In a poll published by The Independent on Sunday, Britons find their jobs more stressful, precarious and demanding than ever before.
The findings are indicative of a shift in work culture towards less for more for workers, and more for less for large companies and their wealthy shareholders.
The survey found that two thirds of people say the amount of work they are expected to do has grown over the past few years, and over a third say they are expected to do unpaid overtime.
One in five says they have seen at least one person sacked or made redundant without good reason.
Only one third look forward to going to work, with the rest either ambivalent or dreading it.
Twenty five percent feel there is not enough flexibility in their jobs to balance work and the rest of their life.
One in five people say that either they or…
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People in the North East are twice as likely to fear having to sleep rough next year if they can’t pay their bills than people in the south east, a survey has shown.
The stark contrast was revealed in a poll by St Mungo’s, which said one in five people, 21 per cent, in the north east fear they will have to sleep rough if they are unable to pay their household bills in 2014, compared to one in ten in the south east, 9 per cent.
Overall in Britain, more than half expressed concern about being able to pay their household bills – including rent and mortgage – with 13 per cent saying they were worried about having to sleep rough.
More than a third, 32 per cent, of people said they were concerned that they would not have the money or opportunity to find alternative accommodation and 29 per cent said they would not know where to turn to for help.
Charles Fraser, the charity’s chief executive, said: ‘It is clear that people are trying very hard to keep their heads above water but are worried about going under. There are fewer life belts and less dry land than there was. We see no reason to believe that demand for our services will diminish in 2014.
‘While recognising that much good work is done for those in need, it is not a good time to be at the bottom of the pile. Those who are responsible for preventing homelessness need to discharge that responsibility better in order to prevent homelessness before it starts and help people before their health, their relationships and much more is lost.’
The ComRes survey, commissioned St Mungo’s, polled 2,028 people between 20- 21 of November.
Source – Inside Housing, 11 Dec 2013
Yesterday we posted an item of “research” that stated that –
Two thirds of the region’s Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) intend to recruit new staff in 2014, a study shows.
Research by Yorkshire Bank also found North East businesses which plan to create new jobs expect to grow employee numbers by 11%.
It also found that 64% of North East SMEs intend to recruit new employees.
On average, the North East’s 135,000 SMEs expect to recruit more than 7% more staff. If this figure is applied to the North East’s total SME workforce of 429,000, almost 31,000 new jobs could be created.
Alan Young, regional director for Business and Private Banking with Yorkshire Bank in the North East of England, said: “SMEs are crucial to the UK economy and its emerging recovery and we will continue to support them in 2014.”
What a difference a day makes ! We did warn yesterday that this was at best a guess and not a statement of fact. Today we learn that –
A quarter of small and medium-sized firms are supporting their businesses with personal savings and handouts from family and friends, a report has claimed.
Business funding specialist Bibby Financial Services, which commissioned the research, said the reliance on personal finance prevented firms from being able to take advantage of the first stage of economic recovery.
The survey revealed that almost half of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) used just one source of funding, with 20% of firms saying they relied on a bank overdraft and the same amount again using a bank loan.
Source – Newcastle Journal, 01 Jan 2014
Two days, two different pieces of “research” that appear to contradict each other. Who do you believe ?
Neither, I guess. You can only keep on keeping on as best you can, hope for the best but plan for the worst.
According to the Newcastle Journal (08 October 2013), “the North east is overwhelmingly in favour of a benefits crackdown, an exclusive Journal poll has revealed.”
As is usual with these kind of polls, this was not actually the view of an overwhelming proportion on the North East population, and not a random selection either – the “research” was conducted by a company called Other Lines Of Enquiry North who, we are told, “specialise in delivering quality insights to advertising, creative, design and PR agencies as well as directly to brands across the North of England.”
The people polled appear to have been part of their in-house panel, Panelbase, who get paid for their opinions – “Most surveys will carry rewards between £0.25 and £10 (depending on survey duration and complexity), which we will add directly to your panelbase.net account.” In fact you appear to get 3 quid just for signing up ! (https://www.panelbase.net/ if anyone wants to take advantage).
So, not the views of the average man/woman on the north east street then. And definitely not that sizeable portion reliant on welfare for survival.
“Some 66% of the region said they thought Britain was “soft” when it came to welfare, “ the Journal trumpeted nevertheless, ” lending support to the drive by Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to make it harder for people to claim.”
Of course, we’re not told what questions the paid poll-responders were actually asked. This could be quite crucial.
For example, if the question was ‘Do you think it would be right for people on benefits to get more than working people ?’ then obviously most people would say ‘no’ – despite the fact that
(a) people on benefits dont get more than those working, and
(b) the question didn’t actually claim they did
– but I suspect a sizeable number of those being polled would read it as “People on benefits get more than those working – is it right they do ?”
This dubious piece of public opinion also claimed “…almost 63% of the region thinks the long term jobless be made to do voluntary work for their benefits…”
Oxymoron alert ! You cant be made to do voluntary work. You either do it voluntarily, or you’re made to do it against your will, probably in this case by the threat of financial sanctions.
There was a rather vanilla token response from Catherine McKinnell (Labour, Newcastle North) – “People in the North East have the same strong work ethic as the rest of the country and it’s therefore unsurprising that this relatively small survey indicates a strong belief that benefits should not be handed out without good reason.
“However, I also know we are a compassionate region and care about the individual circumstances people find themselves in – and I know from my constituency surgeries how many people in genuine need are having support taken away from them by the current system.”
Unfortunately, what seems likely is that the “current system” – including “cracking down” on the worst off, would continue under more or less similar lines should Labour win the next election.