Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Restore Council Tax Benefit!

with 79 comments

It’s that time again.

When we have to pay Council Tax.

Even at the reduced rate it’s another burden, and our benefits were effectively cut when they decided we had to make this payment.

Apparently it’s about making us ‘responsible’: that is chipping into our meagre fortnightly payment to fork out another sum of money.

This is how the news was presented  in 2013,

Another benefits bombshell could be on the way for some of the poorest in society.

Just as they adjust to the idea that their benefits will rise below inflation for the next three years, some now also face paying council tax for the first time.

The government is scrapping the national council tax benefit scheme from April.

Instead local authorities will have to draw up their own methods of supporting people on benefits and low incomes.

BBC

This was an analysis (The impact of localising council tax benefit.)

Changes to council tax benefits will affect poorer households and create inconsistencies in neighbouring areas. Multiple schemes will add complexity and reduce transparency.

A few months later and we saw this (Guardian):

Thousands of UK’s poor in court over non-payment of council tax

Courts across country fill up with people on lowest incomes as introduction of new council tax charges in April begins to bite.

By April 2015 we had this:

Half a million more people summoned to court over unpaid council tax, after benefits scrapped

Exclusive: Almost three million people taken to court by local authorities in wake of changes to support.

Welfare Weekly the same year,

Huge Surge In Poorest Families Summoned To Court Over Unpaid Council Tax.

There has been a huge surge in the number of low-income families summoned to court over unpaid council tax, new research shows.

New research published by False Economy shows an increase of more than 500,000 court summons in England, as the poorest households are hit by a £490 million cut in council tax support.

And the problem is set to get even worse, as one in seven local authorities plan further cuts in the support available to families struggling to pay council tax bills.

The TUC believes this will result in the poorest families facing even higher council tax demands and lead to a rise in the number summoned to court.

Figures show that more than 3 million people in England were taken to court by local authorities in 2013/14 over unpaid council tax. This represents a 25% rise on the previous year.

Council Tax Benefit was scrapped by the government and replaced by the Council Tax Support Scheme (CTS) in 2013/14. The change meant that councils in England were allowed to develop their own support schemes, but were also forced to accept a 10% in funding from central government for those schemes.

Only a small number of councils chose to keep full council tax support for low-income families. Vulnerable pensioners were unaffected by the changes and are still entitled to have their council tax bills fully paid.

According to figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), around 2.5 million low-income families were affected by a reduction in council tax support in the first year of the scheme.

Where councils introduced minimum council tax payments for the poorest households, court summons increased by 30%. Only 9% of local authorities continue to offer full council tax relief.

The research by False Economy also found that households who qualified for CTS, and who were subject to minimum council tax payment requirements, accounted for 58% of the rise in court summonses.

According to the research, people who are struggling to pay council tax bills are routinely being affected by deductions in benefits and targeted by bailiffs.

A False Economy spokesperson said: “Council tax support cuts have caused chaos for families and households, and also for councils.

“They are leaving people out of pocket and in debt, which is also bad for local businesses that depend on them as customers.

“Councils are now pursuing people through the courts for money they do not have. It is a shambles made by a cabinet of millionaires in a government that has been completely out of touch with reality.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Slashing council tax support has been one of the government’s cruellest cuts.

“It was foolish for ministers to think that families who can’t afford to heat their homes can pay new tax bills for hundreds of pounds.

“And it is heartless for them to stand by as the poorest families are hauled through the courts and harassed by bailiffs.

“If anyone is to be hit with higher taxes it should be the fat cats in the boardrooms and those corporations that are dodging paying their fair share, not the poorest working-age households in the UK.”

Reports on the story seem to have dried up this year.

But the Guardian has just published this:

The arithmetic of the powerful that makes poor people ill

I have been summoned to Tottenham magistrates court on Thursday 4 August because I am refusing to pay my council tax to the London borough of Haringey. I am fighting against state-imposed ill heath. When Grant Thornton, Haringey’s accountants, audited the £125 costs added – more than 20,000 times – to council tax arrears by Tottenham magistrates in 2013/14, they refused to consider the impact of poverty on the health of Haringey residents.

I asked: “Please will you ask the local GPs and NHS by how much their costs have increased due to the increasing impact of debt and austerity on the health of residents since their benefits were taxed in April 2013.” They replied: “we have no remit … to opine on the impact of this policy on the wellbeing of those required to pay council tax”.

The point has been passed where the arithmetic of the powerful should bend to the damaging and state-imposed insolvency of the powerless. The cumulative impact of caps, housing benefit cuts and council tax on the diminishing incomes of the worst off has damaged their health and life expectancy. Hunger is the tip of the iceberg.
Rev Paul Nicolson
London

Abolish the obligation of Claimants to pay Council Tax!

Restore Council Tax Benefit!

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Written by Andrew Coates

August 3, 2016 at 10:02 am

Posted in Council Tax, Cuts, DWP

79 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on sdbast.

    sdbast

    August 3, 2016 at 10:55 am

  2. While Grant Shapps was Chairman of the Conservative Party he was one of those who told Councils to make up shortfalls by charging people on benefits – I believe he said the “unemployed” – a portion of the tax for the first time from benefits not designed to meet such payments. (Even Thatcher, when she brought in the Poll Tax for everyone, increased social security payments a bit to help claimants meet the new charge.) Much of this mess is the result of Eric Pickles and his localism agenda which enabled Councils, for the first time, to levy charges like these at their own discretion.

    The whole thing stinks to high heaven because Councils decide how much to charge the poor and so how the poor suffer under this scheme depends on where they live, some Councils making no charges and some making much higher charges.

    When the Tories came to power there was another nasty, very nasty plan (in the Red Book) to reduce Housing Benefit paid to the unemployed by 10% if they were unemployed for more than a year.

    http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/housing-management/housing-benefit-cuts-slammed-by-sector/6510441.article

    That repellent policy was scrapped, thank the Lord, but the Bedroom Tax and Council Tax demands made from people on already far too low and currently frozen benefits have made life hell for far too many.

    Tim

    August 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm

  3. OT: Impact of BritExit on EU and future Funding for unemployed

    H/T: Refuted

    Dear all just came across the following article which makes for interesting reading:

    http://www.welfareconditionality.ac.uk/2016/08/do-you-believe-in-life-after-leave-the-eu-social-fund-and-welfare-conditionality/

    Gazza

    August 3, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    • Good post Gazza, Interesting but bad news for millions of us, unless the support continues but will it?

      enigma

      August 3, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      • enigma

        please old chap do you see the tory scum raising taxes to help the poor? Ever happened in the past? Nope. so Big Big dent in income for quite a few places/organisation. And that is on just this single subject. There will be other areas done in, in the same manner. We’ll just have to keep our ears/eyes open for when they pop up so we get a heads up.

        Gazza

        August 3, 2016 at 9:28 pm

  4. So without the social fund there will be no more workfare 😃 wishful thinking. 😢

    Marie

    August 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    • Marie

      Ur quite right. What I foresee happening is a greatly reduced total amount – so it will be smaller [how small is anyone’s guess they have to be seen to be doing something despite it being a total waste of money] but it will be telling WHO gets the funding, who will be close chums of the ConMen dare I say..

      Gazza

      August 3, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      • Gazza,we could remain in the EU for a few more years, they have got to negotiate some kind of settlement, so we’ll probably be stuck with workfare for quite a while 😭 yuk.

        Marie

        August 4, 2016 at 7:42 am

  5. What we urgently need to do is bin the council tax and go back to the system of ‘rates’ which is still in operation in Northern Ireland and in the rest of the UK for businesses. It is really quite a simple and fair system – the higher your property value the more you pay. It is levied in direct proportion to your property value i.e. if your property is worth twice as much you pay twice as much. But what about those in expensive properties on low incomes – well, there is a system on means-tested rates rebates.

    The poll tax was a much fairer system than the council tax, but then again that was never meant to be in the first place and was merely a Trojan Horse to usher in the council tax. The Poll Tax riots and the Pyrrhic victory they brought were nothing but a smokescreen and a complete sham. Bin the council tax – bring back the rates!

    Potato Chips

    August 4, 2016 at 7:03 am

  6. Number of people on long term unemployment benefits in Milton Keynes six times higher than 2012

    http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/number-of-people-on-long-term-unemployment-benefits-in-milton-keynes-six-times-higher-than-2012-1-7510954

    Unemployment down yet long term unemployment up ten fold. well looking at Milton Keynes unemployed stats it would suggest 50 plus and under 24 years of age are effected the most. It also highlights the massive long term unemployment problem they had prior to 2012 when you consider then till now as a time frame and ho long term unemployment is considered such after a mere single year.

    So whats the long unemployment figures for your area, has it gone up to or down ?

    doug

    August 4, 2016 at 10:31 am

  7. Punished for trying to do the right thing.

    http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/judge-explains-took-unusual-step-11701840

    This man believe it or not was punished in a court of law for failing to declare the benefits he had saved thus far. Yes because he failed to mention this to DWP, he was cited for committing fraud even though every penny came from prior benefits.

    This is a prime example of how long term disabled and or ill people shouldn’t be penalized for having savings over £16’000, especially when its not hard to work out where the money cam from.

    doug

    August 4, 2016 at 10:35 am

  8. Andrew Coates

    August 4, 2016 at 11:09 am

    • Why I am I not surprised? Guess what I go to that same shit hole. I can confirm the impression that they are mostly shits is correct.

      Remember I have years of experience in civil service.

      Today asked for 2 Work Roaches full names – no can’t have them.
      Area Managers Name – nope cannot have that
      Deputy Secretary – nope cannot have that either.
      But you can talk to the building manager – you know the one who sent you that nice letter last vilifying you.
      Oh, you don’t?. Well you can send in a letter of complaint. Yes that would be dealt with by the same building manager I mentioned earlier.

      ME: Okay, another sanction overturned, not slept for 2 days due to stress and health issues. Prepping stuff for ICO, and other interested bodies before I escalate further. So they refuse to give me the contact details? Fine. Watch where I escalate this to and it won’t be up their backsides I can tell you. Spitting mad.

      Gazza

      August 4, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      • Oh, and this story explains why they are so desperate to keep in house. Fat chance. Have to listen to it again to see if I recognize any voices when I calm down.

        Gazza

        August 4, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      • “Spitting mad.”
        Don’t get (too) mad, get even, I’m sure you’ve collected some ‘evidence.’ 🙂

        Another Fine Tory Economic Slump

        August 4, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      • Another Fine

        ;->> I would never kick a work roach when its down now would I?

        On the subject of this particular nasty piece of a Roach I think I have had the unfortunate experience to run into it in the past, fully deserves what happens to her.

        Gazza

        August 4, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      • And for your delection from the Daily Heil the transcript:

        VOICEMAIL MESSAGE IN FULL
        ‘Received Friday July 29 at 4.23pm.’
        ‘This is a message for Cecilia Garcia. Hello Cecilia, this is Ann Goode from the Department for Work and Pensions at Bromley Job Centre. Could you please call me —- urgent call. I’ll be leaving at 5, but if you can ring me Monday I’d be very much obliged, you do need to speak to me. OK, thank you, bye bye.’

        ‘Her cap, her cap is £253.26 a week, that’s over £1,000 a month.’
        (Inaudible)
        ‘That’s almost £1,000 a month – £12,000 a year.’
        ‘This is Cecilia Garcia. None of them are English names.’
        (Pause)
        ‘I don’t, I just don’t, why are we running around for these people? Do you know I resent even doing this work because if I had a person that said I really want a job, I want to go on your case load, yes, all the time, every day of the week.
        ‘But not some scrounging b*****d that’s popping out kids like pigs. I’m going to get very, very politically incorrect this afternoon.’
        ‘You are, aren’t you? And I don’t blame you one bit.’
        ‘Now this one is working, the next one, but they’re obviously getting other help, so I need to ring them. But they’re a little bit different because they’re trying.’

        Gazza

        August 4, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      • I would get this recording and upload on every major social site if the woman hasn’t already done so along with explaining to the public what the pledge of the civil service code stipulates how all civil servants must behave.

        Once its on youtube,facebook,twitter and the likes and is trending, their be no rock for DWP to hide under resulting in the only course of action which is to sack this person and the person in the background agreeing with them.

        Only just at the beginning of the year i had this sort of experience myself except in person where the advisor insinuated i don’t want to work and only sign on when it suits me.She completely disregarded the section on how you support yourself where i declared not wanting to sign on so lived off what last wages i received for around just over 3 months when i could have claimed. Completely disregarded the fact that i work away from home so cant set up a property to rent, cant line up another job as you never know when the one your on will end and if you do hop about the industry black balls you so you cant get any work anywhere in the sector. Disregarded i get up at 3 to 5 in the morning everyday and not finish till 7 at night, sometimes later,then have to find a pub or restaurant to eat dinner at so don’t get to bed much before 10/11 at night. Disregarded traveling hundreds of miles across the UK UNPAID (employer wouldn’t pay travel time, only site work). Ive also witnessed it when DWP didn’t know i was listening,especially when you hear them training new people and this includes how to trick claimants into doing what you want when the regulations don’t support it.

        So i think we should all make an extra effort to expose these people for the racist vile venom they spread as i highly doubt this is the first occasion this person has displayed such hatred towards unemployed people.

        doug

        August 4, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      • If it helps Gazza start by downloading the recording. Then every time you go into the jobcentre voice record staff talking which in this case means all women. Once you have some start testing them against the original recording centering around certain phrases and in this particular one the ending of the phrase.

        Any player program that shows waveforms, preferably one that allows you to stretch the timeframe to help assist in localizing the voice in question.

        Once you home in on what you believe is the voice, try to stage something that will make the person you suspect react. Don’t come out with anything like its you as if your wrong it will only serve to work against you next time.

        doug

        August 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      • can be heard angrily discussing the case with a colleague.

        This the problem it is a culture,and its widespread.

        Also discussing the case with a colleague, other staff get involved you have no dealings with or have even spoken to,or is any of their business, these can jump on the bandwagon and this can lead to a enviornment of targeting and other nasty behaviour, the open plan is not confidential and again the claimant are open to scrutiny.

        With attitudes like her’s its no wonder theres a feeling of doom.

        Theres been to much negative publicity from this department,its dragging people down offers no help the atmosphere is dire and clearly has no future with this format.

        ken

        August 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    • Will those pledges ever sort this out once & for all.

      enigma

      August 4, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    • But popping out kids on benefits and expecting other people to pay for them IS fucking disgusting. Many working couples don’t have kids because they cannot AFFORD them. When I worked as a social worker at the last count before I left the job one of my clients at t had TWELVE KIDS on BENEFITS. There is NO EXCUSE for this DISGUSTING, UTTERLY SELFISH and behaviour. This Jobcentre worker is not alone in her attitudes and opinions. It is people who condone this morally abhorrent behaviour who are out of step.

      Taxpayer

      August 5, 2016 at 9:52 am

      • And the rub is that when they are older it is the DISGUSTING VERMIN on benefits who will have kids and grandkids but the hard workers who didn’t have kids because they felt that they couldn’t afford them won’t enjoy having a family and grandkids. How fucking PERVERSE is that?

        Taxpayer

        August 5, 2016 at 9:56 am

      • Truly terrible.

        shirleynott

        August 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      • According to statistics very, very few benefit claimants actually have large families. (I believe I read somewhere that in the UK, a country of over sixty million citizens, there are less than 60,000 families with 5 or more children, i.e., a fraction of one percent of families, statistically.) So I think you’re talking rubbish really and, even if you weren’t, don’t believe for a moment that children born to anyone, under any circumstances, can be blamed and made to suffer for being alive through no fault of their own.

        Social worker? Come on. Pull the other one. (Three A levels followed by a three-year undergraduate degree or, if already a graduate in a subject other than social work, a two-year postgraduate master’s degree in social work, or, entry into a work based route into qualifying as a social worker.) I doubt that anybody with the brain power to become a social worker would harbour attitudes similar to yours. Own up. You’re either a joker playing Devil’s advocate or a pinched and intellectually stunted minimum wager aren’t you?

        In the latter case go back to yesterday’s copy of the Daily Mail.

        And in the former, well, let’s put it this way: Batman ain’t laughing ya’ll.

        The Hunchback

        August 8, 2016 at 9:29 am

    • Small update on Sanction

      Note: if sanctioned ignore info that phone line closes at 6, I’ve just been informed its 7 actually.

      Well just been told that I was called yesterday again. Mysteriously I never got this call. I look forward to the claim that I did in which case its calling me a liar and [due to no payment processing as it should, I will consider it fraud on their part, in addition to the Maladministration and Defamation] will give them a chance to withdraw that false claim. doug pointed out that your phone lists all calls and you can get it from your provider.

      More interestingly, I was further told that the reconsideration which was for me successful by the same person I talked to might be overturned by someone else. This person went silent when I pointed out that this person themselves agreed it should be overturned and told them I looked forward the explanation that the reconsideration was without my knowledge itself reconsidered. This is all going way beyond being fishy. Was asked why no Hardship – pointed out why would I go anywhere near institutional discrimination which extends to the top? Silence. Felt sorry for the person as only trying to help and unaware of the issues caused elsewhere.

      Finally got some sleep and woke up to the realisation that by denying facilitation of senior contacts above them they “conspired” to cover up what’s going on. I am sure everyone can draw the grim realization of what that act means. All I can say is thank you to them – time reset and extended.

      Gazza

      August 5, 2016 at 5:33 pm

  9. I hope they sack this horrible racist cow it’s the least she deserves…

    Marie

    August 4, 2016 at 12:10 pm

  10. OT: Supervised Work Search… Ohh oh dearie me….

    H/T: Refuted

    Basically report says about pilot it is in no shape or form worth doing financially… by a “significant margin”

    Gazza

    August 4, 2016 at 3:35 pm

  11. This is worth a larf,

    How social media can help DWP deliver our 2020 vision

    Paul Brogden, 10 March 2016 — Business Transformation Group, Business Transformation Team, DWP Digital Capability Building, Social Media

    I’m writing this blog on my phone – these days, that’s not unusual. Most people are familiar with how the internet and the development of smartphones have revolutionised how we live our lives and the way we work.

    And DWP is no different – many customers now prefer to go online to use our services rather than call us or fill in paper forms, and there’s lots going on within the department to make that a reality.

    One channel that people are likely to make even greater use of is social media. And there’s an acceptance across Whitehall that social media should be a channel supporting all our digital services: signposting to and gathering feedback on them and providing the greater responsiveness that citizens increasingly expect from government.

    Our social media blueprint
    That’s why DWP’s Business Transformation Group (BTG) set up our team to develop our social media presence. We’re working out how the Department can use social media as an effective and efficient channel to help deliver DWP’s vision for 2020. As a first step we’ve published our social media blueprint setting out how we can harness the transformational opportunities that social media offers, from consulting on policy to providing more responsive customer service.

    BTG’sSocial Media Blueprint.

    https://digitaldwp.blog.gov.uk/2016/03/10/how-social-media-can-help-dwp-deliver-our-2020-vision/

    Any more information on this ?

    We could write a joint post on the project which I am sure will be welcomed by the DWP.

    Andrew Coates

    August 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    • “If we can become that credible, authentic, human voice on social media, recognised by customers as a trusted source of information” we already know where the trusted source of information is, it doesn’t and won’t ever come from DWP, every day that passes ………………..

      enigma

      August 4, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    • Cant wait, they’ve made such a dogs dinner thus far like the fake sanctioned people claiming the sanction was the best thing that ever happened to them, im looking forward to getting stuck into them so the public can see what an utter FRAUD DWP is.

      doug

      August 4, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    • Apologies All

      Jusr saw this and the satire just drips from it – cue music for david attenborough…

      And here I am in the deep Serengeti of South Kent on the Hunt for the rare Great Spotted Successful DWP ICT Innovation.

      Rumours of sightings of 14Mil Workie have been swirling in the papers of late. It is said that in times future anthropologist and tax payers will be sorting through the entrails of money spent trying to figure out what its role was and… basically just why even go there for 14Mil for which children have viewed as creepy & disturbing?

      Luckly I have updated myself on the conditions on the ground in South Kent Veldte, I have been able to avoid the sudden onset of Sanction Bites that breaks out at alarming intervals that strikes the local peons – this truly disturbing condition is brought on by interaction and trusting DWP Work Roaches and Witchdoctor DMs. The condition in some cases leaves so many berifit of food, shelter and other non-essential things – like breathing, and in some cases dead. Some blame the Witchdoctor DMs while others blame the Work Roaches that descend on the claimants like the locusts that they are.

      Wait, I hear something…. it might just be the moaning of the peons caught in the nightmare grip of silent 14Mil Workie…. I push the bushes aside and reveal a horrifying sight… Its not creepy disturbing 14Mil Workie its much worse than that its award winning for being so useless as frak UJM quicksand, its got a local peon, who’s looking bedraggled and poor with marks of suffering from Sanction Bites being sucked below the surface into off-flow, I can look across the South Kent veldte and see indications of other victims caught in the trap of UJM quicksand but I shudder and quickly start to withdraw as I see a massive nightmare cloud coming onwards from the horizon… Its T [Witch] May – Minus EU Funding. I wonder if the Natives of this fair land know of the horrors to come….

      Gazza

      August 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm

  12. Have you ever thought of becoming a novelist Gazza,that was very entertaining 😉.

    Marie

    August 4, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    • Marie

      Hopefully [soonish] I’ll get there.

      Gazza

      August 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm

  13. Hope you do 😃

    Marie

    August 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm

  14. 23,000 in work thanks to Iain Duncan Smith’s benefits cap: Households impacted by rules are 41 per cent more likely to find a job, new figures reveal

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3724575/23-000-work-thanks-Iain-Duncan-Smith-s-benefits-cap-Households-impacted-rules-41-cent-likely-job-new-figures-reveal.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

    Ive got to track down this so called evidence but already im very curious because wheres the link to these findings if they hold water, surely proud as punch the journalist would herald them. To be honest their article starts off with appear and suggest which is odd as it soon descends into a fact like it was always the case.

    Look, you can get tax credit for selling avon products without actually physically selling them not to mention a lot of that work is people saying no thanks. Then theirs online businesses that i wouldn’t call hard to work at if you set them up right as their do it all for you. Then theirs work at home filling out surveys for cash which again isnt subject to min wage as its priced work per product. Im not saying this is whats happening but without a study of how they arrived at this notion, i cant rule it out.

    doug

    August 5, 2016 at 10:19 am

    • Heres the stats people that the above article came form

      https://sw.stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/jsf/dataCatalogueExplorer.xhtml

      doug

      August 5, 2016 at 10:38 am

    • Meanwhile. some clients of recruitment firms had shifted towards using short-term staff.

      “The UK jobs market suffered a dramatic freefall in July, with permanent hiring dropping to levels not seen since the recession of 2009,” said Kevin Green, the chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which sponsors the survey.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36975320

      enigma

      August 5, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      • I also get the impression, and this is just an impression from my Jobsearch, that there are a lot more part-time jobs being advertised.

        Andrew Coates

        August 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      • Andrew Coates

        August 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      • It’s nothing but PT jobs here too, from 5 hours to 15, though I did see one job advertised (employers website) for a full time position (40 hours, ?) which I would rather have, as many of us would, that’s applied for meanwhile it’s back to the reality of a few hours a week if one can get it. it’s sure getting bad.

        enigma

        August 5, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      • enigma

        And I wonder how many of the PT jobs are Zero Hour when you get down to the nitty gritty?

        Gazza

        August 5, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      • Firstly it depends on the type of agency as say hays will have FT jobs where as best connections wont even when they advertise so.

        For ages now, not just the run up to brexit certain recruitment agencies only do ZHCs and self employment through umbrella companies.

        doug

        August 6, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    • On the other hand, even if true, it means 59% of people suffering because of the cap are suffering needlessly.

      Tim

      August 6, 2016 at 7:27 am

      • If you track it month by month the amount of people under a cap has grown. Add the rules and how can you really disseminate the truth beyond the fact 23’000 since aren’t under the cap.

        Thats when divided by city and towns, then 3 years, then by 52 weeks = 0.4 people a week or around one person in one area every 2 weeks. Considering at a local level claimant counts are in the thousands, thats a very small percentage overall on a monthly basis.

        doug

        August 6, 2016 at 3:13 pm

  15. DWP trialling use of blockchain to track benefit recipients’ spending

    It says that the DWP is part of a consortium piloting a system that tracks benefits claimants’ receipts and spending patterns in order to subsequently offer financial management advice to those who would benefit from it, in what Socitm calls “a not uncontroversial move”.

    But a DWP spokesman said: “There are no plans to replace any DWP payment systems. This trial is designed to explore how distributed ledger technology could help support financial inclusion and offer budgeting help, and it does not place any restrictions or limits on what a claimant can spend their welfare payments on, nor tracks how they spend them.”

    http://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/Public-Sector-News/dwp-trialling-use-of-blockchain-to-track-benefit-recipients-spending

    ken

    August 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    • Trusted source of information!

      It doesn’t yet place any restrictions or limits.

      It does track how they spend them.

      If there are no plans to replace the DWP payment system then why have this or any other trial.

      enigma

      August 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    • Just pay in cash then.

      Tim

      August 6, 2016 at 7:29 am

  16. Conditions that caused English riots even worse now, says leading expert.

    Prof Tim Newburn, who studied 2011 riots, says economic and social conditions have worsened for people involved in unrest.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/05/conditions-that-caused-english-riots-even-worse-now-says-leading-expert

    enigma

    August 5, 2016 at 7:46 pm

  17. Ofsted boss sorry for calling Isle of Wight a ghetto.

    “Seven state schools were all less than good. There is a mass of crime, drug problems, huge unemployment.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36985931

    enigma

    August 5, 2016 at 7:54 pm

  18. OT: Computer Access

    h/t : Refuted

    Tribunal decision with Possible implications for those who have no computer access [ case involves old/disabled people involving HMRC trying to force use of computers]

    http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/10076/

    Unless you have several months spare for reading do not download the Judgement to read… its 933 pages long!

    HMRC lost.

    Gazza

    August 5, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    • Duh

      its 933 paragraphs, not pages – but still novel length…

      Gazza

      August 5, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    • Para 920 to 924 is relevant sections to consider – talks about disablitiy and remoteness vis a vis internet access.

      Gazza

      August 5, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    • Firstly what law exists that states the medium on which a service is provided, nothing right.

      What law stipulates if a person does not use the online service, we legally are not obligated to issue them any benefit,welfare support no matter how much they qualify, none right.

      Its the same with HMRC, we are legally obligated to pay and pay on time except in certain circumstances yet theirs no law that stipulates you must deal with the tax office in the manner of medium they prescribe.

      doug

      August 6, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      • If your are providing a public service you should be accessible by many means, DWP HMRC and the likes are trying to rewrite this. Look at how charities keep all lines of communication open, government use to do it.

        doug

        August 6, 2016 at 3:22 pm

  19. Andrew Coates

    August 6, 2016 at 3:05 pm

  20. Asda displays new disabled toilet sign to show that ‘not every disability is visible’

    Disabled toilets are something that shouldn’t cause controversy but sadly, they often do.

    It’s often because of the sign showing an image of someone in a wheelchair.

    http://metro.co.uk/2016/08/05/asda-displays-new-disabled-toilet-sign-to-show-that-not-every-disability-is-visible-6048319/

    enigma

    August 6, 2016 at 3:51 pm

  21. Jeremy Corbyn Interview: On Owen Smith, Trident, Brexit, The Housing Crisis And A ‘Universal Basic Income’

    Corbyn’s ‘plan to transform Britain’ has many radical promises. But what does he think of one of the most radical ideas circulating right now: a universal basic income? In a major change in the way welfare works, the state would hand out money to all adults, which would be topped up by any earnings. It would guarantee a basic income for everyone, including those who look after children.

    First suggested in the 1970s, a basic income is now in vogue. Ontario in Canada and Norway both plan pilot schemes. The RSA think tank has suggested a state-provided income of £308 per month for every adult between 25 and 65.

    Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said he will look at the idea as part of a wider rethink of economic policy. And Corbyn sounds keen.

    “I’m instinctively looking at it along with John. I am looking forward to discussing it with our colleagues from Norway because we have to think radically about how we bring about a more just and more equal society in Britain, how we develop policies that achieve that.

    “Because what we are doing is heading in absolutely the wrong direction with a growing wealth inequality and an opportunity inequality for communities, as well as poorer families. It’s got to change and it will.

    “I can see the headline attraction to it. I don’t want to commit to it until I’ve had a chance to look at it very seriously and very carefully because this would be a major, major change in social policy and it’s something I would invite the whole party and the whole movement to have a serious discussion about.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/jeremy-corbyn-interview-on-owen-smith-trident-brexit-house-prices-and-a-universal-basic-income_uk_57a5f45be4b04ca9b5d31b6f?yhnw0wpb2sy55qaor

    enigma

    August 6, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    • Where will the money come from? And what does Labour intend to do about Universal Credit? The Bedroom Tax? Cuts made to the disabled and the sick? Does anybody know? Truth be told nothing Labour says means anything at all these days because Labour has no chance of ever being elected under Corbyn. Which is great for deluded bullshitters, who can promise anything knowing in their hearts that they will never actually have to make good on their pledges.

      The Hunchback

      August 7, 2016 at 8:14 am

      • We all know that if a General Election was held tomorrow and Corbyn stood against May, the Wicked Witch would wipe the floor with Jezza 😉

        The Lalas

        August 7, 2016 at 9:55 am

    • “£308 per month” – so you would effectively paying EVERY adult the equivalent of JSA!? What about housing costs? Other ‘premium’ payments? Would the effective value of the basic income for those solely reliant on it not be diluted? Why not just remove the ‘conditionality’ from JSA? Or would those relaint on the basic UBI still be subjected to ‘conditionality’?

      Overburden D

      August 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

      • i.e if you are dependent on JSA as your sole income and EVERY adult suddenly receives the same amount the value of your JSA has just been ‘inflated’ into oblivion – your income effectively becomes worthless!

        Overburden D

        August 7, 2016 at 10:08 am

      • The only way to improve the circumstances of those dependent on JSA is to remove the ‘conditionality’ from JSA. No sanctions, no schemes, no workfare, no bullshit… Yet those who propose a UBI will object to this! Why?

        Overburden D

        August 7, 2016 at 10:11 am

      • “I can see the headline attraction to it. I don’t want to commit to it until I’ve had a chance to look at it very seriously and very carefully because this would be a major, major change in social policy and it’s something I would invite the whole party and the whole movement to have a serious discussion about!

        .

        enigma

        August 7, 2016 at 10:22 am

  22. 360,000 families afflicted by council tax poverty trap.

    Previously exempt households in arrears crisis as benefits are cut; while Liverpool city council is owed £10m in council tax.

    The result has been mass failure to pay council tax by those who would previously have been exempt, and a surge in cases where benefits are docked to make good on arrears. Data released under the Freedom of Information Act from 133 local authorities reveals that 190,198 households currently have money deducted from their benefits in this way.

    Given the number of councils that did not provide figures, it is likely that around 360,000 households could be facing this form of sanction, which requires an order from a magistrate. Many of them would not have had to pay any council tax prior to the government’s reform of the system.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/aug/06/benefits-council-tax-poverty-families-liverpool

    enigma

    August 6, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    • Like i said a little while back, the government strategy is to get everyone in some form of debt, Technically if you are paying a arrears fines and gather one the following year, your means test would dictate you couldn’t afford any more deductions and so such fine would either be wavered or handed down as a jail sentence to the value of money. The very fact the court is racking them up behind each other to get around this fact is very telling.

      https://www.gov.uk/benefits-and-prison/housing-benefit

      As your see, you don’t get that long inside so can still have your housing benefit paid for while inside but this time you will be exempt from council tax and while your in time that is paying for the previous ones.

      Did the court tell you about this option, did your solicitor ?

      doug

      August 7, 2016 at 10:09 am


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