Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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You are One and Half Times more likely to be Sanctioned on Work Programme than find a Job – BBC.

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Radio Four last night (you can listen to it via link).

Benefit sanctions are supposed to be part of a system helping people back to work. But critics say they penalise the vulnerable and are among the reasons for the growing use of food banks. So how fair is the Government’s system of withholding state payments for those who don’t comply with welfare rules? Allan Urry hears from whistleblowers who allege some JobCentrePlus staff are setting claimants up to fail in order to meet internal performance targets. Why did a recovering amputee lose his benefits because he didn’t answer the phone?

Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Nicola Dowling.

 

The Radio Four programme began with the government’s claim that sanctions are part of a wider system of “support” for people on JSA and other benefits. But the report focused on a very different set of claims: that the Jobcentres were “setting claimants up to fail”. “Over-zealous staff” was, it is alleged, set targets by their line-managers, themselves under pressure to meet targets – of people sanctioned.

The broadcast began with the case of Danielle, a woman with dyslexia and learning difficulties. She had been instructed to complete 48 ‘actions’ to get work a fortnight. With her problems this was not easy. When once she had only done 47 acts she was sanctioned. She ended up dependent on food charities.

This, the BBC reporter noted, should be linked to a wider pattern of harsh treatment for those with a range of problems. It particularly affects those with mental health issues. The position has got so severe that on one estimate 100 people a day in this category are being punished.

The case of the amputee was equally tragic.

SEETEC (which has an Ipswich branch) has been implicated in the case of one woman, Sheila Holt, who was bipolar. They had sent her threatening letters even after a doctor had signed her off as ill. Her family attributed her death – after a major relapse – to this hounding. SETEEC washed their hands of any responsibility.

These punishments have led to a huge growth in the number of people using food banks. Perhaps as many as half those using them do so because of benefit withdrawal. Loss of full benefit, or any benefit at all, leaves people without resources. Appeals, such as they are, rarely take place in a proper independent tribunal. People rely on the DWP’s own internal system – which, it is estimated, is paralysingly slow.

With the evidence of a whistleblower the way DWP staff dealt with claimants was explored. It was said that “unreasonable requirements” were not the work of one or two individuals. They came from a culture in which advisers were encouraged to see the people singing-on as an “obstacle to performance”. They were deliberately given too many hurdles to jump through. It was claimed that one manager (and no doubt others) deliberately “made up appointments”, which they could not attend, with the intention of sanctioning them. The former DWP employee said that his complaints about the practice had been dismissed. Investigations continued.

It was noted that those on the Work Programme were one and a half times more likely to be sanctioned than to find a job.

In the concluding section the reporter tried to find out the levels of money saved by the DWP through sanctioning claimants. While the figures had been available in the past they were mysteriously unavailable for the last couple of years.

The government and the DWP deny all the charges, above all setting targets for sanctions. But they were unwilling to speak directly to the BBC.

The programme was an excellent example of real investigative journalism.

Hats off to those who made it.

It confirms what many of us know only all too well.

The Guardian adds,

Jobcentre ‘hit squads’ set up benefit claimants to fail, says former official

Bosses accused of setting targets for sanctions, while unscrupulous staff targeted weak and vulnerable customer
 Jobcentre staff were threatened with disciplinary action for missing sanctions targets, according to former official John Longden. 

Jobcentre bosses set up “hit squads” to target benefit claimants for sanctions and put pressure on them to sign off the dole, according to evidence presented to an inquiry by MPs.

The written statement, by a former jobcentre official, John Longden, says frontline staff were ordered to “agitate and inconvenience” customers so they fell foul of the rules, enabling staff to stop their benefits payments.

Staff who failed to meet sanctions targets each month were threatened with disciplinary action, he claims.

Longden says he was told by a manager that the message with regard to customers was: “Let’s set them up from day one.”

He adds: “Customers were being deliberately treated inappropriately in order to achieve [staff] performance [targets] without regard for natural justice and their welfare.”

Longden’s evidence covers events he says he witnessed at Salford and Rochdale jobcentres between 2011 and 2013. It has been lodged with the Commons work and pensions select committee, which is investigating benefit sanctions policy.

A sanction involves the stopping of claimants’ benefit payments for at least four weeks – equivalent to almost £300 – as a penalty for breach of benefit rules and conditions, typically failure to look for work or attend jobcentre appointments.

Ministers introduced tighter rules for claiming benefits in October 2012, saying sanctions were a “last resort” that would encourage claimants to “engage” with jobcentres. However, critics say jobcentres are increasingly neglecting to help claimants find jobs and are instead focusing on finding ways to impose financial penalties on them.

In further written evidence to the committee, another former Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) official accuses jobcentres of “bullying people off the [unemployment] register”.

Ian Wright, a former personal adviser at a Leicester jobcentre, says he was ordered by managers to send more claimants for sanction, and was threatened with disciplinary action when he questioned the policy.

Unscrupulous staff would target weak and vulnerable claimants for sanctions, he states. In one case a customer who could neither read nor write was formally directed to put their CV on a job match website. “Unsurprisingly they did not manage this task and were sanctioned.”

The PCS union, which represents jobcentre staff, said the evidence chimed with its own straw poll of members, which found almost two-thirds had experienced pressure to refer claimants for a sanction inappropriately, while more than a third had been placed on a formal performance improvement plan for not making enough referrals.

PCS is one of a number of witnesses giving evidence to the committee on Wednesday morning.

Longden claims that staff used several tricks to set up claimants. On several occasions jobcentre advisers purposefully booked job appointments without informing the claimant, ensuring they could be sanctioned when they failed to attend.

Claimants would be set unreasonable job search targets, referred for jobs for which they were clearly unsuited, or ordered to sign on every day in the hope they would fail in a task, miss an appointment or be late.

“The aim was to find an opportunity to make a referral to the decision maker [an official who decides whether to sanction a claimant] with the possibility of getting the customer sanctioned.

“It was distressing to see so many customers treated in such a way,” states Longden.

“One customer was made to attend daily for two months and eventually broke down and wept in the office.”

He adds: “Staff were threatened by the cluster manager that their jobs would be taken by other people if they didn’t do what they were told.”

Longden says he raised objections with his line manager more than once after witnessing staff take inappropriate action, but no action was taken.

He says staff “were being asked to behave in a manner that was against the [DWP’s] values of integrity and honesty”. The confrontational approach caused arguments with customers and sometimes police would have to be called to restore order.

Longden, who says he spent 23 years as a jobcentre adviser, states: “Sanctions of customers were encouraged by managers daily, with staff being told to look at every engagement with the customer as an opportunity to take sanction action.

“I was personally told by a manager to ‘agitate’ and ‘inconvenience’ customers in order to get them to leave the register.”

A DWP spokesman said: “Mr Longden’s allegations were thoroughly investigated and no evidence was found to substantiate them. Furthermore, the people named in the allegations strongly refute them.

“The reality is, sanctions are a necessary part of the benefits system but they are used as a last resort in a tiny minority of cases where people don’t play by the rules. Jobcentre Plus advisers work hard every day to help people into work. There are no targets for sanctions.”

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 21, 2015 at 10:33 am

157 Responses

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  1. We can now see the changes of the advisers attitudes in jobcentres, as I like others have noticed.

    enigma

    January 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

    • “No evidence found” of course from the DWP, and those named – “it wasn’t me” “I didn’t do anything wrong” “it’s not my fault” nothing but lies as usual.

      enigma

      January 21, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    • Will John Longden name all those not named in this, later this year?

      enigma

      January 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm

  2. As I commented: I bet this is not an isolated case.

    I’ve heard of at least 3 people I’m in contract with of stories about appointments that they did not know about.

    Andrew Coates

    January 21, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    • The “missed appointments” scandal has been going on for years – the most provocative example being people on the Work Programme given a sanction for not turning up to an appointment ONE YEAR earlier!!!

      Tobanem

      January 21, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      • It was interesting to hear of how the bastards did it.

        Imagine the mindset of the person making a fake appointment, or changing a real one so that some poor sod gets caught out.

        It’s like somebody fiddling the accounts with the boss’s approval.

        Andrew Coates

        January 21, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      • Has happened to me a couple of times. In no particular order.

        One case was at jobcentre plus… they seemed to forget the adviser WROTE the appointment down in his own handwriting which matched that of the Jobseekers Agreement (i.e. his name and signature). Didn’t refer me, was afraid his job was in the balance.

        One was handed to me as a printed jobseeker direction. The adviser signed it (pp’d the signature!) Didn’t refer me due to embarrassment of signing the flipping thing!

        One was failing to attend sign on appointment – their records said one thing – the ES40JP – in my possession – said another. I remember emailing a scanned copy to the JCP District Manager. (I was sanctioned this time, the DM removed it off the system, no record of a reconsideration or anything. Got the owed benefit almost immediately, the incorrect benefit sanction referral disappeared)

        One was at TNG on Flexible New Deal – too bad for them I sanctioned dodged it, haha, what is more sweet was they get feedback on whether sanctions are successful or not. The bad communication between JCP and Providers… TNG was never aware I signed off – other than the reason for the sanction failing – which they assumed was a mistake.

        As for editing appointments… all systems (well 99.9%) will log all changes made and by what user. This isn’t necessarily viewable by that user but an admin could see it. At welfare to work providers you could argue the jobcentre doesn’t know about this practice but the truth is they don’t care.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 1:15 pm

  3. Benefit Sanctions:

    Extensive research evidence on how DWP’s punitive regime forces people off benefits, not into work.

    Read full report online: Link below

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.sociology.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/sanction120115-2.pdf

    http://refuted.org.uk/2015/01/21/dwppunitiveregime/

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    • Many who come to the food bank tell us that their claim has been closed, some are told by DWP to reclaim, of course the DWP don’t tell them why their claim was closed, the missing (those who are no longer claiming nor in employment) some will be on the streets, and no doubt some may have committed suicide. especially what with the 156 week sanction.

      enigma

      January 21, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      Excellent report. It’s main conclusions are:

      When sanctions go up, so do people disappearing from JSA!!!

      Most sanctions victims don’t enter employment!!!

      Tobanem

      January 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm

  4. Sanctions

    DWP Decision Makers must determine if a person with a medical condition would suffer a GREATER decline in health [when sanctioned] than a normal adult:

    https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/benefit-sanctions-will-cause-a-deterioration-in-health-and-thats-ok-says-dwp-rule-book/

    It’s not exactly very normal even for a “healthy” person to be left with no money, no food, no heat, no hope…

    Tobanem

    January 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm

  5. Here’s something to cheer you all up:

    Tory MP takes on cage fighter, loses.

    Conservative MP Steve Baker decided to grapple with a cage fighter, all in the name of promoting self-defence and an anti-bullying message.

    “It seemed a good idea to obtain some self-defence training from the excellent Combat Academy,” the Wycombe MP wrote on his website.

    http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/tory-mp-takes-on-cage-fighter-loses–x1llBL4Xjg

    Pity it wasn’t IDS.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 21, 2015 at 1:32 pm

  6. Meanwhile, over at Vox Political, Mike Sivier does his piece on “Unemployment Figures – a Sanctions-Based Stitch-up”:

    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/01/21/unemployment-figures-are-a-sanction-based-stitch-up-research-shows/

    Tobanem

    January 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm

  7. This was the subject of today’s Jeremy Vine show. Mercifully, the usual right-wing curmudgeons weren’t much in evidence (apart from a representative from the TaxPayers’ Alliance who, of course, was all in favour of sanctions, and someone in charge of a jobclub who – surprise, surprise, – felt they were justified). Encouragingly, all of those phoning in condemned the cruel sanctions regime, often giving poignant examples of how they or their relatives/friends were being hounded and bullied by callous jobcentre staff.

    Hopefully, some of the listeners who don’t listen to Radio 4’s output and get most of their (mis)information on sanctions via the tabloid press will have been left aware of just what the true situation is.

    Trevor

    January 21, 2015 at 2:22 pm

  8. lol at the cops in dorset asking 5000 guys to ” voluntarily” give a sample of their dna ostensibly to solve an 100 year old murder…. wonder what happens if you don’t “volunteer”… 😉 *SOUND OF DOOR BEING KICKED IN*

    Inspector Clouseau

    January 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    • They want every human beings DNA, (in the system) the same is happening in Sussex (a recent murder) all kinds of excuses will appear, “murder” being the top one, at the moment it’s “voluntary”

      enigma

      January 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      • I have just heard on BBC south today, that if someone doesn’t volunteer their DNA for the reason which is murder, that person will not be taken out the investigation and will seen by someone (police) to talk about it. not really voluntary is it.

        enigma

        January 21, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      • For a murder, it’s understandable.

        enigma

        January 21, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    • Thin edge of the wedge and all that… they have to start somewhere… so they use the most emotive example… before long they will want your dabs and dna because someone (a sanctioned jobseeker?) has pilfered an energy drink from a Tesco 500 miles away!

      Function Creep

      January 21, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    • If you ever undergo genetic testing as part of a medical diagnostic procedure (elective or otherwise) ensure that you do not sign any paper which concerns the use of the DNA once it has been tested. Ask for a copy of the legislation and study it before you sign any permission to carry out dna testing. As part of the permission gaining process, you might be told that once your DNA has been tested, it will be kept to help the NHS in future research. They don’t often include a section where it indicates that your DNA might be sold on to commercial companies and as the NHS becomes more cash strapped as it’s killed, then DNA is another commodity which can be sold for profit. Your DNA is your data.

      Lucy

      January 22, 2015 at 11:32 am

  9. rainbowwarriorlizzie

    January 21, 2015 at 4:27 pm

  10. LIFE COACHES

    New £11 Million scheme to be launched in central London for people still unemployed after being on the already discredited Work Programme. (The old “hit squads” for Work Programme returners were not enough)! Help will be given on what to wear, interview techniques, CVs, mental health issues, confidence and motivation. (Nothing about job creation, though)!

    I wonder what the sanction rate will be on this latest scheme?

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/11-million-project-to-provide-life-coaches-for-thousands-of-londoners-9989581.html

    Tobanem

    January 21, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    • Similar to the supervised job search. no internet access – no job search.

      enigma

      January 21, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    • Employment minister Esther McVey stressed previously too many of the long-term unemployed had been ignored.

      “We are helping to ensure everyone benefits from the improving economy so they can provide a regular wage for themselves and their families,” she added

      “Regular wage” yes we know what that is don’t we.

      enigma

      January 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    • “hit squads”… tell me about them: “this interview may last up to tow hours” 👿 👿

      WS1

      January 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      • you not seen me in action then i wiped the floor with mine in 20 mins 10 mins later done the floor manager as well.

        never went again for 1 just tried to make me sign every day n soon stopped that as it was over half my benefit a week in bus fairs.

        super ted

        January 21, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      • Ditto super ted, they tried allsorts of crap on me to except then didn’t they call it the trailblazer trial.

        The one I particularly loved was when they tried to threaten me with a sanction if I didn’t find a place to rent, boy did I laugh in there faces and loud to, especially when I followed it up with , “so how do you propose to sanction me if I don’t take housing benefit out” or words to that effect as it was so very long ago now.

        Same crap, different day that’s all.

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 12:27 am

  11. and no sign no go same as b4 with the rest of it ill not be going 😉

    super ted

    January 21, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    • Have you noticed anything different in the jobcentre Super Ted. (advisers)

      enigma

      January 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      • yeah they not doing that much than just sign me and others and can go in and out faster than ever.

        down to 1 g4s on second floor now and just stands around looking out the window.

        quick look at js and that’s it in and out looks like they have just given up at mine on sanctions providers ect as its just pissing money down the drain. took long enough to get that one lol.

        super ted

        January 21, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      • G4S, reminds me the other day in the jobcentre, there used to be 5 G4S, now 2.

        enigma

        January 21, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      • You must be joking… Door B…

        Had to wait 20 minutes… (was 5 mins early but will disregard that – 20 minutes after my appointment time…) was 9 people (including me) waiting… 4 sitting near reception desk, 2 sitting on the “east seats” at the back and 3 sitting on the “west seats” near the entrance/exit… and 5 advisers/job coaches signing people on! (Well kinda)

        There were a few other people sitting but they went down the corridor for some group appointment session thingy.

        I get the impression those advisers towards the left (2 at the time) as you walk in are aimed to trip people up (the old woman witch is there) maybe weekly signing…. and towards the right of where you come in … damn they are slow.

        Don’t assume they were thorough, they spent most of the time shuffling the WS1 booklets with one of the advisers coordinating the WS1 booklets allocation, interviews lasted a maximum of 2 mins on the right side of the room.

        1) sign declaration
        2) check UJM briefly (just for access)

        This is a practice what you call in the public sector of “keeping your job”. Ignoring the two on the left (engaged in longer appointments)… that is 3 advisers for 9 people… 3 jobseekers per adviser. Allowing 2 minutes per person and a minute break in between appointments (assuming more coming after) plus 1 minute contingency, it shouldn’t take much longer than 10 minutes for all 3 advisers to see the 9 people. The time I was heading for the exit there was still 3 people waiting to be seen who had been waiting almost as long as I had been.

        What was slightly concerning is very few people there (jobseekers) I was utilising my waiting time wisely preparing for being sanctioned or specifically, them trying to set me up.

        I won’t accept that unemployment is down. The absence of people is down to benefit sanctions, and this is at a time where people have witnessed jobcentre staff not being so strict with the regime… hence just checking UJM access is enabled as a tick box exercise rather than getting too detailed in what you have done for work.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      • There are people juggling on zero hour contracts as well – a lot of people.

        Andrew Coates

        January 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      • This is a practice what you call in the public sector of “keeping your job”. If you are efficient your job is gone, if you are the opposite you are kept on.

        Their jobs are at risk and they know it, so they are doing their best to keep themselves in their jobs, except it appears their past “successes” (benefit sanctions referrals) has resulted in less people to see.

        I assume other times are much more busier and perhaps on different days also, and under 25s are banned from the jobcentre now – thanks to the MYGO initiative, so half of their jobs are likely to go. Far overstaffed.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      • I think you are right Andy, people are risking it on zero hour contracts by not bothering to sign on hoping they get work.

        You are able to work up to 15 hours a week and declare it – almost all your earnings will be disregarded from your benefit. I think you can keep £5 of JSA or something silly.

        If I was on a zero hour contract and averaging 12-14 hours per week I would probably not bother signing on even though I might not have any work the following week.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 12:46 pm

  12. Mental health issues?. off to prison.

    The court heard how Reid had been found on the tracks in the same location less than two months before, having jumped down from some flats and that she had refused to co-operate with mental health services.

    In mitigation Michael McGoldrick told the court that whether it was a suicide attempt or a ploy to get off the streets and spend the Christmas period in jail it was a very “sad state of affairs”.

    He added that Reid had been homeless for two to three years, had underlying mental health issues, including a significant personality disorder, and had been on a methadone prescription.

    http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/11737304.999_crews_risked_lives_in_dramatic_rescue_of_woman_who_walked_on_to_railway_line_at_Southampton_station/?ref=mr

    enigma

    January 21, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    • Interesting story there enigma as I thought we weren’t going to lock up people with mental health issues anymore not to mention whats the point as how is justice served if that’s what she wanted in the first place.

      What were we saying about cost transference in regards to welfare reforms, £ 135,000 cost to railway and that’s not including police and court costs, legal aid, medics and hospital treatment and finally prison costs.

      She a one woman tory economy wrecking ball or what.

      gaia

      January 22, 2015 at 12:09 am

      • Oh I forgot,
        I see the £26’000 a year benefit cap had no effect on her then but hey their is an upside for the Tories,

        At least she found single bedroom accommodation. lol

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 1:39 am

      • Accommodation Yes, just like those who are stealing food, in order to be taken to prison.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 9:33 am

  13. A DWP spokesman said: “Mr Longden’s allegations were thoroughly investigated and no evidence was found to substantiate them. Furthermore, the people named in the allegations strongly refute them.

    Lies,denial,deceit.they are even turning in their own staff.what this department puts out is contemptuous tripe in correspondence. people are entitled to their money, they must never win.

    ken

    January 21, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    • DWP is full of lying, releasing misinformation, dodging FoI bullets, incorrect use of figures and adding spin.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 22, 2015 at 11:56 am

  14. Jobs available.

    Potential cyber warriors wanting to join Britain’s new hi-tech warfare reserve are being excused fitness tests as defence chiefs try to recruit experts too unfit to pass, or put off by military discipline.

    The Ministry of Defence is waiving normal rules for recruits as it tries to hire hundreds of computer experts for its new, 500-strong cyber warfare reserve.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11360976/Fitness-tests-waived-for-MoDs-new-reservist-cyber-warriors.html

    enigma

    January 21, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    • Yep and its the tactic called ,”if you cant beat them, hire them.

      Todays generation are all Snowdon’s so unless this a ploy to create a virtual concentration camp I cant see it doing anything other than blowing up in their face on the long run as they don’t care about being good little British citizens or the official secrets act, the days of patriotism are over, its all about taking down the biggest score you can lay your hands on for the crown of being infamous.

      You could even say who ever dupes them first that they are the modern day equivalent of guy Fawkes.

      gaia

      January 21, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    • Would anyone be as insane to apply? The background checks and everything…. not to say experts in such a field have ever done criminal or dodgy practices… but I am sure they will check out all your utility records and probably search the archives at GCHQ.

      I initially thought it was about ensure businesses and government can withstand hack attacks from China, Russia etc. but it seems more like hacking into servers in other countries.

      They surely won’t employ anyone they don’t have dirt on… to avoid such people spilling… you know how difficult it is for MPs and celebs alike to refrain from saying things on twitter and posting dodgy pics on facebook….

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 22, 2015 at 11:54 am

  15. Microsoft to give away Windows 10, unveils hologram glasses.

    Windows 10, expected on the market this autumn, will be available for one year as a free upgrade to users of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/21/us-microsoft-windows-idUSKBN0KU28320150121

    enigma

    January 21, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    • … and what happens after a year…. 😉

      Steve Jobs (Deceased)

      January 21, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      • i would not have it even for free n keep my win 7 64 os retail. 😉

        super ted

        January 21, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      • Its not exactly clear yet but if its like when I beta tested vista and 7 then it should go as follows.

        Very soon the beta will come out so if you adopt it, come late December when it or when ever it reaches RC then you get it for free. This said though will it have inbuilt ghost copy facility meaning if it hasn’t and it corrupts beyond repair, your be forced if you like it that is to then have to make a purchase.

        Super ted, it may turn out crap but I would dual boot as then you can have 7 and 10 so have the best of both worlds as great as 7 is it doesn’t use more than 4 cores.

        gaia

        January 21, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      • It’s best to do dual boot as Gaia noted, (when first trying a new operating system). .

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 9:00 am

      • Unless you have a spare computer to try it out.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 9:01 am

      • Free – It marks a change in strategy from Microsoft’s previous policy of charging for major updates, and could help avoid a repeat of the relatively slow uptake of Windows 8.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 9:47 am

      • I am fine with Windows 7 haha (which they already know hence they want to tempt people with a free upgrade)

        I hope they have the sense to license out the Windows 10 for mobile (ARM based) for FREE to encourage uptake. They won’t.

        I was only thinking the other month… Microsoft Surface… (not the coffee table) when it was only the RT version… (i.e. ARM not x86) how much I would love Windows desktop on my phablet… (I don’t mean via RDP or VNC lol) despite not being as good as the proper version.

        I wonder if they will release a new windows version (10, 11, 12, 14, 15 etc) each year, basically replacing Windows Service Packs (i.e. when you buy the software with it already on). Updates and a few new wallpapers and other changes.

        In a similar way to a new web browser version being released every month instead of every few years.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 11:49 am

      • 64 os ultimate does got 16 going on dual xeons 4 each 16 with hyper threading turned on will not see more than 2 cpus in it tho not sure if 10 will support more than that.

        super ted

        January 22, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      • http://ark.intel.com/products/75283/Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-2697-v2-30M-Cache-2_70-GHz

        x2 of them you got 48 cores will cost 4k for 2 tho plus a server board 600 plus

        super ted

        January 22, 2015 at 7:59 pm

  16. Conservatives still manipulating IFS data.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30921199

    Well, so as not to have a somewhat biased election lets bring this topic up shall we

    http://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/news-and-analysis/latest-news/why-is-the-ifs-refusing-to-comment-on-osbornes-budget-hole/2015412.article

    gaia

    January 21, 2015 at 11:55 pm

  17. A U-fucking-KIP candidate has suggested that welfare claimants should be BANNED from driving! Un-fucking-belieavble!

    Fuck UKIP

    January 22, 2015 at 12:04 am

    • And then they wonder why they don’t get voted for at major elections, how I would love to hear the logic behind this one as effectively they have just reduced the individuals chances of finding work, in particular the transport sector.

      Whats next, claimants are evil so shouldn’t work in charity shops, I know, I know, worth a shot though.

      gaia

      January 22, 2015 at 1:57 am

    • What about the increasing number of job adverts which require a driving licence – not just for delivery divers etc, but even for the likes of admin positions in outlying districts with few public transport facilities?

      Tobanem

      January 22, 2015 at 8:56 am

      • Yes: this!

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 11:28 am

      • You see lots of office-based admin jobs that require a driving licence – the requirement usually stated in capital letters; the reason they do it is because they think it will screen out the ‘chavs’, just look at an ad for a highly sought after job such as an assistant clinical psychologist.

        Dr Job

        January 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      • …usually stated as “FULL CLEAN CURRENT DRIVING LICENCE”… for an admin job!

        Dr Job

        January 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      • Anyway, jobseekers are seeking to learn to drive as a means of IMPROVING their job prospects – so what do UKIP propose to do – automatically ban them for being a jobseeker! You couldn’t make it up!

        Dr Job

        January 22, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      • I agree, whether or not you intend to own, rent/lease or hire a car… get your licence.

        Its really important in today’s labour market.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      • This kind of fits in with DWP farmer-kicks-the-cow-in-the-legs-then-mocks-its-when-its-down policy. It would make it even harder for jobseekers to escape the clutches of the DWP and their third-party collaborators therefore securing more cash-cows for the milking… and off course, just like the bad farmer, you can keep blaming, mocking and ridiculing the (cash) cows for their predicament…

        Farmer Brown

        January 22, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    • I guess that will be yet another, “I made a mistake, I’m sorry”

      enigma

      January 22, 2015 at 9:14 am

      • I noticed that to Tobanem, as if I can afford to run a car while unemployed, sure it may be possible if your insurance is relatively new and a service isn’t in the wings for 6 months but for most of us luck never works that way.

        As usual I whole heartedly agree Enigma.

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 11:00 am

    • Then how the F@@@ are you meant to get a job as a driver

      Nigel Farage

      January 22, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      • Don’t think we have thought this one through, Nig… 😉

        UKIP Policy Development Committee

        January 22, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      • … back to the drawing board… or should that be the back of a fag-packet… 😉

        UKIP Policy Development Committee

        January 22, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      • I know: why don’t we ban ‘darkies’ from the roads? What say you, Nig… 😉

        UKIP Policy Development Committee

        January 22, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    • Nah thats fine you want to sanction me for not applying for that Job , there on the night shift ? Ok show me how I can get there without public transport at that time of night.

      growls

      January 22, 2015 at 10:18 pm

  18. Just watched the second seating of the sanction discussions by the committee and even their the theme seems to be no ones for sanctions under the current regime.

    http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/news/benefit-sanctions-2/

    gaia

    January 22, 2015 at 6:02 am

  19. Ban benefit claimants from driving, Ukip candidate’s leaflet suggests

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jan/21/benefit-claimants-cars-buses-ukip-leaflet

    ken

    January 22, 2015 at 7:09 am

    • Ken

      See my comment above – posted a few minutes ago. UKIP are preoccupied with traffic. Farage also blamed immigration for the traffic congestion which caused him to be late for a venue!

      UKIP even wanted to ban welfare claimants from voting!

      The comment about a driving ban for benefit claimants is just another ill thought out rant to attract publicity.

      Mind you, if UKIP gain power in a coalition with the Tories, they will probably ban Welfare altogether!!!

      Tobanem

      January 22, 2015 at 9:10 am

      • Reading the article i see they don’t say their going to make the person retract them publicly.

        This figure of 6 million clearly includes those claiming in work benefits so even before beginning this persons views and is advertising those on benefits irrespective of working or not with most in work as a different class to those that don’t.

        I would love to know where their evidence comes from as I haven’t seen any stats looking at the types of people with cars or motorbikes.

        If the press have to declare the resource they gleaned data from to substantiate a made claim then so should politicians across the platform who are openly abusing the public with one incorrect assertion after another while simultaneously accusing another party of the same said crime.

        On line its called flaming and sees the post removed quickly so as to stop mass arguments that if were in the physical world would see people come to blows. Surely its time people being interviewed by the media or by any medium came under the same rule.

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 11:51 am

    • I wouldn’t get too worked up about it, they are trying to reach out to the “middle” voters. They will do anything to get the publicity to keep them in the limelight. If the press stopped reporting on them for 3 months that party would be dead.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 22, 2015 at 11:33 am

    • Having met some Kippers nothing they say will ever surprise me.

      Andrew Coates

      January 22, 2015 at 11:37 am

  20. Surging childcare fees and expenses linked to education mean the basic cost of bringing up a child in the UK has risen 50 per cent faster than inflation over more than a decade.

    The study, carried out by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR) for the insurer Liverpool Victoria (also known as LV=) suggests that parents have cut back spending on toys and even food but any savings have been swallowed up by other rising costs.

    Almost half of mothers consulted by the researchers also said they had either been forced to go back to work earlier than they would have wished or taken on extra work to help meet the cost of raising a family.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11360819/Average-cost-of-raising-a-child-in-UK-230000.html

    enigma

    January 22, 2015 at 9:44 am

  21. The government said in June it would stop sending people by taxi or public transport to Ipswich or King’s Lynn, and even further afield, for assessments to decide if they are fit to work. Campaigners have spent three years calling for the issue to be addressed

    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/norwich_assessment_disgrace_set_to_end_minister_claims_1_3911159

    A wheelchair user who had his leg amputated turned up for a disability assessment but was sent home – because it was on the first floor and he wasn’t allowed to use the lift.

    One woman worker then even asked the 52 year old, whose right leg is amputated below the knee, if he could walk up the stairs instead.

    http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/11739357.Man_turned_away_from_disability_benefit_interview_in_Bournemouth___because_he_was_in_a_wheelchair/?ref=trn

    enigma

    January 22, 2015 at 10:04 am

    • “Information commissioner investigates LG snooping smart TV data collection”

      http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/21/information-commissioner-investigates-lg-snooping-smart-tv-data-collection

      Annos

      January 22, 2015 at 11:37 am

      • Meanwhile, millions of teenagers have PS4 and Xbox Ones in their bedrooms…

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      • I say teenagers… primary school children probably have them too these days.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      • TVs are “smart” cookies – they run their own little Linux-based operating system with an assortment of programmes. It is the TV that is “smart” – not the end user 😉

        Sammy

        January 22, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      • Looks like LG will have a “list” of the TV programmes you have watched along with all the .torrent files you downloaded from the internet to play on the TVs media player…. to be “shared” with whoever… cops… “anti-piracy” organisations… the dwp/jobcentre…. 😉

        Sammy

        January 22, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      • Sammy, i would have thought they already block p2p traffic protocol as no one now gets arrested for downloading a torrent, its stern letters now from the ISP provider so none of these threatening letters from solicitors demanding money or else.

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    • Don’t buy a “smart TV”

      enigma

      January 22, 2015 at 11:46 am

      • I hate to tell you all this let alone yourself Enigma but smart chips are being put in many appliances so at some point not to distant these people will be able to tell you how long your washing machine has been on, I kid you not as wireless or Ethernet isn’t the only way to transmit a data signal and a perfect example are PLCs used by industry and was the entry point for the famed stuxnet virus used on iran.

        Short of public cameras people would have to give up all electronic equipment including the meters that supply utilities so it gets worse and worse every year.

        I remember when I did a little work for Sky that the main reason why they insisted on subscribers MUST have a phone connection and that it is connected to the skybox 24/7 which they routinely checked via a signal was so they can spy on what your watch and that was back at the very start of the digital boxes being introduced and analogue boxes replaced.

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      • Yes, DPA may as well not exist, with what is going on.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      • Yeah, always had to have the telephone line disconnected from the Sky box…

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      • I don’t know if you guys have heard this one a while back but some college/hi school across the pond gave its students laptops and was remotely spying on them by turning on the camera, that’s why if you didn’t know you see on some laptops a bit of sticky tape over them as switching on visual or audio isn’t that hard remotely.

        As you can imagine children were viewed in the nude, sleeping, what they did and how for homework, what they said about teachers and even domestic spats with parents were recorded until they got found out.

        The reason why I mention this is that I have heard on the grapevine that DWP are considering giving under 24s laptops and I think we can all agree you wouldn’t put it past them to spy as they already do and will without regret or punishment if the tories win the election and francis maudes white paper gets excepted into law.

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      • I do remember that, a few months ago, we can imagine what the gov really want to do – have camera’s put into all homes, rooms, basements, everywhere. but can’t, so as you noted, giving free computers out, smart TV’S, and every other device. .

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      • This?

        Framework Agreement with 1 supplier to supply Laptop Computers, Tablets and Mobile Phones to support customers into and retain employment

        Argos contract worth £30k

        As part of this support Jobcentre Plus administers the Flexible Support Fund (FSF) to support customers into work.

        The FSF was introduced in April 2011 by amalgamating a number of budgets in to a single budget. All JCP District Managers (DM) receive an FSF allocation consisting of a discretionary fund which they can use to support local economic activity, supplement mainstream provision and tailor support to meet the specific needs of individuals and their local area.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      • It was news about webcams around the world, I remember one about Russia, where you could see people at work, in cafes, homes, etc, as Gaia noted, I did copy n paste a link to it a while ago on here, somewhere!

        FSF, Interesting.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      • I once got given £50 for clothes for a new job, DWP though don’t tell anyone about the “extra” support one could get. nothing unusual!

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      • FREEVIEW DOES LET BROADCASTERS KNOW HOW MANY ARE WATCHING THEIR CHANNELS

        INTHEKNOW2

        January 24, 2015 at 9:13 am

      • Enigma:

        You can still get the clothes grant for new interview clothes (Shoes, shirt, pants and a tie etc), but you have to prove you have an interview.

        Also the Jobcentres used to send you to ‘Top Man’ to get them, now they send you to ‘Matalan’ (cheap skates)

        He’s the procedure you have to follow to get it:

        1. You go to the JCP and tell them you have an interview.

        2. You have to prove you have an interview.

        3. The JCP instructs you to go to Matalan and tells you how much you can spend.

        4. You go to Matalan and choose your clothes.

        5. Once you have chosen your clothes you take them to the counter or checkout.

        6. You tell whoever serves you that you are unemployed and show proof (signing on card should suffice)

        7. Matalan then gives you a chit signed by them.

        8. You then take the chit back to the JCP who verify with Matalan and stamp it.

        9. You then take the chit back to Matalan, hand it over and collect you chosen clothes.

        10. WHAT A FUCK AROUND!

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 24, 2015 at 10:37 am

      • Obi

        When I got a job a few years ago I was given £50 cash for clothes, so I went to Matalan. it’s cheap yes but there are some good clothes in it, and a lot more choice than other smaller shops, from what you said yes it means running around for it!.

        enigma

        January 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    • “The Associated Press reports”

      https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/01/healthcare.gov-sends-personal-data

      I read some months ago that they use your webcam to watch and listen to you even when your NOT using it!!!.

      Annos

      January 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      • The following is a table showing which third party domains EFF researchers confirmed were receiving the private health data.

        Domain
        Akamai.net
        Chartbeat.net
        Clicktale.net
        Doubleclick.net
        Google.com
        Mathtag.com
        Mixpanel.com
        Nrd-data.net
        Optimizely.com
        Reson8.com
        Rfihub.com
        Twitter.com
        Yahoo.com
        Youtube.com

        I once said to a doc, ” I don’t want my medical health info shared”, docs reply “what if you had to go to London or Edinburgh” This is the reply you will get from your doctor, they will try and stop you from “stopping your info being shared”, with a stupid excuse. meanwhile a lot of peoples medical health info is shared. and don’t know it.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      • Link refers to the US!

        Also note, “confidentiality” doesn’t mean “secret” or “private”. All information held on their computer systems can be accessed by any doctor, receptionist, admin etc

        Its common for departments to share such information – i.e. NHS, Social Services etc.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      • US yes, and the UK? shared with whom.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      • And then there’s the hackers who like to hack into such things.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      • So many steps people can take…

        USB webcams pretty much all have a light on when operational and internal mics… best to unplug the thing when not needed or at least cover it.

        3.5mm jack mics… unplug or at least move it towards the back of the pc so it picks up the fan noise (if you have “silent” fans in PSU, CPU etc. not so effective)

        Hibernating PC if not using it for quite a while or unplugging internet connection

        This is on top of basics like keep AV up to date, have a firewall, keep windows etc. up to date (including browsers and plug ins), preferably use non-admin account, and don’t download dodgy software or use dodgy looking sites.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      • So many people don’t know what is going on.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      • I did mention not so long ago that DWP when I signed back on not once but on two separate occasions tried to trick me into signing away consent to use my sensitive data (not to be confused with personal data) which is what gives them the right to process medical data amongst other things.

        Listen carefully now if you don’t already know, you can withdraw your right for DWP to use your sensitive data, they cannot stop you, they must obey and your like this next bit, IT DOESNT EFFECT YOUR RIGHTS TO BENEFIT.

        Also I suggest doing the same at your GP surgery.

        In both instances it must be done in writing.

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 10:15 pm

      • … and USB cameras light up for a few seconds when a computer is starting up… just so that you know that the light is working…. 😉

        Spycam

        January 23, 2015 at 4:25 pm

  22. In Scotland, 159,970 referrals to the Work Programme have been made since it began in 2011.

    21.4% found work.

    132,634 sanctions have been imposed since October 2012.

    Although Scotland is to get devolved powers, the sanctions regime will still be in force from Westminster.

    Here is the link to the new powers in Scotland – scroll down to the video report on the Work Programme:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30931873

    Tobanem

    January 22, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    • Can anyone tell me what Scotland is famous for?

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 22, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      • Whisky, television, radar, tarmac, antiseptics, antibiotics, North Sea oil…the list could go on…

        Silly question, UJ!

        Tobanem

        January 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      • Whisky!

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      • Telephone

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      • I meant most famous for!

        IMO probably Anglophobia followed by Ginger hair and Irn Bru. Oh, and Whiskey, and the Loch Ness monster.

        Not taking it away from the Scots, but nationality aside much of their inventions have been created, developed and tested south of the border. just saying.

        Interesting, both saying Whisky first.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      • Hey I don’t drink it, it’s Tobenem who does! I’ll run now.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      • Do we know why the inventions of scots have been created, developed and tested south of the border? .

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      • UJ

        Whiskey (with an ‘e’) is not Scottish!

        Have a look at this impressive list of Scottish inventions, just for the record:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_inventions_and_discoveries

        It will be unwise (especially at the next general Election) for anyone to consider Scotland as some “branch office”.

        Tobanem

        January 22, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      • ERR ?

        MCSPORRAN CLAN

        January 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      • We all know the answer don’t we.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      • I know, how did the extra e get in there?!

        I wouldn’t call it a “branch office”, however, just a few Scottish Prime Ministers of recent times:- (Parliament might be in Westminster, London, England; that is neither here or there)

        Tony Blair … Took the “special relationship” a little too far and took us into wars no one wanted
        Gordon Brown … Useless leader, actually a nice person but despite this he previously sold off 60% of our gold reserves dirt cheap, arguably he destroyed the country
        David Cameron … All round prick (to put it nicely)

        They have all been shit.

        We are either stuck with the Tories when they will begin the/further cuts or get Labour idiot that makes Brown look superior in comparison. There is no good option.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      • Universal Jobmatch

        What are your loquacious comments got to do with the Work Programme, which, in case you’ve forgotten, is why I mentioned the Scotland, in response to the recent news about devolved power?

        Tobanem

        January 22, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      • My dad?

        Andrew Coates

        January 22, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      • Haggis Hunting

        Henry Haggis

        January 23, 2015 at 8:32 am

      • Got mine, now off to hunt for neeps.

        Andrew Coates

        January 23, 2015 at 11:40 am

      • If memory serves correctly and blog comments leave an indelible mark, Universal Jobmatch; you were, maybe still are, a (very vocal) supporter of UKIP… 😉

        Memory Girl

        January 23, 2015 at 11:29 am

      • AND WHO THE HELL IS THIS GUY BEN NEVIS WE HEAR SO MUCH ABOUT

        INTHEKNOW2

        January 24, 2015 at 9:16 am

  23. The Work Programme is a spectacular failure. It performed no better than what would have happened if it did not exist in the first place. That should be sufficient evidence to discredit the scheme.

    But it get worse that that – much worse. The very fact that more people have been sanctioned while on the Work Programme than have been found jobs, is beyond reason.

    Tobanem

    January 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm

  24. 21 January, 2015 – The New Statesman.

    “Unscrupulous staff set claimants up to fail”: MPs attack the sanction culture at Jobcentres.

    Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said evidence being heard in the current DWP select committee will leave ministers with no place to hide.

    A Labour MP has claimed that the government has developed a culture in which Jobcentre Plus advisers are expected to sanction claimants using “unjust” and “potentially fraudulent reasons”, in order to get people off social security.

    Speaking to the New Statesman, Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth – who instigated the current Department for Work and Pensions select committee inquiry into benefits sanctions beyond the Oakley review – said that this created an illusion of the government bringing down unemployment.

    Abrahams added: “The last thing Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey want is for this uncomfortable truth to be uncovered and that’s why they’ve consistently refused to hold an in-depth inquiry to investigate the appropriate use of sanctions.

    “The evidence we are hearing from courageous whistleblowers – one of whom I met when I took him to meet Iain Duncan Smith face-to-face – and many other individuals and organisations, who have seen first-hand the effect of this government’s inhumane methods, will leave the ministers no place to hide at the final sessions on 4 February when they will have to account for their actions.”

    One of the whistleblowers who submitted written evidence to the inquiry was Ian Wright, an ex-employee of the Department for Work and Pensions. Wright said in the evidence handed to MPs in December 2014 that he was ordered by managers to send more claimants for sanction, only to be threatened with disciplinary action when he questioned the policy.

    The whistleblower who worked as a personal adviser at a busy inner-city Jobcentre in Leicester said: “There are staff with few scruples who will set up claimants to fail by failing to give out information or giving false information.” In one case a customer who could neither read or write was formally directed to put their CV on a job match website. “Unsurprisingly they did not manage this task and were sanctioned.”

    The whistleblower also questioned the basis of the system: “To seriously aggravate the situation, is that as soon as JSA payment is suspended, the claimant’s housing benefit also stops. For many of the most vulnerable this can lead to homelessness, which I suggest does not assist either their health or job prospects in any way.”

    Another former adviser, said in his evidence submitted to the select committee that the Jobcentre branch where he worked had set up “hit squads” and actively encouraged employees to “agitate” and “inconvenience” benefit claimants in order to get them to leave the centre’s register.

    “Customers dealt with by these squads had their job search scrutinised at an almost forensic level in order to get a suspension of benefit… customers would often break down and cry or argue because they felt that they were being treated unfairly,” he added.

    These cases aren’t the first instances of whistleblowers from Jobcentres coming forward: in 2011, the Guardian reported that an adviser told them that Jobcentres were “tricking” people out of benefits to cut costs. And last year in a wide-ranging survey the Public and Commercial Services union – which represents 67,000 members from the Department of Work and Pensions – claimed that 36 per cent of union members surveyed said they had been placed on a performance improvement plan for not making enough sanctions referrals.

    A union spokesperson for PCS said to the New Statesman: “The pressure on advisers to stop claimants’ benefits for all manner of minor infringements is immense and intolerable. There is no evidence that strict conditions and sanctions do anything to help people find long-term, sustainable employment. All they do is force people off benefits, yet DWP refuses to monitor what happens to people after they sign off.”

    Hazel Blears, Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, responding to some of the written evidence in the select committee said: “These are extremely serious and detailed allegations and I will be seeking assurances that they have been properly and independently investigated, and asking to see the conclusions of the investigation. I hope they will also be carefully considered by the select committee.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/01/unscrupulous-staff-set-claimants-fail-mps-attack-sanction-culture-jobcentres

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm

  25. BBC1 – 10:35pm Question Time – tonight.

    What to expect as Esther McVey takes on UKIP.

    Paul Nuttall and Esther McVey are appearing on Question Time

    Book your spot on the sofa: Tonight’s Question Time is set to be a corker.

    http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/question-time-what-expect-esther-8490828

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 22, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    • We’ll see McVey talking nonsense again.

      enigma

      January 22, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    • I will probably watch it tomorrow on-demand if people say its good.

      I get sick of them avoiding the real issues and 85% of the programmes seem dedicated to something immigration related. its the same old.

      The audience is heavily vetted, its not live, fully set-up and the show has a tight remit as to where it wants to explore and what it does not. Rarely do you get an unplanned upset. People get excited that one MP, minister or whatever, going to get grilled… s/he knows full well what questions are going to be fired at them and have researched potential answers.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      • McVey easily losses her temper, simple to wind up! – It should be most entertaining to see if she gets cornered or let’s something slip by mistake.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 22, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      • But they will both have to face some difficult questions as they defend their party stances on the NHS, welfare reforms and disability rights. That’s before we get on to the economy, education and immigration.

        6 subject areas in such a short period of time… I wonder what the time allocation for each will be!

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    • was a waste of bloody time

      super ted

      January 22, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    • she might get her comeuppance tonight lol

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 22, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      • I hope so.

        enigma

        January 22, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      • Has any of you watch the committees second session yet as the damning evidence has already been put forward by PCS who left no question to the fact their is without doubt targets not to mention the hole panel agreeing their is absolutely no evidence that people are infact going into work.

        An American giving evidence stated to the panel it would be easy to find out (done in many other countries) and would cost little so the next move is pressed hard on ministers to put their money where their mouth is. The second session was such an eye opener for the committee they were pressed into trying to slow the traction of evidence by asking how or what could replace sanctions.

        Both panels interviewed all agreed the shift since the coalition took power went from supporting people into work to one of reducing off flow by hook nor crook. One of the committee who has now on both sessions attempted to smear this evidence by stating his area is whiter than white was quickly shut down and left red faced and typing god knows what on his tablet, leading me to believe hes a plant trying to destabilise the whole process (he the one on the left wearing the farmers shirt).

        If you look at the panel tonight on question time you have welfare, health, education, an editor who runs a charity for young boys and one whos stance is being hard on crime so who knows how this will go as none of them are qualified to talk about freedom of expression or terrorism, the two top topics currently.

        gaia

        January 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      • Nope, I decided to watch Question Time after all and a complete waste of time.

        I wasn’t expecting Paul to just edge it slightly with a newspaper editor in close second.

        Some of the audience questions and remarks were ignored (or not responded to – like the guy talking about corporations paying their tax which would be able to sort the problems of the NHS, a valid point, although maybe a bit aggressive in comparison to others asking questions). Elsewhere, some people asking questions were blatantly put in.

        No welfare reform or disability rights etc yet quite a chunk of the show was dedicated to Page 3… despite not remotely relevant to the upcoming General Election. How about discussing benefit sanctions/unemployment/employment? (especially when an employment minister is there) A disgrace.

        Universal Jobmatch

        January 22, 2015 at 11:51 pm

  26. “Govt outline plans to share health records of benefit claimants”

    http://akashictimes.co.uk/govt-outline-plans-to-share-health-records-of-benefit-claimants/

    Annos

    January 22, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    • i have no health records that i know of and no debts so good luck with that one, cant give them what dont exist 😉

      super ted

      January 22, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    • YOU HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO REMOVE YOUR CONSENT TO THEM PROCESSING SENSITIVE DATA WITHOUT FEAR OF ANY REPERCUSSION.

      THEY MUST OBEY

      If you wish to do this you have to do so in writing.

      If you also do this at DWP it does not effect your rights to benefit meaning they cant threaten you with a sanction or close your claim.

      gaia

      January 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm

      • i just told them to fuck off and not needed for my jsa claim and ill put it in writing if wanted soon gave up on that 1 lol.

        done that years ago lol

        not that i have a gp anyway haha

        super ted

        January 22, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      • super ted

        January 22, 2015 at 10:38 pm

  27. When bagpuss sleeps, they all sleep.

    Nothing was said on question time that we didn’t already know or felt.

    That said it was nice someone pulled ester up on her continual use of statistics and I do believe UKIP is more tory than the tories.

    gaia

    January 22, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    • Who was the person representing Labour?

      Was it a maneki-neko (“chinese lucky cat” – although japanese) with an integrated speaker?

      I think Paul did quite well, leaving any prejudices at the door… I wouldn’t vote for him (if he was the local candidate) or his party though.

      Why are other MPs scared to admit we have a bum deal compared to the Welsh and Scottish? They keep talking about looking abroad for NHS solutions… look no further than the UK itself…

      And don’t the Lib Dems make you sick?!

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 23, 2015 at 12:00 am

    • Bagpuss 😀

      Bagpuss

      January 23, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    • Bagpuss goes to sleep… 😀

      Bagpuss

      January 23, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    • The Clangers lol 😀

      The Clangers

      January 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm

  28. cant you go on qt g in kick some ass to me it looks like a complete set up and know all the qs b4 it even starts what a joke i say bet not even let you take part pmsl 😉

    super ted

    January 22, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    • It is a complete set up – the BBC is more open about it now than ever.

      The audience is vetted to be impartial – their words not mine. Its not live. Tonight’s show (Thurs) was badly edited in places.

      The topic was NHS… Labour is part of the two-party race (despite a coalition likely) – an audience member brought up PFI (some argue this is privatisation) but it was shot down quickly and uncontested.

      I also notice dimblebot isn’t very consistent with his chairing of the panel, and if you look closely you can see paper with lines of words with yellow highlights, on the desk. I don’t understand how he can stumble on parts of his presenting when a) its not live and b) he has so much experience of doing the same thing week-in week-out.

      Universal Jobmatch

      January 23, 2015 at 12:08 am

      • Ive never found question time to be a platform for change, the public even the clever ones miss vital opportunities to capitalise and divert.

        Take for instance when they were debating the chilcot report, this would have been a prime opportunity to fire back at the attitudes of our current political ruling party with regards concealing welfare data from the welfare committee and public.

        And or the matter of cables between blair and bush, where absolutely no one pushed home that we are not talking about husband and wife withholding from the kids but public servants who work for us the public. Politician or not the real world expects all to carefully think about what they say before they say it.

        gaia

        January 23, 2015 at 12:53 pm

  29. Question put here.

    Once sanctioned off benefit, you are obviously not getting National Insurance credits.

    OK starving is more important than this admin thing of losing credits.

    But if you get sanctioned again and again and are a woman between 60 and 66 or a bit older or a man around 64, about to retire on and after 6 April 2016 from 65, there are traps that might leave you with nil state pension.

    If you, a woman, have had time off work and the NI credits for child care reduced down to care up to last child over 12, how does this affect your NI record?

    If like me, you tried to get elder care credits, but were told as two tax years had passed after they had passed away, you cannot claim them in retrospect.

    If you were on low paid jobs below the entitlement level to get NI credits or pay NI contributions, even with gaining benefit, you get nil state pension, as flat rate gives you no state pension with 10 years or less NI record.

    How did zero hour contracts affect your NI record in paying NI contributions?

    If you are contracted out of the State Second Pension in your job, you are only paying the lower 10.4 per cent National Insurance contributions. How many years did you do that?

    For each year contracted out you lose one year NI record and the flat rate pension pays nil state pension for less than 10 year NI record. At the moment you get some pension for at least 1 year NI history.

    Housewives gain nil state pension if they have never had their own NI history, from nil benefit and nil going out to work, and nil child and / or elder care credits, retiring on and from 6 April 2016. Neither do widows inherit or divorcees make a claim against ex husband’s state pension.

    The flat rate pension will hit the poor very hard indeed with no food and fuel money for life in old age.

    I am nil benefits of any kind, unemployed, disabled, chronic sick, denied elder care NI credits, as not on benefit nil NI credits, and with the contracting out thing meaning 1 year lost for year opted out, all the NI paid through work has gone down the drain and now get nil state pension as retirement beyond 6 April 2016.

    If you are 60 and over unemployed, disabled, chronic sick, altogether, then signing the petition will show up the government’s abandonment of the poor even more.
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    Chris

    January 23, 2015 at 6:56 am

  30. Question Time is now… just a waste of time.

    Esther McVey gets away with no questions put here regarding her role as employment minister or here lousy benefits regime.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 23, 2015 at 9:51 am

    • We have to move on, Obi… man in the top row wearing the bowler hat and holding a cane, with a UKIP badge on his lapel, and waving a copy of “Fox-hunting Daily” whilst muttering about boiling the unemployment alive… after they have been banned from driving…….

      DumbleDee

      January 23, 2015 at 11:37 am

  31. @INTHEKNOW2 How can Freeview possibly let broadcasters know how many are watching their channels? Unless the TV is connected to a phone line or the internet… but even then… it’s Freeview!

    BRAEKINGTHESET

    January 24, 2015 at 11:16 am

    • They can tell by how much power is needed by the TV transmitter. The more people that are ‘tuned in’ to the signal, the more power that is needed. 😮

      Another Fine Mess

      January 24, 2015 at 1:50 pm

  32. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    January 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm


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