Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

New ‘Get Tough’ on the Out-of-Work Set to Flop.

with 56 comments

The hard-right Daily Telegraph said a few days ago,


Foreigners claiming benefits will be forced to attend English classes or they will lose the right to state support. The unemployed will have to start looking for work, and wait at least a week, before being able to receive handouts.

Mothers with young children will also have to begin preparing to return to work earlier under the plans, which will cut payouts by almost £2 billion by 2018.

The bulk of the upfront savings, about £400 million, will be ploughed back in immediately to pay for the new system in a signal that the Government has sacrificed short-term savings to try to solve Britain’s unemployment problem in the long term.

Anybody who writes a paragraph calling state benefits ‘hand outs’ should take English classes themselves.

But I let that pass.

How is making some person who doesn’t speak the Daily Telegraph’s  Her Majesty’s Tongue learn it is going to solve Britain’s unemployment problem may also take some explaining.




Written by Andrew Coates

July 2, 2013 at 10:09 am

56 Responses

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  1. They ain’t got a clue we got teach them English next be we got train them to


    July 2, 2013 at 10:14 am

  2. Well if their sacificing short term savings, I could do with a few more quid in my next JSA payment.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 2, 2013 at 11:21 am

  3. Wish I knew where the jobs are. Was talking to a mate recently. WP sent him to a screening for door leaflet delivery £7ph usualy 40 hr week. over 100 showed up for 10 vacancies.
    oldest was over 60, youngest 18 . I bet the WP just coined a bit simply for sending him to the screening though

    Intensive Activity

    July 2, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    • Did you know about the new ASDA store in Dundee recently where 5,000 (yes, FIVE THOUSAND) people turned up for 350 vacancies.

      Yet again, we see it is impossible to obtain a quart from a pint pot – but try telling that to this stubborn coalition Government!


      July 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    • Just a heads up. Boots is advertising Chr!stm@s vacancies already.

      Universal Jobmatch has national adverts for them… thought they might be placeholders, however, it seems they exist on Boots’ website.

      Universal Jobmatch

      July 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

  4. In west london 800 apllied for 8 vacancies at Tesco Metro. yet each time i go in for “daily” signings I am told I am the problem? sorry but i am totally pc literate can do advanced stuff as well as code a bit and do most advanced excel. yet when i tell them i am being turned down for telesales jobs for minimum wage they say i am not making an effort and threaten to sanction me ?

    Intensive Activity

    July 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    • Big Brother can make 2 + 2 equal something other than 4!

      Mental arithmetic, right enough!


      July 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    • It really gets on your nerves doesn’t it.

      Many of are PC literate – for years.

      But what happens to the poor sods who are frightened of even a key-board?

      Andrew Coates

      July 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  5. I am able to use a PC but would not call myself literate on the subject, but when I do eventyually gain employment, I would not be required to use a PC as I am a tradesman and work in the building trade. I have applied for many hundreds of vacancies via on line application, and from these have received around 5 replies, over a 18mnth period, not a good response.


    July 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

  6. You have to remember that this new regime at the JCP’s has only been running for around 3 weeks, so the amount of people returning from the WP is still a small amount, wait until 2 or 3 months have passed and the numbers returning really swell. There is no way the JCP advisers will be able to see each person everyday – not a hope in hell, for one thing Health and Safety law say’s you can only have so many people in one building at a time.

    That might be another angle here – if when you attend your JCP and you think the safety limit has been exceeded, contact the Health and Safety Executive.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 3, 2013 at 9:49 am

  7. Its obvious they will try and sanction as many as possible as they return in dribs and drabs from wp. its a numbers game for them, even if half the sanctions are won back on appeal, they will still ask people to keep coming in, a few minutes late and theres another harsher sanction cos its withing 12 months. the easiest way they could do that is via ujm access, the actual sanction is just the first step , they want to apply the harsher ones while yor still applealing the first one and havent eaten anything in days and are still being asked to come in daily

    Intensive Activity

    July 3, 2013 at 10:13 am

  8. Re the ESOL issue, it’s worth pointing out that it’s the same government whinging about foreigners not taking responsibility for learning English that, you guessed it, drastically cut funding for ESOL training just a few short years ago.

    I’m surprised you haven’t put up a piece on the 2nd set of yearly WP figures btw.

    1.2 million on the WP this year, 123,000 outcome payments. I’d call that PPPP – Predictably Piss Poor Performance.

    The DWP report tried to mangle the figures by comparing outcomes for two years’ intake with this year’s intake number and reported 27% instead of 13% of course. The press haven’t exactly been on the ball regarding the figures this year, but it looks like yet more proof that the concept that it’s the supply of labour (i.e. the unemployed) that is the problem rather than the demand for labour (i.e. the availability of jobs) is arse about face.And so the government orders more cuts and this non-existent recovery will carry on being just that.

    Add to that that outcome payments are apparently being made on the basis of closed claims, rather than proof of work, consider the increase in sanctioning and the well known phenomenon that sanctions lead to permanent withdrawal fro the labour market and the claim of 123,000 jobs, unimpressive though it is, looks even worse.

    We are still below 2008 GDP levels. By comparison this long after the Great Depression we were above pre-recession GDP and enjoying high growth rates. The comparison between the success of Keynesian stimulus policies and the bogus medicine of Austerity could not be plainer.


    July 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

  9. Now there is an eviction involving armed police after housing officials are shot at while trying to evict a tenant:


    Just wait until the first person is shot dead by police during an eviction, or the first of the unemployed protesters is killed by plastic bullets…

    Come to think of it, I don’t think it will take too many evictions (even when nobody is shot at) to start the riots…


    July 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm

  10. I just cant see them having the staff to attack us like this and they still havent got round the DPA problems making us provide them with access to a UJ account (as far as im concerned this is making one do something under duress) 35 to 40 hours job search and searching at weekends personally that will drive me insane and i already do more than most to look for a job (according to the job centre and my wp provider) which is pointless in reality as no employer would consider me as i have been out of work too long now. in eight years i have been on JSA i havent been sanctioned . However if i do post October it wlll be due to there impossible conditionality. You see now there is no fixed 3 things on a JSA agreement per week that can basically say whatever you do isnt enough if they want too. As some have said the unemployed are the new “jew”.


    July 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm

  11. “We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money. They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.”

    ― Chris Hedges, The Death of the Liberal Class

    “The corporations that profit from permanent war need us to be afraid. Fear stops us from objecting to government spending on a bloated military. Fear means we will not ask unpleasant questions of those in power. Fear permits the government to operate in secret. Fear means we are willing to give up our rights and liberties for promises of security. The imposition of fear ensures that the corporations that wrecked the country cannot be challenged. Fear keeps us penned in like livestock.”

    ― Chris Hedges, The Death of the Liberal Class



    July 4, 2013 at 1:22 am

  12. This foreigners must learn English is utter bull, for one, for years we gave free language (ESOL) and the only problem I saw with it was that it didn’t go far enough and stopped at kindergarten lessons level. What people don’t realize is as often they speak reasonably confidently that the written and reading grammar is still well below a desirably level in both writing and reading. Naturally this is a lesson you learn by both reading and writing in everyday life but this doesn’t develop over night so even after attending the free levels of ESOL I still wouldn’t class them as job ready.

    This aside when business was booming pre 2007, employers didn’t seem to have problems employing them then regardless of the lacking English, as well , lets face it that both unskilled and semi can be done in monkey see, monkey do fashion without ridiculous qualifications like the retail one or warehouse one for example.

    How do I know this, well I worked for a company that until government cutbacks taught language, maths, IT and even how to look for a job, improve your chances of and competent IT online job practices so as to reduce wasted time (there by improving time management skills) as I tell you now if you have to spend 30+ hours a week looking for work, then you don’t know how to look for work. Put it this way, for every person you bring forward who shall we say got a job because of a law of averages, I will show you one it didn’t work for.

    As for this post WP interview in regards to the UJ site, its a classic case of profiling so do think carefully everytime you use it and do be extremely careful what you upload as deleted isn’t deleted ever, ever, ever.


    July 4, 2013 at 8:01 am

    • The jobcentre and WPP staff can’t write proper English and they are white British! The English on many of the jobs listed on Jobpoint machines and UJM is lousy. In some cases bad enough to get you thrown out of the country, if you weren’t immune by being a citizen. Many middle class and upper class people are functionally illiterate.

      something survived...

      July 4, 2013 at 11:17 pm

  13. Now it is scurvy and rickets blighting Broken Britain:


    …and this at a time when Lord Freud still pretends there is no link between the massive rise in Food Bank use and benefit cuts!


    July 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

  14. Tobanem

    July 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

  15. From yesterday’s Independent: Rancid carcass Lord Fraud gobbing off about how the rise of food banks has nothing to do with the welfare system holocaust, ahem, sorry, I mean “welfare reforms” –


    …David Blunkett says Fraud’s comment is an insult to the providers of food to the food banks – note, no mention of the insult to the people who are driven by necessity to use them –


    Cameron, as usual avoids the issue.



    July 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

    • Blunkett is not in a position to make any comments as he had very close connections to Emma (my face can crack concrete)Harrison and A4E.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      July 4, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      • Are Not Gargoyles Made Out Of Concrete ?


        July 5, 2013 at 9:08 am

  16. “How did we reach the point where someone like Lord Freud can be in government?”



    July 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

  17. Screwup at WPP:
    My WP officially ended. I asked for my exit report. I’ve seen the forms from your site, so know that what followed is not correct procedure. The WPP (minutes before closing time) guy sat me down with a blank piece of paper. He wrote a lot of BS and to avoid signing a lie, it eventually just said I’d attended. He asked dumb questions: How did it help you? (I’ve refused to write the essay) Um not at all! What did we do for you? Nothing! Did we not help you get on UJM? No, you only do that with illiterate etc. people and sent me on my own. Did we do a CV? No – you gave me 2 weeks ago a years-old one the JCP must have given you; it’s the wrong one; the right one is stuck somewhere. He asked ‘future directions’ and I had to explain he can’t put “college” or they’ll sanction me. It took a lot of explaining. As he is meant to be an expert (expert in doing nothing, more like), how come he doesn’t even know the basics of his own industry and his own claimed field of expertise? I got him to mandate me to volunteer where I was before, so that there is a chance of getting my job back and to reduce the hassle from the JCP. As it is a final order, I can’t do any different until a final order is countermanded by the same person – and I’ve just finished!
    I’m going back to try and get the correct form/report in 2 weeks. I said if it is incorrect and especially if they left off the fact I’m disabled, they’ll need to do it again. Or it’ll be a lie; and can cause major problems as the JCP will permanently lie that I’m ablebodied when I’m not.
    His command of written English was not good and he struggled with each word (he’s white British).
    The main screwup is that the WPP have not had a letter off the JCP. The JCP have not had a letter off the WPP. On Monday the JCP said I must (as they haven’t had a letter from the WPP in time) continue at the WPP indefinitely, as well as attend the JCP every day 5 days a week. I told the WPP this on Thursday. They admitted not sending JCP a letter but didn’t think they needed to, and said JCP should write to them first. (JCP won’t.) They said it is wrong (incorrect, not morally) because I had to stop and I was not only finishing WP, I was not allowed to continue coming! And I would be trespassing. So I can be sanctioned for not being allowed back, though it’s officially finished.
    I attended the JCP 3 days, Mon-Wed. After the WPP they made me clean the WPP. It took 90 minutes to walk there; last night I had a bad seizure and was unconscious till 10am, with the result that my supper I was cooking was now carbonised and could have burnt the house down. I wasn’t in good shape because last night (before that) I had hernia trouble. So I’ve not eaten 3 nights in a row now. I walked back as fast as I could, but it took till 5pm to get into town. The shop I wanted to go to was closed, so were the banks. Worst of all, it meant I had no time at the jobcentre to do my daily mandated jobsearch – because I was kept behind and forced to clean the WP place, before that I was at the WP, before that I was walking there, after it I was walking back. It was very hot. I may now be in trouble for missing a day at JCP, though I was attending WP!

    something survived...

    July 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    • The regulation is that you return to JCP 104 weeks after being referred by JCP – not the date you started with the WPP. So dig your JCP referral letter out, add 104 weeks onto that date, and that’s when you legally return to JCP.

      And how the fuck did they get you to do cleaning?


      July 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

  18. If I were you I would get down to the JCP, ask to see a manager and explain exactly what has happened. Trust me the JCP can make things happen on the spot (when they want to).

    Don’t leave this as it is as your benefit payments may be delayed.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 5, 2013 at 7:28 am

    • Ipswich Jobcentre:-
      Reception, Sorry you are 5 minutes early come back in 5 minutes
      Large queue out of door almost to dustbins
      Client After getting to reception
      Sorry You Are Late Come Back After 4.30
      Client Explains and points out the person who tol them to come back later
      No Go
      Client Asks Again
      Enter ” Bill And Ben The G4SMen


      July 5, 2013 at 9:00 am

      • Yes and this is of course the same place where the computer terminals are.

        What an atmosphere to do job searching in!

        Andrew Coates

        July 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

  19. Interesting, and alarming, article from Computer Weekly:


    Notice what it says at the bottom of the piece: “Universal Credit’s costs have…been revealed by Computer Weekly to be £12.8bn”.



    July 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    • Read the full article where the costs are broken down: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240185166/Universal-Credit-will-cost-taxpayers-128bn

      That puts a more realistic lifetime cost of £13 billion on UC. But the DWP claimed about £2billion for start-up costs and yet they’ve already spent that with two years still to run (of the initial phase).

      What’s the betting that the £13 billion is more like £20 billion in reality.

      Imagine what that could have done if invested properly in getting people into real, full-time work.


      July 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

  20. According to this info, you don’t have to go on a MWA if you have recently finished the Work Programme.

    From: DWP freedom-of-information-requests Department for Work and Pensions

    email: freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

    FoI 2830

    Mandatory Work Activity (MWA)


    18. Given the policy intent of MWA, the following claimants must not be considered for referral to MWA:

    • currently working (paid or voluntary)

    • undertaking employment related study / training

    • taking part in or recently completed* another employment measure (contracted or non-contracted) aimed at helping them move closer to the labour market.

    (* A claimant ‘dropping-out’ of an employment measure prematurely may, or may not, indicate a lack of focus and discipline on their part; it is for Advisory Teams to consider the merits of MWA referral on a case by case basis).




    Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment

    (8) The Work Programme is a scheme designed to assist a claimant at risk of becoming long-term unemployed in which, for a period of up to 2 years, the claimant is given such support as the provider of the Work Programme considers appropriate and reasonable in the claimant’s circumstances, subject to minimum levels of support published by the provider, to assist the claimant to obtain and sustain employment which may include work search support, provision of skills training and work placements for the benefit of the community.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    • I would call The Work programme an employment measure – wouldn’t you?

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      July 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      • I would! but more to the point so does the DWP:
        The DWP have confirmed that the WP is an employment-related measure:
        “The recorded information we hold that best answers this question is Regulation 3(8) of the
        Jobseeker’s Allowance (Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations
        2013, which confirms the Work Programme is an employment-related measure. A link to the
        Regulations is provided below:

        Wait for the argument as to what “recently” means.


        July 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm

  21. 31 May 2013

    Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

    “Claimants will be expected to be on a training scheme, Mandatory Work Activity placement or intensive work preparation within days of finishing on the Work Programme – losing their benefit if they fail to comply”.


    This confirms that idiot Mark Hoban doesn’t even know whats in his own departments (DWP) documents and hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm



      July 7, 2013 at 10:52 am

  22. A thought has occurred to me after reading the following Daily Mirror report about huge queues of Council Tax defaulters outside the courts.

    What happens when these same people are sentenced (by the DWP) to 35 hours a week jobsearch under Universal Credit? Will they be too busy attending court? The cuts will really be biting in earnest by that time!

    Report here:



    July 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

    • What provisions will they make for those who have not had a bank account before and because of ”historical issues*” with their address will not be able to get one how will they get UJ. I understand that the post office card account does not do direct debits. Will the only solution be direct deductions from benefits.{ * I have found the previous tenant of my flat has moved but still owes debts to various people and has taken out a phone lone using this address too.}


      July 9, 2013 at 8:16 am

  23. Tobanem, I’ve just been watching ‘BBC Parliment’, and Eric Pickles (a man prone to corpulency) was asked if Charlotte Hughes should pay her Poll Tax or feed her child; he seemed to suggest that her Poll Tax should take priority. What a vile piece of shit!

    A. Ellis

    July 8, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    • I always suspect Eric Pickles of being the brother of Fat Bastard.

      Andrew Coates

      July 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm

  24. Tory MP grilled by Paxman about bedroom tax on Newsnight last night.

    The report starts about 20 minutes into the programme – look out around the 37 minute mark at the studio grilling of Conservative MP Harriet Baldwin who doesn’t know how many one-bedroom houses exist in the country:


    At least Paxman highlighted the biggest flaw in the Tory policy, ie, that there are simply not enough one-bedroom houses for all those affected. One set of figures claimed only 85,000 one-bedroom houses existed for the one million people affected by the bedroom tax!


    July 9, 2013 at 9:03 am

  25. Here is something obtained through an FoI request concerning Universal Credit:

    “Personal and Account Support Agent (AO)

    This role will be as the first point of contact for claimants who have Universal Credit queries. They will offer support to claimants who cannot or will not use the on-line service or telephone.”


    I thought they said it was mandatory to use it!


    July 9, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    • Jeff:

      Its only mandatory to create an account with your profile and public CV, thats where the mandate ends, it is NOT mandatory after that to actually USE Universal Jobmatch to search for a job.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      July 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm

  26. Also:

    “Jobcentre Business Manager

    The main activities associated with this role are:

    Coaching advisers on how best to use Universal Jobmatch by encourage staff to promote Universal Jobmatch (UJ) to customers and encourage customers to create an account and explain the benefits of allowing DWP access to their account. Proactively suggest to customers ways they may improve the matches they receive and share best practises
    with colleagues.”

    The grammar seems a bit out, but are you being “encouraged”!



    July 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

  27. DWP: Press release 10 July 2013.

    Universal Credit: Roll out from October 2013.

    Universal Credit will expand to 6 new Jobcentres starting from October 2013. The following Jobcentres will be included:



    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

  28. One to watch:

    BBC1 – 9:00pm Tonight:

    Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford investigate benefits system: We found no scroungers and no-one living comfortably

    Margaret,61, says: “The image we get from some of the media is rather distorted – that everyone on benefits has 27 children and lives in a mansion.

    “Actually, very few people defraud the system and most struggle to make ends meet.

    “I wasn’t aware how much money you needed in order to have a very basic – and fairly grim actually – lifestyle.

    “I wasn’t aware how few jobs there are compared to the number of people who are unemployed.”


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 11, 2013 at 8:11 am

    • This programme looks like a useful antidote to the frequent poison spewing out of the Tory tabloids against workshy benefit scroungers guilty of the moral disease of idleness.

      Yes, it’s time the coalition (including the Mail and Express) were fired!

      But then what? A slightly reduced dose of austerity from the Labour party!


      July 11, 2013 at 8:46 am

      • I’d rather have a reduced dose than a full dose (and I’m not talking about the clap).

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        July 11, 2013 at 8:51 am

      • FAO Obi Wan Kenobi

        You mean you would prefer to be simmered rather than boiled?

        I see.


        July 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

      • I agree with you sentiments completely, I just can’t fathom the thought processes of IDS and Hoban – enough is enough and it will kick off eventually.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        July 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

  29. Andy Coates

    I don’t know if you have noticed, but were begining to get a funny lot on here – I’m not referring to all the regulars.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm

  30. “People living in caves as UK homelessness reaches five-year high”



    July 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm

  31. Obi Wan

    I’m not a regular – I’m based in Hertfordshire – but I find many of the comments on here really useful.

    I got a right going over from my Post WP advisor yesterday. I managed to get out of mandatory warehouse training by producing a doctor’s certificate from my GP saying on no account was I to do heavy lifting or work with solvents. But even then the advisor still tried to put me back on the course, only without all the heavy lifting.

    Fortunately for me, by this time the training company had lost interest in me.:-)

    Squiddly Diddly

    July 16, 2013 at 10:50 am

  32. i’m just like one of millions of unemployed people and all you need to know that i’m 36 and live in milton keynes, bucks. the unemployed need to form a assocation to make sure that the rights of the unemployed are trampled on daily basis and that the unemployed when they come to sign on at their local job centre that they are treated with dignity and respect that they deserved and not subjected to end less social stigma that they are lazy and don’t want to work and the unemployed need to pull together to be strong and to work as a assocation to tell the dwp minsters iain duncan smith and mark hoban that using basic blackmail to get people back into work is not go to help and also to name and shame job centre accross the uk no matter where they are and the staff that work for the dwp are all connected in some small way and threating people to take their money away is not on that their pictures will be put on this website once it is up and running and so long as sanctions are in place that the naming and shaming of job centre and their staff accross the uk will continue so long as there are sanctions are in place and that you should protest outside the job center you sign on at until the sanctions are lifted and contact your local and national newspapers to keep the pressure on them and it will be called the uk unemployed assocation and i looking for some body to help in the design of this website, to which i would be greatful and i will give you my protection name on twitter deyolp.


    September 12, 2013 at 11:47 am

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