Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Austerity Agenda Continues as Damian Green Takes Hold of DWP.

with 139 comments

Image result for damian green

Shifty Looking Damian Green Sidles into the DWP.

On Monday the Guardian published this article:

The austerity agenda isn’t over. More people will sink further into poverty

There will be “no new search for cuts in individual welfare benefits” the secretary of state for work and pensions, Damian Green, has pledged. Not much news there, then. Green’s predecessor, Stephen Crabb, made the same promise in March, as a jittery Treasury sought to placate the Tory backbench revolt over cuts to disability benefits. The former chancellor George Osborne may be gone, but his welfare spending strategy remains largely intact for now.

During his Andrew Marr Show interview at the weekend Green made it sound like his “no more benefit raids” pledge was a sign that the austerity agenda was over. But it is not. Green confirmed that inherited current and planned cuts, amounting to billions of pounds by the end of the decade, would go ahead.

The language of welfare may well be less abrasive under Green, and his compassionate conservative presentation of welfare reform may aspire to be softer, but without material change, the net effect of the cuts will be the same as it would have been had Osborne still been in post: the living standards of millions of “just managing” low-income working households will continue to suffer, and the very poorest and most vulnerable will become poorer.

Butler concluded,

There is plenty that can be done to make universal credit more operationally humane: Green could make a start on this by scrapping the notorious six-week wait for a first universal credit payment, a rule dubbed “a recruiting sergeant for food banks” by Frank Field MP for its unerring ability to pitch low-income claimants into avoidable debt, rent arrears and food poverty. Green may also want to look again at the potentially explosive plans, currently being trialled, to introduce conditionality for low-paid workers on universal credit. Fining a claimant for not turning up to a jobcentre interview because they were at work is not a convincing advert for “making work pay”.

Green and May will have to accept that the social security system is, as the Fabian Society recently pointed out, rapidly becoming unfit for purpose. There are huge imbalances in who benefits: between working age recipients (who have shouldered the austerity burden) and pensioners (relatively unscathed); and between those on low incomes (who took the biggest hit), and the wealthy (who, according to the Fabians will by 2020 receive more financial support from the state in the form of personal tax allowances than poorer families will on benefits).

Two days ago the Independent noted,

There is a major squeeze on public spending and welfare payments still to come over the next five years as a result of government decisions already taken – including the filleting of almost £9bn from the tax credit and working age benefits bill.

These will assuredly diminish the living standards of the less well-off. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has projected that those in the poorest tenth of the population will lose £800 a year by 2020 relative to those in the second poorest tenth at £1,500 a year and the third poorest tenth at £1,200 a year.

What is Damien Green’s background?

Damian Green was born in Barry, Wales. He grew up in Reading, Berkshire and was educated at Reading School and then at Balliol College, Oxford where he was awarded a BA degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in 1977, followed by a MA degree. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1977 and was the vice-chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students (now known as Conservative Future) from 1980 until 1982.

Not, we suspect, the kind of education (Grammar school, Oxford) and politics – including at the top of the hard-right free-market Thatcher worshiping Federation of Conservative Students – that would signal out somebody for compassionate, or even moderate positions on social security and the welfare state.

in 1998 Green was – rightly – very critical of the New Deal for the Unemployed. He called it a waste of taxpayers’ money, unable to train people in a  way that made people attractive to employers, or, as he put it “providing suitable recruits. (The Four Failures of the New Deal, by Damian Green, 1998, Centre for Policy Studies.) Essentially this was cost-benefit analysis, which paid little attention to the needs of the out-of-work.

How will he stand on the use of private companies, known in academic circles as bands of thieves living off public money, by the DWP, for training the unemployed, for Universal credit, and so on?

We note this: “As Police Minister in the Coalition Government, Green called for increased partnerships between the police and the private sector.” from here).

As for austerity we also observe read this (Telegraph)

Damian Green, the new Work and Pensions Secretary, has indicated pensioner benefits may be cut after 2020 as he pledged to tackle “intergenerational fairness”.

In his first major interview since taking up the job, Mr Green defended the government’s current support for pensioners and heralded the fall in poverty among the elderly.

However he also said it was “absolutely” necessary to consider “over time” whether different generations are getting a fair share of the proceeds of economic growth.

It follows criticism of David Cameron’s decision to ring-fence pensioners from austerity cuts, introducing a “triple lock” on pensions and sticking with a promise of free bus passes and TV licenses.

Cutting benefits for pensioners will not mean better benefits for anybody else.

Just equality in misery, as he might have said as a Conservative Student.


Written by Andrew Coates

September 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm

139 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Are these people for real, they could save Tens Of Millions if they just got a grip on the on going Fraud within its contracted providers as they call them at the Department of Work and Pensions, I know one thing I am sick and tired of acting as an unpaid fraud buster via Job Centre Plus and other Authorities , I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to Company Fraud for Contracted Services to The Department of Work and Pensions, those in charge would rather look the other way than Deal with it, complete and utter Double Standards. David Penson Bracknell Berkshire.

    David Anthony Penson

    September 22, 2016 at 12:20 pm

  2. https:media4.giphy.com/media/VtRW9YZLtIyzK/200w_d.gif


    September 22, 2016 at 2:29 pm

  3. The DWP control suicide & that`s even before you have contact with the HCP. DWP medical judgements cutting corners & not involving HCP`s. The DWP blaming HCP`s yet the responsibility lies with the DWP. The DWP have even less wiki medical training than the HCP`s. When it comes to suicide the DWP feel it`s time to call the police & create a Crime Incident Number that is on record. The way the DWP waste police time is becoming a problem for the police & are pissed off the DWP are abusing the system. The reason the DWP are cutting corners & making medical judgements without a medical is failing behind the DWP targets imposed by the idiots in power AKA Tory Dictatorship AKA Human Rights Abusers & Disability Killers.

    DWP Medical Department. Buzz words – Suicide & Terrorist. The DWP are trying to put disabled under the Anti Terrorist Bill. DWP failure means DWP Arrests aka Lord Fraud charged for 100`s of illegal actions. DWP off shore tax havens Lord Fraud.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm

  4. Blatant lie – Seems every one else says there are going to be more cuts like the £29.06 loss if you are in the Support Group. Also cuts in seeing a HCP as mentioned in my post above.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 22, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    • Mr Green read your own DWP Press Releases to know about more cuts. Mr Green you will be out the job by November 2016. False claims & fraud.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 22, 2016 at 2:34 pm

  5. Damian 666 Green

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 22, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    • Another victim like IDS. DWP Assisted Suicide.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 22, 2016 at 2:37 pm

  6. It would be hilarious to watch Damien Green being fed to crocodiles!


    September 22, 2016 at 3:06 pm

  7. On 9 Mar 2011:
    Damian Green voted to introduce Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments and to restrict housing benefit for those in social housing deemed to have excess bedrooms.

    On 1 Feb 2012:
    Damian Green voted against those who have been ill or disabled since their youth recieving Employment and Support Allowance on the same basis as if they had made sufficient National Insurance contributions to qualify for a contribution based allowance.

    On 1 Feb 2012:
    Damian Green voted not to make an exception for those with a cancer diagnosis or undergoing cancer treatment from the 365 day limit on receiving contribution based Employment and Support Allowance.

    On 20 Jul 2015:
    Damian Green was absent for a vote on Welfare Reform and Work Bill — Second Reading

    And so it goes on & on

    All of these issues can be read in full


    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    • On 20 Jul 2016:
      Damian Green voted for cuts in housing benefit for recipients in supported housing.

      So no cuts Mr Green.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 22, 2016 at 3:16 pm

  8. On 8 Jun 2016:
    Damian Green was absent for a vote on Benefit Cuts for Disabled and Ill People Deemed Capable of Work

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 22, 2016 at 3:16 pm


      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 22, 2016 at 3:17 pm

  9. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    September 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm

  10. “You haven’t yet signed your updated CC, to except it, just call us by .. until you call you also need to keep doing the things you have agreed in your CC, if you don’t call us your UC claim will close, so please do get in touch as soon as possible”

    What is that has been added to the CC?

    “I will copy ……..@dwpgov into my job applications or I will print off copmpleted (dwp’s own spelling mistake) application forms that I complete, this is so I can receive advise and support as to why I am not securing many job interviews”

    This person is securing job interviews, the most recent – this morning.

    Meanwhile this person is waiting for a date to go to a tribunal.(Lately the DWP have tried their hardest to get this persons phone number)!

    news seeker

    September 22, 2016 at 3:32 pm

  11. Attack on Yahoo hit 500 million users – the site said, it believed the attack was state-sponsored.


    news seeker

    September 22, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    • Google Deepmind: Should patients trust the company with their data?


      news seeker

      September 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

      • Everyone has the right under law to consent out of their medical records going on a database.This may be the period prior to the introduction or at anytime after the introduction. This MUST be done in writing at your local GP practice.

        It seldom every gets mentioned but you might want to check what your dentist is doing with your personal and sensitive data.


        September 23, 2016 at 10:15 am

    • This is precisely WHY claimants need to mask practically all person data on their CV.


      September 23, 2016 at 10:17 am

  12. ‘Fit for work’ suicide man’s sister tried to take her own life after DWP ordeal

    DNS – 22nd Sep 2016

    The sister of a man driven to suicide by the “fitness for work” system tried to take her own life after being “treated like a criminal” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over her benefit claims.

    Eleanor Donnachie believes her brother Paul (pictured) was a victim of DWP’s failure to ensure the safety of people with mental health conditions in vulnerable situations who apply for employment and support allowance (ESA) through the work capability assessment (WCA) system.

    She told Scottish journalists earlier this year how DWP had ignored her brother’s need for support and instead punished him for missing appointments for a face-to-face assessment by sanctioning his benefits.

    Now Eleanor, from Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, has spoken for the first time about her own struggles with DWP and how fighting for ESA and personal independence payment (PIP) drove her to attempt to take her own life earlier this year.

    She told Disability News Service (DNS) that she feels she has been treated “like a criminal” by DWP, just as her brother was.

    And she has joined the family of another victim of the UK government’s social security policies in backing calls for former Tory DWP ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling to face a criminal investigation by Police Scotland for their failure to make the WCA safe.

    It came as the disabled president of the Liberal Democrats, Baroness [Sal] Brinton, also backed calls for an inquiry – and possibly a criminal investigation – into the failings of Duncan Smith and Grayling.

    Paul’s body was discovered in January at his home in Glasgow, but he is believed to have taken his own life in November after losing his ESA.

    His sister believes DWP had failed to contact Paul’s GP to ask for detailed information about his mental health, and ignored its own guidance by failing to send someone to his flat to talk to him face-to-face about his support needs.

    He had previously claimed jobseeker’s allowance and filed a complaint because of the way he had been treated by his local jobcentre. He was sanctioned several times and fell deeper and deeper into debt.

    She says DWP knew that Paul attended mental health support groups and counselling sessions, and that he was taking anti-depressants.

    But the department removed his ESA when he failed to attend a WCA on 30 June last year – the second or third assessment he had missed. His benefits were stopped and the withdrawal of his payments was backdated by four weeks.

    DWP also contacted Glasgow City Council, so his housing benefit and council tax benefit were both stopped.

    Eleanor believes that by this stage Paul was so ground down by fighting DWP that he stopped opening his post.

    The council wrote to him on 19 November to say there had been a mistake and that his housing benefit was being reinstated, but the letter arrived too late. He never opened it, and may have already been dead when it arrived.

    In a final indignity, Eleanor’s much-loved younger brother was sent a summons for a £3,000 council tax debt by Glasgow City Council in January, after his body had already been discovered.

    Eleanor believes DWP should have treated him as someone in a “vulnerable” situation.

    She said: “They didn’t do anything to help him. They should have arranged a home visit, but the only time that happened was when the council sent the bailiffs round to kick his door down. And that’s when they found him.

    “They hounded him to death. They have taken my brother’s life.

    “They are driving people to suicide. I have told DWP that I hold them totally responsible for my brother’s death.”

    Extracts from secret DWP reviews, published earlier this month by DNS, have revealed that its staff have repeatedly failed to follow strict guidelines on how to support benefit claimants who express thoughts of self-harm or threaten to take their own lives.

    Eleanor said she was fully behind attempts by the Scottish grassroots group Black Triangle to persuade Police Scotland to launch a criminal investigation into the refusal of Duncan Smith and Grayling to act on a letter written by a coroner weeks before the 2010 general election that warned ministers that the WCA process risked causing further deaths of people with mental health conditions.

    The family of another victim of the WCA, David Barr, have also backed calls for a criminal investigation into the failure to ensure that further medical evidence is obtained before an ESA decision is reached in such cases.

    The cases of Paul Donnachie, David Barr and a third ESA claimant, Ms D E, who also died as a result of a failure to secure further medical evidence, have been submitted to Police Scotland in a dossier put together by Black Triangle.

    Eleanor told DNS: “They should be prosecuted. Also the workers that work for them, they should be prosecuted as well.”

    Baroness Brinton said the failure of the two ministers to act on the coroner’s letter, which then led to further deaths, would be more serious than deaths that happened because a minister had made a particular policy decision.

    She said: “There should be an inquiry. I am not proficient in saying if it should be a criminal inquiry…

    “Absolutely, if the coroner said this needed to be looked at and it wasn’t looked at, at the very least the department was negligent in not carrying that forward.”

    As well as fighting for justice for her brother, Eleanor is also fighting DWP, just as Paul did.

    Her own WCA took place on 14 January, the day before police officers told her that her brother’s body had been found.

    She has now spent months fighting DWP for both ESA and personal independence payment (PIP), and although she has finally been found eligible for ESA, she has been turned down for PIP.

    Eleanor has a number of complex health conditions, including fibromyalgia, vertigo, high blood pressure and depression.

    After many years working in social care, she passed college courses that saw her accepted by Glasgow University onto a sociology and history degree, but had to leave the course last year when her health worsened and was causing her concentration and memory problems.

    Despite those serious health problems, she was found fit for work, and after she applied a second time for ESA – after being diagnosed with vertigo in January – and was again found fit for work, she told her local jobcentre that she was going to take her own life, “the same as they had forced my brother to do”. Police officers were sent to her house to check on her welfare.

    Despite her high support needs, she was given zero points in both her WCAs.

    She was only finally placed in the ESA support group days after telling DWP that she was going to tell the media how she had been treated.

    Despite the ESA award, her PIP has been turned down, a result confirmed during the mandatory reconsideration stage and at tribunal, even though DWP was told she had attempted suicide.

    The tribunal refused to accept a letter written by her doctor, supporting her PIP claim, because it was not written on headed paper.

    The letter describes her “complex conditions which limit her ability with tasks such as sitting, standing and going on journeys unaided”, problems with co-ordination, concentration and short-term memory, and vertigo.

    The impact of her impairments means that she often forgets she has left pans cooking on the stove, while her chronic fatigue frequently leaves her too tired to get out of bed and dress herself.

    She has told DWP that she has twice attempted suicide since becoming ill. She says her latest attempt was the result of her treatment at the hands of DWP, and that she believes the department is doing to her what it did to her brother.

    She said: “I couldn’t take it anymore. It was terrible. They treat you as if you are a criminal.

    “When I tried to do it, I just felt it was the final straw. I still have suicidal thoughts but I just tell myself, ‘Don’t let them win.’

    “I am a fighter, I have always been a fighter. Now I’m fighting for Paul.”

    When approached about Eleanor Donnachie’s ordeal, and that of her brother, DWP said PIP was awarded on the basis of how someone’s condition affects them day-to-day rather than just on the condition itself.

    A DWP spokeswoman said: “The decision on whether someone is eligible for PIP is taken after consideration of all the supporting evidence from the claimant’s GP or medical expert.

    “If someone disagrees with a decision they can challenge it, including appealing to an independent tribunal.”

    She said that fitness for work decisions were taken following “a thorough independent assessment, and after consideration of all the supporting evidence from the claimant’s GP or medical specialist”.

    And she said that if a claimant’s circumstances change, then their eligibility for benefits can change too.

    She added: “Suicide is a tragic and complex issue, so to link a death to someone’s benefit claim is misleading.

    “We are fully committed to ensuring that people who are too sick to work get the support they need.”


    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 22, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    • The support they need, what support is that, the highway to death.

      news seeker

      September 23, 2016 at 4:10 pm

  13. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has hinted that the Scottish Government could consider further reform of the council tax system.

    He was speaking in a debate on government proposals to bring in higher charges for some households in order to raise an extra £100 million a year for schools.

    Under the reforms, set out by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in March, the average band E household will pay about £2 more per week, with those in the highest band paying an extra £10 a week – an average of £517 a year.

    The changes follow a report by the Commission on Local Tax Reform which last year called for an end to the council tax and urged politicians to implement a fairer, more progressive and transparent tax to fund local services.


    news seeker

    September 22, 2016 at 8:15 pm

  14. Has Mandatory Work Activity been replaced with another form of workfare? Do benefit
    claimants still have to work for their benefits?

    We always intended to review the Mandatory Work Activity programme when contracts came
    to an end in 2016. The labour market is in a different and much improved position compared
    with when this programme was introduced. The support we provide to claimants needs to
    reflect these changes and the needs of claimants. Mandatory programmes will still have a
    valuable role to play as we in the future.
    We do not run any schemes where jobseekers are forced to work for free and our programmes
    that offer claimants the opportunity to gain work experience are not workfare. All of the
    Department’s employment programmes are supportive initiatives, designed to help
    unemployed people gain skills and help them into work. Employers who offer unemployed
    benefit claimants the opportunity to gain work experience through one of our programmes
    cannot use the work experience placement to replace a paid job or fill vacancies for paid
    employment. Placements are carefully selected to ensure that they give claimants experience
    of work and the skills and disciplines required by employers, and strengthen their CVs, to help
    them to compete more effectively in the job market.


    news seeker

    September 23, 2016 at 6:52 am

    • I don’t call sorting through stinking, stained knickers in a dosshouse ‘charity’ shop work experience, more like forced unpaid drudgery – that’s what the DWP made me do last year,it didn’t help me find gainful employment 😬


      September 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

  15. Illegal sanctions.

    Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

    Under current legislation I have noted that no Work Programme Provider has the legal OR lawful authority to report an individual for sanction. Considering the large numbers of individuals already reported for sanctions, this would mean the DWP have also acted unlawfully and illegally by


    news seeker

    September 23, 2016 at 6:58 am

  16. Council ‘pays Capita to cut care packages’

    DNS – 22nd Sep 2016

    A local authority has employed the outsourcing giant Capita to clear a backlog of annual reviews of its service-users’ care packages, in an apparent attempt to cut costs and help fill a hole in its budget.

    The “pilot project” has so far resulted in an average cut of seven per cent in disabled people’s support packages.

    One service-user who contacted Disability News Service said that Capita was “blitzing” all of the disabled people receiving support through direct payments, on behalf of Southampton City Council (SCC).

    The Capita employee who carried out the assessment admitted cutting the direct payments packages of more than half of the disabled people they had assessed so far, and said that the aim of the exercise was to cut costs.

    The service-user* said they were particularly concerned that the review was being carried out by a company with an appalling record of assessing disabled people for their eligibility for the disability benefit personal independence payment, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

    Read More:

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 23, 2016 at 8:13 am

  17. Government rule change shuts thousands out of disability benefits

    inews.co.uk – 21st Sep 2016

    The number of people being refused disability benefit has soared to the highest level for three years after key changes to how applicants are assessed were introduced in January. Figures published earlier this month https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/esa-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessments-including-mandatory-reconsiderations-and-appeals-september-2016 revealed that the success rate among people applying for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – the main out-of-work disability benefit – fell sharply from the start of this year. The news is likely to reignite the controversy over the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), the government-backed test that is used to judge how severely disabled someone is, in order to decide how much benefit they should receive.

    The government deny that the rules have changed. However, there has been new “guidance” on how to interpret the rules. The WCA is used to assess how much disability benefit a claimant will receive. Applicants are placed in one of three groups: Support Group Higher level of benefit for severely disabled people who cannot work Work Related Activity Group Lower level of benefit for disabled people who might be able to work in future, and usually have to engage in activity such as practice interviews; they can be sanctioned if they do not Fit for work The applicant is judged to be able to work and receives no benefit Suicide risk regulations At the heart of the sudden collapse in successful disability benefit claims are regulations 29 and 35. These rules partly refer to people whose mental health would be at risk if they were denied benefits or told to engage in work-related activity. It specifically includes people at risk of suicide or self-harm. The government always assumed these rules would only be used sparingly, but it became much more common over time – it was the basis of more than half of all Support Group benefit awards in 2015. Changing rules The government responded by issuing new guidance to staff carrying out WCA tests on how to interpret the regulations – although it insists there has been no change to the rules. A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) told i: “There has been no change in policy – this guidance makes clear that if there is a substantial risk to a claimant’s mental health by being placed in the Work Related Activity Group, they should be placed in the Support Group. “The legislation underpinning this area of ESA hasn’t changed since 2013 so would not affect the data which was published [earlier this month].” It is true that the legislation itself, and the wording of the rules, has not changed. But the DWP guidance – which tells WCA assessors how to interpret and apply the rules – has changed.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 23, 2016 at 8:23 am

  18. Official Statistics

    ESA: outcomes of Work Capability Assessments including mandatory reconsiderations and appeals: September 2016


    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 23, 2016 at 8:24 am

  19. So suicide is the DWP`s policy to cut costs. Let`s make everyone suicidal.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 23, 2016 at 8:26 am

    • That’s the plan for a few billion of the world’s population.

      news seeker

      September 23, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      • Maintain humanity under five hundred million in perpetual balance with nature.


        September 23, 2016 at 7:31 pm

  20. So people classed as suicidal have no Human Rights. Classed is the correct term. DWP are now medical experts to cut costs & the best way is to kill off disabled people. DWP you are heading for admitting 49 benefit deaths.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 23, 2016 at 8:29 am

  21. Being cruel to benefit claimants was a big thing for the Tories, always justified by the myth that only the people penalised and punished would be slackers who made a “lifestyle choice” to live off benefits rather than take up gainful employment. In the town where I live, before the 2015 general election and the disastrous coalition government that followed it, posters of David Cameron went up everywhere promising to cut benefits to people who “refused” to work. Of course the Tories did worse than this in power and took benefits away from ALL claimants indiscriminately, including people with very young children and the sick and disabled. I am sure most of us can remember George Osborne’s apparent smirking relish when, while giving his budgets as Chancellor, he repeatedly announced cuts after swingeing cut, caps and then lower caps, bedroom taxes and via Eric Pickles’ localism agenda the return of the Poll Tax when councils strapped for cash started extorting partial (25% – 30%) council tax payments from people scraping by on inadequate frozen benefits which had never been designed to meet such additional expenses.

    Cameron and Osborne received plaudits for this from Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs along with much of the media because an uninterested general public, already traumatised by the global financial economic crash, believed that the only people who were suffering were lead-swingers who deserved it and who, once forced into some job, would be alight anyway and not slip into destitution and misery unless they adamantly refused to play ball. Cutting benefits would “encourage” people into work and affect “behavioural change” making them better and more productive citizens: capping and cutting housing benefit would make rents fall as tenants “negotiated” lower rents with their landlords who, having no one else to rent to would of course not keep increasing rent demands year on year or even reduce rents in order to let their properties: the bedroom tax would “free up” under-occupied social housing as under-occupying tenants moved out of homes in areas in which they had lived for decades and put down roots to smaller properties “somewhere else” and all would be well with no upset, difficulty, misery, heartbreak and death involved.

    Seriously, folks, what kind of a mind would demand a five to eight week waiting period before people in desperate need of assistance with living expenses and rents could access Universal Credit? How fucked up is that? Doesn’t making people in need of support have to wait for up to TWO AND A HALF MONTHS in some case to receive support they are legally entitled to say it all? Many of the “reforms” made by the Tories border on the psychopathic and deranged and yet nothing has been or is being done about it despite copious copper bottomed evidence that unimaginable suffering has been the result.

    And David Freud is still unelected Minister for Welfare Reform at the Department of Work and Pensions.

    Being a politician means you never have to say sorry.

    (No matter how many tens of thousands of lives you end prematurely or ruin.)


    September 23, 2016 at 9:46 am


    News transpired yesterday that Yahoo has/had been BREACHED by HACKERS. This is yet more PROOF NO ONE, NOT EVEN GOVERNMENT CAN PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL AND OR SENSITIVE DATA.


    1: DON’T use your FULL NAME, a christian name will suffice for the purposes of merely applying for a job in the first instance.

    2: DON’T use all your contact details, an email address or phone number with the area of residence (ie, Milton Keynes,London,etc) will suffice for the purposes of merely applying for a job in the first instance.

    3: DON’T display company names of where you have worked, simply display position and time in employment which will suffice for the purposes of merely applying for a job in the first instance.

    4: DON’T display college/university addresses of where you attended, Type of qualification and level will suffice for the purposes of merely applying for a job in the first instance.

    5: DON’T display affiliations with social sites (ie, Facebook,Twitter,etc) or any website where you have used personal data during registration.

    6: DON’T display age,height,weight,disablements, illnesses or include pictures identifying you as you.

    7: DON’T display National Insurance number,tax code, bank details, references or any such data that makes you, you (ie, any two or more pieces of data that identify you as say, ” a specific Mr Alan Turing distinguishable from other Alan Turings)

    (A christian name with a home residence address as one example,is considered personal data under the eyes of the law).

    MAKE CLEAR on your CV that dew to the constant cyber threats, you have taken the necessary security steps to protect your personal and or sensitive data in full accordance of the data protection act as the data subject. Explain that such data will be released only at a time when in the physical presence of an interviewer at a physical address and only then dependent upon proceedings going according to the data subjects (you) wishes.

    FAR to OFTEN agencies/employers/nefarious bodies DON’T SEEK the usual FORMAL CONSENT PROCEDURE and WILL OFTEN PREVENT DATA SUBJECTS (you) from PROCEEDING WITH AN APPLICATION where such personal and or sensitive data IS NOT FULLY WARRANTED at such an early juncture. THEY USE whats termed IMPLIED CONSENT which is under law legally acceptable as a sign of FORMAL CONSENT (ie UNIVERSAL JOBMATCH,INDEED,etc)

    (An example is refusing to allow a person registration for an account (ie gateway) without the person first consenting to their processing arrangements (ie, supply such data to a third party,etc). This is under the definition of law considered IMPLIED CONSENT.

    A data subject has the legal right to know exactly how their data is processed and has the right to obtain such a full statement however exhaustive that list is PRIOR TO GIVING ANY FORM OF LEGALLY BINDING CONSENT.





    September 23, 2016 at 11:29 am

    • Yahoo! have been regularly hacked over the years. I wouldn’t advise anybody to use Yahoo! Mail for any serious purpose.


      September 23, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      • Im certainly not hoping your advocating claimants should TRUST the likes of Googles Gmail services or microsofts live.co.uk service. THE TWO MOST PROLIFIC PRIERS of peoples personal and or sensitive data. They have also been linked to ties with the NSA and GCHQ (uk).


        September 23, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      • For normal purposes Gmail and Outlook.com are OK in my view. Outlook.com is pretty cool these days and allows you to set up aliases, implement two-step verification if you want it, and has a very good anti-spam filter. Microsoft and Google – especially Google – do autonomously scan every email handled by their services for data that might be useful to government agencies and/or for corporate partners and purposes, but are supposed to do so anonymously rather than personally. I suppose you could call this kind of activity “corporate hacking” which ain’t great but is certainly a lot better than “criminal hacking” where thieves and confidence tricksters deliberately try to embezzle and defraud people of money or steal and then use their identities for dodgy purposes: I doubt Microsoft or Google would transfer money out of your bank account, for instance, without your permission for their own nefarious purposes and at least their systems administrators seem up to the task of patching, updating and running secure servers professionally – unlike Yahoo! If you need more security than that, most people don’t, use PGP or OpenPGP to encrypt your email and send it to the mail server over secure sockets.

        The Neighbour of the Beast

        September 23, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      • (The real problem is that organisations do not encrypt data in their SQL databases. If they did this even if they were hacked the data obtained by the hackers would be unreadable and therefore useless. Slack system and database administration is the weakness behind all of these problems.)

        The Neighbour of the Beast

        September 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      • You mean encryption makes it harder but when the hack is organized, the resources and tech available makes it a lot easier. Trust me when i say no lone hacker or group did it. Its called international or corporate espionage/sabotage.

        This is why it makes me laugh when people say, “why would they want to hack me/you” as it has nothing to do with individuals and their secret lives (unless used as a cover) or their meager savings or poor investments.

        Its all about splash like its all about infrastructures when taking down a large target area.

        Theft is such when the accused profits from it and what actually makes the email providers worse than criminal hackers is how they hide behind implied consent, refuse to negotiate data controls and wholly exploit how a certain law does not apply when outside of that countries boarders. Criminal hackers don’t pretend to be anything other than they are, that’s not something we can say about our corporations.

        A good criminal isn’t someone who does not get caught, its one who can hide behind power and the law while flaunting it.


        September 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      • EIGHT MILLION British users had their personal data stolen in Yahoo hack – with Sky and BT customers warned they could be unwitting victims

        Yahoo admits data of 500 million user accounts was stolen in 2014
        It was warned around two months ago and only revealed it this week
        Names, emails, phone numbers, passwords and security questions taken
        Company blames ‘state-sponsored’ hackers but refuses to name country
        Russians, Chinese and North Koreans all linked to recent cyber attacks
        Yahoo is about to be sold to Verizon in a $4.8billion deal agreed in July
        BT and Sky urge customers to change email passwords of links to Yahoo
        If Yahoo breached Data Protection Act they could pay out compensation


        news seeker

        September 23, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      • Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) was sued on Friday by a user who accused it of gross negligence over a massive 2014 hacking in which information was stolen from at least 500 million accounts.

        The lawsuit was filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, one day after Yahoo disclosed the hacking, unprecedented in size, by what it believed was a “state-sponsored actor.”

        Ronald Schwartz, a New York resident, sued on behalf of all Yahoo users in the United States whose personal information was compromised. The lawsuit seeks class-action status and unspecified damages.


        news seeker

        September 24, 2016 at 7:43 am

      • I think we have to get some perspective here like the millions of fools who cant say , “i didn’t know yahoo didn’t encrypt”. Its been their all along as it is with any other known branded website. Only today we hear how Pipa Middleton had data stolen from icloud. Apple put more work in than Google and Microsoft do yet down comes the spider.

        You can’t PERIOD expect your data to be secure, its a myth, a myth by the way that needs to stop as even encryption isn’t a fail safe. Its about throwing up doors,hoping to wear out interest, the problem is computers thrive on multi tasking,don’t get ill, don’t need a break meaning everything is about time and nothing else.

        The problem however when we consider this websites aimed audience is CHOICE or as is the case THE LACK OF CHOICE known as MANDATION.

        This is why i and others hand out law and safe practices like removing such personal data from CVs more so than DWP advertise. How to not enter personal details while registering with jobsites. How to restrict the personal data they give agencies until real jobs are offered than the current practice of just getting you on the books so as to look good to potential employers looking for temps.How to vet job adverts and more.

        Like ive said a thousand times and will say a thousand times more,


        Practice this and it wont matter what email site you use,wont matter how many times it gets hacked plain and simple.


        September 24, 2016 at 9:18 am

    • If you do encryption properly it is unbreakable and will remain so until quantum computers or something similar come along with speeds fast enough to crack current ciphers. What’s more likely to happen is some bent data administrator in India, or Iceland, or elsewhere with access to some cluster of servers which are part of some distributed “cloud” system copies masses of sensitive data and sell it, or leaks it, for whatever reason. The human link in the chain is always the weak link. After all there’s nothing to stop a waiter or waitress from slyly copying credit card numbers and such like when people pay their bills in a restaurant or back bedroom websites retaining such details illegally when people shop on them.


      September 23, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      • Their not unbreakable and you know this as you’ve attempted to shift rather quietly to asserting quantum computing, then realized server use but still haven’t got to realize boting PCs in the millions/billions.

        An encryption is a case of how long is a piece of string as it can either be broken in a second or a year but make no mistake it will be broken.

        The reason it does not take a year these days isn’t really to do with CPU grunt, its to do with narrowing the field, understanding the variables at play as after all its just another mathematical question.

        As for the waiter stealing numbers situation,pure tosh and im not talking the waiters ability to do it. Tax law states all businesses record every transaction so theirs your first human error. Everyone prior to coming to said restaurant had the opportunity to go to an ATM so theirs your second human error. The waiter who must be really dumb as their actions are traceable so if they did it would form a footprint as no one hits but one mark in that scenario as theirs no profit in it forming the third.

        Im sorry but your argument is weak and total unrealistic to reality.


        September 24, 2016 at 9:42 am

      • Consider the 128-bit encryption used by the Secure Sockets Layer in browsers. How long would it take to crack such encryption by brute force? (The lowest form of encryption still used by modern browsers.) Well, it turns out that it would take significantly longer than the age of the universe to crack such encryption.

        SSL uses public-key encryption to exchange a session key between the client and server; this session key is used to encrypt the http transaction (both request and response). Each transaction uses a different session key so that even if someone did manage to decrypt a transaction, that would not mean that they would have found the server’s secret key; if they wanted to decrypt another transaction, they’d need to spend as much time and effort on the second transaction as they did on the first. Of course, they would have first have to have figured out some method of intercepting the transaction data in the first place, which is in itself extremely difficult. It would be significantly easier to tap your phone, or to intercept your mail to acquire your credit card number than to somehow intercept and decode Internet Data.

        Servers and browsers do encryption ranging from a 40-bit secret key to a 128-bit secret key, that is to say ‘2 to the 40th power’ or ‘2 to the 128th power’. Many people have heard that 40-bit is insecure and that you need 128-bit to keep your credit card info safe. They feel that using a 40-bit key is insecure because it’s vulnerable to a “brute force” attack (basically trying each of the 2^40 possible keys until you find the one that decrypts the message). This was in fact demonstrated when a French researcher used a network of fast workstations to crack a 40-bit encrypted message in a little over a week. Of course, even this ‘vulnerability’ is not really applicable to applications like an online credit card transaction, since the transaction is completed in a few moments. If a network of fast computers takes a week to crack a 40-bit key, you’d be completed your transaction and long gone before the hacker even got started.

        Of course, using a 128-bit key eliminates any problem at all because there are 2^128 instead of 2^40 possible keys. Using the same method (a networked of fast workstations) to crack a message encrypted with such a key would take significantly longer than the age of the universe using conventional technology. Remember that 128-bit is not just ‘three times’ as powerful as 40-bit encryption. 2^128 is ‘two times two, times two, times two…’ with 128 two’s. That is two, doubled on itself 128 times. 2^40 is already a HUGE number, about a trillion (that’s a million, million!). Therefore 2^128 is that number (a trillion), doubled over and over on itself another 88 times.

        Again, let me repeat, it would take significantly longer than the age of the universe to crack a 128-bit key and many browsers and servers now use 256-bit encryption with the secure sockets protocol. What we’re talking about here is only the protocol used to exchange data between users and servers over the web; the data doesn’t necessarily remain stored in an encrypted form on the server. It’s up to database and system admins whether the data they retain is encrypted while in their care. Encryption algorithms far more secure than 128-bit/256-bit SSL are available to system and database administrators if they care to use them. If they don’t then the blame for hacker theft of sensitive data is down to them.

        It is possible to render data safely unintelligible to third parties unless they possess the means to unscramble it. The weak link is almost always the human link normally through incompetence, negligence or intentional acts of criminality. Yahoo! has been repeatedly hacked while Amazon and Paypal haven’t. Talk Talk was hacked because the company failed to act on or pay attention to risk assessments which warned them of conspicuous security holes and dangers. The means to maintain security exist and can be implemented if people/businesses have the resolve, staff andmoney to do so..


        September 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      • Here we go, blar, blar blar.

        Firstly stop with the brute force as thats for amateurs and lone wolfs who for the most part take others already resigned to the bins work and ideas. Its so yesterday dude.

        Who cares about programming, that’s just the shop front for the lesser’s who cant grasp electronics and field theory. Please get it through your head I.T guys are not in the same league with science and engineering. They deal with a limited scope, a fish bowl of the greater understanding of wave generation.

        Look i can see we are just going to go around and around here so i suggest we stick a pin in it and see what happens in the next 10, 20 years, see if stuff becomes impregnable.


        September 24, 2016 at 12:31 pm

  23. Female con artist jailed after stealing £24,000 from disabled kids charity, then pretending she had cancer to escape punishment!



    September 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    • Yet more proof FRAUD is more prevalent among the working public.

      For the record while on the subject certain people,departments,organizations like to attribute a certain kind of fraud towards claimants when infact its quite the opposite.

      Under regulation and statistical practice a person WHOM is DEEMED unemployed MUST BE a persons who is NOT in any form of gainful employment NO MATTER HOW MANY HOURS that may be. They MUST BE actively seeking and be available to take up work.

      I say this as government and press as two very good examples like to claim that a claimant is a fraudster if they work while claiming unemployment benefits and not notifying said department of this change.

      WELL, as you have seen two paragraphs above a said person cannot be said to be unemployed if they have any form of gainful non government approved employment. This means and it includes any monies gained from breaking the law (ie drug dealing,blackmail,robbery,fraud,etc) that the person is INFACT NOT an UNEMPLOYED CLAIMANT the moment they commit to such activities BUT INFACT A WORKING CLASS, LISTED AS EMPLOYED MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC SEEKING TO OBTAIN UNEMPLOYED BENEFITS BY FRAUDULENT means. It does not matter if they are still eligible for nor claiming said benefit at the time.



      September 23, 2016 at 1:13 pm

  24. Centrelink could be sued over ‘privatisation’ of job schemes – Australia as in UK.

    Union says work-for-the-dole jobseekers are increasingly reporting that welfare payments have been unfairly suspended

    The president of the AUWU, Owen Bennett, said jobseekers were increasingly contacting the union with stories of abrupt suspensions or penalties to their unemployment or disability allowances. He said some of these decisions were made unfairly, without natural justice and without the companies providing a reasonable opportunity to allow those affected to respond.

    “This is pushing these people to a point where they’ve really got nothing to turn to, and it pushes them over the edge in many cases,” Bennett said. “They’re putting people in very vulnerable positions to the point where their health and generally their wellbeing is being placed under threat.”


    news seeker

    September 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm

  25. No more cuts to benifits.

    When further cuts to disability benefits became politically risky, did the government cynically decide to make cuts anyway, but covertly, by simply denying support to people who desperately need it?


    Hepburn: DWP must end sanctions for Scots on work programmes hits the poorest



    September 23, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    • Commenting on the issue, a DWP spokesman said: “Sanctions are an important part of our benefits system and it is right that they are in place for those few who do not fulfill their commitment to find work.

      Sanctions are in place for everyone no matter what.

      news seeker

      September 23, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      • You know an admission to the few and the use of important don’t quite go together.

        Challenge the narrative,see the truth.


        September 24, 2016 at 10:04 am

    • As you and others know Ken, the DWP just like those who say, just following orders, (criminals) assume they will always get away with what they do.

      news seeker

      September 23, 2016 at 8:40 pm

  26. Those interesting in NATO.

    Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Harvard Kennedy School.

    The Kennedy School at Harvard is one of the world’s premier institutions of learning and public policy. Its alumni have gone on to lead in every corner of the world. Presidents and Prime Ministers. Politicians of all parties. Admirals and Generals. Even a couple of astronauts. And for almost seventy years, many of those alumni have served in NATO.


    news seeker

    September 23, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    • I know it’s nothing to do with the unemployed or benefits, at least not just yet.

      news seeker

      September 23, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    • Coming soon, diverse workforce, flexible career structures, apprenticeships across the Defence enterprise.

      news seeker

      September 24, 2016 at 7:51 am

  27. I don’t know if this has already been covered but here we go.

    I have just found this on What Do They Know website.

    How will mandatory work activity for claimants be provided after the contracts with external providers have ended?

    This FoI proves that you can no longer be mandated or given a Jobseekers Direction to go on a work experience course. Take note of the last paragraph and read carefully.

    DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
    Annex A

    e-mail: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-information/

    Our Ref: FoI 1092

    DATE: 19 April 2016
    Annex A

    Dear XXXXX XXXX,

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 22 March 2016. You asked:

    After the contracts with private sector providers have ended, how will the work experience /
    work placements be sourced and arranged in order to comply with The Welfare Reform Act
    2012 (Part 2, 16(e) ‘undertaking work experience or a work placement’).

    In other words:-

    Which organisation(s) or government department(s) will take responsibility for arranging work
    placements / work experience for claimants, after the contracts with private sector providers
    have ended?

    DWP Response:

    The Welfare Reform Act 2012 (section 16(3)(e)) enables the Department for Work and
    Pensions to require a claimant to take part in work experience or a work placement.

    The department has offered a range of work experience placement opportunities for claimants.
    We always intended to review the Mandatory Work Activity Programme and Community Work
    Placement element of Help to Work when contracts end in 2016.

    The labour market is in a different and much improved position compared with when these programmes were introduced and the support we provide through our Jobcentres and contracted provision needs to evolve and be responsive to these changes and the needs of our claimants.

    We are therefore ceasing these two work placement programmes when contracts end and we are currently
    designing the future support we will offer unemployed claimants building on the best evidence
    we have on value for money and employment impacts.

    The responsibility for sourcing voluntary work experience placements lies with Jobcentre Plus and this work experience opportunity will continue to be available to claimants who would benefit from a period of work
    related activity.

    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number

    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Strategy FoI Team



    Obi Wan Kenobi

    September 24, 2016 at 9:42 am

    • Hi again Obi Wan

      “we are currently designing the future support we will offer unemployed claimants building on the best evidence we have on value for money and employment impacts”.

      Speaks volumes don’t you think ?

      We know the work programmes and experiences to date were a failure so no evidence beyond, “don’t do that again” in that department.

      The freudian slip here is of course “we have on value for money ” suggesting it is they and not us that needed to learn the lesson. As for employment impact, juries out on whether or not they understand this or if they do, what warped attempt manifests itself their after when we consider self serving.


      September 24, 2016 at 10:22 am

      • It sure does speak volumes, though not all know what this means.

        news seeker

        September 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm

  28. A Conservative minister talking openly about cutting pensioner benefits in the same week that Labour’s leadership contest ended may have been a coincidence.

    Questioning the future of universal benefits and the so-called “triple lock” on the state pension was, however, a fairly big hint that the Tories think the next general election is in the bag.

    New work and pensions secretary Damian Green claimed the review of state and pensioner benefits reflected concerns over intergenerational fairness. That’s a misrepresentation. It’s about saving money. But the fact that “intergenerational fairness” was even recognised by a Conservative minister is progress. It also implies the government believes pensioners are more likely to accept changes if they are framed as helping address generational inequality.

    I’m not sure that’s how they’ll see it, but it is clear that younger generations are being systematically disadvantaged. The latest annual Intergenerational Fairness Index, published last month by the Intergenerational Foundation (IF), made for bleak reading. It pointed out that rising housing costs, lower wages, low job security, higher student debts and cuts to maintenance grants and housing benefit have created enormous financial pressures for today’s twentysomethings.


    news seeker

    September 24, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    • The Tories have no intention of touching pensions as that’s their crisis pot for when everything goes bell up.

      Why do you think they triple locked, made it grow at a good rate and want workers to contribute to a pension scheme.


      September 25, 2016 at 12:03 am


    Is this the remedy for the Yahoo Mail hack:


    What do you think?


    September 24, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    • Is it worth £43 a year though unless you really need guaranteed privacy when probably all your emails are trivial and innocuous?


      September 24, 2016 at 8:28 pm

  30. Matlock protest at hospital bed axe plan.

    Protesters have driven a bed along a main road as part of a campaign to save a hospital ward.

    More than 200 people marched through Matlock and on the A6 on Saturday over plans to axe in-patient beds at Whitworth hospital in Darley Dale.

    The NHS body behind the plans said people could often be better treated in their own homes.

    Dr Ben Milton, chair of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP in Darley Dale, said: “My patients often tell me that they don’t want to go into hospital and doctors now know that patients do better if they can avoid unnecessary hospital stays, which can lead to some older people never regaining their independence.


    news seeker

    September 24, 2016 at 5:37 pm

  31. Hollande sets out plan to close Jungle camp.

    French President Francois Hollande has said he intends to close the “Jungle” camp in Calais and move 9,000 migrants to reception centres across France. for four months.


    news seeker

    September 24, 2016 at 5:59 pm

  32. The new chair of the equality watchdog has taken up his new post, despite question-marks over potential conflicts of interest arising from his legal firm’s work for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other government departments.

    David Isaac took up the post of chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) this week, as the watchdog prepares to investigate whether Conservative welfare reforms have breached the human rights of disabled people.


    news seeker

    September 24, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    • Same ploy as moving their DWP health advisor onto the health and safety department. Ring fencing the whole scam.

      Expect a mass abuse to occur when they start writing and reworking laws


      September 24, 2016 at 11:59 pm

  33. Former employees file class action against Wells Fargo.

    Two former Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) employees have filed a class action in California seeking $2.6 billion or more for workers who tried to meet aggressive sales quotas without engaging in fraud and were later demoted, forced to resign or fired.

    The lawsuit on behalf of people who worked for Wells Fargo in California over the past 10 years, including current employees, focuses on those who followed the rules and were penalized for not meeting sales quotas.

    “Wells Fargo fired or demoted employees who failed to meet unrealistic quotas while at the same time providing promotions to employees who met these quotas by opening fraudulent accounts,” the lawsuit filed on Thursday in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County said.

    Wells Fargo has fired some 5,300 employees for opening as many as 2 million accounts in customers’ names without their authorization. On Sept. 8, a federal regulator and Los Angeles prosecutor announced a $190 million settlement with Wells.


    news seeker

    September 24, 2016 at 7:22 pm

  34. The mail newspaper drops the ball


    The mail online (mainstream media outlet) has allowed themselves to get played by a 19 year old who claimed he got £15’000 a year in benefits and spent it on surgery to look like Beckham.
    The sad thing is if this paper had actually bothered to fact check, they would know his brother is no stranger to the limelight either


    Its a classic case of the mail in their haste to validate the tory mantra yet again that has lead to them looking less job worthy than this boy. Its like the article where a boy claimed to have spent all his dole on hookers only to be retracted later when it was uncovered it was a big fat lie.

    Well if we have learnt anything here, its that the mail is workshy, a skiver and if they knew, no strangers to defrauding the taxpayer.


    September 25, 2016 at 8:47 am

  35. Award of the Equality Advisory Support Service to G4S.

    We are writing to express our profound concern at reports that the Government Equalities Office has
    awarded security firm G4S the contract to deliver the Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS). Given
    the serious and longstanding concerns about the competence of G4S expressed by Members of Parliament across the House and several parliamentary committees, we urge you to initiate a parliamentary investigation into both the tendering process and the suitability of G4S to deliver this vital service. We understand that the service is due to become operational on 1 October and run for three years, with the option of a two year extension.

    The matter is therefore urgent.The EASS provides advice and assistance to individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights, across England, Scotland and Wales.
    In October 2012, it replaced a helpline, previously run by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which provided a vital resource for individuals affected by discrimination.

    4 pages.


    news seeker

    September 25, 2016 at 2:59 pm

  36. Jeremy Corbyn has beaten Owen Smith to remain leader of the Labour Party. Corbyn wins 61.8% of votes.

    Ahead of the announcement of his victory, Corbyn gave an address calling on lawmakers and party members at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool to come together to fight the Tories and bring real change to Britain.


    September 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    • news seeker

      September 25, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    • He’s got the mad love of several hundred thousand Labour party members but needs twelve million or more votes to win. Which he won’t get. Result: The next nine years plus are going to be lived under uninterrupted Tory government.


      September 26, 2016 at 6:33 am

      • Reality check Pauly

        If Corbyn only has several hundred thousand Labour party members and wiped the floor again of the labour competition meaning those that stood against him have even less.



        September 26, 2016 at 8:20 am

      • To save you time don’t bother coming with if it was another we would have combined votes exceeding Corbyn as if that was true you can believe those votes would have been cast such is the hate and disdain for the man.

        What very poor sportsmanship Labour voters and MPs have to face facts on besides the worst display of unity and democracy i have ever witnessed in this country, is that you are the MINORITY who NOW needs the MAJORITY to have any chance period whether its Corbyn in or someone else.

        Recognize FACT not FICTION as if the latter is what you want to believe then your already well on way to being a conservative as that’s precisely where they live.


        September 26, 2016 at 8:35 am

      • I didn’t say a change of leadership would help Labour win only that Corbyn in my opinion won’t lead the Labour party to victory in any general election… unless of course Brexit turns out to be a complete and utter disaster for the country, which it might, and the Conservative party tears itself apart and is blamed for it or for some equally horrendous catastrophe. What is probably going to happen is that Labour fails to make much headway, UKIP fades into the background, and the Liberal Democrats improve their position a bit support-wise while the Tories lose some support but go on to win a bigger majority, helped by the constituency boundary changes and favourable coverage in the media. Better the devil you know than the risky other guy kind of thing.

        I would bet the farm however that Labour is in for a hiding under Jeremy Corbyn.

        And I say it with very great sadness because I would love to see Tory rule interrupted.


        September 26, 2016 at 9:18 am

      • doug

        funny that you ask the question if Exit goes Ti&s Up.

        “China slowdown is global economy’s biggest threat, Rogoff says”

        For those who cannot picture the fallout think of Ships at sea at Night [low visibility] in with rocks before and to the sides, China is the lead Ship if it hits the rocks will the ships behind stop in time to avoid the same fate? Worse China by its motion is supplying motion to the other ships. If it stops what about everyone else? And the main plank of Exit is to boost exports [China/India chief amongst them] – what happens then?

        Life Funnies:
        Can see how Councils keep the waiting lists low.
        My council makes you signup to a site.
        No info on password or anything else.
        Received the code finally after a month. Its a one time use code so if you bug up its start all over again – if you can that is…
        Taking laptop in this week and telling them to show me there and then how this is supposed to work. Beginning to get that DWP vibes about this all

        Work Programme have helpfully scheduled another visit to them [past 9 months once a month – now twice in a month!] and they know I’m homeless. I wonder if they are trying to cause a sanction… I wonder…


        September 26, 2016 at 11:08 am

      • Is that it pauly, is that the best you can do. The best being to dare to speculate, to assume, to guess rather than present good solid evidence. Stop with the oh wo crap as already economists have proved the walls haven’t fallen as predicted by others who dared to speculate,to assume, to guess.

        As for the the tories they wanted out, they just masked it by showing a fake plan B to stave off an election execution. Read their crap will you as they would have to leave the EU to make half of it an actuality like the social bill for instance.
        I think its pretty evident UKIP, greenpeace even the liberals aren’t ever any time soon getting back into a coalition let alone sole keeper of office.

        As for Europe they actually need us more than they care to admit so either would have to be gentlemen and strike a fair and equal accord or get into bed with America, a country whose already destroyed its homeland and now seeks to drag the rest of the world down with it. Its no better in the UK with government sucking up to the states with all the ball rhetoric about Russia and the country their to afraid to mention who holds the lion share of American assets, China. Remember what the world currency is while you contemplate this and how much hangs around the British neck as so to speak.

        America is the disease of this planet and all who follow them so don’t be beguiled by puppet press sycophants eager to propaganda the crap out of near everything hoping to gain some sort of favor that may well have already happened directly after the press scandal if you cast your mind back.

        Your already witnessing the decadence, the time of tribes and soon will witness the clash of kings already boiling under the surface waiting to erupt. Don’t let them make it your blood, your sweat, your tears as once its an actuality you wont be afforded the chance to turn away, to bury your head, to point the finger.


        September 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      • China has been a THE SUPER for quite a few years now and what this article refers to is if CHINA go south, what assets will they dump, what debts will they call in on whom.

        What global currency i or you or our ancestors were never consulted on motions across the seas to every continent. Whether we left the EU or not such damage would still cripple everyone and you have the yank government to thank for that many moons ago.

        China played the long game while the western world played the short cash grab and has only itself the blame. So it is weak and quite pathetic for the likes of media to apply such a tenuous link to suggest such a simple solitary vote to leave Europe was ever going to stop an actuality.

        Europe is in a far worse financial state than us so a shared sense of burden will only mean those at the bottom suffer still worse.


        September 26, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      • Hi Doug.

        What I wrote is my best guess as per what I think is likely to happen based on past experience. Like any fortune teller I can’t give evidence to support my predictions or guesstimations as our American friends call such things. Based on Mr Corbyn having the lowest popularity ratings of any new Labour leader ever, or at least since polling was conducted, it’s hard to imagine how he could ever end up in 10 Downing Street unless the Tories drop the ball in a really big way, e.g., get blamed for a war in which there was a massive loss of life or an economic catastrophe like “Black Wednesday” or whatever. For Corbyn to be palatable to the masses, rather than just ecstatic Labour party members and enthusiasts the alternatives to Corbyn would have to be really awful and/or discredited.

        You don’t need tarot cards or a crystal ball to be able to see that future a few years down the tracks.


        September 27, 2016 at 7:59 am

    • You learn the truth about Momentum when you visit the Labour conference – but Corbyn’s critics won’t want to hear it.

      news seeker

      September 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm

  37. news seeker

    September 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    • Hmmm, how can I cook the books here.

      This FOI if DWP cough up highlights the total amount or should I say extent of draconian policy put into action by staff.

      Been declared fit for work, bing
      Been sanctioned, bing
      Challenging what DWP state is a reasonable request, bing
      Had your benefit stopped, bing.

      No longer do we have to sift through document/stat after document/stat as laid bare in this legal request is the slash damage new policy is causing so is it any wonder DWP are dragging their heals.


      September 26, 2016 at 8:15 am

  38. Stevenage is really developing’ – DWP stats show job market is booming as town gets set for arrival of Debenhams and Costco

    “We have employers in our job centres every day. They see jobseekers on the spot and sometimes they’re offered a job before they walk out of the job centre.



    September 25, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    • And how many of those jobs are Christmas temp jobs ?

      How many of these jobs guaranteed 37 hours each, every week ?

      How many were 30 hours of less ?


      UC is being used as a smoke screen to hide the fact many who leave the unemployed queue are still no better off, still cant afford to meet all their bills without help.

      Its a change of benefit name taxpayers, not a reasonable change of monies.


      September 26, 2016 at 8:06 am

    • “Over in Letchworth Home Bargains are opening now, and they want 16 people from the Letchworth job centre”

      news seeker

      September 26, 2016 at 9:53 am

    • Employers have no paid employees, so go to a JC to get a guaranteed (threat of a sanction) workforce for the day, 1930’s.

      news seeker

      September 26, 2016 at 10:39 am

  39. Government reforms to public sector exit payments confirmed.

    The government has published its response to the consultation about reforms to public sector exit payments to ensure greater consistency between public sector redundancy compensation schemes and value for money for the taxpayer. These reforms will apply to the majority of the 5 million public sector workforce, including civil servants, teachers, NHS workers, local government workers, armed forces personnel, police officers and firefighters.


    news seeker

    September 26, 2016 at 10:04 am

  40. Concentrix: ‘Suicidal calls’ made to tax credits firm.

    A firm used by the government to cut tax credit payments has received calls from “suicidal” clients, the BBC has been told.

    A whistleblower at Concentrix’s call centre said most staff “weren’t even trained” to deal with such calls.

    He said staff were not offered counselling, but were instead told: “Have a smoke… you’ll be fine.”

    It told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “Our staff are supported as much as possible where we have encountered this type of scenario.”


    news seeker

    September 26, 2016 at 10:49 am

    • I think what the public need to concentrate on was the comment made by concentrix regarding following HMRC guide lines and this governments refusal to carryout an inquiry on the weal premise, what does it matter now, we are not renewing their contract.

      If you all cast your minds back another contract private firm said that and they were called ATOS and it was regarding the flawed system claimants still even now under maximus endure.

      Our government is hiding something thats for sure.

      Lastly concentrix state HRMC send them the suspects but the question is, who sends them the suspects like oh i don’t know, DWP perhaps ?

      I smell a massive stink here so government must be pressed to be completely transparent right up to allowing us to question both HMRC and DWP.


      September 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm

  41. news seeker

    September 26, 2016 at 11:19 am

  42. The economics of a £10 an hour living wage. it should be set at above £10 an hour. by 2020.

    John McDonnell promised he would reveal a new “interventionist” underpinning to Labour’s economic policy.

    Mr McDonnell said he wanted to go further, making the bold statement that under a Labour government “everyone will have enough to live on”.


    news seeker

    September 26, 2016 at 3:17 pm

  43. I am waiting for the Labour Party to say something about Sanctions, Workfare, Universal Credit, Benefit levels at poverty rates, in short a programme for social security.

    That’s it: waiting.

    Andrew Coates

    September 26, 2016 at 4:34 pm

  44. Full Length Version 54 minutes

    Concentrix: Tory appointed scumbag firm putting excessive profits before people

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 26, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    • Damien 666 Green – 41:34

      SACKED !!!

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 26, 2016 at 8:48 pm


    MAXIMUS Vs Tories

    CONCENTRIX Vs Tories

    Mrs May GO !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 26, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    • Now their kids are put into care !!! Because the hard working parents can`t cope.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 26, 2016 at 8:53 pm

  46. I am married to Queen Elizabeth the first over 400 years ago !!! Do I need to prove I wasn`t !!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 26, 2016 at 8:54 pm

  47. So the HRMC are now providing 150 staff to work for CONCENTRIX

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 26, 2016 at 8:58 pm

  48. On 22 November 2016 CSPL will hold a joint seminar with University College London’s Constitution Unit on the impact of referendums in the UK.

    What are the problems?
    How are referendums in the UK conducted?
    Can we draw lessons from elsewhere?
    What ideas are worth pursuing in the future?


    news seeker

    September 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm

  49. Reasons for food banks.

    “The Department does not hold information relating to your request. However, the All-Party
    Parliamentary Inquiry thoroughly investigated the use of food banks. It found that there are a
    number of complex and frequently overlapping reasons why people use food banks.
    The welfare system continues to provide a strong safety net for those who need extra support”,


    news seeker

    September 26, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    • Is welfare reform one of these “complex reasons” driving people to food banks or not? Surely the five to ten week wait for Universal Credit and draconian sanctions regime MUST be two of the reasons why people can’t afford to buy their own food?


      September 27, 2016 at 7:50 am

    • Anybody know where to see the report written by the Parliamentry inquiry into food banks? What are the “complex reasons” behind food bank usage? Why are so many more people having to resort to food banks now – millions of people over the last several years and increasing – rather than the 40,000 or so pre 2010?

      Where are the answers to be had?


      September 27, 2016 at 8:08 am

  50. HMRC clarifies you only get a Concentrix lump sum if all your tax credits were stopped

    MoneySavingExpert – 26 Sep 2016

    If your entire tax credit claim was wrongly stopped by the contractor Concentrix you’ll receive a lump sum repayment, HMRC said today – but if only part of your claim was removed or reduced, you’ll have to wait to get the money back in instalments.

    MoneySavingExpert.com has been inundated with horror stories from people claiming their tax credits were incorrectly cancelled with Concentrix, with some claiming they’ve been struggling to feed their family as a result. Earlier this month HMRC announced it isn’t extending Concentrix’s contract beyond May 2017 and it’s promised to prioritise helping those who’ve had tax credits incorrectly stopped.

    But there’s been widespread confusion over whether those who successfully appeal against a Concentrix decision will get repayments as a lump sum or in installments.

    HMRC originally told us that if your tax credits were wrongly stopped you’ll have them repaid in one go. But after a number of people contacted MSE founder Martin Lewis to complain they’re getting repayments of as little as £3/week on top of their reinstated tax credits, it’s since clarified that while that’s true if your credits were stopped, it’s not the case if only part of your claim was removed.

    Tax credits are payouts made regularly by the state into bank accounts to support those with children or in work but with low income. See our Tax Credits guide for more info, and Concentrix tax credits help for how to appeal.

    Read More:

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    September 26, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    • Appeal using mandatory reconsideration. FAILURE

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 26, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    • oops!

      news seeker

      September 26, 2016 at 9:42 pm

  51. HMRC clarifies you only get a Concentrix lump sum if all your tax credits were stopped.

    If your entire tax credit claim was wrongly stopped by the contractor Concentrix you’ll receive a lump sum repayment, HMRC said today – but if only part of your claim was removed or reduced, you’ll have to wait to get the money back in instalments.

    MoneySavingExpert.com has been inundated with horror stories from people claiming their tax credits were incorrectly cancelled with Concentrix, with some claiming they’ve been struggling to feed their family as a result. Earlier this month HMRC announced it isn’t extending Concentrix’s contract beyond May 2017 and it’s promised to prioritise helping those who’ve had tax credits incorrectly stopped.

    But there’s been widespread confusion over whether those who successfully appeal against a Concentrix decision will get repayments as a lump sum or in installments.

    HMRC originally told us that if your tax credits were wrongly stopped you’ll have them repaid in one go. But after a number of people contacted MSE founder Martin Lewis to complain they’re getting repayments of as little as £3/week on top of their reinstated tax credits, it’s since clarified that while that’s true if your credits were stopped, it’s not the case if only part of your claim was removed.

    Tax credits are payouts made regularly by the state into bank accounts to support those with children or in work but with low income. See our Tax Credits guide for more info, and Concentrix tax credits help for how to appeal.


    news seeker

    September 26, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    • Thanks again newsseeker I am on the case today 🙂

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      September 26, 2016 at 9:50 pm


      Hmmm, lets put that into context for the taxpayer shall we and don’t forget when i said politicians always declare a figure that serves them best.

      Well we are looking at a welfare spend of around 113 Billion (excluding pensions) this revenue year (April 2016 to April 2017) so that means the twat conservative Craig Mackinlay just said at the time live on Victoria Derbyshire BBC TV program, its only SAVED 0.12% of WELFARE EXPENDITURE

      NOT EVEN 1%,

      Lets take the 1% of welfare expenditure shall we which is 1.13 billion and see what 0.12% represents to it shall we. Well its 11.5% of the 1%.


      Not even a quarter of 1% of welfare expenditure.


      REWIND conservative Craig Mackinlays speech and he said, “i dont think its unreasonable that HMRC is attempting to cut down on FRAUD”, WELLL,

      Considering they take the lion share of revenue in i suppose we can now place this 130 million fraud against revenue taken 2015/16 which was 1.52 Trillion OK.


      (Remember when locating tax revenue for calculation on link supplied, do pay attention to the power of 3 symbol attached to the amount and hence my 1.52 trillion figure.

      So that means the 130 million represents a reallly really really small 0.0085%.



      FURTHER MORE, he claimed people living together (CALLED THEM LOW HANGING FRUIT) is a very common DWP problem. DIDN’T I JUST DEMONSTRATE THAT’S CLEARLY NOT THE CASE ?

      I STRONGLY SUGGEST Craig Mackinlay not only shouldn’t rely on reading mere court lists that DON’T demonstrate the outcomes of such trials, That he also SHOULD SHUT HIS PIE HOLE AS HES DIGGING HIMSELF A RATHER LARGE HOLE.


      September 27, 2016 at 8:16 am

      • Did a little digging on our MP Craig Mackinlay and guess what i found ?


        Have a look, your gonna love it.


        September 27, 2016 at 8:37 am

      • Does the £130m ‘saved’, take into account how much ConTrix were paid, the cost of all the corrections, and enquiries, and the cost of having 1/4 of the population going around in circles to be made poorer?
        I’m quite sure all the hard-working taxpayers doing the right thing, made a loss.

        Another Fine Recession

        September 27, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      • “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”. Henry Ford.

        So it’s time for a revolution!

        news seeker

        September 27, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      • Adviser guide

        Concentrix tax credits enquiries on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

        HMRC is determined to reduce the amount of error and fraud in the tax credits system. To help tackle this, HMRC has appointed a private sector supplier Concentrix.
        based in Belfast Northern Ireland, which will provide additional external resource to ensure customer claims are accurate. The extra checks will help make sure people get the tax credits they are entitled to, preventing overpayments and identifying inaccurate claims and fraud.

        2 pages


        news seeker

        September 27, 2016 at 2:42 pm

  52. Virtual abolition of PIP, DLA and ESA appeal tribunals as we know them

    The government is poised to bring an end to the shaming success rates at benefits appeals, but they will do so by nobbling the appeals system rather than by improving decision making.

    In the future many more appeals will be “on the papers” where success rates are drastically lower, hearings that do take place will be on the phone or via Skype type links and most appeals will be decided by a solicitor (often retired) sitting alone, without a medical wing member or a disability wing member.


    news seeker

    September 27, 2016 at 12:22 pm

  53. Damien Green has the look of a hangman being snapped on his way into a prison to carry out an execution!

    Albert Pierrepoint

    September 27, 2016 at 7:18 pm

  54. Off topic but over on welfare weekly. Menstrual inequality being debated with the idea of free feminine hygiene products being given to working age women on certain working age benefits aruing hat it’s not acceptable to use socks newspaper and wads of loo roll (rightly). I’m wondering if this is what we see in our school.. quite often and more than bid expect we have to clean chairs girls have bled over. It’s more often than I’d have expected and even though I had horrendous periods as a long girl I never did that….
    Something to put on my blog maybe. The tampon tax always annoyed me and the tory MP when it was proposed the tampon tax went to fund women’s health related services. It’s a necessary product. .. (as a working single mum I have learned to do without cleanser moisturiser ect but bitterly resented the tampon tax or even having to buy them. If I could have gone without I would.
    At the risk of being shot down if the NHS spent less money hounding harassing and chasing women into elective screening programmes eg cervical screening. .lifetime risk 0.65% ie 99.35% no risk. .stopped screening under 30s. ..it could probably pay for free tampons and towels for every woman in the country.
    Now I’m asking for advice. A mds I work with under 25. Her and partner also under 25. He’s working. Can they claim housing benefit? As the relative they live with wants them out? ? Any advice gratefully received thanks x


    September 28, 2016 at 3:01 am

    • Kat, there’s a new post.

      news seeker

      September 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    • Men’s razors and no doubt woman’s razors too have VAT added!

      Gee Let

      September 30, 2016 at 10:10 am

    • Same with shaving cream. In fact, all ‘toiletries’ have VAT added. So the loo roll that you as a substitute for tampons will have VAT added. But, if you use newspaper as a substitute instead you will be VAT-free 😉

      Gee Let

      September 30, 2016 at 10:13 am

      • Andwomen using newspaper as tampons runs the risk of contracting a UTI or other infection. Thankfully as I’m going through menopause it’s less of an issue.months I don’t buy such products for myself I buy them and put them in the parcel I drop off at my union office for the foodbanks


        September 30, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: