The government were informed time and time again that its ‘austerity’ policies were detrimental to the economy and detrimental to promoting growth. They didn’t listen, and now Office of National Statistics show that productivity has plummeted to levels not seen since the Second World War as a result.
As we have discovered after five years of economic mismanagement, the only reason for ‘austerity’ measures is to increase bank profits. In fact, ‘austerity’ is very good news for major financial institutions, at the expense of business, manufacturing, and citizens as a whole.
From The Guardian
David Cameron has presided over an economy with the weakest productivity record of any government since the second world war, the Office for National Statistics said as it revealed output per worker fell again in the final three months of 2014.
In a separate blow to the government, two-thirds of leading UK economists said they believed…
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Reposted from Ripped off Britons.com
The Welfare State was hard won by generations of Britons before us. It is as much an inherited right as is the unearned income received by some from their inherited property and financial assets.
Doubtless the Welfare State can be reformed and improved. However, evidence from independent top civil servants shows government reforms of the Welfare State are not driven by well considered improvements, but by a reckless drive to cut the cost. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), speaking about MoJ cuts, admitted “the most critical piece of evidence that was relevant to the decision that was made was the size of the spend.” We will come back to this later.
In the years following the two World Wars the strength of ordinary Britons at the warfront and on the homefront was clearly understood and appreciated. Those years saw pieces of…
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Almost twice as many public sector jobs have been lost across the North-East under the Government’s cuts than originally forecast, claims the TUC.
And the union organisation is warning of more to come, with councils facing further cuts in the new financial year.
It was revealed last week that Hartlepool Borough Council is to get £8.3million less in the financial year 2015/16 than in the previous 12 months.
The TUC says analysis of the latest figures show there are 59,000 fewer public sector jobs in the North-East than when the coalition came to power in 2010 – almost twice the figure originally predicted when Chancellor George Osborne outlined the planned cuts immediately after the election.
The TUC says Office of National Statistics data reveals the region’s public sector has contracted by an average 1,157 public sector jobs per month since June 2010.
And with more than seven months’ data still to be collected before the end of this parliament, the Northern TUC is predicting the loss of at least 8,000 more public sector jobs in the region.
Northern TUC policy and campaigns officer Neil Foster said:
“The loss of 59,000 jobs from the public sector has been terrible news for services in the region and for the individuals affected. But it has also harmed our region’s recovery and contributed a deterioration of the quality of jobs.
“The cuts have been even deeper here than many expected because the coalition has made bigger reductions to funding for councils in poorer areas in the north than to more affluent parts of southern England. The North-East continues to have the highest unemployment in the UK and double the rate of the South East of England.
“Only a small proportion of private sector jobs created have been full-time, secure or well paid, which is one of the reason why income tax receipts have fallen this last year.
“Women make up two thirds of public sector workers, and so it is not a surprise that the number of women out of work in the North-East has risen by a quarter in the last two years as more and more redundancies have been made. Rather than appreciate the failure of taking such an extreme and damaging path, the Chancellor announced earlier this month that he wants to see even more cuts in the future, which would be devastating for us here.”
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 29 Dec 2014
The North East has retained its position as the worst region for jobs in the latest batch unemployment figures – despite showing a reduction in the numbers of those seeking work.
Statistics released on Wednesday revealed a regional unemployment rate of 9.1% with 118,000 people looking for work in the region.
The figures are for the three months ending in October and show a fall of 1% compared to the same period last year.
It follows previous figures which showed a rise for three successive quarters.
The figures show unemployment down across the country but the North East is still top of the table.
However, bosses at organisations welcomed the improvement in figures.
Neil Carberry, director for employment and skill at the Confederation of British Industry, said:
“As we come to the end of the year, it’s good news that unemployment continues to fall, as jobs are being created. It’s good to see even more people working full-time.
“We are starting to see the first signs of real pay growth picking up, which will have given households an encouraging boost in the run up to Christmas.”
> Yes, but since “full-time” work equals 16 hours a week, there are a lot of jobs that no-one can afford to take if they have no other source of income.
Unions accepted the rate in the region was down but said zero hour contracts disguised the impact.
Ruth Berkley, of Unison’s North East office, said:
“While our unemployment figure in the region has come down to 9.1%, it is disappointing that we continue to have the highest level of unemployment in the country, including for youth unemployment.
“There has been a significant increase in zero hours contracts in the region, with 52,000 now working on such contracts.
“In the last 12 months we have also seen an increase of 11 per-cent in female unemployment, partly as a result of public sector job losses.
“George Osborne in his Autumn Statement stated that there is yet more to come in terms of public sector jobs being cut.
“Despite what Ian Duncan Smith claims that there are jobs for all those who want full time employment, the reality for this region is that we have the highest level of under-unemployed of any region.”
Unusually, the employment rate is higher among women than among men in the North East – in most places in the UK it is the other way round.
They remain close though – the rate for men is 8.9% while among women the figure is 9.3%
A spokesman for the Office of National Statistics said:
“The unemployment rate for people aged 16 and over for the UK was 6 per-cent for the period August to October 2014.
“The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East at 9.1 per-cent followed by Wales and Yorkshire and The Humber, both at 7.1 per-cent and the West Midlands at 6.8 per-cent.
“The regions with the lowest rate were the South East at 4.6 per-cent followed by the South West, at 4.8% and the East of England, at 5 per-cent.”
Not surprisingly the region topped the list of people claiming jobseekers allowance.
The Office for National Statistics said:
“The seasonally adjusted Claimant Count rate for the UK was 2.7 per-cent in November 2014, down 0.1 percentage points from October 2014, with the level down 26,900.
“The region with the highest rate in Great Britain was the North East, at 4.5 per-cent, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month.”
> As usual, no mention of sanctions and their role in “reducing” unemployment levels.
Alarm bells should sound for the region’s economy as the North East drops behind Wales for average pay.
For the first time in years people in Tyneside, Northumberland and County Durham are taking home a lower average salary than those in Wales.
The drop in pay is proof that the region needs a dedicated economic steering group, argues policy experts from the Trade Union Congress.
“The figures are significant because Wales is better equipped as a region economically. I do worry about the North East with what’s going on in Scotland in that we will be left with no real tools to make the level of difference that we need and that people in this region deserve,” said Neil Foster, policy and campaigns officer for the TUC Northern Region.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the North East was the worst paid region in the UK in 2013 with an average salary of £24,084. In London pay is £35,238 a year, and the UK average is £27,017.
Average pay in Wales is just £100 more a year on average at £24,182, however the country has regularly been used as an economic indicator to judge the North East’s progress.
Mr Foster said: “There’s lots of similarities between the North East and Wales so the fact that we have gone behind them should ring alarm bells.
“The fact that we have slipped behind Wales is significant because they have got an assembly with the economic powers to stimulate the economy and provide good quality jobs in the most productive sectors.
“The fact that we don’t have a Regional Development Agency means we should be saying to Whitehall that they must devolve economic powers to our regions. If you are given the tools you can create economic prosperity.”
The TUC said the latest pay figures show a rise on paper, however inflation meant a real terms cut.
The statistics show that in the North East the average wage was £17,430 in the year 2000, rising to £24,084 last year. This 38.1% increase in wages was the slowest percentage increase anywhere in the UK.
In 2000 a North East resident earned £1,418 less than the national average, but by 2013 this had grown to £2,933, demonstrating a cut people’s spending power.
Pay in London has continued to rise faster than almost anywhere in England, however Scotland has risen the fastest with their average annual wage up 46.8% from £18,029 in 2000 to £26, 472 in 2013.
Reintroducing a regional economic governance body is the only way to put the North East back on track, Mr Foster argues.
“I don’t think it’s inevitable the North East has to be the lowest paid region but unless there is change, it will be very difficult to predict with any confidence that things will be getting better soon,” he said.
Earlier this week TUC Northern Secretary Beth Farhat said ONS figures also revealed a worrying trend for women in the North East as there has been a 20% rise in female unemployment in the last 12 months – from 49,000 up to 59,000.
Source – Newcastle Journal, 28 Feb 2014