Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Welfare Cap will “increase accountability” Iain Duncan Smith.

with 21 comments

The BBC reports,

MPs have overwhelmingly backed plans to introduce an overall cap on the amount the UK spends on welfare each year.

Welfare spending, excluding the state pension and some unemployment benefits, will be capped next year at £119.5bn.

The idea, put forward by Chancellor George Osborne in last week’s Budget, would in future see limits set at the beginning of each Parliament.

With Labour supporting the idea, the measure was approved in the House of Commons by 520 to 22 votes.

However, eleven Labour backbenchers defied their leadership by voting against the plan.

The rebels included former shadow ministers Diane Abbott and Tom Watson.

The cap will include spending on the vast majority of benefits, including pension credits, severe disablement allowance, incapacity benefits, child benefit, both maternity and paternity pay, universal credit and housing benefit.

It is not necessary to listen to the gibberish on the television by government supporters, saying basically, if I tell you three times it’s true.

Here is why Labour should have opposed the ‘cap’.


As announced in last week’s budget, the government’s cap on welfare spending is set to be £119.5bn in 2015/16, increasing to £126.7bn by 2018/19.

Most of the spending that falls under the welfare cap is made up of the state pensions (£80bn), tax credits (£25bn) and housing benefit (£23bn). Significantly, jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and the housing benefit that gets paid automatically to JSA claimants are not part of the cap.

The coalition has introduced the cap and Labour is expected to support the measure in the House of Commons today, with only a handful of Labour MPs expected to rebel.

However the problem is that, according to credible analysis, governments will struggle to keep to the cap due to the nature of the benefits that fall within it. This will mean, therefore, that those who receive benefits that fall under the cap will likely see cuts to their benefits at some point in the future.

The big question, then, is whether the potential cuts will hit those who can most afford to take them rather than those who are struggling. The evidence suggests that this won’t happen under the welfare cap. In fact, as the excellent Chris Goulden of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has pointed out, there is more spending on the richest households that is not in the welfare cap than is within the cap, and vice versa with the poorest households.

In other words, if you are poor the benefits you receive are more likely to be encompassed by the cap than if you are well off, as the graph shows.

Welfare cap graphic

How the welfare cap will affect household incomes.

The graph demonstrates, in Goulden’s words, that for the richest households:

“there is more spending that is not in the welfare cap (albeit virtually all state pension) than is within the cap. Overall, 30% of spending from within the welfare cap is on the richest half of society but 40% of the protected spend”.

On the other hand, for the poorest tenth the average annual incomes from benefits are £1,081 from tax credits, £874 from housing benefit and £509 from pension credit.

This means that, in using the welfare cap to protect things like the state pension for the rich but not the pension credit (which predominantly helps the poor), the chancellor is once again doing “more for those who already have, and not those on low incomes and most in need of help”, as Goulden puts it.

The welfare cap may be politically difficult for Labour to oppose, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a regressive measure that hits the poor hardest.

bour sh0uld have opposed the cap,


This is the List of  Honour  of those Labour MPs who voted against the cap.

Diane Abbott

Ronnie Campbell

Katy Clark

Michael Connarty

Jeremy Corbyn

Kelvin Hopkins

Glenda Jackson

John McDonnell

George Mudie

Linda Riordan

Dennis Skinner

Tom Watson

Mike Wood


Written by Andrew Coates

March 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

21 Responses

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  1. Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and the housing benefit that gets paid automatically to JSA claimants are not part of the cap, neither are State Pensions.

    Employment Support Allowance and the link between ESA and Housing Benefit are to be capped.

    Income Support and the link between IS and Housing Benefit are to be capped.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

  2. Signed on today and asked about CPWs. I was told it is supposed to start in April but they (JCP) have had no official notification yet. They’ve only be told it will be three tier: 6 month workfare, daily signings or intensive help for people with literacy/numeracy problems.

    jj joop

    March 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm

  3. Daily signings! That will be fun!

    No expense spared then, cap or not, to make people’s lives a misery.

    Andrew Coates

    March 27, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    • I can see the CWP fisseling out because:

      1. Most of the major charities have pulled out of any government led scheme (Sally Army are the latest) so placements of community value are going to be really hard to find for people – if they find any at all.

      2. The Jobcentre are soon going to get fed up with the endless stream of people coming in everyday to sign on and they will really get fed up having to refund everyones bus fare on a daily or weekly basis.

      3. Same again with the Intensive Help Regime (which some have already experienced for 6 months as PWPS when we finished the Work Programme June/July 2013) so nothing new there then.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      March 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    • Pop in to the JCP to sign on and then OFF TO THE PUB AND BEYOND!

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      March 27, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      • Walk to the JC, then ask someone getting off the bus for their ticket, so that the JC end up paying for your pint.

        Another Fine Mess

        March 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm



      March 28, 2014 at 8:55 am

      • There’s no justice like angry mob justice!

        jj joop

        March 28, 2014 at 11:43 am

  4. Reblogged this on seachranaidhe1.


    March 27, 2014 at 3:14 pm

  5. 4,000 people signing on. (where I am) 480 minutes of (10-minute slots) JCP time (9-5) per day. 2 members of staff are left now to sign everyone on. If one person works fulltime with no food or toilet break, they can only sign 48 jobseekers a day. The jobcentre can only sign 96 a day, therefore. There is no physical space for 4,000 to be in the building. To sign on all 4,000 of us daily, with all staff working without food/drink/toilet/rest (or any time to do admin) nonstop, the calculator just informed me that they would need 84 members of staff per day.
    The remaining 10 desks are taken up by admin and sanctions (non-signing) staff. If they were all moved to the callcentre and replaced by signing-on staff, then there are still spaces for only 12 staff at a time. There is a toilet for staff (with 84 staff you’d need more toilets), but of course no toilets or chairs for jobseekers (including disabled/sick/pregnant ones). Not to mention the kids single (or partnered!) parents have to bring in with them to signing as there’s no childcare. (And the extra needs of babies, toddlers, children, pregnant women, disabled people etc., for toilets!)
    If the signing were weekly not daily, that gives 40 hours a week, divided into 2,400 minutes,
    or 240 10-minute signing slots. Under that scheme, only 240 people per week could be signed on.
    If jobcentres were open 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday, that gives 56 hours a week, divided into 3,360 minutes, or 336 slots; signing only 336 people a week.
    At extended opening hours of 96 hours a week, divided into 5,760 minutes, it provides 576 10-minute signing slots; so even under that scheme, only 576 people per week could be signed on.
    If workers had no breaks and alternated between 2 12-hour shifts, and jobcentres were open 24/7, that gives you 168 hours to play with (in a week); 10,080 minutes, 1,008 slots; then you could only sign, with your 84 staff, 1,008 people a week.
    UNLESS you increased your signing-on staff to over 336!

    As these figures are crazy, it’s obvious that Jobcentres aren’t sticking to the required 10-minute slots currently. (Or the statement that jobcentres help and support and advise jobseekers.) With 4,000 signing fortnightly, and breaks for workers, let’s say the staff only work 7 hours a day. There are 2 signing-on staff left. They work 5 days a week.
    NOT counting extra breaks, delays, or admin time: to sign each person every 10 working days; you get 420 minutes a day. That’s 42 jobseekers per staff member per day, or 84 jobseekers for the jobcentre in total.To sign all 4,000 at 10-minute slots, would take them
    40,000 minutes (1 worker) or 20,000 minutes (2 workers). Assuming staff are never off sick or on holiday etc; let’s say 2 staff get it done in 20,000 minutes. That is 333 hours and 20 minutes. It’s 13.8 days; but remember working hours are only 9-5 including lunch break Mon-Fri, so it’s over 2 weeks.
    If we say half the 10 minutes is admin, and you only sign for 5 minutes, that doesn’t cut the number of jobseekers signing in half; as half is admin time. If jobseekers were signed nonstop (with no admin done at all) by both staff at 5 minutes each jobseeker, it’d take them 10,000 minutes. Which is 166 hours and 40 minutes. That’s about 6.9 working days. However, in that time, they could only see 480 people a week. It’d take nearly 9 weeks to see all 4,000 people or to see each of them once on a fortnightly cycle.
    If they are only seeing you (with no admin) for 2 minutes, 2 staff can sign 20 people per 10 minutes. That is 120 an hour, 840 a day, 4,200 a week.
    Clearly, it appears that (admin included) our jobcentre are taking between 2 and 5 minutes to sign us on.

    What about the UK’s smallest jobcentres that are little more than ‘half an old lady and a cat’?
    (But still with dozens to sign, as those areas tend to be rural and isolated with poor economic prospects and high unemployment – as the jobs that needed filling are already filled.)

    If I was George Osborne’s or IDS’s maths teacher, I’d have thrown the fucktards off the roof.

    something survived...

    March 27, 2014 at 9:55 pm

  6. “Judge orders DWP to disclose Universal Credit documents”:


    What’s the betting that the DWP will do everything it can to prevent the publication of these documents. Iain Duncan Smith and his department don’t think that they are accountable to anyone.


    March 28, 2014 at 7:52 am

  7. The Cap will have an effect on the number of people who pass an assessment for ESA and I believe that this is one reason why the Cap has been developed and why Labour didn’t fight it. If they get in next year, they won’t want any increase in the numbers on ESA.

    This Cap will add yet another layer of bullshit for the goons to hide behind and of course, more deaths, more misery….

    ..,,ad infinitum


    March 28, 2014 at 8:30 am

  8. Well, well, well…Atos bites the dust!

    Sickness benefit tests firm pays the government to quit its £500million contract early after death threats to staff.

    Days after ministers said Atos Healthcare was ‘committed’ to its contract, the French IT company confirmed it was pulling out early.

    Each month last year they recorded about 160 incidents of the public assaulting or abusing staff, the Financial Times reported. Examples on social networking sites include someone calling staff ‘murdering scumbags’, adding: ‘We won’t be smiling when we come to hang you b******s.’ Another said: ‘Know anyone who works for Atos? Kill them.’

    Disability charities greeted the news with joy last night. They’re not the only ones.


    jj joop

    March 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    • Here’s hoping the CWP pimps get the same treatment. I say: get the lads in, now.

      jj joop

      March 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm

  9. Oh how lovely! God does indeed work in mysterious ways. Now we just need to get rid of IDS have you noticed his initials sound like a nasty disease!

    Carol Joyce

    March 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm

  10. Unfortunately ATOS will be replaced by an offshore American company or the company Private Eye Calls Crapita, ” Officials in the DWP are believed to be talking to two other companies, Capita and the American outsourcing firm Maximus, about taking over.”


    America has such a proud record of health-care for the poor, and Capita…….well…

    Andrew Coates

    March 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    • How Long Before These Become WPP’s ?


      March 29, 2014 at 10:33 am

  11. The only people losing out are the poor sods who will still be put through the life wrecking mill of the WCA. It doesn’t matter who administers and profits from it. ATOS won’t have lost anything by leaving the deal. They are still all over the NHS like a suppurating rash, their OH business has been thriving for years.

    The names change
    The body count climbs.

    The only way is to get rid of the WCA


    March 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

  12. Did any of these guys actually challenge their GP? Too worn down by the system as you would be. I am not pointing the finger at the people who suffer but the BMA, the doctors trade union. Despite another body, ATOS for example, disputes their prognosis, they are happy with this as long as they continue to get paid. Money before professional integrity. Nothing new there then.

    I would not mind so much but the BMA routinely protests that GPs know their own patients better. A former Health Secretary complained, more than once, that if ever the BMA was criticised, its first reaction was, ” to reach for it’s wallet”. His saving grace was he liked jazz.


    March 29, 2014 at 1:20 am

  13. I don’t suppose many readers on here aged over 60 (and penalised by the welfare cap) will have a spare £8,000 in a private pension pot!

    But if you do, you can make a further £1,500 profit – all at taxpayers’ expense:


    The legal loophole behind this “windfall” will not be closed until after April NEXT YEAR – unlike the recently discovered loophole behind the the 1996 bedroom tax issue which was closed very quickly after the Government was rumbled!


    March 29, 2014 at 9:34 am

  14. JBS :
    “Judge orders DWP to disclose Universal Credit documents”:
    What’s the betting that the DWP will do everything it can to prevent the publication of these documents. Iain Duncan Smith and his department don’t think that they are accountable to anyone.

    Claimants will be given an end-of-term report from their Work Programme provider assessing what progress they have made and their ongoing needs, to inform their new adviser before facing the toughest Jobcentre regime to help them find work.



    You would be lucky to get anything from the Dwp.while they want and demand to know everything about you they are very much the opposite.they simply clam up and become evasive.

    The work programme exit report is one.they are classing it as a Dwp document and are not releasing it.


    March 29, 2014 at 9:40 am

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