Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Welfare ‘Reform’: More Misery, More Hardship, and More Deaths.

with 93 comments

More details: National day of action against benefit sanctions Thursday 30 March 2017 at 07:00-20:00.


Psychologists say sanctions regime is “undermining mental health and wellbeing” and causing destitution, hardship, and widespread anxiety. Reports Welfare Weekly.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) has joined forces with other psychological bodies to call on the UK Government to suspend its cruel and degrading benefit sanctions regime.

BPS says the benefit sanctions regime, where vulnerable people can have payments docked for weeks or months at a time for failing to adhere to often unreasonable requirements, does not help people back to work and damages their mental health.

The call comes in response to the Government’s ‘Improving Lives’ consultation and following a recent report from the National Audit Office, which found there is little evidence to prove sanctions encourage people to look for work or offer value for money to taxpayers.

Benefit sanctions can also result in destitution, hardship, widespread anxiety and feelings of disempowerment, the psychologists say.

Welfare Weekly also reports,

Welfare reform is killing people, but the Tory press don’t want you to know

Rising numbers of deaths all linked to the ongoing welfare reforms remain unreported.

The manipulation of the British public is not difficult to achieve when the entire national press and media resist alerting the nation to the realities behind the ongoing welfare reforms.

The future demolition of the UK welfare state was planned long ago by a previous Tory government, and the 2008 banking crisis was simply the excuse needed to permit the demolition of the welfare state to begin.

Introduced in the UK by Thatcher, toxic neoliberal politics has swept the world where cash, not care, is deemed to be a virtue and the driver of national success, regardless of human consequences.

What remains unreported are the rising numbers of deaths all linked to the ongoing welfare reforms, numbering in excess of 100,000 chronically sick and disabled people since January 2011, as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) once again refuse to publish the updated mortality totals.

One aspect of the sanctions regime that is extremely cruel is its use against disabled people, which comes as part of a ‘package’ of regressive measures.

This article from the Guardian is a timely reminder,

The truth behind rising disabled employment: cuts, death and zero-hour contracts

 The disability employment gap is narrowing, but this is against a backdrop of sanctions, funding cuts and insecure employment.

2016 figures showed that more than half of disabled people who appealed their “fit to work” assessment eventually got the decision overturned.

“We’re still seeing some really worrying things coming out of those assessments,” says Ayaz Manji from the mental health charity Mind. “There’s a lot of really poor decision-making. Lots of the people who make those assessments don’t understand mental health.

“We’ve seen people who’ve been denied the benefit because they’ve been described as ‘well-groomed’, or ‘able to look somebody in the eye’. But obviously those things aren’t a good indication of whether someone has a serious mental health problem that’s affecting their ability to work. Often the support that people get is quite generic and doesn’t really take their mental health into account.”

Employment gap

The chaos surrounding the assessments comes amid a government drive to get more disabled people into work. But although charities and activists share that ambition, they accuse the government of acting counterproductively, with a punitive agenda of sanctions and funding cuts.

In 2015, the Treasury claimed: “increasing employment levels among people with disabilities and health conditions is a key part of the government’s aim to achieve full employment.” Specifically, the government aims to “halve the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people”.

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 25, 2017 at 10:39 am

93 Responses

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  1. Money Box discussing sanction busting on Radio 4 at 12:04 today, or catch-up on the iplayer:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08g2mgk

    BBC Radio Four

    February 25, 2017 at 11:39 am

    • Frank Field is up –
      warning system works [put to ids who implemented it]
      very small sample of 500 people
      have 2 weeks to prove was looking for work before sanction starts
      vulnerable – need personal consideration
      dwp failing with people like shown in i daniel
      dwp needs to sit down talk about difficults you have
      dwp awaits full findings of trial before implementing it wider
      interviewer – sounds like delay on part of dwp
      Frank F; yes
      no balances against sanction sanction sanction
      interviewer – dwp minister said no to taking part

      Gazza

      February 25, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      • lol at Frank Field and his obsession with “catching scallywags” 😀

        Radiogram

        February 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      • Frank Field wear a pained expression less because he cares about the underdog than because he’s full of shit! What has he ever actually done throughout his very long career as an MP? Shit! Tony Blair appointed Field to the same position that David Freud held – Minister fro Welfare Reform – and told Field to “think the unthinkable”. Field went away, thought for a while, wrote a report which Blair found so completely and utterly unthinkable and unworkable he sacked Field on the spot! The fact Frank Field seems to think Tory welfare reform isn’t great – he had praised it previously and approves wholeheartedly of in-work conditionality – shows how utterly abysmal it really is.

        Frank Field is an ex-Tory waste of skin.

        Flook (formerly of the Daily Mail)

        February 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    • Frank Field, the Unwanted Gift that just can’t stop giving – Feed Excess Army Rations to “army of homeless”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39095061
      Excess Army food supplies should be given to the “army of the homeless”, a senior MP says.
      More than 12,000 operational ration packs (ORPs) were thrown away between April and December – more than in the previous 12 months.

      .
      .
      .
      Mr Field said the issue had been repeatedly raised by food banks, because of problems associated with catering for people who cannot cook or store food.
      .
      .
      .
      “These supplies are designed for people, in a sense, to eat on the run, and people in doorways are in a similar position.
      “They’re ideally constructed for when people haven’t got much.”
      ————————————————————————————-
      ME: Where do you start with this? In the Army these are called “Meal Rarely Edible” for a reason…
      Disposal, is this done here in the UK or while on deployment [Treasury doesn’t like paying for collection, transport back to UK, transport to holding depot, disposal – who is going to pay for that?]
      Also, don’t these require use of at least a fire?
      I am sure there will not be problems with homeless people starting fires wherever they are, what could possibly go wrong?

      Enigma, have you heard of this claim by food banks?

      Gazza

      February 26, 2017 at 11:01 am

      • Gazza

        There has never been talk about this in the local food bank, what there was though one day per week where people were invited to learn how to cook.

        The army rations, not all of it needs to be cooked,

        enigma

        February 26, 2017 at 1:20 pm

  2. David Clapson was 59 when he died alone in his flat with no food, no electricity, and the insulin he relied on warming in his fridge above its safe maximum of 8C. A week earlier the £71.70 a week jobseekers allowance he relied on had been stopped. He had missed a meeting at the JobCentre. His death was recorded as due to natural causes. His sister Gill Thomson says she is fighting for an inquest. Paul Lewis talks to Frank Field MP who has this week demanded a yellow card system to give claimants time to appeal before their money is stopped.

    BBC Radio Four

    February 25, 2017 at 11:41 am

  3. You can bet that this pushing continually for an inquest by Gill Thompson is giving the DWP staff members, ministers and members of the Civil Service responsible for the MURDER of David Clapson nightmares.

    Nightmares of a Inquest, nightmares of being hauled into Court, nightmares of a Verdict of Unlawful Killing, nightmares of being prosecuted for the death of David Clapson, nightmares of being found guilty, nightmares of being sent to Prison for the rest of their natural lives….

    Nightmare on Caxton House Street

    February 25, 2017 at 11:57 am

    • Pity about BREXIT> The EU Human Rights would probably come into play. Civil Servants and Ministers in the court ? What about the UN and the Hague

      Philip

      February 25, 2017 at 2:47 pm

  4. I really can’t see the current government ever admitting that it has been wrong about anything. The horror will continue until they are shamed into doing something about it. I wouldn’t pin my hopes on any committee led by Frank Field to lead to any change in welfare policy. We now live, as they say, in a post-Truth world where honesty, facts and figures mean less than bullshit, braggadocio and volume and, with Labour doing things like losing a safe-seat the party has held for nearly eighty years to the Conservatives, mid term, well, it looks as if the Tories are set to rule indefinitely and shape a Tory future for all once we finally leave the EU.

    The future isn’t what it used to be.

    Paul

    February 25, 2017 at 5:07 pm

  5. We need to get rid of sanctions full stop – no ifs, no buts. End sanctions – without exception.

    No exemptions for so-called “vulnerable” groups – one for all and one for all. No sanctions as a “last resort”

    But what chance have we got when even the posters on here are arguing the case for sanctions:

    Paul said: “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”… until they toed the line could be forever.

    And doug said: “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.”

    Is this what is meant that even the unemployed support the “principle” of sanctions.

    Jeez, the unemployed are a bad as a prison full of convicted criminal all looking down on each other.

    Who gives a flying sausage if some “scallywag” puts up two finger to the jobcentre and doesn’t attend a jobcentre appointment. Who cares.

    Surely, it has to be better to turn a blind eye to a “scallywag” than the insufferable situation claimants are under at present with the omnipresent Sanction Sword of Damocles forever dangling over them.

    NO Sanctions

    February 25, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    • I don’t think that there is a country in the world, including the enlightened Nordic countries and Denmark, which don’t have penalties associated with receipt of unemployment benefits for recipients who are not willing to work if and when they are able. The sanctions regime in the UK now is based on welfare policy used in the United States, which is much harsher than any system anywhere in Europe, although Germany is pretty unforgiving too if unemployed people supported by the state are trying not to secure gainful employment and look for work.

      Sanctions have always been and will always be part of British social security.

      What we do need is a fairer and more proportionate system in which nobody ends up with fixed penalty punishments where people end up with no income for weeks, months, or even years. Much better to stop benefits if people refuse to play the game properly and reinstate them as soon as recalcitrant people pull their socks up immediately they participate as required and don’t end up facing long fixed penalties for making genuine errors and slip-ups.

      Sanctions aren’t going to stop completely any more than taxes are going to disappear but they ought to be easy to understand, predictable, fair and stoppable immediately any sanctioned person does as asked. At the moment nobody – DWP staff and claimants – don’t really know where we are. I don’t approve of sanctions but am realistic hat they are here to stay, especially with a Tory government looking likely to remain in power for years and years and years coupled with a British public conditioned into being unsympathetic to benefit claimants.

      The best we can do is to get the cruel and horrible regime we suffer under now ameliorated and improved.

      Paul

      February 26, 2017 at 9:29 am

      • “Sanctions have always been and will always be part of British social security.” No, they haven’t! Back in the day the ONLY reason your payments would be withheld is if you failed to sign-on, what the Unemployment Benefit Office/Labour Exchange called a “dis-allowance”. And even then as soon as you informed the office your payments would be re-started immediately. You were never a penny out of pocket.

        You, and doug’s posts do come over a bit Frank Field-esque i.e. pro sanction. It was by allowing sanctions to creep into the benefits system as “a last resort” and to ” as a means of making sure scallywags were punished” that we are in the state we are today, and the reason why David Clapson and God knows how many others, because we will never know the true statistics, have lost their live lives.

        Scallywag

        February 26, 2017 at 11:16 am

      • No, sport, you’re wrong. Once upon a time you would go around to the Labour exchange, as it Jobcentres were then called, sign on, and if they had work available given an address and told to report to them for a job. If you didn’t your dole got stopped. Later on things got a little bit more lenient, although, if you refused three offers of work for any reason… well… your dole got stopped. There were all sorts of penalties. All we have now is a much worse system where you can not only get penalised for not doing something, e.g., accepting work when offered, but also for failing to do something well enough, e.g., actively seeking work.

        The Tories brought in the awful system we have now and look set to rule the country indefinitely.

        There is no public appetite to give benefit claimants more generous entitlements or penalise them less.

        The best we can hope for is a more rational and transparent system.

        Sanctions against benefit claimant are never, ever going to go away.

        And that’s the truth.

        Paul

        February 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      • Sanctions form a necessary and vital part of the help and support package offered by Jobcentre Plus. Sanctions are only ever used as a last resort. You would need to be a right scallywag to be on the receiving end of a sanction.

        Andew Coates

        February 26, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      • Bernie stop trying to be someone else because you don`t have their Avatar. Bernie is a lonely famous person that hates to be ignored.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        February 26, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    • Things will get a whole lot worse once the UK leaves the EU. The Tories will go sanction mad, mark my words.

      Low Flying Frog

      February 26, 2017 at 1:17 pm

  6. UK: More deaths of those ruled “fit to work”

    World Socialist Website – 7th Feb 2017

    Lawrence Bond, a 56-year-old man deemed “fit to work” by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), collapsed and died in North London after attending a Jobcentre on January 12.

    According to his sister, Iris Green, Bond, who was appealing the cut to his benefits, had gone to the Kentish Town Jobcentre in obvious “physical distress.” After the visit, he suffered a fatal heart attack as he boarded a bus.

    Bond had suffered from long-term mobility and breathing difficulties associated with being overweight. In regular employment from the age of 16, he had lost his last long-term job two years ago.

    Green told the Camden New Journal her brother had felt reasonably secure in that job fixing computers, photocopiers and cash tills, although his diet was poor. But when he lost it, his weight and unfitness prevented him from getting work.

    Read More:
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/07/camd-f07.html

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 25, 2017 at 5:59 pm

  7. I thought that if any government {anywhere] forced people into poverty [North Korea etc] This could be described as a crime against humanity. It Is Just A Thought……..(?)

    Philip

    February 26, 2017 at 10:17 am

  8. The DWP and their contracted services are ignoring the likelihood of finding employment combined with other factors the outlook is not good.Hence people are trapped in the benefits system by multiple failings in both the social security system and attitudes in society also the workplace.However this was termed benefit dependency and given the impression that somehow its the individuals fault of their situation.

    ken

    February 26, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    • So in the eyes of the DWP the fact that I have had a stroke and a mini heart attack. Now also with a progressive cataract in my eye. This is MY FAULT ?. Can’t get sanctioned for having a stroke or cataracts can you (?).

      Philip

      February 26, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    • No, it’s because of a “riiged economy” and Jezza is “sick of it”. Jezza is also sick of “benefit sanctions”, and Jezza doesn’t want to “live in a society where human beings are forced to huddle in shop doorways”, Jezza doesn’t want to “live in society where human beings die of the cold whilst gas and electricity companies rake in enormous profits”, Jezza doesn’t want to “live in society where women are forced to travel in the same train carriages as men”…

      Jeremy Corbyn's Speechwriter

      February 26, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      • I just wish Jezza would speak up. His voice is so quiet it’s difficult to tell when he’s speaking and not speaking.

        Old Black Betty Bam-ba-Lam

        February 26, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      • jezza IS A NIMBY NOT IN MY BACK YARD

        GAWD HELP US IF JEZZA IS PM

        February 27, 2017 at 8:29 am

  9. Government promises £20m investment in robotics and artificial intelligence.

    A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research recently forecast that millions of jobs will be lost to automation over the next two decades. Researchers predicted that two million retail jobs will disappear by 2030 and 600,000 will go in manufacturing.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/government-digital-strategy-technology-robotics-artificial-intelligence-investment-a7600046.html

    enigma

    February 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm

  10. Disability benefits: PIPs should be for ‘really disabled’

    Disability benefits should go to “really disabled people” not those “taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety”, a key Theresa May aide says.

    No 10 policy unit head George Freeman said personal independence payments (PIP) reforms were needed to roll back the “bizarre” decisions of tribunals.


    George Freeman

    Ministers say the changes will save £3.7bn but leave a “strong safety net”.

    But disability charity Scope criticised Mr Freeman’s “crude” distinction between physical and mental health.

    And Labour said the comments were “an insult to disabled people”.

    Understanding anxiety

    Responding to criticism online to his interview on BBC 5 live’s Pienaar’s Politics, Mr Freeman later tweeted that he had suffered from anxiety and depression in childhood, adding: “I don’t need and lectures on the damage anxiety does.”

    The government is proposing changes to PIPs, which replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), after two tribunal rulings at the end of 2016 which it said would have added £3.7bn to the benefits bill by 2023.

    The benefit is intended to help people cope with the extra costs of living with ill health or disability and are made according to the points a person scores in an assessment of their needs.

    In his BBC interview Mr Freeman said: “These tweaks are actually about rolling back some bizarre decisions by tribunals that now mean benefits are being given to people who are taking pills at home, who suffer from anxiety,” he said.

    “We want to make sure we get the money to the really disabled people who need it.”

    The Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk added that he and the prime minister “totally” understood anxiety. “We’ve set out in the mental health strategy how seriously we take it,” he added.

    After the interview, shadow chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: “This is an insult to disabled people. (George Freeman) should apologise immediately or Theresa May should make him.”

    And Scope chief executive Mark Atkinson said: “It is unhelpful to make crude distinctions between those with physical impairments and mental health issues because the kind of impairment someone has is not a good indicator of the costs they will face.

    “Many disabled people will be now be anxiously waiting to hear as to whether or not these tighter rules will affect their current PIP award.

    “The government must offer clarity and reassurance that these new measures will not negatively affect the financial support that disabled people receive now or in the future, and that they stand by their commitment to making no further changes to disability benefits in this Parliament.”

    ‘Trapped’

    Disabilities minister Penny Mordaunt said she was reforming the PIP payments to “restore the original aim of the benefit” to make sure support was given to the most needy.

    Mr McDonnell said he was “furious” about the proposed changes to PIPS, and said Labour would pressurise the government to reverse them in next month’s Budget.

    “Next week the Tories will make out that the economy and the public finances are doing better, however, they are planning to go ahead with a £3.7bn cut to the disabled,” he said.

    The cuts would mean many people with severe disabilities “are going to be trapped in their homes”, he added.

    The Liberal Democrats said the government was using court losses “as an excuse to severely restrict disability benefits”.

    A DWP spokeswoman said the government was “committed to ensuring our welfare system is a strong safety net for those who need it”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39097019

    Newshounds

    February 26, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    • Because someone can send an email surf a few pages and clear the cookies they think people are elite hackers.

      A disability is a disability.Here is an example of a specific learning difficulty.Once treated by a Jobcentre staff member as “Thats Nothing” Starbucks thought so too.

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/09/dyslexic-employee-wins-discrimination-case-starbucks

      An untrained observer may conclude that a student with a SpLD is ‘lazy‘, or ‘just not trying hard enough’. For example they may find it difficult understanding the large discrepancy between reading comprehension and proficiency in verbal ability, or between reading level and poor written work. The observer only sees the input and output, not the processing of the information. Deficiencies in the processing of information can make learning and expressing ideas difficult or impossible tasks.

      http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/educator/what-are-specific-learning-difficulties

      DWP literature tells people they don’t have to mention a disability but by not doing so stops adjustments from being made and voids disability cover.its made worse by Employment Agencies that don’t want to take risks.

      ken

      February 27, 2017 at 6:25 am

      • But there is “disabilities” and then there is “inconveniences”, ken. Dyslexia is an “inconvenience”, same as not being able to read or write – it is not a crippling life-changing disability. And what about myopia (short-sightedness? Should the definition of “disability” extend to myopia? It is a lot more “inconvenient” to have to wear spectacles or contact lenses than it is to “sit at home and pop a few pills for “anxiety””.

        Most reasonable people don’t have a problem with “really disabled” people receiving extra money for the added expenses that being really disabled incurs. It is people “sat at home popping pills for “anxiety”” and pocketing large sums of taxpayers money as well as “Motability” cars (too “anxious” to use public transport? 😉 ), and what not that reasonable people have a problem with. This is the government’s take on this, and where George Freeman is coming from, and is also the consensus of the general public on this issue.

        General Public

        February 27, 2017 at 11:48 am

    • George Freeman should trying living with anxiety for thirty-odd years…. and now they want to take away my dla and my car. If George Freeman wants to save money he should stop paying money to the unemployed… useless, lazy scrounger the lot of them… there are plenty of jobs out there if they weren’t too lazy to take one. The unemployed have been abusing the system for years and because of them us disabled people are paying for it with our lives.

      A Disabled Voice

      February 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      • But there is “disabilities” and then there is “inconveniences”

        It is covered by the Equality Act 2010.A disability isn’t an inconvenience.there is a mild moderate severe and profound all disabilities.Its not all about words its the brains processing of information.This is a classic example of what happens when untrained people are placed with disabled people.Its a disaster waiting to happen also in some attitudes surface.

        Then next the shocking figures for the unemployed disabled.

        ken

        February 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      • So, are you saying, ken, that people with dyslexia should be classified as disabled and qualify for the full plethora of attendant disability benefits?

        And what about “mental illnesses” such as Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) which are listed in the DSM IV (the Shrink’s Handbook), should ODD sufferers receive disability benefits, ken? Just where do you draw the “disability” line?

        Line in the Sand

        February 27, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      • General public

        Myopia as a disability really depends on whether or not its degenerative like say in the case of Pathological Myopia or Degenerative Myopia.

        This aside,

        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/570382/Equality_Act_2010-disability_definition.pdf

        Its not up to public opinion as what constitutes as a disability, that’s what law if for and which this government seeks to subvert. The pip eligibility rules are quite clear and right this very second will link you to the document i gave above.

        The issue before court was about the awarding of points as regards DWP’s nefarious and heavily flawed work capability assessment that this government designed. As always they thought they could do whatever they wanted because their in power yet the law decided they were wrong.

        Just like the Cait Reilly case, this government knowing they had been defeated by the law of the land, rushed off and hashed up this crap their trying to pass/introduce now just so they can still get away with their ill gotten game of doing the hell what they want and screw the law and screw the people they profess to serve.

        doug

        February 27, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    • Here are the “conditions most likely to be affected”, according to the DWP:

      Mood disorders – Other / type not known
      Psychotic disorders – Other / type not known
      Schizophrenia
      Schizoaffective disorder
      Phobia – Social Panic disorder
      Learning disability – Other / type not known
      Generalized anxiety disorder
      Agoraphobia
      Alcohol misuse
      Anxiety and depressive disorders – mixed
      Anxiety disorders – Other / type not known
      Autism
      Bipolar affective disorder (Hypomania / Mania)
      Cognitive disorder due to stroke
      Cognitive disorders – Other / type not known
      Dementia
      Depressive disorder
      Drug misuse
      Stress reaction disorders – Other / type not known
      Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
      Phobia – Specific Personality disorder
      Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

      Alcoholic and drug users receive “disability” benefits? Then we have agoraphobia, Social Panic disorder lol, phobias (spiders?) obsessive compulsive disorder, depressive disorder, anxiety, mood disorder.

      Think everyone could squeeze themselves into one of these categories, fears of spiders, snake, constantly checking that the gas has been turned off, obsessive compulsively looking at the same jobs on universal jobmatch day in-day-out…. is this list some sort of joke!?

      The REAL idiots are the dumbos that claim JSA and haven’t got the wherewithal or the native intelligence to get themselves onto disability. If you don’t know who the idiot is then YOU are the idiot. Jobseeker are utter IDIOT, if they were SMART they would be claiming off of something on this list.

      Jobseeker R Idiots

      February 28, 2017 at 1:30 am

      • Jobseeker R Idiots

        I would actually say an idiot is a person who fails to read the,

        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/570382/Equality_Act_2010-disability_definition.pdf

        As is clear for example never has an addiction to, or dependency on been considered a disability on its own. Further more not all phobias, disorders,etc constitute a person as being disabled. It is the responsibility of only a qualified doctor to diagnose a patient. If the doctor decides as such the patients condition based on diagnosis limits their movements, senses, or activities, then and only then will they document as required by law.

        A politician, a government, a public department or contractor of said public department cannot legally diagnose a person as either disabled or not, nor can they overturn a doctors diagnosis which they don’t.

        The government during the welfare reform introduced whats known as the work capability assessment where they awarded points towards a persons ability based on the illness/disabled persons medical condition, part of which is using medical data. Both government and especially the contractors like ATOS and maximus,etc have not been securing or acknowledging a persons medical data (defying doctors notes/patient record) and awarding points wrongly that would be higher in accordance with the law with such records being taken into account.

        Now further more to this and the reason for the two court cases was that the government set the points in the assessment so as to not include people with mental health issues a doctor in their professional capacity has officially diagnosed as disabled. The law had corrected this government error but rather than respect the verdict swiftly moved to get the very same group their personally attacking another way.

        So these people entitled to PIP and have not previously been awarded such are the real victims here, not the taxpayer. Your government deliberately mislead and cheated (still is) and got caught red handed as actively discriminating against a group of people.

        doug

        February 28, 2017 at 9:54 am

    • http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/here-conditions-dont-make-you-9925399

      And anyone on JSA, whether they admit it or not, MUST have at least ONE of these disorders… depression?, panic attacks, social panic disorder, alcoholism, drug abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder… swallow all that misplaced pride and get yourselves to the doctors and signed onto one of these cash cow benefits!

      Jobseeker R Idiots

      February 28, 2017 at 1:33 am

  11. Some sad news, comrades, TT is joining Johnny Void and throwing in the towel 😦 Unemp will now be up their in web heaven with the Void. RiP

    BdNewshounds

    February 26, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    • Get back there and rejoin the fight!

      No one should ever throw the towel in!

      ken

      February 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    • Just like with politicians the reason we are given is a plausible one but never the real reason. The standard internet business model is to increase a website’s popularity and customer base until the point it can be sold off for a pretty penny; or in the case of “anarchist”/”anti-establishment” sites to wait until it becomes a big enough “threat” and accept a pay-off to close it down. Johnny Void talks about “a self-imposed exile from all things political” and TT twitters on about the “cost of web-hosting”, but we all know it is a load of bullcrap and there is another reason behind it.

      Truthseeker

      March 1, 2017 at 8:38 am

      • Truthseeker

        If you have proof johnny void has been paid off then do post it as otherwise its no more or less plausible than any other suggestion/opinion.

        Owning a website you built and merely using youtube or facebook is two different things. When you setup a free website it has limits as a result of being free so you either pay extra for server space,traffic,etc or you go and setup at cost your own servers.

        One way or another, if your popularity and or service grows, your going to have to fund it. People like google know this and capitalize on it like with adsense for instance. You also have donations, private sponsor schemes, crowd funding,paid subscription,etc but anyway you slice it, it will turn into a business profit or non profit.

        Lastly as for the payoff thing when you get to big and can influence a larger number of people, the trend these days is to discredit you like you saw attempted on pewdepie the other day and of course lets not forget the new false news narrative to attempt to crush free speech,changing opinions,telling with evidence truths.

        doug

        March 1, 2017 at 10:56 am

  12. How long as intensiveactivity got before we hear the “sad news”?

    BadNewshounds

    February 26, 2017 at 8:22 pm

  13. Controversial plans to strip young people aged 18 to 21 of housing benefit are being reconsidered by ministers amid fears in Whitehall that they would add to the homelessness bill and run contrary to Theresa May’s pledge to govern for the most needy in society.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/25/housing-benefit-cuts-for-young-people-may-be-scaled-back

    enigma

    February 27, 2017 at 4:42 am

    • Oh, so we are spending more money than we save again then ?

      Not enough homeless street sleeper figures to justify a scheme to bring back workhouses yet then ?

      doug

      February 27, 2017 at 8:22 am

      • doug

        more like they’re worried about the following:

        a] donor landlords up in arms in seeing profits not coming their way via exploitable young tenants
        b] massive unsustainable increase in prison population
        c] vis a vis prison creation of class of youths who will target rich & wont give a F^&% about the law
        d] huge increase in bill for prisons – £12k per year not in prison, against £27K+ per year while in prison

        Gazza

        February 27, 2017 at 12:07 pm

  14. Here are some conditions that don’t make you “really disabled” according to Theresa May’s policy chief

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/here-conditions-dont-make-you-9925399

    Disabled – (of a person) having a physical or mental condition that limits their movements, senses, or activities.

    This we are going to tell you if your disabled approach is nothing shy of disgusting and lets not forget when this very government wrote up the same trash of who is and is not to be considered vulnerable.

    doug

    February 27, 2017 at 11:36 am

    • May adviser regrets saying benefits should only go to ‘really disabled’ people

      Tory policy chief George Freeman says he ‘hugely regrets’ remarks suggesting funds should not go to people with anxiety

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/27/may-adviser-george-freeman-regrets-benefits-disabled-people-anxiety

      enigma

      February 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      • Enigma

        We all know Freeman like government are lying cheats as their still playing the division trick without being honest and open towards the public. Like saying all unemployed are scroungers who don’t want to work and or are committing fraud, their doing it again by leading the public to believe people with mental health issues aren’t disabled or vulnerable. Just like it was proved most claimants do want to work, just like it was proved most benefit fraudsters are in work and or living with a partner who does (legally classifying them as inactive and not unemployed), the public will find out not all mental health people claim disability despite clearly being defined by doctors as disabled.

        doug

        February 28, 2017 at 10:05 am

  15. The British Psychological Society signs open letter calling for benefits sanctions to be suspended

    http://beta.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/society-signs-open-letter-calling-benefits-sanctions-be-suspended

    “The government must immediately stop suspending the benefits of hundreds of thousands of claimants each year or risk soaring rates of mental health problems”.

    doug

    February 27, 2017 at 11:40 am

    • Being sanctioned causes irreversible changes *damages” to a person’s mental make-up (psychological state), the same goes with other negative experiences such as homelessness, experiencing extreme poverty, starvation, being sent to prison…

      The process of sanctioning is in essence really a criminal act, an act of psychological violence perpetrated by the State on its hapless victims, and as such it’s victims should be compensated for its effects through Criminal Injuries Compensation.

      And as we all know, violence begets violence, that’s why we abandoned corporal punishment in schools
      and one of the reasons why we no longer have (public) executions.

      Consultant Psychologist

      February 27, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    • Still we now have this to look forward to:

      Andrew Coates

      February 28, 2017 at 4:33 pm

  16. Inequality and economics: Tony Atkinson’s enduring lessons

    http://voxeu.org/article/inequality-and-economics-tony-atkinson-s-enduring-lessons

    “Economists are too often prisoners within the theoretical walls they have erected”, he recently wrote discussing austerity policies, “and fail to see that important considerations are missing” (Atkinson 2014: 84).

    “Had the profession listened more to him, today we would perhaps be less worried about rising inequalities and the risk they pose for our societies” Andrea Brandolini.

    doug

    February 27, 2017 at 11:54 am

  17. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
    Central Freedom of Information Team

    [DWP request email]

    Our reference: FoI 575

    Date: 27 February 2017

    Dear Mr Shepherd

    Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 14 February
    2017.

    You asked:
    is it mandatory that any one sent to a 3rd party provider must sign there paper
    work ie contracts between a claimant and a 3rd party private company and
    failing to sign such paper work would result in a benefit sanction if the
    claimant is still willing to take part.
    there four is it unlawful that a jcp adviser can issue a sanction doubt for not
    signing 3rd party paper work if the claimant is still willing to take part.
    as under contract law it states any contract must be entered in to voluntary
    buy both parties and any threat of a sanction doubt or being forced to sign
    them with threats of a sanction is unlawful.

    DWP Response

    It may be helpful if I explain the role of the Freedom of Information Act. The
    Act provides a right of access to recorded information held by a public
    authority like DWP (subject to certain exemptions). The Act does not provide
    that a public authority must create new information to answer questions; nor
    does it provide that a public authority give advice, opinion or explanation in
    relation to issues/policies under question.

    In cases where a customer does ask a question or makes a statement to
    which they seek a bespoke policy response rather than request recorded
    information, we do our utmost to provide the recorded information that best
    answers the question or statement. Once the public authority has provided the
    recorded information or confirmed that no such recorded information is held, it
    has met its obligations under the Act. Interpretation of any information
    provided is left to the requestor.

    There is no recorded information which provides an answer to your specific
    question. However, I can advise you that participants on mandatory provision
    such as the Work Programme are not required, as part of the provision, to
    sign any documentation. Providers cannot compel participants to sign
    documentation but in general it is sound practice to sign documents as this
    ensures activity is linked to the individual.

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

    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Central FoI Team

    superted

    February 27, 2017 at 12:46 pm

  18. superted

    February 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    • superted

      I will enjoy you brining the hammer down on the knees of these ‘Tools. There is no way you could possibly have Spoken to the Police about 1998 Fraud Act – Fraud with Menaces…

      Gazza

      February 27, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    • superted

      Perhaps you should have shown them this reply to an FOI request:

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/signing_provider_documentation#comment-70555

      jj joop

      February 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      • i did was not interested in looking at it as was out of date that foi is today 😉

        superted

        February 27, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      • How long before a foi is “out-of-date” then? Is there an expiry date on an foi? And how come Law don’t become out-of-date? Just a load of bollocks, really.

        Paragon

        February 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      • The foi has set a (legal) precedent, and unless you can prove that the material facts it was based on have significantly changed its finding still stands. And foi doesn’t have to keep being “re-issued”.

        Paragon

        February 27, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      • Interesting annotation to that foi:

        “You state it is not mandatory to sign health @ safety and sign in sheets. However, I have experienced a very different situation. I have been subjected to multiple consecutive sanctions for seven months and repeatedly harassed, bullied and intimidated for refusing to sign these documents on the WP despite willing to fully participate at all times.

        Matters became very nasty with JCP/WP when only a few months before I had completed WP I was mandated to suddenly sign in on health @ safety grounds. At the first of several appeals for the same reason, the judge would not listen to me when I told him I did not legally have to sign ANY documents the WP put in front of me.

        The judge’s reason to dismiss my appeal was on the grounds I HAD to legally sign the documents in order to comply with the landlord of the building’s insurance and health and safety obligations and where the WP was taking place!

        There is NOTHING here or anywhere else to state this as I have undertaken a vast amount of research and am well aware of Peter Baker’s upheld appeal for the SAME reason! Neither have I been provided with any proof of any insurance policy by DWP/WP/judges – just told this is the law and raises alarm bells! (no pun intended!!!)

        The unheard identical appeals have dragged on for over two years.

        Anyone else any remote experience of this anomaly and error of law? I’d be very grateful for any comments asap. Thanks. “

        Paragon

        February 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      • How long before a foi is “out-of-date” then? Is there an expiry date on an foi? And how come Law don’t become out-of-date? Just a load of bollocks, really.

        try tell that to a adviser its like stick ur fingers in ur ears and shout lalalalala well that foi states i do not have to sign anything yet look at what it says on my sanction doubt.

        required to sign by law. what law there is not any regarding this and the foi also states this yet there still doing it law or not.

        the jcp is corrupt to the core and braking there own rules and regs.

        superted

        February 27, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      • Exactly! JCP just put their hands in the ears like we used to do in the school playground: “Can’t hear you, can’t hear you…” Moses could bring them the Tablets of Stone from the Mountain saying that you do not have to lay a finger on these ‘provider’ documents and the bastards would just ignore and go ahead with sanctioning Moses. JCP/DWP ride roughshod over the LAW. Criminal is the only word to describe JCP’s/DWP’s behaviour.

        Moses

        February 27, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      • i did sign the book at reception and was still asked to leave under the grounds of health and safety so that is a load of crap.

        did you take it to the next tier at tribunal as you can only do this if you think there wrong ie they have not got there facts right under law.

        remember the tribunal is not a court and thus has no power to enforce it one way or the other.

        not sure if this changes if you take it further tho? doug?

        superted

        February 27, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      • superted

        Just out of interest. Were you referred back to the Skills Conditionality provider after the sanction?

        jj joop

        February 28, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      • Never mind, superted, you put up a good fight but it was only a matter of time before they nailed your hide to the wall. Like Bonnie and Clyde. Like Ned Kelley. Like Nick Clegg. And you went down fighting. Good on you.

        The Bell Tolls

        March 1, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      • Just out of interest. Were you referred back to the Skills Conditionality provider after the sanction?

        no not the same place but said i will get a letter in the post about another dump they want to send me 2 same shit different shove.l

        superted

        March 1, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    • Total Sham.That skills conditionality didn’t matter locally when they decided to change directions suddenly telling people already on it to attend their already mandated day classes to evening classes when they didn’t run.There was total shock.Its a total abuse of the European Social Fund.Undermines the integrity of the education system and causes an awkward atmosphere.Dealings with the DWP are extremely risky as this disgraceful behavior and if any scheme has any true meaning to them.

      Claimants were going in to sign and having 30 hours brought up on the computer screens.Jobcentre staff were not informing people this was not mandatory instead treating it a a matter of procedure until heavily argued.

      You didn’t fail to attend or take part but the terms of this enrollment were not fully explained to you.Neither what would happen and the consequences of not signing also were neither explained.You need to continue with the appeals process.

      ken

      February 27, 2017 at 6:16 pm

  19. Stephen Crabb says popping pills aka medication is not a disability & Mental Health needs to be cut by £3.7billion. Crabby thinks the judges are wrong & is spending £ millions to try & proves he`s right. Crabby has a mental health class system put in place that only people with mental health who do not take pills aka medication qualify for a disability benefit called PIP. The people who are taking medication will not qualify because they are popping pills. Crabby`s mental health witch hunt & the mental health scroungers bankrupting the country for votes. Mental health can be cured by work & positive thinking & disability & mental health is a thing of the past so the Tories don`t have to spend £3.7Billion of people that will be killed off due to the cuts in PIP.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 27, 2017 at 6:51 pm

  20. Great Mysteries of the Universe. Part 1

    Why is the the music on the TV advert for the “orange shop” (Iceland) the theme music from the film Badlands which was screened on BBC Two last night. Badlands, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek is about a young couple on a killing spree across the Badlands of South Dakota and was made in 1973, way before we had “Iceland” or even freezers.

    Great Mysteries of the Universe. Part 1

    February 27, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    • Yes, this here:

      *other versions are available (including the Iceland one)

      Great Mysteries of the Universe. Part 1

      February 27, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      • We were watching this the other night when Bernie popped in his hearing aid and said, you know what Millicent, I’m sure I have heard that tune somewhere before and for the life of me I can’t remember where. I said don’t be so silly you daft chuff it’s not like there is any life in you.

        Bernie & Millicent

        February 28, 2017 at 5:35 pm

  21. George Freeman’s dismissal of anxiety is pig-ignorance and must be called out

    Can Theresa May still reply on a policy adviser with views that people with mental health problems are not ‘really disabled’? Words matter

    Monday 27 February 2017 16.46 GMT
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/27/george-freeman-dismissal-anxiety-pig-ignorance

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    February 27, 2017 at 9:15 pm

  22. OT: Is Tescos leading the Charge to Tax Credit Managers?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39104585
    Tesco to replace 1,700 managers with lower-paid staff

    Tesco plans to replace 1,700 deputy managers in its chain of Express convenience stores.
    Their work will be taken by an extra 3,300 lower paid “shift leaders”, increasing staff numbers by 1,600.
    .
    .
    Earlier this month, Waitrose said it would shut six supermarkets and also remove a layer of management, cutting 700 jobs in the process, along with the removal of 180 department manager posts in its 350 stores.

    Gazza

    February 27, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    • Tesco store managers are on £80,000 a year. Downgrading the deputy managers to shift leaders will save a few £s.

      Shelf-stacking Insider

      February 27, 2017 at 10:43 pm

  23. MOSES, I Suppose it would be unwise to show jcp the regulations as per se in these posts and prove to them its they that are in breach.

    ramases the third

    February 28, 2017 at 8:08 am

    • ramases the third

      actually, it’s wise to let them put their foot in it after warning them verbally that what they are doing is wrong, THEN to put it in writing naming everyone involved and sit back and watch them sweat as they scramble to avoid blame and retreat.

      It’s a judgement call as to when to bring the hammer down but getting them to put their lies on their own computer system does make things difficult/impossible for them to explain away as a misunderstanding on your part.

      It’s what I’ve done.

      Gazza

      February 28, 2017 at 8:24 am

      • Mr Gazza. They could go for PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY Everybody blames everybody else and keep’s the Ministers’ and their dvisors out of the loop

        ramases the third

        February 28, 2017 at 9:50 am

    • ramases the third

      i agree that is a ploy that will work.

      unless, you’ve recorded/got it in writing them that is…

      now would a trusting soul like myself get things in writing or record these F*&%s…. hhhhmmmm….

      Gazza

      February 28, 2017 at 10:20 am

      • Yea but wait. How long b4 g4s put airort style detectors and searches in jcp ?

        ramases the third

        February 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

      • G4S can put scanners in but like court cannot hold onto your devices until such time as you leave.
        They can only hold or confiscate weapons or objects that may be used to physically harm another person or themselves like a bomb, a gun, a knife. The object must present a clear and obvious danger to life and not liberty.

        doug

        February 28, 2017 at 2:11 pm

  24. OT: More Gov Jobs to go and more Cuts to come there, and everywhere else…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39110688
    Government departments have been told to find spending cuts of up to 6% as part of plans to save £3.5bn by 2020.
    .
    .
    .
    Labour accused the government of “sneaking out… more Tory austerity”.

    ———————————————————————————————–
    ME: Where is GidIdiot when you need him… remember we’re all in it together….

    Gazza

    February 28, 2017 at 10:23 am

  25. The DWP must see that a bad job is worse for your mental health than unemployment

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/a-bad-job-is-worse-for-your-mental-health-than-unemployment-a7600411.html

    ken

    February 28, 2017 at 10:55 am

  26. OT – Uber, is it a scam?

    For anyone thinking of going self-employed via Uber, er… Don’t.

    This is looking more and more like a Ponzi Scheme. Required to have/lease/buy car younger than 2006 models [no doubt, that year will move as time goes on, meaning another lease/purchase in future], plus of course, no rate is affordable if you are making less than $10 an hour and still have to pay for gas, maintenance, food, housing.

    http://gizmodo.com/billionaire-uber-ceo-yells-at-bankrupt-driver-some-peo-1792832328
    Billionaire Uber CEO Yells at Bankrupt Driver: ‘Some People Don’t Like to Take Responsibility’ [Update]

    I am sure All will recognize the sentiment behind the refrain that was uttered here…

    Whenever someone says you must pay to work its time to start looking for the door for a fast exit…

    Gazza

    March 1, 2017 at 11:05 am

    • You won’t make anything out the taxi game. Insurance is like at least £2500 (if you pay it in the one installment), run your own car/or rent one, petrol/diesel, council license (personal and the car if you own it), taxi mot, car wash. get caught committing a traffic offence and you are up in front of the beak, a member of the public makes a complaint about you will lose your taxi licence, working an 80 hour week to scrape a living, anti-social hours, nights/weekend, and if it a hackney (not a private car) ‘plates’ are exchanged for £10,000 even more… the taxi game is a shit game.

      Ex-Taxi Driver

      March 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    • £2500 a year at least for insurance,a big city will cost an arm and a leg, you get pulled by cops, taxi enforcement shit to deal with, cleaning up sick, urine and feaces from the cab, punters doing a ‘runner’, you have to rent the radio, £150 a week-odd, dealing with drunks, psychos, and being assaulted and verbally abused, the taxi game is a shit game…

      Ex-Taxi Driver

      March 1, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    • *get caught committing a traffic offence and you are up in front of the licensing board

      Ex-Taxi Driver

      March 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

  27. if you get any criminal convictions the police will object to the renewal of your licence.

    Ex-Taxi Driver

    March 1, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    • or just accused of something… the taxi game it total shit..

      Ex-Taxi Driver

      March 1, 2017 at 1:05 pm

  28. Ultra rich set to rise rapidly in 10 years.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39117838

    Marie

    March 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    • Marie

      That’s a bit of slight of hand trick as all that’s happening is corporations and investors are going to ply money into people so as to create the illusion that wealth has spread. The end result is it makes poverty appear less statistically and draw attention away from the very people and powers we need to constantly keep our eyes on to control them.

      doug

      March 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      • Very true doug.

        Marie

        March 1, 2017 at 2:15 pm

  29. OT Just got time and venue for my PIP reassessment following missing an appointments due to the fact I was in hospital. It’s now in BURY ST EDMUNDS on the 13th March. Told me they will NOT allow me to ask for a change of venue as there are no spare appointments left and I have too go. A two hour journey for me.
    I live in Ipswich and the appointment is 10;30 and 3 miles from BSE train station

    Philip

    March 1, 2017 at 2:01 pm

  30. ken

    March 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm


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