The four areas of Oldham with the highest increase in housing benefit claims compared to 2011 are all PFI housing areas.

Using official statistics from the

Oldham Housing Benefit Costs data from the Department for Work & Pensions

is it “Get Oldham Working”? In just fifteen months foreign nationals registering for new National Insurance numbers in Oldham surpassed actual jobs created by the “Get Oldham Working” scheme in a twenty two month period by 68%.

new national insurance registrations to foreign nationals

New national insurance registrations to foreign nationals

Is the answer Oldham Council’s “WorkingXtra” scheme? “The WorkingXtra criteria rewards those applicants on the housing register who are working more than 16 hours or are actively volunteering or making a contribution to the community” identifying people who work just sixteen hours per week with the idiom ‘Xtra’ tell’s you more about the noncontributory composition of many social housing tenancies in Oldham than it does about what is considered as extra in the real world.

Is the answer AGMA and the GMCA in a devoluted Manchester? The problem here remains the same as before it is the same politicians in a different location with even more powers. These politicians will continue offering disproportionate policy, support and finance aimed solely at core family unit voters many of whom, in Oldham at least, are responsible for the huge benefit bill which in part drives the cycle of multigenerational deprivation. Benefits generally and tax credits specifically suppress local wage rates and create public indifference to the tens of millions taken directly from scarce local public sector budgets and resources to be spent on so called regeneration projects because it is paid for by a taxation system that in real terms they never contribute to. AGMA’s four latest Housing and Planning Commission proposals submitted for Government funding has two sites along the Manchester corridor around Oxford Road which are looking to expand the “life sciences” sector, in the second bid another three Manchester sites have been submitted this time for the expansion of the creative & media sector, a third bid was submitted to help fund the continuing Town Centre’s regeneration project and a final proposal to increase the low paid logistics sector at Bury, Oldham, Bolton, Wigan and Rochdale, this sector has the lowest Gross value added (GVA) ratio as a percentage of turnover of any industry.

Housing and Planning Commission Greater Manchester Strategy

Housing and Planning Commission Greater Manchester Strategy

oldham council public money spent and jobs created

Oldham Council public money spent and jobs created