What We Learned Last Week (17/03 – 23/03)

kamsandhu —  March 24, 2014 — Leave a comment

1) DWP to axe Universal Jobsmatch following ridicule for fraudulent posts

The DWP are drawing up plans to axe the maligned Universal Jobsmatch site after investigations have revealed the site has had thousands of fake jobs posted in an attempt to extract money from jobseekers through fake credit or security checks.

The website has also been ridiculed for it’s postings which have included ” MI6 “target elimination specialist” and “international couriers” for CosaNostra Holdings, as well as listings for pornographic websites.”

Documents obtained by The Guardian suggest the website, which is a mandatory sign up for jobseekers, could be dismantled when the contract of service comes up for renewal in 2 years.

Frank Field MP who has lead some of the research into the site is now pressing the National Audit Office for a new investigation as the site is “bedevilled with fraud.”

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Read more about this story.

2) Five richest families in UK have the more wealth than poorest 20% combined

Oxfam released the following information last week:

“Just five families in the UK are richer than the 12.6 MILLION poorest Brits. Inequality like this is a massive problem, but it’s far from inevitable – it’s a result of political choices that can be reversed.

“It’s time for change, and we’re determined to tackle inequality head on. Help us by SHARING this post to spread the word about the injustice of inequality on our doorstep.”

Image: Oxfam

Image: Oxfam

3) Osborne delivers budget for the haves and PR gaffe ensues

George Osborne delivered yet another budget that ignores the millions of people most in need of help from growth. Concentrating on savings, pensions and those already much better off, the financial plans seemed to serve the ‘haves’ as Julia Unwin stated in the Jospeph Rowntree response to the budget:

“This is a Budget for the people who already have, not for the people who need to benefit most from the return to growth. It is a lost opportunity for the 13 million people in poverty who need active intervention to tackle the structural barriers that keep them in poverty.

People on low incomes are unlikely to see the welcome  benefits of growth unless there is targeted help with household and housing costs, with child care and with the nature of jobs and training. The expense and inefficiency of high levels of poverty continue to put a drag on growth.”

A PR campaign ensued highlighting the ‘benefits’ the budget would give people in the form of beer (1p off the pint) and bingo (lowering tax) with the Conservative party shouting they were helping “hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy.”

Imgae: The Telegraph

Imgae: The Telegraph

The above poster was released and re-tweeted with warnings like “this is not a parody.” Comparisons were drawn to Orwellian prophecies and many said the use of “they” was patronising as though the Tory party saw themselves as a cut above the masses. However, the most embarrassing element came from the Twiitersphere as the #torybingo hashtag began climbing the top trends with things like:

Screen shot 2014-03-23 at 14.31.52

There was a call for Tory Party Chairman, Grant Shapps to be sacked following the gross mis-judgement of the campaign. But it has turned out it was the briefcase bearer himself, George Osborne who signed off the design with some reporting he was very “enthusiastic” about it. 

Read more about this story here.

4) Warren Buffet agrees with Economists in predicting a stock market crash in 2014

Warren Buffet, along with other economists who predicted the 2008 crash, is now forewarning of a further crash this year.

Buffet and agreeing colleagues say we are living in a “financial asset bubble” and we should not be surprised that it will burst.

Image: Incolo

Image: Incolo

However, as opposed to looking at this prospect with fear, some such as Zero Hedge, say we need to look at this more optimistically:

“The world is not coming to an end. It’s going to reset. There’s a huge difference between the two.

“Think about the system that we’re living under.

“A tiny elite has total control of the money supply. They wield intrusive spy networks and weapons of mass destruction. The can confiscate the wealth of others in their sole discretion. They can indebt unborn generations.

“Curiously, these are the same people who are so incompetent they can’t put a website together.

“It’s not working. And just about everyone knows it.

“We’re taught growing up that ‘We the People’ have the power to affect radical change in the voting booth. But this is another fairy tale.

“Voting only changes the players. It doesn’t change the game.

“Technology is one major game changer. The technology exists today to completely revolutionize the way we live and govern ourselves.

“Today’s system is just a 19th century model applied to a 21st century society. I mean– a room full of men making decisions about how much money to print? It’s so antiquated it’s almost comical.

“But given that the majority of Western governments borrow money just to pay interest on money they’ve already borrowed, it’s obvious the current game is almost finished.

“When it ends, there will be a reset… potentially a tumultuous one.

“This is why you want to have a plan B, and why you don’t want to have all of your eggs in one basket.”

Read more about this story here.

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