Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Benefit Sanctions Saga: MPs Call for Independent Review.

with 72 comments

 

With so many controversies about welfare cuts, Iain Duncan Smith throwing a wobbly, and the new religious bigot in charge of the DWP, this has tended to pass beneath the radar.

Our own opinion is that there is no need for any ‘review’ of this system: it should be got rid of immediately.

Along with the ‘Help to Work’ programme, notably the ‘Bullies’ Charter’ that can oblige claimants to attend the ‘Jobcentre’ every day, send them out of ‘community service’ (workfare), and have intensive ‘Jobcentre’support’ from the amateur psychiatrists and other odd-balls they have to undertake this task.

Or as the DWP mischievously  puts it, “Jobcentre advisers will tailor back-to-work plans for individuals according to the particular barriers to work they may have. The new measures include intensive coaching, a requirement to meet with the Jobcentre Plus adviser every day, or taking part in a community work placement for up to 6 months so claimants build the skills needed to secure a full-time job. “

We note, “Those who fail to participate in the scheme will face potential sanctions that could see them lose their benefits for a period of time.”

Abolish Sanctions now!

MPs call for full independent review of benefit sanctions.

Parliament.

24th of March

A full independent review should be established in the new Parliament, to investigate whether benefit sanctions are being applied appropriately, fairly and proportionately, across the Jobcentre Plus (JCP) network, says the Work and Pensions Committee in a Report published Tuesday 24 March 2015.

The Committee reiterates this recommendation, originally made in January 2014 but rejected by the Government, in the light of new evidence which raises concerns about the approach being adopted in a number of individual Jobcentres, and more broadly, including concerns about whether targets for sanctions exist.

The report calls for the independent review also to examine the legislative framework for benefit sanctions policy, to ensure that the basis for sanctioning is well-defined, and that safeguards to protect the vulnerable are clearly set out.

Dame Anne Begg MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said:

“Benefit sanctions are controversial because they withhold subsistence-level benefits from people who may have little or no other income. We agree that benefit conditionality is necessary but it is essential that policy is based on clear evidence of what works in terms of encouraging people to take up the support which is available to help them get back into work. The policy must then be applied fairly and proportionately. The system must also be capable of identifying and protecting vulnerable people, including those with mental health problems and learning disabilities. And it should avoid causing severe financial hardship. The system as currently applied does not always achieve this.”

Hardship payments

A system of discretionary hardship payments exists to mitigate the risk of sanctions causing severe financial hardship. However, the Report concludes that changes are required to the system, to ensure that it is more effective in achieving this.  In particular, the report emphasises widespread concern that standard JSA (Jobseeker’s Allowance) hardship payments are not available until the 15th day of a sanction period.

Dame Anne Begg commented:

“Recent research suggests that benefit sanctions are contributing to food poverty.

No claimant should have their benefit payment reduced to zero where they are at risk of severe financial hardship, to the extent of not being able to feed themselves or their families, or pay their rent.

DWP’s (Department for Work and Pensions) discretionary hardship payment system is intended to prevent this happening, but it does not always do so. This is often because JSA hardship payments are not available until the 15th day of a sanction period.  It is not reasonable to expect people to live without any source of income for 2 weeks. DWP should make all hardship payments available from day one of a sanction period.

Problems also arise because the claimant is not aware of the application process for a hardship payment or because they are put off applying because of the difficulty in understanding and navigating the system. This needs to change. DWP should not wait for the claimant to apply for a hardship payment. It should initiate the process itself, and then coordinate the decision on hardship payments with decision-making on the sanction itself, particularly where the claimant has dependent children or is vulnerable.”

Investigating the deaths of vulnerable benefit claimants

The report notes that DWP currently investigates all deaths of benefit claimants “where suicide is associated with DWP activity”, and in other cases where the death of a vulnerable benefit claimant is brought to its attention, through a system of internal “peer reviews”. Since February 2012, DWP has carried out 49 peer reviews following the death of a benefit claimant.

DWP has stated that 33 of the 49 cases have resulted in recommendations for change at either local or national level. However, it was unable to confirm in how many cases the claimant was subject to a benefit sanction, or provide any details about how its policies or procedures had been altered in response to the death of a claimant.

Dame Anne Begg said:

“We have asked DWP to confirm the number of internal peer reviews in which the claimant was subject to a benefit sanction at the time of death, and the result of these reviews in terms of changes to DWP policy.

It is important that all agencies involved in the provision of public services are scrutinised, to ensure that lessons are learned after members of the public are let down by the system, particularly where the failures of a public body may have contributed to a death.

We believe that a new independent body should be established to fulfil this role.”

Increasing the evidence base on financial sanctions

The Committee finds that more “active” regimes, in which unemployed claimants are required to do more to find work, have been shown to be relatively effective; however, evidence on the specific part by played by financial sanctions within successful active regimes is limited and far from clear-cut. The report calls for a series of evaluations to increase the evidence base, particularly around the efficacy and impacts of the new sanctions regime introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

Dame Anne Begg said:

“The Government introduced longer minimum sanction periods without first testing their likely impacts on claimants. The minimum sanction period is now four weeks, rather than one week. It is important that the impacts of the new sanctions regime are properly evaluated.

There is currently no evidence on whether the application, or deterrent threat, of a four-week sanction makes it more, or less, likely that a claimant will engage with employment support or gain work.

This is an area of policy which must be based on robust evidence. The Department needs to demonstrate that the application of the new sanctions regime is not intended to be purely punitive.”

Full implementation of the Oakley review

The Oakley Review of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) sanctions in relation to Back to Work Schemes, published in July 2014, made a number of recommendations aimed at improving some aspects of the sanctions system. This has already led to welcome changes, including improvements to DWP’s information to claimants about the sanctioning process, and the clarity of its claimant letters.

However, a number of the Oakley recommendations are yet to be fully implemented, in part due to the requirement for legislative change and/or contractual negotiations with Work Programme providers. The Committee believes that DWP should take more urgent steps to fully implement the outstanding recommendations.

Dame Anne Begg commented:

“DWP must take a more common-sense approach to mandatory Work Programme activity and sanction referrals. For example, it makes no sense, and is a considerable waste of administrative resources, for Work Programme providers to have to refer a claimant back to DWP for a sanction decision, even where they know that the claimant had a perfectly good reason for not meeting a particular requirement.

In the negotiations to re-let the Work Programme contracts in 2017, DWP should prioritise the development of a more flexible approach to the setting of mandatory conditions.

There is also widespread support for pre-sanction written warnings and non-financial sanctions. The Department should get on with piloting this approach. If it requires legislation, the Department should bring it forward as soon as possible in the new Parliament.”

Committee recommendations

The report makes a number of further recommendations, including that DWP should:

  • Not proceed with in-work sanctions beyond the existing pilot areas until robust evidence is available from the pilots to demonstrate that in-work conditionality can be effectively applied. [paragraph 56]
  • Establish a small-scale pilot to test the efficacy of a more targeted approach to sanctions based on segmentation of claimants by their attitudes and motivations. [paragraph 93]
  • Develop new and more effective systems to monitor the destinations of claimants leaving benefit in general and, in particular, those leaving benefit following a sanction. [paragraph 66]
  • Expedite the evaluation of the Claimant Commitment, including a review of the appropriate use of Jobseeker Directions. [paragraphs 74 and 84]
  • Develop guidance which is specifically intended to assist JCP staff to identify vulnerable claimants and tailor conditionality according to the claimant’s individual circumstances. [paragraph 80]
  • Improve JCP staff training on the statutory single parent flexibilities designed to protect single parent JSA claimants from inappropriate benefit conditionality; and produce a simple, plain English guide to the flexibilities for all single parent claimants. [paragraph 88]
  • Review Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) sanctioning within the Work Programme, and continue to develop alternative approaches to employment support for this group, including voluntary models, such as Individual Placement with Support, for some groups. [paragraphs 134–35]
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Written by Andrew Coates

April 1, 2016 at 9:00 am

72 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    April 1, 2016 at 9:27 am

  2. “There is also widespread support for pre-sanction written warnings and non-financial sanctions. The Department should get on with piloting this approach”.- piloting, not good enough, it should be brought in today, for everyone everywhere.

    enigma

    April 1, 2016 at 10:19 am

    • Why wasn’t a sanction warning brought in when the welfare reform started, it’s only obvious that they do not like the idea of a warning.

      enigma

      April 1, 2016 at 11:41 am

  3. Lets break down the Committees recommendations and its impacts and aims:

    a] in-work sanctions – Too Late already being implemented, go on holiday get sanctioned if outside UK

    b] attitudes and motivations – smells of Dr Perkins stuff i.e. Dr A Prik to me -when is the genetic testing and shock treatment going to start?

    c] monitor the destinations of claimants, i.e. Offflow anyway DWP can – what other than the graveyard? Not up DWP’s alley this – means doing something right and on top of that spending money

    d] evaluate Claimant Commitment/Jobseeker Directions – sounds like legal issues here to me…

    e] Develop guidance to assist JCP staff – Er, how about just doing their job right in the first place?

    f] protect against inappropriate benefit conditionality – Good luck with that idea as Sanctions are Target led not commonsense led

    G] (ESA) sanctioning – as above

    Gazza

    April 1, 2016 at 10:33 am

    • with B I forgot to point out that according to Dr A Perkins a la Dr A Prik, ALL persons unemployed suffer from ADHD from exact time [to the second] person became unemployed and other numerous mental illnesses (too many to note here). Miraculously on becoming employed you are cured of all these issues. Brilliant.

      Gazza

      April 1, 2016 at 10:37 am

      • Yes, all those who lose their jobs, like the steel workers will now have to get therapy because they are unemployed, because all the unemployed are thought to be mentally ill because of their genes.

        enigma

        April 1, 2016 at 10:51 am

      • ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – it is obvious that those fucking cockroaches are trying to make out that their victims suffer from it, like their is something wrong with jobseekers’ ‘cognitive processing’. Unemployed = ‘mentally ill’

        March of the Cockroaches

        April 1, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      • And as soon as you get a shit job you suddenly and instantly become mentally well! 😀 The only ‘cure’ for ‘mental illness’ is a shit job! 😀

        March of the Cockroaches

        April 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      • It is the only way to restore your sanity! 😀

        March of the Cockroaches

        April 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm

  4. The wealthiest 20% of Britain’s earners will receive almost as much support from the state through the “shadow welfare” of generous tax-breaks by 2020, as the poorest fifth take home in benefits, according to a new analysis by the Fabian Society.

    Iain Duncan Smith used his resignation letter from the cabinet to criticise the March budget as “unfair,” for juxtaposing reductions in benefits for the disabled with tax cuts for some of the wealthiest in society.

    But Andrew Harrop, the Fabians’ general secretary, said his research shows the budget was just the latest step in a radical reshaping of the welfare state, which has shifted resources from the poorest in society to the better-off.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/01/top-uk-earners-to-receive-as-much-in-benefits-as-poorest-by-2020

    enigma

    April 1, 2016 at 11:45 am

  5. “Jobcentre advisers will tailor back-to-work plans for individuals according to the particular barriers to work they may have.

    The experience so far is appointments’ anytime of the signing day,no help whatsoever,and an environment of busybodies and staff who are just nasty. The tailored plan is cause as much inconvenience as possible,talk work unrelated trivia in the hope an appointment is missed or stop benefits.

    ken

    April 1, 2016 at 11:50 am

    • Yeah, a lot of cockroaches just talk a load of shite! What is that all about?

      March of the Cockraoches

      April 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    • Maybe it hoping you will slip up and say something you shouldn’t have… 😉

      March of the Cockroaches

      April 1, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    • “Jobcentre advisers will tailor back-to-work plans for individuals according to the particular barriers to work they may have.

      For goodness sake, how long are we going to have to put up with this shite.
      It would be an improvement if it was actually true!

      Another Fine Recession

      April 1, 2016 at 7:20 pm

  6. superted, jj joop and every one else

    SKILLS CONDITIONALITY

    listen up guys. Just got my call up papers yesterday for sc. Starts next week. Bloody short notice.

    The letter says there will be an intial assessment followed by training. It says that the provider will issue me with a learning agreement. I won’t be filling in or signing any of there paperwork.

    To get around this they may fill in there paperwork by asking me questions. Do I have to share any of my personal data with them verbally when they are filling in there forms???

    andy

    April 1, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    • the jobcentre gave me a letter saying exactly what we will be doing on the course. completing job applications and covering letter, support with online applications, awareness of social media, mock interviews, overview on tailoring a cv to employers needs and so the list is endless.

      andy

      April 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      • the jobcentre gave me a letter saying exactly what we will be doing on the course

        How could they do possibly know that, not even the course tutors know what they’re doing. 🙂

        awareness of social media

        Show your awareness of social media by accidentally setting all their PCs homepage to The Void. 🙂

        mock interviews

        These are ideal preparation for the fake jobs you’ll be applying for. 🙂

        Another Fine Recession

        April 1, 2016 at 11:32 pm

  7. yeah they will fill it in then pass it to you to sign it as with out that its useless anyway.

    superted

    April 1, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    • thanks superted, the jcp have put me on this at the last minute which is fkn typical but fortunately I am a regular visitor to this site and its a big help.

      my cock roach never tells me anything about what I can and cannot have to do. I have to find out via this site and whatdotheyknow.com and they wonder why they are despised so much.

      andy

      April 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      • they will try to sanction you but can only try non attendance or failed to take part both of which you will win.

        there is no law stating you have to sign a 3rd party contract or anything they put in front of you.

        also ask in writing what skills they are going to help you with as it will not happen as there will be none.

        thus why would you sign anything if you dont know what you are getting in to in the first place.

        superted

        April 1, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      • my avatar has gone a funny colour wtf!!!

        andy

        April 1, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      • Andy:

        I went on one of those Skills Conditionality courses a couple of years ago.

        It lasted 3 weeks, most of what you will be doing is the same old crap you have done before, the only iffy bit I found was on the very last day.

        They want to go though your CV and ‘Enhance it’ (if you can call it that) also they require you to apply for a proper job vacancy to show the jobcentre you have actually done something worthwhile while you where there.

        Plus most of the time you start around 9:30am and your out by 12:00pm or earlier.

        A total waste of time for which the Provider of the course gets paid a disgusting amount of money from the DWP.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        April 2, 2016 at 9:39 am

      • Obi – 3 wks!!! wtf. mine is for only 3 days. and your course was for 3 wks. how the hell to they justify that? I will attend and I will agree to participate but I will decline to sign any of there paperwork. and we’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you all posted.

        my avatar is still fkd up.

        andy

        April 3, 2016 at 8:54 am

    • Schemes getting worse.

      A NORTH Ayrshire Council scheme designed to help out people who are searching for work has been lambasted for fining people who attend it for as little as tutting or having their hands in their pockets.

      Today was day two of the course and we were informed of a “fine” system they have in place that is mandatory.

      “Now most of these fines are really cheap for things like hands in pockets etc… but checking your phone or having it go off outside of break time is an INSTANT £5 fine and if you don’t pay it on the spot you get kicked off the course….and since the Job Centre sent me there, getting kicked off the course is an instant sanction.

      http://www.ardrossanherald.com/news/14394887.Jobseekers_get_fined_for_tutting__swearing_and_not_wearing_a_name_badge/?ref=twtrec

      enigma

      April 1, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      • The programme is not mandatory and it is up to individuals whether they go on it or not.

        Today was day two of the course and we were informed of a “fine” system they have in place that is mandatory.

        hahahahaahhah fkn joke lol

        superted

        April 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      • & the DWP said they would investigate, – not.

        enigma

        April 1, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      • Obviously pioneers.

        Andrew Coates

        April 1, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      • Fines for trivial stuff.

        I have another word for it – ‘Extortion’ or ‘Blackmail’

        Totally illegal – Call the Police and tell them what is happening, I don’t think you will be paying anything after they have had a word with the management of the Provider concerned.

        The Police will probably be arresting the staff.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        April 2, 2016 at 10:20 am

    • the jobcentre gave me a letter saying exactly what we will be doing on the course. completing job applications and covering letter, support with online applications, awareness of social media, mock interviews, overview on tailoring a cv to employers needs and so the list is endless.

      andy

      April 1, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      • but you can do all that already, you found this site after all 😉 so a complete waste of time.

        superted

        April 1, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      • andy

        so –
        job application – you’re doing that already , if the cannot provide written evidence that you are failing on your applications from would be employers what use is this?
        covering letter – ditto above
        support with online applications – ditto above, plus
        social media – do not like sharing information online, if they’d care to make it s requirement via a direction you will be more than happy to partake with the priviso that if any identity fraud takes place they are liable for such.
        mock interviews – and they have experience in how many interviews themselves? With Proof?
        tailering CVs – are they saying their template is perfect? Please put that in writing. A;so demonstrate in writing ho your current CV is lacking & provide examples.
        etc etc

        Gazza

        April 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm

  8. Employers fight back over Osborne’s living wage as B&Q tells employees they will be sacked unless they sign a new contract that strips them of perks worth £1,000

    New national living wage of £7.20 an hour comes into force today
    But B&Q owners Kingfisher says 50p rise means it has to make pay cuts
    It is a fresh blow for George Osborne, who is already under fire from Cabinet colleagues
    Nursery bosses also warn of inflation-busting rises in childcare costs.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3518877/B-Q-workers-told-sacked-unless-sign-new-contract-strips-1-000-bonuses-perks-owners-respond-George-Osborne-s-new-7-20-living-wage.html

    enigma

    April 1, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    • I don’t understand the JCP obsession of jobseekers advertising themselves on social media. I work, in a school, and while we can’t be forbidden to have Facebook ect we have to sign a code of conduct saying we must be careful what photos and comments we make on it and could face disciplinary if we fall foul of this. I don’t have any such accounts!

      katrehman

      April 2, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      • The less accounts we have the better Kat.

        enigma

        April 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm

  9. Wanna buy some shit?

    Huggy Bear

    April 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm

  10. Interesting information for many people.

    Bedroom Tax – the DEFINING moment as UT decision makes it history!!

    https://speye.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/bedroom-tax-the-defining-moment-as-ut-decision-makes-it-history/

    enigma

    April 1, 2016 at 4:52 pm

  11. Space Invaders

    April 1, 2016 at 8:50 pm

  12. CHANGE OF COURSE

    The “STRIVE” course in North Ayrshire which imposes fines on participants is now under investigation. No more referrals will be made in the meantime:

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/scheme-that-fines-jobless-10p-for-tuts-is-investigated.15840

    Tobanem

    April 2, 2016 at 8:47 am

    • Trying to change peoples behaviors by fining them. maximus or other.

      enigma

      April 2, 2016 at 9:35 am

    • I should hope so, and swift prosecution should follow.

      Andrew Coates

      April 2, 2016 at 11:12 am

      • Back-to-work scheme sidelined by Department of Work and Pensions following criticism for ridiculous fines system.

        A SCHEME to help people back to work has been sidelined by the Department of Work and Pensions after fining people for trivialities.

        Referrals to North Ayrshire Council’s STRIVE programme have been suspended pending an investigation after it was revealed that individuals have been fined for as little as tutting or having their hands in their pockets.

        An individual who attended the course though, has lifted the lid on the programme’s ridiculous fines system and revealed that getting kicked off the course gets you sanctioned by the job centre.

        The person, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: “I’m currently unemployed and the Job Centre put me forward for the STRIVE course in Ardrossan.

        “Today was day two of the course and we were informed of a “fine” system they have in place that is mandatory.

        “Now most of these fines are really cheap for things like hands in pockets etc… but checking your phone or having it go off outside of break time is an instant £5 fine and if you don’t pay it on the spot you get kicked off the course… and since the Job Centre sent me there, getting kicked off the course is an instant sanction.

        “One person got fined when their phone went off but only had £3 and had to borrow the rest from other people on the course.”

        North Ayrshire Council have come out in defence of their programme though, and says it is vital resource for helping people back into work.

        Read more at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/back-work-scheme-sidelined-department-7674562#JS3tdK8KX0pKyt4l.99

        Andrew Coates

        April 2, 2016 at 11:16 am

      • “It also responds to calls from employers that want reliable staff, with good communication skills and a positive attitude to work”

        Meanwhile how many people including me have been laid off because of discrimination,

        This is making me very angry.

        enigma

        April 2, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      • Is this a trial (which they say is successful) so because of that will it be rolled out throughout UK, & the rest of the world.

        enigma

        April 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      • Or is it already going on somewhere else.

        enigma

        April 2, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      • I thought it was an April fool but

        The ‘fine’ system is used as a preventative measure to change behaviours and instil a professional attitude that employers will be impressed with.

        “Any monies collected go towards a fund to provide provision for interview clothing, haircuts and interview travel expenses.

        “Changing behaviours and developing a professional attitude to work is really beneficial to those people who perhaps because of their age or due to long-term unemployment have not had chance to gain good work experience…….or perhaps they may have a disability.

        It sounds very much like Esther McVey’s intensive attitude readjustment.

        http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/back-work-scheme-sidelined-department-7674562#H2XKdXApE0A24Ihd.97

        ken

        April 3, 2016 at 12:14 am

      • And readjustment is the operative word. There was some excellent posts on here explaining this; Chairman Mao and his ‘mould’ etc.

        Mindfuck

        April 3, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      • And readjustment is the operative word. There was some excellent posts on here explaining this; Chairman Mao and his ‘mould’ etc.

        Mindfuck

        April 3, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      • “because of their age”

        Cannot see someone saying that,something isn’t right about this story.

        ken

        April 3, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    • “vehicle production is due to get under way in 2020.”

      With extensive skills conditionality, feedforward workfluxing, and altitude decalcification training, they’ll be able to start building the cars 4 years before they’ve even built the factory.

      Another Fine Recession

      April 3, 2016 at 3:48 am

  13. Don’t forget people, the last referral date for MWA’s and CWP’s was 31st of March 2016.

    This date has now passed so if a work roach at the JCP tries to refer you to either it is now illegal, call over a floor manager.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    April 2, 2016 at 9:50 am

  14. h/t refuted

    Working? Getting Tax Credits? Welcome to the 30 hour job search & Sanctions Game!

    https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/thursdays-weekly-demonstration-desperation-is-a-constant-fiend-for-claimants/

    “I was then approached by several working people, working part time whilst claiming universal credit. They are devastated about the changes to universal credit being introduced this month. They are also all very upset about being told to do 30 hour job searches despite working. Yes we are challenging this so expect news on that front soon. We don’t feel that it is right to be doing this. These people are already working, so why should they be penalised.”

    Gazza

    April 2, 2016 at 10:39 am

    • “Gazza”

      The plight of part-time workers when moving on to Universal Credit has been well known for several years now to regular readers of IUA and other websites covering unemployment issues. A lot of victims are just wakening up to all this when it is forced onto them.

      Being made to seek full work work whilst already in employment is harsh enough in itself, but it is even harsher when you realise that sufficient numbers of full-time jobs simply don’t exist for the several million part-time workers who are keen to find full-time work.

      Tobanem

      April 2, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      • Tobanem

        Very True. And the reason why the conditionality has been introdiced to workers is due to the charge of discrimination for one set of claimants as against others – rules/laws must be fair and even handed [don’t laugh at this – we as adults all know how that can be twisted but there you go]. As I have said, this is the weak point and strongly suspect will be defeated in court which throws up the spectre of conditionality as currently enforced having to be watered down or dropped [though dwp will give it the old college try to keep things as is, I am sure]

        Gazza

        April 2, 2016 at 3:33 pm

  15. Glasgow Tent Protest Latest

    The homeless protesters are still in George Square this afternoon (Saturday) despite being told the other day they must leave. The latest deadline for the eviction is for tomorrow (Sunday) between 2-4pm.

    Reports in the media say protesters have refused offers of help by the city Council, but a protester said the city Council had “helped” one homeless person by giving him a sleeping bag.

    STV (Scottish Television) news cameras are due back tonight, so at least the protest is not being ignored by the media.

    Tobanem

    April 2, 2016 at 2:52 pm

  16. Disabled 4ft teenager takes on the DWP after they stop his benefits – and wins

    George Coppen, 19, was told he was no longer eligible for disability benefits – so he took the fight to a welfare tribunal

    “Some people when they lose their benefits, they aren’t ready for a fight”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-4ft-teenager-takes-dwp-7666297

    ken

    April 3, 2016 at 12:21 am

  17. Jobseeker’s shock at DWP ‘work for benefits’ scheme.

    A JOBSEEKER has told of his shock at being asked to work a 36-hour week in a care home in return for less than £75-a-week in benefits as part of a DWP “work experience” scheme.

    David McGregor, 50, from Paisley, said he attended an interview in the hope of securing a job at a care home.

    But he then discovered it involved having to go on a “work placement” of six weeks, where he was expected to work three 12-hour shifts a week in return for his Jobseeker’s Allowance payment of £73.10 a week.

    The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) insists it is a voluntary scheme known as a “sector-based work academy”, which offers benefit recipients a chance to gain work experience with the possibility of a job at the end.

    meanwhile

    A letter sent to him states in certain circumstances benefits may be stopped if the claimant, without good reason, does not “take the opportunity of a place on an employment programme or training scheme”.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14400600.Jobseeker_s_shock_at_DWP__work_for_benefits__scheme

    enigma

    April 3, 2016 at 10:32 am

  18. Thousands of widows will see benefits cut under Universal Credit .

    Thousands of widows could see their bereavement payments cut under the Universal Credit , MPs have warned.

    Widowed parents receive up to £112.55 a week to help towards the cost of childcare.

    But many will be left worse off under the Universal Credit – the brainchild of Iain Duncan Smith – which bundles together all the main welfare payments into a single benefit.

    Some widows and widowers could find themselves more than £12 a week out of pocket from April next year, the Commons Work and Pensions Committee has warned.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/thousands-widows-see-benefits-cut-7680615

    enigma

    April 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

    • “You might be able to claim Bereavement Allowance (previously known as Widow’s Pension) if you’re widowed between 45 and State Pension age.”

      Back in the day widowers weren’t entitled to a penny! How sexist was that?

      The Hairy Arsed Lesbian Feminazi Brigade

      April 3, 2016 at 11:59 am

  19. Readers’ stories – the people who will lose out from the new living wage

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/01/living-wage-retail-worker-george-osborne

    enigma

    April 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

  20. What the fuck is the BBC playing at spending hard working license payers ££money££ advertising the Salvation Army? A six part series on Sunday night! And what the fuck is Paul O’Grady doing fronting this abomination and waste of air-time? Is Mr O’Grady being paid for this? Will he be donating his fee at £19 a month to the Sally Ann? Will be be shown the REAL face of of the Sally Ann? – their prolific use of workfare and their wanton use of benefits sanctions? And why the fuck is Mr O’Grady wearing a Sally Ann uniform?

    The Couch Potatoes

    April 3, 2016 at 5:22 pm

  21. £30,000 for DWP employee dismissed for disability absences

    http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/30000-dwp-employee-dismissed-disability-absences/

    So much for limited capability for work,what would have happened at a work capability assessment?

    This site appears riddled with discrimination cases against disabled people.

    ken

    April 3, 2016 at 7:13 pm

  22. Discrimination against disabled staff shoots up at DWP, the home of ‘Disability Confident’

    The number of disabled civil servants who have faced discrimination within the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has risen by nearly a quarter in just a year, according to “shocking” and “very worrying” new figures.

    http://www.disabledgo.com/blog/2016/02/discrimination-against-disabled-staff-shoots-up-at-dwp-the-home-of-disability-confident/

    The treatment of disabled people in jobcentreplus offices follows this trend.

    ken

    April 3, 2016 at 7:16 pm

  23. Will there be any disabled human beings in the future?

    enigma

    April 3, 2016 at 8:13 pm

  24. OT: Homeless Child Deaths down to ConCons Housing Policy

    Title says it all

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/charities-call-for-urgent-action-to-prevent-death-of-more-homeless-children-a6966601.html

    Exclusive: Charities and politicians demand urgent safeguards after Independent investigation uncovers cases of homeless children dying from neglect and abuse

    Gazza

    April 3, 2016 at 8:36 pm

  25. Tobanem

    April 4, 2016 at 9:10 am

    • …And I didn’t even mention the Panama Papers!

      Tobanem

      April 4, 2016 at 9:12 am

  26. Well, well, well – Peter Hitchens sees Thatcher/Reagan privatisation promise in new perspective.

    “I think I may even have been taken in by the prophecies of a great share-owning democracy” – Peter Hitchens:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3520932/PETER-HITCHENS-Privatisation-Free-trade-Shares-great-ruined-Britain.html

    Tobanem

    April 4, 2016 at 9:40 am

    • We had it all the Tories squandered it all,the uk was put up for sale and the money and assets are all foreign owned and money is flowing straight out,this has left the country exposed and open to exploitation.the uk is in decimation because of these policies of short sighted get rich quick at taxpayers expense now we’re all paying.

      ken

      April 4, 2016 at 12:33 pm

  27. Violet

    August 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm


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