Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Iain Duncan Smith at Work and Pensions Committee: Work Programme, “Outperforming” “Set to do Even Better”.

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Iain Duncan Smith says he is set to “do even better”.

Yesterday Members of the Work and Pensions Committee heard evidence on the annual report and accounts of the Department for Work and Pensions, (5 November 2014)

You can watch this here.

Evidence was heard from:

• Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions Secretary

• Robert Devereux, Permanent Secretary, DWP

• Mike Driver, Finance Director General

Iain Duncan Smith notably said, the Work Programme (WP) is “outperforming” and “set to do even better”.

He was so pleased with this expression that he promised he will make the work programme “even better”.

The fall in long-term unemployment – and a rise in “sustained” work was also due – “directly apportioned” (I might have misheard this bit of jargon) –  to the Work Programme.

Evaluations, and plans for “even further improvements” to make it ” (and, you guessed it) “even better” and  “even more successful” having a “big effect” “saving money”, were under-way.

The “work experience programme” for young people has has “dramatic effects” in helping them.

IDS’s minions added that performance figures for the WP  were now based on renegotiated  (formal adjustments) contracts with the (bunch of chancers) companies running the Work Programme.

The Sanctions Regime was there to help the process and was fine and dandy.

Everything was incredibly “successful”.

Anyway if you stand to watch and listen to this session at the Work and Pensions Committee to the bitter end – that is pass over to the Iain Duncan Smith Narnia wonder-world – see link above.

Or this one: here.

But hark!… we hear this… (Independent)

The companies running the Government’s flagship scheme to cut joblessness have backtracked on promises to focus on hard-to-help claimants, a MPs’ report published today says.

Firms operating the Work Programme are spending less than half the amount they had originally pledged on claimants with disabilities such as mental health problems. Such groups are being “parked” as the firms focus on finding jobs for people considered easier to help into employment, the PAC said.

In a damning verdict on the programme, which was launched three years ago, the MPs accused Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of failing to give incentives to providers to support harder-to-help claimants to find a job.

Almost 90 per cent of claimants of Employment and Support Allowance, which is paid to the sick and disabled, who are on the Work Programme have not been found jobs.

Margaret Hodge, the PAC’s chairman, said: “Evidence shows differential payments have not stopped contractors from focusing on easier-to-help individuals and parking harder-to-help claimants, often those with a range of disabilities including mental health challenges.

“Data from Work Programme providers shows that they are, on average, spending less than half what they originally promised on these harder to help groups.

“It is a scandal that some of those in greatest need of support are not getting the help they need to get them back to work and are instead being parked by providers because their case is deemed just too hard.

“The Department must do more to encourage providers to work with harder-to-help groups.”

Mrs Hodge also warned that the DWP’s sanctions regime could cause “significant financial hardship” to individuals.

“Feedback from some constituents suggests the number of sanctions has been increasing, and some providers have been recommending sanctions more than others,” she said.

A DWP spokesman said: “As this report says, the Work Programme is helping more people than any previous employment programme, with over 330,000 people moving into lasting work and finally gaining the economic security that comes with a regular pay packet.

“The Work Programme has contributed to the largest drop in long-term unemployment in a generation and providers are paid by results, with more money for the hardest to reach, but only if they get those people back into lasting work.”

Not to mention this,

Iain Duncan Smith came under fire today after a study suggested cruel benefit sanctions may be helping the Government massage jobless figures.

Campaigning Labour MP Debbie Abrahams asked the Tory Minister how many people were excluded from unemployment figures after being sanctioned but not going into work.

The MP was referring to an Oxford University study – seen by the Daily Mirror – which suggests the figure could be as high as 500,000.

In angry exchanges at the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Mr Duncan Smithdescribed Ms Abrahams’ claims as “ludicrous”.

But the MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth hit back: “People have died after being sanctioned, Minister.”

“No, I don’t agree with that,” Mr Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, retorted.


Nothing succeeds like success!

201 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    November 6, 2014 at 1:18 pm

  2. I agree that the 500,000 people that have been sanctioned are part of IDSs overall fraudulent claims that unemployment has gone down; this figure should also include the estimated 1,000,000 on the ‘Work Progam’, because when you’re on it, it is classified as “training”, and therefore not included in the unemployment figures. And this is probably not even the full picture because of the other strange schemes/shit that comes out of IDSs twisted mind, on what appears to a daily basis.

    I would estimate the true unemployment figures in the UK at 3.5-5 million.


    November 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    • IDS will never stop lying no matter what.


      November 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm

  3. Why is he obsessed with people “crashing out of work”?
    No-one gives up their job to live a life of luxury on benefits, constantly fighting conditionallity and everything else for £57 or £72 a week.

    Even if the Waste Programme had a success rate of 100%, and all 1.6 million victims had got ‘jobs’, it doesn’t create the ‘jobs’, it just leaves 1.6 million other people unemployed some else.

    Another Fine Mess

    November 6, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    • They the gov want to end the welfare system.


      November 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      • For the government of whatever colour, it’s the next obnoxios logical step to stop any form of welfare, because they have been itching to reintroduce the ‘Workhouse System, since it was abolished in the late 1940s.

        Watch this space…


        November 7, 2014 at 4:37 am

  4. “with over 330,000 people moving into lasting work and finally gaining the economic security that comes with a regular pay packet”

    Because most if not all are forced to, or be sanctioned, because most are working for their benefits, which is the so called “regular pay packet”.


    November 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm

  5. At 2:00 in the recording he says ‘in work sanctions’.
    It’s about time 75% of the population WOKE UP.
    ‘In work sanctions’ WILL further destroy pay and conditions.

    Another Fine Mess

    November 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    • In-work benefits sanctions trialled:

      Part-time workers could face benefits sanctions if they turn down extra hours under the new Universal Credit (UC) system, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has confirmed.

      Mr Duncan Smith said that pilots being carried out in the North-West of England had found that employers were more ready to take on UC claimants than those on the old-style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) because it was easier to extend their hours as more work became available.

      He told the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee that trials were being conducted on removing in-work benefits from those who reject additional hours under a system known as “in-work conditionality”.

      The Work and Pensions Secretary dismissed an accusation by Labour committee member Debbie Abrahams that people were dying as a result of having benefits withdrawn because they were deemed not to be looking hard enough for work.

      He told her sanctions had played a vital role in reducing unemployment numbers by “helping people focus on what they are doing”.

      Ms Abrahams asked: “Can you confirm that there is an intention to introduce in-work conditionality with Universal Credit and, if so, what sanctions could be applied, and under what conditions to the 3.5 million people in work on low pay and in receipt of tax credits?”

      Mr Duncan Smith replied: “That is being investigated, as to whether we can now work to in-work sanctions – in other words, conditionality – so people get an opportunity to move up the hours if they can, and if they don’t wish to do that, we will see whether or not that system of conditionality works. We are trialling that.”


      Absolutely Disgusting.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      • I informed a few people who work part time today about this, not many PT workers will know what is ahead, I know a few who have been asked by their employers if they want to work more hours, probably because the employers now know PT workers will have no choice but to take more hours or lose benefits, every employer will take advantage of this.


        November 7, 2014 at 3:48 pm

  6. Petition for his lies to be exposed here:


    November 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm

  7. Work Programme adviser: ‘Almost every day one of my clients mentioned feeling suicidal’

    A scandalous picture of suffering, trauma and destitution is painted by a former Work Programme adviser who was tasked with getting claimants off the employment and support allowance (ESA) sickness benefit.


    Andrew Coates

    November 6, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  8. Hated Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith was making one of his regular appearances in front of the parliamentary committee that oversees him yesterday – and revealed some shocking truths.

    His famous short temper was well in evidence, at one point calling a committee member “ludicrous” for asking a vital question on how many people had died after being sanctioned, a key issue particularly with ESA claimants who suffer long-term illnesses.

    Labour MP Debbie Abrahams- for it was she – was pursuing the important idea that too many people leave JSA without finding work, but Smith was not in the mood to entertain serious enquiries that didn’t fit with his ‘everything is rosy in the garden of unemployment’ narrative.

    Abrahams pointed out that 75% of all growth in jobs is in self-employment, and that their average earnings are only £10,000, £3,000 less than a full-time minimum wage employee.

    In trying to defend himself, Smith said that more than two-thirds of the rise in self-employment comes from full-time workers, perhaps not realising his admission that these people are in poverty despite working long hours – hardly a recipe for a decent life or buoyant economy.

    His big idea to cut benefits for those under 21 also received raised eyebrows. The obvious issue is what happens to those who don’t have parents to rely on (they will be taken care of in some undefined way apparently) and to those who work and then lose their jobs before they are 21 having already moved out of home.

    Smith’s only answer to this was that the work jobcentres do with young people in schools should mean fewer leaving with no skills, hardly an answer and more evidence that, when it comes to punishing those without work, he and his government are in a class of their own.

    He still wants to pretend that endless staff cuts in jobcentres can lead to more services, shovelling even more tasks into advisors’ workloads in promising they will work with those on Universal Credit who are working part-time.

    But the real smoking gun came with the admission that jobseekers have a 5% chance of being sanctioned every month.

    If that doesn’t sound like much, consider it this way – a claimant would only have to be on JSA for eleven months before they had a better-than-evens chance of being thrown off it.

    Advisors work to well-documented targets for sanctions, and these have been increasing their number for years regardless of the offences committed.

    In response to this obvious problem and the misery it causes, Dame Anne Begg, the chair of the committee, announced her own enquiry, and this should make Iain Duncan Smith’s blood run cold.

    He must be hoping he loses his seat at the next election rather than face the consequences of his terrible actions, having somehow, unaccountably, managed to keep his job for the whole four years of the coalition government.

    This new enquiry is likely to be highly critical of him given his victimisation of the workless and disabled.

    He deserves every bit of it.


    Andrew Coates

    November 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    • Knowing that some people are looked at differently when a criminal investigation is taking place, IDS will probably think he’ll get away with his criminal activities.

      Weather he loses his seat or not, he should not get away with the criminal activities he has inflicted on human beings.


      November 6, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      • Smith should not just be tried for corporate manslaughter, he should stand trial at The Hague.


        November 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm

  9. Yet more likes of “benefit street” but this one tonight at 9 on cha 5 is a sting operation.


    November 6, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    • of course, it’s as usual, against those on benefits.


      November 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    • Paul’s investigation begins in Sheffield where he attempts to get as many of life’s essentials as possible via crooks, hackers and various shady characters.

      He meets scores of shoplifters who steal to order from high street stores, a man who winds back his electricity meter to con power companies, a bloke on benefits who sells him prescription pills and a TV bandit who hooks him up with satellite television at a fraction of the price it would cost to do it legally.

      Paul’s investigation then moves in a different direction when he goes after a man offering fake college certificates in order to help foreigners cheat the immigration system.

      Finally, he attempts to crack a big-money scam. It’s the ultimate in living for free – the chance to print fake cash. This get-rich-quick scheme is not all it seems, however, and Paul is hot on the trail of the conmen behind the operation.


      November 6, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      • Clashes end Belgian unions’ first major protest against new government

        Belgium’s centre-right government, installed only a month ago, has pledged to raise the retirement age and limit scope for early retirement, cancel an inflation-linked wage hike due next year and cut the health and social security budgets.

        while workers were hit, the rich were unaffected. (we know)



        November 6, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      • Hungarian Internet tax protesters aim to be new opposition force

        We still think they organised in a legitimate way and they showed that in a society there must be consequences when the people raise their voices against totalitarian attempts.

        They do not resemble anything approaching a coherent group, let alone a political party, but they are gathering support from people opposed to government policies such as plans to cut the number of publicly funded high school places and to replace social security schemes with a public labour programme.


        Are the British lacking in doing what other people are doing in other countries.?


        November 7, 2014 at 11:14 am

      • This ‘internet tax’ seems to be catching on. Another £10 per GB ON TOP OF WHAT YOU ALREADY PAY IN RIP-OFF ISP FEES. The government are treating us like junkies – give us something cheap/for free… get us hooked/make us dependent… stealthy and slowing increase the price… tax us to death C!”£$%!!

        Fuck the internet tax

        November 7, 2014 at 2:10 pm

  10. […] Ipswich Unemployed Action […]

  11. enigma

    November 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

  12. The Work Programme: – Long-term unemployed are being ‘parked’ by the work programme.

    Parking the hard cases: How privatisation fails the vulnerable.

    Further proof arrived this morning of one of the pernicious effects of privatisation of state functions and particularly the use of payment-by-results. A report by the public accounts committee found the private companies running the work programme for Iain Duncan Smith’s employment allowance project were parking hard cases and focusing instead on easier ones to maximise their profit.

    This is a common pitfall of privatised systems. Once you introduce a profit motive, companies naturally ignore hard-to-reach cases and focus on easy ones.

    That’s why private firms fall over themselves to bid for knee operations in health services, while people suffering from hard-to-assess ailments are failed. It’s why paying people to stop former prisoners reoffending is a bad idea: they tend to ignore the people with a long history of abuse, mental health problems, and low literacy levels and focus on the people who are more likely to make them their money back.

    Very often, private firms underbid for massive public sector contracts, pricing out charities from competing. They then subcontract out the difficult, risky, non-profitable cases to charities. A report by the National Coalition for Independent Action found charities were being forced into imposing zero-hours contracts on staff, asking unpaid volunteers to take on extra responsibilities and prioritising their service around “a narrower spectrum of people in need”.

    Many charities used to be ‘prime’ organisations in getting the long-term unemployed into work. But under the coalition they have been muscled out by larger private firms and relegated to sub-contractor work with the toughest cases. They call it ‘creaming and parking’.

    Today’s report found that IDS’s policy of paying more when firms get hard-to-reach cases into work was not working.

    Providers aren’t even made to collect and publish information on how much they’re spending on each payment group. This is standard for privatised contracts, the odds are usually stacked in their favour.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    • Obi, are hard cases being parked on the 35 supervised job search? So far, I haven’t heard a dicky bird.

      Like the work programme, no doubt IDS will view SJ as another success because people will be disappearing off the unemployment register via sanctions.

      Parker Pyne

      November 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      • No idea mate – the 35 hour joke seems to have been kicked into the long grass – I don’t know one person who has been condemned to do it yet.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

      • Parker:

        Me neither. I live in East Anglia, which was one of five regions originally chosen for this scheme but we’ve since been dropped. No mention as to why. I’m guessing that it was something to do with cost and logistics, i.e. getting claimants to the Seetec office, which is in Cambridge. Seetec’s Cambridge centre only has about 24 computers, and that’s it.

        East Anglia has a respectable amount of vacancies on offer but if you don’t have a car then getting to them can be time consuming and expensive. Especially if you live in the back of beyond.

        jj joop

        November 8, 2014 at 11:31 am

  13. It would be really interesting to see what would happen if the Public Accounts Committee (whilst IDS was in attendance) said that they could see no further use for IDS’s welfare reforms and intended to ‘BIN’ the lot.

    As a by-product of this IDS and all his cronies at the DWP were no longer required and the welfare state was now out of their hands, and was now in the care of a competent independent committee.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm


    Well, as the title of this post says, IDS claims the Work Programme is “outperforming” and is “set to do even better”.

    Did IDS claim something similar about Universal Jobmatch? Better ask this victim:


    The victim has suffered a “discontinuance of entitlement”, which means it is not counted as a sanction, although the victim has no benefit coming in! I see!!!

    Anyone else heard of this new term “discontinuance of entitlement”?

    I have seen highly intelligent people struggle with a computer. To take a vulnerable people and cut off their income because they can’t manage to do enough jobsearch or whatever on the computer is despicable beyond measure.


    November 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    • “discontinuance of entitlement” not entitled to benefits.(JSA) she will probably need to make a new claim.


      November 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    • Discontinuance: unsatisfactory progress, conduct and attendance.


      November 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm

  15. Don’t forget this one on the 14th November.

    Disruption is mandatory.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    • Can’t we keep an eye on this ‘jobs fair’ to see how it goes.

      I’ll make a prediction that it’s a huge success, and that the number of folks who get paid work after attending it will be around zero.

      Another Fine Mess

      November 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      • You can bet that when people are being told about jobs that are available while at this job fare, don’t get told about the wage for the job. because there will be no wage, as we know.


        November 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      • If people hand over their CV’S to such employers at any job fare, that will be their mistake. an on coming sanction.


        November 8, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    • Another Fine Mess

      November 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    • Wots wif the fucking handwave… does ids fink he is da fucking messiah?

      da jungle rumble

      November 12, 2014 at 2:52 am

  16. id go give him some shit if i lived local n see what he says about my last 4 years of no help at all from all these providers and yet still got paid for it.

    super ted

    November 7, 2014 at 8:22 pm

  17. Companies running the government’s flagship back-to-work programme are “parking” sick and disabled jobseekers on benefits, because they are “just to hard” to help.



    November 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm

  18. im on jsa and got skipped lol 😉

    super ted

    November 7, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    • Super Ted

      “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave” your lucky!


      November 7, 2014 at 10:03 pm

  19. ol at the guvmint minister on da Today programme saying dat we don’t do retrospective legislation – that would be unfair! lol 😀

    iain duncan smith's arsehole

    November 8, 2014 at 8:45 am

  20. The council has set aside £500,000 within next year’s budget for a community engagement pilot scheme to work with community groups, voluntary organisations and businesses to co-ordinate volunteers and offer services previously done by the authority.



    November 8, 2014 at 11:21 am

  21. Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 8, 2014 at 11:55 am

  22. Fitness-to-work assessment backlog could take 18 months to clear

    Maximus Health Services, who took over from Atos, says it will carry out assessments in a ‘timely manner’



    November 8, 2014 at 11:59 am

    • Maximus president Leslie Wolfe says “We’re hopeful that if we [conduct] the assessments in a timely manner, some of that anger and resentment will go away”

      That’s what she thinks!



      November 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  23. EU surcharge:

    George Osborne accused of accounting trick to claim cut in Brussels bill.

    The Chancellor emerged from talks in Brussels to declare he had halved the amount Britain owes to £850m and that the cash would be paid in stages over the next year. The bill fell because of the automatic rebate Britain receives on all payments to the EU.

    But Mr Osborne’s declaration of victory was immediately challenged by other finance ministers and politicians who said the final amount remained unchanged. EU officials suggested the extra £850m “discount” had been found from moving forward part of the rebate Britain would have normally been due from the Union at a later stage.


    Osborne’s fiddle that wouldn’t fool a five year old doing basic elementary mathematic’s!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    • Here’s how the fiddle works:

      We owe the EU £1.7 Billion.

      Osborne has said we are now only going to pay £850 Million.

      What he has omitted to say is that we get a rebate of 50%

      So Osborne has agreed with the EU that this 50% rebate, £850 Million be deducted from the £1.7 Billion owed.

      Therefore it looks like he has halved the bill, but in reality nothing has changed.

      The bill still comes to £1.7 Billion minus the 50% rebate we would have got anyway.

      Fiddle complete – Osborne thinks he’s fooled everyone, but everyone can clearly see straight though his bullshit.

      Trying to con the British Taxpayer – Not a vote winner Osborne – More of a disgusting insult portraying the Taxpayers as being to stupid to figure it out.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      • But thinking about this, Britain has to hand the cheque for £1.7 Billion over for the EU books to balance, but 1 second after this happens the EU will hand over a cheque to Britain for £850 Million as a rebate.

        This has to happen for it all to be legal, so there will be a record of both transactions.

        If Labour could (under the freedom of information act) get a hold of the records of this then they could literally blow the coalition government out of the water and show that Osborne has lied to the British public.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 8, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      • Osborne in an attempt to cover his tracks of these transactions further has agreed to split the payments of the fiddle into two payments as to confuse the taxpayer even more.

        £850 Million spread over two payments of £425 Million.

        One in July 2014 and then one later in 2014.

        Of course it will look like that has happened, but it won’t actually work that way because of the 1st December deadline.

        Osborne you are a very smart man, to be caught out so easily and to have proposed this to the EU in the first place shows just how bad things are in the Conservative Party as the General Election is only 5 months away.

        Never thought you would be so fucked, so easily – However I guess we all have our bad day’s – but your about to have bad day’s regarding this episode until the General Election – Please enjoy.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 8, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      • Analysis:

        Osborne is passing the buck for the EU payment owed of £1.7 Billion to the next government after the General Election on 7/05/15.

        But Mr Osborne the bill is due on your watch 1/12/14.

        Typical. – Pass on the debt to Labour next year.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 8, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      • Earlier post, I was supposed to say July 2015 and one later in 2015.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm

  24. Off the cuff Mr Coates, I’d say George Osborne has probably lost any confidence he had from other colleagues or the public in general, in fact I would go as far as to say:

    George Osborne is an equal ‘Liar’ as Iain Duncan Smith or maybe IDS is his tutor.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 8, 2014 at 3:16 pm

  25. Mr Steve Webb MP – Lib Dem/Con – All in it together DWP Lacky – You’ll never be trusted again. At one time you had my personal trust – Never again pal.

    Start naming the Lib Dem’s who have been constructive in the destruction of the welfare state.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm

  26. Tobanem

    ERSA, the representative body for the employment support sector, has submitted evidence to the Smith Commission calling for all employment support services to be devolved to the Scottish Government.

    The submission was developed following a consultation period with those ERSA members who are already working in Scotland, or may potentially be interested in delivering support in Scotland in the future



    November 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    • Housing and Work Manifesto calls to release potential of social housing in employment support 24 October 2014

      The manifesto, launched at the annual GUAC House of Commons reception yesterday in front of Employment Minister, Esther McVey, and Shadow Employment Minister, Stephen Timms, makes a series of recommendations for implementation following the 2015 General Election. The manifesto calls for:



      November 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    • enigma

      Quote from your link:

      “We would question whether it is feasible to conceive of a system whereby Jobcentre Plus remains a Westminster Government responsibility whilst employment support schemes are devolved to Scotland”.

      I didn’t see anything about sanctions mentioned in the report. It is hoped there is not merely a change in the geographical running of the system while the sanctions regime remains the same!

      By the way, here is an interesting quote from “The Void” about ERSA:

      “ERSA are the trade body established to lie on behalf of grasping welfare-to-work firms like A4e, G4S and Seetec. These companies are paid billions of pounds to run the shoddy ‘back to work’ type training courses and workfare schemes now inflicted on unemployed and disabled benefit claimants”.

      There’s nothing like a little bit of perspective, enigma!!


      November 10, 2014 at 8:36 am

      • enigma

        Another quote from your link (about ERSA):

        “The Work Programme is performing well in Scotland achieving minimum performance levels for each group in the last full financial year (April 2013 to March 2014) and with over one in nine of those with a year on the scheme having at least three/six months in work at that point. 155,880 referrals have been made to the Work Programme in Scotland. The Work Programme has delivered 29 570 Job Outcomes in Scotland”.

        Phrases like “minimum performance” , and “over one in nine” are not phrases which indicate success!!!


        November 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

      • Sending a Conservative peer to represent Scottish fishermen at EU talks is a “slap in the face” for Scotland, the country’s fisheries minister has said.

        In a letter sent to the prime minister over the weekend, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said it would be a “travesty” and “a recipe for further failure in Europe” if the industry was represented by Lord de Mauley rather than Mr Lochhead

        It is true that the agreement you made has been breached by your ministers more often than it has been honoured. This is an opportunity for you to see that it is fulfilled and to demonstrate the commitment to the UK as a partnership of nations that you set out during the closing stages of the referendum campaign.”



        November 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm

  27. If you want to ask a real question:

    How much of this £850 Million rebate is distributed between the middle to upper classes of our disgusting MP’s, never mind the land owner’s or the common man who has made a total ‘GO’ of his business .

    Now a solid question – How much of this £850 Million Refund goe’s to the working man – Hey
    Esther McVey you do understand that you got more than the basic wage for every working man or woman since you took office in just expenses alone – you big titted dumb blonde!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 8, 2014 at 9:41 pm

  28. Online footage of 1000 Australian sites streaming without their owners’ consent or knowledge puts insecurity into security devices.



    November 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    • I recall spending many happy hours a few years ago controlling (panning, zooming etc.) the security camera in a shop in Russia selling cameras on the Panasonic web interface 🙂 Happy days! 🙂

      The Fonz

      November 9, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      • There was another one too in what looked liked an office in Germany that was good fun to control 🙂

        The Fonz

        November 9, 2014 at 11:42 pm

  29. INCREASING the conditions placed on people claiming benefits is unlikely to get more people into work, a new report suggests



    November 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    • Its not.the jobcentre is now a complete shambles,the behavour is clearly evident to all those observing.G4s are acting more like bodyguards to advisers who persistently goad people into distress.

      Osbournes idea of zero employment is just get rid of them altogether.and the welfare state with it.


      November 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm

  30. Britain should allow workers to earn more before they start to pay “National Insurance” social security contributions and provide more childcare to boost living standards, one of country’s leading employers’ groups said on Monday.



    November 10, 2014 at 11:09 am

  31. Iain Duncan Smith accused of benefits cover-up over Universal Credit cash.

    Iain Duncan Smith has been accused of a cover-up after denying cash has been lost in his struggle to introduce Universal Credit, reports the Sunday People.

    The Work and Pensions Secretary told MPs “no money has been wasted” as he rolls most working age benefits into one.

    But Labour said: “This is a lie to cover up the ­failures of the Universal Credit programme.”

    And they insist that to avoid misleading Parliament Mr Duncan Smith must issue a correction.

    Last year’s Department for Work and Pensions ­annual report said ­£40million has had to be ­written off.

    And it predicted another £91million is set to be poured down the drain.

    Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves said: “He has serious ­questions to answer over the millions of pounds of tax­payers money that has been wasted.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm

  32. Coalition oversees 1,500% food bank use rise as figures suggest UK facing feeding crisis.

    A new report has revealed that the number of people turning to food banks in the UK has soared by 1,468% during the tenure of the Tory-led coalition government.

    The Trussell Trust’s latest figures show that a shocking 913,138 adults and children received three days’ emergency food and support from its food banks over 2013-24 – a vast increase on the 346,992 who were helped in 2012-13.

    Back in 2010-2011, the first years of the Tory-led coalition, 61,468 people received three days’ food support, meaning usage has ballooned by nearly 1,500%.

    Despite the government boasting of an economic recovery, the poorest have seen their incomes squeezed even more, the Trussell Trust says.

    Welfare reform minister Lord Freud claimed last year that the rapid expansion in food banks was being driven by people who wanted a free meal, and not by growing poverty and hunger.

    And the Tory’s work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, said in February that food banks provide a “good service” but claimed they had become “hopelessly politicised”.

    The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest food bank network, claims static incomes, rising living costs, low pay, underemployment and problems with welfare, especially sanctioning, are significant drivers of the increased demand.

    Eighty-three percent of Trussell Trust food banks surveyed reported that the government’s benefits sanctions have caused more people to be referred to them for emergency food, with half of referrals to foodbanks in 2013-14 the result of benefit delays or changes.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 10, 2014 at 2:56 pm

  33. From bad to worse – the woe continues

    In the past, it was bad enough for landlords to refuse housing to BENEFIT tenants, but now it’s WORKING tenants on Zero Hours contracts who are being turned away:



    November 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    • While at the food bank the other day It was said to me that “why is it that Landlords don’t want those on benefits renting their properties when we “benefit claimants” receive benefits that are guaranteed” I then told them that this is 2014!

      A lot more people will find themselves homeless due to such landlords.


      November 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      • Head-to-head: should private landlords be subject to greater regulation

        A powerful, well-funded landlord lobby has, for the past half century, won most of the demands it has made of British governments. Perhaps this is linked to the number of landlord lobbyists who have worked for the government on private renting policy, or maybe it’s because a third of MPs are landlords themselves.

        Two of the three tenancy deposit protection schemes are actually run by landlord bodies and landlords get to choose which scheme to put their tenants’ money in. It’s no surprise, then, that schemes can be slow to pay tenants their money back and there’s evidence of landlords holding tenants to ransom, negotiating a “cut” on the basis of spurious damage claims when a tenant urgently needs their cash to secure their next home.

        Landlord associations want you to pity poor, over-regulated landlords – but the reality is that it’s harder to open a commercial kennel than it is to let a house to humans, and landlords rarely mention their financial perks. They don’t mention their access to tax relief on mortgage interest that isn’t available to private householders, or the special wear-and-tear tax-free allowance of 10% of their rental income, without any check that it is spent on maintaining the property. They don’t mention their right to evict tenants to benefit from capital gains tax flipping (though you can see where MPs got the idea).

        Recent research by the Intergenerational Foundation and Paragon Mortgages shows that, far from being unprofitable, cost-ridden and risky, being a landlord has been one of the most lucrative forms of investment since the 2008 crash. If it were so unattractive, it’s hard to see how the UK’s private renter population could have doubled to more than 9 million people in the past decade.

        Further research by Sliced Bread, Crisis and Shelter shows that the very poorest tenants often have the worst landlords – the ones who won’t protect your deposit or who would rather evict you than fix your boiler. According to research by the National Union of Students , these “slumlords” are happy for one-fifth of students to live in vermin-infested homes.



        November 10, 2014 at 6:31 pm

  34. Plan to force workers to pay £5 a week to get benefits being considered by George Osborne.

    Workers could be forced to pay at least £5 a week into a personal “welfare account” to get higher benefits if they lose their job.

    In a report published today, the Policy Exchange think-tank proposes a shake-up of the welfare system to strengthen its original “contributory principle”, under which the amount people receive in benefits is linked to how much people have paid in.

    Allies say the Chancellor is keen to extend “personal responsibility” in the welfare system. The report is being studied by the Downing Street Policy Unit and such reforms could be signalled in the Conservatives’ general election manifesto.

    The Policy Exchange plan would set up a “compulsory collective insurance scheme”, into which everyone working more than 20 hours a week would pay £5 a week.

    It would be run by private-sector providers such as insurers and fund managers, but guaranteed by the Government.


    More Madness.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 10, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    • Those people who work 20 hours PT, first lose some benefits, and now another £5 per week taken off what they have left.


      November 11, 2014 at 1:03 am

  35. Martin Lewis’ Winter saving tips.

    Are you entitled to any extra winter help?

    Cold weather payments. Anyone on specific income support/jobseeker’s allowance/pension credit automatically gets £25 for every seven days their local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below between 1 November and 31 March 2015.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 10, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    • Anyone on specific income support/jobseeker’s allowance/pension credit automatically gets £25 for every seven days their local temperature…

      That’s not true! It used to be 3 or 4 years ago.

      Another Fine Mess

      November 10, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      • Martin Lewis on This Morning, Monday 20 October 2014.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 10, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      • Cold Weather Payment.

        What you’ll get.

        You’ll get £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November and 31 March.

        After each period of very cold weather in your area, you should get a payment within 14 working days. It’s paid into the same bank or building society account as your benefit payments.

        Cold Weather Payments don’t affect your other benefits.



        You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting:
        Pension Credit
        Income Support
        income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
        income-related Employment and Support Allowance
        Universal Credit

        Pension Credit

        You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Pension Credit.

        Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

        You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and have any of the following:
        a disability or pensioner premium
        a child who is disabled
        Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
        a child under 5 living with you

        Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

        You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get income-related ESA and have any of the following:
        the support or work-related component of ESA
        a severe or enhanced disability premium
        a pensioner premium
        a child who is disabled
        Child Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element
        a child under 5 living with you

        Universal Credit

        You’ll usually get Cold Weather Payments if you get Universal Credit, you’re not employed or self employed and one of the following apply:
        you get a limited capability for work element (with or without a work-related activity element)
        you get the disabled child element in your claim
        you have a child under 5 living with you

        You’ll also be eligible if you have a disabled child element in your claim, whether you are employed or not.


        If you’re single and on JSA you’re screwed.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      • If you’re single and on JSA you’re screwed.
        Yep. Without the under 5 child, a JSA gets nowt no matter how cold or for how long.
        Which is not the impression ML is giving.

        Another Fine Mess

        November 10, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    • Yes, multi-millionaire Martin Lewis is (deliberately/misleading) giving a false impression. But jobseekers regardless of circumstances i.e you don’t need a kid, whatever, will receive the Warm Home Discount scheme credit of £140 provided you are supplied by Scottish Power*

      * you are free to check but from what I can see other providers require you to have a kid, whatever to qualify, you can’t claim under ‘free prescriptions’.


      November 11, 2014 at 1:46 am

      • Under “AND please select at least one of the following” select “You receive exemption from NHS charges”


        November 11, 2014 at 1:48 am

      • PS Definitely best to check with your electricity supplier for their terms and conditions in case you do qualify. But you will definitely qualify if your supplier is Scottish Power.


        November 11, 2014 at 1:53 am

      • Toasty

        November 11, 2014 at 1:58 am

  36. Nicola Sturgeon at loggerheads with business over minimum wage

    The incoming First Minister argues she should be given control over the minimum wage despite warnings from the CBI that employers and workers would end up losing out.

    Nicola Sturgeon has put herself at loggerheads with business leaders as she prepares to take over from Alex Salmond by demanding that she be given the power to increase the minimum wage.

    She cited submissions by some charities to the Smith Commission, which has been charged by David Cameron with reaching a deal by the end of the month, demanding that the minimum wage be devolved to help the poor.

    It was echoed by interventions from other major employers and trade groups, including the lucrative food and drink industry, warning against introducing higher costs and any “divergence” in rules.

    It emerged last week this has been vigorously opposed by major businesses and experts on taxation, who have warned this would damage the economy, increase energy bills and threaten pensions.

    Speaking ahead of an SNP rally in Inverness, part of a tour she is conducting to meet the party’s new members, she said she should be given the power to “undo the damage of Westminster’s unfair cuts that hit the poorest hardest.”



    November 10, 2014 at 7:05 pm

  37. Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 10, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    • Yes, a few years at college and or many more at uni and straight into the jobcentre to be treated like a naughty child.


      November 11, 2014 at 1:19 am

  38. More cheap labour, more lies.

    Supermarket supplier Greencore recruits in eastern Europe, despite benefiting from official funding to create Northamptonshire jobs

    Managers at Greencore, the UK’s biggest sandwich-maker, have flown to Hungary to hire staff even though the company benefited from a slice of £107m in government funding designed to create more jobs for the people of Northamptonshire.

    Greencore, which makes 430m sandwiches a year for Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and others, said very few local people had applied for jobs at its new £30m Northampton factory so on Monday executives began a recruitment drive in Budapest.



    November 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    • “we do have a problem in that there is very low unemployment. There aren’t enough people around”

      what kind of excuse is that.


      November 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      • Northamptonshire LEP commitments
        Central Government commitments
        Invest £4.9m in Tresham College, Wellingborough to enable a new campus to be constructed with space for 580 more learners and enhanced provision to support NEETs and the unemployed


        November 11, 2014 at 1:14 am

    • Things like this make me angry as it does others who want a job, employers like that always say that the british won’t do the job, I know where I feel like going right now.


      November 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      • Meanwhile those of us that have to sign on, the british unemployed are treated as if we do not want to work.


        November 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    • “They advertised on a banner outside the site for a factory that does not open until 2016”

      That could be the problem.

      Another Fine Mess

      November 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    • Using non British people for cheap labour, using the British unemployed working for their benefits and targeting those still at school.

      Engaging Future Employees

      The Greencore Way is to engage young people and inspire the next generation of employees, managers and future business leaders to join the food industry.

      The food and grocery industry is the UK’s largest industry employing 1 in 7 people. As part of Greencore’s leadership role in the industry, it is crucial that it continues to inspire and develop young people to motivate them to develop an interest in our industry. This will also ensure that we have enough high calibre candidates for the wide range of roles that a career Greencore has to offer. To achieve this, Greencore works with a number of organisations and charities with the aim of supporting and developing young people.

      These include Young Enterprise, an international organisation, also known as Junior Achievement in the US. Through this organisation, Greencore provides volunteers and funding to support learning in under-privileged schools. Greencore also supports the CFA’s ‘Chilled Education Programme’ in the UK by providing a number of STEM Ambassadors, who visit schools and explain the role that science plays within the food industry. One of Greencore’s facilities in the UK has also opened its doors up to school career advisors to demonstrate the opportunities that our industry has to offer for young people.

      Diversity & Work Opportunities

      The Greencore Way is to be inclusive with regards to all members of the community by offering work experience or other support to get them in to the workplace.

      In September Greencore played a leading role in Feeding Britain’s Future – Skills for Work Week, an industry-wide initiative coordinated by the IGD focused at providing employability skills training for some of the one million 16-24 year olds in the UK who are not in employment, education or training.

      Through Feeding Britain’s Future, Greencore has established good links with local job centre offices, politicians and development agencies across the UK which it hopes to build on in the future with the aim of helping disadvantaged groups into employment.


      November 11, 2014 at 12:13 am

      • This year Feeding Britain’s Future brought together more than 200 food and grocery companies across the UK that opened their doors to provide free employability workshops for young unemployed people. There were 2,300 workshops across 1,300 locations throughout England, Scotland and Wales during Skills for Work Month. Companies offered over 15,000 training opportunities for young, unemployed people bringing the total offered since the campaign began 3 years ago to 40,000. These are just some of the highlights

        IGD set off to Nottingham to learn about the challenges faced by unemployed people. What we learnt helped shape this year’s sessions.

        Typhoo were just one of many companies taking part for the first time in Feeding Britain’s Future. At their workshops the attendees received careers and CV advice

        We developed a campaign called “The Future Tastes Good”. This was targeted at young people to encourage them to attend Feeding Britain’s Future workshops during Skills for Work Month. visitors could register their interest in attending sessions. The site also included a series of videos highlighting some of the skills young jobseekers need to bear in mind when looking for work. http://www.futuretastesgood.co.uk/



        November 11, 2014 at 12:38 am

    • Why can’t these lazy latte-slurping, middle-class ***** make their own fucking sandwiches?

      Jools Oliver

      November 11, 2014 at 1:36 am

      • DOUGH. Anybody can make a sandwich ?. With apologise to Mr Homer Simpson for the ”Duff” use of the word ”Dough”


        November 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm

  39. ot my jcp now has free wifi any others got it yet ??

    super ted

    November 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    • I’ll find out when I next see my health adviser.


      November 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    • I wouldn’t use their wifi.


      November 10, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    • YEP Ipswich


      November 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm

  40. All these incredibly stupid policies that the Conservative party are now announcing smells of desperation.

    Don’t be fooled, all of it is an attempt to con people into voting for them at the General Election 2015.

    Tories in panic now they actually realise they are going to lose. ‘Headless Chicken Time’ and as we get closer to General Election they will probably start the blame game and turn on each other.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 11, 2014 at 9:29 am

  41. Time for a cuppa!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 11, 2014 at 9:47 am

  42. Calling all unpaid interns … a Tory MP needs you.

    The job description is ambiguous, but of course it would be – it’s party orders.

    Do you want to work unpaid for a Tory MP? You’re in luck! There are currently 14 ads for unpaid interns on w4mpjobs.com, despite the fact there is no such thing as an “intern” under British law – you’re either a worker who must be paid or a volunteer who has no set hours or tasks.

    One ad for a “parliamentary intern/volunteer” for Dr Phillip Lee MP is a three-month unpaid internship and “could include” jobs such as “drafting articles and press releases” and “general administrative tasks” – tasks that, if the intern was not in the office, would have to be completed by someone else, which means it counts as work and the “intern” must be paid.

    This comes six months after a leaked Tory memo detailing ways MPs can circumvent national minimum wage laws by avoiding phrases such as “you will be expected to” and dangerous words like “work” and “tasks”, instead using more ambiguous phrasing such as “the kind of activities it would be great to get some help with include …”. It seems the exploitation of young people is just a question of semantics.

    Tory internship. ‘You will be expected to …’ get by with an empty wallet.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 11, 2014 at 10:37 am

  43. How hi-tech equipment helps people in their hunt for work.

    Some Bradford sites can already boast of having the equipment installed and Keighley is understood to be one of the first in the country to be using the new electronic signing pads.

    The move, enabling claimants to sign on through the technology rather than a coupon, is expected to help to improve security, reduce fraud in the welfare system and make the jobseeking process paperless.

    Diana Towler, Employer and Partnership manager for the DWP in Bradford, is based at the Jobcentre in Manningham Lane. She explains that computer technology is already up and running at their sites in Keighley, Shipley and Eastbrook Court, where around 30 Wi Fi-enabled computers have been installed.

    “It is about job centres getting into the modern age,” explains Diana.

    “A lot of job searching now is done online. A lot of employers and certainly a lot of larger employers do all their recruitment online and it is really in response to that.”

    She says the new system is also taking into consideration the moves towards the planned introduction of Universal Credit next year which is expected to see many claims made online.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 11, 2014 at 11:35 am

      • lol it’s not like we expect to see banks of spinning tapes in the jobcentre like in a 1960’s sci-fi movie. 😀

        Attack of the Decision Makers

        November 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    • What a load of bull. Has the reporter, and the manager only just noticed that the rows of cards are long gone, just like the paid jobs.

      Another Fine Mess

      November 11, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      • AFM:

        Thought that would tickle your fancy!

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      • Damn, I don’t like being too predictable.

        specially-designed computers LOL

        digital jobsearch computers I quite liked the analogue and clockwork ones myself.

        Another Fine Mess

        November 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      • yeah, a poor use of terminology… “hi-tech” is technology which is cutting edge, in a similar fashion you do not mark confidential information as “top secret”.

        “specially” designed (are they bespoke?) Poor journalism trying to make it sound a bit better lol

        “digital” that is painful, all computers (* – well modern) are.

        Universal Jobmatch

        November 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      • lol it’s not like we expect to see banks of spinning tapes in the jobcentre like in a 1960′s sci-fi movie. 😀 😀

        Attack of the Decision Makers

        November 18, 2014 at 5:11 pm

  44. Free WiFi and 6,000 digital jobsearch computers will be installed at Jobcentre Plus sites across Britain to give claimants a new opportunity to search and apply for jobs online, using the equipment on site or “their own devices”.

    “New tech coaches” = people on jsa , just like the supervisor (supervised job search) in the local jobcentre.


    November 11, 2014 at 11:52 am

  45. Don’t for get this one: 12 November 2014.

    The National Online Recruitment Awards 2014.

    This is where Universal Jobmatch (last year) was described a mongrel of a website that broke every rule in book.

    In fact UJ was so bad that they had to invent a whole new category for it.

    ‘The Wooden NORA’

    Let’s see if UJ can sink any lower this year.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm

  46. If Rolling stones can work into their seventies so can anyone, Esther McVey says.

    The musical comebacks of artists such as the Rolling Stones and Tina Turner show that older people should return to the workplace, Esther McVey has said.

    Is that the most inappropriate example she could find?


    Another Fine Mess

    November 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    • McVey would beat a saucer in a shallowness competition.


      November 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm

  47. Germany can deny benefits to jobless EU migrants, court rules.

    The European court of justice (ECJ) has ruled that Germany can refuse welfare benefits to EU migrants if they have never held a job in the country.

    In a landmark ruling on “benefit tourism” that could set an EU-wide legal precedent, the Luxembourg court announced on Tuesday that “economically inactive” migrants from other EU nations can be refused German unemployment benefits under certain conditions



    November 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm

  48. Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    • That bag of sweets is almost 10 YEARS past its ‘best before’ date! What are the DWP trying to do – poison the staff!

      Eagle Eyes

      November 11, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      • So are the current incumbents allegedley


        November 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

  49. You Britons are just too lazy! After Mail reveals sandwich firm that supplies M&S and Tesco has been forced to find staff abroad, the Hungarians tell us why



    November 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm

  50. 75% Of Low-Paid Workers Unable To Escape Poverty Pay Trap

    The strong link between part-time employment and poor pay progression will be particularly disconcerting for the 6.8 million people currently working part-time in the UK



    November 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm

  51. Anyone want to make £200? it won’t affect your benefits !!!



    November 12, 2014 at 6:06 am

  52. Unpaid work, mostly interns.
    Anyone who feels they are being exploited should contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.

    Another Fine Mess

    November 12, 2014 at 9:10 am


    Several years ago, a report highlighted the plight of several million part-time workers who wanted to work full-time but couldn’t get it because the jobs simply did not exist.

    It was stated then that these same part-time workers were going to be forced to seek more hours under Universal Credit – despite everyone knowing that sufficient jobs simply did not exist!

    Now, a recent report says only 1 in 40 new jobs created since the recession in 2008 are full-time! Welcome to the nightmare.

    Report here:



    November 12, 2014 at 9:48 am

  54. So we are led to believe that unemployment has dropped by 115,000 in two months ? and IDS recently stated that only,,,only grrrr ! 65000 scroungers a month are sanctioned,,soooo would i be wrong to assume that the two sets of figures could be erm ,,linked at all ?


    November 12, 2014 at 10:37 am

  55. What the fuck is is with so many tv progs/films now being shown with great big black borders down the side – like the telly had shrunk in the wash!? Is this some sort of push – from the fucking nudge unit – to get us to buy bigger tellies for chrimbo… an attempt to ‘kick-start’ the fucking economy, one last desperate attempt by camoron to win the fucking election!?

    lil ol me

    November 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

    • It’s all the condem’s cutbacks, or else you’ve got your telly in 4:3 mode.

      Another Fine Mess

      November 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    • It’s not just you mate, Film 4 has been like this all fucking day!! What the fuck is going on??

      Do Not Adjust Your Set

      November 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm

  56. Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit system thrown into doubt by Government findings .

    Floundering: There are suggestions the system may never get off the ground.

    Iain Duncan Smith’s floundering Universal Credit system will have to deal with 1.6million changes to people’s claims every month, a Government adviser has revealed.

    The shocking figure throws fresh doubt over whether the Work Secretary’s flagship scheme will ever be fully up and running after being dogged by delays and glitches.

    Professor John Hills reveals the scale of the challenge in a new book that explodes the “strives versus skivers” myth peddled by politicians.

    Professor Hills, of the London School of Economics, warns: “This will make the system hard to run.”

    It will also pile pressure on the poor, he warns in Good Times, Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us.

    “The complexity of people’s lives makes attempts to simplify the benefits system sound attractive, but that very complexity makes ‘simplification’ fraught with difficulty, threatening to make things even harder to cope with for people with little margin for errors – their own or those of official systems.”

    Professor Hills warns that the failure to explain to voters who the welfare state works and who really benefits is skewing the system, fuelling unnecessarily harsh policies and damaging Britain.

    His book is deeply embarrassing ministers because the respected academic was brought in to carry out a Government review of fuel poverty.

    Now he is warning that politicians are fuelling myths that most benefit go to workshy scroungers.

    Out-of-work benefits make up just £1 out of every £12.50 spend on the welfare state if health and education are included, Prof Hillscalculates.

    And public perceptions of benefit fraud are so out of line with reality that almost all those claiming non-pensioner benefits would have to be fiddling the system if it was as rife as people fear.

    But these misconceptions mean that the jobless are being continually targeted, with annual benefit sanctions almost tripling to 900,000 between 2008 and the end of last year.

    That is forcing people to rely on food handouts, he writes.

    “Given that such a small share of the welfare state goes on benefits to people who are out of work, creating savings from them that actually makes a difference to overall spending requires more and more drastic action.

    “But this comes at a cost. The hardship to those affected is most obvious in the rapidly escalating use of voluntary food banks across the country, with more than 900,000 people receiving three-day food parcels from the Trussell Trust charity in 2013–14, up from 350,000 the previous year and 60,000 in 2010–11.”

    The general view that people on benefits stay there and are paid for by the rest of us is wrong, the professor argues.

    Most people depend on the welfare state at some point in their lives and end up getting about as much out of it as they put in he calculates.

    “Our research clearly demonstrates that there is no ‘them and us’ – just us, and we all stand to lose out from the current misconceptions driving the welfare policy debate,” he said.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm

  57. Heard this on the grapevine:

    Looks like ‘A4E Arndale House Bradford’ are out of business as of Friday 5th December 2014, apparently they have lost their government contract.

    Anyone else in Bradford heard this?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 12, 2014 at 2:28 pm

  58. Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm

  59. UK employers’ attitudes to maternity benefits

    Two in five female workers feel uncomfortable asking about maternity leave benefits – and half of these worry it could get them fired



    November 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    • Keep your legs shut then, luv 😉

      Vera D

      November 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      • And a lot more should!


        November 12, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      • That’s fine coming from you, Vera, you blooming harlot!

        Brenda Barnstubble

        November 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      • I just thought I’d put that link on here for the benefit of any womem on here that may not know of any benefits they may receive, of course there’s alway’s one, isn’t there Vera!


        November 12, 2014 at 6:03 pm

  60. Earnings have so far largely failed to pick up as a surge of people seeking work has allowed employers to keep a lid on pay.



    November 12, 2014 at 8:38 pm

  61. The YMCA, the UK’s oldest youth charity, has warned the government that its changes to welfare policy are driving vulnerable young people to become reliant on food bank handouts rather than preparing them for jobs.

    About 5,000 young people were referred by YMCAs to food banks last year, it said in a report, with benefit sanctions cited as the main reason for what it called a “significant increase” in the number of clients falling into food poverty.



    November 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm

  62. Iain Duncan Smith to meet Universal Credit target in 700 years’ time.

    Ian Duncan Smith promised that more than a million people would be signed up to his universal credit scheme by April 2014, with twelve million signed up by 2017.

    However, new figures released today reveal the DWP currently have just 17,850 people on their caseload.

    This means that at the current rate of progress, it will take them almost 700 more years to meet their original target of twelve million.

    I think by that point even Duncan Smith may have to admit that there are problems with the scheme.

    Duncan Smith has remained fiercely defensive of the programme despite it being dogged by multiple difficulties over the years.

    An investigation by the NAO last year found that the scheme suffered from “weak management, ineffective control and poor governance,” and had “not achieved value for money”.

    Earlier this year, the Major Projects Authority revealed that the scheme had been ‘reset’ by auditors, following earlier assessments that the scheme was at serious risk of failure.

    The work and pensions secretary has repeatedly blocked publication of reports detailing the failure of the scheme.

    Labour today pounced on the new figures, calling for an inquiry into whether to push ahead with the troubled scheme.

    “At this rate it will take centuries to roll out Universal Credit across the country,” shadow welfare reform minister, Chris Bryant said.

    “A Labour government will call in the National Audit Office to urgently review Universal Credit to see what can be salvaged from the shambles which David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith have left.”


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm

  63. Oh Dear!

    Labour MP John McDonnell Was ‘Simply Reporting’ Call to ‘Lynch’ Employment Minister Esther McVey.

    The constituents reportedly called for Esther McVey to be “lynched”, according to McDonnell

    A Labour MP has hit back at the Conservative Party Chairman after he was accused of calling for the Employment Minister to be “lynched”.

    John McDonnell, who represents Hayes and Harlington, said he was “reporting” what some of Esther McVey’s constituents had said about their own MP.

    Grant Shapps, in reaction to a story in the Daily Mail, accused McDonnell in a letter to Ed Miliband of “advocating the lynching of Welfare Minister McVey”.

    “This is a sickening demand – in public – for a violent attack on a female MP, on a day when Britain is supposed to unite to remember our fallen soldiers,” Shapps said.

    “Labour must withdraw the whip from John McDonnell and must do it right now, while you investigate.”

    But McDonnell has now written to the Conservative Party Chairman in a letter seen by IBTimes UK and asked him to withdraw the allegations.

    “If you had cared to check your facts, you will have known that I was reporting what had been said at a meeting in McVey’s constituency by her own constituents, nothing more,” the Labour MP wrote.

    “Now that you know that your statements are untrue, I would expect you to withdraw them immediately.

    “If you fail to do this immediately, the public will reach their own conclusions about your motives.”

    The Daily Mail Story.

    In his speech, Mr McDonnell, the MP for Hayes and Harlington, spoke about a visit to Miss McVey’s Wirral West constituency, where the former TV presenter faces a major union-backed campaign to oust her from the marginal seat.

    To applause, he said: ‘I was up in Liverpool a fortnight ago where Alec McFadden, one of our [union] organisers, launched the Sack Esther McVey Day on her birthday.

    ‘I spoke at a packed public meeting… there was a whole group in the audience that completely kicked off quite critical of the whole concept, because they were arguing ‘Why we are sacking her?

    ‘Why aren’t we lynching the b******?’


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 13, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    • I’d hang every single one of the evil bastards.

      Landless Peasant

      November 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm

  64. People 60 and over are not listed in government unemployment statistics.

    Half of over 50s are within the working poor or unemployed, latter mostly due to being disabled / chronic ill.

    The flat rate pension for women born from 1953 and men born from 1951
    will leave them with NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE
    so no benefits and no state pension,
    with little chance of re-employment
    especially after 60.

    Can be equally liable at 60 and disabled / sick to Workfare and benefit sanctions, as a young mother with a new baby.


    November 13, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    • Fuck this sexist crap! Why the fuck should women get a pension 5 years earlier than men. Women are supposed to live longer than men anyway. So if anything it should be the other way round. Besides men aren’t going to have no chance of enjoying retirement if they are suddenly left with NO INCOME at age 60 – no fucking wonder guys die younger.


      November 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm



    Rally outside at noon with speakers from DPAC CLASS WAR, BLACK TRIANGLE CAMPAIGN.

    Great bit of partnership working…….IDS opening speech at 10;00am which many people will want to hear from the quiet man. lots more people welcome.

    Time to let IDS what you think of him, the DWP and his disgusting welfare reforms.

    Passive and verbal disruption is MANDATORY.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 14, 2014 at 7:07 am

    • “MANDATORY”… now, where have I head that word before… 😉

      Com P Sulory

      November 14, 2014 at 7:38 am

  66. lol at lord carlyle telling evan davies on the Today programme that he expects camoron new laws to be found “illegal”, “illegal, surely you meant legal”, “yes, I meant legal, I am ever so sorry” 😀

    Freudian Slip

    November 14, 2014 at 7:17 am

  67. The number of tenant households in England and Wales evicted from their homes hit record levels in the third quarter of the year, with cuts to social security among the factors leading to more than 100 evictions a day. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that 11,100 rented properties were repossessed by bailiffs between July and September, the highest quarterly figure since the records began in 2000. In contrast, just 2,805 mortgage borrowers lost their homes.


    A man who applied for more than 60 jobs in a fortnight while protesting against “draconian and demeaning” government policies has been sanctioned by his local jobcentre – for not searching for “broader” employment.

    Peter Styles, a copywriter and public relations executive who has been unemployed for a year, says he writes up to 15 job applications a day – even applying at the request of jobcentre staff to be a “personal shopper” and “grocery colleague” at local supermarkets.



    November 14, 2014 at 8:53 am

  68. Here is yet another Data Protection scandal:


    The list of woes being aired on here is endless!!!…


    November 14, 2014 at 9:04 am

  69. Iain Duncan Smith’s


    Go to the link below and press PLAY.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 14, 2014 at 10:17 am

    • It’s like being on a treadmill, inside a revolving door, while playing snakes-and-ladders without the ladders!


      November 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

      • I was sanctioned, it’s not fair!


        November 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

      • Tobanem

        another independence vote coming?


        November 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

  70. How is the infamous ‘JobsFair’ going?


    Looks like a ‘sign up for this’, ‘ sign up for that’, but no actual, erm… jobs.

    Another Fine Mess

    November 14, 2014 at 11:42 am

  71. Iain Duncan Smith’s Jobs Fair Chingford.

    You need a letter to attend from the Jobcentre (invitation only) before people were allowed admittance – what a joke.

    Video from around 10:00am this morning.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    • Police in attendance – of course!

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    • First time I’ve heard of this….


      November 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm

  72. Iain Duncan Smith’s Jobs Fair Chingford.

    Around 11:00am – Still no sign of IDS.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm


    Any sign of Anarchist Marina Pepper at the Chingford Jobs Fair?

    Her red-hot presence should spice things up!:



    November 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    • According to Marina Pepper:

      “This will be the launch of my parliamentary campaign – a proper opening gambit of knocking Iain Duncan Smith of his incumbent perch.

      “We will be coming into the Assembly Hall and hoping to talk to employers about paying the living wage and abolishing zero-hour contracts.

      “I anticipate he [IDS] might go screaming from the building.”

      “I have a long history, taking non-violent direct action.”

      Waltham Forest Police have said they will implement plans accordingly but refused to release any details.


      November 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      • Tobanem:

        Marina Pepper is there – look at the Bambuster video links.

        IDS apparently was there around 8:30am but did a runner out of the back door shortly after.


        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      • Obi

        Yes, I see her now.

        Another of Marina Pepper’s quotes to liven things up (not on the above video footage):

        “Iain is the architect of all this [Welfare Reform] misery and I think I’m possibly the one to give him a good spanking at the polls,” she told The Londoner.

        Sounds fun!!!


        November 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    • Wow, what a hottie! 🙂 Thanks for that, Tobanem. Think I might just vote Class War now – fancy me chances with Marina I do 😉 Anyone got Marina’s number? 🙂

      Bobbi Van Kenobi

      November 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      • Bobbi Van Kenobi

        You will have to compete with the likes of Daniel Craig!

        It will be interesting though, to see IDS being harangued at every turn in the forthcoming general election campaign by someone like Marina Pepper – who might turn out to be his nemesis.

        It’s a great pity there was no confrontation today at the Chingford Jobs Fair – but his time (IDS) is coming.

        Wonder if the BBC will cover it when it happens?


        November 14, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      • Wonder if Marina Pepper will get on the Question Time panel.


        November 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    • Jobseekers will be able to access advice on CV writing, interview skills and take part in apprenticeship and internship workshops.

      But no actual jobs then.


      Another Fine Mess

      November 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      • Well, at least they stopped IDS from attending his own Jobs Fair for any length of time.

        A small victory.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        November 14, 2014 at 6:10 pm

  74. On October 9, members of Haringey Solidarity Group and Boycott Workfare paid workfare provider Urban Futures in Wood Green a visit. Fifteen people occupied the office with banners and a soundsystem – challenging Urban Futures on their treatment of claimants and speaking to people on enforced jobsearch about their experiences and sharing info on their rights.

    A number of claimants have complained about bullying and mistreatment from Urban Futures management. If you want to speak to someone about how you’ve been treated, or join the campaign in Haringey, email info@haringey.org.uk or ring 07804 599 327.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm

  75. East London and West Essex Guardian.

    Thousands of people have attended a jobs fair today organised by MP Iain Duncan Smith, as protesters gathered outside to voice their opposition to the work and pensions secretary’s welfare reforms.

    Mr Duncan Smith arrived early to Chingford Assembly Hall in Station Road, spoke to the 40-plus businesses and public sector employees and then left before the doors opened to the public.

    However, some JSA claimants told the Guardian they faced losing their benefits if they did not attend today.

    Aspiring footballer Stephan Campbell, 21, from Walthamstow, is looking for retail work.

    He said: “I called Walthamstow Job Centre today to say I was having family issues and was told if I did not come it will affect my benefits and I will get sanctioned.”

    Class War parliamentary candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, Marina Pepper, said: “He’s running scared and hiding.”


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    November 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

  76. Whit’s this wae Max Keiser and his burd Stacy Herbert talking aboot “numpties” n “muppets” on RT. If you are gonnae nick oor language at least gie us credit.

    McHaggis of the Haggis Clan

    November 15, 2014 at 11:45 am

    • Och awaye wityou back to the Gorbals Jock


      November 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      • Dinae come roon here or a will whack yi ooer the heid way ma caber yi soft southern sassanach yi !

        McHaggis o' thi McHaggis Clan

        November 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      • Och aye the noo. Seeya Jimmy

        Rab C Nesbitt

        November 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm

  77. R.I.P. Mark Cotton

    Double amputee killed himself after benefits slashed, say anguished family


    Landless Peasant

    November 15, 2014 at 11:53 am

    • Just read about that in the T and A, DWP/IDS ultimately to blame.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      • T and A?! Tits and Arse 🙂

        Bobbi Van Kenobi

        November 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    • Remember Bannachburn

      Edward Longshanks

      November 20, 2014 at 8:54 am

      • Dinae gie me any o’ yir shite ya daft numptie ya!!

        McHaggis of the McHaggis Clan

        November 20, 2014 at 11:56 am

  78. Judge brands DWP jobseeker’s agreement ‘unlawful’, after action by disabled claimant



    November 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    • This is potential dynamite for everyone who is on JSA and ESA.

      DWP will have re-write the agreement and claimant commitment.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      November 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    • Ken

      Brilliant find!

      The subject of invalid contracts should have a page all to itself.


      November 17, 2014 at 9:06 am

      • It’s not over yet, but hope for all.

        She said Hart had appealed to the first-tier tribunal and lost, and his case was now being considered by the upper-tier tribunal and was “still ongoing, so the judge’s comments aren’t conclusive


        November 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm

  79. “In 2004, they purchased the Employment and Skills Group (ESG), which according to the Guardian ‘won £73 million worth of government employment contracts from Iain Duncan-Smith’s department.”



    November 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    • Yes, as usual “voluntary” with a warning.


      November 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm

  80. Labour frontbenchers Ed Balls and Rachel Reeves said the House of Commons figures revealed that while cutting “vital support” the Coalition’s reforms had been a “total failure” by not tackling the root cause of welfare claims.

    Shadow chancellor Mr Balls and Ms Reeves said: “George Osborne promised to balance the books in this parliament, but it’s now clear he will totally fail.

    “As the OBR has said stagnant wages and too many low-paid jobs has led to shortfall in tax receipts and more borrowing.

    “And now figures from the House of Commons Library show the government has also spent £25 billion more than planned on social security. In other words, if we’d had a welfare cap in this parliament the Tories would have breached it.”

    Shadow work and pensions secretary Ms Reeves and Mr Balls said spending had exceeded the forecasts despite the cuts implemented by the Government.

    They blamed an increase in the number of people reliant on housing benefit for some of the rise, and claimed £8 billion more than they planned had been spent on incapacity benefits due to the “chaotic delivery of reforms and failure to help disabled people into work”.

    Some £1.4 billion of the overspend was on housing benefit for people in work, delays to the delivery of the Personal Independence Payment have cost £1.7 billion more than was planned, and £130 million had been “wasted on failed IT” for the Universal Credit programme



    November 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm

  81. A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general election reveals how money has been transferred from the poorest to the better off, apparently refuting the chancellor of the exchequer’s claims that the country has been “all in it together”.

    According to independent research to be published on Monday and seen by the Observer, George Osborne has been engaged in a significant transfer of income from the least well-off half of the population to the more affluent in the past four years. Those with the lowest incomes have been hit hardest


    Dispatches: cha 4, 8pm, haves and have – nots


    November 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm

  82. This page started off about IDS. Now he appears among a list of MPs who have links to private health care firms:



    November 18, 2014 at 1:56 pm

  83. So… How many got jobs from attending the Jobs Fair, and was my prediction close!
    The signs outside the place said Careers Fair.

    Another Fine Mess

    November 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm

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