Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Benefit Sanctions in Numbers: A summary

with 54 comments

The Department for Work and Pensions has released their most recent quarterly report including amongst other statistics, details about the number of sanctions for Jobseekers Allowance both under the ‘old regime’ and under the ‘new regime’. This article also contains information on ESA sanctions.

Jobseekers Allowance sanctions

To June 2014, there has been 6.26 million decisions to apply Jobseekers Allowance sanctions since April 2000.

[Please Note: DWP love messing with statistics so accuracy cannot be guaranteed from one report to the next and rounding figures is another bizarre practice they undertake]

‘Old Regime’ JSA sanctions

By process of elimination (total sanctions minus ‘New Regime’ numbers up to June 2014) there have been 3,565,990 sanction decisions up to October 2012.

The former regime (referred here to as the ‘old regime‘) is the one introduced under the previous Labour Government – and you guessed it, the ‘new regime‘ was introduced by the current Tory Government (officially a coalition – but its all Conservative policies).

‘New Regime’ JSA sanctions

Since 22nd October 2012, around 2,694,010 sanction decisions were made (Not to be confused with actual amount of applied sanctions). One third of sanction referrals were cancelled. 9% of cancelled referrals (or formally ‘reserved’) are due to jobseekers signing off/no longer claiming JSA. (Potential claim cycling/sanction-dodging perhaps)

Approx 390,409 had the decision reviewed. Just under half (49%), 191,000 sanction cases were revised with no sanction taking effect. This is abnormally high, for Decision Makers under targets not to uphold almost half of all decisions shows the worrying trend of vexatious sanction doubts being raised, both at Jobcentre Plus and at Work Programme providers (etc).

Approx 39,672 of these sanctions went to appeal. (Unsure whether this is an internal process and/or includes appeal tribunals) One in five (20%) won their appeal, where no sanction was applied. This was approx 8000 cases.

Sanction reasons

34% of sanctions were regarding non-entitlement such as the claimant not  ‘actively seeking employment‘.

28% of sanctions were regarding the claimant failing to participate in the Work Programme.

23% of sanctions were regarding the claimant failing to attend an adviser interview. (We understand this to include being late but might be included in the remaining 15% not accounted for)

Number of sanctioned people

DWP gives the figure of 834 thousand people having received a decision to “apply a sanction”.

ESA sanctions

To June 2014, there has been 113 thousand decisions for ESA sanctions since April 2008.

‘New Regime’ ESA sanctions

Since 3rd December 2012, over 49 thousand decisions to apply a sanction were made.

Approx 41,160 sanctions were in relation to the refusal or failure to participate in ‘work related activity‘ including the Work Programme.

Approx 7,840 sanctions were due to failing to attend a mandatory interview.

 

 

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54 Responses

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  1. To me the most striking thing is the number of people I hear, in the Library (where we go to do our jobsearching), or of friends of friends, who’ve been sanctioned for trivial offences.

    It’s an epidemic.

    Andrew Coates

    December 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    • Andrew, do you have a link to this report ?

      gaia

      December 18, 2014 at 7:37 am

  2. Yes, and of course without a written reason for the sanctions are unlawful.

    enigma

    December 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    • DWP employees have a sense of humour (emphasis on sense lol).

      Their database includes letters “sent” to claimants. Sometimes the staff either bin or refuse to send out notifications. This makes sanctions even worse than when you are notified of them. Other times they just take ages to send out the notification.

      Of course, its the postal service to blame! You don’t have to “receive” a written reason/letter but they have to “send” you a written reason/letter. Either you are lying, it got lost in the post or delayed. (Typically its their fault for it never arriving or being delayed)

      I remember in the past having to go into Jobcentre Plus on a signing on appointment (despite being sanctioned) just to get a copy of the letter they claim to have sent me that never arrived. As the second copy I requested never got here, I decided to get it handed to me in person. Neither the first or the second letters sent to me ever arrived. Every other DWP letter has arrived without fail. Royal Mail problem? Unlikely. All provider mail seem to arrive okay too, especially letters begging me to go on Work Programme LOL

      Oh and I apologise for being responsible for some of the ‘reserved’ decisions – “What’s that TNG? You are going to sanction me?” *Fills in booklet with yesterdays date on”, *Walks out of Wolsey House, down to Silent Street St Felix House* “I would like to sign off please”. Start a Rapid Reclaim the following day. I think it cost JCP more in admin costs than how much they have paid me JSA – but its their fault for trying to sanction me all the bloody time!

      Universal Jobmatch

      December 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm

  3. Sanction types (statistic groupings) include:-

    * Voluntarily leaves a place on a training scheme or employment programme without good reason
    * Losing through misconduct a place on a training scheme or employment programme
    * Refusal of a place on a training scheme or employment programme without good reason
    * Neglect to avail themselves of a reasonable opportunity of a place on a training scheme or employment programme without good reason
    * Failure to attend a place on a training scheme or employment programme without good reason
    * Failure to attend or failure to participate in an Adviser interview without good reason
    * Refusal or failure to comply with a Jobseeker’s Direction without good reason
    * Failure to participate in a scheme for assisting person to obtain employment without good reason – Work Programme
    * Failure to participate in a scheme for assisting person to obtain employment without good reason – Skills Conditionality
    * Failure to participate in a scheme for assisting person to obtain employment without good reason – other scheme
    * Failure to participate in a scheme for assisting person to obtain employment without good reason – Work Experience
    * Not actively seeking employment
    * Not being available for work
    * Left employment voluntarily without good reason
    * Losing employment through misconduct
    * Neglect to avail themselves of a reasonable opportunity of employment without good reason
    * Refusal or failure to apply for, or accept if offered, a job which an employment officer has informed him/her is vacant or about to become vacant without good reason
    * Failure to participate in Mandatory Work Activity without good reason
    * Failure to attend or failure to participate in an Adviser interview without good reason (pre April 2010)
    * Trade disputes
    * Failure to attend Back to Work Session without good reason
    * Jobseeker’s Agreement questions (doubts)
    * Joint Claim exemption
    * Other referral reason (Misc category)

    Universal Jobmatch

    December 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

  4. A section of especially stupid sanctions… (sources at the below link)

    1) You get a job interview, it’s at the same time as your JCP appointment, so you re-arrange your JCP appointemnt. Or at least, that’s what you think. You attend your rearranged appointment then get a letter saying your benefits will be stopped because going to a job interview isn’t a good enough reason for missing an appointment.

    2) You work for 20 years, then because you haven’t had the process clearly explained to you, you miss an appointment, so you get sanctioned for 3 weeks.

    3) You’re on a workfare placement, and your jobcentre appointment comes round. The jobcentre tells you to sign on then go to your placement which you do. The workfare placement reports you for being late and you get sanctioned for 3 months.

    4) You’re five minutes late for your appointment, you show the advisor your watch which is running late, but you still get sanctioned for a month

    5) You apply for more jobs than required by your jobseeker’s agreement, but forgot to put down that you checked the local paper (which you’ve been specifically instructed to do via a jobseeker’s direction) so you get sanctioned

    6) You’re on contributions based JSA (which is JSA paid on the basis of National Insurance you’ve paid in, not on your level of income) and get your appointment day wrong and turn up on Thursday instead of Tuesday so you get a four week sanction

    7) It’s Christmas Day. You don’t do any jobsearch, because it’s Christmas Day. So you get sanctioned. For not looking to see if anyone has advertised a new job on Christmas Day.

    8) You get an interview but it’s on the day of your nan’s funeral. You have 3 interviews the day before, and you try to rearrange the interview, but the company reports you to the jobcentre and you get sanctioned for failing to accept a job.

    9) You get given the wrong forms, get sanctioned for not doing the right forms.

    10) You’re sick and miss an appointment, but you’ve already missed one so you get sanctioned

    11) You don’t apply for an IT job that needs skills you don’t have so you get sanctioned.

    12) You volunteer in a youth club. For some reason the jobcentre thinks this is paid work so they sanction you.

    13) You attend a work programme interview so you miss your jobcentre appointement and get sanctioned

    14) You’ve got no money to travel to look for work so you get sanctioned

    15) You have an interview which runs long, so you arrive at your jobcentre appointment 9 minutes late and get sanctioned for a month

    16) You’ve been unemployed for seven months and are forced onto a workfare scheme but can’t afford to travel to the shop. You offer to work in a different branch you can walk to but are refused and get sanctioned for not attending your workfare placement.

    17) You attend a family funeral and miss your jobcentre appointment so you get sanctioned.

    18) You have a training appointment at the same time as your jobcentre appointment, you tell the jobcentre you won’t be coming but they say you have to, and to get a letter from your new training organisation. Your training organisation says they don’t provide letters.

    19) You are easily confused or have poor English language skills, you will be disproportionately targeted for sanctions

    20) You retire on the grounds of ill health and claim ESA. You go to your assessment and during the assessment you have a heart attack, so the nurse says they have to stop the assessment. You get sanctioned for withdrawing from your assessment

    21) You get a job, isn’t that great? The job doesn’t start for two weeks, so you don’t look for work in those two weeks, and get sanctioned for it.

    (Some sources include MPs)

    https://birminghamagainstthecuts.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/a-selection-of-especially-stupid-sanctions/

    Universal Jobmatch

    December 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm

  5. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    December 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

  6. BBC Parliament Channel.

    House of Commons – Live – Housing Benefit Debate inc. The Bedroom Tax which they will be voting on at the end of the session. Labour will be voting to scrap it.

    IDS is in attendance.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm

  7. More Propaganda:

    http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/11672858.Unemployment_continues_to_fall_in_Bradford/

    The figures are rigged, most people have been forced into bogus unpaid jobs/schemes/work placements/youth training/temporary bogus ‘apprenticeships’ etc.

    On another note, when I signed on yesterday neither myself nor two advisers were able to log on to my UJM account even on their own system! I’ve had three (or is it four?) accounts already and I went away being told to open yet another one. The madness continues….

    Landless Peasant

    December 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. Youth Unemployment fell so much in Ipswich they decided to launch a ‘pilot’ youth unemployment centre with DWP/Jobcentre Plus backing (centre contracted out by the county council) and the infamous IDS visit as mentioned on a recent blog article.

      Jobcentre Plus doesn’t get involved unless things become mandatory. Things do not become mandatory until they are a problem. Things are not a problem unless they are a problem. LOL

      The previous youth drop in centre (infobar on fore street) had absolutely no involvement with Jobcentre Plus – it was the careers service ran by Suffolk County Council. It was all about getting young people into education I believe.

      This wont be any different. It will be those bogus apprenticeships, encouraging people to stay on in education or placed into a workfare scheme. Pretty much how you described for the conditions in Bradford.

      Because its new (novelty) and separate to the Jobcentre no one is going to expect themselves to be exploited. We will monitor the MYGo centre for developments and expose them if they think they can force people into workfare. The two lines between ‘young’ and ‘older’ attitudes do cross at a stage (like an X) … older people (25+) will be wiser with more life experience (and sadly probably more understanding of the system) and generally have more self-worth or feeling of entitlement. Younger people (16-24) are more gullible but at the same time short fused… they will typically have parents, other families and friends to fall back on, so are more likely to tell them where to go. Older people without that family-lifeline are more likely to then consider jumping through hoops just to pay their bills.

      Universal Jobmatch

      December 17, 2014 at 5:16 pm

  8. #FOI Watch: DWP says “no mandatory” requirement to sign any forms on DWP Help to Work or Back to Work schemes

    Posted on 17/12/2014 by http://www.refuted.org.uk

    A new page http://refuted.org.uk/donotsign/ has been created to cover the important topic of why “There is no mandatory requirement for individuals to sign specific forms when participating in Back to Work (BtW) schemes, including Help to Work (HtW)”

    http://refuted.org.uk/2014/12/17/donotsignforms/
    ——————————————————————————————————————-

    #DoNotSign

    Below are resources of why it is not a requirement to sign any DWP Back to Work (BtW) and Help to Work (HtW) schemes forms, usually from DWP Providers/Contractors. You can also find related posts on specific schemes http://refuted.org.uk/category/donotsign/ and earlier archive of the #DoNotSign(dot)com website https://web.archive.org/web/20130501113339/http://www.donotsign.com/

    FOI Watch: “There is no mandatory requirement for individuals to sign specific forms when participating in Back to Work (BtW) schemes, including Help to Work (HtW) ” https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/sign_here_or_face_benefit_sancti#incoming-597125

    Back to work schemes and Help to Work schemes
    ◾Skills Conditionality
    ◾Sector-based work academy
    ◾Work experience
    ◾New Enterprise Allowance
    ◾Mandatory Work Activity
    ◾The Work Programme
    ◾Community Work Placements
    ◾Attending the Jobcentre every day
    ◾Intensive Jobcentre support

    Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit back to work schemes https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jobseekers-allowance-back-to-work-schemes

    Help to Work: nationwide drive https://www.gov.uk/government/news/help-to-work-nationwide-drive-to-help-the-long-term-unemployed-into-work

    http://refuted.org.uk/donotsign/
    ———————————————————————————————————————

    DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
    Annex A

    e-mail: [email address].
    gov.uk

    Our Ref: VTR 5063

    DATE: 17 December 2014
    Annex A

    Dear Mr Frank Zola,

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 20 November 2014. You asked:

    (a) Can you provide information you hold that says which back-to-work (btw) and help-
    to-work (htw) schemes include forms that providers use/created that require participant
    to sign or be subject to benefit sanctions for not signing such provider forms or
    documents.
    (b) As well as information you hold that says btw or htw providers cannot make it a
    benefit condition requirement for participants to sign any btw or htw provider forms or
    document.
    (c) Also for btw and htw please provide information on DWP/Jobcentre used/created
    forms or documents participants are required to sign as a condition of benefit
    entitlement.
    (d) And information you hold that says for btw or htw schemes the DWP/Jobcentre
    cannot make it a benefit condition requirement for participants to sign any btw or htw
    DWP/Jobcentre forms or document.

    There is no mandatory requirement for individuals to sign specific forms when participating in
    Back to Work (BtW) schemes, including Help to Work (HtW).

    Participants who do not undertake reasonable activity to move toward employment may risk losing their benefit. A sanction on Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit may occur as a consequence of a claimant failing to participate in BtW schemes. The referral letters and placement letter make this clear.

    Failure to participate in BtW schemes and HtW could result in Jobseeker’s
    Allowance and National Insurance credits not being paid (or being paid at a reduced rate,
    depending on the claimant’s circumstances).

    I enclose a link to Back to Work Schemes: Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit, which provides details on all our BtW schemes and further information about benefit sanctions, page 23-26.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/365891/jsabws1
    -oct14.pdf

    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
    above.

    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Strategy FoI Team

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/240158/response/597125/attach/html/2/FoI%205063.pdf.html

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm

  9. i have never signed anything from a provider for the last 8 years and thus not had to stay and do any of it and the jcp cant do jack shit about it.

    as soon as the provider knows there not going to get there paper work signed they want you out of the place fast as possible so there other stock dont clock on and do the same.

    just keep proof that you did turn up bus tickets ect and you will win any sanction doubt for non attendance they will try and dole out and i have won every singe one of them..

    the only thing that is mandatory is they want paying for nothing and can do what they like commit fraud and the dwp let them get away with it every single time.

    super ted

    December 17, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    • Too right, ted… I have told ’em to fuck off, then someone else has told ’em to fuck, and then you see the others who were just about to their shit putting their pens down and wondering what is going on… then you can see the panic on the provider bastards faces 😀

      Working Links are fucking SCUM!!

      December 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    • Don’t sign jack shit = the bastards don’t get paid 😀

      Working Links are fucking SCUM!!

      December 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      • the wp got there fee of 400 from me as it was an upfront payment from the dwp and not sure on my mwa as i was sent a sanction on near the same date they were to get there fee from the prap system 3 weeks in to it.

        i should send a foi request to see if the fees were paid if any and if they were i have a loaded gun to the jcp/dwp head as out right fraud.

        to date i have never had a sanction doubt from the jcp staff all so far are sanctions from providers head offices.

        super ted

        December 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      • wp gets an upfront fee but mwa/cwp fuckers such as learn direct do not get their fee until they can prove to the dwp that you have started the placement…. as minimum they have to prove that you have signed the health and safety waiver… if you don’t sign any of their ‘mandatory’ lol 😀 shit they ain’t getting paid…. 😉

        Workfare Resistance Information Network (WRIN)

        December 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    • This reply to this FOI request wil come in very handy. My “adviser” has just done a Claimant Commitment with me and said that I would have to make more effort to get a job next year. When I pointed out that I already do all that I can he said that I would have to do things differently, stupid idiot. He also threatened to put me on loads of courses next year, so he can just kiss my arse. He also said that he’s going to make me use the computers in the Jobcentre to search for work. Since I refuse to grant access to my UJ account I will simply follow Gaia’s advice in his previous postings and search without logging in to any websites that need a password.
      To Superted a question: You were kind enough to answer a query of mine a little while ago. When you attended a meeting with a provider I assumed that you signed an attendance register due to health & safety / fire regulations, to show that you actually attended, or would that have counted as signing a provider’s document that they could use against you? When you declined to sign any other documents did they just send you away immediately or did they have you come back on subsequent days before they finally decided to get rid of you. I ask beause I would have to buy day tickets which I assume would eventually be refunded by the provider and might come to a large sum.
      As regards my CC no reference is made to apply for a minumum number of jobs and / or actions weekly. In addition to my preferred work options they added cleaning and retail which apparently is a default setting for all jobseekers even if they don’t want to do it, oh, and all jobs that I am capable of doing. It says that “I will be available for all types of work”, “I will seek and apply for all types of work that give me the best prospects of securing employment” ,”I am available to work for any hours on any day for at least 40 hours per week” , “I know I must do everything I reasonably can ,each week, to give myself the best prospects of securing employment”. Apparently these statements are included on all CCs and cannot be changed by an “adviser”.

      ben

      December 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      • no i refused to sign anything tho if for hs sake id print my name in the fire book when i arrived and that was it they will shove there contracts in ur face first to get that out the way any way to get there fee, hs to them is just a joke and i have never been shown round a providers office for years now ill find my own fire exit out the dump lol.

        if you do go and they refuse ur bus fair and demand you sign this and that point out they have to pay it and you do not need to sign anything and show you took the cheapest means of travel to get there and show them ur fair ticket.

        some providers will pay up say if going to job search at provider and some will not either way if you refuse to sign there contracts they will try a sanction for non attendance anyway even if you did go just keep proof that you showed up on said date.

        in the past some providers lifted my sig from the book at the front desk when arriving so print do not sign in it.

        if provider does not give you the fair to get there and you win a sanction doubt id complain to the jcp to refund you as the provider refused to give it to you and winning the sanction proves you did go they not got a leg to stand on 😉

        super ted

        December 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm

  10. Reblogged this on wyre forest labourblogger.

    labourblogger

    December 17, 2014 at 10:07 pm

  11. More information on revised (cancelled sanction doubts):-

    Cancelled decisions
    43. In specific circumstances, a case referred and input to DMAS can be cancelled
    without the LM doubt being decided.
    44. The DMAS decision notification, detailing the reason for cancellation, should be
    sent to the originating Jobcentre or provider. If there is any action to be taken this
    should be detailed on the template as this allows any training requirements to be
    addressed.
    45. Further information concerning cancelling cases on DMAS is available within the
    DMAS Procedural Guidance.

    In brief:-

    1) Sanction Doubt referral made in error where it should have never been made, including where there is no current claim to benefit or the claimant failed to participate (FTP) in an adviser interview (or intervention) where it should have been classified as “straightforward” (whatever that means!)

    2) Claimant stopped claiming JSA before they (would have) committed the sanction offence. (For example, “sanction dodging” or “claim cycling”)

    3) If incomplete referrals are received by LMDM (Decision Maker) such as not completed, without adequate evidence or wrong details; (and details are unable to be found/referral revised or Decision Maker too lazy and cannot be bothered to request the balance of incorrect or incomplete referral to be resubmitted)

    4) If a Decision Maker returns, reject or requests further information and 10 calendar days have elapsed without a response (and where they cannot find out the information from another source)

    5) If Jobcentre Plus staff chases up the sanction doubt referral and requests it to be cancelled

    6) Claimant notifies their reasons for failing to participate (“raises” an enquiry) and no evidence exists for that scheme in LMS (Labour Market System) (such as WP05 etc)

    7) Sanction doubt referral is a duplicate

    8) If unable to delete a case entered on DMAS in error

    9) If referral contains the wrong AR code and the LMDM (Decision maker) is unable to establish the correct code to make amendments

    10) The claimant left employment voluntarily or by misconduct (i.e. gross misconduct) but period of employment did not immediately precede their JSA claim (How long before its not immediate?)

    11) Self Imposed Deductions (or “time off benefit”) exceeds length of sanction AND the LMDM (Decision Maker) to check for the opportunity to escalate the length of sanctions if previous sanctions exist of the same level

    12) As DMAS doesn’t have the functionality to allow reserved JSA/249 decisions, reconsideration for a decision maker to impose an adverse decision fails as the jobseeker is no longer signing on.

    13) No requirement to make a decision cases of JSA credits only

    14) A Failure to Attend (FTA) referral is received for attending at the wrong time on the right day and no ES19 issued (which is a warning letter, you will have to sign for. Basically a get out of jail card on that occasion – except Jobcentre to bend the rules however).

    15) LV (Left Voluntarily) or misconduct sanction doubt referral where the claimants was employed on a Zero Hour contract and the Jobcentre knew about this at the time the claimant was sanctioned (ES84/85 amended for this)

    16) All RE (Refusal of Employment) sanction doubt referrals for failure or refusing to apply for a zero hours contract vacancy “should” also be cancelled

    Obviously, this list above is subject to discretion, intelligence and targets.

    Universal Jobmatch

    December 17, 2014 at 11:43 pm

  12. Meanwhile, IDS laughs as Labour loses debate on Bedroom Tax:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-debate-recap-labour-4826418

    IDS is not the only one laughing. The owners of the “Bellgrove Hotel”, a squalid place condemned some time time ago, and described recently as WORSE THAN A SOVIET GULAG, are laughing all the way to the bank when each of their clients hand over £800.00 pounds a month in Housing Benefit for the privilege of living in that hell hole:

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/hellish-homeless-hostel-exposed-daily-4829723

    Tobanem

    December 18, 2014 at 10:22 am

    • SACK IAIN DUNCAN SMITH…RIGHT NOW. HE IS ONE SICK BASTARD.

      Watch moment Iain Duncan Smith LAUGHS during Bedroom Tax debate sparking outrage .

      As MPs told stories of how their most vulnerable constituents had been affected by the tax, the Tory minister was spotted grinning like a “Cheshire cat”

      Iain Duncan Smith laughs as he is accused of ignoring the stress the Bedroom Tax is causing

      Mr Robertson said: “The one thing that we can tell from the honourable gentlemen who are having a wee chat amongst themselves… This perhaps is exactly the problem with this government. They sit and have their little chats because they’re bored with the talk of people on this side trying to help them.

      “And they can say whatever they like, that is how it looks to me.”

      Labour MP Jack Dromey described the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions as “grinning like a Cheshire cat”, while viewers took to Twitter to agree and voice their disgust.

      Russell Corbett tweeted that while the result of the vote was not surprising, Mr Duncan Smith’s behaviour showed how “evil” he was.

      While Ed, branded the minster a scumbag, posting: “Dim-witted sociopath Iain Duncan Smith laughs as he hears stories of vulnerable people he has driven to suicide. He is absolute scum. #IDS”

      The Lib Dems were criticised for voting with the Tories, as with their votes Labour would have been successful in getting the tax abolished.

      The Bedroom Tax debate was not the first time Mr Duncan Smith has appeared to laugh off misfortune of others.

      Almost exactly a year ago, he sneered at the plight of hungry families forced to rely on food banks.

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-iain-duncan-smith-laugh-4829195

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      December 18, 2014 at 1:15 pm

  13. Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 18, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    • IDS gets rapped again by experts

      https://uk.news.yahoo.com/dwp-rapped-over-benefit-cap-claims-111050250.html

      Remember people, if you can disprove one thing a person in power says, people will question everything they say.

      so adding together all the times the likes of IFS and such like statistical experts have pulled up IDS s claims would mean its safe to assume, the public doesn’t trust him as a man let alone a politician.

      gaia

      December 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      • I was trying to find Lisa Nandy MP’s (Labour) contribution on scrapping the Bedroom Tax debate in the House of Commons yesterday.

        My god she laid everything out in the open whilst addressing IDS and his muppets, everything from Jobcentre adviser’s sanctioning targets to the bedroom tax to foodbanks.

        This was the first time I had seen her in full attack mode and she was incredibly fantastic, she took no prisoners.

        One to watch.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        December 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      • Yesterday, the Labour Party proposed a motion in Parliament saying:-

        “This House believes that the housing benefit social sector size criteria, otherwise known as the bedroom tax, should be abolished with immediate effect.”

        The motion was defeated by 298 votes to 266, thanks to Conservative and Lib Dem MPs, who voted against.
        Amongst them were the Suffolk MP’s Ben Gummer, Dan Poulter, Matthew Hancock and David Ruffley.
        (Thérèse Coffey was a teller for the No’s)

        Andrew Coates

        December 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      • Yeah, Ben Gummer has a very anti-poor stance.

        I have an article pending listing Ben’s record – and it doesn’t read well.

        Very harsh on low incomes – including unemployed, homeless, the young, struggling families, those on zero hour contracts/underemployed and the disabled – but seems so much leniency to those earning substantial monies including voting strongly against increasing tax rate for £150k+ earners and banker bonus tax.

        There isn’t very many people in his constituency that earns in that bracket

        Universal Jobmatch

        December 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm

  14. … 👿 Mind Control Cults 👿

    Evil Films Present...

    December 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    • WE should all follow the sound advice of Sandra Lambert regional manager of 149 jobcentres.

      Johnny comments that she “seems to spend most of her day tweeting ‘inspirational’ claptrap from her feed @CEDirector_WSD”

      @CEDirector_WSD
      Follow

      Life is too short to hide your feelings. Don’t be afraid to say what you feel. Speak from the heart ❤️
      10:09 PM – 6 Oct 2014

      Success comes in cans, and not in cant’s.
      9:32 PM – 16 Dec 2014

      And other Jobcentre managers:

      Claire Hindson @ClaireHindson1
      Follow

      Are you 10 out of 10 today on the can of inspiration? Let’s be there everyday & work as a team to aim high and always believe we can exceed
      7:32 PM – 12 Dec 2014

      Jason Whaley @Teamtime357
      Follow

      Fizz bombs – full of energy, buzzing with passion, want to make the change and explode with desire to make it happen. Are you a ‘fizz bomb’
      7:19 PM – 14 Nov 2014

      Jean Sharpe DWP @JeanSharpe
      Follow

      Just a little more self belief…..the rewards are world class motivation..keep the belief…remember we believe.. I BELIEVE!
      9:48 PM – 18 Nov 2014

      I won’t spoil everyone’s enjoyment: the original is here,

      http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/pauline-got-promoted-dwp-management-psychobabble-is-turning-jobcentres-into-cults/

      Andrew Coates

      December 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    • Work Programme = Mind Control cult…. be your best buddy… trick you into signing your legal rights away… get to know you: “tell me about yourself”, obtain information, identify your weak spots… offer you something for ‘free’ “coffee/hot chocolate/water/memory stick… infantalise you by giving you by giving childish tasks to do such as building towers from jelly and ice-cream… then turn ‘nasty’… threaten you with withdrawal of your benefits if you don’t comply… humiliate, demean and co-coerce you into giving them what they want… play mind games on you… make you depressed/suicidal….

      Freud

      December 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm

  15. […] Originally posted on Ipswich Unemployed Action.: […]

  16. Bedroom Tax: Did your MP vote for or against hated charge?

    How did your MP vote? – My twat of an MP voted for it!

    Here is a full list of how MPs voted today – did yours say Aye or Noe?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-your-mp-vote-4830243

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 19, 2014 at 10:20 am

  17. More decadence

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-30536389

    I think the real crime here is it contributed to the worst week in A&Es.

    gaia

    December 19, 2014 at 11:36 am

  18. If you are receiving DLA, and you are asked by the council or other if you would like what they call a free bus pass, don’t take the bus pass for if you do your DLA will be stopped because of it, it will be “if you can walk to the bus stop you don’t need DLA”

    enigma

    December 19, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    • Nice tip.

      In a way its fair play, after all travel is intended to be included within the mobility component of DLA. However, offering a free bus pass is a nasty trick to trip disabled people up – after all it being offered and not requested/applied for – many people simply are unable to say “no” and feel like they must take it. Salespersons love this sort of person. Of course, others only really say “no” – the sort of people salespersons do not like.

      Universal Jobmatch

      December 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      • I ALWAYS SAY NO TO SALESPERSONS. I THEN TELL THEM THAT THEY ARE TALKING ”BAT SH-T

        NORTHOLT

        December 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    • ASSESSMENT CENTRES TOO HAVE CCTV AROUND THEM. YOU ARE GIVEN A ROUTE MAP FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT [TELLING] GIVING THE ROUTE TO TAKE. IF YOU KNOW A SHORTER ROUTE IT IS BEST NOT USING THAT AND GO BY THE ONE YOU ARE GIVEN.

      NORTHOLT

      December 20, 2014 at 6:38 am

  19. I missed this one when it happened, but have a look at this:

    Dennis Skinner MP is on great form here.

    Published on 28 Nov 2014.

    Dennis Skinner MP Calls George Osborne a Cokehead, this is a reference to George Osborne’s interlude with Natalie Rowe and cocaine as published in The News of the World at the time.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 19, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    • What “amazes” me about the commons is, how some statements (“unparliamentary language”) must be taken back, otherwise the MP gets expelled from the house, and others (more so in PMQs etc) are allowed, without being questioned.

      Universal Jobmatch

      December 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm

  20. If someone with accountancy skills ever added up all the bureaucracy cost, both private and DWP of all the paperwork and wages, including the existence of the Jobcentre itself, I bet it would have added substantially to national debt.
    Bearing in mind Atos did not pay corporation tax some years.

    The Greens have a compassionate set of policies on thier website, which they have not put in their 2015 manifesto for the general election, that entirely replaces the cruel benefits regime with a univeral and automatic set of money they call a Citizen Income, without asking if in work or actively seeking work. You just get it. But the Leader of The Greens Ms Natalie Bennett is not interested.
    Bearing in mind such automatic citizenship money includes a supplement to those living alone and so facing the bills without a partner, and for the disabled.

    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    Neither are The Greens interested in their policy on their website, again not on their 2015 manifesto, that would save lives of those over 60, who, with the raised retirement age and the biggest con in UK history of the flat rate pension, face NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE for women born from 1953 and men born from 1951.

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    Out here are people 60, nil state pension, equally liable for benefit sancitons even if chronic sick and/or disabled (can be both multiply), nil benefit disabled / chronic sick, unable to work yet denied benefit, and with an average of only 4 per cent lowest income of works pension from the early retirement in lieu of redundancy from the austerity job cuts that will now double with state spending due to fall to 1930s levels (so before the 1945 welfare state) to about 2 million.

    For about half the population, there are no political parties that are not an enemy to basic survival of all ages, bearing in mind that 97 per cent of all benefit goes to the working poor and poor pensioners (the 2.6 million only on the state pension and so far, far below the breadline).

    The denied state pension is sitting pretty in a full and ring fenced National Insurance Fund, and being called a surplus since last year.

    So the cost of the state pension at 60 since 2013 would be nil, whilst the taxpayer is paying about the same money to each and every MP in 2015 as an 11 per cent pay rise, whilst denying other public sector workers any pay rise at all.

    Even someone turning 80 in 2016 will not get the tiny top up to a part basic not full state tiny pension, when that can be their own pension, as they were too poor for any other pension or have the opportunity.
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    Chris

    December 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

  21. Andrew Coates

    December 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    • Andrew – I beat you to it by posting a link yesterday (December 18, at 10:22am) which included the same video clip of IDS and his insensitive scoffing!

      Is that the NADIR of the nasty party? What will be the NADIR of the nasty party? We are seeing and hearing things daily now which are getting lower and lower! Just how low will it get – especially in the last desperate days of this present government?

      Tobanem

      December 19, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      • I was assessing readers’ watching skills for a Blog capacity assessment!

        Andrew Coates

        December 20, 2014 at 11:07 am

  22. OT

    SEXTORTION – Victims TOLD (not asked) to COMMIT SUICIDE

    Although off topic, the subject of SEXTORTION will ring a bell with regular readers of this blog after the recent comments about benefit claimants being asked if they have committed suicide yet by Work Capability assessors.

    In sextortion, an increasing crime which has hundreds of thousands of victims, people are blackmailed and some are TOLD to commit suicide:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30494566

    Tobanem

    December 19, 2014 at 6:31 pm

  23. Plan to help over-50s keep working

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30559219

    But according to advisors I spoke to in the past, ageism doesn’t exist , its a myth, an excuse.
    Well well well, if this isn’t a turn of events.

    Notice how the tories were clever enough to choose the phrase stereotypes over ageism, a same change of phrase like when they chose enhanced interrogation over the wording torture?

    gaia

    December 20, 2014 at 8:58 am

    • Is it me or does this sound like a fresh round of skills conditionality courses?

      I particularly liked a comment that has strangely now been removed by the BBC that said these fifty somethings wanted a career change which is odd as it conflicts with human nature. Basically humans by nature tend to stick to familiarity rather than change so unless they worked in a pit all their life I cant really see nor believe this is the case, certainly not on any majority basis implying its DWP that really wants the career change which we all know why.

      In the re-edited article they make mention of law change and where Mc Vile says she doesn’t believe its necessary, trust a tory to protect those that fund their party. The picture is this, businesses wear the pants, not government so no amount of visiting and talking will change this bar yet more tax payer funded handouts and savings which for the record they tried with the 50 plus apprentice scheme that dive bombed.

      Also for the record and one IDS cannot deny, they have been looking at statistics since day one in office so knew of this problem from the get go so forgive me for saying the help comes a day late and a dollar short especially if we are talking saving the tax payers money as It would imply the tories have cost this country (2011 to 2015) a loss of 200 billion towards the economy, yet todate make no apology for it.

      gaia

      December 20, 2014 at 11:04 am

      • Interesting comment, “gaia”.

        Not all older people conform to human nature by sticking to familiarity as you put it.

        The following is from one of the commentators on that BBC story who did otherwise. (Note the vote of no confidence in Jobcentres etc and their ‘uman resource box-tickers, but also note the same commentator would likely still be festering on the Jobcentre regime of “skills conditionality courses” (as you put it) if emigration had not been an option):

        “I lost my job here at the age of 61. I got so fed up with “job” centres and getting no where finding a new job. Young “kids” interviewing me with contempt.
        I went to live in South America – worked for about 10 years & added another language to my CV, now 4 – I would NOT subject myself to modern ‘uman resource box tickers ever again.
        I have been computer “literate” for about 40 years”.

        Mind you, most unemployed people do not have emigration as an option!!

        Tobanem

        December 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

  24. How has IDS hung on to his job?

    AFTER watching Iain Duncan Smith squirming and bluffing his way through an interview on the Sunday Politics show, I can’t help but wonder just how this incompetent excuse for a Government minister has managed to hang on to his job.

    It was painfully obvious to anyone watching that this man is a walking disaster zone.

    Universal credit, housing benefit, PIPs etc etc have all turned into fiascos which have cost the taxpayer millions of pounds and brought misery to thousands of people throughout the country, and reaffirmed the accusation that the Tories always have and always will be the nasty, uncaring party of British politics, who look after the rich.

    We can only hope that the great British public have seen over the last four years exactly what a Tory Government stands for, and, more than that, what another term in office will mean for our country.

    M Mcardle,

    http://www.shieldsgazette.com/opinion/your-letters/how-has-ids-hung-on-to-his-job-1-7011459

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    December 20, 2014 at 10:20 am

  25. WHISTLEBLOWER – MORE DEATH DEALS

    At a time when only 1.6% of former IB claimants are getting a job through the Work Programme, A4E introduce cost-cutting measures which are putting the vulnerable at serious risk of death.

    A former employee and whistleblower who was dismissed by A4E said: “…the company’s new policy could lead to the deaths of vulnerable claimants”:

    http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/12/work-programme-provider-a4e-put-lives-risk-cost-cutting-move/

    Tobanem

    December 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

  26. You would be better off with Ben Dover lol 😀

    Porno

    December 21, 2014 at 10:06 am

  27. What has Universal Job match being doing with the comments box?

    Andrew Coates

    December 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm


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