Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Sanctions Regime Has Not Gone Away.

with 96 comments

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The Guardian today:

Benefit claimants are subjected to an unacceptable “postcode lottery” that can determine whether or not they are driven into poverty by sanctions, MPs have said.

A report by the public accounts committee found that some Work Programme providers and jobcentres withhold payments to twice as many people as others in the same area.

Sanctions are a punishment applied to benefit claimants adjudged to have infringed jobcentre rules. If claimants fail to turn up for appointments or to apply for enough jobs, officials effectively fine them by stopping their benefit payments for a minimum of four weeks, equal to about £300 for a claimant ov

The report by parliament’s spending watchdog, published on Tuesday, urges the government to review the use of financial penalties, which it finds “have increased in severity in recent years and can have serious consequences” such as forcing claimants into homelessness.

It says the Department for Work and Pensions has poor data with which to evaluate what works and is unable to estimate the wider impact of sanctions – including their overall cost or benefit to the public purse.

The MPs write: “There is an unacceptable amount of unexplained variation in the department’s use of sanctions, so claimants are being treated differently depending on where they live. It does not know whether vulnerable people are protected as they are meant to be. Nor can it estimate the wider effects of sanctions on people and their overall cost, or benefit, to government.”

A scathing report in November by the National Audit Office found sanctions varied “substantially” across the country.


Benefits claimants face “unacceptable” variations in the number of payments being docked or removed entirely, depending on where in the UK they live, MPs have said.

The Public Accounts Committee said those penalised for missing job centre appointments or other failings often faced an “appalling situation”.

It urged the Department for Work and Pensions to monitor variations closely.

The DWP Alternative News Factory  went into mass production:

The DWP said policies were “under constant review” to ensure fairness.

It added that recent figures showed the number of jobseeker’s allowance recipients facing sanctions had fallen by more than half in the past year.

Meanwhile, less than 1% of those receiving employment and support allowance had been penalised.


More than a million unemployed benefits claimants have to meet certain conditions, such as showing they are looking for work, to receive their payments.

An estimated 400,000 sanctions were imposed in 2015.

The committee said penalties had increased in severity and could have “serious consequences” such as homelessness.

It found the system encouraged some people into jobs but the DWP could not be confident about what sanctions worked best because its data was poor.

The committee’s report said: “There is an unacceptable amount of unexplained variation in the department’s use of sanctions, so claimants are being treated differently depending on where they live.

“It [the DWP] does not know whether vulnerable people are protected as they are meant to be.

“Nor can it estimate the wider effects of sanctions on people and their overall cost, or benefit, to government.”

Labour MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the committee, said: “Benefit sanctions have been used as a blunt instrument by government.

“It is an article of faith for the Department for Work and Pensions that sanctions encourage people into work.

“The reality is far more complex and the potential consequences severe.”

She added: “Some people who receive sanctions stop claiming without finding work, adding to pressures on other services.

“Suspending people’s benefit payments can lead them into debt, rent arrears and homelessness, which can undermine their efforts to find work.”

The DWP produced alternative facts,

A DWP spokesman said: “Our sanctions guidance is the same right across the UK, and the fact is the number of sanctions has more than halved in recent years.

“Sanctions are an important part of our benefits system, and are only used in a very small percentage of cases as a last resort when people don’t fulfil their commitment to find work.”

The DWP added: “We keep our policies under constant review to ensure that they continue to function effectively and fairly, and where we identify an issue, we act quickly to put it right.”


Ministers accused of ‘sending vulnerable people to food banks’ by failing to act on promise to curb benefit sanctions

A trial of a ‘yellow card’ early warning system helped hundreds avoid a loss of benefits – but the Government has not agreed to extending it across the country.

Ministers have been accused of sending desperate jobless and disabled people to food banks by stalling on a promised reform to cut the huge number of benefit sanctions.

A “yellow card” system, which gives claimants 14 days to challenge a decision to dock their benefits rather than imposing the punishment immediately, was pledged way back in October 2015.

A trial in parts of Scotland led to almost 500 people successfully explaining why they did not deserve the punishment after being accused of failing to meet commitments to actively look for work.

Yet the Department for Work and Pensions has refused to commit to introducing the early warning system across the country, insisting more research is needed.



Written by Andrew Coates

February 21, 2017 at 12:43 pm

96 Responses

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  1. The fundamental problem with sanctions is they treat you like a schoolboy but punish you like a criminal. What im saying is the punishment does not fit the crime and what i mean by that is a company gets caught acting fraudulently yet pays next to nothing in fines compared to their assets/wealth for that venture so actually profit from the crime where as for a claimant say in the case of not attending a DWP signing time, they lose 28 times what they would have received for that single day (based on 4 week sanction).

    Government keep talking the world of work yet sanctions are nothing like it as you miss a day of work, you lose a days pay, nothing more, nothing less unless they want ACAS up their behinds.

    I think government need to adopt the approach or proportionality and under presumption of innocence build a case. When i say build a case lets say you get sanctioned for missing a job interview. Well rather than hammer you out the gate,instead monitor it to see if its a trait,forms a pattern as then we would all know beyond reasonable doubt that this person wasn’t actually interesting in finding work.

    Not only would it address negative aspects of hindering people into work but would also prove DWP don’t just fit people up or work coaches and DMs make errors in procedure.

    Have a think, tell me what you all reckon or maybe you have a better idea.


    February 21, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    • Well, after you’ve been working for an employer for a while (at least long enough to get a contract of employment, thirteen weeks I think it is) you are entitled to two verbal warnings and one written warning before you are dismissed unless you do something really bad. Since the benefit system is supposed to “mirror” the “world of work” – which is doesn’t of course – shouldn’t the same warning process be implemented, i.e., people doing something wrong get verbal warnings followed by a written warning and only then sanctioned if they don’t toe the line?

      At least then people would know what they did wrong, what to do about it, and what was going to happen.

      Plus the sanctions themselves are far, far to severe. Personally I would have thought that if you miss an appointment, for example, losing one day of benefit would be a more realistic and fairer penalty than four weeks worth. And if people are refusing to do as they are asked, provided that it is do-able, wouldn’t simply stopping benefits until they toed the line and then starting them immediately they began doing as asked would be better than completely removing income for a lengthy period, with no hope of regaining support until that period has passed, would be preferable.

      Sanctions should be about people toeing the line not over-punishing them needlessly for no good reason.

      Suddenly imposing very severe penalties, on unsuspecting individuals, without warning is terrible.

      And according to many, including the nudge unit, self-defeating.


      February 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      • Paul

        I quite agree as the one verbal, then one written then action rule would fit neatly into the DWP building a case against a claimant persistent not to find work or make an effort to as 3 times is a pattern i feel for the same offense. That’s another thing, we have to be very clear on what offenses are as being late to sign on is most certainly not the same thing as not attending a job interview. We also must clarify procedure as far to many sanctions are handed down on frivolous and deeply flawed logic. If the effort was put in it could be achieved as a fair and just system we could all be proud of instead of the disaster tool it has become.


        February 21, 2017 at 11:51 pm

      • @ doug

        Exactly. People are getting massively sanctioned without understanding why, what they have done wrong, or informed about something they aren’t doing right before sanction and given a chance to change their ways. This can’t possibly be right nor, as far as I know, does a system of penalties quite so harsh exist anywhere else in the UK other than the benefit system – certainly people aren’t treated that badly anywhere in the work place. I don’t know if it still goes on but there was a time when the first anybody knew about being sanctioned was when a letter, in a brown envelope, from the DWP, dropped through their door. And I know plenty of people who have applied for Universal Credit locally and received ultra-brief letters telling them, in a couple of sentences, that their claim had been frozen because they hadn’t supplied the “correct information” while at the same time failing to inform them precisely what information was missing or wrong and what additional information needed to be forwarded to complete the claim! The DWP tell folk that something is wrong but don’t tell them what they need to do put it right!

        The DWP tell you something is wrong but don’t tell you how to put it right so you can’t easily correct it!

        Catch 22!

        This normally happens with the rent part of Universal Credit, which assessment holds thing up badly.

        The sanctions system is truly awful though for normal claimants.

        Christ knows how ill and vulnerable people fare when exposed to so vile, cruel and unjust a regime.


        February 22, 2017 at 9:38 am

    • I see where you are going with this Idea but in the hands on the DWP we both know any agent in the job centre who has a chip on their shoulder with a claimant for what ever reason would go as far as to make stuff up to make it look like a pattern. I’ve had DWP staff actually phone ahead on job interviews to ask if I am there or have I attended or even filled in an application form!! this then puts said employer off!!!!! this is because 1 dwp worker in my local jobcentre has a chip on their shoulder against me because I live as far out in the stick as you can get and I am NOT in the best of health anymore a mix of things life throws at you and the endless bullying of the DWP have eaten away at my mental health and the walking out 3 miles to catch a bus every 2 hours (if it turns up) have eroded at my physical health..
      What was my crime?
      1: Making the mistake of trusting the DWP in thinking they would help me.
      2: making the mistake of becoming a claimant between seasonal jobs (nothing else in my area but holyday work which dose not pay bills and is 0h contracts).
      3: making the mistake to ask for help when I had and have no where else to turn.
      4: trusting these so called work fairs to have work at the end of them. (they are the UK’s hidden slave labour!)

      So yeah I see where you are coming from, BUT when you have been abused BY the system that is supposed to support you, you learn you can not EVER trust them.

      Annabella Laws

      February 22, 2017 at 8:13 pm

  2. DWP to get ready for possibly 230’000 more unemployed.


    If even half this figure appear, that will definitely smart DWP/government eyes let alone stats.


    February 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    • doug

      what stood out to me was:

      “CRO card holders who do not take the necessary steps to replace their cards will find they will be unable to obtain another CSCS card.”

      so they’re saying on your bike to the jobcentre are they? How will DWP view this?

      a] lost job due to not applying for new card – sanction
      b] lost job due to failing on reapplication – sanction

      I am puzzled, just what does this move [other than providing a potential £20 x 230,000 = £4.7Mil if all apply payday] do other than chuck a whole lot of people out of work?

      unless…. it’s aimed at johnny foreigner….


      February 21, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      • There was some TV programme on the other day with some bloke saying they wanted an arm and a leg for a CSCS card, and without one he couldn’t get work. He showed his expired and with tears in his eyes and a look of disbelief said: “Two and a half grand for that little card”.


        February 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      • Goglebox

        I have a mate in the industry, and I just remembered that he qouted a similar figure.

        This is insane, how are people going to redo the courses and work at the same time – and how the hell will the training centres cope with the numbers – how long is the average course, numbers on course, cost of course.

        We really are living in mad times…


        February 21, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      • Gazza

        Impossible question to answer but logically if its up to the worker to supply their own qualifications and tickets (ie, CSCS,IPAF,etc) then i imagine they cant be refused benefit as dependent on trade sector and the persons wages, many wont be able to afford it.

        Its going to be interesting though as it will drive construction costs up or lower profits if most aren’t supported by employers which a lot of them are not (ie either agency or, temporary contracted).

        The regs are getting very tightened so this is not the only fallout as you may have notice construction job adverts are starting to name all you have to have prior to application.


        February 22, 2017 at 12:10 am

    • I am looking at that figure and praying its wrong – and the vast majority are not affected as if it is true we are heading for a big economic contraction… This is absolutely nuts


      February 21, 2017 at 4:57 pm

  3. Notwithstanding that benefit sanctions are an abomination, In no way could the penalties imposed by sanctions be considered “reasonable and proportionate”. If you ran over and killed a cockroach in a motor vehicle you would get a lesser sentence handed down by a Court of Law than the sanction that would be imposed by the Jobcentre if you missed an appointment with a cockroach.

    Sheriff Sanction

    February 21, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    • Benefit sanctions: Britain’s secret penal system

      Benefits claimants are subjected to an ‘amateurish, secret penal system which is more severe than the mainstream judicial system’, writes Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow.



      February 21, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      • Enigma

        Nice piece and very true.


        February 22, 2017 at 12:13 am

    • Sheriff Sanction: Quite agree with everything you say. Currently appealing against set of sanctions myself. The reasons for these make interesting reading:

      1. Failing to attend training course which, when I researched the course myself with the company providing it and by their own admission they have actually stated, will not benefit me in the slightest! The DWP’s response to this: they do not have a record of me speaking to the company and, therefore, I must be lying! (They don’t admit to this of course but that is the implication). I have since contacted the company a 2nd time – this time taking down detailed notes of the date and time of the conversation and names of the people I spoke to – and submitted all of this information in my request for Mandatory Reconsideration. Result? They still insist I did not have ‘good reason’ to not attend.

      2. Failure to attend a job centre interview with Work Coach: – This interview was an additional session to be held the day after my regular signing day to discuss a matter which the Work Coach said ‘there wasn’t time for’ during my regular signing. Despite this, during my regular signing day, we both found time to discuss the matter and resolve it – so why would I need to turn up again the next day?

      3. Failure to attend a training course – which was in fact the same training course which had been the subject of the 1st sanction. This failure was the result of what could be described as a domestic issue – it was about 3 days before Christmas and I needed to stay at home on the day of the training course to take delivery of a new washing machine. I had previously booked the delivery for the day before, so as to avoid a clash with the training course, but then the company delivering it called me to say they would have to postpone it for 24 hours due to problems with their suppliers. This meant I had to stay at home until 1pm to make sure the washing machine could be delivered. Being so close to Christmas the company also said that if I wasn’t in they would not be able to arrange delivery before Christmas – leaving me without any washing facilities for a full 10 days over the holiday period. Since the training course was due to start at 10.00am this clearly meant – since I cannot be in two places at once – that I would not be able to attend the training course. The DWP’s response? they do not consider that taking delivery of the machine, and having thereby having access to adequate washing facilities over the Christmas break, is ‘essential’.

      The only good thing to come out of all this is that I estimate that when these ludicrous reasons for sanction are thrown out at the Tribunal I will probably stand to make over £1,000 in backdated benefit payments. Which probably explains why, for the last 3 weeks, my Work Coach has taken every opportunity to try to persuade me to simply close my current JSA claim down – which would of course have the effect of terminating the Appeal process – and reapply once the current sanction period has ended. This last event has become quite illuminating – during this time my Work Coach has not spent any time at all reviewing my work search activity (which is what is supposed to happen each time I visit the Job Centre) but instead has tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade me to simply close my JSA claim and make a new one in 5 weeks time when my current sanction period ends. An illuminating strategy indeed..


      February 23, 2017 at 12:16 am

      • leedsjon1

        According to an additional act passed which sadly i nolonger have, JSA becomes governed under UC regulations which would mean even if you did sign off that the sanction would be frozen till such time as you sign on again, exceed a period of time that may or may not require being in employment.

        The very same additional act is what made it possible to bring the claimant commitment into existence for use on JSA claimants.

        With regards to your point 1, have you secured written confirmation from this provider of this course not benefiting you and why or at least recorded the phone call with the callers legal consent. Its best to get the written confirmation however as DWP will argue any recording is inadmissible without consent as you cant claim an exemption grounds unless of course the receiver of the call states it did not take place. Ultimately its up to the judge but would give i fear DWP grounds to appeal if exemption cant be found.
        Also obviously it would depend on what this course is for as regards would you benefit from it to improve your chances for work and did DWP prior assess you or had another do so in order to validate mandating you to it like say if it was for math,english for example they would have to prove your Math and English was below a certain grade (GCSE 4 or C or lower). Also if you have attended a same course prior, you wouldn’t under SFA rules be funded again unless its in conjunction with an apprenticeship.

        As for 2 why hasn’t the work coach reported it as unnecessary as its an error on their part or are they denying that’s the case.

        The washing machine one i have never heard others of suffering so that’s a new one.

        Dont comment now as it may prejudice your case as you never know whose listening but please do come back and let us all know how you got on.


        February 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      • I how many jobs would you be docked £1000 in pay for missing a staff meeting or taking the day off to accept delivery of a washing machine? Unheard of!

        And how many cyclists would you have to run over and kill in a motor vehicle before racking up £1000 in court fines? Quite a few!

        Sanctions are perverse and the amounts being levied are even more perverse!

        Wyatt Earp

        February 23, 2017 at 12:43 pm

  4. Why the fuck is that universal jobmatch pile of shit slower than death? It cost the gov £billions and £billions a day to “maintain” yet those Monster fuckers are too tight-listed to pay for some server space! WTF!

    Pissed Off Universal Jobmatch User

    February 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    • Monster are not contracted anymore,DWP I.T run it now from what i hear.


      February 22, 2017 at 12:14 am

      • Universal Jobmatch is shite. It doesn’t even allow tabbed browsing and so make you move forwards and backwards through your history, loading and reloading pages in the same window. And most times it only redirects you to some other site which you have to be registered with to apply for jobs – which usually then means shitloads of spam emails sent to you from agencies etc., listing useless jobs that you can’t do, often too far away, to consider applying for. Some of these people also send information about expensive courses and similar hoping to get people to enrol with promises of a better career. It’s very annoying.


        February 22, 2017 at 9:44 am

      • Very true.

        It is also about the slowest log-in of any site I have ever seen.

        Andrew Coates

        February 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      • My concern is DWP may drop the UJM idea and opt to secure data from all other jobsites.

        I wont sit here pulling up the laws but it is an area people should pay attention to.

        When i have time in the future maybe i will do a piece on it.


        February 24, 2017 at 1:16 pm

  5. As the disabled will tell you from over the past 6 years, the DWP policy is death. Time to wake up unemployed people & start working out your death traps.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 21, 2017 at 4:38 pm

  6. Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 21, 2017 at 4:40 pm

  7. Would we still have sanctions in a Ken Loach-led government?

    The Questioner

    February 21, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    • This is how we’d all spend our days: with the Angels’ Share.

      Andrew Coates

      February 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    • The Questioner aka Tory Chat Bot troll.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      February 21, 2017 at 5:27 pm

  8. The unemployed should have a job, while the disabled are being killed by state sponsored murder & their mobility & care taken away rom them.

    A lot of unemployed have been abusing the system for years & it`s the disabled that are now paying for it with their lives.

    There is no more people with disabilities in the UK because the disability has been cured. Not only is it more difficult for a disabled person to get a job than someone who is able & unemployed, they are at the bottom of society like a piece of shit on your shoe.

    We are all one with no disability in society & the disabled still get treated like shit by the unemployed.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 21, 2017 at 5:24 pm

  9. So start your unemployed disability hate crimes against the disabled.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    • Seriously, Stepping why don’t you take a hike and go and defecate somewhere else. This is Ipswich UNEMPLOYED Action – Campaigning for Unemployed Rights. Can you not read? Or more likely you couldn’t care less. This site has nothing to do with disability issues; there are plenty of disability rights sites already. Why don’t you join them? Or are you trying to ruin this site like you ruined the Void with your incessant nonsensical bullshit postings. You are so caught up in your own little world, Stepping, that you can’t even show some respect for a dead guy. It’s is all Stepping, Stepping, Stepping. Well, here is some news for you, Stepping, it isn’t all Stepping. So go an piss off and spew your Nazi unemployed vitriolic hate crime elsewhere. You aren’t welcome on here!

      Tory Chat Bot Troll

      February 22, 2017 at 12:56 am

      • Bernie how`s Sharon & the kids !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 22, 2017 at 1:06 am

      • Bernie why do you hand out Disability Hate Crime.

        Teach your kids your hate !!!

        Time to pay me £££ since your a millionaire or get blackmailed !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 22, 2017 at 1:08 am

      • So personal Bernie you little waste of space. Pay day !!! Now pay up of piss off !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 22, 2017 at 1:10 am

      • So disabled people are not unemployed.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 22, 2017 at 1:11 am

      • Bernie I am sending the Police round to your house for Disability Hate Crimes & Incitement.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 22, 2017 at 1:13 am

      • Cease & Desist warning !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 22, 2017 at 2:13 pm

  10. Judicial review and human rights challenge launched against HM Coroner’s refusal to open an inquest into the death of David Clapson

    David Clapson was a Lance Corporal in the Royal Signals serving in Belfast at the height of the troubles before leaving the army to work for BT.


    This was shocking yesterday on the Victoria Derbyshire programme.His brave sister campaigning along with the mother of a pregnant woman who was told it was “Tough” when half way through pregnancy when sanctioned.


    February 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

  11. “It will take at least 200 years to fix Universal Credit, so it will probably see me out.”

    — Frank Field

    Frank Field

    February 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    • But that’s like three generations, Frank… our children’s children’s children i.e. out great-grand-kids. You are not the only one who will be pushing up daisies before Universal Credit is “fixed”.

      Time Lady

      February 22, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    • I doubt that anybody will notice your absence, Frank, although I intend to pour a bottle of fine whiskey over your grave as a salute if I outlive you… after passing the contents of said bottle through my body first. You yourself were very pro-sanctions, Frank, and even suggested in one of your “papers” taking benefits away completely from younger claimants who lived in areas, where advertised vacancies appeared numerous, in order to “encourage” youngsters into work, oblivious to the fact that unemployed people, of all ages, can apply diligently for hundreds of jobs and still not be offered work. Your plan to “encourage” the young unemployed in economically active areas of the country, by making them penniless, would most likely drive the unluckiest among people in such situations instantly into absolute poverty and possibly early graves.

      As Chas and Dave might say: Gertcha!

      Sling your hook you crypto-Conservative Kenneth Williams lookie-likey.

      W. C. Fields Forever

      February 22, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    • Imagine if the DWP stopped paying out benefits “in areas where vacancies on universal jobmatch appeared numerous” 😀

      D Green

      February 22, 2017 at 3:56 pm

  12. Andrew Coates

    February 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    • Think it was in the guardian. ..official enquiry launched into UC including the 42 day minimum wait for payments. ..


      February 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      • katrehman

        good spot:

        MPs launch official inquiry into universal credit as criticism grows
        Investigation into benefits system comes amid mounting evidence that payment delays have left thousands facing eviction

        MPs have launched an official inquiry into universal credit amid growing concerns that design flaws in the new benefits system are leaving thousands of low-income claimants facing eviction and reliant on food banks.

        The Commons work and pensions committee said it was compelled to launch a full investigation after mounting evidence that built-in payment delays and administrative blockages were creating severe problems for claimants and landlords.

        The inquiry will ratchet up the pressure on the Department for Work and Pensions to review the design of universal credit. It has played down the impact of the 42-day waiting time, arguing that its research carried out two years ago suggests arrears levels fall after three months once tenants get used to the new system.

        But the former welfare minister Lord Freud admitted to MPs last month that at least a quarter of tenants on universal credit had run up rent arrears as a result, and he suggested that ministers should consider shortening waiting times for payment.


        February 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm

  13. Benefit fraud & benefit sanctions offenders a small number DWP say

    Now if that’s so then why such sweeping reforms of procedure in those two areas.

    Well i would imagine government would say that’s because the 2 particular reforms scared them away while convicting the existing crowd that dared to challenge it.

    The problem with that is its very much like the bible in the aspect one has to take whats being claimed in good faith. Now faith as we know does not equal fact and its here government i find are indictable as they knew fully well way back when and only are admitting and conceding to now that they couldn’t actually prove their claims as they didn’t record any such, nor make any attempt to.

    From the use of data abroad to no data recorded to no systems in place to achieve such, the government has peddled powered the whole welfare reform on belief. The problem with belief however is, it does not necessitate actual proof.


    February 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    • doug

      I like how DWP has been going on:

      UC launched
      Research during launch used to justify rules [anyone say coach before horse? ie distinct lack of large enough dataset at time]
      UC use grows, problems grow alongside growth – evidence of problems in DWP eyes say its working
      DWP claim UC working perfectly to this day



      February 22, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      • Gazza, you may like this,

        Our lives keep on changing – yet the welfare myth of “them” and “us” persists



        February 22, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      • doug

        love it:

        £1 pound out of every £14

        “Through the second half of 2015 pressure groups, think tanks, alarmed tax credit recipients and eventually parliamentarians in both Lords and Commons began to realise the scale of what had been planned for Spring 2016. The government retreated, and existing tax credit recipients were ‘protected’.”
        “particularly for children in larger families and their parents hit by the new ‘two child’ limit (imposed on the basis, presumably, that those with three teenagers could have foreseen the economic events of the last decade, unlike most of the rest of us).”

        ME: It is important to note the areas where pressures outside of the unemployed previously hit, started to build. Witch May and the ConMen might well be in for a big surprise if the Hurt gets as bad as we suspect it will come the next election…

        There are a lot of tory voters out there who have not a clue as to what is coming for them.


        February 22, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      • Gazza

        Don’t short change it, £14.70 is the figure given. Lobbing off the 70p is a no no as we are bean counting here, not rounding and even if we were it would have been £15 as its over 5.

        Hmmm, i wonder who else said that very thing way back when on this very website ?

        Yep, what was foretold to come to pass has indeed come to pass now the smoke is clearing and mirrors all broken. It makes me think back to 2010 election.

        I suppose at least Cameron was right about one thing when he said, “we are all in it together” as we certainly are all in the shit aren’t we as a country but you know what, i finally figured out what he meant when he said, “we will fix broken Britain”. Just replace fix with fiddle with as in – To make unskilled or experimental efforts at repairing or improving something.


        February 22, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    • Millions of claimants have been sanctioned. I don’t know about you but a seven figure number of people – millions of people! – doesn’t seem like a small number of people to me.

      W. C. Fields Forever

      February 23, 2017 at 9:00 am

  14. Andrew Coates

    February 22, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    • Sanctions have nothing to do with saving money though, it’s an ideology; a cruel and twisted ideology of barbarians, that derives pleasure from the suffering of others, that gets off on the news of yet another benefit claimant being driven to suicide by the DWP, that gloats over the queues of starving human beings stretching around the block to the foodbank, that wallows in the cruelty of driving human beings into destitution, that sneers at the homeless huddled under soggy cardboard boxes in freezing-cold shop doorways, it is an ideology that considers sanctions as ‘money well spent’.


      February 23, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      • Isn’t any law as they don’t prevent but more so merely deter a percentage of people.

        You can have all the politics and religion you want as nothing will change until we all change and base life on need , not want.


        February 24, 2017 at 1:19 pm


    Man registered 26 non-existent babies


    This is a particularly juicy article as not only did this man trick people with fake jobs but your notice, no mention goes out to DWP playing a part and last and not least “organised attack on HMRC’s computer systems”.

    You see gone are the days claimants or even working people should simply send CVs which openly show their personal details and if this included interviews raises doubt there too.
    Ive said it enough times that claimants need to protect their CVs as should the public but alas it still continues and ultimately leads to cases like this.

    Your personal and or sensitive data is never safe online no matter who holds the data as trust and faith is very much misplaced these days, especially in governments case as successful or not in its attack, we are all only now hearing such an attack took place on HMRC.


    February 23, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    • Your first name and and email address is all you need for contact details on a CV, but cockroaches and ‘providers’ will insist that you have a phone number (“wouldn’t want to miss out on all those juicy “opportunities”, would you? 😀 ), and that would include a landline number if you were daft enough, as well as your full postal address, like an ’employer’ is going to be using snail mail in 2017.

      We are being conditioned into accepting that if we want to get on in life we have to hand over our data willy-niily to any old Tom, Dick, or Harriet who asks for it!


      February 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      • At the risk of being shot down womens data has not been protected since 1988 when the NHS set up Open Exeter for the purpose of forcing us inot having smear tests. Names addresses ect all handed over without our consent and along with that any info they could get out of us ie do we practice safe sex? No one asked us if we wanted this to happen and no one kicked up a fuss. We were expected to swallow it. I really believe that was the beginning of data sharing…


        February 23, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      • Cypher

        Its not a claimants job to make employers lives easier at the risk of having their data breached. By confirming such pin point details at an interview and only after prior investigating the company or agency is legit. You see i don’t just advocate job hunters limit data, i also advocate they research the company or agency in terms of are they registered as a company, are their finances legit, are they registered with ICO,etc. Ive found and caught out many a so called business and or agency usually through their finances or not properly registered with ICO.

        Now what a jobhunter does is their decision but never let anyone even DWP dictate how you should go about doing it as there are always other ways and times of producing such data as phone numbers and home addresses.


        February 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      • Locked on target “katrehman”… firing…. target eliminated… mission accomplished…

        Firefox Fighter Jet

        February 24, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    • “Dundee Sheriff Court was told that McWhirter was caught after returning to the scene of one of his early false birth registrations at Aberdeen registry office where he was recognised by staff.”

      NEVER return to the scene of a crime but the perpetrators always does, even just to see the “Incident Van” sat at the scene. And that is why it is parked there, waiting and watching for someone doing a quick about-turn when they catch sight of it. It is an irresistible urge to return to the scene of the crime.

      Old Lag

      February 23, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    • “They had all, however, applied for the same job for front-of-house staff at a four-star hotel in Glasgow advertised on Gumtree on March 2015.

      The Scumtree is another of the joke centre’s favourite sites. Most of the printed vacancies they hand out are sourced from here. It is scammer central!


      February 23, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    • There was a TV programme on about scammers in over in Eastern Europe, in particular a country beginning with P, ending in D and with middle letters olan. They were claiming child benefits in the UK for non-existent children: “They stupid Uk government 😀 We just take their money 😀 They never check 😀 ”

      As bad as that R..N omanian guy who built a property empire back over in R…A omania by scamming benefits and sub-letting on housing benefit. He hardly set foot in the UK: “Thank you so very much citizen’s of the UK 😀 You give me so much for free 😀 Now I am… what you call… a property magnet 😀 Thank you 😀 “

      Coffee Pot

      February 23, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      • Although before the collapse of Eastern Europe and the Warsaw Pact- There was no freedom of movement. Freedom orf movement came AFTER the collapse of East Berlin and the then Governments in Romania and Hungary.


        February 25, 2017 at 8:42 am

    • You should stop watching those benefit-bashing programmes on Channel 5, luv…. it’s not good for the blood pressure.

      Old Edna

      February 23, 2017 at 5:02 pm

  16. Andrew Coates

    February 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    • It’s not about the cost, it’s about the principle of the thing.

      Damien Green MP

      February 23, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      • Damien Green MP Genocide Principle.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 23, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    • Sanctions have nothing to do with saving money though, it’s an ideology; a cruel and twisted ideology of barbarians, that derives pleasure from the suffering of others, that gets off on the news of yet another benefit claimant being driven to suicide by the DWP, that gloats over the queues of starving human beings stretching around the block to the foodbank, that wallows in the cruelty of driving human beings into destitution, that sneers at the homeless huddled under soggy cardboard boxes in freezing-cold shop doorways, it is an ideology that considers sanctions as ‘money well spent’…


      February 23, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    • As for the DWP, keep very quiet. Dr. David Webster.

      The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been accused of grossly underreporting the number of benefit sanctions imposed on unemployed people in the UK, as research suggests the true number could be double that reported by the DWP.



      February 23, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      • More like quadruple.


        February 23, 2017 at 9:12 pm

  17. To right, it has sod all to do with saving ££££ but to cause destitution, homelessness, ill health and DEATH.🙁


    February 23, 2017 at 6:53 pm

  18. Watchdog refuses to withdraw report to UN that omits benefit deaths evidence

    DNS – 23rd Feb 2017

    The equality and human rights watchdog has refused to withdraw its report to the UN on the implementation of its disability convention, despite omitting vital information that links government ministers with the deaths of benefit claimants.

    Only two weeks ago, three national disabled people’s organisations were forced to withdraw their own report to the UN, after admitting that their document failed to speak out strongly enough on links between the government’s welfare reforms and the deaths of disabled people who had been denied the benefits they needed.

    Read More:

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 23, 2017 at 8:24 pm

  19. PIP claimant who took her own life had written about unfair assessment report

    DNS – 23rd Feb 2017

    A disabled woman who took her own life after being told she had lost a benefits appeal had written a letter to civil servants describing the unfairness of the face-to-face assessment that had led to her losing her support.

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) took just six days to decide her initial appeal, not long enough for Susan Roberts (pictured) to submit any evidence that could have backed up her claim for personal independence payment (PIP).

    Read More:

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

  20. Allowing DWP barristers to sit as benefits appeal judges ‘is unquestionably wrong’

    DNS – 23rd Feb 2017

    A system that allows barristers who are paid by DWP to prosecute benefit fraud cases to also sit as judges on tribunals that decide social security appeals is “unquestionably wrong” and a “direct conflict of interest”, say welfare rights experts.

    The concerns were raised this week after Disability News Service (DNS) was told about one judge who had prosecuted two high-profile cases of benefit fraud in 2012 and 2013, even though she had been appointed as a part-time social security tribunal judge in 2011.

    It is likely that the barrister prosecuted many more cases for DWP, as most trials are not covered by the media.

    Read More:

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 23, 2017 at 8:32 pm

  21. Tory Chat Bot Trolls

    Cease & Desist warning !!!

    Stepping in Shit

    February 24, 2017 at 1:38 am

  22. OT: New NHS Crisis might be looming….


    Thousands of doctors trained in Europe ‘may quit UK after Brexit’
    BMA warns of impending ‘disaster’ as its research shows 40% of doctors who qualified in EEA may leave because they feel less welcome

    About 12,000 doctors trained in European countries could quit the UK because they feel less welcome following the Brexit vote, according to a survey of overseas medics.

    About two in five doctors who qualified in European Economic Area countries are considering leaving the UK in light of the referendum result, research by the British Medical Association reveals.


    The BMA’s findings are based on a survey it undertook of 1,193 EEA doctors working in the UK. When asked if they were thinking about leaving the UK following last year’s referendum vote, 500 (42%) said yes, 309 (26%) said no, 278 (23%) were unsure, while the other 106 did not answer.

    ME: Now this is not certain, but could be indicative of a big problem if true – it should be noted this was of only 1K of the 12K and also depends on the circumstances of the individuals and that abroad where they wish to go.

    I would note that this might also have a blow back effect in young doctors quitting the NHS and then signing up to agencies where they would have some control over the hours they worked.


    February 24, 2017 at 6:01 am

  23. Does anybody here remember attending a ”£ Land” pre-interview ”course-cv workshop” @ Hubbard House on Civic Drive in Ipswich. It was arranged by Papworth Trust. It was held in the ”THE HUB” building next to Hubbard House. Split in to two groups. One of the tutors was a rather large lady calling herself Angela. TNG-AVANTA were managing the prep workshop on behalf of Papworth-£ Land. I am asking this because I have had phone calls from DWP and Avanta-TNG in relation to this lady called Angela. All I said was it was a long time ago (2014). I can’t remember much except that about 12 of us were laid low by a stomach bug and could not attend. Angela threatened sanctions even though we were on certified leave. Has anybody else had these phone calls. The number that comes up starts 01294. I don’t know what they are after or what they want I could’nt get a straight answer from them.


    February 24, 2017 at 10:00 am

    • PHILIP

      I would be very suspicious of this – area code is scotland!

      01294 area code
      Ardrossan telephone numbers

      Why would Scotland DWP be calling you.

      Tell them to write to you. They should have your address.

      This smells of identity theft to me.


      February 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      • Gazza. I said I would not comment and could they please put any concerns in writing. I was wondering why after nearly 5 years someone would delve into past history. BTW I found out 3 days after the call my Android Pad has been infected by the METROPOLITAN POLICE UKASH VIRUS. Check it out on Google. At this time I am NOT using my Android Pad..


        February 24, 2017 at 1:47 pm

  24. Brexit: UK businesses are already facing recruitment crisis as Polish workers head home

    – more jobs paying the nmw or as I said before, employers waiting for what we know is coming soon.

    As net migration falls many industries are already struggling to find staff in a worrying sign of what might be to come



    February 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    • coming soon… like what? A new series of ‘Strictly’? 😀

      Curee Osity

      February 24, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      • The work & heath programme.


        February 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    • The racism is a national scandal.The Tories have made it an unpleasant place to live for the rest.Who’d be happy living in that?

      Locally claimants are reporting that Jobcentreplus are demanding that they do 30 hours work a week for their benefits.


      February 24, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      • Should it read GERMANY 1933 BRITAIN 2017


        February 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      • There isn’t any *mandatory* work schemes that claimants can be referred to currently. The MWA/CWP schemes are defunct! It is all “work experience” which is “voluntary”.


        February 24, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      • 😀


        February 24, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    • Well this is what happens when you believe foreigners are stealing your jobs as im not just talking about how there are more jobs than Brits but also how many of these jobs are for low pay.

      Now and this is just a projection but if lets say the decline continued, government would be forced into removing choice of career from the table as its these many hands and feet that are as i have said a thousand times, THE TRUE CREATORS OR WEALTH while technology lacks the arms and legs to replace them.

      What would sainburys, sport direct,the Hilton,joeys farm,McDonalds, etc be without the thousands of workers. Answer, very small businesses producing very little profit and singular in nature.
      This in turn would effect investment as whose going to sink millions in a corner shop. Even with the advent of the internet, without bodies Ebay for instance would have to rely on you sending what your selling to a buyer. What would Facebook be if the public were anti social.

      You see no matter how you go around this without the many hands and feet, voices and ears, all are reduced to but a tiny spec of significance, are that little corner shop only the locals know of.

      You all are what makes the world go around, to produce, to supply , to buy and it is this that governments and big corporations dangle over you with no appreciation other than to get financially fat from it.

      This means if that model does not change,government will have no choice but to dictate who does what and where, will have to prioritise which business grows and who does not and certainly would have to reconsider the 2 children rule.

      Like i said this is just a projection of what life would turn out like if Britain had no external workers and or external interests. The only thing that would allow government and businesses not to give crap however is if technology plugs the hole but of course then that presents other problems.


      February 24, 2017 at 2:35 pm

  25. DWP accused of misleading the public on benefit sanction numbers

    Researcher claims the true number of sanctions imposed on unemployed people is double that reported by the government.

    WelfareWeekly – 23rd Feb 2017

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been accused of grossly underreporting the number of benefit sanctions imposed on unemployed people in the UK, as research suggests the true number could be double that reported by the DWP.

    Research by Dr. David Webster, from the University of Glasgow, found 300,000 sanctions were imposed on unemployed people in the year leading up to September 2016, double the amount admitted by the DWP.

    Dr. Webster’s research also found that Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants are seeing their benefits docked for longer, while the number of sanctions imposed on sick and disabled people in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) has risen sharply.

    Read More:

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    • Thanks for that, and there is this,

      Andrew Coates

      February 24, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      • “However, Dr. Webster’s analysis suggests these figures could be a drop in the ocean. The potential number of unemployed people affected by sanctions could be far higher than anyone has reported”.

        This part of the article concerns me as Webster was professional enough to produce what he did so how comes does not include this further damning evidence along with his other findings.

        Well i guess we will all just have to wait and see.


        February 24, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      • Yes why has it taken so long and just how long is the wait for anything to happen.

        By making conditions for people on benefits increasingly onerous, the government ensures that British workers accept poor pay and conditions without public protest for fear of something worse; and by deliberately stigmatising the unemployed, government aims to cut across people in and out of work making common cause in resistance.


        February 24, 2017 at 8:22 pm

  26. should read freedom of movement


    February 25, 2017 at 8:45 am

  27. The latest news from La-La land

    “Should ‘catfishing’ be made illegal?

    Anna Rowe had a whirlwind romance with Antony Ray after meeting him through the dating app Tinder.

    But their 14-month relationship came crashing down when she discovered his profile was a fake.

    His name was not Antony and he was not single.

    In fact, he was a married dad who had initially used photos of a Bollywood actor on his profile and had lured in other women too.

    “He used me like a hotel with benefits under the disguise of a romantic, loving relationship that he knew I craved,” says Anna.

    The practice of using a fake profile to start an online romance is known as “catfishing”.

    Now Anna, 44, from Kent, has launched a petition calling for it to be made illegal.

    But how serious is catfishing and is it practical to make it a crime?

    More than half of online dating users say they have come across a fake profile, according to consumer group Which?

    While the number of people defrauded in the UK by online dating scams reached a record high in 2016.

    There were 3,889 victims of so-called romance fraud last year, who handed over a record £39m.

    It has become so prevalent, that it led to the creation of reality TV show Catfish – which is dedicated to helping victims learn the true identity of their online romances.

    Currently catfishing is not illegal but elements of the activity could be covered by different parts of the law.

    If a victim hands over money, the “catfish” could be prosecuted for fraud.

    Someone using a fake profile to post offensive messages or doctored images designed to humiliate could also face criminal action.

    A review of social media and the law by the House of Lords in 2014 concluded there was enough current legislation to cover crimes committed online.

    New guidance was also issued by the CPS in October to help the police identify online crimes – including trolling and virtual mobbing.

    But Anna thinks the law needs to go further.

    Writing on her petition, she said: “I did not or would not consent to have a sexual relationship with a married man, let alone a man who was actively having relations with multiple women simultaneously.

    “His behaviour was definitely premeditated showing his intent to use women, yet the current law will not find his actions a criminal offence.”

    Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, recognises the devastating impact catfishing can have on victims.

    “It can ruin a life. I know there have been suicides because it’s affected someone badly,” he says.

    “It can affect their mental stability and lead to depression and the victims feel they can’t trust anyone again.

    “I do think we need to look more wisely at this in relation to how it is tackled at the moment.”
    Built-in screening system

    Mr Neate, a former police officer, says there should be a “discussion” about punishing the worst catfishing offenders.

    But he raises concerns about how practical a new law would be to implement.

    “I really feel for that poor woman [Anna] but we have got to be realistic on how far we got and how the police would be able to enforce it,” he says.

    “Let’s have the discussion because we can’t have people being hurt and it’s something we have got to look at.”

    Many dating websites offer users advice on how to spot a scammer and tips to avoid being taken in by a fake profile. (See “Tips to avoid catfishes”, below)

    Popular dating site Match.com has a team which will remove unwanted accounts and check photos and personal ads.

    It also has a built-in screening system that can help identify suspicious accounts, remove them and prevent re-registration.

    Lovestruck has a verification service that can confirm members are single and professional by checking their profiles against their other social media sites.
    ‘Genuine reasons’

    But the advice has not stopped many people being duped.

    Last month, university professor Judith Lathlean revealed how she was tricked out of £140,000 by a gang using a fake profile.

    Ife Ojo, 31, and Olusegun Agbaje, 43, were jailed in 2016 after conning a woman out of £1.6m using a fictional character.

    But Andrew McClelland, chief executive of the Online Dating Association – the trade body for the industry – believes legislating against catfishing would be “difficult”.

    He said there could be genuine reasons why someone might not use their real details online – for example if they had been in an abusive relationship and did not want their ex-partner to find them.

    Data protection and freedom of expression would also be an issue when it came to enforcing such a law, he added.

    “The biggest problem this faces is how do you legislate against someone lying?” says Mr McClelland.
    Tips to avoid catfishes

    Ask lots of questions. Do not simply rely on the information given in someone’s online profile
    Search. Use the internet as a tool to search elsewhere for information and the social media accounts of the person you are chatting to

    Speak to friends and family. Be guided by others on whether the profile appears genuine
    Chat on the dating site. Avoid giving out your personal number or email before really getting to know someone

    Never give out money. If someone asks for money on a dating website, do not send it to them”

    Anyway, ii is not like this Anna was on Tinder to do anyone any favours. No, Anna, you were on Tinder to serve your own selfish interests. And now that she was played at her own game and got had she wants the guy thrown in the slammer. What a compete and utter evil, twisted bitch you are Anna. Burn in HELL!

    “He said there could be genuine reasons why someone might not use their real details online – for example if they had been in an abusive relationship and did not want their ex-partner to find them.

    Data protection and freedom of expression would also be an issue when it came to enforcing such a law, he added.”

    Are we going to reach the stage where we are going to be thrown in the slammer not using our real details online?


    Anonymous Catfish

    February 25, 2017 at 10:38 am

    • Anna should be careful in pursuing this, otherwise an order maybe made to “section” here under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014.

      “Enquiry by local authority

      (1)This section applies where a local authority has reasonable cause to suspect that an adult in its area (whether or not ordinarily resident there)—

      (a)has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs),

      (b)is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and

      (c)as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

      (2)The local authority must make (or cause to be made) whatever enquiries it thinks necessary to enable it to decide whether any action should be taken in the adult’s case (whether under this Part or otherwise) and, if so, what and by whom.

      (3)“Abuse” includes financial abuse; and for that purpose “financial abuse” includes—

      (a)having money or other property stolen,

      (b)being defrauded,

      (c)being put under pressure in relation to money or other property, and

      (d)having money or other property misused.”

      Social Worker

      February 25, 2017 at 10:52 am

  28. “New advice suggests that for a longer life, we need to eat 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but how realistic is this and is it only a diet for the wealthy?

    “Healthy foods are three times more expensive calorie-for-calorie than unhealthy foods so there’s a very strong price differential in a typical basket,” says Anna Taylor, executive director of the independent think tank Food Foundation.

    Vegetables are getting cheaper but, she says, there are people who “haven’t got enough money to put food on the table, so for them, trying to secure 10 portions of fruit and veg a day in their diets would be impossible.””

    “Healthy foods are three times more expensive calorie-for-calorie than unhealthy foods…” –
    Wouldn’t it be great if we could all pig-out on blueberries. But they are prohibitively expensive so we pig-out on value custard creams instead, and then we wonder why we are so unhealthy. INCOMES have to be increased dramatically if we are to able to eat healthily.


    Ginger Nut

    February 25, 2017 at 11:03 am

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