Farmers, floods, and fraud

A good mixture of links this week in this, my 100th blog post. We start with the floods, and a reminder from George Monbiot that ‘cutting red tape’ can have unintended consequences:

How we ended up paying farmers to flood our homes

The Scottish Independence Referendum has been in the news this week and the debate is hotting up. Alex Salmond wants to keep the pound, but the three main UK parties have all (rightly) said no. Salmond has accused them of trying to scare people into voting no, but here’s why, for an independent Scotland, keeping the pound would be a very bad idea:

Scotland under Sterling is not truly independent

News now of the conviction of 4 A4e staff who claimed money fraudulently on one of A4e’s welfare to work contracts. This is what happens when ‘performance by results’ comes up against the reality of not enough jobs – cheating:

Guilty: The four A4e staff who fiddled the books helping lone parents get back to work

Another story on the bedroom tax now, and news that landlords are beginning to actually help tenants to appeal:

Bedroom tax is appealing: cc all social landlords

This is a nice post looking at what it’s actually like to be out of work and being required to sign on at the job centre. Not nice:

More #JSA stories from jobcentres: “It’s impossible. You’re trapped.”

Related to this, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Jobcentre Plus is no longer concerned with finding people jobs, focusing much of it’s attention instead on simply finding grounds to kick people off JSA. There are stories of staff there being disciplined for not sanctioning enough claimants, and over 800,000 people were sanctioned last year. The number of appeals is high though and over half of these are successful. Now it looks like DWP want to address this not by making better decisions, but by limiting the ability of people to appeal. Are they losing their grip?:

People stripped of benefits could be charged for challenging decision

Bankster news now and another reminder that the increasing power of the banks is incompatible with either democracy or the public good:

Predator Banks Enter Brave New World of Epic Scams and Public Hasn’t Got a Clue

Finally, we end with more ‘disappointing Labour news’, as it’s revealed their flagship policy to help the long term unemployed will only be funded for one year. I have a number of issues with this policy idea, but at least it would put back on the map the idea that governments can (and should) get involved in job creation. It seems though this is another big policy that’s in the end just more PR:

Labour ‘jobs guarantee’ promise limited to a year

Advertisements

One thought on “Farmers, floods, and fraud

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s