“when the government announced the cuts programme in 2010 the prime minister said ‘But it’s fair that those with broader shoulders should bear a greater load.’ The government seemed to be genuinely concerned with fairness and it stressed that it was protecting pensions and the NHS. Unfortunately, when you look below the surface, you find that, while pensions are protected, benefits are being cut; while the NHS is protected, social care is being cut. The result is reducing support for those in greatest need.” – Simon Duffy outlines the findings of Counting the Cuts, with a link to the full report and data
“Whatever punch you manage to avoid (say the bedroom tax, because you’re renting privately) will hit you from some other direction (in higher rents). It’s like playing Total Wipeout except, of course, not fun.” Zoe Williams on the culmulative impact of welfare reform (Guardian)
“[Harry] is desperate and needs to make an application for a crisis loan. He has no food, gas or electricity and his children are due to stay. He cannot get a crisis loan from the Department for Work and Pensions as the local authority now administers these. He is told by the DWP to go to his local authority but under the new local assistance scheme, he is not entitled to any form of help as he is not in receipt of a means tested benefit. Harry is now destitute and has to live on food parcels until his primary benefit is sorted out.” – the reality of welfare reform described by Sheffield Council (PDF)

Are you part of the union?

Well you won’t get on the BBC – an independent review finds “dependence on certain dominant institutions notably in the business world  and the national print media”…
And you’ll have to fight for higher pay, as the Living Wage Commission finds stagnating pay and spiralling living costs
Yet unions represent a quarter of the workforce with over 7 million members. From Accord (for Lloyds employees) to USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers). And union membership has been found to correlate with greater income equality, both across countries, and within