Author Topic: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?  (Read 23371 times)

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #105 on: November 13, 2015, 05:24:43 PM »
Income inequality in Jersey has worsened in the past 5 years

These extracts are taken from the Jersey Household Income Distribution report 2014-2015, which was published yesterday (link below):

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Page 28: The 90-10 shares ratio also shows an increase in inequality after housing costs, with the top 10% having an average income 12 times that of the bottom 10% in 2009/10, rising to 19 times in 2014/15.

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Page 28: The change in the three indicators imply that income inequality worsened since 2009/10, particularly once housing costs were taken into account – a result of persistently low interest rates for mortgage holders but increasing rents for those in rental accommodation.
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Page 29: However, the three indicators of income inequality were all higher in Jersey than the UK after housing costs were taken into account, showing income inequality to be worse in Jersey than in the UK.
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Page 29: There was a notable variation when looking in more detail by age (see Table 4.16). Focussing on those in relative low income after housing costs: over a quarter (28%) of Jersey pensioners were in this group, compared to a lower proportion - one in seven (14%) - of UK pensioners who were living in relative low income.
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Page 17: One-parent families were particularly impacted by the removal of housing costs from household income, with a fifth (19%) in relative low income before housing costs and three times this proportion (56%) in relative low income after housing costs.


An increase was also seen for working-age adults living alone, from 17% living in relative low income before housing costs, rising to a third (35%) living in relative low income after housing costs.
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Page 17: For social rental households, housing costs considerably increased the proportion in relative low income from around a quarter (27%) to two-thirds (66%). For those living in qualified rental, housing costs trebled the proportion of households in relative low income, from one in ten (10%) to three in ten (31%). Housing costs increased the proportion of non-qualified rental households in relative low income from a fifth (22%) to two-fifths (39%).

http://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Government%20and%20administration/R%20Income%20Distribution%20Survey%20Report%202014-15%2020151112%20SU.pdf


These statistics were compiled up to May 2015 - before the States approved £10 million of benefit cuts in the latest MTFP. How much worse will income inequality be in another 5 years?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-jersey-34798870


http://www.itv.com/news/channel/2015-11-13/jerseys-poorest-becoming-even-more-worse-off/

« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 05:56:46 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline man in the street

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #106 on: November 15, 2015, 02:11:34 AM »
Since 2008, I have seen my standard of living take a downward trend.
Crappy pay rises that stemmed what became in reality a pay cut.
 I did take time off to follow a project of my own to benefit my family.
So there was no need to find work for me.
But look around, building. And refurbishment every where.
Over the last couple of years.
 Yet still below the true cost of living.
 A friend. Of mine. Two kids wife not working, in private rental
 Can just about make ends meet.
 It's not worth the wife. Going to work as she will not earn enough to cover the costly child care.
What do I expect next year?
More of the same. Or get a better paying job.
Or make do with less a go fishing.

Online boatyboy

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #107 on: November 15, 2015, 03:57:18 PM »
The latest figures support what you say Man in the street, what is upsetting is the millions  spent by States departments on entertaining and travel. Jersey Finance was given a grant of £4 million last year. Are new banks and businesses moving to Jersey, or laughing at how the States are saving them money by advertising for them ?

How strange is it that a politician that lives on an island 45 square miles thinks it is really cool to travel to London and stay there for two nights of the week, all paid for by the islanders, supported by his mates on the council of ministers.

The figures below show that Jersey " a rich island " is not heading in the right direction. If they stopped speculating on muti-million pound office blocks, politicians, states department jollies this would be a big step in the right direction. There is no mention of the extortionate cost of food. Under this Government has Jersey become a better place to live for it's people or worse ?

Bailiwick Express

Almost a third of children and pensioners are living in households at risk of poverty, according to new figures out this morning.

The last five years have seen the amount that households have to spend dropping, with income inequality between the rich and poor rising.

Five years ago, the gap between rich and poor in Jersey was smaller than in the UK – today, Jersey is a more unequal society than the UK, with twice as many pensioners described as living on relative low income's.

The figures are contained in the Household Income Distribution report, which measures how much money different types of households are surviving on. The report uses an international definition of “relative low income” or “at risk of poverty” – which is any household that receives less than 60% of the average (median) income.

In Jersey, that means £29,400 for two adults living together, £41,160 for two adults with two children, or £19,698 for a single adult.

According to those figures:

56% of one-parent families are at risk of poverty.

29% of children are at risk of poverty.

28% of pensioners are at risk of poverty.

The report found that while Jersey’s tax and benefits system reduced inequality between the rich and poor, the effect was completely nullified by the high costs of housing.

http://www.bailiwickexpress.com/jsy/news/jersey-households-worse-some-more-others/

bb
« Last Edit: November 15, 2015, 04:09:24 PM by boatyboy »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #108 on: November 15, 2015, 08:12:50 PM »
By going back to the 2009-10 report and comparing it with the one published this week, I discovered the following:

In 2014-15, the proportion of 'Social rent' households in relative low income was 27% before housing costs (BHC) and 66% after housing costs (AHC).

In 2009-10, the proportion of 'States, parish or housing trust' households in relative low income was 27% before housing costs (BHC) and 49% after housing costs (AHC).

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB0QFjAAahUKEwj9ivHJqpLJAhULaRQKHdIMA8U&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gov.je%2FSiteCollectionDocuments%2FGovernment%2520and%2520administration%2FR%2520IDS200910%252020100927%2520SU.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEnm1Y3gi6ttfL0Fk_Fbm7Y8fLDUg&cad=rja


My comments on the above:

The fact that the proportion of these Social rental households in relative low income BHC did not rise at all over the 5-year period but the proportion in relative low income AHC rocketed by 17% is noteworthy. It points a very obvious finger of suspicion at the level of rent increases suffered by States tenants over the past 5 years, culminating in the implementation of the Housing Transformation Programme (HTP) with effect from 7th April 2014 and the subsequent incorporation of the Housing Department as 'Andium' (from 1st July 2014). Ironically, the survey period for the Jersey Household Income Distribution 2014/15 Report exactly coincided with the coming into force of the HTP changes in April 2014 so how much has the new HTP played in the very significant increase in the proportion of 'Social rent' households in relative low income AHC over the past 5 years?

One of the main changes resulting from the HTP was to "remove the cap on rental components in respect of social housing properties and allow the full rent to be included in the Income Support calculation" (source: page 3 of proposition P.1/2014). From April 2014, the Housing Department and its successor, Andium, has been allowed to charge its tenants "a rent that represents 90% of the market value for an equivalent property in the private sector" (page 4 of P.1/2014). This new rental policy only applies to tenants "newly occupying a property or moving within the existing stock". In effect, the removal of this rental cap in 2014 gave Jersey's social housing providers the green light to go ahead and create new units of accommodation with ridiculously high rents that are well beyond the affordability of many of their existing tenants, unless those tenants happen to be in receipt of the housing component of income support. In that case, the social housing provider has the comfort of knowing that Social Security will fully cover their proposed rent charges in respect of income support claimants (the tenants themselves don't see any of this increased level of income support as it goes directly from Social Security into the hands of the social housing provider).

However, not all tenants living in social housing accommodation qualify for income support, possibly because of the level of their personal savings and/or because their employment earnings are too high, or they are pensioners who receive an occupational pension as well as the state pension. What if these tenants need to move to a different Andium property because of changed circumstances (e.g. a member of their household moves out or dies). How will they be able to afford to pay the far higher social housing rents if they don't qualify for income support? I would imagine that the fear of paying far higher rents is possibly acting as a disincentive for these households to move unless and until Andium forces them to do so. One would think that the new policy must have lowered the number of Andium properties that are vacant at any particular time, unless new accommodation is coming online. This would make it harder for tenants who are searching for alternative accommodation within the existing Andium stock. Might we see pensioners having to seriously consider moving out of social housing and into private sector accommodation near the end of their lives?

In the long term, this HTP policy may prove to be even more disastrous for social housing tenants and the public housing stock than I initially anticipated. If it results in far more social rental households being classed as relative low income, then that is a fundamental flaw which States Members should have recognised long before they went ahead and introduced it. After all, what is the point of having a new policy on social housing provision that results in higher levels of financial hardship for those residents than was previously the case?
 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2015, 08:41:19 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #109 on: February 11, 2016, 05:10:44 PM »
Can you spot the glaring error in this extract from page 7 of the registered unemployment report for January 2016, compiled by the Jersey Statistics Unit and released this week? :-\

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In January 2016, over two-fifths (22%) :-[ of all people registered as ASW were underemployed; the numbers of such individuals in each of the last twelve months are shown in Table 1.

http://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Government%20and%20administration/R%20Jan%202016%20Registered%20ASW%2020160210%20SU.pdf

Yesterday they even tweeted the same mistake in the form of a graphic:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ca3zQw7XIAAofSJ.png:large

Standards slipping at the Statistics Unit?

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #110 on: March 30, 2016, 11:17:30 PM »
The current issue of proposed cuts to free nursery places for families earning more than £75,000 per year exposes the raw schism in Jersey between the way the politicians and the Establishment media discriminate between the very richest and the very poorest in our community.

Compare these-

1) The Minister for Education is currently proposing stopping entitlement to 20 hours per week free nursery care for families with combined incomes of more than £75,000. This will apparently affect only 100 families per year in Jersey and save a relatively modest £0.25 million per year. Yet the reaction from the Establishment media has been furious, to say the least and queues of elected politicians simply can't wait until the end of the Easter holiday to start asking questions to the Minister, organising Scrutiny hearings, lodging propositions, presenting petitions, appearing on TV and radio to voice their opposition, fronting angry demonstrations in the Royal Square - you name it. The fact that 2,200 people have apparently signed an online petition within a very short space of time when only 100 families actually stand to be personally affected shows that a lot of money and resources are going into this campaign to force Deputy Rod Bryans to withdraw his plans.

2) Now cast your minds back just 6 months to when the States Assembly approved Deputy Susie Pinel's proposition to introduce a raft of different measures to save £10 million of benefits expenditure by 2019, most of it targetted at the very poorest working age income support households. At best, only 9 States Members voted against her proposition P.103/2015 on 8th October 2015 which, amongst other things, saw 1,300 single parent households lose their additional £40.39 per week single parent rate component of income support, phased in over 3 years. In 2016 alone, this cut in the single parent rate component will save an estimated £0.8 million, rising to £3.2 million by 2019.

Just a few months earlier, the Minister had used (or should I say, abused) her powers by making an Order that immediately disentitled about 75 jobseekers aged under 25 to the adult component of income support, saving an estimated £0.2 million per year - a very similar amount to the saving proposed today by Deputy Bryans in respect of families earning more than £75,000 a year. However, neither the Establishment media nor elected politicians raised any major concerns last summer about Pinel's arbitrary decision to close the claims of those 75 young jobseekers and the potential effect on other members of their families.

Compare this with the amount of attention being given now to those 100 or so families earning more than £75,000 per year and you get some idea of the vast gulf in political representation between these two separate groups of people. One group is obviously over-represented in the media and in the Assembly while the other group has no effective representation at all unless you regard the 3 members of Reform Jersey as providing them with some sort of representation that could be credibly labelled 'effective'.

Members of the States Assembly were so unconcerned by these drastic measures in P.103/2015 that they did not even call for an appel to record how each Member voted (pour or contre). They were passed on a mere standing vote and only the vote on the principles and the third reading were subject to an appel:

http://www.statesassembly.gov.je/Pages/Propositions.aspx?infoid=80989143b31517fb8fbf66b9d4fd710a_StatesAssembly&refurl=%2fPages%2fPropositions.aspx%3fsaperson%3dMinister+for+social+security%26sadocumentdatefrom%3d2015-06-01%26sadocumentdateto%3d2015-11-30


Read the ongoing campaign by Bailiwick Express to force Deputy Bryans to drop his proposals, if you can be bothered. William Randolph Hearst eat your heart out! :

http://www.bailiwickexpress.com/jsy/news/parent/?t=i#.Vvvn5Xp9mSo


And the JEP:

http://jerseyeveningpost.com/news/2016/03/30/royal-square-protest-over-proposed-nursery-cuts/

 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 11:32:53 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #111 on: April 11, 2016, 05:23:06 PM »
Just as the Health and Social Security Scrutiny Panel are starting to undertake a review of 'Living on Low Income' which might result in some politically awkward publicity for the government, I understand that none other than notorious income support claimant phobe, Deputy Jacqueline Ann Hilton, is set to become a member of that Panel again.  ::)  >:(

Presuming her membership is full and not restricted to just one particular ongoing review then I predict that whatever very little credibility that current Panel has managed to build up over the past year and a half will soon be entirely gone...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 05:26:15 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Online Fritz

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #112 on: April 12, 2016, 05:25:28 AM »
I,m all for ,"Benefit payments", to hard working folk who are made redundant from time to time. They should be paid on an ,"Earnings related scale", rather than just be classed amongst the,"Never worked a day in their lives", crew.
When someone is made redundant after working hard all their lives they shouldn,t be made to ,"Jump through hoops", to prove that they are ENTITLED to some help. The SS Officers should be made aware of  this.
Too many of the SS Officers are programmed to treat all claimants as,"Scroungers".
Begs the question, "Are these SS officers actually qualified to carry out the job they are paid to do?".
How many of these ,"Experts", have been imported and housed at tax-payers expense?
Wouldn,t we be better going back to the Parish system where officials could recognise genuine claimants and shysters without 3-7 layers of form-filling?

Offline Chevalier Blanc

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #113 on: April 13, 2016, 10:16:11 PM »
I agree that the Parish should take back the income support. They were in the right place to know who really needed it.
Giving it to the states was another way for them to use the money in different ways in which they could miss use it for their own benefit.

Online Fritz

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Re: Income Support, is it fair on the Tax Payer?
« Reply #114 on: April 14, 2016, 01:16:41 AM »
I still think that unemployment ,"ENTITLEMENT", (Not Benefit), should be paid on an earnings related scale. At the moment, anyone paying in thousands of pounds per year for decades who is made redundant or temporarily unemployed is treated exactly the same as someone who has never paid into the system.
Even worse for folk who are self employed who run out of work,(But have still payed into the system). They are entitled to nothing!!!
As it stands, The S.S. System is nothing more than a PPI scam.
Anyone paying in for decades is only covered if their last three months subscriptions have been paid. (What happens to all the funds already paid in?).
I,d love to see this challenged properly in court as the bank PPI scams have been in the past.
Just think how much private health/unemployment insurance cover you could get if you handed over 12.5% of your salary every month!!! Got to be more than the S.S. makes honest folk jump through hoops and attend useless courses etc for.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: 17th November is I, Daniel Blake Day
« Reply #115 on: November 17, 2016, 06:06:39 AM »
Bad news for Jersey's government and especially Minister Pinel: Ken Loach's highly-acclaimed I, Daniel Blake, the 2016 Cannes Palme D'or winner, will finally be screened at Jersey's Cineworld at 8.20pm tonight- Thursday 17th November - for one night and one performance only:

https://www.cineworld.co.uk/films/i-daniel-blake

It is being shown as part of national I, Daniel Blake Day across the UK:

https://twitter.com/hashtag/idanielblakeday?src=hash

Fore those who can't make this one-off screening, it is bound to be shown on BBC TV in the not too distant future as the BBC co-produced it.  :)