Mann: Unemployed an Easy Target

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The Celtic League are seeking clarification to changes to Social benefits on the Isle of Man announced recently and the questions posed seek to elicit what the monetary impact of these changes will be on some of the worst of in Manx society.

The changes were announced by Bill Henderson MLC who paradoxically ‘squealed like a stuck pig’ when suggestions were made some years ago that politicians should take a pay cut.

The League are asking also what the overall saving will be a taking ‘bites’ out of the already minimal amount the unemployed received.

The Treasury recently seemed lukewarm over suggestions that it should tackle the black economy and corporate expense account culture which costs the government millions in evaded tax. They obviously assumed the unemployed were a quicker and easier target than their ‘corporate chums’ in the business community.

The League queries to Social Security Director, Ross Stephens, are set out below;

“Mr Ross Stephens
Director of Social Security
The Treasury
Government Buildings
Douglas
Isle of Man

17th September 2015

Dear Mr Stephens,

I refer to the notice issued in relation to the reduction in JSA and your subsequent interview over same with Manx Radio (see links):

https://www.gov.im/news/2015/sep/11/claimants-notified-of-reductions-in-jobseekers-allowance/

https://www.manxradio.com/news/isle-of-man-news/jsa-claimants-informed-of-changes/

In relation to the notice it seems to be somewhat non-specific as to the monetary impact of these changes saying:

“reductions to the personal allowance element in the rates of income-based JSA for jobseekers who have been signing on for more than six months, up to a maximum 40% reduction in this element for those who have been on JSA for over a year”

What are the current rates and by how much ‘in money terms’ will these be impacted?

The notice also says:

“reducing the rates of the personal allowance element in income-based JSA for jobseekers who do not have to pay housing costs.”

Surely this is disingenuous has no one exists on ‘thin air’ and a housing costs exists for a person whether at home or in independent circumstances. Surely what is meant he is that housing costs will have to be met by the persons family and if this is the case has any estimate been made by the Treasury of the likely cost impact of this, in money term, and will tax relief be available to the householder who now takes responsibility for shouldering what was previously an element of the Social Security budget?

Turning to your interview with Manx Radio you said:

“the money we give to the unemployed”

The words ‘we give’ are somewhat strange. I had thought that the JSA a recipient receives is an ‘entitlement’ under existing Social Security legislation not some grant or gift?

On a general point what is the Treasury estimate of the saving’s from these draconian cuts to JSA?

Finally, you referred to the differences between the Isle of Man and adjacent jurisdictions what is the monetary value of that difference?

Trusting you can clarify these points,

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Related links:

https://www.celticleague.net/news/mann-good-news-lets-celebrate-by-kicking-the-unemployed/

https://www.celticleague.net/news/mannin-benefit-cuts-i-hope-the-government-knows-what-its-doing/

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Celtic News

17/09/15

THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE

The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

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