Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Wasting police time – a new role for the Jobcentre ?

with 68 comments

This is ridiculous if it weren’t abhorrent (via Enigma for noticing this on the always recommended Unemployed in Tyne and Wear Blog).


> The following was forwarded by email and is reproduced with permission.

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.

He said he had because he was very annoyed with being sanctioned, they asked if he was intending to go shoplifting, he said no, they both…

View original post 196 more words


Written by Andrew Coates

February 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

68 Responses

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    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    February 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm


    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    February 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm

  3. Today at the JC, over heard someone asking for a complaints form from one of G4S, they were told the complaints form no longer exist, of course the DWP don’t want any complaints, I notice that many people are looking for this form on line, (probably because of the same reason) including me, and for any of those who may come into this food bank who need the form.

    Then there is this.


    February 20, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    • We all know though that many complaints are ignored/binned.


      February 20, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      • Not if you send it by recorded delivery and show your MP the same letter (copy) the same day you sent it.

        By law the JCP has to reply and inform you of the progress or any action to be taken in 20 days.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        February 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    • How about this one enigma,

      I caught out a manager who dealt with a complaint that included them. Investigations into complaints have to be unbiased yet here it appears very far from the case proving grounds that in house arbitration needs to be stopped and only handled by completely cut off parties not answerable to any people, company or government department named in the complaint.

      Lastly don’t allow DWP to control the process,

      Document the complaint on your own paper and first confront your local MP with it while informing this MP that you intend to follow the procedure for complaint but in the first instance, supply them a record of it.

      Make sure when you make a complaint to be as accurate as possible right down to what sort of answer you request (ie don’t let them get away with simply stating not available for work), ask for a DETAILED EXPLAINATION of why it was stopped including events leading up to as well as the specific regulation they are citing you broke.


      February 21, 2015 at 11:55 am

      • I wouldn’t trust anyone in the DWP with a complaint going anywhere, because I know the DWP, like many other departments ignore concerns/complaints for their own interest, which we all know is why those who speak out, “whistle blowers” are not liked, fired and imprisoned.


        February 21, 2015 at 12:22 pm

      • What does one do when the local MP is a tory!


        February 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      • Even for a Tory its suicide to conveniently ignore the real facts in there very own backyard as so to speak. You see they can get away with distancing themselves at the central level but not locally because the audience is far smaller and easier to reach (ie you could post copies through all your areas doors for example).


        February 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      • That is what I wanted to know, for all those who I come into contact with who, including me, need to take their complaints further.


        February 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm

  4. David Cameron has rejected an expected warning from bishops about his welfare cuts, saying it was not fair or dignified to “pay people to stay idle”.

    The prime minister said he welcomed the debate but called on the Church of England to support the principle of “self-reliance” behind his benefit changes.

    Cameron made the comments before the publication of a letter on Tuesday afternoon in which the house of bishops is expected to call for debate on issues such as nuclear defence and the economy, as well as urging political parties to avoid scapegoating groups such as immigrants and those on benefits



    February 20, 2015 at 3:46 pm

  5. I thought the comment on the Tyne and Wear site was right, ” often think I’m immune to being suprised when it comes to the behaviour of some Jobcentre staff, but the fact that someone actually took it upon themselves to contact the police and make a complaint…”

    So take note: every word said in anger will be taken down and used to get the full force of the law against claimants.

    Andrew Coates

    February 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    • Yes, everyone has to careful what they say in a JC and not forgetting anywhere else for that matter because we know what has happened to some outside and on line.


      February 20, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    • There is a part in the film “Erasing David” where he accesses the notes made on him by the call centre staff at his mobile phone provider: “and it contained ‘notes’ such as client was “abusive”, “aggressive”, etc. It may seem insignificant at first but it all adds up as they say. For instance, if you are ever accused of an offence the police/prosecution will access this information and use it to build a case against you. Also, there is a concept known as “fuzzy logic” which the police use when they are “trawling” for a “likely suspect” i.e. someone with a “history” will be easier to fit-up.

      Fuzzy Logic

      February 21, 2015 at 6:42 am

      • For time it has been known threats, abuse, etc have been recorded but get this,

        Its still your data because you are the data subject so they have to give it up if you F.O.I them be they private company or government.

        If you scroll this site to one of my old posts it lists the forms before it went digital but regardless your still entitled to it no matter how it is recorded.

        As for the police you could have been stopped once and was reasonably and justifiably angry at the suggestion of being a suspect to a crime. Now the interesting part is like your details they also note your state of mind, these notes in police officers books are immortalised for ever whether your innocent or not.

        The only way to stop either from happening is to take positive action and confront the issue, win it and have it removed while if you have the opportunity to, suing them for defamation.


        February 21, 2015 at 11:33 am

      • On a security guards log book in a supermarket I noticed that it also included the ‘state of mind’ of alleged shop-lifters: “agitated”, “aggressive”, “pleasant” etc. one of the ‘actions’ available was ‘arrest’ – since when the fuck did a man who stares at lifts* have the power of arrest!

        * what A$4 (All for Emma) called their security guard ‘course’

        The Men Who Stare at Lifts

        February 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      • The supermarket was fucking Tesco but they will be all the same no doubt!

        The Men Who Stare at Lifts

        February 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      • Wasn’t a log book as such – just a sheet pinned to the wall.

        The Men Who Stare at Lifts

        February 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      • Saying “the doubt must be reasonable” and “reasonable doubt” are no the same thing. “Reasonable doubt” is broad and all en-compassing; that “the doubt must be reasonable is more specific focused and constrained”. We are not talking about a specific doubt though; we are considering if there is “reasonable doubt”. In language syntax “reasonable” is modifying “doubt”. If this is the case; by shifting the syntax of the language the prosecution barristers are completely altering the meaning and intent of the phrase “reasonable doubt” and as a consequence shifting the onus of the “burden of proof” which the prosecution bears – utterly disgraceful!

        Practicing Barrister

        February 21, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      • Saying “the doubt must be reasonable” and “reasonable doubt” are not the same thing. “Reasonable doubt” is broad and all en-compassing; that “the doubt must be reasonable” is more specific focused and constrained. We are not talking about a specific doubt though; we are considering if there is “reasonable doubt”. In language syntax “reasonable” is modifying “doubt”. If this is the case; by shifting the syntax of the language the prosecution barristers are completely altering the meaning and intent of the phrase “reasonable doubt” and as a consequence shifting the onus of the “burden of proof” which the prosecution bears – utterly disgraceful!

        Practicing Barrister

        February 21, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    • And another thing to remember is that the legal definition of words (and phrases) are not the same as they are in common usage. What meaning do you construe from: “drunk and in charge of a vehicle”, “resisting arrest”, “child”, etc. Almost certainly it won’t be the same meaning as in a court of law.

      Fuzzy Logic

      February 21, 2015 at 6:49 am

      • Yes and no actually fuzzy logic.

        What your referring to is how the regulation/law is applied like for instance theft is not theft if you or others don’t profit from it or intend to and can be proven.

        The other abuse you mention is WORD PLAY. Just like politicians, they say one thing while actually meaning something else like for instance, “drunk and in charge of a vehicle” doesn’t imply you have to actually be behind the wheel, nor the motor running or wheels moving.


        February 21, 2015 at 11:39 am

      • Word play is what fuzzy logic was getting at – that’s all courts do: well-paid guys and girls in wigs and gowns playing around with words all day: “was is ‘reasonable’ M’Lud?” Exactly what does reasonable mean? “Reasonable doubt”. Prosecution barristers always say that “the doubt must be reasonable”, that’s what they give as the definition of “reasonable doubt”; talk about ‘playing with words’. As for the other examples “drunk and in charge of a vehicle” could be having car keys in your pocket; “child” could be an 18-year-old; “resisting arrest”, although most people probably imagine a gun-fight at the OK Corral scenario could be simply not putting your arms out for them to be cuffed; also, “assaulting a police officer” could be simply “raising your voice”, not even that, maybe just giving them a ‘funny look’ or something.

        Word play

        February 21, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    • At my local Jokecentre they used to have seating all the way down one side of the floor, they have now cut back on this and only have seating just round from the main doors at one end of the floor.

      I’m not a paranoid person but I’ll bet a pound to a penny that there are now hidden mini microphones along the seating area, too small to be noticed unless you really look for them or hidden inside the seating itself.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      February 21, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      • If I intended to go shoplifting – which is about as remote from my intentions as becoming a Monk, or a Parachute diver – , Snoopers note – the last thing I;d do is shout about it down the Jobcentre.

        Andrew Coates

        February 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      • If anyone is thinking that they may have to shoplift they should keep their mouth shut! because just maybe they will change their mind. (if they then think about the consequences)


        February 21, 2015 at 5:06 pm

  6. Chancellor says the allegations are very serious but that such decisions are a matter for the prosecuting authorities.

    George Osborne has washed his hands of responsibility for prosecutions against people who evaded tax through HSBC Switzerland, as the government came under pressure to justify immunity deals given to those who confess to serious tax fraud.

    More than a week after the scandal first broke, the chancellor said the allegations against HSBC and its clients were very serious but such decisions were a matter for the prosecuting authorities – a principle that has been “one of the bulwarks of freedom in this country for hundreds of years”.


    Because George Osborne knows state lawyers are there to defend their policies and practices. as in the case below.

    More bereaved families to get legal aid at inquests if state was involved in death.

    Deborah Coles, co-director of Inquest, a charity that supports families at coroners’ courts, said: “The government perpetuates the myth that inquests into deaths in state care or custody are informal hearings where grieving families can be expected to represent themselves, and yet these are complex inquests where they come face to face with state lawyers paid for by public funds, there to defend their policies and practices. We hope that this judgement results in less distress and a fairer process for bereaved people.”

    High court ruling in case brought by Joanna Letts says official guidance on whether to provide legal aid has been ‘misleading and inaccurate’



    February 20, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    • 2nd link

      Work Programme Provider Guidance, Participant Complaints.


      February 20, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      • when i complained about the wp even the jcp manager told me to forget about it lol like im going to do that haha even ;ld told me there was no complaints dept on the phone and i was not even sent there as it was jhp at the tiime ld still sent all the sanctions tho no exit report and nothing on there it system after 2 years whoops they lost a human being got there fee and there you go 😉

        super ted

        February 20, 2015 at 11:16 pm

      • They would say that! the more people who complain the better, of course they will try and stop anyone because they don’t want anything going to a tribunal, (the cash involved)


        February 20, 2015 at 11:42 pm

  7. For lenovo laptop owners

    Updated. The US government’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) today said the Superfish ad-injecting malware installed by Lenovo on its new laptops is a “critical” threat to security and has been in operation since 2010.



    February 20, 2015 at 10:55 pm

  8. Thousands of people on low incomes are being sent letters by an American outsourcing company accusing them of cheating on their tax credits and warning them that they may have their benefits stopped.

    Concentrix, part of a multi-billion pound US business services company, has been accused of going on a vast “fishing expedition” as part of a controversial contract with HM Revenue and Customs to outsource its fraud and error detection.

    Meanwhile, worried claimants have been taking to internet message forums to ask for advice for dealing with the false allegations being made against them.

    “A lot of people might have got these letters and ignored them because they think they look like a scam,” said the charity worker, who asked to remain anonymous. “It means in the next month or so people will have their tax credits stopped and that’s when the problems will really start.”

    The letter accused the recipient of living with a partner and said if that wasn’t the case she had to provide proof. “That seems outrageous,” the charity worker added. “They’re picking on vulnerable single people and making wild accusations. The onus should be on HMRC to provide proof, not claimants to be forced to prove otherwise.”

    Workers will check people’s tax-credit claims by comparing information from claimants on childcare costs, working hours and pay against other sources of information including credit-reference agency databases and from government – for example, PAYE and benefit payments. Different teams investigate tax credits, answer calls from claimants and make a decision on whether to stop the credit.

    A spokesman for HMRC said: “Concentrix carries out routine tax credit checks on behalf of HMRC to ensure that people receive the money they’re entitled to.



    February 20, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    • More targets.

      It’s all about your customers – and we treat them that way. Phone, email, chat or social, we will attend to their needs in the way they want to be helped, while providing them with the best experience possible. Wherever your customers may be, whenever they may need assistance, and in whatever language they require.

      Our service is designed to maximize the value of each customer interaction. We incorporate your organizational culture, your brand values, and the rigorous training, quality standards and technical skills you would demand of your own employees.



      February 21, 2015 at 9:37 am

      • Concentrix will be watching twiiter, facebook & every other social website. you know that they will try to be so called friends to as many people as possible on all social websites, hoping people will tell them more than they should, in private messages.


        February 21, 2015 at 10:02 am

      • “Law enforcement”, “government agencies”, etc. can access your Facebook account for the “prevention and detection of crime” i.e the DWP is a “government agency” and “benefit fraud” is a crime. So, if you are daft enough to half a “real name” account or one with identifiable photographs or otherwise traceable you can expect the Jobcentre to be trawling through your account regardless of your “privacy settings”.

        Mark Fuckerberg

        February 21, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      • btw you should all read the “Terms & Conditions” you signed up to when you joined Facebook. What, you didn’t!? 😀

        Mark Fuckerberg

        February 21, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      • Make sure too that the phone number you have given Facebook is not the same one you have given to the jobcentre. In fact, make sure the number you have given is not used for any other purposes especially for ‘nefarious’ purposes such as advertising on the Scumtree 😀

        Mark Fuckerberg

        February 21, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      • PS Reading this block it is apparent that you do not have to give the jobcentre a phone number but a lot of jobseekers do so this advice is intended from them. And if you want to be really careful bear in mind that mobile handsets are uniquely identifiable by their IMEI number regardless of which SIM card you pop in.

        Mark Fuckerberg

        February 21, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      • jcp do not need a phone number for a benefit claim nor a email address either same for providers as well.

        they will ask for 1 tho every time just say they can reply the same way i have to put in a complaint to the jcp, IN WRITING as it will not be delt with over the phone or by email.

        super ted

        February 21, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    • What your looking for Enigma is called Presumption of innocence or better put,

      “the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies”.

      So anyone getting this letter, just remind this Concentrix about who the burden of proof squarely falls on.

      For the record in parting this is precisely what happens when you privatise things.


      February 21, 2015 at 11:16 am

  9. Even the unemployed have inescapable rights.

    Do you know as a data subject (person whom the data refers to), you have the RIGHT to control HOW your DATA is PROCESSED ?

    Did you know you could ask for a data policy every single time they ask for your job search evidence, that despite signing such a policy at the beginning of a claim, it doesn’t cover ANYTHING NEW that’s deemed legally as PERSONAL AND OR SENSTIVE DATA under the DPA ?

    “personal data” means data which relate to a living individual who can be identified—

    (a) from those data, or

    (b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller,

    and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual.

    So if you take a mind to exercise your legal right in this instance then make sure to inform DWP if they refuse your rights under the act that IT IS NOT YOU BUT THEM THAT REFUSES TO COMPLY WITH THE REGULATIONS, THAT YOU ARE HAPPY TO AND HAVE STORED SUCH DATA FOR A TIME WHEN DWP RECOGNISE YOUR RIGHTS UNDER LAW AND EXCEPT TO COMPLY WITH THE DATA SUBJECTS WISHES.

    Basically your not refusing to hand over the data, just that you are awaiting for DWP to except your lawful terms as mentioned under the data protection act.

    Now knowing DWP they will imply its not personal data, well this is quite incorrect, as for it be so it would have to be anonymous which clearly it is not if a claimant presents it as there evidence to an advisor or even a DWP data device.

    (This wont apply to evidence submitted through UJM as you reaffirm the right for DWP to process the data as they described in the policy while registering you no doubt never read in its entirety, everytime you use it. To make matters worse if my information is correct, your data resides within the borders of the Republic of Ireland meaning officially your not covered by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland data protection act).


    February 21, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    • I would appreciate some advice / help / information on the following matter. I have never and willl never give my “adviser” access to my UJ account. The last time I saw him he stated that if I don’t do this his bosses have told him in future to demand printouts of every job I apply for and associated e-mails and written proof of every speculative application. He basically stated that if I give him access to UJ I won’t have to provide any written proof, i.e. it’s a form of blackmail. Of course it’s ridiculous, but then he’s a moron. Will he go through with it? Perhaps but I always assume that the Jobcentre is lying unless I know otherwise.
      Most bloggers like Gaia may remember a couple of messages I posted last year about my friend being sanctioned because he didn’t supply printouts of any jobs he found on UJ and how I supplied him with a FOI response that stated he couln’t be forced to do that. My question is this : Has anyone received a Jobseeker’s Direction to provide printouts and associated e-mails for jobs applied for outside UJ, and if not, is it still advisable to do this anyway? From a previous posting I know Gaia does / did this.


      February 21, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      • I keep a record of all the jobs I have applied for, also the replies I receive, including all interviews, the date, PT or FT, job applied for, company name, website address. I print it all out, this is what I have being doing for as long as I have been unemployed, I have not got an account on UJM and never had one. this is all you or anyone else need to do.


        February 21, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      • I was never asked or told to keep a record, of course I was always being told up until last summer that I had to create an account on UJM, with the usual “or benefits will be affected” nonsense.


        February 21, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      • i just fill in the job search with the jobs that i had applied for with comp name ect and if they ask for print outs ect i just tell them no as i do not have to give them this and you will not get a jsd for it, well i never had 1 as they can not dictate how you provide your job search to the jcp and uj will not change this,and any way print outs will cost money as well, jc adviser asked for a bank statement 1 time till i pointed oout i have an account on line and a paper copy will be 25 quid, never asked for 1 again lol 😉

        super ted

        February 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      • Just used to bring them one A4 page (printed using a friend’s printer/ink/goodwill etc. listing jobs applied for/where found/dates etc). They didn’t like it & went on and on/challenged veracity etc. Also insisted on UJ -had made account didn’t use. They copied one weeks ‘list’ and presented it to me some weeks later with questions (!) but didn’t ever hand out a direction – only threats to use their not-there-yet-then printer(s). They were v. intimidating and q. convincing and not long afterwards I stopped needing to sign but to that point no further action was taken. Was starting to feel it may’ve been only a matter of time tho’ but I think what you’re arguing ought to be acceptable…


        February 21, 2015 at 3:29 pm


        Before I begin, my earlier post was just to say to claimants look what you can do with the power of the law if you took a mind to.

        Now in reference to bens post.

        A claimant agrees when making a claim for benefit to, as one of there conditions to supply evidence of weekly jobsearch.
        This evidence doesn’t and shouldn’t be restricted to UJM only otherwise you are reducing your activity to search for work and thus fall into the sanction category.

        This is why advisors cant insist you have to apply for work through or only through UJM (the only rule is if you have been made to open a UJM account, is that you will check it daily).

        So its only natural an advisor would want to see evidence from other job websites and why a claimant should want to show evidence through other job websites.

        Now in terms of evidence actually it would be improper to direct a claimant to hand in only printouts, not just because DWP rules state DWP cannot insist on what medium (ie, written evidence, printout, shown via phone, etc) a claimant uses and cannot state how a claimant presents said evidence but because webpages can be quite easily forged, hell if you have enough know how, you can fake a whole site and for free to may I add (this obvious fact seems to escape all advisors).

        So the only way to actually tell you did apply would be to contact the agency/employer, details of which when not UJM, the site never displays when talking about what advisors have access to which they don’t anymore than you do (ie you only get agency/employer name and job location that may or may not be the locale of said agency/employer). This is why advisors only insist via job seekers agreement generally on UJM printouts because they can access other information or could have the data controller to access it.

        As you can imagine, if advisors started ringing up jobs you applied for away from UJM, they would have to turn into a detective because often agencies who post vacancies the most if not near all are seldom in the area the work is, Clemtech is a prime example) so that would mean spending more time ( a lot more actually), meaning even less time to sign on and see other claimants (remember government is cutting back on public staff and hours to reduce cost).

        So in summing up while they could hand out a jobseekers direction, they cant legally enforce its production because

        A: Two rules work against the notion.

        B: Printouts aren’t more proof worthy than the same data being written down (ie, vacancy, agency/employer, location and date applied).


        February 22, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      • Ben

        Sorry to hear about your S&^% advisor.

        Things to know:

        Giai is quite correct You are REQUIRED to have a UJM account.

        You are NOT REQUIRED to use it.

        Know your Rights:
        By Law, a Civil Servant is Required to Answer in whatever form you choose to a Question you Pose [make sure its relevant to the mtter at hand though]. To fail to do so is breaching the Civil Service Code and is Misconduct. [Concealing information is Gross Misconduct].

        I would suggest writing up a nice letter [6 copies], taking someone to witness what goes on. Have a signed Receipt ready and if possible record what goes on even if have a witness.

        Under law “Everyone” has the right to a McKenzie friend as a witness.

        Content of letter to present:

        Have name of advisor, his boss, their boss and the senior manager for the Jobcentre.

        Copy out as appropiate:



        Advise them such action in forcing issue is harrassment, also illegal and further talk on subject will be treated as such, action woulld be taken against the named individuals at a local court [it costs £25].

        Give signed copies to Advisor and advise him that not making sure letters are passed on will mean he is accepting the responsiblity of the senior officers responding. Make sure you state that the letters and coments is to be attatched to your records – so if anyone wises to bring this subject up in future they are forwarned of the consequences. If they fail to read they are failing to do thier job, as is their bosses. Maladminisation – don’t tell them but hae it ready to lay on them.

        Request signed receipt signed by advisor – if he refuses the question become why is he refusing important information to do with your account? Misconduct there and then.

        When he starts bleating on about he is there to help you find work – point out about civil service code.

        He’ll go quite then.

        Good Luck


        February 23, 2015 at 6:48 pm

  10. Wirral MP Frank Field blasts benefits sanctions system as 1.5m people see cash stopped over two-year period.

    Veteran politician says Tories too “keen” to block benefits help but have no idea what happens to people affected.

    Former welfare minister Frank Field has blasted the Government’s system of benefits sanctions after the latest figures showed payments were reduced, suspended or stopped on more than 1.5m occasions between October 2012 and September 2014.

    The Birkenhead MP is pushing for a new “yellow card” system which would give people a better chance to explain themselves and not leave them without cash immediately.

    The figures show 49,567 sanctions were imposed in Merseyside since October 2012.

    Mr Field is concerned that the sanctions regime is “arbitrary” and there are “never the right people to speak up for the unemployed before an impartial group”.

    He wants Tory Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to be grilled by MPs on how the system works, and is calling for his department to review its operations.

    The veteran Labour MP is alarmed that 668,569 of the sanction decisions led to people going without any money for four weeks, with 373,603 rulings leaving claimants without cash for three months.

    He said: “The Government is keen enough to leave people with no money for weeks and months on end, and yet it doesn’t know where a third of people end up after they’ve been sanctioned. Nor does it want to tell us how big the total ‘fines’ are as a result of its sanctions strategy.

    “While we can’t be sure how much this might be, it is probably greater than what magistrates make from fining people; and at least in the courts people can actually speak on their behalf against the decision.”

    He has written to Mr Duncan Smith with proposals for a “yellow card” system. If a claimant’s explanation was found to be unsatisfactory, he or she would receive a formal warning, with the option for Jobcentre Plus to apply more stringent requirements before a sanction is considered.

    The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry on Hunger, which Mr Field co-chaired, suggested this could reduce the numbers of people relying on food banks.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 21, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    • This is an excellent idea form Frank Field, one the current DWP should ‘BE MADE’ to take up.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      February 21, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    • It’s come to a sorry pass when Frank Field – scourge of the scroungers – says this.

      Andrew Coates

      February 21, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      • I can’t argue with his idea Andy, it’s still not perfect but much better than the current system.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        February 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm

  11. From last August but very relevant:

    Inside the Jobcentre: my experience working for a failing service.

    I used to work for the Department for Work and Pensions, and before that the Benefits Agency, before that the Employment Service, and yes, before that, the Unemployment Benefit Office (UBO). Oh, and for a short while in the late 70s, the Jobcentre.

    When I first worked at the Jobcentre in 1979, it was just that. You had to register with there to be able to sign on for your unemployment benefit or supplementary benefit. In those days jobcentres worked closely with employers to find out what they needed and matched potential employees on behalf of the employer.

    Jobs were also advertised on boards in jobcentres, but potential applicants had to apply via an adviser. (Now, if an employer advertises with Jobcentre Plus, they leave themselves open to receiving thousands of applications from not remotely qualified, suitable candidates who were often not even genuinely interested. Why bother advertising?)

    Jobcentres used to offer real training with a proper, recognised qualification provided through colleges or skill centres. But proper training is costly, so eventually it was scrapped. The replacement schemes tend to offer poor training from inadequate trainers with a worthless piece of paper at the end: just another example of government wanting something for nothing.

    Eventually it was decided it would be a good idea to amalgamate jobcentres with unemployment benefit offices (UBO), and the Employment Service was born. The Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) became the Benefits Agency. I never did understand why those in charge thought joining up the Jobcentre with the UBO was a good idea. Surely it would have been more sensible to join the two benefit departments: UBO and DHSS.

    Finally, in 2002, Jobcentre Plus was born, joining the Employment Service with the Benefits Agency. Those of us who had specialised in benefit processing always felt we were the poor relations in this partnership. Many experienced and dedicated staff were ousted, either by being squeezed by the new senior management or through voluntary redundancy taken by staff who felt they could not work for new managers who didn’t care about either the staff or the service users.

    Separating benefits assessments and jobcentre services is the most sensible thing that could happen now. But this will only work if real money is spent on helping people into work with proper support and training, and benefits are managed by people who care and understand. Most people who claim benefits are genuine. There will always be those who abuse the system but this does not mean it should be diminished to the point where genuine people are penalised and children in the 21st century are forced into poverty through no fault of their own.

    I currently work as a welfare benefit adviser, fighting the broken system on behalf of vulnerable people who are left without money for food, gas and electricity and face rent arrears and eviction. This all costs so much more than paying the benefits in the first place to genuine people in need of support. This government has caused our broken society and is heading this country back to Victorian Britain.


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm

  12. Here’s an idea:

    Why not rent out these places where unemployed people do [so called work experience] and rent them to small businesses at cost, to train and pay the unemployed whilst training at shall we say £5 an hour with a fully currently recognised employer needed qualification such as City and Guilds at the end of it.

    It would be much cheaper than paying the governments mates i.e. Private Providers, and would actually get people (get this) ACTUAL JOBS AT DECENT PAY.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    • Colleges are already slipping in to do that under the sector-based work academies flag, sadly your only be offered trades already saturated like supermarkets and warehous.e


      February 22, 2015 at 11:18 am

  13. Gov allows slavery.

    Andrew Boff, a Conservative member of the London Assembly who has written a report on human trafficking in London, concluded that through the visa the government was “actually licensing modern-day slavery”.



    February 21, 2015 at 5:14 pm

  14. One from my local rag which is probably prevalent though out the UK:

    OWNERS of empty properties are exploiting legal loopholes to avoid paying business rates, according to the leader of Bradford Council.

    Councillor David Green said a host of rates avoidance schemes were costing the public purse up to £2m a year.

    He said the situation was “farcical”, as it withheld funding from much-needed services while also doing nothing to get empty shops or business premises back into proper use.

    Currently, 21.7 per cent of commercial buildings in Bradford are vacant, according to the Local Data Company.

    Under Government rules, the owners of most business premises have to start paying rates once the buildings have been lying empty for three months – a move designed to encourage landlords to bring them back into use.

    But Cllr Green said a whole industry of property agents were now advising people how to exploit the system – and there was little the Council could do to fight it.

    He said: “It means the people of this district are losing between £1m and £2m a year that could be being spent on regeneration or services.


    Something all councils and the HMRC better be looking into.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 21, 2015 at 5:21 pm

  15. Cameron’s five-year legacy: has he finished what Thatcher started?

    Margaret Thatcher wanted to privatise Britain; David Cameron’s ambition went further. Assessing his legacy for their new book, Polly Toynbee and David Walker document the Tory leader’s assault on the state.


    A brief record of Thatcher to Cameron (not complete by any means, but interesting) including Cameron’s contribution (if you can call it a contribution), I wouldn’t! – I’d call it a total fuck up.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 21, 2015 at 5:42 pm

  16. Ladies and Gentleman:

    Time to cheer everyone up: Music Video time:

    Katy Perry – This is How We Do:

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 21, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    • Nice tits 😀

      Bobi Van Kenobi

      February 22, 2015 at 10:54 am

  17. To understand this question you must watch the above video:

    To all the ladies out there: – Have you ever gone to bed with a ’10’ and woken up with a 2?

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 21, 2015 at 11:53 pm

  18. Come on Gaia, kiss and tell baby!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    • Seriously Obi Wan ?

      It means the girl judged a book by its cover, (ie, thought she pulled the one only to find out later he wasn’t( I assume its a sexual reference but could be the way this man takes off after getting what they wanted), Sorry not a fan nor have even heard the track.


      February 22, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      • ffs, gaia, this video has had 247,153,56 views on youtube – that’s more than that Korean-what’s-his-name guy!


        February 22, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      • … and those ice-cream cones, lollipops and pizza slice don’t half look tasty 😀


        February 22, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      • Is it important that such a video appears on the internet just because of thousands or even millions of view’s, it isn’t, so who cares. and what has it got to do with anything on this site.


        February 22, 2015 at 4:00 pm

  19. Free Tony Scot It is important that this shit gets thrown out; otherwise it sets a dangerous precedent.

    Free Tony Scot

    February 22, 2015 at 2:12 pm

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