Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Universal Credit: What Fine Mess the Government is Ignoring.

with 95 comments

Image result for universal credit cartoon

Universal Credit Still Surviving.

If you are of working age and in receipt of the following benefits, you will be moving to Universal Credit very soon.

  • JSA
  • ESA
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support

When you claim Universal Credit, you could be waiting several weeks before you receive any money.

Use this Survival Guide to make sure you are ready to survive the first few months on Universal Credit.

Universal Credit Survival-kit

We understand that the government would prefer to ignore the mess it’s created with Universal Credit.

But the problems it’s caused, adding to their pile of woes, will not go away.

This is the latest.

We note that after the Grenfell Tragedy housing is top of the news:

Director General Neil Couling answers questions on Universal Credit APA Scheme 

Published on 20/06/2017

Many landlords are experiencing issues with Universal Credit. The communication is poor, landlords are putting in APAs, but unable to communicate with DWP to find out the process of the APA.

As a result many landlords have tenants with high rent arrears – the system needs changing as landlords seem to be punished for providing a much needed service to the social sector.

Bill Irvine has penned a very accurate letter to Neil Couling DWP, please read the interesting letter and feel free to tweet and forward to your peers.

Open letter to:

Mr Neil Couling
Director General
Universal Credit Implementation

Dear Mr Couling

Landlords, throughout Great Britain, are experiencing unsustainable rental loss as a direct result of Universal Credit, particularly, in relation to the way in which the “housing element” is being administered. Despite phoning, e-mailing and complaining to Jobcentre Plus and regional Complaints & Resolution teams, our collective efforts have proved fruitless, frustrating and disheartening. The situation is getting worse, especially in areas, like e.g. London, Great Yarmouth, Inverness and East Lothian, where “Full Service” Universal Credit is now operating and arrears are running at 90%. Landlords understandably fear that as Full Service expands throughout GB so will these worrying problems.

Nearly every single tenant owes rent, either through the delay in first payment, which can take 6-12 weeks to process. In some cases, tenants are simply misspending the housing element, rather than using the funds to reduce or extinguish their rental liabilities. When that occurs, landlords make application for redirection of the funds. Many of those applications are mislaid, take months to process or are simply ignored. In the most alarming cases, DWP has simply ignored the red flags and pleas, raised by landlords and continued to make payments to delinquent tenants in the full knowledge £000’s of public funds was being used inappropriately.

Not surprisingly, the RLA and NLA are both reporting an increasing number of private sector landlords and letting agents refusing to accommodate Universal Credit reliant tenants. Lenders are also stipulating, that funds will not be provided where tenancies are intended for benefit tenants.

Was the Alternative Payment Arrangement scheme (APAs) not designed to safeguard landlords from these very problems; avoid the problem of vulnerable tenants mismanaging their finances; and prevent delinquent tenants from misusing public funds, putting at jeopardy their tenancy and exposing them to the vagaries of homelessness?

As Director General, you must be acutely aware and surely worried by what’s happening?

Evidence of repeated misuse of public funds is building as “Full Service” roll out starts to bite. Landlords like Caridon Property Solutions have been copying you into exchanges with your staff, over many months, and, in the past week, have drawn your attention to two cases involving nearly £12, 000 in rent arrears, caused by your staff failing to respond appropriately to multiple APA requests by landlords and their agents.

DWP’s excuses to date have Included: “We can’t speak to Landlords or agents without the consent of the tenant.” ……………A “Special Payment” (as compensation for rental loss) is not merited in such cases as the tenant is the primary cause of the problem”…………..“This is essentially a civil dispute between tenant & landlord”

Frankly, none of these statements reflect the true cause of the problem. It’s unquestionably, DWP maladministration of its own scheme, accompanied by complete ambivalence to the predicament of landlords’ reliance on these funds for their livelihood and ability to pay lenders. Had your staff acted in accordance with the scheme you created, most of these substantial losses could have been avoided.

The APA scheme was designed specifically for landlords. It requires our members to apply using a Non-secure UC 47 form which can either be sent by e-mail or FREEPOST. This version of the form was designed to “start a dialogue with landlords and agents”. It’s supposed to prompt a call from your staff, during which, the landlords’ bank details and the merits of the application can be discussed. You also provide a telephone number for landlords to call when they’re seeking an update on the progress of their application. Given the above, its’ absurd to suggest you can’t speak to landlords, without the tenant’s consent.

Landlords, having complied with the scheme’s requirements, in all respects, are surely entitled to be able to ask for progress updates; reasons for refusal; reasons for later redirection back to tenants, without discussion. Your colleague Mike Baker, Operations Director, in August 2015 acknowledged the landlords’ rights in this respect and confirmed to me, in writing, that on receipt of an APA request the “housing element” would be immediately suspended, pending a decision on the question of to whom the payment should be made. His commitment has not been honoured.

Members have repeatedly raised with your staff, concerns over the lack of independence, impartiality and objectivity during the internal stages of your “Complaints Process”. In your responses to members, you claim that cases are considered on their individual merits. However, if you examine the common thread of each response, it’s really nothing other than a standard reply, crafted by someone in your Policy Unit. It was your Policy Unit who prescribed “Special Payments” were NOT to be used in landlord APA applications for compensation. Interference of this type completely undermines the notion of cases being considered on their individual merits and suggests more of a sham complaints process.

The third stage of the Complaints Process (Independent Case Examiner) is truly the first time the complaint is looked at independently. Past reports from ICE suggest 50% of complaints are fully supported with a further 25% partially supported. At first, this looked a promising way to prosecute a complaint but we’ve since found it takes 15 months, on average, from referral to conclusion stage. A classic case of justice delayed, justice denied!

As an ex COSLA advisor to the Housing Benefit Standing Committee, Westminster I’ve spent 20 years dealing with DWP hierarchy, including the Policy Unit team in the Adelphi, London. My colleagues and I had a very fruitful relationship with this team who demonstrated a high level of knowledge and commitment to tackling and resolving problems. I’ve yet to see anything like that from you and your support team with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions.

Five years ago, I wrote an article “Hitting the DWP brick wall” which was published by the SFHA and private sector magazines, predicting the biggest problem with Universal Credit would be your department’s remote and ambivalent administration of the scheme. If anything, I underestimated just how problematic it would be.

In my opinion, something drastic is needed to overhaul the current APA and associated Complaints Processes as both are currently unfit for purpose. Apart from traveling the country, speaking to staff in the new Full Service areas, what are you doing to address the legitimate concerns of landlords?

Bill Irvine.

Note this:

After weeks  of waiting for a response Neil Couling has finally responded to Bills comments.

Please Click Here to download letter of response from Neil Couling

In Neil’s response it appears that he fails to address many  of the points raised by Bill and acknowledge the issues raised. Interestingly, the House of Commons library produced a report this week, “Housing Costs in Universal Credit” – http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN06547#fullreport  referring the rent arrears increasing under Universal Credit.

The topic on communication was addressed briefly and advised that landlords should visit the DWP Frequently asked questions under Universal Credit.

In my opinion there still needs to be more done to on the whole process on APA and current reports and findings should be taken into account.

So, what is Gaukey doing about this?

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Written by Andrew Coates

June 20, 2017 at 10:37 am

95 Responses

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  1. THE REAL REASON WHY THE SCHEME IS WHAT IT IS.

    Universal credit is purposely designed to keep any claimant on the back foot day one and keep them there with the aid of conditionality and sanctions. Feel free to study the welfare reform and UC and you will see without this, its absolutely no different to the old system bar combining certain benefits under one system.

    Now when you start work, you always borrow and or fall into various forms of debt. Further more to this the cost of living isnt cheap so the problem just keeps perpetuating. This means when they hit unemployment, any money they had from wages has or will be going to pay back these things. This means you have to continue that borrowing and or debt while waiting for UC which means day one your on that downside of the plank which will continue to sink until your benefits come through. Even when after benefits are paid we dont see anything but a leveling off that soon begins to incline again day one and repeating itself with every benefit payment.

    A perfect way of demonstrating this is to look at in-work conditionality for a person working less than 30 hours a week. There no entitled to unemployment benefit or tax credit but are for housing benefit.

    Now tell me how do you make in-work conditionality work on such a person if it is not by sanctioning there housing benefit (reducing it by the equivalent of what they would have received had the been receiving unemployment or tax credits) ?

    Find it interesting how they have left out child benefit, PIP and council tax from universal credit ?

    doug

    June 20, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    • “Universal credit is purposely designed to keep any claimant on the back foot day one and keep them there with the aid of conditionality and sanctions.”

      That seems to be a general intention of many of the coachies these days

      Andrew Coates

      June 20, 2017 at 3:19 pm

  2. Philip Hammond on Brexit: Prioritise jobs and living standards

    Jobs and living standards must come first as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU, Philip Hammond has said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40339331

    Anyone visiting the local supermarket will notice a 50p price rise on one item.Its not hard to see who’s going to be hit the hardest over this Union Jack rapidly backfiring Brexit before talkes even start under the embarrassment of the self inflicted wounded Conservative party.

    People simply wont be able to afford to live here if inflation keeps rising which in turn will lead on to Universal Credit and the likelyhood of financial problems and debt becoming even a greater problem and the benefits freeze/losses. Foodbanks becoming the weekly shop.

    ken

    June 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm

  3. Is this a scam? – Posted nationwide.

    Learn To Click And Earn

    Administration Support

    Job description

    Administration Support

    We are looking for trustworthy people who carry out simple online tasks at a time to suit them.

    Tasks take less than 15 hours per month and can be done even if you work full time.

    The basic qualifications are:
    Must be over 18 years of age to comply with the Gambling Act of 2005 and its amendments in 2014

    Must be a UK Resident

    Not have a Criminal Record
    Have a UK Bank Account (so you can be paid)

    Commit to a minimum 12 Month Contract (there is a 30 day notice period)
    Be able to access the Internet via PC or MAC or via a Smartphone Apple/Android

    After selection be able to prove your identity and address (with a Photo ID – Valid Driver’s licence Full/Provisional, Valid Passport or Valid Citizen’s ID)

    Successful candidates will receive initial training which could take up to 2 hours. The work involves setting up to 23 UK Online Gambling Accounts.

    After selection be able to prove your identity and address (with a Photo ID – Valid Driver’s licence Full/Provisional, Valid Passport or Valid Citizen’s ID-Proof of Address with a Utility bill or Bank Statement less than 3 months old )

    Only after you are selected would you need to send in copies of your proof of ID and Address.

    Upon completion of this and after all documents have been verified candidates will receive up to £345 which is made up of an initial payment £225 plus first 2 months (2 X £60) paid in advance and up to £60 per month. The reason it is up to depends on how many of the 23 accounts you have and will be paid pro rata

    After initial account set up there are simple account administration tasks.

    The monthly time commitment is no more than 15 hours a month to fit in with your time schedule (would also suit shift workers)

    An income equivalent to the National minimum Wage (NMW) can be achieved

    https://jobsearch.direct.gov.uk/GetJob.aspx?JobID=43848628

    Catherine Zeta-Jones

    June 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    • “23 UK Online Gambling Accounts” that right there is a message in itself to stay well away.

      Gazza

      June 20, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      • Gazza

        From reading the website already they practice unethical methods of boosting a websites ad revenue return along with upping the website in search results. They also run things in the distinct direction of tax avoidance. Whether or not you remain a tax avoider is questionable meaning you could be done for tax evasion. and that assumes you will get paid.

        There not listed at company house and could well be a company abroad meaning no data protection. Further more you will have no employment rights.

        I would actually report it to DWP and HMRC.

        doug

        June 20, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    • Sounds very dodgy to me. Maybe you ought to flag it.

      Jockey Phat

      June 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    • I don’t think I would like to give personal details about myself, especially my banking details, to anybody like this. Beware.

      Cat o' Nine

      June 20, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    • Is there even 23 bookies in the UK? It’s probably a scam to capture unsuspecting jobseekers ID or some sort of money-laundering scam. It’s a new anyway. We’ve had the up-front payment for CRB checks, ebay scam , now this?

      Universal Jobmatch - Beware!

      June 20, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    • Searching for learntoclickandlearn returns only this:

      http://www.learntoclickandearn.com/

      But it makes no mention of online gambling account.

      Online gambling accounts hints at some sort of money-laundering. And bookies gambling sites perform anti-money laundering checks on accounts. Well dodgy!

      Casino

      June 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    • “After initial account set up there are simple account administration tasks.” Dodgy, dodgy, dodgy. Universal Jobmatch really needs to get it’s act together and stop posting these scams.

      Casino

      June 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      • looked at this “http://www.learntoclickandearn.com/” website.

        Is clearly as they say ClickBait [god alone knows what crap is being run in the background – malware or worse]

        Has 8 ClickBait buttons [This is where there are similar things being said about how great whatever is, with buttons to click and get your ‘Free’ whatever – in this case, free load of trouble from going there].

        Looks very much like the Spam/Malware sites I have come across

        Has no UK contact Address – see below for reason.

        What reputable company only communicates via “Skype”?

        doug has pointed out there is no UK Trading number searchable at Companies House [for those who don’t know that is where all UK companies have to register to show they can trade in UK]

        in fact google whois learntoclickandearn – it’s based in San Francisco, California, 94107 USA.
        And finally it says “New site with hidden owner data”

        Good luck getting any money from there – or backing when it goes tits up

        Gazza

        June 21, 2017 at 7:57 am

  4. “trustworthy people” i..e who ever posted this is NOT trustworthy!

    Universal Jobmatch - Beware!

    June 20, 2017 at 4:05 pm

  5. Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

    mili68

    June 20, 2017 at 5:36 pm

  6. Grenfell residents feared benefit sanctions – they are too used to being ignored

    It’s shameful that survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire were left to worry that their benefits could be taken away. But the DWP’s cruel reputation precedes it

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/grenfell-tower-fire-residents-benefit-sanctions-dwp

    ken

    June 20, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    • Universal credit rollout in North Kensington halted after tower fire

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/21/universal-credit-rollout-in-north-kensington-halted-grenfell-tower-fire

      DWP call it avoiding teething problems, i call it afraid of the public seeing exactly what UC is all about, namely its many layers of flaws and lengthy waiting period.

      Can hardly expect them to flog there wares now can they, wouldn’t want the public seeing them still getting food handouts months after the grenfell disaster,even i would have predicted if they went ahead with it, a riot. We all know and saw how governments so called support was no where to be seen after the incident (panorama,news,etc) so without doubt these changes are only dew to media and public attention and have nothing to do with carrying.

      doug

      June 21, 2017 at 7:44 am

      • The slow incremental roll out has enable the DWP to get away with murder, literally. The question is as UC rolls out to millions of claimants whether its flaws and faults will become so obvious that the DWP will be forced to act to improve matters. To be honest the DWP doesn’t seem to give a shit about the suffering of those claiming UC but may well find that complaints from local authorities and landlords impossible to ignore forever. I’m afraid, as always, money and property counts for more than human misery and lives, at least when the poor are concerned.

        Cat o' Nine

        June 21, 2017 at 8:25 am

      • Cat o’ Nine

        I think considering ever increasing news of staff interview/meetings and warnings of using online media or being sent on courses for I.T, that we are highly likely to see a massive jump in the UC roll out and i think a lot to do with this increase prediction is the liable fallout to follow as a result of brexit.

        This would mean government aren’t ruling out a considerable drop in employment as it develops what with the value of the pound,inflation and already a squeeze being seen in public spending.

        doug

        June 21, 2017 at 8:44 am

  7. DWP force severely autistic, blind teen to attend eligibility check to see if he deserves benefits

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/dwp-force-severely-autistic-blind-10655700

    How many articles do we need to see before government is forced to actually repair or abandon their failed work capability assessment ?

    doug

    June 21, 2017 at 7:30 am

  8. What is kind of funny is Iain Duncan Smith saying that Universal Credit would end poverty and would be “much copied” by other countries around the world. As far as I can see the diametric opposite is the case. Is there any country on earth that would be daft enough or careless enough to follow the UK down this rocky road and over the cliff into the abyss? I don’t reckon so.

    Echium Spike

    June 21, 2017 at 8:29 am

    • Echium Spike

      IDS and his think tank didn’t invent this welfare reform, it was America decades ago and its already been admitted it didn’t work. Homelessness is rampant,the birth rate didn’t get curbed leading to loads of child care cases and the introduction of family planning. As for work, that purely raised only according to opportunity but none the less still lead to people holding countless jobs yet still remaining in poverty.

      The last time i checked around 50% of Americas population declared earning less than $30’000 a year (£23’000) with most earning less than $20’000 a year. This was despite limiting unemployment welfare to 5 years and stamp using the rest.

      doug

      June 21, 2017 at 9:04 am

  9. Brexit bills dominate government agenda

    Proposals to axe the winter fuel allowance for well-off pensioners, scrap the triple lock on pensions, expand grammar schools and end free school lunches for infants have been dropped while other proposals, such as a cap on energy bills and reforms to social care funding, will be put out to consultation.

    A Data Protection Bill to strengthen individuals’ rights and introduce a “right to be forgotten”.

    Labour is putting forward an alternative version of the Queen’s Speech, suggesting the Tories’ programme was a sign of a “weak and wobbly” government.

    The CBI said there had been a “welcome change of tone” towards business but ministers should put “pragmatism before politics” over Brexit. The TUC said promises to help working people were “vague”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40345280

    enigma

    June 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    • Theresa May’s Queen’s Speech ‘will be her first and last’, Tories admit, as PM proposes plan filled with U-turns

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-queens-speech-dup-first-last-tories-admit-manifesto-pledges-removed-latest-a7799681.html

      enigma

      June 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    • Kudo to the DUP for put the brakes on Witch May’s attack on our pensioners. We owe our pensioners. Our pensioners fought and died in two World Wars for our freedom. If it hadn’t been for the sacrifices of our pensioners we would be living under a totalitarian Nazi jackboot. The very idea of axing the winter fuel allowance for well-off pensioners and scraping the triple-lock on pensioners was an act of wanton barbarism.

      Save Our Pensioners

      June 21, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      • Save Our Pensioners

        As much as i agree pensioners shouldn’t become a financial target, WW1 people would be 120 years of age now so i hardly imagine there enough left to justify that specific comment. As for WW2, they would be about 95 now so while quite a few this exist, i still don’t think there’s enough to make that an impacting comment either. Regardless of what this figure is, any soldier or member of the public who took part in any military actions what so ever over the years whom now is a pensioner should never ever be put in a position of hardship as they can never be honored enough for their deeds and service.

        What matters here is countless governments over the decades have made promises to these people so should stick to them rather than simply treat them as a safe deposit box they can come back to anytime they like.

        doug

        June 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    • Enigma

      I would hold the phone on the data protection change for a multitude of reasons.

      1: The right to be forgotten only applies to a certain age group – I personally don’t agree with this as you make your bed, you should lie in it as youth actions are the building blocks to how these kids will act when older. It would be far more productive to have an age limit and license type procedure but we know this wont happen as its not only pedos that prey on children who after all as businesses and corporations see them, vessels to there parents money.

      2: The new EU law allows forces from other countries to get personal data without requiring a court warrant and that countries approval. While one may think this has benefits, they forget, there’s nothing preventing say the USA acquiring data of a British citizen and then handing it to the British forces so they are not answerable to our existing laws (basically circumnavigating the law).

      3: The right to removal when processing redundant is far from cut and dry as theres no way to track say for instance, your data being passed on for favour (ie, money,goods,services,data swap,etc) for the purposes of statistics as one example. With the advent of real time reporting of tax and custom, there’s no deed anymore for businesses to retain such data.

      Obviously i have way more to say on the subject but that’s another story to be continued.

      doug

      June 21, 2017 at 2:36 pm

  10. Tory-DUP pact under threat as Theresa May faces possible legal challenge over Good Friday Agreement

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservative-dup-theresa-may-legal-challenge-breach-good-friday-agreement-arlene-foster-a7798941.html

    enigma

    June 21, 2017 at 1:19 pm

  11. OT: Grenfell, oops in a spot of bother here try lets a spot of bribary to keep the Yokels quiet…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40357280“”
    Flats acquired for Grenfell fire survivors
    Nearly 70 social housing apartments in a luxury complex will be made available, the government says.

    ME: Er, isn’t there rules put in place by this lot of ConMen to stop “expensive” properties going to the poor… You know as its against our Manifesto… You know the benefits cap and all…
    Or… maybe we’ve been caught with our pants down and we need to keep them quite like.

    Gazza

    June 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    • Gazza

      It all depends on who owns the block and how they are connected with the government or persons of the government. I quite fancy certain contract or contracts go to them.

      doug

      June 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    • Only a few days ago they were screaming that taking over such houses would be the advance guard of socialist tyranny.

      “OCCUPY these homes! Jeremy Corbyn is slammed for suggesting homeless victims of Grenfell fire should take direct action and take over empty homes owned by the wealthy”

      “Mr Corbyn risked outrage on Friday when he first claimed empty properties should be ‘seized’ if needed to ensure Grenfell survivors have secure accommodation.
      Senior Tory MPs slammed the Labour leader for trying to trying to score ‘political points’ by ‘exploiting’ the disaster.
      Mr Corbyn is facing claims his interventions are encouraging his hard left supporters to fuel the anger over the tragedy.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4615108/Corbyn-jibes-people-care-deeper-extent.html

      Andrew Coates

      June 21, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      • Andrew Coates

        Thanks, the best laugh ive had all day, an even bigger one when i read the comments section to the article itself on their website.

        Do you remember what Corbyn haters use to say, not just haunting this site but everywhere?

        How they claimed hes weak, a hippy not strong enough to lead labour let alone this country yet now these same people rant his Karl Marx,Vladimir Lenin,Joseph Stalin or anything remotely Russian and threatening, the latest and common excuse for today’s failing western governments.

        The joke is this government since 2010 has set about creating a capitalist future for those at the top with a socialist future for all that fall below, the middle class, the lower class.

        doug

        June 21, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      • Im surprised they haven’t called him an extremist, a hate preacher.

        doug

        June 21, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      • The norm, no matter what Mr Corbyn says.

        enigma

        June 22, 2017 at 3:47 am

      • And I see this morning that the CEO [Not the leader of the council who is supposed to make sure local residents are looked after mind you] has been ‘Told’ to fall on his sword to appease the masses.

        And what is this “Regret” he’s going? Regret for exactly what considering what has happened – has he saved lives? You know the exact opposite that has occured? The same question applies for the others. And we all know the answer to that.

        Thats that. No need for anymore sacrifices to the poor… [sorry slipped up there] common man needed….

        Gazza

        June 22, 2017 at 9:30 am

      • Gazza

        Hes not going to end up in the queue behind you while signing on, nor is he going to end up in a job paying the national living wage for the rest of his life as a result of his failure.

        He’ll still get a good reference, still have well placed contacts that will ensure if it isn’t already sorted a very well paid job to go into next. Those in such positions never suffer for failure so the gesture however sincere is HOLLOW.

        Lets not also forget he may well have existing business interests,shares, investments,etc.

        You mess up in a job and you can be damn sure your suffer trying to get the next, that if your unlucky enough could well haunt you for a very long time. You don’t even need a job and still suffer the same fate, prison,homelessness, long term unemployed,disabled,seriously ill as some examples.

        doug

        June 22, 2017 at 9:55 am

      • Just like the common or garden unemployed he will no doubt have a well-placed contact in the Jobcentre. A quick ‘phone call to his cockroach and he will be slotted into a new well-paid, cushy position.

        Shoehorn

        June 22, 2017 at 10:50 am

      • Grenfell Tower fire: Every single death could have been avoided, says Jeremy Corbyn

        ‘From Hillsborough to the child sex abuse scandal to Grenfell Tower, the pattern is consistent. Working class people’s voices are ignored by those in power

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-latest-jeremy-corbyn-residents-every-death-avoided-cladding-commons-statement-a7802201.html

        enigma

        June 22, 2017 at 11:07 am

      • doug

        someone is going to prison. BBC reports Candem council blocks have same problem cladding and it is not what was supposed to be fitted. Fraud methinks. What’s the bet that there is not more like that in the 600 odd other blocks with cladding. It just gets worse and worse.

        gazza

        June 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      • Gazza

        Its not just blocks, your schools,colleges,universities,hospitals,hell even office buildings contain this material . Ive personally witnessed this stuff go into tons of structures all over the country as has anyone working on constructions. Its also just one of many questionable practices. One fine example is the cheaper option of enclosing Asbestos itself once used as fire proofing rather than complete removal.

        I tell you now, pay particular attention to the figure of asbestos related illnesses if the migrants here don’t go home as the practice of removal and encasing is shoddy to say the least.

        The problem i found is as a worker onsite, your instantly branded as a dissident if you question things. Even mentioning work related H&S issues let alone posting online will see you black balled quicker than blinking.

        The chinks in the construction industry armor are many.

        doug

        June 23, 2017 at 6:58 am

    • And now we are fucking ANGRY they have been given a brand-new home worth a couple of £million at least that they will then go on to sell under the ‘right to buy’. Outrageous!

      Londoner

      June 21, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    • The one, two and three-bedroom flats are located in two blocks that stand alongside a large luxury development, where private homes go for up to £8.5m.

      Londoner

      June 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm

  12. A lack of empathy is why ex-Tory MPs get payouts while benefits get squeezed

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/06/lack-empathy-why-ex-tory-mps-get-payouts-while-benefits-get-squeezed

    I will just let you read and enjoy

    doug

    June 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm

  13. The Tories cannot afford another banana skin slipup.Doing the right thing is branded marxist then a backdown The Tories did this over fuel price promses also.

    Tory-DUP deal thrown into fresh doubt as deputy PM Damian Green says agreement only a ‘possibility’

    ‘There is still the possibility – there’s every possibility – of a DUP deal’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-democratic-unionist-party-deal-talks-latest-queens-speech-damian-green-a7800101.html

    We’ve heard a lot about taking the risk in recent years from many now gone by.May took a risk and ended in national embarrassment.Taking the risk cutting corners can have outcomes which everyone has seen recently also.

    ken

    June 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm

  14. Sheffield Jobcentre strike grows in second round of action

    About 50 members of civil service union PCS have been taking strike action all through the week of 12-16 June in Sheffield to save the Eastern Avenue Job Centre. Its closure is proposed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as part of its national cuts programme.

    http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/953/25654/16-06-2017/jobcentre-strike-grows-in-second-round-of-action

    ken

    June 22, 2017 at 12:36 am

  15. Tory Government’s benefit cap is unlawful and causes ‘real misery for no good purpose’, High Court rules

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefit-cap-judicial-review-welfare-payments-government-loses-lawsuit-court-case-judge-misery-a7802286.html

    doug

    June 22, 2017 at 10:30 am

    • A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “We are disappointed with the decision and intend to appeal” hopefully many more disappointments will come their way.

      enigma

      June 22, 2017 at 12:03 pm

  16. Greenwell Tower victims ‘poisoned by cyanide released by burning insulation boards used for cladding’

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-tower-victims-poisoned-cyanide-10664183

    Marie

    June 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    • Corners were clearly cut to save costs but now the cost of reworking these refurbishments will cost more if then if done to a high standard in the first instent and lives might have been saved.

      Theresa May was booed yesterday after she met residents left homeless in the Grenfell Tower blaze amid widespread anger at her leaden response to the tragedy.

      The beleaguered Prime Minster was surrounded by furious locals who heckled her as she slipped out of the building and was ushered by her security officers into a waiting car.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4627224/Chief-executive-Kensington-Chelsea-council-RESIGNS.html

      The truth is the Conservatives couldn’t care less about people and thought they could treat people as if they were in the Jobcentre and a local handout from groups would manage untill they discovered otherwise with a total opposite reaction.

      .

      ken

      June 22, 2017 at 10:02 pm

  17. Posh Kensington scumbags show their true colours over re-housing of Grenfell-Tower-victims-poisoned-cyanide Towers survivors.

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/624201/Grenfell-Tower-inferno-kensington-residents-homeless-victims-relocation

    Marie

    June 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    • I saw that as was buying my copy of the ‘I’.

      Does anybody really pay money for that comic, the Star?

      Andrew Coates

      June 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    • I saw that as was buying my copy of the Daliy Star.

      Does anybody really pay money for that comic, the “I”?

      Daily Star Reader

      June 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    • From you Star:

      Maritime laws state once a vessel is 12 miles offshore on-board crimes can only be probed by police from the nation the boat is registered with.

      For tax reasons most sail under “flags of convenience” from small states such as Panama, Libya or Bermuda with overstretched police forces thousands of miles from the ship’s location.

      Brit maritime experts fear this has led to most cruise disappearances not being properly investigated – allowing possible killers to go free.

      They want new laws to ensure Brit police probe crimes committed against UK citizens on the high seas.

      Captain Michael Lloyd, Brit vice- president of the International Cruise Victims Association, said UK citizens should benefit from the same crime protection at sea as Americans who are guaranteed an investigation by the FBI.

      ”It is no good turning to the security on board as they have the same powers as a bouncer on the doors of a nightclub,” he said.

      ”It is quite inexplicable that a floating city of up to 8,000 people can continue with no law enforcement.

      ”The number of people who disappear at sea is of considerable concern, particularly when most cases are declared as an accident or suicide, with little or no investigation.”

      http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/624407/serial-killer-fears-200-vanish-cruise-ships-last-17-years

      Stena

      June 22, 2017 at 6:10 pm

  18. Jezza: “We must make sure that no-one ever dies again in a towering inferno.”

    Wonder if Jezza reads this blog… 😉

    Towering Inferno

    June 22, 2017 at 4:10 pm

  19. A new Oxfam project that aims to slash the number of people reliant on foodbanks will be piloted in Dundee and Fife.

    The project, called A Menu for Change: Cash, Rights, Food aims to make it easier for people in a crisis to access financial support so they do not need to rely on foodbanks.

    https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/453619/new-pilot-project-to-help-end-foodbank-use-to-launch-in-dundee-and-fife/

    ken

    June 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    • “Oxfam Scotland programme manager Anela Anwar said: “It is a scandal that while shops in Scotland are stuffed full with food so many people’s stomachs are empty because they can’t afford to buy food.”

      Nobody should be starving when there isn’t even a shortage of food. This is like the Great Depression in America, the shops were also stuffed to the rafters with food but nobody had those bits of paper called ‘money’. God/Allah/Mother Earth has provided so why are human beings dying from starvation?

      Tom Joad

      June 22, 2017 at 4:24 pm

  20. Number of homeless housed in temporary accommodation rises, no doubt.

    Of the 21,950 accommodated in another local authority district, 19,670 were from London authorities (90% of the England total)

    CIH policy and practice officer Faye Greaves said: “Today’s figures are extremely worrying but sadly not surprising – homelessness has been steadily rising in all its forms since 2010, partly because of the pressures on the housing market but also some of the welfare changes that have come into force over the past few years. .

    http://www.welfareweekly.com/number-of-homeless-housed-in-temporary-accommodation-up-61-since-2010/

    enigma

    June 22, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    • Enigma

      If government made it that all landlords must except people on benefits, uncapped housing benefit,removed amount of rooms restriction while capping rents and ensured housing benefit was not subject to sanction and paid directly to landlords, no one would be homeless.

      This aside lets not also forget how many hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation is available that could be used while waiting for rented places either to come available or be built.

      Housing like food is essential to survival, it has never had a place to be considered a business besides selling what you built/owned.

      doug

      June 23, 2017 at 7:12 am

  21. Brexit: Leave voter realises his fruit farms could collapse without EU migrant workers. oh dear.

    If EU labourers disappear ‘I don’t have a business. It’s as simple as that.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-eu-migrant-workers-fruit-farm-harry-hall-hunter-partnership-bbc-radio-4-today-a7802381.html

    enigma

    June 23, 2017 at 10:20 am

    • The truth whether the public like it or not is there’s no way in hells bells that this government will stop non to low skill workers coming to this country. There’s way more non skilled work than there is people to do it dew to this constant growth of internet shopping growing alongside conventional shopping.

      Take sports direct shirebrook. The immediate area was never going to be enough in the way of workers,especially if most already had a job prior. Uk citizens don’t up sticks and move for temp work, nor waste time finding something more local and permanent that costs less to get to.

      More and more large businesses are moving out of cities and large towns meaning they need to source there workers from somewhere. Migrants are all to often happy to waste half there salary on travel but all to often sooner than later, drive illegally or overcrowd a property to claw some of these costs back (im not insisting they all do it).

      This particular story however is fishy as to be a brexiter and not hedge a bet it could cost you staff just really cant happen unless your stupid.

      doug

      June 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    • A quarter of employers believe that making it a requirement for EU migrants to have a job would have a negative impact on their business, research by the CIPD has found.

      The CIPD’s survey, released as Brexit negotiations begin this week, suggests that limits to the free movement of labour could damage business and public-service delivery.

      Almost one-fifth of employers who were looking to relocate operations said Germany would be their preferred option

      http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/tougher-migration-rules-harm-business-claims-cipd/

      ken

      June 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm

  22. Jeremy Corbyn overtakes Theresa May for first time as voters’ choice for best Prime Minister.

    On the up

    enigma

    June 23, 2017 at 10:28 am

    • Not that any of us could afford Glastonbury even if we wished to go….

      Andrew Coates

      June 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      • Labour’s Corbyn puts politics center stage at Glastonbury Festival

        Dismissed as a left-wing no-hoper before elections on June 8, Corbyn attracted a surge of support from 18-24 year-olds that helped his Labour Party deny Prime Minister Theresa May a parliamentary majority.!!

        http://www.reuters.com/article/us-music-glastonbury-corbyn-idUSKBN19F0PS

        enigma

        June 24, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      • Festival founder, Michael Eavis, said: “I’m so looking forward to it. He really is the hero of the hour, and he’s so refreshing. We’re going to make some major changes in our society.”

        Shadow chancellor John McDonnell is due to address the festival tomorrow, in a discussion titled ‘Is Democracy Broken?’

        enigma

        June 25, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    • General admission full weekend tickets (valid from Wednesday 21st June to Monday 26th June) for Glastonbury Festival 2017 will cost £238 + £5 booking fee per ticket.

      NO concessions for the unemployed or anyone else for that matter!

      And there is the cost of getting there if you don’t live local, and even if you do the Glastonbury festival is out in the sticks, then then is the cost of food/drink and all the other sundries.

      Glastonbury

      June 24, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    • And a tent!

      Glastonbury

      June 24, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    • And how we laughed when Gordon Broon in his pathetic attempt to look hip, hop and happening and appeal to the ‘yoof’ said that we was “into the Arctic Monkeys” 😀 😀

      Glastonbury

      June 24, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    • And how we laughed when Gordon Broon in his pathetic attempt to look hip, hop and happening and appeal to the ‘yoof’ vote said that we was “into the Arctic Monkeys” 😀 😀

      Glastonbury

      June 24, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      • *he

        Glastonbury

        June 24, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    • Brown’s Arctic Monkeys admission

      Gordon Brown could not name any of the Artic Monkeys’ songs

      Chancellor Gordon Brown has admitted that he cannot name any of the songs from the debut album of award-winning band the Arctic Monkeys.

      Mr Brown has previously said he was a fan of the group, but failed to identify any of their songs when questioned about them.

      His only comment on the Sheffield-based band was: “They are very loud.”

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5375988.stm

      Glastonbury

      June 24, 2017 at 7:42 pm

  23. Was it a fridge-freezer?

    Government launches immediate investigation into model of Hotpoint fridge-freezer which started Grenfell Tower blaze

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/grenfell-tower-fire-hotpoint-fridge-10674516

    enigma

    June 23, 2017 at 11:56 am

    • Enigma

      Im sure if the fridge wasn’t the area the fire spread from, the fire brigade would have said so by now. The exit point for the fire would have been the window area especially if they are also doubling up for the required adventitious air vent.

      As for fridge fires im afraid like all electrical appliances it happens, especially when there second hand recons.

      doug

      June 23, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    • Hotpoint lawyers are saying there was nothing faulty with their fridge freezer. Lets check every Hotpoint Fridge freezer like every Tower Block with cladding.

      The kettle has now caught fire & that was a Tesco kettle. Now the toaster has caught fire & that was Morrison`s toaster.

      Could we see all the local councils records on getting pest control in on every Tower Block & see what blocks have been treated for Ghost Ants. Tower Blocks with Ghost Ants that short circuit electric items.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      June 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      • I thought it was a Whirlpool fridge.

        Poupee

        June 24, 2017 at 2:11 pm

  24. GHOST ANT>>>>latin name TAPINOMA MELANOCEPHALUM.

    In 1997 our big (over 1,000 flats) council (sink estate) housing; US housing projects; we came across the Ghost Ant.At that time the estate was over run by Pharoah ants which when i phoned up the natural histoty museum in london to talk to the insect expert, he had never heard of the ghost ants or by their latin name and wanted my to send some in.I then asked him about the Pharoah Ant and he said they were first in the UK in the 1950`s but couldnt be sure to pin it down, but they came from egypt more than likley from when the british army left north arfica in the 50`s and was transported with them back to the uk.At that time in the late 50`s they started putting up tower block mostly for housing poor peoples peoples projects which is a perfect subsitute for pyrimids and you though the humans built the pyrimids smart them little ants. that was just my penny in the pot.
    Our estate had both types of ant at the same time, and over the next few years 1997-1999 them was a big battle of who is the master ant the Pharaohs or the Ghost Ants the ghost picked up a lot of tactics off the pharoahs and also got rid of the pharaoh ant and we were left with the ghost ant running riot, the little critters.You have heard of the killer bees, the killer ant and was it introduced to the uk just to sort out the pharaoh and now were stuck with the ghost and dont know how to get rid of them.
    The council would be coming to set chemical baits like mr chemical.ali and its not always the best way to just blast them and the tenants with chemicals.with baits and spraying.
    That get hardened to whatever new chemiacl they invent and use so its a losing battle and a hard sell for a pest control company.

    The natural way is better.Borax the old style washing powder is good as well as a natural cleaner.
    If your house proud bleach and cleaners aint gonna help you will be using 4 bottles of bleach a day and it do nt work and that gets to be a lot of money in a week not to mention getting in your sugar and tea leafs they like and also the fridge.
    Colony
    Their nests can be ane nomadic and can up the whole nest quick in a hurry if under threat. they have more than one queen in the nest so they are looking for more turf, so the belly of the best middle of the octopus with many arms of of ants octopus looking for more turf and spending.
    it was first found by man as a new type of ant in the first part of the 1990`s came from the everglades in Florida and when they built the roads to link up the mainland with the keyes it came on to the main land. it came from islands, also Cube Puerto Rico and has spread as far north as canada and the UK.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    June 23, 2017 at 2:15 pm

  25. Donations needed for Glasgow foodbank that gave out more than two tonnes last month

    Here’s a list of urgently needed items as the Glasgow North East Foodbank reports a deficit of donations and increasing demand

    A Glasgow food bank has issued an urgent appeal for donations of much-needed items after giving out approximately 2,200kg last month.

    http://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/donations-needed-glasgow-foodbank-gave-13227325

    ken

    June 23, 2017 at 4:35 pm

  26. Benefits freeze set to continue despite rising inflation

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefits-freeze-uk-continue-david-gauke-tory-mp-welfare-pensions-despite-inflation-a7805256.html

    The government know its not a simple case of just raising unemployment benefit meaning the cap would have to raise proportionally and considering the latest court case result, would appear this is them fighting back to resist any change to their reform.
    As i pointed out in a past post, this whole welfare reform is a deliberately designed scheme that relies on all its components working together to keep you on the back foot. Well the cap is the adjustable piston above, below and within that spiraling spring meaning any change to benefits dew to inflation would inevitably loosen the reaction effect and thus working under prescribed conditions originally set.

    This means government get to increase pressure on people on benefits without having to do a damn thing.

    So yes, they are deliberately set on squeezing you to make you as uncomfortable as they can and i don’t believe although cannot prove, the recent financial cost of having to refit buildings let alone other matters has anything to do with it.

    Gaukes over willingness to rely on foodbanks, obvious in his comments has not only given me concrete evidence of this but also confirmed my suspicion that foodbanks are being used as a means to subsides economy costs by both government and certain businesses/sectors.

    Now don’t read into the latter of that last statements words as its too difficult to explain in a simple one liner. What it suggests however that’s more pressing is that along with other factors mean this governments idea of escaping the collapse of 2007/8 is not working and more reminiscent of holding rope very tightly but being unable to stop it slipping through your hands eventually.

    doug

    June 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

    • Benefits count falls in East Lindsey – but it’s up year-on-year

      http://www.skegnessstandard.co.uk/news/business/benefits-count-falls-in-east-lindsey-but-it-s-up-year-on-year-1-8023305

      Things are never what they seem,especially if your not looking in the right places.

      Remember the climate IPCC email scandal, well this is what scientists meant by the term, hiding the decline. If you know your mathematical graphs your know, nothings removed but just deliberately regardless of motive manipulated (parameter) to present a relative and specific answer being sought.

      doug

      June 24, 2017 at 11:10 am

    • A 13% rise in the amount of people receiving food at the local food bank since last year, the premises is getting too small. .

      enigma

      June 24, 2017 at 7:56 pm

  27. cyber-attack – this time – Parliament.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40394074

    enigma

    June 24, 2017 at 8:06 pm

  28. Zombie government staggering on with Mummy May – but voters will drive a stake through its heart

    Who do you think said this: “Minority governments can only struggle on from day to day with a series of short-term measures. They can’t and don’t tackle the longer-term questions that affect the future of the nation and the well-being of all of us.”

    Jeremy Corbyn?

    John McDonnell?

    Nope.

    It was Theresa May ’s heroine Margaret Thatcher talking back in 1974 – the last time we had a minority government.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/zombie-government-staggering-mummy-voters-10682068

    enigma

    June 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm

  29. Tories accused of breaching election laws – the not so publicly told story.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-40378185

    Now usually such a story would be plastered everywhere yet mysteriously this one does not get much air time. I would be the first to agree that our Tory government is hobbling away from car crash after car crash recently but considering the last election scandal i would have thought in the public interest that this was a reasonably important piece when we as a country need to know whether or not we can trust the Tories at a time a new government needs to be formed.

    Last time they got away with it as a simple error so it makes me wonder what shoe will fit this time.

    doug

    June 25, 2017 at 8:59 am

    • They’ll do anything to stay in power, as usual. no matter if it is against the law,

      Three things can’t be hidden, the sun, the moon and the truth!..

      enigma

      June 25, 2017 at 11:52 am

  30. Councils and Government murdering for the British state.

    http://intmensorg.info/grenfell3.htm

    Marie

    June 25, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    • Marie

      £15’500 service charge, i wonder how many flats this posh block has. If this block has say 42 apartments, that’s a ridiculous amount of money for maintenance and running for a year. Shes truly right when she says its like rent, because it bloody is. This is the con i see when rich investors develop new hospitals,schools,police stations, etc and tie by contract people into overpriced maintenance contracts,ridiculous insurance and stuff the seller stipulates or they cant lease and or use the property.

      Now i don’t blame this woman for doing what she does with her money, its a capitalist system, that’s how this works but the problem is, this money does not come from nowhere and is the systemic reason why capitalism and pay structures create poverty.

      doug

      June 25, 2017 at 8:31 pm

  31. Labour ‘would look to’ end household benefit cap

    Labour would “look to” remove a cap on household benefits but has not yet costed the measure, the shadow work and pensions secretary has told the BBC.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40397875

    Lets end this oppression now.

    ken

    June 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm

  32. Just when the fuck are ‘the Bores’ going to stop posting on ‘the Void’?

    Sarah7

    June 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm

  33. He’s not the Prime Minister, but Jeremy Corbyn has proven that he might as well be

    Corbyn’s unwavering commitment to his principles and increasing support show Theresa May as a flighty, untrustworthy politician who has no business leading the country

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jeremy-corbyn-labour-glastonbury-youth-vote-politics-theresa-may-a7806906.html

    enigma

    June 25, 2017 at 7:55 pm

  34. Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement: New Labour

    Jeremy Corbyn says he will be ‘PM in six months’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-40401111

    A remarkable achievement.People have have had enough of the lies division arrogance breaking the law two faced self isolationist greed cuts asset giveaway blame game low wage politics that have run down the country for decades.

    ken

    June 26, 2017 at 7:48 am

  35. Housing minister Alok Sharma refuses to say how many Grenfell Tower victims are still missing in car-crash interview

    https://uk.yahoo.com/news/housing-minister-alok-sharma-refuses-say-many-grenfell-tower-victims-still-missing-car-crash-interview-085856041.html

    Oh dear, just like the victims, this new MP just cant seem to escape the fire.

    doug

    June 26, 2017 at 10:06 am


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