Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Work and Pensions Committee treated “like dirt” for criticising Universal Credit.

with 53 comments

The Work and Pensions Committee site,

The Committee has today taken the exceptional step of publishing a follow up report to the Government’s response to its report on support for childcare as a barrier to work under Universal Credit.

Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

“We on the Committee are frankly sick of these disrespectful Government responses that treat us like dirt and fail to engage with our robust, evidence-based conclusions. It’s not clear they’ve even read this one. Worse, in responding this way, Government dismisses the experience and evidence of the individuals and organisations that have taken the time, and made the effort, and are working with us to try to fix the unholy mess that is Universal Credit.

“This response in particular is simply not acceptable, and that is why we are taking the unusual step of issuing this report, demanding that they go back, look at what we and our witnesses have said, and come up with a second, decent response. This will not do.”

Powerful witness evidence

Among those who gave evidence so powerfully to the original inquiry was Thuto Mali, a single mum who was forced to turn down a well-paid job offer because she could not at that moment find the obligatory upfront cost of childcare so that she could start work.  The multiple problems of Universal Credit also forced her to turn, with her young son, to a foodbank at the Christmas before last. Save the Children recently informed the Committee that Thuto just won The Sun’s ‘Supermum of the Year’.

Correspondence published today between the Chair of the Committee and the Secretary of State on Universal Credit:

Today’s report says Government should now:

1)  review its response and provide a response which matches the consideration the Committee employed in an attempt to help parents to move into work, as the Government claims it is encouraging them to do. If the Government considers that the solutions the Committee recommended are not practicable, it should explain why and set out alternative means of addressing those problems.

2)  explain how, in the absence of plans to introduce direct payments, it intends to address the serious difficulties that both parents and childcare providers are experiencing with the current system

3)  explain the details of the pilots it is running to trial a more flexible approach to the provision of receipts for childcare costs, including where these pilots are being run, what options for providing evidence of childcare costs are being trialled, when the pilots started, how long they will run for and how they will be monitored;

4)  explain why it is so difficult to publish information about the use of the Flexible Support Fund, what analysis it has done of the additional administrative work that would be created, and if it will be published in full;

5)  explain its view on the recommendation that it should divert funding from the schemes aimed at wealthier parents (Tax Free Childcare and the 30 hours free childcare) towards Universal Credit childcare to help more people into work.

6)  commit to providing an analysis of the Government’s spending on the 30 free hours free childcare by income decile, to show which households are benefiting from this policy – in addition to the analysis on the impact of UC childcare cost caps it has already promised

By convention, the Government has two months from publication of a Committee report to respond.

MPs slam ‘dismissive’ and ‘disrespectful’ DWP over Universal Credit report

Work and Pensions Committee blasts “disrespectful Government responses that treat us like dirt”.

Furious MPs have today (Thursday) blasted the UK Government over its “dismissive” and “disrespectful” response to a report on Universal Credit (UC) from the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee.

The Committee’s report concluded that, far from helping parents get into or back into work after having a child, the way the “support” is constructed under UC actually acts as a barrier to work.

In a hard-hitting second report sent to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) today, the Committee said the Government’s response to its original report was “simply dismissing the very serious problems that are plaguing parents who are trying to get into work”.

Benefit claimant left sarcastic suicide note ‘thanking’ the DWP before taking his own life

He was left unable to top up his electric meter due to problems with Universal Credit.

A man reportedly left a “sarcastic” note thanking the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for leaving him unable to afford electricity, shortly before taking his own life from a lethal overdose.

The Derby Telegraph reports that Brian Sycamore was experiencing difficulties with the new benefit, which merges six social security benefits into one single monthly payment.

The 62-year-old is said to have suffered with back pain for a number of years and was plunged into financial distress because of problems claiming Universal Credit.

The report concludes:

Coroner Pinder recorded the cause of death as “suicide”, but did not refer to the issues Mr Sycamore was having with Universal Credit in her report.

A DWP spokesperson said: “Suicide is a very complex issue, so it would be wrong to link it solely to someone’s benefit claim.

Amber Rudd meanwhile is bathing in flattery.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 13, 2019 at 10:17 am

53 Responses

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  1. It’s outrageous the way the DWP carry on, as if they are above the law.
    This whole attitude of arrogance and disrespect has been embedded in DWP culture since the days of Duncan Smith.
    They have become the most brutal and shameless department in British government.
    Benefit claimants, the disabled, and now even MPs in parliament are totally disregarded.
    Victims of these cruel policies which the DWP will fight to the last to defend.
    And behind it all, this fixed obsession that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

    Jeff Smith

    April 13, 2019 at 11:54 am

  2. Tory assassins the DWP forced to restore benefits to disabled woman they called a ‘lying bitch’.



    April 13, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    • That’s bloody rich coming from the department of Lies, Lies and more Lies!


      April 13, 2019 at 5:00 pm

  3. The whole history of the DWP from Iain Duncan Smith onwards is disgraceful. Insulated, secretive, aloof, dishonest, evasive, unapologetic, unrepentant, a veritable law unto itself the Department of Work and Pensions has, single-handedly, turned the clock back decades as far as social security and social justice are concerned. It is absolutely incredible what the DWP have got away with since 2010 and even more so that the people heading it have not been held accountable for the damage done almost wholly to the very poorest and most vulnerable citizens in society. The smokescreen of Brexit has camouflaged the cruel and inhumane social evils that the DWP is responsible for and is still prosecuting even as I type these words.

    I pray that one day the guilty will be held accountable.


    April 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm

  4. Rudderless

    Amber Rudd is a typical Tory MP. She has persistently manipulated the law to enrich herself at others’ expense

    Wasn’t it the same with Emma Harrison.


    “Public awareness is rising with regards to issues such as this

    That’s what the bus driver said to me its the people at the bottom who are feeling it.People in work would be terrified to be in our situation.


    April 13, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    • @Ken

      But the trouble is Ken there is no real outrage from the public about all this. Remember the Poll Tax ?
      Mass public rioting and damage over paying a couple of hundred quid in tax.
      The Tories have butchered the welfare state and they couldn’t care less, and neither apparently could the larger part of the electorate.

      Alan Turner

      April 13, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    • ken

      The article says:

      “An investigation into fraud allegations concluded with 10 convictions at Reading Crown Court last month. Six people were sent to prison and a further four received suspended sentences.” This was just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. As we all know.

      “There has never been any suggestion of wrongdoing on her part.” What utter rot. You won’t find a document anywhere with Hitler’s signature on it saying he wanted six million Jews murdered but he made it absolutely clear what he wanted doing. And so it was with Queen Emma.

      jj joop

      April 14, 2019 at 11:29 am

  5. Andrew Coates

    April 14, 2019 at 9:19 am

    • And that’s on top of their £1500 a month salary + FREE takeaways

      Ever wanted to get paid to appear on TV watching other people on TV ?

      Well now is your chance, as Gogglebox bosses are looking for the next batch of family and friends to star on the hit Channel 4 show.

      If chosen, you’ll get paid a staggering £1,500 a month and get a free takeaway to tuck into when filming.

      And if that wasn’t enough, you might turn out to be as famous as Queen of the Jungle Scarlett Moffatt. .

      This is thought to be the first time the show’s chiefs are advertising for potential contenders.

      Scarlett Moffatt went on to become a TV presenter after appearing on Gogglebox
      Read More

      Where do I sign I hear you ask?

      Simply drop an email to applyforgogglebox@studiolambert.com if you want to be paid to watch telly and then other people can watch you watching telly.

      Back in 2015, the show’s creator Stephen Lambert: “Everybody on Gogglebox has been found and persuaded to be on the show and I think that’s the key to why they are likeable and why the show works, because we get to know these people

      “We’ve never advertised for people on Gogglebox.”

      Looks like there is a first for everything.

      Don’t forget, the likes of Scarlett, Amy Tapper, Steph and Dom all hail from Googlebox – so it could also be your chance to become famous on the telly after watching the telly.

      Good luck!


      April 14, 2019 at 9:35 am

  6. Andrew Coates

    April 15, 2019 at 3:03 pm

  7. Age restrictions on all websites (including this) and a ban on Facebook ‘likes’ – the new proposed internet rules explained

    Internet users could be forced to provide their age on every single website (including this) under new rules proposed to protect children online.

    It could see users required to provide details every time they shop online, browse for cheap flights or read up on the latest news, or visit Ipswich Unemployed Action.

    The plans, put forward by the Information Commissioner’s Office today (15 April), also suggest that social media companies such as Facebook should turn off the ‘like’ function on profiles of children under 18.

    Ban on ‘nudge’ techniques

    This comes as part of a proposed ban on so-called ‘nudge’ techniques on children’s profiles that encourage them to give out more data and turn off privacy measures.

    However, critics have argued that the measures proposed is the ICO’s code could damage advertising revenue and interfere with engagement on community websites and forums.

    According to The Sun, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said, “This is the connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their everyday lives.”

    Rules are to protect children

    “We shouldn’t have to prevent our children from being able to use it, but we must demand that they are protected when they do. This code does that,” Denham added.

    Baroness Kidron, who led the debate in parliament about the creation of the code, said, “I welcome the draft code released today which represents the beginning of a new deal between children and the tech sector.

    “For too long we have failed to recognise children’s rights and needs online, with tragic outcomes.

    “I firmly believe in the power of technology to transform lives, be a force for good and rise to the challenge of promoting the rights and safety of our children.”



    April 15, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    • Imagine having to hand over your Government ID on every bleeding website you visit. “To protect the children”, My skinny arse!


      April 15, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    • Sites like this will be toast if you have to ID yourself to access it. Bye, bye IUA.


      April 15, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      • dont you think they would of shut down all the free movie sites buy now if they could, but they cant as 1 the servers are not in this country and 2 if there domain name gets turned off buy isp then they just change it as takes months to get the new domain taken down.


        April 15, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      • Well i don’t have a home phone, just 21 mobiles, all on pay as you go, 20 for ‘ business’ and the other is my private line.


        April 16, 2019 at 9:00 am

    • How the heck the government could actually do this in practice is anybody’s guess. Most websites are hosted on servers abroad whose content is governed by the laws of those lands where legislation in the UK isn’t enforceable. So I suppose the government will try to force ISPs to police content accessed by British users which, considering how much traffic there is most likely isn’t going to be feasible. The only other way would be to do what countries like China do, i.e., have a national government run firewall which polices all content in and out of the country. Even with that there are always ways around it. For example: Laws were passed at the end of Labour’s time in office to curb things like pirating music and video by sharing over peer-to-peer networks, e.g., bit torrent, and yet it still goes on and the last time I checked sites like Pirate Bay are still going and bootlegging still happening the same way as always.


      April 17, 2019 at 6:27 am

  8. Police Commissioner Peter McCall refutes links between Barrow burglary spike and Universal credit

    “There is growing evidence that the implementation of Universal Credit has increased the rate of burglaries in a number of areas as it’s been rolled out at different times.”

    Links between Universal Credit and rising crime rates have also been made by Police Scotland.

    “Universal Credit is a force for good, providing a vital safety net for people who are out of work or on low wages.”



    April 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    • It is a load of rot, ken, previously law-abiding citizens don’t suddenly take to crime and neither to women (or men) suddenly take to prostitution because of universal credit. You can never trust the filth, ken, never Adam & Eve a word that comes out of the Old Bill’s lying mouths. The same lying mouths that would send you to the gallows or life imprisonment without batting an eyelid. The rozzers only interest is themselves and their own best interests. The don’t give a switched-on flying sausage about those suffering on universal credit. It is all about more cash for the Old Bill, bigger salaries, bigger pensions. Don’t let them put ideas into your head, ken. More crime gives them an excuse to plead for more coppers. More coppers to ignore real crime. More coppers to ignore the mass stabbings epidemic, and encouraging mass stabbings on purpose. Oh, look we need more cash and yet more fucking coppers. Yeah, more wank-stain pieces of shit to drag people before the courts for ‘hate crime’, posting politically incorrect opinions or ‘mis-gendering’ someone on ‘social media’. Seriolsy, ken, fuck the filth – they are no friend of the poor.

      The filth in all their glory


      April 16, 2019 at 6:22 am

      • From Personal Experience of the British Police & Justice system [sic] Julian Assange is very unlikely to get any justice, let alone a Fair Trial
        regardless where he ends up, far worse if in the USA;
        over 10 Years ago I made a few misguided comments on a Private Members only Forum on Immigration;
        Arrested, 3 years in Jail, Home and everything i owned Confiscated by the Pigs.
        So Much for the Myth of “Freedom of Speech” It no longer exists in Police State Britain :angry:

        Paula - UB40

        April 16, 2019 at 8:56 am

      • I’ve been in a CAB office where someone was hysterical and threatening to run out of a shop with a till he was so desperate,when people are desperate and cornered anything can happen.

        Perhaps they could reflect on the Insultan of Brunei.



        April 16, 2019 at 9:08 pm

  9. It actually beggars belief somewhat that Frank Field is still trying to fix the ‘unholy mess that is Universal Credit’ as it should by now be clear even to him and his naïve belief that Duncan Smith etc made errors, and that there were ‘flaws’ contained within it rather than accepting that UC is the product of malign minds fully intent on the immiseration of the poor.

    Universal Credit and all the other so called ‘welfare reform’ is merely a cover to reduce state expenditure on a social safety net in order to create scope for the further enrichment of the already obscenely wealthy, many of whom owe their wealth to past exploitation of workers, slaves, waged or otherwise. Like with the fundamental issue of payments for child care for those in work. Surely such a simple issue as this should not be taxing a developed capitalist economy in the way this is doing? Perhaps something could be learned here from the late and largely unlamented German Democratic Republic where all working mothers, regardless of status or income, were guaranteed childcare places for their children, paid for by the state. All this messing about over who pays and how is really easy to solve, and the costs can all be sorted out later from taxation, with those on higher incomes paying a bigger levy than those on lower incomes. Like the NHS, childcare should be free at the point of need. In this way single parents could be freed to work or study, as their needs dictate.

    It should come as no surprise that UBI should form another part of the welfare reform as it would provide a relatively unbureaucratic social payment that would, as a result be relatively cheap to administer, being universal, though I get that this wouldn’t satisfy the control freaks in government very much. The alternative would be some form of AI, something that I think needs to be avoided at all costs – in situations like this it just adds yet another layer of unneeded complication.


    April 16, 2019 at 2:32 am

    • “The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.” i.e.
      “Behind every great fortune there is a great crime.”

      – Balzac


      April 16, 2019 at 6:32 am

    • AI? Artificial Intelligence? Alternative Income? Sorry, it’s early in the morning and just heading out the door to W.O.R.K 😦


      April 16, 2019 at 7:31 am

    • It wasn’t so long ago that Frank Field, who was originally a member of the Conservative party which he left over a disagreement with their policies as per apartheid in South Africa, before joining the Labour party, was congratulating Iain Duncan Smith about Universal Credit. He still thinks that in-work conditionality is a fantastic idea by helping people to progress financially by getting more work or better jobs even though the DWP’s own pilot showed that this didn’t happen. One of Frank’s worst suggestions was to take benefits completely away from young people in areas where there was work in order to force them into work. It didn’t seem to occur to him that their unemployment might be down to employers rejecting them for jobs they had applied for rather than their fault for not trying hard enough.

      Not the brightest spark is Frankie boy but he ain’t half full of himself and vain as a peacock.

      Anybody remember how his ego swelled when, although still a Labour MP, Conservative prime minister David Cameron appointed him Tory poverty tsar. Of course the over-inflated opinion he had of himself went pop afterwards when the report about poverty he was charged with making got completely ignored by the Tory minority government of the day and he realised he was more of a tame pet than an influential power.


      April 16, 2019 at 1:47 pm

      • And lest we forget it was Frank Field who suggested that the unemployed should be starved into submission
        (taking work). Frank Field, the man who Tony Blair told to go away and “think the unthinkable” and when Frank Field returned Blair quietly shelved Frank’s ideas because they were just that – unthinkable!


        April 16, 2019 at 1:56 pm

  10. Frank Field is no friend of the poor these days. Maybe once, but not for a long time now – Field was an enabler of the Blairite “reforms” that have led us to the present mess.


    April 16, 2019 at 6:41 am

    • With ‘friends’ like Frank Field and the Old Bill the poor sure don’t need enemies 😉


      April 16, 2019 at 7:57 am

  11. The Days of Government Funded Social Security is coming to a end; The Future will be Private Insurance for; Unemployment, Disability & Health Problems, Retirement & Health Care, The same as most Western Countries around the World; Like With 3rd World Countries where they just leave you to Die, Unless Family & Friends can lend you a hand.

    Paula UB-40

    April 16, 2019 at 9:04 am

    • From the British Welfare State to Just Another American State

      Since 2008 the British government has used the WCA to remove as many claimants as possible from this modest disability benefit. This move is just part of the long-term plan to replace the welfare state with a system funded by private insurance.

      Over the last three years of independent research, I have found significant links between the British government and the American healthcare insurer Unum Provident Insurance.



      April 16, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      • Labour brought the discredited private American company UNUM into social security for the first time when implementing David Freud’s welfare reform plan. When the Tories ended up with the most MPs in 2010 they ennobled Freud, to allow him to become Minister fro Welfare Reform and take part in government, and carried pressing on with Freud’s privatisation agenda only more full-bloodedly.


        Labour has blood on its hands and probably would have done most of what the Tories have done if they had remained in government post 2010. Both New Labour and the Conservatives have both done awful things particularly toward the sick and disabled, who cost the most and so were the ones most targeted when it came to making savings.


        April 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      • Unions should campaign for a radical welfare system to replace universal credit, delegates hear.

        Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union delegate Steve West described UC as “a conscious strategy to demonise benefits claimants.”

        He condemned the increased foodbank use, “cruel” assessments and outsourcing to the private sector that results from the system.



        April 16, 2019 at 9:29 pm

      • Thanks for that Ken, will use!

        Andrew Coates

        April 17, 2019 at 9:45 am

  12. Mastercard ruling: almost every UK adult could receive payout

    Lawsuit could benefit 46 million people even if they have never owned the credit card

    Almost every adult living in the UK between 1992 and 2008 could receive up to £300 if the action is successful.

    Almost every adult in the UK could receive a payout of up to £300 from Mastercard after a court ruling paved the way for a £14bn class action lawsuit.

    The legal action taken by former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks claims that 46 million UK consumers paid higher prices in shops over a 16-year period because of allegedly excessive transaction fees charged by Mastercard.


    The Guardian

    April 16, 2019 at 3:42 pm

  13. Andrew Coates

    April 16, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    • She’s knows this is nonsense. Nobody uses a foodbank who doesn’t need to. This is just more political spin from the Amber Gambler. She can’t be seen as too liberal or compassionate by the Tory right-wing. Not if she is going to have any real chance in the leadership contest.

      Jeff Smith

      April 20, 2019 at 2:11 pm

  14. G’day cobbers, just flew in from Oz with a load of mates to take part in this Extinction Rebellion protest. Why don’t you lot organise something similar for this universal whatsit? It it’s thirsty work protesting, I’ll tell ya. Pass us a bottle of bottled water, cobber 🙂

    See ya, Bruce and Sheilaxxxx

    Down Under

    April 17, 2019 at 7:07 am

    • The disabled protesters on Westminster Bridge were ‘kettled’, dragged out of their wheelchairs and had the crap beaten out of them!


      April 18, 2019 at 9:26 am

    • The top 10% in terms of wealth are responsible for 50% of carbon pollution whilst the bottom 50% are responsible for only 5%.


      April 18, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    • Our primary objective is the overthrow of capitalism. We intend to achieve this by by replacing parliamentary democracy with “sortition” (in case you haven’t heard of it before, it’s the selection of political officials as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates), and establishing local currencies to dismantle the banking system.

      Our main demands on climate change are: banning all flights; scrapping petrol and diesel vehicles; replacing gas central heating and gas cooking appliances; banning meat and dairy products, banning plastic and concrete, all by 2025. Not to much to ask for, eh 😉

      There has been a Climate Emergency declared. We need to take action NOW to Save the Planet!

      Extinction Rebellion

      Extinction Rebellion

      April 19, 2019 at 9:35 am

      • Are you ‘aving a laff, mate. We pay 5p for a unit of gas and 20p for a unit of electricity. Bleedin’ electricity is 4 bleedin’ times the price of bleedin’ gas. We ain’t all got a trust fund in our back pocket!

        The Jones

        April 19, 2019 at 6:55 pm

      • We simply couldn’t afford to live if we had to get rid of our gas cooker and fire and switch over to electricity.
        Our bills are through the roof as it is. Never mind bloody climate cobblers when you have hungry mouths to feed. Some folk are so privileged they don’t live in the real world. Try bringing up a family on universal bloody credit and low pay.

        The Brown Family

        April 19, 2019 at 7:34 pm

      • Extinction Rebellion are a security services project to provoke social unease, tension and conflict Its got little or nothing to do with green house gases. To see the pathetic and indulgent police response you’d think it was a big fun day out at the park. g soros couldn’t have been very faraway from it.

        Toxteth Heath

        April 21, 2019 at 1:47 pm

  15. Its a shame they didn’t take the same stand against Universal Credit and other attacks’ on benefits/people.It’s the people who cannot afford to lose that are losing the most and in a downward spiraling situation that becomes harder and harder to escape from,leaving a them and us situation.

    The Tory party are the party of poverty.

    We’re the ones’ they want to become extinct,Its enviornment that the Conservatives thats the main concern now.As for polution the combustion engine is a major player,the small amount of electrical powered vehicles/charging station’s are unaffordable.It wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest that UK manufacturing would be adding much to the levels.

    Boris Johnson’s unused water cannon sold for scrap at £300,000 loss

    Johnson bought the crowd-control vehicles from the German police in 2014, in anticipation of social unrest

    London mayor Sadiq Khan fails to find buyer for crowd-control vehicles after lengthy search


    Police plans to fire rubber bullets in London

    The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, confirmed on behalf of the Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, that the force had “authorised the movement” of rubber bullets 22 times in 2010 and 2011.



    April 21, 2019 at 3:37 pm

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