“Working in Poundstretcher for no money, that’s pretty depressing. Working in a shop where everything is worth a quid, except you” comedian Kevin Bridges on workfare

Meanwhile in Homebase “Would 750 hours with no payroll costs benefit YOUR store?”


Austerity and welfare in the UK

“The least contentious duty of the welfare state is securing equal opportunities, by ‘ensuring that rich and poor children have the same chances to get ahead’. By a 78% to 14% majority, Britons agree that this “should be the government’s job”, a crushing majority closely mirrored [in France and Germany]. Americans, too, endorse this conception, but more narrowly.” – cross country survey on attitudes of income inequality and welfare

“Low wages and lack of mobility mean people often cannot travel far to seek work and jobs are hard to come by in Blackpool. When the council recently hosted a recruitment day for a call-centre, a note was taken of how people got there: 90 per cent had walked.” – a map of austerity in the UK with articles and comment


Summary of losses per household affected in Sheffield based on the above research


Coming up…

Sheffield Equality Group monthly meeting
The politics of resentment and the inequality spiral – can we win the argument for a strong welfare system?
Wednesday 1st May, 7pm at Sheffield Quaker Meeting House

An informal talk and discussion will cover recent research on attitudes to social support and benefits. Also on the agenda, actions arising from the meeting on social support. The group is an autonomous group affiliated to the national Equality Trust and meets on the first Wednesday of every month. All welcome

More stuff happening? See: http://alt-sheff.org/


High Pay in the spotlight

“The fact that there is little evidence to show that money motivates us, and a great deal of evidence to suggest that it actually demotivates us, supports the idea that that there may be hidden costs associated with rewards. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we should work for free. We all need to pay our bills and provide for our families — but once these basic needs are covered the psychological benefits of money are questionable.” – Harvard Business Review questions the idea of high pay being useful in business

‘Perhaps these individuals have all indeed delivered truly “exceptional performances”. Yet even if that is the case – and the UK’s flatlining economy suggests that, just perhaps, not all of them are – is it right that pay at the top outstrips every other layer of the organisation by such a distance?’ – the Daily Mail reports that executive pay continues to climb as elsewhere it flatlines

‘Standard Life, one of the City’s biggest institutional investors, put executive pay back on the public agenda on Thursday when it voted against BP’s remuneration report at the season’s first major annual meeting. The investment house called on BP to “raise its game” and said it should do more to promote the interests of women and other minority groups.’ – Guardian predicts of another stormy AGM season as top pay gets in the spotlight early