Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

DWP Still in Denial about ‘Misleading’ Advertising Campaign.

with 100 comments

 

Boris the Bounder is back all over the news but this continues to rumble:

A few days ago this was in the paper many of us on the dole actually read, the ‘I’

Universal Credit: Controversial DWP newspaper adverts were ‘deliberately misleading’, advertising watchdog told

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) – an umbrella group of 80 organisations including Age UK, the MS Society and the Royal British Legion – has written to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the DWPcampaign, which it claims breached several advertising rules and could be “knowingly dangerous to the health and security of disabled people”.

Universal Credit adverts that were published in Metro from 22 May claimed to “bust myths” about the controversial benefit. But the DBC, which also counts Macmillan Cancer Support, Scope and foodbank charity The Trussell Trust as members, has branded them “a disgrace” and urged the ASA to take action.

The original statement from this estimable organisation is this:
DBC letter to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) is a national coalition of over 80 different charities and other organisations committed to working towards a fair benefits system.

As a coalition we are writing to issue an official complaint regarding the recent advertisement campaign from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) concerning universal credit, which ran for the first time in the Metro newspaper on Wednesday 22ns May 2019.

The DWP are advertising what they call ‘Universal Credit uncovered’, a series of adverts ‘busting myths’ on Universal Credit.  According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), you ‘work to make sure all advertising wherever it appears is legal, decent, honest and truthful’, we consider that the aforementioned DWP adverts are deliberately misleading. We believe the adverts breach the Non Broadcast Codes – in particular those regarding misleading advertising

3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.

The adverts claim it’s a “myth” that “Universal Credit doesn’t work”, adding: “fact: it does.” These statements omit the thousands of claimants universal credit does not ‘work for’ but instead has driven them into debt, rent arrears, foodbanks, and homelessness.

A joint DWP and HMRC study, which examined how tax credit claimants coped with the move to universal credit, found 60% of those who said they struggled to pay bills said their difficulties began when they moved on to the new benefit[1]. About half of those surveyed did not have sufficient savings to tide them over until they received their first payment. A few claimants endured “considerable stress” after payment delays meant they had to wait up to three months to get their money1.

The Work and Pension Select Committee report ‘Universal Credit: support for disabled people’ found that one in eight universal credit claimants do not receive their benefit on time and in full[2]. One in ten receive nothing at all on time and disabled people fare even worse as only a third of new claimants whose award includes an additional amount for disability receive payment on time and in full.

The DBC recently surveyed around 500 disabled people about their experience of Universal Credit. The survey highlights some serious concerns and deeply worrying findings. The majority of respondents who moved from employment support allowance onto universal credit said they now get less or a lot less money than they did previously. People told us that the impact of having less money includes struggling to pay for food (70%), driving a significant number of people to food banks (35%) and a worsening of people’s health, in particular their mental health (85%) and most worryingly driving people to consider suicide.

The government claim that universal credit supports you if you are on a low income or out of work. Given disabled people are struggling to get by on universal credit, to claim it works is simple misleading.

3.2 Obvious exaggerations (“puffery”) and claims that the average consumer who sees the marketing communication is unlikely to take literally are allowed provided they do not materially mislead.

A second advert says “myth: Universal Credit makes it harder to pay your rent on time.” Followed by “fact”; your Jobcentre can give you an advance payment and pay rent directly to landlords”.

In reality, the DWP will never pay an advance payment to a landlord, only directly to the client.  The wording implies an advanced payment can be paid directly to the landlord. The use of two different colours to separate the claim is inaccessible to some disabled people and will leave people wrongly believing that an advance payment can be paid directly to a landlord.

This claim also clearly implies that anyone can have their rent paid directly to the landlord.  In reality, you have to apply to the job centre for this to happen, and you have to meet certain criteria.  So, for a person on the old legacy benefits, who would have had housing benefit paid directly to the landlord, it is true that it will be harder to pay their rent on time, because they now must take responsibility for doing it themselves, which takes more planning.

The claim clearly does not distinguish between advanced payments which cannot be paid to landlords and regular payments. It also makes no distinction of whom would be eligible for direct payment and implies this option is guaranteed for everyone. This is again misleading and incorrect.

3.3 Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.

One advert says it’s a “myth” that “you have to wait 5 weeks to get any money on Universal Credit”, followed by “fact: Jobcentres can “urgently pay you an advance.” It is not clear that an advance must be paid back, the advert omits that these advances are taken out of future payments and have to be paid back over several months. This means claimants receive less money in the following months, and less money than they will have actually budgeted for. It could be misconstrued to mean it is a payment in advance instead of a payment in arrears; it is essentially a loan.

This claim also misleads the reality disabled people face when taking out the loan before receiving their payment. Given that disabled people are a key audience for universal credit this advert is clearly targeting vulnerable groups without providing the necessary clarity. One disabled person who took out the loan said:

“The full monthly payment is nowhere near adequate anyway, and now I’ve taken an advance I get even less. I’ve never been in such a financial mess and I’ve now been forced to get help from a foodbank. It felt like a walk of shame.”

Latest statistics show 840,000 people have had reduced payments as a result of taking out this loan. Of this 840,000 claims with a deduction[3]:

  • 50% (420,000 claims) had deductions up to 20% of the Standard Allowance
  • 20% (170,000 claims) had deductions between 21% and 30% of the Standard Allowance
  • 28% (238,000 claims) had deductions between 31% and 40% of their Standard Allowance
  • 1% (13,000 claims) had deductions above 40% of their Standard Allowance

The fact that people who take out this loan can then look to have 40% reductions in future benefits should have been set out clearly in the advertisement. It is not clear in the language that this payment is a loan and that taking it out can leave disabled people in a worse financial position.

The advert itself is visually misleading and inaccessible. Given the target audience is those who are out of work, many of whom will be sick or disabled, the lack of clarity that it is a DWP advertisement is disingenuous. An internal memo, reported by the Mirror, claims the lack of clarity (no logo or DWP branding) regarding this being a DWP advertisement was deliberate[4].

These are some of the most vulnerable people in society. It is a disgrace that they are being treated with such disregard. At best these adverts are accidentally misleading at worst they are knowingly dangerous to the health and financial security of disabled people.

We believe there is clear evidence that these adverts are misleading and urge the ASA to take this complaint seriously and act as quickly as possible.

We look forward to your response,

The Disability Benefits Consortium

[1] Gov UK, Transition from tax credits to Universal Credit: qualitative and quantitative research with claimants. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transition-from-tax-credits-to-universal-credit-qualitative-and-quantitative-research-with-claimants

[2] Work and Pensions Committee, Universal Credit: support for disabled people. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/1770/1770.pdf

[3] Universal Credit:Written question – 257147 – https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2019-05-21/257147/

[4] Mirror, ‘Fury as DWP launches taxpayer-funded ‘spin’ campaign to defend Universal Credit‘. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/fury-dwp-launches-taxpayer-funded-16183343?utm_source=sharebar&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=sharebar

DWP disputes survey claiming Universal Credit adverts were ‘deliberately misleading’

Teeside Live.

A coalition of disability charities say that Government adverts paid for in local newspapers are ‘deliberately misleading’

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) highlighted a recent advertising campaign by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which was described as a “myth buster” on the flagship benefit.

The complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) coincides with new research from the DBC, which claims Universal Credit benefit was having a “devastating impact” on disabled people.

The complaint relates to a recent newspaper advertising campaign by the DWP, which the charities say featured adverts designed to look like news articles.

 

Meanwhile even this Blog can report exclusively on this:

Written by Andrew Coates

June 22, 2019 at 1:28 pm

100 Responses

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  1. The adverts claim it’s a “myth” that “Universal Credit doesn’t work”, adding: “fact: it does.”

    Cynical would be the most appropriate term people are going without their state entitlement.This is going to get much worse when migration begins the stubbornly hard over 50’s and it appears to include late 30’s/40 the disabled and those targeted under previous failed “help” to work programmes.Nothing works under the Conservatives are a party of irresponsibility and feckless character

    ken

    June 22, 2019 at 4:00 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

    A6er

    June 22, 2019 at 4:38 pm

  3. UC does not work, the work and health programme does not work, just another money making scheme for providers. I only known one person who got a job from the work and health programme (and its part-time sort of a zero hour contract, he is close to retirement)

    myfinalusername

    June 22, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    • Sometime you see a Work & Health provider advertising for “Change Coaches” offering a salary of about £23,000 per year. Talk about money for old rope. Only something like one in five get six months of work for sixteen hours or more over six months, cumulatively, or are in self-employment for six months. That is to say the Work & Health scheme has an 80% fail rate in its own terms!

      What a load of shite!

      Wash 'n' Go

      June 23, 2019 at 10:52 am

  4. It’s not denial. But stubborn resistance on the part of the DWP and the government, to revealing the real hardship they both knew would be the result of the massive welfare cuts. And in particular the launch of Universal Credit.
    A strict, highly conditional system, designed to prevent long-term unemployment, and to force claimants into zero-hours work instead. As the mood of the public changes, after years of brutal austerity, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the DWP to disguise the suffering that they are causing. Particularly when even the right-wing press have apparently turned against them.

    Jeff Smith

    June 22, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    • Yep, even the Sun now has a regular Universal Credit horror story. Only they pretend that they want Universal Credit to ‘work’. Makes a change from page 3 .

      Dan Mason

      June 23, 2019 at 11:10 am

    • Too right Jeff !! These bastards knew what they were doing from the very start. You can’t smash through a benefit system like they have done and not expect to cause all the suffering and trouble that they have done.

      Colin Farmer

      June 23, 2019 at 11:15 am

      • Universal Credit Is A Lifeline For Young Homeless People. The Five-Week Wait Is Damaging Their Lives.
        As one young person told me “life doesn’t stop because you’re waiting for your payment”

        But all too often, the debt generated by Advance Payments adds to other debt and deductions which push homeless young people towards breaking point. Young people often fall foul of the complexities of Universal Credit because they just don’t understand what they are expected to do.

        https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/universal-credit_uk_5d13944de4b0d0a2c0aa8c88?

        Young people often fall foul of the complexities of Universal Credit because they just don’t understand what they are expected to do.

        ken

        June 27, 2019 at 10:38 am

  5. Benefits to be paid in Libra? Facebook to become MANDATORY for benefit claimants?

    Why Facebook’s Libra currency plans have alarm bells ringing

    ‘MOVE fast and break things,” said the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2009. “Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.”

    You might have thought their recent troubles – that is, being revealed as a tool of political extremism, misinformation and destabilisation – would have slowed Facebook down a little.

    But it turns out there’s a complement to Zuckerberg’s slogan: Move slow, and they break you up. Government and public regulators all over the world are poking into Facebook’s innards, wondering just how much power they possess, with the interaction data of 2.8 billion people on their servers.

    Legislators from Miami to Myanmar are asking whether this behemoth should be more tightly regulated, or even scaled down, from its current monopoly position.

    So rather than wait for dismemberment, Facebook have decided instead to try to take over the financial world. This week, Zuckerberg announced that his company was going to establish a new digital currency, called Libra.

    Go to the main website, and the first image you see is a beautiful black woman street trader, wearing traditional African dress.

    The opening animation talks of the billions who don’t have bank accounts; who send remittances to far-off families and pay punishing percentages to do so; and the business opportunities that will open up when the transaction costs of money are reduced to a tiny amount.

    “I’d like to teach the world to Libra,” the jingle might go, “in perfect harmony”. If it’s not Coca-colonisation, then maybe it’s Facebookistan. More brutally, Facebook have noticed that other parts of the world are linking together social media and banking services.

    In Africa, the m-Pesa system has been transferring cash by text messaging for a decade. In China, 85% of all financial transactions happen over the WeChat app.

    A bit embarrassingly, all this hoopla about Libra could partly be because US digital finance, on the consumer side, is pretty primitive. Even in the UK, an individual writes six paper cheques a year; in the US, it’s 38.

    So again, Libra is an indication of Facebook’s desire – as it is for the other software giants – to move aggressively into new spaces. Their intent is always to gain significant ground, colonise the gray areas, before those pesky legislatures and elected politicians catch them up.

    What is alarming is that Libra isn’t just about Facebook running ahead of the lawmakers. It’s actually about them becoming pretty much a sovereign domain themselves.

    Libra overtly places itself in the context of the recent growth in cryptocurrencies. These are digital value-tokens, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which promise to make finance cheaper to use, and its users more protected from surveillance (by big banks, corporations or states).

    But Bitcoin and Ethereum coins are notoriously unstable – their prices fluctuate high and low, as the patterns of usage in their software systems shift. Libra, by contrast, aims to be what’s called a “stablecoin”.

    That is, it will have all the speed and cheapness of cryptocurrency, but it will be backed up by a “basket” of traditional currencies and government bonds, with initial funds deposited by a range of reputable institutions (including Visa and Mastercard). This ensures the “stable” part … they hope.

    The Libra Association, which stands behind the new currency, will be located in the not-all-that-futuristic locale of Switzerland – a territory where Facebook will, doubtless, have the freedom to manage its affairs optimally (and handily earn interest on the deposits landed there).

    Many have already noted the minimal reference to Facebook’s tax and fiscal responsibilities in the “white paper” explaining the currency.

    But if you have become a “virtual global nation”, then isn’t taxation an internal matter anyway? Isabella Kaminski of the FT has drawn the parallels between the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve in the US, and what Facebook are trying to establish here.

    Back then, a range of private financial institutions – like Libra – came together to try and reduce transaction costs (between the US states), by agreeing how money should be circulated.

    Facebook are audaciously trying to be a Federal Reserve for the whole world. They want to leverage their network power – and the billions of users already in their systems – to launch entirely new financial standards and practices.

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
    THERE are quite a few “haud on a minute” tests to be applied here. One would be: Zuck, are we supposed to believe you when you say you won’t combine the social data on Facebook with the financial data on Libra? Given the recent scandals over your aiding and abetting of Cambridge Analytica, or other work for political campaigners, isn’t our scepticism justified?

    This could be the Little Britain sketch (“computer says no”) extrapolated to a nightmarish level. Indeed, this is exactly what’s happening in China at the moment.

    The whole population, or at least those with devices, dwells within what’s called a “social credit system”. This monitors your behaviour not just online, but via cameras in the street, recognising your face and gait. Credit and rewards are extended, or taken away, to the extent that you have been measured as performing like a “good citizen” – or not.

    The problem is, the surveillance reach of the Facebook system (or for that matter, Google or Amazon) is no less vast.

    At least the Chinese are honest about wanting these techno-systems to achieve a Confucian-like social balance. Western companies are monitoring and processing the same behaviour – except surreptitiously. It’s already been reported that domestic service devices like Alexa or Nest are quietly listening in to family conversations even when they’re not voice-activated.

    So the arrogant global corporation, and the control-freak authoritarian state, are both what the academic Shoshana Zuboff calls “instrumentarians”. Both regimes believe they have the right to collect and crunch our behavioural data in their systems. In the consumerist West, at least, the cages are bigger and the chains longer.

    IS there a democratic politics that can do anything other than chuck a Luddite spanner in these works? Some pundits think that Libra may well end up a non-starter, precisely because of the power of national and regional jurisdictions to permit or refuse their operations.

    In terms of Scottish sovereignty politics, the matter is acute. Entities like the European Union are at the right scale to compel the tech giants to retreat from monopoly, and give citizens rights over their data (represented by measures like GDPR), along with other reforms.

    However, entities like a post-Brexit Britain may well want to present themselves as a “regulatory sandbox”, as the techies put it. That is a zone where companies like Facebook can experiment with their techno-totalising future as much as they like.

    Will Scotland walk confidently into the former situation, or be increasingly vulnerable to the latter?

    We live, increasingly, in a science-fictional world. It’s a Tomorrowland of speed and embedded intelligence, of frictionless interaction, of new kinds of resource and value opening up everywhere.

    But if we don’t hang on to fundamental questions about how we, as citizens, can affect the massive structures that order our lives, then we threaten to go back instead to the dim past. Meaning an updated feudalism, where powerful elites proscribe and shape our existences.

    Your common-sense might already be ringing a warning bell on Facebook’s latest masterplan. Do we, should we, really give one company that much power – to enable both the world’s communication, and the world’s commerce, in the same space? Zuckerberg’s slogan needs another twist, for us living down here: Move carefully. And don’t surrender your freedoms.

    Zodiac

    June 22, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    • That’s a big one! Ohhhhh, Matron!

      K. Williams., Esq., (deceased)

      June 23, 2019 at 10:47 am

    • Cold, flawed and bereft of humanity: How DWP’s review of tragic Stephen Smith case highlights everything wrong with a failing and uncaring benefits system

      https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/cold-flawed-bereft-humanity-how-16467128

      ken

      June 23, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    • Broken Britain 22: 2014 tax law – lowest income households lose, bailiffs gain

      Britain’s lowest-income households were exempt from council tax until 2014, when the law changed, bringing 1.4m households into the council tax net, with some jobseekers and the disabled required to pay bills amounting to 10% of their benefits income, according to the National Audit Office report

      http://guerillawire.org/politics/broken-britain-22-2014-tax-law-lowest-income-households-lose-bailiffs-gain/

      ken

      June 23, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    • The banks want everyone to go cashless because it saves them the cost of handling physical money – including being able to dispose of branches and ATM’s.

      The government love th eide aof a cashless society, because cash is anonymus, whereas cashless transactions aren’t. It will be done in the name of preventing crime, but the morphing of this into a vast, catch-all surveillance system is inevitable.

      At th emoment it’s pushing the line about convenience and security. The next move will be to attach suspiscion to anyone using cash. It will encourage an attitude that someone using cash wants to avoid having their spending habits tracked and therefore “has something to hide”. It is a technique as old as the hills: anyone who objects can be branded as a suspect wanting to conceal bad behavior.

      Once everyone has gone cashless, it will be a simple matter to bring in measures like the NHS knowing what sort of food you buy, whether you buy alcohol. Again, at the start it will be to “help guide you to healthy eating”. It is always sold as being for your own good. Once that is widely accepted, the penalties will start coming in: “I’m sorry, Mrs X, but your shopping record shows you habitually buy fatty foods so I’m afraid the NHS will not fund your blood pressure treatments”

      This is already happening. China is some way sleads the world when it comes to cashless – they have less of a legacy system so have gone straight to using phone payments and the like. All backed by massive state surveillance and a system whereby “improper behavior” can be punished like prohibiting travel.

      In Australia, they have resurrected the benefits card – this was shelved some years ago due to widespread protests. But it’s back again. The benefits card replaces payments in actual money, instead, you get a preloaded payment card. This can only be used in approved stores and only for permitted items.

      At the moment, it is being sold as only applying to persons with a history of “alcohol or substance abuse” or in areas of “high crime”. It won’t stay that way, of course.

      Once we move to cashless an authoritarian government could make you an “unperson” at the click of a button.

      And of course, it invites absolute disaster if the electronic payments system fails for any reason. We saw a hint of this when a major card’s systems failed fr a few hours. It is an obvious target for hackers – and that includes a hostile state in time of war.

      In Sweden cashless is becoming the norm, with many stores refusing notes and coins.

      The Swedish government officially advises that all ctizens have a reserve of cash n preparation of civil emergency, invasion, or declaration of war!

      Cash is Queen

      June 24, 2019 at 7:46 am

      • 10 years the banks reckon it will take to go cashless and while they all make paths to achieving this the public sit blind and ignorant to what that actually means.
        While above covers a lot of what you can expect, what you really need to digest is it will be neither goods or services but “as a service”
        This means while you carry the licence to use, you nolonger own it like you would say currently a car you bought for cash. This in turn means, if you bought that very same car or house with such a currency, you squarely would not nor ever actually own it.
        The suppliers of such a currency can change the terms of license use instantly be it everyone, a group or a single individual. It can range from many things but probably the worst, anybody from ever being able to help you if the system rules against you.
        Its effectively a new prison system of rewards and penalties for the non violent meaning all but for the most dangerous will never have to be put in jail at taxpayer cost.
        If you understand VAT your know this currency will eventually replace all taxes with a transfer tax even if you try to hold it all up in your personal virtual wallet. Basically a pound with a clock or worth attached to it.

        Doug

        June 25, 2019 at 5:36 am

      • Cash is going to be around for a very long time to come. In the first half of next year the Bank of England is spending billions to introduce brand new polymer £20 note with a predicted 19 year lifespan! Notes and coins are going to continue to be used for many decades.

        Bean Counter

        June 25, 2019 at 7:36 am

      • Micro$haft are ahead of the game with Windows 10. Windows 10 is a ‘service’. Micro$haft can vary the terms of the ‘licence’ as and when they see fit Micro$haft can plug the plug on you at any time they so choose. Or put another way you rent Windows and the landlord can kick you out at anytime. Now extend that to your home, your car, your grocery shop. We are being moved from an ‘own’ to rent’ model. Or ‘service’ if you prefer. This will give our new totalitarian overlords complete control over us.

        Our personal data will be used to micromanage us to the nth degree. Expect awkward and embarrasing conversations with coachy about your choice of baked beans or tampons. Don’t play ball, run out of ‘social credit’ and your plug will be pulled. Welcome to the Brave New World!

        H G Wells

        June 25, 2019 at 11:00 am

    • Elitist Britain report: ‘Government must commit to tackling and ending poverty and inequality’, says NEU

      Education unions have responded to the latest Elitist Britain report, which explores the educational backgrounds of leaders across the UK

      “It is simply unacceptable that in the 21st century, the biggest indicator of future employment, wealth and status is the school or university you attended and the wealth and social position of your parents.

      https://edexec.co.uk/elitist-britain-report-government-must-commit-to-tackling-and-ending-poverty-and-inequality-says-neu/

      ken

      June 27, 2019 at 10:35 am

  6. Master: ‘ The source of the one hand, what is it ?’

    Answer: ‘ It is from the place where there is not even one rabbit’s hair that I have struck the sound of the one hand.’

    Zendo

    June 23, 2019 at 11:21 am

  7. Birmingham kids in poverty falling behind at every educational hurdle

    The poorest children in Birmingham are falling behind at every stage of education, a shocking new data investigation has revealed.

    https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/birmingham-kids-poverty-falling-behind-16466035

    ken

    June 23, 2019 at 1:46 pm

  8. The Tories are gone & lost any power as the 5th most popular party, even the green will do better in a general election. Tories are now in the wilderness sacked like Universal Credit. Bye bye Tory criminals that they think they are above the law with crimes against humanity. Universal Credit is dead like the Tory Party.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    June 23, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    • The Greens are nothing but a protest party. No-one seriously thinks they will win an election.

      Dave Blunt

      June 24, 2019 at 10:41 pm

  9. DWP: Universal Credit trial town now has seven food banks, but Theresa May says benefit is working
    https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/dwp-universal-credit-trial-town-16455197

    superted

    June 23, 2019 at 5:41 pm

  10. Get off me
    Get out of my flat
    I don’t like you
    You’re blond and fat

    Neighbour 99

    June 23, 2019 at 6:51 pm

  11. The only myth about Universal Credit is that people are better off if they are on it.
    It’s not true. When you take out travel costs etc. the difference is only marginal.
    The financial stress and uncertainty for the claimant is far worse on Universal Credit.
    Not to mention the stress of the 35 Hour Jobsearch, and the ever-present threat of sanctions.

    John Jarvis

    June 23, 2019 at 7:00 pm

  12. A man who finds no satisfaction in himself seeks for it in vain elsewhere.

    — François de la Rochefoucauld

    Thought for the Day

    June 24, 2019 at 6:37 am

    • That is very true.

      David Mortley

      June 24, 2019 at 11:32 am

  13. Most of the posts are off topic. Tories like talking about what’s up Boris ‘Doris’ Johnson’s arse.. Seems like there are Boris Tory Chat Bots again. Stay on topic of Tory genocide with Universal Credit.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    June 24, 2019 at 9:25 am

  14. The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions is drawing up plans for an internal service that allows it to automate slurps of medical data on claimants to dole out health-related benefits.

    In an ad posted on the UK’s Digital Marketplace, DWP said the work was currently in alpha and it now wanted a supplier to deliver a technical proof of concept to expose NHS data to the department’s systems.
    The aim, it said, is to cut down the time and cost involved in gathering information the department needs to make a decision about “the right support” for someone with a health condition or disability.

    Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

    June 24, 2019 at 9:32 am

    • Guess who’s working on a health data-slurping digital tool? Bzzt! Nope, it’s the UK Department for Work and Pensions

      Anyone here keen to build tool to get ‘right support’ for sick, disabled?

      The Register – 19th Feb 2019

      The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions is drawing up plans for an internal service that allows it to automate slurps of medical data on claimants to dole out health-related benefits.

      In an ad posted on the UK’s Digital Marketplace, DWP said the work was currently in alpha and it now wanted a supplier to deliver a technical proof of concept to expose NHS data to the department’s systems.

      The aim, it said, is to cut down the time and cost involved in gathering information the department needs to make a decision about “the right support” for someone with a health condition or disability.

      Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

      June 24, 2019 at 9:35 am

      • The ad stated the DWP had already carried out proof-of-concept research with what it described as a “medical records broker”. The department declined to name this provider when asked by The Register, but the listing said Niche Health Limited – an NHS records software provider that appears to go by the name iGPR – “were engaged in the discovery phase”.

        The current processes that grant DWP access to NHS data are paper-based, slow and expensive, and it wants to tap into a “growing landscape” of solutions for data sharing within and beyond the NHS, the ad stated

        In addition, the department’s ad claimed that citizens don’t always know what information is needed, and GPs don’t always have details of “functional capability” – it said a digital system would speed this up and give DWP a direct line to the right professionals.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        June 24, 2019 at 9:39 am

      • The new service aims to both digitise the current ad-hoc system for requests – which might be how a condition affects someone on a day-to-day basis – and to automate the existing process for requests for medical information, such as GP details, hospital records and conditions diagnosed.

        This information is used to decide on awards for benefits like Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment, and DWP emphasised that it is shared with patient consent.

        DWP said the work was being done under the “assumption” that the legal basis for data exchange would be “informed consent”, but that it “would expect design assumptions to be tested through the proof of concept phase”. The department declined to say what other legal bases it might consider.

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        June 24, 2019 at 9:40 am

      • There is a block on the link to prove it. Oh dear what bad publicity !!!

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        June 24, 2019 at 9:42 am

      • Awarded to Hippo Digital Limited

        Start date: Monday 13 May 2019
        Value: £192,000

        Stepping Razor Sound Plate System

        June 24, 2019 at 9:44 am

    • 83-year-old former U.S. Senatior Ron Paul has published a new editorial on Zero Hedge: Last week, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill amendment to repeal the prohibition on the use of federal funds to create a ‘unique patient identifier.’ Unless this prohibition, which I originally sponsored in 1998, is reinstated, the federal government will have the authority to assign every American a medical ID. This ID will be used to store and track every American’s medical history. A unique patient identifier would allow federal bureaucrats and government-favored special interests to access health information simply by entering an individual’s unique patient ID into a database. This system would also facilitate the collection of health information without a warrant by surveillance state operatives… The unique patient identifier system puts the desires of government bureaucrats and politically powerful special interests ahead of the needs of individual patients and health care providers. Instead of further intervening in health care and further destroying our privacy and our liberties, Congress should give patients control over their health care by giving them control over health care dollars through expanding access to Health Savings Accounts and health care tax credits. In a free market, patients and doctors can and will work tighter to ensure patients’ records are maintained in a manner that provides maximum efficiency without endangering privacy or liberty.

      From Across the Pond

      June 24, 2019 at 10:27 am

    • 83-year-old former U.S. Senatior Ron Paul has published a new editorial on Zero Hedge: Last week, the House of Representatives voted in favor of a Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bill amendment to repeal the prohibition on the use of federal funds to create a ‘unique patient identifier.’ Unless this prohibition, which I originally sponsored in 1998, is reinstated, the federal government will have the authority to assign every American a medical ID. This ID will be used to store and track every American’s medical history. A unique patient identifier would allow federal bureaucrats and government-favored special interests to access health information simply by entering an individual’s unique patient ID into a database. This system would also facilitate the collection of health information without a warrant by surveillance state operatives… The unique patient identifier system puts the desires of government bureaucrats and politically powerful special interests ahead of the needs of individual patients and health care providers. Instead of further intervening in health care and further destroying our privacy and our liberties, Congress should give patients control over their health care by giving them control over health care dollars through expanding access to Health Savings Accounts and health care tax credits. In a free market, patients and doctors can and will work tighter to ensure patients’ records are maintained in a manner that provides maximum efficiency without endangering privacy or liberty…..

      From Across the Pond

      June 24, 2019 at 10:30 am

  15. Master: All these lovely snowflakes do not fall on a particular place. What does it mean ?

    Answer: The pupil slaps his master’s face.

    Master: To hit with a ball of snow, what of it ?

    Answer: The pupil slaps his master’s face.

    Zendp

    June 24, 2019 at 11:29 am

  16. Andrew Coates

    June 24, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    • It’s a punishment payment. This is what the Tory ‘reformers’ always wanted, a benefit system that punished claimants for not doing as instructed. A sort of welfare judge and jury.

      Jeff Smith

      June 24, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    • The answer is fasting. The average person can live for ages on very little or no food at all 😉 And if you a morbidly obese for a very long time. And most of us are at least overweight.

      Feast of Eid

      June 24, 2019 at 6:51 pm

      • A sort of welfare judge and jury.

        Its been like that for a number of years stretching back to to the late eighties.Being available for work doesn’t mean that somone is going to obtain employment easily and thats the beginning.A driving licence and a car isn’t a luxury.Its easy to see how an area can be decimated by a closure.Those mini jobs I was looking into mainly demand commercial cleaning experience chemical knowledge safety knowledge DBS checks smartphones own transport its unlikely to happen easily.

        The ninety minutes doesn’t make any difference,made much worse for people living in villages five or so miles outside a town with a near non existent bus service that could be cut further at any time.You cannot rely on public transport subject to cuts that doesn’t take you where you need to go worse by shift work.A further collapse can only add to the situtuation many people are in.Today public transport is a business.People are simply priced off also.

        https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/27/deutsche-bahn-to-sell-uk-rail-bus-operator-arriva

        ken

        June 24, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    • Theres more on that here.

      Mentally ill universal credit claimant receives less than £6 for month after £312 deducted for sanctions

      ‘This poverty has no prejudice. This is the kind of thing that drives people to homelessness, and to suicide’
      A mentally unwell universal credit claimant received less than £6 for the month after hundreds of pounds were withdrawn from their allowance.

      A letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) addressed to the Manchester resident, who did not wish to be named, stated that £312 had been taken off their monthly benefit allowance “for sanctions”, leaving them with just £5.82.

      it was common for claimants to have large sums of money deducted from their monthly support.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/universal-credit-sanctions-dwp-poverty-mental-illness-food-bank-a8973646.html

      DWP Slammed After Letter Appears To Show Universal Credit Claimant Given £5 To Last The Month
      “How can you expect anyone to survive on this?”

      The letter reads: “If you have trouble making your money last for the month, you can ask for help with budgeting.

      https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/dwp-slammed-universal-credit-let_uk_5d1229d9e4b0a3941868b43f?

      “The government should be ashamed of itself. We are ashamed of you ‘running’ this country, running it into the ground just so you and your friends can profit from the clean up of the mess you’ve created.”

      We appear to have a government that thrives on turmoil and conflict at home and abroad.illegality isn’t in their vocabulary.

      ken

      June 26, 2019 at 12:15 am

  17. Indeed Stepping, the (Boris) Tory chat bots are doing their best to deflect us with inconsequential nonsense such as Tory leadership races. We need to get back on topic – the denial of basic human rights to the disabled by this wicked Tory government.

    Razor Steps

    June 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm

  18. @Jeff Smith – Right on Jeff ! Universal Credit is a weapon against the claimant. At the flick of a switch they can shut it all down. Food money. rent money, everything. Total disaster for the claimant. And they have got this held as a threat over everybody in Universal Credit, if they don’t do what they are told.

    Malcolm G.

    June 24, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    • Positively Stakhanovite.

      ken

      June 25, 2019 at 4:58 am

  19. Areas with most homeless deaths disproportionately hit by cuts

    Labour analysis finds nine of 10 councils with highest fatalities had cuts more than three times national average

    They are Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Blackburn, Liverpool and the four London boroughs of Camden, Westminster, Lambeth and Tower Hamlets.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/24/homeless-deaths-disproportionately-affected-by-cuts

    ken

    June 24, 2019 at 11:36 pm

  20. If Facebook or Google create their own currency, they can control our lives

    John Harris

    Facebook’s Libra is the last thing the world needs – big tech’s use of our data threatens to intrude even on financial transactions

    Dystopian fiction – from Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange to Russell T Davies’s spectacular recent BBC1 series Years and Years – is usually intended to take elements of the present and then imagine a future in which they have become inescapable, so as to warn us of what might already be in our midst.

    But the 21st century is challenging this technique in one bracing sense: the way the world now seems to race beyond the wildest aspects of our collective imagination before we have even started to think about what might come next. Consider last week’s news about Facebook, and the fact that three years of corporate disgrace – and rising noise from legislators about bringing the tech giant to heel – have yet to slow its terrifying quest to insinuate its workings into every area of our lives. Now, in a move that could have been taken from a futuristic novel, it wants to create nothing less than a new global currency.

    “Libra” will be pegged to a basket of mainstream currencies at a value of about a dollar, and rooted in the model of secure, immutable online transactions we know as blockchain. Its operations will be overseen by a new organisation based in Geneva, open to any company or corporation that has a value of at least $1bn (£790m) and will invest a minimum of $10m. There are currently 28 such participants, ranging from Uber and Spotify to Mastercard – and by way of assuring sceptics of its supposedly hands-off intentions, Facebook insists its own voting power will be restricted to 1%. But Libra is a project conceived and developed by Mark Zuckerberg’s company. And the currency will only perform the necessary feat of scaling up if it becomes a central part of the lives of the billions of us who use Facebook’s platforms, via a linked app called Calibra that will initially be woven into Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

    Naturally enough, the idea is presented not in terms of profit maximisation, but the philanthropic feelgoodery that seems to make northern Californians billionaires as a matter of accident. One element of the initiative is making person-to-person transactions possible at either low or no cost – so that the migrant worker, say, can wire money home to their family and be assured that no one will be taking a cut. Moreover, thanks to the ease of wage and bill payments, people so far left out of financial services can cease to be “unbanked”, and thereby gain more personal freedom. This is hardly a new idea, but, as with most Facebook initiatives, it’s superficially a very good one.

    But, capitalism being capitalism, there are likely to be more venal motivations at work. There are vast markets in the developing world where Facebook and its subsidiaries have millions of users but are held back from creaming off advertising revenue by the simple matter of poverty. Libra offers new revenue opportunities, partly by inviting people to exchange national currencies for the new medium, thereby gifting Facebook and its partners a vast pool of funds. In these territories, and more affluent places, the new currency also offers Facebook the chance to accelerate what sits at the heart of everything it does: the harvesting of endless data, which can then be monetised.

    Facebook is at pains to address such anxieties, but its initial outline of how the new currency will be used in Messenger and WhatsApp via Calibra is not exactly reassuring. At the very least, Facebook will know the people and companies with whom its users have financially interacted, but that is likely to only be the start. “Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook, Inc or any third party without customer consent,” it says (my italics). Obviously, the company has past form here: the kind of forced consent that means you either allow Facebook to gobble up your data or don’t get access to many of its services. Whatever the guarantees, the most basic point is obvious enough: why should a company with such an appalling record on personal data be trusted to so massively extend its reach?

    Other questions abound. What will happen if Libra sucks national currencies out of already vulnerable economies? What will be its relationship to inflation? What of the dangers of international money laundering? Why are Facebook high-ups already talking about Libra extending into credit?

    Such concerns were highlighted last week by indications that India’s institutional hostility to cryptocurrencies means Libra will not be launched there, for the time being at least. But every bit as alarming is how the entry of Facebook into the creation of money will lead it to another sphere currently overseen by the state: beyond everyday consumerism, into the nitty-gritty of how we use public services and interact with government – in education, health, social care, crime and punishment, and everything else.

    Google has already got there, as proved by everything from its vast presence in the US education system to the use of NHS data by its artificial intelligence wing, DeepMind. But think about everyday payments: come 2050, across the planet, what currencies do we think will be used for taxes, benefits, fines, bail, student loan repayments and all the rest – and what will happen to the huge data trails such things create? In China, those on the all-encompassing social network WeChat – which Zuckerberg clearly wants to emulate – can use it to pay taxes and fines. Even in fusty old Britain, the Cabinet Office has already considered using Facebook logins as a means for people to access social security benefits, make council tax payments and get a driver’s licence. Why would it not then think about what we may yet know as Librafication?

    At that point, surveillance capitalism would colonise the shrinking parts of our lives it has so far left relatively untouched. It would amass mountains of lucrative information about everything from our friends to when we last paid a speeding fine – and in the process, bring unlimited corporate power into areas we still consider subject to the checks and balances of democracy. The state could also have a field day: can you imagine the glee at the Department for Work and Pensions if it was able to monitor not just people’s universal credit payments but how they spent them?

    But the biggest question of all is screamingly obvious, and worth asking for the thousandth time: how, in any meaningful way, can we hold Facebook – and Google – to account, and drastically limit their power? The answer surely starts with a massive international no to big tech’s most hubristic scheme yet. Otherwise the creators of fictional dystopias may as well give up: however surreal and messed up their imaginings, the world will have gone beyond them.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/24/facebook-google-currency-libra-financial-transactions

    The Guardian

    June 25, 2019 at 2:17 am

    • I was Boris Johnson’s boss: he is utterly unfit to be prime minister
      Max Hastings

      The Tory party is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people. He cares for nothing but his own fame and gratification

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/24/boris-johnson-prime-minister-tory-party-britain

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/sep/17/boris-has-an-irrepressible-enthusiasm-said-amber-rudd-carefully

      He looked hell and gave a terrible interview,his body language was a person of last-ditch and in trouble more seen in a Mental Hospital.People argue when they are not happy in their lives.The fact the Police were called underlined the seriousness also is regular and happened before?This isn’t a domestic,the country’s future economy jobs’ are at extreme risk.Amber Rudd’s comments “she wouldn’t trust Boris to drive her home after a party” showed why in the BBC interview.If they choose someone appearing unstable as leader the effects on all of us remain to be seen.

      All of us have learn’t in our lives if their are red flags’ in the early stages don’t ignore them.

      The Red Flag

      June 25, 2019 at 5:35 am

      • Andrew Coates

        June 25, 2019 at 8:35 am

      • Pssssssst. Do you think they know they’re being photographed?

        David Bailey

        June 26, 2019 at 6:32 am

    • Labour group leader lambasts council over child poverty rates

      THE Labour group leader has blasted Conservatives on Monmouthshire County Council over increases in child poverty rates.

      In a motion to the council on Thursday afternoon (20th June) Councillor Dimitri Batrouni criticised the Conservative-led council for bringing in childcare fees for school breakfast clubs and cited a 20 per cent increase in child poverty since 2017.

      http://www.monmouthshirebeacon.co.uk/article.cfm?id=117338&

      ken

      June 26, 2019 at 11:10 pm

  21. Facebook accounts could be used to prove identity to access public services

    Government to publish list of certified providers that can help people login securely to revamped gov.uk portal

    Personal login details for social networking sites, bank accounts and personal mobile phone accounts could be used be used as official proof of identity to access public services, the Cabinet Office has confirmed.

    Ministers are to announce in the next few weeks the first list of potential “certified providers” for its “identity assurance programme”, which will allow citizens to assert their identity safely and securely online to access public services.

    The scheme is intended to help people sign in securely to the gov.uk site that is being developed as a portal for all online government services, including looking for a job, applying for welfare benefits, paying car tax or applying for a passport or a student loan.

    The Cabinet Office says the scheme is specifically designed for citizens to retain control of their own data, avoiding the issues of privacy and security raised by a centralised database that was involved in Labour’s national identity card scheme.

    Under the scheme each individual is to be allowed to choose from a range of “trusted non-government organisations” to verify their identity without centrally storing or sharing their personal data or having knowledge of the government service that has asked for proof of identity.

    The Cabinet Office would not name individual companies but confirmed that the Department for Work and Pensions is working with the Cabinet Office identity assurance team to ensure that it will be available for the launch of the universal credit scheme for the unemployed and those on low incomes scheduled for 2013-14.

    The scheme is being billed as way of tackling identity theft and to help overcome “login fatigue” – having to remember too many logons, passwords and answers to security questions.

    The scheme has been dubbed Cabinet Office minister Frances Maude’s “little brother” project.

    Privacy organisations such as the No2ID campaign, which has been consulted about the project, retain a degree of scepticism: “Although this is a fine scheme in principle and is backed by ministers the danger is that it could be sidelined and used as a fig leaf by the data-hungry government departments,” Guy Herbert of No2ID told the Independent.

    Banks and mobile phone companies have a fairly secure idea of their customers’ profiles and identities. But using personal profiles on social media network sites, such as Facebook, which are not necessarily verified, may raise questions about how far somebody with a fake account could use it to build an official identity for themselves with birth certificate, passports, driving licence and the rest.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/oct/04/facebook-social-media-identity-proof

    The Guardian

    June 25, 2019 at 2:20 am

  22. “I think and think, for months, for years; ninety-nine times the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”

    — Albert Einstein

    Thought for the Day

    June 25, 2019 at 2:25 am

    • To use Facebook’s crypto-currency you have to be a Facebook user. After the recent scandals involving data leaks, surveillance and concerns over privacy I’d stick with Bitcoin if I were you folks.

      Laurence Corner

      June 25, 2019 at 7:40 am

      • If you ever come into a bit of money and want to keep it private buy gold Krugerrands and/or Britannias and hide ’em away. The DWP and your local council won’t know about them and even though when you resell them for cash you theoretically lose a bit of money when redeeming them, because of inflation and currency devaluations over time you end up better off.

        King Midas

        June 25, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    • Brexit has overshadowed UK poverty, says CAP

      hristians Against Poverty (CAP) – a national charity specialising in debt advice and support, have claimed that the rising number of UK households struggling to pay their bills have been side-lined by the government due to Brexit.

      New figures released by the charity showed that almost a third of its clients were classed as destitute with some regularly unable to afford basic supplies such as milk and bread.

      https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Brexit-has-overshadowed-UK-poverty-says-CAP

      ken

      June 26, 2019 at 11:05 pm

  23. Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency ‘poses risks to global banking’

    Move could affect competition and data privacy, warns Bank for International Settlements

    Facebook’s plan to operate its own digital currency poses risks to the international banking system that should trigger a speedy response from global policymakers, according to the organisation that represents the world’s central banks.

    Although the move of big tech firms such as Facebook, Amazon and Alibaba into financial services could speed up transactions and cut costs, especially in developing world countries, it could also undermine the stability of a banking system that has only just recovered from the crash of 2008.

    Echoing warnings from many tech experts, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said that while there were potential benefits to be made, the adoption of digital currencies outside the current financial system could reduce competition and create data privacy issues.

    “The aim should be to respond to big techs’ entry into financial services so as to benefit from the gains while limiting the risks,” said Hyun Song Shin, economic adviser and head of research at BIS.

    “Public policy needs to build on a more comprehensive approach that draws on financial regulation, competition policy and data privacy regulation.”

    The warning from the BIS on Sunday comes only days after Facebook announced it would launch its own digital currency, Libra, in 2020. It will allow its billions of users to make financial transactions across the globe in a move that could potentially shake up the world’s banking system.

    Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, last week added his voice to concerns being expressed over big tech’s move into finance, warning that Libra could shift power into the wrong hands.

    Hughes, who is co-chair of the Economic Security Project, an anti-poverty campaign group, said: “If even modestly successful, Libra would hand over much of the control of monetary policy from central banks to these private companies. If global regulators don’t act now, it could very soon be too late.”

    Shin said policymakers needed to consider whether the current system, which allows banks to charge more and build up reserves to protect themselves in times of crisis, was preferable to a more competitive system where transaction costs were lower but the resilience of the financial system was less well known.

    The lure of greater competition between rival digital currencies could prove illusory if a project like Facebook’s Libra became dominant across the world.

    He said policymakers also needed to coordinate their efforts to make sure the new systems were regulated to protect customers and prevent them facilitating money laundering.

    Striking a more positive note, the Bank of England last week cautiously welcomed the advent of digital currencies, saying it would not develop its own but rely on tight regulation of private sector initiatives.

    Other tech companies entering the finance world include Alibaba and eBay, offering payment services Alipay and PayPal respectively. Some big techs have started to offer insurance products, using their platforms as a distribution channel for third-party products, including car and health insurance. Others have ventured into lending, mainly to smaller businesses and consumers, typically lending small amounts for short periods.

    More generally, big techs have made greater inroads where the provision of payments is limited and mobile phone penetration high. For instance, as a large fraction of the population in emerging market economies remains unbanked, the high mobile phone ownership rate has allowed digital delivery of essential financial services, including cashless payments, to previously unbanked households and small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Inroads have been mainly in China but also expanding rapidly in south-east Asia, east Africa and Latin America. Financial services are still a small part of big tech business, representing about 11% of revenues across a sample of big tech businesses.

    BIS said that the new entrants to the market could have a competitive advantage over banks and serve firms and households that otherwise would remain unbanked but regulators would have to ensure a level playing field between big tech companies – which have a wide customer base and access to information – and banks.

    Given the operations of big techs straddle different regulatory perimeters and geographical borders, coordination among national and international authorities will be crucial, BIS said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jun/23/facebook-libra-cryptocurrency-poses-risks-to-global-banking

    The Guardian

    June 25, 2019 at 2:37 am

  24. The truth behind working, claiming UC and how work actually benefits DWP more than you.

    Its hard to believe considering the better off in work mantra but if a person is paid on a week in arrears basis, it costs that person more than a person paid monthly.
    It so because always the paid a week in arrears person gets their last pay a full week after work ends.

    So if that person signs upto UC before the final pay despite not working, that very amount will be used to taper that persons benefit which isnt going to be hard to financially leave that person with none or very very little UC financial support totaling the value of a week or even more dependent on pay rate,hours or any hours not correctly submitted by a contractor to an agency.

    The down shot means do you sign on and succumb to DWPs relentless CC or wait till getting your final pay while paying your class 2 NI £3. This way as UC works on a monthly basis you only forfeit a single week added to the 5 you have to wait and fund rather than watch your pay completely dissolve all of that 4 week benefit amount meaning your having to fund yourself for 9 full weeks and not 5/6.
    If like agencies do, your pay is short and the error of the agencies contractor meaning you could have to wait a further month or two, this conundrum gets even more financially dire.

    DWP, staff included KNOW this is true but will never tell you unless you pry it from their cold dead hands or youve already stood on the financial landmine.

    To be reliant on welfare because of rent while induring inconsistent work puts UC claimants in an impossible position. To phrase it perfectly a WELFARE PRISON where your pay dearly for not remaining in work and earning enough as if you ever had any control over it to begin with.
    Both government and business alike officially have a slave market all surplus to requirement.

    So IN-CONCLUSION the mantra “BETTER OFF IN WORK” actually means DWP WON’T be able to screw you over financially.

    Doug

    June 25, 2019 at 7:44 am

    • And it’s difficult for any of the more reasonable DWP staff to say anything about the system, in front of colleagues and supervisors. There is no real privacy in a Jobcentre, with all the desks set close together.
      Partly for security reasons. It’s often easy to hear what is being said at the next desk on either side.
      They are civil servants don’t forget, and any unfortunate remarks to a claimant overheard by a ‘Work Coach Team Leader’, or reported to them, could end in disciplinary measures or even that Work Coach being dismissed. It’s a highly micro-managed job , being a Work Coach. Team meetings, performance targets, monthly individual appraisals, written reports at the end of the year etc.

      Larry Manley

      June 25, 2019 at 8:55 am

      • same on the work and health programme, quite often I have said it getting too loud, and been allowed to go into of of their interviews to talk.

        myfinalusername

        June 26, 2019 at 5:27 pm

  25. The employment agencies are having a field day since Universal Credit came in. Full up now with desperate claimants who have given up on finding a proper job, and are begging for a few hours of anything going.
    Just to keep the Jobcentre off their backs.

    Ken Fordham

    June 25, 2019 at 8:41 am

  26. ‘’Ok this should do it, we’ll take the shot on the bench over there. Bit of scenery in the background just to frame it in, looks intimate. Now you two go and sit down. No Boris, not that way, the other way round. We’ll take a back shot of you leaning across the table talking to Carrie. Now put your arms together on the table and hold hands. Carrie you look into his eyes, and Boris try to look as if you are saying something sweet to her. That’s it…hold it there…. Great shot.

    Lensman

    June 25, 2019 at 9:17 am

  27. Mental health matters take centre stage at Hastings awareness event

    Mental health providers and people with experience of mental health challenges came together to discuss and promote the reasons why mental health matters.

    Amber Rudd MP said: “In Hastings we receive £600,000 of funding each year dedicated to improve mental health as part of the Opportunity Area programme, but I will continue to ensure our services are properly funded and my residents get the best support possible.”

    https://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/people/mental-health-matters-take-centre-stage-at-hastings-awareness-event-1-8974425

    ken

    June 25, 2019 at 9:25 am

    • I can tell you right now warehouse Amazon jobs for the newly built warehouse out by midlands airport will be pushed down their throats as thats the biggest job opportunity currently being pushed by agencies.
      If the data is correct the opportunity is looking for 500 people with a view to increase it to around a 1000 in time.
      With 900 jobs going at kerry foods, rather than create work, amazons arrival has merely plugged a whole.
      I dont know what kerry foods was like but workers wont like amazons micro managed work practices.
      For starters amazon always likes to get people in and sack quite a few just so as to create a culture of fear if your not moving a parcel every 30 secs. The second thing potential workers will notice is that your every move is monitored and not just by the hideous amount of cameras installed throughout the building.

      The job itself is doing the exact same thing every second of the working day (permanently monotonous). Even the robots get more variety as in amazons eyes, they should be the only ones moving about outside of breaks. Although other so called more skilled jobs will come available, amazon has already deskilled them with software and hardware the village idiot could fix and operate.

      Probably what workers will notice most is that there is way more robots than then. If you ever wanted to see what a machine and its man rather than the traditional man and its machine look like then you will find it in any of their warehouses.

      Doug

      June 27, 2019 at 8:31 am

  28. For the ‘Demon Drink’ substitute ‘Facebook’

    The Demon Drink

    “It struck its roots into everything so deeply that to tear up the spirit drinking practices
    is like tearing up the whole social system of society.”

    — William Collins, Publisher and Temperance Campaigner, 1834

    The Demon Drink

    June 25, 2019 at 11:21 am

  29. For the ‘Demon Drink’ substitute ‘Facebook’

    The Demon Drink

    “It struck its roots into everything so deeply that to tear up the spirit drinking practices
    is like tearing up the whole social system of society.”

    — William Collins, Publisher and Temperance Campaigner, 1834

    The Demon Drink

    June 25, 2019 at 11:21 am

  30. For the ‘Demon Drink’ substitute ‘Facebook’

    👿 The Demon Drink 👿

    “It struck its roots into everything so deeply that to tear up the spirit drinking practices
    is like tearing up the whole social system of society.”

    — William Collins, Publisher and Temperance Campaigner, 1834

    The Demon Drink

    June 25, 2019 at 11:22 am

  31. I put my willy in a dead pig’s head, and still I got elected.

    Percy

    June 25, 2019 at 3:32 pm

  32. uoonkneeversel credit an’nt know goode.

    Sexy Bouy

    June 25, 2019 at 6:39 pm

  33. Is it true that if you’re own universal credit you can only be sick twice a year? Is that really true. That’s what I was told but it sounds too daft to be true. How can anybody know how many times they might be ill every year? Mental isn’t it?

    Djinn and Tonic

    June 25, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    • And you can’t self-certify as sick on Universal Credit, as you could on JSA. It’s all got to be done through the doctor, and getting a sick note, now renamed a ‘fit-note’. These are becoming harder to get, with the doctors under pressure not to give them out for minor sickness. This name change alone shows the real mentality behind many of these changes. It makes it more difficult for the claimant.

      Jeff Smith

      June 26, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      • The so-called “fit note” was introduced by Labour not the Conservatives believe it or not!

        Djinn and Tonic

        June 27, 2019 at 11:10 am

  34. Going without food and showers. Eating at friend’s houses. Visiting foodbanks. The Universal Credit claimants in a cycle of debt they can’t recover from

    Shock social housing survey highlights the debt crisis facing vulnerable families as pressure mounts on government to reform benefit system

    Social housing tenants in Liverpool have spoken of going without food or showers because of problems with Universal Credit – as their landlords call for fundamental changes to the controversial policy.

    https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/going-without-food-showers-eating-16484000

    ken

    June 26, 2019 at 5:45 am

  35. The single biggest problem of Universal Credit is that it was designed to be harsh and unforgiving of mistakes, from the very start. There is no leeway given, and no minimum payment that can’t be touched. In theory, the DWP can sanction you until there is nothing left of your monthly payment. There is no concern about what happens to the claimant, and perhaps their family, after this.
    It’s much more like the American system, where in many states you can only get 99 weeks of actual money, and then perhaps food vouchers, or nothing at all, after that. The state just turns away from the claimant and leaves them to suffer.

    Jeff Smith

    June 26, 2019 at 2:31 pm

  36. There is no leeway given,

    That isn’t really true in all cases.The problems that have been reported is at the Jobcentre.As Lucy once said low level staff.These have been given the powers to oversee commitments.Your overlooking the appeals process and if any decision is actually lawful,as we have seen that isn’t the case.

    ken

    June 26, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    • I disagree. It is exactly the strict and rigid aspects of Universal Credit which are its worst feature. A great many people have been sanctioned for minor ‘offences’ such as being late to sign-on. No matter how serious the reason, and the system allows them to be left with absolutely nothing. The Jobcentre staff, the Work Coaches and the Decision Makers are simply following the regulations of Universal Credit. The appeals process itself, cumbersome, difficult to access, full of delays and hardship for the claimant. Again this is part of the problem.
      Not the solution. It should not be necessary for claimants to have to set out on these great voyages of legal process as per superted, in the first place. That they have to do so, is only further evidence of the true nature of Universal Credit. This basic fact will not be solved by importing CAB ‘advisors’ into Jobcentres.
      There is a saying in politics, that Labour always spend too much, and the Tories always go too far.
      Universal Credit is a classic example of the latter.

      Jeff Smith

      June 26, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      • Another thing is that the DWP has made Universal Credit ambiguous, they say because Work Coaches “tune” it to suit individuals. Basically nobody knows exactly what their rights are and what their responsibilities are which means that Work Coaches can get people to do things that are voluntary by making them sound compulsory; nobody gets a booklet that tells them that they DON’T have to record their Work Search online in the Journal and can do so on paper or by other means and that things like “work experience”, i.e., working for an employer for no wages, cannot be forced and are voluntary: this means that people end up “consenting” to things which the could have refused because the Work Coach never tells them when things are voluntary and so people sign-up fearing sanctions. Of course once you have agreed and signed a claimant commitment to do particular things you’re stuffed and have to go along with it, at least for a while until you can get it changed.

        FACT: Universal Credit has been set up to trip people up and catch them out.

        Everything to do with Universal Credit therefore needs to be questioned before agreeing to it.

        (Work Coaches are not supposed to lie, although many do deliberately and accidentlally.)

        Jim

        June 27, 2019 at 11:06 am

  37. Hartlepool mum stole from Poundland, B&M and Primark after Universal Credit payments stopped
    A mum turned to shoplifting to feed herself after her Universal Credit benefits were stopped for four weeks after she missed an appointment, a court heard.

    Her defence solicitor Adam Hodge described her actions as a typical example of criminality arising out of Universal Credit sanctions.

    https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/crime/hartlepool-mum-stole-from-poundland-bm-and-primark-after-universal-credit-payments-stopped-347677

    The costs of this simply get moved elsewhere.The Conservatives have always been associated with unemployment now the undermining of British society attempting to deal with the unsavory consequences.

    ken

    June 26, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    • Amber Rudd: Universal Credit is just one benefit of being part of UK

      Leaving prison should be the start of a new life – one free of crime and as part of society.

      Yet too often this isn’t the case. No job, no housing and no money can create a sense of hopelessness that spirals into reoffending.

      That’s why the UK Government and I want to do something about it.

      The women I will meet today are not just statistics, but people who have so much to give to society and to the economy.

      We know that those who engage with a work coach while in prison get a Universal Credit payment three times faster so the earlier we get people speaking to Jobcentre staff and getting themselves ready for work, the better.

      https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/amber-rudd-universal-credit-is-just-one-benefit-of-being-part-of-uk-1-4954848

      ken

      June 27, 2019 at 6:07 am

      • Its already running in the UK prisons BUT all is not what it appears when it comes to the claim of reoffending.

        For starters the inmates are being targeted and offered the electronic tag in lieu of a reduced sentence prior to DWP coming along. Between 6.30am to 8.30am is the time frame inmates are allowed until the tag comes off. So its safe to say the stats wont be as realistic as seeing how the crow flies without restraints.
        Effectively they are all in an electronic chain gang designed to keep them in work and removing any social aspect from theirs lives for a period.

        The knock on effect known or unknown to fellow workers, your place of work now has an awful lot more recently released inmates working alongside you, not a comforting thought when they are of the violent and or sexually abusing class of convict. Unless they tell you, you wont have the slightest idea.

        Doug

        June 27, 2019 at 8:53 am

  38. New benefit announced to reduce child poverty in Scotland

    he SNP Scottish Government has today announced it will use new social security powers to introduce a brand new benefit to tackle child poverty

    The Scottish Child Payment will be introduced by 2022 for all eligible families with children under 16. The Payment will begin for children under six by early 2021, with the payment set at £10 per week.

    https://www.snp.org/new-benefit-announced-to-reduce-child-poverty-in-scotland/

    ken

    June 26, 2019 at 10:56 pm

  39. In my Jobcentre the fortnightly “conditionality” interviews – basically scrutiny of your work search and a quick look at Indeed.co.uk by the Work Coach to see if he/she can find anything to refer you to – have been cut to 15 MINUTES because there are too few staff to deal with demand. And this is BEFORE people on legacy benefits have been migrated onto universal credit! Unless the DWP take on large numbers of staff it looks as though the conditionality, in-work and out-of-work, as far as interviews by Work Coaches are concerned, are going to be few and far between!

    Obviously this was going to happen as the number of people suffering conditionality on universal credit climbed above a million and Jobcentres plus staff have been closed and made redundant to cut costs.

    UC is falling apart slowly, little by little, but, Jesus Christ, it won’t half have inflicted pain, death and misery on huge numbers of innocent people before it gets reformed or scrapped and replaced by something much less cruel and unusual.

    Jim

    June 27, 2019 at 8:37 am

    • Universal Credit is just pure ideology in action. As Philip Alston said in his United Nations report it is social re-engineering, and the imposition of what is seen as a new system of social values.
      As you say, the suffering from this has been enormous, and totally out of proportion .
      If only Universal Credit had been politically opposed from the start. But Miliband’s Labour Party just let it all go through. Indeed Ed Miliband put up a 3 line whip ordering his MPs to vote for the 2012 Welfare Reform Act. The start of Universal Credit and all its problems.

      Jeff Smith

      June 27, 2019 at 12:16 pm

  40. Andrew Coates

    June 27, 2019 at 10:22 am

    • If the DWP had any decency they would remove these Universal Credit propaganda articles.
      Now that they have been revealed to be another botched attempt to spin a totally false image of UC.
      At least Zac & Sara, the non-existent claimants, and that other guy that was an actor, were taken off stage when the deception went public.

      Jeff Smith

      June 27, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      • They DWP are also plainly stupid: the articles are an open provocation for a start and people are not going to stop getting angry about them, as this shows.

        Andrew Coates

        June 27, 2019 at 4:31 pm

  41. I think all thats doing is drawing attention to the poverty crisis and keeping that non benefit in the headlines and their not in anyway diminishing.What difference are these articles going to make to anyone sitting on the tube or a bus.Printing multiple Mcdonalds vouchers would have been more use.Total waste of money.When the criticism dies and so to the headlines and people are treated humanly and fairly then that will be a success.

    ken

    June 28, 2019 at 8:35 am

  42. Thankfully I am UC and my advisor phones me up once a month, and have to go and see my advisor at the jc once every three months, good enough for me

    myfinalusername

    June 28, 2019 at 11:51 am


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