Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Labour and Welfare: Plans to Make Iain Duncan Smith’s “not worth living”

with 29 comments


The Charter Labour Needs.

Ipswich Unemployed Action will be taking a keen interest in Labour’s policies on welfare.

As the Conference begins we hear this:

Newly appointed shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith says he plans to make welfare boss Iain Duncan Smith’s life “not worth living” as he harries him.

The Mirror reports.

Labour will challenge the Tories “at every turn” in a fresh assault over Bedroom Tax .

And new shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith threatens he will make welfare boss Iain Duncan Smith’s life “not worth living”.

He said: “I will harry him at every turn so he won’t know which way he’s facing. We shall keep campaigning, and we will keep pressing for changes.”

We remain open-minded about Owen Smith.

He has made less encouraging statements such as this:

Owen Smith, Shadow Welfare Secretary, has called for a debate within the Labour party over benefits cap.

The Government is planning to reduce the benefits back from £26,000 to £23,000 – a plan that Labour oppose. In an interview on Newsnight, Smith said that Labour’s current policy is to oppose the cuts to the individual benefits cap.

But he noted that Labour need to review their position “right across the whole debate”.

He went on to say that the party is “”in favour of an overall reduction in the amount of money we spend on benefits in this country and in favour of limits on what individual families can draw down”. However he said that there needs to be a review of the party’s position to the cap in general.

Labour List.

There is also this report (BBC September the 15th),

Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to oppose the benefits cap have been undermined by members of his own shadow cabinet, as he prepares to face David Cameron in prime minister’s questions for the first time.

Speaking to the Trades Union Congress conference in Brighton on Tuesday, Corbyn said the benefits cap introduced by the coalition created “social cleansing” and that the party would oppose it all together.

But speaking hours later on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, the shadow work and pensions secretary, Owen Smith, said the party was only opposing government plans to reduce the cap.

The shadow equalities minister, Kate Green, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday, said the Labour party’s present policy position was to support the principle of the benefit cap and that there was some evidence it had helped people into work.

She argued that policy was created collectively by the party, implying that Corbyn could not change Labour’s position unilaterally.

In the last parliament, the coalition introduced a cap of £26,000 on the amount of state benefits a family can receive. The Conservative government has pledged to cut the cap to £23,000 in London and £20,000 outside London.

Speaking to the TUC conference in his first major speech as leader of the opposition, Corbyn said: “As I’m concerned the amendments we’re putting forward are to remove the whole idea of the benefit cap altogether. We’ll bring down the welfare bill in Britain by controlling rents and boosting wages, not by impoverishing families and the most vulnerable people.”

He added: “We oppose the benefit cap. We oppose social cleansing.”

What we are interested in is this:

The Welfare Charter.

We should have…

1. A political commitment to full employment achieved with decent jobs
People are entitled to decent, stable and secure jobs that provide regular, guaranteed hours that allows them to also meet any caring responsibilities; not zero hours contracts in precarious jobs.

2. A wage you can live on for all and a social security system that works to end poverty
We need a National Living Wage that people can live on, not just survive on, that applies to all.

3. No work conscription – keep volunteering voluntary
Forcing people to work for free on pain of losing benefits is simply providing free labour to organisations that should be paying workers proper wages.

4. Representation for unemployed workers
Everyone should have access to an advocate to help them navigate the social security system and appeal adverse decisions.

5. Appoint an Ombudsman for claimants
A Claimants Ombudsman should be appointed to arbitrate on unresolved complaints, to ensure claimants are treated with respect and dignity.

6. Equality in the labour market and workplace; equality in access to benefits.
We need a labour market where structural inequalities are overturned and a benefit system that is accessible to people.

7. An end to the sanctions regime and current Work Capability Assessment – full maintenance for the unemployed and underemployed.
We need a non-means tested, non-discriminatory benefit payable to all, with housing costs met. This must be allied with the wide provision of low cost housing.

8. State provision of high quality information, advice and guidance on employment, training and careers
There must be a supportive and independent careers and job-broking service, not linked to conditionality or benefits, offering face to face advice.

Download here: 710X_WelfareCharter_A5_3



Written by Andrew Coates

September 27, 2015 at 10:57 am

29 Responses

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  1. The the word ‘life’ is missing from title.

    Another Fine Mess

    September 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm

  2. I notice that there are similarities between what all political parties are saying at the present and the global goals, which are plans from the present to 2030.

    “full and productive employment and decent work for all” – “Everyone should have the chance of a decent job”

    “to earn enough for ­hobbies, holidays, presents for the kids” I’m not so sure about that one. but it would be nice.

    Mr Smith said “I don’t object in principle to constraints on what people get in their pockets in benefits”.

    “Jeremy wouldn’t object to that ­either. But there are fairer and smarter ways of going about it”. myself I can see a “living allowance” enough to survive on for that decent job.

    Liam Byrne will this week unveil an updated creed which inserts lines including: “We seek power for a purpose: to fight inequality and injustice, to make real the right of each of us to live a life of fulfilment, hope and happiness.” yet another from the global goals.


    September 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    • Thought I missed a few words which Liam Byrne will come out with, “hope and happiness” of course we all hope now and again for better things, but is Liam dreaming as well as for happiness, what will make every person happy?


      September 27, 2015 at 11:42 pm

  3. John McDonnell looks set to use his first Labour conference speech as shadow chancellor to push for a “Robin Hood” tax on stock market trading.

    Chancellor George Osborne has fought moves to introduce such a tax, warning it would harm the City.

    But Mr McDonnell believes it could rein in the excesses of the financial sector and help pay for improvements to the NHS and other public services.

    The point of the tax, which would be levied on stock and foreign exchange trades, would be “to have the banks and hedge funds pay for, or at least contribute to paying for, the immense economic damage their gambling, essentially it was gambling, had caused,” he said.



    September 27, 2015 at 8:29 pm

  4. Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has named a six-strong group of economists, known for their anti-austerity leaning, to a new panel which will advise the party on financial policy.

    Among the big names is Simon Wren-Lewis, whose Mainly Macro blog is excellent reading matter for the expert economist and the student alike.



    September 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm

  5. “A political commitment”

    You can politically commit to almost anything, but it doesn’t mean or explain how you’ll achieve anything.

    “full employment achieved with decent jobs”

    Impossible. And how to define ‘decent’. What is an interesting hobby to one person is drudgery to another.

    Another Fine Mess

    September 28, 2015 at 1:43 am

    • I must say i find myself in full agreement with you another fine mess what with everyone who voted for him expecting Corbyn to be the next messiah.

      I would like to believe in his words but like you said,currently thats all they are.


      September 28, 2015 at 8:15 am

  6. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has argued for the importance to democracy of non-violent protest, in response to criticism of his previous calls for direct action.

    “In our democratic tradition in our country we have the ballot box to use, of course, to elect MPs to be our voice and determine our policies. We have the trade union rights to protect us at work,” he said. “In addition to that, if politicians aren’t listening, we’ve always retained the right, over centuries, to get out in the streets and demonstrate.”



    September 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

  7. Unite Community invite colleagues to join us for a street stall promoting The Welfare Charter* and claimants rights from 11am to 1pm on Sat October 3rd 2015 at Giles statue, Ipswich town centre.

    If enough people participate we can cover other locations around the town centre such as the pitch opposite Boots in Tavern Street as well. Information and leaflets promoting other allied campaigns will be welcomed.

    Afterwards Unite Community members will be adjourning to a near by cafe for an informal meeting, at which others are welcome to join us. Please circulate this to friends, union colleagues and community activists.
    This could be the beginning of our own Citizens’ Assembly!

    * The Welfare Charter is co-produced by Trades Councils, the Unemployed Centres Combine, Unite Community the PCS and London Unemployed Strategies.

    Andrew Coates

    September 28, 2015 at 2:48 pm

  8. wank

    ian duncan smith

    September 28, 2015 at 2:50 pm

  9. knickers

    ian duncan smith

    September 28, 2015 at 2:54 pm

  10. Labour’s John McDonnell: Another world is possible.

    Aggressively tackling tax avoidance and evasion
    Introducing a “real living wage”
    Cutting tax breaks for buy to let landlords in a clampdown on “corporate welfare”
    Restoring and extending trade union rights
    Tackling the gender pay gap and building more homes
    Asking ex-civil servant Lord Kerslake to review how the Treasury works
    Reviewing the Bank of England’s inflation mandate and the work of Revenue and Customs



    September 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm

  11. “Unfortunately the position has been filled. Apologises on my behalf that I have not taken it down from the internet”

    Has anyone on here got experience with taking further disability discrimination before?


    September 28, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    • No, but if you want to post any details of the position or company I’ll do some digging.

      Another Fine Mess

      September 28, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      • I’ve done all the digging, thanks.


        September 29, 2015 at 4:21 pm

  12. OT: Austerity & what its really about.


    The title says it all.

    [He made this point also back in 2010]

    Hat-tip to unemploymentmovement.com


    September 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    • If only everyone knew the truth of this so called austerity, hopefully the group of economists which John McDonnell have named who are known for their anti-austerity will change it all.

      Gazza. discrimination – is it better to write a strong letter to a HR, C.A.B. or other, is it even worth it, of course it just might be, with “we never know”


      September 29, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      • enigma

        due to my broken neck (no standing/lifting) and a health issue docs can not pin down, + something wrong with my liver – I am classed as disabled.

        The twits at DWP look at me as some piece of meet to chuck out – let them try, I am carefully documenting everything.

        It’s been a while since I had to go to bat – if they want to try it on with me let them. They have been warned. There will be no more warnings from me – just action in the courts and elsewhere.


        September 30, 2015 at 12:03 pm

  13. We see that Jeremy Corbyn has ‘sold-out’ already 😦 He is wearing a tie 😀

    The Old Goggleboxers

    September 29, 2015 at 2:01 pm

  14. I once wore a tie…..

    Andrew Coates

    September 29, 2015 at 4:10 pm

  15. David Cameron has been accused of making disabled people want to walk “into the gas chamber” with plans to scrap the Human Rights Act.



    September 29, 2015 at 4:20 pm

  16. OT – Prison smoking ban to begin in 2016 “slowly”



    September 29, 2015 at 7:05 pm

  17. Theres more from Owen Smith, it all looks good but will it all happen.



    September 30, 2015 at 8:17 am

  18. A group of homeless people in Manchester faces jail after pitching tents in the city centre, the latest episode in a long-running battle between the council and an ever increasing number of rough sleepers.



    September 30, 2015 at 8:24 am

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