Unemployment Down! Numbers In Full Time Work Down! Tax Revenue Down!

Oops, this should have gone in Boggart Blog Pop over there now to see the full post and much more. Here’s a taste of what you will find …

Some startling economic news this morning informs us that the unemployment figures have seen the biggest drop in those claiming jobseekers allowance since a bit ago. Note the qualifier, claiming jobseekers allowance.

So the number of unemployed people excluding the unemployed people the government can’t be arsed counting because they have been unemployed too long is down. Funny they don’t mention whether the number of unemployed people the government can’t be arsed counting is up by a corresponding amount.

Oh no! the two headed beast Gideondanny and Buster Miliband and his unfeasibly large Balls have merged into a single entity …

Here’s how …

(No) jobs For The Boys And Girls

Youth unemployment hit the headlines again last week when labour-market statistics revealed that the Lib-Con coalition government’s flagship £1 billion scheme to help young people into work had proved a complete failure. Well of course it was, it was only a rehash of Maggie Thatchers Youth Training Scheme in the 1980s, Labour’s jobclubs (anyone remember the job club in Roston Vasey?)and minimum wage in the 1990s and the various other crackpot schemes introduced by both parties over the years.

Industrial and business policies that destroy jobs when there are no new job creating industries to replace them is always bound to lead to disaster.

The Coalition’s Youth Contract aimed to create half a million new opportunities for so-called NEETs (people not in education, employment or training), by offering £2,275 in wage subsidy to companies willing to take on and train a young person for an initial six months. However, since launching in April 2012, only 21,000 applications were made out of the 160,000 subsidies allocated.

It’s easy to see why. The idea that cash-strapped businesses, otherwise unable to recruit new employees, much less inexperienced school-leavers, would take part is idiotic. Despite the subsidy, one assumes many companies were naturally hesitant about taking on and training staff to whom they can’t offer long-term employment.

Rather drawing a line under the whole silly business, the government and the opposition are now proposing new alternatives. The scheme’s initial advisers are urging the government to follow Labour’s proposals for a full ‘work guarantee’ for those leaving education and entering the world of work. Meanwhile, a report published by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission suggested the creation of a new administrative system that would help allocate jobs to those leaving school – mirroring services like UCAS which serve prospective university students.

Well that should send even more employers running to the more business friendly jurisdictions of south east Asia.

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"Tesco Tax" The First Step Towards Saving Our Towns

When Northern Ireland Finance Minister Sammy Wilson announced his “Tesco Tax” a planned levy on big stores intended to underwrite tax breaks for small, independent businesses and go some way towards redressing the balance after small shops were forced during thirteen years of Labour misrule to fund tax breaks offered to entice global retail corporations to set up shop in out of town big shed developments he expected a reaction from the corporate retailers. He did not however expect such a hypocritical outbreak of orchestrated whining considering Labour’s favouritism to the retail giants has resulted in up to a third of shops in some traditional town centres standing empty.

Swedish pedlers of crap, tat and overpriced kitsch furniture giant Ikea claimed the minister had potentially put hundreds of jobs at risk and was hindering other stores coming to NI. Sorry, but we don’t remember IKEA shedding any tears over the jobs lost in local retailers when they grabbed the subsidies and local tax reductions offered to open their shops.

Mr Wilson said he had listened to what the big retailers had to say and had cut the tax they would have to pay. “The levy has been reduced from 20% to 15% saving Ikea £70,000,” he said.

Pity, that, he should have hit them with an extra levy for having the nerve to whine. The so-called “Tesco tax” has been fiercely opposed by most large retailers who said it could limit investment and cost jobs. On average big retailers will pay an extra charge of £66,000 a year, raising £5m. It will affect 76 large shops. Well £66,000 a year is peanuts compared to what these hyper stores make so you have no need to feel sorry for them. Let’s explode a forty year old myth to put the whinging in perspective. It has long been the case in mainsteam media to toe the government propaganda (Ministy of Truth) line that when a new hyperstore opens hundreds of jobs are created, (you’ve heard the announcements on local news). Nobody ever quantifies how many jobs are lost from small businesses that can no longer survive.

The finance minister argued that the “Tesco tax” is designed to help small businesses. “The whole aim is to create a more level playing field. It is about what we do to stimulate the small business end of the economy,” he said. Good, in spite of the fuckwiited windbaggery about level playing fields from Tony Blair and other Labour leaders for too long small businesses were playing up an ever steepening slope as The Peoples’ Party helped the people who are most generous; billionaires, tycoons, bankers, lawyers and speculators.

Think back to the report from Mary Portas on high street shops published earlier this week, the harm done to small businesses and communities by corporate friendly government policies and bureaucratic smothering of startup enterprises was highlighted there. And it is not recent, this cosyness between elected politicians, gravy train riding tax eaters and greedy corporate execs has gone on for decades. More recently they have been attacking local employers by enacting measures aimed at pushing business online.

On the whole any news that suggest government is trying to get itself out of the pockets of big business is to be welcomed.

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Zombie Economy

First there was the insane decision to cancel a loan to Sheffield Forgemasters (deferring it may have been justified, cancelling was not), then another to favour Siemens over a British consortium for the Thameslink trains contract; now comes news of 3,000 job cuts in aerospace engineering at BAE Systems, the defence contractor.

The UK economy is supposed to be moving away from debt-fuelled consumption to export led growth, a formula for recovery virtually all economists and politicians agree is the only way to rebuild. Most of the news however seems to be a grim mix of retrenchment and continued deindustrialisation, a process which has been going on sinceMargaret Thatcher’s destruction of the traditional industries in the 1980s

True enough, immediately after the Great Contraction of 2008 industrial production appeared to recover quite swiftly. With the pound once more trading at levels low enough to give British factories a competitive edge, there was even talk of …

Read full post: Zombie Economy
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British Education Failing British Children

Bit of a cock up here, I should have posted this yesterday but put it in Boggart Blog by mistake.
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As a row brewed over the immigration issue which was the number one priority in the minds of voters at the last election but was kept out of the campaign by the cosy consensus of politically correct wusses who have wormed their way to positions of power in the education establishment read what the Daily Stirrer’s education expert Xavier Connolly has to say on the topic. British School Leavers Can’t Read Or Write Well Enough

From Pensioner To Jobseeker

In keeping with a committment in the Coalition agreement, Employment Minister Ed Davey announced the end of compulsoery retirement at 65 this week. Age campaigners have long called for it to be scrapped.

Althoughe not all firms still insist on people leaving on their 65th birthday, there are concerns in the business community about the change.

Many bosses have criticised the move – featured in both Conservative and Liberal Democrat election manifestos – for reducing flexibility for employers.

The Daily Stirrer comments:
That’s going to do wonders for the young jobless. The economic mismanagement of governments over the past thirty years has created a pensions time bomb. Many people who responded to the exhortations to ‘save for a comfortable retirement’ are now finding that having denied themselves luxuries in order to provide security in retirement for themselves, their pension funds have been eroded by inflation, stock market boom and bust economics, stealth taxes and fraudulent practices in the finance industry.

Some pensioners have always supplemented their income with part time or low paid work but if all pensioners now have the opportunity to stay in work so long as they feel able and to thus keep their savings growing who can blame them. This will only deny jobs to younger people of course.

Nobody in politics or the civil service has bothered to give much thought to the age problem created by the sudden increase in average life span in the past half century. When the retirement age was set the average age at death (distorted by the two great wars of the 20th century) was under 65. When I started work in the 1960s it had risen to 68 for men, 71 for women. Now people expect to live until over eighty and longevity expert Prof. Aubrey de Grey says life expectancy is increasing by almost a year for every real time year that passes.

Wjavascript:b2evoInsertTag(b2evoCanvas,%200);e have to lower our expectations or find a way of employing a lot of extra people.

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America Has Little To Be Thankful For.

As Americans were eating breakfast on their great national holiday, Thanksgiving Day, I came across an article by Naomi Cohn in The Guardian. The lines that jumped out at me were these:

A report out Wednesday showed that new jobless claims declined slightly last week, but this is hardly reassuring to the millions of Americans who are spending this Thanksgiving still unemployed.

I am one of those who will lose benefits when they expire next week – 5 days after the holiday. As it happens, I am among the lucky ones – I was laid off just under two years ago, and so I was eligible for 99 weeks of benefits – the maximum amount. Those who were laid off after me will get far less: if Congress does not act, the maximum number of weeks available will be 26.

Thanksgiving, for us, will be fraught with tension. We will sit at tables with family members, some of whom will be proudly announcing their latest success at work. We are the losers, the rejected, the left-out, the forgotten, the silent.

We are ashamed in front of our children, not because we cannot pay for gifts, summer camp, after-school activities. That, I think, they understand. But because we are failures. While we encourage them to excel in school, our own degrees are worthless.

Many people in the UK will be facing a similar prospect this Christmas of course. Our unemployment figures too are kept steady by the numbers of people simply running out of benefit, reaching the time limit for which jobseeker’s allowance is paid and dropping off the unemployment figures as they are forced to rely on income support.

But look at the final sentence in those quoted lines. “While we encourage them to excel in school, our own degrees are worthless.”

The great education Ponzi scheme strikes again. Last week when Little Nicky was defending Nick Cleggs’ U turn on university tuition fees I was challenged by someone who is much too nice a person to mix it with a bruiser who cut his political teeth campaigning as a Liberal in Wigan. He commented that education is not just about preparation for a career which is of course absolutely right. In fact as the above extract proves education even to degree level is little help in finding employment these days.

What we need is proper jobs for people to do. And to create those we need people with a grip on reality not the kind of illusion dwellers who believe university education is a human right.

If everybody has a degree they’re not going to be worth shit in a future job market.

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99ers: The dream dies in jobless America

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The main controversy in today’s news stories is the response of Work amd Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to the citicisms made by the Archbishop of Canterbury about the government’s handling of the long term unemployment problem.

In response to criticism from The Archbishop of Canterbury, Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said it was a “sin” that British workers are not capable of competing for jobs with foreigners.

Read the view of Xavier Connolly on Why Can’t British Workers Compete With Immigrants For Jobs? in The Daily Stirrer.
Keep up wth all the controversy

The IDS (he sounds like a disease) Welfare Reforms

Iain Duncan Smith, IDS, the man who sounds like an intestinal problem is the coalition government minister charged with reforming the over complex, over bureaucratic welfare system. Can he succeed where others have dabbled?

Through the course of our lives many of us will find our circumstances have changed in ways that affect our ability to earn a decent living. Illness, family responsibilities, disability, unemployment and old age are among the most frequent causes of people having to look to the social security system for financial support.

The welfare system, which was begun by the Asquith / Lloyd George Liberal Government of 1908 – 1914 and has evolved under all governments since then is now ill equipped to deal with the jobless economy of a post industrial society.

When I began my career in the computer industry more years ago than I care to remember the ideal of machines doing all the mundane work and freeing humans to fulfil their potential seemed very attractive. Unfortunately politics and politicians are too blinkered and short – termist to plan for a society so radically changed by technology that most people will be jobless for a very significant part of their lives.

In the past few days David Cameron was talking about being unable to see a reason why people should be doing jobs a machine can do better. Allow Little Nicky to tell you why Dave: Because people need meaningful work. OK some are equipped to fill their time blogging or writing poetry, painting works of art, compiling sports statistics or creating a fine garden. But not all.

So what do you with your spare people, the ones best equipped to stack boxes or work on a factory production line? Kill them?

I don’t think that would go down well at the ballot box.

The welfare system does need reform but who, especially in the dullard world of politics, has the imagination to propose the right reforms, the ones that will solve the problem rather than just slapping a sticking plaster over it?

IDS?

I’ll be surprised if it is.

No real jobs in the new economy

One of the daftest ideas to emerge from the Ploitically Correct Consensus that is fighting the election under three different party banners is that the “new” economy will be driven by jobs created in high tech and gree industries.

The economic engines of this new economy will be Universities that will be undertaking exciting new research project and finding ways to “monetize” the “intellectual property” created by this academic industry.

If you have not yet decided this all sounds like the kind of bullshit that fuelled the property bubble, the dotcom bubble and the debt bubble you can read more in The Daily Stirrer’s piece No Jobs In The New Economy

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The Real Unemployment Problem

New unemployment figures released yesterday show unemployment fell by 0.1% in the three months December to FebruarY. Contained in the figures was a statistic that undermines government talk of an economic upturn. This is the number of people in work. Headline unemployment has fallen the number of people in work has also fallen. What’s going on?
Read full post
The Real Unemployment Figure

More Dishonesty On Jobs

More bad news on unemployment, and a bit personal this time as my son lost his job when the Littlewoods organisation announced the closure of three centres.

Things are so bad the government is reduced to trying to pretend unemplyment is falling because there were less NEW claimants in a period than in the previous one rather than less people unemployed overall. When unemployment is rising less quickly this cannot be interpreted as a fall in unemployment.

We truly are heading for The Jobless Economy as The Daily Stirrer predicted a couple of weeks ago.

They are pulling the same statistical trick across the pond too. In Obama’s State Of The Union Address (Obama, Jobs, new claims) Barry talked about new jobs created by his policies when all he really had achieved was to slow the rate of increase in unemployment.

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As prospects for paid employment become even more remote even for those who have invested three years of their lives and run up enormous depts to obtain a University degree it seems Labours education policies have failed. Education, education, education said Tony Blair on assuming power in 1997. Blair promised New Labour’s education reforms would make University education with its attendant advantages more accessible to children of poor homes who were prepared to invest three years of their lives and run up crippling debts by taking on student loans. So why are graduates finding it harder than ever to get paid work?

This article will be completed later…

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