Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Capita to Run Universal Credit ‘Initial’ Stages.

with 132 comments

Thin-end of the wedge as ‘Crapita’ gets its hands on Universal Credit.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has condemned the Government’s decision to privatise part of the administration of Universal Credit.

Private firm Capita will be gifted with the responsibility for booking initial work search interviews for new Universal Credit claimants.

Capita is currently facing a second inquiry into a £1.5bn Whitehall jobs contract, which small companies claim could leave them facing financial ruin.

The outsourcing giant is also one of three firms to be recently awarded a £5bn NHS commissioning deal, as well as delivering disability benefit assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in parts of England and Wales.

A press release on the union’s website reads:

“Their intention is that the process for booking the appointment for a claimant’s initial work search interview will be handed to the private company Capita. No DWP staff will be transferred to Capita under this proposal.

“There is no justifiable business reason for doing this. DWP claim that Capita will be able to make these appointments at weekends for claimants who make a claim online at a weekend, but in practice the appointments could just as well be done by DWP staff the following Monday, as has happened up to now.

“Capita already have been handed the same task for claims to Jobseekers Allowance and this announcement extends that arrangement to Universal Credit claims.

“PCS has protested strongly to DWP about this decision. Seeing their work privatised is a kick in the teeth for our hard working members.

“Members will also be understandably concerned that this privatisation is a foretaste of further private sector involvement in the delivery of Universal Credit.

“PCS has also made the point to the department that Capita is consistently failing to meet its key targets in relation to JSA First Contact calls that are currently out sourced to them. This failure contrasts with the DWP staff in CCS who are consistently meeting the very same targets.

“Again the failure of the private sector to out-perform the public sector has been ignored as the tired, false dogma of ‘private sector good, public sector bad’ is wheeled out once again.

“PCS will continue to argue against all privatisation of DWP work and will continue to campaign for all privatised work to be brought back in-house where it belongs.

Welfare Weekly. Sunday 22nd February.

Wikipedia on Crapita:

Capita Group has not always been received well by the public and in the media. It has gained the nickname Crapita, particularly from the coverage in the satirical and current affairs magazine Private Eye, which routinely documents the company’s many failures and setbacks in the public sector.

Pindar himself has attracted criticism for complaining about being called a ‘fat cat‘, receiving a £770,000 per annum salary and driving around in an Aston Martin DB9. “It really takes the biscuit—especially when you consider his workers are fighting for a rise equivalent to just four pints of milk a week”, said a workers’ representative. The average Capita employee salary at the time was £28,000 per year.

It was revealed in January 2013 that Capita was embroiled in a scandal over misinforming people that they had to leave the U.K. as they had no valid visa. One such person was in fact the holder of a U.K. passport.

In 2014, a leak to The Guardian revealed that the DWP had to send civil servants in to help the company process personal independence payments for the seriously ill and the disabled. “Waiting times for assessment,” the newspaper noted, “have been so long that in some cases people with terminal conditions have died before receiving a penny.

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm

132 Responses

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  1. Of course, if the PCS had both balls and membership, all these “reforms” could be dead in the water…

    Dan

    February 22, 2015 at 1:36 pm

  2. Yes you could say the PCS is just not good enough.

    enigma

    February 22, 2015 at 1:50 pm

  3. “At weekends” so it will soon be 24/7, the next stage toward total control.

    enigma

    February 22, 2015 at 2:03 pm

  4. The expensive, digital and real time IT for UC doesn’t work at weekends?

    Another Fine Mess

    February 22, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    • It’s open for business.

      https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit

      enigma

      February 22, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    • This real time IT they say will help people when (if) they find employment, PT or FT, married, have a child and so on, so that they then receive the correct amount of money, for this to work there will have to be a lot of people employed by DWP to have them sit in front of their screens 24/7, (all working PT) but always someone there, for the amount of people, new claims, from age of 21, all those losing their jobs, which is happening every day as we know, the weekend too what with Capita taking over and as we now know the DWP employed won’t be transferred over, I can’t see it working “in real time” not perfect anyway, a lot of people will be affected by the consequences of it though, that’s the sad thing about it. it will get very busy in the food banks.

      enigma

      February 23, 2015 at 6:06 am

    • I can’t see it working “in real time”

      Neither can I, I don’t know what they mean by RTI, it’s probably just one of IBS’s buzz words because he thinks it sounds good.
      There must be 20,000+ people entering or leaving benefits every day. Just think of the number of people making changes, including employers, the unemployed, ZHC, part-timers, school/college leavers, pensioners, and non-IT-literate people. It’s many millions of changes per month, and lots of errors. It will be Universal Chaos, even before they get that far with it.

      Another Fine Mess

      February 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm

  5. Has anyone stop to realise capita also has an arm that deals in finance like debt procurement and debt collection for instance ?

    gaia

    February 22, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    • Yes, once they start with UC they will then find out “who’s who and where”

      enigma

      February 22, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      • Bang on the money Enigma as you cant reactivate a debt after six years or get a court warrant if you cant prove the actual location of the person with the debt.

        Capita will no doubt claim suspicion of a crime as the data protection act exemption to use the interview data.

        gaia

        February 23, 2015 at 7:52 am

      • What I find most shocking is that our data is processed by more third parties than by government these days.

        This is why they worked very hard to change regulations so private sector contractors are viewed as second parties and not third legally.

        gaia

        February 23, 2015 at 8:01 am

    • Yes,, The also run the payments services for TV Licensing and some but not all Water Companies.etc

      NORBET

      February 23, 2015 at 8:20 am

  6. Getting into a lot it seems.

    Capita launches behaviour change research to tackle rent arrears Housing associations and local authorities have been invited by the housing team in Capita’s property business to participate in a six-month research programme to test how behavioural science can improve rent collection and reduce rent arrears.

    Capita appointed to manage student bursary schemes The Education Funding Agency has re-appointed Capita to manage a range of schemes designed to help young people and adults improve their skills by taking part in further education and training.

    Capita plc (Capita) has been selected, following a competitive procurement process, to form a joint venture with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to operate the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera). –

    http://www.capita.co.uk/news-and-opinion.aspx

    enigma

    February 22, 2015 at 4:49 pm

  7. We’ll soon see the armed forces patrolling the streets.

    Britain’s second biggest police force is facing a reduction of 2,500 frontline officers following government cuts that will shrink West Midlands police to the smallest service in its 40-year history.

    In an interview with the Guardian, the deputy chief constable, Dave Thompson, said the force had lost 1,500 officers in the past five years with a further 1,000 posts expected to be axed if the current rate of cuts continues.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/22/west-midlands-police-face-swingeing-cuts

    enigma

    February 22, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    • Your find it will be the territorial army.

      Not that dissimilar to the national home guard in the states is it, as no war, no profit so you cant devote the fulltime military on just anything now can you?

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm

  8. I keep telling people!

    ‘Sign here, or face benefit sanctions?

    There is no mandatory requirement for individuals to sign specific forms when participating in
    Back to Work (BtW) schemes, including Help to Work (HtW).

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/240158/response/597125/attach/html/2/FoI%205063.pdf.html

    enigma

    February 22, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    • The trouble with these schemes is that some “advisers” like mine would threaten us with 13 week sanctions even if we show them the documents because they would give us a jobseekers direction and let us argue with the decision maker. We would win and get our money back eventually but some people would not be able to cope without our JSA coming in.

      ben

      February 23, 2015 at 10:40 am

      • Ben

        I have shown that doc and many others! to many people but some of them don’t bother, they don’t like the idea of being put on a scheme but still don’t bother doing anything about it, it is frustrating when one knows they don’t have to go on any such things. as you said they would win, if only they went with it.

        enigma

        February 23, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      • Ben, ultimately its up to the individual but like enigma I do the same self thing, I use to roll it off verbally but they use to say that’s not true or something like in your opinion so I kill them with the regulation facts and win every single time.

        Now it may well only be me but, its,

        A: currently never ended up being sent to a decision maker which is quite understandable when they have to apply the same self laws.

        B: Todate through such a practice I have never received once, one single solitary sanction as the saying goes, when you right, your right,

        If you do get one of these advisors saying its still going to a decision maker they have to give you the chance there and then to give good cause why you shouldn’t so you merely quote the regulation in writing and also attach a copy of the regulation with it.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm

  9. Cameron

    I’m not saying we have solved all our problems, but we are on our way,” he said. “The deficit’s coming down, the jobs are coming, the production is increasing, we are the fastest-growing major economy in the Western world.” isn’t that what Hitler said.

    He added: “We’ve had another 100,000 increase in the number of people in work in our country. In fact, there are more people in work in our country today and more women in work in our country today than ever before in our history.”

    Labour’s Stephen Timms, their shadow employment minister, said:

    Today’s fall in overall unemployment is welcome but five years of the Tories’ failing plan has left working people £1,600 a year worse off since 2010. Low pay has left millions of working families struggling to make ends meet and has led to billions more spent on the housing benefit bill.

    Today’s rise in youth unemployment is extremely worrying and shows the Tory plan is failing the next generation.

    enigma

    February 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    • left working people £1,600 a year worse off since 2010

      I know that’s an average, but I know quite a few who’ve lost good jobs, and some even their home during the last few years, For them the loss is more like £12,000 to £18,000 a year.
      Even where they’ve eventually got another job, it’s been £5,000 pa less than the one they lost, I can’t see any of them ever ‘catching up’ with what they lost.

      Another Fine Mess

      February 22, 2015 at 9:33 pm

      • Many who were laid off from the armed forces I knew who, come out to a different world, they bought houses thinking that everything was going to be ok, have a job etc, I know since then many have had to sell or lost their houses and are now unemployed. separated/divorced etc.

        enigma

        February 22, 2015 at 9:55 pm

  10. They’ll start by doing the initial work search interviews for new UC claimants. How long will it be before they’re signing claimants as well. The Jobcentre is being privatised by stealth, i.e. by the back door.

    jj joop

    February 22, 2015 at 6:32 pm

  11. Have a “complaint?” taking them further with maybe recorded delivery?

    People stripped of benefits could be charged for challenging decision

    People who have been stripped of benefits could be charged by the government for trying to appeal against the decision to an independent judge

    Earlier this week figures showed that in the past year nearly 900,000 people have had their benefits stopped, the highest figure for any 12-month period since jobseeker’s allowance was introduced in 1996. In recent months, however, 58% of those who wanted to overturn DWP sanction decisions in independent tribunals have been successful. Before 2010, the success rate of appeals was 20% or less.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/20/people-stripped-benefits-charged-decision

    enigma

    February 22, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    • Well after introducing fees to employment tribunals and seeing the drop, it would only stand to reason why this government would attempt the same to the unemployed.

      Whats interesting though is how they get around means testing as if sanctioned, you don’t have a penny so how exactly would one pay for it at any price ?

      The rule is everyones entitled to justice so that coupled with a fee to a person whos at court in the first place because they have no money sounds a bit fishy if you ask me.

      Im wondering if this leak was really a leak and rather a plant for labour to pick up on in the run up to the elections

      gaia

      February 23, 2015 at 7:46 am

      • It is certainly unbelievably foul.

        Andrew Coates

        February 23, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    • This is a year old, but still useful as a reminder of how daft they are.

      Another Fine Mess

      February 23, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      • Just after I posted that last night, I did remember something about tribunals last year on this site, but did wonder weather it was about employment tribunals or tribunals for those who are unemployed.

        enigma

        February 23, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    • corruption, nothing unusual.

      enigma

      February 22, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      • Annos

        As you’ll know corruption is in every country, for the greedy rich who have enough but want more, because to them enough isn’t enough. the more they have the more they want.

        enigma

        February 23, 2015 at 5:33 am

  12. Stuart Gulliver, the HSBC chief executive who has vowed to reform the crisis-hit bank, sheltered millions of pounds in a Swiss account through a Panamanian company and remains tax domiciled in Hong Kong.

    Leaked files show that the Derby-born Gulliver, who is due to present HSBC’s annual report on Monday in the wake of the international controversy over its Geneva-based private bank, was also one of its clients, holding about £5m in a Swiss account.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/22/swiss-account-secret-of-hsbc-chief-stuart-gulliver-revealed

    enigma

    February 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

  13. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    February 23, 2015 at 8:10 am

  14. Where are the PCS?

    If this pernicious idea is allowed to get a foothold, it will be the end of the benefits system as we know it. The DWP will be relegated to a behind-the-scenes the role: processing payments and general administration. Front line staff will be made redundant. Signings and work search interviews will be carried out by Capita, or whoever gets contract to run the whole show. They will almost certainly rehire some of the work coaches because of their knowledge and experience but most of the new crop will be target-driven, more so than they are now. And they won’t be very discerning or professional about it, either.

    The current system is Narnia Wonderland. If the private sector take it over completely, it will be like the wild west. Those of us who post on this blog regularly saw this coming years ago when the Work Programme came into being.

    jj joop

    February 23, 2015 at 8:23 am

    • G4S-CAPITA-SERCO The (Un) Holy Trinity Of Privatisation

      NORBET

      February 23, 2015 at 8:46 am

      • Remember those movies about the future where the world is owned by a select few greedy, corrupt corporations ?

        Welcome to reality that believe it or not is on us the public as we allowed it to happen by our refusal to engage politically and financially.

        gaia

        February 23, 2015 at 9:30 am

      • It makes me laugh as I remember when the monopoly law was introduced and what it was about yet today all we see is uber large corporations controlling multiple markets, manipulating SMEs or pushing them out of business, governments making laws to allow circumnavigating the public rights, interests and safety.

        If there’s one thing I have learnt about the 2000s, its that while we may no longer hang, draw and quarter citizens, we are still very much the medieval Britain we always was.

        gaia

        February 23, 2015 at 9:39 am

  15. CREEPING PRIVATISATION – STEP BY STEP

    Seasoned observers will remember the old “Employment Zones” scheme around the year 2000, when private company Working Links started off INSIDE Jobcentres – much to the chagrin of existing Jobcentre personnel who saw this creeping privatisation as the serious beginning of the end of the Jobcentre.

    Working Links were then denied the use of Jobcentre facilities by worried Jobcentre personnel, and then Working Links were removed from Jobcentres only to start up in business in their own private offices – where it became clear that this activity was a practice run for the eventual and full privatisation of the dole!!

    As you know, Working Links and other private welfare-to-work companies are flourishing today – despite the abysmal failure of the current Work Programme.

    I say again, God help the poor and the sick if welfare is completely privatised!

    Tobanem

    February 23, 2015 at 9:49 am

  16. Its the Indian call centre syndrome, in that if you distance yourself far enough and infuriate the public enough, you not only absolve yourself of responsibility but also make a silent profit.

    There’s no doubting big commercialism and capitalism rule the world and this is why organisations that hold multiple trades/product sectors should be broken up like what happened to bill gates. No company should be so large that it rivals a government.

    gaia

    February 23, 2015 at 10:25 am

  17. There is an end to this saga though and its levels of natural resources as you can have all the gold and debt you like but if theres no resource to manufacture, theres no product to sell, meaning apart from hold on to your recyclable rubbish as it will be worth something oneday, that all the money will eventually be at the top with all the large corporations.

    To give you some scale, how much do you think a hand size amount of gold would be worth if it was the only gold on the entire planet ?

    or,

    When all crops are contaminated by GM seeds (cross pollination,etc) so much so only god made originals in seed banks are left, how much do you think that seed would be worth ?

    gaia

    February 23, 2015 at 10:38 am

  18. This country has nothing to be proud of,it can only be concluded they must look on North Korea with envy.the state controls the population with propaganda and surveillance.

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/jobcentre-staff-under-pressure-strip-8401574

    ken

    February 23, 2015 at 10:42 am

  19. A Phrase Comes To Mind

    ”Plausible Deniability”!

    Mr Middlesex

    February 23, 2015 at 11:40 am

  20. Coming To A Jobcentre Near You. A Sanction For Not Being Sanctioned True Or False ?

    UKIP

    February 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

  21. .

    UKIP

    February 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

  22. More on privatisation.

    This time it’s the privatised probation business where large fees are charged to low income people who can’t pay small fines like traffic tickets. If they can’t pay the probation company, they go to jail:

    Tobanem

    February 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    • Quote: “Probation is supposed to help people return to their community when there is no public safety justification for keeping them behind bars. That goal is sabotaged by companies that are simply collections agencies on steroids”.

      Tobanem

      February 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    • They had private subcontractors running everything from the tax on salt (la gabelle) to ‘turnpikes’ in France.

      That is, before something happened in 1789….

      Andrew Coates

      February 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm

      • Why go that far back, how about conditions during the great depression,

        As I said, had it not been for WW2, I cant see how another 1789 would have been avoided but lets not also forget a certain parties rise from the beginning of the great depression.

        http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/begins.htm

        Worthy also of note is by the time hitler took power, unemployment had increased by 5.4 million from 650,000 in 1928, a year before the 1929 great depression which alone saw unemployment rise to 1,320,000.

        http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/weimar_depression_1929.htm

        Lastly DONT devalue yourself if your unemployed, even fresh from jail because hitler was once both yet look at his rise to prominence.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 10:19 am

    • I know that Nicky (who still calls themselves Nicky at 60 ffs!) is a completely interminable c!”£ but the segment on the Big Question (just after knobhead IDS’s appearance on the Andrew Marr show was interesting. One of the contributors related to his experiences of ‘blowing the whistle’ on the fraud and corruption going on at HSBC eight years ago – he hasn’t worked since. Talking of not working since, within my professional have heard so many people relate how they haven’t worked since winning Employment Tribunals – Royal Mail keeps cropping up for whatever reason.

      Whistle-blower

      February 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      • Nicky Campbell – missed of the Campbell part!

        Whistle-blower

        February 23, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      • * professional capacity

        Whistle-blower

        February 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    • THE VIDEO LINK HAS BEEN CHANGED!!!

      It should be “To Prison For Poverty (from Brave New Films)”:

      Tobanem

      February 24, 2015 at 9:27 am

      • The current link is showing the full list of videos. To watch the video entitled “From Prison To Poverty” (as originally posted), click the “playlist” at the top left, then scroll down the list to find “From Prison To Poverty” at the end!

        Tobanem

        February 24, 2015 at 9:32 am

      • Also worthy of looking up is how profitable in the states running a prison is, how much money private companies receive and make per convict.

        MAYBE that’s what this government is hoping after its boast of making prisoners see the value of a hard days work.
        Remember theres currently 86,000 people in jail, that’s a sizable workforce don’t you think. Also its worth noting the UK imprisons more people than all the other European countries, just like America imprisons more people than anyone else worldwide.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 10:41 am

  23. EAT THE RICH!!

    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    February 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm

  24. DOUBLE DOLE & PENSION

    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    February 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    • Thanks for that info Another Fine Mess, I was one of those who followed John Slater’s request on the matter of sharing info for UC. since it was of interest to me.

      So from reading this info the DWP and IDS, basically they are doing whatever they want regarding the welfare reform without keeping to the rules of DPA, and human rights.

      enigma

      February 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    • As usual it’s just another “sign it or do it or your benefits will be affected”

      enigma

      February 23, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    • What was I saying about new claimants over the the last year i know of (so could be longer)being tricked into giving consent for sensitive data by way of FOLDING A CERTAIN DOCUMENT so they couldn’t read the part where it says REFUSING CONSENT will not effect your benefits.

      Lets not forget it is this government, namely the Tories who want to redefine if not opt out of the human rights acts, who want to replace it with a bill of rights.

      You see amongst expenses of running a company and profit, the most is manual labour, so imagine if you put the unemployed/inactive and convicted together you get around 2.5 million free to very low cost manual labour. Now couple that with competing against China’s or India’s ever growing workforce and I think your get my point or hopefully you will.

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 11:00 am

      • Oh like the unemployed put on placements, convicts have next to no employment rights.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 11:04 am

  25. The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has today recommended a 3% increase in the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

    “If” accepted by the Government, the move would see low-paid workers salaries increase to £6.70 per hour from October 2015 for workers of 21 years of age and over – the largest real-terms increase since 2007.

    As well as its recommendation for the adult rate, the Low Pay Commission has also recommended a 3.3% increase to £5.30 for 18-20 year olds, an increase of 2.2% to £3.87 in the 16-17 Year Old Rate and 2.6% (to £2.60) in the Apprentice Rate.

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/low-pay-commission-recommends-3-increase-in-national-minimum-wage/

    Also on welfareweekly

    Cameron’s Pledge To Protect Pensioner Benefits Will Hurt The Poor.

    And

    A young job seeker was heckled and spat at as he walked the streets of Birmingham wearing a sandwich board asking for work.

    Reece Enfield, 22, was targeted by hecklers and hate-filled members of the public as he handed out CV’s in the city centre.

    enigma

    February 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    • Hope camoron, ibs, fester and gorgie are proud of what they’ve achieved, making it even more difficult for the currently unemployed to get paid work.

      Jobless Man Heckled And Spat At As He Wore A Sandwich Board Asking For Work
      http://www.welfareweekly.com/jobless-man-heckled-and-spat-at-as-he-wore-a-sandwich-board-asking-for-work

      Another Fine Mess

      February 23, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      • So if anyone who hasn’t got a computer & internet access, all those who live miles from a town with a library, which means thousands, will probably get the same affects from people if all they can do to find work is walk around with a board asking for a job. those abusing/threatening those that are unemployed looking for a job obviously don’t think they will ever be in that situation.

        enigma

        February 23, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      • Perhaps they read my post and realised it’s a stupid idea:
        Why not have all the unemployed, sick and disabled, milling around outside Jobcentres for 35 hours a week wearing sandwich boards
        https://intensiveactivity.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/35-hours-jobsearch-we-publish-the-mad-dwp-guidelines/#comment-82921

        Another Fine Mess

        February 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      • I remember your post of stating the above, those people should see and understand the reality of what is happening around them, because as of this day, they don’t.

        enigma

        February 23, 2015 at 10:27 pm

  26. Osborne, and just the other day, “it’s not my job” = who cares.

    Ahead of the budget I set the treasury to work on providing further ways to pursue not just the tax evaders but those providing them with advice. Anyone involved in tax evasion, whatever your role, this government is coming after you. Unlike the last government, who simply turned a blind eye, this government is taking action now and will do so again at the budget.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2015/feb/23/jack-straw-and-malcolm-rifkind-respond-to-cash-for-access-allegations-politics-live-blog

    enigma

    February 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

  27. judge has told the ex-wife of a millionaire racehorse surgeon to get a job and stop thinking she has the right to be “supported for life” at his expense.

    Lord Justice Pitchford said divorcees with children aged over seven should work for a living in a decision which signals an end to leisurely living for ex partners of wealthy spouses.

    Former riding instructor and mother-of-two Tracey Wright, 51, chose not to be a working mother when she split up with top equine surgeon Ian Malcolm Wright in 2008.

    The mother was told to “just get on with it” and get a job, like “vast numbers of other women with children.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11429864/Divorced-wife-told-to-get-a-job-and-stop-living-off-her-ex.html

    enigma

    February 23, 2015 at 8:52 pm

  28. Universal Chaos. 90% in rent arrears.
    Starts @ 10:45
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b052hfv1/inside-out-north-west-23022015

    Another Fine Mess

    February 23, 2015 at 9:30 pm

  29. If anyone is still interested in the video from Brave New films entitled “From Prison To Poverty”, go to the following link and then click playlist at the top left hand corner, then scroll down and select the title “From Prison To Poverty” at the end.

    Tobanem

    February 24, 2015 at 9:38 am

  30. Sanctioned – for applying for a job!!!

    A claimant – who could not read or write – was sanctioned for applying for a job which involved driving, and he did not have a licence! Of course, if he had not applied for it, yes, you’ve guessed, he would have been sanctioned!!

    Is this the most ludicrous sanction ever?

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/critics-slam-disgraceful-figures-show-5219466

    How much more ludicrous can the antics at today’s Jobcentre get?

    Tobanem

    February 24, 2015 at 10:00 am

    • Give them time, er say, the next ten minutes…..

      Andrew Coates

      February 24, 2015 at 11:07 am

    • All I want to know is HOW exactly does it help people into work ?

      Is it a period of time to reflect on ones transgressions and if so what justifies 3 years of it, who or what class of people take 3 years to get the message ?

      Or is it that the new welfare reforms are just not good enough at supporting this class of people, that they need a harsher scheme to give them the zing to find work and if so what does that actually say about current reforms and the ever increasing sanction count ?

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 11:58 am

      • Keep asking your advisor/workcroach how being sanctioned and made destitute helps you become employable, I do! They just keep saying ‘it’s a disallowance’ without any further explanation.
        I wonder if ‘disallowance’ and ‘suspension’ are included in the sanction figures!
        http://refuted.org.uk/2015/02/19/dwpterminology

        Another Fine Mess

        February 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      • If I was you another fine mess I would right this question down and send it to the area manager explaining you’ve asked in the jobcentre but todate haven’t received an actual answer that maybe he can answer or hand it over to someone even higher to answer.

        Have you tried that ?

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 1:50 pm

  31. Yes, I think we have gone passed how stupid or ludicrous the reasons for sanctions.

    enigma

    February 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm

  32. Jobless Man Heckled And Spat At As He Wore A Sandwich Board Asking For Work

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/jobless-man-heckled-and-spat-at-as-he-wore-a-sandwich-board-asking-for-work/

    ken

    February 24, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    • There will be a lot of similar stories to come Ken.

      enigma

      February 24, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    • As much as I commend this lad I have to call into question these employers as this lad and them seem to lack two major qualities.

      These are effective time management and market strategy.

      You see had he had gone on say ebay/amazon like that guy did, they would have reached a wider audience so you could clearly say this lad lacked the ability to know how to use his time better, not to mention would have handed out or shown his speculative CV to larger figures irrespective of whether or not the individual gains work.

      Oh for the record you wont get anywhere near the attention advertising your CV on UJM or any other job related website dew to data protection clauses, think about that one in connection to the Tories wanting to circumnavigate data protection laws ?

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm

  33. Leading economic thinktank says UK’s failure to raise output per worker since the downturn has held back wages and well-being.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/24/oecd-warns-uk-must-fix-productivity-problem-to-raise-living-standards

    enigma

    February 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    • What gets me is if all people are capable of working like the Tories say they are then why do we still allow employers to sack people outside of redundancy or crime ?

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      • I will tell you why or should I say give one example which is staff covered by employment law cant be robbed of there wages so at most an employer say in the case of turning up five minutes late could only subtract that 5 minutes in monetary terms, sure they could take you to court for loss of earnings but they DONT period stroke period.

        Also if staff we paid per minute they would start naturally planning there year so might decide for instance to forgo that extra five min of pay a day just so to save on train fares for instance.

        So apart from sanctions not actually mimicking work, we can see the whole tory argument as one designed purely to benefit businesses and not the public, oh what a surprize.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      • Some employers we know of sack people then take on a group of people paying them the minimum wage of that groups own country.

        Then there is what we also know of is the obvious, sacking paid employees replacing them with the unemployed.

        enigma

        February 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      • The tories although no strangers to it themselves, labour, are about supporting business so actually giving workers value per person like say per minute phone billing would take the control from employer to employee who naturally like any business would take what profits them the most what with us being a capitalistic supporting country.

        Just imagine for yourself what the world of work would be like if employees dictated business, infact don’t, just look at the bank sector and certain bonuses and why this government want to redefine self employment.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      • At the end of the day businesses control there efforts to gain there desired result so why shouldn’t all employees have the right to capitalise to get there desired result ?

        Wealth contrary to opinion isn’t built on a good idea followed by a bank loan, its generated by staff ( extra hands and feet )as for instance how far would say sainsburys get if just its original owner worked it all on there own or any company that is now large ?

        The public that become employees are worth way more than employers value and remunerate them and in my eyes each deserve a equal chunk of the annual profit who had it not been for them and not the share holders, wouldn’t have ever been generated in the first place.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm

  34. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has refused to publish secret reviews that should reveal whether the government’s welfare reforms were to blame for any of the deaths of 49 benefit claimants.

    http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2015/02/government-opts-secrecy-benefit-deaths/

    enigma

    February 24, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    • They claim it would prejudice the public perception of the welfare reform so I ask you, then isn’t more important than ever to see it now before we spend a single cent more funding it ?

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      • Of course they don’t want to be accountable for their actions meanwhile “we” are accountable for our actions.

        enigma

        February 25, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    • What we need is an independent body that has the power to make Govt. departments surrender any information at any time.

      Penalties for refusing such a request would result in an immediate sacking of the person in charge of the department involved.

      This needs to be passed into law in both houses of Government.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      February 28, 2015 at 1:51 pm

  35. How to deal with ‘tv licensing’ goons’ 😀

    * contains strong language

    Anti-TVL

    February 24, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    • That is NOT how to deal with anyone.

      The householder is fortunate he was not arrested or sectioned.

      Sanity

      February 24, 2015 at 2:51 pm

  36. Work capability assessments: One million disability checks planned.

    A new company given the contract to assess disabled people for a sickness benefit has told the BBC it will do one million assessments this year.

    Maximus is being paid £595m over three years to carry out work capability assessments for people applying for employment and support allowance.

    The Department for Work and Pensions last year cut short an Atos contract after “significant quality failures”.

    Maximus is promising to clear a backlog of around 600,000 claims.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31590017

    enigma

    February 24, 2015 at 2:19 pm

  37. “Top Welsh Tory under fire after telling bankers furious about the EU bonus cap to be ‘innovative… to get around it’”

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/top-welsh-tory-under-fire-8696757

    Annos

    February 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm

  38. Privatised London: the Thames Path walk that resembles a prison corridor.

    From the Isle of Dogs to Tower Bridge, just how much of London’s riverside walking route is actually open to the general public? This specially assembled Guardian exploration party would stop at nothing to find out.

    http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/feb/24/private-london-exposed-thames-path-riverside-walking-route

    enigma

    February 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    • Then there’s Canary Wharf…..

      Andrew Coates

      February 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    • I spent a week there when I was 18, since then lived in towns.

      enigma

      February 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm

  39. May be of interest to some.

    Lithuania to reintroduce conscription over security concerns.

    Russia – All male citizens aged 18-27 must enrol for a 12-month draft of military service

    Ukraine – Conscription was reinstated in 2014 in response to escalating violence in the east of the country

    Estonia – Compulsory military service for eight or 11 months from the age of 18

    Austria – Voted to retain compulsory military service in 2013. Men must serve six months in the army or nine months in civilian service when they reach 18

    Greece – Males aged 19 to 45 are required by law to perform military service for nine months

    Turkey – Military service is mandatory for all men over the age of 20. They must serve between six and 15 months

    Denmark – Conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from four to 12 months from the age of 18

    Norway – Men aged 19 to 44 must serve in the armed forces for 19 months. Women born from 1997 onwards, will also be conscripted from the summer of 2016

    Germany – Compulsory military service was suspended in July 2011, but it remains in the country’s constitution.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31607930

    enigma

    February 24, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    • Seems like a case of sex discrimination going on there… what ever happened to ‘equal rights’? Equal rights to be robbed on one’s life! At least Israel has the decency to conscript females in to the military… although they are probably on light hoovering duties, although I did see one flying a drone on the news.

      Germaine Greer

      February 25, 2015 at 1:43 am

      • Someone should inform Harriet Harperson about this… isn’t she all for ‘equality’… when it suits her agenda!

        Germaine Greer

        February 25, 2015 at 1:45 am

      • Hey Germaine Greer, if you want to come onto the front lines and die like the men all because of greedy corporations profiting form wars, then be my guest.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm

  40. I when on ESA a few months ago was asked by my dentist “why do you think you don’t have to pay”

    Free health care going, stage by stage.

    We have recently discovered that dental care, sight tests and prescriptions are no longer automatically free for those people with the most severe impairments under the new benefit system. My daughter, Erica who has multiple impairments, complex health needs and is now 100% funded by Continuing Health Care funding – is no longer automatically entitled to free dental care. Erica, like so many others has been moved from Income Support to Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

    We received a letter from the NHS dental services in Darlington stating that she had been to the dentist in December 2013 and her dental care had to be paid by her. We provided them with information about her benefits and then after a few weeks received a second letter stating that she was not eligible for free dental care and if she did not pay £18 she would be taken to court.

    http://www.changingmindschanginglives.com/2015/02/dental-care-sight-tests-and-prescriptions-are-no-longer-automatically-free-for-people-with-severe-impairments/

    enigma

    February 24, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    • Section seven – NHS dental & penalty charges and debt recovery rules.

      http://www.ppa.org.uk/foidocs/responses/R%20-%20Microsoft%20Word%20-%20FOI_Request_%282972%29c.pdf

      enigma

      February 25, 2015 at 8:30 am

    • Remember that question I asked enigma under the what it will be like under UC.

      The one about do you have to be in receipt of universal credit to get stuff like free prescriptions, free dental care, etc ?

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      • I remember Gaia. I too like many others have, may receive a letter for payment for getting treatment from a dentist etc.

        enigma

        February 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      • Like ive also said in the past enigma, if the public don’t become politically and economically engaged as any UK citizen should in the truest definition of what constitutes a UK citizen, how can they NOT expect to get hit with a sledgehammer when something like this comes along.

        For the record its been obvious since the draft of the welfare reform act let alone its introduction into law which is how old now ?

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

  41. Workfare.

    HMRC is signed up to the ‘Movement to Work’ scheme. MTW is just one more incarnation of Workfare – the government’s programme to get claimants doing jobs that should be paid employment for no more than their weekly dole.

    Across the department, the employer is expecting to bring in 1,000 placements this year and 2,000 next year. Given the moves made by HMRC to diminish its staffing complement at AA and AO grades, to have work appropriate to these grades done for free is, in the view of PCS, both an abuse of benefit claimants who should be paid the appropriate rate for any jobs they undertake, and yet another way for HMRC to artificially cover staffing shortages.
    If the department wants to support young people getting into work, it should acknowledge that it is woefully understaffed and offer these people genuine jobs while retaining the jobs of existing staff.

    Instead, the department is still committed to reducing its headcount while farming out jobs to private sector providers and drafting in unpaid workers with no employment rights on an extremely short term basis to do the jobs of staff who are being made redundant.

    https://pcsbootletaxes.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/say-no-to-workfare-in-hmrc/

    enigma

    February 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    • As an ex inland revenue employee I can tell you theres a certain bit of paper you have to sign before dealing with tax, it will be interesting to see how they make a claimant sign that and that’s if they do which if they don’t puts them in legal hot water.

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      • Sorry the legal hot water part is aimed at the government, the actual document i speak of has to be consented to, yes that’s right, freely given ?

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

  42. All the billions spent on welfare admin, of sanctions, assessments, re-assessments, and mindless computer systems. Hundreds of millions and billions of pounds of taxpayers money going down the drain.

    Then The Greens’ MP could not counter BBC Radio 4 presenter, who said how would the univeral and automatic Greens’ policy of Citizen Income could be costed for the £280 billion the Greens said it would cost.

    So that policy was lost.

    The Greens have never replied if that means their policy of Citizen State Pension, of full state pension irregardless of National Insurance history, is also gone.

    Then we hear The Greens’ Leader could not remember her party’s manifesto, having a blank moment (that is a stress symptom).

    The Tories say the welfare bill has been £220 billion each year. The bulk of this is admin as you can see.

    No small socialist party has such policies (but then neither have The Greens now), but are anti-austerity and would get rid of sanctions and workfare, something no so-called big party is offering.

    The number of the poor, in and out of work, and from young to old, now outnumber other voters in huge number of voting areas, and so instead of thinking about the boredom against voting, to think about putting a cross against a different party name and get:

    – food on the table
    – roof over your head
    – end the stress of the cruel benefits regime
    – get a decent state pension.

    See how at:
    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    Because it is in so called safe Labour seats in England, Wales and Scotland, it is Labour voters who don’t bother to keep registered to vote on the electoral rool and even if they are, less likely to come out to vote.

    Don’t think of it as voting in a general election of a politician.

    But of getting food and fuel money for yourself and those you care about.

    Vote or Starve Election 2015
    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    Chris

    February 24, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    • Totally agree on voting for anyone but the main parties BUT still tread carefully as you might end up with yet another coalition and we all know how ineffectual the Lib Dems were through this term of office.

      gaia

      February 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      • Actually I should of said ask the respective party who they would align themselves with in the event off.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm

  43. Send the darkies home.

    PS I am not a racist; neither is UKIP a racist party.

    Nigel Farage

    February 25, 2015 at 5:02 am

  44. What is the difference for benefit claimants between a sanction, a
    disallowance and a suspension of benefits?

    How does each of these actions affect entitlement to Housing Benefit on
    grounds of low or nil income?

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/253246/response/620106/attach/html/2/FOI%20534%20reply.pdf.html

    enigma

    February 25, 2015 at 9:05 am

  45. Universal Credit ‘Complicated And Expensive’, Say MPs

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/committee-slams-complicated-and-expensive-universal-credit/

    ken

    February 25, 2015 at 11:02 am

  46. The truth about work labour market what the jobcentre,work program dont want to hear.
    I am finding it extreamly difficult to find a proper job.
    i am registered with 10 agencys and accepting work short time, minimum wage,and pay messed about as well as verbal abuse from clients who talk to people like slaves.I hold my head up high dont answer back and know scratching for a living.
    IN DUE COURSE I WILL BE PUBLISHING COMPANIES THAT TREAT THERE WORKERS LIKE DOGS.I am now having to claim jobseekers allowance because i am struggling to get 16hrs.A message to ian duncan smith try calling me a lazy scrounger if you dare.
    You will be inciting the next london riots as there are many people in my position your town will be trashed and will be your fault.

    Tony Montana

    February 25, 2015 at 11:05 am

  47. Number of zero hours contracts rises to 1.8m, ONS says: Politics Live blog

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2015/feb/25/cameron-and-miliband-at-pmqs-politics-live-blog

    enigma

    February 25, 2015 at 11:43 am

      • According to the Tories there’s plenty of people thankful for zero hour contracts, that it allows them to fit work around there caring responsibilities and the likes.

        That’s odd as isn’t it the employer that calls you when they want work and NOT the other way round ?

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      • Of course the Tories would say such things as “their caring responsibilities” but don’t and wouldn’t talk of those who don’t have any caring responsibilities.

        I once had a job which was “on call” always waiting for a call, what with things to pay, no good to anyone, it means also you can’t plan anything.

        enigma

        February 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      • It will be interesting to see under UC what would happen if someone had something to do like caring for a relative or any other acceptable premise to refuse work that would be only a couple of hours or at the very least a days work.

        Would the employer or agency deliberately refuse them work there after forcing them into a sanction if they don’t as that’s what’s liable to happen.

        How do the Tories propose to tackle this deliberate action to stop it happening in the first place, how are they going to have proof whether or not this employer had or hadn’t had work the following day but still didn’t call this individual ?

        Remember companies are only legal obliged to supply data for work carried out and not whats on the books for the week ahead that may I add the employer controls.

        gaia

        February 25, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      • We’ll no doubt see what actually happens regarding caring for someone, not going into work due to that, it’s probably happening already where UC is operating.

        The employer will no doubt lie about work which is or was available without any interest of an employees well being.

        enigma

        February 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm

  48. I’m Back Baby!

    I have a serious question:

    If the current coalition Government are privatising basically everything (jobs which THEY are paid to do), why the hell are MP’s paid on average £67,000 pounds per year?

    What is there value and contribution?

    If you ask me they are privatising everything because they just want less work and headaches, but still want there bloated pay cheques.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm

  49. google.zing

    Capita to Run Universal Credit ‘Initial’ Stages. | Ipswich Unemployed Action.

    google.zing

    March 1, 2015 at 1:51 pm


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