Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Amber Rudd, “listening” on Universal Credit…..

with 29 comments


“Listening” Amber Rudd.


Universal credit: Amber Rudd to listen to ‘expert guidance’

The BBC reports,

Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd has agreed to listen “very carefully” to concerns over universal credit, conceding the system “can be better”.

Making her first Commons appearance since getting the job on Friday, she faced calls from Labour and the SNP to halt the rollout of the single benefit.

She said she would “learn from errors” and “adjust” the system, which she admitted had problems, where needed.

She also rejected a UN report on UK poverty as “extraordinarily political”.

And she made clear that universal credit had an important role to play in reducing the number of workless families and tackling in-work poverty.

The Express says

Amber BACKS Britain! Rudd LAMBASTS ‘wholly inappropriate’ UN report on poverty in UK

Standing up for her nation, she said: “I have seen the report by the rapporteur, I read it over the weekend, and I must say I was disappointed, to say the least, by the extraordinary political nature of his language.

The New Statesman has an account of her House of Commons Appearance:

Amber Rudd’s tricky frontbench return shows how toxic Universal Credit has become. 

Amber Rudd had a difficult return to the frontbench in her first set of ministerial questions since being appointed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Strikingly, both for someone regularly tipped as a possible leadership contender, and as the latest occupant of an increasingly tricky brief, there was no “donut” – a ring of supportive MPs sitting around her for moral support and to make the pictures look better on telly – behind her.

And although most of the questions opened by welcoming her return to frontline politics, there were very few that could genuinely be described as properly sympathetic. Huw Merriman, Mike Penning, David Morris and Rachel Maclean all chipped in with supportive questions but even on the government side many of the questions were tricky ones.

Desmond Swayne, the New Forest West MP who, Brexit aside, is normally a government loyalist, asked about the case of a woman left severely disabled due to variant-CJD, a rare and fatal brain disorder, who is now facing both a work capability assessment and cuts to her benefits that will mean that she could lose her home. Chris Philp, the Croydon South MP and ultra-loyalist, had a detailed and tricky question about the implementation of the Universal Credit.

And the opposition parties were out in force – to a degree that you could almost have thought, looking at their benches, that it was Prime Minister’s Questions – with questions that were often detailed and uniformly critical.

Before the event, there was some talk of a “change of tone” or even a policy shift. Instead, what was offered was the same position with a different accent. Rudd’s response to a damning UN report into poverty in the UK – an angry condemnation of its “political” language – could have been said, word for word, by Esther McVey.

The BBC continues.

Expert guidance

Answering questions from MPs about her department’s work, Ms Rudd was pressed by Tory Sir Desmond Swayne to ensure the changes were “measured and continually improved”.

She replied: “I share his view that it is vital as it is rolled out that we do learn from any errors, we do adjust it to make sure it properly serves the people it is intended to.”

Ms Rudd said she would take heed of what campaigners have said about universal credit, following a call by 80 charities and other organisations for it to be halted.

Perhaps a few experts amongst us could give her a word of advice…

Written by Andrew Coates

November 20, 2018 at 11:54 am

29 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on iaingrahamsite.


    November 20, 2018 at 12:17 pm

  2. All she had was inappropriate and political rhetoric was the UN was clever enough to put actual boots on the ground to prevent government attempting to use misleading data like they have done before.
    As you have witnessed though, she and government have maintained they dont care and will press on no matter how much damage it causes.
    There playing the inch war so the public, interested parties and mainstream media must now more than ever be relentless so as to prevent DWP/Tories controlling the clock which is precisely what they are trying to do.


    November 20, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    • Having read the report I was impressed by the grasp of how Universal Credit works to start with.

      It was obviously written with the help of campaigning groups on the ground.

      The meeting at Jaywick was, according to people who went there from round here, the kind of listening to people’s experiences Government Ministers in charge of the DWP rarely get.

      Andrew Coates

      November 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm

  3. Amber Rudd claims UN warning on desperate plight of the UK’s most poorest is ‘inappropriate’ in her first commons appearance as DWP boss.

    Tory psychopaths won’t accept the horrendous damage they have inflicted on the most vulnerable in society.


    November 20, 2018 at 1:08 pm

  4. The truth of the matter is that if publicity concerning universal credit is damaging to the Conservatives they will act to make universal credit less damaging, politically, to their interests; if they can carry on with their social security agenda as is and get away with it or make things even worse they will. Based on Tory conduct since 2010, during which period the Tories went out of their way to vilify and demonise benefit claimants, any notion that the Tories are concerned about ill effects their benefit cuts, caps, freezes and “reforms” have had and are having upon needy people dependent on them is obviously untrue. Self-interest is the only thing that motivates dyed in the wool Conservatives and universal credit will only be “improved” if by not doing so Tory interests will suffer.

    The good news is that the pendulum is swinging away from the Tories as the media turn more and more against universal credit and spread the word of its harmfulness to the general public who, for the most part, do not really know how bad universal credit actually is. As more and more people suffer under universal credit the benefit and the party championing it will suffer universal hostility and only then will universal credit be altered or better still scrapped.

    James Keasley

    November 20, 2018 at 3:55 pm

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


    November 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm

  6. Rudd might be listening but it won’t be hearing, as it will all go in one ear and out the other… Just another tory sh*tbag trotted out to keep up the relentless persecution of the poor.


    November 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm

  7. More of the same.this is going to go on and on,the aftermath of these botched welfare reforms “No-one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility” for example many are still unemployed been through the failed Work Programme and Skills Conditionality all of which did nothing to improve employment prospects,instead there has been a steady collapse in towns up and down the country and the rot is likely to continue.Those on benefits simply cannot be stepped on for this failure.

    Universal credit plans overhauled after Esther McVey bows to warnings

    Minister announce changes to ‘managed migration’ on to new benefit after pressure by campaigners



    November 20, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    • if they try to put me on uc i will not give them a email address nor will i use the journal as buy law i am not required to and foi requests also state this as fact.

      like if someone gets sanctioned how the hell can they pay for the internet just to use the journal in the first place.

      it also makes a email address a pointless waste of time lol.

      and i have no passport or driving licence so cant apply on line anyway.

      and if they think they can get me to take any job going that is also not going to work as i have applied for every job i might be able to do and get to, i have sent over 9000 job applications in 24 months and not 1 interview.

      i have also spent like 7 years sat in providers offices pre 2010 doing guess what endless job searching so must have applied for 10s of thousands of jobs back then and again not 1 interview.


      November 20, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      • That’s exactly what I intend to do. I am going to make it as difficult as possible for them to move me on to UC. I have denied them my e-mail address and I have had my phone number removed from their systems .I have no Intention of using the journal since I don’t have or can I afford an Internet connection. I also live in an area with limited transport connections so every 2 years or so I end up applying to the same companies and rarely hear back from any of them. I certainly can’t go to the Public Library every day to use the Internet. Like you whenever I have an appointment with the DWP I take a large file containing all manner of relevant documents, FOI’s, etc. in case they try to screw me around.When I signed on a while ago the lowlife asked how they could contact me if they didn’t have my phone number. I replied “You write me a letter”. Their reply was “It’s all electronic now”, to which I said “No, it is isn’t”.


        November 22, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      • At our meeting in Ipswich on Universal Credit (held by the Trades Council) last night this issue came up.

        Best of luck!

        The point was made that in parts of Suffolk there is still no broadband, hence no Internet, in the first place..

        Andrew Coates

        November 22, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      • it is so funny tho watching there face when they realise you are not going to play ball with them and had over no personnel data and every request for a cv ect will need a jsd to provide this and then say yeah no you cant keep it on record tho and they loose the plot pmsl.


        November 22, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    • “No-one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility”

      That was Labour wasn’t it? When crypto-Tory James Purnell persuaded Gordon Brown that putting a bit of stick about as far as benefit claimants were concerned might be worth a few votes when Labour were going down in the polls?

      James Keasley

      November 21, 2018 at 9:52 am

      • Yes. People seem to have forgotten that it was New Labour who started the ball rolling towards universal credit, what Labour called the “active welfare state”, in 2008 under James Purnell. This happened when David Freud was advising Labour and later when Lord David Freud switched sides to the Tories, after being quickly ennobled so that he could be a government minister without ever being elected, as their Minister for Welfare Reform inheriting the framework Labour had put in place with Freud’s help and advice before losing the 2010 general election.


        You cannot trust ANY politicians, ever.


        November 21, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      • Not to mention all the scams that happened, as in A4E.

        A4E Action for Employment

        Founded 1991 to 2015 before being purchased and disbanded by Staffline group PLC [1]& trading still
        Headquarters Sheffield, United Kingdom
        Key people
        Emma Harrison, Chairman until 24 February 2012
        Revenue £145m[2]
        Number of employees
        Website http://www.peopleplus.co.uk/ Edit this on Wikidata
        A4e, formerly known as Action for Employment, was a for-profit welfare-to-work company based in the United Kingdom.

        “Fraud investigations
        On 28 June 2009, The Observer disclosed information regarding a fraud investigation into A4e which was instigated after the Department for Work and Pensions uncovered discrepancies in its “confirmation of employment” forms – discrepancies which centred upon the falsification of employers’ signatures by a number of recruiters. One recruiter also made a fraudulent deal with a local temp agency.[30]

        A4e’s official statement read: ‘All the matters raised in the article are known to both A4e and the DWP and have been the subject of both an A4e investigation and a DWP led investigation. The A4e investigation revealed that whilst candidates had real job opportunities, these jobs did not meet the funding criteria being less than 13 weeks and 16 hours a week in duration. These investigations have resulted in the departure of both individuals from the company and the ceasing of all activity with the employment agency concerned.'[31]

        Another case of signature forgery emerged on 6 March 2012. This took place while A4e was working for Redcar and Cleveland Council to help disadvantaged young people into education, training or employment. A Council inquiry found that learners’ signatures had been forged to exaggerate the number of vulnerable people the project had reached. A4e was forced to withdraw from this part of the project.[32]

        Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop said: ‘There needs to be a full investigation into this case. This is public money here, and this must be looked into to restore confidence into all regeneration projects carried out locally.'[33]

        Fraud investigations and jail sentences
        In January 2012, four former employees of A4e were arrested on suspicion of fraud dating back to 2010.[34] The alleged fraud was uncovered by an internal investigation by A4e. The two women, aged 28 and 49, and two men, aged 35 and 41 were bailed until mid-March.[34]

        On 22 February The Guardian revealed that A4e had forced jobseekers to work unpaid in its own offices,[35] had been investigated nine times by the Department for Work and Pensions since 2005, and had been forced to repay public funds on five separate occasions after government investigations found ‘irregularities’.[36]

        Emma Harrison resigned as chairman of A4e on 24 February 2012, amid criticism of ‘improper’ conflicts of interest regarding government contracts and allegations of ‘routine’, ‘utterly rife’ fraud from whistleblowers.[37]

        On 26 February 2012, Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit was revealed to be investigating the alleged theft by A4e staff of ‘tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of vouchers meant to help the unemployed back to work.[38]

        The Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart who sits on the Public Accounts Committee has stated ‘My view is that this company has demonstrated that it is unfit to hold this kind of contract’.[6] in relation to the Work Programme.

        On 9 March 2012, the Department of Work and Pensions announced it had ‘been made aware of an allegation of attempted fraud in relation to a Mandatory Work Activity contract with A4e’. It stated that it had begun an investigation into this allegation, and also, as a result of the allegation, an ‘independent audit of all our commercial relationships with A4e’.[8]

        On 22 March 2012, the BBC’s Newsnight current affairs programme revealed that they had received a leaked document suggesting ‘systemic fraud’ at the company.[39] The following day, Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Commons Public Accounts Committee, called on the government to suspend its contracts with the jobs training agency.[40]

        On 3 April 2012, Exaro news revealed that A4e was being lined up for another major government contract despite being at the centre of a fraud investigation. Ministers made the company the preferred bidder to take over the sensitive Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) helpline to advise people of their rights in discrimination cases.[41]

        On 20 April 2012, Police officers raided A4e’s office in Slough after allegations were referred to them by the Department for Work and Pensions. A 33-year-old man was arrested and later bailed.[42]

        On 22 May 2012, Exaro news published leaked internal audit report which exposed ‘potential fraud’ at A4e.[43] The report compiled by the audit and risk department examined a sample of 224 of the company’s job placements and found that “potential fraudulent/irregular activity is not confined to one particular geographical area of the division, and shows a potential systematic failure to mitigate the risk towards this behaviour at both an office and regional level”. Auditors also discovered A4e sent an unemployed job-seeker to work in lap-dance club.[44]

        In March 2015 six former employees were jailed for forging files in a scam that was said to have cost taxpayers almost £300,000. Another four ex-members of staff received suspended prison sentences for what Judge Angela Morris said were ‘deceitful and unscrupulous’ practices. They had falsified employer details, time sheets and jobseeker signatures to inflate the numbers they said they had helped into work.[10]


        Andrew Coates

        November 21, 2018 at 12:46 pm

  8. Rudd annoyed Tories called social engineers

    Still without a rolled up newspaper to swat with, Rudd continues to try to make it all about it being personal and having nothing to do with claimants and how UC runs.

    We here for years have been talking about the nudge techniques DWP has employed throughout the reform/UC so its laughable to say the least they dont exist. Even if i humor Rudd, it would still mean her government ministers clearly haven’t been watching competently the people they have hired who manufacture it for them. Either way its not good, not good at all on the party in government whose watch it falls under.
    We know that’s not the case though, we know how providers,designers and even work coaches are trained a certain way shall we say to ensure you go down a certain tunnel even if you bounce a little like a pinball machine along the path..


    November 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm

  9. PSC welcome the report by Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, on his visit to the United Kingdom. Although issues of causality are complex, there is significant evidence on the relationship between poverty, inequality and mental health difficulties. This report highlights the suffering that has been inflicted through the callous approach to austerity taken by the government since 2009.

    It also recognises and gives voice to the impact that Universal Credit is having on people’s mental health, finances and work prospects. The continued attack on the welfare state under this government is being held up to international scrutiny and demands a response from psychologists.

    Many professions have been drawn into pushing the austerity agenda, including psychologists. It is important to recognise ours’ and others’ roles, including psychology’s continuing contribution to exploitation and oppression in the form of ‘enhanced interrogation’ and workfare.


    Andrew Coates

    November 21, 2018 at 5:09 pm

  10. what austerity pmsl our national debt is its highest its even been not 1p has been paid of it or never will.


    November 21, 2018 at 6:46 pm

  11. The company’s promotional blurb characterises what it does as the simple business of “improving people’s lives”.Including, it seems, Harrison’s own. Earlier this month, hearings by the House of Commons’ public accounts committee revealed that last year, Harrison – who is 48, and was given a CBE in 2010 – paid herself a dividend of £8.6m. The company says that, “as with other shareholders”, the money “reflects the risk”


    Some people did very well out of these welfare reforms but it wasn’t the unemployed,those with barriers to employment were left sidelined.Appointments booked for courses that didn’t run or wrong dates given for example they did nothing of any use whatsoever.

    Iain Duncan Smith the answer to everything and the solution to nothing.



    November 21, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    • it was all a scam for funding the only ppl these places help is there bank balance business 101 the unemployed are just used as profit units like stock on a shelf.

      tho as it is classed as so called training you dont show up on the unemployed figures and could get sanctioned is all the dwp cared about.


      November 21, 2018 at 8:26 pm

  12. A4E has changed it’s name to People Plus, ken.

    The Artist Formely Known as Prince

    November 22, 2018 at 6:06 am

  13. PeoplePlus, a trading name for A4e, formerly known as Action for Employment, is a for-profit welfare-to-work company based in the United Kingdom. The company began in Sheffield in 1991 to provide redundant steelworkers with training so that they could find new jobs. They now operate in five countries, but retain a significant presence in the UK where they work with organisations in the public sector such as the Department for Work and Pensions.

    In the wake of various controversies and criminal investigations, MPs Fiona Mactaggart and former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Margaret Hodge urged the UK government to suspend contracts with A4e In March 2012, following fraud allegations regarding an A4e contract, the Department for Work and Pensions began an independent audit of all its commercial relationships with A4e On 15 May 2012, Employment Minister Chris Grayling announced that the audits for the Work Programme, the New Enterprise Allowance programme and Mandatory Work Activity found no evidence of fraud in any of these contracts. However, while the team found no evidence of fraud, it identified weaknesses in A4e’s internal controls on the Mandatory Work Activity contract in the South East and that this contract with A4e had been terminated, after deciding that continuing would pose ‘too great a risk.

    In March 2015 six former employees received jail sentences for forging files in a scam that was said to have cost taxpayers almost £300,000. Four received suspended sentences. In a telling aside, judge Angela Morris said it was not for her to decide whether more senior managers should also be held to account.


    The Artist Formely Known as Prince

    November 22, 2018 at 6:11 am



    November 22, 2018 at 7:04 am

  15. Check out my signing-on signature 😉

    Keep smiling 😉


    Barney Harwood

    November 22, 2018 at 8:30 am

  16. And you wonder why the High Street is dead? You can even buy a TV with Dash Replacement Service 😀

    “How does it work?

    Your customers link their Amazon account to your experience, and select the products they want to automatically reorder. Your device measures and tracks usage and when the supplies are running low your device places an order using DRS and we ship the product to the customer on your behalf.
    Dash Replenishment Service uses Login with Amazon (LWA), Amazon Simple Notification Service, and RESTful API endpoints to allow your device or cloud to integrate with a few as 10 lines of code!

    For example, a connected automatic pet food dispenser with built-in sensors can measure the amount of pet food remaining in its container and place an order before running out.”

    And all delivered by a drone 😀



    November 22, 2018 at 12:19 pm

  17. Toshiba 43U5863DB 43-Inch Smart 4K Ultra-HD HDR LED TV with Freeview Play – Black/Silver (2018 Model), enabled with Amazon Dash Replenishment

    Amazon Dash Replenishment enabled: This device will automatically reorder batteries when running low. Register on the Dash Replenishment app in your TV to avail this service.

    How long do remote controls batteries last for crying out loud? Until they leak!



    November 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    • “When plugged in the tv wouldn’t recognise anything so would not set up. It was only when left plugged in for a while and connected to the internet that a software update prompted which then allowed me to install.”

      A domestic appliance that won’t do jackshit until it is connected to the internet!? Is everything/everyone going to end up connected to the internet? Technology is going to end up enslaving us!

      Human Chip Implant

      November 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm

  18. Officially the government might be slamming the UN Rapporteur’s incredibly critical report on the evils of universal credit but, lo and behold, both the new secretary of state for work and pensions and chief secretary to the treasury are “worried” about its failures and thinking about doing something about it. Of course the motivation is entirely selfish because the government has realised that if it carries on with universal credit as it is it will have no chance of winning the next general election, whenever it comes. Any reforms that will now happen have nothing to do with the suffering caused to UC claimants but only with prolonging Tory rule no matter how much the government protests otherwise; I think we all know that if the Tories could get away with reintroducing Victorian levels of destitution and poverty in order to save money and bribe people with tax cuts and other sweeteners they would.


    I don’t know what Rudd will do, or will be allowed to do, but hopefully Esther McVey’s political career in government is now over and she will disappear into the woodwork as an obscure almost unnoticed backbencer and powerless constituency MP.


    November 23, 2018 at 7:42 am

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