Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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As Revolt Against Universal Credit Grows Esther McVey Tries to Ban Charity Critics.

with 81 comments

Image result for esther mcvey glamour photo

Esther McVey: Needs Protection for her “standing and reputation”.

The world has turned against Universal Credit.

You know that when Gordon Brown attacked it, saying, “Halt universal credit or face summer of discontent” and and was followed by fomrer Tory PM, John Major rubbishing the hare-brained scheme.

And the Tory papers jumping on the bandwagon.

Not to mention yer actual present day Tory MPs:

The House of Commons,

Tory backbenchers have urged the government to slow down the roll out of universal credit. The new all-in-one benefit, which replaces six existing benefits, is being introduced gradually, but in areas where it has been implemented there have been multiple complaints about people being impoverished by having to wait for money. In an interview on the World at One, Nigel Mills said:

If you have any doubts that we can make it work for these volumes, let’s slow down. Let’s not get this wrong for the sake of sticking to a timetable.

Another Tory backbencher, Johnny Mercer, said UC was “politically undeliverable” in his Devon constituency, and called for a planned increase in income tax thresholds to be scrapped in order to make the benefit more generous. The MPs spoke out as Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, said some claimants would be worse off under UC, despite Downing Street saying otherwise. (See 4.59pm and 5.04pm.)


One of the things that stuck in the craw was McVey’s claim that if people lost money under Universal Credit they could always earn the shortfall by working more.

But, there you go….

Then there was this yesterday (Independent):

Some people “could be worse off” when they switch to universal creditEsther McVey has admitted – directly contradicting Theresa May’s pledge to “protect” them.

The work and pensions secretary said “tough decisions’ had been made which would hit claimants – following reports that she told the cabinet their loss could reach £2,400 a year.

The admission comes just one day after the prime minister told the Commons that current claimants “will not see any reduction”, promising: “They will be protected.”

Thin-skinned Esther is not one to take this lightly.

The Independent reports today:

Charities working with Universal Credit claimants required to ‘sign contracts to protect Esther McVey’s reputation’

Charities and companies working with Universal Credit (UC) claimants have reportedly been required to sign clauses pledging not to damage the reputation of Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey.

At least 22 organisations – covering contracts worth £1.8 billion – have been required to sign the clauses as part of their involvement with programmes getting the unemployed into work, The Times reported.

Officials at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) denied they were “gagging clauses” intended to prevent criticism of ministers or their policies, insisting they were just “standard procedure”.

However a spokesman confirmed that the contracts did include references to ensure both parties “understand how to interact with each other and protect their best interests”.

Eagle-eyed observers will have noticed in recent weeks a string of stories about charities, such as CAB,  being contracted to do the DWP’s work….

As in, “Citizens Advice to provide support to Universal Credit claimants.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will fund Citizens Advice to provide Universal Support from April 2019, the government has announced.

The support scheme will help claimants through every step of making a Universal Credit claim. It will offer people the comprehensive and practical support they need to get their first payment on time and be ready to manage it when it arrives.

Universal Support provides advice and assistance to help claimants manage their Universal Credit claim, with a focus on budgeting advice and digital support. Since 2017, Universal Support has been delivered by individual local authorities, funded by grants from DWP.

From April 2019 Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland will take on the responsibility for delivering a strengthened Universal Support service, a move which will ensure a consistent and streamlined service for claimants across the country.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey said:

Since becoming Secretary of State in January, I have listened to the concerns of claimants, constituents, charities, welfare organisations and colleagues and I have made significant changes to the system, like extra support for those with mental health conditions, more support for vulnerable young people and more support for families who look after other family members’ children.

I have always said we will steer a new direction and work with partners to deliver vital services, and get Universal Credit right. The state cannot, and should not work in isolation and must reach out to work with independent, trusted organisations to get the best support to vulnerable people.

This brand new partnership with Citizens Advice will ensure everyone, and in particular the most vulnerable claimants, get the best possible support with their claim that is consistently administered throughout the country.

Citizens Advice are an independent and trusted organisation, who will support people as we continue the successful rollout of Universal Credit.


The signatories to contracts must undertake to “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of the Work and Pensions Secretary, the newspaper reported, adding that they must “not do anything which may attract adverse publicity” to her, damage her reputation, or harm the public’s confidence in her.

A DWP spokesperson said: “It’s completely untrue to suggest that organisations are banned from criticising Universal Credit. As with all arrangements like this, they include a reference which enables both parties to understand how to interact with each other and protect their best interests.

Even the Murdoch press is turning:

As the Mirror says,

The Times said at least 22 organisations signed the pledge as part of contracts worth £1.8 billion to run projects getting the unemployed into work

Written by Andrew Coates

October 12, 2018 at 11:04 am

81 Responses

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  1. Who exactly is “worse off” under uc? Won’t the unemployed be paid the same?


    October 12, 2018 at 11:13 am

    • Everyone even the tax payer are going to be worse off. UC is designed to make everything fail even UC itself.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 12, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    • When people move from the old benefit system to Universal Credit, when their entitlements are calculated they will get less. Much less. Thousands of pounds less in many cases because for most people Universal Credit is much less generous than the six benefits it replaces.


      October 12, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      • It can’t be dolies that are getting £2,500 a a year less though! That would be like £20 a week personal allowance instead of £70 a week JSA!

        Chicken Feed

        October 12, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      • sdp benefit does not exist on uc and is about 200 quid a month that my sister would loose.


        October 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      • But the unemployed will still receive the JSA equivalent under universal credit. Not withstanding late payments and the other issues attendant with universal credit those currently on JSA are going to be any better or worse off in cash terms when they ‘migrate’ to universal credit. Hardly worth rioting over! As if!
        Poll Tax riots! Dream on! It ain’t going to happen. Maybe some people will gain and maybe some people will lose under universal credit but as far as the unemployed goes universal credit is cash neutral.


        October 13, 2018 at 2:24 am

      • But the unemployed will still receive the JSA equivalent under universal credit. Not withstanding late payments and the other issues attendant with universal credit those currently on JSA are NOT going to be any better or worse off in cash terms when they ‘migrate’ to universal credit. Hardly worth rioting over! As if!
        Poll Tax riots! Dream on! It ain’t going to happen. Maybe some people will gain and maybe some people will lose under universal credit but as far as the unemployed goes universal credit is cash neutral.


        October 13, 2018 at 2:25 am

      • Before the next phase of UC rollout new regulations have to be approved by parliament. A backbench rebellion of Tory MPs looks certain, just as there was when Osborne proposed cutting tax credits in order to make savings and kicked those cuts down the road pinning them to Universal Credit for later. This is the thing. The worst, very worst effects of the next rollout of UC will affect mostly members of the working poor with children not the unemployed. Bring it on, Esther! You deserve what’s coming and don’t chicken out an resign claiming your resignation is about Brexit rather than Universal Credit. Face the music and receive your retribution.


        October 13, 2018 at 7:22 am

    • There are 3.25 million ‘losers’ and 2 million ‘winners’; under universal credit.some with significant loses. The (biggest) ‘losers’ are single parents and second earner households. The unemployed are not in either camp.


      October 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

      • The ‘winners’ won’t be complaining though even if it is just another couple of quid a week in their pocket 😉


        October 13, 2018 at 11:39 am

  2. Admit it Coates, Esther gives you a hard-on 🙂

    Ben Dover

    October 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

    • She can fill in my UC forms any day…

      Andrew Coates

      October 12, 2018 at 11:26 am

    • A load of Tory Chat Bots. Get ready to be mal-functioned.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 12, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    • She looked terrible in parliament the other day. Her skin was saggy, rough and pimply and even the bags under the woman’s eyes had bags. I don’t know about the rest of you but I wouldn’t tough her with yours.


      October 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm

  3. IDS created Universal Credit so failure. Esther McVey is also another Tory that has got sacked [pushed tory chat] many many times. Chris Grayling has been sacked on many times. Brexit is a Tory side show for who is their leader, but UC will bring the Tories down by their own doing of failure. UC was designed to bide time in failure to pillage the country of money & Human Rights. The old age state pension is the last to be rolled out & where it has been rolled out there is big delays & 3 months at least the get your state pension which is now UC. The Citizens Advice have now signed a Government contract worth £51 a year to sort out UC, but in that contract is a clause that CAB can say & give no bad word about UC or Esther McVey. The volunteers are leaving CAB in their droves.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm

  4. Do Tory Chat Bots support Theresa May or Boris Johnson. Since the Tory Chat Bots are running Lazy Neoliberalism it’s bound to fail.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 12, 2018 at 12:05 pm

  5. […] As Revolt Against Universal Credit Grows Esther McVey Tries to Ban Charity Critics […]

  6. All at the same time she refused to deny claimants wont be worse off.
    Now whose faking it.
    Spin baby spin baby spin spin spin.


    October 12, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    • The Guardian has had their say also.

      The benefits reform was savaged by the public spending watchdog this summer for failing to deliver savings and leaving thousands in hardship. Now political opposition is growing



      October 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      • Why does McDonnell never mention the benefits ‘freeze’? The unemployed are really suffering because of this. Because McDonnell doesn’t give a shit about the unemployed. All universal credit is doing in effect is putting the boot into those who thought they were safe – those who didn’t give a shit when the boot was being put into the unemployed – well, ha-fucking-ha. Now, you will know what it is like to have the boot put into you. Don’t expect the unemployed to fight your battles for you. Roll on Universal Credit. And McDonnell can do one.


        October 13, 2018 at 2:16 am

      • Chilly.

        Even many Tories hate Universal Credit and are working covertly to undermine it. This is the funniest thing of all. Universal Credit is, and will be more and more, under attack from Conservative MPs and Lords than their Labour counterparts. Reform of Universal Credit is going to be forced onto the government by its own troops!

        Just keep your eyes on the news and watch the scandal build.


        October 13, 2018 at 7:10 am

  7. Tory conference: Newton ‘breaches ministerial code’ while dodging questions

    DNS – OCT 4th 2018

    The minister for disabled people appears to have breached the ministerial code of conduct, after refusing to answer questions at her party’s annual conference and suggesting that civil servants could answer them for her instead.

    Sarah Newton’s office had failed to respond to emails requesting an interview sent in advance of the conference by Disability News Service (DNS).

    And when approached by DNS before a fringe event run by the Conservative Disability Group on Sunday, Newton said she would not answer any questions at conference, either in person or by email.

    After DNS failed in a bid to ask Newton a question during the fringe event (pictured), she also refused afterwards to answer even one question about her work as minister for disabled people.

    Newton suggested instead that DNS should submit questions to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) press office, even though DWP would not be able to answer those questions because civil servants are not allowed to play any part in political events.

    This would be a breach of the Civil Service Code, which says civil servants should not “act in a way that is determined by party political considerations, or use official resources for party political purposes”.

    The ministerial code of conduct says that ministers “must uphold the political impartiality of the Civil Service, and not ask civil servants to act in any way which would conflict with the Civil Service Code”.

    Despite dodging questions from the disabled editor of DNS, John Pring, Newton told the fringe event: “In my role, it is really important to me that I spend my time listening to people with disabilities and health conditions and this is something that I do day in, day out.”

    Asked whether Newton would face any action for apparently breaching the ministerial code of conduct, the Conservative party had refused to comment by noon today (Thursday).


    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 12, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    • Chilly just so you know I’m one of the working poor UC will affect aa I’m claiming housing benefit. I don’t when get any working tax credit as I work 15 hours. It’s back breaking cleaning work and I have arthritis and an unrelated back problem. I’m dreading what’s to come


      October 13, 2018 at 8:07 am

      • Work for 15 hours and you’re only 5.55 x £7.83 = £43.46 per week better off on the minimum wage less the cost of your daily commute to and from work and whatever your council tax contribution gets hiked up to.

        Rather you than me, luv.


        October 13, 2018 at 9:14 am

  8. Irate WASPI

    October 12, 2018 at 12:27 pm

  9. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    October 12, 2018 at 12:37 pm

  10. Andrew Coates

    October 12, 2018 at 2:43 pm

  11. Jackie Doyle-Price

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care & the new Suicide Minister


    Benefits for Those Unemployed Due to Illness or Disability

    The amount of welfare benefits paid to those unemployed due to disability or illness has been the subject of a number of votes in Parliament.

    On 9 Mar 2011:
    Jackie Doyle-Price voted to introduce Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments and to restrict housing benefit for those in social housing deemed to have excess bedrooms.

    On 1 Feb 2012:
    Jackie Doyle-Price voted against those who have been ill or disabled since their youth recieving Employment and Support Allowance on the same basis as if they had made sufficient National Insurance contributions to qualify for a contribution based allowance.


    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    October 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    • The DWP have got a quicker suicide Minister.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 12, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      • Is the minister trying to promote suicide or discourage it. Based on the government’s past record I would suggest the former.


        October 13, 2018 at 7:24 am

  12. lol at the knobhead continuity announcer on BBC1: “If you are lucky that’s the working week done for you.” What is you are on benefits? Is this the BBC’s way of sending a not-so-subtle message to shame benefit claimants who have spent the ‘working week’ sat on their arses watching daytime TV.

    The Test Card Girl

    October 12, 2018 at 6:02 pm

  13. lol at the knobhead continuity announcer on BBC1: “If you are lucky that’s the working week done for you.” What if you are on benefits? Is this the BBC’s way of sending a not-so-subtle message to shame benefit claimants who have spent the ‘working week’ sat on their arses watching daytime TV?

    The Test Card Girl

    October 12, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    • Must be something in the BBC water. The weather presenters are it too, banging on about the ‘working work’. Don’t you silly BBC tossers know that not everyone works and not everyone who does work works Monday to Friday 9-5.

      Weekend Nightshift Worker

      October 13, 2018 at 2:04 am

    • What’s it with Channel 4 (and their ‘portfolio’ of channels) employing continuity announcers with obvious speech impediments. Surely clear diction and and ‘accessible’ voice are prerequisite of this job. And with northwards of ten million unemployed surely there must be someone better equipped to do this job. Give Jobcentre Plus a ring, Channel 4. Or is it more likely a case of ‘political correctness gone mad (yes, ‘political correctness already was mad!). As we say in Yorkshire – you can be fond of chips without eating the poke!

      Yorkshire Pud

      October 13, 2018 at 7:15 am

      • Come to think of it, maybe Channel 4 DID give Jobcentre Plus a ring!

        Yorkshire Pud

        October 13, 2018 at 7:16 am

      • ‘work experience’ anyone?

        Yorkshire Pud

        October 13, 2018 at 7:17 am

  14. Can unemployment ever be a good thing? Malaysian executioner loses job!


    And in another jobs blow for executioners. Washington State executioner loses job!



    October 13, 2018 at 1:39 am

  15. Can unemployment ever be a good thing? Malaysian executioner loses job!

    Malaysia to abolish death penalty

    And in another jobs blow for executioners. Washington State executioner loses job!

    Washington state abolishes death penalty


    October 13, 2018 at 1:41 am

    • We watched that Last Chance Lawyer NYC the other day. Howard Greenberg made the points that “courts are not about ‘facts'”, “facts” have nothing to do about the outcome of a court case [it is all about ‘pictures’], “innocent until proven guilty is a myth” and gave the tip that if you are ever arrested never speak to the Police.

      The Couch Potatoes

      October 13, 2018 at 11:58 am

      • America has a very different legal system to the UK. A colder more business-like and much worse one in my opinion. If I was being tried I would much rather go on trial in the UK any day than America.


        October 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      • In a Yank court the accused gets to sit with their lawyer. In a UK court the accused is sat in the dock sandwiched between at least two police officers. Which set-up makes the accused look as guilty as hell?

        What is bad about the Yank system is the system of plea-bargaining. This is a system that means you WILL plead guilty to something you are innocent of. If you are found guilty after a trial your goose is cooked. This Howard guy ‘done a deal’ to get a minimum 15 stretch in the State Penitentiary down to one year. He even told a black guy: “You look like a fucking criminal. No jury is going to find you not guilty. It is a deal you can’t refuse.” People like to say that they would never plead guilty to something you didn’t do but under the US system you would. Jury trials (any trial) is a crap-shoot. So accused charged with homicide (murder) will plead guilty to culpable homicide (manslaughter), accused charged with first degree rape will plead guilty to sexual assault. That is how the US system works.

        Back in Old Blighty during the days of capital punishment if the Crown on realising it had a weak case offered a guilty plea to manslaughter rather than go to trial on a murder charge the accused would always plead guilty to manslaughter – even if they were wholly innocent. As a famous lawyer said: “You didn’t dare risk it.” At least with a manslaughter conviction you would be out walking the streets in a few years. If you were found guilty of murder within ‘three clear Sundays’ you would be hanged by the neck until you were dead. Better serving the time for manslaughter than end up buried in a lime pit in a prison yard.

        Barrack Room Lawyer

        October 13, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      • Howard on again saying that facts have got nothing to do with the outcome of a court case. Court cases are decided on emotions. And you can add to the mix: who comes across as most believable, how well someone comes across, who has the best story, who is the best actor… “Facts” are an irrelevance.

        Legal Beagle

        October 24, 2018 at 5:28 pm

  16. In response to ken: By written in the same style, do you mean in English?? It’s ludicrous to suggest the comments are all written by the same author (Andrew Coates). The styles are quite clearly different and surely you can recognise that it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that more than one user has suffered bad experiences with the Jobcentre. Granted, perhaps there’s some confirmation bias as it’s more likely that someone reading this site will have been looking for confirmation that the Jobcentre is bad in the first place but to allege it’s all written by one author (Andrew Coates) is just dumb. Plus, your comment got published, so if it was all controlled by one person (Andrew Coates) then you would be that person (Andrew Coates) which doesn’t really make sense now does it..

    Black Balls

    October 13, 2018 at 3:36 am

    • Good article, “Losing your entire income overnight is a terrifying thought for anybody. But it is even worse if you have an illness or a disability. No income may mean that you cannot eat properly, or that you can’t store your medication because you can’t pay to keep the electricity on and your fridge working. More than one in three people who will be affected claim employment and support allowance, meaning they are too ill or disabled to seek work. It will be particularly hard for those people to switch from one system to another in a short period of time – and the punishment that this government will impose on them if they fail to do so will be particularly cruel.”

      “Ministers must stop and listen to the people who are going to be hit by these changes. They must listen to the 80 disability organisations that are warning that these plans will endanger some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They must listen to organisations such as Citizens Advice, the Child Poverty Action Group and the mayor of London, who are all opposing the plans. And they must listen to the National Audit Office, which has said that the Department for Work and Pensions should not proceed unless it is clear that universal credit can cope with business-as-usual operations.

      The government must stop the rollout of universal credit. Failure to do so risks human catastrophe.”

      Andrew Coates

      October 13, 2018 at 10:56 am

      • Was speaking to a relative only last week end who is God forbid, a ‘work coach’ with the Jobcentre. The reason she gave that sick/disabled people get their money stopped is because they persistently IGNORE communications from the DWP. She reeled off the DWP protocol – it was six letters to begin with, phonecalls, visits, can’t remember the most of it, but finally the DWP send the POLICE around to check. But because the doctor has told them they are ‘sick’ they feel that they can just bin/burn/stick on the mantelpiece unopened communications from the DWP: “Why are the DWP ‘harassing’ someone who a doctor has declared ‘sick’?” Her point of view was that if they Jobcentre calls you in for an appointment you are OBLIGED to attend regardless of what the doctor says. The doctor is NOT your paymaster. If you want paid you go into ‘work’. She was FURIOUS the way the DWP are being made to look the bad guys in these types of situation.


        October 13, 2018 at 11:18 am

      • Here is a message to the jobcentre. Leave us sick and disabled alone. Stop sending us your bloody letters. We don’t need your help and support thank you very much. The though of stepping foot in a jobcentre brings me out in a panic attack. Leave us alone you bloody scumbags.


        October 13, 2018 at 11:30 am

      • It’s like the ‘comedian’ Frankie Boyle said: “The homeless have got that ignored the letters, didn’t return the calls look about them.”


        October 13, 2018 at 11:48 am

      • Me aunt has a pile of these brown DWP envelopes stuffed behind the carriage clock on the mantelpiece. You can see that she hasn’t even opened then. We can’t get near them cos she just starts waving her arms
        and shouting about “my depression”, “the doctor said” and “they have got no ******* right”. We are worried that it might be something to do with this universal credit we keep hearing about. She literally puts her fingers in her ears and won’t listen to a word we have to say. We are afraid they will stop her money. 😦 What to do? 😦

        Kayleigh J

        October 13, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      • @Debs

        “finally the DWP send the POLICE around to check. ”

        The Police are getting sick & tired doing the DWP’s dirty work. The DWP put all these people as a suicide risk because they have not complied with the DWP failure to do any work. The Police say it has nothing to do with them & is a political issue & have not saved any from suicide as the DWP figures show. Which means their where no suicide attempts whiles not responding to DWP threats. The DWP protocol is threats & it’s the DWP that introduce suicide. Now that we have a new Suicide Prevention Minister there is no need to send the Police round when the DWP are too lazy to do their job.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 13, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      • Remember when GEOFF who used to (maybe still does under a different pseudonym 😉 ) over on the now-defunct ‘Void’ posted something about suicide and had the cops kicking at his door within minutes. Shows you that the internet cops are watching and can track you down real fast.

        Astro Babe

        October 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      • Universal Credit suicide – Now that can mean two thing Suicidal Universal credit or Universal Credit Suicide & what that has to do with people on Universal Credit I don’t know, something about sanctions & threats.

        I have had the DWP call the police on me some two years ago as some suicide risk just because I told them to piss off on the phone. I want the DWP charged with criminal Data breaking the Data Protection Act of what ever year so putting me down file as a suicide risk. The police do not have me down as a suicide risk because I had a visit. The police said they do not want to get involved in political matters yet they say a crime has been committed by the DWP if they continue using threats & false information. So no more crap from the DWP or the DWP will arrested for breaking the Data Protection Act. So DWP read what I say, see your lawyers at £3,000 an hour & any word out of you will be DWP suicide. The Tories know when I start writing – The word written or/and said “Suicide” generates £200 for starters. So for a £200 starter Suicide Protection Minister Jackie Doyle-Price Why is your suicide policy suicidal? Because it breaks Human Rights of The Right To Live unlike Universal Credit. The Universal Credit suicides are building up.

        DWP read at your peril & get your lawyers. Medical Judgements by the DWP vetted to decide if you should have a fake medical at the WCA. Sarah Newton the Disabled Minister let me educate you. Not every disability is a suicide. Disability is not all about suicide like the Tories seem to think.

        That is how you control the Tories reading what someone has written without trying to assassinate then because you feel it is a threat to the Government. Suicide Risk good I don’t have a bomb. DWP if you want to blow up the Tory Party you are doing a good job without using me & other disabled people as a scapegoat to make Billions off the back of 150,000 DWP deaths in 8 years. Suicidal bullshit suicide is the only hope for the Tory Party.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        October 13, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      • “80 disability organisations”?! Is that like ‘Facebook groups’? With the proliferation of ‘social media’ it seems every man, woman and their dog is an ‘organisation’ these days.

        OrgASM (Organisation Against Social Media) – ‘Like’ us on Facebook. ‘Follow’ us on Twitter.

        OrgASM (Organisation Against Social Media)

        October 14, 2018 at 7:26 am

      • Back in the day you had to have an actual physical presence to call yourself an ‘organisation’. Like offices dotted all over the city centre, real bricks and mortar building where customers/clients could actually visit, a big head office, etc, a significant turnover etc. Now all you need is to set up a Facebook group or a wordpress blog. Ipswich Unemployed Action calls itself an ‘organisation’. A one-man show with the only presence being a wordpress blog calling itself an ‘organisation’ lol


        October 14, 2018 at 7:15 pm

  17. There are a lot of ‘scams’ going on with tax credits at the minute like for instance ‘working’ a few hours a week to cash in on tax credits. Why do you think so many people ‘work’ in shops like for a few hours a week. You can bet your bottom dollar that the ‘losers’ in the universal credit shake up are the ones who are running these ‘scams’ at the minute. It is well nigh impossible to design a non-exploitable system of social security. Human nature always wins out.


    October 13, 2018 at 11:08 am

    • You appear not to have heard of the in-work conditionality and sanctions regime at the heart of universal credit.


      October 13, 2018 at 2:59 pm

  18. I’ve been given a letter by coachy, inviting me to attend a Job fair at my Jobcentre week after next. There’s nothing on the letter saying it’s mandatory and it hasn’t been entered on to my CC either. If I don’t turn up, will I be sanctioned or referred to a decision maker? Anyone else here been given a letter like this?

    Job Fair Invitation

    October 13, 2018 at 11:27 am

    • you only have to attend if you are given a jsd in writing to but i have never gone as there a waste of time.


      October 13, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      • Thanks for the heads-up, ted. Yeah you’re right, they are a waste of time. I won’t be going then. I haven’t been given a jsd in writing or verbally either. I was just given a letter inviting me. We do group signings which are run directly by the Jobcentre. No National Careers Service. They last about 30 minutes. We all sit in a circle and one by one we go round and tell coachy and the group what we’ve been doing. Then coachy gives us a pep talk about effective jobseeking. Topics vary from week to week: cv writing, letter writing, interview techniques, safe surfing, etc. Take your pick. Then we do a paper signing. Then off we f**k.

        Job Fair Invitation

        October 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    • I’ve been to several of these. You can just go in, hand over the letter given to you (a portion of which gets returned to the Jobcentre as proof of attendance), walk around a bit and then go home without signing out. It’s nothing to worry about. One word of warning the Jobcentre usually does NOT reimburse travelling expenses when going to job fairs so if they are being held some distance away the best thing to do is to refuse when you get asked to go, which you can do anyway unless you have agreed to attend on your claimant commitment and signed to do so. Normally I just agree to show some willingness on my part to play ball with Work Coaches and only refuse “work experience”, i.e., work for your benefits for private profit making business, which I reckon stink on principle: everybody who works should be paid the going rate for their work.


      October 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      • My letter doesn’t have a docket on it or a portion to be torn off and given to the Jobcentre. It’s just a standard letter with no threats about what may happen if I don’t attend. And there’s nothing on my CC either.

        Job Fair Invitation

        October 15, 2018 at 12:28 pm

  19. Andrew Coates

    October 13, 2018 at 11:34 am

    • Have you received a reply yet, Andrew?

      Polly T

      October 14, 2018 at 7:30 am

      • Unless Mr Coates is Margaret Greenwood in drag he wouldn’t receive replies to her emails normally.


        October 14, 2018 at 12:58 pm

  20. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating!.


    October 13, 2018 at 11:51 am

  21. Are Universal Basic Incomes ‘A Tool For Our Further Enslavement’?

    Douglas Rushkoff, long-time open source advocate (and currently a professor of Digital Economics at the City University of New York, Queens College), is calling Universal Basic Incomes “no gift to the masses, but a tool for our further enslavement.” Uber’s business plan, like that of so many other digital unicorns, is based on extracting all the value from the markets it enters. This ultimately means squeezing employees, customers, and suppliers alike in the name of continued growth. When people eventually become too poor to continue working as drivers or paying for rides, UBI supplies the required cash infusion for the business to keep operating. When it’s looked at the way a software developer would, it’s clear that UBI is really little more than a patch to a program that’s fundamentally flawed. The real purpose of digital capitalism is to extract value from the economy and deliver it to those at the top. If consumers find a way to retain some of that value for themselves, the thinking goes, you’re doing something wrong or “leaving money on the table.” Walmart perfected the softer version of this model in the 20th century. Move into a town, undercut the local merchants by selling items below cost, and put everyone else out of business. Then, as sole retailer and sole employer, set the prices and wages you want. So what if your workers have to go on welfare and food stamps. Now, digital companies are accomplishing the same thing, only faster and more completely…. Soon, consumers simply can’t consume enough to keep the revenues flowing in. Even the prospect of stockpiling everyone’s data, like Facebook or Google do, begins to lose its allure if none of the people behind the data have any money to spend. To the rescue comes UBI. The policy was once thought of as a way of taking extreme poverty off the table. In this new incarnation, however, it merely serves as a way to keep the wealthiest people (and their loyal vassals, the software developers) entrenched at the very top of the economic operating system. Because of course, the cash doled out to citizens by the government will inevitably flow to them…. Under the guise of compassion, UBI really just turns us from stakeholders or even citizens to mere consumers. Once the ability to create or exchange value is stripped from us, all we can do with every consumptive act is deliver more power to people who can finally, without any exaggeration, be called our corporate overlords… if Silicon Valley’s UBI fans really wanted to repair the economic operating system, they should be looking not to universal basic income but universal basic assets, first proposed by Institute for the Future’s Marina Gorbis… As appealing as it may sound, UBI is nothing more than a way for corporations to increase their power over us, all under the pretense of putting us on the payroll. It’s the candy that a creep offers a kid to get into the car or the raise a sleazy employer gives a staff member who they’ve sexually harassed. It’s hush money. Rushkoff’s conclusion? “Whether its proponents are cynical or simply naive, UBI is not the patch we need.”


    October 13, 2018 at 11:12 pm

  22. With Trump getting his man on the Supreme Court we have no chance of getting Universal Credit declared unconstitutional.

    New York city Girl

    October 14, 2018 at 6:56 am

  23. Universal Credit is and was f*cked from the word go and the postponed Tax Credit rebellion on the Tory benches when Osborne tried to pay for austerity by cuts to support to the working poor has now come back with a vengeance.


    When the Conservatives start objecting to cuts in social security you know that something has gone very, very wrong with Tory social policy. We all saw this coming and now it is upon us. I really hope McVey doesn’t duck her comeuppance by pretending to resign as a protest against Theresa May’s Brexit plans. I really want that awful woman to be brought to book and forced to take responsibility for her lies and the misery she has inflicted wilfully on the needy and vulnerable.


    October 14, 2018 at 8:55 am

  24. The chorus of protest in the media continues. No government can continue rolling out a programme under such universal criticism, with virtually no independent supporters anywhere, without concessions and massive changes.


    Universal credit rather than Brexit may end up toppling the current regime.


    October 14, 2018 at 9:03 am

  25. Andrew Coates

    October 14, 2018 at 10:49 am

  26. How is it even possible to effectively oppose Universal Credit? It is money being paid TO YOU not money you have to PAY OUT and can thus withhold. You can’t ‘down tools’. You can’t go on ‘strike’. You are over the proverbial barrel.

    Protest Singer

    October 14, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    • @Protest Singing Tory Chat Bot

      That whole statement is a contradiction.

      The State Pension is going to be on Universal Credit !!!

      So not fighting Universal Credit means we have lost & commit suicide. Great guidance from a Tory Chat Bot !!!! Malfunction !!

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      October 14, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    • It’s not claimants who endanger universal credit but MPs, especially in the case of a government with a wafer thin majority, led by a prime minister who pretends to care about the “just about managing”, on the brink of falling. The proposed continued roll out of universal credit needs consent from parliament and a small number of Conservative MPs abstaining or voting against the policy would stop it in its tracks. This is an almost certain outcome unless the government makes significant concessions especially now universal credit has lost pretty much all support in the media and has begun to be slammed universally as people gradually begin to realise how harmful it is.

      The transitional arrangements are deceitful because they are time limited and anybody who receives such protection when moving from legacy benefits to universal credit loses that protection as soon as their circumstances change in the smallest and most minor way, e.g., doing one hour of paid work or having their rent go up or down. The transitional protection only delays losses of thousands of pounds a year from the incomes of those moving on to universal credit from legacy benefits most disgracefully from the working poor with children.

      There are not enough Conservative ars*holes in parliament at the moment to approve such injustice.


      October 15, 2018 at 8:44 am

  27. 70,000 PIP and ESA claims have been “audited” since 2015.

    “a claimant with MS and mental health problems had his Personal Independence Payment stopped when someone “tampered” with a nurse’s report”.


    Do I recall correctly that several A4E employees were jailed for falsifying documents a few years ago?


    October 15, 2018 at 7:06 am

  28. […] As Revolt Against Universal Credit Grows Esther McVey Tries to Ban Charity Critics […]

  29. […] As Revolt Against Universal Credit Grows Esther McVey Tries to Ban Charity Critics […]

  30. […] As Revolt Against Universal Credit Grows Esther McVey Tries to Ban Charity Critics […]

  31. […] As Revolt Against Universal Credit Grows Esther McVey Tries to Ban Charity Critics […]

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