Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Woes Grow at DWP: More Jobpoints Torn out, and Statistics Slated.

with 26 comments

We learn that Jobpoints/Consuls are now starting to be torn out of Suffolk Job Centres – beginning with Diss.

This is part of a country-wide pattern (from comments on this site, and see here).

The disappearing  service is to be replaced with …what?

As Iain Duncan Smith wreaks havoc on the welfare system how is the crucial statistical service of the DWP bearing up?

Not well either.

The BBC reports (yesterday) that since his reign began the DWP has received 16 Official letters from the  UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) about its questionable use of data.

This contrasted with the Department of Health (which sues such statistical information far more extensively, to say the least)

 

In April this year, for example, the UKSA criticised the DWP for saying in a press release that more than 50% of decisions on disability living allowance are made on the basis of the claim form alone without any additional corroborating medical evidence, when the figure should actually have been 10%.

In March it criticised employment minister Esther McVey for telling the House of Commons that unemployment had fallen 400,000 since the general election, when it had actually only fallen by 7,000.

So what’s going on? The UKSA said in a statement: “The proportion of concerns raised with us about the DWP reflects a range of factors, including the salience of the policy initiatives undertaken by the department; the range of interests affected by the delivery of the department’s policies; the complexity of the systems the department implements; and the department’s statistical practices.”

So in other words, people are more likely to complain about DWP errors because they are in controversial areas. But is that really enough to account for the gulf between the DWP and other departments that produce considerably more statistics?

Yes, Welfare statistics are about “controversial” areas.

Like the effects of ATOS, and other instruments for making people’s lives a misery, not to mention the utter failures of the private companies running the Work Programme.

Incidentally, anybody heard anything about Help to Work?

Not a sausage round here.

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Written by Andrew Coates

July 1, 2014 at 10:57 am

26 Responses

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  1. “Daily signing” you said, “yes daily signing” she said.

    It appears the homeless are being made to sign on daily or face sanction all because they either don’t have a home or cant supply a care of address. As we all know or will in a minute homeless people are currently not offered compliancy agreements and universal credit as their on a list of claimant types as yet to difficult for the new system to administer to.

    Well not wanting to be thwarted, JCP have taken the approach of trying to wear them down by exercising their right as advisor to force them to sign on daily for x amount of weeks (I think 20wks or so pending review) with the lame excuse of how can we contact you if you have no postal address.

    JCP claim its all part of the deal they have in place to allow claimants to use their address but comes with the clause, “you have to sign daily or you cant use it”

    Its makes no difference if you have an email address or phone number, both of which being far superior in terms of contact methods and thus leads to only one conclusion.

    “IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CONTACT”

    gaia

    July 1, 2014 at 11:57 am

    • And If You Ain’t Got An Address You Ain’t Going Too Get A Job Either

      mr northolt

      July 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      • Oh, so using JOBCENTREPLUS’s address is going to change that, that potential employers wont notice the start touting the very organisations name, that potential employers don’t check this stuff out?

        The point that made me laugh Mr Northolt was not the use of the actual address but WHY such a person would need to sign on everyday, I mean why not just let them come in for their post assuming their using it as theirs no legal requirement that they should without the need to sign on daily AND apparently CHECK their jobsearch evidence on a daily basis. So as to set some frame work here, anyone with a care of address isn’t required to attend to sign more than once a fort night or week and they only have to have access to this care of address a mere once a week.

        Oh before I forget apparently JCP are also trying to ask the HOMELESS claimant for personal data on whos residence it is, asking questions about do you stay their and even arranging visits to inspect the property despite it actually existing on councils registers BUT WHY when the person has already stated that its just a care of address, that they don’t actually reside their now or ever and most importantly NOT CLAIMING OR WANTING TO HOUSING BENEFIT OR COUNCIL TAX RELIEF?

        So its clear in case no one knows

        You don’t have to supply a care of address or have residence with a landlords agreement/deed of ownership or a mortgage to be eligible for out of work benefit.

        A potential employer CANNOT discriminate against a candidate on the basis of them being homeless

        gaia

        July 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      • I thought I saw only 3 ”public access” phones available in Ipswich Jobcentre this week. The jobpoints were still turned off. Could it be this will be turned into a waiting area. BTW when I was signing at Door C. Seetec were being told that next time they sign they would go to door B upstatirs.

        Mr Greenford

        July 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

  2. Here’s Glenda Jackson MP annihilating Iain Duncan Smith in the House of Commoms yesterday.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    July 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    • Great stuff!

      Andrew Coates

      July 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    • Nice to see you back but come on Obi wan, annihilating, really?

      For a start the house was near empty and judging by IDSs face, he as usual wasn’t the slightest bit bothered as who really watches BBC parliament when we talk about population figures.

      No, the truth is despite the public knowing that IDS and consorts are lying through their teeth and are regularly analized by more than one leading respectable organisation (ie, office of national statistics) that they just DONT CARE. I know theirs no consensus on the subject but if posts to news articles are anything to go by then the majority doesn’t reside with the unemployed, the ill, the injured and the aged.

      Its a common theme for people to behave this way during hard times as it is in nature to prey on the weak, to ostracize them from the pack in times of un-plenty.

      The public don’t want to know that’s nothings changed, that lifes financially is just as vicarious as it was after the global crash, all they want is for life to return to the way it was or to imagine such. The thing is they know that’s somethings nibbling at the mind, they feel it yet like the dark are to afraid to walk in the shadows. The public need someone to blame, cant blame government for fear of having nowhere to turn so pick on societies weakness, those least able to defend themselves.

      Even claimants suffer the same affliction as many I ask genuinely believe things will go back to the way they were despite not being able to explain how or even what the national debt is yet here we are almost five years on and its still planned and penned to get worse for those on any welfare.

      The writings on the wall for all who care to see, for all who are unafraid to face the truth so the question is what it always is

      “DO THEY WANT TO”?

      gaia

      July 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm

  3. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    July 1, 2014 at 1:08 pm

  4. Don’t forget that Ipswich the ”In House Telephones” that could be used for contacting DWP and Employers are also being taken out. As for the ”Help To Work”- could this be just another name for the Post Work Referrals [Seetec In This Area].Any thoughts from anybody else ?. Oh Yes forgot too mention at Ipswich today the Jobpoints were not working {Again when I was there anyway}

    Mr Northolt

    July 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

  5. Should Have Said POST WORK PROGRAMME

    mr northolt

    July 1, 2014 at 1:20 pm

  6. The points and phones are already gone from my JC.
    There’s no phones for jobseekers to use even when you’re sitting with your ‘job coach’ with a phone on the desk in front of you!
    They’ve also started building the battery pens where jobseekers can click cluck cluck away at fake jobs for 35 hours a week, I presume that any employers will go in a tray underneath.

    Another Fine Mess

    July 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    • Yep, I second that another fine mess and Mr Northolt, their all disappearing from my area to with some offices actually being shut down completely at some point. In one of the remaining centres they have 10 PCs with no printers so considering now all over 24 claimants are coming to one local point at some point I cant wait to see how their make the 35 hour rule stick 7 hours a day, 5 days a week without support from providers.

      gaia

      July 1, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    • If someones money hasn’t gone in your going to need a phone to find out whats happened.removing this service is a nasty spiteful thing to do,often when people are desperate,and trying to sort a payment out.

      Bt Basic is a cheap line rental offer for those unemployed and on out of work benefits hats income related.

      http://www.bt.com/includingyou/other-products-services-bt-basic.html?s_cid=con_FURL_btbasic

      ken

      July 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm

  7. Who, what, why: Where is the hardest place in the UK to be a busker?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-28112716

    Enjoy

    gaia

    July 1, 2014 at 7:49 pm

  8. ISIS latest vacancies, quote taken from a BBC news article

    “He made a “special call” for judges, doctors, engineers and people with military and administrative expertise”.

    See, their is work if you look hard enough, Hmmm, I wonder if JCP will cover the travel costs for the interview?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-28116846

    gaia

    July 1, 2014 at 8:10 pm

  9. OK, now they are having a laugh…

    ‘UK job groups set for more than £30m in bonuses’:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/68ab0ba0-013b-11e4-a938-00144feab7de.html

    JBS

    July 2, 2014 at 4:52 am

  10. ‘Flawed’ Work Programme contracts costing millions, watchdog says

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28113516

    Yet again DWP dispute the figures, it makes no difference its their own ones.

    gaia

    July 2, 2014 at 8:56 am

  11. “AN UNWORKABLE MONSTER” – More Woes about Universal Credit from the latest whistleblower:

    http://glynismillward189.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/whistleblower-predicts-troubled-start-for-new-universal-credit-system/

    Note the bit about the “all online” nature of Universal Credit, when some claimants can’t even use a pencil!!!

    Tobanem

    July 2, 2014 at 9:38 am

    • Nice post Tobanem.

      gaia

      July 2, 2014 at 10:27 am

      • Also note it is not only claimants who will experience difficulty with Universal Credit. Even Jobcentre personnel are only able to process 3 new claims each day instead of 30 claims for JSA.

        With all the demoralising cuts to DWP jobs and services, it is no wonder Jobcentre personnel are leaving in droves – and no wonder they are going on strike on 10th July:

        http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/01/civil-servants-join-public-sector-strike-pay

        The “wheels” are falling off the DWP ideological wagon one by one – and IDS is still obstinately rolling along!

        Tobanem

        July 2, 2014 at 11:47 am

      • You know I would so like to believe that wheels statement Tobanem but where I am, I see the same faces as has always been their. Don’t get me wrong, theirs new faces but by far and large here anyway droves leaving is certainly not happening.

        The welfare reform is all the tories have left in the cookie jar so if that goes down, so does their chances of re-election and thus may explain WHY exactly despite total damning evidence on a monthly basis that they behave as they do now.

        As for the strike why bother, no one listens to the will of the people anymore now laws prevent any real action taking place.
        No, if I was them I would amongst them all decide a date in secrecy and all ring in sick with the logic that had conditions been better, had I been able to afford a better diet like you IDS and McVey that I wouldn’t have been so malnutritioned that i ended up so ill and maybe so often.

        gaia

        July 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

  12. The DWS certainly know what’s happening and what we think of it.

    There are well over 10 DWP subscribers to this Blog alone!

    Andrew Coates

    July 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm

  13. The company in charge of Newcastle College is to share in a £31m bonus for a controversial Government back-to-work scheme – even though its performance was so poor that Ministers have stripped it of one of its contracts.

    The payout has been revealed by the National Audit Office, the official spending watchdog, and provoked a furious response from the head of a Commons committee which scrutinises public spending.

    Margaret Hodge, chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said: “It beggars belief that the Department expects to pay at least £31m in bonuses to all of its contractors despite their poor performance – even NCG whose contract has been terminated will receive a bonus.”

    The revelation follows an announcement in March that the college’s parent group NCG was to lose its contract to provide services helping long-term unemployed people find work in North East Yorkshire and the Humber.

    The contract was part of the Government’s Work Programme, which involves paying private sector organisations to provide training, work experience and careers advice for unemployed people.

    Figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed that just 1,070 people found work out of the 14,540 people that received help from Newcastle College in North East Yorkshire and the Humber over 12 months.

    This is a success rate of 7.4% – the lowest result of the 40 such schemes across the country.

    But it has now emerged that it will receive a bonus anyway – because of what the National Audit Office (NAO) report called “flawed contractual performance measures”.

    An NAO report said: “Flawed contractual performance measures mean the Department will have to make incentive payments to even the worst performing contractors.

    “The Department established incentive payments to reward high performance. But it uses a measure of performance that is highly sensitive to changes in referral volumes over time.

    “In 2014-15 all 40 contracts are likely to be entitled to £31m in incentive payments. The Department estimates that only £6m would be paid using an accurate measure of performance.”

    Mrs Hodge said: “The Work Programme is absolutely critical to getting people, especially some of the most vulnerable in society, into work and helping to keep them there in the longer term.”

    She added: “It is very clear to me that it still has a mountain to climb if it is to help those most in need.”

    Her committee will raise the concerns with Department for Work and Pensions officials who are due to give evidence to it later this month.

    A DWP spokesman said: “The Work Programme is helping more people than any previous employment programme and has already helped half a million people start a job and 300,000 into lasting work.

    “The National Audit Office says that we’ve already saved more than £40m over and above any previous employment programme, and that we’ll save £450m on benefits compared with any scheme that has gone before. Even starting in the recession, the Work Programme performed as well as previous schemes, and with performance improving rapidly it’s on track to deliver significantly more jobs than previous schemes.”

    An NCG spokesperson said: “This is the DWP’s system, which we could not influence and which we implemented correctly. As such it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

    http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/mps-fury-newcastle-college-group-7354063?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    Andrew Coates

    July 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm

  14. Diss is in in Norfolk not Suffolk by the way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diss

    Commie

    July 3, 2014 at 12:56 pm

  15. It is indeed, but just over the border.

    Sorry, I should have written East Anglia.

    Or perhaps it because we want a Greater Suffolk with expanded territory, Great Yarmouth as well!

    Andrew Coates

    July 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

  16. Ah, so that’s what it’s all about. The ones in my job centre (Walsall) have been out of order for 3 months now with notices on reassuring that engineers have been called. I think they have to come by yak from outer Mongolia cos they’re still not here. I also noticed the Jobcentre staff are being very gentle with me though I do provide good evidence of job searching from home. The sooner IDS is fucked and burned, the better.


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