So The Tory Party have had their little get to gether up there in Manchester. A couple of items that came out of this little junked at the old central railway station that may at some time in the future affect me. The first was the tax break for couples where if one partner is earning less than their personal tax allowance then up to a £1000 can be added to other partner’s personal allowance. The maximum benefit this arrangement will bring is £3.85 per week. If only one partner is working and earning £10400 then that will be a 1.9% increase in their combined income. For a low income family that could be welcome. But for most couples whose income is probably higher than the increase becomes less noticeable. My partner and I will benefit but only by a good deal less than 0.5% increase in income.
Am I against or for this idea? Dead against. Why? It will cost almost 1 billion pounds to implement. Do you live in a medium sized town that needs a new hospital? A billion pounds would get you your new hospital. Fewer people will benefit but the benefit will be much greater if we built a new hospital somewhere in the country every year for the rest of eternity.
Second item was the added number of job applications out of work people have to make every week to continue getting their benefits. Sounds good, make sure the lazy bastards are looking for work. But hang on. I spend 3 days a week at a place in Paignton called Eat That Frog. I help people who are not familiar with computers get familiar with computers. What that means is I help people negotiate their way through the complexities of creating a CV, setting up an email address, setting up a Government Gateway account and showing people who have never used a computer look for work on the Gateway site.
Most of the people who come in are regulars, one guy told me the other day that he had applied for 45 jobs in the last 3 months and he hasn’t had a single job offer. He hasn’t had a single invitation to attend an interview. Actually he hasn’t had a single reply from any of the 45 people he has emailed his CV to. Not one prospective employer has had the curtsey to even email him back with the sad news that someone else has got the job.
But hang on a second before you say, “Miserable bastards.” for not emailing back. As well as the guy above sending the prospective employer an email with CV attached, so are other unemployed people in Torbay sending emails with CV attached because Government rules say unemployed people have to apply for 3 jobs a week. Sad to say there aren’t all that many jobs out here in Torbay but there are hundreds of unemployed people all trying to find 3 jobs a week to apply for. The poor prospective employer must be snowed under with emails with attached CVs. Sorry guys, it’s going to get worst when the number of jobs applied for goes up to 5 a week.
We only have 5 computers at Eat That Frog, trying to find 5 jobs to apply for will take longer so we could end up with a queue of people right round the Milk Bottle.