Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Iain Duncan Smith makes more Friends as People with Mental Health Problems 3 times more Likely to be Sanctioned.

with 99 comments

“A Claimant is Just a Friend I have yet to Meet.”

Iain Duncan Smith makes a splash again:

Here’s the full spectacle of Iain Duncan Smith’s DWP horror show. With a UN investigation on the way, I wonder if he feels proud

Harriet Williamson Independent.

Obviously it’s better to stick a few DWP staff in food banks than to address the policies that have left people needing emergency food in the first place.
Yet again, the Department of Work and Pensions has been revealed as an organ of monstrous bureaucratic cruelty this week, with a report from the charity Mind showing that the DWP is three times more likely to sanction someone with mental health problems than to help them find work. The report states that 250,000 people with mental health issues are receiving Employment and Support Allowance, and of these, 19,259 were sanctioned last year while only 6,340 were helped into work in the same time frame.
Benefit Tales takes up this story,
Data from Mind today reveal the scale of sanctions imposed on people with mental health problems being supported by out-of-work disability benefits. Figures obtained by the mental health charity under the Freedom of Information Act show that there were up to three times more benefit sanctions issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to people with mental health problems last year than there were people supported into work.

And,

There were almost 20,000 benefits sanctions received by people who were out of work because of their mental health last year[1], while only 6340[2] of this group were successfully supported into a job during the same period.
There are approximately 250,000 people receiving the benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who need this support primarily because of their mental health. People can be sanctioned – have their benefits cut – if they fail to participate in work-related activity, including missing appointments or being late for meetings or CV writing workshops. However, many people with mental health problems find it difficult to participate in these activities due to the nature of their health problem and the types of activities they’re asked to do, which are often inappropriate.
These revelations follow the DWP’s refusal last week to commission an independent review of the use of conditionality and sanctions in the benefits system, despite being recommended by the Work and Pensions Select Committee, a cross-party committee of MPs. There is currently very little evidence to support the idea that threatening to cut someone’s benefits helps them to move into work.
Responding to the new figures, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“It is perverse that people with mental health problems are more likely to have their benefits stopped than they are to be supported into employment. We have long been warning the Government that a punitive approach towards people who are out of work because of their health or disability is not only ineffective but is causing a great deal of distress.
“These data provide further evidence that the DWP should have accepted the suggestion of a cross-party committee of MPs to commission an independent review of how sanctions are used. By continuing to refuse to listen to the numerous expert voices calling for a fundamental rethink of the use of sanctions, the Government is not only undermining its ambition of helping a million more disabled people into work, but is also failing its duty of care for the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people with mental health problems.
“We already know that the Work Programme has helped fewer than 1 in 10 people with mental health problems into employment. In fact, it’s counterproductive, as the pressure people are being put under, and the anxiety caused by the threat of sanctions, is making people more unwell and less able to work. 83 per cent[3] of our survey respondents said that being on the Work Programme made their mental health worse or much worse.Even the threat of stopping someone’s financial support is enough to cause a great deal of undue stress and anxiety for people with mental health problems.”
Then this:

The figures came as the United Nations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) announced it will be investigating the Government’s benefit cuts.

The probe will look at whether the reforms have had a disproportional impact on single parents, children and the disabled and whether the tax credit cuts will leave people without an adequate standard of living.

The Committee will also investigate what steps are being done to cut the number using food banks and whether mental health services are adequate in the light of the cuts.

Mirror.

Odd isn’t it?

People with mental health problems, forced to comply with the 35 Hour a week job search, all the paper work, all the other Hoops to Jump Through, what could possibly go wrong?

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 31, 2015 at 11:19 am

99 Responses

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  1. Iain Duncan Smith:

    “A Claimant is Just a Friend I have yet to Meet.”

    Did the idiot actually say this?

    The last time I saw IDS on TV he wouldn’t go anywhere without his ‘Taxpayer paid for security’, he was spotted running from the back door of Jobcentres he’s visited to his waiting car avoiding people who had been on demonstration lines and totally refused to talk to claimants at those Jobcentres, also he refused to attend the Scottish parliamentary committee for Work and Pensions. (on multiple occasions)

    He’s been rather quiet lately.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 31, 2015 at 11:38 am

  2. Having IDS as your new best friend is enough to push anyone over the edge, let alone people with mental health problems.

    jj joop

    October 31, 2015 at 11:42 am

  3. I’ve been on ‘courses’ for the unemployed where there’s been people extremely severe mental health issues, and frankly it’s a scandal that they are made to do this.

    Andrew Coates

    October 31, 2015 at 11:46 am

    • How can you tell if someone has ‘mental health issues’? Looking at them? Speaking to them? What are your particular qualifications in mental health? What makes you qualified to make a diagnosis? A lot of posters on here and other forums say that IDS has ‘mental health problems’, but then again he holds down the job of Secretary of State for Work Pensions. Others posit that all the unemployed have ‘mental health problems’. All very subjective. It is a very easy to say that someone has ‘mental health problems’ – maybe because you don’t like their way of thinking, are envious of them or don’t agree with their problems. Saying someone has ‘mental health problems’ holds about as much truck as saying someone is “strange”, a “weirdo”, “odd”, or even a “wanker”… just because you don’t like them. It is very easy to bandy meaningless terms about.

      If you want to see people with real mental health problem you should spend some time working in a psychiatric hospital or even a prison. That would open your eyes to ‘mental health problems’.

      Mental Health Professional

      October 31, 2015 at 2:05 pm

      • * don’t agree with their politics

        Mental Health Professional

        October 31, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      • FAO “Mental Health Professional”

        I’ve never been to the North Pole, but I know there’s snow there!

        Your comments about the mentally ill are among the most stilted I’ve ever heard. Andrew Coates simply said he had been on (Government) courses where people with severe mental health issues were there – and he added it’s a scandal they are made to do this.

        It was a statement of fact. Don’t dispute the obvious. Don’t try to impress us all with your “professional” knowledge of these things. People with mental health issues are indeed made to attend these punitive work schemes – and they shouldn’t be. Plain as that. Full stop.

        Tobanem

        October 31, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    • People with mental health problems should be given help, not forced or threatened to attend job clubs, courses or programmes. and not sanctioned because………………..

      Mental health problems affect the way you think, feel and behave. they can be severe and long-lasting and have a big impact on people’s ability to get on with life.

      Many people who live with a mental health problem or are developing one try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s reactions.

      If many people hide it then who knows the number of people with mental health problem. the stats on it will never be true.

      http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/an-introduction-to-mental-health/what-are-mental-health-problems/

      enigma

      October 31, 2015 at 3:15 pm

  4. lol at Jeremy Corbyn buying a copy of nobhead Lord John Bird-shits piece of shit the Big Issue on his way into that Labour Party conference or wherever in Scotchland it was 😀 It looked as stage-managed as fuck. And shame on Corbyn for buying this piece of shit – unless he needed something to wipe his arse on :D…
    … or Kezia Dugdales arse 😀 The only time Jeremy took his hand off it as when he handed that Big Issue seller a few coppers lol 😀

    Boycott the Big Issue

    October 31, 2015 at 1:52 pm

  5. WTF

    October 31, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    • WTF

      October 31, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      • See this:

        ‘Copied below is paragraph 40 in Chapter 03 of the Universal Jobmatch Toolkit which explains hether claimants can be made to give DWP staff access to their Universal Jobmatch (UJ) account. This says:

        “You also cannot issue a Jobseeker’s Direction to mandate a claimant to give us access to their account – this is their decision not ours”.’

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/recorded_information_on_universa#incoming-677432

        Write to the Manager of your JobCentre and ask for clarification, quoting paragraph 40 in Chapter 03 of the Universal Jobmatch Toolkit. Include a copy of the Jobseeker’s Direction that has been issued to you.

        JBS

        October 31, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      • Dammit – typo – word is ‘whether’, not ‘hether’.

        JBS

        October 31, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    • Set permission on Universal Jobmatch for what exactly? DWP access I’m guessing.

      Jobseeker’s Directions
      Guidance Queries and Help

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/identifying_jobseekers_direction#incoming-615353

      Ted X

      October 31, 2015 at 5:26 pm

  6. This sort of thing no doubt happens in jobcentres,they play on fear of losing benefits or just not knowing their legal position and act totally cavalier.The whole place is a front for unlawful actions such as this,they are not in a good position legally and hence choose to ignore the law.The sad thing is those that are supposed to deal with complaints go along with this.

    ken

    October 31, 2015 at 3:34 pm

  7. Hey Guy’s:

    New sexy Superhero – Supergirl – Episode 1 Now on Sky 1.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    October 31, 2015 at 5:36 pm

  8. 30th OCT Update on food banks, You’ll notice that DWP are not mentioned.

    FOOD BANKS TO ROLL OUT REVOLUTIONARY ‘FINANCIAL TRIAGE’ PROGRAMME NATIONWIDE.

    A £500,000 personal donation from ‘Money Saving Expert. Martin Lewis will allow the Trussell Trust, which runs a network of over 420 food banks across the UK, to roll out its ground breaking ‘financial triage, debt and money advice’ to 30 food banks across the UK, helping thousands of people.

    3 pages

    http://www.trusselltrust.org/resources/documents/Financial-traige-in-30-foodbanks—Martin-Lewis-500,000-FINAL.pdf

    enigma

    October 31, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    • Did DWP make a mistake letting it be known that the DWP were getting involved with food banks, because they didn’t know then but now know that if people know there will be someone from DWP in food banks there will be trouble, what do you think?

      enigma

      October 31, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      • When playing ball one also needs to be on the ball!

        enigma

        October 31, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      • enigma

        I’d go with the idea that George Worm Smith thought this was a good weeze to throw off everyone which he came up with himself – remember him losing it on QT recently when pressured.

        Must have thought his Aspiration would be well received and throw the foxes off the scent so to speak.

        As per usual el thicko’s wishes someone must have pointed out the ownside – probably the chief secretary saying – “no legal right of entry, private property, unions on my back off the bat about this mad idea and staff safety, police had a quite word about resources being wasted to cover your ass, you are as mad as a hatter arn’t you, after Tax Crdits blew up in your face you come out with this? in future before engaging mouth consult with your betters here in the civil service….”

        Gazza

        October 31, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      • Yes, It does look that way.

        enigma

        October 31, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    • 23/06/2015
      We’re currently partnering with Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis to pilot hosting financial and debt advisers in foodbanks.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/molly-hodson/foodbank-myths_b_7133786.html

      Of course all this ‘help’ proves that it was the victims fault they had to use a foodbank.

      We’ll soon have to have Free-Range Foodbanks, – free from the meddlers that put you in that position in the first place.

      Another Fine Mess

      October 31, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      • The Myths yes, I work in one so I know the truth!

        enigma

        October 31, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      • If and when I see a DWP advisor in the food bank I work in I’ll let you all know, with any news about the reality of it.

        enigma

        October 31, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      • It’s probably all part of IBS’s Universal Foodbank project.

        Another Fine Mess

        October 31, 2015 at 11:39 pm

  9. Disability rights under attack: Rights ‘are regressing in every area’, says leading DPO

    http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disability-rights-under-attack-rights-are-regressing-in-every-area-says-leading-dpo/

    ken

    October 31, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    • Petition Assess full impact of all cuts to support & social care for disabled people. 29,204 signatures

      Govt has ignored calls for a full assessment of the impact of Welfare, Social Care & NHS reform on disabled people and their families. The number of households with a disabled family member living in “absolute poverty” increased by 10% between 2013 & 14. ………………………………………….

      Government responded

      The Government is committed to a fair tax and welfare system. Every individual policy change is carefully considered, including looking at the effect on disabled people in line with legal obligations………………………………..

      At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

      https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106068

      enigma

      October 31, 2015 at 8:48 pm

  10. George Osborne: Chancellor has four times the usual number of special advisers.

    The Treasury press office refused to say who they are, or how many there are, or who is on the Chancellor’s Council of Economic Advisers.

    George Osborne, the Chancellor, has been accused of building a power base at the Treasury to support his ambition to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister. The annual list of special advisers, to be published this month, is expected to confirm that he employs eight special advisers – political appointees paid from public funds. The normal limit for a cabinet minister is two, but Mr Osborne has been given permission by Mr Cameron to hire an extra six.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/george-osborne-chancellor-has-four-times-the-usual-number-of-special-advisers-a6716306.html

    enigma

    October 31, 2015 at 10:13 pm

  11. Theresa May rules out keeping web browsing data.

    She also told the BBC that companies would not be banned from encrypting data, as she prepares to present a new security bill to Parliament this week.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34691956

    enigma

    November 1, 2015 at 11:36 am

    • Ministers rule out ban on encryption but civil rights group Liberty says climbdown is ‘just spin’

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/31/theresa-may-backtracks-on-internet-snooping

      enigma

      November 1, 2015 at 11:41 am

      • There was a man who’s story was on theregister a while back, he was paranoid – encrypted his hard drive. Police arrested him and he was subsequently jailed for a open-ended period until he handed over the decrypt keys.

        so yes – this is just spin

        Gazza

        November 1, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      • lol encrypting the whole operating system is taking things to the extreme, and pretty pointless lol

        WinDoze

        November 1, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      • That guy must have had a really slow computer 🙂 Wonder how long it took to boot as it ‘decrypted’ the boot-strapping files lol

        WinDoze

        November 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      • Don’t be fooled by spook propaganda. The state still wants licence to pry.

        Theresa May’s draft Investigatory Powers bill contains highly intrusive powers.

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/31/investigatory-powers-bill-henry-porter

        enigma

        November 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      • Don’t think he was necessarily paranoid as he obviously had popped up on Plod’s radar… 😉 Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you 😉

        Luc Godard

        November 1, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      • Then again if the Plod kicked in any random’s door and seized their computer equipment and IADs (Internet Access Devices) there is a virtual certainty that they would “find” something on it… 😉

        If the Plod want to “do” you for something they sure as Hell can… 😉

        Luc Godard

        November 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      • That’s why they want real-time access to internet browsing and access activity so they can go on “fishing expeditions”. And anyone using “encryption” is obviously “up to no good” 😉

        Luc Godard

        November 1, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      • “anyone using “encryption” is obviously “up to no good” – complete nonsense.

        enigma

        November 1, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      • The snoopers.

        The draft investigatory powers bill will also enshrine in statute GCHQ’s licence to hack into computers worldwide, including powers to sweep up content of a computer or smart phone, listen to phone calls, track locations or even switch on the microphones or cameras on mobile phones. The powers, known as “computer network exploitation”, even allow them to record conversations or snap pictures of anyone nearby the device.

        http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/nov/03/may-calls-for-internet-companies-to-store-details-of-website-visits

        enigma

        November 4, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      • “When a private talk over a bottle of wine is broadcast on the radio, what can it mean but that the world is turning into a concentration camp?”

        — Milan Kundera

        Milan Kundera

        November 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      • It seems that the usual suspects such as the DWP will be given (already have access 😉 ) So your work roach will able to check how long you spend on UJM.

        There is a special Cisco router specifically for the task of funnelling all the ISP data to the nick. . It is all just fed in like that other spyware piece of shit ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) That is why UK internet access is shit; it is weighed down with spyware, black-boxes, filtering (Cleanfeed), forks to the “authorities”, etc. And guess who pays for all this total crap….

        Anyway, the cops will be fishing, filtering and running the fuzzy logic to identify all the ‘bad ‘uns and pass their details onto the local nick in order to round ’em up.

        FUNNel

        November 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      • The draft Investigatory Powers Bill will govern the use and oversight of investigatory powers by law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies.

        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-investigatory-powers-bill

        enigma

        November 4, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      • Obedience & compliance.

        enigma

        November 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm

  12. “Six million workers paid ‘less than the living wage” no doubt more than that.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34691404

    enigma

    November 1, 2015 at 11:51 am

    • enigma

      And so the penny drops… or in this case the Hammer on the heads of the Nazi Tory fools – and those who voted for them

      How will they get out of this little pickle – or even spin it as the numbers are growing by the day

      Gazza

      November 1, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    • Dead on Comment:

      375. Posted by Mark
      on
      33 minutes ago
      @339.Senator McCarthy

      Everywhere I have worked, it is usually the sycophants who have been put forward to train, to go up the career ladder and earn more.

      The hard workers tend to have even more work forced upon them and left in place because management know it would be hard to find someone else capable to do the same workload for the pittance they are already paying.

      Can I work with you?

      Gazza

      November 1, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      • And a point about ecomonics:

        312. Posted by Wolfang The Wise

        266.Tio Terry
        This may help.
        http://www.livingwage.org.uk/calculation

        Any economy depends not on the total value of assets,but the rate at which money is freely flowing through it.If that economy,has low wages,high prices(especially in housing),a high trade deficit,and low disposable incomes,the flow is impeded,the deficit rises,and the retail sector struggles.

        Spot on

        Gazza

        November 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      • “The hard workers are left in place” I totally agree with that, due to my experience in every job I have ever had. never getting any further, if only I wasn’t a hard worker!

        enigma

        November 1, 2015 at 12:55 pm

  13. Reblogged this on seachranaidhe1.

    seachranaidhe1

    November 1, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    • Enigma I agree. I’ve already decided I’m not going to advance any more. I do quite enough already and work isn’t paying for me. A while back I was told as I have 5 years continuous service I get either 5 extra days holiday or 5 days extra pay a year. If I took the money I’d not see it, they’d make me pay more rent!!

      Kat rehman

      November 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      • So your best choice would be to take 5 extra days holiday but if DWP found out you would be sanctioned. especially on UC, some choice that is isn’t it, no matter what we lose, a sad state of affairs.

        enigma

        November 1, 2015 at 6:47 pm

  14. October 2015, Office for National Statistics.

    UK Labour Market. employed/unemployed.

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/october-2015/table-a01.xls

    enigma

    November 1, 2015 at 6:29 pm

  15. OT: Claiming JSA

    More rubbish in order to disguise the recent big mistakes but won’t help anyone in the armed services.

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/armed-forces-families-to-get-immediate-access-to-income-based-jobseekers-allowance/

    Why? Will not be exempt from any of the the changes coming into force on 6Apr16.

    Another thing that will not end well

    Gazza

    November 2, 2015 at 11:29 am

    • It;s about time they changed the rules for those who need it, I was not entitled to any benefits for 3 months when I came out of the army, like many others.

      enigma

      November 2, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      • Not that I needed to claim any back in the 90’s, we all know it was easier to find a job then.

        enigma

        November 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

  16. Herr George “Prentious” Smith caught for friends in Court! Unable to find any…

    See:

    http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/AAC/2015/566.html

    Scroll down to point 82. and have a read.

    Gazza

    November 2, 2015 at 1:23 pm

  17. enigma

    November 2, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    • Pretty good reasons why IDS’s plan to put advisers in Food Banks is an insult, especially the , “279,000 cases where claimants had their benefit stopped without being officially notified.”

      Andrew Coates

      November 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm

  18. OT: New W10 Probs for older PCs/Laptops

    Reports of M$ changing settings and making install automatic so you cannot stop it are appearing.

    Worse still during the install a number of PCs/Laptops have been Borked/Fracked/F&^%$D. Or more commonly known as ‘Bricked’. You now own a Brick doorstop. Oh and the T&C make it clear you the owner… Sorry Subscriber take on all the risk and expense. Enjoy.

    W10 installs and writes to the BIOS [M$ doesn’t want other OS’s installed now does it….], when this happens the BIOS is Fracked – there is NO repair.

    Gazza

    November 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm

  19. OT: CH4 Britain’s Benefit Experiment [Tax Credits]

    Watching now – interesting the conumdrum of hours that you do against what hours possible to get is not addressed, except for a sanction being applied by DWP that is, also what if there are no jobs in the reachable area? Who is liable if an individual takes a job far away and suffers an accident – that would be dwp. Further it is targetting those on Zero Hours Contracts, the same thing dwp has been forcing people to take – catch twentytwo time. Classic case in point, in work ring in, gets threat sanctioned for not going into dwp office – done what they wanted to do but dwp insisted on considering a sanction [catch twentytwo time].
    So on min wage – no other work available, where/how is this miraculous new job going to come from?
    9 out of 10 dwp staff cannot get extra work [out of 300 mind] – so question becomes taking that ratio across the country this means that 1 out of ten will get [temporarily i suspect get extra work]. What about the rest? Sanction time.
    Self employed will have their earnings ASSUMED to be at Nat.Min.Wage level after 12 months and if not declared un-viable. It is worth noting that if they could increase their earning they would but currently cannot nor is there any likelyhood of that happening in the near future which puts them in a difficult position. These are the people dwp encouraged/forced to become self employed and are in majority of cases earning below min.wage – cutting Tax Credits is in effect a sanction. So DWP forces you, then punishes you. Lovely.

    Anyone else see that the system IS going to collapse and fast? The hate that is going to be directed at DWP and ConCons is going to reach a level never seen before – worse than poll tax, poll tax never made people starve. This is really really not going to end well.

    Gazza

    November 3, 2015 at 12:05 am

  20. I would like to give you an example of how I just missed a sanction in 1985. It would have been a 3 year sanction too. In February of 1985 I moved from Northolt in London to Downham Market in Norfolk. Things were fine there was and still is a decent train service to London and Cambridge. There were buses too. They served the South Lynn Industrial Park and the other Industrial Parks too. Including the one in North Lynn and on the Wisbech Road. The 1st Buses started in time for the early shifts and ended at about 10;00pm when evening shifts and night shifts started and ended. Come the February of 1986 there was a deregulation of the bus services and the services were wiped as non profitable. Having a need too sign on, I was asked how I would get there for shift work. Thinking on my feet I said I could and can make arrangements. If I had said bus I would have got a sanction. I was also told that IF I had moved in 1986 instead of 1985 I would have also been sanctioned by making myself unavailable for work due to methods of transport. Downham Market was and maybe still is one of the biggest areas for providing labour to King’s Lynn and the surrounding area. BTW THEN they also used Fruit Picking as MWA

    Hashtag

    November 3, 2015 at 9:18 am

  21. 100,000 children will be homeless this Christmas.

    You may not see them on the streets, but they’re still homeless. Because they don’t have homes, they’re living in places like hostels and B&Bs..

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/100khomeless

    enigma

    November 3, 2015 at 11:15 am

    • Lets just round the number up because we don’t know for sure how many children are homeless.

      enigma

      November 3, 2015 at 3:22 pm

  22. National living wage is a gamble, says CBI boss.

    The head of Britain’s leading employers’ organisation on Tuesday described the government’s “national living wage” as a gamble and warned it would speed up the replacement of workers by machines if business found it too expensive.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/03/national-living-wage-a-gamble-says-cbi-boss

    enigma

    November 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

  23. You’ll all have seen the updated “Standards of Behaviour for Jobseekers” on Universal Jobmatch. This caught my eye:

    “2.4 Since this Site is only a venue you need to undertake appropriate checks to ensure both your suitability for the role advertised and of the role itself. For example, checking the identity of the recruiter and the nature of its business, the commencement date and duration of the position, the position to be filled, location, hours and risks to health and safety, experience, training, qualifications and authorisation which the recruiter considers necessary or are required by law or otherwise to undertake the position, whether any expenses are payable by you as a work-seeker or whether there are any requirements imposed by law or otherwise for you to satisfy before taking up a position.”

    In the past the DWP has stated time and time again that it was vetting anyone who registered as an employer on UJ in order to establish their good faith. Does this mean that the DWP will no longer be doing this, and it is now a matter of “Applicant Beware”?

    The reason this matters is that if anyone gives permission to the DWP to access their UJ account then “Advisers” – ie, “Work Coaches” – can save jobs to a jobseeker’s account which the jobseeker is then expected to apply for, on pain of sanction if they don’t. Will it now be the case that “Advisers” will be saving to jobseekers’ accounts jobs advertised by employers whose bona fides have not been established beforehand? What about “Company Confidential” jobs? How are jobseekers supposed to check for themselves that these companies are reputable?

    It seems to me that the best thing is not to allow the DWP access to your account, and to print out all the job applications you send and all the acknowledgements which you receive via e-mail and present these as evidence at signing-on appointments. The other thing that has been suggested to me is forwarding all applications sent and all acknowledgements received to a DWP e-mail account, but I won’t do this as the DWP may see this as justification for contacting me via e-mail.

    Anyone got any thoughts on this?

    JBS

    November 3, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    • You don’t have to give DWP access to UJM, nor do you have to use UJM or even create an account on UJM. it;s up to you not them.

      enigma

      November 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      • I agree you don’t have to give the DWP access to your UJ account and that you don’t have to use UJ. I’m pretty sure, though, that the DWP insists that jobseekers create UJ accounts and will impose sanctions if they don’t.

        JBS

        November 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      • enigma

        November 3, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      • Jobseekers required to use Universal Jobmatch.

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4_march_2013_jobseekers_required

        enigma

        November 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      • Universal Jobmatch toolkit chapter 3.

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/universal_jobmatch_toolkit_chapt

        Read them all!

        enigma

        November 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      • UJM will, we learnt this morning, be part of a special session of our new fortnightly Job Search Reviews (an hour long).

        Andrew Coates

        November 3, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      • Just come across a very interesting whatdotheyknow about recording:

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/177354/response/455522/attach/html/3/IR808%20response.pdf.html

        at:

        7. There are no laws, statutes etcetera that permit DWP to implement policy that is in contravention of the law. DWP does not dispute the right to record nor does it seek to restrict a client’s access to our services. As the guidance above shows a policy is clearly in place which will allow a customer to record their interview should they so wish.
        We include the “Guidance on Restricted Use of Electronic Media in Jobcentres” for your convenience.

        I find this very interesting as I have in possession a unique document [accepted by a court] about recording. I have not yet presented this trump card – it’ll only appear in another court if DWP keep up their rubbish against me. I will say that this inablity to stop recording applies to everyone including the police. OOopppsss. It becomes even more problamatic if you have posed a question which no one is able to answer – its as if what sparked the problem never existed. though showing you are recording them is in their eyes the only thing that happened and is a big no-no against you.

        Gazza

        November 3, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      • Gazza, have you seen this one.

        Letter to Job centre: Office Stamp as proof of receipt.

        Many claimants delivering documents by hand to Jobcentre Plus are asking Jobcentre staff to acknowledge receipt by stamping either an original valid document or a copy of it. In many cases, though not all, Jobcentre plus staff are refusing to acknowledge receipt of documents and are claiming that their particular office does not have a stamp or that the Employment Officer is under no obligation to stamp documents. I can think of no reason why an Employment Officer might refuse to acknowledge receipt of a claimants documents, unless of course, there is a wilful intention to make life as difficult as possible for the claimant.

        https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/letter_to_jobcentre_office_stamp?nocache=incoming-723493#incoming-723493

        enigma

        November 4, 2015 at 8:19 am

      • Andrew:

        Fortnightly Job Search Reviews lasting an hour – is this just in Ipswich, or is it being rolled out nationally? I’ve never heard of it.

        jj joop

        November 4, 2015 at 11:59 am

  24. they will give you a jsd to make a ujm account but then cant mandate you to give them access or use it.

    so pointless in the first place lol 😉

    superted

    November 3, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    • This is true, superted. However, the DWP does put pressure on jobseekers to allow them access to their UJ accounts. In my view the fact that the DWP is not vetting anyone who registers as an employer on UJ is another reason for jobseekers not to allow them access to their UJ accounts.

      You could also say that if it is now the responsibility of the jobseeker to “…undertake appropriate checks to ensure both …suitability for the role advertised and of the role itself”, then DWP Advisers have no business saving jobs to the accounts of jobseekers who have allowed them access, as it is obviously no longer part of an Adviser’s job to decide on suitability. I dare say that won’t stop them, though – too much pressure to meet sanction targets.

      JBS

      November 3, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      • JBS i have heard many times advisers telling claimants that they have to give DWP access to their UJM accounts, many people will do because they don’t know any different, they don’t know what we know. thinking about all those who have been laid off or will do, they will do what the advisers tell them, that’s until we get to them and inform them before the DWP!

        enigma

        November 4, 2015 at 5:43 am

      • Our job is to inform as many unemployed people as we can, before they enter a JC. if only we could inform them all of the truth.

        enigma

        November 4, 2015 at 5:49 am

    • super ted:

      It’s not pointless. The whole point, at least from the DWP’s point of view, is to let you know that they’re in charge. And that they can fuck you about, to kingdom come, and there’s fuck all you can do about it.

      Hence the pointless exercise of being mandated to set up a UJM account. You vill obey ze orders, seig heil, etc.

      jj joop

      November 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm

  25. Celebrating the hidden history of disabled people’s fight for civil rights.

    Exhibition in Manchester marks 20 years of the Disability Discrimination Act and pays tribute to the activists who helped bring it about.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/04/disabled-people-fight-equal-rights-exhibition-manchester

    enigma

    November 4, 2015 at 7:41 am

  26. Rough sleepers deserve a bit of food and dignity

    Volunteers in Manchester are clubbing together to help feed the city’s growing number of homeless people

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/03/rough-sleepers-manchester-food-volunteers-homeless

    enigma

    November 4, 2015 at 12:37 pm

  27. OT: Advisors in Food Banks …. Is George Prentious lying? Yep.

    (h-t to Refuted)

    http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/blogs/foodbank-network-is-not-in-discussions-with-dwp

    “the Trussell Trust, which runs a network of over 420 foodbanks, has had no conversations with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Iain Duncan Smith about this and has not agreed to roll out this idea. Neither has The Trussell Trust been involved in any pilots.

    At a local level, The Trussell Trust has been discussing ideas to improve DWP processes in order to reduce the number of people left hungry due to problems with benefits delivery. One idea discussed privately with some foodbanks and a small number of backbench MPs (but not yet discussed with DWP) was to give foodbank clients opt in access to specific welfare advisers tasked with troubleshooting benefit related admin errors, delays or payments that had lead people to need foodbanks.”

    Lies brought to you by Herr George “Liar liar pants on fire” Smith

    Gazza

    November 4, 2015 at 4:16 pm

  28. This makes one mad, it does me.

    The Scottish Welfare Reform Committee has heard evidence at Holyrood about Jobcentre staff bullying claimants, often reducing them to tears.

    The Committee heard from witnesses who are claimants on a first-name basis only, because of fears that the disclosures may lead to sanctioning by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/jobcentre-staff-bullying-benefit-claimants-to-tears/

    enigma

    November 4, 2015 at 8:31 pm

  29. I have been thinking about this whole CWP is the current extended scheme still part of Help 2 work – or is that scheme now cancelled and replaced by just CWP ?

    There is a note in the guidance that says after someone has done CWP they should be referred back to MIR for the remainder of their claim but it still seems that contradicts the earlier guidance where it said only one of these options was valid.

    So is that just for the pilot – are people who were on the daily signing help to work pilot then being sent on CWP too.

    I find this really puzzling.

    • Welcome welcome to the Confusing world of Herr George Smith “I Don’t Know What I’m doing and neither does my Department.”

      http://www.money.co.uk/guides/help-to-work-scheme-2-minute-guide.htm

      “The Help to Work scheme
      Be careful Under the Help to Work scheme you stand to lose four weeks’ worth of Jobseeker’s Allowance the first time you breach the rules of your placement; while second offences could mean you lose 3 months of benefits.
      Help to Work aims to provide full time, unpaid placements for the long term unemployed in which you must work for your benefits or risk being “sanctioned” and losing them.

      Unlike MWA which was capped at 6 months, Help to Work is indefinite – lasting until you find employment. However you do have some say in your placements, with 3 options available:

      – Unpaid community work placements, such as gardening in public spaces or cooking meals for the elderly
      – Daily appointments at your nearest JobCentre [NOTE: This can only be Mandated for a short period I understand]
      – Compulsory training, e.g. to improve your literacy, numeracy, computer skills”

      Gazza

      November 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    • Further:

      “From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Help to Work is a government workfare scheme in the United Kingdom for individuals who have not found work after two years on the Work Programme. It replaces the Mandatory Work Activity programme.[1] Individuals who refuse to participate in the scheme face a reduction in their benefits.”

      Gazza

      November 4, 2015 at 10:56 pm

  30. I’d want to see new Guidance that says that CWP can last for ever as the old guidance says 26 weeks followed by MIR for the remainder of the claim.

    I’ve heard plenty of Horror stories about people on ESA being on placements for ever – this always puzzled me a bit as the Provider stops getting paid don’t they once the 26 week period has passed so has no reason to want someone blocking a placement they can give to someone else – heck some places were even taking people off placements after 10 weeks ignoring the last smaller payment for completion of 26 weeks so they can shovel more people per year through the same placement 4 or 5 instead of 2.

    Which would make sense to the Working Links & Seetecs of this world as they’d be increasing their income and it’s only worth letting people stay for 26 weeks if they have spare places – heck this might even be the reason why they are so often sanction happy if it means that can be used as an excuse to clear placements.

    I’m curious by what is meant by “Compulsory Training” as training is sometimes offered to claimants that isn’t compulsary – so does that mean CWP replaces all other funding for “Non-essential” training schemes then.

    If that is the case the CWP really will be worse than doing nothing.

  31. POLICE STATE SCOTLAND – UBER-HIGH-TECH CAMERAS AND SPY POLICE

    New “uber-high-tech” spy camera system in Glasgow can give a signature to every person who walks by, and then track their movements wherever they go in the city – even on busy streets with hundreds of other people walking by:

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/glasgow-council-spooks-test-12m-6771105

    Meanwhile, Scotland’s new police state is already in murky waters with police officers spying unaccountably on journalists:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13945199.Chief_constable_candidate_embroiled_in_journalist_spy_row/

    Bear these things in mind south of the border when digesting the Home Secretary’s recent announcement on communications interception!

    CounterSpy

    November 5, 2015 at 10:23 am

    • In the south, I’ve read it, I guess all need to.

      The draft Investigatory Powers Bill will govern the use and oversight of investigatory powers by law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-investigatory-powers-bill

      enigma

      November 5, 2015 at 10:44 am

      • According the article they can track you around by uploading a photo – your police ‘mugshot’, Facebook pic? 🙂

        Tracker

        November 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

      • wordpress avatar … 😉

        Tracker

        November 5, 2015 at 11:51 am

    • CCTV for people is going to become the equivalent of ANPR for cars. You wait and see… 😉

      SpyCam

      November 5, 2015 at 11:38 am

      • ” *robotcop radio crackles* CCTV alert for Andrew Coates in the town centre. Despatching unit. Requesting backup.”

        Robocop

        November 5, 2015 at 11:44 am

  32. Welfare Reform: Minister Lord Freud Told Single Benefit ‘Universal Credit’ Plan Is Not ‘Credible’ After Revealing Roll-Out Figures.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/11/04/lord-freud-welfare-reform-universal-credit_n_8470992.html?utm_hp_ref=uk&ir=UK

    enigma

    November 5, 2015 at 10:57 am

    • “WE ARE AT THE APPROACH TRAJECTORY”

      Universal Credit is years behind schedule, millions over budget, vastly underpopulated, surrounded by demoralised Civil Servants struggling to cope, and yet his Lordship describes the present state of this disaster with the expression “we are at the approach trajectory”.

      Wonder what like the Universal Credit train will be at the destination – if ever it reaches it’s destination?!

      Tobanem

      November 5, 2015 at 11:45 am

      • Sorry, I’ve misquoted Lord Fraud. They are not quite AT the approach trajectory yet, he actually said: “we are coming up to the approach trajectory.

        Tobanem

        November 5, 2015 at 11:48 am

      • So what will he say when it crashes and burns?

        a] UC cannot handle Zero Hours Contracts, new regulations on 06Apr16 includes Zero Hours in UC [this was revealed in working group on probs in using UC],
        b] new regulations on 06Apr16, includes Tax Credits – now if UC cannot handle Zero Hour Contracts due to the uneven hours/days of work how will it handle Tax Credits? Further, I know of instances where Tax Credits get closed due to under/over hours being worked. The whole thing is going to be a unmitigated disaster.

        Lets not even consider the issues around the Taper aspect of Tax Credit Reductions i.e. halving the allowance before the taper kicks in – though the Lords knocked that back you know the ConCons are going to sneak it back in somehow.
        Halving the Allowance will also hit the Self Employed as well who are on Tax Credits.

        This is a forseeable disaster that Will happen.

        Gazza

        November 5, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    • “We are coming up to the approach trajectory.”

      Translation: The brown stuff is heading for the spinning thing.

      The roll out of UC still hasn’t caught up with population growth yet, it’s rolling backwards.

      Another Fine Mess

      November 5, 2015 at 12:21 pm


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