Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Just How Nasty Can the DWP Get?

New Work Coach at the Jobcentre.

Reforms could cause hardship over Christmas in Cumbria

Hat -Tip Obi Wan Kenobi.

CASH-STRAPPED benefits claimants could be left without benefits for up to five weeks over the Christmas period.

New applicants to universal credit in Millom will be the first in Copeland to get the monthly paid benefit on December 8.

It will be rolled out to the rest of Copeland on December 15 but the change from benefits being paid fortnightly to monthly to “replicate work” could leave new claimants without money.

Councillors have raised concerns about how the introduction of universal credit, which replaces six means-tested state benefits, will affect residents.

Labour town councillor Denise Burness told Millom Town Council on Wednesday: “The big issues are the changes that affect people in Millom. They are going to be paid monthly and it’s going to be in arrears. They have to apply online and the money’s going into their banks. For people who know how to budget it’s not a problem but if it’s going to go to that from nothing it’s going to be a problem. The timing stinks, it’s taken for granted people will be able to apply online and we do not have support for people who do not have a job centre, like in Millom.”

Members of Copeland Borough Council’s executive panel last week heard the new payment scheme will be rolled out next month for new claimants, who are either single or couples without dependants.

Councillor Allan Holliday was concerned that the changes would leave people without payments over Christmas.

Julie Betteridge, head of customer and community services, said: “Sadly that might happen.

“At least there are services out there like the foodbanks and Citizens Advice Bureau that people are getting help from. Universal credit is such a small part of it – there is a greater issue of people losing their jobs at Christmas.”

It is unclear when Copeland’s foodbank centres will be open over Christmas.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “It could take up to five weeks for their benefit. It’s not a delay but a new way of doing it so that we are replicating work because it’s paid monthly.

“If it is determined you do not have enough money before the benefit would come in you can apply for a benefit advance. We are putting in extra support through budgeting and the job centre will be able to direct them.”

Universal credit will replace jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit, working tax credit, child tax credit, employment and support allowance and income support.

Carol Graham, manager of Copeland Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “The DWP said numbers in the initial rollout aren’t high. But it is happening over Christmas and it will be an issue for those people who are affected by it.”

She said CAB will be closed between Christmas and New Year.

Comment: this is an example of the kind of arbitrary power we have been criticising.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm

53 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    November 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm

  2. Amazingly The Times lambasted IDS and his welfare reforms for causing … “predicable and entirely avoidable impoverishment’ … as well as huge cost to the taxpayer of benefits admin.

    The rise in retirement age means people 60 and over, disabled, chronic sick, out of work, losing disabiliity / sick benefit, taxed even though far below the basic tax allowance, are now left penniless and going to a food bank, which may be closed over Christmas.

    Christ talked of feeding the 5000 (actually that was the blokes, it was also the wife and the kids gathered that day).

    We intend to leave the old forever in this plight without food and fuel money at all in old age.

    I despair about The Greens not putting up on billboards all over England, about replacing all this starvation by design with their 2015 manifesto offer of:

    – universal, automatic Citizen Income, non-withdrawable
    to the level of the basic tax allowance

    – Full State Pension to all citizens, leaving no citizen without any food and fuel money at all.


    November 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    • I’m puzzled over the fascination. With monthly pay. I’m a working single mum n yes I’m monthly paid but I choose to have my tax credits. N child benefit paid weekly. And while I can n do budget well I’d struggle with being paid in arrears all at once. Wake up IDS!

      Kat Rehman

      November 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

      • IDS long ago went to sleep and woke up in the Narnia Wonderland that is Universal Credit.

        Andrew Coates

        November 30, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    • The danger is that any new reforms will be put on the Statute Books:- Signed Into Law before the General Election. This would then mean that which ever party is elected would the have to abide by these laws and this includes Labour, Liberal, Greens ”Ukip” etal. Once they have received Royal Assent then there is NO going back.


      November 30, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    • The local food bank will be open just before xmas, between xmas and new year and just after new year.


      December 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      • Monday 1st December is conference time for the ‘Employment Related Services Association’ whose speciality is ‘Championing the welfare to work industry’, i.e. lobbying and spin for workfare profiteers.

        The profiteers have a luxury hotel booked for this annual celebration of all the money they are making from workfare. An opportunity to hear Esther McVey describe her plans to psychometrically test the unemployed for ‘resistance to work’. Not to be outdone, she’ll be joined by shadow employment minister Stephen Timms; just to prove that Labour and the Con/Dems are as one when it comes to their commitment to workfare, sanctions and the dismantling of labour rights.

        If you don’t have the £450 registration fee to hand, you could always find other ways to let ERSA know your views on people whose profits depend on forced unpaid labour and the no pay/low pay economy that workfare sustains.

        If you haven’t come across this lot before, here’s a helpful glossary for the language they use from Another Angry Voice:

        Voluntary = Forced
        Support = Punishment
        Opportunity = Compulsion
        Help = Hindrance

        Let them know what you think of people who make money from ‘help to work’ contracts designed to annihilate workers’ rights and plunge those who resist into poverty and destitution.

        Tweet them:
        Phone: 0203 757 9415 (always worth asking for a senior manager – the person answering the phone could well be on workfare themselves. The Chief Executive is Kirsty McHugh)
        Email: membership@ersa.org.uk

        It’s no surprise to find support for this festival of workfare exploiters coming from the Shaw Trust, the Papworth Trust, Tomorrow’s People and Groundwork. But it’s disappointing to find Julia Unwin from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the programme – in a session headed ‘better together’. Even more troubling that she’s on the platform with Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham Council and responsible for evicting the Focus E15 Mothers.


        Andrew Coates

        December 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      • C.A.B.’S may be closed over xmas but people can get vouchers for food from other places.


        December 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm

  3. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    November 30, 2014 at 11:38 am

  4. The less money people have the less likely they are to survive on monthly pay! It’s okay for the likes of Cameron and IDS because if they had to wait for their money they still have a nice fat bank balance to survive on. Most of the poor live hand to mouth!

    Carol Joyce

    November 30, 2014 at 7:46 pm

  5. Its a total disgrace,reading the civil service code of conduct

    Standards of behaviour
    You must:

    fulfil your duties and obligations responsibly;

    always act in a way that is professional
    and that deserves
    and retains the confidence of all those with whom you
    have dealings

    There will be many who attend jobcentres that will disagree with that.

    If you become aware of actions by others which you
    believe conflict with this Code you should report this
    to your line manager or someone else in your line
    management chain;

    Click to access civil-service-code-2010.pdf


    December 1, 2014 at 1:21 am

  6. Cameron’s getting hammered at:


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 1, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    • Just did my bit on Twitter.

      Andrew Coates

      December 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

  7. Knocking on for one million tweets calling for Cameron to go, yet very little news media interest… so far!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 1, 2014 at 7:23 pm

  8. What’s this shit with the jc ‘updating’ jobseekers agreements? I have been given an hour long appointment for this. Can I expect dwp access to universal shitematch to be part of an ‘updated’ jsag? And lots of other nasties? Fucking jc never give up, do they!

    Fucking jc shite

    December 1, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    • You don’t have to give DWP access to your UJ.


      December 1, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      • thought the jcp killed you off enig,dunno wtf gaia has gone either

        super ted

        December 1, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      • thought the jcp killed you off enig,dunno wtf gaia has gone either

        super ted

        December 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      • I’ve just been busy, I know also Gaia not been around here for a while.

        The JCP will never kill me!.


        December 1, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      • How have you been getting on with the jcp Super ted


        December 1, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      • im now on my 5th work coach, they seem to vanish after i seen them 1 or 2 times n put them straight, mandate me to give them a cv then call me a liar and then read that the other wc had in fact put on the system i did hand one over.

        so where is it then fkn got the by the balls on that one hehe 😉

        super ted

        December 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      • Your work coaches love you then!, still winning your appeals?


        December 1, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      • they dare not try it now as i win every single time they try to sanction me and must be getting a right bollocking of there line managers for there efforts. and ill have to start charging them for the performance i gave last time they tried it.

        and im more than happy to go give it to them every day for 8hrs at a time for as long as they want 😉

        super ted

        December 1, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    • Fu*king jc Sh*te:

      “What’s this shit with the jc ‘updating’ jobseekers agreements?”

      It’s where they switch you over from a ‘Jobseekers Agreement’ to a ‘Claimant Commitment’.

      By the way you don’t have to accept the ‘My Work Plan Booklet’, you can carry on using the ES4JP’s to record your job search.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      December 2, 2014 at 12:08 pm


    PROTECT YOURSELF, you are allowed to have your assessment recorded,


    As of Jan 12th 2015, thanks to kind sponsorship from benefactor who loves what we do, and a handful of donations from FB (much appreciated) we are pleased to announce we will be purchasing the “NEAL” PACE ACT COMPLIANT INTERVIEW RECORDING DEVICE, the same model ATOS themselves use. PACE ACT 1984 requirements met.

    We are doing this as under current DWP contract, ATOS/and its replacement contractor does not provide, and is under no obligation to offer, recorded PIP assessments, which leaves our clients vulnerable and unprotected if appealing decisions based on the medical assessors decision/notes.

    ATOS cannot refuse us permission to use this recording machine as it complies with DWP specs to the T and will go a long way in protecting the vulnerable and ensuring we help them secure the benefits they are entitled to.

    Currently this machine will only cover our clients who use our outreach service here in Devon and Cornwall, but it is one giant step forward which we hope others will follow nationwide.

    If you have PIP medical assessments due during the coming year and wish us to act as advocates for you and ensure your assessment is recorded, please message us or tel 01872 859248.

    Here’s the science bit..from the suppliers…and the links below show current DWP guidelines.

    I can confirm that no user technical requirements or tests are necessary in relation to PACE Act 1984 complaint interview recorders before or after conducting an interview.

    All “NEAL” interview recorders by design self-monitor to ensure that two (or three where applicable) simultaneous recordings are being produced and in the event that this does not occur the audio and visual alarms would activate and the front panel display shows the cause of the failure to record (e.g. microphones not connected, faulty media etc.).

    It is necessary to use good quality CDR media as low cost media may fail causing the alarm to activate. Media must be CDR (write once disks). Pre-recorded and CDRW (rewritable) disks cannot be used.

    Normally sealed media is used which is unsealed in front of the person being interviewed. For PACE Act 1984 complaint interviews one of the recordings is sealed as a master at the end of the interview in front of the interviewee, in PACE Act 1984 interview a recording is provided to each of the two parties involved.


    December 1, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    • Or use your own recording system.


      December 1, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      • Interesting commentary, “enigma”, on the subject of medical assessment hearings.

        Also interesting to note that if anyone attends a Social Security Appeal Tribunal, whether it regards a benefit sanction or a Housing Benefit matter, it is a legal requirement that the Tribunal hearing is recorded. This fact should be stated to all attending the Tribunal.

        The appellant in these cases can ask for a “Record of Proceedings”, and this will be subsequently supplied in he form of a CD (MP3 Format) – although you should also note that the recording is for the appellant’s own use. Playing it in public would actually breach the Contempt of Court Act!

        The same procedure about electronic recordings should be made to apply to all medical assessment interviews and hearings as well.


        December 2, 2014 at 9:08 am

  10. Annos

    December 2, 2014 at 12:37 am

    • Economics has never gone down well here Annos as neither has the national debt, national deficit or the theoretical causality of collapsing societies/empires.

      That said whether we receive it or not, all will have to face up to it come next years election or should i say after it, which will be I should imagine a major shock to the deniers who believe all will return to normal in the world.

      A world war was cited as the cure for the last great depression of 1929, the questions is, will we require a third to get out of this one?


      December 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm


        Yes, it looks as though we are heading for WW3, or Financial Armageddon. There are too many simmering crises – financial and otherwise – all over the globe already.

        But the real question is, not will we get out of the recession, but rather will we get out of WW3?

        Tick, tick tick!!!


        December 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

  11. WARNING TO ALL JOBSEEKERS: You should be careful when leaving the jobcentre. I have seen ‘advisers’ looking out from the window to see what their ‘customers’ get up to after exiting the jobcentre. It’s not just inside the jc that you are under constant surveillance. Make sure you are well clear before you rip-up your job print-out, light up a spilff or whatever.

    Gerd Wiesler

    December 2, 2014 at 9:02 am


    Remember the reports about “compulsory” Psychometric Testing for benefit claimants?

    Now Jobcentres will be pedalling online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – as a “one-click-away” CURE for depressed claimants!!!



    December 2, 2014 at 9:48 am

    • Its always good to see people tackle the dubious nature of such tests but to date few have highlighted how dangerous it actually is, which is inarguably right up their with subliminal advertising, a banned and illegal practice.

      To those that don’t know, cognitive psychology is the study and manipulation of how the brain processes its signals. Its not the reserve of the medical sector and is openly practiced by illusionists such as Darren Brown for example who displays how easy it is for people in a short time frame to be manipulated without even knowing it.

      In the right medical hands its been proven to produce some good results but in the wrong hands with the wrong agenda, something drastically different.


      December 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      • Gaia

        (Welcome back)!

        RULE .303

        Some very angry people are advocating “Rule Three 0 Three” to deal with the protagonists of online CBT, aka, eCBT or CCBT (computerised CBT)!:

        Mind you, some very nasty people might well be advocating the same method to deal with benefit parasites!


        December 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      • Don’t you mean rule SA80 ?

        I got my marksmanship with the lee enfield, a beautifully accurate and reliable weapon indeed.

        Anyway im not back, im passing through as im covering a lot of stuff on the attempted privatisation of the NHS and the national debt currently.

        Im still visiting the site daily, just not entering much in the way of posts as well, theirs nothing new to really report that you all aren’t already covering in a timely fashion.

        Before I go though I have noticed lately an upsurge in fake agencies contacting people via their email accounts. Where before it was about steal personal data or dodgy deals, this time their trying to get people to download infected application forms that once activated corrupt the OS. As I said its small scale currently and may only be a test but just incase beware.


        (PS: the oldest are already on the security software database so will ping like a Christmas tree lights up. The latest however have yet to be entered and that’s just the ones we know about so wont trigger your security. If in doubt only download them on providers PCs as after all they did promise to keep you safe n secure while online didn’t they).


        December 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      • The SA80 is metric – it’s all in millimetres!


        December 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      • …but they could still call it “rule three-o-three”


        December 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      • I once had an SA80, but had to give it back!


        December 2, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      • ffs Gaia, who in their right mind is going to open a file with a name such as jobapplication.exe?


        December 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

  13. Job Advert ‘Written by a Five-Year-Old’ Removed from £17m Universal Jobmatch Website.

    A recruitment advert which read like it was “written by a five-year-old” has been removed from the Department of Work and Pensions-run employment website.

    The job listing, asking for someone with a “good sales back ground (sic)” for Birmingham-based company Intelligent Candy LTD, appeared on the troubled Universal Jobmatch website, the taxpayer funded website launched two years ago at a cost of £17m.

    The job description contained a series of spelling errors and no punctuation in its 60-word description.

    The advert, spotted by Reddit user Stormy Sam, was online for nearly TWO WEEKS before it was changed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm

  14. #CameronMustGo Wins More Twitter Mentions Than Scottish Referendum ‘Yes’ Campaign.

    The anti-Cameron hashtag #CameronMustGo, calling for him to resign, has been trending for ten days, and has now overtaken a hashtag that helped power calls for Scottish independence during the referendum, according to new analysis.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    • Hope someone starts doing T-Shirts with #Cameron Must Go also do some with #IDS Must Go.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      December 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm

  15. How benefit sanctions hit single parents and their children hardest.

    Single parents have been disproportionately bearing the brunt of welfare changes.

    Raising an 18-month-old child is not easy when there’s two of you, but when you’re a single parent on benefits it’s one of the hardest things in the world. Helen (not her real name) is on income support and has been threatened with sanctions if she doesn’t “do more” to find work.

    She now has to decide whether she can work nights, leaving her baby alone – or face losing her income for a month.

    This happened to one single mother, and it happens more and more across the UK.

    Gingerbread, a charity campaigning for and providing advice to single parents, released a report last week about the impact of benefit sanctions on single parents specifically. And the report was pretty damning.

    Here’s how easy it is for a job seeker to get sanctioned.

    • Failed to attend an interview (because it was too short notice and you couldn’t find childcare)? You lose your benefit for four weeks.

    • Not been available to work (because you don’t want to work too far away from your children)? You lose your benefit for four weeks.

    • Refused a job (because it doesn’t fit with your child’s school hours)? You lose your income 13 weeks – just over three months.

    Single parents are more likely than other claimants to be sanctioned incorrectly.

    There are special rules that should recognise that single parents have to care for their children, but Gingerbread has found that these rules aren’t being applied as they should.

    It’s quite alarming that so many single parents may be being wrongly put forward for or given “high level” sanctions which would mean they lose a chunk of their income for 13 weeks or more.

    And Gingerbread say that calls to their helpline about JSA sanctions have gone up by 49 per cent in the last 12 months.

    Even when sanctions are overturned it can impoverish a family for weeks.

    The decision to overturn the sanction can be made at many different points. While the majority of the ones affecting single parents are overturned at the first stage of being referred, a “significant minority” of decisions are applied later in the process.

    This means single parents could be without any JSA payments for weeks or even months, leaving them in acute financial difficulty.

    These four stories tell the reality of life as a single parent.

    • One woman cited in the report had her job seeker’s allowance stopped for THREE MONTHS because she turned down night-shift jobs as she couldn’t find childcare for her young daughter.

    • One single mother told Gingerbread she’s struggling to balance her work life with caring for her two children. She feels she can’t leave them alone, and called the job centre for advice. She was told she may be sanctioned for three years if she left her job.

    • One woman was told she’d be sanctioned and lose her income support if she doesn’t start looking for nursery care for her 18-month-old child.

    • Another single mother with a one-year-old child was threatened with a sanction if she doesn’t sign up to Universal Jobmatch or go on a course.

    [Sources: Gingerbread report: Single parents and benefit sanctions, Sanctions within conditional benefit systems: A review of evidence]


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 2, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    • More and more single parents appearing at the local food bank every day, will soon be open 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.


      December 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm

  16. Does anyone know if you can be given a Jobseeker’s Direction to hand over a copy of your CV to your work coach?

    Parker Pyne

    December 2, 2014 at 3:17 pm



      December 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    • You only need show your CV to them, not give it to them, make a copy of your CV but don’t put everything you have done on it, Super Ted will be along to tell you more!


      December 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      • Personally since so many bleeding agencies and others have my CV I would be rich if got royalties for its publication.

        Andrew Coates

        December 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      • I was just thinking about how many times I handed my CV or sent via post or on line to employers for all the jobs I had applied for since leaving school, as for everyone.


        December 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      • if i gave the jcp a real cv they would get 60 pages of sat around doing nothing at providers, problem is i cant put that on a cv so they say?? well they fkn paid for it so why not, it is the truth after all.

        then mandate my for a cv and lose it well there you go 😉 i seen that coming 5 years ago 😉

        super ted

        December 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm

  17. yes they can mandate that you show them a copy of ur cv but you do not have to let them keep one tho i did and now in a matter of weeks it has been lost because it was not worth the paper it was written on and as i put on it iy was not to be altered under the dpa and not ever to be given to a 3rd party provider it has now vanished from the back of my book.

    any way if you do give then a cv to keep hold of blank out anything you dont want them to see ie phone and email address as that’s what they want from it so dont give it to them.

    also if the jcp has a copy of your cv it will be passed on to a provider at some point of ur claim.

    they can also mandate you to open an ujm account and show the proof that you have one i just took screen shots of it on my phone and done the same with the cv i put on there and was ok with that.

    super ted

    December 2, 2014 at 8:40 pm

  18. MY UNCLE WHO WORKED FOR A MAJOR INTERNATIONAL COMPANY TOLD ME TO COPYRIGHT MY CV THUS. nameinfullnospaces(c)date..[ie 2014/12/03 then add protected copyright of named owner.


    December 3, 2014 at 8:44 am

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