Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

David Cameron’s Government to be reported to United Nations over bedroom tax and benefit cuts

with 63 comments

Is this a turning point to reverse the bedroom tax and benefit cuts? Liverpool Council is reportedly referring the Tory Government’s controversial welfare reform policies to the United Nations for what it says is a breach of the UN economic and social rights convention.

It is to be seen whether other local authorities or government departments will follow suit – and how this action could effect Ipswich and the local area – in addition to the country as a whole.

Liverpool Council says the PM’s government could be breaking international laws on ensuring people are kept out of poverty

Liverpool Council is reporting David Cameron to the United Nations, claiming that his government could be breaking international rules on keeping people out of poverty.

Authority bosses believe the coalition – through its controversial policies such as the hated bedroom tax and welfare reform – could be in breach of the UN economic and social rights convention that sets out minimum standards for access to food, clothing and housing.

Labour members from all parts of the city have spoken of the evidence they have gathered of people who were being forced into degrading poverty because they were being denied access to benefits they desperately needed.

Many are ending up having to resort to what they said was effectively “begging” for food at food banks, the Liverpool Echo reports.

At a meeting this week, councillors heard stories of people stripped of their dole money for up to 16 weeks because they had been late for interviews or had failed to meet the criteria of the government’s Welfare to Work programme.

And they heard claims that in some job centres in the city, suspensions of benefits and other sanctions had risen by up to 500% since 2012.

But the government has hailed the removal of benefits from people who “aren’t pulling their weight” as evidence that the “something for nothing” culture was being tackled.

Cabinet member for children’s services in Liverpool Cllr Jane Corbett, who brought forward a motion along with Croxteth Cllr Barry Kushner, said: “We were elected to represent the people of Liverpool and speak up for them, fight for justice for them to make sure their voices are heard.”

In a rare moment of cross-party unity, Lib Dem Cllr Pat Moloney said: “It is the moral purpose of government to protect its citizens … and to keep them out of hunger and worse.”
by Mark Waddington in the Mirror, Jan 17th 2014: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/liverpool-council-report-david-cameron-3031436

Thanks to Benefit Tales

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63 Responses

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  1. It’s all very well Cameron being reported to the UN: but you know what he’ll do. He’ll just backdate the law like he did with Cait Reilly. That’s what will happen. What an age we live in.

    jj joop

    January 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm

  2. If the UN does get on board with this it will mean Cameron, Osborne, IDS, McVile and a load of other MP’s will be up in the European human rights court fighting just to stay out of prison.

    I hope they lock them all up and throw the key away.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

  3. Just been on my weekly interview with advisor informing me our next appointment we will be filling in something called new commitment form similar to Jobseeker’s Agreement form anybody have any info on this she was very vague about it all it felt like she was priming me for something almost as if my jobseeker’s Agreement was not good enough and also saying thing are about to change again vague about it all

    Mick

    January 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

  4. Here’s someting I actually agree with:

    Labour would force jobseeker’s allowance claimants with inadequate maths or English to go on basic skills courses as a condition of receiving their benefit, Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, will say on Monday.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/19/labour-jobseekers-allowance-jsa-benefit-english-maths-basic-skills

    If you remember the Jobcentre used to have something like this, a basic maths and english test, it was when new deal was up and running, if you scored less than 75 or 80% you had to go on a course.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    • Why agree to a proposal which is purely designed to place yet more obstacles in the way of the jobless in order to prevent them claiming what they’re rightfully entitled to?

      As someone (correctly) classed as borderline innumerate by his old maths teacher, the prospect of having to achieve an 80 per cent pass rate or face being coerced onto a patronising basic skills course, fills me with dread. Even if I were to live to be one hundred (unlikely) I will never be able to achieve competency in maths, basic or otherwise. What then? Compelled to sit in a classroom until my dying day, deemed ineligible to receive any financial assistance?

      This amounts to just another attack on claimants by the neoliberal “Labour” Party, ever eager to steal some of the limelight from the Tories by proving to the heartless shits of Middle England that when it comes to inflicting unnecessary misery on the unemployed, they’re more than capable of giving Cameron and IDS a run for their money.

      Trevor

      January 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      • Trevor:

        I’ll tell you why I agree with it, a lot of people back in the 90’s foreward were allowed to use calculators in maths classes, when I was at school (pre ’82) we had to use our brains, pencil and paper.

        Also a lot of people now write in the style of text messaging or don’t spell words correctly when it comes to english and their punctuation is laughable.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      • Forcing anyone into any learning situation under threat of punishment isn’t going to help them improve their basic skills and as Trevor rightly discusses, some will not be able to improve their skills but already have sufficient skills to cope.

        No one learns much of anything in any system where there is any element of punishment or coercion. The only thing you will learn is to be frightened of more punishment.

        Punishment is a truly effective barrier to learning.

        I have some grave doubts about those who will be doing the assessing too. Assessing functional skill is not something you can do without proper training in it. This training is unlikely to be given to those doing it. The opportunities for individuals to be further damaged by this punitive system are going to be massive if this comes into force.

        Then there’s the matter of abuse of the system by those administering it. It doesn’t take much imagination to work out what happens if someone with one of the most stigmatised states in our culture (poor literacy and numeracy) is forced into a class because if they don’t take it up, homelessness and maybe death are the next step.

        Local Adult Basic Skills support have had their funding cut and cut and cut to the bone over the last 30 years. Will they be expected to carry out these assessments or will it be someone behind the desk in JC+ or maybe the WP adviser who hasn’t been educated past the age of 16?

        Real and appropriate assessment of function is not done by handing out photocopies of “wordsearch” or similar poorly chosen resources gleaned from cheap Puzzle books sold in the newsagent, yet it’s used frequently on the WP. To assess people properly you need to know what you are doing…

        I suppose WP Advisers, JC+ workers always know what they are doing when they sanction people.

        Lucy

        January 21, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      • Trevor, let me tell you a little story if I may ?

        Even though DWP can mandate you to attend, who funds the ESOL or a level grade c math and English is definitely not them, I can assure you of that.

        So by simply not filling out the ESOL/A level G3 enrol paperwork when at the course, the provider cant get paid and theirs sweet fanny adam DWP can do about it.

        No provider will do anything for DWP if their not going to get paid. So always find out WHOS funding the course or scheme.

        Also please note that these providers are also trying to get your details on a careers database, again you DONT HAVE TO FILL IT IN OR SIGN IT.

        Expect both provider and DWP to try to find fault, they will lie and twist while hoping you don’t notice, for instance the provider might open the classroom door and say then leave then, may even cite your being disruptive or words to that effect, even try and turn fellow claimants against you, but DONT LEAVE, ask why would you want to leave, your quite happy to be their (make sure you know their rules which is usually no swearing/shouting, etc).

        To rub it in, say to the provider if they persist, “then can you have it in writing or explain it so you can tell DWP exactly why and how refusing to fill out funding paperwork which is your legal right to sign or not sign, constitutes as breaking their procedure/s.

        Naturally they cant, thats why their be very persistent, desperate almost as theirs no way their teach you for free.

        THATS HOW THESE BASIC MATH AND ENGLISH COURSES WORK AND WITHOUT YOUR APPLICATION,SIGNATURE AND EVIDENCE OF YOU ON BENEFIT, AND WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU LIVE, THEY SIMPLY CANT GET FUNDING PERIOD.

        gaia

        January 25, 2014 at 8:21 am

    • They sent me on one.

      I turned up, with my degrees etc, and told to go and fuck themselves – in French (va te faire foutre in case you ever want to use this).

      Andrew Coates

      January 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      • Thankfully we have Google Translate so we can now tell the JC+ and the DWP to “fuck off” in any language we fancy.

        Lucy

        January 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm

  5. Its about time, action is needed and the world realises what this regime is doing.

    David cameron is fond of lecturing others how to behave and brandishing democracy as the way forward yet demonises people because of status in his own country.

    Another idea has now been published by labour.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25803006

    Strip benefits from claimants lacking skills – what this potential discriminatory idea doesn’t appear to headline is the individual capability,so someone with a learning difficulty could become an easy target as could other groups’. how much these stupid ideas are costing to dream up is never mentioned either and they look to be never ending,the slightest twisted excuse to bring more hardship to those vulnerable.

    ken

    January 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    • Ken you are the only other person I’ve seen comment online about this guff from Rachel Reeves, who recognises the damage it will inevitably do to some of those forced to take part.

      People just don’t seem to realise that forcing people to do anything is wrong.

      Lucy

      January 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      • Lucy, I entirely agree with you and was going to write something along the same lines yesterday or the day before – coercion is not the way to instil the confidence needed to overcome blocks which many of us have in these areas – mine is maths too and so there would be at least two of us sitting in the classroom from hell for all eternity. Cue flashbacks to school maths lessons.

        Any more than the threat of removal of income and possible loss of everything else along with it is a good way to help motivate people to be at their best when trying to convince employers, The courses would be run in grotty training centres or at the work programme … it would be a nightmare as would most things that are not undertaken voluntarily.

        shirleynott

        January 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm

  6. You can just imagine David Cameron fuming about this and saying ” I want the UK out of the EU and now I want the UK out of the UN!”, the ridiculous power hungry despot.

    ck

    January 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm

  7. I am thinking of creating a network of local claimant groups online, but would anyone use it?

    Also, if DWP found out a claimant used the website would they brand them a terrorist and sanction them?

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    • I am surprised nobody has been sanctioned JUST for LOOKING at this site

      Jobcentre Client

      January 21, 2014 at 8:36 am

  8. Contact Boycott Workfare Uni, I met some of them last November in London, they are holding organising events. Btw we are having another protest in Ipswich this February.

    Andrew Coates

    January 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    • Got any more details about the Feb protest?

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 21, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      • Yes we are linking up with the protesters in Kiev and Bangkok to set the town on fire 🙂

        Ipswich Resistance

        January 21, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      • Yes, it’s primarily about ATOS and will take place at Silent Street.

        Andrew Coates

        January 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      • I hate those ATOS *****ers with a passion. What date is it?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm

  9. Slightly off topic came across this and thought things are happening more people are waking up fast. The message is still good. I think what she is real trying to say is f…ing watch your back. see what you think. or is she off her head……………… http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4b9_1389041210

    Mick

    January 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm

  10. Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm

  11. Guess what, I heard an advisor yesterday send a claimant on the work programme so I guess the government are keeping it on now.

    On a different note: Job prospects fall in four parts of the UK, finds TUC

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25807428

    Cant wait to see the job figures on Wednesday.

    gaia

    January 21, 2014 at 7:41 am

    • The Work Programme Private Provider contracts with the DWP are for 5 or 7 years (can’t remember which), they started in June 2011.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      January 21, 2014 at 9:30 am

  12. Yes, it’s high time Cameron & Co were in the Courts.

    Try this for example:

    “In one case a man told a CAS [Citizens Advice Scotland] adviser he had no money for food, gas or electricity. However, he was still sanctioned after he failed to keep his mobile phone topped up and could not apply for work”.

    Other absurdities, as readers of this site well know, include claimants being sent to two different places at the same time, and then being sanctioned for not being at both places!

    Full report here:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/hundreds-of-benefit-claimants-are-fined-each-day.23230201

    Tobanem

    January 21, 2014 at 9:12 am

  13. Yet another DWP follower of this Blog:

    contact-us@dwp.gsi.gov.uk is now following Ipswich Unemployed Action.

    contact-us@dwp.gsi.gov.uk just started following you at https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com. They will receive an email every time you publish a post. Congratulations.

    Andrew Coates

    January 21, 2014 at 10:05 am

    • As the DWP reads this they should know I spent ages this morning trying to log into Universal Job Match and the useless site won’t let me do it!

      Andrew Coates

      January 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

      • National Online Recruitment Awards.

        Universal Jobmatch won the Wooden NORA – a testament to just how bad UJ actually is, it was described as a mongel of a job search site.

        However the Monster job search website who came in as one of the best was given £15 million to develop UJ.

        Monster must have been laughing all the way to the bank at the inept DWP.

        Quote from NORA:

        “We’re not too sure if any of the Finalists for the Wooden NORA will actually turn up to accept the award for the worst recruitment website, should they win”.

        http://norauk.com/wooden-nora-trophy/

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

  14. There’s a debate starting shortly on ‘This Morning’ ITV – on Benefits to be stripped from claimants who can’t speak english!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

    • Obi

      Ce?

      Tobanem

      January 21, 2014 at 10:43 am

    • Hey a no speaka di english… ma english he no good 🙂

      Pedro

      January 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

    • What about people in Wales who can’t speak Welsh?

      Andrew Coates

      January 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

  15. Since the DWP are monitoring IUA it will give any DWP whistleblowers the perfect opportunity to let us all know what old baldy (IDS – Mine Fuhrer) is really up to.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 21, 2014 at 10:45 am

  16. Iain Duncan Smith – When are you going to repay the hundred of millions of pounds of ‘Taxpayer’s’ money you’ve wasted on the pathetic and unworkable Universal Credit debacle?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 21, 2014 at 11:29 am

    • Surely you’ve figured it out by now. Universal Credit was, and is, just a ruse to shovel millions and millions of public pounds into the pockets of my corporate chums. So the answer to your question is: Never. I’m busy buying my way into some lucrative directorships.

      Iain Duncan Smith

      January 21, 2014 at 9:34 pm

  17. Agencies and Jobcentres

    Agencies contribute nothing to anybody or anyone and take that big brown envelope if not double the amount offered hourly rate to each person given a job. There must be some sort of tax break that the employer gets I would say just speaking of the top of my head here. So let’s just say the government really want to get the unemployed down to really low figures. Scrap agencies so all employers have to go through job centres and all job centres have hard evidence of the amount of work out there at all times. Now let’s say I lose my job I go through the usual channels sign on and through my profile the job centre has a pretty good idea of what I can do and what I want to do. I know not all jobs are going to fit everybody. So everyone who has done manual work will fit into the general worker Profile everyone who has done office work goes into office work Profile and anybody that has worked in retail goes into retail Profile. So I have covered most of the basic work groups. Now having covered the basic principles no job will ever exceed six hours a day so all twelve hour shifts will turn into part time hours creating two jobs. All twelve hour shifts come as a two man team. I hear you say this cannot be done it would not work. Look you are unemployed you don’t want to upset the family balance anymore then you have to right.so if you are a hard core unemployed person six hours is better than Hassle from the job centre, Six hour shift is better than no money at all considering the sanction that are being pushed on you or the fear of sanctions constantly being waved in front of your face. I also here you say most of those people don’t have the training. All continental shift work you get trained. Just look at most if not all agency work, those shifts have no skilled set at all and are immediate starts always. Being long term unemployed is shit let’s face it I would rather do six hours a day and have the rest of the day for my family and also have (Me Time) .I also here you say the government would not Entertain it or could not pass that bill. Listen they just gave you a bed room tax and you pay it yes? They give you the poll tax and lost that but all they did was change the name and called it council tax you pay it yes. Plus many other things. look I am not saying you have to just do six hours you can do the twelve if you want. I now you have bills to pay but if you are unemployed you should not have any extra bills anyway other than your weekly fuel, rent, and food bill So what I am trying to say here is the fly in the ointment is the agencies they have had their time and it’s time for them to go and never come back. How many times have you applied to an agency and have been told ring back in a week or we will call when we have some work for you. They have become complacent. Plus they can cherry pick people whenever for even the most general work force. This is how ridiculous it has got I went to apply to an agency and was told we cannot give you work you will need to apply to another agency for work and when you have done that come back and we will find you work????.WTF also I understand different part time jobs have different hours which should all be made twenty four hours a week so you can get help with credits, housing etc.

    Mick

    January 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    • A commitment to outlaw Employment Agencies was in Screw You Labour’s 1997 Election Manifesto! lol

      D:Ream

      January 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm

  18. Labour considers £20 jobseeker’s allowance top-up for newly unemployed.

    A £20 weekly top-up could be added to jobseeker’s allowance for unemployed people who have paid national insurance contributions for five years – as part of Labour’s drive to restore the contributory principle.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/20/labour-topup-jobseekers-allowance-unemployed-welfare

    This statement would seem to confirm that Labour will do away with the debacle that is Universal Credit as Labour (if they win the General Election) would take over on May 7th 2015.

    This should drive Herr Schmidt up the wall.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    • …and that £20 to be immediately deducted from their Housing Benefit and CTA?

      Lucy

      January 21, 2014 at 5:24 pm

  19. JOBS STAMPEDE AT TESCO EXPRESS

    A jobs stampede has taken place at a new supermarket in Glasgow where 500 candidates chased just 11 vacancies:

    http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/500-apply-for-just-11-jobs-in-citys-new-supermarket-148988n.23229808

    The unlucky hundreds now go back to the Jobcentre with its treadmill sanctions regime wondering about their uncertain future.

    Tobanem

    January 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

  20. Job Centre Plus – Bogus Jobs Scam.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    • This is all fine and dandy, Obi, YOU try telling a JC desk jockey that “Giftland is a bogus company out to defraud people” “Pfft, absolute nonsense”. “YOUR JSAG (Jobseeker’s Agreement states that you will search universal jobmatch 10 times daily and apply for all suitable vacancies”. And the JC bod has just pulled a ‘suitable vacancy’ that YOU have neglected to apply for, Obi. “I am sorry, Obi, but this is going ‘upstairs’ to a ‘decision maker’. This is the sort of shit that is getting jobseekers sanctioned. Funny how you won’t find any off this shit on any other (reputable) jobsite. It seems that only universal jobmatch is infected with this shite – funny that 😉

      Shut UJM dwon NOW!!

      January 21, 2014 at 6:15 pm

  21. DWP Releases Benefit Rates For 2014/15.

    JSA/ESA will increase to £72.40p per week for the over 25’s.

    Everything can be found at the following link:

    http://welfarenewsservice.com/dwp-releases-benefit-rates-201415/

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 21, 2014 at 3:53 pm

  22. Bogus Jobs

    “Ebay and PayPal have suspended the recovery of the money while the police investigate”.

    It might be better if Universal Jobmatch is suspended while the police investigate the criminals behind these scam Ebay sites – or any other bogus site!

    More disturbingly, some unemployed people have been duped into being used as “money mules”. In cases like that, it is the victims who are liable to prosecution!!!

    By the way, Jobcentre jobpoints are to be closed down in Edinburgh on 31st January. What is the timetable for this withdrawal in other parts of the country?

    Tobanem

    January 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm

  23. been gone from mine for half a year now just got 4 pc in a room but no one can use them yet

    super ted

    January 22, 2014 at 12:02 am

  24. “Scottish police chiefs have won ­inflation-busting pay rises of more than £10,000 a year in a move branded ­”insensitive” as civilian staff brace themselves for fresh redundancies”.

    No, I haven’t made it up! Check here:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/scottish-police-chiefs-win-10000-a-year-pay-rises.23241025

    Tobanem

    January 22, 2014 at 9:08 am

  25. Benefits Street: Dee Kelly invites Nick Clegg.

    Deputy prime minister sidesteps invitation to visit street featured on Channel 4 after ‘White Dee’ calls his LBC radio show.

    The deputy prime minister said he would love to meet Dee Kelly but said he could not make a commitment to visit James Turner Street.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/22/benefits-street-white-dee-kelly-invites-nick-clegg

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 22, 2014 at 3:37 pm

  26. Regarding ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, Cameron & Co, are defiantly in breach of Articles 4 and 23. Therefore Liverpool City Council should win (easily).

    Ant

    January 22, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    • The only problem is United Nations is a joke.

      Back-in-the-day leaders around the world through they needed it on the global stage, but now everyone regrets the pathetic thing. Countries feel like they must make an appearance rather than think there is any point to it all.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 22, 2014 at 5:36 pm

  27. PCS LEAVE YOUR OPINION AT THE DOOR #sanctions.

    Jobcentre Sanctions – proof the DWP knows what’s going on.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    • Good find. Who is it?

      A total idiot… I would give him a tenner if he can keep still for 5 seconds lol

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  28. I wonder if anyone has tried to sell a Jobcentre or even the DWP on Ebay – should be fun!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    • One Department for Work and Pensions for sale: hopelessly soiled, irreparably broken. Offers.

      Ebay

      January 24, 2014 at 10:46 pm

  29. Tory MP calls police because more than 10 pensioners – one aged 81 years old – turn up at his surgery. The MP thought he was going to be murdered:

    http://tompride.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/tory-mp-threatens-to-call-police-if-more-than-10-people-turn-up-at-his-surgery-not-satire/

    Tobanem

    January 23, 2014 at 9:17 am

  30. Reblogged this on seachranaidhe1.

    seachranaidhe1

    June 1, 2014 at 12:09 pm


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