Thanet Star

Will 13,000 from Thanet be forced choice between crime or starvation?

Hawley Square, Margate
As the top sanction for failing to fulfil any obligation reaches three years without access to benefits have we gone to far?

Thanet District Council's own figures estimate that there are 13,680 claiming out of work benefits. If any one of these people fall foul of Iain Duncan Smith's crackdown on benefits they could find themselves facing a life of crime or a slow death by starvation. Smith's own advisers have been urging him to reconsider the consequence of a benefits crackdown that could see claimants refused benefits for up to three years.

Margate  - 072
These figures also show that 8.5% of the population in the South East claim out of work benefits but in Thanet that figure is more than double at 17.3% or 13,680 people. Iain Duncan Smith's committee have told him that withdrawing benefits for people judged unwilling to seek work risks driving these claimants into "crime or prostitution".

After all if three and then six months of no benefits have been unable to change you then three years is more than likely going to fail as well.

We are not talking about people too lazy to work but people who when competing for jobs have lost. People who having found themselves unable to find work (like 13,679 other people) have now been told that they have a large list of rules to obey. Any failure no mater how minor can cost the person up to three years worth of out of work benefits.

For example Jason Johnson (not his real name) who lost his job when the firm he was working for went into receivership. Jason was left in debt as his company had withheld several months wages. Jason was given an appointment at the Job Centre. Having sold his car to make ends meet he took the bus from his flat in Cliftonville to the Job Centre in Margate. Unfortunately there was a delay which left him being three minutes late. There was a queue delaying Jason a further four minutes. Jason was sanctioned three months Job Seekers Allowance for being late to an appointment.

For example Linda Smith (not her real name) has a masters degree but was laid off two years ago when her firm downsized. Linda suffers from dyspraxia which means that she finds time keeping challenging. Linda missed an appointment recently and faces a second sanction which would mean that she and her daughter face homelessness as she tops up her rent from her JSA as her housing benefit does not cover the full amount.

Job Centre Plus
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Dreamland vs Tesco

Is Dreamland the key to Margate's future?

Dreamland (Scenic Railway) - Margate
The guardian is reporting today on the approaching final verdict on Dreamland. In less than two months there will be a four-day public inquiry after which (28th February) the local government secretary, Eric Pickles, is to decide the fate of the site.

Margate waits for verdict on derelict Dreamland amusement park [guardian.co.uk] also picks up on the topic of the proposed Tesco and the admittedly dire tower block that somehow was granted permission to be built so long ago.

Mary Portas (she of whom I have not the highest reputation) has been rightly critical of the Tesco build which, while it might bring a handful of new jobs, will also bring a lot of traffic to an already gridlocked area. Potentially Tesco could, in the long term, cost more in lost employment as those that work outside of Margate are forced to relocate to get passed the seafront gridlock.

...

» Continue Reading: Dreamland vs Tesco

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Happy Seasonal Day Boys and Girls

funny-christmas-cartoon

Here's to hoping that today is amazing for you.

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Happy Humbug 2012

I do not have a good track record with happy December endings and this year looks to be the most painful yet.

However as there is nothing I ca do about that let me put this out there for you: What one thing will you be doing to spread peace and joy in the coming week?

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Flaaaaaaaaaaaig!

Nooooooooooooooooo!

I drop out of things for a month and when I resurface looking to find out what has been going on I find this: Winding Up where Tony Flaig says goodbye to blogging.

Tony was one of the longest standing (old school) of Thanet Bloggers. He can't just go. Big News Margate is... was, a huge part of the scene.

I am in shock.

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Byte Sized

Local Art

Local Artist, John Wooster-Brown has a new website.

Blogs
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Like to write?

If you love to write then the Thanet Creative Writers blog might be the ideal place to connect with your nearest writer group.

Blogs
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Hyper-localism

For those interested in blogging local news in and arround the UK this BBC article from last year is sure to be of interest.

General
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Did you know?

Margate was the first seaside resort to introduce deck chairs way back in 1898.

Facts
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Did you know

MP Roger Gail (Thanet North) wanted to increase VAT

Facts
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Did you know

MP Roger Gale (Thanet North) has never voted on measures to reduce tax avoidance

Facts
 
 
 

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