Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Tax Fraud Flourishes as DWP Investigates “Benefit Fraud”.

with 45 comments

After I’d signed a new Jobseeker’s Agreement, to spend 35 hours a week looking for a job (‘looking for work is a full-time job’), this came to my attention.

Quote from Guardian ‘Opinion’ thread:

3250 – Number of staff at DWP investigating benefit fraud of £1.2 billion.(Source DWP)

300 – Number of staff at HMRC investigating tax evasion of £70 billion+(Source HMRC tax evasion report March 2012)

Cameron also cut the HMRC budget by £577 million, uncollected tax rose by £3 billion.

 

Michael Rosen.

With penalties so weak, tax evasion is worth the risk 

At last night’s Black and White ball to raise funds for the Conservatives, more than 500 phenomenally rich donors gathered in London’s Grosvenor House hotel – last year’s guests were worth £22bn. Paying £15,000 for dinner was peanuts compared to sums this assembly of plutocrats will donate to the party – no wonder there’s been a news lockdown. Are these the people who really run the country, buying an election to ensure government by their people, for their people? That’s for voters to consider in May: Cameron’s government has certainly been kind to its funders.

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm

45 Responses

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  1. Caught that last night,Margaret Hodge clip,it it had been benefit scroungers,they would be queuing around the corner to have their cases heard.

    Cameron and his cronies are clearly in it together.

    ken

    February 10, 2015 at 4:34 pm

  2. I watched the Panorama programme – what a shifty lot those tax dodgers and the HSBC lot are.

    It’s interesting how many prosecutions are underway in all the countries affected – except the UK and Switzerland !

    Andrew Coates

    February 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    • A lot of them are probably those who sit in the house of lords.

      enigma

      February 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    • “It’s interesting how many prosecutions are underway in all the countries affected – except the UK and Switzerland !”

      Oh there is a prosecution under way in Switzerland – it’s for the whistle-blower. Apparently the prosecutors office is even threatening to try him in absentia. The Swiss legal system is designed to serve the interests of large corporations hence anything which might be considered industrial espionage constitutes a criminal offence.

      The case of Stanley Adams comes to mind – he got a six month prison sentence for revealing illegal activity by Swiss pharma to fix the price of vitamins. Eventually in 2001 eight companies were fined 855.2m euros (£529.5m) for what the EU antitrust chief, Mario Monti, described as the “most damaging series of cartels the commission has ever investigated”. Hoffman-La Roche of Switzerland received the largest fine, 462m euros, for being the “prime mover and main beneficiary” of the cartel.

      AntonZ

      February 10, 2015 at 10:43 pm

  3. My first sign on today since changing from ESA to JSA, while sat down waiting, brought all my docs out to have a read! claimant commitment – no problems, shown the “my work plan booklet” (which one of G4S gave me on entering the jobcentre and asked my to sign) – didn’t sign, in front of the adviser, I placed the guidance of “my work plan” on the desk, – no more was said about it, there was no talk of 35 hour per week job search, no talk of UJM, it all went with no problems, no lies, adviser completely different. (but then she did see all the docs I placed on the desk!

    Oh and like Gaia, I too will be signing on every week!

    enigma

    February 10, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    • No mention of weekly signing – though I’ve heard from people I know here that it’s being imposed on some people in Ipswich.

      Extra cost for anybody having to use the buses is nearly £4.00

      Andrew Coates

      February 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      • Those of us that sign on more than once every two weeks is because D smith and so the advisers, assume we are making money on the side just like those who are signing on every day, it doesn’t bother me in the least that I’m now signing on every week. let them try more!

        enigma

        February 10, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      • If ever the number of those that have been put on JSA (only after having an assessment while on ESA) comes out, you will all know it won’t be the true account, as usual.

        enigma

        February 10, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    • “I too will be signing on every week!”

      Claim for the extra travel expenses. I’m fairly sure they have to pay if they get you signing on daily so they ought to pay for one extra trip. (Of course I doubt that they will tell you that).

      AntonZ

      February 10, 2015 at 10:51 pm

  4. From 2011, at the dawn of the Work Programme, to 2014, I worked on three separate Work Programme provider contracts. At some point during each of these I, with my then colleagues, was approached by various levels of management and told in no uncertain terms to increase the number of sanctions raised on our clients.

    Different justifications were given for this demand, but the implication was always the same – get the dead wood off our books so we can concentrate on the job-ready customers and hit our targets. Fortunately, I was clued-up enough to resist these attempts at coercion through a proper knowledge of the legal foundations underpinning the Work Programme, but many didn’t, and, at threat of receiving a disciplinary and/or losing their jobs, complied.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/work-programme-staff-were-told-increase-sanctions-against-clients-says-former

    enigma

    February 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm

  5. Reblogged this on markcatlin3695's Blog.

    Mark Catlin

    February 10, 2015 at 7:55 pm

  6. The Question that keeps coming to my Mind when I see £115Mil or so was recovered, is what is the Estimated total amount of tax was owubg t the start – call me suspicious but the £115mil looks low when put against the total of people (7,000 reduced to 1,000 – again syspicious in my mind) i.e. 1,000 thats what 115,000 each?

    Gazza

    February 10, 2015 at 8:18 pm

  7. Strikes me as a bit rich that the YMCA are weighing in against sanctions. Didn’t they have a fair bit of involvement with the old New Deal and/or FND? Possibly WP for all I know. Does anyone know if they have any current involvement in the jolly old welfare to work industry?

    Dan

    February 10, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    • It looks like it.

      Helping young people gain the confidence to make decisions about their own lives is an important part of our work. As is providing an environment in which they can flourish. Education is more than formal schooling – that’s why individual YMCAs offer a range of education, skills-based training, placement and apprenticeship schemes.

      http://www.ymca.org.uk/

      enigma

      February 11, 2015 at 9:58 pm

  8. Work Programme staff were told to increase sanctions against clients, says former employee

    A former employee of three separate Work Programme providers describes how staff members were compelled to increase sanctions in order to hit financial targets.

    From 2011, at the dawn of the Work Programme, to 2014, I worked on three separate Work Programme provider contracts. At some point during each of these I, with my then colleagues, was approached by various levels of management and told in no uncertain terms to increase the number of sanctions raised on our clients.

    Different justifications were given for this demand, but the implication was always the same – get the dead wood off our books so we can concentrate on the job-ready customers and hit our targets. Fortunately, I was clued-up enough to resist these attempts at coercion through a proper knowledge of the legal foundations underpinning the Work Programme, but many didn’t, and, at threat of receiving a disciplinary and/or losing their jobs, complied.

    If the general public could hand out medals, I’d have a chestful by now. As soon as I mention that I used to be an employment adviser on the government’s Work Programme, they seem to feel I deserve one for dealing with the Stella-swigging, Sun-reading, swearing and spitting media-fuelled image they have of the typical participant. Of course, I’m always quick to point out that there’s no such thing as a typical participant (I had two barristers on my case load for example) and often make a point of telling them I actually really enjoyed working with my clients – it was the system itself that I had issues with.

    From my first day working on the Work Programme, I was led to believe that it was for the good of those people who found themselves unfortunate enough to be languishing in the long-term unemployment doldrums: the demotivated, the marginalised, the vulnerable. This, however, proved not to be the case. I moved to a different provider a few years later, believing it was the employer rather than the system that was at fault. Wrong again. If anything this new lot were worse. The real problem was that for staff and participants both the key word wasn’t motivation, or empowerment, or education. The key word was, in fact, compliance.

    In order to progress as a participant (or as a staff member, for that matter) you are required to blindly comply with the immoral, the unjust and the misguided. Many do comply, but many struggle to, for whatever reason. Many participants, consequently and often wrongly, have their benefits stopped – sanctioned, to use the official parlance. And why was this the case? Some will point the finger of blame at poor information management; some at bureaucratic incompetence; others at the lack of effective leadership and direction. Personally, I’d be tempted to say that this is what happens when you attempt to privatise the public and place financial targets on human heads.

    In the first few years of the programme, the DWP paid a fee to Work Programme providers for each single job start. Now, and for obvious reasons, the DWP has rethought this process and only makes payments for sustained employment. But at that time, every provider in the country took advantage of the situation by sending participants to labour farms – factories and the like that took advantage of a willing source of cheap labour for a few days/weeks at a time, as benefited business requirements, before discarding them again.

    The whole process was a costly one for the participants themselves who ended up having to wait weeks before having their benefits reinstated, relying upon hardship payments in the meantime. Hardship payments, roughly equivalent to Jobseeker’s Allowance, did not however cover the rent that housing benefit pays on a live claim, putting claimants at potential risk of eviction. Attempts to resist such “farming out”, to not comply with what were clearly disruptive and immoral demands, were again met with threats of disciplinary action or sanctions depending upon whether you were an employee or a participant.

    There are so many wrongs I could point to regarding the day-to-day operations of my time on the Work Programme. Attempts, for example, to force sickness benefit claimants back into work when their health clearly wasn’t up to task. Cases of fraud, with staff under so much pressure to meet financial targets that they felt they had to fabricate job starts.

    Bullying, blackmailing, bigotry and a general lack of regard for the fact we were dealing with real people; individuals with their own specific barriers and issues who needed to be supported accordingly, not forced to comply with financially-motivated objectives. As soon as you start putting a pound sign on their heads – these barristers, baristas, welders, fitters and fabricators – you immediately cut them off from the help they are entitled to. And that, quite simply, is why the Work Programme just doesn’t work – and never will while in the hands of private enterprise.

    Philip Hegarty worked for three separate Work Programme providers between 2011 and 2014

    Work Programme staff were told to increase sanctions against clients, says former employee

    The New Statesman

    February 10, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    • “Philip Hegarty worked for three separate Work Programme providers between 2011 and 2014” – what a fucking c**t! Why are these bastards always trying to make themselves out to be the victim. BURN IN HELL YOU C!”£T!!

      Work Plan

      February 11, 2015 at 5:48 am

      • Yes, that’s always the way.

        enigma

        February 11, 2015 at 9:23 am

  9. How many benefits claimants have to kill themselves before something is done?

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/10/benefits-sanctions-malcolm-burge-suicides

    ken

    February 10, 2015 at 10:22 pm

  10. Nicola Sturgeon attacks ‘Westminster austerity economics’

    Nicola Sturgeon will attack Westminster economic policy during the speech in London.
    Scotland’s first minister will say the UK government’s “austerity economics” have comprehensively failed, in a speech in London

    ‘Beneficial influence’

    During her speech she will argue growth, productivity and fairness are the keys to long-term recovery.

    She will say: “The UK government’s economic policy has failed: categorically and comprehensively. And not by my reckoning, but on the UK government’s own terms.

    “Perhaps most damagingly of all for the UK government’s credibility, it has failed to meet its own deficit reduction targets.

    “But what the UK government is now telling us is this: austerity hasn’t worked, so we need even more of it.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-31377373

    enigma

    February 11, 2015 at 10:18 am

  11. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    February 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm

  12. We’ll “disallow” your housing benefit for two weeks when you’re sanctioned. Wtf is going on here.
    Posted on February 10, 2015

    Feel free to feed back on this. I can’t work out what is going on:

    A few weeks ago, I attended a group induction meeting for new JSA claimants at one of the north west London jobcentres.

    About 20 minutes into the session, the jobcentre adviser running the meeting told the 12 new JSA claimants there something that intrigued me. He said that people’s housing benefit and council tax benefit would be stopped for two weeks (he used the word disallowed) if people got a four-week JSA sanction and that they would have to cover their rent and council tax.

    This confused me. As I understand it, housing benefit and council tax benefit are sometimes stopped with a JSA sanction when councils are advised of the sanction, but that those claims should be restarted and can even be backdated to the time the JSA sanction began (which surely means you’re entitled during the course of a sanction).

    Any sort of formal disallowance process – with no mention of restart – would surely be another story. Certainly, mention of such a thing worried the hell out of people at that group meeting. Losing your housing benefit would, after all, put you on the fast track to homelessness.

    I’ve spoken to several welfare rights and housing people about this now and they agree that housing benefit and council tax benefit should not be formally sanctioned as part of a JSA sanction. So it is all very weird.

    As luck would have it, I have a recording of the event in question.

    More….

    http://www.katebelgrave.com/2015/02/well-disallow-your-housing-benefit-for-two-weeks-when-youre-sanctioned-wtf-is-going-on-here/

    Andrew Coates

    February 11, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    • Check your Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction

      When your benefits are sanctioned, the Jobcentre will contact the council, who usually stop your Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction until they have confirmation of your new income.

      Contact the ‘Revenues and benefits’ department at your council, explain that your benefits have been sanctioned, and give them proof of your new income (or proof of no income) so that they can restart your claim. This is really important. Doing nothing might mean you end up with rent and Council Tax arrears.

      https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/benefit-sanctions-and-what-to-do-about-them

      enigma

      February 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      • Housing benefit should not be stopped because of a sanction, it is therefore important for anyone who is sanctioned to check with the council to make sure housing benefit carry’s on.

        enigma

        February 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    • Yes, those new claimants that have never been unemployed since the start of the welfare reform, we all know they will all be told nonsense, nothing but threats. until they find themselves on here or other, sometime in the future!

      enigma

      February 11, 2015 at 7:52 pm

  13. the dwp jcp will say anything to scare you and most of the time its just them bending the rules and making it up id not listen to none of it.

    like my wp induction i was told i was braking the law by not signing there contract hahahahahahahahahahahahhhaaha full of shit the lot of it 😉

    super ted

    February 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    • They started out to do that to me until they realized!

      enigma

      February 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm

  14. Five new schemes are being developed to provide financial support for people who would lose money due to welfare changes in Northern Ireland.

    The details of the new “mitigation schemes” are expected to be put out for public consultation in March:

    One provides flexibility for those receiving universal credit

    Another covers those disadvantaged as a result of the spare room subsidy, also known as the bedroom tax

    A third covers “discretionary support”, which will be similar to emergency assistance already available under the social fund but will now also provide support for those on low incomes as well as those claiming benefits

    The Disability Protection Scheme would apply to those switching from Disability Living Allowance to the new Personal Independence Payments

    A fifth scheme will be known as the Supplementary Payment Scheme.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-31407022

    enigma

    February 11, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    • The more claimants that complain and go further the better, I have got something for the local JC this week, which also states that I have copies which will be sent if need be.

      enigma

      February 11, 2015 at 7:37 pm

  15. There is a cunning plan in how to attain a multi party coalition without all the usual parties. See how on:
    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    Chris

    February 11, 2015 at 5:29 pm

  16. FIRED BEFORE STARTING A NEW JOB!

    Watch out, all you critics posting on here, your new employer might find out and fire you before you start – IF you ever get offered a start, that is!!!

    http://money.aol.co.uk/2015/02/10/fired-for-a-tweet-before-starting-the-job/

    Tobanem

    February 11, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    • Everyone should know these days what they shouldn’t type on the internet, of course there are still many who make the mistake of typing something they shouldn’t. we all do it at some time in our lives!

      enigma

      February 11, 2015 at 7:42 pm

  17. i got the boot from mwa cos i went on there fb page and said there using slave labour from the jcp.

    lets just say they did not like that pmsl 😉 out the door and paid off with 10 quid 😉

    super ted

    February 11, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    • Typed what you should have typed in that case!

      enigma

      February 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm

  18. Affordable homes facing demolition because of bedroom tax.

    Housing associations say change to benefit rules means tenants cannot afford to rent three-bed maisonettes.

    Three-bedroom homes are being condemned to demolition by housing associations because the coalition’s bedroom tax has made them too expensive for tenants to live in, the Observer can reveal.

    Despite a national property shortage, providers of affordable homes are unable to find people who can meet the cost of living in a home with an extra bedroom and are, in some cases, planning demolitions. In Liverpool, one housing provider, Magenta Living, has admitted that “with changes to welfare benefits there is very little prospect of letting upper three-bedroom maisonettes in the current climate”.

    In a letter to Alison McGovern, the Labour MP for Wirral South, Magenta says one such block of flats will be “emptied with a view to subsequent demolition” because of the inability to let them out, sell them or keep up with the costs of keeping them unlived in.

    Under the government’s controversial reform, the amount of housing benefit single people or couples can receive is cut if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home. Two children under 16 of the same gender are expected to share a room and two children under 10 are expected to share, regardless of gender.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/10/bedrooom-tax-affordable-homes-face-demolition

    enigma

    February 11, 2015 at 9:28 pm

  19. Meanwhile

    Get a free council house for coming off benefits.

    Millions of houses would be “given away” to low-paid workers under Tory plans to reward people who come off benefits.

    Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, is pushing for a pledge to “gift” tenants their council home after a year in work to be included in the Tory manifesto.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4351595.ece

    enigma

    February 12, 2015 at 9:43 am

  20. More of the same 2015 short term work,zero hrs contract uk working poor
    Jobcentreplus,a4e,cdg maximus the poverty pimps bullying you into slave labour welcome london riots 2015.My only wish is these buildings are trashed together with the staff
    ill be at the front of the que.

    Tony Montana

    February 14, 2015 at 6:02 am


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