households 2012

From the above 14% of all families with kids have 3 or more children. From your above data 21.5% of the larger group have 3 or more children and 23.8% of the non-working families fall into that group.

From my link there are 7.7m families with 3 or more children in total which means that there are just over 1 million "larger" families.

Correction: there are 7.7m families with children; 1m have 3 or more children.

So using your data of the 1m larger families in the UK 35% are not in work and 88% receive some form of assistance.

The 53% who are in work and receiving benefits is hard to interpret since it includes both those who work 16 hours minimum wage (essentially "on benefits") and those who earn £50,000 p/a, pay £20,000 p/a tax but get a fiver a week back.

In conclusion, somewhere between 35% and 88% of larger families are dependant upon the state for the majority of their income. An educated guess: maybe 60% receive over half of their income from the state and maybe 50% receive over three quarters.

Edit:

One other factor that may make matters even worse is the issue of "repeat parenting" (for want of a better phrase). The way the system is set up there is an incentive to have children in batches, maybe 2 in your late teens followed by 2 more in your mid to late 30s (to ensure that the benefits continue to roll up to retirement).

The above will show up as 1 or 2 in the tax credit data but the actual children born by each woman could be 4 or 5; contrast this with most working females who generally (in my limited experience) bear 2 in quick succession but then no more.

Edited by Goat
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The problem with tax credits is that they go so far up the income scale that it's hard to draw conclusions from the data.

The following is also useful: Families and households 2012

From the above 14% of all families with kids have 3 or more children. From your above data 21.5% of the larger group have 3 or more children and 23.8% of the non-working families fall into that group.

From my link there are 7.7m families with 3 or more children in total which means that there are just over 1 million "larger" families.

So using your data of the 1m larger families in the UK 35% are not in work and 88% receive some form of assistance.

The 53% who are in work and receiving benefits is hard to interpret since it includes both those who work 16 hours minimum wage (essentially "on benefits") and those who earn £50,000 p/a, pay £20,000 p/a tax but get a fiver a week back.

In conclusion, somewhere between 35% and 88% of larger families are dependant upon the state for the majority of their income. An educated guess: maybe 60% receive over half of their income from the state and maybe 50% receive over three quarters.

Edit:

One other factor that may make matters even worse is the issue of "repeat parenting" (for want of a better phrase). The way the system is set up there is an incentive to have children in batches, maybe 2 in your late teens followed by 2 more in your mid to late 30s (to ensure that the benefits continue to roll up to retirement).

The above will show up as 1 or 2 in the tax credit data but the actual children born by each woman could be 4 or 5; contrast this with most working females who generally (in my limited experience) bear 2 in quick succession but then no more.

A nightmare of tinkering brought to you by the Labour party.

_brown_pa_smiling203.jpg

Edited by SHERWICK
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of the 1m larger families in the UK 35% are not in work and 88% receive some form of assistance.

Let's also look at the other side of the coin.

There are approximately 200,000 larger families that do not qualify for any form of financial assistance spread across 3,600,000 families with kids that do not qualify for asssitance.

The proportion of larger wealthy families is therefore 5.6% compared to nearly 24% for completely out of work families.

Shocking IMO.

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I've found a little graph in the Guardian which backs up what I've posted several times, which is that the numbers of people claiming out of work benefits is not so high compared with recent history. You'd think from the onslaught against "scroungers" (i..e those not working) by the government and most of the press, that numbers would be at an all time high. But there's actually about 1.2 million fewer scroungers than in the early 1990s. In fact, there's fewer scroungers now than in 1997, even though we're in the middle of the worst depression in centuries. So the media narrative of an explosion of shirkers under Labour just doesn't stack up. My own adding up from the DWP website shows that spending on out of work benefits is £28bn this year compared with £35 billion in the 1990s, so quite a big fall (in real terms, obviously!)

Welfare-graphic-5-001.jpg

Many of us on here know the situation is much more about pensions, Tax Credits and Housing Benefit. But with such obvious facts freely available I still find it puzzling why nobody on the news seems to be able to tackle these myths about those not working.

Edited by oldsport
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^^^^

Good post.

It's about a narrative and both (wrongly) apportioning blame while distracting from the real problems.

Being on benefits is not something that Trustafarians like Cameron and Osborne are ever likely have to worry about. It is as remote from their experience as the lives of the bushmen of the Kalahari. The only reason they can get away with it is because the Labour party allowed the welfare system as envisaged by Beveridge as form of social insurance to become completely corrupted so that what people can claim bears no relation to what they have contributed over the years.

Edited by stormymonday_2011
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I've found a little graph in the Guardian......

Which is your first mistake.

.....which backs up what I've posted several times, which is that the numbers of people claiming out of work benefits is not so high compared with recent history.

But again that's not terribly surprising, the preferred route these days is 16 hours minimum wage plus £400 a week benefits. They're not going to show up in the out of work benefits category but they're getting 80% of their income from the state. Tax credits act to massage the "out of work" figures by moving them into an unreported "very little work" category.

I wouldn't like to guess how many of the above there are but add them to the 4.5m on OOW benefits and you're probably looking at something like 1 in 4 of the working age population reliant upon the state for their income. That's on top of the 7m employed directly by the government plus the young and old.

Each of the 14m or so working in the private sector are paying to support 4 other people. Strip out the partly employed and that's going to rise to 5 or 6.

No wonder we're f***ed. :(

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But again that's not terribly surprising, the preferred route these days is 16 hours minimum wage plus £400 a week benefits. They're not going to show up in the out of work benefits category but they're getting 80% of their income from the state. Tax credits act to massage the "out of work" figures by moving them into an unreported "very little work" category.

I wouldn't like to guess how many of the above there are but add them to the 4.5m on OOW benefits and you're probably looking at something like 1 in 4 of the working age population reliant upon the state for their income. That's on top of the 7m employed directly by the government plus the young and old.

That was my point. The government and press are attacking those out of work. And missing the real issues

btw, more than 70% of Tax Credit claimants work more than 30 hours

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