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The Tory sleight of hand over ’1.1 million more’ private sector jobs

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By James Bloodworth | Published: December 19, 2013

David Cameron likes to boast that his government has created over a million private sector jobs since 2010.

The Prime Minister has made the claim in the commons during PMQs, and yesterday it was once again made by chairman of the Conservative party Grant Shapps in an article entitled ‘Five simple messages for the doorstep this Christmas‘.

“We are cutting taxes for British businesses, helping to create jobs. Overall, 1.1 million more people are now working compared to the election,” Shapps boasted, accompanying his post with the following graph:

Million jobs


The first thing one notices about the graph is the large jump in private sector jobs seemingly created in April 2012, just short of two years after the coalition came to office. Perhaps on seeing this graph you, like me, were wondering what accounted for this encouraging surge in private sector employment last year. What innovative (and clearly successful) policy did the coalition introduce which created so many jobs so quickly?

They didn’t, is the answer, because the large increase in private sector employment seen in April 2012 was actually nothing of the sort, but rather was due to the reclasification of 196,000 public sector jobs to private sector ones. In reality, just under a fifth of the coalition’s ‘million new jobs’ are actually the result of the reclasification of further education and sixth form college teachers as private sector employees.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) made this clear last year when it said:

“These educational bodies employed 196,000 people in March 2012 and the reclassification therefore results in a large fall in public sector employment and a corresponding large increase in private sector employment between March and June 2012.”

Million jobsClaiming the government has created a ‘million new jobs’ relies on a completely dishonest interpretation of the figures. Especially making the same claim repeatedly even after it’s been pointed out as wrong by no less than the ONS.

And this from a party which in opposition regularly accused Labour of twisting the statistics to suit its own agenda.

The Neo Liberal Democrats supporting the Conservative agenda

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Vince Cable supports zero hours contracts

Business Secretary Vince Cable says zero hours contracts have a place in the labour market,

though there has been evidence of abuse  

 By Telegraph Reporter 10:26PM GMT 18 Dec 2013

 Zero hours contracts will not be banned because they offer “welcome flexibility” to some workers, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said on Wednesday.

Mr Cable said the contracts had a place in the labour market, though there had been evidence of abuse.

Mr Cable also proposed a 12-week consultation to consider banning companies from imposing “exclusivity contracts” that offer no guarantee of a job and stop staff working for another firm.

Business groups welcomed the announcement but union leaders said the Government was “desperately short on solutions” to curb the use of zero hours contracts, under which people don’t know if they have work from one week to the next.

Mr Cable said: “A growing number of employers and individuals are using zero hour contracts.

Full Daily Telegraph Article here


One third of disabled people asking for help with ‘bedroom tax’ have applications rejected

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 Adam Withnall   Thursday 19 December 2013

Almost a third of the disabled people affected by the so-called bedroom tax have had their applications for help with the payments refused by local authorities, a survey has found.

When it brought in the controversial levy on “surplus” bedrooms in council-owned accommodation, the Government said grants known as discretionary housing payments (DHPs) would protect the most vulnerable.

It estimated that around 420,000 disabled people would be affected by the bedroom tax, often because they require additional space for treatment equipment or to provide somewhere for carers to stay.

Yet according to the research from the National Housing Federation, responses from 98 local authorities showed that on average 29 per cent of disabled residents had their requests for a DHP grant turned down.

The survey also highlighted what appears to be a worrying “postcode lottery” of payments. In parts of Kent, the success rate for disabled applicants was just 14 per cent.

Related story: Councils could be banned from using the phrase ‘bedroom tax’

Full Independent article here