Socialist Worker

News round-up

Issue No. 2326

More workers rely on welfare

The number of working households dependent on housing benefit has doubled since 2008, a study by the National Housing Federation shows.

Nearly 10,000 more households each month are relying on benefits to pay private rents. The study found that if this trend were to continue, a million workers would rely on benefits to make ends meet by the next election.


New rules take away the dole

Draconian new rules to withhold benefits from unemployed people for up to three years came into force on Monday this week.

Under the new rules there will be three grades of punishment. Some will target those who fail to “actively” look for work or be available for work.

They will lose their benefits for one month for the first “offence” and three months for any other instances. People who refuse or leave a job would lose benefits for three months the first time, six months the second time, and three years subsequently.


Record payouts for shareholders

If firms aren’t investing in jobs or paying their taxes, it isn’t because they’re short of cash.

Dividend payments on shares in Britain are up by 10 percent for the third quarter of2012 compared with last year, according to specialist accountants Capita Registrars.

Capita has increased its dividends forecast for the full year to £78.6 billion. This would be more than the previous record of £77 billion from before the economic crisis.


Tory gas plan is just hot air

Energy companies have cashed in on cold weather forecasts—by jacking up gas prices. But David Cameron’s claim that he will force energy companies to put more customers on the lowest tariffs has been met with ridicule.

Many have pointed out that firms could simply change their tariffs. Energy secretary Ed Davey says he wasn’t even told about the plan. Now Cameron says that promise was only ever an “option”.


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News
Tue 23 Oct 2012, 17:13 BST
Issue No. 2326
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