Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Scottish Unions call for end to Universal Credit and for a “radical welfare system to replace it.”

with 72 comments

Does Universal Credit Offer a Greater Joy!

Scottish TUC Conference (Morning Star) – thanks Ken.

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

Note

There are a number of motions about replacing Universal Credit making their way through the Labour Party policy making structure and the TUC (Ipswich Labour Party and Ipswich Trades Council have submitted one).

UNIONS should campaign not just for the scrapping of universal credit (UC) but draw up a radical welfare system to replace it, Scottish TUC delegates heard today.

A motion proposed by Edinburgh Trades Union Council called for the STUC to campaign for the replacement of UC as soon as possible with a system free from sanctions, outsourcing and benefits caps.

Speaking in favour of the motion, 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.

But Mr West emphasised that a replacement should not simply constitute a return to old benefits, which he said had resulted in many of the same problems before they were combined to form UC.

“The people of Scotland deserve a far better social security system than we already have, and the trade union movement can play an important role in making sure that happens,” he said.

PCS acting president Fran Heathcote told congress that 40 per cent of those responsible for administering UC are also in receipt of the benefit.

She accused the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) of adopting a bunker mentality and refusing to address any of the problems raised by claimants and unions.

Ms Heathcote called for “a system that our members can take pride in delivering.”

Congress also heard from Unison delegate Helen Duddy, who gave a personal account of her granddaughter’s difficult experience with UC bureaucracy when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2017.

“We’re a very strong, close family with strong ties to Unison, who helped us,” said Ms Duddy. “I would not like any other family to go through this scenario.”

National Union of Journalists delegate Lorraine Mallinder described how UC has been “an unmitigated disaster,” describing it as “tantamount to a super-sanction on freelancers.”

Supporting the motion, Unite delegate Tam Kirby told congress that the support of “every single trade unionist in Scotland” was required to end the UC benefits system.

UC is “the latest weapon they’re using against us in the class war they’re waging against us,” Mr Kirby said.

Meanwhile in the DWP:

We ran this story a few days ago but it continues to develop.

Independent Wednesday.

Ministers have been accused of keeping “alarming” findings about their flagship universal credit scheme under wraps for a year and a half.

MPs say it was “deeply irresponsible” to delay the release of the report, which suggests nearly half of claimants were not aware their tax credits would stop when they claimed universal credit, and 56 per cent felt they received too little information from HMRC.

The document was produced in November 2017 but only released this month to MPs who, in the meantime, have had to make “pivotal” decisions based on “partial” information, according to the chair of the Work and Pensions Committee Frank Field.

In a letter to senior ministers, Mr Field said the “excessively long delay” had taken place during ongoing decisions about the flagship welfare benefit, which have affected the “lives and incomes of millions of people”.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has repeatedly argued that universal credit is more generous than the old benefit system and provides a “safety net” for those who need it.

Our old friend Amber Rudd is still at it!

 

Written by Andrew Coates

April 17, 2019 at 10:07 am

72 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Andrew Coates

    April 17, 2019 at 2:29 pm

  2. Hang on. Only a matter of weeks ago Amber Rudd admitted that universal credit caused a surge in food bank usage. As far as I know universal credit hasn’t changed since she made this statement so how come she’s done a U-turn?

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/amber-rudd-admits-universal-credit-13985924

    Ro

    April 17, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    • Let not quibbles by the little people detract from the achievements of Rudd during her term of office – 5 months and she’s already done this!

      Andrew Coates

      April 17, 2019 at 3:40 pm

      • Good work that provides you with a decent income and makes you self-sufficient definitely is good for you when it’s done voluntarily but what about the insecure mini-jobs, zero-hour contract and irregular part-time work that millions have been forced into? What does crap work do to people as far as their mental and physical health are concerned? Speaking personally I’ve done plenty of work like that and felt pretty broken, washed out, depressed, used and abused because of it.

        Ro

        April 17, 2019 at 5:11 pm

  3. Citizen’s Advice now in my local Jobcentre most mornings. Sitting at their own table grinning like cheshire cats.
    Going on about helping you make the transition to Universal Credit. So, who is up for beginning their ‘new employment journey ?’

    Jeff Smith

    April 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    • Citizen’s Advice used to be considered unbiased and independent and a place to go for honest opinions and help. How long will this continue to be the case when their staff are now working hand in glove with the DWP in DWP premises? The DWP pollutes everything it touches. My bet is that liaison between Citizen’s Advice and the Department of Work and Pensions will ruin the independence, fair and balanced reputation of the former.

      Ro

      April 17, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      • @Ro

        That’s exactly right. The CAB used to be seen as independent, now they are hand in glove with the DWP.
        And all this stuff about ’employment journey’. It’s got a weird feel to it, like Lord of The Rings, where the Hobbits set off on a dangerous journey.

        ‘Then one of the Twelve, the one called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?” And they set out for him thirty pieces of silver.’ Matthew 26:15

        Jeff Smith

        April 17, 2019 at 4:00 pm

      • Hi. I’m Luke. I live alone and I’m on Universal Credit.

        I also worked in the Grimsby Jobcentre Plus for seven weeks as a volunteer guiding people through the sign-on process. Helping them use the computers; making sure they got to speak to the people they needed to speak to; and doing everything I could to help them get what they were entitled to.

        http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1038/28995/17-04-2019/real-life-on-universal-credit-as-soon-as-i-get-billed-for-my-electric-im-finished

        ken

        April 17, 2019 at 8:26 pm

  4. Good work supports our good mental and physical health.

    UK employees work on average two-and-a-half weeks longer than their EU counterparts over the course of a year

    The UK has been named the “unpaid overtime capital of Europe”

    Such long working hours not only have an effect on employees’ mental health, but also the quality of work staff are able to produce

    “Britain’s long hours culture is nothing to be proud of

    https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/should-we-rethink-our-working-hours-to-boost-productivity/

    Colleagues, especially a lack of them or if they’re not pulling their weight, are the biggest causes of work-related stress, research has suggested.

    Underperforming team members also added to the pressure, as 40% of staff thought recruiting inexperienced staff contributed to them feeling stressed

    It would be interesting to see the reasonable adjustments’ there.

    https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/understaffing-increases-work-related-stress-survey-finds/

    Older workers wait 54 days before seeking mental health advice

    Despite two-thirds of over-55s experiencing symptoms of mental ill health, workers in this age group are most likely to delay seeking help – waiting an average of 54 days before getting advice, research has suggested.

    https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/older-workers-mental-health-advice/

    ken

    April 17, 2019 at 8:18 pm

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

    A6er

    April 18, 2019 at 2:37 pm

  6. People will run into problems, about seeking more hours or doing more than one job, especially if two companies want you to work at the same time (for overtime)

    myfinalusername

    April 18, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    • A lot of jobs don’t have regular hours. When I was working two jobs they often clashed because employers changed the days and times they wanted me to turn up at their premises, in which case you have to choose which employer to please and which one to piss off the other. In practice it is very hard if not impossible to make up 35 hours worth of minimum wage work by doing umpteen part-time jobs. In-work conditionality is impossible to enforce in practice because jobs aren’t flexible enough, or regular enough, to neatly fall into line in the way that universal credit expects.

      Ro

      April 19, 2019 at 5:25 am

  7. Yes, it’s one of those ideas that politicians come up with that simply doesn’t work in real life.

    Dan

    April 18, 2019 at 5:26 pm

  8. Glad to see that the STUC seems to have taken such a strong stance against UC. Let’s hope that the UK wide TUC the WTUC adopt a similar line, as trade union support in getting this punishment system abolished is essential. Good to see that the PCS also seem keen to get rid of it, though I am puzzled as to why they have done so much to enable it when they could have so easily refused to implement it as it’s clearly wrong to impose a sanction in the knowledge that it’s going to cause hardship, both physical and mental, to those who have their financial support curtailed. I’m sure they could also find ways to ignore the stupid 35 hour work related activity nonsense. Laws can be passed until politicians are blue in the face, but it is the civil service that implements these systems, and if civil servants refuse to do things that are clearly morally wrong, as sanctioning is, then the government’s despicable policies fail to work.

    I’m hard on the PCS, and I think that many claimants are of the position that they wouldn’t piss on a DWP worker if they were on fire. I can sympathise with those kinds of sentiments, but I would always giver credit where it’s due, and praise those who work for the DWP and ‘whistleblow’ and I would always respect their actions when they go on strike, but what I won’t do is see them as victims, as it is the actions of ordinary PCS members who are making the lives of claimants a misery, causing extreme stress, malnutrition and homelessness. The PCS union could have taken a much harder stance against what the DWP is doing, and still could. I’m well aware of what it might mean for members to take a principled stand, but it is this kind of thing that must be done. Taking the kind of action that would be enough to defeat both the government and Universal Credit would indeed be hard, but I’m pretty sure that through rediscovering solidarity that both could be done relatively painlessly. Nearly 30 years ago now, peaceful demonstrations of solidarity caused a wall to be taken down and regime collapse. If it could happen in the GDR, it can happen here in the UK.

    sibrydionmawr

    April 18, 2019 at 6:38 pm

  9. But what chance is there of any change without mass support for it ? I don’t see any public outrage about what has happened to benefit claimants.

    Mr.Kipling

    April 18, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    • You are right there Mr.K. Where is the so-called opposition in any of this ? Somehow the Tories have managed to block any real public concern. And put out just their side of things as usual. Universal Credit is one of the worst examples of this.

      Jasper J.

      April 20, 2019 at 11:27 am

  10. And oldie from Frank Field

    British taxpayers should get priority in the social housing queue over new migrants, David Cameron’s poverty tsar has said.

    Frank Field called for the shake-up after a study revealed up to half of all social housing lets are given to those born abroad.


    Anger: Frank Field has described the trend as a scandal

    Easter Egg

    April 21, 2019 at 10:33 am

    • Is he this red because he’s angry ?

      Zebedee

      April 21, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      • No, he’s red to try and convince you that he’s not just another Tory in disguise.

        Dan

        April 21, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    • The man is a dyed-in-the-wool racist. Coming out with that old trope about immigrants coming over here and taking all the social housing. We join the waiting list like everyone else. Surprised this otherwise excellent blog is giving this non-entity airtime!

      Adele and Walter Bangawotske

      April 21, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      • Know your enemy!

        Dan

        April 21, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      • Know your enemy…

        Dan

        April 21, 2019 at 8:41 pm

  11. DWP: A Universal Credit claim from start to finish, as we go inside Middlesbrough’s Jobcentre

    Teesside Live was invited into the Corporation Road Jobcentre and find staff enthusiastic and passionate about welfare reform

    “I’ve got staff who’ve worked here for decades and they can see how much more beneficial this is. I’ve not spoken to one work coach who hasn’t said it’s better.”

    Under the old system they couldn’t have done that. It wasn’t flexible and people were locked out of work.”

    Staff often help claimants log into their Universal Credit claim using their own phone – which better helps them to do it independently – or use a tablet to show them.

    There’s also an escalation route for people with problems or complaints, says Cath.

    More than 3,000 sanctions have been imposed on Teessiders since the benefit was rolled out last year.

    “It’s quite rare that it makes its way to a decision maker.”

    What if people have health problems?

    Andrea said that those with health problems, disabilities or mental health issues, are supported as soon as they come into the Jobcentre.

    Work coaches are now being based in GP surgeries across Middlesbrough to offer a link for those claimants that may not be able to make it into the Jobcentre.

    https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/dwp-universal-credit-claim-start-16145833

    The rest is happily ever after.

    ken

    April 21, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    • The DWP seem to be pushing this new agenda now. Trying to make people transfer to Universal Credit early, before the managed migration. But anyone transferring voluntarily will lose the transitional protection, lower rate loan recovery, two weeks Housing Benefit etc.

      Jeff Smith

      April 22, 2019 at 12:40 pm

  12. Theres something going on

    https://mrfrankzola.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/dwp-works-with-100-gp-practices-leeds-has-patient-coaches-for-21-practices/

    I had problems over my disabled persons bus pass recently an NHS member of staff caused problems at the local authority leading me to be intimidated by the local bus company.While the pass is still active the GP surgery didn’t want to appear to get involved in having it renewed and blamed the council,however the disability denial didn’t extend to the DVLA who promptly revoked and cancelled my driving licence when informed of the disability.People can lead to losing what they already have much and more by this behaviour.

    ken

    April 21, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    • You have to be careful with doctors and opticians (Specsavers have been caught) dobbing you into the DVLA on the flimsiest of reasons. But don’t worry you will still be ‘fit-to-work’ as far as the DWP goes 😉 It goes without saying that the filth will also grass you in given half a chance. A good idea would be to use false details whenever possible like when you book an eye test. You might not even know that your licence has been revoked and could be hauled up in front of the beak on a charge of driving whilst disqualified.

      Line of Duty

      April 22, 2019 at 6:42 am

      • I wasn’t seen for what i’ve got I was seen as an object,she caused or attempted to cause trouble at every turn,then after finishing they decided to have a go.It wasn’t until I was intimidated I was getting “single to” “all done” aggressive atmosphere the bus company broke the Equlity Act.Its another case if someone carn’t see it.

        The problem with the licence I hadn’t driven once the condition became known over a decade ago and because of the nature of this qualified for a disabled persons bus pass a few years back,several professionals tried to say it was anything else and play it down altogeter/change the diagnosis/couldn’t decide.Unfortunatly it is DVLA notifiable and the end result the licence was revoked.Its very hard to have a brown envelope arrive open it and to see “do not drive” ,driving classes were removed also.I felt like part of me had gone.

        The DVLA should have been told when first driving,it goes to show the keep quite about it can come back decades’ later even.Its wrong to say you don’t have to mention it once the pieces are all over the floor they need to be picked up and its the person involved that has to do it.

        There been problems’ before with bus passes such as in Barnet London.

        http://wwwbrokenbarnet.blogspot.com/2016/06/barnets-freedom-pass-fiasco-legal.html

        ken

        April 23, 2019 at 5:27 pm

  13. If you are working two zero-hour contracts but still on universal credit and the variable hours mean that one job clashes with another meaning that you can only do one or other but not both, could you get sanctioned for refusing paid work even though you had to refuse work offered by one employer in order to do work for the other because you can’t be in two places at once? And which job would you favour? The one offering the most money? The nearest one? The one with the best employer who might offer you more hours later? Who knows? Besides: How would the DWP know what went on unless you told them anyway? This in-work conditionality seems full of pitfalls for people working multiple part-time jobs with varying hours that are bound to overlap and clash. What’s the story about this kind of situation? Has such problems even been considered by the DWP?

    Dandy Highway Man

    April 22, 2019 at 9:03 am

    • Good question, there will be a loop hole to issue a sanction somewhere on the line, will probably come under refusing a job.

      myfinalusername

      April 24, 2019 at 4:17 pm

  14. AUSCHWITZ

    This case is worse than Auschwitz:

    https://uk.yahoo.com/news/apos-let-down-system-apos-112137334.html

    AUSCHWITZ

    April 22, 2019 at 7:44 pm

  15. No, not a victim of Hitler’s Nazi concentration camps by a victim of the DWP!

    Konzentrationslager Auschwitz

    April 23, 2019 at 6:35 am

  16. Six-stone emaciated man dies after the DWP denies him benefits

    https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/six-stone-emaciated-man-who-16160644

    Konzentrationslager Auschwitz

    April 23, 2019 at 6:38 am

  17. ‘I feel refreshed’: Brits embrace multiple careers

    More than 320,500 self-employed people in Britain are working two or more jobs, new analysis suggests.

    A study by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) – seen by 5 Live’s Wake Up To Money – shows that 7% have launched an additional business.

    Some call it a portfolio career or a multi-hyphenate career.

    One term that seems to be sticking is “slashie”, as in: “I am a chef/blogger/dog walker.”

    ‘A positive choice’

    Sam Grey is a so-called “slashie”, although she dislikes that term and would rather be known as a “Jack of all trades”. She’s a former teacher living in Torquay, and currently works five different jobs.

    In addition to her own dog-grooming business, Toodles, Sam works as a private tutor, teaches crochet and sells patterns, works security for nightclubs and bars and works two 12-hour night shifts at a local arcade.

    While she initially took on multiple roles by necessity, she says she now enjoys this way of working.

    “As a full-time teacher your job never ends. There is this constant feeling that you could and should be doing more. But with lots of different jobs I have to switch off, I have to stop thinking about what I was doing, because I am getting paid to do something else.

    “It is a positive choice. If I just worked in a dog grooming salon all day I think I’d probably go a little bit mad, dogs aren’t great for conversation. And I love teaching, so tutoring really fills that gap for me.”

    ‘Multifaceted by nature’

    Working more than one job because money is tight is not new, but many “slashies” appear to be doing so for more personal, creative reasons.

    It’s also a bit different to a side-hustle, which is where someone turns their hobby outside their main job into a money-making venture. Many are successful enough to be able to leave their full-time employment to become a “slashie”.

    Research carried out by Henley Business School found that one in four workers are running at least one business alongside their main careers.

    Chloé Jepps, deputy head of research at IPSE, says that for most people it is a choice, not a necessity. “It’s to pursue a passion, try something new and get some extra income while doing something they love,” she explains.

    But it’s also a way to trial a new business: “You can test a new idea without leaping straight into it and try things without taking the full risk.”

    Emma Gannon believes this way of working simply suits many people better, by giving them outlets for different interests. She’s a journalist, podcaster and author of The Multi-Hyphen Method, which provides advice on how to manage multiple careers.

    She says: “In America, it was always cool to have another role on the side, but in the UK there’s a stigma around being a ‘Jack of all trades’.

    “From school and university, we’re told to pick one thing and become an expert, but the job-for-life isn’t possible anymore, even if you want that.

    “Humans are multifaceted by nature, we have many interests and now we’re feeling braver about embracing that.”

    Emma is confident that rather than “working in a way that suits the Victorian era, working at a machine for fixed hours”, many more will choose to have a concurrent careers.

    But she says these “slashie” pioneers are at risk of burnout.

    “The flip side of enjoying your job can be that you end up working 24 hours a day. There’s an increasing trend of merging your job and your life, and if you’ve got a few different gigs then even more so.

    “There isn’t enough support for people working this way. The admin side of things can be quite intense, more so if you’re running more than one business.”

    For “slashie” Sam Gray, a change is simply as good as a rest.

    “I feel refreshed by how I work now,” she says.

    “I don’t do anything long enough to get bored with it, everything just feels new.”

    ‘I feel refreshed’: Brits embrace multiple careers

    BBC

    April 23, 2019 at 9:08 am

    • Sounds like more DWP propaganda to me.

      Dan

      April 23, 2019 at 10:13 am

      • Too right! What the Jobcentre calls “mini-jobs” 😉

        Amber Fudd

        April 23, 2019 at 10:24 am

      • “I feel refreshed”. You got to laugh! Refreshed, sure! As you are run off your feet flitting from one minimum wage “mini-job” to the next.

        Amber Fudd

        April 23, 2019 at 10:26 am

      • The BBC is the State propagandist. It pushes the agenda, flies the trial balloons, puts ideas into your head… And they actually expect us to pay for their propaganda 🙂 As if 😀

        The Girl in Test Card

        April 23, 2019 at 11:24 am

      • The media is really pushing this nonsense; trying to conflate non-jobs such as as a ‘theatre director’ with real jobs such as stacking shelves in a supermarket.

        Debbie

        April 23, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      • Exactly.Having another role in this types of situations will mean pre or after same hours such as cleaning.Sounds simple until they want commercial cleaning experience.DBS checks often in place and chemical handling knowledge.

        The best solution is to find a paid job and leave the system altogeter.Its well known that someone cannot be all things to all people that’s what makes everyone unique,those that say otherwise often cannot live up to these sh*t miracles’ claim’s.its similar in tone to Duncan Smith’ single people are dysfunctional lable,if we were all as perfect as him then the above might apply.

        I’ve always found in life treat others with respect,except your skills and ablities and improve on them and feel comfortable in yourself.

        ken

        April 23, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      • You should always be improving on your skills and abilities, ken, or ‘kaizen’ as we Japanese call it 🙂

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaizen

        Japanese Girl

        April 23, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      • Well, one has three jobs as a ‘theatre director’, ‘art critic’ and ‘wine taster’. Not to mention ‘cinema and book reviewer’. One also ‘moonlights’ as a ‘writer’ and ‘broadcaster’.

        Luvvie

        April 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      • Good for you am a care assistant/cleaner/shelf-stacker.

        Winifred

        April 23, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    • Is Sam related to Zac or Sarah? The fictional disabled people who claimed that being sanctioned “motivated” them into securing “good jobs” and appreciated the “boost” that losing money gave them?

      Dandy Highway Man

      April 26, 2019 at 8:19 am

  18. The introduction on Universal Credit is being blamed for Suffolk’s “shocking” rise in homelessness, which has seen families left living in caravans, mothers separated from children and hundreds placed in emergency B&Bs.

    https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/suffolk-homelessness-increase-universal-credit-social-housing-1-6008375

    ken

    April 23, 2019 at 5:35 pm

  19. Mini-jobs are the Skinny Latte of employment.

    Jester Bill

    April 24, 2019 at 9:31 am

    • Mini-jobs are very slimming… mostly because you can’t afford to nourish yourself properly.

      Amber Fudd

      April 25, 2019 at 5:54 pm

  20. I ♥ the BBC.

    Sexy Bouy

    April 24, 2019 at 3:02 pm

  21. NASA being controlled by round-Earth Freemasons, Elon Musk making fake rockets from blimps, and Amber Rudd, the DWP and Jobcentre Plus are holographic projections beamed directly into the mind from Government ray-beam towers.

    Wake the **** up!

    April 25, 2019 at 10:18 am

    • Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting wabbits!, He-e-e-e-e!

      Amber Fudd (sister of Elmer)

      April 25, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    • Mention not the Masons, brother, nor reveal our sacred and fraternal mysteries before the profane. I greet you upon the square under the eye in the triangle and within the compass scribed by the Great Architect of the Universe. Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum! Boaz!

      Grand Master and Paladin Illuminatus of the Grand Encampment of Tutonic Knights Templar

      April 25, 2019 at 6:00 pm

  22. £51,500 for driving a train (and even more on Tranpennine Railways, and even more doing ‘mainline’ and ‘nights’). This is what strong unions can achieve. Create an artificial shortage to keep the wages up. Medical schools operate in the same way by strictly controlling the numbers entering the profession. That is why we also always have an (artificial) ‘shortage’ of doctors.

    ScotRail drivers have won a bumper 6.5 per cent pay increase which will take their salaries to £51,500 in 18 months’ time, The Scotsman has learned.

    Train driving has proved to be hugely attractive, with ScotRail being swamped with more than 22,000 applications for 100 jobs during a previous recruitment drive in 2015.

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/scotrail-drivers-secure-6-5-per-cent-salary-bump-to-51-500-1-4914758

    Casey Jones

    April 25, 2019 at 11:25 am

    • These train drivers should try driving a bloody great HGV through our congested towns and cities for a change. You don’t ever have to steer a train – it steers itself! HGV driving is a minimum wage jobs these days. And it is us HGV drivers that bring the food to the shops for these overpaid train drivers. Where is the fairness?

      Trucker

      April 25, 2019 at 11:33 am

    • £51,500 is £990.38 gross pay a week, and £738.64 a week net (take-home) pay. Sure beats JSA 😀

      Echinida

      April 26, 2019 at 11:41 am

  23. Stealing money from a foodbank! How low can you go?


    Thieving former SNP MP Natalie McGarry admits stealing money from foodbank

    A former SNP MP has pled guilty to embezzling more than £25,600 from pro-independence organisations – including money intended for a foodbank.

    Natalie McGarry, 37, admitted two charges of embezzlement when she appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

    She had not guilty pleas accepted to another embezzlement charge, and a charge that she refused to give police the passcode for a mobile phone.

    The case has been adjourned until 1 May.

    The Crown has indicated it will attempt to recover the embezzled money through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

    McGarry was one of 56 SNP MPs elected to the Commons in the 2015 general election, but withdrew from the party whip when the allegations were first made against her.

    She continued as an independent MP, but did not stand in the general election in 2017.

    She embezzled the largest amount from the Women for Independence group in her role as treasurer of the organisation, appropriating £21,000 for her own use.

    McGarry transferred money raised through fundraising events into her personal bank accounts and failed to transfer charitable donations to Perth and Kinross food bank and to Positive Prison, Positive Future between 26 April 2013 and 30 November 2015.

    She also used cheques drawn on the Women for Independence bank account to deposit money into her own account.

    McGarry also pled guilty to embezzling £4,661.02 in the course of her role as treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP between 9 April 2014 and 10 August 2015.

    She was charged by police in 2017 over alleged fraud relating to potential missing funds from Women for Independence, which was set up in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish referendum, and Glasgow Regional Association.

    She had denied all of the charges against her until pleading guilty to two of them on Wednesday afternoon. She represented herself when she appeared in court, after previously sacking her legal team.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-48043792

    Newshounds

    April 25, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    • Bet the Sheriff hands her down a “tough punishment” something like 80 hours of UNPAID work in the community – and it sure as Hell won’t be toiling in a recycling plant or sorting through shit-stained knickers in the back room of a stinking ‘charity’ shop. Community payback is a joke whilst real punishments for the ‘crime’ of being unemployed are handed down by the Jobcentre.

      Workfare Slave

      April 25, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      • If you failed to declare a ‘change of circumstances’ to the DWP to the tune of £25,000 you would be sent down. This is a lot more serious because this is a case of embezzlement by someone who was enjoying an MP’s salary + expenses and goodness what other income and resources at the time. She can hardly plead that she was forced to steal because she (or her kids) hadn’t ate for week 😉

        Shona

        April 25, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      • Hanging’s too bloody good for her! She should be swinging at the end of a rope for stealing from the disabled. Bloody disgraceful!

        A Disabled Voice

        April 26, 2019 at 7:06 am

    • Funny how the case has been adjourned for only a week (for sentence). If His Lordship had a custodial sentence in mind he would need to obtain a Social Enquiry Report (since McGarry is over 21 and assuming she has no previous convictions). Also the fact that she has been released on Bail rather than remanded in
      custody hints at a non-custodial sentence. But no doubt given the seriousness of these offences it is likely that she will be sentenced to the direct alternative to custody i.e. unpaid work in the community. Workfare Lite. And these are the exact same Courts that imprison ‘benefit cheats’ over a couple of quid!

      Georgina

      April 26, 2019 at 7:26 am

      • If she hasn’t been jailed before she can’t be jailed unless there is no other alternative (or a ‘benefit cheat’).

        Legal Eagle

        April 26, 2019 at 7:32 am

      • Think they may have to obtain reports even for Community Payback. They may have deferred it for a week for summat else.

        Jail Bird

        April 26, 2019 at 7:37 am

      • To give them time to build the gallows 😀

        Hanging Judge Duncan-Smith

        April 26, 2019 at 7:40 am

      • “McGarry, who had previously sacked her legal team, disagreed with part of the written narrative and asked Sheriff Paul Crozier to allow her time to get new legal advice.

        Crozier said: “You have been given this grace and it is in your best interest to contact your solicitor and to tell them to get in touch with the procurator fiscal.” He adjourned the trial until next week.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/24/ex-snp-mp-natalie-mcgarry-admits-embezzling-25000

        Guardian Reader

        April 26, 2019 at 9:52 am

  24. To comply with the terms of the Gender Identity Act 2019 this blog is:

    Read this

    April 25, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    • Another half-cocked idea.

      Garry Benson

      April 25, 2019 at 10:28 pm

  25. “Universal Credit is designed to make you fail”: Why is foodbank use at a record high?

    As new figures show foodbank use at a record high in the UK, we speak to people relying on emergency donations.

    The local vicar had noticed people ravenous for food during coffee mornings.

    “I’ve applied for a lot of jobs, I’ve had interviews, and it’s the end of the month and I can’t afford to go to job interviews because transport is so expensive,”

    Last year, use of this foodbank increased by 22 per cent, well above the 13 per cent national average; this year it’s up again by 1.2 per cent.

    The main reason for foodbank use here is low income, followed by having “no recourse to public funds”, which leaves asylum seekers and those without documentation, like Windrush Generation citizens, without welfare.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2019/04/universal-credit-designed-make-you-fail-why-foodbank-use-record-high

    ken

    April 25, 2019 at 5:31 pm

  26. So, are we leaving the EU or not ?

    Zac

    April 25, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    • If I knew the answer to that Zac I wouldn’t have to sign on 😉

      'Sarah' ('Zac''s other half)

      April 26, 2019 at 8:23 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: