Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Day of Action Against Benefit Sanctions (30 March) as Scottish Challenges to Tory Social Security Regime Grow.

with 53 comments

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Thursday 30 March 2017  National Day of Action Against Sanctions (UNITE the Union).

More and more people are facing benefit sanctions. Half a million people have had their benefits suddenly stopped by sanctions in the last 12 months.
That’s half a million people, many of whom have been plunged into poverty, unable to heat their homes or even eat. How is this meant to help prepare people for work?

Benefit sanctions must be fought against

Please join an event near you on Thursday 30 March to stop benefit sanctions in your community.

We will continue to add new actions on a regular basis, so please check back.

For further information please email your Unite community coordinator (see here).


You often wish that politicians, that is Westminster politicians, took these issues as seriously as they do in Scotland.

Morning Star (today)

SCOTTISH Labour unveiled plans yesterday to “kick the private sector out of our social security system,” branding the treatment of disabled and long term-ill benefit claimants under the Tory welfare regime “inhumane.”

The party will table amendments to the forthcoming Social Security Bill to use the Scottish Parliament’s new powers to rule out the involvement of the private sector and has urged the SNP to support its proposals.

Labour says that thousands of disabled people have experienced punitive assessments for the Tories’ personal independence payments (PIP), adding that the SNP’s decision to delay the devolution of welfare powers will mean that 140,000 Scots will still be assessed under the current system.

Last month, a Scottish government consultation on social security revealed a “strong consensus that services should not be delivered through the private sector or profit-making agencies, with the majority of respondents in agreement that social security should be delivered through existing public-sector or thirdsector organisations.”

Labour social security spokesman Mark Griffin said his party will seek to “use the new social security powers of the Scottish Parliament to kick the private sector out of our social security system.”

He laid into “these cruel and inhumane [PIP] assessments that have piled misery on vulnerable Scots.”

“Nicola Sturgeon failed to mention poverty once in her speech to the SNP conference. That tells you everything you need to know about her priorities,” he said.

He urged the First Minister to “work with Labour to use the new powers of our parliament” and abandon her preoccupation with Scottish independence.

Welfare Weekly (March the 17th) reports,

SNP Conference: Calls to scrap ‘draconian’ benefit sanctions regime

“The SNP does not believe we should be attacking the most disadvantaged in our society and completely rejects this benefits sanctions regime.

“The Tories need to realise this is the devastating consequences that removing the only source of income available has on real people and their families.

“It is extremely concerning that the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society, including those at risk of homelessness, those with caring responsibilities and those with mental ill health issues, are the most likely to be punished by the draconian regime.

“The UK government must urgently scrap this punitive sanctions regime. The shocking findings of the National Audit Office illustrate the sheer unfairness and ineffectiveness of sanctions.

“The SNP has consistently done everything it can to mitigate the worst impacts of Tory welfare cuts spending £100m on protecting people – money we would rather invest in pulling people out of poverty.

“Our Government in Scotland continue to fight against the regime, for instance the Scottish Government have already secured agreement from the UK Government that the Scottish employment programme will not facilitate their benefits sanctions system.

“Scottish Ministers have been crystal clear that our services in Scotland must be seen as an opportunity, not a threat.”

The full text of the resolution reads:

“Conference rejects the punitive Tory benefit sanction regime; commends the creators of I, Daniel Blake for bringing the public’s attention to the cruel and callous reality facing tens of thousands of disadvantaged people across the UK; further notes with the concern the shocking findings of the National Audit Office of the scale and ineffectiveness of the sanctions regime; is concerned that the most vulnerable including those at risk of homelessness, those with caring responsibilities and those with mental ill health are the most likely to be punished by the draconian regime, welcomes the decision of the Scottish Government to make sure that the new Employment Programme, effective from April 2017, does not facilitate the UK Government’s sanctions system, and calls for the UKG to move urgently to scrap the unfair sanctions regime.”

This in an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP).


Written by Andrew Coates

March 21, 2017 at 4:36 pm

53 Responses

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  1. The cost of everything rises as sanctions continue.


    “The government appreciates that families are concerned about the cost of living, and that is why we are cutting tax for millions of working people, increasing the national living wage to £7.50 per hour from next month, and freezing fuel duty for the seventh year in a row,” a spokeswoman said.



    March 21, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    • I seriously notice food price rises.

      It is very marked.

      “Rising fuel and food prices helped to push last month’s inflation rate to the highest since September 2013.”


      Andrew Coates

      March 22, 2017 at 11:20 am

    • Thank the Lord for Lidl is all I ‘ave tay say.

      Jimmy Crankie

      March 22, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      • I shop at Aldi every week and price increases are noticable even there although to be fair they are still miles cheaper than elsewhere.


        March 22, 2017 at 9:21 pm

  2. Homelessness and housing problems reach crisis point in all EU countries – except Finland

    Report on ‘alarming evidence’ of rising homelessness singles out UK for criticism while warning that one in 70 Athens residents are homeless



    March 21, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    • Enigma are you still at the foodbank? Guess it’s getting even worse. At the school I work in we had to put locks on the fridea and containers we keep the school milk and fruit in…children are asking for seconds and thirds at lunch…packed lunche’s consist of one piece of bread…


      March 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      • I’m still at the food bank Kat, it’s get a lot busier of course, now with food etc costing more, more people are donating food,


        March 22, 2017 at 4:56 pm

  3. May we extend our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the late Martin McGuiness at this most difficult time.

    Norman and Margaret Tebbit

    March 22, 2017 at 2:16 am

  4. OT: The Peons and the Rich – The Boss’s Pay Gap gets bigger … No Surprise there…

    Bosses’ incomes are 386 times higher than living wage

    Bosses of the UK’s 100 biggest firms earn 386 times more than workers on the National Living Wage, a survey found.
    The Equality Trust charity compared the £5.3m average pay of a FTSE 100 chief executive with the £13,660 earned by someone on the living wage.
    ‘Untouchable talent’
    The Equality Trust, which was set up in 2009 and aims to reduce economic inequality, examined the 2015 annual reports of FTSE 100 companies.
    It found that more than two thirds of chief executives were paid in excess of 100 times the average UK salary of £27,615. Only six of the bosses were paid less than £1m in that year.
    The charity found the company with the biggest pay gap was WPP. Its chief executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, earned £70m in pay, bonuses and share plans in 2015 – 5,154 times more than someone on the living wage and 2,550 times higher than those on the UK average wage.
    The Equality Trust said: “Too often, bosses are treated as untouchable talent to be retained at all costs, while millions of workers are seen merely as costs to be reduced.”

    ME: Its obvious that inflation for us the commoners is the exact opposite for the rich, our moneys worth goes down, theirs goes up


    March 22, 2017 at 5:39 pm

  5. Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 22, 2017 at 7:03 pm

  6. Another Benefit Sanction attack.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 22, 2017 at 7:10 pm

  7. Theresa May your hubby Richard don`t always load the dishwasher after you`ve cooked dinner.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 22, 2017 at 7:12 pm

  8. A Full Patrol Tanker – Think about that Cobra. What are who saying !!!!!

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    • Close Westminster Bridge for good.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      March 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      • The weakness is Westminster Bridge.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        March 22, 2017 at 7:16 pm

  9. #twittersclosingdown

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 22, 2017 at 7:16 pm

  10. I find it difficult to feel sympathy with Scottish Labour’s stance given that:

    1. The Labour Party’s manifesto before the last General Election promised to be even more punitive towards the unemployed and the disabled than the Tories and
    2. Scottish Labour are led by Kezia Dugdale who with her close connections with Progress, the party-within-a-party (like Militant but not banned), who actively undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, wouldn’t be out of place in the Tory party. Jim Murphy also commands a huge amount of influence up there despite being a member of the very right-wing think tank the Henry Jackson Society as well as being employed as an advisor to Tony Blair.


    March 22, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    • Och! Even with a loser like Corbyn as alpha monkey Labour are still 100% behind Universal Credit with a few mods. It doesn’t matter much anyway. An opposition 18% or 19% behind in the polls midterm has no chance of winning power.

      Jimmy Cranky

      March 23, 2017 at 9:20 am


    Oh no, man stabbing people,driving a car recklessly. That’s just another Friday night where i live yet instead of seeing a large taped off area and twenty thousand police, we get mere broken tape flapping in the wind like a flag and not a single officer in sight.

    Its just crazy how government,police and even media are reacting which tells me only one thing and that is i bet they all live in leafy suburbs where the only crime is dog fouling. The breakfast shows have taken to running the show from the area and for the life of me cant see other than a cold what it is these breakfast news shows hope to catch that they couldn’t have got sitting in a warm studio. There using words like chaos and commenting on the noise, well they should listen to there ipods a bit less as loud and chaotic is an everyday affair in that city. They also spoke of calming the public yet yesterday afternoon and evening we didn’t see streets and venues empty,barren. The public couldn’t give a crap, use to it us mortals are and were out in full force last night just like they will be, going to work in the morning.

    The pièces de résistance however is Mays speech of being bold,standing firm and not giving in YET she couldn’t get into a car fast enough and vacate the area while the public lay injured and dying if not dead.



    March 23, 2017 at 7:57 am

    • It is very difficult to protect the public from random incidents like this perpetrated by lunatics of all kinds.

      Obviously this attack hadn’t been anticipated and for hours afterwards nobody seemed to have a clue even who had done it or why.:The identity of the nutcase behind the wheel of the car which mowed down innocent people, including children, was incorrectly reported by Channel 4.


      In fairness I don’t think May was anywhere near the scene of the atrocity or knew what was going on or where. She was probably just bundled off by her bodyguards and only found out what had happened later. Although I have no fondness for May I can’t think of a single leader of significance who would have behaved differently – or, in fact, could have behaved differently given that they are permanently surrounded by uniformed and plain close members of the security forces.

      I can’t think of a single example of a political leader of the stature of Prime Minister behaving otherwise, ever.


      March 23, 2017 at 9:14 am

      • Its just another day on the farm and the PM, politicians and mainstream media are milking it with their bull and propaganda all for attention and support.

        All this police running around Birmingham raiding houses, arresting people is all for show to cover up yet my government, intelligence and police ineptness.

        Ive seen my local hoodies selling drugs have better intelligence and security than our country has.


        March 23, 2017 at 11:31 am

      • Like Andrew said: This is a site about welfare, social security and unemployment. So put a sock in it, innit!


        March 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      • And that means you, Casubon.


        March 23, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    • This is a site about welfare, social security and unemployment Doug.

      Not about the attacks in London, or the heroes who tried their best to protect people from the murderer.

      While I respect your views there are plenty of other sites for those others who have posted on false flags and who wish to discuss this:

      Andrew Coates

      March 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      • You tell him, Andrew. Man’s got verbal diarrhoea.


        March 23, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      • Andrew Coates

        I don’t believe i made any reference to a false flag attack. I commented on how a stabbing or being run over in a car is an everyday affair around where i live so why give it the fanfare when you don’t see anything like that happen elsewhere all over the UKs other cities unless a child or another MP is the victim.

        Its also fact May jumped into a car and jetted like it was WW3, why its not like she cant be replaced as quick as she replace Cameron, there ten a penny. So the speech she gave makes me laugh and to think i didn’t even mention how she said it was an attack on democracy. The only way that would happen is if every ISIL terrorist came here and overthrow us which is never going to happen.

        As for a hero, he a police officer, not a traffic warden, not a member of public, its his job to protect even at the expense of his life and precisely what hes paid for as it was mine when i was in the royal marines. Im sorry Andrew but if you think police go to work with the expectation of never being attacked and or killed by criminals and terrorists then your sorely mistaken and why they carry weapons and vests. Have you ever met a person not expecting to get killed when faced with a terrorist ?
        You see Andrew we aren’t any different to ants in that some of us are born to be soldier ants and others worker ants, its called fight or flight. Now the man who normally takes to flight but for whatever reason fights for the sanctity of another is a hero. In the army they still say a hero is a dead man and the reason for that is a gloryboy as we use to call them will get people killed.

        You’re best chances of living and going home Andrew, is by working as a well oiled cohesive team. Where was his god damn team Andrew ?

        The only people who call police and soldiers a hero is either a person trying to make a martyr for a cause or the usual outcome, wont remember the persons name come 5 years time.


        March 23, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      • That was a comment that followed yours Doug.

        We have had problems with conspiracy people before and I was referring to them, not to you, whose contributions I and everybody else value – that is, in view of the replies and debate you get going.

        I would not like to have to confront Islamist murderers.

        Whether its as a job or not, you still have to have courage to do so.

        Andrew Coates

        March 24, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      • Actually no Andrew, What a worker ant sees as courage is what the soldier ant is inherently predisposed to carryout., like i said fight or flight. Life or death holds no sway because the soldier is born to serve the greater good of the collective. You see its actually helpful for the worker to take flight and then the soldier can attack without having to defend exactly the same way antibodies work in the body.

        The best offense is a good defense which to put context means if you don’t hide directly behind the soldier he does not have to defend and attack simultaneously. This gives him space, allows him to focus on one goal and in effect create a greater defense or the best odds of securing it.

        I see how to those that take flight it appears but the truth is to the soldier, its one of no thought at all as that’s what the soldier ant always does without a seconds thought. I hate to say it but that terrorist is also a soldier ant and to his crowd a courageous man so you see its a matter of perspective, a falsehood rather than a fact. This is why those who normally take flight but instead fight for the sanctity of another is truly courageous, brave and yes even a hero as their going against their predisposed designation/design.

        Surely you have observed when a person that fights rather than takes flight always says their not a hero or feel like one. Would you if you knew it was what you were going to do all along and have done your entire life.


        March 25, 2017 at 10:59 am

  12. Tragic hero,tragic loss.

    The officer was paid to protect and serve, knew he must risk his life yet we call him a hero when infact he is a victim. Further more he failed in his duty as not only did he lose his life but the person got passed him as a result. He was just doing his job,knew the risks so is im sorry, no hero.

    The people we should be angry at is his fellow police colleagues as where the hell were they when he was being attacked. Why was he alone and unassisted, that is the crime that has left his family fatherless and it is them that my thoughts are with.


    March 23, 2017 at 8:16 am

    • Give it a rest doug. For f***s sake.


      March 23, 2017 at 12:30 pm

  13. Only 3 London Bridges have railings or a barrier between the pavement & road. Tower Bridge, Chelsea Bridge & Hammersmith Bridge. Perhaps all the bridges need railings between the pavement & road.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    March 23, 2017 at 11:09 am

  14. Jobs of the future may not have stable hours, holiday pay, sick pay, or pensions, DWP secretary says

    Damian Green described the trend in employment practices towards the so-called “gig economy” as “exciting” and said the changes had “huge potential

    “The Government is a necessary, but not sufficient provider of welfare,” he said.

    The minister made a small concession to critics of the Government’s benefit sanctions system, announcing that he would extend hardship payments available to sanctioned people to a wider group.



    March 23, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    • Not so new, I know


      March 23, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    • Demian is a cock, so tay say… and a wee, limp, wrinkly and floppy one at that! Càite bheil an taigh beag?

      Jimmy Cranky

      March 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      • Jobcentres dinnae huv customer toilets. Too bad if you want to have a slash, a dump or both 🙂

        Wee Jeannette

        March 23, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    • Jobs of the future may not have stable hours, holiday pay, sick pay, or pensions, DWP secretary says

      Even more reason the welfare state should be protected and provide adequate provision for all.


      March 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      • Hear hear!


        March 23, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    • Thats odd as most of the spike in self employment is by agency workers and as i have exposed before has no freedoms. Take best connections for example, the demand you tell them you have another job or with another agency or they kick you off the books. What they did even if you did inform them was push right to the back of the queue for when their desperate for more staff. They also when they did get your attention first was to construct a day night rota shift pattern so it was impossible to have your cake and eat it and hold down 2 jobs. Being self employed under a umbrella company you don’t get holiday pay, sick pay which if you did take ill or injured would also seen you kicked to the back of the queue or dropped (basically they keep telling you they have no work but don’t take you off the books), especially if it happened while at work as the likes of sports direct shirebrook would instantly say they don’t want you back. Their poorly paid to the point of not earning much more than the NLW and even then never saw the difference once paying umbrella fees.

      Yet again Damien talks crap, especially when you consider for people who do start a business, around 9 out of 10 go out of business in the first year.


      March 23, 2017 at 11:18 pm

      • And it is only like 1 in every 2,000 rock ‘n’ roll band start-ups that achieve any modicum of success.

        The Beatles

        March 24, 2017 at 10:00 am

  15. Andrew Coates

    March 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    • It’s the norm isn’t it, the wage gap will only get wider, it looks like it will never change though.


      March 23, 2017 at 1:59 pm

  16. State pension age could be raised to 70,a lot of young people probably won’t live long enough to see pension age.



    March 23, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    • That’s very true Marie.Also the attitudes to age still persist in society.Many long term unemployed are in their 50s plus.


      March 23, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    • Marie

      you might have missed the mention of doing away with the triple lock on pensions in the article.

      now the Conmen are coming for the pensioners…


      March 23, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      • That doesn’t surprise me gazza, it seems no one is going to be left out of the conmens evil clutches.

        You couldn’t make this crap up could you.


        March 23, 2017 at 6:54 pm

  17. Life expectancy is falling as State Pension age set to rise


    Raising the age for pension receipt, removing the TL by 2020 echoes financial woes for this government at a time they still woefully under fund social care which has led to care companies failing to renew contracts or expressing a desire to once the original one has expired. Adding a serious drop in support workers and people looking to do this as a job/career makes this a time its not good to be old.

    Now mortality rates set the trend but as we have spoken about on here before, there’s a high chance despite paying/contributing towards a pension, that the lower class are unlikely to live long enough to benefit from it. If we factor in the 20 year gap between the wealthiest and poorest, its quite possible your never draw from it let alone get to spend any of it.


    March 24, 2017 at 10:21 am

    • What will happen will be a much larger group of unemployable people in their sixties, who should have retired but can’t because they are below the new retirement age, forced to live for years on benefits much lower than the pension which would formerly have been theirs: instead of retiring elderly people will be unemployed for many years which is a cheaper option for the government than allowing them to retire and get a pension at the age they used to.

      People will still stop work, involuntarily, in their sixties but won’t get their pension until seventy.

      The government saves money by deferring the pension and making the elderly live on Universal Credit.

      Fiendishly clever.


      March 24, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    • Polish government make to retire at 50 and pay little money like you call dole.

      Pawel and Kamila

      March 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm

  18. Comic Relief raised £70million.. fist pump 😀 .. that’s a new Helicopter 😀

    Robet Mugabe

    March 25, 2017 at 11:48 am

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