Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Trussell Trust Takes on DWP Universal Credit Propaganda and Calls for Grants to Replace ‘Loans’.

with 83 comments

Trussell Trust.

 

This Wednesday, MPs will debate Universal Credit and debt – we want to make sure as many MPs as possible turn up and speak out.

Everyone who applies for Universal Credit has to wait at least five weeks for a full payment – some are left waiting longer. This is leaving many people without enough money to cover the basics, forcing them to food banks.

While you wait, you can apply for an ‘advance payment’ – a loan from the Government to see you through that five week period. But once your Universal Credit payments start, you pay that loan back automatically through deductions from your monthly payments.

This puts people between a rock and a hard place: hardship now or hardship later?

Ending the five week wait should be the Government’s first priority to help create a future without food banks.

Background:

Universal Credit advance payments should be ‘scrapped and replaced by grants’

Mirror.

New figures show these so-called ‘bridging loans’ – which come with fixed repayment plans – are only causing more debt. It’s time to scrap them

Government loans designed to tide people over until their first Universal Credit payments reach them are causing more harm than good, a new report has suggested.

Charities StepChange and the Trussell Trust said advance payments to help ‘people get by’ are only fuelling more hardship because of the repayment thresholds.

A new report detailing the front-line impact of the five-week wait said advance payments are not a solution for many households already at risk.

In many cases it said these payments should simply be written off as grants instead.

The Trussell Trust – which manages a network of 420 foodbanks across the UK – said the biggest reason for referrals last year was benefit payments failing to cover the cost of living.

It said going five weeks or more with no income can lead to debt and rent arrears, with those faced with “additional inescapable costs”, such as disabled people and families with children, the most likely to fall into the poverty bracket.

“Repayments don’t take into account people’s ability to afford them,” the report said.

“It’s vital that this is done in an affordable way.”

In the private sector, all loans must come with an affordability – and repayment – assessment.

However, Universal Credit advance payments are different. Deduction levels are fixed by the DWP and these can be hard to challenge, even if you fall into financial hardship while repaying.

“In some cases, you can have your repayment levels renegotiated, but this is rare,” the report added. “By that point, you’re likely already to be in financial difficulty, and may be in arrears on other bills.”

The DWP can deduct up to 40% of your Universal Credit allowance to repay debts. This will fall to 30% in October this year.

And the impact is worrying. StepChange said after three months, 44% of Universal Credit claimants are still struggling to pay their bills.

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile as our Newshawks have already noticed:

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

June 5, 2019 at 12:08 pm

83 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Another way to do it would be to make “advances” like student loans, i.e., things that only need to be paid back later, over a long period, if the person owning the loan earns more than a certain amount and can comfortably afford to pay back the loan. A social security system that drive the very poorest and most vulnerable claimants and only very poorest and most vulnerable claimants into debt and rent arrears, by design, and then pauperises them for up to eighteen months by deducting money from inadequate benefit payments obviously has an enormous amount wrong with it.

    Limp Richard

    June 5, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    • When you think of how hard it is to live on the amount you get on the dole, eroded by the benefit freeze, well these deductions hardly bear thinking about..

      Andrew Coates

      June 5, 2019 at 1:05 pm

      • Especially if you live somewhere where rents are very expensive, e.g., London. (Several hundred pounds a week for very ordinary accommodation is common.) You could easily end up in hundreds and hundreds of pounds of debt, not to a loan shark but to the bloody DWP itself, and losing a massive 40% of your universal credit entitlements on a monthly basis when you finally get them for a year and a half, leaving you with next to nothing to live on!

        Talk about giving with one hand and taking with the other!

        Limp

        June 5, 2019 at 5:18 pm

  2. 5 weeks is far too long to wait for payment. This is just the deliberate cruelty of a system designed to be difficult and strict with claimants. Iain Duncan Smith knew exactly what he was doing with Universal Credit.
    It’s punishment benefits, always has been.

    Jeff Smith

    June 5, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    • Right on Jeff !! The whole thing was made this way from day one. Only know they see it ? Pull the other one.

      Dave Greenley

      June 5, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      • Yep. Punishment Benefits is right.

        Dave Jenkins

        June 6, 2019 at 8:43 am

      • Course it is ! Just putting people under pressure so they get off the benefits.

        John Davis

        June 6, 2019 at 11:11 am

    • Agreed. It doesn’t mirror the world of work where you can be paid weekly or monthly. Bring back the housing benefit and council tax run on and the job grant. It was rhe only way I could return to work as a single parent in 2011

      katrehman

      June 7, 2019 at 5:42 am

  3. Work and Health Programme: Participants “must” sign action planning evidence or give reason(s) for not doing so?
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/work_and_health_programme_partic_2#incoming-1366063

    ESF 1420

    In answer to question one

    A participant cannot be compelled to sign an ESF1420 form the emphasis is on the provider to
    complete the ESF1420 form within five working days, not that the form must be signed by the
    participant.

    In answer to question two

    As above, there is no specific legislation that requires a Work and Health Programme (WHP)
    participant to sign the ESF 1420 form. A compliance doubt would not be raised for a participant
    who refuses to sign a ESF 1420 form.

    In answer to question three

    A participant would not be referred for a compliance doubt for refusing to sign an Action Plan.

    As with the Work and Health programme, Action Plans are agreed between the provider and
    the individual to ensure that they are given appropriate support whilst participating on the
    programme.

    As above, it is important to note that whilst action will not be taken against a participant if they
    refuse to sign any documentation, a failure to adhere to any mandated actions set out in the
    participant’s Action Plan may still lead to a compliance doubt referral being raised.

    superted

    June 5, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    • You know this is sanction territory here Superted don’t you ? It’s not always practical for someone with a couple of kids to support to get themselves sanctioned. Maybe alright for some of these solo welfare warriors, but not everyone is in this position.

      Roger K.

      June 6, 2019 at 11:19 am

      • then you will be doing mwa down the pound shop for 6 months they sure as hell will not give a crap how many kids you got or no one to look after them you either turn up every day or get sanctioned and still will have to turn up, id say that is a lot worse lol.

        superted

        June 6, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      • It doesn’t appear that the ESF 1420 form will have any further role to play at some point.Not that it did any good to those it was supposed to be of help,it wasn’t the unemployed.

        Fears of job losses at charities as European funds for tackling poverty and unemployment are frozen

        Third sector providers have been working in good faith with the most vulnerable people in our communities who desperately need support into work.

        https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17686622.fears-of-job-losses-at-charities-as-european-funds-for-tackling-poverty-and-unemployment-are-frozen/

        ken

        June 6, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      • Roger, don’t listen to Superted. He posts on here all the time with this stuff about how he gets one over on the DWP. Most of it is nonsense. Just ignore his rants about how he got sanctioned, went months without a payment. Went to the Tribunal. his MP, the High Court and all the rest of it. You are quite right. Anyone with a family responsible for children is in a different situation to Superted, who can live in skip for six months eating rubbish just to teach the DWP a lesson.

        Tom Sutton

        June 6, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      • A MAJOR jobs quango under investigation over its use of European money is facing financial sanctions running into millions of pounds.

        Jobs and Business Glasgow, an arms-length organisation owned by the city council, has been accused of misusing various pots of European cash which it could be forced to pay back.

        The organisation, which was called Glasgow’s Regeneration Agency until a relaunch in 2013, has received around £4million in European Union funding in recent years.

        It now faces the prospect of paying all or some of this back after a routine audit by the Scottish Government found discrepancies in how the monies were accounted for, particularly around the issue of staff time devoted to the funded projects.

        A board meeting was held yesterday where the impact of the investigation on Jobs and Business Glasgow is understood to have dominated the agenda.

        Sources said Jobs and Business Glasgow is just one of raft of organisations across Scotland whose European funding has been suspended following an audit or review, with the potential claw back by Brussels running into tens of millions.

        The payback could add a bigger whole to the budgets of the country’s biggest council, which is already staring at a financial black hole of over £120million in the next two years and plans to shed around 3000 jobs to help balance the books

        One source said: “What’s happened is people working on one particular Europe-funded project are supposed to be spending 100 per cent of their time on that project and instead have been spending time on other projects. There appears not to have been control on this front.

        “You’ve got to have some sympathy with Jobs and Business Glasgow. Their focus is on outcomes, getting people into employment. But someone needs to be making sure the paperwork is filled in correctly. It’s no surprise European cash comes with these requirements.”

        Currently chaired by Labour councillor Maureen Burke, who has only been in the job several weeks, and with a cross-party board of directors, the quango was created by merging five local regeneration companies across the city and is Scotland’s largest local authority jobs quango. It is funded by organisation including Skills Development Scotland and Job Centre Plus as Glasgow’s main provider of apprenticeships.

        It claims that in the 2014/15 period it engaged with over 16,000 unemployed city residents, supported over 3500 into work, assisted more than 7500 into training and helped 500 people to start up a business.

        Some within they agency are understood to have claimed they feel “hung out to dry” by the city council, something being denied from within the authority.

        Council insiders have also denied suggestions of power grabs around the organisation’s remit.

        A Scottish Government spokesman said: “All projects receiving European Structural Funds across Scotland are subject to checks and audit visits on a regular basis.

        “Issues emerge each year around eligible expenditure, documentation, staff time and procurement processes. “This can involve funds having to be repaid.”

        A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “We are working with Jobs and Business Glasgow and the Scottish Government to investigate this. It would not be appropriate to say anything more at this time.”

        At the time of the creation of Jobs and Business Glasgow, the agency was hit with controversy when the boss of one of the disbanded agencies, Ronnie Saez, was given a £500,000 pay-off to leave.

        This decision was later described as “misconduct” and “wholly inappropriate” by Scotland’s charities watchdog. ..

        https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14103535.regeneration-firm-may-have-to-pay-back-millions-of-pounds-in-european-funding/

        Katie K

        June 6, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      • Thanks for that, I hope there’s some serious investigative journalism going into the details with a fine tooth comb.

        Andrew Coates

        June 7, 2019 at 11:36 am

      • Some bad news for you, ken 😦

        “John Swinney today insisted the SNP Government is determined to stop charities going bust because of their EU funding howler.

        The Deputy First Minister attempted to reassure MSPs after the Record revealed the European Commission has frozen more than £20 million in grants amid concerns over “deficiencies” in how the Scottish Government is managing the cash.

        The European Social Fund money is supposed to be used to tackle poverty and help people from Scotland’s deprived communities find jobs.

        Charities have warned they could go to the wall if the funding is not reinstated soon.”

        You have to hate the way they refer to what we know as ‘providers’ as ‘charities’. There is nowt charitable about these ‘providers’. They sooner all these bastards go to the wall and their staff lose their ‘jobs’ the better. Yet we have utter clowns like this Swinney character shedding tears and vowing to ‘save’ the bastards. These ‘provider’ bastards should all be behind bars. And Swinney should join his erstwhile colleague, Natalie McGarry, behind bars too.

        https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/snp-determined-stop-charities-going-16301568

        Mags

        June 6, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      • This European Social Fund money has got nowt to do with ‘helping the poor and disadvantaged’ but everything to do with lining the pockets of the ‘providers’. It is high time this gravy train was derailed.

        Dyna Mite

        June 7, 2019 at 7:29 am

      • What these providers do though is that they single out one or claimants to ‘help’ for ‘illustrative purposes only’ and to appear in their publicity handouts – ‘Zac and Sarah’s Journey with a Provider’ 😀

        Zac and Sarah

        June 7, 2019 at 7:32 am

      • What these providers do though is that they single out one or two claimants to ‘help’ for ‘illustrative purposes only’ and to appear in their publicity handouts – ‘Zac and Sarah’s Journey with a Provider’ 😀

        Zac and Sarah

        June 7, 2019 at 7:33 am

      • One of my aunt’s neighbours works for one of these providers. She lives in a fancy house, has already paid off her mortgage, drives a Beemer 7 series and is always holidaying in places like Oz. No wonder they are squirming at the thought of their money supply being cut off. They are not called poverty pimps for nowt!

        Angela

        June 7, 2019 at 7:37 am

      • People sent on those courses are often very vulnerable and an easy target for others to have a go at behind their back leading to serious bullying problems,when gossip starts in an area it can put someone at risk.People are quite right not to trust themselves or their personal information to these companies exposing themselves to negative consequences.

        ken

        June 8, 2019 at 1:39 am

    • the sanction was for 4 weeks, i covered this with a budgeting loan as the dwp took 3 months to try the sanction, i did the mr over the phone as wanted to go to tribunal to prove to every one you dont have to sign anything, i have been doing it since 2009 and if you do the mr in writing and provide proof it never goes any further and have done that 28 times to date even with 3rd party’s working in the jcp.

      superted

      June 6, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      • Tom Sutton doesn’t sound unemployed to me or knows what its like having to keep signing on.Another I’am alright Jack until it effects him.The scars of unemployment never heal,the sense of hopelessness which could simply somones age,we’re told that we are living longer and the retirement age is increasing but employers are seeing the reverse,The prospect for older people is they will be attening the Jobcentre for longer too.left behind mainstream society,ignord,fearful of the future and open to constent critism such as this.

        ken

        June 6, 2019 at 7:39 pm

      • he just needs to go on a journey 😉

        https://www.pluss.org.uk/services/work-health-programme

        superted

        June 6, 2019 at 10:15 pm

      • When I was in the Jobcentre the first thing there was a work coach sending text messages to someone sitting in front of them claiming Universal Credit for the first time to a smartphone.It certainly didn’t have the WS1 about it.

        How many people are walking through the doors of their local Jobcentre (if it hasn’t been closed) thinking of Superteds posts? Also the the eating in a skip claim show how Jobcentre sanctions are ineffective,how people suffer for the right to stand up for their rights.”The quest for justice is a long and painful one” is a truthful reality at the DWP.What happened to the stand up kinda guy once your unemployed a different set of rules are applied.

        ken

        June 7, 2019 at 2:25 am

  4. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    June 5, 2019 at 5:07 pm

  5. Universal Credit workers strike

    Benefit processing workers in Walsall and Wolverhampton have been leading the way in the fightback against Universal Credit.

    https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29210/05-06-2019/universal-credit-workers-strike

    ken

    June 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm

  6. More than 800 job seekers in Calderdale have faced benefit sanctions of up to three years

    “Every day we hear from people who have been sanctioned saying it has pushed them over the edge into poverty, leaving them hungry, in debt, and on the brink of homelessness,”

    “Social security should loosen the grip of poverty and further reform is needed to make sure people receive enough support.”

    https://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/lifestyle/more-than-800-job-seekers-in-calderdale-have-faced-benefit-sanctions-of-up-to-three-years-1-9804230

    ken

    June 5, 2019 at 5:42 pm

  7. For eight and a half hours, a worker called a “sticker” does nothing but stand in a river of blood, being drenched in blood, slitting the neck of a steer every ten seconds or so, severing its carotid artery. He uses a long knife and must hit exactly the right spot to kill the animal humanely. He hits that spot again and again. We walk up a slippery metal stairway and reach a small platform, where the production line
    begins. A man turns and smiles at me. He wears safety goggles and a hard hat. His face is splattered with grey matter and blood. He is the “knocker,” the man who welcomes cattle to the building. Cattle walk down a narrow chute and pause in front of him, blocked by a gate, and then he shoots them in the head with a captive bolt stunner — a compressed-air gun attached to the ceiling by a long hose — which fires a steel bolt that knocks the cattle unconscious. The animals keep strolling up, oblivious to what comes next, and he stands over them and shoots. For eight and a half hours, he just shoots. As I stand there, he misses a few times and shoots the same animal twice. As soon as the steer falls, a worker grabs one of its hind legs, shackles it to a chain, and the chain lifts the huge animal into the air. I watch the knocker knock cattle for a couple of minutes. The animals are powerful and imposing one moment and then gone in an
    instant, suspended from a rail, ready for carving. A steer slips from its chain, falls to the ground, and gets its head caught in one end of a conveyor belt. The production line stops as workers struggle to free the steer, stunned but alive, from the machinery. I’ve seen enough.

    I step out of the building into the cool night air and follow the path that leads cattle into the slaughterhouse. They pass me, driven toward the building by workers with long white sticks that seem to glow in the dark. One steer, perhaps sensing instinctively what the other don’t, turns and tries to run. But workers drive him back to join the rest. The cattle lazily walk single-file toward the muffled sounds, pop, pop,pop, coming from the open door.

    The path has hairpin turns that prevent cattle from seeing what’s in store and keep them relaxed. As the ramp gently slopes upward, the animals may think they’re headed for another truck, another road trip — and they are, in unexpected ways. The ramp widens as it reaches ground level and then leads to a large cattle pen with wooden fences, a corral that belongs in a meadow, not here. As I walk along the fence,
    a group of cattle approach me, looking me straight in the eye, like dogs hoping for a treat, and follow me out of some mysterious impulse. I stop and try to absorb the whole scene: the cool breeze, the cattle and their gentle lowing, a cloudless sky, steam rising from the plant in the moonlight. And then I notice that the building does have one window, a small square of light on the second floor. It offers a glimpse of what’s hidden behind this huge blank façade. Through the little window you can see bright red carcasses on hooks, going round and round.

    Maccy D

    June 6, 2019 at 10:00 am

  8. For eight and a half hours a worker called a ‘Team Member’ stands at the counter and serves burgers. Constantly asking ”Do you want fries with that ? ” He gets the tray, puts the order on it. Then moves on to the next. Outside the window lurk the resentful vegetarians and vegans, all suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency. Watching each juicy burger, crispy portion of golden fries with deep resentment.

    Colin Carnivore

    June 6, 2019 at 11:16 am

  9. Crooked MP who stole from foodbank gets sent down:

    Natalie McGarry: Former SNP MP jailed for embezzlement

    Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry has been jailed for 18 months for embezzling money from pro-independence groups.

    McGarry admitted embezzling more than £25,600 – including donations intended for a foodbank.

    This included £21,000 from Women for Independence (WFI), when she was treasurer of the organisation, and the SNP’s Glasgow Regional Association.

    Her spending included rent, a holiday to Spain, transfers of money to her husband and other lifestyle costs.

    McGarry, who was the MP for Glasgow East between 2015 and 2017, pled guilty to two charges of embezzlement in a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court last month.

    Her attempt to withdraw the guilty pleas at a later hearing was refused by Sheriff Paul Crozier.

    Depression and anxiety

    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.

    Passing sentence on Thursday morning, Sheriff Crozier told McGarry that her fraud and deceit had been of the “most serious kind” given the position of trust she had been in.

    He added: “You have fallen very far short of the standards the general public should expect from their elected representative.

    “There is no alternative than a custodial sentence as you have shown no remorse.”

    McGarry was then handcuffed and taken to the cells.

    Defence lawyer Allan Macleod had earlier told the court that McGarry continued to insist she was innocent of the charges.

    Mr Macleod said his client had suffered mental health issues over the years, including depression and anxiety, and also had postpartum depression following the birth of her daughter in November 2017.

    McGarry wept in the dock as the court was told that she had suffered a miscarriage earlier this week, while she was six weeks pregnant.

    Mr Macleod said: “She describes her life as almost intolerable. Two weeks ago she considered that life could not get any worse, and then it did.

    “She was pregnant and miscarried, that happened on Sunday and that is something that for her has been absolutely devastating.

    “She is at the lowest point in her life she has ever been. Her career is ruined, her reputation is in tatters, she has lost friends, colleagues, her reputation and job, and now her child.”

    Mr Macleod said the family’s finances were now in a “perilous” state and McGarry’s main concern was for her daughter, who is 18 months old. He said her husband had two jobs, one at unsociable hours, to support them.

    What did McGarry do?

    The 37-year-old 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 foodbank and to Positive Prison, Positive Future between 26 April 2013 and 30 November 2015.

    The court heard how £750 that had been raised for the foodbank never reached the organisation. The donation would have provided food for 30 families.

    McGarry also used cheques drawn on the organisation’s bank account to deposit money into her own account.

    Women for Independence said McGarry had embezzled donations from members of the public that had been intended to be used in the campaign for independence.

    A statement issued by the group said: “For many, these donations were a real sacrifice”.

    The statement added: “We had no influence on the sentencing diet and recognise that we were not the only party injured by her actions.

    “We respect the sheriff’s decision given his comments on the seriousness of the matter. We are frustrated however that there are not more alternatives to prison available for sheriffs to consider and we will continue to campaign on this issue.”

    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 elected as an SNP MP in 2015 but resigned the party whip after the allegations against her were first made. She did not seek re-election in the 2017 general election.

    Porridge

    June 6, 2019 at 11:43 am

    • Universal Credit system on the horizon to improve direct payment to landlords

      A Croydon-based software company says payment times will be cut from weeks to two days after the launch of their new system later this year

      https://www.arla.co.uk/news/june-2019/universal-credit-system-on-the-horizon-to-improve-direct-payment-to-landlords/

      Pity they didn’t do the same for those making a fresh claim.It clearly shows that the Founding principles of Universal Credit are unworkable and are a complete and utter shambles nearly a decade on.

      the Welfare Reform Minister, Lord David Freud, emphasised the scale of their plan, saying it was a “once in many generations” reform

      Iain Duncan Smith, who said it would make the social security system fairer to claimants and taxpayers.

      Yet now they expect migration to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2023.Unemployment/job losses/poverty/homelessness,foodbank dependency are the only thing guaranteed.We’re living in another existence.

      ken

      June 6, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    • Her goose was cooked before she set foot in the court. If you appear for sentence in a courtroom that leads straight to the cells you are going to get custody 😉

      Court Insider

      June 6, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    • Indeed, me old China 😉

      Natalie MCGARRY OR MEIKLE SCS/2018-120710 CO16000375 Court 1

      Fagin

      June 6, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    • Me old gran (RiP) always said it was better to get hanged for a lamb than a sheep. In an another embezzlement case this time for the sum of £372,163, the same Sheriff, Sheriff Paul Crozier handed down a sentence of 3 years imprisonment, exactly twice what McGarry got but for a sum almost 15 times what McGarry embezzled. In the former case almost 100 employees lost their job just before Christmas. It just goes to show that these sentences are not linear, maybe exponential. It is usually something like five years for each £5 that you ‘defraud’ from the DWP though 😉 It is never worth putting your hand in the till for a couple of quid!

      Babs

      June 6, 2019 at 11:55 pm

      • Come to think of it, think that is back to front – better to get hanged for a sheep than a lamb. Cos is bigger – not that lamb is more expensive!

        https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/coatbridge-mum-who-stole-400k-9830512

        Babs

        June 7, 2019 at 12:00 am

      • But by that reckoning McGarry would have got one month and one week or the other criminal twenty two and a half years.

        Abby Cuss

        June 7, 2019 at 7:10 am

      • But by that reckoning McGarry would have got two months and two weeks or the other criminal twenty two and a half years.

        Abbie Cuss

        June 7, 2019 at 7:13 am

    • Stealing from a foodbank!? Natalie McGarry is disgusting!

      Wee Nicola Turdgeon

      June 7, 2019 at 8:10 am

    • Aye, Scotch justice will be done… 😉

      Wee Fat Eck

      June 7, 2019 at 8:13 am

    • If you are ever offered tea/coffee at an interview always politely say no thanks. Some even offer biscuits. If you take up the offer the job is gone there and then. Imagine spilling your drink and getting biscuit crumbs everywhere. And never go to an interview hungry in case you are tempted.

      Sarana

      June 6, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    • What about the ‘Worm Test’

      “With this shadow on his mind he did not care to show himself in the village, and went homeward by a round-about track behind a high hedge and across a pasture. Here he beheld scores of coupled earthworms lying half their length on the surface of the damp ground, as they always did in such weather at that time of the year. It was impossible to advance in regular steps without crushing some of them at each tread.

      Though Farmer Troutham had just hurt him, he was a boy who could not himself bear to hurt anything. He Had never brought home a nest of young birds without lying awake in misery half the night after, and often reinstating them and the nest in their original place the next morning. He could scarcely bear to see trees cut down or lopped, from a fancy that it hurt them ; and late pruning, when the sap was up and the tree bled profusely, had been a positive grief to him in his infancy. This weakness of character, as it may be called, suggested that he was the sort of man who was born to ache a good deal before the fall of the curtain upon his unnecessary life should signify that all was well with him again. He carefully picked his way on tiptoe among the earthworms without killing a single one.”

      Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy

      Thomas Hardy

      June 6, 2019 at 9:20 pm

  10. DWP quietly hands private firms £600m extra to test disabled people for benefits

    Atos and Maximus had their PIP and ESA contracts extended for the second time despite accusations they’re running a “failing” welfare system. Now the eye-watering cost to taxpayers can be revealed

    Welfare chiefs are accused of “rewarding failure” after they extended contracts with corporate giants Atos and Maximus without going out to tender.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dwp-quietly-hands-private-firms-16243454

    ken

    June 6, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    • Shows just how much notice the Tories are taking of the criticism against them. None. This welfare to work stuff has been one of the biggest cons of modern times. These people have made millions from sticking their snouts in the welfare trough. And where there is money, there is a Tory.

      Alan Turner

      June 6, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    • State Sponsored Murder – ATOS own the Governments IT System.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      June 6, 2019 at 7:31 pm

  11. Two government departments ‘are breaking the law over PIP recording failure’

    DNS – 6th June 2019

    Two government departments are breaching equality laws and their human rights obligations by failing to ensure that disabled people can record their face-to-face benefit assessments and appeal tribunals, legal researchers have concluded.

    They say the delay by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in ensuring that all disabled people can record their assessments for personal independence payment (PIP) is causing them “significant and predictable harm”.

    And they say the failure of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to ensure that all PIP appeal tribunals can be recorded is also causing “significant and predictable harm” to disabled people.

    MoJ’s failure to assess or even acknowledge the harm caused by the absence of recording equipment at many tribunal venues means its actions are unlawful, say researchers from the International Disability Law Clinic (IDLC) at the University of Leeds.

    They say both DWP and MoJ are breaching the Equality Act, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the European Convention on Human Rights.

    Read More:
    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/two-government-departments-are-breaking-the-law-over-pip-recording-failure/

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    June 6, 2019 at 7:29 pm

  12. Jodey Whiting: Mum to demand truth from DWP in face-to-face meeting

    DNS – 6th June 2019

    The mother of a disabled woman who took her own life after repeated safeguarding failings by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is to demand the truth about her daughter’s death in a meeting with a senior civil servant.

    Emma Haddad, DWP’s director general for service excellence, will travel to Teesside on Monday (10 June) to apologise in person to Joy Dove for the government’s failings in the case of her daughter, Jodey Whiting (pictured).

    The meeting, which will also be attended by Colin Stewart, DWP’s work and health director for the north of England, will take place in the offices of Dove’s MP, Dr Paul Williams.

    Haddad said, in a letter confirming the meeting, that they wanted to hear “personally” from Dove and explain “what happened with Jodey’s claim and changes we have put in place as a result of the lessons we have learned”.

    Dove said: “They say they want to speak to me, to hear what I think about it all.

    “It will never bring my daughter back. I don’t want apologies, I just want the truth.

    “It’s their fault she’s in the ground and they shouldn’t have done that to her.”

    She said she hoped the meeting would help “change the system for good”.

    Read More:
    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/jodey-whiting-mum-to-demand-truth-from-dwp-in-face-to-face-meeting/

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    June 6, 2019 at 7:34 pm

  13. The Shitty Reality of Universal Credit as a Freelancer
    I signed up for the scheme as a self-employed freelancer, and the nightmare began.

    https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/gy4d3x/universal-credit-apply-freelance-self-employed

    ken

    June 7, 2019 at 2:45 am

    • “The system of calculating payment by household is inherently flawed, particularly for couples who live together but don’t share their earnings. ” ‘Tis always been the case, ken, since benefits began. For example, if you are unemployed and living with someone who works they are expected to support you. You would get £nowt JSA. And if you did claim JSA and didn’t declare that you were living with a partner who was working and the DWP found out you would be prosecuted in the eyes of the DWP and the courts for very serious fraud. So trying to make out that the expectation of a working partner supporting a non-working partner came in with universal credit is a patent nonsense.

      Amber R

      June 7, 2019 at 7:56 am

      • What is being said in this article is a load of old nonsense. It is paying for accommodation that takes the biggest chunk out of someone’s wages. Especially in a place like London. Like the government would allow someone who was working to live with someone who was claiming jsa and housing/council tax benefit!

        Savarina

        June 7, 2019 at 8:23 am

      • The Koan on The Sound of One Hand

        Question: In clapping both hands a sound is heard, what is the sound of the one hand ?

        Answer: The pupil faces his master, takes a correct posture, and without a word thrusts one hand forward.

        Zendo

        June 7, 2019 at 3:13 pm

      • A gesture no solution to a koan, Grasshopper.

        Master Po

        June 8, 2019 at 1:26 pm

  14. The worrying number of Birmingham workers on astonishingly poor pay

    Some 784,000 of those – or 41.9 per cent – earned less than £20,000

    Campaigners warned that people on low pay often have “nothing left” after they’ve paid for things like rent and bills – and said many will be going hungry and relying on high cost credit.

    https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/worrying-number-birmingham-workers-astonishingly-16391042

    ken

    June 7, 2019 at 9:38 am

  15. Bouncy yet soft, firm and juicy. Yum.

    Sucky

    June 7, 2019 at 6:05 pm

  16. The trouble with all this Universal Credit stuff, is that the DWP still believe they are doing the right thing.
    Social change based on cheap work for the masses.

    Andrew Whitford

    June 7, 2019 at 8:04 pm

  17. MvVey under fire again for saying UK disability benefits are “generous”. Well, I can tell you my neighbour who is ‘schizophrenic’ takes home over £350 nicker a week. Like five times more than her unemployed neighbour! If that is not generous I don’t know what is! How much of a salary would you need to earn to have £350 nicker in your pocket after rent and council tax. I think people are getting disability confused with the less generous ESA which is like £30 odd nicker a week more than the miserly dole. I don’t think any of the unemployed would sniff at another £30 odd nicker a week in their pocket though.

    Lambeth

    June 8, 2019 at 9:44 am

  18. Discourse On tHe Sound Of The One Hand – The Way Of The Inzan School

    Master: If you have heard the sound of the one hand, prove it.

    Answer: Without a word the pupil thrusts one hand forward

    Master: It is said that if one hears the sound of the one hand, one becomes a Buddha. Well then, how will you do it ?

    Answer: Without a word, the pupil thrusts one hand forward

    Zendo

    June 8, 2019 at 2:05 pm

  19. The DWP need to stop the 5 week wait for Universal Credit payments.
    Replace the £100 Jobfinding grant that was scrapped.
    Act less like bastards.

    Jon Taylor

    June 8, 2019 at 2:13 pm

  20. The Koan On Mu

    A monk asked Master Joshu, does a dog have Buddha nature ?
    Joshu said ”Mu”, ( no, non-existence or nothing).

    Answer: Sitting in front of his master, the pupil shouts ”Mu ! ” with all of his might.

    Master: ”Well then, bring forth the proof of this Mu. ”

    Answer: Sitting in front of his master, the pupil shouts ”Mu ! ”

    Master: ”If so, in what way will you become a Buddha ?”

    Answer: Again the pupil faces his master and shouts ” Mu !” as loudly as possible.

    Zendo

    June 8, 2019 at 2:26 pm

  21. I have my father’s haircut.

    Gove Govey

    June 8, 2019 at 2:27 pm

  22. Universal Credit increasing rent arrears at Dacorum Borough Council

    points to an increase in the number of residents living in poverty.

    https://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/17691539.universal-credit-increasing-rent-arrears-at-dacorum-borough-council/

    This is what makes an area become rundown and depressed and brings with it associated problems.If this the case before Brexit what is going to happen after? A magical solution isn’t around the corner.The right wing of the Conservative party under David Cameron went after the UKIP/National Front voters under Nigel Farage with his undeliverable policies in reality and pursued that road,that deliverability then fell at the Tories feet leaving Nigel to claim that the Conservatives have failed to deliver Brexit.The Tory right are not how the world works and are extremely dangerous as we know all to well here reinforcing poverty foodbanks and decline for their vision,where that leads the rest of the population remains to be seen.

    ken

    June 8, 2019 at 2:32 pm

  23. The disastrous roll-out of the UK’s digital welfare system is harming those most in need

    The UK government has embarked on an ambitious strategy to digitise and automate the delivery of welfare services, but misplaced reliance on these technologies is threatening to further unravel the social safety net

    These failures are increasing the strain on welfare claimants, who are already suffering from sanctions for falling short of work requirements and from reductions in their benefits over the last decade.

    Amos Toh
    Senior researcher at Human Rights Watch

    https://www.euronews.com/2019/06/07/the-disastrous-roll-out-of-the-uk-s-digital-welfare-system-is-harming-those-most-in-need-v

    ken

    June 8, 2019 at 2:36 pm

  24. What further horror must people endure before the UK government decides ‘enough is enough’, asks Alison Thewliss MP.

    This Tory UK Government is systematically violating the UK’s human rights obligations

    To add insult to injury, we have witnessed the creeping roll-out of Universal Credit over the past six years, which has further exacerbated the damaging cuts and waiting times that are pushing people into debt, homelessness and destitution.

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/social-affairs/welfare/opinion/house-commons/104429/alison-thewliss-mp-tories-are-intent

    ken

    June 8, 2019 at 2:41 pm

  25. I’ve tried every drug you can get, run through corn fields, and I’ve had sex with a woman. Twice !!

    Conservative Candidate

    June 8, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    • Oh Yeah ? Well I’ve stripped naked. climbed into our local zoo, snorted some coke and then had sex with a monkey, a zebra and a zookeeper.

      Conservative Man

      June 9, 2019 at 11:19 am


  26. Jo Swinshit: And odious piece of utter shit

    And lest we forget that this pure c*unt voted for each and everyone of Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘welfare reforms’. The same ‘welfare reforms’ that brought us universal credit. The same ‘welfare reforms’ that that heaped misery, suffering, poverty, starvation, homelessness, deaths and suicide on the most vulnerable, poorest and weakest members of our communities. How can this utter piece of contemptible shit have the audacity even show her face in public never mind appear on TV. She should be ashamed to walk down the street. What a c*unt!

    Lib Dem leadership hopeful Jo Swinson has been accused of hypocrisy after accepting cash from a fracking businessman – then vowing to save the planet.

    The East Dunbartonshire MP’s website boasts that she has “campaigned tirelessly to save our environment” and “took to the streets with Extinction Rebellion”.

    One of her central taglines is to: “Build an economy that puts people and the planet first.”

    But the Sunday Mail can reveal that Swinson accepted a £10,000 donation from Mark Petterson in July 2017 and another £4000 in January.

    Petterson is a director of Warwick Energy Ltd – a firm with fracking licences across England.

    In 2015, Swinson voted against a moratorium and a requirement for an environmental permit being granted for fracking.

    She also rejected carrying out a review of the impact of the highly controversial technique on climate change, the environment, the economy, and health and safety.

    A number of other proposals at Westminster designed to fight climate change and protect the environment were not supported by Swinson.

    She voted in favour of cutting the subsidy for electricity generated via renewable or low-carbon methods and against ensuring the future of the payments in 2011. In 2013, Swinson, 39, voted against targets for the amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases produced per unit of electricity generated.

    Meanwhile, in 2012, she voted against requiring the UK Green Investment Bank to explicitly support the target of reducing UK carbon emissions to 20 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050.

    Swinson also refused to support the completion of a cycle path in her constituency of Milngavie after complaints from motorists.

    Rona Mackay, SNP MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “Jo Swinson has some brass neck. She’s waving a ‘save the planet’ flag in one hand while grabbing cash from fracking companies with the other.

    “Just a few years ago, she voted against plans to block fracking in England. Voters will be right to question the credibility of her bid to become the next Lib Dem leader.

    “The strength of feeling against fracking in Scotland is clear – this issue really ­matters to people and their communities. So it’s only right Ms Swinson issues a full explanation to her constituents.”

    Swinson also voted with the Tories to sell England’s state-owned forests.

    The Scottish ­Government has imposed a moratorium on fracking over environmental fears.

    Mum-of-two Swinson is married to former Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames.

    She was first elected as MP for East Dunbartonshire at the 2005 general election, aged 25. She lost the seat to the SNP’s John Nicolson in 2015 but regained it in 2017.

    She was elected unopposed as deputy leader of the Lib Dems in June 2017.

    ­Swinson’s ­spokesman said: “Mark Petterson is a long-standing ­supporter of the party and all donations from him have been made in a ­personal capacity, rather than from any commercial entity.

    “Jo is proud of the Lib Dems record on climate change while in coalition, including action under Ed Davey, the Lib Dem secretary of state for energy and climate change, that saw us become the world leader in offshore wind.”

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/liberal-democrat-leadership-hopeful-dubbed-16483979

    Natalie McGarry

    June 9, 2019 at 7:25 am

    • I wouldn’t vote LibDem in a million years. My aunt lost her life – committed suicide – over what these bastards did. I will never forget nor forgive. Shame on the LibDems! Shame on Jo Swinson! Burn in HELL you bastards!

      Tina

      June 9, 2019 at 7:37 am

    • Typical Liberal / Lib Dem. Only concerned with trendy environmental politics and virtue-signalling.
      These are the bastards that voted for much stricter sanctions on the unemployed, in Coalition government with the Tories. In exchange for 5p ‘environmental tax’ on a plastic carrier bag.

      Andrew Garvey

      June 9, 2019 at 11:28 am

    • MPS pocketing donations from private businesses for political favours is absolutely scandalous! Incidentally, this is the same Jo Swinson who was caught fiddling her expenses, stopping so low to claim for toothpaste, dental floss, cotton buds, and items costing as little as 10p. Jo Swinson should be behind bars.
      If the voters of East Dunbartonshire have any sense they will toss this piece of garbage to the kerb.

      Maggie

      June 9, 2019 at 11:37 am

    • MPS pocketing donations from private businesses for political favours is absolutely scandalous! Incidentally, this is the same Jo Swinson who was caught fiddling her expenses, stopping so low to claim for toothpaste, dental floss, cotton buds, and items costing as little as 10p. Jo Swinson should be behind bars.
      If the voters of East Dunbartonshire have any sense they will toss this piece of garbage to the kerb!

      Maggie

      June 9, 2019 at 11:38 am

    • Cor! What a hotty! I’d like to put my cross in her box and no mistake. Lurvely.

      Lord Lionel Blair III

      June 12, 2019 at 5:12 pm

  27. Just been offered a job with Royal Mail. The thing is it’s a 25 hour a week contract. How does that work with universal credit? Will I be better off on the dole? Never told the jokecentre anyway. Us Liverpudians ain’t stupid you know 😀

    Liverpool Lass

    June 9, 2019 at 8:15 am

    • You’ll get to keep 37% of your earnings and have an amount equal to 63% of your earnings deducted from you universal Credit. In other words you’ll keep 9.25 hours worth of whatever you hourly rate is. If you pay any council tax that contribution will be adjusted up too! You should be better off, depending on how much you spend commuting between home and work, but not much. Ain’t life grand?

      Jim

      June 9, 2019 at 9:32 am

    • It’s not just the money, it’s the misery.

      Jack Reid

      June 9, 2019 at 11:32 am

    • It depends whether what you end up with is worth the reward. Twenty-five hours a week on the maximum minimum wage would give you £75.94 more a week overall, or an extra £15.19 per day if you work a five day week. Whether it’s worth doing or not depends on how far you have to travel, how many days you have to go to work to complete your 25 hours, and how much you have to spend to do the commute to work and back on a daily basis. Having to go a fair distance there and back to only be fifteen quid a day better off doesn’t seem like being much better off it seems to me, especially if your travelling expenses are £5.00 or over. On the other hand if your workplace lies within walking distance things look brighter. Only you can decide. Good luck.

      Bush

      June 9, 2019 at 12:32 pm

  28. The Work Formula

    Where work = W,
    Psychological stress = PS,
    Working time = WT
    Monetary reward =MR
    Travel & associated costs of undertaking employment = TC

    W = ( WT x MR ) – PS + TC

    Peter Morley

    June 9, 2019 at 11:41 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: