Tag Archives: Christmas

Merry bloody Christmas

Snow in Cairo. Snow in Jerusalem. Snow in Syria. Snow in Turkey. Informed local opinion says there’s been no snowfall in Egypt for 112 years. As the tweet above notes: no one alive had ever seen snow on the Sphinx before.
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Filed under Oil, Sustainable Politics, War

How not to help food banks

On 31st October, funding for my post at a charity where I had worked for eight years came to an end: I was facing redundancy.

In my last week at work, I went to have my hair cut. (This is a good plan before job interviews: plus, it made me feel better.) I told the hairdresser who was cutting my hair that I was being made redundant, and she pointed out “Well, you can always get temp work in the Christmas rush!” which was an excellent point (and it was a good haircut, too).

At least, I thought it was an excellent point. But there’s not necessarily going to be much paid temp work on offer this year:

High street names such as Tesco, Argos and Superdrug have taken on young people who work for free for six weeks while claiming their benefits.

And critics fear staff at Jobcentres are under pressure to put more people into the programmes – when they could have been given jobs – to meet strict Government targets.

Under Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s back-to-work programme, young people do up to 30 hours’ unpaid work a week. Placements can last up to eight weeks and they only receive travel expenses in addition to their £53-a-week jobseekers’ allowance.

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Filed under About Food, Economics, Poverty