Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Universal Jobmatch: Not Good Enough for Civil Service Jobs!!!

with 369 comments

Ironic isn’t it? The Government ploughs millions of pounds of taxpayers money into ‘developing’ Universal Jobmatch by tendering it out to Monster who modified their pretty-poor job board (no, not the one they use for monster.co.uk, one even worse than that!) into “DirectGov” colours, just to add functionality of CV upload and tracking for jobseekers.

They replaced the ‘jobpoints’ with computers to enforce the use of Universal Jobmatch, no work coach mentions the words “job board” nowadays… the new buzz word is “Universal Jobmatch” (emphasis on new, its not new by a long chalk, excuse the pun!) and they are overly proud of this despite this matching “technology” being widely used for the last 10 years – back then the average broadband connection speed was just 512 kbit. The average Ipswich 3G speed is 4 times that. If advisers do not mention the DWP’s website 30 times an hour, they don’t get paid… (or that is what you could reasonably presume)

Except, that new “Work Coach” you see (unless you have that dinosaur hanging on until he or she can cash in their pension) more-than-likely got their job from the Civil Service Resourcing website.


 

The Civil Service knows that Universal Jobmatch is crap, which explains why they have additionally purchased the right to use identical functionality e-recruitment software called WCN-Public from WCN (or Worlds Career Network).

It doesn’t stop there, they provide a long range of e-recruitment solutions to the public sector from Government departments to police, colleges, fire services and even councils. Which raises the question of “Why didn’t they get WCN to do Universal Jobmatch?” (even if Universal Jobmatch was just a “friendly name” for WCN-Public software on that website)

Or even, my original question… Why is the Civil Service and these other departments not using Universal Jobmatch for their recruitment solutions? Keeping in mind that the website cost around £17m to produce (for Monster to customise the skin/look/design a little) and around £6m a year to host.

Universal Jobmatch is so last-gen…  WCN-Public is a “Next Generation Human Resources” (NGHR as an acronym) ” initiative for Government.  Is the Government looking to replace Universal Jobmatch already? Could NGHR be a pilot for whats to come?

For this money, DWP has universaljobmatch.co.uk but has never used this domain for the website… not even a redirect! Some adviser at Ipswich Jobcentre Plus was directing some unemployed person who was enquiring about benefits, and just improvised the address, basically… “Make sure you ring up today to make sure you get some money coming in. If you phone today your claim will start today.” (really good customer service… where could it go wrong?) “You should search for work on Universal Jobmatch…” (confidence dipping a bit, err… as the customer was writing it down) “www [pause] dot  [pause] uni-versal  [pause] job [pause] match  [pause] “. The man who spoke little English was a little surprised, expecting further words… (me too!) they have no idea the website address, surprised they didn’t just say “search for universal jobmatch in Google”. Would have been more correct.

WCN Public

From WCN’s website…

WCN is the leading supplier of Public Sector e-Recruitment systems, working with many clients over our 15 year history, including HM Revenue & Customs, Hampshire County Council, DFID (Department for International Development), Welsh Assembly Government plus many Universities, Police Forces and Fire and Rescue Services. WCN also provides the e-Recruitment technology for UK Central Government via the Next Generation Human Resources (NGHR) initiative working with organisations such as the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Work & Pensions.

Features include:-

  • Job posting to Intranet or Internet (or other sites)
  • Job specific online application forms
  • Vacancy authorisation process
  • Candidate ability to search and apply for vacancies
  • Candidate alerts
  • Talent banking
  • Standard pre-screen functionality including mandatory questions
  • Password protected candidate communication centre
  • CV uploading facility
  • Flag agency candidates
  • Selection panel functionality
  • Reference functionality
  • Calendar integration
  • Reporting suite, with ability to create own reports and download to Excel
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369 Responses

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  1. Just as a comment – any anti-migrant posts (you know what I am referring to) get you immediate expulsion.

    We will not tolerate any racism here!

    Andrew Coates

    January 4, 2015 at 10:29 am

    • What did ‘a police officer’ say?

      Jeremy 'I am not a racist' Clarkson

      January 7, 2015 at 11:42 am

      • I am not a racist either, but… 🙂

        Adolf Hitler

        January 7, 2015 at 11:44 am

      • Me neither…… 😀

        Nigel 'send the darkies home' Farage

        January 7, 2015 at 11:47 am

      • ee or ee or ee or ?

        WPP

        January 12, 2015 at 8:49 am

  2. The article states that the Department for Work and Pensions is investigating 60 claimant suicides with possible connections to benefit sanctions. It continues: “This week the [Commons] work and pensions select committee will hold its first oral evidence session for its inquiry into benefits sanctions policy following last year’s limited Oakley review

    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/01/04/mainstream-media-wakes-up-to-benefit-sanctions-death-toll/

    enigma

    January 4, 2015 at 11:24 am

    • Sadly, these things are always investigated too late and I have big concerns about the depth such oral evidence hearings will go into and the result…

      The select committee seems to rant and rave, the Government seems to ignore their advice all the time and they are unlikely to do anything to prevent IDS’ plans to implement a lot of changes before the General Election.

      Reminds me a little of the Public Accounts Committee with that Margaret Hodge MP which also has its fair share of hypocrisy, criticising big businesses over lack-of-tax paid when her own family business Stemcor reportedly had £2.1bn revenues, profits of £65m, and only paid £157,000 Corporation Tax. But lets not get too much into that…

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 4, 2015 at 11:52 am

      • Yes already the number 60 comes from DWP, we all know that number of deaths due to the reform is nonsense.

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 4:07 pm

  3. So a lot of people are not seeing every job that becomes available and instead are seeing jobs that don’t exist, zero hour and the likes of.

    enigma

    January 4, 2015 at 11:32 am

    • Well, there are a lot of unnecessary “red tape” but it needs to be balanced with regard to labour rights and privilege (i.e. if an employer want to employ someone to make them profits, they need to play ball…).

      In this day and age, a regional registration for non-casual and employment that lasts more than a month (or plans to last more than a month) should be undertaken. Back-in-the-day this would be unworkable and expensive, but with a digital system it could be manageable and would allow regulation around discrimination as all filled jobs would require NI number where statistics on gender, race, disability etc. can be rendered from. HMRC already requires employers to record employee starts (quite obviously…) and the amount of time and effort spent by employers in drafting a job description, person specification, short listing, interviewing etc. it wouldn’t take up a considerable amount of time to do so.

      Of course, with something like Universal Jobmatch its a positive thing as it would probably be integrated with one another, but at least there would be real jobs available.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm

  4. Reblogged this on Universal Jobmatch and commented:
    Surprise, Surprise. Many of the “Work Coaches” ranting about using Universal Jobmatch for your jobsearch applied for theirs through a different system entirely.

    Despite spending £17m of taxpayers money giving the old site the ability to upload a CV, and very basic skill matching amongst a few others, and the cost of £6m a year to keep it running, the Civil Service and various other public sector bodies actually use a different e-recruitment system from WCN. No details of how much this cost the taxpayer is available in the public domain.

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 4, 2015 at 11:39 am

  5. The fact that the civil service and other government departments are not using Universal Jobmatch for their recruitment solutions should come as no real surprise to any of us. It’s the old, old story. One set of rules/regs for them, and another set of oppressive rules/regs for the rest of us proletariat-scumbags.

    Universal Jobmatch was founded on the premise of spying on the unemployed. About forcing us into applying for unsuitable vacancies. Checking to see if we had. Checking to see if we had turned down a suitable employment offer without good reason [?] And then sanctioning the tits off us if we hadn’t applied, or if we had refused a so-called reasonable job offer.

    Just one problem, though. They failed to take into account the DPA, which means they can’t get access to your Jobmatch account without your consent. And they can’t contact an employer to check to see if you’ve applied for a job because that would contravene the DPA.

    jj joop

    January 4, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    • So really, what’s the fucking point of it all!

      jj joop

      January 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    • I found it ironic with the DWP especially. I think I might use it as a defence… “Why don’t you use Universal Jobmatch to recruit your own staff? (IF its that good)

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      • But they tell their staff to set up an account so they can show customers how to use it

        GR

        January 7, 2015 at 9:00 am

  6. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    January 4, 2015 at 12:29 pm

  7. It’s obvious when looking at Stephen hulse’s experience on the supervised job search that the providers are not providing what they should be providing as stated in the Guidance, yet another waste of time for those on the supervised job search, of course the providers will try and get as many people on it for their own interest. I done a quick search for ATS as Stephen stated that this is the provider but to no avail.

    Supervised job search already a failure.

    enigma

    January 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm

  8. dont forget if you are sent to a provider for 35hr a week job searching they will need there paper work signed to get past the dpa so dont sign anything. but will still take part, in what i dunno. ask for it in righting.

    not that you will do 35 hrs a week there anyway prob 9-12 n will be set free its just more cash for no service like the wp and all b4 it.

    also they can not mandate you to use ujm at a providers office or force you to apply for work on there pcs.

    id just jot down the jobs you find there and apply for them at home and cant do jack about it.

    ill prob never get sent on it as no provider will have me in there office any more

    super ted

    January 4, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    • Super ted

      Does the same thing apply for the supervised job search (signing paper work at the start) I don’t know if they sign paper work for the supervised job search at the jobcentre.

      enigma

      January 4, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      • Just so I know so that I can tell all those who come into the food bank or anyone else I know.

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      • providers are 3rd party’s so will need there paper work filled in when you first go.

        jcp however will not need this and can mandate you to use ujm on a iad in the jcp.

        dpa still apply s and you do not have to enter your personal data on the iad in the jcp and do like i said above look for jobs but apply at home.

        now if ur jcp has wifi and you have ur phone say to look for work on i cant see them being able to do anything about it tbh cos the mandate says use a iad for work search at the jcp that’s it.

        id still not trust there wifi tho but i have not used it so do not know if you have to tick a t,a,c b4 you use it. but they will be able to monitor all the sites you use on it, i have ubiquiti wifi at home and the software can do this it comes with, can even set up pp accounts so ppl can pay to use it pmsl.

        super ted

        January 4, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      • Stephen has probably signed paper work before starting the supervised job search, can he do anything about it?

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      • i think there was a template letter that was for the wp that removed permission under the dpa but its more of a pita if you have signed it all already.

        after you sign its more of getting out of a contract with a 3rd party provider and each 1 will be diff way of dealing with it.

        gaia is the one to ask about this tho but not seen him for a bit.

        i take it he at provider and not jcp also i thought the spv job search was for just 6 weeks anyway??

        super ted

        January 4, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      • There aren’t any computers, kitchen facilities etc so he can do something about that at least.

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      • He is at a provider named ATS, the supervised job search is 13 weeks, I heard.

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      • wtf how the hell can he even look for work then at the place do they even have any toilets for them to use or just staff only.

        id have a fkn field day with them as what are they getting there fee for store human beings in a office is an utter joke.

        letter to local mp on the utter farce/fraud and complaints to provider and jcp should be in the post, soon shit them up.

        super ted

        January 4, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      • 13 weeks, I heard.

        sounds about right so how are they supervising his job searches then, they cant be doing anything at all at the dump.

        is the office even big enough for the amount off ppl there inc staff.

        sounds like a right shit hole. if you ever get sent to a provider ask to see in righting what they are going to do to help you b4 you will sign anything.

        not that you will get anything lol

        super ted

        January 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      • I know what you mean. it’s all a complete waste of time with those providers.

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      • That’s it, there is nothing at the provider, I have let him know of the guidance for the supervised job search, so he’ll know what to do.

        I know not to sign a anything, but there is a lot of people who will sign because they don’t know what we know.

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      • enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      • looks like 1 i seen get him reword it for the spv ws and see what happens.

        give the staff something to do and stress um out 😉

        thing is every provider i have been to once there they did not talk to the jcp what was happening so after 2 years not at the wp the jcp did not have a clue what happened and thought i went for the 2 years pmsl

        same was with the mwa jcp mandated me to go so i did was told to leave and the jcp found out after the 4 weeks were up that i told them i was sent home from mandatory mwa by provider sanctioned and 1 for non attendance.

        i said to my wc the only thing that is mandatory is you let these providers get away with it every single time over and over again get there fee for doing fuck all and just sanction ppl for it even if you go or dont the end result is the same sanction.

        super ted

        January 4, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      • So a person could just walk out of the providers, (if the JC and P don’t talk) but then they just might talk one day and the person is sanctioned, so your dammed if you don’t and dammed if you do!

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      • when i was sent to mwa the person there told me the jcp should never had sent me in the first place as i was the oldest there but anyway and as i went on the company fb page and kicked off was not allowed to stay after that and asked to leave by the provider saying id not get a sanction doubt.

        near 3 weeks later near the day they get the fee from the pwrap system had a sanction for non attendance from an office in london and did not even have a contact number on it.

        the first letter from the provider was from some place up north and so there was no comms even between the providers there that stupid.

        i then posted my sanction win letters on the company’s fb page and then they had my fb account blocked for it and thats a charity shop for you,they want free slaves and a fee for it on top and kept hush hush about it.

        and i was called a tramp and a reject they did not want at the store on the fb page by some one that worked there.

        so i done enough damage by posting on there page to the point i was not worth the hassle being there so was not asked to sign anything any way.

        and he paid me 10 quid to go as well and not talk to anybody in store and leave.

        super ted

        January 4, 2015 at 8:48 pm

  9. Reblogged this on Benefit tales.

    argotina1

    January 4, 2015 at 6:04 pm

  10. is the main page ever going to be fixed on here? been like it for weeks now lol

    super ted

    January 4, 2015 at 8:09 pm

  11. Senior Jobcentre manager sanctioned for self-flagellation pictures in Star newspaper

    http://refuted.org.uk/author/securingyourrights/

    enigma

    January 4, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    • Sanctioned or sectioned?

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 5, 2015 at 11:17 am

      • I know what you mean.

        enigma

        January 5, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      • It’s well known these days that those who do wrong get away with it because of what position they are in, many whom we know, as some say, “regs for them, different regs for us”

        The US I have never liked, never wanted to go there, I know they think they are better than anyone else which is why I have never been. (who likes people like that)

        enigma

        January 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm

  12. ATS Community Employment Ltd???

    I found it funny when searching Google…

    1 jobs available at ATS Community Employment Ltd

    1 number 1 job search engine, all jobs in one place, search jobs across … employers in the country with one click, jobs at ATS Community Employment Ltd, United … programmes to unemployed adults on the new Supervised Jobsearch Pilot.

    Its a poor coded site so doesn’t check for singular value to avoid plurals (i.e. . 1 job / 2 jobs etc) but the irony was people having to do supervised job search with only one job available. (obviously refers to just one job vacancy at the business being advertised)

    Full job advert (on Universal Jobmatch) …

    ATS Community Employment Ltd
    Lead Mentor
    Job description

    Motivated enthusiastic Lead Mentor required to deliver individualised programmes to unemployed adults on the new Supervised Jobsearch Pilot. Applicants must have previous experience of the Welfare to Work Sector. Duties will involve working with a maximum caseload of 12 unemployed adults creating individualised programmes of up skilling, jobsearching and support. 37.5 hours per week, 8.45am-5.15pm, Monday-Friday.

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    • “up skilling, job searching and support” Stephen isn’t getting any of that. I suspect many on SJS won’t be. it’s no wonder why some people are still unemployed after all those schemes.

      enigma

      January 4, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      • This so called “helped to work” and again with “digital jobcentres” more “help to work” total nonsense.

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      • Esther McVey, said:

        “Every second, Jobcentres across the country are forcing people into work, contributing to record numbers in unemployment. “But as the economy declines and the jobs market changes, so are Jobcentres. Long gone are the days of choice, queuing for your dole will end for everyone will be at work, – and with this digital revolution, the government is doing even more to force people into working for their benefits..”

        How’s that!

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      • meanwhile, “world war 3?

        US and Russia in danger of returning to era of nuclear rivalry

        American threats to retaliate for Russian development of new cruise missile take tensions to new level

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/04/us-russia-era-nuclear-rivalry

        enigma

        January 4, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      • I find it ironic how the US progresses military technology at a really fast rate, yet a large state such as Russia (perhaps nothing compared to the USSR) is expected to keep with old Soviet Union technology… and just die off completely.

        The Americans are truly arrogant bullies around the world and feel they are superior to everyone else in the world, then they wake up to the fact that despite being easily to deceive its country-folk with things like landing on the moon etc. that the Russian submarines might be better technologically advanced and equipped than their own – and the realisation they have more nuclear weapons (and radioactive mines too I believe) than America, good ties with China and North Korea, and big bully Uncle Sam started to panic by sticking a few blimps up to detect such a potential nuclear missile attack.

        I am not worried about a nuclear apocalypse (some people seem to think that one missile would end all life, the past says otherwise…) I just find it rather funny, at this moment in time. Russia isn’t going to nuke America.

        I don’t support Putin or Russia, but big emphasis is the US speaks a sub-dialect of our own language – so we can understand them. Russian, I have no idea and the alphabet is non-latin (A-Z). I don’t think there should be one overall country that dominates the world, and this is why Russia is kicking out and the Americans hating this, they already thought they won through the space race and when the cold war ended.

        The bottom line… World War 3 is probably unlikely, ever. There will be simultaneous international wars made up of coalitions of countries but they wont likely carry such a title. Instead of a big war with many different battles across the globe, it will be a series of overlapping wars and unlikely to be grouped together.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 5, 2015 at 11:16 am

      • “up skilling, job searching and support”

        Problem is the unemployed are competing with the rest of the unemployed, – who are also recieving “up skilling, job searching and support”. So makes very little difference, especially as employers are looking for someone who was doing the exact same job last week.

        The Waste Programme providers all know this, that’s why they won’t invest their own money. If there’s funding they can claim, then you desperately need ‘Employability Training’, if there’s no funding then your employability is fine and you need something else!

        Another Canceled Xmas

        January 5, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      • Well I think its more than that, those who have been unemployed for 3 months, 6 months, 12 months+ are competing with those still in work wanting to advance their career (or change employer) – as you stated – and those leaving uni.

        Its always been a tricky issue – do you tell the employer you can do an immediate start, 48 hours notice or 1-4 weeks (as if you had a notice period)?

        Some skilled unemployed persons are snubbed… where as they are flexible and can start immediately, part of the recruitment timescales is planning in advance allowing time to recruit and for notice periods to be worked.So its not remotely an advantage.

        I am not totally sure i know what “up skilling” is… I mean it seems rather obvious but what can the jobcentre (or any of its providers) do to improve someones skills?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 5, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      • Well I think its more than that
        Yes, I know I left out the competition from the already employed.

        I think some of the reason for the more jobs than jobseekers in places like Cambridge and Guildford will be the long time some Hi-tech jobs will be advertised while the employer hopes to poach someone from a rival company.

        I am not totally sure i know what “up skilling” is
        It’s cobblers, mostly.

        what can the jobcentre (or any of its providers) do to improve someones skills?
        If you mean technical skills, then they take someone with decades of work experience, and upskill them into an unpaid charity shop worker, thereby ending their career.

        They’ve improved my skills in detecting fake jobs, and knowing in advance what a provider or course is up to before they start, does that count?

        Another Canceled Xmas

        January 6, 2015 at 1:15 am

      • I think a word, potentially a profanity, has been removed before the ‘up’ in ‘up skilling’.

        If you mean technical skills, then they take someone with decades of work experience, and upskill them into an unpaid charity shop worker, thereby ending their career.

        Ouch, that is painful to hear but yeah it happens. I can remember New Deal, where everyone here sent to provider YMCA Training had to a stint in the YMCA Charity Shop until they found you a proper placement which never happened. Then they replaced this with just Dencora House detention centre… fulltime job search.

        upskill /ˈʌpskɪl/ verb
        teach (an employee) additional skills.

        Not unless you work for Jobcentre Plus filtering out the bad jobs (we both know that doesn’t happen).

        The dictionary clearly states you can only upskill an employee…

        So in order to “upskill” the person must be…
        – Employed (not a Student or unemployed), and
        – Taught (cannot be “assigned” or “given” a new ability)

        The skill in question must be…

        – Additional (something they don’t already have, i.e. not developing existing skills), and
        – Skill (basically an expertise at doing something (specifically) competent as part of a job)

        By that, I don’t think anyone can upskill anyone, unless its paid on-the-job training, which we both know doesn’t happen these days… employers only develop existing skills, if they do anything like that at all.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 8:42 am

  13. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    January 5, 2015 at 12:06 am

  14. Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog and commented:
    Universal Jobmatch one of the worst pieces if software coding I’ve ever seen. They expect people who may have learning difficulties or anyone come to that to use it with little to no training, my life! I’m lucky enough to be able to pick things up quickly but I struggle with it still. Just another way of putting pressure on people in the hope they fall into the sanction trap a sickeningly dirty ploy of which this is one of thousands.

    Mark Catlin

    January 5, 2015 at 8:02 am

  15. “i was called a tramp and a reject”

    This is the attitude these days.sat through an interview for a job,the manager was going on about about interviewees looking like pikeys’ asking for a bit of rope.it never occurred that people don’t have the money,or how people feel.its terrible to label someone like that,totally unjustified and shows the attitudes of working for working with volunteering organisations’ when labour is on free tap.

    People are being written off coming off the work programme as unworthy too.one good point is blocking universal jobmatch access,its like showing red to a bull.misuse of jobseekers directions’ has resulted giving substantial grounds for comeback.

    ken

    January 5, 2015 at 8:30 am

    • I quite agree Ken, that attitude they have is absolutely appaulling – more disgusting than this intentional misspelling…

      Many employers that complain about staff in such ways are indeed the same employers paying around 25-30% less than the industry average for that particular job role… brings up the saying… “pay peanuts, get monkeys” Or more relevant, the skilled people are likely to well know the industry expectation and spend their time looking around for jobs so will know reasonable salary expectations… and thus wont apply if everyone else is offering more for a like-for-like job position.

      This is why many employers ask for “apply with a CV and covering letter detailing your last jobs salary”, “Apply by sending us a CV with your salary expectations” and more popular… “Pay £26,000 – £34,000 depending on skills and experience”… you know its only by compromise that the business is going to pay much more than the bottom salary guide – that would have to be for the ideal candidate and likely progressive .

      The last jobs I advertised, so many people applying just not to get their benefits stopped or get sanctioned, no one was suitable and thus I did not invite any of them to interview. If an employer still does the random selection or interview based on the “least worst candidates” its going to be bad.

      Its is even more terrible with volunteering… I used to have a job in the charitable/third sector including managing volunteers and what you don’t want is volunteers that cannot be reliable, in a similar way to a job. Its more tricky though with volunteers, they have absolutely no obligation to turn up. You cannot force people to turn up for paid employment either but they are required to for employment and obviously to get paid. It doesn’t matter if someone volunteers for a few hours a month or a few hours a day, its important they reliably turn up (exceptions for illnesses etc) and in return they are treated with respect and appreciated.

      When non-profits get less choosy about its volunteers and don’t appreciate the people volunteering their time (especially when the staff are paid) they will end up getting monkeys. These people are less likely those who want to genuinely volunteer, but those do it solely for something to put on their CV or because the jobcentre said so.

      Jobseeker Directions are getting worse and worse, they are written in the most basic language – not solely clear English but more so than layman’s terms. Words that used to appear such as “must” (except the start) are now “require” or “will”. Everything is worded in such a way, the Claimant Commitment is supposed to be more “flexible” than a Jobseekers Agreement… for who? The jobcentre quite obviously! Tell them you spend an hour looking in shop windows for employment, your Job Coach agrees to put down “2 hours” which seems all dandy until you realise they aren’t being kind but laying traps to screw you over.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 5, 2015 at 10:50 am

  16. Meanwhile, the Observer reports on suicides among benefit sanction victims in austerity Britain:

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/03/benefits-sanctions-leading-suicides-dwp-depression?CMP=twt_gu

    Interesting detail in the comments section after the Observer report; the UN investigation into human rights abuses only relates to disabled people – it does not extend to JSA recipients. The commentator says it is a violation to withdraw basic subsistence from anyone, not just the disabled. Fair point!

    Also note, the BBC fictional “Casualty” series featured a story about malnutrition caused by benefit sanctions – an example of fiction based on fact!

    Tobanem

    January 5, 2015 at 9:35 am

  17. And here is more fact after the fictional “Casualty” series as Tory MP slams BBC for doing Labour’s bidding:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/tory-councillor-mark-winn-says-food-banks-are-only-used-by-those-with-drug-alcohol-and-mental-health-problems-9956609.html

    Tobanem

    January 5, 2015 at 10:20 am

    • Casualty was far running out of ideas. Many many many years ago I used to watch it. They keep repeating story lines and various celebrity extras or cameos having pretty much repeatedly appearing on there in various roles and scenarios.

      It was good for benefit sanctions and subsequent malnutrition to be featured (I didn’t watch it, will have to watch it on iplayer).

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04xwwxn/casualty-series-29-15-next-years-words

      I suppose they needed something to replace The Bill…

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 5, 2015 at 11:30 am

      • Just to point out, I meant on British Telly, not the BBC, The Bill was on ITV. Better pre-empt a possible correction. haha

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 5, 2015 at 11:38 am

  18. Would it help/be useful if I analysed a few sample locations jobs for different days (i.e. Mon-Fri each day a different place) and worked out how many are actually real jobs?

    I think it would be interesting to see whether or not the Government has done anything to reduce the fake employers on Universal Jobmatch.

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 5, 2015 at 1:22 pm

  19. Sounds like fun Uni, you’ll know Ch4 did it by choosing a small town where every business in the area was known and then simply visited them!

    What’s a real job? A simple customer service type job will often get 100s of applications in the first few hours of appearing and a few 1000s by the end of the first week, is that still a ‘vacancy’ at the end of the week, or the end of the 4rd week?

    If ‘vacancies’ where ‘advertised’ on UJ for twice as long, it would double the number of ‘vacancies’ listed there from 600,000 to 1.2 million. OTOH if ‘vacancies’ were removed from UJ after they’d reached 100 applications, it would be empty.

    Another Canceled Xmas

    January 5, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    • Okay, not so fun then!! haha… you raised a really good point as to whether a vacancy is new or old. I planned to see when the job was posted then work it out from there. I could dig further and see whether the “employer” had previously advertised the same job role and determine whether it was likely that a) they couldn’t fill the job, or b) they filled the job and was recruiting more.

      Maybe I haven’t been looking so hard, but the catalogue jobs seem not to be so popular now.

      When filtering through potential jobs from the agency nonsense etc. I noticed company confidential still appears quite frequent. I don’t think no company has the right to request a CV and all your personal contact details without naming who they are. Shame on Jobcentre Plus for forcing jobseekers to apply for those jobs.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 5, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    • There’s a monthly summary on ZOIS.

      I’ve just searched on ipswich as the area, the first few pages seem to have plenty of repeats, christmas jobs and fakes!
      Most company confidentials can be easily traced.

      https://jobsearch.direct.gov.uk/JobSearch/PowerSearch.aspx?redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fjobsearch.direct.gov.uk%2Fhome.aspx&pp=25&pg=1&q=%22Betterware%20Limited%22&sort=rv.dt.di&re=134

      Another Canceled Xmas

      January 5, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      • I did think of mining ZOIS’ Universal Jobmatch archive data. Can be automated quite nicely, got concerns over accuracy in regards to making far too many assumptions via such method

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 5, 2015 at 10:37 pm

  20. Hi guys been there again today and once again no internet so no job search, ended up leaving at about 11 went to job centre did my job search on there computers and within an hour I got an interview. Also got pulled to the side and told that I made a compliant to head manager and not to do again otherwise they would get into trouble.
    I did sign my claimant commitment but doesn’t say about 35 hours jobsearch on it.
    Also am not on ujm so haven’t agreed with anythink there.
    But mostly the key wording is UP TO 35 hours which means if I needed the 35 hours a week then its there.

    Stephen hulse

    January 5, 2015 at 4:39 pm

  21. they put poster up in mine saying no food and drink allowed on site so come summer n fkn boiling you cant even have a bottle of water.

    I made a compliant to head manager and not to do again otherwise they would get into trouble.

    id have said no 2 in the post 😉 and no 3 will not be far behind that 😉

    super ted

    January 5, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    • I know what you mean super ted, as you know a lot of people won’t complain.

      enigma

      January 5, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      • Or take their complaint all the way.

        enigma

        January 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    • This “supervised job search” should be in the news, gov’s new help to work programme, 35hour, without computers, kitchen facilities etc

      enigma

      January 5, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      • Just about to send provider this

        http://refuted.org.uk/2013/10/12/withhold/

        Brilliant

        Stephen hulse

        January 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      • One copy to the jobcentre also.

        enigma

        January 5, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      • ppl need to get some hidden cameras to record theses providers for the farce that they provide ppl with and no help at all to do anything let alone find a job.

        and at a cost of 1 billion quid a year wtf its an compleate joke that just gets worse and worse for more and more tax payers money.

        just makes you think why the hell should i work and pay tax for this shit to carry on year after year.

        Just about to send provider this

        id also go on company’s house and sent 1 to head office of the provider recorded post 😉 that way they cant say we never got it 😉

        super ted

        January 5, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      • I have videos of people being promised the Internet would get sorted and a video of what people do when there is no Internet ie playing games on phone, listen to music reading paper and am sat there with nothing in front of me and nothing to do. DWP said anyway there is no legal requirement for claimants to job search for 35 hours a week

        Stephen hulse

        January 5, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    • That’s inhumane and probably illegal. If I don’t keep hydrated I fast collapse under horrendous migraine….

      kat. rehman

      January 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      • they also will not let you use the toilet unless its a small child and then g4s comes with you to un lock the door.

        super ted

        January 5, 2015 at 7:51 pm

  22. id post them up on you tube but id wait till you have finished with that provider b4 you do tho just in case.

    its like a4e 12 years ago there then lol

    super ted

    January 5, 2015 at 6:09 pm

  23. Advertised but………….

    According to the latest UK Job Market report from Adzuna – a search engine for job advertisements – the number of advertised job vacancies reached 949,778 in November 2014, the largest number of jobs since the recession and up 23.6% on November 2013.

    Adzuna say there has been ten consecutive months in which competition for jobs has fallen and there are now more advertised vacancies than jobseekers.

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/jobs-people-looking-work-claim-researchers/

    enigma

    January 5, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    • Adzuna was only founded in 2011 and have under 25 staff, operating an aggregation search engine service. A year ago, many jobseekers wouldn’t have even heard of them, and now they think they are market leader?!

      They have received quite a decent amount of investment and was founded by two really talented people whose work history extends with C-Level postions with Gumtree and Zoopla.

      I think there has always been more “vacancies” than “claimants”… but this doesn’t mean more (real) jobs than the number of unemployed people (taking into consideration those on employment programmes etc, those who don’t claim etc.)

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 5, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      • I’ve just had a look at their website, It’s the first time I have heard of them, yes just more nonsense about the numbers.

        enigma

        January 5, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      • I think they missed a trick… should have been called Adzuno (Ads-you-know?)

        Its just a Press Release like exercise of getting their name out there.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 5, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    • However, Mr Hunter urged caution, saying temporary jobs for the Christmas period may be partly responsible for a 1.4% increase in advertised vacancies between October to November 2014

      Only +1.4%? The number of advertised vacancies increased by 100% in November 2010, but not in November 2011 nor since. So What haPpened between Nov’10 and Nov’11?

      Another Canceled Xmas

      January 5, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      • 1.4%? That is nonsense, the seasonal job market expands excessively to cope with the run up to Christmas, the now “Black Friday” (following America’s footsteps *yawn*), Christmas Eve Sales, Boxing Day Sales, January Sales…

        Shops are generally understaffed to make cost savings, the reason they take so many xmas temps on is not just because of more footfall and customers so need to manage extra demand, but to cope with the less busy periods where their existing staff levels are unable to cope.

        It is a disappointment that this person isn’t sure about it. If the number was only 1.4% then he needs to be confident and draw a direct link between the two… and “partly”?

        No doubt its diluted due to being a Tory supporter and lying about the economic recovery. Either that or the huge number of fakes these days were so much the actual real temp jobs in that month of xmas temp recruitment didn’t have much of an impact…

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 5, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      • Either that or as you are hinting, the vast majority of staff taken on were workfare.

        I know Argos and the like were guilty of taking some on, but I would be surprised if their whole pool of people were workfare on the shop floor… shops generally don’t mind paying for staff (typically as they are school leavers on lower NMW rates) at that time of year as turnover and profits are high and it would be a big risk them relying on workfare participants if they weren’t to turn up etc. (okay benefit sanctions etc. but would screw them over totally…) No doubt behind the scenes in the stock room etc. they might have used some.

        I will have a look into this, see what I can find. Boycott Workfare would love to hear if indeed most of these seasonal temp jobs were filled by other means.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 5, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      • I can find a lot of information from 2012 etc. through Google.

        It might not be obvious until DWP publishes the list of workfare companies AND when the jobseekers effectively promised a job at the end of their work experience (if they work hard and are good at it) find out they are no longer needed…

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 5, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      • the mwa i was sent to a charity shop was fkn full of slaves to the point even if i had stayed to do it id have to battle for a broom stick and compete in wearing out the carpet on shifts with the other poor sods made to stay do the 4 weeks.

        with slaves and few staff and 2 from provider was prob 12-13 there when i went utter joke all for the profit for the provider.

        and what just takes the piss is the provider was subcontracted from 1 of the main 2 for where i am like wtf and not even got an office in the city.

        super ted

        January 5, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      • It’s more than year since I tried to check how the Oct/Nov vacancies had changed since the start of WP and WF, but I remember I got stuck at 2012 aswell. There’s a FOI on it somewhere.

        Adzuna say there has been ten consecutive months in which competition for jobs has fallen and there are now more advertised vacancies than jobseekers

        If there were 949,778 vacancies in November 2014, that part doesn’t make much sense.

        Even DM readers have noticed that if you add the 800,000 unemployed under 25s to the 1.2m 50+s you’re over the official count of 1.9m unemployed even before you’ve added the middle 25 to 50s.

        There’s no question that workfare replaces jobs and lowers wages.

        Another Canceled Xmas

        January 6, 2015 at 1:42 am

      • Even when you disregard unemployment numbers, the number of job vacancies at one moment in time is determined by a very small, pretty limited, survey to a tiny number of employers… which is then multiplied to give the overall picture.

        (Who would have thought that a proper department for giving statistics would rely on such a small sample size!?)

        A common question is whether or not this number comes from the Jobcentre Plus job database, the answer is always “no”… and thus most employers surveyed do not advertise through Universal Jobmatch (or the previous directgov job search), yet its never supported for both figures of vacancies available to be added together to give an amount of real jobs out there available… It is all pie in the sky figures.

        So much out there is misinformation these days – one moment youth unemployment is highest ever, the next its the lowest it has been… we all know its not real jobs reducing this number. As for the rest of unemployed people not in the 16-24 NEET bracket, its more of the same, tricks to reduce claimant count figures and overall unemployment figures.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 8:53 am

  24. DWP IAD Uses Google Chrome as “DWP” said.

    enigma

    January 5, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    • Don’t DWP have a sense of humour, IAD so close to IED (Improvised Explosive Device) there was so many different terms they could have used. I guess its an IRA reference to them using IEDs as booby traps … and the department wanting to sanction everyone.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm

  25. REFERRED TO AN INAPPROPRIATE EMPLOYMENT RELATED COURSE
    5 January 2015 at 09:35
    Questionnaire for your Work Coach

    1. I already have a professional CV, why do I need to attend another CV course?
    WC response:

    2. How specifically is the event different to the one I attended on x date(s)?
    WC response:

    3. Can you provide me with any literature about the course/event?
    WC response:

    4. Can I propose that I do x, which will be more beneficial and will assist me back to work [state how].
    WC response:

    5. Why specifically is the course/event reasonable for my circumstances (is the WC fully aware of your situation)?
    WC response:

    6. Is the WC aware that Jobseekers can only be treated as actively seeking work for 2 weeks, for one employment related course per year, lasting 3 days or more? References: DMG 21727 JSA Reg 19(1) (a) and DMG 30045 JSA Reg 1(3)
    WC response:

    7. How will the test of actively seek work be applied if I am attending another another full time course lasting more than 3 days (16 hours) for a second time in 12 months or, the event lasts more than 2 weeks?
    WC response:

    8. I cannot afford to get to/attend the event, how and when will I receive travel expenses?
    WC response:

    Dependant on the answers to these questions you may consider raising an informal or formal complaint with DWP. The following template letter will help:
    https://jobseekersanctionadvice.com/challenge-daily-attendance-inappropriate-mandatory-activity/

    If your benefit is threatened, because you decide not to attend you can use the answers to the questionnaire to form the basis of your good reasons, as well as the information in the ‘how to’ guide and the Civil Service Code of Conduct:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/civil-service-conduct-and-guidance

    The key arguments are likely to be:

    The event was not suitable, because you have attended a very similar event recently. Therefore, it is not beneficial at this time and it is also a waste of tax payer’s money.
    The course is unreasonable for your circumstances [state why].
    Your own proposal was ignored or, no satisfactory explanation was provided to why it was unsuitable/unreasonable.
    Insufficient information provided about the event.

    Consider recording the meeting.

    We recommend taking someone along to every meeting if you can.

    super ted

    January 5, 2015 at 10:38 pm

  26. The Work & Pensions Select Commitee inquiry into sanctions starts on the 7th January 2015.
    http://www.parliament.uk/…/work-a…/news/benefit-sanctions-1/
    DWP’s submission:
    http://data.parliament.uk/…/benefit-sanc…/written/16558.html
    Kate Belgrave’s thoughts, which mirror many of our own experiences when assisting claimants in Jobcentres:
    http://www.katebelgrave.com/…/pretty-sure-the-government-w…/

    super ted

    January 5, 2015 at 10:42 pm

  27. Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & THE SIEGE OF BRITAIN POLITICAL JOURNAL and commented:
    J

    rainbowwarriorlizzie

    January 5, 2015 at 10:43 pm

  28. i did post the full ones but not here think e iz sorting it

    super ted

    January 5, 2015 at 10:54 pm

  29. the jssa fb page went live again today so just posted it than links to fb not sure if on the main site.

    i did say they kick ass when they help you 😉

    super ted

    January 5, 2015 at 11:18 pm

  30. Demonstration of how OUT OF TOUCH government is,

    The sun recently ran a small article titled FOR HODS SAKE LADS which was about the massive shortage of brickies needed to fill vacancies and in it one Employment minister ESTER MCVEY said “were making sure even more hardworking people benefit from the growing economy and get the security of a regular wage”.

    The joke is only recently the construction industry berated government over plans to not extend visas for recently qualified, skilled migrants (basically sending them home after completing course), stating massive skills shortage in the UK labour market as the reason to abstain. To nail this minister further, this very skill shortage has been reported as far back as 2008 so despite already existing aid towards apprenticeships, government has still failed to fill the shortage created after those being involved in the industry being laid off after the global crash thought it best to search out new more secure careers and not returning amongst government cutting down on immigrant cheap labour, cash in hand, years of over regulation and the not so recently discovered black list held by the biggest construction firms on who shouldn’t be employed.

    So if Ester McVey was pressed I wonder, could she explain who exactly these hardworking people are who stand to benefit as I don’t see the likes of Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Willmott Dixon or others shopping at their respective local DWP jobcentres ?

    gaia

    January 6, 2015 at 8:33 am

    • Sorry peeps, source material is taken from the Sun newspaper 4th January edition.

      gaia

      January 6, 2015 at 10:37 am

  31. plans to not extend visas for recently qualified, skilled migrants (basically sending them home after completing course)

    Why on earth would any Government (especially one which claims we need like a billion new homes to cope) do something like this?

    Really baffles the mind.

    Typical Tory nonsense… Esther Louise McVey, was director of her family business (now dissolved, something about prohibition notices or something), was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Disabled People for a year… and now Minister of State for Employment…

    She quite proudly boasted herself as a “businesswoman” prior to politics, and her brainchild is Making It (UK) Limited at 27 Seymour Street, Liverpool, L3 5PE. Offering training to small and medium sized businesses and office space…

    FreeIndex description…

    Making It UK is offering both office and virtual office space to UK businesses.
    Designed as a dynamic environment for business, located in the heart of Liverpool – Seymour Suite has undergone recent refurbishment and the listed Georgian Building is equipped with modern facilities and a boardroom to meet the needs of today’s businesses.

    The Seymour Suite offers fully serviced offices with contemporary office furnishings, individual digital telephone line answering and messaging services with cat 5 cabling for voice and data services as well as providing broadband internet access. The offices also have kitchen and shower facilities with cleaning and maintenance of office and communal areas inclusive.

    Making It UK also offers all the benefits of a fully functioning serviced office, just without the space. A virtual office is simply a business address with a range of support services. Using virtual office space provided by Making It UK will include having a prestigious business address for use on business cards, letterheads and marketing materials, an impressive place to meet clients as well as access to the buildings boardroom facilities. A direct company number will be provided with a personalised answering service. Voice mail with remote access is provided and mail is forwarded on daily. Primarily it provides affordable presence in Liverpool’s business district.

    Doesn’t look like its big enough to provide that much training and office space, hardly an office block… and the accounts don’t make too good reading either…

    http://companycheck.co.uk/company/04730844/MAKING-IT-UK-LIMITED/financial-accounts

    Apparently, from this success she founded Winning Women Ltd (now dissolved) (the same address) with a much worse record… http://companycheck.co.uk/company/05471360/WINNING-WOMEN-LTD/financial-accounts

    Now I am not being snobbish expecting a HUGE turnover and lots of profits, but you would have thought a previous GMTV presenter (or maybe not, as it happens… hence the renames etc) could have made a better business utilising her former career contacts – I am sure she had many.

    It is therefore ironic that her having 2 businesses (technically 3 with another dormant company) , one of which dissolved, where its probable she doesn’t employ anyone or very few people… and be Minister of State for Employment running her mouth over various issues she know nothing about.

    More digging unveils her strange behaviour…

    Esther and Kate first met in 1986, when they were both 18, at the North East Technical College in West Derby [in Liverpool], where they were studying A-levels together.

    She joined the board of Madeleine’s Fund on 20 June 2007 and continued her role as spokesperson for the Fund until her resignation, announced in January 2008.

    Ms McVey has remained resolutely tight-lipped as to the reason, or reasons, behind her resignation – a rather ironic position, considering her former roles in the media/PR. She is currently the Conservative MP for Wirral West and the minister for disabled people.

    Her own website, on which she once displayed an online petition in support of the McCanns, now contains no mention of Madeleine McCann at all.

    Source: http://www.mccannfiles.com/id113.html

    Please no comments regarding what that website is about, or views regarding Maddie etc, just citing a source, of what this person is like.

    The problem with politics, its far too easy to mislead people into thinking you (as candidate) are someone special with a good background and competent… although I think it was more about her being a “TV and radio personality”, whatever that means lol

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 6, 2015 at 9:33 am

  32. BAN email WARNINGS

    According to tory ex-minister Alan Duncan he is going to try to get government to introduce a bill outlawing them citing clogging up ones inbox and a waste of paper.

    Although it can be clearly seen Mr Duncan knows nothing about computers and maintaining ones email account let alone why he would even print out a legal warning when theirs already an electronic record of it, unless of course he wishes to confess most civil servants and ministers know nothing about DPA, copy right, computer misuse and the likes and so is passing legal responsibility.

    Not only does he contradict the point by demonstrating its need, hes setting aware or not a dangerous president if accepted as these warnings contain information that must be parted to be in full accordance of the law so as to protect the rights of both parties.

    If any are wondering why I posted this then know this,

    Under the DPA it is the subject holders (you who the personal data pertains to) responsibility to set controls as it is the processors (company or government taking said data) legal obligation to outline how they intend to process this said data.

    DPA schedule 1 part 2

    gaia

    January 6, 2015 at 10:26 am

  33. Tory councillor Mark Winn says food banks are only used by ‘those with drug, alcohol and mental health problems’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/tory-councillor-mark-winn-says-food-banks-are-only-used-by-those-with-drug-alcohol-and-mental-health-problems-9956609.html

    ken

    January 6, 2015 at 10:35 am

    • Im not surprized someone mentioned last saturdays casualty and even less surprized it was a Tory.

      I think its clear as this is possibly the 100th time a tory has said something derogative about the poor that the Tories total mission on welfare is to get the entire public to hate and feel no compassion for the less well off by stereotyping claimants as feckless, workshy, job snobs who spend their entire life downing drugs and alcohol while still affording expensive sky subscriptions and lavish 60 inch HD screens and all may I add on £72.40.

      If their was ever any truth to any of it then perhaps unemployed people should run for government as clearly they know how to get an awful lot out of very little so are shoes in to be the most qualified to balance the budget while reducing the national debt.

      gaia

      January 6, 2015 at 11:01 am

      • I think there needs to be a jail sentence of 1 week for anyone in a seat of power (Prime Minister/Lords/MP/MEP/Councillor etc) that goes on a Twitter or Facebook rant.

        Is this what the country has become?! Someone with a bit too much power feel they need to tell the world their completely out of touch views?

        Bear in mind, its different to publicise a written message than to have said something offensive a few years back when wildly drunk that the press has since got hold of.

        They are too stupid thinking you can delete a tweet and walk away. There are thousands of bots that pick up every new tweet and I am sure some of the papers deploy such methods for MP (and perhaps councillor accounts) now they cannot legally get away with phone hacking.

        What really grinds my gears is, in reality there is more party politics in local politics than national politics. Why did a councillor even need to get involved?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

    • OMG, this Tory tw@t isn’t even an MP, but a councillor! One which needs counselling, what irony (despite both roles being distinctly different)!

      I am sure if you looked at past statistics a high percentage of food bank users will be those affected by drink and drugs, ( gambling etc ) , and those with mental health issues. As the case in Ipswich, you have to be referred to (most) food banks through an agency (such as ones dealing with drug abuse and alcohol abuse etc) and cannot be self-referred and you cannot just turn up like you would to a shop.

      It is clear now, however, that not only are more (single) unemployed (claimant or sanctioned) people relying on food banks in additional to people with distinct issues but working families also are.

      What annoys me is it doesn’t matter in my eyes if someone has a problem whether mental health issues or one of alcohol or drugs, no one should be using food banks. I also thought as a country we turned a corner on mental health where its less about that (weirdo|nutter etc) who lives down the road/round the corner, but where we realise these people need help and not solely limited to serial killers.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 6, 2015 at 11:17 am

      • It was in 2010 when I first heard that a food bank existed in UK, (I hadn’t been living in UK since 2001) my thought when I returned then was food banks shouldn’t exist anywhere.

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 11:59 am

      • When I was a kid Enigma, the homeless were people that lived under the arches in Charing Cross.

        I jest not: the last charity for them was the Sally Army and a soup kitchen for them was held there.

        As a child I saw them – I am originally a Londoner and was educated in an FE in the centre of the place (Westminster FE).

        Now look at the situation – a ponce Ipswich Tory MP can walk and see them in Dog’s Head Street.

        Andrew Coates

        January 6, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      • I remember knowing the charity Sally army years ago, I didn’t see any homeless people, or anyone going to soup kitchens in my life because I was living to work, (just work and sleep), now as you said, they are everywhere, in every town and city, now I see them.

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      • enigma, I have said to myself that if the Tories remain in power, I might have to form a food bank… no religion involved, no political stance, and best of all, no need to be referred… I am hoping it wont come to that stage.

        You are right food banks shouldn’t exist anywhere!

        I find it ironic how you can find out about where to donate to food banks in store by shopping and at various points they pick up from, but a 30 minute Google search wont reveal where the food bank is for people to go get food… (obviously requires a referral) its almost a secret, whereas soup kitchens aren’t so hush hush… still run by Christian charities and churches.

        Ipswich Soup Kitchen, running with a slogan…

        Serving the homeless and needy since 1992

        Of course, the Tory run Police ran with a campaign saying that being kind feeding the “ASB sleeping rough” (ASB = Anti Social Behaviour) would kill them…

        http://www.suffolk.police.uk/newsandevents/newsstories/2014/december/dontkillwithkindness.aspx

        I am sure people who have become homeless not because of the stereotypical gambling, alcoholism or drug use and abuse; might resort to those methods to get by… but I seem to walk past so many rough sleepers nowadays their stereotypical smell of booze, of urine and evidence of drinking (bottles of alcohol etc) hasn’t once been witnessed.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      • Uni

        I too have tried searching for food banks in other area’s and found that most are not visible on line, as you rightly said, however this food bank’s address, is on line to see. (Bing!)

        http://bognorregis.foodbank.org.uk/contact

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      • We can see just how many food banks there in UK, (trussell trust network at least)

        Unbelievable? not.

        https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zsvX5ePkig24.kQ9wAa9s4al8&ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=54.290882,-2.416992&spn=8.960147,19.665527&z=6

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      • I like the concept behind Bognor Regis’ food bank, its clearly marked as such outside… as like a shop.

        Its pretty shocking the number of Trussell Trust food banks.

        Some non-Trussell Trust food banks here….
        http://www.theguardian.com/society/datablog/2012/jul/12/food-banks-uk-directory-guardian-readers

        From 2012, not sure if its updated.

        Name: Find
        Details: Maureen provides food, nappies, school clothing or whatever people need. She only provides for people who are referred by health, school or social agencies. Last time I spoke to her the number of referrals has rocketed Everyone who meets her say she is the most remarkable person they’ve ever met. Her number is 01474 833351. Maureen Reynel, OBE has been operating FIND from her garage and a small barn in the middle of the countryside for many years. She’s disabled hereself, has one leg and is the last resort for social services, health visitors etc when their clients in Suffolk are at their wits end. Increasingly she’s being asked to find tents for homeless people so they have somewhere to sleep. She has no website and does everything on an old cardex system. At Christmas she also does a food and Chistmas present service.

        (I assume the correct number is supposed to be 01473, as 01474 is Kent, Gravesend area)

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      • I suspect that Maureen’s phone is always “in use” and her email inbox full, the reason people are referred to such people and other services of help, I like most people think it’s because if they had advertised their addresses etc, they would be inundated with too many people at their door. and then there would also be those who are not genuine. (we do get some in the local food bank), I wonder why Maureen hasn’t got a website.

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      • Yeah, I didn’t realise it was an operation from a residential garage.

        Not sure how the Ipswich Star says the food bank costs £1000 per week to operate then?

        Maureen clearly does a good job and is an unsung hero. Glad her efforts have been awarded with an OBE.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      • I will let you know tomorrow, how much the food bank here costs to operate, I know it doesn’t cost £1000 PW, Maureen deserves an OBE for what she does.

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 11:03 pm

      • Just to let you know Uni, some food bank’s, like the one here, anyone can find, I think it is because they don’t mind people knowing their address, while most others (like Maureen) do mind because of the reasons I have said. (weather it’s residential or not).

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 11:14 pm

      • Well, it might be Ipswich Star plucking a figure out of the sky, or more than likely perhaps assuming FIND is solely about food banks when its not, they do other stuff I believe.

        That would be much appreciated. Will be interesting to find out how much it costs. I apologise if you have already said, but what is your local food bank? Is it church/local hall based or has it dedicated premises?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      • Dedicated premises, we send food out to other places, the homeless centres etc, not every person needs a voucher to receive food, unlike some I have heard of, we do receive a lot of food though, from supermarkets and a lot of people turning up also with a lot of food, more food comes in than goes out, but that’s at the moment.

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      • Yeah, many are food voucher only. Which is probably why people rarely ever used them before, I mean if you use a food bank you need to be grateful but the flow of Attend Agency -> Referred to Food Bank -> Told Location -> Given Food Voucher -> Obtain Food, for the initial go kind of makes you the lowest of the low.

        First you ask for help (which is a big step for most people regardless of what the help is for), then you need to be referred by God, then given instructions… and then a voucher… (feels like being passed around pillar-to-post, processed) perhaps I am over analysing the situation.

        What concerns me if all food banks were walk-in (with a bank statement perhaps) the demand would have peaked considerably years ago. I assume this is in effect a method of self-regulation.

        Obviously the food is non-perishable, but what sort of food does your food bank supply? How is this rationed out to people (for example where someone doesn’t like a certain food)?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 7, 2015 at 12:07 am

      • Most people are very embarrassed when they come into the food bank with a voucher, they would rather not be in there, I have seen many people cry when I’m handing them 5 or 6 bags of food, you see them at their very lowest, you know it shouldn’t be happening but you know it is, getting a voucher is bad really, the experience of it pushes some even further down, it is as you say, from pillar to post, at least for those who obtain a voucher.

        All kinds of food really, mostly tinned, no cold meats, cheese etc, nothing that needs to be in fridge, (we never know how many people will turn up) we do get bread (since we got a freezer.

        some people tell us they don’t like or can’t eat something, so we write what it is, (on the list of foods we give out)

        Every person doesn’t get the same food as anyone else, it’s always different.

        enigma

        January 7, 2015 at 12:43 am

      • “We receive a lot of food from food banks” I meant to say, we receive a lot of food from the supermarket customers. I will tell you more about that later.

        Uni this “hiding” or “secrecy” when referring to weather or not to put ones address on line as most food banks don’t, I think It’s more about security, (like locking your door) not forgetting the other reasons.

        enigma

        January 7, 2015 at 9:03 am

      • Hi enigma, apologies for not responding sooner!

        I wasn’t sure whether it was just me but I feel like the voucher acts as a reminder of their current circumstances, which wouldn’t be so bad if you were self-referred. I think most people understand it is just a way of administration, but I can totally understand how it makes people cry.

        I was going to make comparisons between them and handing in an ES40/WS1 to sign on… but its completely different. There are better ways around a food voucher system but requires some basic capital outlay.

        What do you mean you don’t know how many people will turn up? Surely the purpose of a voucher or do you mean, not everyone issued with a voucher shows up to collect? (such as too embarrassed etc)

        So no milk or fruit juice? Do you have things like sugar and tea/coffee? Freezing bread is a good idea.

        (Sorry about the questions!) So do you have to display allergy information? or is it assumed that people will read the packaging/tins to see any notices?

        So its a bit of a lottery with what food people are given, really understandable considering its donated.People are being so generous donating foods. Do supermarkets chip in (or just collect on behalf of customers and keep their margins due to the extra sales)?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 7, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      • Uni

        To be given a voucher knowing that the voucher then has to be given to someone else is like a teacher giving you a note about you being bad in class and told to take the note to the headmaster, but to be given a voucher feels like your now no longer in control of your life (as if you can’t do anything for yourself) and so need the help of others, I also think a different system is needed.

        The feeling is also because of other people knowing of your situation, your family and friends, (those who worry about what people think)

        People are given vouchers from various different places, mainly from the C.A.B. they don’t let us know who will be turning up and when, people just turn up at the food bank with a voucher.

        Long life milk, sugar, tea, coffee and juice, no fruit, eggs or anything else which need to be kept in a fridge , because of the use by date, (again not knowing how many people will turn up) the not so good system.

        We do put information on the walls about food allergies, most people though tell us before they read any such info. because they know themselves.

        I didn’t manage to get the info today, it was non stop.

        enigma

        January 7, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      • Yeah, I can certainly see how it feels that way and to be honest you are no longer in control of your life when you get to that stage. You lose all concept of free choice and are processed.

        I think a different system is needed too. The problem is some organisations (not food banks) get funding to manage people who are deemed not to be able to help themselves and cream the money, when if you could invest that money actually on the people in question the problem could actually be solved.

        Oh so agencies give out the vouchers? I can remember when I went to CAB once – you have to appreciate the free service but to go through that and then to go to a foodbank… people deserve a medal to do that! I can only talk about the Ipswich CAB and it was several years back; the service was very limited, first come first served (rather than appointment) had to arrive on a certain day and wait for a slot and not guaranteed to be seen (if I remember I had to come back another day) and after all that they didn’t listen to me.

        A business took triple the amount they should have (two additional duplicate transactions – 3 transactions of the same amount and only one service) – I had all the paperwork and contract – and I got the bank to reverse the transaction after the company wasn’t accepting their mistake… which I thought was their honest mistake at first. Then they tried to come after me via a debt collection agency. So I went to CAB as I wasn’t sure what to do – the debt collection agency was a bully and they threatened everything under the sun including bankruptcy – and they totally didn’t listen to the problem, assumed I was in denial over debt (despite furnishing the relevant documents and telling them three times) and then was given a bundle of papers with the advice to budget how much I can afford to pay and to contact the debt collection agency to agree a payment plan.

        I am sure not all CAB services is like that and not all advisers are probably so much like this, but its the whole processing thing, it was my time in the queue, they spent time letting me explain (pretended to listen), found out it resorted to debt-related issue and then gave me lots of information and forms of how to deal with that… for people who were in debt it was decent free information to solve their problem. They could completely recommend that. For me, it was poor.

        Not surprised at this level of service when they have over £200,000 cash in the bank… https://companycheck.co.uk/company/03438957/IPSWICH-AND-DISTRICT-CITIZENS-ADVICE-BUREAU I haven’t looked through the accounts in detail, not everyone understands but some funding is reserved for a certain purpose and you do need a reserve (‘rainy day fund’), however, in my opinion that is far too much money to be sitting on at end of year. When I went I got the impression they were over-in-demand and scraping by on a month by month basis. Cheeky bastards lol

        Back to food banks…

        I can’t believe there isn’t a better communication system to know roughly how many people to expect. It is bizarre. Seems to have been very busy today, would you say it was a normal busy day or are you getting record numbers now?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      • Food bank, £22.000 per year. (I was wrong)

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      • £22k: is this solely non-staffing operational costs or does it include the cost of employing people?

        ——–

        I noticed with the Trussell Trust – 79 members of staff ranging from NMW to £40,437 at a cost of £1,178,322. Whereas in that year of the report, 30,000 people volunteered. I dislike organisations like that which take the piss.

        IMO highlights the incorrect and unfair balance of wealth… some chief is getting £40k behind a desk while a small army of people are on the ground making their business (charity) what it is.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      • I know what you mean, everyone in here is a volunteer, not one person is employed, I don’t agree with the idea either, I have said to others, “they need to start paying people, then they would not be unemployed”, but we all know this isn’t going to happen.

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      • Sorry, just two people are paid, meanwhile a lot of volunteers, (doing the hard work)

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      • What do the paid people do? co-ordinate?

        Is it two people for one food bank?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 8, 2015 at 4:16 pm

  34. Went again today on the 6th advisors were late and guess what no Internet so no job search, I told them if they can’t provide internet or computers for people everyone then we don’t have to be here, the rung there head office 4 time and the Internet supplier a couple times and still didon’t solve the problem. I told them am going to job centre to do job search, they then decide to send everyone to job centre but want them to come back.

    If they can’t provide you with service am intitled to go to job centre or library to do search.

    Also went into job centre to make formal complaint, which you can’t do but I was told that they have had a lot of people complain about the provider that am on and that they don’t have the equipment to provide service.

    Nice man at job centre told me off record that I should right to th MP about this. Does anyone know how I can do this.

    Stephen hulse

    January 6, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    • look for the MP in your area, the address will be there on the internet, write to the MP about your experience on the supervised job search.

      enigma

      January 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      • I have waiting on reply. Even job centre know about all the problems.

        Stephen hulse

        January 6, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      • Did you find your local MP?

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      • Am the MP is labour

        Stephen hulse

        January 6, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    • Good chance he is a Tory MP so wont care.

      If he is a Labour MP could get vocal just because the General Election is coming up.

      Expect a lot of trouble in future from the Jobcentre for making a fuss and not simply doing your time. This is what happened to me in Ipswich when complaining about New Deal. Been that way since.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 6, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      • Am not the only one in group to send MP email. I personally don’t mind doing the course if I was able to look for work and not just sit in a room.

        Stephen hulse

        January 6, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      • He labour

        Stephen hulse

        January 6, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      • That is good news, the more people who do it the better for credibility.

        Sadly, I know how it is from my experience at Dencora House detention centre with rare breeds Sally Smith Assistant Manager. No idea who the actual Manager was.

        Stuck in a room all day, overcrowded, no computers to use, not allowed to leave and require permission to use the toilet. A lot of the time the rooms weren’t even supervised but if you were found outside the room they would get you exited from the programme, which is a relief until you find out you have been sanctioned.

        No one finds work after that abuse, it drains your energy and makes you demotivated. You were lucky if you had a placement to go to heavily lifting all day, at least it kept your brain occupied.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      • I hope your Labour MP is better than our previous MP; Chris Mole. He didn’t do anything about it (although it was a labour scheme and labour government at the time).

        Keep us all updated with progress – such as the response and whether he will try to do anything about it.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      • Will do guys.

        If I got sanction I’d appeal and say how can I job search without internet. Even the job centre knows how bad they are, I feel drained sitting down doing nothing and having to worry about if am next getting my money…..

        I get up at 730 to leave for 815 to get their at 900 to sit and do nothing till 1700 to get home for about 1745 to job search the internet for work till 1900 to go to bed to do it all again the next day am completely fucked

        Stephen hulse

        January 6, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      • I think you will be okay, however, best to be prepared and know what they might try. The Government has been trying to make things more digital so I think nowadays they would prefer they could track your applications and job search history through Universal Jobmatch.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      • I couldn’t just sit and do nothing, I can’t even stay sat down for more than 30 mins, this means I don’t go to the cinema!

        enigma

        January 6, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      • ””IF””’ The BIG BOYS come canvassing in Ipswich on the days leading upto the General Election, be prepared for your wpp or jcp to call you in for a MANDATED all day session. This will keep you out of the way till they have left town. It’s happened before.

        GR

        January 7, 2015 at 8:53 am

    • meanwhile surveillance

      burgeoning use of body-worn videos [BWV]”, not just by the police but by university security staff, housing and environmental health officers – and even supermarket workers.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/06/tony-porter-surveillance-commissioner-risk-cctv-public-transparent

      enigma

      January 7, 2015 at 12:07 am

      • These body cams make me laugh as where their placed, the wearer can easily place their chin and neck over the lens and mic.

        As for drones unless their in your face, you cant even hear them, their that well made with hi-tec low resistant finns.

        With that said though, none are shielded and if you understand how digital cameras work can just as easily stop them working and or gaining a useable image/s.

        gaia

        January 7, 2015 at 6:59 am

      • Excellent piece, “enigma”.

        My vocabulary is enlarged: trackable numbers in a database!

        It’s an up-close-and-personal version of existing CCTV – with audio attached!

        I wonder how long it will take for it to be used in an offensive manner against targeted individuals who someone has taken an apparent dislike to?

        Tobanem

        January 7, 2015 at 9:48 am

      • Tobanem

        I can imagine that happening also, I’m all for “security” but I do think it’s going too far and so will get out of control.

        enigma

        January 7, 2015 at 9:53 am

      • The pages on here frequently feature FOI requests to the Information Commissioner.

        Now there is an “Surveillance Commissioner”, so will we soon be getting inundated with enquiries regarding abuses of Body Worn Video (and Audio)?

        And don’t forget the added audio – It’s CCTV with bells and whistles attached!!

        Tobanem

        January 7, 2015 at 10:07 am

      • TOOTHLESS TIGER

        Amazingly, the Surveillance Commissioner has got no enforcement power!!!!!!

        Tobanem

        January 7, 2015 at 10:12 am

      • Lets hope BMWs – sorry BWVs… aren’t used in the jobcentre.

        At current people come in with video and they refuse to conduct the interview and call the police immediately. They cite data protection as a reason but recorded interviews can take place in private rooms… so its perfectly fine to record proceedings…

        Seems an excuse because america are rolling them out with police…

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 7, 2015 at 12:43 pm

  35. BBC Parliament Channel: – Live – just started.

    Work and Pensions Select Committee.

    Benefit Sanctions Policy and the Oakley Review.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 7, 2015 at 9:40 am

    • Overwhelming evidence being put foreword by various groups that JSA and ESA claimants ‘ARE’ being sanctioned by Jobcentre Plus and WPP unfairly.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      January 7, 2015 at 11:12 am

      • Obi

        Do you think the sanctions will suddenly stop, or is the Work and Pensions Select Committee just all talk and as toothless as the Surveillance Commissioner mentioned above who has no enforcement powers?

        By the way, there is only 119 days, 12 hours, 23 minutes and 29 seconds left until the General Election on 7th May!

        Tobanem

        January 7, 2015 at 11:36 am

      • I hope notice will be taken and serious changes will be made – some hope!

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 7, 2015 at 11:51 am

      • Don’t be silly, if they stopped the sanctions etc. unemployment will “go up” before the election… that is a bad move.

        If anything, they will increase the sanctions and probably just close claims. I notice on the Claimant Commitment that it hints about closing your claim if you don’t do enough to find work or be available for work… and that sanctions are threatened if you reclaim.

        Of course they still sanction an active claim but its another option they can do to discourage people – it tells people that they are NOT entitled to claim when their claim has stopped – and not that its just a sanction which will lift after a certain time. This explains a lot why unemployment (claimant count!) is falling.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 7, 2015 at 1:14 pm

  36. Russell quotes a laboratory experiment in which “monkeys in adjacent cages… perform the same task for food. Monkey A does the task and gets a grape, delicious. Monkey B who can see Monkey A performs the same task and is given cucumber, yuck.

    “Monkey B looks p***ed off but eats his cucumber anyway. The experiment is immediately repeated and you can see that Monkey B is agitated when his uptown, up-alphabet neighbour is again given a grape. This time when he is presented with the cucumber, he is f***ing furious; he throws it out the cage and rattles the bars. I got angry on his behalf and wanted to give the scientist a cucumber in a less amenable orifice. I also felt a bit p***ed off with Monkey A, the grape-guzzling little b*****d.”

    Who can blame him? The figures from the High Pay Centre betray an even worse situation, if you think about it, because most people work a lot harder than FTSE100 executives, simply to survive. Why are they guzzling grapes while we have to cope with cucumber?

    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/01/06/top-bosses-have-made-more-money-in-2015-than-most-uk-workers-will-earn-all-year-high-pay-centre/

    enigma

    January 7, 2015 at 9:41 am

    • Russell? The man of the people… looks like he only has £25.41 in the bank but is a multi-millionnaire… and gets involved in politics only to refuse to stand as an MP…

      I can’t stand the idiot (that is being really nice!) – that is not to say he doesn’t make the occasional good point in an argument, but most people do..

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 7, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    • Is JOE BRAND Russell Brands Ugly Sister

      GR

      January 8, 2015 at 12:58 pm

  37. I’ve said before that desperate people do desperate things. I wonder what lies behind this latest desperate incident here?:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-30710833

    Is this the shape of things to come?

    Also just heard the news about the mass shooting incident in Paris. Where next?

    Tobanem

    January 7, 2015 at 12:58 pm

  38. “it tells people that they are NOT entitled to claim when their claim has stopped”

    Thats not true,people are entitled to money to live on.even if its hardship.the claimant commitment by its title is misleading,it implies more then what is required to comply with.Its clear their up for it however.sanction first however is the game.

    ken

    January 7, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    • Sorry Ken, its my bad English.

      I meant people perceive it as not being entitled.

      Its a very old trick in the book. I remember getting letters saying (along the lines of) “We cannot pay you from (date) because the law says so”. Letter is rather short and sweet – there is an appeal process… but many people will see it as saying they aren’t entitled to receive benefits… (and likely give up) – when the opposite might be true.

      I have had my claim closed without notification before, and turned up to sign on to find out my claim was closed two weeks ago. I had to do a rapid reclaim. Then I battled to get the payment backdated. Which eventually they agreed to do. Many years ago.

      I think they are better explaining themselves these days. A lot of their previous correspondence was unlawful. Its frustrating to learn on every letter that benefit and NI could be stopped but now its made clear. I would like to claim the (defunct) Unlawful Sanctions website had a part in it but I am sure its more to do with lawyers behind closed doors and because of increased benefit sanctions regime.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 7, 2015 at 2:56 pm

  39. With petrol now under £1 a litre, 48 inch TVs for £120, the ‘Big 4’ supermarkets giving away food for free as they attempt to wipe each other out, it seems, although afraid to say that the Tories/UKIP are a shoe-in for the next General Election. That odd-ball Millipede prattling on about ‘kitchen tables’ and his side-kick Burnham parroting on about ‘social care’ and a ‘crumbling NHS’ just doesn’t cut the mustard…

    Petrolhead

    January 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    • Yes, Ed and the Shadow Cabinet are incompetent.

      The biggest problem is …(Tony Blair put on this “acceptable face”, no one expected him to be a warmonger) Ed cannot have a photo taken without that awkward evil look. The “face must fit” – Labour needs a photogenic figurehead (as such, but not strictly within definition), leader and spokesperson that can engage and present to the public, whilst handling pressure and stress – not this clown.

      It seems Gordon Brown is a relatively high benchmark for Ed – where in reality Gordon Brown was a weak leader and any new leader should at least be on par.

      I wouldn’t worry about UKIP (“PIKU”), there is some anticipation that PIKU is going to get about 50+ seats. Some sources predict 20-30 seats. They will gain a few no doubt and likely lose one of their existing seats perhaps. I think even the Lib Dems have a chance of getting more seats than PIKU even with all the Nick Clegg and lies stuff.

      Its a two horse race between Labour and Conservatives with some scope for another coalition Government. This is what the Tories worry about most, not PIKU beating them to No10 or even taking many of their seats, but it would be a big issue if the Tories had to form a coalition with PIKU… as they aren’t like the Lib Dems who will simply roll over and let them do what they want. Such a coalition will ensure that the 2017 EU referendum wont get pushed back and prevent us simply renegotiating terms. Would be a can of worms!

      I think its very much undecided – Tories still got a lot of time for false promises closer to the date – Ed Miliband has still got a lot of work to do also. I think its steered away from the typical *yawn* immigration and now the NHS is top of the agenda. The future isn’t bright for either party being in charge unfortunately.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    • Im covering the NHS at the moment and their is tons upon tons of information proving the NHS is being driven into the private sector.

      As for yanks over here working at it, you should see the crap Obama care is in the not so looking, good old USA.

      gaia

      January 7, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    • Bottled Water Is Now More Expensive Than Petrol. Somebody Tell Jeremy Clarkson….

      GR

      January 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

  40. I write again after my comments above about the woman who set herself on fire inside a police station in Clydebank.

    The local paper, the Clydebank Post, has a report today about soaring benefit sanctions which is driving people from poverty to destitution and starvation. As usual, a DWP spokesperson appears at the end denying there are any sanctions targets!

    We will have to wait and see if the fire incident earlier today is benefits related.

    http://www.clydebankpost.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2015/01/07/520625-unemployed-and-disabled-benefit-sanctions-skyrocket-in-clydebank/#c

    Tobanem

    January 7, 2015 at 4:38 pm

  41. HOW TO AVOID ‘HELP TO WORK’ AND IN PARTICULAR COMMUNITY WORK PLACEMENT
    If you should sign off/claim another benefit, for example ESA for 12 weeks or longer after being assigned to HtW you will receive the the JCP offer if/when you re-claim JSA and will not have to particpate in the Community Work Placement scheme.

    If you start CWP and return to JSA within 30 weeks, you will usually have to complete the balance of time.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/215584/response/535819/attach/3/Help%20to%20Work%20linking%20document.pdf

    NB: DWP guidance and policy changes regularly.

    Another approach is, to swap the claim over to a partner if you have a child or children and they satisfy the conditions of entitlement.

    Claim JSA
    https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/how-to-claim

    Claim ESA
    https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/how-to-claim

    super ted

    January 7, 2015 at 8:54 pm

  42. Fit For Work:GPS

    “removal of the need to issue repeat fit notes where there is a Return to Work Plan in place”

    enigma

    January 7, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    • Fit for work: employees

      Before a referral is made you will be asked for your consent. Your employer can also refer you
      to Fit for Work for an assessment, if your GP has not done so after you have been sick for four weeks. Any referral is subject to you providing consent.

      You will be eligible for Fit for Work if you:

      • live in England, Wales and Scotland;
      • are of any age in paid employment;
      • are referred by your GP or employer;
      • have been off sick for four weeks or more, or your GP thinks you could be off sick for
      this long;
      • are likely to be able to return to work;
      • have not been previously referred to the service within the last 12 months and have not
      had a Return to Work Plan; and
      • have consented to a referral

      You will not be eligible for the assessment part of Fit for Work if you:

      • live outside England, Wales and Scotland;
      • are not off sick from work;
      • are not referred by your GP or employer (i.e. self-referrals);
      • are self-employed;
      • are unlikely to be able to return to work;
      • have been re-referred within a 12 month period of a previous referral and have had a
      Return to Work Plan;
      • are not in paid employment; and / or
      • do not consent to a referral

      and

      A Return to Work Plan provides evidence of sickness absence in exactly the same way as a fit note issued by your GP. The plan may indicate that you are ‘not fit for work’ or ‘may be fit for work’ subject to your employer being able to carry out the recommendations. Alternatively,
      your plan may say that you are fit for work

      enigma

      January 7, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      • That’s alright if you don’t claim working tax credit but under UC when it arrives, they will hang it over the persons head if they don’t consent I suspect.

        gaia

        January 8, 2015 at 9:58 am

  43. More on NHS

    Untrained admin staff are being drafted in to help healthcare workers at Britain’s Accident and Emergency departments, it has emerged, as the crisis continues to grow.

    Trusts across the country are also scrambling to recruit hundreds of foreign nurses to plug the shortfalls in staff numbers, interviewing candidates via Skype to speed up the process.

    In North Wales, more than 70 Spanish nurses have been parachuted in to help struggling casualty departments and many staff are working unpaid overtime to meet demands.

    Hospitals in the West Midlands have been forced to recruit 140 volunteers and draft in admin staff to help health workers, even though they have not had criminal records checks.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11330180/AandE-crisis-foreign-nurses-and-untrained-volunteers-drafted-in-to-plug-dangerous-shortfall.html

    enigma

    January 7, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    • Will all those, “unemployed, fit for work” be sent to work in hospitals, care homes and the likes of.

      enigma

      January 7, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    • No CRBs, its amazing how vulnerability goes out the window when it comes to money and stats don’t you think ?

      Cant get picked up on time, when you are picked up they cant see you on time and even when they do, the chances are their be misdiagnosed and prescribed the wrong treatment or medicine assuming it hasn’t been removed dew to cost cutting.

      You know other than a face, you could say that the NHS is already dead in the water.

      gaia

      January 8, 2015 at 10:10 am

      • I hate how the NHS is an institution you put so much trust in when you are ill, with the well-established consecutively on-its-last-legs and one-its-knees mentality – continuously under-performing, understaffed and underfunded – where every hospital has a mere petty cash tin jam-jar of “funds” of change from a £5 note.

        The truth is the NHS budget is huge and its completely mismanaged. For example, how much of that budget is wasted by the agencies providing locum doctors through agencies?

        A quick look on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locum) says the NHS has 3,500 locum doctors every day and 15,500 locum GPs – through 51 agencies (figures put this at 80% are filled by agencies). its big money. I wouldn’t stick too much emphasis on wikipedia information.

        According to a report published by Royal College of Surgeons NHS spent approximately £467 million on locum doctors through agencies in the year 2009/2010.

        It would be cheaper to employ them as proper permanent doctors, an absolute scandal

        If you can throw away money to 51 private sector firms, you can clearly afford the process of CRB/DBS checking everyone.

        The private sector (not that I want a privatised NHS!) would never have this sort of inefficiency. Job contracts would require the doctor to support other hospitals as-and-when needed. You can basically have for-example 15 additional doctors covering East Anglia that are based at a specific hospital that frequently go to other hospitals to support staff shortages and holidays… therefore the number of permanent doctors are initially more than needed knowing there will always be cases of doctors not being able due to Annual Leave, illnesses and emergencies.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

      • While I certainly wouldn’t dispute mismanagement, this notion that the NHS has its own pot of gold funded from collected revenue only is simply absurd. The NHS contributes heavily to the countries debt so any notion of sustainability is just plain ridiculous and further proof how the public perceive all in the world going back as it was pre global crash.

        The world has changed and changed forever more and as a bitter pill as it is to swallow is best acknowledged now rather than later in a missed placed rant at a then broke or heavily debted country.

        The fundamental problem is that for the last 20 years we have become a market society where if it isn’t up for sale, its incentivised.

        gaia

        January 8, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      • Money (to the greedy) is more important than anything else in life, including human beings. as we all know.

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 1:09 pm

  44. YOU AINT SEEN NOTHING YET,

    2015 no matter who gets in will usher harder times than previously felt under the coalition as further far reaching cuts are required to save the sinking boat that is the UK.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/01/austerity-cuts-2015-12-billion-britain-protest

    Pay particular attention to the last paragraph.

    gaia

    January 8, 2015 at 10:49 am

    • Government urged to suspend benefit sanctions regime

      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/08/benefit-sactions-government-urged-suspend-vulnerable

      The government todate have saved hundreds of millions through sanctioning so taking into account the major cuts needed to save the ever escalating national debt, is their any likely hood that government will listen when faced with the prospect of having to make cuts elsewhere to recoup, that will effect the working public and thus their popularity.

      All the parties silence currently on exactly where that will be exactly ahead of the elections just proves how venomously painful an event it will be to all I suspect.

      I haven’t wished a single person happy new year for the first time ever and while it may be viewed as rude, I would rather be seen as that than sarcastic.

      gaia

      January 8, 2015 at 11:13 am

      • The biggest problem for me is how there are so many people tackling benefit fraud yet so very few tackling tax evasion.

        Now, its not about going after the big money… both are very wrong morally and legally, and emphasis should be to tackle both, however, I would happily investigate tax evasion on a commission basis. So would thousands of others.

        The annoyance is the monies recovered could easily pay for more tax inspectors.

        However, without escalating this too far… several companies like Vodafone owed a huge amount of tax, and have so much global profits, that the tax bill could have been settled immediately. A compromise of spreading it over 5 years could have been a reasonable solution. However, HMRC just wrote off the debt. A few months later, HMRC demanded millions of taxpayers to pay up underpayments in previous tax years.

        This country is doomed until Government can get control back from the corporations AND stop consisting of corrupt politicians putting a little cash-in-their-back-pocket over the country. Even someone as lacking in every department as Ed would go down very well if he became a true man of the people.

        This wont happen. To stand a chance of getting into No.10 you need to join an alliance with The Sun… they obviously want something in return, its not a job interview for Prime Minister conducted by Murdoch where you simply highlight your main election promises, and he chooses the most inspirational one to support.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 8, 2015 at 11:27 am

    • Labour wont save the day. (Although I prefer anyone to vote Labour than Tory)

      They will replace Bedroom Tax with a Mansion Tax. Yay!!

      Unfortunately, there is so much more that needs sorting out.

      I am sure Ed Balls is more qualified than Osborne. Seems to be a Conservative however.

      Balls joined the Labour Party in 1983 while still at school. While at Oxford he was a partially active member of the Labour Club, but also signed up to the Conservative Association

      We also know where he gets his inspiration from.

      He was a founding member of the all-male drinking club, The Steamers and suffered embarrassment when a contemporary photo of him wearing Nazi uniform appeared in the papers

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 8, 2015 at 11:15 am

  45. Up date for you guys. I got sanction received letter through the door today. Been sanction from 19th December which was introduction, to the 15th January and I have been there from 9.00 am with out internet or limted internet. Which it’s states in there guidelines they must provide internet wifi and computers per person that is referred. Which since starting they never have.

    Stephen hulse

    January 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    • Damn, I had my fingers crossed that it wasn’t going to happen but I noticed the pattern and it seemed likely that they would take this action.

      Have you scanned it in and sent it to your MP?

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 8, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    • What are to exact grounds for this sanction that DWP have cited and what was the event they have cited as the build up to is what I would ask for if you don’t have it already.

      Secondly under the FOI ask this provider to supply computer records of internet connection being maintained if they state so as computers do record all events including internet drop out(not to be confused with local network).

      Reports from other claimants that day that were their will also need to be gathered.

      Now if this provider had phones and offered their use then the sanction will stand.

      gaia

      January 8, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    • Sanctioned if you don’t turn up, sanctioned if you do. it’s no wonder what some people end up doing, as we all know.

      enigma

      January 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

  46. A DM article explains some flaws in food banks (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2608606/No-ID-no-checks-vouchers-sob-stories-The-truth-shock-food-bank-claims.html) but be expected for it to touch on immigration (asylum-seekers) and £60k professionals popping into get free food.

    Much about how organisations (such as CAB) process people and require no checks to award someone a voucher. Also, some food banks giving out food to those without a voucher and exceeding the rules as to how much parcels a person can obtain in one year.

    The relevant part what I was shocked at was that Trussell Trust food banks appear to be a franchise….

    Organisations which run the local food banks for the Trussell Trust pay £1,500 for an operating manual and training for volunteers and then £360 annually for ongoing support.

    Shouldn’t the Trussell Trust be paying for the food banks considering a) its a charity, and b) they carry their logo?

    (Andy talks about Trussell Trust in some depth over the years https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/tag/trussell-trust/)

    “We are a Christian organisation motivated by Jesus’ teaching on poverty and injustice. We operate according to Christian principles of compassion, honesty, integrity, openness, kindness and care of all people, regardless of backgrounds or beliefs. We believe in turning faith into practical action, living out God’s love for the poor…”

    That’s as may be.

    Some might ask why the state should rely on a group with a religious-agenda to plug the gaps in its public services.

    From… https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/unemployed-to-get-food-vouchers-for-christian-charity-dole-out/

    Not sure the bible teaches about making an income from peoples misfortunes.

    More worrying there are examples online (such as http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/credit_crunch/a1777858-Neighbour-went-to-CAB-and-refused-food-bank-voucher-what-does-she-do-next for one) where someone has been to CAB but refused a food bank voucher.

    I suppose its down to your approach. If you come across as you need the support but you do not ask specifically, they will give… this will knock you down the ladder a bit. If you have gritted your teeth, realise you need to get a food parcel to tie you over, and then ask at CAB for one, they probably shows a distaste for it (“scrounger” etc).

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 8, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    • The truth. .

      There are a lot of people who get given a voucher from C.A.B. or other places who should not be given one, I have spent a few years in a food bank, I see them every week, an example, last year someone came into the food bank 12 times, which this person had vouchers for, meanwhile C.A.B. and other only give out 3, I noticed on the vouchers that after a few days they did not come from C.A.B or other but were made by the partner of this person, but this person was given food every time, on the very same days that this person was given food, I would see this person in Morrison’s pushing a trolley full of food and paying for it.

      Meanwhile there are others who come to the food bank with a voucher, they are given the food, they then sell it for alcohol. (I have seen it) meanwhile many of the genuine ones are not given a voucher.

      Some people are given food without a voucher, these people are assumed homeless because one they look it, they tell us, and because the two people (who get paid at the same food bank) give food to them, that’s them.

      Many people will “dress” for the occasion .

      It also depends on what kind of person the adviser is, just like JC advisers.

      enigma

      January 8, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      • There will always be those who take advantage of things which can be taken advantage of.

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      • It is a surreal situation. Maybe I over expect, but you would have thought the food banks would have a duty to those donating the food (or monies where applicable) to only give it to people that need it.

        Of course, a lot of it is down to the agencies giving the vouchers. Are the vouchers like the following?

        I suppose a few people would could a safety problem if they had a more robust system, requiring the need for security guards which will make everything more severe.

        It undermines the voucher system when giving it to someone without one, however, I like the flexibility around it considering I am not in favour of that system.

        I am sure the cunning people that pose as requiring food for no shame to resell could be put to better use, perhaps as an entry level spy in-training?.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 8, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      • The picture above is the very same as the vouchers we receive.

        If all those customers, who have bought food for the food bank, had known that many people are receiving it actually don’t need it, they of course wouldn’t have bought it, but now what with the news on it, those people will no longer buy it, as we know it is the customers/people who buy it. it could come to the point where there won’t be enough food in every food bank.

        With the current system, it is difficult to give to those who really need it, before I became a volunteer in one I assumed that only those that needed it were given it, I had never been to a food bank.

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      • To spy, that’s an idea, I see a lot!

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      • Does anyone donate money to the food bank or is it solely through food donations?

        Well I suppose with anything you will get people taking advantage and abusing a system, going to a food bank posing as poor and selling given food to you for alcohol, is still a step below what some (read: all) MPs got up to.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 8, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      • Some people donate money. not very often.

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      • It is assumed, my me also that the people at C.A.B. and other agencies phone the jobcentre or council etc, to check that the person’s benefit has stopped, or homeless etc, before they hand out a voucher, it does seem that not enough checking is done, there really is a need for a better system, especially for the people who should be given a voucher.

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    • The Trussell Trust, It’s all about money, the religious words, an excuse.

      enigma

      January 8, 2015 at 5:54 pm

  47. as gaia said what does the letter state what the sanction is for and where was it sent from.

    the provider should have sent a letter and then one from the dwp that should say what you did wrong.

    i bet you just pissing them off thus you get a sanction for it even tho you did nothing wrong.

    u fucked if you do n fucked if you dont end result is the same sanction as that’s all its there for and hide the unemployment numbers.

    and yet they still get there fee for what??

    super ted

    January 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    • We all know the letter won’t state the reason for the sanction, because of the obvious, he really needs to take his complaint all the way.

      enigma

      January 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      • Actually enigma DWP have to level a charge and explain the events that lead up to it. A lot of claimants don’t know this as DWP never put the latter on the letter they give claimants and hope the complaint doesn’t go full term when the lead conflicts with the charge.

        For a start from what I have read on hulses posts is that he did attend which would obviously be borne out by the book claimants have to sign into meaning its actually failed to participate. But as we know in this case he was instructed to attend JCP by the provider and return. This being the case did he return as then it is failed to attend if he didnt.

        You see its not the point that the systems were down, the point is did he follow instruction and return regardless of whether or not the system was working?

        The two main pivotal points of DWP rule regarding receiving benefit are being available and actively seeking work so assuming he didn’t return, firstly he would have to prove they didn’t get the system up and running and he wasn’t offered the use of phones nor was going to instead be taught maybe how to improve his CV or some crap like that as if he wasn’t then his defence should be that for example he instead went to the library as he didn’t want to conflict with the agreement to be actively seeking work which is deemed as one of two most don’t break rules and is drummed home day one.

        gaia

        January 9, 2015 at 7:37 am

      • I would say (from my point of view) that by doing the actions he did, he was:-

        a) Available for Work (AfW), and
        b) pro-Actively Seeking Employment (ASE)

        Furthermore, he used initiative to prevent circumstances beyond his control from hindering his look for work.

        This is what bothers me about benefit sanctions, and I have been there before on a few occasions. When you are sanctioned, you stop looking for work (or are unable to give yourself the best opportunity to find work – i.e. with the added stress and pressures).

        They say people who are sanctioned gets a kick-up-the-backside into getting into work… when statistics only state lower people claiming unemployment benefits. In fact, I am really confident that a person who is sanctioned for 2 weeks will have a knock on effect effectively eliminating them from the labour market for 3 months!!!

        (There is an expectation that poor people who have been sanctioned will turn to the “black economy” to find work, maybe I wasn’t so ASE after all when I didn’t get involved in illegal activities whilst not paying a penny in taxes. I guess having integrity makes you “work shy”.)

        As every unemployed person knows the biggest barrier to employment is (the length of your) unemployment. I once told this to Jobcentre Plus, (when asked) it didn’t go well… thought I was being a smart alec when I was solely stating the obvious. Employers (rule of thumb) are only ever going to take on a long term unemployed person if the Labour Government is paying 80% or all of the wages (for at least 3 months), or under Conservatives as workfare.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 9, 2015 at 11:38 am

      • scroll down.

        enigma

        January 9, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    • I phoned up, and the dwp told me that it’s because I missed the interview for provider. I have been sanction from 19th December when I had interview to 15 th January.

      I think am being sanction for not attendin first interview, because I went on the 19th December but that’s when am being sanction from that date.

      Am still going and gone everyday except today to sort out my benefit and hardship payment.

      Stephen hulse

      January 8, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      • Ask for it in writing, have you heard from your MP?

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      • so did you go on the day they are sanctioning you for? also do you have it in writing like enigma says?

        should have letter from provider and 1 from the dwp

        super ted

        January 8, 2015 at 10:03 pm

      • http://jobseekersanctionadvice.com/

        if you email them they will help you over turn it 😉

        and id not put it past them that they will sanction you for not going today watch ur back.

        super ted

        January 8, 2015 at 10:07 pm

  48. all of mine was for failed to attend even tho i did turn up, id get the local paper involved then watch the shit hit the fan, blatant waste of tax payers money.

    super ted

    January 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    • Too many people are letting the advisers/managers get away with their criminal activities, some are not as strong as others, as we all know, the more that complain the better for everyone. I would do similar things to you, I wouldn’t let it go.

      enigma

      January 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    • Lets face it, some people are sanctioned because the adviser or manager knows that the claimant will not do anything about it.

      enigma

      January 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    • Sometimes its just the case of whether the “face fits”.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 8, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      • Yes, as is in the case of C.A.B.

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      • Sorry… £200k cash at bank EOY… I think I will ask them for a business loan LOL

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 8, 2015 at 10:22 pm

  49. Fit for work, for employers, employees and GPS,

    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fit-for-work-guidance

    enigma

    January 8, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    • Thousands of cancer patients will be denied NHS drugs following a decision to withdraw funding for at least eight life-extending treatments.

      Medication which offers a last chance to patients with breast, prostate and bowel disease will no longer be funded by the NHS, under plans to cut spending.

      Ahead of the last election, the Conservatives pledged to introduce a Cancer Drugs Fund so that cancer patients were no longer denied drugs on the grounds of cost.

      But the £200m fund, introduced in 2011, has overspent its budget, despite the fact it was increased to £280m, leading to a review of 25 drugs which are used in 42 treatments.

      On Monday, NHS England is due to announce how many of the drugs will be “delisted” so that they are not routinely funded by the NHS.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11333578/Eight-cancer-drugs-to-be-denied-on-NHS.html

      enigma

      January 8, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      • The NHS, it’s going, and quick.

        enigma

        January 8, 2015 at 10:47 pm

  50. 90-year-old Florida man charged for feeding homeless people

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/04/justice/florida-feeding-homeless-charges/index.html

    And we thought we had it bad.

    gaia

    January 9, 2015 at 9:20 am

    • He is lucky to escape with his life and without injury.

      Although there is no similar offence here (as far as I know) I know of cases where people have been arrested under Terrorism Act offences and for Breach of the Peace. You can expect the Met Police and Local Authorities to crack-down in London – its not good for shoppers or the MPs’ conscience.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 11:50 am

  51. Has anybody else had the problem of mentioning something at CAB and then finds the DWP and LOCAL COUNCIL invariably find out about it before you even get home ?.

    ZZ

    January 9, 2015 at 9:31 am

    • Nope, only used CAB once and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

      The Ipswich & Suffolk CAB had over £200k in the bank at the end of its financial year. Organisations have to have reserves in case they cannot obtain new grants and funding (most aim for 3-6 months reserves), furthermore, they cannot always touch all funding if for a specific purpose.

      My understanding is they only operate from Tower St – its way too much money. They should spend some of it improving their service.

      No doubt some of the funding (perhaps from the police, council and courts, in some shape or form) is intended with the condition of reporting back to departments. There are genuine cases where CAB would be right to break confidentiality such as if a child is in danger etc.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 11:21 am

      • In 2010, when the current shower of shit took power, CAB funding was drastically cut. Then, within a few months, CAB were promised several million quid in emergency funding to allow them to continue with their work. This funding was administered by the DWP.

        I don’t know how they are audited on this and at the time thought that the funding would cause a conflict of interests for CAB. I haven’t seen anything published about how this funding is audited or controlled.

        Lucy

        January 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      • Lucy

        Do you know that the DWP also send advisers (under cover) to C.A.B’s in order to stop complaints going further.

        enigma

        January 11, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      • I didn’t know that enigma, but it doesn’t surprise me.

        Lucy

        January 11, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      • If you ever have to go to a C.A.B. because of anything to do with DWP or the council.

        Be wary of someone telling you that they are the supervisor. (carrying no paper work) you will see that they do not go into the back office for any because well they can’t, they don’t work there.

        enigma

        January 11, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    • So what if they do as that’s why your their right ?

      Anyway if this concerns you then install DPA clauses before parting any data as

      A: They must obey the law.
      B: Cant refuse you custom for doing so.

      gaia

      January 10, 2015 at 7:39 am

  52. Iain Duncan Smith Urged To Stop Benefit Sanctions Regime:

    Iain Duncan Smith has been urged to suspend his controversial benefit sanctions until a review is carried out of their impact, particularly on the mentally ill and disabled.

    Experts, ranging from academics, food bank administrators, disabled groups and employment service professionals, told MPs on the work and pensions select committee on Wednesday how sanctions were “more likely” to hinder their target’s journey into work, rather than help them.

    A spokesman for the Public and Commercial Services Union told the Huffington Post UK: “There’s no evidence that sanctions spur people into finding sustainable work, All they do is poison the relationship between jobcentre staff and claimants, which makes it much more difficult to build the kind of relationship that is required.

    “A jobcentre should be a place that supports people into finding a job, not a place of conflict and suspicion.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/01/08/iain-duncan-smith-benefit-sanctions_n_6434852.html

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 9, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    • I tried to watch it on iPlayer later on Wednesday… I had to skip most of it. It was 2 hours split into two sessions…. Sad, to say I would rather do a full day of jobsearch at Dencora House detention centre, watching paint dry was more interesting…

      Matthew Oakley (Oakley Review) took centre stage and despite it being his report he was so slow and unnatural at answering questions, as if he didn’t do the report, obviously instructed by the DWP/Government to be careful what he says, and thus was over cautious about speaking at all. Should have been took outside and shot.

      A disgrace that none of the MPs – and the chair – didn’t criticise the smoke-and-mirrors approach by “Matt”, totally undermined the entire process.

      An interesting point was some Tory MP on the left seemed less Tory initially in the first half, must have had a lot of respect for someone giving evidence… yet in the second half he turned completely Tory, to the extent in part he was contradicting what he said earlier or of his earlier perceived viewpoint. Completely rude to a panel of well-educated (Dr, Prof etc) people giving evidence.

      I am glad I didn’t select to watch it in HD…

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 12:25 pm

  53. The funding to Trussell Trust will soon stop or has already been stopped, this morning there was a meeting only for the paid, the volunteers were not permitted to enter until the meeting had stopped. the stopping of funds maybe due to the under cover investigation into food banks.

    enigma

    January 9, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    • Just like “city link” where by the people who work hard don’t get told what is happening or what is about to happen.

      enigma

      January 9, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      • Trussell Trust has identified 3 delivery keypoints…

        Trussell Trust foodbanks seek to engage with frontline care professionals over longer term plans for the clients they refer and are structured to avoid long term dependency: no self-referral; no drop in service; time-limited support.

        I think the three vital aspects to a proper food bank would be…
        * self-referral
        * drop-in (not 24/7 but within publicised hours)
        * no time limit

        They are doing the exact opposite. Of course, a compromise would have to be reached, for instance… proof of income is a must and there has to be prioritised support for the most in need (i.e. repeat custom means nothing in particular) such as those with families or pregnant women etc, also with emphasis on short-term users than longer-term out of fairness.

        This one got me…

        Does The Trussell Trust pay large salaries?

        No – The Trussell Trust believes it is inappropriate to pay large salaries when working with people in poverty. Our directors earn less than £60,000pa. We are committed to paying a living wage to all our staff.

        Since when is £60k a year a “living wage” – around £31 per hour on a 37 hour week.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      • Earn less than £60.000, my guess, “£59.000

        enigma

        January 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      • Two who are paid = admin/ co-ordinate

        enigma

        January 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    • enigma, that is disgusting really… I hate organisations that value their volunteers that not only put most of the hard work in but put the most man hours in, only to exclude them when they feel like it.

      Where does the Trussell Trust get their funding from? Other than the annual franchise fee.

      I hope its not the case that the Trussell Trust want to close down food banks where undercover investigations have discovered an abuse of procedure. You know, any bad press affects them all… so closing down a few food banks to keep their organisation running is the way to go, despite not being the concept of the whole operation of helping people who need it, in the areas they need it.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      • The abusers have ruined the help for the genuine. as per usual.

        enigma

        January 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm

  54. Esther McVey ‘a coward’ for blaming Jobcentre staff:

    NEWCASTLE MP Chi Onwurah branded Employment Minister Esther McVey a coward yesterday for blaming front-line staff for gut-wrenching examples of the government’s cruel war on the unemployed.

    Labour MPs from across north-east England besieged the Tory with horror stories from a region where unemployment stands at over 9 per cent — the worst in Britain.

    Ms Onwurah demanded straight answers from Ms McVey over a string of incidents where constituents had benefits stripped.

    In one case a man hanged himself after being found fit to work despite repeated warnings from social workers.

    In another, a son faced sanctions for failing to apply for jobs in the week his father had died.

    “Is there anyone in this country who does not believe that a son should be given the opportunity to grieve for and bury his father?” said Ms Onwurah in the Westminster Hall debate.

    Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald declared that people were no longer being judged by their needs but by a “punitive regime” that saw benefits suspended to meet “arbitrary targets.”

    But shameless Ms McVey failed to come clean on reports that jobcentre staff had been ordered to meet goals for sanctions — preferring to blame a few bad apples for some of the cases raised by MPs.

    Furious Ms Onwurah accused the minister of mounting a “cowardly defence” by attacking front-line workers instead of taking responsibilty for “the culture that she has created.”

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-78a4-Esther-McVey-a-coward-for-blaming-jobcentre-staff#.VK_NHWezXGg

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    • Interesting report “Obi”

      It’s amazing how Government ministers are expert at evading the issues. Off course, they wouldn’t reach or stay in such high office without that ability!

      Here is another of example of “McVile’s” evasiveness – and not for the first time:

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/con-dem-benefits-axewoman-esther-mcvey-4938098

      Tobanem

      January 9, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    • A few bad apples, you mean a few too many thousands of apples don’t you ?

      The joke is in any other business you would be out on your ear so how does Ester explain no disciplinary action or dismissal.

      gaia

      January 10, 2015 at 7:50 am

  55. Tory minister snubs Welfare Reform Committee:

    The SNP has today condemned Employment Minister Esther McVey and the UK government for “not caring” about Scotland’s most vulnerable people.

    As reported in today’s Daily Record, the accusation follows Ms McVey’s refusal to attend the Welfare Reform Committee – the eighth time this committee at the Scottish Parliament has been snubbed.

    Christina McKelvie MSP, a member of the Welfare Reform Committee, said:

    “It is totally unacceptable that Esther McVey has again refused to attend the Scottish Parliament to answer questions about the policies she is imposing on Scotland.

    “A Tory Minister has been repeatedly invited to come to Scotland and appear before the Welfare Reform committee to provide answers on their track record of failing to support vulnerable people, but this invite – and seven previous invitations – have all been snubbed.

    “This refusal sends a clear message that she and her government simply do not care about Scotland and it highlights the absolute need for Scotland’s voice to be heard at Westminster.

    “The UK Government’s austerity politics and welfare cuts have forced some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland into poverty – and Labour have already admitted that, if elected, they plan continue to cut spending.

    “At the General Election in May it is vital that more SNP MPs are sent to Westminster to make sure Scotland’s voice is heard like never before, to stop the Tories, to prevent Labour from taking Scotland for granted and to fight to deliver real powers over welfare and taxation that will enable us to build a fairer and more prosperous country.”

    Welfare Reform Committee invitations to Iain Duncan Smith – all declined:

    · 19/09/2012

    · 24/10/2012

    · 15/01/2013

    · 12/12/2013

    Welfare Reform Committee invitations to Lord Freud – declined:

    · 17/07/2012

    Welfare Reform Committee invitations to Esther McVey – all declined:

    · 19/02/2014

    · 09/10/2014

    · 01/12/2014

    http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2015/jan/tory-minister-snubs-welfare-reform-committee

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    • Obi

      By the time my post was put through, you had beat me to it by a couple of minutes!

      You must have posted your own piece as I was writing mine!!

      Tobanem

      January 9, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      • Tobanem: – You gotta get in quick!

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 9, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    • If IDS went to Scotland he would be killed or seriously injured, they would be waiting for him…

      You don’t quite have the same problem in England

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      • IDS has already declined to appear in Scotland to face the music!

        Tobanem

        January 9, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      • My point exactly, that is why he isn’t going to go!

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 9, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      • “You don’t quite have the same problem in England”

        erm…yes we do.

        Landless Peasant

        January 9, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      • Did I miss it? Someone tried to hurt IDS in England?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 9, 2015 at 4:42 pm

  56. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but coming so soon after the fire incident in Clydebank the other day where a woman ignited herself inside a police station, I wonder if the following harrowing incident is benefits related:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-30744703

    The woman in the Clydebank fire incident is in her 50s. She is currently in hospital with serious burns.

    Tobanem

    January 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    • Could well be. Bedroom Tax related perhaps?

      The sad thing about all these deaths (and serious injuries) related to law changes, no one is going to stand on trial for Corporate Manslaughter.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 1:07 pm

  57. OT?

    All ye who write on here – be thankful for the privilege:

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/thousand-lashes-and-10-years-prison-online-saudi-arabian-activist-2014-05-07

    By the way, Christmas has been banned in Brunei, after the Sultan introduced strict sharia penalties. Moreover, drinking alcohol (as one mere example!), could get you whipped and your limbs amputated!!!

    Same sex marriage: THE DEATH PENALTY. Insulting the Koran or Mohammad: THE DEATH PENALTY!!!

    Of course, it can’t happen here.

    Tobanem

    January 9, 2015 at 2:23 pm

  58. DWP seeks CTO to fill £135,000-a-year role.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is on the hunt for a chief technology officer (CTO) with a track record of transitioning a large enterprise from aging mainframe to next-gen technologies using “infrastructure-as-code”.

    The £135,000-a-year role would be suited to a person who is passionate about technology with “the personal stature and gravitas to inspire”, according to the director general of digital technology at DWP, Mayank Prakash, who took over the responsibilities of former CIO Andy Nelson in September 2014.

    The CTO will have the unenviable task of dealing with the DWP’s problematic Universal Credit system. Former CIO Andy Nelson resigned for unknown reasons in March 2014, having arrived at the department just as the system was getting off the ground. The programme has been plagued with issues and delays.

    http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2389356/dwp-to-hire-cto-in-gbp135-000-a-year-role

    I bet that job isn’t being advertised on Universal Jobmatch.

    They forgot to include in the advert:

    Must have ‘NO’ scruples or conscience, must also be willing to serve and follow every order Iain Duncan Smith issues without question or dissent.

    Must be an uncaring son of a bitch who couldn’t careless about anyone except himself.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    • See here… (yes not on Universal Jobmatch but WCN as pointed out above!)

      CTO:- https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/index.cgi?SID=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

      The Department for Work and Pensions is introducing the biggest change to the welfare system in 60 years. The Chief Technology Officer is responsible for leading the technical strategy and architecture for all DWP’s technology; for platforms (both infrastructure and applications), for secure deployment and 24/7 operations. The role is, in terms of scale and scope and of the level of transformation that the Department is currently undergoing, one of the biggest opportunities in the UK today.

      The successful candidate will set the direction for an annual technology spend of circa £1bn and will lead 100+ technology specialists in delivering current and future architectures. As a deep subject matter expert, a true technologist, you will be a hands on professional who has the drive to define the future of technology systems. You will have a track record of integrating and simplifying complex, legacy/current architectures for a large, complex, multi-divisional enterprise as well as delivery experience including mobile and online apps, open source technologies, Big Data analytics and visualisation, cloud computing and deploying infrastructure as code. You will have hands on expertise in a range of programming languages as well as experience delivering as a CTO in a high volume and fast paced environment.

      You will love technology and be passionate about the pragmatic potential of technology with the ability to build the technology blueprint for the future enabling thousands of technologists to deliver. You will have the personal stature and gravitas to challenge and influence at all levels across Government.

      This is a challenging role that will appeal to an experienced thought leader who can execute strategy, has the tenacity to drive change and the reputation and passion to lead a team of curious technologists. This will be one of the most rewarding roles in technology cross government and nationally.

      For full details on the role and how to apply please contact Andrea Trainer or Ella Milward Hamylton on 020 7399 3996 or email DWPcto@green-park.co.uk
      or Visit http://green-park-jobs.co.uk/dwpcto/index.php

      Also have other roles such as “Director, Enabling Digital Delivery” at around £110,000pa https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/index.cgi?SID=b3duZXI9NTA3MDAwMCZvd25lcnR5cGU9ZmFpciZwYWdlYWN0aW9uPXZpZXd2YWNieWpvYnVybCZqY29kZT0xNDM5NTA5JnBhZ2VjbGFzcz1Kb2JzJnJlcXNpZz0xNDIwODIwOTg2LTUzMDMzZWE5MjBlZDg0NWZmZGMxNmZmMzA2NzE4Zjg4MDU5YTFhZTQ=

      The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is one of the largest Government Departments, with an enormously ambitious and challenging agenda to deliver. It is currently engaged in delivering ‘once in a generation’ reforms to each and every element of the welfare and benefits system. Together with social justice and a desire to tackle poverty at the very heart of the agenda, it will transform the opportunity for people without jobs to find work, so that they can support themselves and their families, while also ensuring that the most vulnerable in society are protected.

      Implementing these large-scale and wide ranging reforms at the highest levels of DWP and across Government will have a fundamental and transformational impact on the future of the welfare and benefits system.

      The Director of Enabling Digital Delivery will play a critical role in leading, designing, influencing, enabling and delivering the transformation required in the Department in the short, medium and long term, partnering with senior colleagues internally and externally in support of this. You will lead a team of technical and business experts focused on transforming DWP by developing service design and transformation strategies in order to manage the delivery of associated business, digital and technical solutions that are flexible, scaleable, open but secure and re-useable across the department and government.

      You will be intellectually strong with the ability to demonstrate leadership skills and an aptitude for striking a balance between strategic innovation and operational delivery, whilst being digitally and technically literate and capable of effectively engaging with technical staff, suppliers and stakeholders to define the best approach to service design.

      You will have experience of working within complex organisations to develop digital and technology transformation strategies and manage the delivery of associated technical services solutions, while balancing resource constraints and a portfolio of dynamic programmes.

      This is a challenging role that will appeal to an experienced professional looking to join a digital leadership team transforming the way government delivers its social commitments; one of the most rewarding digital roles in Whitehall.

      For a candidate pack with full details on how to apply please email: DWP@penna.com or for a confidential discussion about the role, please contact our retained Penna consultant Rebecca Jones on 020 7332 7870.

      I have no idea why they use a base64 encode ‘SID’ variable rather than a simple integer value. For example, the last one translates as ‘owner=5070000&ownertype=fair&pageaction=viewvacbyjoburl&jcode=1439509&pageclass=Jobs&reqsig=1420820986-53033ea920ed845ffdc16ff306718f88059a1ae4’. For me it would be the first thing that needs changing haha, why not simply ‘index.cgi?jcode=1439509’?

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm

  59. 19/09/2014.

    Labour in power could abandon universal credit.

    Policy could be dumped within months if it wins election next year.

    A Labour government could scrap the coalition government’s £12.8bn universal credit benefits policy within five months of taking office.

    Labour, which has previously announced plans to review the government’s under-fire flagship welfare policy, is considering a swift abolition if it is found to represent poor value for money for the taxpayer.

    Labour has said it supports the policy in principle. However, if it wins the election, it says it will freeze the programme for three months while the National Audit Office reviews the cost implications.

    Party insiders have now confirmed to Inside Housing it would be prepared to scrap the policy within four or five months of taking office.

    Rachel Reeves, shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, said: ‘We won’t waste taxpayers’ money on a failing programme which has suffered delay after delay.’

    http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/labour-in-power-could-abandon-universal-credit/7005782.article

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    • Labour scrapped the Conservative’s Jobseekers Act 1995 after pre-election promises. Oh, wait. They didn’t. After getting the vote, they kept it, and then made changes to make it even worse. And worse. And worse…

      I am sure the Tories will push their reforms before the election and Labour would be left a 50-50 catch 22 decision of scrapping it at around the same cost as keeping it. Both bad value to the taxpayer.

      When these big contracts are signed by one Government, if the next Government wants to scrap it the company who won the contract needs compensation… the bigger the value of the contract, you guessed it, the more it is.

      I would be surprised if the NAO could review it in just 3 months, these reports normally drag on.

      The decision for Labour is more of the case of what to rename the benefit to and what minor changes they can do to make it their own, that is even if they get in. They really aren’t putting any strong solutions across so far. They are scared of making a pledge like the Lib Dems did and later regretting it.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    • Ed Miliband will set up a national Living Standards Index monitored by independent officials if he becomes prime minister. It will aim to gauge whether future governments are helping working people improve their lives.

      The Labour leader will say on Sunday that the new LSI measure – which will be accorded equal status to gross domestic product (GDP) figures – will help to ensure that economic policy is geared to the everyday needs of families rather than to meeting growth targets on graphs.

      Under the plan, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility would be expected to monitor standards of living and issue forecasts in the same way it does for GDP.

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/10/ed-miliband-living-standards-index

      enigma

      January 10, 2015 at 9:46 pm

  60. Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 9, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    • Its a shame I do not know someone in the sign-making industry who could mock one up professionally and someone to install it overnight in a busy city centre location.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      • All you really need to do is get someone to print some big ‘Sanction’ super sticky stickers with the green background.

        Then stick them over the ‘Job’ part, oh you’ll probably need a lightweight ladder as well and a car.

        I’m sure someone would be up for it after a few beers.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    • I would do it, no need of alcohol.

      enigma

      January 9, 2015 at 5:34 pm

  61. UJM is unusable. How the hell am I meant to c&p any job application details into the Activity section when it won’t accept more than 250 characters?

    Landless Peasant

    January 9, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    • Be fair LP, I am surprised they didn’t keep it to the same length (140 characters) as twitter – its a poorly designed job board and CV matching system, the limited characters of 250 is surely to make you sanction-prone.

      Forms having limited character input is one of my pet hates, there is bound to be an upper limit to prevent abuse etc. (i.e. 3000 characters or something) but could you imagine what wordpress would be like if 250 characters was the most you could write in a comment?! Most of the time it seems my replies are as much as 250 words.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 9, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      • Well I was trying to c & p my email replies into the damned thing but I can’t. Will have to just go back to writing it all out by hand…

        Landless Peasant

        January 9, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      • I used to copy n paste all replies, all jobs applied for, date of all, email add (company) company address, phone number, applied by ( on line app/post/email) FT/PT, onto ms word, then print all, (no UJM) no probs with JC.

        enigma

        January 9, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      • I think its all lip service, come unprepared they will attempt to screw you over, come prepared and they don’t remotely care about your job search progress.

        This is how someone managed to get away with their shopping list… lol

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      • I was taking 5 sheets of a4 to the JC every SO, I also had the details of any interviews on them, I was told I had to do more, I knew I didn’t, so I then started to give them 2 sheets of a4.

        No matter how much one does, it isn’t enough. because you are still receiving benefits.

        enigma

        January 9, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    • My OLD WP PA told me to copy cut and paste my ujm cv to a word document. YOU CAN’T. Oh BTW he was fired

      WPP

      January 12, 2015 at 8:37 am

  62. Regulators issue a damning report about Hinchingbrooke Hospital – the first to be run by a private firm – calling for it to be placed on ‘special measures’ just hours after operators Circle announce plans to terminate the contract

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11333986/Damning-report-as-first-private-firm-to-run-NHS-hospital-pulls-out.html

    enigma

    January 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm

  63. This post is getting pretty long, who do I blame?!

    enigma

    January 9, 2015 at 7:43 pm

  64. DWP back at seeking professional to sort out the mess which can only be UC

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30746215

    Note how they intend to place 80% staff with a machine that cannot be designed to adapt to various situations nor be reasoned with.

    gaia

    January 10, 2015 at 7:58 am

    • Lets Guess Who MAY Get The Contract…..M………….r ?

      net

      January 10, 2015 at 10:06 am

    • And the best quote of all time goes to…

      Everyone knows that. DWP, because it’s biggest, probably has more than other parts and that stuff is just going to have to be addressed and we’re going to do that with them

      Is Mike Bracken really executive director for GDS or someone kid on work experience?

      oh, and this later quote is also interesting…

      The coalition originally billed its own Universal Credit as a £2bn, two-year programme. But it has since slipped out that the budget was £12bn, and it’s taking rather longer than expected.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 10, 2015 at 10:28 am

  65. Uk following in USAs footsteps, guess where most of the publics money is going to go after the elections ?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30740614

    So let me get this right. We sell tons of weapons of destruction all over the world including the death penalty toxic cocktail, yet we are going to spend the publics money to clean up our and other governments messes.

    What is this world coming to when we the public have to pay for others mistakes like the oil companies, banks and not so now weapons manufacture.

    gaia

    January 10, 2015 at 8:11 am

  66. Under a future Conservative government core public sector workers in health, education, transport and fire services will be unable to go on strike without the support of 40 per cent of those entitled to vote.

    The Conservatives would also lift a ban on the use agency workers during industrial action, enabling schools to draft in tens of thousands of supply teachers instead of closing.

    They review “minimum service levels” so that in the event of a strike the government knows how many staff are needed to keep public services running.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11337216/Unions-furious-at-Tory-anti-strike-law-pledge.html

    enigma

    January 10, 2015 at 10:58 am

    • Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said: “The Conservatives know that this threshold will effectively end the right to strike in the public sector. No democracy elsewhere in the world has this kind of restriction on industrial action.

      “It is a democratic outrage, especially as the Conservatives have opposed allowing secure and secret online balloting – the one measure guaranteed to increase turnouts.

      “We know they plan to get rid of a million public sector jobs and cut the value of public sector pay every year in the next parliament if they win the election. Now they are also going to make it impossible for public sector workers to resist,” she added.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservatives-to-effectively-end-the-right-to-strike-in-the-public-sector-union-leader-says-9969693.html

      enigma

      January 10, 2015 at 11:19 am

  67. Employment minister meets new employees at Stourbridge hotel and restaurant.

    http://www.stourbridgenews.co.uk/resources/images/3472774.jpg?display=1&htype=0&type=mc2

    Anybody want to do a caption for this photo?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

  68. Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 10, 2015 at 11:25 am

    • “It’s really wonderful to see people working for the lowest of wages.

      enigma

      January 10, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      • Enigma: – Excellent.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 10, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      • Guy at the back: (Thinking) “Thats it, hurry up, unlike some people, others have to earn their way… if you keep it up, my workfare placement will end and I will lose my benefits you bitch”

        Her: “Stop, that’s enough! Before it overflows…”

        Guy on the left: (Thinking) “Well, instead of having it remotely operated for you, you could have pulled the pint yourself you incompetent lazy cow”

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 10, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    • I’m training for 4 & 1/2 months time.

      Another Fine Mess

      January 10, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    • hobgoblin – (folklore) a small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beings
      hobgoblin – an object of dread or apprehension

      Another Fine Mess

      January 10, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      • uc

        Philip

        January 12, 2015 at 8:33 am

    • Government minister finally promoted to Farages cabinet that matches her skill set?

      growls

      January 11, 2015 at 1:54 am

  69. Statistics on audio recorded face-to-face Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) by month from Dec 2012 to Feb 2014

    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/audio-recorded-face-to-face-wcas-dec-2012-to-feb-2014

    enigma

    January 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm

  70. How about,

    Its ok Iian this ones on taxpayers’ expenses.

    ken

    January 10, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    • Five free pints if anyone can tell me how to do my job!

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      January 10, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      • VERY WELL THAT IS HOW YOU DO YOUR JOB VERY WELL.

        Philip

        January 12, 2015 at 8:32 am

  71. 1.4 The Secretary of State will only supply sufficient relevant information about claimants to enable local authorities, citizens advice bureaux, credit unions, social landlords and relevant registered charities to effectively identify vulnerable claimants’ needs, and provide tailored advice, support and assistance in relation to managing their financial affairs and ensure that they have access to and the capability to use online services in connection with their claim.

    1.5 The Secretary of State therefore believes that the regulations are proportionate and in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. Under the proposed amendments, local authorities, citizens advice bureaux, credit unions, social landlords and relevant registered charities would then have the responsibility, subject to data security, of making proportionate use of this data for the prescribed purposes set out in the amendment regulations.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/universal-credit-data-sharing-between-dwp-and-local-support-providers

    enigma

    January 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

  72. This report outlines 35 cases where Ministerial claims using statistics on the subject of Work and Benefits have fallen short of the standards expected of Government Ministers. We believe that this demonstrates a consistent pattern of abuse of official statistics by Ministers of the present Government to paint a false picture of benefit claimants in the UK in support of policies which are aimed at cost cutting to the detriment of jobless, sick and disabled people. Within this document, each case is presented, and fully referenced to source material throughout

    enigma

    January 10, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    • Sorry

      enigma

      January 10, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      • Meanwhile, I’m going to fun n hide in the hope that when I return there will be a new post!

        enigma

        January 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm

  73. I have come to a practical and serious conclusion to what the DWP ministers are aiming for:

    In one word:

    POWER: – Power to control not only the unemployed or disabled people who claim benefits, but also to control people who are working who also claim benefits and people who are at present in full time employment.

    I will go further: – if you all remember IDS commissioned a company in India a few years ago to build profiles and track everybody’s employment history weather they were unemployed or not, this I believe was spread over two separate locations in India – we have never heard how this went or the outcome- maybe it’s still in progress.

    Hey Labour, investigations need to be made into what the hell was or is going on.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 10, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    • I apologiser for commenting on the site, or posting though I see that our excellent posters have filled the gap.

      I am deeply affected by what happened to Charlie Hebdo.

      MY first article in English contained cartoons by Cabu – one of those murdered.

      Andrew Coates

      January 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    • Yes Obi, it’s all about control (total) the very same as in the Nazi era but with added technology.

      enigma

      January 10, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    • Labour won’t investigate fuck all

      Landless Peasant

      January 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm

  74. Andy: I was disgusted by the events over the past few days in Paris and beyond, especially the cold blooded murders of the police victims and the police lady who was shot in the back of the head.

    When I realised what they did to her without conscience, I’ll tell you now mate, I was in tears.

    If it can happen in Paris, one of the major capitals of the world, it can happen in your city, in Great Britain, I would urge everyone to be aware, totally aware of what is going on around you at anytime, all the time.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 10, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    • I cried for the first time in forty years!

      The Charlie People are on the left, from social democrats, liberals, to socialists, Marxists, and anarchists.

      This was an attack on us.

      Andrew Coates

      January 10, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      • Charlie Hebdo is the UK equivalent of Private Eye.

        Marcel

        January 10, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      • There are occasions in the past in the uk where religious tensions have risen,many years ago there was the sikh protest. jerry springer the opera brought out similar happenings.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/4109315.stm

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4154071.stm

        It doesn’t take much to ignite problems,thankfully nothing like the scenes of the last week.

        ken

        January 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      • It was always going to happen or better put Newtons law.

        How the west thought it would be ok to supress as they put it radicalisation yet expect no likewise retaliation on their freedoms beggars belief.

        I put it to you that the wests governments knew what their actions would lead to, knew yet again innocent pawns would die while to true creationists of this entire situation sit in safety, surrounded by bodyguards at our expense.

        Like the war on drugs governments are losing the war on terrorism and if anything are growing into their very counterparts with each day.

        Terror the premise has already won, cant you see that yet?

        gaia

        January 11, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      • Apologies for not posting for a while.

        I am so shocked and disgusted to learn about the Charlie Hebdo attacks. I thought Al-Qaeda was a thing of the past and the new worry is IS/ISIS/ISIL.

        How are you coping Andy?

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 14, 2015 at 6:24 pm

  75. Ready and waiting

    http://fitforwork.org/

    enigma

    January 10, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    • The TUC’s head of health and safety, Hugh Robertson, said: “The focus of this service should be about getting them [workers] better as opposed to just back to work and the two are not necessarily the same.”

      The danger was that people would be forced back to work before they were well.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26105246

      enigma

      January 10, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    • I mentioned ODD a while back, its all quite amazing isn’t it?

      gaia

      January 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      • It is, just because gov’s want everyone to be obedient.

        Did you see the messages above regarding UC.

        enigma

        January 11, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      • If you mean the DPA thingy yes but I didn’t read the government document.

        On first glance of the posts though, namely points 4.3 and 4.4 note the use of proposed and may ?

        gaia

        January 11, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      • Yes, I see it. we should know by 6th of Feb.

        enigma

        January 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    • I narrowly avoided being ‘sectioned’ very recently. If you naively go down the path of psychotherapy this is what to expect:

      Landless Peasant

      January 11, 2015 at 4:15 pm

  76. Elderly people will have to have to go on online or risk losing access to key government services, Francis Maude has said The Cabinet Office minister said in the future most public services would only be available on the internet “because we think that is a better thing for people’s lives”.

    Mr Maude said that online ‘refuseniks’ who did not want to use computers would be able to apply for a one-off lesson from to help them get on to the internet.

    But he said that in future the Government would only make services available over the internet, in the same way an airline sells tickets.

    Ministers are migrating dozens of public services on to the internet, including the carers’ allowance, which is used by 3.2million carers a year, the small claims service, and Lasting Powers of Attorney, which allow families to take control of a loved one’s financial affairs.

    The comments were greeted with dismay by groups representing the estimated five million pensioners in their 80s and 90s who have never been on the internet.

    Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners’ Convention, said: “The move towards largely digital only services could pose a huge problem for millions of older people.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/10889563/Go-on-the-internet-or-lose-access-to-government-services-Francis-Maude-tells-pensioners.html

    enigma

    January 11, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    • “enigma”

      Yet another indication of this utterly out-of-touch Government!

      How much longer can it go on?

      Tobanem

      January 12, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      • Tobanem

        They seem to think that every human being will have a computer and internet access, and expect everyone to know how to use a pc, there are millions without a pc these days and there will be in the future, millions will not be able to afford it.

        enigma

        January 12, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      • I have known a lot of people in my life who are not interested in computers or the internet, but if this “services on line” goes ahead, people will have no choice, in other words, “forced”.

        enigma

        January 12, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      • Recently, it was the one-click CBT cure for benefit claimants. That was ludicrous enough!!!

        Now it’s the very thoughtful Government computer lesson for around 5 million 80/90-year-olds who have never used a computer in their lives, and I doubt will be able to become computer literate at their age – especially after one lesson!!!!!!

        Tobanem

        January 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    • I used the Jobcentre computers this morning.

      There were a number of people with obvious great difficulties using computers.

      The staff were – I have to admit – polite and helpful but obviously couldn’t not help everybody.

      Andrew Coates

      January 12, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      • They are starting this thing too soon, because of the reasons said, but if every kid in school are using computers, by the time they are of old age then everyone should know how to use a computer. until that time however does everyone have their own pc, no, is there places set up for all those who don’t, no, is there enough people to teach all those people, no, as Andy noted. of course many need a lot more than one lesson, just yesterday I showed someone how to “send or reply” (for the 8th time).

        enigma

        January 12, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      • Last time I used one of the terminals, it was a nightmare to operate. They are fairly modern architecture as far as the OS goes, just nothing else falls into place. I am sure it was the system not something I did wrong.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 14, 2015 at 6:26 pm

  77. Please could you supply me with a statistical breakdown of the number of sanctions
    applied to claimants in the last fiscal year according to age, benefit claimed and the
    length of time the claim has existed?”

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/231861/response/591453/attach/html/3/FOI%202014%204134%20Response.pdf.html

    enigma

    January 11, 2015 at 7:06 pm

  78. “I have a very simple approach to this issue which is that ever since we faced these terrorist threats it has always been possible, in extremis, with the signature of a warrant from the home secretary, to intercept your communications, my communications, or anyone else, if there is a threat of terrorism. That is applied whether you are sending a letter, whether you are making a phone call, whether you are using a mobile phone, or whether you are using the internet. I think we cannot allow modern forms of communication to be exempt from the ability

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/11/david-cameron-snoopers-charter-tory-election-win

    enigma

    January 11, 2015 at 10:24 pm

  79. FREE SPEECH

    While the Paris drama unfolded, a man in Saudi Arabia was publicly flogged for setting up a blog on the Internet. The man was sentenced to to 10 years imprisonment plus 1,000 lashes (yes, one thousand) to be carried out in doses of 50 once a week for for 20 weeks. :

    Have they come for you yet, Andrew Coates? Oh, I forgot, it can’t happen here.

    Tobanem

    January 12, 2015 at 10:25 am

    • Yes, If only Gov could get their way with human rights, but then (the message above)

      enigma

      January 12, 2015 at 10:37 am

      • Control off line and on.

        enigma

        January 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    • Well, I did reproduce the cartoons on my personal Blog – unlike the cowardly British media.

      Andrew Coates

      January 12, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    • Saudis are fucking barbarians.

      Landless Peasant

      January 12, 2015 at 7:39 pm

  80. What’s going on with CV Library? It isn’t working properly, and no search results are visible. WTF?

    Landless Peasant

    January 12, 2015 at 6:44 pm

  81. Bradford scheme to help people into work highlighted as national example

    “The truth is that every day our Jobcentre advisers are helping people off benefits ”

    Yes, that’s the trouble, everyone is getting sanctioned!

    http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/11717100.Bradford_scheme_to_help_people_into_work_highlighted_as_national_example/

    Landless Peasant

    January 12, 2015 at 7:45 pm

  82. I have been mandated by my WPP to apply for a post as a PA at my WPP. More here as things progress

    Phil

    January 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

    • WE wish you luck Phil – especially with the other job you mentioned this morning!

      Andrew Coates

      January 13, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    • Hi Phil, good luck and keep us posted 🙂

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 14, 2015 at 6:27 pm

  83. Thanks Andrew

    Phil

    January 14, 2015 at 8:34 am

    • The process began today (I have Changed My Email For This Site Only)

      Phil

      January 14, 2015 at 1:29 pm


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