Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

New Study: Benefit sanctions forcing people to use food banks, which “should not become an informal substitution for the social safety net.”

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“Should not become an informal substitution for the social safety net” says Report.

Few things are more degrading than having to reply on food hand outs because of poverty, and specifically, as the result of having people’s benefits cut or stopped.

With benefit sanctions in the news, after the release of Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake, this is very timely.

Benefit sanctions, whereby social security claimants have their payments stopped for at least a month as a punishment for supposedly breaching strict jobcentre rules, are a key driver of hunger and food bank use, according to a study carried out by Oxford University academics.

Reports the Guardian.

The Trussell Trust, which funded the report, says today,

  • University of Oxford researchers analysed four years of Trussell Trust foodbank data and found an increase in 10 Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions per 100,000 adults was associated with five more adults needing foodbanks
  • In response, The Trussell Trust, which runs a network of over 420 foodbanks, calls for a true ‘yellow card’ warning system to stop people falling into crisis

Research by the University of Oxford, released today, finds a “strong, dynamic relationship” between sanctioning and food bank usage: there is a link between people having their benefit payments stopped and an increase in referrals to foodbanks.

Researchers analysing Trussell Trust foodbank data from across 259 local authorities between 2012 and 2015 found that as the rate of sanctioning increased within local authorities, the rate of foodbank use also increased.

Even after accounting for differences between local authorities, their modelling showed that for every 10 additional sanctions applied in each quarter of the year, on average five more adults would be referred to Trussell Trust foodbanks in the area. As sanctioning decreased, foodbank use also decreased, which the report suggests is evidence of a strong link between sanctioning and people not having enough money to meet basic needs.

The findings are from the first phase of a 16-month study into how trends in foodbank usage over the last four years relate to changes in the economy and welfare system. Looking across local authorities and over time using aggregated quarterly data, researchers examined whether changes in sanctioning rates within local authorities related to changes in foodbank usage.

Researchers built a longitudinal dataset of local authorities containing quarterly adult foodbank usage, data on foodbank operations, and government data on the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, the number of sanctions applied to Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants, unemployment and employment rates, and population size. These models control for differences in characteristics between local authorities and time trends, ruling out other potential explanations for the relationship observed.

The report says foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network experienced a spike in numbers after 2013, when over one million sanctions were applied. Changes to the sanction regime and Jobseeker’s Allowance at this time included increasing benefit conditionality for claimants, sanctions imposed immediately for failure to meet these conditions, and longer sanctioning penalties, starting from a minimum of four weeks to up to three years*. Foodbanks distributed three times as much over the period – from just under 350,000 three-day emergency food supplies in 2012/13 to around 913,000 in 2013/14. Even after accounting for new foodbanks opening, this spike was evident across the network, says the research.

Report lead author Dr Rachel Loopstra, from the University of Oxford, said:

“These findings show clear evidence of sanctions being linked to economic hardship and hunger, as we see a close relationship between sanctioning rates and rates of foodbank usage across local authorities in the UK.’

In response to this new evidence, The Trussell Trust proposes changes to the current ‘yellow card’ warning being piloted by the Department for Work and Pensions in Scotland, and calls for the recommendations to be extended across the UK. Currently, the system in Scotland gives notice a sanction is pending and 14 days to appeal. The Trussell Trust recommend a warning system with a non-financial ‘yellow card’ penalty to first try and engage the person in a constructive dialogue without the immediate threat of financial penalty.

Adrian Curtis, Foodbank Network Director for The Trussell Trust, said today,

“The findings from this ground-breaking study by the University of Oxford tell us once and for all: the more people sanctioned, the more people need foodbanks. We now need to listen to the stories behind the statistics: families go hungry, debt spiral, and the heating doesn’t go on even as temperatures drop.

“There is much to be hopeful about – we’re very pleased to see sanctioning rates have decreased and that the new Secretary of State has announced that work capability re-assessments for ESA claimants with incurable or progressive illnesses have been scrapped. However, we still see people being referred to our foodbanks who have been sanctioned unfairly. A true ‘yellow card’ system, which gives people a non-financial warning first, would mean less people thrown into crisis and ultimately, less people needing foodbanks.”

You can see the paper here:  The impact of benefit sanctioning on food insecurity: a dynamic cross-area study of food bank usage in the UK

Household food security, which may be compromised by short-term income shocks, is a key determinant of health. Since 2012, the UK witnessed marked increases in the rate of ‘sanctions’ applied to unemployment insurance claimants, which stop payments to claimants for a minimum of four weeks. In 2013, over 1 million sanctions were applied, potentially leaving people facing economic hardship and driving them to use food banks. Here we test this hypothesis by linking data from the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network with records on sanctioning rates across 259 local authorities in the UK. After accounting for local authority differences and time trends, as the rate of sanctioning increased by 10 per 100,000 adults, the rate of adults fed by foodbanks by an additional 3.36 adults per 100,000 (95% CI: 1.71 to 5.01). The availability of food distribution sites affected how tightly sanctioning and food bank usage were associated (p<0.001 for interaction term), such that in areas with few distribution sites, rising sanctions led to smaller increases in Trussell Trust food bank usage. Sanctioning appears to be closely linked with rising need for emergency food assistance, but the impact of sanctioning on food insecurity is likely not fully reflected in available data. There is a need to monitor household food insecurity in the UK to fully understand the impact of government policies on this outcome.

These are  important parts of their conclusion:

The recent decline in sanctioning is a positive sign, and has likely contributed to the decline in the numbers of people using food banks within local authorities in 2015/16. Yet, in 2015, there were still about 358,000 sanctions applied to JSA claimants. We also observed that declines in sanctioning were not as strongly linked to declines in food bank usage, explaining why the decline in food bank usage has not been as fast as the decline in sanctions. This could be because experiences of sanctions trigger longer-term financial crises, such as debt accumulation.

And,

Our findings also highlight the limitations of any charitable food support network’s ability to eradicate food insecurity. These networks are increasingly relied upon to fill in the gaps in welfare support but, by relying on volunteers and donated food and space to operate, they will vary in their capacity to address hunger in their area. As such, they are not equipped to address these gaps in every part of the country and are less able to respond quickly to changes in need. Food banks are not an adequate solution to the problem of hunger, and they should not become an informal substitution for the social safety net.

The Independent notes,

The Department for Work and Pensions dismissed the findings as “misleading”.

“The reasons for food bank use are complex, and it is misleading to link them to any one issue,” said a government spokesperson.

“We’re clear that work is the best route out of poverty, and the number of people in employment is at a record high, up by 2.7 million since 2010.”

They said £90 billion was spent on working age benefits “to ensure a strong safety net”.

One further point:

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 27, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Posted in DWP, Food Banks, Sanctions

Tagged with , ,

58 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on michaelsnaith.

    snaithmagmailcom

    October 27, 2016 at 3:17 pm

  2. But food banks are already a substitution for the social safety net for many people around the world.

    news seeker

    October 27, 2016 at 3:39 pm

  3. They call it a ground-breaking study,

    “by the University of Oxford tell us once and for all”: that’s that then, so what now OU.

    “the more people sanctioned, the more people need foodbanks”. who do they think they are talking to..kids at school.

    ” We now need to listen” and do what.

    “the stories behind the statistics: families go hungry, debt spiral, and the heating doesn’t go on even as temperatures drop. what heating is that, is there no one without a roof in the world.

    news seeker

    October 27, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    • News Seeker, which is why I took the trouble to read a lot of the report (which is not long).

      It certainly does contains stuff that could be read like that, eg., “Our results also have relevance for the providers of charitable food assistance and the wider problem of food insecurity in the UK. Trussell Trust data likely only capture a proportion of people who experience food insecurity; our results suggest there could be hidden hunger due to sanctioning in places where Trussell Trust food banks are not available. People in these areas may instead seek help from other agencies or non – Trussell Trust food banks, but these numbers
      are not reflected in Trussell Trust data, currently the only indicator of hunger in the UK, despite known limitations of this measure..”.

      And plenty which you could tell without any research at all.

      However I underlined the conclusion which says, of Food Banks, “As such, they are not equipped to address these gaps in every part of the country and are less able to respond quickly to changes in need. Food banks are not an adequate solution to the problem of hunger, and they should not become an informal substitution for the social safety net.

      This is a shaft at the whole (remember it?) Big Society stuff which claimed that big-hearted charity and ‘volunteers’ would replace the Welfare State and the right to decent benefits.

      Andrew Coates

      October 27, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      • Have any of the “complex reasons” as per food bank usage rocketed from 40,000 a year in 2010 to the millions now ever been listed anywhere? If the DWP cites “complex reasons” as responsible for this disgraceful phenomenon presumably they must have some idea in respect to what these “reasons” actually are. In which case shouldn’t they publish an opinion and/or data as per what is responsible for the exponential growth in food bank usage since 2010? How on earth can they possibly deny that welfare sanctions and the impossibly long waiting period before applicants can access Universal Credit are both MAJOR contributors to this atrocious state of affairs.

        https://tse2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.M17b862306bd92f726394eeb7a2f94711o0&pid=15.1

        Jongleur Honorificabilitudinitatibus

        October 27, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      • They did try Jongleur, IDS claimed people went their because its free.

        DWP quote about university findings,

        “This report does not provide evidence of a causal link between sanctions rates and the use of foodbanks,” a spokeswoman said.

        “We continue to spend £90billion on working-age benefits to ensure a strong safety net, providing hardship payments, benefit advances and budgeting loans for those who need them most. Anyone who disagrees with a decision can appeal.”

        This is what the university of oxford said (the trainers who made many a politician currently denying a link)

        “Dr Rachel Loopstra from Oxford University’s Department of Sociology, the paper’s lead author, said: ‘These findings show clear evidence of sanctions being linked to economic hardship and hunger, as we see a close relationship between sanctioning rates and rates of foodbank usage across local authorities in the UK.’

        http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2016-10-27-strong-link-between-increased-benefit-sanctions-and-higher-foodbank-use

        So on one hand we have a very globally recognized university employing tons of truly intelligent professionals have one Dr Rachel Loopstra from Oxford University’s Department of Sociology that went to the great trouble of going through data to form an educated opinion while on the other we have had for years now, ONLY HOT POLITICIAN AIR with absolutely nothing to back up a word they say which todate have been unravelling like a wool ball tumbling down the highest mountain.

        Well dear government are going to have to do a lot better than that as the main reason its in all the papers is that no one believes government anymore so expect more to come from this.

        doug

        October 27, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      • Andrew I can’t read many reports due to the lack of internet access and time. my situation is different than it was earlier this year, I’m very lucky to still have a roof over my head.

        news seeker

        October 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

  4. fjklaslgjlkgjeiopyurtjnkl;g jfop eurnpwoprikfdgfopsduigfopfguiopefjpdkeopiqwpeoiqw

    qwedsdsdsrty

    October 27, 2016 at 4:04 pm

  5. This is the standard scripted answer to questions about food bank usage and/or inference that botched welfare reform is a driver of such catastrophes:

    “The reasons for food bank use are complex… work is the best route out of poverty…”

    Oddly the DWP itself doesn’t deny that welfare reform is a driver of poverty and food bank usage presumably because the department seems unable to list any of the “complex reasons” why food poverty has exploded since the Conservatives began calling the shots. It also seems to be beneath the DWP’s notice that many people forced to resort to food banks for support ARE working and are still suffering desperate poverty.

    They have no defence and yet adamantly refuse to do anything to make things better by tackling one or more of these supposed “complex reasons” that regularly compel multitudes of citizens to ask for help from charity run food banks in 21st century Britain.

    Talk about complacency and intransigence.

    Jongleur Honorificabilitudinitatibus

    October 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    • The DWP usually conclude their prepared anodyne answer to food bank usage with something falsely reassuring along the lines of “… the welfare system is strong…” or similar.

      William Blake

      October 29, 2016 at 9:01 am

  6. Reblogged this on Derby People's Assembly and commented:
    Ipswich Unemployed Action.New Study: Benefit sanctions forcing people to use food banks, which “should not become an informal substitution for the social safety net.”

    1968xavier

    October 27, 2016 at 5:42 pm

  7. NHS nurse takes home £100,000 salary thanks to overtime

    An NHS nurse has become the first in her profession to take home a six-figure salary, thanks to generous payments designed to bring down waiting lists.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/3536757/NHS-nurse-takes-home-100000-salary-thanks-to-overtime.html

    And this was eight years ago. It is a nonsense to suggest that NHS nurses are lining up at the foodbanks alongside, Daniel Blake, and sanctioned benefits claimant. It is utterly despicable for those earning a decent salary to somehow attempt to piggy-back i..e demand even higher salaries on the backs of the genuinely suffering. What next? Spare a copper for a poor copper?

    Outraged

    October 28, 2016 at 9:41 am

    • And why aren’t aren’t the police queuing at foodbanks since they are on broadly similar salaries to NHS nurses?

      Outraged

      October 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

    • One nurse while another nurse earned x amount. So what about the other 174’998 then ?

      If the average is as the article reports £31’600 and that includes overtime then at least around a half of nurses earn less than this figure.Then you have to factor in repaying the 50/60 thousand they spent after going to university, this registration cost, that registration cost and already £30’000 does not look that great.
      A single unemployed mother living in NW10 (average rent for 2 bedroom flat £360 per week) with a single child over 10 needs £23’649 which is made up of JSA,child benefit and housing and thats the bare min the government says you need to live on minus the 649 taken away by the cap so again £30’000 per annum is not that great.

      On top of this theirs no link to this statistic so we don’t know how many people they sampled and or what alternate figures they used.

      doug

      October 28, 2016 at 10:24 am

  8. OT

    LINUX DIRTY COW

    Linux is not so safe after all.

    Any comments?

    Raging Bull

    October 28, 2016 at 9:51 am

    • “It is pretty much guaranteed that if you’re using any version of Linux or Android released in the past decade, you’re vulnerable”.

      https://www.linux.com/blog/how-bad-dirty-cow

      Raging Bull

      October 28, 2016 at 9:57 am

    • No software is 100% safe and secure although considering over 90% of private computers use some flavour of Windows if you were a fraudster you’d almost certainly target Windows systems than Linux systems. Plus Linux software is delivered free from well maintained repositories and so is almost certainly safe; if you install software only from the repositories you should be secure. Risks using Linux are massively less than Windows as far as the OS are concerned. Of course you can’t stop people getting caught out by responding to dodgy emails and revealing their passwords etc., or downloading and installing infected software on their computers but there you go!

      Used properly Linux is definitely more secure than Windows, particularly Ubuntu based Linuxes.

      Here’s an interesting link from a couple of years ago:

      http://www.zdnet.com/article/uks-security-branch-says-ubuntu-most-secure-end-user-os/

      William Blake

      October 28, 2016 at 10:14 am

      • Kernel patches and updates are already available. The problem seems mostly Android related anyway because of the way that people install loads of dodgy apps on their phones. Apparently, according to the BBC, 90% of UK citizens have smart phones! Is that right? I haven’t got one and know loads of other people who haven’t. Sounds a bit like Iain Duncan Smith’s claim that Universal Credit was going to be “digital by default” because most people in the country had internet access – it seem beneath his notice that the minority of poorer people most likely to need to apply for UC may have been the most likely to be amongst the 10% who didn’t have unlimited access to the web due to the costs associated with broadband and line charges and so forth.

        IDS was blathering on about not implementing the cuts to UC made by Osborne.

        (This was the man who claimed that the economy needed the bedroom tax.)

        The government of course said no.

        What a complete and utter, unreconstructed, unalloyed, undiluted twat.

        William Blake

        October 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm

  9. Senior Tory Iain Duncan Smith has launched an attack on the new film about life on benefits by Ken Loach, claiming the director has painted an unrealistic picture and treated jobcentre staff unfairly.

    Mr Duncan Smith, who presided over deep cuts to benefits when the Tories came to power, claimed I, Daniel Blake focused only on “the very worst of anything that can ever happen to anybody”.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/i-daniel-blake-iain-duncan-smith-ken-loach-response-criticism-benefits-sanctions-film-unfair-a7384306.html

    Andrew Coates

    October 28, 2016 at 11:23 am

    • Every Tory will say the same thing, until they become unemployed.

      news seeker

      October 28, 2016 at 11:44 am

    • And what about the unfair treatment JCP staff hand out to the unemployed, they treat us with contempt as if we are common criminals because we haven’t got a crappie low paid job, IT IS THEM THAT ARE THE CRIMINALS,GUILTY OF CORPORATE MANSLAUGHTER! SCUM!

      Marie

      October 28, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    • IDS has received a dishonourable mention in the film & his ex-department doesn’t come out looking great – no wonder he is slightly peeved.

      shirleynott

      October 28, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      • What about the poor buggers who aren’t in work. And besides why are so many people already in work “just managing” when for years the government has maintained that work, any kind of work, was the best way out of poverty!

        William Blake

        October 28, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    • More crap from the same.

      Iain Duncan Smith to challenge Theresa May on universal credit cuts

      Former work and pensions secretary will tell PM to invest in in-work benefits to help those who are ‘just about managing’

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/28/iain-duncan-smith-challenge-theresa-may-universal-credit-cuts

      news seeker

      October 28, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      • Jesus, has the bald twat suddenly turned into an angel of light, mmmmm somehow I don’t think so.

        Marie

        October 28, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      • Even hell has its heroes.

        William Blake

        October 29, 2016 at 9:04 am

  10. More Reality.

    Ken Loach On BBC Question Time Accuses Tory Government Of ‘Conscious Cruelty’ Over Benefits Sanctions.

    With Government minister Greg Clark on the panel, he said:

    “People are living in fear, and it’s an absolutely intolerable way to live. There’s a conscious cruelty to the way the benefits system is being imposed. The Tory Government knows exactly what it is doing.”

    “We know that the Government knows it’s wrong because if you appeal against the assessment you will almost certainly win. They know they are teasing people in a very cruel way.

    “When you’re sanctioned your life is forced into chaos and people are going to food banks – there was 1.1 million people getting food parcels. People who would starve otherwise.”

    He concluded:

    “How can we live in a society where hunger is used as a weapon?”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/question-time-ken-loach-accuses-government-conscious-cruelty-benefits-sanctions_uk_581275f3e4b0672ea6885246

    news seeker

    October 28, 2016 at 11:58 am

  11. Here is a job advert which is certainly not fictional.

    Position: SPECIALIST HEALTH AND WORK OPERATIONAL SUPPORT ASSISTANT

    http://www.s1jobs.com/job/admin-secretarial-pa/glasgow/637065316.html

    Listen to this: “Specialist staff [will] support and engage with patients in continuing their work during treatment and returning to work post treatment as well as supporting healthcare professionals to assist patients with work related issues. This is a unique and innovative service for people with a cancer diagnosis and their families/carers who are experiencing work related difficulties…The specialist staff are skilled in negotiation in relation to employment situations and advocate on behalf of patient’s rights and health care needs in relation to their employment”.

    Cancer victims should not be expected to have any “work related difficulties” – because they should simply not be made to actively seek work at all in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Can anyone pass this message on to Ken Loach?

    NON FICTION

    October 28, 2016 at 4:36 pm

  12. The pound has lost nearly a fifth of its value,its hard not to see food prices starting to creep up and cracks in “Brexit” have started to emerge.Its more then marmite.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37801847

    The Nissan deal must have contained a assurance that the UK will remain in the single market then free movement must remain.It will be interesting just what this Brexit really means.With costs now rising it might have been better just to remain in.

    All this ends up also with the “overgenerous benefits system” being targeted and more sanctions,more conditions,more foodbanks’ more cuts’. Just to say we are not in the EU and have control of laws isn’t what was promised.Whats going to happen when this article fifty is triggered also? and that’s the start of it.Food prices hit everyone also how many who voted out will start to think differently?

    ken

    October 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm

  13. Landmark employment ruling threatens agencies

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37802386

    The recent Uber ruling has sent shock waves among the employment community and now threatens to undermine a lot of recruitment agencies tactics to avoid tax and NIC contributions by declaring agency workers as self employed and sticking them under whats known as an umbrella company.

    Well this is bad news for sports direct whose shirebrook warehouse is wholly dependent on such workers who if reclassified as PAYE will see their wage packets shrink when they cant claim the cost of travel,etc back through taxes.

    Added to this also means agency workers get redefined employment rules like the agency will be responsible for ensuring agency workers have paid holiday as just one perk.

    This is without doubt a just blow towards our developing Gig economy.

    doug

    October 29, 2016 at 8:10 am

  14. The BENEFITS CAP under pressure already

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37797212

    According to the ONS rents have increased by as much as 2.3% in the UK. This rise absolutely challenges the CAP as if government don’t make the necessary rises will once again see a further addition to already existing arrears and another round of mass moving with people moving to even more remote places with even less chances of securing employment.

    The CAP was always arbitrary and rises in rent will prove exactly that.

    doug

    October 29, 2016 at 8:19 am

    • Yes. There is a limit on what people on low incomes can absorb; already hundreds of thousands if not millions of perfectly respectable and innocent citizens on low wages and/or receiving social security are struggling to make ends meet while paying the bedroom tax and council tax contributions introduced by the government. Something will have to give eventually. I am amazed how all these things have been able to go on for so long. These penalties were introduced slowly and stealthily and were upon us before anybody noticed.

      William Blake

      October 29, 2016 at 9:10 am

    • Many more homeless people.

      news seeker

      October 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

  15. WhatsApp warned over Facebook data share deal

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37801664

    Data is currency even for the likes of Mark Zukerberg and is heavily exploited online, especially by big brands such as facebook,twitter,whats app,google,etc.

    Angela Merkel wants Facebook and Google’s secrets revealed

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37798762

    Only recently google was caught editing Hillary Clintons search results on their engine by removing negative results every other search engine produced. Its important to be able to trust companies, even governments but how can we when they avoid transparency like a plague.

    doug

    October 29, 2016 at 8:33 am

    • Cool doug 🙂 Posted this to your Facebook feed 😀

      Braindead

      October 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm

  16. Iain Duncan Smith is upset by the way Jobcentre staff have been portrayed by Ken Loach in I, Daniel Blake.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/i-daniel-blake-iain-duncan-smith-ken-loach-response-criticism-benefits-sanctions-film-unfair-a7384306.html

    Senior Tory Iain Duncan Smith has launched an attack on the new film about life on benefits by Ken Loach, claiming the director has painted an unrealistic picture and treated jobcentre staff unfairly.

    Mr Duncan Smith, who presided over deep cuts to benefits when the Tories came to power, claimed I, Daniel Blake focused only on “the very worst of anything that can ever happen to anybody”.

    The Palme d’Or-winning film tells the story of a carpenter relying on benefits to survive after suffering a heart attack.
    I, Daniel Blake – Official Trailer
    Read more
    Ken Loach: I hope I, Daniel Blake lands because we need to fight back

    He is then thrust into a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare, designed to ensure his disability benefit payments and Jobseeker’s Allowance are almost unobtainable.

    Former Work and Pensions Secretary Mr Duncan Smith said: “I did think that whilst on the one level this was a human story full of pathos and difficulty, and I’m not saying for one moment there aren’t serious difficulties and issues when you’re under pressure, when things like this happen … the film has taken the very worst of anything that can ever happen to anybody and lumped it all together and then said this is life absolutely as it is lived by people, and I don’t believe that.”

    There were £15bn of cuts to the welfare budget over the five years between 2010 and 2015, during which time Mr Duncan Smith was Work and Pensions Secretary. He eventually quit over further cuts to the Universal Credit system he helped design.
    Duncan Smith on benefits

    ‘He (Iain Duncan Smith) went on: “The one area I just had criticism of really was his portrayal of the jobcentre staff.

    “I just thought it was unfair. I mean I have travelled round so many jobcentres talked to so many of them.

    “The vast, vast, vast majority … are there to work to help people sort themselves out. They often go through their CVs with them.”

    Speaking on BBC radio he added: “This idea that everybody is out to crunch you, I think it has really hurt jobcentre staff who don’t see themselves as that.”‘

    No sympathy from IDS for the eponymous Daniel Blake however.

    Obviously IDS doesn’t get out and about enough.

    Jongleur Honorificabilitudinitatibus

    October 29, 2016 at 12:22 pm

  17. HELL IS AN INVENTION BY THE DWP TO KEEP PEOPLE TERRORISED AND LIVING IN FEAR!

    Marie

    October 29, 2016 at 12:59 pm

  18. A bit more reality.

    More jobcentre recordings: We can’t help disabled claimants at this jobcentre. You’ll have to go elsewhere.

    http://www.katebelgrave.com/2015/10/more-jobcentre-recordings-we-cant-help-disabled-claimants-at-this-jobcentre-youll-have-to-go-elsewhere/

    news seeker

    October 29, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    • Most end up placed on skills conditionality and such schemes and continuous signing regimes still under Post Work programme Support.The DWP are handing out appointment letters ten to the dozen under “Helping You Find A Job” which there has been zero support. However its now reverted back to Work Search Review headings.

      It is tough. As it was pointed out by a subcontractor whilst on the Work Programme. Being a predominantly agency market that if there are problems a company is less likely to use that agency again.

      ken

      October 29, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    • Meanwhile.

      Work capability assessment overhaul for disabled.

      A consultation on reforming the Work Capability Assessment will be announced on Monday.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37810701

      news seeker

      October 30, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    • Damian Green, the Work and Pensions Secretary, is poised to launch of a consultation on reform of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) test on Monday. It comes after Mr Green annouced, earlier this month, that chronically sick claimants will no longer be required to prove they are stil ill every six months.

      The controversial testing process has come under intense criticisms for failing some of the most vulnerable people in society in recent years. But Mr Green is expected to say he wants his department to provide a more “targeted and personalised support” for people with disabilities while they look for employment.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dwp-set-to-overhaul-work-capability-assessments-for-people-with-disabilities-damian-green-a7386481.html

      news seeker

      October 30, 2016 at 1:24 pm

  19. We can all learn from I, Daniel Blake

    I was saddened to read that I, Daniel Blake may be Ken Loach’s last film. If it is then it’s a terrific way to bow out. I saw the film last week with two generations of my family. At the end all of us were in tears. Many people in the cinema were crying and one person shouted out in anger at the end “we must do better than this in our rich society” and earned a round of applause. Incredibly, more than 50 people stayed on for a spontaneous discussion about what’s happening to the welfare state and how we can organise to stop the sort of savagery revealed in Loach’s drama. The discussion only ended when the hall was needed for the next showing. Anybody who wants to understand what the government is doing to our welfare safety net in our name should see this poignant film.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/the-government-should-not-be-proud-of-our-self-employed-figures-a7386341.html

    news seeker

    October 29, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    • Everyone has shed a tear at the screening of I, Daniel Blake expect the reptilian life-form known as 👿 Iain Duncan Smith 👿

      The Crocodile Family

      October 29, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      • Iain Duncan Smith probably thought it was a comedy and laughed his f*cking head off, heartless old prick!!!

        Marie

        October 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

  20. Prince Charles ‘stepford’ model village (where the royal parasite finds out how real people shop)

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/queen-brie-elizabeth-ii-checks-9137612

    Marie

    October 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm

  21. The DWP has been forced to reveal how it manipulated the media to silence criticism of welfare cuts

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been forced to release internal reports detailing the way it manipulated media reporting of benefits cuts, following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

    http://www.thecanary.co/2016/10/28/dwp-forced-reveal-manipulated-media-silence-criticism-welfare-cuts/

    Hundreds of digital and technology projects are under review at the Department for Work and Pensions – but department denies rumours of budget overspend

    http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450401926/Hundreds-of-IT-contractors-let-go-and-projects-put-on-hold-amid-rumours-of-DWP-Digital-overspend

    ken

    October 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

  22. As a jobcentre adviser, I got ‘brownie points’ for cruelty

    Former jobcentre adviser Angela Neville has written a play to expose the harsh reality of the benefits sanctions regime.

    Angela Neville, 48, is describing events she witnessed as a special adviser in a jobcentre that prompted her to write a play about her experiences.

    “We were given lists of customers to call immediately and get them on to the Work Programme,” she recalls. “I said, ‘I’m sorry this can’t happen, this man is in hospital.’ I was told [by my boss]: ‘No, you’ve got to phone him and you’ve got to put this to him and he may be sanctioned.’ I said I’m not doing it.”

    Neville worked as an adviser in Braintree jobcentre, Essex, for four years and has written a play with two collaborators, her friends Angela Howard and Jackie Howard, both of whom have helped advocate for unemployed people who were threatened with benefit sanctions by jobcentre staff.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/04/jobcentre-adviser-play-benefit-sanctions-angela-neville

    Show and Tell Theatre Company: Can This Be England?

    The Production

    http://www.beechleaf.net/show_tell/production.html

    news seeker

    October 30, 2016 at 12:45 pm

  23. I, Daniel Blake producer responds to Toby Young, Iain Duncan Smith criticism

    “Some people have had far worse lives than Daniel Blake,” Rebecca O’Brien tells the i. “Take [Guardian columnist and anti-poverty activist] Jack Monroe. We could have been far more scathing, but we were worried that we wouldn’t have been believed.”

    https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/i-daniel-blake-far-scathing-says-producer/

    news seeker

    October 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm

  24. Ceta: EU and Canada sign long-delayed free trade deal.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37814884

    news seeker

    October 30, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    • And TTIP will be here soon.

      Marie

      October 30, 2016 at 1:36 pm

  25. Revolution a fading memory, economic frustrations grow in Tunisia. No jobs for us

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-tunisia-politics-insight-idUKKBN12U0HB?il=0

    news seeker

    October 30, 2016 at 1:47 pm


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