Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Only 31,030 People Claiming Universal Credit, as IDS Launches Rival to the Desolation of Smaug.

with 35 comments

Universal Credit ‘Work Coach’. 

As the eagle-eyed posters on Ipswich Unemployed Action have noted, there are flaws a-plenty in Universal Credit.

Some have suggested that the Desolation of Smaug will look like happy days if the Tories manage to cling to power and implement all their schemes – from forced labour for the young unemployed, to permanent surveillance and sanctioning for the older out-of-work. We would like to thank our contributors for their posts. This stands out though, published today, Wednesday the 18th of February, by Welfare Weekly. 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has discretely released dismal Universal Credit statistics on the same day as the latest unemployment figures are announced.

The figures reveal that there were just 31,030 people on Universal Credit by 8th January 2015.

This represents an increase of 17 per cent on the caseload compared to December 2014, but is still far short of the 1million (plus) originally promised by the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith MP.

The Jobcentre Plus office with the largest caseload was Oldham with 2,640 Universal Credit claimants, followed by Wigan with 1,930.

Of the people on the caseload in January 2015, 32 per cent were in employment and 68 per cent were not in employment.

47 per cent of the Universal Credit caseload in January 2015 has been on the new benefit for less than three months, this compares to 52 per cent in December 2014, 55 per cent in November 2014 and 60 per cent in October 2014.

There are more males on the Universal Credit caseload than females (70 per cent compared to 30 per cent).

Males aged 20-24 make up 24 per cent of the total Universal Credit caseload


35 Responses

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  1. Andrew Coates

    What’s the source of “permanent surveillance and sanctioning for the older out-of-work”?


    February 18, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    • Some have said.


      February 18, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    • It just might come to that. that makes me another!


      February 18, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      • First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for me & the unemployed—and there was no one left to speak for me.


        February 18, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    • Because of the raised retirement age, people up to 73 (under UC rules) are not retiring and drawing a state pension.

      This means the over 60s, who are not listed in unemployment figures, are equally liable for all the conditionality and sanctioning of all ages unemployed, even if, as all ages, are chornic sick and/or disabled.

      We hear that Jobcentres and work programmes private contractors both do not provide toilets let alone toilet breaks nor the free drinkable water that alleged criminals on interview and workers from their employer have a right under law.

      As the older you get the more likely you will suffer overactive bladder and incontinence, then there must be a fair few claimants sitting in pudldles that are not very aromatic, let alone the horrendous pain of same.

      Without benefit or if working below the lower level entitlement you do not get automatic National insurance credits or contribute. This means you fall out of the welfare state and state pension provision whatever your age.

      There is a way to get the socialists into government and end all this cruelty to all ages, from unborn babes to grannies.

      See how on:


      February 19, 2015 at 4:14 am

      • So you think “the socialists”-(by which I take it you mean the “New Labour Party”) will not continue with the implementation of this Nazi program? Afterall it was “the socialists” government that began the implementation of this nazi program (culling program?) when “the socialists” were “in power”.


        February 19, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      • The provision of free water dispensers are a statutory requirement under the HEALTH & SAFETY Act – it beggars belief how jobcentres and ‘work programme’ providers can keep getting away with breaking the LAW like this.

        Health & Safety Officer

        February 20, 2015 at 11:57 am

  2. My latest Job Seeker’s Agreement!

    Andrew Coates

    February 18, 2015 at 5:29 pm

  3. Was looking into the Telegraph/HSBC story over at OpeDemocracy site and came across this:

    An Analysis of Workfare et al, Parts 1 to 4

    Links to the previous 3 parts are at the bottom of the article.


    February 18, 2015 at 7:01 pm

  4. Just a bit more nonsense

    Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “With unemployment continuing to fall, wages rising, and a record number of people in work, it’s clear that the Government’s long-term economic plan to get the country back on track is working.

    “The jobs-led recovery is changing people’s lives for the better on a daily basis. We are getting people into work, making work pay, and in so doing we are ensuring a better future for Britain.”



    February 19, 2015 at 8:29 am

  5. ‘Sick-note’ culture to be stamped out under radical new scheme

    GPs will be expected to refer patients to a company that will draw up a plan for their return to work.

    Anyone ill for more than four weeks will face a fit-for-work test in a radical new scheme aimed at stamping out the “sick-note culture” which costs the economy billions of pounds each year.

    All GPs will be expected to refer patients to a company that will assess their ability to work and draw up a plan for their return.

    More than a million people take sick leave for over a month each year, costing the economy over £9 billion.

    The new scheme, which will cost £134 million over four years, is aimed at stopping people from languishing on benefits while off work for long-term sickness, The Times reported.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said three years ago that he wanted to end the sick-note culture, which acted as a “conveyor belt to a life on benefits”.



    February 19, 2015 at 8:37 am

  6. “permanent surveillance and sanctioning for the older out-of-work”

    Mmmmmm…..permanent surveillance. Yum yum. Bring it!

    jj joop

    February 19, 2015 at 9:46 am

  7. Sanctions against employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants in the work-related activity group have hit a new record high, according to DWP figures released today.

    In September 2014, the most recent month for which statistics are available, 3,828 ESA claimants were hit with a sanction. The total for the preceding month was 3,096.

    3,453 of the September sanctions were for alleged failure to participate in work-related activity, the remainder for failure to attend a mandatory interview.

    The DWP continue to refuse to supply any explanation as to why ‘new regime’ sanctions have more than trebled from 1,091 in December 2012 to their current level.




    February 19, 2015 at 9:49 am

  8. Next PLC. one of many


    In addition to a competitive salary the benefits shown below are typically offered for a job at this level. The exact benefits an individual is entitled to will vary depending on their competency level and/or contract type, therefore some or all of the benefits may not apply.

    Bonus Scheme
    Healthcare Scheme
    Life Assurance
    Pension Scheme
    Savings Related Share Option Scheme
    Staff Discount
    Uniform Allowance


    February 19, 2015 at 10:12 am

    • When I was out in all weathers doing hard manual labour on that fucking mandatory work activity I was as ravenous as a horse… but you don’t get any extra money for food on these fucking schemes… no extra money for anything… not even for socks…. the bastards don’t even cough up for travel expenses… just get delaying and bullshitting until you are off the scheme. I was glad when it fucking ended not least cos it was costing me a fortune.

      Bollocks to MWA

      February 20, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    • With all it’s failures, In the meantime a lot of people are and will suffer because of it.


      February 19, 2015 at 12:24 pm

  9. UK home secretary Theresa May announced that a new offence of ‘controlling and coercive behaviour’ is to be introduced to combat the threat of ‘extreme psychological and emotional abuse’ within relationships.
    Examples of this so-called abuse include: ‘preventing the victim from having friendships or hobbies; refusing them access to money; and determining many aspects of their everyday life.’ The new offence follows the government’s expansion of the official definition of domestic violence in 2013 to include emotional and psychological harm (under the new category of ‘domestic abuse’). from http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/beware-theresa-mays-relationship-police/16394 14-Dec-2014

    Sounds to me like the Nazi’s DWP/IDSmitts/Festor McVeys/Condems Forced community Work Program falls under this offense!


    February 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    • I have known many of those in those situations and know there are millions/billions of them, it’s high time this came in for all those people.


      February 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    • Its going to be fun to watch how that unfolds in the courts, especially if there married.

      Abuse long before may tried to step in is quite honestly open to interpretation.

      For example

      You may call your partner an idiot because well they are but to them it could read as, “your always putting me down, making me feel im small, thick and worthless”.

      Now if this is how its read and often repeated, it will lead this individual to assume there being put down, put in there place, leading to a lowering of self esteem. Naturally people confide in others so its only a matter of time before this however misconstrued gets relayed to another who will naturally as they don’t know better, trust the person that’s relaying it.

      Now the so called victim is now distressed and as such now has grounds to approach the police who must now act. They approach the other party who makes no bones because who honestly would about calling there respective partner an idiot and bingo, you’ve just admitted to the crime.

      Im not saying if this was true that it would lead to a conviction, what I am saying is there’s two sides to every sentiment, one is calling the kettle black while the other more personally sees it as a put down, with the only difference being there respective constitutional fortitude.


      February 19, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      • ALWAYS record all verbal interactions with your partner 😀

        May's Bullshit Offences

        February 20, 2015 at 8:00 am

      • Like they have at Tribunals make sure you have a great big voice recorder sat in the middle of the kitchen table 😀

        Ed Millipede's Kitchen Table

        February 20, 2015 at 8:05 am

  10. Gaia, who should also be convicted for these abuses? you can see it can’t you.

    ‘preventing the victim from having friendships or hobbies; refusing them access to money; and determining many aspects of their everyday life.’ The new offence follows the government’s expansion of the official definition of domestic violence in 2013 to include emotional and psychological harm


    February 19, 2015 at 1:40 pm

  11. Very, Very Important:

    It looks like IDS and others are trying to get rid of the ‘Public Accounts Committee’s’

    Hodge: PAC threatened with shut down over quizzing of civil servants.

    Margaret Hodge argues for need to change the current civil service accountability structure to address “persistent and unbroken” failures in project delivery

    Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Margaret Hodge has alleged that the watchdog body has been threatened with being “broken up” over its treatment of civil servants, while also raising concerns over the frequency of failures in key government IT and transformation projects.

    In a speech delivered to mark almost half a decade in her post, Labour MP Hodge said that the committee’s approach to questioning senior civil servants over their management of projects like Universal Credit has led to the future of the PAC’s current structure being questioned.

    “Basically, the explicit threat relayed to me was that if we did not change how we held civil servants to account, we would be closed down,” Hodge said. “Shut up or we’ll shut you down!”

    She told the Evening Standard earlier this month that should a Labour-led government come to power in May, she hoped to build on her recent experience with the PAC to build on ensuring more efficient public bodies.

    With just a quarter of a year left until the General Election, Hodge said that the current way central government works was “not fit for purpose” – with the Treasury, Cabinet Office and 10 Downing Street all accused of failing to work together to ensure better value from their contracts.

    She cited an anticipated £700m write off from a “botched attempt to introduce a politically uncontroversial benefit change with Universal Credit,” and the inability of successive governments to tackle billions of pounds lost through “fraud and error or IT investment” as notable failings in recent years.

    “The failures are too many, they occur too often and they occur with persistent and unbroken regularity,” she concluded.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    • “Please don’t complain about our mistakes, errors and fraud because we don’t want to be convicted”.


      February 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      • You mean like that benefit payments civil servant got caught red handed yet only had to pay it back, plus community service and god knows probably still has his job and all may I add sentenced a couple a days after a certain tory reckoned benefit fraudsters/cheats should get 10 imprisonment.


        February 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm

  12. Hi,I enjoy reading your blog, I felt i had to write to someone to express my astonishment at the actions of Killingworth (North Tyneside) job centre.

    My son has just been sanctioned by them. He asked for a hardship form to get some kind of help.

    I know he shouldn’t have done but in filling it in he said he might have to resort to shoplifting to survive !

    Very much to my surprise at about 6.30pm tonight was a loud knock on the the door my partner answered to be confronted by 2 policemen.They asked for my son by name, they asked if he had written those things on the from.



    February 19, 2015 at 8:24 pm

  13. Surveillance.

    After Kaspersky revealed the so-called Equation Group’s HDD-snooping malware, the European Commission says it’s “up to member states to take appropriate measures” to deal with cyber-badness on their patches.

    With the spyware closely resembling Stuxnet, Kaspersky researchers have concluded that the US National Security Agency is behind it, but the European Commission (EC) would not be drawn on this.

    The issue is also likely to be raised at the European Parliament’s discussion on the NSA’s electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens next Tuesday. The debate will be a follow-up to the Parliament resolution of last March and will be led by British Labour MEP Claude Moraes.



    February 20, 2015 at 10:30 am

  14. And now it’s hit the newspapers:

    The senior Tory minister Esther McVey has risked annoying her bosses by declaring she would like to be prime minister.

    Most politicians frantically dodge the question of whether they would like the top job for fear of seeming to undermine their current leader.

    McVey, however, who is not considered a frontrunner to succeed David Cameron, broke with the trend to tell ITV’s Loose Women that she would like to be leader.

    When asked whether she wanted to be prime minister, the former television presenter said: “If I had to do a yes or a no, I’ll be honest, I’ll say yes.”


    Oh Esther you stupid bint, you’ll never achieve such status… not in this lifetime.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 20, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    • It’s not going to happen… at least not in my lifetime. The lady is not for turning!

      Maggie Thatcher (Deceased)

      February 20, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    • I think she’s quite right to annoy her bosses. Why should they be left out, she annoys everyone else.

      Another Fine Mess

      February 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm

  15. Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 20, 2015 at 12:41 pm

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