Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Against Benefit Sanctions: National Protests take off

with 88 comments

Ipswich Protest Outside JobCentre.

What struck protestors immediately is how many people talked to us about being sanctioned, having to survive on practically no money, and how impossible the appeal system is.

You don’t have to do any extensive research to find out about the hardship the system is causing – not only to claimants, but to their children, as one person told us in sad detail.

We need to get rid of the arbitrary power of the Work Coaches, and the whole sanctions regime.

Anti-cuts activists protesting outside the DWP offices on Chesterton Road, Cambridge. Cambridge News

Protestors gathered outside the Jobcentre in Williamson Square to oppose the cuts implemented by the Government.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Photo by James Maloney

Protestors gathered outside the Jobcentre in Williamson Square to oppose the benefits sanctions implemented by the Government (Liverpool Echo).

Sanction demonstrators in Wesley Square.



More (a lot more!)  on National Day of Action Against Sanctions Facebook.

Friday 20th  Peter Lazenby

TRADE unionists and activists targeted dozens of jobcentres yesterday in a national day of action to protest against appalling coalition benefits sanctions which have thrown 1.2 million people into destitution.

Demonstrators took to the streets across Britain to protest against a system which persecutes the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people — driving dozens to suicide.

The protests were organised by Unite Community, a section of the general union for people not in traditional workplaces, which said it was delighted with the response.

And the union was joined by supporters of other anti-sanctions campaigns, including the People’s Assembly.Unite Community national organiser Liane Groves said 78 actions took place across the country.

In Teesside in England campaigners staged a rolling programme of protests targeting jobcentres in Redcar, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Thornaby and Hartlepool.

Speaking in Middlesbrough, Tracy Harvey, Unite Community equality officer for Teesside, said: “Thousands of people are being sanctioned every month.

“Suicide rates are skyrocketing as people struggle with debts.”In Chesterfield 60 protesters staged a “die-in” at the town’s jobcentre.

A protest also took place on Merseyside, where trade unionists are campaigning for the ousting at the general election of West Wirral Tory MP and Employment Minister Esther McVey, who has been responsible for implementing benefit sanctions.

Wirral TUC secretary Alec McFadden said his branch “fully supports the day of action to stop benefit sanctions.

“We also redouble our efforts to sack Esther McVey.”Other centres targeted included Birmingham, Hartlepool, Leeds, Halifax, Merthyr, Kent, Cardiff, Manchester and Liverpool.

In London a series of events culminated in a two-hour demonstration at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) at Caxton House.

Gill Thompson, sister of ex-soldier David Clapson who died starving and destitute in 2013 after being sanctioned for missing a meeting, handed in a 211,822-name petition at the DWP urging the Prime Minister to investigate benefit sanctions.

She said: “I want to know how ministers who state everything is done to support the vulnerable can justify their actions leaving people destitute, driving them to foodbanks, and leading to starvation and death. “Do we want to live in a society where the vulnerable are victimised? I certainly do not.”At many of the jobcentre protests victims of sanctions told of their experiences.

After yesterday’s London demonstration at the DWP, Liane Groves said: “We have been able to highlight the cruelty of sanctions and the effects they are having on the lives of ordinary people.

“One hundred thousand children are in families where their parents have been sanctioned and in the sixth-richest country in the world it is totally unacceptable that children are going hungry because their parents are unemployed.”

Morning Star.


88 Responses

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  1. I tend to think I am beyond shock at the actions of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) now. The expectation that this government is capable of morality or even basic competence was lost some time ago, somewhere between enacting policy that pushes people already in poverty into losing their homes and denying deaf, blind eight-year-olds disability benefits. Still, Dispatches’ Benefits Britain investigation was painful viewing.

    During seven weeks of undercover work at a universal credit contact centre in Bolton, Channel 4 journalists witnessed a farcical mess of centralised IT failure. But what really stood out were the underhand tactics DWP staff were found to use against claimants: from deliberately withholding hardship payments from people struggling after having their benefits sanctioned, to hiding the flexible fund put in place to pay for clothes or a bus fare they needed to help them get a job.



    March 20, 2015 at 1:14 pm

  2. A MAN left unable to walk or communicate properly following a stroke has been forced to sell his home after being told he was no longer eligible for Government help.

    Anna Hewison’s father, who does not want to be named, suffered a stroke in July 2012, forcing him to leave his job of more than 16 years at Mech Tool Engineering, in Darlington. The previously fit and healthy 59-year-old now needs constant help from his daughter, who is his full-time carer, as he cannot walk or speak properly, and suffers from memory loss.



    March 20, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    • UC & Capita. how much cash have you got, do you own anything.

      Capita’s local government business is the UK’s leading provider of services to the local government sector. For over 20 years we have formed trusted partnerships with local authorities to help improve efficiency, raise service quality, reduce costs and deliver benefits to the local community. Employing over 2,500 across the division, we cover everything from back office processing, administration and finance services to customer management, channel shift and tackling fraud. Our services include: Revenues and benefits, business support, local welfare assistance administration.

      Capita will visit Social Care customers to give professional Welfare benefits advice and to assist in the completion of benefit claims.

      Visit customer’s to obtain financial information in order to undertake an assessment of their contribution towards residential or non-residential care.

      Follow up on outstanding benefit claims made and undertaken reassessments of customer contributions as a result of successful claims.

      Ensure that the Adults’ Services Framework System is updated together with case notes providing information regarding the financial assessment and benefits claimed, Liaise with staff in Adults’ Services, staff in Capita Service Finance, & outside agencies where required .


      March 20, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      • Enigma. When I had reason for phoning the TV Licensing, They called me back through a 01xxxxx number. When I dialled it the person the other end said ” Tvlicensing Capita”. Just thought you would like too know.


        March 20, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      • Ealing, I can see Capita being involved in that as well as a lot of other things besides UC.


        March 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      • Yes! Found out yesterday that they are also involved somewhere along the line with Water Bills and Electric Bills too. I tried to phone my water company after using the Say No To 0845 etc and got a number starting 01XXX. It was Capita


        March 22, 2015 at 10:54 am

  3. Osborne plans cuts of £30bn – but how can he squeeze welfare any further?

    Chancellor plans to eliminate deficit by 2019 but remains tight-lipped over details as experts question where more cuts could be made to benefits.

    Osborne insists that this won’t require cuts any more severe than those enacted under the coalition government, but making that maths work relies on recouping an additional £5bn from tackling tax evasion, and then saving a further £12bn from the welfare budget.



    March 20, 2015 at 2:43 pm

  4. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    March 20, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    • Re A Previous Posting. Has anybody else found out more as too why the Air Ambulance was called to a Heart Attack at Ipswich Jobcentre on Thursday 19 March ?


      March 20, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      • Air ambulance called after man suffers cardiac arrest in Ipswich’s Jobcentre Plus.

        “Rhe East Anglian Air Ambulance reportedly landed in Grafton Way, near McDonald’s, at 10.15am today after police were called by the East of England Ambulance Service.

        A Suffolk police spokesman said: “We were called by the ambulance service at 10.15am to reports of a man aged around 60 who was in cardiac arrest in the Jobcentre in Silent Street.”


        There’s comments regarding the story.

        Andrew Coates

        March 20, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      • I’ve been searching for it but nothing found.


        March 20, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      • We could do with a witness to appear.


        March 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      • Enigma. It’ posted on the Ipswich Star Website. It would now be further down with the other news stories. If you are in Ipswich, it is in an inside page but only a small paragraph.


        March 21, 2015 at 8:36 am

      • Should Have Said Hardcopy Edition


        March 21, 2015 at 8:36 am

      • I found it thanks Ealing.


        March 21, 2015 at 9:28 am

      • You Are Welcome. ;0)


        March 21, 2015 at 9:54 am


    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    March 20, 2015 at 4:47 pm


    Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    March 20, 2015 at 4:48 pm

  7. Six leading charities have written a joint letter to leaders of all the main parties, demanding a review into the help available for homeless people.

    The letter, signed by Crisis, Shelter, St Mungo’s Broadway, Centrepoint, Homeless Link and Housing Justice, says the next government has a “unique opportunity” to solve the “injustice” of people becoming homeless.

    Homeless people turning to local authorities for help and support are being routinely turned away, or offered “inadequate or insufficient support”, which the charities describe as “nothing short of a scandal”. Councils have been left in the near impossible position of having to juggle services in the face of overall funding cuts, imposed upon them by the Tory-led coalition government



    March 20, 2015 at 4:56 pm

  8. Poorer children more likely to be obese than a decade ago, report says.

    Rising food prices, low wages and social security benefit cuts have left poorest families unable to access healthy food.

    Rising food prices, low wages and cuts to social security benefits mean the poorest children are more likely to be obese than they were a decade ago when TV chef Jamie Oliver launched his healthy school dinners campaign, a report has found. Although the incidence of child obesity has fallen in the UK over the last few years, it is growing in low-income households, for whom healthy food is less accessible.



    March 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm

  9. Keep us all updated on the heart attack case in Ipswich Jobcentre.

    Another cardiac case involving a middle aged man with a stent in his heart happened some time ago in Scotland. The man was visibly ill during his ATOS assessment – struggling for each breath. (Why was a middle aged man with a stent in his heart being assessed for work in the first place)? The next day he had a full blown heart attack and was rushed to hospital. While there – fighting for his very life – he received a letter saying he was fit for work!

    As I said, keep us all updated on the Ipswich case.


    March 20, 2015 at 5:35 pm

  10. People desperate to feed their families are trekking miles to get food, a leading foodbank has warned.

    Julie Webster, who runs Greater Maryhill Foodbank, says people are walking miles across the city to access free food.

    The foodbank – one of the country’s busiest – fed 1,125 people, including 465 children, in February.



    March 20, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    • “Starving children are eating from bins in Fenton”



      March 20, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      • An person can be given just 3 vouchers, in one year, for food, only 3 because it was thought the by the time the person received 2 or even 3 vouchers, their problem would be no more, but they didn’t think about the 4 week sanction, 3 month sanction or 3 year sanction, or those who have had their benefits completely stopped.


        March 21, 2015 at 8:57 am


    Electronic Signing Pads – Now in Bradford Jobcentres – Here’s how to get around using them..

    The following is from an FoI to the DWP, Print off and take this with you next time you sign on.

    DWP Central Freedom of Information Team

    e-mail: [DWP request email]
    Annex A

    Our Ref: VTR465

    2nd March 2015

    Dear, Ms Herne

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 03rd February 2015 in
    which you asked:

    You have confirmed that “Electronic Signing is not mandatory under legislation”. Is this
    because there is nothing in legislation to support it or because there is a specific part of the
    legislation which prevents it from being mandatory?

    And how would the fact that “Electronic Signing is not mandatory under legislation” be
    conveyed to a Jobcentre employee who is insisting that the SCS is mandatory; i.e. what
    documentary evidence is there to support this fact?

    You further state “Once implemented fully across the business it will be the Department’s
    normal method of signature capture.”

    Does this imply that the SCS will at some future date be mandatory as a condition of receiving a benefit for all claimants?

    Lastly you state “Feedback on the system was sought from both Claimants and DWP staff,
    which shows that Claimants have willingly accepted the change.”
    Please provide all evidence that claimants’ feedback was sought. Also provide any paperwork given to the claimants when being introduced to the SCS. And please provide any other documents which demonstrate that the claimants were informed of the voluntary nature of the SCS.

    Further to the previous request, please provide any information you hold that ensures
    Jobcentre staff are made aware that signing using the SCS is not mandatory.

    DWP Response:

    The legislation in place to support the use of Electronic Signing is part of wider legislative
    changes that allows the capture of signatures by electronic methods. This is contained within
    the Social Security (Electronic Communications) Order 2011 and can be accessed at

    Article 3(2) of this Order amends the Jobseekers Allowance Regulations to allow the capture of signatures electronically. It enables the Department to use alternative methods to pen and
    paper to capture signatures from Claimants wherever it is required in its business.

    It does not, however, make the use of electronic signatures compulsory as a condition of receiving benefit and was never intended to do so.

    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team


    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 21, 2015 at 5:37 am

  12. Jobcentres will probably back off till after an outcome in the General Election. We shall wait and see.


    March 21, 2015 at 9:04 am

    • Electronic Signing Pads have been in the local JC for a while now, (one on every desk) I haven’t been asked or told to use. yet.


      March 21, 2015 at 9:24 am

      • This electronic signing thing doesn’t seem to have got off the ground at all – despite them making a big show some months back that we had to turn up with special identity proof for the new system.

        The machines are there, unused.

        Andrew Coates

        March 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      • It seems that in the local JC because I have never seen anyone using one, nor heard of anyone had to use one. yes yet another plan not in motion.


        March 21, 2015 at 1:28 pm

  13. Electronic Signing Pads

    Good post “Obi”

    Yes, they’re not compulsory – but how many people will know that? Most people will “willingly accept” their use.

    Similarly, as I said recently, the DWP circulated a memo encouraging welfare-to-work providers like A4E and G4S etc to gain access to the contents of a person’s Claimant Commitment – even although it would be against the Data Protection Act. The memo contains the cautionary advice: “If the claimant refuses to share their Claimant Commitment you should not take any further action to pursue.”

    Of course, most people will “willingly accept”, so expect abuses galore!!!



    March 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

    • Bradford Eastbrook Court JCP is pushing Electronic Signing Pads bigtime, the so-called ‘Work Coaches’ are trying to con everyone into using them by tell claimants that it’s Mandatory or Compulsory, also added in for good measure is the threat of a sanction for refusal.

      So I would advise anyone signing on to copy and print the FoI above as with it you can prove it’s not mandatory and the JCP will have to back off.

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      March 21, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      • Andy Coates and Tobanem:

        Further: Electronic Singing Pads:

        Let’s just say for example that someone agrees to sign on using these pads, here’s a very scary scenario.

        This is entirely theory but could be put into very real practice.

        Let’s just say for example that you don’t get on very well with certain JCP advisers, if you have signed on using one of the Electronic Signing Pads, you’re signature is then stored on the DWP/JCP database.

        Should an adviser who really has it in for you print’s off a letter stating that you have confessed to benefit fraud, It would be so easy for them to access your file, then from your file (where your personal signature is stored) copies and pastes your signature on that letter, print’s it off and say’s we have lost the original but we have a photocopy….

        Do I really have to say anymore? – you would be so screwed and prosecuted.

        If the JCP has you signature on their database they could do anything to you at anytime.


        Obi Wan Kenobi

        March 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      • Advisers or anyone working in JC’s could have been doing this for years with signed docs, like the SO doc, scan it then place it on a doc then print. “you signed it”


        March 21, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      • Quite right Enigma however if it went to court you would obviously call in a handwriting expert in to confirm or deny it was photocopied and gone over with a ballpoint pen – no prob’s.

        But if it’s on a database, it would actually be you’re real true to life signature.

        You’re screwed.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        March 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      • Gaia’s solution from previous post.

        When a particular offices turn comes, claimants are issued with a doc detailing what they need to bring in for proof.

        Now its every claimants decision but I would not bring a single piece in or at least nothing with a signature and or address on.

        Also as there are absolutely no laws governing signatures, I urge everyone to produce a signature that is fresh and new (don’t use your normal one). DWP cannot stop you using whatever signature you like so you could simply place an x if you fancy. Also if you fancy, change your signature every week which again there is no law to prevent you from doing so.


        The following week from when you entered the new signature or at least the day after, tell DWP your old signature is no longer in use (the one you gave when signing via pen and paper) and as such is now incorrect personal data they hold on you and should be removed and that you wish to be informed in writing when this took or will take place.

        If they get difficult about it, simply place an FOI claiming they hold incorrect data that must be deleted as is your right under law, namely data protection act and freedom of information act.


        March 21, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      • These signing pads dont work and the system is not excepting the signature. Whoever had the idea to install these clearly doesnt know what to waste money on next.

        I dont see the need for a camera Another Fine Mess,theres already plenty of those,including over the computers where its quite possible to monitor someones’ password input.


        April 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    • Another Fine Mess

      March 21, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      • Storing forms electronically rather than on paper reduces storage costs and brings financial benefits.

        & signature’s =

        Electronic copies of signed forms can be easily viewed via RS, thereby reducing the need to search for, post and process paper copies.


        March 21, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      • This scheme, that scheme, workfare, = “you signed it”

        Millions will be …………………..


        March 21, 2015 at 7:41 pm

  14. Sanctions – More Important Than Work

    Quote: “This young woman’s opportunity for work experience was curtailed by the threat of an arbitrary sanction, and the fact that her appointment could not be arranged shows the inflexibility of the welfare system the Tories have imposed”.



    March 21, 2015 at 9:48 am

  15. ‘One rule for all’ – Mayor launches tough new gang intervention programme

    22 January 2015

    The Mayor, Boris Johnson, has announced the launch of a tough new gang intervention pilot, which will see members of some of the most active gangs in London collectively punished for the criminal actions of individual members, as part of the Mayor’s ongoing commitment to tackle gang violence in the capital

    Under the pilot, the arrest and prosecution of the main perpetrator will be fast-tracked while the rest of the gang will face a range of criminal and civil sanctions. These include injunctions preventing them from entering a certain area, or requiring them to be recalled to prison if on licence, or mandate them to attend an employment course. Any members of the gang who genuinely wants to leave their violent lifestyle behind will also be helped to do so under the pilot scheme.




    March 21, 2015 at 11:49 am

  16. More self sufficiency.

    State-funded care for UK disabled and elderly people becoming ‘impossible’

    Social services leaders warn funding gap of up to £7bn a year is likely to leave vulnerable people paying for their own support by end of next parliament.

    Most elderly and disabled people with care needs face paying for their own support by the end of the next parliament unless the next government changes tack on spending priorities, social services leaders are warning.

    Sustaining state-funded adult social care services in some parts of England could become “almost impossible” unless funding is protected and aligned with NHS budgets, according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass).



    March 21, 2015 at 2:09 pm

  17. A chef who lost his job has told how losing his benefits led him to become homeless.

    Philip Lynch is one of an increasing number of Teessiders to have been hit by benefit sanctions in recent years.

    The 26-year-old became unemployed at the beginning of the year and was told as a result he would be sanctioned.

    Losing this money – nearly £300 a month – meant he was unable to pay the rent on his town centre flat and now finds himself living with friends.

    Philip said: “I left my job after a dispute and because it was deemed that I had left of my own free will and it was my fault, I was sanctioned for a month.



    March 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    • Enigma:

      If he had a dispute then he really should have gone to see a manager where he worked. If after trying to come to a resolution he felt he could no longer work there and left of his own free will then going to make a new claim at his local JCP would result in a sanction from day one of his claim. (Under current DWP rules and Regs)

      I know what you’re going to say – and yes I agree – It’s a fucked up system!

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      March 21, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      • I was wandering what the “dispute” was about, I didn’t notice anyone’s comments on that website regarding the possible reason for it, could it be that the dispute was due to him being given an excuse for being laid off, so that an unemployed person could then take his job?


        March 21, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      • Like this one.


        my placement is in pub. I have been referred to it direct by the jobcentre, (but not by any training providers like a4e) and, i cant use the excuse i never got letter about it because my advisor rung me and pressured me into it



        March 21, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      • Enigma:

        If you feel pressured into taking any job the JCP offers you or you think it is unreasonable for you (personally) tell the adviser that if they don’t stop trying to pressure you into taking it that you will inform your local Labour MP to take up your case and you will name the adviser personally, the JCP they work at and the floor they work on.


        Obi Wan Kenobi

        March 21, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      • Obi

        The person who is being sent to work in a pub isn’t me, if you look at johnnyvoid link you will see that persons comments and a lot more from people trying to help him out.

        Meanwhile I will not work for benefits.


        March 21, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      • The persons name on void is “bamboozled”


        March 21, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      • Bradford Jobcentre 😀

        Bobi Van Kenobi

        March 21, 2015 at 5:45 pm

  18. 19:05 55 mins
    Saturday 21 March
    Channel 4

    Selling Off Britain

    Will Hutton argues that selling off Britain’s best companies for quick profits has created a dumbed-down, low-wage Britain, and that we must act now for the UK to remain a wealthy nation.



    March 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm

  19. The coming of Universal Credit and the flat rate state pension, will hit working age and new pensioners (who can be oft the same people) from 2016.
    With nil food, fuel and accommodation money, with permanent sanctions and nil state pension.
    See why under:


    Mr Balls, Labour, has said he will not do anything different than the Tory Budget just announced.

    The poor now outnumber all other voters in the UK, and will be home, unlike most other folk away from home on holiday during the May Bank Holiday week.

    If small left wing parties do not gain MPs to utterly change Labour and the only way to form a stable majority government ever again in the UK,
    then this is below is what is going to happen.


    The Tories intend to sit in what they’ll call a caretaker government for 5 years, even if their Tory MP lose seats.

    This is what could happen in this coming predicted most severe hung parliament, where no party gains anything like sufficient votes to form a government.


    To end all the benefit cruelty, only to get worse with the coming end of the welfare state and state pension system, then small left wing party MPs have never had a better chance of being elected.

    More information on the small left wing party logos and names to vote for on
    Thursday 7 May, in this Vote or Starve election.



    March 21, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    • We know, so don’t need to look at your website.


      March 21, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      • enigma is the only person who has ever been ill, been on benefits, signed on – this blog belongs to enigma, not andy coates, just enigma. remember folks u need ENIGMAS permission to post any comments, no one is allowed to post anything that enema haz not personally examined and approved of. no one is sicker than enigma


        March 22, 2015 at 11:07 am

      • Some people ………………………….


        March 22, 2015 at 11:19 am

  20. UC Sharing info, 20th March 15.

    The regulations allow for relevant information to be shared without the consent of the UC
    claimant. Claimants will, however, be notified about the proposed data sharing and if they
    object, DWP will not share their data. An objection will have no impact on the claim for UC.


    The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) responded to the consultation exercise and we
    have taken their comments into account. We are in discussion with the ICO and other
    stakeholders in connection with our development of the processes and guidance referred to



    March 21, 2015 at 8:55 pm

  21. An exhaustive study by Oxford academics has statistically proven the relationship between donations to parties and nominations for peerages



    March 21, 2015 at 11:31 pm

  22. Tens of thousands march through Dublin to protest against water charges.

    Irish government’s austerity measure has sparked widespread public anger, with Saturday’s street protest the fourth since October.



    March 21, 2015 at 11:34 pm

  23. The Tory candidate in a key general election marginal has been suspended after allegedly hatching a plot with far-right extremists to win votes by stirring up racial hatred.

    Afzal Amin is accused of scheming with the English Defence League (EDL) to announce an inflammatory march against a new ‘mega-mosque’ in the seat of Dudley North.



    March 21, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    • This is to Enigma and everybody else. If you have too use Universal Jobmatch. A word of caution when you first get to the ”Green” Login Page. Where it says Login To Universal Jobmatch. The reset Password/Account facility is below this and too close. Make sure your arrow/cursor is directly on the Login–to take you to the ORANGE PAGE. If you accidentally reset you may not be able to recover your account.


      March 22, 2015 at 10:29 am

      • We may not be able to recover our accounts. Oh deary me.

        jj jopp

        March 22, 2015 at 11:07 am

      • Ealing

        I don’t use UJM. because we don’t have to!


        March 22, 2015 at 11:15 am

    • British politics is going completely mad!

      Andrew Coates

      March 22, 2015 at 12:20 pm

  24. Ipswich Unemployed Action is calling on these friends to save us from the dark forces of the General Election.

    Andrew Coates

    March 22, 2015 at 1:32 pm

  25. OT.

    “United Health, a huge US health insurance firm worth £76bn, is one of several companies currently bidding for a £1.2bn NHS contract for end of life care.”



    March 22, 2015 at 1:52 pm

  26. A sex worker is using European human rights legislation to try to overturn a new law in Northern Ireland that makes it illegal to pay for prostitutes.

    Dublin-born law graduate Laura Lee is launching an unprecedented legal challenge that could go all the way to Strasbourg, against a human trafficking bill which includes banning the payment for sex among consenting adults.

    This case hopefully will put a big dent in the campaign to bring in this law across the border in the Republic. There is a massive propaganda campaign to claim that north and south in Ireland sex workers are women who are trafficked into the country. This is total nonsense. In 2014 there wasn’t a single arrest in connection with sex trafficking in Northern Ireland. The majority of sex workers like myself are independent and 70% are single mothers trying to earn a living in these hard times. No one has the right to take that option away from them,” she said.



    March 22, 2015 at 2:51 pm

  27. Why George Osborne is wrong about the north-south divide.

    For Britain’s industrial areas, recovery is patchier, with weaker jobs growth and less infrastructure spending. The evidence says we never have been in it together.

    George Osborne made a great play of the success of the northern regions in last week’s budget speech. The chancellor rejected the idea that Britain’s recovery is only happening within the M25. He boasted how the government had been successful in getting “the whole of Britain back to work in a truly national recovery”.



    March 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm

  28. In Nottingham, one woman is fighting food poverty with ‘social eating’

    Resilient People: ‘Food crisis responder’ Marsha Smith takes surplus produce from supermarkets and cooks it for those in need. In a city suffering from food poverty, she is trying to shake up the system for good.

    Once home to a thriving textiles industry, Nottingham now has the highest number of workless households in the country, with 30.1% out of work and 32% of children living in poverty. After brutal cuts to the council – including the scrapping of the local welfare fund – a food bank shut in protest late last year, but the demand remains high with over 20 still serving the area. However, with an estimated 400,000 tonnes of surplus supermarket food available in the UK each year, Marsha wants to shift the focus from food poverty into abundance.



    March 22, 2015 at 6:40 pm

  29. Poverty is at its most deadly when it becomes normal.

    When is poverty at its most dangerous? It is not, as you might think, when we begin to notice the frequency with which we step over rough sleepers on our way to the shops. It is not when we hear of children going to school hungry. It is not even when people begin to die from hunger, from cold or in desperation, at their own hands.

    On the contrary, poverty is at its most deadly when we no longer notice, we no longer care, we no longer even question it. This is the point at which poverty ceases to be a temporary crisis, a challenge to overcome or a tragedy to be mourned, and becomes a permanent state of affairs, embedded into the very systems and structures of our society, not an obscenity, but normality. It is a grim hypothesis, but I would suggest this is a point we have already passed.



    March 22, 2015 at 6:45 pm

  30. Trussell Trust Chairman Chris Mould has warned that ‘cutting an emergency service in half will only make life worse for people in crisis’ after think tank Demos made an extraordinary call to replace half of the UK’s foodbanks with community supermarkets by 2020.

    The report, which seeks to find solutions to UK food poverty, displays a misunderstanding of how foodbanks operate and also seriously misrepresents Trussell Trust figures and what they show.

    The Trussell Trust agrees that we need to find ways to stop so many people facing food poverty, and welcomes Demos’ interest in this area, but replacing foodbanks with community supermarkets is not the solution – it is illogical and a surprising suggestion from a leading think tank.



    March 22, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    • No doubt these so called “Community Food banks will cotain the following :

      a] G4S/Crapita/ usual corrupt gang in some form in the background milking the system… yet again [maybe a fall back plan is workfare gos up the swanny??]

      b] Be GOV. funded [see A above]

      c] be conditional in its availablity [see A above]

      need I go on? Just another form of hitting on the disadvantage [i.e. being all pious’]
      I wonder where Electonic Signing would fit in withthis… Oh I know if you do comunnity work you get extra points here have some extra food vouchers….


      March 23, 2015 at 12:37 am

      • Food banks have become a barometer for the debate about poverty in the UK. While few expect the need for emergency food aid to disappear any time soon, questions remain about the cause of that need, and whose responsibility it is to address it. Britain’s food banks are doing an admirable job of supporting people in crisis, but the majority who use them are in ‘chronic’ food poverty. There is growing recognition that a more sustainable solution is needed – one which addresses the underlying causes of food poverty, and helps to restore to whole communities a degree of control over food security.

        British Aisles presents the findings of a scoping exercise of some 45 models of more sustainable ‘community supermarket’ across the UK, the rest of Europe, Australia, Canada and the US. It examines their operating models, including aims, eligibility, staffing, funding and how food is sourced, and considers their applicability to the UK.

        The report recommends an ambitious target for the government to halve the number of food banks by 2020, instead furnishing support for existing providers to launch community supermarkets, offering more sustainable, long-term help to lift people permanently out of food poverty. It also outlines a framework to promote greater collaboration between businesses and community supermarkets.




        March 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

  31. The following speech form 2005 must be the biggest piece of hypocrisy in political hisTORY:

    Apart from blaming Labour for people being reliant on Salvation Army food parcels, Cameron also mentions Labour’s bureaucracy on welfare, and even uses the terms “complexity” and “endless form filling” which “imprisons” people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    March 23, 2015 at 9:36 am

  32. Tobanem

    March 23, 2015 at 10:09 am

    • It sure does, meanwhile the think tank demo’s is talking about making food “affordable” – no longer free food for those who have zero cash for food.


      March 23, 2015 at 10:20 am

      • Still waiting for this free PC and USB stick doc.

        Another Fine Mess

        March 23, 2015 at 12:02 pm

  33. The Trustees of VAAC have agreed that they will not participate in the Community Work
    Placement scheme either in taking on placements or in helping to find placements through
    Volunteer Now.

    If someone on a MWA placement fails to report on the first day, the provider is required to
    report this to Job Centre Plus within two working days and they will implement a sanction
    on benefits of between 13 and 15 weeks benefit loss. We do not believe this sanction
    would sit comfortably with our ethos as a voluntary organisation.







    March 23, 2015 at 10:57 am

  34. Hi everybody, after completing A4e work programme (lol), have got Post Work Programme Support interview. If my new claimant commitment is totally unreasonable, I will not sign. Can I be sanctioned for this? What will happen then. Won`t go into what happened to me on Work Programme, but luckily for me they were outrageously incompetent, as I am struggling with my health. (I know that this does not matter, though).


    March 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    • they cant sanction you for not signing it if you think it is unreasonable,tho will prob come out with a load of bs if you dont just dont listen to it.

      and if they threaten you with a sanction ask for it in writing as they cant ;).

      super ted

      March 23, 2015 at 6:03 pm

  35. Thanks Super ted, I will try and stick to my guns! Starting to feel like criminal, because I haven`t got a job.


    March 23, 2015 at 7:05 pm

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