‘ THE POOR GETTING PUNISHED ‘

AceFriendsNews – November 18 – Poor Getting Punished. 

index

The headlines today : people working for minimal wages are getting € 10.00 less each month

(if your rated between 1000 and 1300 euro).

New tax laws !!!!

10-euro-e1412174695319

That is $ 12.496 dollar U.S.

The poverty line in Europe is € 1250.00

On welfare you get € 951,64 each month …..?  

Landlord-Guide-Eviction-Process

Its gonna get crowded in the streets that is for sure. If my name was Mark Rutte prime minister of Holland l would be deeply ashamed.

· · in fotografie.

 Source: 

#ANS2014

#dollar, #euro, #eviction, #laws, #poor, #poverty, #punished, #tax, #wages

UNICEF: ‘ NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN POVERTY RISES BY 2.6 MILLION SINCE 2008 ‘

#AceNewsServices – UNICEF – October 30 – The number of children in poverty in developed countries has increased by 2.6 million since 2008, according to a report published Tuesday by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The report, titled Children of the Recession, states that there are 76.5 million children in poverty in the 41 countries surveyed by UNICEF.

The study documents: the devastating impact that the 2008 financial crash and subsequent austerity measures have had on the well-being of children, and makes clear that despite official proclamations of economic recovery, the most vulnerable sections of society are far worse off now than they were before the crash.

Young people have been made to bear a disproportionate burden of the economic crisis, with poverty rates increasing more rapidly for young people than for other age groups.

Source: UNICEF report: 2.6 million more children in poverty in developed countries since 2008 | Counter Information.

#ANS2014

#poverty, #unicef

“Social Mobility Has the Power to Help the Poor in Society”

#AceNewsServices says in a speech to the Resolution Foundation Alan Milburn calls for more action to restore the link between economic growth and earnings, highlighting the fact ,that where you are born affects your life and the future prospects for your children. What l found was that even though he agree’s with the present incumbents sticking to their policies ,though he realises that good intentions, need to be worked through to the end.

Speech: 

It is part of Britain’s DNA that everyone should have a fair chance in life. Yet too often demography is destiny in our country. Being born poor often leads to a lifetime of poverty. Poor schools ease people into poor jobs. Disadvantage and advantage cascade down the generations. Over decades we have become a wealthier society but we have struggled to become a fairer one.

Social MobilityThe global financial crisis has brought these concerns to the fore. In its wake a new public consensus has begun to emerge that unearned wealth for a few at the top, growing insecurity for many in the middle, and stalled life chances for those at the bottom is not a viable social proposition for Britain. As birth not worth has become more a determinant of life chances, higher social mobility – reducing the extent to which a person’s class or income is dependent on the class or income of their parents – has become the new holy grail of public policy. These are developments I regard as most welcome.

Recently my Commission issued our first annual state of the nation report to Parliament. In it we acknowledge that these are challenging times to make progress. Britain faces a triple squeeze: on economic growth, family incomes and public spending. In these circumstances it would have been all too easy for Government to abandon the aim of ending child poverty by 2020 and to avoid the long hard haul of making progress on social mobility. We believe the UK Government deserves credit for sticking to these commitments and making new ones. The test we apply, however, is not about good intentions. We take those as read. It is about whether the right actions are being taken.

Social Mobility Statistics  There is much to welcome in what Government, employers, schools and universities are doing. We see considerable effort and a raft of initiatives under-way. The question is whether the scale and depth of activity is enough to combat the headwinds that Britain faces if we are to move forward to become a low poverty, high mobility society. The conclusion we reach is that it is currently not. We conclude that the statutory goal of ending child poverty by 2020 will likely be missed by a considerable margin, perhaps by as many as 3 million children. We conclude too that the economic recovery, of which we have seen further evidence in today’s jobs figures, is unlikely to halt the trend of the last decade, where the top part of society prospers and the bottom part stagnates. If that happens social inequality will widen and the rungs of the social ladder will grow further apart. Poverty will rise. At best, mobility will stall. At worst, it will reverse.

To avert this we believe that policy-makers need to come to terms with a new truth that emerges from the mass of evidence contained in our Report. Although entrenched poverty has to be a priority – and requires a specific policy agenda – transient poverty, growing insecurity and stalling mobility are far more widespread than politicians, employers and educators have so far recognised.

Social Mobility StatisticsToo often – in political discourse and media coverage – these issues are treated as marginal when in fact they are mainstream. Poverty touches almost half of Britain’s citizens at some point over a nine-year period. The nature of poverty has changed. Today child poverty is overwhelmingly a problem facing working families, not the work less or the work-shy. Two-thirds of Britain’s poor children are now in families where an adult works. In three-quarters of those households someone already works full-time. The principal problem seems to be that those working parents simply do not earn enough to escape poverty. If we are to successfully tackle poverty and increase mobility we will have to do much more, as a nation to help the working poor of Britain.

There is a growing cohort of low and middle-income families squeezed between falling earnings and rising house prices, university fees and youth unemployment, who fear their children will be worse off than they have been. The proportion of 25-34 year olds owning their own homes has fallen from around 60% to 40% in just a decade. Too many able children from average income and middle class families – let alone low-income families – are losing out in the race for the top jobs. A society where opportunities are frozen rather than fluid hurts more than those at the very bottom end. It hurts the people President Clinton once famously called the ‘forgotten middle class’.

There is a glass ceiling in British society – and more and more people are hitting it. Whether it is law or medicine or journalism or politics the upper echelons of Britain are dominated by a social elite. One third of MP’s, half of senior doctors and over two-thirds of high court judges all hail from the private schools that educate just 7% of our country’s children. The data is so stark, the story so consistent, that it has all the hallmarks of social engineering. Sir John Major is right to be shocked. Elitism is entrenched.

Where Sir John is wrong is to argue this is the consequence of the actions of any one government. Deep-rooted inequality and flat-lining mobility have been decades in the making. Some say it is an impossible task to undo them. I do not succumb to that pessimism. There is no natural order that makes our society like it is. Of course there is no single lever that on its own can make a nation more socially mobile. No single organisation can make it happen either. All sorts of things make a difference. Family networks and parenting styles. Careers services and school standards. Career development opportunities and university admission procedures. But the key is employability and education.

Social mobility speeded up in the 1950’s thanks to a big change in the labour market. The shift from a manufacturing to a services economy drove demand for new skills and opened up new opportunities for professional and white-collar employment. More room at the top enabled millions of women and men to step up as a consequence. Social mobility has slowed down in the decades since primarily because of another big change in the labour market: the move to a more technologically based knowledge economy. Since the 1970s technological change has been skills-biased. People with higher skills have seen large increases in productivity and pay while those with low skills have experienced reduced demand for labour and lower average earnings.

The Work FoundationThis is not a peculiarly UK phenomenon. It is a trend that afflicts the developed world. The polarization into what the Work Foundation calls “lovely jobs” and “lousy jobs” first saw wages at the bottom end of the labour market become disconnected from GDP growth in countries like America and Canada. More recently the same has happened in Australia and Britain. Now it is happening in Germany and France and, to a lesser extent, even the Nordic countries. In most developed countries there has been a declining share of economic growth going to labour (and a higher share to capital) at the same time as there has grown wage inequality. In the UK, the share of national income going to wages of workers in the bottom half of the earnings distribution decreased by a quarter between 1979 and 2009.

Over recent decades, increases in zero hour contracts and self-employment, the decline of collective bargaining and strong trades unions, the collapse of internal careers ladders – in part a consequence of increased outsourcing and specialisation within firms – and the replacement of jobs with technology have all impacted opportunities for low paid workers to progress. Work just published by the Resolution Foundation finds there are 320,000 workers, overwhelmingly women, who have been trapped at the minimum wage pay level for five years or more and 140,000 for 10 years or more. But it is not just workers at the bottom who are being affected. These same forces are hollowing out the middle of the labour market and it is likely that as the cost of computing power continues to fall technology will replace many more middle-class jobs that rely on repetitive and routine tasks. Or at least make them less valuable in the labour market. In other words, the earnings squeeze already felt by people at the bottom could increasingly spread to those in the middle.

Across the developed world, we are witnessing a profound change in the labour market. This change is being experienced as a cost of living crisis by many families in our country. As their wages stagnate, prices – of energy, food, housing – roar ahead. Living standards are falling. Public anger is rising. And politicians are scrambling to keep up. It is welcome that the cost of living issue is now high on the political agenda. The problem is that the answers that the political parties are reaching for – whether caps on gas bills or more competition in the energy market – can, at best, provide only short-term respite. What is lacking – across the political spectrum – is a long-term answer about how the gap between earnings and prices can be closed. With inflation and interest rates across the developed world at record lows the cost of living crisis is as much a problem of falling earnings as it is of rising prices.

Without corrective action the risk is that the UK’s economic recovery, though welcome, merely perpetuates a decade-long decline in real earnings. Even at the height of the boom in the 2000s earnings were stagnating. The changes we are seeing in the labour market and the experiences of the last decade suggest that the old assumption of a tide of economic growth causing all boats to rise may no longer hold. Economic growth has become decoupled from earnings growth. That has profound consequences for our prospects of Britain becoming more mobile and more fair. A recovery that sees national wealth rise might be an economic success but if earnings fall it will be a social failure.

Just as the UK government has focused on reducing the country’s financial deficit it now needs to redouble its efforts to reduce our country’s fairness deficit. All parts of society have had to shoulder the pain of fiscal consolidation. In turn all parts of society should share in the proceeds of renewed economic growth. It should be a new and explicit objective of government policy to re-forge the link that has been broken between economic growth, average earnings and social fairness. That will require new thinking and some new approaches.

Unemployed StatisticsFor decades the public policy focus has been on moving people from welfare into work. With 2.5 million people still unemployed and appallingly high levels of youth unemployment renewed effort is still needed there. A job remains the best safeguard against being poor. But it is not a cure for poverty. Today the UK has one of the highest rates of low pay in the developed world. Five million workers, mainly women, earn less than the Living Wage. Outside of London, it is £7.65 an hour, hardly a King’s ransom. These are the people that heed the urgings of politicians of all hues to do the right thing, to stand on their own two feet, to strive not shirk. They simply do not earn enough to escape poverty. The working poor are the forgotten people of Britain. They desperately need a new deal. Of course, many more children in working families would be in poverty were it not for the State supporting their incomes. The cost of tax credits for families who are in work was almost £20 billion in 2011-12. My Commission estimates that the cost of Housing Benefit for families who are in work could be as high as £3 billion. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, public spending through higher tax credits effectively subsidized stagnating earnings and propped up living standards. In fact government-funded tax credits were the only substantial source of real income growth for low to middle-income households between 2003 and 2008. Austerity removes that prop. Quite simply, the taxpayer alone can no longer afford to shoulder the burden of bridging the gap between earnings and prices.

Across the political spectrum more and more questions are being asked about a system in which half of families with children have their incomes supplemented by the State even though they are in work to compensate for employers – many of whom are making large profits – simply not paying their staff enough to live on. We concluded in our Report last month that the time is right for Government to devise new ways to share the burden of bridging the gap between earnings and prices with employers in a way that is consistent with growing levels of employment.

Clearly, there are tensions and trade-offs that will need to be made. That is why we argue government, employers and trades unions should collaborate on a new low pay strategy for Britain. The Resolution Foundation has done excellent work mapping out some of the areas where progress is needed. Key elements could include raising the national minimum wage which today is worth £1,000 less in real terms than in 2008; considering the merits of a sector-based approach to raising minimum pay levels as they do in Australia; reducing the direct and indirect taxes that low paid workers face in order to boost their net incomes; and encouraging and provide incentives for more employers to pay the Living Wage. As a first step Government could deploy more muscular transparency to promote higher wages: it could change the law to require firms to publish pay ratios as well as the number of staff earning below particular hourly pay benchmarks. And it could change how Job Centre Plus and Work Programme providers are able to pay incentives so that they are rewarded for the earnings people they help receive not just the jobs they are found.

These are short-term steps. The long-term solution to how Britain can overcome its low pay problem is likely to lie in improving skills so that Britain has many more high quality jobs that will allow us to compete successfully in the expanding global markets for high-value goods and services. That will require employers to more consciously invest in skills, training and career development for their workforces. Outside of the workplace my Commission believes there are four other key steps we need to take if all parts of society are to share in the proceeds of economic growth.

OECDFirst, extending early years’ education. The OECD evidence shows that child poverty is lowest and social mobility is highest where parents can rely on universal, quality and affordable childcare. Early education packs a double punch. It positively impacts children’s development and it enables more parents to work. Having all parents in a household in employment massively reduces the chances of a family being in poverty. Widely available, affordable childcare is the best means of securing income for a family, since it dramatically lifts the maternal employment rate. This is the conclusive evidence from the experience of the Nordic countries. In Scandinavia child poverty rates are less than half of British rates. Year by year we are making progress as a nation to extend and improve early years education but what we lack is a long-term plan for doing so. Government should devise one.

Second, closing the attainment gap between better-off and less well-off children in schools. For a long-time it was widely accepted by governments and publics alike that – when it came to learning – deprivation was destiny. Better off children would naturally excel. Poorer children would naturally fall behind. We now have extensive evidence that such social determinism is plain wrong. Countries as different as Canada, Poland and Singapore have demonstrated a great track record in raising attainment levels across their societies. In our country only 36% of children on free school meals – roughly the poorest sixth in society – get good results at aged 16 compared to 63% of other children. But over the last decade or so educational inequality has narrowed. Progress has been most startling in London where pupils who are entitled to free school meals now have attainment at the age of 16 which is 50 per cent higher than free school meal students elsewhere in the UK. London used to have some of the worst state schools in the country. Today they are among the best. That not did happen by chance. A decade of effort to raise standards and recruit good teachers has paid off. But it is not enough to lift children off the bottom. More needs to be done to get them into the top. So Government should ensure that raising standards and closing attainment gaps are the twin objectives for all teachers and all schools through the standards it sets, the inspection regimes it sanctions, the league tables it publishes and the reward mechanisms it deploys. Critically, it needs to incentivize the best teachers more to teach in the worst schools, including through higher pay.

Third, ensuring fair access to higher education and vocational training. In the most mobile societies students are helped to make the transition to employment, via higher education for the most academically able and via vocational education for those wanting to develop their technical skills. In Britain by contrast we face twin challenges – unequal access to higher education and a low priority being given to vocational education. When four private schools and one college send more students to Oxbridge every year than 2,000 state secondaries it is obvious that schools and universities need to do far more to ensure doors are open to a wider pool of talent. Meanwhile public policy, which for decades has prioritized university education over vocational education, desperately needs to devise a long-term plan to address the lower funding and greater complexity that “the other 50%” of young people face. Further education is less generously funded than higher education and has been subject to large cuts. Many FE colleges do sterling work but 1.5 million learners are in provision that is rated less than good. Alison’s excellent report points the way to a more demand-led system, where, for example, colleges are paid according to the outcomes students achieve rather than simply the numbers they recruit. And we look to Government to lead a national effort to end long-term youth unemployment – now at a 20 year high – by providing new job guarantees and by helping half of all employers to provide work experience or apprenticeships.

Fourth, opening more doors to a career in the professions. The upsurge in professional employment in the middle of the last century created an unparalleled wave of social mobility in Britain. It created unprecedented opportunities for millions of women and men to move up and get on. Today, 42% of all employment in the UK is in the professions. That is set to rise to 46% by 2020. The professions will account for over 80% of employment growth in Britain in the next decade. The question is whether the growth in professional employment is creating a new social mobility dividend for our country. The short answer is not yet. At the top, the professions are dominated by a social elite. But it is not much better at the bottom. Last month we published new data about the social profile of doctors. One-third was privately educated. The pattern is similar among law students. Action is long overdue here. Take internships. They are a new rung on the professional career ladder. But they tend to go on the basis of who, not what you know. In professions from medicine to journalism most interns are still recruited informally, so favouring those in the know and those with connections. Most intern-ships are also unpaid, so disadvantaged those from less affluent backgrounds who cannot afford to work for free for any length of time. Last month we called on professions from law to medicine, politics to journalism to end the practice of unpaid internships. And we called on our country’s top employers to broaden the range of universities from which they recruit.

These are all challenging proposals. They are a challenge not just to national and local governments. But to employers and professions, councils and communities, schools and universities alike. A far bigger national effort will be needed if progress is to be made on reducing poverty and improving mobility. Economic recovery is not enough. Britain needs a social recovery too. That will require leadership at every level. Government cannot do it alone. But it does have a special role to play in setting the framework for policy and mobilizing the country to action. Despite the tough climate for doing so I believe that progress can – and must – be made. If Britain is to avoid being a country where all too often birth determines fate we have to do far more to create a level playing field of opportunity. That has to become core business for our nation.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

#acenewsservices, #alan-milburn, #britain, #children, #economic-growth, #gdp, #john-major, #middle-class, #poverty, #social-mobility, #united-states, #work-foundation

“Warm Home Discount – Changes To The Scheme”

"Autumn Statement 2013"

“Autumn Statement 2013”

#AceNewsServices says following the recent “Autumn Statement” the UK Government has replied over the latest changes to ” The Warm Home Discount Scheme” set-up in 2011 for our Elderly and Vulnerable adults. Of course as with all changes they start of telling us how much they have spent, what they have done for people and also blowing their own trumpet.

As you read through the changes and click any highlighted links you will notice that at the very end it gives a list of all respondents in Annexe A and they are all energy companies, double glazing companies and businesses. It finally adds ” One private individual”  no name and no pact drill. 

Says it all: This is how it is at present just click link and PRINT

Anyway added a poll to this post with four simple answers 1. Agree 2.Disagree 3.Do Not Understand 4.My View

BACKGROUND: 

"Keep Warm This Winter"

“Keep Warm This Winter”

The Warm Home Discount began in April 2011 and provides assistance annually to around 2 million low-income and vulnerable households in Great Britain. The assistance is currently provided by the seven largest energy suppliers, each of which has over 250,000 domestic customer accounts. The main focus of the scheme is on electricity bill rebates and this winter over 1 million households have already received £135 off their bill.
The scheme has annual spending targets and the spending target for 2013/14 is £300m. If expenditure on the scheme is above or below the annual spending target, the target for the following scheme year is adjusted accordingly.

"Wrap Up Warm This Winter"

“Wrap Up Warm This Winter”

The largest element of the scheme is the Core Group, a subset of people receiving Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. Participating suppliers have to provide specified electricity bill rebates to all their Core Group customers, identified through matching energy supplier data with Government-held data. However, suppliers do not have to pay all customers eligible for other parts of the scheme – known as the non-core spending. On the basis of our estimate of how many people will qualify for the Core Group each year, we estimate how much non-core spending suppliers have to carry out in order to meet the annual spending target. This year we estimated that Core Group spending would be £200m in 2013/14. Given a total spending target of £300 million we therefore notified Ofgem in February that the non-core spending obligation should be £100m. Ofgem then informed suppliers of their individual non-core spending obligations.

Since setting the non-core spending obligation, we have established that the number of people receiving the qualifying benefit for the Core Group is much lower than the original forecast used  to estimate Core Group spending. If we did nothing, then scheme spending would likely be
£266m this year with a consequently higher spending target next scheme year (£344m rather than £310m). This would have a negative impact on fuel poverty this scheme year and  potentially create delivery and compliance problems next year. Therefore, we wanted to enable a solution which would result in higher non-core spending this year than the original obligation we set.

" Get What You Are OWED"

” Get What You Are OWED”

The Warm Home Discount began in April 2011 and provides assistance annually to around 2 million low-income and vulnerable households in Great Britain. The assistance is currently provided by the seven largest energy suppliers, each of which has over 250,000 domestic customer accounts. The main focus of the scheme is on electricity bill rebates and this winter over 1 million households have already received £135 off their bill. The scheme has annual spending targets and the spending target for 2013/14 is £300m. If expenditure on the scheme is above or below the annual spending target, the target for the following scheme year is adjusted accordingly. The largest element of the scheme is the Core Group, a subset of people receiving Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. Participating suppliers have to provide specified electricity bill rebates to all their Core Group customers, identified through matching energy supplier data with Government-held data. However, suppliers do not have to pay all customers eligible for other parts of the scheme – known as the non-core spending. On the basis of our estimate of how many people will qualify for the Core Group each year, we estimate how much non-core spending suppliers have to carry out in order to meet the annual spending target. This year we estimated that Core Group spending would be £200m in 2013/14. Given a total spending target of £300m, we therefore notified Ofgem in February that the non-core spending obligation should be £100m. Ofgem then informed suppliers of their individual non-core spending obligations. Since setting the non-core spending obligation, we have established that the number of people receiving the qualifying benefit for the Core Group is much lower than the original forecast used to estimate Core Group spending. If we did nothing, then scheme spending would likely be £266m this year with a consequently higher spending target next scheme year (£344m rather than £310m). This would have a negative impact on fuel poverty this scheme year and potentially create delivery and compliance problems next year. Therefore, we wanted to enable a solution which would result in higher non-core spending this year than the original obligation possible that they could spend more and subsequently reduce their non-core spending  obligation for 2014/15.

The Consultation:

We received 12 responses to the consultation and the respondents are listed at Annex A. We had discussed the issue and the proposal with participating suppliers and Ofgem prior to publishing the consultation.

What respondents said: 

We asked two questions in the consultation: 

Q1. Do you agree with the proposal to change the Warm Home Discount Regulations to allow suppliers to spend up to 34% more this year on the non-core elements of the scheme, thereby reducing next year’s obligation by a corresponding amount? All 12 respondents supported the proposal to allow suppliers to spend up to 34% more this year on the non-core elements of the scheme thereby reducing their obligation for next scheme year by a corresponding amount. However, several responses to this question went beyond the proposal in the consultation. In particular, the main focus of responses from suppliers was on the potential delivery problems they may face in 2014/15 as a result of a significantly higher Broader Group spending requirement.

Department of Work and Pensions Some suppliers highlighted that increasing the scale of spending on the Broader Group would add considerable cost to their administration and verification processes, and thus impact consumer bills. One supplier was concerned about the impact of delays and on-going changes to Universal Credit on suppliers’ ability to find and verify Broader Group customers. In view of these concerns, several suppliers asked Government to consider further changes to the scheme. There were three changes proposed, each of which would require further amendment to the policy: raising the spending cap on industry initiatives; increasing the value of the rebate and increasing the size of the Core Group.

  1. Raising the spending cap on industry initiatives Several respondents felt that the current spending cap of £30m on industry initiatives should be raised. They argued that industry initiatives provide a scalable approach to addressing the underspend which would be more cost-effective to deliver than identifying additional Broader Group customers. Their view was that this would ensure vulnerable customers will receive financial assistance sooner, rather than later.
  2. Raising the value of the rebate Some respondents felt that raising the value of the rebate offered to Core Group and Broader Group customers should be considered to offset the Core Group underspend and to make delivery easier in 2014/15.
  3. Increasing the size of the Core Group.

A proposal from several respondents was to broaden Core Group eligibility criteria. Again, the key aim would be to increase Core Group spending in year 4 of the scheme and thereby reduce the non-core spending obligation. One respondent asked that Government consider ways of increasing the uptake of Pension Credit, for example funding an awareness campaign. A significant proportion of people believed to be eligible for Pension Credit do not claim it, thereby also missing out on a Core Group rebate. Other issues, less focused on short-term changes to the scheme Regulations, were also raised in responses. A key concern for some suppliers was the impact of finding and verifying more Broader Group customers. One supplier raised a concern on impact of the ongoing changes and delayed introduction of Universal Credit on Suppliers’ ability to find and verify Broader Group eligibility. Some respondents suggested that wider data-sharing powers to identify and verify eligible
Broader Group customers would reduce costs and speed up verification and eligibility processes. One respondent also included a suggestion that Government consider ways to use communications about the scheme to attract more Broader Group customers.

Finally, several energy suppliers requested that Government improved its forecasting of Core Group spending in order that an issue of this magnitude does not arise again.

Q2. If you are a participating energy supplier, please indicate how much extra spending above your current non-core obligation you expect to carry out this scheme year? Please indicate if you would like this information to be confidential. Whilst some suppliers have indicated their intent to extra spending above their current non-core obligation, they were not able to provide a forecast. Two suppliers, British Gas and Eon, have indicated spending above their current non-core obligation. British Gas estimates overspending by 10% while Eon estimates an additional
15,000 Broader Group rebates above their obligation.

A proposal from several respondents was to broaden Core Group eligibility criteria. Again, the key aim would be to increase Core Group spending in year 4 of the scheme and thereby reduce the non-core spending obligation. One respondent asked that Government consider ways of increasing the uptake of Pension Credit, for example funding an awareness campaign. A significant proportion of people believed to be eligible for Pension Credit do not claim it, thereby also missing out on a Core Group rebate. Other issues, less focused on short-term changes to the scheme Regulations, were also raised in responses. A key concern for some suppliers was the impact of finding and verifying more Broader Group customers. One supplier raised a concern on impact of the ongoing changes and delayed introduction of Universal Credit on Suppliers’ ability to find and verify Broader Group eligibility. Some respondents suggested that wider data-sharing powers to identify and verify eligible
Broader Group customers would reduce costs and speed up verification and eligibility processes. One respondent also included a suggestion that Government consider ways to use communications about the scheme to attract more Broader Group customers. Finally, several energy suppliers requested that Government improved its forecasting of Core Group spending in order that an issue of this magnitude does not arise again.

Q2 If you are a participating energy supplier, please indicate how much extra spending above your current non-core obligation you expect to carry out this scheme year? Please indicate if you would like this information to be confidential. Whilst some suppliers have indicated their intent to extra spending above their current non-core obligation, they were not able to provide a forecast.  
Two suppliers, British Gas and Eon, have indicated spending above their current non-core obligation. British Gas estimates overspending by 10% while Eon estimates an additional 15,000 Broader Group rebates above their obligation.

Annex A.  

List of respondents to the consultation

Energy suppliers

British Gas
EDF
EON
RWE Npower
Scottish Power
Scottish and Southern Energy

Other

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem)
Energy Action Scotland
Energy UK
Islington Council
Glass and Glazing Federation
One private individual

#acenewsservices, #autumn-statement, #carbon-emission-reduction-target, #core-group, #customer, #fuel-poverty, #great-britain, #office-of-gas-and-electricity-markets, #ofgem, #poverty, #streaming-simd-extensions, #universal-credit, #warm-home-discount

Bread for the World Urges Congress to Protect Food Stamps and Improve International Food Aid in the Farm Bill

Bread for the WorldAs millions of families brace for automatic cuts to SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps), members of the House and Senate meet today to finalize a farm bill that will impact vital anti-hunger programs–specifically SNAP and international food aid.

“Struggling U.S. families will suffer enough hardship as a result of this week’s food stamp cuts,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We must urge Congress to protect life-saving anti-hunger programs and not balance the budget on the backs of hungry people who cannot afford additional hardship.”

SNAP effectively and efficiently helps more than 47 million low-income Americans put food on the table. Even though unemployment and poverty have remained high, the number of families at risk of hunger has not increased since 2008. Unfortunately, Congress voted twice in 2010 to cut SNAP in order to pay for other priorities. Eleven billion dollars in cuts to the program–or nearly 10 million missed meals per day–will take effect this Friday.

Food StampsProposed food stamp cuts the range from $4 billion to $39 billion.

Congress is also considering improvements to international food aid programs that will increase flexibility, cost-effectiveness and efficiencies in order to better respond to global hunger and malnutrition in the 21(st) century.

“Last year, international food aid programs reached more than 66 million people affected by famine, disasters and other emergencies,” added Beckmann. “Still, our food aid programs could be more efficient. Bread for the World supports these and other changes that reduce global hunger and malnutrition.”

Bread for the World urges lawmakers to support a farm bill that reduces hunger in the United States and around the world by protecting and strengthening SNAP and improving international food aid.

Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE  Bread for the World

Courtesy of Bread For The World  

Website: http://www.bread.org

 

#acefoodnews, #bread-for-the-world, #congress, #david-beckmann, #food-aid-programs, #food-stamps, #friday, #hunger, #international-food-aid, #poverty, #snap, #supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program, #united-states, #united-states-congress, #world

Universal Credit Simplifying the Welfare System by Making People Pay

Ace News Group For a while l have followed the roll-out  by the UK Government of  their “Universal Credit” scheme, its is billed by politicians as the way to simplify the welfare system ,by guiding people back into work!

Of course as with all “Government Initiatives” there is a person tasked to front this policy in this case it is Iain Duncan Smith and so far he is keeping a lot of people in this country happy with the result! The reason being that the emphasis is for those that work and pay their taxes, whilst the scroungers get it all for free! Now everyone wants a government to spend their taxes wisely, so it is a winner as far as it goes!

So concept good on the face of it, but as my personal investigations have uncovered, behind what looks good for some, hides the real truth for others! In this instance the part in this latest system about “Making Sure Work Pays” well my insider source says it does, for the contracted service companies that get paid for providing a job, any job, as long as you work!  Now the pay can be low, the conditions can be unfair and the consequences can lead to tribunals and even dismissal ,as my source has confirmed. But as long as you do not turn up on the unemployment register as an applicant claiming welfare benefits ,that suits this government just fine!

As a lot of people are aware a number of employers have signed up to this contract and it enables these companies to get cheap labour, on short-term contracts and unburden the register for the unemployed, massaging the figures and making this government, look as if they are looking after the people’s interest.

So it is a real vote winner for the government, welfare system and unemployment!

But these companies do not care about all that, they just want you to work in any job, and of course they get paid for providing such a service, but according to my source their tactics are not very humane, their interview techniques are questionable and their methods would lead one to believe we are back in the 1930’s not living in this day and age. The problem is that my source had to take a job working on a third-party contract for a Property and Maintenance Services company ,providing their services to the NHS and on a 24 hour call-out arrangement, being told  that he would receive a vehicle, mobile phone and only be on call-out every two weeks. Sounds great and so with no choice he took it ,against my best advice as the contract was exceptionally onerous, to say the least!

That was 6 months ago, since that time the mobile phone, has one feature the employer can ring him, no call back or checking procedure, the van never arrived, he now works every weekend using his own vehicle, and never sees his wife ,or his very ill house bound mother! His time at the company has gone from bad to worst as refusal to do these hours, has brought him into conflict and recently before the disciplinary board, and he is now awaiting an appeal!

Now upon reading this you would think that these are all excuses ,he does not want to work! Well l can tell you l have known this person all of my life, and he is nearly 60 years old now! He has worked all his adult life from the age of 16, but has been unlucky like so many to be made redundant 4 times, and he has always done his job to the best of his ability!

So you might say, why is this situation not well-known, well of course these so-called interviews are carried out behind closed doors, so nobody gets to see or hear how they get you to agree to a job! This can include standing you in the middle of a room full of people and publicly humiliating you, saying you are lazy and a burden on the state, so if you do not take the job we offer you, we can make a phone-call and stop your benefits! Of course they couch it in such a manner, saying words like we could, as we have been given the job of getting you off the unemployment register and into work.

What they do not say is that for everyone who takes a job they received a payment, so the incentive to get people a job, any job is paramount as more that stop taking benefits, the more money they make!

Conclusion: 

At present there is an appeal under-way and the story of this tribunal will be written in part two, but suffice to say for now my source has asked me not to share his name ,or the name of the company! Also l will eventually after more investigation name the company tasked by this government to carry-out these recruitment services and where in the country this took place!

Of course for all those that want to look at the government’s way of providing Universal Credit here is a link explaining it all, together with a small  snippet the scheme:

Department of Work and Pensions Introducing Universal Credit:

We are introducing Universal Credit in 2013 for people who are looking for work or on a low-income. Universal Credit brings together a range of working-age benefits into a single payment. It will:

  • encourage people on benefits to start paid work or increase their hours by making sure work pays
  • smooth the transitions into and out of work
  • simplify the system, making it easier for people to understand, and easier and cheaper to administer
  • reduce the number of people who are in work but still living in poverty
  • reduce fraud and error

Read More at: https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/simplifying-the-welfare-system-and-making-sure-work-pays

or download this PDF: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/253919/uc-faqs.pdf

#david-freud-baron-freud, #department-for-work-and-pensions, #government, #iain-duncan-smith, #jobseekers-allowance, #labour, #poverty, #self-employment, #social-security, #universal-credit, #welfare, #working-tax-credit