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Oxfam in trouble after ‘politically biased campaign’

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Faux film poster tweeted by Oxfam

Faux film poster tweeted by Oxfam

Oxfam, one of Britain’s leading aid charities, is facing an inquiry by the charity watchdog after it criticised the current government austerity measures.

On Twitter, Oxfam posted an image of a faux film poster, with the heading “The Perfect Storm” and the words “Starring zero hour contracts, high prices, benefit cuts, unemployment, childcare costs”.

The accompanying tweet stated: “Lifting the lid on austerity Britain reveals a perfect storm – and it’s forcing more and more people into poverty”.

Conservative MPs reported Oxfam to the charity watchdog as they regarded their campaign against poverty as ‘politically biased’ against the Conservative government. Read the rest of this entry

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Britain’s Richest 1% as Wealthy as Poorest 55% of Population

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According to a new analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Britain’s richest 1% have as much wealth as the poorest 55% of the population put together. This analysis includes wealth in terms of property, pensions and financial assets.

Inequality between the north-south divide has also worsened, with household wealth in the south-east rising five times faster than the rest of the country. The average wealth of households in the south-east rose 30% from 2006-8 to the end of 2012, whereas the average rise in England was only 6%.

In addition, the north-east was the only region where average household wealth actually fell.

The report states that the situation is likely to have worsened due to an 18% rise in house prices over the past year in the south-east. In addition, a rush to save among richer households during the recession boosted the nation’s total wealth, with the top 10% owning 44% of the household wealth, and the poorest 50% of the country owning only 9%.

A recent report from Oxfam also showed that five billionaire families own the same wealth as 20% of the population. Read the rest of this entry

Unions criticise new Help to Work programme for long-term unemployed

The new Help to Work programme came into effect this Monday, meaning that the long-term unemployed must meet an adviser everyday, or do community work for up to six months, if they want to avoid facing benefit sanctions.

The government have stated that the new programme will mean Jobcentre staff will have more options to support people who are struggling to find work, including ‘intensive coaching’.

The voluntary work could include gardening projects, running community cafes or restoring historical sites and war memorials. The placements will be for 30 hours a week for up to six months and will be backed up by at least four hours of supported job searching each week. Read the rest of this entry