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As Damian Green Idles his Time Away Flawed Thinking Behind Universal Credit IT System Comes Out.

with 98 comments

Image result for universal credit it

A Genius was paid good money to design this picture….

As Damian Green whiles away his time in office, without deigning to tell users of Universal Jobmatch what’s happening with the site, some disturbing facts are coming out about the fundamental flaws in the IT management of Universal Credit.

Since these have already created massive problems for claimants, on top of the cuts and miserly scheme, not to mention a range of crackpot ideas that go with Universal Credit, this is highly significant.

Social Policy carries this story:

John Slater explains the thinking behind the project management of Universal Credit

Paul Spiker.

John Slater has been responsible for a series of Freedom of Information requests about the Universal Credit fiasco.  Yesterday he sent me a copy of the project management plan  introduced by Howard Shiplee, who was responsible for the development of Universal Credit from May 2013 until his departure, following illness, in September 2014.  Shiplee had previously been responsible for building construction for the 2012 Olympic Games.

I was puzzled by the plan, and wrote back to John:

I’m baffled – I can see no relationship between the steps to be taken and the design of a social security system. It looks more like a plan for building a McDonalds outlet, where all the groundwork’s laid and you know exactly what you want to do, so it’s all about delegating tasks. … I think you’re a project manager, John – – can you explain it to me?

I found John’s response so marvellously clear and helpful that I asked him if I could share it on the blog.  Here it is.

“Hi Paul,

You are right my background is programme and project management (my first degree was IT so I understand that aspect as well). You aren’t far off with your McDonalds analogy.

The plan is a classic case of an organisation focusing on the IT side of a major change programme. UC is one of the biggest change programme ever undertaken and nothing I’ve ever seen produced by the DWP reflects this.

The 100 day plan is a classic example of people that have been on a training course (e.g. Prince2 or Management Successful Programmes) but have never done the job for real. If you look down the left hand side of the ‘plan’ you’ll see the following headings:

  1. Key dates & decisions
  2. BT – Business (I suspect BT means business transformation)
  3. BT – Service Design & Build (I suspect BT means business transformation)
  4. BT Interfaces (I suspect BT means business transformation)
  5. Pathfinder Day 2
  6. Programme Approach
  7. HR
  8. Finance
  9. Assurance
  10. Security
  11. Comms (Communications)
  12. Stakeholder
  13. Supplier

With the exception of point 1 these are typically referred to a work streams. The idea is that each of the workstreams goes along their merry way cooperating with each other to deliver the programme. The reality of this approach with any complex programme is that it always goes horribly wrong.

If you look at points 2 to 5 then it is utterly focused on the IT. The plan looks like something to produce a software product of some sort. There is no mention of culture change, process engineering (this should be done before any software is produced) and the biggest issue of all people! This covers the claimants, DWP employees, Council Employees, Welfare Advisors and so on. They are just expected to magically learn and make it work. The trouble is human beings don’t work that way.

Part of the issue is that the DWP employees working on UC at the time hadn’t ever done anything like this before so didn’t have a clue. The put people in roles (e.g. programme manager, programme office manager etc) but they hadn’t done it before and had just been sent on a training course.

I’ve been doing this stuff for 30 years and I would have struggled to get UC up and running (and I’m very good at this aspect of complex programmes). Bringing in someone like Howard Shiplee was always going to fail. I’ve run programmes involving a lot of construction and it’s a different world and a totally different mindset. I suspect if you looked at the approach used for construction during the London Olympic build it wouldn’t look dissimilar to this plan. With construction the focus is generally on design and then build (known as D&B). The key factor is the supply chain and can the main contractor get the materials and people on site on time and in the right order. If you look at the plan again I don’t think it’s unreasonable to see the left hand side of the dark vertical as ‘design’ and the right hand side as ‘build’. This is what Howard Shiplee understood and it was so deeply ingrained I doubt he could have done anything else.

In respect of the pathfinder system released at Wigan it was a cobbled together lobotomised version of the IT that would ultimately be required for the complete UC. At this stage of the programme IDS knew the IT was fundamentally flawed, hence the talk of large sums being written off at the time. He also knew that they had to start over again but couldn’t admit that as it would be politically disastrous. Therefore, they rolled out the lobotomised version that only covered a small subset of people claiming JSA and claimed success. While this version was being rolled out painfully slowly the DWP was working desperately to produce a brain new IT system that ultimately will be the UC IT System.

Personally I think the new IT system will also fail. The methodology (Agile) as it’s been used by the DWP means that too much has been done in isolation. The system is going to be extremely complex and as bugs appear I’m not convinced the DWP will be able to find out the cause and then develop a solution that doesn’t result and another problem.

Kind Regards


Universal credit full service for all types of claimants continues to roll out to plan. It is now being delivered in 50 jobcentres and is the Department’s first fully digital service.

We have been exploring how this technology can, for the first time, offer a simple system of explicit consent (to protect the large amounts of claimant personal information held under universal credit) but which is easy to use and takes advantage of the opportunities a digital service can offer. Such a system can be used by third parties and stakeholders representing claimants’ interests, enhancing the service that they can provide for the most vulnerable.

However, it is clear MPs engaging on their constituents’ behalf need constant access to such a system through which they can help their constituents. Today, I have agreed that the implicit consent approach which operates well for all other DWP benefits can be extended to MPs representing the interests of their constituents who are engaging with or directly claiming universal credit. We can offer this because of our pre-existing relationships between MPs’ offices, district managers and their teams. This is something which cannot pertain for inquiries from other sources.

This means any correspondence—letter, email, or telephone inquiries—from MPs on behalf of a constituent relating to universal credit will be answered directly, without a requirement to seek explicit consent from their constituent. This will ensure consistency and clarity for MP offices, no matter what benefit the inquiry is about.

Extending this support for MPs and their constituents will continue to help enable the successful delivery of this key welfare reform programme.



Written by Andrew Coates

April 12, 2017 at 10:57 am

98 Responses

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  1. What is Damian “666” Green twittering on about? “Analogue” social security ended way back when giros were scrapped!

    Digital Switchover

    April 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    • Until recently Damian Green lived in a world of travel by ox cart, where communication was by beacons.

      Do not be too hard on him.

      Meanwhile back on Earth:

      Andrew Coates

      April 12, 2017 at 3:17 pm

  2. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    April 12, 2017 at 1:38 pm

  3. Now Idris Elba gets angry with Tories over rising homelessness


    Now in my area, homelessness is so bad, you would think a factory had just turned out there night shift staff come 7/8 am, the multiple congregations of them are that large.


    April 12, 2017 at 4:46 pm

  4. Popping in from the Land of Homelessness…

    What is said here is so so true. i have seen close up the management Knubsculs who are allowed to take Prince2, thereafter coming up and implementing crazy non working schemes that wreck things that worked before… the good news is they get performance pay out of it via good annual reports, and move onto bigger better projects where they can create an even bigger cock up.

    The bad news? UC was built to fail. Its built on beliefs as its foundation not common sense. So from the get go it was bound to fail and boy has it… Which it will continue to do until someone puts a bullet in it to put it out of our misery.

    Fun Fact: Project Definition Stage meeting – what is average mental age of projected to use UC. 12. Brilliant lets make it complicated
    How about stress testing for resilience? No need for that a la Microsoft style lets let the users be the beta testers. What could possibly go wrong?
    Staff/User Input into design and implementation of UC? Why do that? We have taken Prince2 so we are now the experts and know what we are doing
    Experience at this level of ICT projects, coding, hardware definition [cue the useless electronic sign on padds which suffer from Windows 98 style buffer overuns so is unable to recognize signatures] Nope, don’t need it – I took and gained Prince2…. I’m king of the World [plus all the lovely performance pay all the way to OUR banks]
    and on and on…

    That is the reality of ICT in Gov these days


    April 12, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    • If the Gov had wanted UC to succeed they would have used Microsoft Project 😉

      The Software Formerly Known As Prince 2

      April 13, 2017 at 9:17 am

    • “No need for that a la Microsoft style lets let the users be the beta testers.”

      Micro$oft users have been beta-testing our bugging software and operating systems since Windoze for DOS.

      And if Micro$oft do by chance develop an excellent product such as Micro$oft Money… we drop it 😀

      Bill Gates III

      April 13, 2017 at 9:23 am

  5. We all know what landlords want and don’t want but what else are they are up to.

    Landlord adverts posted online ‘target young for sex’



    April 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    • Enigma

      Remember when DWP tried to get female claimants to either work or do work experience in a few topless bars 3/4 years ago ?

      Its funny how government will bitch,even throw their dummy out at fake news and dissidents on youtube yet strangely never brought this topic up. Seriously a politician not visiting craigslist/tinder is like saying the sun will never come up.


      April 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      • I heard about it back then yes, haven’t heard it again since though.


        April 13, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      • This is truly scary and makes me worry for my daughter in years to come


        April 13, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      • The Mirror report will not calm anybody’s fears:

        Young homeless exploited by sex-for-rent deals as landlords advertise for “naughty girls” to move in.

        Vulnerable homeless people are being put at risk of exploitation by landlords who advertise “sex-for-rent” deals.

        Perverts are putting adverts on the internet offering rent-free living arrangements if the ‘tenant’ agrees to “pop into my room” several times a week.

        One creepy landlord said: “I’m happy as long as there’s sex involved.”

        But homelessness charities say the adverts, which have appeared on major websites such as craigslist, are putting vulnerable people at risk of sexual exploitation.

        A woman who replied to one of the adverts told BBC South East how her would-be landlord invited her round for drinks to introduce himself.
        He then took her into his bedroom to “do what he wanted to do, forcefully”, leaving her feeling “physically unwell”.

        The BBC investigation uncovered one advert from Maidstone, Kent in which a man was looking for a woman to move into his home and pretend to be his girlfriend.

        Another advert from Rochdale, Greater Manchester wanted the tenant to provide “services” and one London landlord said he was looking for a “naughty girl” to move in.

        Another homeowner described the arrangement as a “pop into my room sort of thing” – and, in return, all the rent and bills would be free.


        This is not just disgusting it’s the free-market ideal that the Tories have always wanted.

        Andrew Coates

        April 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm

      • Shocking! These ‘landlords’ should join Damain Green swinging from the nearest lampost.

        Save PIP

        April 14, 2017 at 11:38 am

      • ffs doug ‘Enigma’ is a Tory. You not got that yet! As right-wing and fascist as they come! Not the only one on here mind you.


        April 16, 2017 at 9:54 am

    • What’s more this is the BBC not click-bait.

      Beyond vile.

      More here:

      Andrew Coates

      April 13, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      • There will only be more and more people doing the same, not just the young.


        April 13, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      • Unfortunetly It is worse and more to come…

        With the loosening in rules on accommodation one London borough has dropped entirely the bottom two rungs of housing classes for the homeless – what do I mean? Well if before a father had a room and a daughter that was all well and good. Now, however its lets squeeze everyone in one room and see what happens, uncles/brothers etc all are welcome to share…

        I am sure there are a lot of ConMen boroughs salivating at this development…

        Can Anyone say Jimmy Saville? Legalised? Well its here now.


        April 13, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      • Sadly theres echos of that mentioned in the past.

        However, on condition of remaining anonymous, one DWP source did tell us that the measures are in fact not so much designed to get people back into work as to make it so unpleasant for them on benefit that they will simply opt out of the benefit system altogether, even if that means turning to crime or some other way of making money in order to survive.



        April 13, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      • Gazza

        Say more please as i would like to know how this council got round the law regarding people with children and amounts of rooms.

        Any links also would be helpful.


        April 14, 2017 at 7:02 am

      • Doug

        While trying to get accommodation in the homeless wasteland known as
        South London I had to visit a couple of place. The one that told me this will remain nameless, but I can tell you it is Lewisham.


        April 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

      • Your not wrong Gazza.

        A handful of London councils are making aggressive use of legal powers to make “take or leave it” offers of housing in locations far away from the capital in an attempt to permanently resettle hundreds of homeless families.

        Officials are giving households 24 hours to accept private rented homes in the West Midlands, Essex and the south-east, warning that if they refuse the council will consider them to have become “intentionally homeless” and withdraw support.



        April 15, 2017 at 9:20 am

      • donnygirl
        20h ago

        Soon, there will be toll booths on every road to London – our capital city – so that it can be preserved exclusively for wealthy individuals and corporations. A cordon sanitaire has already been drawn around Westminster, Ken & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham. Workers will be ‘bussed in from as far afield as Yorkshire to service the plutocrats – and ‘bussed back to their townships at the end of the day. Remind you of any other ‘economic models’ ?


        April 15, 2017 at 9:38 am

      • Very true.

        As a place to go and live in London is already a closed city for most of us.

        Andrew Coates

        April 15, 2017 at 11:39 am

      • Enigma

        Bang on about the got 24hr offer as rules don’t state location, just that you shouldn’t make them homeless.

        The recent article about Birmingham being benefits capital leaves out one very point worthy fact that they took on a shed load of relocation southerners who were on benefits. Also many was working at the time southerners relocated to Birmingham from London making the job pie that much smaller.

        Two more facts are rent is high and universal credit includes the working as in tax credits,child tax credits, income support and housing benefit to subsidize low wage and or poor hours of work.


        April 15, 2017 at 10:07 am

      • Enigma

        In the case of the now withdrawn temp housing (according to council “thoufh unsafe must return to place threatened at – later upgraded to being knifed though I didn’t know at the time) I was given one choice and it was take it or leave there and then no time or ability to argue anything. This was last October so they’ve been at that particular ploy for a while now – person I spoke to got the same treatment in July 16.


        April 16, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      • I don’t really see anything wrong with this. If people are unable to support themselves why should they then be a burden on hard pressed councils that have a responsibility to look after less able bodied people like us disabled.. No one has a “right” to be an unreasonable burden on local councils.

        Pennies From Heaven

        April 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      • Pennies from heaven

        When a mentality ill person knifes you in the face come back here and see if you get any sympathy.

        That is if you survive if course…


        April 17, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    • I always thought readers of this blog prided themselves on their socialist outlook, but from some of the nasty, snobbish comments on here, it seems some of you don’t know what ‘live and let live’ means. I would never be a Labour voter because the Labour Party always come across the same: say the right things, but wouldn’t actually do ‘it’ themselves, nor live anywhere near ‘it’ – I mean, what about your precious property values, your kid’s place’s in the ‘right’ schools and sod the other kids because you and yours are far more important. Very closed minds indeed. Socialist is as socialist does.

      Brielse Geus

      April 14, 2017 at 3:33 am

      • We look forward to receiving your support in the forthcoming local elections and thank you in advance.

        Caroline Lucas pp The Green Party

        April 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    • “Marriage is legalised prostitution.”

      — Count LeoTolstoy

      Count Leo Tolstoy

      April 14, 2017 at 11:18 am

  6. The benefits capital of Britain: Birmingham, according to the House of Commons library.



    April 13, 2017 at 2:23 pm

  7. DWP accused of ‘rewarding failure’ over ‘extortionate’ benefit assessors payouts

    With DWP having paid Atos and Capita an average of £19 million a month over the past two years, the companies are set to be paid in excess of £700 million by the time the contracts hit the five-year mark.

    It is clear that these costs are spiralling out of control.

    “The Government needs to get an urgent grip on these extortionate payments to private companies, especially at a time when they are getting more and more assessments overturned in the courts.”



    April 13, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    • DWP asked disability benefit claimant why she had not killed herself


      People on ESA and incapacity benefits account for just over 71% of the total claimant count to all out of work benefits according to 2016 government stats.
      So is it any wonder why this government will and do resort to the hook or by crook method to be able to squeeze yet more money out of welfare.
      Face it, welfare is this governments go to pocket so when May makes her speeches, i assure you shes not in the slightest bit talking about people on out of work benefits.

      We are at what you may call the stagnant pond end on out of work benefits, an area or collection of bodies should i say that the biggest barrier to work known as businesses aren’t the slightest bit interested in hiring bar the young non offending and recently unemployed.
      Government know they cant get you a job so resort to make this groups lives as uncomfortable as possible. May isn’t going to lose sleep if you take your life, offend,take drugs and if anything will only seek to use it against you. If she could remove healthcare for this group i believe she would as the Tories had no problem whats so ever removing legal aid, housing and even money to eat and stay healthy (how i suspect they hated foodbanks came around).


      April 14, 2017 at 8:02 am

  8. […] As Damian Green Idles his Time Away…the Flawed Thinking Behind Universal Credit IT System Come… […]

  9. Do your own research benefits,inactivity,employment and much more



    These are two great web pages that will inform you about a great deal.


    April 14, 2017 at 8:05 am

    • doug

      April 14, 2017 at 8:08 am

      • The derr factor


        There comes a point where you just get tired of the idiots both in and out of government reiterating post truth. This constant use by both sides of pleading by emotion just goes to show how not only lazy they are but also how easily pricked the public are.

        Any war strategist will tell you that if you wish to get to the enemy, you must always attack the infrastructure like cut off there supply routes,diminish there water supply or pollute it, attack food storage and agriculture,reduce or remove there ability to command the skies,etc,etc. What you don’t see however is an armed force appeal to the sensibility of the enemy. Another adage is plan for the worst,hope for the best.

        So these organizations,shadow governments,etc need to get there head in the game as they should of day one.
        For instance when debating sanctions back when they were very high, why was it never asked, what will be the fallout, the transfer of costs. As we pointed out here ages ago, people don’t simply roll into a ball and die, DWP simply don’t lift a sanction when a lesson is learned, meaning a portion will resort to crime while the other end up needing healthcare. Both these services cost way way more than welfare meaning the taxpayer is worse off now than they were before the sanction. Also what was never asked is how comes its acceptable to essentially starve and make homeless a law abiding person who arrived late for signing on despite usually not being seen when they do turn up on time anywhere from 15 min to in some cases 45 min later than they were told to attend to sign. Yet have no problem feeding,clothing and housing convicted murders,rapists,pedophiles and terrorists.

        These single two points had they were said way back when would have planted firmly in the minds of voters the same game the Tories are playing which is money and where it goes, especially now you can see how all those things are having problems now, not that its the sole effect of welfare change but also education,economics,immigration,etc.
        I hate to say it but the Tories systematically engineered this all to be the way it is now knowing full well the public would fall for there claptrap.

        Whenever a political party wants to get elected centrally or locally, always question the minutiae of the plans,play it out in your heads and your see like you see now in real time, how it all unfolds and will continue to as you ultimately bare the cost whether it works or not which is something i would have thought people would have learned back in 2008 instead of pointing fingers while running to the opposite side of the board as they are again doing now so one can absolve themselves of blame for not taking an active stance sooner. As a citizen its your duty to be more politically and economically aware as this is your country, the peoples country and not the selected few.


        April 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

    • Did you see this Doug.

      Publication arrangements for the Claimant Count



      April 17, 2017 at 9:48 am

      • Enigma

        Interesting ONS didn’t sign post me to this.

        Now even though i do understand what the ONS is saying or government is saying, its still a load of old tosh. I have found their explanations clear enough in the passed to discern a portion on UC do in fact work and claim benefits like housing and tax credits for example. But that was rather the intent of this Tory government as it allows them to really blur the divide between in and out of work.

        If government really gave a hoot or ONS, they could have quite easily clarified how many on UC were claimants out of work on benefits to in work ones while still within the LMS so comparisons can be drawn on employed and unemployed. The joke here and really shows the misdirection afoot is how its still perfectly acceptable to call claimants out of work but on a government approved course/scheme as employed which is a million times more misleading as some of the schemes/courses still have the person looking for work. To muddy this further its an assumption a person on a scheme/course wouldn’t be looking for better work or more pay elsewhere anyway.

        What this all means anyway is people interested will have to make more effort to find out what is true which sadly the general public wont so will mean listening to the likes of mainstream media who since its removal haven’t bothered to look and report on both and thus merely only now talk about employment and unemployment like a single calculation.

        Worry not though as people like me always look, even before they removed it so a fair and accurate representation will be maintained, especially when we consider how many people in work still have to rely on housing benefits and tax credits just to get by what with being poorly paid while fighting rising costs.


        April 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm

  10. Damien Green is shaping up to be worse than IDS and Freud. He was on C4 News earlier this week being grilled by Krishnan Guru-Murthy about 900 or so of the disabled having their cars taken away under the new PIP rules. “It’s only a small number of people affected” said Green as if too few people were losing essential transport which they could not afford otherwise. In the real world the “small number” Green dismissed turned out to be 250,000 people or so, many of whom, as with the faulty Work Capability Assessment, won back their cars after appealing against the decision to take them away.

    During the interview a sweaty oily Damien Green grinned continually like a Cheshire Cat.

    And hopefully, in the near future, will also disappear and vanish like the aforementioned feline.


    April 14, 2017 at 8:07 am

    • Don’t you think Damien Green should be called Loki ?

      Seriously he is the trickster when you consider his arrest in 2008 for misconduct while in office and to think he was later rewarded by being appointed police minister.
      Now i can only imagine government is very much like the football world as where else can you get sacked, only to be reinstated again in another same like high position.
      Oddly enough Mr Green was also also a victim of bullying in his early years (like Duncan Smith) so i suppose there’s a lot to be said about such victims later becoming what they once despised. If you cant beat them,join them and so he did by joining the Tories.

      Now ive got to say its quite odd C4 would interview him as paint him bad would have no doubt begged the question of why did you hire him in the past then and i suppose you could say the same for the BBC.

      Well i think hes a Loki, do you ?


      April 14, 2017 at 10:19 am

      • Not sure about a Norse god but Green certainly looks like a practised deceiver and backstabber. The interview I mentioned, where he got bushwhacked about invalidity vehicles being taken away, was supposed to be about falling unemployment after the figure were released: the interview started off like that and then Guru-Murthy started in about mobility allowances and such like and wiped Green’s smile of his face.

        With fiends like Green who needs enemas?


        April 14, 2017 at 2:34 pm

  11. Living standards in UK,

    The usual nonsense.

    Damian Green, the work and pensions secretary, said: “This is yet another strong set of figures, with unemployment at a rate that hasn’t been beaten since the 1970s and more vacancies than ever before. More people are finding full-time jobs and average wages have grown yet again, meaning more families have the security of a regular wage.”


    Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said: “Pay packets are taking a hammering from rising inflation and falling wage growth. We now need urgent action to stop another living standards crisis. Working people will want to know when Theresa May is going to do something to help.

    “We need more investment in skills and infrastructure to build strong foundations for better paid jobs. And it’s time to scrap the pay restrictions hitting midwives, teachers and other public servants.”

    The GMB union described the figures as “disturbing



    April 14, 2017 at 10:13 am

    • If only people loved numbers

      Whether your in work or not and receiving benefits, your not actually better off in the real sense. A credit, child benefit or even housing assistance simply plugs the hole your wages cant cover when placed against the cost of living in a meaningful way.

      The thing many a member of the public let alone claimant miss is what a benefits taper is. You see it does not matter if its 65%.63%, 23% or even 100% as all that means is the speed at which benefits are withdrawn and doesn’t actually change what that pound represents. Literally the only one benefiting is the government at the time as the taxpayer doesn’t see a fall in contribution and please don’t be fouled by the yearly hourly rate and tax/NIC allowance rise as they have nothing to do with it. Basically its a swapping game.

      All a government is interested in is purely finding ever more elaborate ways to requisition your money and there’s no better example than VAT. For any who are not tax minded, that means to tax you for buying things. That total VAT take is placed solely on the public consumer.


      April 14, 2017 at 11:01 am

      • Oh the impact on people by Automation seems to be getting out there. Two different areas, totally dissimilar (physio & st giles trust camberwell aare up to speed – told them of the suggested solutions – take a year off, and you can afford that how? Retraining, again afford it how? And the kicker, not allowed to claim benefits if restraining so how exactly how are people supposedly to get out of the hole? They’re not. How soonbefore the concern turns to anger. Big big problems are building and the anger is going to be directed at the political class. Its going to get ugly)


        April 14, 2017 at 11:39 am

      • Its called if your with no UCAS points, hold done a poorly paid job while taking on debt in the form of the 24 plus advanced learners loan. If you do have the UCAS points then you can get a student loan for the course, another loan for living expenses but you will still need a part time job.

        This government removed what was called concessions from education that use to allow unemployed or low earners educate for free but now the person has to take out a loan and own a debt.

        The last time i checked a course with regards the concession and 24 plus and compared them, the course price was hiked by £2000 from £1500 to £3500 for a BTEC diploma. Government could have just as easily left the concession in place and just had you take a loan for that amount instead of offering it for free proving government does not want you bettering yourself unless you pay for it all no matter what you earn.

        Thats the picture Gazza.


        April 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    • Wages risen again don’t make me laugh. Having completed 7 years service as a senior playleader my rise was £2 a month or 50p a week. That wouldn’t feed my cat for even one day.and yes I know I’m lucky to be in work. .


      April 16, 2017 at 10:04 am


    Further to the comments of “Doug” earlier today about the woman on ESA asked why she hadn’t killed herself yet, I was just about to post the same story.

    Although readers on here will know about this subject because it has been going on for years already, let me just quote one comment from the report which sums the whole sorry matter up:

    “Such questions were appropriate in a psychiatric assessment, but not in a benefits assessment”.

    It’s a wonder any of this is allowed to continue year in, year out.


    Who Cares

    April 14, 2017 at 10:15 am

    • The woman was on PIP, not ESA!

      Who Cares

      April 14, 2017 at 10:16 am

    • You don’t know the full story. Maybe she was on ESA/PIP because she was making threats to commit suicide: “Given that you have been claiming disability benefits for the past twenty five years because of your repeated threats to commit suicide why haven’t you as yet taken your own life.” Anyway, even if the threats weren’t carried out she should still be entitled to the full gamut of disability benefits. And taking away her Motability car was an utterly disgraceful decision. Now she will be housebound, alone and isolated with nothing but her suicidal thoughts for company. Damian Green should be strung up from the nearest lampost.

      Save PIP

      April 14, 2017 at 11:36 am

  13. Most people missed the blunder in Theresa May’s Brexit Plan video. The people of Bristol didn’t

    The opening scenes of the Brexit Plan for Britain video feature a residential street in the Totterdown area of Bristol. As the camera sweeps across the steep hilly street, May says:

    There are times in the life of a nation when the choices we make define the character of our country.

    Times when people stand up and demand real significant change. This is one of those moments.



    April 14, 2017 at 10:18 am

    • I like, that, that’s funny.

      Top marks Enigma for the post and top marks for The Canary producing it.


      April 14, 2017 at 10:23 am

      • Hey doug, sen here. Just a quickie to let you know I’m still around, and to wish you a happy Easter. Ta.


        April 14, 2017 at 11:37 am

  14. And Still It Goes On

    Nothing exactly new about the following material, but it won’t do any harm to air the subject:


    Who Cares

    April 14, 2017 at 10:22 am

  15. Schools ‘depending on parents’ direct debits’

    Provide your own computer and instruments,



    April 15, 2017 at 10:19 am

  16. Marie

    April 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    • What do you expect from that stingy old bag,anyway it will be the bloody taxpayer paying the wage not that freeloader!


      April 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm

  17. 😁


    April 15, 2017 at 1:25 pm

  18. Companies could be forced to pay workers on zero-hours contracts more under new proposals

    Matthew Taylor, the former head of Tony Blair’s policy unit appointed by Theresa May last October to lead a review into labour rights, said the proposal could stop ‘lazy’ employers from shifting all risks onto workers.



    April 15, 2017 at 2:26 pm

  19. 50 PCS members walked out of the DWP administrative site at Annesley, Nottinghamshire for a lunchtime protest on 7 April. The site is threatened with closure, putting 130 jobs at risk.

    “If this is how the DWP treats its own workers, what message does it give unemployed people who are looking for work?”



    April 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    • Boo-fucking-hoo! It was the Annesley ” administrative site” that used to issue the Mandatory Work Activity/Community Work Placement sanctions. Total and utter scum! We won’t be shedding any tears for sure 😀 😀

      The Crocodile Family

      April 16, 2017 at 12:02 am

    • ” administrative site” = sanction centre


      April 16, 2017 at 12:15 am

    • These daft “Socialist Party” fuckwits have totally lost the plot. They should be celebrating these bastards losing their cushy non-jobs. “workers are women and many are part-time”… “Many have partners who work”. Bye, bye throwing benefit claimants into destitition for some pin-money for a holiday in Lanzarote.


      April 16, 2017 at 12:19 am

    • Can’t have women losing their jobs though 😉 Don’t want to upset Old Tory Enigma and the other right-wing hang ’em flog ’em feminazis and manginas on here, do we 😉

      Given that, we stand in SOLIDARITY with our sister decision makers and sanctioners!


      April 16, 2017 at 9:51 am

    • The past is the past! Show some compassion for your fellow human beings. SOLIDARITY!

      PCS Union Rep

      April 16, 2017 at 10:05 am

      • Yeah, tell that to those of us who were plunged into destitution by these sanctioning bastards, knobhead!

        CWP Victim

        April 16, 2017 at 10:08 am

    • Annesley is a posh area. This DWP “administrative centre” must been quite a cash cow for these middle-class knobheads. Nice little part-time job dishing out sanctions then back to your pretty cottage and hubby with his well-paid job. A really nice comfortable lifestyle and all off the backs of the poorest in society living in council schemes in big cities being crushed under the sanctions they so mercilessly doled out. Why doesn’t this ‘socialist; website mention who these people really are? SCUM doesn’t begin to describe them!


      Another CWP Victim

      April 16, 2017 at 10:18 am

    • Boo-fucking-hoo! Pass us an onion!

      The Caiman Family

      April 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm

  20. rapey nonsense. fuck off!


    April 16, 2017 at 10:35 am

  21. A ‘business-case’ for the NHS has now been set, and its the biggest NHS Sell-Off event Ever

    If anyone is in any doubt as to the sheer scale of the privatisation of our NHS, look no further than the Health+Care Conference announced for June.



    April 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    • Richard Branson will do a great job of running the NHS. They should have given him the Lottery too.

      Pennies From Heaven

      April 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    • The NHS is shit, always has been. It is high-time that someone like Richard Branson was put in charge.

      NHS User

      April 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      • Well, if Branson makes the NHS as tasty as his pickle I’m Kool and the Gang with it.

        Ooh La Larry

        April 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      • Wait a while


        April 17, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      • He makes a tasty bean too 🙂

        Beanz n Toast

        April 17, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    • The NHS could save millions by disbanding it’s totally unfit for purpose female cancer screening programmes and free up staff who are currently involved in chasing those who don’t accept their”invitations “.


      April 17, 2017 at 2:18 pm

  22. An interrogation to hire a car now, kind of like when people have to explain why they want to withdraw their OWN money from a bank.

    Of course what they don’t say it that there are ~ 50,000,000 car rentals per year in the UK. And we have had ONE Westminster attack. Those airport queues are going to get even longer: “Excuse me, Sir/Madam. by Law I have to ask you some questions.”

    “What are the telltale signs? I think people hiring cars should be asked to give a purpose, so that people can give a judgment. What was the purpose of this man hiring a car?”



    April 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm

  23. Former DWP chief Stephen Crabb admits poor planning is to blame for its £200m overspend

    THE former head of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has cast doubt over the government’s ability to handle the welfare system.

    Ex-Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said the DWP was not “very good at getting its forecasts right” after a report revealed private contractors would be paid about £200 million extra for helping Westminster cut the benefits bill.


    Undermining the welfare state.Some would call that a good investment.


    April 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

  24. To: DWP, Job Centre staff / The Government Job Centre staff should have DBS cover

    The Job Centre these days does need at the very least something like an appropriate adult scheme in residence. As they have so many users who are vulnerable; many of whom cant read or write and don’t understand what their rights are.



    April 16, 2017 at 8:52 pm

  25. Chancellor Philip Hammond facing calls from own party to review four-year benefit freeze

    Exclusive: It comes after The Independent revealed earlier this month the Government had underestimated the severity of its four-year freeze on working-age benefits, with the cap now set to hit claimants by almost 50 per cent more than official estimates



    April 17, 2017 at 8:53 am

    • Ooops, sorry Enigma, was doing the numbers so didnt realize you posted the same link.


      April 17, 2017 at 10:45 am

      • No luck with your lottery numbers then, doug 😀 😀 Yet again it WASN’T you 😀 😀 Better luck in the next draw 😀 😀 You’ll need it 😀 😀

        Mystic Meg

        April 17, 2017 at 11:22 am

      • Thanks for those numbers Doug.


        April 17, 2017 at 12:20 pm

  26. Chancellor Philip Hammond facing calls from own party to review four-year benefit freeze


    A Government spokesperson said: “By cutting taxes for millions of people, giving the lowest earners a pay rise with the National Living Wage, doubling free childcare for nearly 400,000 parents and freezing fuel duty, we are helping people who need it most.”

    But what if your single,working 20 hours a week for an agency and put down as self employed and under an umbrella company and cant get more work despite trying, especially considering your employer rolls your shifts weekly (2 on,2 off and from day to night with every new shift started (2 days on,2daysoff,2 nights on).

    You cant claim tax credits, the raise in tax threshold makes you no gains because you don’t earn over £11’000 and you only benefit from the hourly rate rise by £6 a week but you don’t even gain from that as the taper rate merely eradicates it.


    A single receives £73.10 in unemployment benefit and £100 in housing benefit weekly (£173.10)

    A single man works 20 hours a week at £7.50 an hour (£150)

    The taper rate at 63% means £94.50 is traded which means the single man still receives £78.60 in benefit to add to there £150 meaning £228.60. So your better off by £55.50 a week

    If you can only get 16 hours a week that means £217.50 with benefits meaning all because you couldn’t get 4 hours more, you lose out by £11.10 a week so your effectively penalized for under achieving by £2.78 an hour. 240.88

    A single person working 25 hours makes £240.88, a mere £12.28 more than the one who worked 20 hours. So for working an extra 5 hours the worker effectively worked for £2.45 a hour (only 32.7% of the NLW).

    For 29 hours its £250.59 meaning there only better off against the 25 hours worker by £9.71 so effectively worked for £2.43 an hour (only 32.4% of the NLW).

    For a worker who works 30 hours a week, they instantly qualify for tax credit and benefit by a whole £59.44 for the single hour extra they work over the worker who worked just 29 hours a week.

    Just when you think it goes up, when you look at a worker who does 35 hours, thy only gain by £6.10 which split into 5 hours means they worked for £1.22 an hour as opposed to the person who only worked 30 hours.


    April 17, 2017 at 10:44 am

    • Untargeted tax cuts are a con because the people who pay the most tax benefit the most; low earners only benefit slightly from across the board tax cuts. Under Osborne 80% of the money squandered on tax cuts, carried out at the same time as swingeing benefit cuts which we were told had to be made to “reduce the deficit”, went to higher rate tax payers.

      It’s the rich what gets the pleasure and the poor what gets the pain.

      Ooh La Larry

      April 17, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    • Don’t forget that for most people any increase in income means an increase, sometimes substantial, in the amount of Council Tax they have to pay. So the working poor could end up no better off, even worse off, than they would be if not working at all.

      Ooh La Larry

      April 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      • Ooh La Larry

        Oh i haven’t forgot but in other posts i have already demonstrated how the wage and tax allowance rise isnt a rise, that all it means for poorly paid people or people with irregular unstable hours is being less negative when you factor in the cost of living like council tax,rent rises,,etc

        This recent post of mine is about comparing the lower groups before living expenses.


        April 18, 2017 at 9:04 am

  27. Shock rise of people given ZERO points in the Tories’ cruel disability benefit tests


    Remember what i said about a stagnant pond point on reducing claimants and how government will resort to hook or by crook methods.



    April 17, 2017 at 10:52 am

  28. Sorry to bother you, but it is very urgent! I have a friend who came from far away and needs a place to stay. I suggested your place. I ask you to receive and love him. His name is Jesus Christ. Now say quietly: You can enter, Lord, I need you, cleanse my heart with your blood and bless my family. Please send this message to 20 people. If they refuse, remember that Jesus said “If you deny me among men, I will deny you before my Father.” Within 4 minutes he will give you good news. Don’t read if you cannot forward. God has seen you struggling with something. God says it’s over. A blessing is coming your way. If you believe in God, send this.

    An Urgent Appeal

    April 17, 2017 at 12:54 pm

  29. Here’s another PDF where it’s stated that 1.1 million people have made a claim to UC. etc.

    8 pages.



    April 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    • So that’s at least 6.6 million weekly benefit payments saved by denying UC applicants assistance during the SIX WEEK (or longer) built-in wait for entitlements after initial application.

      Ooh La Larry

      April 18, 2017 at 6:59 am

  30. “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

    — Edward Bernays

    Thought for the Day

    April 17, 2017 at 10:00 pm

  31. Since you’re here …

    … we’ve got a small favour to ask. More people are reading Ipswich Unemployed Action than ever, but far fewer are paying for it. Advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Ipswich Unemployed Action’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

    If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

    Many thanks

    Andrew Coates

    Since you’re here …

    April 18, 2017 at 12:30 am

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