Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Forced Labour in Suffolk.

with 102 comments

Just a reminder that the Manchester scheme is going to happen in Suffolk: (here)

A requirement for people who have been out of work for two years to do up to six months of valuable work experience to help them get jobs will be trialled in two pilot areas, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Yvette Cooper said today.

The Government has already announced that every young person unemployed for a year will be guaranteed a job, training or work placement, which will be compulsory. Now, for the minority who aren’t able to find a job in two years, the Work for Your Benefit pilots will give people up to six months of intensive work experience which will help improve their employability.

The pilots will apply to people on Jobseeker’s Allowance who will already have been offered a range of alternative intensive support at an earlier stage in their claim – including training options, short term work trials, a recruitment subsidy for employers to take them on, or voluntary work in the local community. Participants will continue to receive Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The pilots will take place in Greater Manchester, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk and will run for two years from October 2010.

Yvette Cooper said:

“We are investing £5bn to help people who have lost their jobs. We are determined to give the right help and support to everyone who is unemployed. We want to make sure that short-term job losses are not allowed to turn into long-term unemployment which can scar communities for generations. The longer people are left out of work, and without recent work experience, the harder it is to get a new job.”

Jobseekers will be required to participate in the Work for Your Benefit programme for up to six months, whilst still able to retain their benefit. Failure to participate may result in the sanction of benefits.

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Written by Andrew Coates

March 11, 2010 at 10:16 am

102 Responses

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  1. A number of people have previously mentioned a legal challenge based on Article 4 of the 1998 Humnan Rights Act.

    I think we have a stronger case if we also claim that the sort of work the governement envisage Workfare paricipanats doing is the same sort of work as people sentenced to Community Payback/Servce.

    I don’t know about you, but I haven’t committed any crime so why should I be forced to do the same as them?

    There’s only two ways you can fight workfare: a legal challenge, an if that is unsuccessful – then sabotage it once it comes into operation.

    What do I mean by sabotage, you ask? Accidently losing tools, accidently spilling paint, arriving late for work,go slow. Anything and everything that will make the operation of Workfare more difficult and more expensive. If enough people do this all over the country I believe we can ultimately win.

    Gerry Attric

    March 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    • “A number of people have previously mentioned a legal challenge based on Article 4 of the 1998 Humnan Rights Act.”

      I read somewhere that the government have already gotten around this by classing WFYB as a civic obligation which is exempt under the Human Rights Act.

      Average Joe

      March 13, 2010 at 10:06 pm

      • Sadly its true – but what is a civic obligation?

        Flexible New Deal

        March 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm

      • “Sadly its true – but what is a civic obligation?”

        From the little I have read about it I would guess that clause was just added to stop people using the act to get out of doing jury service.

        Average Joe

        March 14, 2010 at 10:25 am

      • Trying to use the law to fight the law-makers is completely pointless. There is only one solution: the refusal of the individual to obey.

        Spanner

        March 14, 2010 at 11:56 am

      • Good point Joe, that is true – I based the civic obligations around Jury Service which can be tracked down to:

        a) only applicable to citizens (18+)
        b) people are randomly chosen from electoral roll

        Thus to be eligible you must have registered to vote (registered for responsibility of voting and jury service)… people are not picked discriminatively.

        In the case of workfare being alleged to be a civil obligation – it is not fixed to the electoral roll (thus not opt in) and is discriminative to the poor.

        (In a similar way you couldn’t stick all “foreigners” (different races/ethnicities but have a right to work and remain here) on community service)

        Being on a low income doesn’t warrant any increased obligation or responsibility than other citizens (not to mention not all jobseekers will be registered to vote anyway) *and* being forced to work (servitude) against your own will as a punishment or deterrent (and not for your sole benefit of gaining work experience p.s. was provided on Flexible New Deal so can’t argue that welfare is of any help as you would have gained a job in the previous 12 months if that was the case) is an infringement of many human rights.

        Whether you are receiving money for it (in this case Training Allowance (not Jobseekers Allowance) benefit) isn’t relevant. What is relevant is the “Training Allowance” – not solely a name, it is linked to legislation where Secretary of State can pay an allowance for training, aren’t obligated to be actively seeking employment etc. during such training and those on this allowance are classified as “in training”. Workfare will not exist of any training just solely work. If any training will exist (i.e. on the job training) it would be the first week of the 6 month workfare duration.

        This is technically illegal – in the same way you can’t create a law to pay out benefits but channel it into your own pocket for your garden moat. In addition, the fact that the allowance will now be the same as Jobseekers Allowance (not even 10p, £1 or £5 more) might seem a clever way of bumping up bonuses to Flexible New Deal providers etc. however this was rather prematurely naive:- what they needed to do was create Statutory Instrument to waive certain Jobseeker Allowance conditionality for those on workfare but instead they considered a transfer to use such ability already developed as known as a Training Allowance. Bad move!

        Spanner, I would hate to be an organisation deciding to bid for the workfare contracts…

        Flexible New Deal

        March 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      • … but they will just stop your benefits… what will you do then?

        barney

        March 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      • one thing you can do I suppose is make it as unpleasant as possible for the bastards that run these schemes… like the overseers. when you think about it if it wasn’t for these traitors we would have nowt to worry about.

        barney

        March 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      • it will be like one overseer to a gang of inmates… if we all gang up on the bastards their life will be a living hell. we need to turn the tables of these bastards.

        barney

        March 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      • even the simple things in life… like putting glass in their boots, shite in their sandwich… piss in their tea…..

        barney

        March 14, 2010 at 3:04 pm

      • you’d have to be subtle though… it probably be like any other scheme where at first they try and identify the troublemakers n leaders and send em back to the jobcentre for a sanction. that’s all the bastards have over us is the threat of sanction. anyone that takes jobs in workfare, new deal n the like is a complete cunt.

        barney

        March 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

      • also helps if you can’t read instructions n stuff 🙂

        barney

        March 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      • Non-violent resistance, yes. I disagree with the glass, etc.

        Spanner

        March 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm

      • When you’ve been sanctioned and you run out of money, you walk into a supermarket and you take the food you need. When the magistrate asks why you did this, you tell him you had no money and you don’t believe in obediently starving to death.

        Spanner

        March 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      • yeah spanner, but what if the magistrate sentenced you to hang or be sent to oz? maybe, that’s what they’ve got up their sleeve for next lol meantime, if push comes to shove I’ll be joining you in giving the asco security guard a slack jaw!

        reggie

        March 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm

  2. I don’t see how employers will look favourably at those who’ve been under this scheme compared to those who’ve not and have more recent history so participants would still be in the same boat as they were if they weren’t doing anything. It may look better in the eyes of the employer but will it really make any difference? Let’s hope the employers don’t exploit and give them a chance.

    Mark Thompson

    March 11, 2010 at 1:04 pm

  3. Well…

    We are comparing Community Service to Workfare

    I also see an unfair comparison between benefit fraudsters (benefit fraud is a criminal offence) who have been sanctioned as a result *and* people who have been sanctioned for whatever reason (i.e. forgot about an appointment) that isn’t a criminal offence who get the same length sanction.

    Flexible New Deal

    March 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm

  4. And where are all these jobs going to come from? Unless it’s just digging holes and filling them back in, etc, people on minimum wage are going to be forced out of their jobs, strengthening the ranks of the unemployed and leading to political unrest. Hopefully.

    Spanner

    March 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm

  5. (US-style)-Workfare):

    The following is a sample list of entities that may offer opportunities for [Workfare] positions

    Municipal or other government: Jobs with easily expanded work crews. These types of jobs are appropriate because participants can be productively placed in these types of positions with little or no training, unplanned absences do not disrupt the operation, and functions can be easily expanded or contracted depending upon the need for positions.

    Example employers: housing authorities, school systems, parks and recreation, and sanitation departments.

    Community-based organizations and government agencies: Positions which require more supervision by the employer and more reliability and/or skill level from the employee. Participants proven to be reliable in the positions listed in the category above, but who are still not ready for private employment, may be placed into these positions.

    Example job tasks: public housing painting and preparation, maintenance of parks or other facilities, city gardening, neighbourhood watch patrol, clean up of city property or vacant lots.

    Many of these positions are currently provided through non-profit community organizations in the human services field. Many participants with limited English skills can be placed in ethnic community organizations where they can provide elder services, youth activities and other services to the ethnic community. Similarly, placing people who speak a language other than English in food pantries, clothing centers and government agencies will help make these services accessible to other members of the community. The W-2/tribal agency must ensure that persons placed in positions that require a criminal background check will qualify.

    Example employers: community non-profits, religious organizations, hospitals, schools, government agencies.

    Example job tasks: health aide, clerical or administrative aide, child care aide, teacher’s aide, personal assistant, driver.

    Contract organizations: Public and private non-profit agencies which bid for paid services, such as industrial laundry, packaging and distribution, recycling recovery, cleaning and maintenance.

    Example employer: private non-profits, W-2/tribal agencies.

    Example job tasks: same as community-based organizations and other government agencies.

    Red

    March 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm

  6. Spanner has hit the nail on the head. FND for many is the departure lounge before you board the Workfare flight!

    Teflon Don

    March 11, 2010 at 6:49 pm

  7. I would happily do litter picking for my dole because it was easy where I am when I was paid but I wouldn’t like to do it if it was putting other paid people out of jobs. I’d just like to do it so I wouldn’t have to go to the Jobcentre every two weeks and it was nice being outside instead of being couped-up in a grotty old warehouse. I enjoyed it and I worked harder than some of the council workers but that’s besides the point and I hate the Jobcentre.

    Mark Thompson

    March 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

  8. Presumably people will stop getting JSA and be moved over to a training allowance if they are going to be working over 16 hours per week – which is another con in itself as I don’t believe people on TA are included in the official unemployment numbers.

    Average Joe

    March 11, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    • Hi Joe…

      The Training Allowance has two main purposes:

      1) It excuses the person from being available for employment

      and

      2) You are classified as in training not unemployed (so you are right)

      The problem with TA on Flexible New Deal is its the same rate as JSA and like before on New Deal there is no training involved.

      Flexible New Deal

      March 11, 2010 at 11:10 pm

  9. Here’s a link to the European Court of Human Rights PDF doc. You cannot make a complaint on behalf of someone else. So those of you in Greater Manchester, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk will have to be the first to test the legality of Workfare.

    http://www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/37C26BF0-EE46-437E-B810-EA900D18D49B/0/ENG_QR.pdf

    Teflon Don

    March 11, 2010 at 11:24 pm

  10. With respect, guys, I don’t think there will be any training allowance. It’s working for your benefits, all you’ll get is travel expenses. It’s not Train For Your Benefits

    Jim

    March 11, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    • Jim – I understand the confusion.

      A Training Allowance has nothing to do with training (despite the name) it just prevent jobseekers complaining about doing such activities as hindering their chances of finding employment (after all “it is intended to be an unpleasant experience” *) and gives the ability to shift people from being classified as unemployed to “in training”.

      Workfare is exempt from NMW because its a Government scheme.

      Workfare is exempt from being servitude by being classified as a civil obligation.

      Workfare will replace many NMW jobs with unpaid jobs – it will create a push-pull effect on the unemployed… that is the long-term unemployed (on workfare) will replace jobs of employed people, those who are unemployed because of that wont be guaranteed a job until they become long-term unemployed and be on workfare, where the existing claimants on workfare either stop claiming (not unemployed by claimant count) or start the loop over again.

      * = http://www.flexible-new-deal.co.uk/2010/03/12/john-leech-mp-opposes-work-for-your-benefit-scheme/

      A technical aspect I am interested in is… If they replace Jobseekers Allowance with an Training Allowance (of same amount) for the Work for your Benefit scheme, will you still be working for your benefits?

      A Training Allowance is a benefit but not an unemployment benefit as those who are in receipt of it are classified as “in training”.

      Flexible New Deal

      March 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

      • “A technical aspect I am interested in is… If they replace Jobseekers Allowance with an Training Allowance (of same amount) for the Work for your Benefit scheme, will you still be working for your benefits?

        A Training Allowance is a benefit but not an unemployment benefit as those who are in receipt of it are classified as “in training”.”

        When I was on New Deal last year I was getting £0.30p per week JSA. The rest of my money was made up by the Training Allowance.

        Average Joe

        March 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

  11. There is no extra cash in the Training Allowance now. The extra £15 a week of the old New Deal was abolished to pay Flexible New Deal providers more.

    They no doubt need the money so much more than we do.

    You are expected to fork out travel fares up front (which can be very high) out of your just over £64 a week and then claim them back.

    Andrew Coates

    March 12, 2010 at 11:42 am

    • Andy, do you think there is a case against it?

      How can they abolish the extra £15 per week while expecting you to do the same level of work and where everything costs more? (uprating benefits is a joke)

      As far as I am aware, the law still leaves extra payment open as when I looked (if I remember correctly) it states about paying a Training Allowance, but no amount.

      I assume the scrapping of £15 per week is an internal policy?

      Whereas not illegal it is rather unfair. No chance I am working without the extra £15 per week… EVEN IF MY FLEXIBLE NEW DEAL PROVIDER HAS TO FORK OUT THE DIFFERENCE!!!

      Flexible New Deal

      March 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

  12. Campaign against Workfare:

    http://unfairworkfare.wordpress.com/

    Andrew Coates

    March 13, 2010 at 11:24 am

  13. I agree with Barney. Especially about being subtle, low level aggrovation constantly and taking the piss out the ‘guards’ (which is what they really even if the are called Supervisors). Make ther life a living hell. Why make life easy for them, they’re bastards and deserve everything they get

    Jim

    March 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    • You will only be digging yourself a big hole… if you are, make sure you use the spades to full potential and aim the dirt at your supervisor.

      We will be launching an initiative so jobseekers on workfare (for Community Service work) can film (create like a video diary, of) their experience and publish on youtube etc. including name and shame of persons supervising these schemes.

      Flexible New Deal

      March 14, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    • I think you’ll find that a lot of the guards will be ex-military, prison, police, maybe just working part-time to top up their fat pensions.

      barney

      March 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm

  14. Has anyone else heard that some providers have had problems getting people to attend and are trying to get the authority to electronically tag people and also people on this work fare…this can’t be allowed surely…

    abu

    March 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    • Sounds like non-sense (electronical tagging) however I have heard there will/might be a fast track to workfare.

      At current there is a 6 month Fast Track on Flexible New Deal – it is unsure where the fast track to workfare will be. I assume… say, you started FND in Dec, if you signed off in Mar and signed back on in Sep or Oct you could be stuck on workfare instead of FND?

      Flexible New Deal

      March 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm

      • The way it was explained to me is that once you start FND you have to complete a total of 12 months no matter what. So as I understand it the person in your example would be sent staight back to FND to finish his remaining 8 months of FND after signing on again.

        This DWP flow chart seems to indicate that people can be fast-tracked on to WFYB for a period of six weeks at any point during their first 12 months of signing on (stages 1-3).

        http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wyb-annex3.pdf

        It also seems that you are not automatically guaranteed to end up on WFYB pilot after completing 12 months of FND (which is not what the staff of TNG are telling people). There are two other options – an enhanced stage 3 and a control group. Whatever group you end up in, at the end of six months of that you will be sent straight back to FND (presumably for a further 12 months).

        Average Joe

        March 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

      • I am unsure but I sincerely doubt people will get a choice when implemented.

        I don’t understand the options. I assume the other 2 options are so people can opt out of the pilots?

        For example an “Enhanced Stage 3” route gives upto £500 support fund before people end up back on FND. I would choose that option over workfare.

        However, it states New Claimants (between stages 1-3) can be fast tracked into the pilots for 6 weeks. f**k that!

        Flexible New Deal

        March 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      • My guess would be that whilst the scheme is being piloted people are going to be randomly allocated to one of the three groups.

        If the jobcentre are allowed to handpick the people who go on the WFYB option then that could be seen as trying to skew the results of the trial.

        I imagine that the control group and enhanced stage 3 group will be stopped once the pilot phase ends and WFYB is rolled out across the country.

        Average Joe

        March 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm

  15. All this sceme will do is to widen the alarming and ever growing gap between the poorest and the richest in society. The poorest will be forced to work for no money making them even poorer. It will also be used as an example to undermine the real need for serious wage increases needed in reality to just make the minimum wage a living wage. Minimum wage workers will now have to live under the the ever present threat of shut up or we will get someone in on work fare to do it and if you complain that person coming in on workfare eventualy could be you !!! Vote Labour, Vote Traitors.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    March 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  16. Exactly, even the DWP’s own published documents admit that part of the reason behind these schemes is to “lower pay” and “increase productivity”.

    Raw Deal

    March 15, 2010 at 12:43 pm

  17. Don’t forget that they are already gearing up for this. A certain local ‘Media Club House’and Volunteer Centre would be one. They are already having problems finding ‘volunteering’ for people to do, and have got to a bit of a limit.

    So the prospect of private companies benefiting from Workfare is pretty real.

    Not that everyone in the ‘voluntary’ sector is exactly the ideal employer in the first place.

    Andrew Coates

    March 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm

  18. According to this article these workfare “placements” will be PERMANENT – what a crock!

    Long-term jobless will be forced to work for benefits under new plan

    The long-term jobless will be forced to work for their benefits under a get-tough plan to be unveiled today.

    Anyone unemployed for two years or more will have to do a work-experience placement permanently or see their payouts axed.

    New Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell’s “workfare” policy risks angering unions and the Labour left.

    But in his first major speech since taking up the job last month, he is set to insist the aim is to help people out of poverty.

    He will say: “I recognise the genuine barriers that some people face.”

    Everyone will have intensive help to find a job before they are forced to take an unpaid placement. And officials insist the placements will be “meaningful” jobs that prepare people for paid employment.

    Anyone who is out of work for 12 months will be placed on the Flexible New Deal programme from next year.

    An estimated 43,000 people a year will be put through the courses run by private firms and voluntary bodies, including charities.

    They will get 12 months to try to find a job, including four weeks’ work experience.

    Those who are still out of work a year later will have to take up a permanent placement or face the same sanctions as those who reject a job.

    That can mean losing benefits worth up to £59.15 a week for 26 weeks.

    Mr Purnell said earlier this week jobless 18-year-olds would have to do a month’s work experience.

    Red

    March 15, 2010 at 11:55 pm

  19. “long-term unemployment which can scar communities for generations”

    i suggest she looks across the “house” to find the cause of that,hardcore unemployment as a result of past policies is not going to be easy eradicated.the loss of manufacturing export backbone opportunities and skills companies such as the germans and french have are not going to be replaced by micky mouse workfare useless for prospects and genuine long term skills training.

    what is basically a failed program for a failed economic policy which has seen growing numbers discarded for a considerable period of time.

    ken

    March 18, 2010 at 2:53 am

  20. It would be interesting to find out what the Fair Trade Organisation has to say about goods pruduced in the UK by forced labour, as I can not see how any company using forced labour who won’t even recieve the minimum wage can hope to keep it’s ethical fair trade status ?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    March 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    • actual goods produced in this way would no different to those produced by the forced labour of prisoners like happens in countries such as america and china.

      jeff

      March 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

  21. but it’s not forced labour is it. You have a choice – you can stop claiming JSA – hey presto, you’re off programme.

    abu

    March 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    • abu what do you suggest to do once you have no income?

      before you state an answer along the lines of “get a job”… once you have no money (assumed the person has no savings or significant assets) you are very unlikely to get a job.

      Flexible New Deal

      March 18, 2010 at 9:15 pm

  22. The UK government had been found to have been in breach of European Human Rights legislation more times than any other EU country. So just because they may have fiddled it to be some sort of ‘civic obligation’ nonsense doesn’t make it legal!

    Gerry Attric

    March 19, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    • There are two major elements to the workfare/slavery issue:

      * Duration; and
      * Slaves not being bought

      “Even though the duration is capped at 6 months and there is no payment to “buy” a participant; with this kept in mind this regime is a close match to Slavery.

      The question is: To constitute slavery under definition of law is it required that the slaves (participants) be purchased by the owners (providers) and does a capped duration dilute the typical slavery as an ongoing concern although the conditions have similarities?

      My answer to that question is:

      There is no requirements for slaves to be purchased in the first instance. Most people who become slaves are kidnapped or tricked into such – and no payment is made – although they are likely to be sold on as an asset at a later date – perhaps on to many different owners.

      Slavery is defined by conditions and not duration. There is nothing stating that slaves live their entire lifes as slaves. If there is no maximum limit as in duration then there can’t be any minimum limit. For example… another type of slavery… child sex slavery… sadly a big problem in the world. It is possible that when they are no longer a child that their mistreatment as a sex worker slave is no longer needed. There is also a chance that an authority can intervene (i.e. child no longer a slave) and attempt to prosecute the owners – if duration was a factor then as soon as such acts are stopped, all previous slavery acts couldn’t be a crime; thus to say for workfare if the work is slavery during the 6 months then it was still slavery during those 6 months when looking at it after the 6 months.”

      The “something-for-benefits” nonsense isn’t applicable. There isn’t much distinction between slavery for nothing and slavery for minute amount of money. Everyone has a right to social security too. If you meet the criteria then you shouldnt be denied.

      Flexible New Deal

      March 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      • “To constitute slavery under definition of law…”
        “Slavery is defined by conditions and not duration.”
        But whose definition is it?
        It’s unwise to obsess too much about terminology because the definition changes depending on who is in power.
        How does one prove a definition is “true”?

        Spanner

        March 20, 2010 at 9:28 am

      • You would have to quote other law cases and match up similarities.

        Then again I am not a lawyer 😀

        Flexible New Deal

        March 20, 2010 at 9:30 am

  23. Not only is Work For Your Benefit forced Labour, but I also now think that the way it is being touted it now additionaly falls under the definition of “Corrective Labour”, which surely must be illegal as what crime have the unemployed comitted to get a sentance? and how can you get a sentance without first being convicted of a crime by a court?

    Lowestoft's Finest

    March 20, 2010 at 10:38 am

    • Exactly. The problem is 90% of taxpayers have some anger at jobseekers and those on welfare.

      I am not doing 6 months of workfare as punishment when it will hinder my chances of employment.

      I am personally not too bothered if they introduced a scheme where it would be undesirable… say 5 hours a week of:

      * group selection interviews
      * mandatory “meaningful” work in community

      etc.

      People might criticise the above, but my points to make are:

      * only a few hours “work” a week so not getting wages for it isn’t a big deal (if you were paid it would only be deducted from benefits anyway) – also means you can have a life…

      * work mandatory but get a CHOICE of what you do

      * you are NOT sold on to any business i.e. no one profits from you

      * community work is meaningful and NOT community service/payback

      * still have time to be available for job hunting and interviews etc.

      Flexible New Deal

      March 20, 2010 at 11:51 am

      • Community Work = “Community/hospital radio station presenter, Mentor, Park patrol, Special Constable etc.”

        NOT

        painting fences etc. and forms of punishment.

        Flexible New Deal

        March 20, 2010 at 11:59 am

      • “Community/hospital radio station presenter, Mentor, Park patrol, Special Constable” – these sort of “tasks” may actually benefit the individual and indeed increase their “employability”. But as we all know, this isn’t what workfare is about, its all about punishment, degradation and humiliation. Workfare aims to grind you down, re-adjust you, make you more receptive to undertaking back-breaking, mind-numbing, soul destroying work for little or no pay.

        Raw Deal

        March 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm

  24. Just to clarify my previous point:

    I believe all jobs are “slavery”, whether workfare or otherwise. If my only choice is starvation or work in some office, call centre or factory, then how on earth can I be “free”.

    I don’t need some lawyer, academic or politician to tell me whether or not I’m a slave.

    Spanner

    March 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    • Slavery has always been around in one form of another, its just that over time it has transformed from an overtly physical form to a psychological one within a more sophisticated system.

      Raw Deal

      March 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

  25. I have been told I iwll need to go on a 4 week placement and have been told.

    Accord Housing west Bromwich
    Wolverhampton council
    Sandwell PCT

    So well well the plot thickens and I talked to my so called advisor and she stated strikes and union pickets were not going to be a problem for me

    Kyron

    June 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    • It seems that they want me or longer than the 4 weeks I told my so called little hitler advisor at beaconcentre for the blind I wasn’t prepared to be slave labur/coerced used a number of times for any longer. She had an hissy fit over this adn well basically said i will have to check up with the dwp on this. I also told them to cut the unsolicited phone calls out and hey ho so far none in roughlya month.

      Your chocie to be unemployed, your choice to have a problem with your eyesight. you don’t like it fo the sign on then. Or even better claim esa.

      Kyron

      August 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

  26. Kyron: If they want you to stay longer then you should be entitled to the same terms and conditions as an employee.

    Funny A4e Photos

    August 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

  27. In theory yes but it just increased slave labour, needless to say they have fallen through. they want me for longer. And well This so called CHARITY BEACONCENTREFORTHE BLIND is obviously no mor ethan a carpet bagger. Im soryr for my briefness nmot been to well being sick alot so will cut it short. i think all the hassle im getting from these people is despicable

    Kyron

    August 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    • Try and keep your chin up, Kyron. Sounds like the carpet bagger’s are bullying you.

      Funny A4e Photos

      August 2, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      • I have no intention of lying down and taking it. All the way along i have pointed out whats wrong, the have threatend and they have tried to have me sanctioned on two occasions both times overlooked. Need I say more I been writing letters and complaining the fact is, if i stick up for myself and dont let them discriminate against me like they have been doing they wont win. they spendtime and resources sooner or later people are going to ask questions.

        Kyron

        August 3, 2010 at 1:27 pm

  28. a blatant front if ever there was one.

    freedom from torture and degrading treatment

    freedom from slavery and forced labour

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Yourrightsandresponsibilities/DG_4002951

    your rights and the first to wipe their feet on them/sign them away to “new deal”.

    ken

    October 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    • Well said, ken. If the Government gets too tough on disability benefits claimants, two things are likely to happen. 1. People will start killing themselves, and I’m not just talking about people with long-term problems who don’t see themselves getting better, I’m talking about people with untreated depression, victims of abuse, accidents or rape who could have recovered in a few years, but who cannot live with that kind of pressure. I wouldn’t want that on my conscience. 2. People will start killing other people. I wouldn’t want to be a welfare-to-work overseer. If people with psychoses are not dealt with adequately, the stress coupled with existing lack of support is likely to make them a danger to others. It wouldn’t be their fault. Also the invalidation of their experiences could tip the aforementioned victims of circumstance over the edge. I’d rather take the extra expense than run a higher risk of getting stabbed every time I leave the house.

      Alternatives? There are plenty. Tackling tax evasion anyone?

      Jan 8888

      November 5, 2010 at 12:34 am

  29. “Ask not what your country can do for you”! “Ask what YOU can do for YOUR COUNTRY”. {John F Kennedy}

    “The only thing we need fear is fear it’s self”. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

    Just wait till the various government departments now make their own announcements. STOP posting malicous and purile rumours and scare stories

    Just Remember This quote.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:13 am

  30. Just been mentioned on Radio 4’s You and Yours that Suffolk County Council been cutting jobs for months – “anything that is not a legal requirement has been slashed to the bone”, I wonder what will fill this vacuum – workfare, anyone?

    Earwig

    October 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

  31. I’ve heard that for every council job that goes another private secter job goes with it. So thats two more jobs the government needs to find on top of all the ones they need to find(and haven’t) for the huge influx of sick people recently pronounced fit for work, and the single mums they stuck on JSA as well.Let’s not forget the existing unemployed like us who lost our jobs at the start of the recession who they still haven’t found jobs for either.

    Lowestoft's Finest

    October 21, 2010 at 11:29 am

  32. WOW you guys are lazy and ingrateful.

    You spend one year receiving benefits for doing nothing; taxpayers GIVE you £60 a week some people get over £400 a week depending on their needs. Taxpayers feed you and your family, buy your electric, gas, pay your rent, get you drunk, who knows what else you get up to but you aint earning your living.

    Then they bring out workFAIR and you complain about working for your benefits for the following six months, its total loser talk.

    FFS Put it into perspective doley bums, even those given £60 a week will actually be receiving £180 for every week they will actually be working during the 18 month cycle of workFAIR. Its just as much payment for work as people on the minimum wage get. Those people who get housing benefit, council benefit and child benefits will still actually be getting paid far more than those on the minimum wage for the shift time they will actually be putting in.

    example: 40 hours work for six months = £180, over 18 months that is your £60 benefits a week.

    Face facts doley bums, the days where you people could just sit on their asses and be paid for it has come to an end, you will get paid for the work you do and you will work, you will pay off the benefits you receive because people are sick of doing the work for you, if anyone is the slave it was the previous taxpayers who worked hard while you guys did nothing to contribute to our countries wealth.

    If you don’t like it then get a proper job, sort your heads out so you can be positive about working life and you will not have to be the poorest people in the country any more.

    Unofficial Tory Motto:
    “Hello lazy bums, The Taxpayers will be your bitches no longer.”

    Dave

    November 4, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    • It is “workfare”… 😎

      Work Programme

      November 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      • Shit, like work for your fare in life.

        Dave

        November 4, 2010 at 10:06 pm

      • Too right, Dave! You know what really pees me off. Terminally ill patients that require outrageously expensive drugs to relieve their pain and prolong their miserable lives. Why the hell as a taxpayer should I pay for that – is that fair?

        Coldberry Pie

        November 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm

      • What the hell are you talking about Coldberry?? I was talking about Workshy losers not terminally ill patients!!

        Honestly I’m all for the NHS, prolonging life and good working conditions but the line has to be drawn somewhere its not like there is unlimited amounts of taxpayer money to help those in need and certainly no spare money for people who just act like their in need. People should pay their own way in life if they are capable and not expect other people to work in their stead, thats where I’m coming from.

        Dave

        November 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

      • Well then, Dave. Why don’t you swap places with one of the unemployed – you give them your job and you get to live the life of Riley on JSA. And before you say aome s*hite like: “My work is highly-skilled”, the unemployed are eager and willing to work bloody hard and learn? Deal Dave? Oh, thought not. In that case, we’ll assume that you are nasty little Nazi bastard that derives pleasure from the suffering of others. It’s not about helping the unemployed – it’s about punishment and humiliation – you want to see others suffer. How do you earn your crust Dave? And how much do you earn?

        Coldberry Pie

        November 5, 2010 at 11:08 am

      • Gizza’ your job Dave! Go on, Gizza’ your job Dave! I know you got one Dave! Go on, Gizza’ your job Dave! I want to be a taxpayer Dave! Go on, Gizza’ your job Dave!

        Yosser Hughes

        November 5, 2010 at 11:14 am

      • yeah, don’t forget there are a lot of highly skilled peeps on the dole too. dave could easily to a swap. what about job share dave. why do you want to keep all the cushy jobs and good opportunities to yourself. you sound like a very angry man dave with a very distorted and twisted view of the world. you read the daily heil?

        bernadette wooster

        November 5, 2010 at 11:26 am

      • JOB SHARING – now that is a brilliant idea. Let’s work fare ™ and share the work. You can’t argue for Workfare and be against Job Share. It would solve unemployment at a stroke – how about it IBS.

        Princess Liea

        November 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm

      • Obviously Dave is trying to engage a reaction for pleasure – likewise he is probably into sadism.

        The funny part of his waffle I had to mention was “When did he last claim from other taxpayers?”

        Or was he not “capable” of “[paying] [his] own way in life”?

        So, if you are poor without a job you aren’t entirely able to “pay [your] own way in life”.

        So how do you justify this? A contradiction written all over your comments.

        Work Programme

        November 5, 2010 at 1:26 pm

      • lol But we all need our sadistic pleasure, Work Programme : I suggest stringing Dave up by the neck with piano wire until he is dead 🙂 – hemp rope is too good for scum like him 🙂

        Henrich Himmler

        November 5, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      • Today we learn more of the shocking state of our nation. We are in one hell of an economic mess. It’s time for radical thinking and ‘workfare’.

        First up, official figures show that the number of 18-24 year olds Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) have hit a record highof 835,000, (equivalent to 17.6% of that age bracket). Graduates, fresh from their studies, find themselves winding their way in a queue for state benefits. Put yourself in the shoes of a graduate. Just finished your Degree, the purpose mainly being to give you a head start in life, and you have no where to go. The wasting of a generation of talent.

        This follows hot on the heels of a report by Policy Exchange think-tank which puts the actual number of Britons out of work and living on benefits at 5.96 million – (note Official Government figures state 2.44 million). The UK is creating a generation dependent on welfare.

        Policy Exchange calculates the figure based on the number of those of working age living off the following state benefits:
        1.58 million on Jobseeker’s Allowance
        2.6 million on incapacity benefit and the new Employment and Support Allowance
        736,000 on lone parents’ benefits
        400,000 on carers’ benefits
        363,000 on disability benefits
        95,000 on bereavement benefits
        182,000 on other income-related benefits

        So this begs the question about the cost to us tax payers and the value society receives from paying blanket benefits. The cost of the benefits system has risen from £93 billion in 1997 to £193 billion today. That is a huge tax burden on the system especially given the cancerous debt burden which is spiralling daily.

        So, it is time for Conservatives to think the unthinkable and enter a period of blue sky thinking over welfare and particularly unemployment benefits.

        We are facing an unparalleled National Debt and hence a new approach is needed. Workfare, whilst derided by the Left, should be on the table for debate today. What is workfare?…. well…..it’s a scheme in which the long-term unemployed, in return for welfare payments, are required to undergo either skills training or work, in jobs supported by state subsidy or in community-service activities. One of the most successful ‘workfare’ schemes has been employed in the USA, in the State of Wisconsin. Workfare was the key principle behind the 1996 US federal welfare reforms which, with the threat of a loss of benefits after two years, led to a sharp drop in welfare recipients. Welfare to work programs aim to break the cycle of poverty where welfare dependence can become a way of life.

        So, Conservatives should include a Manifesto promise to introduce a system which obligates able – bodied unemployed people, not in re-training schemes, who are looking to work, to undertake work that is beneficial to their community in return for unemployment benefits. This would be popular for two reason. Firstly, taxpayers may feel that they get “more value for their welfare pounds” when they observe welfare recipients working for benefits. This helps add to the political popularity of such schemes. Secondly, putting unemployed people into a workplace-like environment attempts to address the argument that one of the biggest barriers to employment for the long-term unemployed is their lack of recent workforce experience.

        There is plenty wrong with this country and where ‘workfare’ help could be utilised. Imagine, if companies or the public sector were presented with extra workforce, at no extra charge to them, to help them in their business life. Consider these ares for example:

        – Call Centres. Rather than outsource all the call centre work to India and other Asian countries, why not staffed via workfare?

        – Schools: Help at schools, after passing background checks, classroom help, help with PE, cleaning, making school dinners etc.

        – Manufacturing Industry: Why not provide a stream of workers in our manufacturing plants. This ‘free labour’ would help some of the struggling industries like the car industry.

        – Post Office: Again, if the Post Office is to be privatised, why not utilise workfare for Post deliverers.

        – Hospitals: Help with general work around the hospital eg the Hospital Superbug MRSA is due to dirty wards, why not have more cleaners in the hospitals instead of people sitting at home

        – Building: with a boom in building contracts eg Olympics, more manual labour

        – Civil Service: With so much bureaucracy, plenty of paperwork could be finally completed

        – Street cleaning & refuse collection: (why should council pay full time salaries when this could be a workfare role?)

        – Help in Supermarkets/retail: Be it Customer Service or managerial.

        This is but a few examples of where labour can be directed. Yes some is skilled, some unskilled. But there are plenty of areas of opportunity to get Briatin working and ensure welfare dependence does not creep in.

        To be successful a ‘workfare’ system has to include a number of elements:

        – Applies to all able bodied unemployed

        – Has time limits (eg people need time to apply for new jobs etc and therefore workfare may exist for 4 days a week work or maybe all afternoons, as mornings are spent job seeking.

        – Possesses Tiers of payments. For those working more hours, they reach a higher level of state unemployment benefits. Those who choose to work less or not participate get lower benefits.

        – Those who wish to re-train or get extra skills, receive a lower benefit as the state invests more into their future. But this can be buttressed back up by workfare projects.

        – After 2 years, an individual would no longer receive state support. Hence, they have the motivation to seek work, which may involve retraining.

        These ideas, obviously are fairly radical for the UK. Again, desperate times, call for stronger measures. We are faced with an unparalleled debt. We have to maintain a work ethic amongst the population. We have to ensure that the UK does not embed a welfare dependency culture.

        http://trueblueblood.com/2009/08/uk-needs-workfare-the-wasted-generation-6-million-on-state-benefits-193bn-benefits-payouts/

        TrueBlueBlood

        November 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      • I suggest the following additions:

        Bank CEOs – banks are often accused of failing the county. Why not have the unemployed, at no extra charge – take over executive positions in Banks, Hedge Funds, Pension Fund, Pyramid Schemes, and Trust Fund managers . Benefits can be removed and payment dependent on what cash the ‘dolies’ can graft from their new posts.

        Ministers – why not replace Liberal-Tory ministers with the out-of-work claimants? Government spending cuts? Problem solved!

        Nurses, doctors, and social workers. Liberal do-gooders all. Let’s replace them with single-mums on benefit and we’ll get some real care and compassion.

        Andrew Coates

        November 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm

  33. Of course, whilst everyone who remotely resembles an taxpayer (past or present) are so pissed off with the welfare bill…

    These same people do not quite have the same passion when it comes to the multi-billions of pounds wasted in regards to EU membership, the wars on terror, EU red tape, MP expenses, council CEO salaries, 999 call centres long over due, NHS wastage, Government grants for petty uni research (i.e. £400,000 on seeing if rats prefer the colour red or blue), every single IT project ever undertaken by the Government, the DWP staff dishing out money to those who are not entitled to it “in error”, the £1 billion+ spent on swine flu pandemic that wasn’t, £70m spent to comply with EU on motorcycle tests, £76bn on trident, £20bn on ID cards, £1bn on Government credit cards, and this is just what I can recall from memory. I bet with efficiency savings many more billions can be saved each year.

    Work Programme

    November 6, 2010 at 10:29 am

    • You forgot the multi-trillion pound (with another one due soon :-)) banker “bail-out” 🙂

      Banker Bill

      November 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

      • I didn’t. Just wanted people to expand on the few I mentioned by adding to it.

        The bank bail out is the most obvious. Thanks for adding it!

        Any more?

        Work Programme

        November 6, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    • “£400,000 on seeing if rats prefer the colour red or blue.”

      Money well spent.

      I have always wondered about that.

      Andrew Coates

      November 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm

  34. You have also forgotten the Vodafone debarcle. The limiting of theirtax liabilities. I beleive this is money said something like 7 bn has not been paid.

    Congratulations IDS you have succeeded where adolf hitler has failed. CONCETRATION CAMPS ON UK SOIL. ARBEIT MACHT FREI.

    The starvation of many a charity so they are eager participants in the governments schemes to get money. A charity ceases to be a charity in my mind when it tries to become a third party provider.

    I.D.S Hope your satisifed with the blood thats going to be on your hands.

    The universities will soon need to be bailed out when no students are going. the moto now go to university get a large debt, try to find a job in your chosen career, if not take a careeer in burger flipping nothing wrong if you honestly want to do that for a vacation. If you then do manual labour and have your chances hindered by doing a full timejob as forced labour for councils/etc and made to feel and looked upon as a criminal in the publics eyes. Enough to drive a person to suicide ? ? ?

    You are forced to do manual labour how do professionals cope with that, A nurse, a lawyer etc and I.T Profession who continuously need to study or they get out of date very quickly. So you then forced to live in poverty and sing for the supper.

    Dont get me started on the disbaled where you will be forced to do more than your permitted amount of work. you will then be classed as a cheat and a scrubber. insideous.

    Kyron

    November 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    • If you look to say, Eastern Europe you will find that nurses, lawyers, IT professionals are treated and paid no better than the lowliest factory worker. I’ve met doctors and lawyers, their faces tinged with the most deathly pallor, that could barely afford to feed themselves. It’s just that the UK has this peculiar notion of “middle-class” professions; even the Police are paid what they are worth – sod all.

      A lot of people baying for the blood of the sick, disabled and unemployed hold the mistaken belief that they are somehow immune – they could be “middle-class” professionals after all – they really don’t get it!

      And to be honest, the sooner we are ALL in the same boat the better.

      Socrates

      November 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    • I read about HMRC not collecting £26bn in taxes…

      Anyone else hear about this?

      Work Programme

      November 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm

  35. Its so evil that the government and the taxpayers expect everyone capable to actually go out and work and pay for their own way in life. We should all be allowed whatever we want for doing nothing I mean its not as if money doesn’t grow on trees and all the stuff we spend our benefits on doesn’t just appear magically out of nothing.

    Its all the capitalists fault just look at the conditions working people have to live in here in Britain, conversely a communist country where everyone has to work or die and everyone gets paid the same and everyone lives in the same shit conditions thats obviously how the whole world should be. Its not as if self-motivation, hard work and greed has anything to do with what made the capitalist countries have such good living standards for those mugs who actually work.

    Its not as if Doley Bums have problems with facing reality, ridiculously stupid loser attitudes or an unwillingness to grow and better ourselves as people. Lazy Doley Bums like us have a right to not work its what our forefathers fought and died for, its why people fought to introduce the NHS, the minimum wage and welfare in the first place! The idea of actually working to pay off what we are taking from life by working six months out of 18 months for the rest of our lives is just pure evil. Do they think they can trick us into getting proper jobs and having more money, cars, better clothes, housing, holidays, cleaner and better educated children, more sociable lives, the satisfaction of a hard days work, better food or what else? The bastards must be having a laugh.

    Dave

    November 8, 2010 at 11:09 am

    • Hey Dave, bigmouth. You got a problem, buddy?

      Scarface

      November 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

    • Strange how a million new ‘doley bottoms’ appeared in the last few years to bump up the unemployment rate.

      Just like that.

      They’ve just alll got lazy.

      Nothing to do with the economics.

      Andrew Coates

      November 8, 2010 at 11:58 am

    • It must be something that government agents are putting in the water that is making millions of people lazy 🙂

      Conspiracy Theory

      November 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm

  36. I’m just trying to explain why not working when your capable is unfair on everyone else.. I’m sure everyone can do it if they think positive. Theres some good vids on you tube if you want to help yourselves change.

    Dave

    November 8, 2010 at 11:18 am

    • Hey buddy. You aint welcome around this manor. Beat it!

      Scarface

      November 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

  37. These two guys are good:

    Dave

    November 8, 2010 at 11:28 am

    • Hey buddy. How many time you got to be told. Beat it!

      Scarface

      November 8, 2010 at 11:29 am

    • I see Workfare as a great opportunity… to work for nothing 🙂

      Reverse Paranoid

      November 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm

  38. Doley Bums arn’t welcome in the this taxpaying country, you beat it or sort yourself out.

    Dave

    November 8, 2010 at 11:29 am

    • Hey buddy. You wanna step outside?

      Scarface

      November 8, 2010 at 11:32 am

  39. If I win will you get a job?

    Dave

    November 8, 2010 at 11:32 am

    • Hey buddy. You sure talk the talk. You wanna walk the walk.

      Scarface

      November 8, 2010 at 11:35 am

  40. nah not really… looks like theres nothing in it for me. I’m gonna run now. I hope some of you start to look more positively at working and get a job so you aint so poor any more!! I know most of you are capable and will enjoy work if you just make the effort and find the time to sort your heads out first.

    Good luck 🙂

    Dave

    November 8, 2010 at 11:41 am


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