Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

One in Five Jobseekers Suffer Benefit Sanctions.

with 75 comments

Many people have commented, rightly, that the Channel Four Dispatches programme, which was great, only scratched the surface of the problem of sanctions.

We all know people affected, I even know people who’ve been victims of the fake ‘appointment’ scam (not in Ipswich I must say).

A Tory Minister has joined the fray,

A Conservative minister has said there is an “inhuman inflexibility” to the way some welfare sanctions are applied.

Business Minister Nick Boles said the sanctions “do need to be looked at” and suggested a change after the election, the Grantham Journal reported. BBC.

Not that ‘looking at sanctions’ from his lot will improve matters.

So let’s get to grips with the problem and demand an end to the sanction regime.

If proof were needed of its injustice this has just been published:

One In Five Hammered By Benefit Sanctions, Says Expert. Welfare Weekly

Nearly one in five (18.4%) jobseekers were affected by punitive benefit sanctions in 2013-14, new analysis suggests.

Analysis of official Government figures by Dr David Webster, a researcher from the University of Glasgow, shows that 568,430 of the 3,097,630 individuals who claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) during 2013/14 were sanctioned – with some seeing their benefits stopped more than once.

Furthermore, 22.3% of the total 8,232,560 individuals who claimed JSA between 2009/10 to 2013/14 (inclusive) have seen their benefits removed. Equivalent to 1,833,035 people.

The findings draw into question claims from DWP ministers, who insist only a “tiny number” of people are sanctioned and that they are only ever used as a “last resort”.

Statistically, the percentage of JSA claimants sanctioned each month stands at an average 6.5%.

However, according to the analysis, this headline statistic fails to account for the cumulative effect of benefit sanctions, which can last for a few weeks or as long as three years.

“If 5-6% of claimants are being sanctioned every month, the proportion will grow as time goes on”, says Dr Webster.

His analysis also reveals that 30.9% of individual JSA claimants sanctioned in the year to June 2014 were hammered more than once, and 12.5% three times or more.

It’s bad news for sick and disabled people too. Dr Webster writes: “Over the six years of the ESA sanctions regime from October 2008 to September 2014, 21.0% out of a total of 85,292 sanctioned claimants received more than one sanction, and 7.6% three or more”.

To add insult to injury, no pun intended, the proportion of ESA sanctions overturned at appeal has fallen from around 35% to just 20% – since the introduction of ‘mandatory reconsideration’ into the appeals process.

Dr Webster says there is a “disturbing possibility” that vulnerable sick and disabled people are “unable to cope” with the new appeals process.

Claimants who disagree with a decision on benefit entitlement are now required to ask the DWP to ‘reconsider’, before they can appeal to an independent social security tribunal.

The proportion of JSA sanctions challenged by claimants has also fallen from 33% to around 20-25%.

Dr Webster’s analysis also reinforces views stressed by other experts: the Government’s controversial Work Programme “continues to deliver far more JSA sanctions than JSA job outcomes”, he says.

He added: “Up to 30 September 2014 there had been 575,399 JSA Work Programme sanctions and 345,640 JSA Work Programme job outcomes”.

You can download Dr Webster’s analysis here (pdf).

Fib all they like about “aspirations” for sanction levels the DWP can’t wriggle out of this.

Job Centre Notice Board (Justice4Jobseekers).

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75 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    March 5, 2015 at 1:05 pm

  2. The election prediction pundits are saying that Labour and Tories will be in the most hung parliament ever, so the Tories could continue to rule after Thursday 7 May.

    The media and TV are giving nil coverage to small left wing parties that Labour would need to break out of this awful scenario of the Tories in power for another 5 years.

    This is a Vote of Starve election.

    The pundits say that if a group of parties gathered between 323 MP seats then they could form a majority and rule government for the next 5 years.

    The Scottish National Party is on course to win about 51 seats.

    Plaid Cymru of Wales could win a few.

    So in England voting for small left wing parties getting nil media coverage would ensure the starvation and cruelty ended this year.

    The unemployed outnumber all other voters in many voting areas in England, and are far more than the votes gained by the sitting MP in the last general election.

    So a small left wing party could even win against a sitting Tory MP in voting areas that have a slim majority.

    The poor have never had a better chance of voting in a government that will save their lives and the lives of those they care about.

    I am only one person, a victim of welfare and pension reform, nil benefit, unable to work, disabled, chronic sick, nil state pension that will hit women and men older than me from next year on and from 6 April 2016.

    Many benefits end at age 64, so the pension reform leaving nil food and fuel money forever in old age is a looming catastrophe.

    I have put together a website I got free (sorry it is a bit crammed only a few pages free) and put on it what the logos on the ballot sheet and some information about who these parties are, at:

    http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

    You might care to share on your social media, like Facebook and Twitter, this website, so as to end this silence by the media that denies the poor any hope.

    Chris

    March 5, 2015 at 1:58 pm

  3. Dr Webster reminds us of the Work Programme’s bizarre achievement of sanctioning more people than it got back to work – a fact which pushes the ineffective Work Programme beyond the edge of reason!

    Tobanem

    March 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    • And even then the Waste Programme doesn’t get any more people back to work, just helps/forces a different person into the job.

      Another Fine Mess

      March 6, 2015 at 1:34 am

  4. MEL – MINIMUM EXPECTED LEVEL (Of sanctions)!

    Other useful abbreviations:

    SBR = Stricter Benefit Regime

    DMA = Decision Making and Appeals

    ASE = Actively Seeking Employment

    RE = Refusal of Employment

    More on here:

    https://endpropaganda.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/2015-dwp-staff-say-targets-for-sanctions-still-exist/

    Tobanem

    March 5, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    • That is a hideous document by any standards.

      I hope somebody does a proper article (book?) on this.

      Andrew Coates

      March 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      • Even the language is de-humanising…. “live load”, “stock”… it sound like cattle they are talking about…

        Daisy the Cow

        March 7, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      • “live load”? is that claimants who haven’t been sent to the slaughter yet… next they will do doing to claimants what they do to sheep… dyeing the ones ear-marked for slaughter a nice pretty, pink colour… for us cows they just stamp us on the arse with a hot iron…

        Daisy the Cow

        March 7, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      • Then on to cattle trains to some far off land!

        enigma

        March 7, 2015 at 12:53 pm

  5. Trussell Trust national press coverage:

    11/02/2015: ‘Community Shop is no good if you don’t have any money’

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/11/community-shop-food-banks-social-support

    27/01/2015: Mirror ‘Senior political figures ‘bully’ charities that speak out on harm caused by government austerity policies’

    http://www.trusselltrust.org/media-coverage

    enigma

    March 5, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    • Top one enigma, that guardian post you posted or should I say the premise of the idea of community shops has provided me with the best laugh today.

      gaia

      March 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      • You know when Britain isn’t earning enough, things cost to much or people starving when a person can make millions out of selling best before date food products.

        http://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/business/dragons-den-reject-has-last-laugh-making-millions-selling-cut-price-food/ar-BBiejjA?ocid=iehp

        gaia

        March 5, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      • The person or persons who rejected it will be sorry! they are not so smart.

        enigma

        March 5, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      • That’s all very well but a lot of really poor people live day-to-day and would not organise their shopping through a ‘community shop’.

        Iceland is the choice of many – particularly because the food there doesn’t need much preparation.

        Lecturing people on processed food is bad will not make the slightest bit of difference – particularly when it comes from the Guardian etc, where they have enough dosh to go to Waitrose.

        Andrew Coates

        March 5, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      • Ah Iceland – there is a reason it’s the “orange” shop. The colour orange stimulates the appetite; conversely blue suppresses the appetite.

        Professor of Nutritional Psychology

        March 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      • Enigma, what do you mean by your comment, “The person or persons who rejected it will be sorry! they are not so smart” ?

        Are you talking about these community shops, selling best before date food products or the dragons failing to see the merit of that guys idea ?

        gaia

        March 6, 2015 at 11:41 am

      • Those in the den that failed to see the benefits of the idea.

        enigma

        March 6, 2015 at 11:47 am

      • Iceland do rather nice indian curries for £1.50p – £2.00p

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        March 7, 2015 at 11:34 am

  6. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    March 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm

  7. EAT THE RICH!!

    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    March 5, 2015 at 5:57 pm

  8. DOUBLE DOLE & PENSION

    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    March 5, 2015 at 5:57 pm

  9. There are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK today. That’s 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four.

    There are even more serious concentrations of child poverty at a local level: in 100 local wards, for example, between 50 and 70 per cent of children are growing up in poverty.

    Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works.

    People are poor for many reasons. But explanations which put poverty down to drug and alcohol dependency, family breakdown, poor parenting, or a culture of worklessness are not supported by the facts.

    http://www.cpag.org.uk/child-poverty-facts-and-figures

    enigma

    March 5, 2015 at 9:03 pm

  10. Privatisation of the NHS: Allyson Pollock at TEDxExeter

    enigma

    March 5, 2015 at 10:34 pm

  11. A Conservative minister has said there is an “inhuman inflexibility” to the way some welfare sanctions are applied.

    Yes but according to the Torygraph, somebody had a word with him and he had to change his mind the very next day!
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11447469/Nick-Boles-in-climbdown-after-claiming-benefit-sanctions-are-inhuman.html

    Another Fine Mess

    March 6, 2015 at 12:45 am

  12. Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, says that for too long the Tories assumed that compassion was ‘soft’

    Helping people escape a lifetime on benefits and so they can get back into work is “compassionate” Conservatism at its best, the Work and Pensions secretary will say today.

    Iain Duncan Smith is expected to tell a conference in Canada that for too long it has been assumed that compassion is “soft” and the “preserve of the left”.

    He will say that the Conservative Party has a “historic mission” to help the working poor and to give them “the right to hope and the chance to aspire”.

    He will say: “There is nothing compassionate about increasing dependency by spending more of taxpayers’ money to sustain someone in a lifetime on benefits.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11452826/Iain-Duncan-Smith-Taking-people-off-benefits-is-compassionate.html

    enigma

    March 6, 2015 at 9:26 am

    • I wonder what IDS will say about “compassionate” sanctions?

      Meanwhile, an early day motion on benefit sanctions is on the go currently in Parliament:

      http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/842

      Tobanem

      March 6, 2015 at 10:16 am

      • Good motion, “That this House welcomes the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into Benefits sanctions policy beyond the Oakley Review; notes the large amount of compelling evidence from the PCS union, charities, welfare advisers and academics showing that the current sanctions regime is excessive, punitive and failing; is concerned that sanctions are not a last resort, as their use and severity have both escalated dramatically and that they hinder rather than enable claimants to get work; and urges the Government to instigate a far-reaching independent review of sanctions and their effects and to suspend the 2013 stricter benefit regime at least until such time as such a review has been completed.”

        Andrew Coates

        March 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

  13. IDS was recently asked, “Does he understand poverty” and his reply was, “I’ve studied it and I’ve also spent time myself concerned about it”.

    He also said he understood what it was to be unemployed, that he himself had been once made unemployed or to be more exact redundant.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/iain-duncan-smith-i-know-what-its-like-to-look-for-work

    So, you go to an employer and what do they value most, qualifications or experience ?

    When you seek advice, are you more particularly reassured by that persons qualifications or experience in the field as the deciding factor to take it or not ?

    This means IDS has no direct personal experience with being poor or if we go by his history, not the kind of poor we live everyday with and I will demonstrate.

    You see IDS has been unemployed twice, and one of them was in 1988 to 1989 while working as a marketing director, a year after losing the 1987 Bradford west elections while representing the conservatives , now despite this, only 4 years later in 1992 the couple acquired a £300,000 property in Chingford WITHOUT the need for a mortgage, meaning they somehow paid for it outright, lock, stock and barrel., the very same year he became MP for Chingford also.

    Well then, can any of you report being unemployed once yet 4 years later land a high post job and slap £300,000 CASH down on a house all in the same year, how about a quarter of that ?

    “Know poverty, know poverty my foot”.

    gaia

    March 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    • Does IDS know what it’s like to be sanctioned.- no

      enigma

      March 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      • And has never experienced poverty so nonsense yet again coming from him.

        enigma

        March 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      • It gets even more interesting enigma as the first time he became unemployed, he actually made himself unemployed by leaving the army voluntarily knowing full well a recession was occurring at the time.

        Its not hard to see when you delve into his past that when he implies poor in reference to himself, he actually means poorer than richer folk and not near penniless every week juggling heat, light and food.

        Its also not hard to see why he behaves the way he does what with being surrounded by family and ancestors that are famous and honoured as brave people who without doubt served there country well and with pride. Between this and his to be wife’s family and friends, I would imagine he felt rather inadequate what with not enjoying the equal footing of coming from a privileged background, not having private schooling or even achieving high grades or qualifications if any at all through the educational years of his life (both when young studying and when older and working).

        Will never know now as no record exists but it may also be the case that even a certain influence was used that aided his recruitment into the junior leaders of the scots guard but alas that can only remain speculation.

        Theres a saying, “Those who can’t do, teach” which oddly enough has some experts saying it possibly came from one George Bernard Shaw who just happens to be a distant relative of IDS, so I wonder is it also fair to say, “Those who can’t do, lead” ?

        So in parting let me leave you with a link of the book this was believed to have come from (Maxims for Revolutionists),

        http://bartleby.com/157/6.html

        I wonder, do any of these other quotes jump out at you at all ?

        gaia

        March 6, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      • For an insight into Iain Duncan Smith you should all read his biography – Iain Duncan Smith: Inside the Mind of a Madman.

        Bookworm

        March 6, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    • I think we can all see quotes in that article that are of IDS.

      enigma

      March 8, 2015 at 10:48 am

  14. Yet another.

    A FATHER-of-three from Nelson took his own life after his benefits were stopped and he was threatened with eviction from his home, an inquest heard.

    The body of Benjamin Del McDonald, of Vaughan Street, was found off Gib Hill Road, where he played as a child, last November.

    http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/11838628.Dad_of_three_killed_himself_after_benefits_were_stopped_and_he_was_threatened_with_eviction/?ref=mr

    enigma

    March 6, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    • I seriously cant believe that last article you posted enigma as it appears the medical experts giving the news for the article seem just as uncaring and more interested in getting funded than actually preventing suicide.

      Take for example this paragraph,

      “The recent large increase in suicides in prisons following large reductions in staffing is a clear example. Full implementation of effective suicide prevention will undoubtedly require major investments, both in clinical services and more general suicide prevention initiatives.”

      They talk only of preventing the actual act of suicide and make no mention of the violence this individual probably received, or the threats, or bullying or theft of his property by other inmates, the very stimulus that drives convicts to commit suicide in the first place.

      If you notice, larger emphases is placed on arguing for investment.

      gaia

      March 6, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      • It appears to me as usual a question of money as remove all the false sentiment and all you see is, “its cheaper to prevent an individuals act of suicide than it is to address the actual catalyst”.

        gaia

        March 6, 2015 at 7:27 pm

      • Just more middle-class knob-heads seeking to profit from others misery whilst maintaining their inflated salaries keeping them in their cushy lifestyles of nice houses, fancy cars and luxury holidays.

        CShell

        March 6, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      • I know what you mean Gaia, it’s all about cash, human beings are important to those who will do their utmost to exploit them. without the exploited being made aware of it.

        enigma

        March 6, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      • It is like fucking ‘social workers’ – a shower of interfering middle-class knob-heads who feed of off poverty… then you have the mental-health industry and prison-industrial complex – all feeding of off others’ misery.

        Blood Sucker

        March 6, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      • There is also the fact that you can’t stop most suicide’s, most are done in a split second decision, without anyone knowing, behind closed doors, so the so called helping those who do, is nonsense, it’s the very same with terrorists, the security services know that they can not stop them all because they don’t know where or who they are as is the case for a suicidal person.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-31770466

        enigma

        March 7, 2015 at 9:41 am

      • People who threaten suicide don’t (generally) do it anyway. People who are going to commit suicide just do it – the act of suicide usually comes out of the blue and is completely unexpected. Incidentally, people who threaten violence don’t (generally) commit violent acts either. Likewise, people who are going to commit violent acts just do it – they don’t (generally) flag it up. This is why all these ‘detection and prevention’ programmes fall flat on their faces.

        Professor of Clinical & Criminal Psychology

        March 7, 2015 at 9:50 am

  15. Court rooms are clogged with people who have fallen behind on payments since support funds were axed, yet the rich still fail to pay their fair share of the tax

    http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2015/mar/06/council-tax-system-broken

    ken

    March 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm

  16. Meanwhile, here is “A New Approach” (to Social Security).

    A link is given to an open letter to Ed Miliband, but have a look at their home page for more information:

    http://newapproachuk.org/2014/07/02/an-open-letter-to-leader-of-the-opposition-mr-ed-miliband/

    Undoubtedly, a new approach is urgently needed!

    Tobanem

    March 7, 2015 at 10:20 am

  17. More on discrimination.

    Large firms will be forced to reveal details of the gap between how much they pay male and female employees after the Government agreed to implement the measure.

    Shadow equalities minister Gloria De Piero said: ” This is fantastic news for women but why have they waited so long? Labour passed this law in 2010 but the Tories and Lib Dems ditched it. That’s five wasted years when we could have seen real progress to close the gender pay gap.

    “The reality is that it’s only when the Government realised they would be defeated on this issue by Labour in the House of Lords that they saw the need to act.”

    http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/national/11840448.Large_firms_told_to_reveal_pay_gap/

    enigma

    March 7, 2015 at 12:43 pm

  18. Strengthening rights and choices for people to live in the community.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/strengthening-rights-for-people-with-learning-disabilities

    enigma

    March 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    • The consultation ‘No voice unheard, no right ignored’ explores options on issues such as how people can:

      be supported to live independently, as part of a community

      be assured that their views will be listened to

      challenge decisions about them and about their care

      exercise control over the support they receive with a Personal Health Budget

      expect that different health and local services will organise themselves around their needs

      know that professionals are looking out for their physical health needs as well as their mental health needs

      enigma

      March 7, 2015 at 4:15 pm

  19. WOW and I Mean WOW

    Just over at Vox Political and came across the following [Now this will really stuff People – anyone on Tax Credits? part time workers, temp staf [i.e. any one with fluctuating income over a 6 month period] etc etc :

    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/03/05/dwps-mandatory-reconsiderations-have-effectively-destroyed-independent-tribunals-refuted/#comments

    Jonathan Wilson said:

    March 6, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    And it gets worse… http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/345/pdfs/uksi_20150345_en.pdf

    The UC if you earn to much and get your UC cancelled, you can be bared from claiming it again, for I think 6 months, if your earnings go down rule.

    Basically if you are on UC, earn a good wack, then hit hard times you will be expected to have put aside enough to carry you over for six months as instead of UC being based on each months earnings, it will take into consideration past earnings as well.

    There was an article on insidehousing about it, but I think its now a paywalled site to keep the general public out.

    ———————-

    Want to bet this also applies/is aimed at anyone on Tax Credits?… Say a working Mum who gets and does overtime. by doing more than expected Claim gets cancelled and have to reapply [I Know of one mother who had greif like that… Four times! in two months] and then this nice little new addition pops up.

    IDS is in cloud cookoo land when Legions of working mums get affected by this stupidity – especially with the new addition of “if you do less than 16/25 hours a week and get tax credits, you’ll be invited in to be told to get another job on top or lose the Tax Credits – “Full time work is not just an Aspiration its a necessity…”

    Gazza

    March 7, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    • People mentioned that unions are not interested in the unemployed.

      Not true, but I can assure everybody that what Gazza notes has not failed to have a big big impact on unions.

      Andrew Coates

      March 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      • You know how on JSA if you declare any paid work, you keep the first five pounds and then the rest gets deducted pound for pound, well this is how assessing ones award to the new UC will work including reclaims.

        We have a new tax system so it only stands to reason it would be linked to benefits and credits, especially considering all that fraud rhetoric going about.

        The system as you know is to disincentives those that seek to claim so there’s always that line of certainty that says, “work pays”.

        Its funny how when people thought of the phrase , “making work pay”, they all near selected the increase in hourly wage box. Governments cant order employers to put there wages up anymore than they can order employers to hire people.

        The only time your ever get these is if a government made companies responsible for the cost of the welfare bill by taking it out of every UK businesses profits.

        With the addition of adding the cost towards every accident at work resulting in time off from hospital/GP costs to sickness benefit as then we might get rid of this reasonably practicable clause planted in the HASAWA amongst other things health related.

        gaia

        March 8, 2015 at 10:01 am

      • Yes, if one doesn’t work they don’t get paid, simple as that.

        enigma

        March 8, 2015 at 10:50 am

      • Theres only one thing that mostly stops people working and that is EMPLOYERS or should I say there whims, the final frontier, the last great barrier into work.

        gaia

        March 8, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    • New universal credit rules which could leave 200,000 claimants waiting six months for their benefit have sparked fresh fears over increased tenant rent arrears.

      The new regulations, which were quietly laid in parliament last week, have been described by social landlords as likely to lead to increased hardship and evictions.

      Currently, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) calculates a claimant’s universal credit monthly. If they earn above a certain threshold in that month, their entitlement is reduced or removed. Under the new rules, the DWP will take into account earnings the claimant has made in the six months previously.

      This means a person who earns a larger amount in one month, but nothing the following month, may find they are unable to claim universal credit for up to six months. The change only applies to people making repeated claims within six months of a previous claim ending.

      The DWP expects up to 200,000 universal credit claimants to be hit by the change after it comes into force on 6 April 2016 – nearly 10 times the number hit by the £26,000-a-year benefit cap.

      The change means claimants who receive an irregular income will have to plan and set aside savings for when they are not in work, as they may not be able to fall back on benefit.

      In response to a previous consultation on the change, the National Housing Federation said: ‘Any additional delay in tenants’ ability to access the right support will further increase the possibility of poverty.’

      London landlord Peabody said an ‘obvious area of hardship’ would be when claimants took up additional seasonal work. The housing association added: ‘With the accruing rent arrears, there is every chance of people facing eviction.’

      Community Housing Cymru, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA), Golden Gates Housing Trust and Wheatley Group have also expressed concern.

      The government announced last week it had changed the finalised regulations to allow claimants to earn up to £300 more in one month than the next without being hit, halving the number of people estimated to be effected. The change is designed to prevent people who have an option on when they get paid from maximising universal credit.

      UNIVERSAL CREDIT: IN NUMBERS

      200,000 people affected by latest universal credit rule change
      31,080 were claiming universal credit as of 8 January
      100,000 people expected to be claiming universal credit by May
      11m people eventually expected to be claiming universal credit

      Source: Department for Work and Pensions

      hAcK3R

      March 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      • Readers’ comments (19)

        The Raven

        The Raven | 05/03/2015 12:23 pm

        Regardless of the merits and shortcomings of UC in principle, the constant need to tweak it here and tweak it there in order to cover all possible circumstances will doom it to be an expensive failure. Just as with the tax system, building on successive layers of complexity to cater for anomalous circumstances will result in a huge, inflexible, inefficient behemoth of a system that neither operators nor operands will understand. Epic fail in the making – and all So predictable (and predicted).

        Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

        Peter Francis | 05/03/2015 12:43 pm

        This UC Titanic 2 captained by IDS thinks sailing directly into an iceberg on full nautical speed is not a problem!

        Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment
        Derrick Dyas

        Derrick Dyas | 05/03/2015 1:23 pm

        Surely this is a penalty for working, or pursuing any type of employment that may only be temporary.
        I always thought that benefits covered a specific period of time and that if you did not get enough for that specific period you got benefits.

        Of course, Income Tax and Tax Credits are calculated on an annual basis are they not. Is this a means to try and draw benefits in to the same type of regime?

        Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

        Llyr Hughes | 05/03/2015 3:33 pm

        So let me get my head around this… in a self employed situation where someone has been s/e for over a year and the MIF applies.

        If the person has a good 6 months and reports on a monthly basis and receives some U/C. Then has a great few months(due to the nature of s/e work) and gets no U/C for 3 months. Then month 10 U/C will either use MIF or the 1st 6 months s/e even though the client has no income from s/e

        Please someone tell me if I’m following this right…:)

        Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

        nicole guillan | 05/03/2015 4:26 pm

        It states that this is to come into force April 2016, is that date correct? Will it not be April 2015?

        Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

        Heather Spurr | 05/03/2015 5:07 pm

        Hi nicole,

        It is April 2016. Here’s the legislation: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/345/pdfs/uksi_20150345_en.pdf
        🙂

        Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

        Ted Smith | 05/03/2015 5:45 pm

        Recently the CONDEMS brought in leglislation such that people
        working part time are expected to seek further hours each week
        or face having to suffer sanctions which are a financial penalty
        because they are only working part time.
        This is a monstrosity unleashed upon the poor / who have already
        suffered losing hundreds of millions of pounds imposed on the
        unemployed through sanctions in the last few years

        Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

        Concerned Landlord | 05/03/2015 7:46 pm

        “This means a person who earns a larger amount in one month, but nothing the following month, may find they are unable to claim universal credit for up to six months.”

        It may force a claimant, not to declare income. It is forcing people to be benefit cheats?

        In an age of part time jobs etc.. you need a responsive DWP.

        Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

        J H | 06/03/2015 11:03 am

        This is not the first time IDS has “tweaked” UC and won’t be the last either.

        However, the REAL issue is the programme itself which will cost billions more to the taxpayer even in theory yet UC for some unknown reason is discussed as being right in theory when it is not and Raven above starts with “Regardless of the merits and shortcomings of UC in principle,…”

        UC – the merging of the benefits and tax systems means EVERYONE will get EVERY PENNY they are entitled to or more simple not a penny more not a penny less.

        YET the 2009/10 latest (yes seriously!) figures is £8.34 billion per year in tax credits, WTC and CTC, goes unclaimed but will have to be paid in UC

        The last time the benefit non take up figures were released was also in 2011 and for 2009/10 and revealed welfare benefits unclaimed which will also have to be paid in UC – this one stop shop assessment for all benefits. So:

        £6.7 billion in HB that goes unclaimed will be paid
        £2.2 billion in all forms of IS will have to be paid
        £1.7 billion in JSA unclaimed
        £2.7 billion in Pension Credit that goes unclaimed

        and there is more but that all adds up to an additional cost of at least £20 billion more per year as everyone gets every benefit they are entitled to

        Bollocks to paywalls 😀

        hAcK3R

        March 7, 2015 at 5:16 pm

  20. So as above on one of the comments, don’t get a job, or make sure you don’t, or get a full time job where you then get away from all this, that’s if you can get a full time job.

    enigma

    March 7, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    • Expect everyone to save, IC, everyone is going back to school. to be taught.

      enigma

      March 7, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    • Without amounts its hard to cast a picture but currently under JSA a person is allowed up to 16000 in savings and assets before being ineligible for benefits with regards to claiming unemployment and housing benefit.

      To be eligible for tax credits a single person has to be working over 30 hours or a couple 24 hours collectively so anyone under this falls under UC unemployment and housing benefit.

      (A tax credit is not a benefit, its a portion of your taxes that’s awarded back under certain conditions).

      So 16,000 spread over 52 weeks is around 300, so in principle a person making a claim for unemployment would be assessed for excesses above the required amount to live on plus any savings or assets above this threshold 300 mark (basic explanation).

      Well who of you is liable to save around that much every week while paying living expenses while being employed to fill shelves at there local respective foodstore ?

      Its geared towards and more in reference to self employed peoples earnings while encompassing PAYE.

      Under the current system of tax credits, its to much grief to register on and off so its not hard to see why few take it up and this will increase as no one wants to be told to look for extra work all for a few extra bucks per week, especially when you consider it was there taxes in the first place that they paid in quite literally.

      Im not saying its all pure as driven snow, far from it as under UC nolonger will you be able to NOT claim tax credit but still claim housing benefit as effectively one will precede the other so working under 30 hours wont be viable anymore, (ie, you can currently work 16 hours, still claim housing benefit without conditionality), Meaning you will still be hounded to work more hours to be eligible to maintain the receipt of housing benefit.

      So in parting yes a lot of working people working either less than 30 hours and or earning less when over 30 hours (the latter more applicable to self employed) will come under conditionality, all of which I stated ages ago but hey, this is what the working wanted to do right, stick it to the unemployed feckless, the workshy, shame the joke was on them the whole time so forgive me if I don’t lose any sleep.

      I cant wait to see all those working and claiming tax credits and housing benefit get put under conditionality like us or should I say the ones brave enough to still claim it. If the take up remains the same as it is now in terms of head count, if the public already didn’t know about conditionality, they soon will, all 10.2 million of them.

      gaia

      March 8, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      • Too right, gaia. Fuck ’em!

        The Godmother

        March 8, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      • … all 10.2 million of them!

        The Godmother

        March 8, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      • Im not saying F*$k em the godfather, im saying, “you reap what you sow” so its a bit late in the game to cry now when the welfare act has been around long enough for all to see so its not like it just happened over night.

        As for 10.2 million, that’s 11 million minus 800,000 unemployed.

        gaia

        March 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm

  21. Spiderman heads into city centre up to three times a week
    Buys sandwiches from Tesco to give to homeless.
    Chose to dress as Spider-Man after friends note he looks like Peter Parker
    Mysterious do-gooder hopes to inspire others to go out and do the same

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2984228/Birmingham-s-Spider-Man-hands-food-homeless.html

    enigma

    March 7, 2015 at 8:07 pm

  22. Pimp-Seetec Cambridge posted this on cv-library earlier this week. They’re expanding, apparently. Is there some new kind of workfare in the wind?

    Work Placement Coordinator (Cambridge)

    Salary/Rate: £21000 – £24000/annum
    Location: Cambridge
    Posted: 02/03/2015 (17:01)

    The Role

    Due to our on-going expansion we are actively seeking outgoing individuals who are passionate about helping others to get back into employment. This is a varied and busy role where you are proactively developing relationships with local businesses and organisations as well as motivating customers and helping empower them to engage in meaningful work based opportunities. Duties will include: *To promote Seetec’s products and services *Identify prospective work placement opportunities *Initiate and develop relationships with local businesses and organisations *Carry out health and safety checks on placement locations *Liaise with businesses and oganisations regarding the work placement process *Obtain and review regular feedback *Liaise and assist with marketing

    jj joop

    March 8, 2015 at 11:19 am

    • Apparently there is something. I’ve just checked out Boycott Workfare.

      http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?p=4192

      jj joop

      March 8, 2015 at 11:24 am

    • There are other job advertisement’s similar but from Maximus. workfare, nothing new really, it means working for ones benefit, as usual.

      enigma

      March 8, 2015 at 11:25 am

    • That looks like an advert for placement scouts jj joop, so somewhere in the wings it may forecast a mass exodus of claimants onto unpaid work scheme/s.

      The question is now would the tories get more votes if unemployment looks really low now pre election or more from the poor if they wait until after the elections ?

      While working this out do consider which is liable to be the most expensive between housing all the unemployed to do jobsearch 7 hours a day, five days a week every year to fit with the rule of 30/35 hour jobsearch weekly and putting them on placement for 6 months, then the jobsearch already mentioned for the remaining 6 months.

      “You cant claim back taxes for the same computer, everytime someone new jumps on it”.

      gaia

      March 8, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      • gaia:

        I thought 6 month placements (CWP) only applied to claimants who completed the Work programme before 28th April 2014.

        jj joop

        March 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      • Sorry, I meant after 28th April 2014.

        jj joop

        March 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

  23. We all of appointments which were made without the claimants knowledge.

    My work plan booklet- I don’t use, my name and info is on the front, I haven’t signed it, I don’t use the booklet so I don’t bother to ever open the book.

    I go to sign on last week, different adviser, while I’m signing on the adviser tells me that I have an appointment next week, I say to the adviser “what appointment, I wasn’t told about it”
    the adviser tells me the appointment is noted on your booklet, so I then looked for it, on the very last page there it was.

    Weather you use the booklet or not, always look at every page.

    enigma

    March 8, 2015 at 11:41 am

    • enigma:

      Is your appointment with a workfare provider? I have a booklet (My Work Plan) but I’ve never used it, filled it in or brought it to the Jobcentre. Never will, either.

      jj joop

      March 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      • No, It’s just an apt to see one of the usual advisers, remember JJ if you don’t yet know, some people are going to sign on every day, others once every week, like me, the reason for all this is because they assume we are all making money on the side, it’s thanks to the adviser I seen last week, she actually stopped me getting a sanction for telling me about the apt. because of the fact I wouldn’t have seen it in the booklet because I don’t use it.

        No matter what JJ, I know and will know if they ever present me with something to sign I will not sign it, just like the work plan booklet.

        I do know other people though who don’t know what is going on and so those people are on schemes.

        Meanwhile I have one of my fav doc’s to present to the adviser I will see next week. they will not like what they see.

        enigma

        March 8, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      • enigma:

        If possible, let us know what happens. Thanks.

        jj joop

        March 8, 2015 at 8:26 pm

  24. Job seekers allowance infrastructure and requirements are very rigid,i voice a fact that signing an agreement is only keep by the signee as the government chop and change rules and activities i ashed a question.
    If you have changed the laws does not it invalidate the original agreement.
    Work based activity scheme is non beneficial and needs a rapid overhaul.

    Phillip Foster

    May 19, 2015 at 10:41 am


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