Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

DWP Helpline Cost Rise Rakes it off Claimants’ Backs.

with 41 comments

DWP Spokesperson Denies Call Cost is too High.

News hound Tobanem picked this story up on the 17th of February, and now it seems the nationals are running it:

Universal credit helpline fee ‘could force people to choose between benefits and food’

Leading food bank provider issues warning over DWP decision to charge up to 45p per minute to call phone line.

Struggling people could be forced to choose between making a benefit claim and buying food because of a Government decision to charge for the Universal Credit helpline, the leading food bank provider has warned.

The phone line, for people trying to make a benefits claim or requiring advice, charges 45p per minute for mobiles and 12p per minute for landlines.

Iain Duncan Smith’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had previously pledged to phase out premium rate numbers.

David McAuley, CEO of the Trussell Trust charity, which runs a network of more than 400 food banks, told The Independent that the charge would be “a further barrier” to people seeking support from the DWP.


The DWP has reacted with what is technically known as the Bertie Wooster strategy of stout denial (Bertie’s strategy when up before the Beak after Boat Race Night: deny everything):

A DWP spokesperson said it was possible to avoid charges by requesting a call back from an advisor.

“People who are unable to claim online and need to use the telephone service can request a call back to avoid call charges,” the spokesperson said. “Most vacancies are now advertised over the internet and claimants are encouraged to apply online to help them prepare for the world of work.”

The department also pointed out that many mobile phone contracts did not charge for the type of 0345 number used by the helpline, that the vast majority would be able to claim online, and that without access to the internet could get online at Jobcentres.

No answer about the cost to landline users – 12 pence a minute, which tots up to a hefty 360 pence for a thirty minute call (average time of beginning to sort anything complex out).

One can so easily imagine a “call back” from the ever friendly adviser, or Coachy, just as much as we can living in Bertie Wooster land where Jeeves always comes to the rescue.

An on-line claim may be hard enough for many – not mentioning those who cannot access the Net, or do not know how to use it. But the idea of making queries  – where is my dosh? – that way would test even that Gentleman’s Gentleman’s resolve. As for help at the Jobcentre – which got rid of free phone lines back in the halcyon last decade….well

Written by Andrew Coates

February 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm

41 Responses

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  1. “A call back from an adviser when applying for UC”, well that depends on what kind of a person the adviser is, as we all know.


    February 19, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    • enigma/dear all

      don’t forget that Crapita was awarded the Contract for contacting people on UC. With a nickname of Crapita I am sure everyone knows how this will end…


      February 20, 2016 at 10:42 am

  2. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    February 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm

  3. On Food mentioned in the report above.

    People have been pointing out the paradox of supermarkets having collecting bins for food – which you buy from them I imagine – for their donations to Foodbanks.

    When you think about it, it’s a diabolical liberty that they are asking their customers to contribute to donations which will show just how caring the supermarkets are.

    If Asda can suddenly withdraw this scheme it shows what a stunt it always was and I feel it’s not exactly clear why charities complain.

    “Asda has removed permanent collection points for food banks from stores across the UK, in a move that has caused alarm among charities and the supermarket chain’s customers.

    Following reports on social media that collection trolleys and boxes had disappeared from stores across Scotland, as well as in Hampshire, Lancashire, Norwich and Newcastle, the Guardian has established that Asda, which is owned by the US retail giant Walmart, has removed donation points from all of its UK stores.

    Food bank points offer shoppers the chance to donate items they have bought in stores, as well as food brought from home; in some cases Asda’s contributions accounted for 15%-25% of a single charity’s donations.”


    Andrew Coates

    February 19, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    • DWP in food banks now supermarkets to remove food collection points from their stores, it’s obvious why.


      February 19, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    • You won’t see any foodbank collection points in the ‘discounters’ – Aldi and Lidl – can’t imagine there would be many donations though 😀

      Budget Shopper

      February 19, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      • There’d be no point, it’s difficult enough to get their produce home before it’s gone off, or get one of their specials home before it’s broke.

        Another Fine Recession

        February 20, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    • “A DWP spokesperson said it was possible to avoid charges by requesting a call back from an advisor.” Even if an adviser did ‘phone you back you would be bankrupt listening to that snotty self-service checkout woman telling you that you call is of the utmost importance to the DWP and will be answered just as soon as an adviser becomes available. Then the line mysteriously cuts off after you have been holding for over an hour.

      Budget Shopper

      February 20, 2016 at 12:00 am

  4. What the fuck is this shit over on Indus Delta ? G$S providing ‘cognitive behavior therapists’?!

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapists – FTC 12 Months X3
    Submitted by begoniafernandez on Thu, 28/01/2016 – 3:06pm
    Closing date:

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapists – FTC 12 Months

    £30,000 – £35,000 (Equivalent to NHS Grade 7)

    Covering: X1 position – Surrey, Sussex & Kent

    X1 position – Manchester and Cheshire

    X1 position – North East Yorkshire


    February 20, 2016 at 12:06 am

  5. New quarterly financial results have been published by both Providence Service Corporation, which owns Ingeus, and Maximus. Hmm…


    February 20, 2016 at 12:08 am

  6. Providence Service Corporation own Ingeus, Maximus, Logisticare, Matrix Medical Network… how creepy and sinister is that?

    The Parallax Corporation

    February 20, 2016 at 12:12 am

  7. THE WELFARE TRAIT – “grotesque” and “nauseating” lecture cancelled

    New research suggests “individuals with aggressive, rule-breaking and antisocial personality characteristics are over-represented among welfare claimants”.

    The research suggests that because personality is partly formed by environmental factors, a welfare state that increases the number of children born into disadvantaged households can proliferate employment-resistant personality characteristics.

    The author of this research says: “other researchers don’t want talk about it publicly because they know that it would be a risk to their career. I was like this for a while but eventually a friend convinced me that I owed it to the tax payers to publicise these data”

    A lecture on this subject matter has recently been stopped because of “left wing” protesters.

    I don’t think the researcher mentioned the distinct lack of jobs being the major cause of long-term unemployment! I also wonder what the researcher thinks of the new 45p-a-minute helpline?!!



    February 20, 2016 at 9:40 am

    • Hopefully, my colour has returned to normal now!!!


      February 20, 2016 at 9:42 am

    • Tobanem

      That might have something to do with the twit fiddling the calculations he used to justify his conclusion and being called out on twitter about it and unable/unwilling to explain how he added 00 to his figures.

      Lets not forget he used American data, not UK data.



      February 20, 2016 at 10:46 am

    • proliferate employment-resistant personality characteristics.


      The author of this research says: “other researchers don’t want talk about it publicly because they know that it would be a risk to their career.

      ie. They know they’re talking a load of cobblers.

      Another Fine Recession

      February 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      • If Employment-Resistant Personality Disorder is now a recognised mental disorder it should at least be be included in the shrink’s handbook the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

        Dr Shrink

        February 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      • The condition is called Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and again was mentioned by this gaia you have coming here or did ?


        It makes a mockery of the freedom of expression not to mention our innate ability to disagree and the whole premise of democracy existing in the first place.

        If for what ever reason a claimant gets this thrown at them all because a coach or provider doesn’t like what they hear or get what they want do be sure to mention to the qualified doctor trying to diagnose you of such to explain what democracy is if it isn’t arbitration between a group of people who disagree or have differing opinions.


        February 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      • Are they not two different things Doug,


        February 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      • DSM 5 as its known is a published piece thats a classification and diagnostic tool. ODD is just one entered into it but is mentioned as it would be apt for DWP to try and use.

        Did you notice aswell if you do read it, that all its studies are largely based on children, a bit of an insult to claimants me thinks ?


        February 22, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      • Yes it sure is an insult to the unemployed, just because they are unemployed.


        February 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

  8. Reblogged this on Citizens, not serfs.


    February 20, 2016 at 9:52 am

  9. BBC News reporter Ellie Price was pointing to a large wall poster that the “Out” cabinet members had signed… Pritel Patel, check, Michael Gove, check… she then pointed to an illegible scrawl: “Apparently that is Iain Duncan Smith’s signature” lol

    London Cabbie

    February 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm

  10. Sick and extreeeemly tired of the bullshit referendum – ‘Dum’ being the Operative word.

    There is no doubt – WE HAVE TO STAY IN EUROPE- End Of!

    If we don’t Ian Duncan Smith MP will re-rite the benefits system to his own FUCKED-UP design – sick and disgusting as his perverted mind could and most probably would believe to be true.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 20, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    • Andy – I think I have just hit the nail on the head there – with my last comment.

      IDS wants out of EUROPE FOR ONE REASON ONLY!

      His reason is to literarily SCREW anyone on any kind of social or JSA/ESA benefits

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      February 20, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    • Some good reasons why we vote to be in the EU.

      Andrew Coates

      February 21, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      • Is that “Gorgeous” George Galloway on the left? Or just a random clown who presents programmes on the Kremlin-controlled RT and the Tehran-controlled, banned in the UK but receivable on the Hotbird satellite Press TV in a funny hat?


        February 21, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      • The Huffington Post says: The revelation that Nigel Farage and George Galloway are to work together on the European Union referendum has been mercilessly mocked, with the unlikely pact described as an “unholy alliance”. The Ukip and Respect party leaders appeared together at a rally for the Grassroots Out” WTF!


        February 21, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      • Looks like a Hez Bowler hat George is wearing. You can buy them in the Gaza Strip. Pretty pricey mind you, but then as George said he can’t live on less then £50,000 a week!


        February 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    • From the BBc Site:

      I think British politicians have made a number of mistakes. Lots of people will certainly agree that the EU is far from perfect and needs reform.
      Also, a lot of the points your PM raised make sense, like the problem of social benefits.
      However, British politicians like to talk in public about the EU in a way as if it was an enemy and the other 27 member states were not your friends.
      The natural consequence was the lack of allies they needed in and before the recent negotiations.
      I’m often irritated when the British write and talk about Europe as if they were not part of it.
      This provokes rejection. If you tell me you don’t want to have anything to do with the continent, people will say “ok, then please go away” and you can hardly count on our support for your matters, even if they make sense.”

      This illustrates how others see us as a country. In the end do you want to be in the club? Yes? No? During your time IN the club do not be picky in a way that undermines the club. That will not end well.
      The last Paragrath says it all – you leave good luck.
      If we leave who do we join. UK stand on its own? Good luck with that Deluded dream – that too will not end well.
      Join the US? Look at the current US election to see the end result, socially, politically & economically.
      Join China – see directly above.
      What exactly is the Great Selling point that will be used? Cheap labour for investment – Nope. Not currently but I’m sure the ConCons will be rubbing hands at the prospect of knocking down wages.
      Everyone remember please that TTIP is in the offing – that will have a very Negative effect on Public Services – sell of of local council services to US firms likes MaxiArse…. Sorry World Beating Multinationals, who pay no tax. etc etc etc
      Join no one? Cast adrift on the seas of fate with no engine/sail – control of our fate not our own.


      February 21, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      • Oh

        Just to add to the Woe, a couple of times in the recent past it has been mooted at diplomatic level that Britain lose its UN Seat – its contributions like Foreign Aid etc etc. We leave the blocking of that on our behalf by EU nations will evaporate.
        Commonwealth? Have no doubt that it will split off within 5/7 years for the above reason – political inconstancy – let alone the economic issues. Why go through the UK now outside the EU when blocked, why not go direct?
        Scotland – Gone.
        Ireland – Gone.
        Wales – Gone.


        February 21, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    • We all have to remember this is all another knee jerk moment of people seeking to blame others for their own 2008 crisis woes, a systematic reaction often always practiced by people as a result of a recession/depression.

      If we did leave then its rest assured that immigration has everything to do with it but here’s the thing,

      Europe isn’t swimming in jobs, UK constantly boasts how much work it has as opposed to Europe so changes to welfare or not, I cant see it stopping them wanting to come here as lets face it, its their best opportunity at a new life in the government claimed “we have jobs coming out of our ears” country.

      With export largely stagnant since way back when, we mustn’t also forget 67% of all our export goes to Europe so to assume European countries wouldn’t be petty if we leave, that we will somehow magically get it elsewhere is an understatement to say the least.

      I think the UK should be concentrating on better relations with Russia and especially China and India as it will be them taking the mantel from the USA who as we speak is desperately trying to get into bed with Europe and south Americas like its going out of fashion so as to hold on to the title of superpower.


      February 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm

  11. OT: Work & Health Programme Suggestions [form the moment – soon to be policy no doubt]

    Hat tip to Refuted

    I DO NOT Like the looks of this


    2nd to Last PARA:

    See area between “” “”

    “Clearly, payment by outcomes will influence the levels of innovation that prime and sub-contractors feel they are able to implement. However, with funding inevitably depending on the achievement of sustained job outcomes, in line with current Work Programme thinking, prime and sub-contractors will need to manage risks and opportunities in a robust way, balancing innovation with income value. “”The risk averse approach taken by many welfare to work organisations in the past need to be reviewed and adapted if income is to be maximised”” through assisting people with health conditions in partnership with health professionals. Another potential shift in thinking for senior welfare to work managers.”

    Health Conditions to being Maximised…


    February 21, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    • Its hard enough to get employers to take on well people so that coupled with the fact it costs to adapt the work place, I don’t hold out much hope for any real significant successes.

      It will certainly prove whether its the claimants or the employers who are the main barrier to work which is a good thing as I’m so tired of IDS and the likes insinuating all this skiver life choice crap as who likes and wants to live off 74 pound a week, especially when you consider crime actually pays more let alone working.


      February 22, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      • Employer is barrier to employment, – discrimination, what do you think Doug.


        February 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      • It stands to reason does it not that not only is it the last barrier to employment for any claimant so must or should be seen as the largest barrier to work?


        February 24, 2016 at 8:41 am

  12. as last time will go for the reff fee then be dumped for the entire time. there not going to pay for hcp if its out of there pocket.

    not that they would do anything anyway


    February 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm

  13. Snotty woman: “Thank you for calling the Department for Work and Pensions. Your call is in a queue and will be answered shortly. …. Dead Kennedys – Kill The Poor plays in the background… 30 minutes later… Thank you for holding. All our advisers are busy at the moment. Your call will be answered as soon as one becomes available. ….. An hour later…. BT Announcement: “The other other person has hung up. The other other person has hung up.”…. dialing tone… redialing… ” “You have insufficient credit to make this call.”


    February 22, 2016 at 10:44 am

  14. A chilling vision of the future has been presented by Tory think-tank Reform who have called for all out of work sickness and disability benefits to be scrapped, even for the most seriously ill, alongside a Jobcentre programme of forced medical treatment. (more info on the void)

    Working welfare: a radically new approach to sickness and disability benefits.

    Achieving the radically different employment outcomes desired by the Government demands a radically different approach.


    60 pages



    February 22, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    • enigma

      as I posted over at JV’s – things to think about:

      Spot on. Especially about Fraud and private health insurance.

      But why stop there? We all know with TTIP coming in [especially if we leave the EU] NHS will be ripped apart by MaxiArse Type MultiNationals, who don’t pay taxes, but do drain the exchequer quite nicely [anyone want to say Public Private Finance Initiative? It’s how the ConCons will keep the debt off the books like they do now] – Think on the implications of the following:

      “requirement to take up medical treatment with the threat of benefit sanctions for non-compliance”

      So, you’ve go Private Health Insurance Money Stream, and on top of that all those firms offering “The Tests” needed for this new super dupper money draining scheme, and to implement the system a new and improved/’updated of course’ CWP – way to get around the lower budget and best of all Marked as Recommended and Rubber Stamped by the NHS the very system it will be destroying.

      What’s not to like?


      February 22, 2016 at 11:43 pm

  15. Violet

    August 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

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