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Work and Pensions Secretary, Therese Coffey: Bracing For a Large Number of Unemployed.

Economic Fallout.

By Nicholas BishopPublished 4 years ago 3 min read
Department of Work and Pensions Secretary, Therese Coffey.

Therese Coffey became the DWP Secretary under Boris Johnson when he became UK Prime Minister. Of all the jobs to do in the cabinet, it is in many ways, like drinking a poison chalice. In that job, you oversee, one of the biggest departments in government.

It is a department, that oversees the amount of employment/unemployment in the nation. It is also responsible for benefit payments and retirement.

Iain Duncan Smith was the DWP man, under the first Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron. It was he, who came up with the controversial benefit Universal Credit. In theory, putting 5 welfare benefits into one was a good idea. However, since its rollout across the country, over the last few years, the benefit has been problematic. People on this benefit have to wait 5 weeks before, they receive, their first monthly payment. This leaves people with rent, mortgages, and bills to pay, in the lurch. Also, the sanctions regime, imposed on claimants for allegedly, not looking for enough work, was also controversial. Under Iain Duncan Smith's watch, many thousands of people died, it is alleged, because of the ramifications, of this benefit on their lives.

The United Nations actually investigated the UK government and the effects Universal Credit was having on those most dependent upon it. The UN found against the UK government. However, the findings of the UN report were, unfortunately, non-binding. The UK government did not co-operate with the findings of the UN report, needless to say.

Therese Coffey is perhaps, not the most glamourous female, in Boris' cabinet. It seems as with anything else these days, female MPs go out of their way to look smart and attractive. Coffey, is none of these, but then do you need to be 'hot' as it were, to do your job?

Therese Coffey has overseen a large number of claimants signing on for Universal Credit since the inception of COVID-19. When the UK went into lockdown on 23 March, the economic effects on some peoples jobs and businesses were disastrous. Despite Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, bringing out the Job Retention Scheme (or Furlough Scheme) people did lose their jobs. 2.7 million people were claiming Universal Credit as lockdown went on.

Now with the second wave of COVID hitting the UK, (but more localised this time), those claiming Universal Credit are expected to rise exponentially. Therese Coffey has stated, that she and her department, are bracing for as many as 4 million out of work. Such, numbers of unemployed people, have not been seen since the 1980s. Margaret Thatcher during that decade wrought changes to British industry. Her policies were mainly responsible, for 3 million of the population being without work.

The furlough scheme ends at the of this month. Germany, France and Ireland have extended their furlough scheme to save workers jobs. However, Boris and his Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, were asked, told and cajoled, about to keep it going. However, they have said they will not renew it when October ends. Instead, they have produced packages when furlough ends, to keep people in work and businesses afloat.

Meanwhile, Therese Coffey has been premiering the 'Kickstart' scheme, to help those under 30 find work. It is reckoned, that in this second wave of COVID, it will be the young that will be hit the hardest with finding work.

However, it has been argued what about older workers? Why, is there no version of the 'Kickstart scheme for older workers? Maybe, the thinking is that it is more important to find the young work first. In a sense, that is right and correct, however, in contradiction of that thought, the government is going to put up the retirement age.

Also, UBI has been touted by the opposition parties and others, as a possible solution to the long term unemployment presumably, coming upon us. UBI would cancel out the current mess of a benefits system we have, but, as usual, this government have refused to even entertain it.


About the Creator

Nicholas Bishop

I am a freelance writer currently writing for Blasting News and HubPages. I mainly write about politics. But have and will cover all subjects when the need arises.

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    Nicholas BishopWritten by Nicholas Bishop

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