Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Coming soon: criminal sentences for the long-term unemployed?

with 17 comments

To start our coverage of the Tory Conference and the latest madcap antics of Iain Duncan Smith, this takes some beating. We shall naturally be giving more detailed reports. Tommorow in Ipswich will be helping at a Welfare Rights stall by Giles Corner, promoting the Welfare Charter (see previous posts). All welcome, from 11.00 am to 13.00.

Vox Political

Jobless criminal: Proposals by the Tory Free Enterprise group would put the clock back to the 16th century, when joblessness was a criminal offence.

According to the Telegraph, that outstanding group of backwards-thinking Tories, the Free Enterprise group, has come up with a new way of turning back time to the Middle Ages.

The group, some of whose luminaries were responsible for the stain on literature known as Britannia Unchained, believe those out of work for more than a year should have their benefits docked by 20 per cent.

Anyone unemployed for more than six months should do 30 hours’ community service and lose 10 per cent of their benefits, they reckon.

Britannia Unchained, you will recall, wrongly suggests that workers in the UK are among the laziest in the world.

Magistrates regularly dish out community service orders to people who have been convicted of criminal offences…

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

17 Responses

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  1. Also worth noting,

    “How to Handle an Obnoxious Adviser

    Too many people are being mistreated at the hands of obnoxious, incompetent, and often malicious advisers. If you have ever had to claim benefits then you probably know the type I mean.

    This Welfare Survival Guide gives you tips on how to handle an obnoxious adviser and counteract any unlawful behaviour targeted against you.
    Always Record Any Interaction

    This is the single most important tip I can recommend. I strongly recommend covertly recording as this prevents any further hassle for you from the Jobcentre Plus/DWP staff and security, it also allows the adviser to feel more secure in displaying the behaviour you are trying to prevent.

    You are entitled in law to both covertly and overtly record video and audio in a public place. There are exceptions to this law where children and other vulnerable individuals are involved, however, filming an adviser in person or over the phone is entirely permissible in law.

    This Freedom of Information request, shown on the excellent What Do They Know? website, clearly show that recording is allowed (also see the comments by John Slater).

    Also, the police have released this useful guide, which also shows the police have no powers to interfere with members of the public who record or take photos in public places, such as the Jobcentre Plus.

    No matter what anyone else may say, you are within your lawful rights to covertly record at the Jobcentre Plus. Never tell the staff that you are covertly recording and if they attempt to assault you by grabbing your recording device, call the police immediately, or give them a clear warning that if they attempt to assault you again you will act in self-defence.
    Stay Calm, Speak Softly, Annoy Them

    For those advisers who are maliciously targeting people, nothing annoys them more than staying calm and non-aggressive when they try to “agitate the customer” in order to unlawfully sanction them.

    All customer facing DWP staff have professional training in how to handle “obnoxious” claimants in order to set them up for a sanction or a benefit stoppage. I have had this confirmed on good authority. This means all the reports we hear of the targets is true and the DWP are specifically targeting those they see as “easy targets”, such as those suffering cancer, mental health issues, or simply those whom forget to take their job search diary.

    Stay calm, no matter how the adviser is trying to agitate you. Remember, this is a battle of wills and you have the upper hand because you can simply refuse to play their game. If you feel you may not be able to remain calm, take someone with you who can act as a calming influence should you become harassed by the adviser.

    Speaking softly shows that you are not being verbally aggressive and this will annoy the adviser no end. If they ask you to speak up, simply request that they lean closer. Never raise your voice or they may use this as a reason to eject you from the building.

    Annoy them by refusing to play their game and asking them obnoxious questions back. You can be as sarcastic as you like as long as you are calm, speaking softly and refraining from profanity.
    Arm Yourself With Knowledge

    If you can read up on the relevant legislation and find out in-depth knowledge specific to your case, you will probably know more than most advisers. I aren’t saying it is all their fault because a lot of their incompetence comes from improper training (or deliberately improper training) and bad management, however, if you have more knowledge than the adviser, you will win 10 times out of 10.

    It can be difficult to know how to interpret the relevant legislation, however, the Freedom of Information requests found on What Do They Know? are invaluable sources of welfare information which relate to the many issues suffered by benefit claimants.

    If you need specific advice for your situation, please contact me here.”

    http://www.thesanctionedjobseeker.co.uk/survival-guides/handle-obnoxious-adviser/

    Andrew Coates

    October 2, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    • Simon Brilliant!

      people should also note concerning the DWP Work Schemes [jimmy-stirling-s-diary-my-daily-battle-with-the-benefits-system-and-sanctions COMMENTS Section] :

      Basically refused to sign any documentation of the providers, has got his MP involved.

      “John Ray : Look on the Boycott Workfare site(Facebook) just google CWP live updates. Also to avoid claims for the National Minimum Wage, they have excluded CWP conscripts “They are not to be considered Employees or Workers” this also invalidates the Employers Liability Insurance (check out Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty)”

      i.e. on being informed of placement – have 2x letter ready to hand over at the meeting requesting written confirmation of coverage. Inform DWP are they actively placing people with no insurance cover? Require Reply in Writing [“No Interest” in verbal reply], also Provider gets one as well pointing out the lack of coverage makes you fear for your own cover if there is an accident and you’ll have to consider your legal options under those conditions, plus mention the fraud aspect of DWP forcing you to go and the Harrassment that would also kick in.
      If the Provider says that there is coverage [which under DWPS own rules there should not be…] tell them, “Good, please sign and date this pre-pared letter stating that I have here, oh DWP Advisor could you sign as well pretty please”

      Gazza

      October 2, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      • Dear jobseeker

        You must do something for money is not free however what you need is a proper job, proper working conditions,proper pay a living wage a proper system to help you gain proper employment.
        Not
        Zero hrs contract,no protection from bullying unpaid wages,food banks,wokfare, please correct me if I am wrong you are unemployed because you are refusing this type of lifestyle and your advisor is bullying you into this type of job,lifestyle and you are refusing to apply for agency work.
        You are refusing to work free from free labour loaders like poundland,tesco,asda,breezmount, I know how you feel because UK cannot offer anything else due to shortage of proper jobs due to open door policy on immigrants.
        Unfortunately they even run the jobcentrestaff its not UK anymore.

        Buck Rodgers

        January 3, 2016 at 8:40 am

    • Thanks for that info Andrew, this will help many people I know and those I see in the food bank.

      enigma

      October 2, 2015 at 8:16 pm

  2. Private Prisons Embrace Corruption to Boost Profits.

    It seems like something out of a bleak novel. A dark police state where prisons are run by major corporations whose sole source of income is occupancy. This would be a story where nobody listens because the people crying foul are being seen as weak on crime and in defense of prisoners who have had their right of freedom taken from them.

    More prisoners incarcerated= more income for business.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-yankovich/be-careful-private-prison_b_8144860.html

    enigma

    October 2, 2015 at 7:18 pm

  3. Between February 1933 and the start of World War Two, Nazi Germany underwent an economic “recovery” according to the government. Rather like the “recovery” that Osborne and Cameron are currently claiming, which isn’t apparent to the majority of citizens.

    This economic miracle, sold to the people of Germany, entailed a huge reduction in unemployment. However, the main reason for this was fear – anyone who was found guilty of being workshy (arbeitssheu) could then be condemned to the concentration camps,………………..

    https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/if-the-tories-dont-like-being-compared-to-the-nazis-then-they-need-to-stop-behaving-like-despots/

    enigma

    October 2, 2015 at 7:31 pm

  4. The Conservative Government has been challenged to let experts analyse the effects of its policies on benefit claimants, following the publication of – extremely limited – mortality figures in August.

    Disability studies specialist and disability activist Samuel Miller has written to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, and employment minister Priti Patel, asking whether they would co-operate if epidemiologists – experts in studying the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations such as benefit claimants – requested permission to conduct a thorough investigation of government policy.

    Part-Time Workers Face Benefit Sanctions Under Universal Credit &

    regarding whether the DWP has consulted with an epidemiologist on the mortality of sick and disabled claimants. All I want is a straight ‘yes or no’ answer.

    while keeping someone on welfare indefinitely may cost more, that person might live longer. Yet under the theory that “personal responsibility” must be promoted through economic punishment.

    http://twishort.com/C3ijc

    enigma

    October 2, 2015 at 8:02 pm

  5. This is an old article from 2012. I’ve been meaning to say you to fix the Vox link for some time, it should be voxpoliticalonline.com 🙂

    Another Fine Mess

    October 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    • I don’t think everyone seen it 2012, today is the first time I seen it.

      enigma

      October 2, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      • Interview with Iain Duncan Smith in the Guardian this morning.

        He defended:

        work capability assessment (WCA), the much-criticised gateway to the main out-of-work disability benefit, the employment support allowance (ESA), which is claimed by 2.5 million people. The five-year-old WCA has been plagued by backlogs, lengthy appeals and, according to Duncan Smith, is too binary in deciding whether someone is fit or not fit for work.
        Defend the planned removal of an income measure from the child poverty target, saying it is better to measure and target the underlying causes of poverty such as educational attainment and family stability.
        Reject criticisms of his department’s benefit sanctions system, saying he did not know of any jobcentre staff “flinging around sanctions”. He said: “There are a bunch of Labour MPs who hate sanctions and they don’t want them at all. I can understand that. I don’t agree with it because I think our system is predicated on this idea that there is a deal taking place.”The number of jobseeker allowance (JSA) sanctions has gone down by 380,000 over the past year to 507,000. ”

        I wonder where he got the latter statistics from,and if they’re true.

        In any case 507,000 sanctions is massive.

        http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/02/eu-has-been-hit-by-out-of-control-bulldozer-says-iain-duncan-smith

        Andrew Coates

        October 3, 2015 at 9:20 am

      • You should follow the void!

        “In 2012 Patel was one of the authors of Brittania Unchained, a nasty diatribe penned by five Tory MPs which accused British workers of being the “worst idlers in the world”. The book called on the UK workforce to emulate China, where 70,000 people die in workplace accidents every year, or South Korea, the suicide capital of Asia.”

        https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/priti-patel-appointed-minister-of-death-at-the-dwp

        Another Fine Mess

        October 3, 2015 at 9:20 am

    • It came up on my Blogs followed pages yesterday, not through the link.

      I was wary as I couldn’t find the Telegraph article.

      But I could bet the idea is still around.

      Andrew Coates

      October 3, 2015 at 9:21 am

      • You may as well remove the zois link as well, it’s expired like it’s author.

        Another Fine Mess

        October 3, 2015 at 10:03 am

  6. This is just another iteration of the same trope the tories have been spinning since 2010. This is nothing new. Perhaps as they now have control of government there’s a greater chance of this happening.

    Needless to say it is disgusting.

    But where will they find the jobs?

    ghost whistler

    October 3, 2015 at 2:53 pm

  7. In 2014 Pinocchio said:

    “In the North-West, many businesses are now asking to have people on Universal Credit to come and take interviews, because they know they can develop them all the way through.”

    http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/11581108.display/

    Another Fine Mess

    October 3, 2015 at 8:17 pm

  8. Dear Jobseeker
    You Are now out of the system of jobcentresta plus your advisor has managed to bully you into low paid zero hrs contract agency work .
    You are now working very hard for low pay however you now have to claim universal credit because you are working poor and large corporations like battersea power station are encouraging a closed shop and employing migrant workers only and non whites .
    You work in the most appalling working conditions and you have 50 blokes sharing a microwave your 30 mins break is wastes by 10 min walk to canteen you cannot go out for lunch because of the strict entry and exit regime you basically in an open foreighn prison.
    Now you have to report to your jobcentrestaff advisor who speaks broken English and play a subordinate role to them .
    Just to get your working credit .
    Down with universal credit I say its not top up benefits we need Jobseekers it is proper job and immigration control.

    Buck Rodgers

    January 9, 2016 at 3:45 am

  9. Dear Jobseeker

    I strongly advise you not to accept part time work when universal credit comes in ?
    Do you want to sit in front of a jobcentreste

    advisor after doing a hard days work you have a legal right to refuse job under 24 hrs any dispute refer to your Jobseekers aggreement, customer charter jobcentreplus, a4e, cdg maximum says that you will be found FULL TIME WORK,
    The customer charter has been repeatedly broken by cdg maximum and a4e to find you full time work.
    You are repeatedly directed to agency’s the bottom of the food change the work program provider sit in a warm office grow there stomachs and steal the bonus from dwp and bully you into low waged work.
    The UK slave trade is run by work program providers.

    Buck Rodgers

    January 10, 2016 at 7:47 am


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