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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Economic Chaos & UK Unemployed

Economic Chaos & UK Unemployed

With the economic chaos unfolding around the world & the impact on Scotland I want to highlight more of the injustices facing ordinary people living in our area & how all this affects us.
Living in Scotland in the UK its clear to me that issues dominating Scotland's politics today is the Scottish Parliament's lack of powers: its inability to deal with crises of housing, unemployment, energy, transport & manufacturing, its continuing subordination to external neo-liberal policies, its lack of finance & constant pressure on public sector services, jobs & wages.

The "outrageous" Orwellian powers to crack down on benefit claimants by the UK Labour Government continues at pace. UK Government Ministers & Jobcentre Plus / DWP are snooping on the lifestyles of Britain's poorest people. The plans show contempt for some of the most vulnerable people in society. "Ministers are treating all benefits claimants as if they are criminal suspects". Today, they are going for the poor. Tomorrow, they will want access to all credit-card bills. It is disproportionate to invade the privacy of millions to catch a few. The UK Government should be ashamed. To tackle unemployment within Scotland alone, powers need to be transferred from Whitehall (UK Parliament) to the Scottish Parliament - those extra powers must be seized.” Readers are urged to write to both MP’s in London & MSP in our Parliament calling for powers to act on issues like unemployment. The “Governments Welfare Green Paper” means unprecedented attacks on welfare delivery & the welfare state as we know it – demand to know from your MP / MSP where they stand on the subject.

Thatcherite rhetoric is being used to attack the unemployed / jobseekers as Labour continues to court the right-wing press with pledges to crack down on so-called scroungers. Labour already uses a range of 21st-century technologies, including lie detectors, to identify people who are allegedly claiming money fraudulently. All first-time claimants will be subjected to controversial "voice stress analysis" technology in telephone claims to see if they were lying at the outset. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also use Data-matching with private credit reference agencies to provide comparisons between financial information which people give to the DWP and their dealings with companies and banks. People's lifestyles will also be matched with their stated financial circumstances by finding out if they have applied for large loans or enjoy luxuries such as satellite television & ordering from home catalogues. Checks will be made with DVLA to identify what kind of car you drive. Checks will also be made with passport agencies to identify how often your passport is used – this made all the more easier as new passports carry a micro chip of data. The DWP estimates that total benefit fraud currently stands at £800 million per year - equivalent to less than 1 per cent of total benefit expenditure. This pales into insignificance compared to corporate tax avoidance, which, according to figures from the Tax Justice Network, deprives the Exchequer of between £25 billion and £85 billion a year.

It’s an outrage that this Labour Government can manage to find – more than a total of Eight Hundred Billion Pounds to bail out City Spivs in the London Stock Markets. The Scottish capitalist within our banking sector have been bailed out by nationalising some part of Scotland’s Banks.

It seems criminal to me that people in my area are force to go without heating & electric as this Government cares more about helping bankers than ordinary folk. How come this government can find the money to help capitalist criminals but can’t find the money to Nationalise Gas & Electricity Companies who force ordinary people to live in fuel poverty. Scotland’s Parliament needs the powers to act in the best interest of its people

This winter looks dire, as folks find it near impossible to make ends meet. The price of bread, milk and eggs has shot up by nearly 25 per cent, while gas and electricity bills are now higher than ever before. House repossessions have reached record levels. Hundreds of claimants in our area are having their claims for benefits deterred or delayed; this is of particularly concerned if, the use of voice stress technology “Lie Detectors” have caused this. Claimants are going to be suffering in poverty & prevented from claiming benefits that are rightfully theirs.

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