Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Benefit-Related Suicides: DWP Forced to Open up?

with 64 comments

Not to Escape Responsibility for Deaths. 

A Few Days ago:

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is facing an investigation into its refusal to publish ‘secret’ reviews into 49 benefit-related deaths, it has been reported today.

Welfare News.

The investigation was launched by the Information Commissioners Office following a complaint from Disability News Service (DNS).

A number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, including from DNS, demanding that the DWP publish its reviews into benefit-related deaths have been rebuffed by the department.

Officials have since admitted that of the 49 reviews the DWP has carried out so far, 33 included a recommendation to make improvements and 40 were made in response to an apparent suicide.

The DWP says publishing the reviews could represent a breach of section 44 of the Freedom of Information Act; which states that it would be an offence for a DWP employee to, “disclose without lawful authority any information which he acquired in the course of that employment and which relates to a particular person”.

A complaint from DNS has now sparked an investigation by the information watchdog.

Just now we learn: Information commissioner to force DWP to be transparent about investigation into benefit-related suicides. Third Force News.

England’s information commissioner is to launch an investigation into the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) “refusal” to reveal reviews into 49 benefit-related deaths.

It comes after the DWP refused several requests to publish the information saying publishing the reviews could represent a breach of section 44 of the Freedom of Information Act.

The act states it would be an offence for a DWP employee to “disclose without lawful authority any information which he acquired in the course of that employment and which relates to a particular person”.

However, a complaint by campaign group Disability News Service (DNS) has launched an investigation by the watchdog.

Campaigners believe sanctions and cuts to benefits have been so severe many claimants – especially those with mental health problems – have taken their own lives.

The investigation will take a number of months to conclude but in the event investigators rule against the DWP the decision can be appealed.

A spokesman for the information commissioner’s office said: “The focus of my investigation will be to determine whether the DWP is entitled to rely on section 44 as a basis for refusing to provide the information you requested.

“Should it not be a valid refusal of your request the commissioner will also determine what information can be provided within the appropriate cost limit.”

We should make it clear:  CO not ‘investigating’ DWP on suicide reports, is assessing if FOI Act refusal justified

Refuted added,


As the so-called opinion polls saying that 99.9% of people back sending unemployment out to clean the streets with their toothbrushes and beg for charity in Food Banks cover the pages of the Sun, the Mail and Express, spare a thought for the poor bastards who’d had enough of all that – and ended up in these “events”.


Written by Andrew Coates

April 21, 2015 at 3:18 pm

64 Responses

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  1. Section 44 states: Prohibitions on disclosure

    (1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure (otherwise than under this Act) by the public authority holding it—.

    (a) is prohibited by or under any enactment,
    (b) is incompatible with any [F1EU] obligation, or
    (c) would constitute or be punishable as a contempt of court.

    (2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a) would (apart from this Act) fall within any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1).

    Now from only what’s mentioned above in Mr Coates article, I can only guess DWP are implying personal/sensitive data is involved and as such would conflict with DPA. Well if the case they can print it providing they remove any data defined as personal and or sensitive that clearly depicts the individual to which it refers to.

    Now I expect there argue that dew to media attention, that any removal of data would not go far enough to abide by DPA but until this begins and has traversed some time, I cant clearly forecast the strategy that DWP will attempt to use during this investigation and or any appeal that may ensue there after.

    According to the general medical council The DPA does not cover information about deceased people.


    So buckle up and lets see what unfolds shall we ?


    April 21, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    • And we’ll find out if DPA rules and regs are any good, in this case.


      April 21, 2015 at 6:57 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.


    April 21, 2015 at 3:55 pm

  3. On this, Disability News Service (DNS) and the DWP.

    Following this investigation, which is largely taking place because of the DNS, this is still happening.

    “Despite this, the DWP has now carried out its threat to refuse to co-operate with DNS. When approached for a comment on the fact that the Information Commissioner is investigating the DWP’s failure to provide information on its reviews of benefits-related deaths, a spokesperson said, “Thanks for the opportunity to comment on your forthcoming peer review story but, as discussed previously, we won’t be offering any responses to DNS articles until we can agree on working practices.”

    Pring said: “Although this is not the way a typical news agency would operate, I do work alone, I have a mental health condition, I am extremely careful with my research, and I believe I behave responsibly in the way I operate, often working more than 80 hours a week to ensure my stories are properly researched and factual.

    “I therefore think it is reasonable for me to ask DWP to allow DNS to continue to operate in the way it has done – with some success and no similar threats from any other organisation in more than six years – to avoid the risk of my mental health deteriorating further.”

    The DWP’s attitude towards John Pring and DNS seems unreasonable and entirely at odds with its own ‘Disability Confident’ campaign, which proclaims the DWP is working “to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure that disabled people have the opportunities to fulfill their potential and realise their aspirations.” It also threatens a service which many people with disabilities value, and depend upon to stay informed about issues that directly affect their lives.

    It is to be hoped that the DWP will reconsider its position.”


    Andrew Coates

    April 21, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    • “The DWP’s attitude towards John Pring and DNS seems unreasonable” as goes for anyone who has to enter a job centre. but it does not “seem” it is.


      April 21, 2015 at 8:14 pm

  4. I’m sorry. But we have all the power we need on Thursday 7 May.

    But voting just seems to eludes most people, because the social media is not full of the real revolution that we could all bring on that day.

    Bringing in over 250 guaranteed anti austerity cuts new MPs, that could lock the Tories and Lib Dems out of power.

    Right now, the Tories can just sit in power in a caretaker government, because neither Tories nor Labour will reach the minimum threshold to form a UK parliament of 323 MPs.

    There are parties 6th on the ballot sheet all over England.

    We know voting SNP / TUSC in Scotland and voting Plaid Cymru / TUSC (a few in South Wales where one voting area had a voting rate of about 15,000 to non-voters around 50,000 in 2010) will be for parties who talk strongly against austerity.

    Voting Mebyon Kernow in all of Cornwall votes out Tories and Lib Dems and brings more new anti austerity MPs into a UK government.

    Voting TUSC – 113 MPs in all of England – brings banning sanctions, reversing the rise in retirement age, decent pensions, decent benefits, an end to workfare, rent controls, social housing.

    So where are the Twitter storms on how to save lives from early death and suicides from welfare and pension reform, by sharing these parties and promoting the 75 per cent poor vote to vote different.

    To come out and vote.

    Just because the media is in a conspiracy of silence about them, does not matter.

    Social media and these blogs are the powerhouse amongst the campaign groups, who can then spread the word by word of mouth.

    There is no such thing as a small party amongst:


    Every single voting area is a margina. No big party won in 2010. Most people did not vote, because even back then these parties gained nil media coverage in national press or TV news.

    This is the Vote or Starve election.

    We vote different and vote out the coming dictatorship of the Tories merely staying in power because they can.

    In a hung parliament the sitting Tory government is obliged by the rules to remain in power in a caretaker UK government.

    And they can sit there and ignore you for the next 5 years, or decide not to bother with elections ever again.

    It is up to you.



    April 21, 2015 at 5:56 pm

  5. Northolt

    The rules state that a claimant should not be found fit for work (regulation 29), or placed in the ESA work-related activity group (regulation 35), if such a decision would pose “a substantial risk” to their “mental or physical health”.




    April 21, 2015 at 6:39 pm

  6. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    April 21, 2015 at 7:16 pm

  7. Manifestos fail to fix young jobseekers’ woes so we need steps that work.

    April has just started work at the Creative Society, the youth employment charity I set up just before the last election. She is a talented design student who found herself out of work after her last internship came to an end. April is already proving a useful addition to the team, helping on projects doing everything from office admin to web design, social media and blogging. She should never have been unemployed. “I’d done work experience, internships, applied for dozens of jobs and still couldn’t find anything. The jobcentre was a last resort.”

    For April, 23, the central problem is the institution of the jobcentre itself: “You have to forfeit your pride once you enter the building. Advisers rarely help you find work in the field you’re qualified in and there is a strong emphasis on taking anything, which in the long-term does nothing to solve the issue of unemployment. The emphasis on a short-term fix is a useless system.”

    With an election coming, both Labour and the Conservatives are threatening to increase sanctions on young jobseekers, with both parties promising to remove benefits from those who refuse to take jobs or training. This approach is unlikely to address April’s concerns about the short-term “take anything” culture of the jobcentre.



    April 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm

  8. Energy giant Npower to launch fuel bank voucher scheme for the poor.

    Energy firm Npower is planning to open fuel banks offering vouchers for free gas and electricity to the poor.

    They would operate alongside existing food banks which give three days’ worth of donated food – free of charge – to those in need.

    The proliferation of food banks has been controversial and it has been at the centre of the Labour Party’s attack on the Coalition. The arrival of fuel banks is likely to intensify the political furore.

    Npower, one of the Big Six energy companies which dominate the market, aims to open fuel banks in a series of pilot programmes across the country which are likely to be up and running over the summer.

    Those people judged to be in need of help would be given a voucher to put towards energy costs.


    Small steps to .



    April 21, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    • Our Spreading Warmth Programme offers help to those most in need such as the elderly, low income families, disabled and chronically sick. We offer help to manage your bills, keep warm and reduce energy costs.


      NEA’s campaign strategy aims to address the three main elements of fuel poverty – poor household energy efficiency, low incomes and high energy prices.



      April 21, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    • Why don’t we have job banks, where those needing or wanting a job can just go and get one – for free?
      To prevent any confusion with food/fuel banks we could perhaps call them Job Centers.

      Another Fine Mess

      April 21, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      • Just maybe there soon will be job banks only not paid jobs we know of, but compulsory workfare banks, where we have to turn up every day showing our compulsory ID cards, to be given our voucher for food for the day then to be told where to go for the rest of the day, being reminded throughout the day that it’s our big society and everyones having a good life.


        April 21, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    • I cant wait to see this energy help in full swing as I wonder as many say there tossing food and heat, whether or not this reduces the amount at foodbanks which logically it should if the assertation holds true.

      We must remember the working public don’t acknowledge fuel poverty like they do food, people react to depictions of starving children, not 20 something’s unable to play there Xbox if you get what I mean.

      Hopefully charities and interested parties will keep an eye on the data, assuming such data will be held as despite what I have said above, added to foodbank data will still demonstrate how many still cant afford to survive on what they earn or receive.


      April 22, 2015 at 7:28 am

  9. A book needs to be written about the plight of the British poor, unemployed and sick/ disabled over the last 5 years. And circulated throughout the English- speaking world.. The central administrative organ of the UK welfare state has actively planned death, destitution, misery and hunger, while denying this through negative media images of the British working class. And totally fake statistics.
    The staff at DWP have acted not in the manner of responsible and politically neutral public servants- but as the henchmen of what is basically a ( publicly funded) criminal organization!
    There MUST be a trial in the near future.
    Off later to assist my sick partner’s appointment with a Work Roach. Probably have to battle the G4S Schutzstaffel as well…

    greyhound smith

    April 22, 2015 at 5:01 am

    • Keep strong and RECORD. Trust no one – can be difficult seeing who is okay and who is not and being forced to act that way – not that it matters in the end.


      April 22, 2015 at 8:54 am

  10. OT: UC changes coming in on 06Apr15

    It appears it is becoming more common knowledge about the changes to UC due next year – and guess who is to blame for the need for these changes? The Poor of course. :



    April 22, 2015 at 8:47 am

  11. Computer not working today?

    Enraged US man shoots his malfunctioning computer. 8 times.

    Mr Hinch “shot the darn thing” when ctrl+alt+delete – the traditional method used to re-boot computers – “consistently did not work” on Monday evening.

    “The computer is not expected to recover.”



    April 22, 2015 at 9:25 am

  12. STRICTLY EMBARGOED 22 April 2015 00.01AM

    Foodbank use tops one million for first time says Trussell Trust.



    April 22, 2015 at 10:14 am

    • Probably hitting Tesco’s too.


      April 22, 2015 at 10:25 am

      • Yup, workfare-expoiter Tesco (TSCO) posted a £6.4 BILLION LOSS today – the highest in its 96 year history. These stupid capitalist pigs cannot seem to understand that if you don’t pay your workers wages those same workers will have no money to spend in your shops – workfare, benefit sanction, talk about cutting your own throat.


        April 22, 2015 at 12:33 pm

  13. Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps accused of doctoring Wikipedia pages of his political rivals with unflattering entries and editing his own entry to remove embarrassing references



    April 22, 2015 at 10:28 am

    • 😀

      Chuck Champion

      April 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    • Has he been gardening or sleeping rough in that t-shirt?

      Another Fine Mess

      April 22, 2015 at 1:35 pm

  14. “Fit For Sport”

    A study of 10,000 5 to 11-year-olds found that 67% were unable to reach targets in jumping, running and throwing – while a quarter (24%) fell “significantly” below recommended levels, “indicating that fitness is a cause for concern”.

    Fit For Sport, which conducted the tests, said the results show that parents and schools must do more to increase children’s activity levels to ensure they stay healthy.

    The lowest results were recorded in running challenges that test cardiovascular endurance, indicating that not only are many children getting too little physical activity, they are also failing to spend enough time doing vigorous intensity activity where they are out of breath and their heart rate increases.

    Fit For Sport has created a free online portal where parents can complete the Activity Challenge with their own children and log on to submit scores and compare children’s results with the recommended levels



    April 22, 2015 at 10:39 am

  15. I am intrigued by this.

    Yesterday when I signed on there was a proposal to go on some training course to sell to the retired.

    This was from the DWP and some company, not too sure exactly how they were working together.

    I got the immediate impression it was a scam to get hold of the ‘pension pots’.

    In any case I have never been a salesperson in my life so I could refuse the offer on the truthful grounds that it was entirely beyond my experience.

    But this morning I’ve been thinking.

    How deeply is the DWP involved with this?

    Is it a swindle – DWP involvement with a private ‘provider’ says: more than possibly…..

    Andrew Coates

    April 22, 2015 at 11:36 am

    • So with the warning from DWP to pensioners who take out all their pension pots not to spend it all because if they do they will then suffer as a result of not being able to receive state benefits, now the DWP may be involved in going for all those pensioners, to get as much as they can out of those pensioners, the DWP is a criminal organization. .


      April 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    • Who would be held to account, the DWP, for having these courses tailored for such activity or the unemployed who would be the ones appearing at the doors of pensioners. of course the DWP would not expect to be blamed for the resulting consequence’s.


      April 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      • Yep,

        All Gov departments are by law required to do “Due Dilligence” on interactions with outside bodies .

        This is one of the reasons why DWP is so anxious NOT to release the details about who has died while on benifits – if it can be shown that say ATOS or g4s was responsible in someway, DWP would be liable -Crown Privalage was removed during the 90s to allow prosecution of such cases like failure to follow health and safety rules [a couple of rumours way back when of dodgy stuff surrounding whitehall and other gov buildings, asbestos and other, if memory serves me right]


        April 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm

  16. Will you get a job because your wearing expensive smart clothes,- no, will you be paid more than someone else because of those expensive smart clothes – no.

    What you wear to a job interview could determine your chance of success and how much you might end up being paid, new research claims.

    The small study claims to show that interviewees with clearly expensive – or branded – clothing were more likely than competitors in cheaper clothing to win the job.

    The study, published in the Journal of Business Research, confirmed the effect as part of signalling theory, whereby individuals show off to confirm to other individuals their high worth.

    Be warned though: even the researchers commented that the results were not conclusive and could backfire.



    April 22, 2015 at 11:46 am

    • So lets see if I get this right…

      Rush out and buy expensive £200-£300 pound suit.
      Wear to inteview.
      Guarnteed job.
      Like in an area where there is high umemployment?
      You turn up in a expensive suit for a labourers job? Cleaning Job?
      How will you guage the expense of the others attending suits as never met them before. Ask to postpone interview so can buy and wear more expensive suit?
      How long before some knobhead at DWP picks this up and insists people use their dole money for this purpose.


      April 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    • I have to agree that its laughable an expensive suit will seal the deal.

      A good cut and tailored suit is what will aid you but that only applies if your interviewer is into suits as many that interview me tend to all have off the rack ones so aren’t that on point.

      People who dress well, maybe drive a nice car yet state there unemployed, even possibly long term, will probably get written off before they even speak as the interviewer is flooded with images created by our current government.


      April 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

  17. Andrew Coates

    April 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    • I dont know if you have noticed Mr Coates but the stat is 12% short ?


      April 22, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      • AD BLOCKER strikes victory in the court


        If any didn’t know, businesses have been trying to get plugins like AD BLOCKER PLUS (free software) off the market to stave there losses.

        I find adverts without doubt the most annoying thing on the internet, infinitely more than hackers, viruses and yes you guessed it, even more than death threats.

        On a slightly different note some celebs have been withdrawing from twitter, facebook and the likes,



        April 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      • There are different stats/graphs in the pdf above.


        April 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    • Thanks enigma, those PDFs filled in the blanks.


      April 22, 2015 at 5:10 pm

  18. OT: Self Employment

    JohnnyV has done a excellent post about changes coming in for the self employed at :


    My thoughts?

    Gazza | April 22, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Reply

    Well done JV.

    But I just had a thought. For self assessment you put in your tax return just BEFORE the deadline – that’s once a year.

    I do hope DWP is able to explain how this new system works, which by all accounts the Treasury is not even aware of if only one Tax Return a year [as it currently is and with the electronic “On Time” Digital system for the replacement currently running a mimimum of 3 if not 5 years behind schedule at the last update – and getting longer and less accurate] I hope Treasury is ready for the Blizzard, and I do mean Blizzard of paperwork due to hit them and DWP.

    Lets see from self-employment figures in the Guardian it was 4.6 Million in Sept 2014.

    Lets be generous and say 1.5Million [I am understimating this delibrately], that means 1.5Million extra pieces of paper each month for each and every one of them – not counting whatever extra papers will need to be sent.

    This will go well beyond unreal into utter madness.

    No way in utter hell would the old system cope – let alone the shambles that UC is now & not including the Treasuries systems.

    I will sit back and watch with interest – along with the whole world in how this plays out.


    April 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    • And does everyone know what it means when the min wage, which has been promised by all parties, will be £8 per hour.- it’s another step toward the abolishment of the welfare system.


      April 22, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      • “the safety net” even


        April 22, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      • It does not take a genius to work this one out. Even our old ”friend” Wayne could. £8.00p per hour yes thats fine. But there will be a catch. 10 hours work would bring in £80.00p. That is more than the basic Esa or Jsa payments. In DWP speak that would mean that 10 Hours is classed as FULL TIME WORK. This has been coming for sometime. Who is not too say that the Permanent Civil Service and their Advisors / Lawyers have not already worked with Political Parties and THEIR Advisors / Lawyers to have this in place after the General Election regardless of who ever wins or forms a coalition?


        April 23, 2015 at 8:16 am

    • If I had a penny every time an advisor said that enigma, ied be rich.

      Ive had advisors and providers advise changing email account names, drop qualifications and certificates, change references, drop any entries relating to owning a business in the passed. remove a voluntary post. try an get me to add jobs that only lasted a week or two and even tried to make me rework my hobbies so they fitted towards positions.

      The easiest way to reflect is, if DWP know so much about CVs then why despite already having an advisor or provider on a previous occasion work on it, do they turn and state its wrong, that it wont work so I need to do it again.

      In parting DWP cannot tell you how your CV should look, all they can do at most is advise, not order. The same applies to UJM accounts, as they cant tell you the words to use (they do this so there search engine can populate your account while appearing more often than not in employer searches), they cant tell you to place personal and or sensitive data on it (DPA regulation),they cant make you except cookies even on there own hardware system (PC),they cant force you to apply through your UJM account, they cant stop you opening and shutting as many UJM accounts as you like, they cant tell you what sites to use and apply to and on and on I could go.

      As usual more things presented as mandatory that actually are not or not in entirety.


      April 23, 2015 at 8:18 am

      • I have known many in the past who were told to take their qualification’s off their CV’s, the reason being obvious, but DWP not owning up to it to the person who asked DWP, as is the norm for them of course.


        April 23, 2015 at 8:47 am

    • I see why they say it enigma as you do become typecast to your previous occupation when infront of an employer but in earnest the fault lies actually with the employer, a subject matter DWP has yet to tackle and one I call employer whims.

      I don’t doubt say an engineer would excel on say a production line, I also don’t doubt they were built for better things what with being even more capable than the job description but that’s what makes us move onwards and upwards so the employer is faced with a decision. they either find a way to retain your services later on down the road so as to keep you or except they will eventually lose you, especially when you factor those that are already in employment statistically are more employable than those declared unemployed meaning this employer views the situation as that they are providing the platform for another company to benefit from.

      I would never advise a person to downgrade but rather highlight the achievement as to how capable and successful they have been todate when we consider attaining qualifications that quite frankly require more work than the job they are relate to, especially when we talk degrees. No matter the qualifications though, be proud of the achievement and let it show.


      April 23, 2015 at 9:47 am

    • I’m just getting sent from CV improving course to CV improving course, – I’ve done all the others! At the start they always say well actually your CV’s quite good, but we’ll move things around and see what we can do.
      Then it’s back to the JC to see a different advisor, …who thinks my CV could do with updating.
      Of course the advisor is happy to help/discuss why I’m not working, – applying for the wrong type of jobs, not using UJ correctly, gap on my CV, don’t have the right certificate, not much call for my fields, wrong type of fonts on my CV. As long as you don’t mention the real reason: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/aldi-1500-people-queue-three-3275527

      We’re supposed to believe that if only them 1,500 had updated their CVs they’d all be working in that Aldi, or the other one down the road, or perhaps Tesco?

      It’s like being trapped inside a rubbish 80s virtual computer game!

      Another Fine Mess

      April 23, 2015 at 10:46 am

      • While on the outset this article about an aldi store interviewing 1500 appears shocking, actually theres a logical retort and no its not that its happened before or will again.

        With around 800’000 people claiming unemployment benefit in around 367 cities and towns across the country, that means on average only, that there are around 2’180 unemployed claiming people per city or town. Couple this with the fact DWP and ALDI do work together, the amount of inactive people not claiming looking for work (so total not working being around 2 million) actually makes the appearance of 1500 people not that significant nor shocking.

        Had the story mentioned stuff like people had travelled over a hundreds of miles from London, Scotland and the likes to attend then I would see your point another fine mess but sadly no mention was made and or verified.

        I could name recruitment drives pre global crash when money was ok that saw even more than 1500 attend so its hardly what I would term, extraordinary or rare.

        I must apologise for coming off as a tory today (im not one) but im a stickler for context and that article like so many purports a situation thats not in a real sense as calamitous as they would have us believe.


        April 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

  19. Will the new soul-destroying quagmire of rules on self-employment under Universal Credit result in even more suicides?

    For example, if self-employed people have a good month as far as income goes, their benefits will be reduced; but if they have a bad month earning little or no income, their benefits will not be increased!!!

    And that is just one example of the nightmare that awaits the self-employed under the Tories and Universal Credit!!!!!!


    April 23, 2015 at 8:14 am

    • Yes, and all those part time workers, single parent families too being given an intervention because they are being classed as “troubled families”


      April 23, 2015 at 9:04 am

      • “Enigma”

        You beat me to it about part-time workers, who will probably be even worse off – especially when there is simply not enough full-time jobs in existence to satisfy the need of these part-time workers who want to work full-time!!

        Why force people to seek longer hours when there are not enough jobs with more hours in the first place?


        April 23, 2015 at 9:18 am

      • Tobanem

        And they too will like us, be open to sanctions when on UC because most of them don’t know what we know, a few rules & regs, what the word “mandatory” really means, and lets not forget they will all be lied to as soon as they enter a JC.


        April 23, 2015 at 10:52 am

      • Look, even the government admit at this stage, that they have no idea how workable inwork conditionality actually is. The issues at possible hand are numerous like for instance tax credit is not the same as JSA. With regards to tax credit its not a non contributed benefit but a rebate, so on ethical grounds can you really set conditions on the money the individual claiming actually paid in themselves and are only looking to get there taxes reduced to there low earnings ?

        Raising non payment of tax to 13’000 before payment towards will help and will reduce those already claiming. This said it still means a reduction in national revenue gained and thus will effect the national deficit which inturn means the government has to find the difference elsewhere or have to borrow more money again.

        I would imagine and only time will tell that those working 30 hours on nat min and PAYE wont be conditioned as some may believe as the cost of addressing is just to expensive currently for the sake of a mere 5 hours if the numbers claiming remain large.

        At a guess and its just a guess at this juncture I would imagine they will probably lean on those doing around 20 hours or less, scrutinise self employed people more irrespective of hours and even possibly claimants drawing an array of benefits such that the figure is noticeable and unsustainable over the longterm.

        These things need addressing BUT what should happen and what will happen long term remains unanswered, especially in a society and climate that claims to be well while simultaneously ignoring the publics need to claim benefits in the first place which im sorry, squarely lands on businesses approach to pay and the ever growing greed for profit which these days is more about covering those future rainy days rather than investment.


        April 23, 2015 at 11:16 am

    • After reading a few posts on this site today, I can only imagine a lot here may not be familiar with the practice of self employment.

      Firstly you have to separate JSA from UC.

      Under current JSA regulation a person is in full time employment if the hours exceed 16. If this figure is exceeded, the individual will nolonger be eligible for benefit. Currently you cannot be self employed without work or work less than 16 hours and claim JSA.
      Self employed or PAYE people cannot claim tax credit unless there work exceeds 30 hours (reduced hours for parents and carers).

      As you can see the JSA system makes no room for self employed peoples ever changing revenue. So currently its easier for an individual to claim tax credit whether or not there working 30 hours and housing benefit as a low earner.

      UC embraces the need for change but sadly tags conditions, one being actual income (how much you earn). You see when one is classified as self employed, they don’t have employment contracts but rather a contract of service. This means national min doesn’t have to apply so for instance I could charge 1p an hour and DWP/HMRC cant do anything about it.
      This how much you earn approach is about trying to control that charge process for the service you supply.

      The criteria as outlined is based on 35 hours at national min, meaning £227.50. Now in the past I was earning £19 pound an hour, meaning I earn the above figure in 12 hours (service that’s specialised labour only). Or I could price a heating system at £3’500 to install and make say £1,500 in 3 days (time it takes one man to install). As you can see it can see saw as you might have a lean start to one tax year but triple your projected forecast by the end of that tax year. So any declaration of earnings in one week is just pie in the sky until systems are inplace to enter ones taxes on a weekly basis (an approach HMRC are intending to complete).

      I can say from experience as would others, if you feel you cant make £227.5 a week after expenses that self employment for your current idea is best not practiced. Yes beginning is always tough and protracted but this is why I prescribe declaring monies on a weekly basis to DWP without declaring yourself self employed until you are in a position to float yourself (have a starting customer base) in your own calm waters as so to speak.

      I would say if anything, its those on PAYE who face the worst consequences of this change but that doesn’t imply as self employed that you cant fall into this bracket.


      April 23, 2015 at 9:05 am

      • I’ve never been self employed, does it show 🙂 I’d rather leave that to those who do it 🙂


        April 23, 2015 at 9:19 am

      • A lot of people are in jobs that they shouldn’t be in, meanwhile a lot of unemployed people would be better suited to those jobs. you know what I mean Gaia.


        April 23, 2015 at 11:53 am

      • That’s a very grey area enigma as all should be eligible for any job with only there ability to perform such a task being that , that separates who and who gets the position.

        Naturally certain jobs require regulation when life is involved so I agree these occupations require a little bit more consideration but again have to state its one of competence rather than qualification that should be the deciding factor.
        You see while a qualification can demonstrate the ability to be competent, it doesn’t imply that person is competent.

        So while its nice to believe in equal opportunities, some jobs require more than sadly what a faction of society can give for various reasons.

        So should say a doctor be able to work in a warehouse, yes they should, should they be working in a warehouse however, no they most certainly shouldn’t as its wasting talent that could be best utilised elsewhere.


        April 23, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    • We keep hearing that 2/3 of those on ZHCs are quite happy with them.
      Wait until they find out what they’re going to have to do during their not working time!

      Another Fine Mess

      April 23, 2015 at 11:12 am

      • I too would be happy in a many of speaking to have a ZH job, that doesn’t mean I don’t want more hours and better conditions.

        Ask any ZH employee and they all agree first and foremost that they would like the same employment rights as those on other contracts (full employment law coverage) so how exactly they are happy as the tories put it remains a mystery.


        April 23, 2015 at 11:25 am

  20. As many as 28,000 fuel poor and vulnerable households could make their homes easier and cheaper to heat through a new national scheme worth up to £224 million over seven years.

    Launching in September, the scheme will install insulation, heating and low carbon or renewable measures in the homes of households who are identified as living in fuel poverty, with a wider range of options for people living off the main gas grid including solar thermal and biomass systems.

    “It will provide vulnerable people or those on low incomes, with heating or insulation measures, and will help thousands of Scots across the country have homes that are easier and cheaper to heat.

    “The wider community will also benefit from the Warmworks Scotland contract as it will offer vocational training and employment opportunities.”



    April 23, 2015 at 8:33 am

    • Remember the warmfront contract ?

      Yep, we have been here before minus renewables so its absolutely nothing new.

      While such approaches as lagging help, theres one fly in the ointment and thats called advantageous air. You see without this all houses would once heating gets put on, would become mold infested dew to trapped moisture. Also without this gas appliances may not function correctly (incomplete combustion) which could lead to harm even death if not a sealed unit or have a door or window open like a front room fire for example. It is this exchange of air that dictates heat lose ultimately, meaning any home will become cold no matter the insulation. So insulation is if you like a rate controller to very porose as heat cant be contained so will work and work until it connects to that resistence and exchange proportionally.

      Another factor to remember is that heating systems in the UK are designed for a zero degree exterior temperature so all these heat calculations get knocked out with every degree change there after and thus negate the original saving.

      As for PV in Scotland, they have less sunny day per annum than we do and according to one site, the sunniest area in Scotland only receives 1100 sunny days per annum (that’s around 13% of the year). I say this as all PV calcs are based on sunny days and the reason for this is that a sunny day produces 100’000 lumens to be converted where as a cloudy day only produces 15’000 lumens.

      As for biomass, it pollutes just as fossil fuel does so is counter productive if you are of the ilk that humans use of carbon needs to stop.

      A potential is possibly deep heat source (geothermal) but its early days yet for its wide spread use in Scotland and quite frankly even in the rest of the UK. The only issue is what long term effects would occur if all 7 billion citizens switched to it.


      April 23, 2015 at 10:39 am

  21. Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party has just announced their manifesto calling for a minimum wage of £12 an hour.

    Braeaking News

    April 23, 2015 at 12:06 pm

  22. PM gets caught on the hop during a BBC radio interview by teenagers.

    (Cant guarantee the link will remain but the recording will still be on the website soundcloud).


    April 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm

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