Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Iain Duncan Smith Insults Disabled Workers Facing Unemployment.

with 76 comments

Welfare minister accused of ‘insulting’ workers at factory facing closure

Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 01, 2015

Work and Pensions  Secretary Iain Duncan Smith became embroiled in a row over job cuts at a Devon factory helping disabled people get work.

He Just Can’t Help Himself…’

“Exeter’s Labour candidate Ben Bradshaw said it was “extraordinarily insensitive” for the Cabinet minister to visit Pluss, based in the city, amid its upheaval.

Mr Duncan Smith, in charge of the Government’s controversial welfare reforms, visited Cornwall on Monday and Devon yesterday.

The proposed closure of Pluss factories in Exeter and Bridgwater, Somerset, which may result in up to 75 redundancies, could follow “changes in commercial contracts and funding from local authorities”, the social enterprise said.

Mr Bradshaw criticised the minister for not talking to staff losing their jobs.

“What an insult for Iain Duncan Smith to visit without speaking to staff and ignorant of the fact they’re losing their jobs. Some have worked there since the 1970s and will find it impossible to find other jobs,” he said.

But Dom Morris, the Conservative candidate in Exeter, said Mr Duncan Smith met some of those who have been helped by Pluss before speaking to the management.

He criticised Labour for using the visit as a “political football”.

He said: “I am disappointed that such a productive visit to a fantastic organisation that changes people’s lives has been kicked around like a political football.

“As Pluss have said themselves, the organisation is going through changes that will enable them to increase the number of people they support each year and turn more people’s lives around.

“Pluss does great work getting disabled people into jobs here in Exeter.

“We visited at the invitation of Pluss and met with people that have had their lives turned around by the Government’s Work Choice Programme.

“Put simply, we were there to celebrate the great work that Pluss does changing people’s lives.”

Its plant in Exeter makes cushions for wheelchairs and car upholstery. Many of the factory workers have disabilities or learning difficulties. Bosses fear they would struggle to find employment elsewhere.

Pluss, which is owned by four councils in the South West – Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay – over 50% of staff have a disability.”

The Mirror adds,

“Mr Gallin, of the Community Union, said: “Workers are devastated they face losing their jobs.

“It will be incredibly difficult for them to find another job, if not impossible.

“These are very vulnerable people who come here not only to work, but to meet people.”

Mr Gallin, who has worked for Pluss for 28 years, added: “If Iain Duncan Smith had come here and seen for himself how this factory runs, maybe it would have helped.”

Pluss, which is owned by four councils in the south west – Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay – said in a statement: “We are a ‘social firm’ and as such over 50% of our staff have a disability.

“Due to accumulation of a range of changes in commercial contracts and funding from local authorities, the company has commenced consultations on a range of proposals that deal with the challenges these pose.

“These include the potential closure of our manufacturing operations in Marsh Barton, Exeter and Huntworth Gate in Bridgwater, and rationalisation of corporate services.

“These proposals could result in up to 75 redundancies. The company will be looking to achieve these reductions through voluntary means wherever possible.

“These changes are aimed at increasing the number of people we support each year through more effective use of resources.

“As with all changes, Pluss recognises this will be bad news for those staff affected and we intend to put in place a range of mechanisms to support staff through this difficult period.”

Mr Duncan Smith’s spokeswoman said: “Iain and Dom met with disabled people who have been supported into work by Pluss – an organisation doing fantastic work in the local area.” ”

One assumes that the local Tories behind inviting this enemy of the disabled simply did this to “celebrate” these achievements, and that it had noting to the electoral campaign now in full swing.

See: Work choice: a drop in a leaky bucket.

Whilst Work Choice is a worthy programme, its modesty makes it incapable of even beginning to address the scale of the challenge. Indeed, the Government’s whole approach on disability and employment is flawed. All their energies and resources are focused on “supporting” disabled people to become more “employable” and confident – or “job ready” to use the correct jargon. This rather perniciously suggests that it is disabled people who need to change to adapt to the demands of the workplace. The reality, as we all know, is rather different. Where change is required is with society, and with the endurance of inaccessible workplaces, unavailable transport and the ongoing culture of stigma, discrimination and low expectations of the capabilities and expertise of disabled people. If the Government really wants to support the missing million, it must take radical action to create a more equal and accessible workplace for all. Work Transformation not Work Choice is what is required.

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Written by Andrew Coates

April 1, 2015 at 3:24 pm

76 Responses

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  1. National newspapers are beginning to agree with Ipswich Unemployment Action’s judgement on IDS,

    “So where will Duncan Smith find those £12bn of welfare savings?
    Iain lives in a fantasy land of beanstalks leading to gold-filled chests and unicorns dancing the tango with centaurs.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/so-where-will-duncan-smith-find-those-12bn-of-welfare-savings-10142274.html

    Andrew Coates

    April 1, 2015 at 4:34 pm

  2. “Bosses fear they would struggle to find employment elsewhere” meanwhile “bosses”. will have no problem finding jobs for them, they will take on those very same people but this time without pay. we all know why people are being sacked or laid off every day.

    Meanwhile I have noticed an increase in the amount of people in the local job centre, I know some were on ZH, some PT jobs, others FT, all were either sacked (as in DWP) nothing in writing, while the rest were laid off.

    enigma

    April 1, 2015 at 4:35 pm

  3. Many disabled people attending jobcentre plus arnt given any choice,denied access to disability employment advisers,instead given the “support” of hit squad coaches. The support is disability denial,abuse and intimidation and an easy target for removal. Remploy has now been sold off to maximus,the kind of behaviour such has here in this article.

    https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/iain-duncan-smith-launches-shocking-attack-on-disabled-workers/

    Theres more too.

    http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/comment-dwps-threat-to-dns/

    Its a pity the labour party isnt bring this to the fore instead of emphasis on business, as the election gets under way.and what the country has really become.

    ken

    April 1, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    • If any want to know whats going on with this placement lark then take a look at the US prison system. There your see how they turn being a criminal into a profit. Also don’t forget the US imprison more people than any other country and have a legal system setup to proliferate this particular labour market.

      gaia

      April 2, 2015 at 6:45 am

  4. “Go to work to meet people” I think we’ll see those words a lot.

    enigma

    April 1, 2015 at 4:56 pm

  5. Carers deserve a livable income.

    Family carers are among the most responsible members of society. CarerWatch, along with others, believes suggestions made in recent leaked documents of moving carers to universal credit would result in an unfair system that gives no recognition whatsoever of the contribution carers make to society. CarerWatch believes that governments should accept their responsibility to carers. Carers deserve a livable income, a separate benefit which recognises that they are not unemployed or “passive” recipients of benefit but are making an important contribution to society.

    Those in receipt of carer’s allowance cannot be classed as being inactive. Carers are unique within the benefit system in that they have to provide a minimum of 35 hours a week care in order to qualify for carer’s allowance. Over 1.5 million carers provide more than 50 hours’ a week of care, some providing care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Carer’s allowance cannot therefore be considered as being a “passive” benefit. Caring places physical and emotional demands on a carer. Unpaid caring entails carrying out the same tasks and duties considered by society to be work when carried out by paid care workers.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/mar/31/carers-deserve-a-livable-income?CMP=share_btn_fb

    enigma

    April 1, 2015 at 6:20 pm

  6. Evidence that starving people and making them destitute and homeless, doesn’t make them more employable. Obvious to anyone normal, but not the Selfservatives.

    They found that people in countries with more generous unemployment and sickness benefits were significantly more likely to have a positive attitude towards getting a job.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generous-welfare-benefits-dont-discourage-people-from-working-latest-scientific-evidence-shows-10149732.html

    Another Fine Mess

    April 1, 2015 at 6:34 pm

  7. Despite George Osborne’s recent claims, poverty in Britain is growing. Driven by an increasingly fragile jobs market, the rise of insecure work and a more punitive benefits culture, poverty levels have been rising for a generation. Whatever measure is used, poverty levels are much higher than in the 1970s. They are also close to double the average of other rich countries.

    Deprivation levels are higher today than in the late 1990s. Today more households live in a damp home while three times as many cannot afford to heat their home adequately. The numbers who skimp on meals is at a 30 year high. The poorest fifth in Britain are 40% poorer than their counterparts in Germany and 30% poorer than in France.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/wheres-letter-100-people-living-poverty

    enigma

    April 1, 2015 at 10:07 pm

  8. Fellow Sufferers,
    Even now is it still possible to claim Housing Benefit separately and/ or after sanctions? My main concern. Live in Essex.
    Starting to feel like *Primo Levi ( ie. Not wishing to wake up most mornings).
    Can handle a lot of DWP shit but my ( nervous) partner is being bullied by evil work coach. She has thyroid disorder and current circumstances make this worse.
    How did we come to this? I grew up in the 70s when British working- class had amazing physical & moral courage. Trade Unionism and real solid communities.
    Going to re- read Jack London’s ‘ Iron Heel’. Such an accurate portrayel of what’s coming.
    Stay strong (& fit). We must come through this hell.
    Or our descendants will curse us for giving them a tyrannical, slave state.
    Stick together, plan, think, inspire, share…..
    We are the many…..

    greyhound smith

    April 2, 2015 at 5:23 am

    • greyhound – meetings with scum work Cockroach, insist that you attend. if dwp comes out with any Sh*& state youre attending as Mckenzie Friend – could also get her to write out a avidavit [samples online] allowing you to be her representative [best option methinks], if banning yourself for doing this, state DWP must do so in writing from a senior manager, which pouts the managers neck on the line. They won’t. If on the day they give you greif, have mobile phone ready and ask for statute allowing you to be banned. No such thing exist.
      This would be – breach of covil service code, abuse of power, missuse of public office, harrassment and sundry other charges. If getting paid for position, also falls undeer Fraud via Threats & Menaces
      take notebook and note down everything that DWP Roach says.
      At end leave them with the remark that by law, DWP and themselves are wholey liable for anything that happens to your partner.
      Good Luck

      Gazza

      April 2, 2015 at 10:23 am

  9. This is important – it’s not often people speak directly about what happens to them on workfare (for fear of yet more sanctions):

    My experience of #workfare

    “This week there is an article in the Guardian discussing workfare titled ‘The charities who are challenging the government’s workfare programme‘ so I thought now was a good time to post about my own experience.

    I was told to do workfare as a punishment for my benefit sanction. The adviser said my sanction indicated to her I needed to learn a work ethic and therefore I would be put on Mandatory Work Activity (MWA). MWA lasts for 30 hours a week for 4 weeks, 120 hours in total. DWP describes it as a “community benefit work placement” that is “intended to help claimants move closer to the labour market, enabling them to establish the discipline and habits of working life, such as attending on time regularly, carrying out specific tasks and working under supervision while delivering a contribution to the community.” The letter I received said it would help to ‘develop work-related skills and disciplines’ but really it was nothing more than Citizens Advice describe on their website – a work for your benefits scheme.”
    https://imajsaclaimant.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/my-experience-of-workfare/
    More here:

    Andrew Coates

    April 2, 2015 at 10:56 am

    • It’s a wake up call to anyone who doesn’t yet know what can happen.

      enigma

      April 2, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      • It sounds like being put in Prison – what an utterly soul-destroying counter-productive load of cack!

        I would bet that those who are put on these schemes resent them for the rest of their lives.

        Andrew Coates

        April 2, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      • Because the powers can’t put us all in prison because we haven’t all broken the law, they are going around it by creating a prison like place with rules that are at the moment mandatory with a threat of losing the roof over your head and the food on your table.

        enigma

        April 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      • It sounds very much like the

        “They made the decision to mandate customers to all job programmes regardless of their suitability.” John Longden

        http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/20/jobcentre-hit-squads-benefit-claimants-sanctions

        They look to continually build on sanctions by every opportunity,it also gives the impression that Mandatory Work Activity was used in retaliation

        NB The language and tone used when discussing MWA with claimants is
        crucial. MWA must never be used as a threat or portrayed as a punitive
        measure.

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/100266/response/250765/attach/html/3/MWA%20guidance%20updated%2008%20Dec%2011.pdf.html

        The Dwp are falling apart,they know how to cause trouble,but dont care about services to jobseekers. money is being wasted on equipment that doesnt work or is temperamental,such as wireless computers’ and silly signing pads.while anything useful is removed.

        ken

        April 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      • If only everyone knew this.

        It may be helpful if I clarify that there are no mandatory requirements to sign forms created by external providers for any DWP mandatory work related activities and this includes those funded through the Flexible Support Fund. As there is no requirement to sign such forms, a sanction would not apply in these circumstances.

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/254297/response/636945/attach/html/2/FoI%20IR%20129.pdf.html

        enigma

        April 3, 2015 at 1:21 pm

  10. Anne-Marie has been evicted from her London council flat after falling into rent arrears while working on a zero hours contract. She’s been offered a new home… in Wolverhampton.

    Britain’s Benefit Tenants – Thurs 02/04/15 (tonight) Channel 4 23:20 – 00:25

    * contains strong language throughout

    Channel 4

    April 2, 2015 at 12:49 pm

  11. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

    A6er

    April 2, 2015 at 1:32 pm

  12. Marble-throwing PMQs protester gets suspended prison sentence .

    Steven Abberley admitting using threatening behaviour and words as well as daubing ‘the enemy within’ on a parliament wall.

    Speaking again from the dock, after being invited to do so by the judge, Abberley said he was seeking employment, and added: “I feel like my life is wasting away where I’m living. There’s nothing happening for me.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/02/marble-throwing-pmq-protester-suspended-prison-sentence

    enigma

    April 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    • Not the correct way of going on about it, he should have asked the judge, “so what is the correct way to go about it”, – so you try to do it the correct way but you get stopped before it gets anywhere.

      enigma

      April 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm

  13. He is evil😈

    Davy

    April 2, 2015 at 1:53 pm

  14. Obi Wan Kenobi

    April 2, 2015 at 3:12 pm

  15. I was wondering why it appears that the ConMen Conservatives believe that Pensioners would willingly become Pensioner Apprentacies.

    Now I know the answer. Pension draw down and getting caught out in Paying 40% tax, and losing your personal allowance for the year on top.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32162074

    Gazza

    April 2, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    • Yes, and they have already paid tax on it so paying tax twice.

      enigma

      April 2, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      • enigma

        why pay twice, lets pay thrice…

        remember…. wait for it….

        we’re all in it together. Not

        Gazza

        April 2, 2015 at 5:55 pm

  16. Gazza,
    Thank you so much for sound advice with regards to partner’s work roach. He was a real b*****d. Are they trained like this now?
    Thank you and other people here for advice and solidarity..
    GS.

    greyhound smith

    April 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    • The advisers have been told by their managers to treat every person who appears in the Job centre like b………..ds, the whole idea is to sanction as many people as they can, according to their targets… and to close down as many claims as possible, because the unemployed are the undesirables, many people have closed their claim for benefits because they got to a point where they can no longer take any more of being treated the way they were treated, but this is what DWP want.

      Meanwhile WE have our own plan.

      enigma

      April 2, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    • Greyhound Smith, take a look at this. (if you didn’t see the link in Kens comment)

      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/20/jobcentre-hit-squads-benefit-claimants-sanctions

      enigma

      April 2, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      • they were shit out of luck when i went to see them;)

        super ted

        April 2, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      • Yep, got to keep ahead of them at all times 🙂

        enigma

        April 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      • i just say im from 2025 n seen it all b4 😉 never got 1 sanction with my hs adviser prob cos he took the piss andi demanded the line manager to the floor when taking the piss like wanting my doctors pn to see if i had an appointment on that day.

        line manager pointed out under the dpa they will not talk to him anyway pmsl fkn retards 😉

        super ted

        April 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      • How long is your current sick note for super ted. my longest one was for 3 months.

        enigma

        April 2, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      • had 3 so far 4 weeks a time tho i could have had 1 for longer just i needed to go back for more meds anyway and takes 2 weeks to get in the dump. at this rate ill be going past the 26 weeks.

        1 thing tho when you go for a medical do you have to sign anything or not/? contract wise or is it just in out.

        also what if my answer to every question is no comment i take it id fail if i done that one?

        super ted

        April 2, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      • I didn’t go to the medical at Atos, I went on JSA, so I don’t know if someone has to sign anything.

        I don’t think there is any questions as such, it’s about actions, not what you can’t do, their thinking is what you can do.

        If you go to the medical, I mean the so called medical, they will say your fit for work, because you got to the medical, that is what happened to many people. but you can take any notes from your doc with you. I have read that people have had to wait months on their decision, some have been made fit for work but they have taken it to tribunal, and won.

        enigma

        April 2, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      • Ok I was wrong :(, there will be questions.

        enigma

        April 2, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    • Well they’re making moves to come after me about using reeeds to apply for jobs – recorded myself that it is an aggregate of jobs on the sites from different agencies but still they question. I am waiting for the Sanction Doubt then I’ll drop it on them. I have all the emails detailing the different agencies acknowledgements. Ooops.
      As stated above – do not believe a word they say, do your research, prepare your ground then hang em high.

      Gazza

      April 2, 2015 at 10:08 pm

  17. More Fraud – This Time Electoral Fraud

    Yes, it’s getting worse!

    There are (unconfirmed?) reports of workers on zero-hours contracts being threatened with the sack by their employers if they don’t vote Conservative!

    There are also (historical) reports of tenants in Wales being threatened with eviction if they don’t vote for their Landlord’s choice of candidate!

    Interesting subject. Let’s see how much more we hear about it!!

    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/04/02/are-zero-hours-employers-committing-electoral-fraud/

    Tobanem

    April 2, 2015 at 5:10 pm

  18. HOW TO GET LESS TORIES AND LIB DEMS
    AND HELP LABOUR IN A GROUP OF PARTIES
    TO GAIN A MAJORITY THURSDAY 7 MAY

    LABOUR CANNOT WIN ON ITS OWN

    Cornwall has very slim majorities for the sitting Tory and Lib Dem MPs that got them into the job in 2010.

    Running in Cornwall is one of the parties of the poor of the left denied any media coverage, and therefore the poor, able bodied or disabled, in or out of work, of all ages, do not know they have their very own party for the county.

    Mebyon Kernow
    Running in all Cornwalls voting areas.

    The poor now outnumber all other voters in most voting areas.

    Here is an example where Mebyon Kernow is running in Cornwall:

    MEBY0ON KERNOW
    Rob Simmons
    in St Ives

    MEBYON KERNOW
    Loveday Jenkin in
    Camborne, Redruth and Hayle

    Tory Majority 66

    Poor pensioners – 33,280
    Working Age Claimants – 2,920
    Carers on Benefit – 2,560
    DISABLED VOTERS – 12,091
    Disabled on Employment and Support Allowance – 5,830
    Disabled welfare supported under 65 – 5,030

    Total Voters About – 63,975

    MEBY0ON KERNOW
    Stephen Richardson in
    Truro and Falmouth

    Poor Pensioners 27,270
    Claimants 1190

    Tory majority 435

    MEBYON KERNOW – Dick Cole
    St Austell and Newquay

    MEBYON KERNOW
    Orlando Kimber
    North Cornwall

    MEBYON KERNOW
    Andrew Long in
    South East Cornwall

    Poor Pensioners 25,140
    Claimants 3670

    Tory majority 3220

    EXETER

    Left Unity candidate
    Edmund Potts

    Anti austerity Left Unity”s Manifesto launched 31 March 2015 by film-maker Ken Loach, in a London squat to highlight homelessness.

    Left Unity group is picking up a new member every 10 minutes, according to senior exeucitve Left Unity member.

    Ken Loach said at the launch of Left Unity’s election manifesto:

    …Loach compared Britain’s mainstream political parties to
    “bald men arguing over the comb –
    a fine point discussion between people who have no real answers.”
    He also hit out at Britain’s Trade Union Congress (TUC), warning it has become an “empty phrase.” …
    http://rt.com/uk/245637-left-unity-election-manifesto/

    Left Unity has a total of ten candidates in Britain’s 2015 general election.

    This is the disability policy of Left Unity in their 2015 manifesto:, which includes:
    …No sanctions, no Bedroom Tax … abolish workfare and benefit cap …
    Work Capability Assessment (WCA) … is unfit for purpose…must be scrapped (see Social Security) …The Independent Living Fund and Disability Living Allowance should be reinstated – these are vital benefits for basic day-to-day life. …
    http://leftunity.org/manifesto-2015-equality/

    NO SUCH THING AS A SMALL PARTY
    ONLY A GROUP OF PARTIES CAN GOVERN UK PARLIAMENT
    OTHERWISE GET A HUNG PARLIAMENT
    WHERE TORIES CONTINUE TO RULE

    LOGOS / LINKS / HOW ENSURE REGISTERED TO VOTE

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

    Chris

    April 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm

  19. IFS topple Tory plan to stealth tax pensioners

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32162074

    The tory devil is in the detail as many a pensioner has no idea there be expected to pay tax on withdrawals.

    gaia

    April 3, 2015 at 6:51 am

    • If you make any ‘withdrawals’ on your pension pot you have to pay a whooping 25% tax on the proceeds.

      Money Box

      April 3, 2015 at 8:30 am

    • Of course they are hoping that those pensioners don’t know.

      enigma

      April 3, 2015 at 9:36 am

  20. Question time audience display more contempt for parties

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05pzkmx/question-time-02042015

    gaia

    April 3, 2015 at 7:58 am

  21. Victoria Prosser, who interrupted as the prime minister tried to answer a question on prospects for young people, says all the leaders are ‘lying or omitting facts’

    Victoria Prosser, 33, who was asked to leave after making her intervention as the prime minister tried to answer a question on prospects for young people, told reporters: “My cause is speaking the truth and making sure as many people as possible start questioning people at the top, the 1%, who are not working in our best interests.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/02/tv-leaders-debate-heckler-victoria-prosser

    enigma

    April 3, 2015 at 10:52 am

  22. All:

    Here’s some very interesting information about the technical nature of biometric (digital) signing.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/260445/response/636696/attach/html/3/FOI%201201.pdf.html

    jj joop

    April 3, 2015 at 11:45 am

    • And here’s another one about the actual digital declaration.

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/260452/response/636451/attach/html/2/FOI%201203.pdf.html

      jj joop

      April 3, 2015 at 11:48 am

      • JJ Joop:

        Hope you don’t mind but I’ll put that FoI up in full for people to print off as undeniable ‘PROOF’ that we ‘DON’T’ have to use the new digital signing pads now installed at all JCP’s.

        Take with you the next time you sign on and stick it under the nose of the adviser or work roach.
        ———————————————————————————–

        Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Central Freedom of Information Team

        [DWP request email]

        Our reference: VTR 1201

        Date: 2 April 2015

        Dear P Baker

        Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 26 March 2015. You asked:

        Digital signature pads have been installed nationwide in
        Jobcentres & records biometric information such as rhythm, speed, pressure, acceleration & movement. The BBC & the manufacturer of the product SIGNificant ColorPad
        6 available from xyzmod.com or Icon UK Limited advertises this product as an equivalent to comparing fingerprints where more than just the signature is extracted from its use.

        Is there any information about a mandatory requirement for claimants to sign using the digital signature pad which records personal biometrics comparable to a fingerprint?

        What information do you have on what gives JCP or DWP the authority to terminate a claim or cease payment if a claimant refuses to sign using the digital signature pad but the claimant is willing to sign in ink?

        What information explains or authorises the use of these digital signature pads without requesting a claimants consent?

        DWP Response:

        You are correct in that the biometric software we use captures not just what the signature looks like but also how it has been written, including the angle of the stylus used, the pressure on the signing pad and the speed at which it is written.

        However, we don’t compare it to a fingerprint or use it as such – we just check that the signature captured when a claimant signs on the pad is validated by the system. There are a
        number of benefits to this, including reducing the scope for fraud.

        There is no mandatory requirement for a claimant to sign electronically, although we would encourage them to do so. We do reassure anyone who is not sure of why we are now using the signing pads and what it means for them, but if they refuse, we do not insist. A claim would not be terminated or
        payment stopped if a claimant refused to sign electronically.

        Providing signatures for both enrolment on the system and regularly signing the electronic version of the declaration that they are actively seeking employment is treated as their consent to using the system.

        If you have any queries about this letter please contact me
        quoting the reference number above.

        Yours sincerely,

        DWP Central FoI Team

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/260452/response/
        636451/attach/html/2/FOI%201203.pdf.html

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        April 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      • Obi:

        “I have witnessed JCP advisors refusing to allow claimants to sign using wet ink stating, “This is how it will be done from now on.”

        P Baker”

        When I read comments like this it makes you wonder why it is so important for the DWP to get claimants to sign digitally. What have they (JCP) got to hide?

        jj joop

        April 3, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      • JJ, it’s best not to do anything that they call mandatory or believe anything that they say.

        enigma

        April 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      • This electronic signing is no different than any other mandatory scheme, it’s voluntary.

        enigma

        April 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    • Yet another way of getting peoples fingerprints, without that person breaking the law and of course with that person not knowing that their prints are taken and obviously shared.

      enigma

      April 3, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    • “We do encourage people to sign electronically due to its benefits such as the added
      security and it stops missed payments”. – this is a new one, so this is what they will tell everyone when asking them to sign, another threat as per usual.

      enigma

      April 3, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    • Electronic signing is not mandatory therefore we have nothing recorded to state that it
      is.

      From experience its just as well,and was given up on. has anyone got these to work with their signature?

      Reading here there was a rumor of a camera on these pads. but the obvious sign is just a stand for the stylus.

      ken

      April 3, 2015 at 4:42 pm

  23. This one will be interesting.

    Right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/right_to_be_considered_innocent#incoming-637020

    enigma

    April 3, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    • enigma

      THANK YOU. Well spotted I was vaguely aware of 2equity or arms” but had forgotton the phrase. And this is spot on, not just for disabled but also for all sanctions.
      If the system that sanctions someone is unfair, it is null and void in its application. Check out employment tribunals and how employers have to operate within basic rules – step outside and you’re in trouble.
      As for the FoI itself. Beautiful to behold. DWP are going to be very very careful answering this – you might not have noted this is written in legallease. Methinks this is going to be part of someone court submission.

      Gazza

      April 3, 2015 at 4:03 pm

  24. No one who works hard in a full-time job should have to live in poverty’ says the senator trying to raise the federal minimum wage. But that is the reality facing many Americans.

    The unemployment rate, despite getting stuck in March, has been a bright spot in the US economy for the last year. Often it overshadows the fact that US wages have remained almost unchanged since the 2008 recession began. But it’s an issue that’s been going on for longer. According to the Economic Policy Institute, between 1979 and 2013, the hourly wages of middle-wage workers (those who earned more than half the workforce but less than the other half) rose just 6% – less than 0.2% per year. Low-wage workers fared even worse, with wages falling 5% over the 34-year period.

    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/apr/01/higher-wages-us-recovery-minimum-wage

    enigma

    April 3, 2015 at 2:18 pm

  25. Teachers warn over ‘terrible cuts’

    Teachers are expected to call for a fresh ballot on strike action over the prospect of looming funding cuts they argue will severely damage education.

    Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) could be asked to vote over national walkouts, amid a growing row over tightening school budgets.

    As well as dealing with real-terms cuts since 2010, from this September schools will also have to find more money for increases in pensions and National Insurance costs, as well as coping with continuing rises in pupil numbers, the union said.

    http://www.harwichandmanningtreestandard.co.uk/news/national/12871209.Teachers_warn_over__terrible_cuts_/

    enigma

    April 3, 2015 at 4:30 pm

  26. The fake jobs are appearing again,these are local to the blog but have sprung up everywhere. The Dwp dont appear do anything to stop these being posted.

    https://jobsearch.direct.gov.uk/GetJob.aspx?JobID=14485886

    https://jobsearch.direct.gov.uk/GetJob.aspx?JobID=14485893

    ken

    April 3, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    • Ken

      It has been acknowledged by DWP, that theee is no Automated way for them to stop these from appearing.
      Anyone can create an account, anyone once that is done can upload.
      There are no Controls.
      Deletion? Manual work.

      Gazza

      April 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm

  27. Articulate commentary on TV Leaders’ Debate. Remarkable:

    Tobanem

    April 3, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    • What a hottie 🙂

      Bobi Van Kenobi

      April 4, 2015 at 12:01 am

    • Another voluntary scheme, and now they want people to send their job search evidence to them via email, so are they going to start checking all jobs applied for etc.

      enigma

      April 3, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      • I and others know there is DPA concerning this but we know they will ignore that.

        enigma

        April 3, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      • Enigma, its a bit more complicated than merely
        the DPA.

        Presumption of innocence or better put the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies, comes into play.

        As you can imagine he who declares will be DWP.

        On top of this if done on three regular occasions and to be found to have committed no fraud, the claimant can then issue a claim of harassment (criminal offence) against DWP.

        I wont go into detail but will say under NO circumstance should any claimant email and or allow DWP to store there evidence. Allow them only to VIEW it in person.

        gaia

        April 3, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      • Yes, many will though send their evidence to them because many don’t know and of course because they will be told to., no doubt that it will soon be stated as mandatory inc a threat.

        enigma

        April 3, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      • They cant mandate for the exact reason I already gave you enigma, don’t you think they would have if they could.

        Look, just like politics, always read the rules very carefully, don’t just absorb words but entire sentences to, in both DWP staff guidelines and especially the regulations and associated laws.

        There’s very little that goes on in life that doesn’t involve a ton of laws tripping over themselves, hence why creating a law takes considerable time.

        Take for example using DWP computers. DWP state they have excepted the cookies on your behalf or to put it a simpler way they are basically saying they have consented on your behalf which I defy you to find in the the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011, regulation 6 and the legal definition of consent and when and when not another can give consent.

        Why do you think they still make you personally register and not simply open a UJM account themselves in your name without you present ?

        Its the same with this emailing evidence, the same with registering to make a claim online only, the electronic signing and so forth. They spew crap and hope you swallow it.

        Sadly as you pointed out most do fall for it and believe me when I say the government is laughing at them all, ridiculing how DUMB they think poor and or poor working class people are.

        gaia

        April 4, 2015 at 12:52 am

      • That said though, like I was saying about question time this week and others just passed, the audience or should I say public have woken up to this and are starting to ask the right specific questions which in turn if you notice makes the politicians become even more vague, stutter and talk crap always, always leading away from answering the question properly.

        Politicians need spin doctors because well to often they don’t know the first thing about what there doing and why, because they don’t have any experience in the field.

        An example of this would be Michael Gove. What does he know about education besides once being a bad pupil or what does Ester McVey know about welfare ?

        People are growing tired of this and the bickering amongst parties along with acting like children and blaming one another as this last lot of politicians are without doubt no matter the party, the worst stroke, worst lot ever to grace the UK.

        Like I said before, this election isn’t about WHOs going to save you, its about which enemy your prepared to sleep with, who’s going to cause the least damage in the next five years as short of some miracle, its still going to be either cons or lab as the ruling party no matter who they get into bed with hence my much earlier post hint (hung parliament).

        gaia

        April 4, 2015 at 1:46 am

      • Gaia

        When people look for and apply for jobs, because they are unemployed, or wanting a better job, what is the problem of DWP seeing or having their evidence of jobs applied for.

        Or are you saying to people, “don’t give or send any evidence of your job search etc to the DWP because they will then find out that we are not looking for or applying for jobs, because we actually don’t want to work.

        Meanwhile some people are looking for and apply for jobs so who cares if the DWP see or have it.

        enigma

        April 4, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    • DWP employees being laid off, UC, – too many people in the JC’s.

      enigma

      April 3, 2015 at 8:37 pm

  28. Im going to enjoy the weekend now but,

    Did you know people with mental health issues cause more death world wide than any terrorist organisation ?

    gaia

    April 4, 2015 at 3:37 am


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