Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Pre-Paid Cards: Tories to Tell us How to Spend our Benefits.

with 88 comments

This may have been overlooked,

The government is to introduce pre-paid benefit cards to stop claimants spending their money on alcohol, drugs or gambling .

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said it would help those “on the margins break the cycle of poverty”.

The cards could only be used for some items in some stores, and would not be valid in betting shops or off licences.

The scheme will be initially piloted on a voluntary basis and will be targeted on those with addiction problems.

The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said government sources said the move was aimed at helping claimants with drug or alcohol issues and protecting their families.

An estimated one in 15 working-age benefit claimants in England suffer from addiction to drugs, such as crack-cocaine and heroin, while an estimated one in 25 working-age benefit claimants is suffering from alcohol dependency.

 

BBC 

Clearly some people will make a lot of money out of these cards, so we can expect pressure to grow for them to be used for all claimants.

The Guardian‘s    continues the story.

Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, told the Conservative party conference that a system of prepaid cards would help lift families ‘on the margins’ out of poverty. 
The latest tantalising nostrum from the Conservatives is a move to prepaid benefit cards: a system designed to limit the scope of individual spending in order to eradicate “destructive habits” and elevate families from poverty through prohibitive safeguards.

 

When the state makes judgments about necessities and enforces it on the vulnerable, we create a “peasant” and “benevolent benefactor” dichotomy. This is neither progressive nor morally sound. The welfare state is a safety net to which we all contribute so that if circumstance dictates, we may use it: something those least likely to ever need it conveniently forget. When we start incorporating punitive addendums, we lose sight of the wider issue. The poor are instantly stigmatised through a caricature of recklessness and fecklessness: the undeserving lumpenproletariat in need of correction through fiscal imprisonment.

 So much for the party of “freedom of choice”!

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88 Responses

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  1. There will be a lot of crime due to the cards being given to some.

    enigma

    October 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm

  2. My initial thought as well.

    Plus who will have the franchises for making them, and the places where they can be used?

    How they will they allow for Council Tax?

    Other bills?

    Andrew Coates

    October 1, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    • Other bills indeed. Like my husband’s care bill, for instance. Never mind the rest.

      tellthetruth1

      April 7, 2016 at 5:23 pm

  3. So this will be piloted initially on a “voluntary” basis and targetting those with addiction problems. Really? What a load of old rubbish. We all know, or know, of someone with addiction problems. I don’t think they’ll be queueing up to voluntarily swap cash for a prepaid card that only allows them to buy certain things at certain outlets.

    jj joop

    October 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    • When you’ve got a habit, the habit comes first every time.

      jj joop

      October 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      • Not first for everyone jj

        enigma

        October 1, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    • Yes jj, “voluntary” is complete nonsense for the addicted, they will not be asked if they want a pre paid card, it will be “compulsory” like the other things which are “compulsory” we have heard about coming.

      There will be a lot of “smash and grab”

      enigma

      October 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm

  4. In ten years’ time this will be forced upon all claimants, whether they have addiction problems or not. And it won’t be just for the unemployed either; when all benefits are brought fully into Universal Credit (stop laughing) there’s nothing to stop it being paid onto smartcards regardless of circumstance, even if the claimant is working or not.

    Samwise Gamgee

    October 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    • Then eventually ALL wages will be sequestrated by the government under a 100% tax rate; workers would then receive an amount determined by the government which would be ‘doled out’* via smart-card.

      * this is how things work under the Romans; the Emperor seized all monies from wages; workers then received their ‘dole’, this is where the term ‘dole’ originates from.

      I Claudius

      October 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    • This is the eventual aim of ‘tax credits’; tax credits are a mean of ‘training’ and ‘adjusting’ the workers.

      I Claudius

      October 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    • If they can;t get Universal Credit to work what will be the fate of the poor sods forced into this scheme?

      The only people who’ll like it are the owners of the companies in charge of the card issuing and running people’s lives like a prison.

      Andrew Coates

      October 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      • Yet more control leading to total control of peoples lives for sure, without the SS or Gestapo in view. (at the moment)

        enigma

        October 1, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      • Their fate will be to rely on charity, which will then create a vicious cycle as government relies on charity to justify cutting back on social security. This is the problem with foodbanks. THey shouldn’t exist, but of course noone with a functioning heart is going to tolerate another starving to death.

        ghostwhistler

        October 3, 2014 at 10:56 am

    • I think it will be a lot sooner than in ten years time, that everyone on benefits will be issued with a smart card, and as said before, we will all be working full time for the least amount, just enough to survive on.

      enigma

      October 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm

  5. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    October 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm

  6. First off this Universal credit rollout currently besides the test areas is yet more smoke and mirrors as it was put to me that I was on universal credit the other day yet the truth is starkly different.

    You see government is using the jobseekers act 2010 addition with the jobseekers act 1995 to enforce UC procedure so any who have received a CC are not on UC officially but are rather as though they are on UC.

    This is precisely how for instance they can enforce the 35 hour jobsearch rule.

    gaia

    October 2, 2014 at 6:23 am

  7. Secondly this card business wont change a thing and the black market look quite forward to it.

    gaia

    October 2, 2014 at 6:27 am

  8. HELP!

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can put on a CV and covering letter to prevent an employer from sharing my application or personal data with the Jobcentre. If I were to watermark it with “Confidential Data – Not For Disribution To Third Parties”, would that be sufficient?

    Parker Pyne

    October 2, 2014 at 7:29 am

    • DPA

      enigma

      October 2, 2014 at 7:33 am

      • Enigma

        Very good. The Data Protection Act is useful, but, of course, benefit claimants tend to be given a rough ride as far as personal information goes.

        Very few claimants would bother to challenge any breaches of copyright or breaches of the Data Protection Act – and Jobcentre personnel and welfare-to-work providers know this too well!

        Helping Hand

        October 2, 2014 at 8:32 am

    • Parker Pyne

      All written material is automatically copyright. There is no legal requirement to use the copyright symbol “©”, but I would put that symbol right at the top of you CV to the left of your name.

      You can also watermark the CV with the word “COPYRIGHT”.

      By the way, you can insert the copyright symbol, ©, by holding down the “Alt” key, and then pressing 0169 on the right hand numeric keyboard.

      Helping Hand

      October 2, 2014 at 8:28 am

    • The one thing I have yet to see in a job advert is a data protection policy which under law, namely the data protection act. is a MUST DO PRIOR TO THE PROCUREMENT OF PERSONAL AND OR SENSTIVE DATA.

      By not doing so naturally leaves the individual who does reply to the job advert open to exploitation, namely IMPLIED CONSENT (giving consent without being asked or told its required by law).

      This being the case naturally means its up to the individual who is legally known as the DATA SUBJECT to put such protection controls in place.

      EXAMPLE

      This email/document is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed and/or otherwise authorized personnel. The information contained herein and attached is confidential and the property of Mr Smith. If you are not the intended recipient, please be advised that viewing this message/document and any attachments, as well as copying, forwarding, printing, and disseminating any information related to this email and or attachments is prohibited and that you should not take any action based on the content of this email/document and/or its attachments.

      If you received this message in error, please contact the sender and destroy all copies of this email/document and any attachment. While antivirus protection tools have been employed, you should still check this email and attachments for the presence of viruses. No warranties or assurances are made in relation to the safety and content of this email and attachments. Mr Smith accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by or contained in this email and attachments. No liability is accepted for any consequences arising from this email.

      (MAKE SURE YOU PUT THIS ON ALL DOCUMENTS (ie, CV, cover letters, printed or electronic)).

      Further to this that while this protects your documents data, it doesn’t protect whats said in any interview their after so again DONT FORGET TO PLACE CONTROLS PRIOR TO ANY INTERVIEW. It is the DATA SUBJECTS RIGHT under law and the EMPLOYER MUST OBEY IT.

      Then if DWP do contact these people and report this back to you, they have then just openly emitted that this potential employer has JUST BREACHED YOUR DATA PROTECTION RIGHTS and you can report them to ICO.

      Only if the claim made to DWP by the claimant was fraudulent (ie, you say you applied for a specific job but didn’t) can this potential employer claim exemption under the act.

      Hope this helps Parker Pyne.

      gaia

      October 2, 2014 at 8:43 am

      • Forget about copyright Parker Pyne and stick to DPA as once you have a breach you simply forward the details to ICO and they do the rest cost free.

        Its infinitely easier and quicker (reduced stonewalling) than the DWP complaints procedure as DWPs own admission unless they retract it is the NAIL IN THE COFFIN FOR THIS EMPLOYER.

        After as lets face it, DWP will try it, a few to many employers have their knuckles rapped, they will not think highly of DWP and even less about using UJM.

        gaia

        October 2, 2014 at 9:12 am

      • gaia:

        Top posting. Very informative. I normally just watermark mine with Confidential Data – Not For Distribution To Third Parties. But the two paragraphs you recommended to Parker, I will include in all my future covering letters and CVs. Cheers. And keep posting!

        jj joop

        October 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    • Thanks for the info, guys. gaia, in particular. I will include the two paragraphs you suggested. That should do the trick, for sure.

      gaia: do you put the two paragraphs you suggested in your cv and covering letters?

      Parker Pyne

      October 2, 2014 at 11:27 am

      • Every single solitary piece I put out whether or not its related to being unemployed Parker Pyne. You can if you don’t know go into your email account and even word programs if you own the software and use signature to convey this automatically on every letter or email.

        If you once you put it on a CV go into sent in your email account and can redirect the original email with CV attached that was data protected back to inbox and again and never have to repeat the process let alone no longer be reliant on USB sticks.

        Hope this answers your question Parker Pyne and helps speed up the process a little to.

        gaia

        October 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      • Ed:

        The link is very informative, also. Thanks.

        jj joop

        October 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      • Likewise.

        Parker Pyne

        October 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      • While Eds link will serve an employee sort of well, it will not serve a work programme client as for starters your not viewed as an employee.

        Its biggest flaw of course is its complete lack of awareness towards exemptions (part 4 of the data protection act).

        While it appears pretty to attach this, one has to remember that DWP wont go down with a whimper so in the first instance WILL RESORT TO TRICKING THE EMPLOYER so please make sure you did apply.

        For the record also DONT DISCOUNT WHAT I SAID ABOUT INTERVIEWS as it will be another instance where DWP will attempt to pry.

        gaia

        October 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

  9. Cameron’s speech in a nutshell:

    Tobanem

    October 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

    • One of the best, most precise “nutshells” I have ever seen.

      No messing about. Right to the point, instantly!!!

      Tobanem

      October 2, 2014 at 8:59 am

      • I couldn’t agree more Tobanem.

        I loved how Cameron said it will make 30 million employed better off yet currently employed is a mere 31.2 million, most of which will never earn in excess of 40’000 a year (average wage per annum is 20’000 meaning most earn less than 13’000 a year).

        Lets NOT ALSO FORGET this has nothing to do with national insurance contributions that all workers pay and may get increased.

        Now as im not finished, those that earn this 13’000 all but often claim both working tax credit and housing benefit meaning although their given something back in a reduction of tax actually see it clawed back through freezing welfare payments annual increases.

        The pledge of by 2020 will mean nothing as dew to inflation will effectively cancel itself (ie 12’500 in 2020 would be equivalent to todays 10’500) out so it actually means your not paying less tax because living will actually cost more meaning what you thought you saved in income tax is actually clawed back through VAT while receiving less benefit for your contributions.

        (ALSO REMEMBER INFLATION HAS YET TO RISE AND IT WILL RISE).

        SO UNLESS GOVERNMENT DO IT THIS VERY SECOND, IT MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO ANYONE BUT THE TREASURY.

        gaia

        October 2, 2014 at 9:39 am

  10. Unless the public want to rue the day they ever allowed it to happen, do not allow our government to rewrite the human rights act all because of a few immigrants and extremists actions of late.

    EVERYONE HAS THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND LAWS ARE CURRENTLY SUCH THAT CHANGING THE HRA IS COMPLETELY UNWARRANTED AND FULLY CAPABLE OF DEALING WITH EXTREMISTS.

    If we are going to prosecute people for extremists beliefs then why aren’t we prosecuting Tony Blair, DIDNT HE HAVE THE BELIEF THAT IRAQ HAD WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND THAT WE MUST GO TO WAR AND KILL PEOPLE. Couldn’t it be said that this intelligence report was EXTREMIST MATERIAL ?

    Between Blair and Bush let alone Obama and Cameron have killed more people than all mentioned terrorist organisations todate. That the united states of America is a mere 238 years old yet has waged more bloodshed than any other nation in history in such a timescale. That Tony Blair has involved the UK in more conflicts than any other prime minister and even now still goes on camera bleating we must kill ISIS.

    No, the problem isn’t with extremists, its with our youths disillusion with its respective countries government and the ever growing protests, over throws and wars prove this is quite apparent and quite the case.

    THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL, THE DEVIL IS WITHIN.

    gaia

    October 2, 2014 at 10:30 am

  11. RE-THINK PRE-PAID BENEFIT CARDS
    TO: IAIN DUNCAN SMITH, WORK AND PENSIONS SECRETARY
    Please scrap your plans to introduce pre-paid benefit cards.

    Benefit claimants deserve to live in peace and dignity, not to be treated like criminals or naughty children.

    Petition: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/re-think-pre-paid-benefit-cards?bucket=blast

    I don’t like the wording on this, “While I understand your intention to curb spending on alcohol, drugs, tobacco and gambling, it is wrong to tar all benefit claimants with the same brush..”

    ANybody with a better campaign/petition?

    Andrew Coates

    October 2, 2014 at 11:57 am

    • You could always put it will dent your hopes of displaying criminal proceeds in your new revamped GDP declaration.

      gaia

      October 2, 2014 at 2:29 pm

  12. JB

    October 2, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    • JB – We heartily endorse it!

      “Stop Ian Duncan Smith Rolling out Prepaid Benefit Cards

      Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions

      Ian Duncan Smith wants to introduce Pre-paid benefits cards, which will have to be redeemed for food only, and only in predetermined shops, namely Tesco and Asda. This means that they cannot shop at cheaper places such as Aldi/Lidl or markets to stretch their meagre funds as far as possible. This is a major breach of Human Rights and takes away any dignity, ability to manage money, save, or pay the many other bills that come up. Childrens schools/nurseries need cash for snacks/trips etc, and in other places in the world where this is in force, these cards do not allow the purchase of soap, but can be used to buy soda or chocolate?! We cannot allow this demeaning, and humiliating practice to come into force. We cannot treat every unemployed/sick/vulnerable person like criminals, removing their rights to a life without harassment or judgement! Poor people deserve dignity and autonomy, and the right to choose where to shop, without their every move being tracked!!”

      http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/70218

      Andrew Coates

      October 2, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      • Just take it out of you rent that will be paid directly to you under UC.! sod the land lords. They started this mess that has never happened yet. IDS lies and is a joke. Again. This is not the first time he has mentioned this.
        It will never happen.
        Nicola Sturgeon asks permission to delay Universal Credit.
        Thats where the no vote got them. They need permission now!!!

        Ed

        October 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm

  13. Anyone got a timetable for IDS’s PBC – for it going live?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    • if you find it shoot him!

      Ed

      October 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    • is there any way of sending a privet message on here???

      Ed

      October 2, 2014 at 9:49 pm

  14. Card scheme will be as ” voluntary ” as mwa and all the other crackpot schemes they come up with are.. they are just spinning the V word to the public but to the claiment its business as usual, please spread your cheeks and lift your sack!

    random bloke

    October 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    • Thanks random bloke i just wiped my arse on this.

      Ed

      October 2, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      • They are Labour!

        Ed

        October 2, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      • and the back.

        Ed

        October 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      • id setup a dd and have the lot taken out in 1 go and put it in another bank account with a debit card.

        super ted

        October 2, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      • Be interesting to see if this is aimed at disabled people also who currently claim Dla and who because of their disability have problems managing money. its effectively managed for them.with the possibility of an adverse effect on their claim for Pip from next year,when a points system is introduced.

        ken

        October 3, 2014 at 3:35 am

      • This will give the DWP a complete granular view of a claimant’s expenditure right down to the brand of baked beans and colour of knickers they purchase! Imagine your JC adviser knowing how much you spend on tampons?

        Worried

        October 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

      • Doesn’t make sense! If the DWP is so worried about claimants being able to shop on-line, pay in shops by card and set up direct debits and standing orders why not just set all claimants up with a basic bank account? No, because a basic bank account can be used to withdraw cash, it does not give the DWP access to where and what is being purchased on, the DWP are not able to restrict what purchases are made!

        Wasp

        October 3, 2014 at 10:18 am

      • Super Ted does it (solution) again!

        enigma

        October 3, 2014 at 10:20 am

      • I doubt very much that tampons will be on the ‘approved purchase’ list – we will be expected to use a rag like our grandmothers did. Same goes for condoms – expect we will denied that simple pleasure too!

        Spangle

        October 3, 2014 at 10:23 am

    • You beat me too it ST. Life really is easy if you think about it.

      Ed

      October 3, 2014 at 12:03 am

      • and then id report it as stolen and want another card and do the same every 2 weeks.

        see how long that lasts lol

        just another ids brain fart using his 1 and only brain cell that will come to nothing and just cost more than it will save.

        super ted

        October 3, 2014 at 12:13 am

      • Who is IDS trying to save??? Apart from himself. lol

        Ed

        October 3, 2014 at 12:28 am

  15. Cameron’s Conference Rap. (Contains moderate swearing)

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm

  16. WHY STOP AT PRE PAID CARDS,OH THATS RIGHT, WE’RE NOT.

    How would you like it if I said, “nope you have no rights, do as your told or else claimant”?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29466113

    How would you like it if I told you, ” sorry I cant give you a job because of that single joint you had 12 hours earlier in your own time or because the drink you had last night hasn’t left your system”?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29465755

    Whether you care to know or not, your way of life will change if government is allowed to act without our the publics say so. To say we are a democracy is a joke as beyond elections I see no evidence of it at all in the UK.

    Each of these mentioned WILL see many claimants sanctioned or denied benefits altogether if they don’t conform to the will of the government.

    IF YOU TAKE ANYTHING AWAY FROM THIS THEN PLEASE UNDERSTAND, A MAN WITH NO RIGHTS, IS A SUBJECT/SERVANT TO THE WHIM OF THE CROWN AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS A DICTATORSHIP.

    gaia

    October 3, 2014 at 6:14 am

  17. Child abuse cases sore yet still the usefulness of CRBs isn’t brought into question.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29470001

    You cant go a day lately without yet another report of a politician/wealthy or famous person being arrested for child abuse yet in every case certain dots are deliberately not getting connected. The underlining symmetry in most abuse cases is the absence of any prior convictions. Many a claimant can attest to being refused employment dew to previous convictions not related to abuse yet it seems despite ostracizing any with a record we have created a thriving industry for the yet to be caught’s.

    These twisted perverts that seem to come from wealth and power are allowed to go unfettered so what does the government do, it gives them tax breaks so they can perpetrate their sick fantasies further.

    gaia

    October 3, 2014 at 6:37 am

    • How’s about that, then? 😀

      Jimmy Savile (Deceased)

      October 3, 2014 at 9:47 am

  18. The welfare rights adviser on a mission to shame Iain Duncan Smith.

    From the frontline of benefits changes, Nick Dilworth wants to expose the fallout from this government’s ‘misconceived’ welfare reforms.

    Make no mistake, warns benefits specialist Nick Dilworth, it is a gruelling time to be a frontline welfare advice worker and no less arduous to be a campaigner. Recalling a recent client who was desperate for help with benefits, he says: “He didn’t turn up for his appointment. Then his father rang to say he’d been found dead. That is not the first time that’s happened to me. I had another case where I was expecting to see my first client of the day and instead it was a detective inspector from the local police telling me that he had been found dead. He was only in his 20s.”

    According to Dilworth, 54, the collective stress and individual tragedies that have piled up since the government began rolling out welfare reforms in 2011, coupled with cuts to grassroots advice services that have eroded the assistance available, amount to a national scandal. “I don’t think the public knows how bad it is. In the past we’ve nearly always been able to find a solution [to people’s problems]. Now you come across situations where there is no answer and you can’t do anything.

    “People are coming in with multiple problems,” he adds. “You get grown men crying. What you see are broken lives. It means we are seeing people for whom all you can do is give short-term answers like food-bank vouchers. Then your problem as a frontline worker is, ‘how am I supposed to solve this?’”

    During the past few years, he and colleagues have wrestled with the deluge of enquiries and diminishing resources at citizens advice bureaux. Dilworth was made redundant at one point due to legal aid cuts ending a large contract with South Hams CAB. As a result, he has transformed himself into a campaigner and vocal critic of the government’s austerity policies. Spurred into action by a belief that handling individual cases “while very important and necessary” was no longer enough, he uses social media and other activism to skewer the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). His critiques stem, he says, from what he sees on the ground day in, day out, including the fallout from “misconceived” policies, such as the “toxic” fitness for work tests.

    On top of his day job at Plymouth Advice – a partnership that includes Plymouth CAB and Age UK and is commissioned by the city council to deliver advice services for local residents – Dilworth spends a sizable chunk of his time analysing numerous aspects of welfare reform on the popular online forum ilegal.org.uk .He also exposes flaws in the government’s use of statistics.

    He reserves particular ire for work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, the ministerial architect of welfare reform. “I think there is a need to shame Duncan Smith. He is running amok,” Dilworth declares. He lambasts the secretary of state for using what he says are specious figures to peddle myths about claimants, including, for example, that 2.6 million people have been “parked” on incapacity benefits for decades “unseen and with nobody helping them”. Dilworth doesn’t buy the minister’s entrenched worklessness theory. The overall number may have stayed roughly the same for decades (“since the Tories under Thatcher first moved people off unemployment on to incapacity to keep jobless figures down”), but millions of people come on and off benefits as their condition changes over any significant period, he points out.

    Dilworth is far from alone in his critique of how the DWP deploys statistics. It has been rapped by the UK Statistics Authority for misusing data.

    Dilworth also accuses the government of conflating figures for benefit fraud and error to provide ammunition for cracking down on so-called “benefits cheats”. Fraud across the entire benefits system runs at under 1% but it ties neatly into advancing a narrative that vilifies people on benefits as scroungers, Dilworth argues.

    “You have to ask yourself, why did the DWP call in a Murdoch man [former Sun managing editor, Richard Caseby] to run its press operation if it wasn’t to get out its strong rhetoric?”

    On the upside, he thinks having a strong success rate in appeals cases for people wrongly declared fit for work is a crucial countervailing force to what he calls the “wickedness of tick-box testing” that now dominates benefits claims by disabled and sick people. Yet, a huge worry on the frontline for the future, Dilworth says, is that only a fraction of the welfare reforms are in place. The rollout of universal credit – the government’s delayed flagship welfare shakeup – which is intended to merge multiple benefits into a single payment, will put additional strain on an already overstretched advice sector, he says.

    With so much upheaval, does he ever feel he’s facing a losing battle? “It’s something I say to people I’m training: ‘There is a commitment here not just to solving the problems you see … you must embrace the need to do something on social policy or you’re not actually going to address the situation or to reduce your own workload.’ Ultimately, that’s what it’s about.”

    He says he would “love” to meet Duncan Smith and put some questions directly to him. “As it says on my social media biog: ‘I won’t be silenced’.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/30/welfare-rights-shame-iain-duncan-smith-nick-dilworth-reform

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 3, 2014 at 8:31 am

  19. “We must seize power from Euro judges and return the phrase Human Rights to what it really should be – a symbol of the fight against oppression and brutality” – Chris Grayling.

    Does that mean an end to Welfare Reform, Tory style?

    And remember, there is other legislation in this country dealing with “Forced or Compulsory Labour”. Because of that, the Human Rights Act as such, is not needed

    For those of you who don’t think that that other legislation will be effective in tackling forced labour disguised as community work, because that kind of work is a civic duty which might benefit the community, it is my view that working for nothing is not a normal civic duty – so don’t give up hope in the fight against Workfare!

    Tobanem

    October 3, 2014 at 10:13 am

    • I’m still fighting,

      The advisors answer (solution) to forced/compulsory labour is always “it isn’t for nothing, you receive benefits” and hope that, that is the last word.

      enigma

      October 3, 2014 at 10:54 am

      • enigma

        Benefits were never intended as a substitute for a proper wage!

        Jobseeker’s Allowance is just what it says, an allowance paid to unemployed people when seeking work.

        Tobanem

        October 3, 2014 at 11:21 am

      • Yes indeed, JSA doesn’t even provide enough calories/sustenance to do a days work especially these hard, phyiscal, manual labour workfare schemes that the DWP seem to keen on!

        Dr Gillian McKeith

        October 3, 2014 at 11:28 am

      • For benefits yes?

        So let me get this right, a claimant works exactly as a paid employee does 37.5 hours (including breaks (they work alongside each other ) which includes turning in on time, put in effort equal to paid staff. They then spend a further 10 hours doing a jobsearch meaning a 47.5 hour week for benefits.

        So tell me advisor, what makes you or even these paid staff so special that you deserve 6.50 plus an hour and claimants only £1.61 an hour ?

        While on the subject its said placements are to prepare by way of experience,people for work life. So are you saying that the minimum wage is going to be abolished or lowered, are you saying employment rights aren’t important and considering to date no JCP advisor has ever seen a claimant ontime that your best positioned to lecture on effective time management especially considering I have one of your flyers handed to me day one of making a claim that states I quote, “please be aware you may be kept waiting for up to an hour” to be seen ?

        And while still holding the torch please do explain how the new claimant commitment uses bad grammar, contradictive and illogical statements. And again on this handed out flyer it states I quote, “you are required to spend several hours each day looking for work” yet the regulations say 35 hours a week.
        Are you not aware several means more than 2 but not many ?

        So please oh please dear advisor explain why exactly it is we should give you respect when you personally fail in every area you proclaim claimants need experience in?

        gaia

        October 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      • I think most sentences are less than 37.5 hours in each week because wihile “working” you still have to visit the JC to sign!! and with some slave providers you have to do 4hrs jobsearch at their office aswell! its ridiculous.
        I only did jobsearch on saturdays, at each JC visit they said ‘explain yourself’, I just said I’m not jobsearching while I’m working all week and they just said OK. A pity, because I was really looking forward to getting my MP involved!!

        Whatever jsa is for, it no longer covers even the things you now have to do for proper jobsearching, travel, clean clothes, phone, internet access, CVs.
        When your working all week for nowt, your expenses are more than just your travel expenses, which you often have to fight for!! A couple of slaves told me they were having to take days off simply because they’d ran out of money until payday, even though they wanted to get their sentence time over with.
        The tune is nowt to do with me btw, someone told me about it, but I know how the bloke feels, i’ve been there done that and still got the [hi-vis] t-shirt!!

        Ex-Vertegen Slave

        October 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

  20. Food Cards are taking the piss. I currently have no money and very little food. They don’t have a clue how people live. Most of it goes on Bills ffs. I just swapped 2 tins of out-of-date Batchelors spaghetti with a neighbour for one tin of value spag. bol. which I then exchanged with another neighbour for a Tesco’s voucher for some free cheese. Bloody hell. One week to go to next JSA.

    Landless Peasant

    October 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    • They do have a clue how the unemployed and low paid workers live, they just don’t care.

      enigma

      October 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    • Move to other/cheaper accommodation which includes Bills.

      enigma

      October 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    • You mean like a dingy bed-sit or a dodgy flat-share? Fuck off you middle-class Tory twat!

      Enigma Cracked

      October 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm

  21. LIFE ON BENEFITS?

    Here’s a response to a Freedom of Information request which plainly reveals how only a few people stay on JSA for more than 10 years – the figure is less than one person in a thousand:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/358324/foi-3750-2014.pdf

    Just think of the 10 million households which will face even more cuts if the Tories win the next election on their spurious propaganda message of sprawling hordes of long-term unemployed people lording it on the dole!

    Tobanem

    October 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    • As usual, “political nonsense” I know there are some very long JSA termers, but as we know, we all get treated as if “never worked”

      enigma

      October 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      • enigma

        Remember only 6% of JSA claimants stay on that benefit for more than 12 months…

        ..and don’t forget only 3% of the TOTAL welfare budget goes on JSA!

        Meanwhile, a gullible public continue to be hoodwinked by the Tory tabloid press spewing out scathing headlines about the workshy bleeding the taxpayer dry.

        I hope my dose of perspective does you good!

        Tobanem

        October 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm

  22. More propaganda shite on Auntie Beeb: “Why do the unemployed all have mental health problems?” Oh yeah, and the solution, the magic cure-all panacea for these debilitating mental health problems? Workfare!

    Schizo

    October 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    • How long before this becomes compulsory?

      “People who drink half a bottle of wine or more than three pints every night are being offered a life-saving pill to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume.”

      “An estimated 600,000 NHS patients will be eligible to receive the nalmefene tablet after trials showed it cut drinking by 61 per cent over six months when used with counselling.

      Experts claim the drug, which costs £3 a tablet, could save as many as 1,854 lives over five years and prevent 43,074 alcohol-related diseases and injuries by keeping drinking cravings at bay.

      The pill, also known as Selincro, is administered orally once a day and is taken when people feel the urge drink.”

      “The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), who are recommending the drug’s use, say that nalmefene is clinically and cost effective for the NHS when used alongside psychosocial support.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/heavy-drinkers-to-be-offered-lifesaving-pill-that-helps-reduce-alcohol-consumption-9771600.html

      What utter, utter, utter, gobsite!

      Andrew Coates

      October 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      • Just as I looked at my “new bottle of wine” !

        Do they really think any alcoholics would want a pill, to drink less! what next. oh but with psychosocial support!

        enigma

        October 3, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    • Schizo

      Nothing new here. It goes back to Victorian times when the feckless poor were blamed for their own condition!

      The only cure for this moral disease of idleness? Hard Labour!

      By the way, there was a known tendency to make some kind of moral judgement on people claiming “benefits” back then – just like the controversial “attitude test” today!

      Tobanem

      October 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm

  23. COUNCIL TAX ? WATER RATES ? ELECTRIC BILLS ETC

    Middlesex

    October 4, 2014 at 10:40 am

  24. How can we pay these bills with pre payment cards

    Middlesex

    October 4, 2014 at 10:44 am

  25. If this was dreamt up by Civil Servants and Advisers. It’s a Guarantee that other parties may follow it through too

    Middlesex

    October 4, 2014 at 11:16 am

  26. I did hear Labour were dead against it and the Libdems have already blocked it twice.

    JB

    October 4, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    • I think the only party that deserves respect at the next election is RESPECT

      Middlesex

      October 6, 2014 at 7:44 am

  27. Benefits Card

    October 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  28. Apart from the fact it would be humiliating letting every judgmental retail assistant know our personal business and that we are unfortunate enough to be on benefits It would prevent people shopping around to get deals and pick up coming off date foods in a variety of shops and as mentioned before how do we pay our bills. Or maybe they are going to introduce government retail outlets so the upright citizens in work don’t have to mix with the feckless unemployed! I think I’ll go bang my head against a wall just to show my despair!

    Carol Joyce

    October 5, 2014 at 8:32 pm

  29. I don’t smoke and the only alcohol I drink is the odd gift of a bottle of wine from friends or family. My Digi box has packed up so I’m restricted to the radio at the moment but according to the government and the media I may need one of these cards to stop me smoking, boozing and watching state of the art TV they must think the meager pittance they pay in jobseeker’s allowance is magic money that trebles in value every time you spend it.

    Carol Joyce

    October 5, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    • Right on Carol, it amazes me to how claimants afford all this stuff but that’s what comes when you allow a minister to assert.

      The addicts in my area are mostly homeless yet im sure a certain minister will assert they have iphones and a luxury pad somewhere to subscribe to sky from.

      If you ask a homeless person why they drink alcohol, they all offer the same response that firstly it keeps them warm followed by secondly, it numbs the pain of realising you have nothing but the scraps other people throw out.

      gaia

      October 6, 2014 at 7:35 am


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