Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

No Halt to Sanctions Over Christmas.

with 96 comments

Image result for oor wullie christmas

Oor Wullie on the DWP. 

As Woody reminds us, the 35 Hours a week Job Search – one of the more cretinous demands people on JSA face – has to be carried out over Christmas.

The Government has created a special web page to make sure you toe the line.


Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions: how to keep your benefit payment.

This includes making sure you:

  • are available for work and agree to do the things in your Claimant Commitment (Jobseeker’s Agreement )
  • go to meetings on time with your work coach and take part in interviews
  • apply for suitable jobs your work coach tells you about
  • do everything your work coach tells you to do to find work, such as attending a training course or updating your CV
  • take part in employment schemes when your work coach tells you to – you’ll need to:
    • meet your employment scheme provider on time and do the things they tell you to do to find work
    • still meet your work coach and do what they tell you to do
  • do all you can to find work.

Under Universal Credit:

Your Claimant Commitment

When you claim Universal Credit you will need to accept your Claimant Commitment.

In most cases your Claimant Commitment will be drawn up during a conversation with your work coach at your local jobcentre.

Your Claimant Commitment will set out what you have agreed to do to prepare for and look for work, or to increase your earnings if you are already working. It will be based on your personal circumstances and will be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Each time it is updated, you will need to accept a new Claimant Commitment to keep receiving Universal Credit.

Tailored to your situation

Universal Credit changes as things change in your life. Your responsibilities will vary depending on such things as your family, your health and your potential for future earnings.

For example:

If you are earning as much as can be expected You will receive financial support without any other conditions to increase your earnings.
If you are able and available for work You will need to do everything you reasonably can to give yourself the best chance of finding work. Preparing for and getting a job must be your full time focus. If you do not do this without a good reason, you will have a cut to your Universal Credit, known as a sanction.
If you currently have limited capability for work, related to a disability or health condition, but this is expected to change over time You will be supported until your circumstances improve and you can work. You will be expected to prepare for work so far as you are able.
If you have a disability or health condition which prevents you from working You will not be asked to work, and will be supported through Universal Credit.

This is what can happen if somebody decides you have not fulfilled this:

WELFARE Secretary Damien Green has refused to halt benefit sanctions over Christmas, despite pleas for hard-pressed families to get “a little breathing space”.

Hannah Bardell, the SNP MP for Livingston, wrote to the senior Tory begging him to put the punitive regime on hold after a heart-breaking visit to a foodbank in her constituency.

She is calling on the UK Government to display “some level of compassion” by reinstating a period of clemency at Christmas – a policy which was officially abandoned last year – as thousands of Scottish families are living on the breadline this December.

She said: “This week I visited a local food bank, which was a timely yet devastating reminder of the impact sanctions have on the people who rely on these services both, in my own constituency of Livingston, as well as other places up and down the country.

“Over 70% of constituents who have come to me with benefits sanctions cases have had their decisions overturned, but the mental and emotional impact is distressing and longer lasting for those affected. At Christmas time, the impact is even more acute.”

The Department for Work and Pensions can sanction those claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Income Support if staff deem that person has not done enough to look for work.

But the MP said many claimants are the working poor, just getting by on low-paid jobs. She said Christmas should not be “business as usual” for DWP because emotions are running high for Scottish families and cash is desperately short.

The MP also said she has also spoken to senior Job Centre sources who voiced fears for the safety of staff forced to cut benefits over the holidays.

“So I plead with you [Mr Green], you take the time to consider what it would be like for a family or vulnerable person who were sanctioned at Christmas,” she said.

“Putting in place special measures to ensure no one is sanctioned over the Christmas period is sensible and fair. It will give people, be them DWP workers or claimants, a little breathing space. It would show at least some level of compassion.

“We heard much in Parliament this year about the punitive sanctions and the impact on the people in our communities. My party and I have challenged your sanctions at every turn from my colleague Mhairi Black MP’s recent Private Member’s Bill to attempting to amend the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.”

But the DWP said last night it was not prepared to consider a few days of clemency over the season of good will.

Sunday Post.


Written by Andrew Coates

December 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Cuts, Damian Green, DWP, Sanctions

Tagged with , ,

96 Responses

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  1. In most if not all cases, your Claimant Commitment will be drawn up during a one way conversation with your work coach.

    TOPIC: CC Review, Automatic Closure of Claim.


    news seeker

    December 21, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    • Acceptance of the claimant commitment.

      Once accepted, a copy of the CC is printed and handed to the claimant, who is encouraged (this is not a requirement) to sign it. The basic condition in section 4 (1) (e) of the welfare reform act is that the claimant must “accept” a CC. Regulation 15(4) of the UC Regs 2013 provides for the time within which and the method (electronically, by telephone, or in writing) in which the CC must be accepted. There is no requirement in the relevant law for the claimant to sign the CC.

      news seeker

      December 21, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      • Tailored to your situation, well wait for it.

        news seeker

        December 21, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    • I will tell them that I would get my solicitor and the dab/cab to look at it 1st and be guided by them. NOBODY is above the law not even the dwp/jobcentres/ If they put on you you have the right to sue.


      December 22, 2016 at 7:13 am

    • Any addition must be reasonable and constitutional.


      December 22, 2016 at 10:26 am

      • Doug, I’ll add that to the above next time!.

        news seeker

        December 22, 2016 at 10:41 am

    • The Claimant Commitment is supposed to be the result of a “negotiation” between Jobcentre staff and claimants. Unfortunately most claimants are too trusting and often afraid to look “work shy” or uncooperative and so are loath to actively take part. An example would be Universal Jobmatch. I have several times heard Work Coaches asking new claimants whether they could have access to their Universal Jobmatch accounts to “keep in touch with” with them in order to “best be of help” to them, or whatever, and the claimant, not having been told that this is voluntary and that they cannot currently be made to submit to being tracked online, wanting to appear willing and genuine to an “official”, often just agree and end up screwed later on when some civil servant, somewhere, looks at their activity history, or whatever, and sanctions them for not being active enough.

      (When I was “asked” to allow my UJM account to be perused by DWP staff I refused, stating quite truthfully that I objected in principle to being tracked online by anybody, and when my Work Coach began to raise the communication issue I replied that they had by telephone number, postal address and email address and that should be enough and was enough for anybody else who wanted to leave me a message.)

      So if somebody tries to get you to agree to apply for 20 jobs a day, refuse. Tell them that you can’t agree to something like this because it is impossible and bargain them to a lower figure which you believe is feasible.

      Don’t let them walk all over you.

      These people are not highly qualified well-meaning people like medical doctors, but lower tier civil servants with targets in respect to getting people into work and able to score points with their managers by getting people off benefits by sanctions. Most are as robotic as machines governed by rules and regulations which they barely understand and which are continually changing. Some try to be helpful but some absolutely are out to get you, by hook or by crook, have no doubt about it.



      The Claimant Commitment, like a contract, is supposed to be an agreement acceptable to all parties.



      December 22, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      • I’ve heard many too Woody, there is no negotiating, one way or the highway, but I have seen many of them again and do inform them,

        news seeker

        December 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      • As you rightly said, they are out to get us which is why it is a one way conv with most of them.

        news seeker

        December 22, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      • @ Doug & News Seeker

        I’ve been reading the comments on this blog and what I’ve read rings true.

        It stinks though doesn’t it? Jobcentres actively setting people up to fail? What a sad state the country has fallen into when the unemployed are treated like “marks” and Jobcentre staff behave like “confidence tricksters” who deliberately try to “scam” unsuspecting members of the public. Where junior staff at the DWP mislead innocent members of the public to agree to attempt the impossible to trip them up when they fail and sanction them. In my experience folk at the Jobcentre aren’t all the same. Some started doing other things and have ended up as Work Coaches accidentally and just get on with it in a workman-like way, some are lenient and sympathetic and try to do their best to do what little they can to help you, and some have the bit between their teeth, disliking, disapproving, even hating the unemployed they interview (probably because they’re in shitty jobs themselves on low wages) and want to impress management by getting as many of their “clients” off benefits as quickly as possible either by getting them into work or sanctioning them for as long as possible so they vanish temporarily from the register.

        I keep hearing people talking and saying we now live in a “post truth” age where people can say anything and do anything without evidence or consequences in respect to the harm that results. The real question is how high will this rising tide of misery, suffering and premature death be allowed to rise before protest and bad publicity forces government into a rethink. Local authorities are beginning now to raise their voices against Universal Credit, saying how cruel it is and how much it is costing them locally.

        The unfolding horror can’t go on forever, surely?


        December 23, 2016 at 9:58 am

  2. Who says disability is not a barrier to work?

    Graduate gets a job interviews after REMOVING reference on his CV about his disability!



    December 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    • …”But Daryl is still unemployed and feedback from his interviews claims that he does not have enough experience or that other applicants were better suited to the job”.


      December 21, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      • the norm excuses

        news seeker

        December 21, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      • Two former Job Centre staff talk about how they were disciplined (and later fired) for insufficient sanctions.

        Ex job centre staff discuss the pressure they were under to sanction people.


        Andrew Coates

        December 21, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      • It’s why my work coach and others like it have not been fired.

        news seeker

        December 21, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      • Andrew,

        while the video on youtube is dated 2016, dispatches actually aired it last year.


        Its not to say demands on advisors still dont exist, just that we are all hardly likely to see written targets again now DWP are aware of whistleblowers.

        Its worth noting DWP is pretty skint these days which is obvious by a lack of schemes, continual delay of benefits, most claimants coming off unemployment with the addition of the inactive still heavily reliant on state welfare for child/tax credits and housing funds, climb downs on certain cuts like tax credit,etc, collapsing and faulting universal credit system, changes to rates, increasing rent costs, new cap,maintaining a presence that cuts are occurring (basis to justify to taxpayer for reform), etc that the Tories are indeed in a desperate position and close to being found out as failing and concealing the truth.

        This means any claimant should indeed remain on point despite it being Christmas and a coming new year. Just remember this 35 hours may not be possible in your area over these periods so check and record the opening and closing dates of DWP, the library (some open for 3 hours on a Saturday) and providers like connexions that allow free use of there systems. Overlay the times with the days and count how many hours are available for computer use every day excluding of each week. Also check public transport is available if you cannot walk to these places. DO NOT RELY ON THE INTERNET to inform you of these dates and times, EITHER PHONE OR VISIT THEM.


        From this you will see how much time you have to produce evidence each week over this period.


        Now in my area all the places are closed Monday and Tuesday. One place is open on Wednesday, all places open Thursday and Friday and library open on Saturday between 10am and 1pm.

        (So i cannot be expected to produce a work search for Monday and Tuesday as DWP would have to explain how i would achieve this when everyone is shut).

        SO i have 27 hours available to search for work.So with more people than usual all hitting the same places means i will have less than 27 hours. Like for instance one of the places has a one hour of use policy when overcrowded meaning instantly my time goes down to 20 hours. Then the library may also be overcrowded meaning i only get 2 hours there. So if DWP was also overcrowded that would also reduce to say possibly 2 hours a turn. This would mean including Saturday only 14 hours is available for work search that week.

        Now this is only an example so DO consult the places in your area and record it as evidence so DWP CANNOT UNFAIRLY SANCTION YOU.


        December 22, 2016 at 11:41 am

      • Thanks Doug.

        Apart from my applications (which I keep a record of, and print out, they are many…) I also search for work by ‘networking’, er….

        Andrew Coates

        December 22, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    • “Then Jesus told him, ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.’ Immediately the man was made well, and he picked up his mat and began to walk. ” Gospel of Saint John

      Pah! Damien Green is a better Messiah than Jesus. Not only is he commanding the sick and disabled to pick up their beds and walk but to pick up their beds and walk to work or face severe sanctions as a penalty. Now if only Mr Green would try to walk on water…

      …in the middle of the pacific ocean…

      with only a shiver of hungry great white sharks for company…

      … hmm.


      December 23, 2016 at 10:13 am

  3. news seeker

    December 21, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    • As Tony Abbott, Down Under said: “A job is a job”…. but then there is jobs and there is jobs 😀


      December 22, 2016 at 2:35 am

    • Universal credit is helping people get into work sooner, earn more in work, and stay in work longer. Increasing poverty and food bank usage have complex various causes and it would be misleading to attribute poverty and food bank usage to welfare reform.

      Pat Answer

      December 23, 2016 at 11:52 am

      • Another norm.

        news seeker

        December 23, 2016 at 11:54 am

  4. Would you let a psychologist talk you into claiming Universal Credit ?
    Even though it meant 6 weeks in the foodbank and months of rent arrears ?
    The DWP, ever keen to reduce its customer list, is now offering long-term JSA claimants a free appointment with an occupational psychologist.
    This provision is not mandatory, for it cannot be under current JSA regulations.
    However, if the Work Coach is sufficiently persuasive, an appointment is made with the psychologist. To ascertain if there are any underlying ‘problems’ with the claimant’s attitudes to work. Not simply mere aversion, but perhaps subconscious attitudes and motivations that are unhelpful to the claimant. For who can say what lurks in the subconscious ?
    Because the DWP want more than anything to help the unemployed, and allow them to work and rejoin their rightful place in society.
    The first question is, I understand , ‘What do you think of when I say the word ‘Work’ ?’
    (only serious answers are allowed). The answer given is carefully noted down.
    For these responses will form the basis of a detailed report given to the Work Coach.
    Regarding the claimant’s attitude, motivation and job expectations.
    Then follow a series of further questions about personal circumstances, including any negative factors that might affect a jobsearch. Plus an examination of what type of work is being currently applied for, and those types that might be an interesting alternative.
    Perhaps jobs that the claimant had never previously considered. Not even remotely.
    Jobs which, when you think about it, are not really all that bad are they ? And lets face it you have been unemployed for quite some time now.
    So it continues, a blend of pseudo-Freudian tripe and market analysis.
    Gradually the net of logic is drawn tighter around the unsuspecting claimant.
    Many of the jobs suggested are part-time or zero-hours, not sustainable under a JSA claim, and not enforceable either. But there is way. If the claimant can only change their mental approach. Realise that they are never going to get a full-time job, and instead begin applying for the ‘realistic’ zero-hours work of the future. Just sign-off your JSA. Release yourself from the miserable poverty of unemployment, and claim Universal Credit.
    Don’t be put off by a few visits to the foodbank and some rent arrears .
    You can do it, you know you can. It’s all in the mind.

    Jeff Smith

    December 21, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    • Jeff

      I think I’ll take up this kind offer….

      What do you think off/associate with Work?
      Broken Neck.
      Why Pain?
      Its painful you know. Are you an expert in neck injuries/
      No, but pain its all in your mind. if you ignore the pain I’m sure that it will not stop you working.
      Well that’s true. Up until the point I am rushed into hospital with seriously worsened spinal injuries, or die.
      But the pain is all in your mind
      And your expertise is what? If you persist in this you are going against decades/centuries of medical proof.
      But the pain is all in your mind
      Put that in writing.
      Er, thank you for coming, please leave by the back door we do not want you contaminating the others with ….


      December 21, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      • A pensioner – who has never appeared before a court – is fined for working while claiming Pension Credit – despite paying the money back!

        One person in the comments section says: “we have dregs running around every [housing] scheme in high powered luxury cars, and no seemingly legit income? Yet no one seems to probe these things.

        Other comments remind us of the bankers and MPs scandals etc…!



        December 21, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    • Work – being in a place you don’t want to be at a time you don’t want to be doing something you don’t want to do 🙂


      December 22, 2016 at 2:27 am

    • As Tony Abbott, Down Under said: “A job is a job”…… but then there is jobs and there is jobs 😀


      December 22, 2016 at 2:36 am

      • The same Tony Abbott who said that disabled people with a “bad back” or “depression” should go take a job “fruit-picking”

        Down Under

        December 22, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      • Strewth! Crikey! Cobber.

        Wo/men NOT at Work

        December 22, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      • Yes. And ten hours a week spread over five days, two hours a day, on the minimum wage, with a commute that costs £4.20 isn’t any bloody good at all if you’re on Universal Credit.

        You earn 10 x £7.20 = £72.00 but lose 65% via a deduction to Universal Credit entitlements and so only end up with £25.00. But your travel has cost you 5 x £7.20 = £21.00. So your reward for five journeys to work and back doing this part-time job at the end of the day is £4.00.

        I mention this because a job like this was suggested to me by a Work Coach who said, “Well, it better than nothing.” This is numerically true but only 80p a day better than nothing! Blimey! It’s bad enough having to be unemployed without having the piss taken out of you by Jobcentre staff trying to pull shit like this. How could any sane and humane person think that work like this would do anybody any good at all?


        December 23, 2016 at 11:17 am

      • Nothing as tasty as a pommie backpacker roasted slowly over an open fire 🙂

        Wolf Creek

        December 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

  5. OT: Reasonable Travel Distance – DWP Parlimentry Meeting

    h/t: Refuted

    I think all will find the following exchange interesting:


    “Only this Government could ask people in a consultation about travelling for more than 20 minutes when they themselves deem that to be unreasonable. The Minister said that the Government think 20 minutes is a reasonable ask, so they do not consult on that, but they do consult when travelling for more than 20 minutes is involved, in spite of the fact that they think that is an unreasonable proposal in the first place. The Minister is all over the shop.”


    December 21, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    • What does this even mean without referencing a mode of transport? In twenty minutes I could probably walk a mile. On a bicycle a couple or three miles possibly. On a bus, train, In a car or on a motorcycle I could maybe get ten miles up the road if I wasn’t delayed by factors outside of my control. It all depends on the prevailing conditions. Plus a person’s general state of health and age factor into it. I used to work with a guy who used to cycle 11 miles to work and back every day, 22 miles a day, something I wouldn’t be up to physically.

      This is another problem I face when looking for work online. The addresses of the employer’s premises are rarely give. Normally just the city, or town is given, or even an area as big as a quarter of a county. If I can’t walk to work I have to use public transport coupled with a walk, Trouble is public transport rarely gets you anywhere near to anywhere where jobs are advertised: So you have to use a train and/or a bus with a hike to get you from the railway/bus station to work, which is often nowhere near to the stop where you get off. So some of the jobs I end up applying for may well turn out to be impossible for me to get to during the times the job specifies.

      David Freud wanted unemployed or under-employed people to make up a 35 hour week of gainful employment by combining several “mini jobs”, i.e., several short part-time jobs, over a week hence the in-work conditionality being gradually imposed on people earning less than 35 hours on the minimum wage on a weekly basis. Trouble is he never once considered the logistics or costs involved in the travelling involved in going to and from work many more times than normal.

      Conditionality won’t work if people are expected to volunteer to be worse off.


      December 23, 2016 at 11:36 am

  6. More from the Tories little red book.

    are available for work and agree to do the things in your Claimant Commitment (Jobseeker’s Agreement )



    These have have to comply with the law not the law comply with these agreements.However you will hear “you signed it” or ” its legally binding”. They lie so much they appear to convince themselves its true.


    December 21, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    • Not a good time to appeal though.

      DWP ‘Grinches’ are refusing to process appeals before Christmas while pursuing sanctions.


      news seeker

      December 21, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    • ken

      thanks for pointing this out – do you know if dwp appealed?

      tried to use my Google Fu to find the decision and failed

      I am interested as in the submitted court docs, and not contested/said untrue, the CC is called explicitly a Contract


      December 21, 2016 at 10:26 pm

      • news seeker

        December 21, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      • I can’t remember if they did there was a story about this being a contract however some of the regulations I think were changed or what some would like to call reformed.It would be advisable to check the latest act/regulations but the holes in these articles still apply.


        December 22, 2016 at 1:28 am

      • News seeker

        The link you gave Gazza to remind him,


        Is very concise and correct.

        The problem i always have with claimants though, is them being able to use it proficiently. As you know its not enough to simply hand it to an advisor as that sends the signal of “this is what this person said” which is not going to inspire fear in the advisor but rather confidence that the claimant does not know what their going on with.

        Ive as you know and have probably done yourself tried to get this across in smaller parts by way of separating contract law, welfare regulations, civil service codes, criminal law,etc but to no avail which is a shame as its a major hammer blow to the likes of green and his predecessors not to mention senior civil service officials. The mix of i dont understand and fear of losing ones money just keeps driving a wedge into it and i wouldn’t be lying when i say it pisses me offer no end that claimants dont use it and enjoy having zero sanctions and such whether DWP try pushing one through or play the direction/mandate card to enforce new conditions. Long before 2008 i use to have to contend with employers,contractors and even investors trying stunts to change contracts so it never surprised me government departments would be no different.

        To add to this we have persistent attempts to breach and misuse peoples data, completely unenforceable attempts to subvert various European laws like the cookie law as one instance and the ever rewriting and editing of existing laws just to try to stop people asserting there rights.

        Take DWP computers for instance, There direct a person to use the system but how can they when DWP need your lawful consent to absolve themselves of there responsibility under the data protection act which as you know cannot be gained by force,threat or deception. Further to this is the cookie law even now they misquote as its refers to the person using a system and not the person who owns the system.


        December 22, 2016 at 10:23 am

      • Doug, the amount of people who appear in the food bank I find think they have to do everything they are told by the DWP, when I try to tell them the truth of many things regarding the DWP, they don’t listen, I have printed off many docs which I have handed out to them, some I have helped but others I can’t as I have said, the rules and regs of those you stated as you know takes a long time to get to know, aswel as dealing with DWP, the more people who get to know about them the better for sure. myself I help out where I can but lets face it don’t know as much as you! but I will continue to do what I know to try and inform and help as many as I can.

        news seeker

        December 22, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      • Understand your frustration news seeker. A lot, well, most of the foodbank ‘customers’ around here are the same. You just can’t get through to them no matter how hard you try, they are too far gone.

        Foodbank Volunteer

        December 23, 2016 at 11:13 am

      • Not that it’s there fault, as ‘doug’ would no doubt say, but you can see how they end up in that situation. They are sanction fodder for the Nazi Gestapo known as the DWP.

        Foodbank Volunteer

        December 23, 2016 at 11:15 am

  7. A mental health trust in Liverpool thinks it’s suicide rate will come down to zero. many people still dreaming.


    news seeker

    December 21, 2016 at 11:36 pm

  8. UK’s austerity welfare spending is closer to poorest nations of EU, but it does spend more on subsidising housing, says Eurostat,

    Britain’s version of austerity is more aligned to the poorest nations of the European Union, according to figures from Brussels which reveal the UK was the only rich EU country to cut welfare spending as a proportion of GDP between 2011 and 2014.

    Britain is also among the lowest spenders per head of population, matching the EU average, but falling behind Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Denmark, Finland and Sweden.


    news seeker

    December 21, 2016 at 11:48 pm

  9. Can the dwp be sued


    December 22, 2016 at 8:58 am

  10. EU data retention ruling goes against UK government


    Firstly i do apologize if someone has already posted this as im short for time so cannot check.

    There going to appeal so in the interim its not over (probably trying to stall until brexit) but i do wish to point out the obvious.

    Home office comment

    “Given the importance of communications data to preventing and detecting crime, we will ensure plans are in place so that the police and other public authorities can continue to acquire such data in a way that is consistent with EU law and our obligation to protect the public.”

    NOTICE how protecting the public’s privacy is not clearly outlined here so could mean ONLY against crime. Its odd they left out terrorism DON’T YOU THINK ?

    Also given the importance of communications data to preventing and detecting crime, THIS IS CODE for GOVERNMENT FORCES to MINORITY REPORT our asses so there becoming effectively THOUGHT POLICE.

    Lets face it policing cant prevent a cold let alone a crime without behaving as despicable as the criminals do and this snoopers charter is NOTHING MORE than LEGALIZING THEM TO COMMIT CRIME PLAIN AND SIMPLE.



    December 22, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    • 45 years in the slammer for thought crime:

      “A “dangerous” prisoner who wrote letters threatening to kill people and have sex with their corpses has been jailed for 45 years.

      Richard Ford, 38, was serving a 30-month sentence for possessing a knife when he made the threats from his cell.

      A judge passed the “highly unusual” sentence after hearing of Ford’s fear he would enact his “sadistic urges”.

      He acknowledged the term “may be controversial” but said it was necessary to protect the public.”


      Minority Report

      December 23, 2016 at 1:52 am

  11. If only more people would do this.

    Free Christmas fish and chips for Birmingham homeless.

    A chip shop is opening up on Christmas Day to give free turkey dinners to the homeless and elderly.


    news seeker

    December 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    • Public urged to donate to food banks over Christmas.

      The Trussell Trust have said that demand for food parcels can rise by up to 53% in December in comparison to other months of the year.

      Trussell Trust CEO David McAuley, said: “Winter is the hardest time of year for people living on the breadline; many will face stark choices between eating and heating.”

      Academic research continues to show that the Conservative government’s benefit sanctions have had the effect of significantly increasing food poverty across the UK.

      Research by the University of Glasgow has shown that the benefit sanctions regime imposed by the Conservative government has “detrimental financial, material, emotional and health impacts” and pushes those on JSA and ESA to rely on food banks. not forgetting UC, and the rest.


      news seeker

      December 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      • Meanwhile that’s the local food bank closed from tomorrow until the 30th, many will no doubt be without food over those days. it was non stop today, more and people donating food.

        news seeker

        December 22, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      • Unite has teamed up with The Trussell Trust to give ‘Hope not Hunger’ to thousands of families at risk of going cold and hungry this Christmas.


        news seeker

        December 22, 2016 at 7:42 pm

  12. Theft on the rise, as we all know.

    At least 1,000 government laptops and flash drives reported missing since 2015

    Fears that true level of lost or stolen equipment could be much higher after several government departments refuse to answer FoI request


    news seeker

    December 22, 2016 at 1:16 pm

  13. news seeker:

    You posted –

    “Acceptance of the claimant commitment.

    Once accepted, a copy of the CC is printed and handed to the claimant, who is encouraged (this is not a requirement) to sign it. The basic condition in section 4 (1) (e) of the welfare reform act is that the claimant must “accept” a CC. Regulation 15(4) of the UC Regs 2013 provides for the time within which and the method (electronically, by telephone, or in writing) in which the CC must be accepted. There is no requirement in the relevant law for the claimant to sign the CC.”

    Do you know of anyone who has declined to sign their CC who has been allowed to continue drawing their benefit and not been sanctioned?


    December 22, 2016 at 1:22 pm

  14. A rise in the number of people using the benefits calculator, there would be what with people being laid off every day.

    news seeker

    December 22, 2016 at 4:17 pm

  15. More on the closure of Glasgow Jobcentres.

    A Glasgow MP has found out the DWP had already approved of a plan to turn one of the Jobcentre sites into a flats development NINE MONTHS before the news was announced – a fact which makes the recent “public consultation” announcement absurd!

    There’s only to be public consultation on three of the eight Jobcentre sites anyway!!!


    Property Speculator

    December 22, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    • I find it interesting the City of Glasgow councillors gave planning permission for this conversion so many months ago. Did none of them wonder enough to ask where DWP would have its new Anniesland Job centre? Did they get info then, that said something other than what we got told last week?
      It does seem strange. I mean, had they been told the plan was to transfer the operations to Partick, and kept it quiet, that would be an outrage. Had they been told of some nearby location and thus given permission on that basis, that would be an outrage.

      But that this has been known about by City councillors all this time, but no one else seemed to know outside City Chambers and DWP, that is totally unacceptable. The City Council has some hard questions to answer here.

      Builiding Contractor

      December 22, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    • ALL the Jobcentrea which are sat on prime retail land and are fit for property development and can be sold off are for the chop 😉

      Interestingly, Jobcentres were originally sited on the main commuter routes into ‘work very visible the those on their daily commute into ‘work; purposely to act as a deterrent and to pour encourager les autres*.
      The traditional bricks and mortar Jobcentre has served its purpose.

      *to encourage the others

      Pour Encourager Les Autres

      December 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    • ALL the Jobcentres which are sat on prime retail land and are fit for property development and can be sold off are for the chop 😉

      Interestingly, Jobcentres were originally sited on the main commuter routes into ‘work very visible to those on their daily commute into ‘work; purposely to act as a deterrent and to pour encourager les autres*.

      The traditional bricks and mortar Jobcentre has served its purpose.

      *to encourage the others

      Pour Encourager Les Autres

      December 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      • “Pour Encourager Les Autres” – the Anniesland Jobcentre in Glasgow is situated alongside a busy commuter railway station!

        Property Speculator

        December 22, 2016 at 10:02 pm

  16. Appealing a sanction.

    It is the responsibility of the claimant to show good reason for any failure and provide information and evidence as appropriate to explain why they have not complied.

    Read this also.



    Send this by recorded delivery.

    sample letter


    Inform your MP too.


    When you have received the reply from DWP send the reply and the form below to the appeal service.

    Notice of appeal against a decision of the Department for Work and Pensions


    news seeker

    December 22, 2016 at 8:16 pm

  17. Theresa May accused of abandoning fight against child poverty, after axing Whitehall unit devoted to it



    December 22, 2016 at 10:00 pm

  18. A very long queue, for food.

    Thousands queue for food parcels in Dublin city centre

    Number of people receiving food from Capuchin Centre will ‘probably go over 3,000’

    The queue, which includes elderly people and young children, began about 6am. By 9.30am it stretches from the door of the centre’s Bow Street entrance down the street, around the corner and along May Lane reaching Church Street.

    Br Kevin Crowley, who runs the centre, believes the queue is “bigger than last year”. A number of gardaí, present because of the numbers, are in good humour and chatting with those queueing.


    news seeker

    December 23, 2016 at 9:19 am

    • Many people out there haven’t a clue as to how bad things really are and where we are headed.

      news seeker

      December 23, 2016 at 9:25 am

    • “The queue, which includes elderly people”?! But why do foodbanks include elderly people? Pension Credit is £155.60 for single people or £237.55 for couples. This is the MINIMUM amount an elderly person can have in their pocket.

      Are we supposed to be still buying into the myth of the “elderly person” sat in a freezing cold house surviving on custard creams/gingernuts or bourbon creams if they are feeling extravagant, and at Christmas sat alone waiting forlornly for a visit from the Salvation Army with their ‘food parcel’, just like those TV ads begging us for £19 knicker a month to swell the coffers and contribute to the Chief Executive Officers next trip to Barbados. Or do these “elderly people” just not spend the money they are given to LIVE ON. And when they die they are found to have £ thousands and thousands of Great British Pounds stashed in a coffee jar.

      It is also worth noting that this is Dublin and benefits in the Irish Republic are way, way more generous than their counterparts in the UK.

      Ginger Nuts

      December 23, 2016 at 10:47 am

      • Forgot the sweet tea to go with the custard creams/ginger nuts/bourbon creams.

        Ginger Nuts

        December 23, 2016 at 10:48 am

      • Could be that they consider people in their sixties as elderly. The retirement age has been going up for years and most people won’t be able to retire until their late sixties, possibly seventies in the near future if they jack up the pension age as they have been talking about.


        I’m no spring chicken but late sixties, even early seventies, seems pretty elderly to me.


        December 23, 2016 at 11:42 am

      • Very possibly because the DWP and sanctions in particular take their toll on their victims. So these “elderly people” may not be as old as they look 😉

        Logan's Run

        December 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      • There is no excuse for someone on Pension Credit taking from a foodbank. That is just misappropriating scare resources, or to put it more bluntly STEALING from the needy.

        Logan's Run

        December 23, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      • As far as I know you can’t just turn up at a food bank, like Oliver Twist with his bowl, but have to be referred there by a Jobcentre, charity, responsible person etc. And I believe the number of visits you can make are limited too. Perhaps somebody in the know can enlighten us?


        December 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      • 3 food vouchers per 6 months, now one needs a mini bank statement and proof of your dire situation, .

        Before these things were put in place, many people were given a voucher which they shouldn’t have been , I have seen many of those in the local food bank, now I don’t see any of those people.

        news seeker

        December 23, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      • No need to be referred though, just go to C.A.B, or other.

        news seeker

        December 23, 2016 at 6:43 pm

  19. What are ‘Welfare Weekly’ on about “police officers’ pay is down £1,300” Is that all? Cops are well over-paid! And no they don’t “risk their live on a daily basis”. They don’t get respond to a situation until the coast is clear and they are in no danger. They come out to take a statement when the blood is being mopped out. No shortage of applicants either for this job creation scheme for knobheads known as ‘policing’. So why pay them more? What happened to supply and demand? And ‘Welfare Weekly’ conveniently forgets to mention the host of benefits these knobheads also receive as well as their inflated salaries. Even as far as free furniture, free prescriptions for them and their family, house decorated twice a year…. the list goes on. Back in day they got their rent/mortgage paid. Outrageous!

    ‘Welfare Weekly’ really needs to get their act together and champion other causes instead of pandering to these Governemnt thug oppressors of the working class : “Cops have to work over the Festive season” Well, boo-fucking-hoo, did these knobheads not realise that ‘policing’ was a 24/7/365 ‘profession’?!


    December 23, 2016 at 11:05 am

  20. Fife and Glasgow, Andrew I guess many people might just move to those places one day if all goes well.

    news seeker

    December 23, 2016 at 11:16 am

  21. The diabolical treatment of the homeless on the streets of Britain (and the evil government that allows it!)



    December 23, 2016 at 11:48 am

    • Of course, by those who assume they will never be in the same situation.

      news seeker

      December 23, 2016 at 12:01 pm

  22. Andrew Coates

    December 23, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    • U r meant 2 sign on on time. That’s the roolz, innit!

      JC Customer Care Officer

      December 23, 2016 at 4:13 pm

  23. The Real Face of UK Employment

    “Kinsley school cleaners in Scrooge-like sacking over pay row”

    Three cleaners who went on strike over a pay dispute have been sacked in a move branded Scrooge-like by one MP.
    The women, who worked at Kinsley Academy, claimed their pay had been cut after the contract switched from Wakefield Council to C&D Cleaning.
    The three women were reportedly dismissed by C&D Cleaning on Monday.


    Roll up Roll up … In this festive season we urge Business [Worker Exploiters] approach UK PLC. The UK open abuse of workers, and enacting any profit making idea exploitation of workers is welcome and encouraged.

    Prospects for such moves will be enhanced once Article 50 invoked… Roll up Roll up


    December 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    • A very nice future we have ahead of us haven’t we Gazza. “be here in 5 minutes” no breaks,…………………..

      news seeker

      December 23, 2016 at 6:07 pm

  24. Ministers hid secret death reports from their ‘fitness for work’ test reviewer

    Government ministers failed to show secret reports into the deaths of benefit claimants to the independent expert they commissioned to review their much-criticised “fitness for work” assessment, new evidence suggests.


    Readers express ‘disgust’ at way Caernarfon man was treated by DWP prior to his death
    Philip Williams, 56, who struggled with numerous health problems had his disability benefits briefly stopped just months before he passed away



    December 23, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    • Eugenics, depopulation or any other name is always kept a secret, sure we know it but lets face it most of the population doesn’t. many being in their own little bubble.

      news seeker

      December 23, 2016 at 7:44 pm

  25. All by myself: Awkward footage appears to show Theresa May being snubbed at EU summit

    Footage shared on social media shows the awkward moment UK Prime Minister Theresa May appears to be shunned by her European counterparts at an EU Summit.

    The PM was left in no doubt as to Britain’s new place in the EU on Thursday, when European leaders looked like they were snubbing her after a key meeting.


    Perhaps them everyone can move on from this inward totalitarian regime.


    December 23, 2016 at 6:48 pm

  26. I Daniel Blake. DWP stands for Department for workfare and poverty.


    news seeker

    December 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm

  27. A junior doctor has killed herself, leaving a message to Jeremy Hunt in her suicide note.


    “Mental health and wellness is complex, and people rarely commit suicide or suffer mental health crises over one event or issue alone”. the Samaritans state: nonsense but no different than that of DWP.


    news seeker

    December 23, 2016 at 7:24 pm

  28. Do you remember the case earlier this year in which IDS and Grayling were reported to Police Scotland for “wilful neglect of duty” after the deaths of benefit claimants?

    Police Scotland have refused to investigate!


    There's No Justice

    December 23, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    • Eugenics, depopulation or any other name is always kept a secret, sure we know it but lets face it most of the population doesn’t. many being in their own little bubble.

      news seeker

      December 23, 2016 at 8:02 pm

  29. Good Morning. Christmas Eve. Saturday December 24 2017. Using Universal Jobmatch. Caution. The Password Facility Is NOT Case Sensitive. I Tried Various Combinations. It Still Worked. If Anybody Else Has The Same ”Problem”. Please Leave A Reply Here. I Reported This Once Before To The UJM Helpline. They Said They Would Look Into It. This Was 18 Months Ago..


    December 24, 2016 at 6:54 am

  30. Look At The Online Version Of The Daily Mirror Or In Web Browser Date To Look At 22 December. Man Dies 5 Months After Benefits Reinstated. He Was On Dialysis. Had Benefits Stopped Because He Was Not Sick Enough


    December 24, 2016 at 7:23 am

  31. May Christmas message urges unity after Brexit vote, funny that one.

    The prime minister said there had been much to celebrate in 2016,

    Ok enough!

    news seeker

    December 24, 2016 at 12:26 pm

  32. Hay Ho The wicked witch is back


    December 24, 2016 at 12:29 pm

  33. Job centre closed 24th december, 25th december, 26th december and 27th december where i live

    2nd being a bank holiday

    I have reported the same problem to the job centre about the unviseral joke match site a number of times about password problem been told have you type it in correctly, I look into for you.

    Also you cannot really ask people if you had a meal on Christmas Day and New Year Day at someone else house to used their PC to do job search, because this person might not want cookies on their PC from the UJM/DWP site (or use their wifi code)


    January 2, 2017 at 9:36 am

    • I have only known the job centre open once Saturday for new claims because the staff were so far behind,


      January 2, 2017 at 9:38 am

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